Isn't this a Sherrilyn Kenyon story???
|New Orleans, 2007
Nick Gautier was home.
And he was pissed. As the taxi wended its way from the airport in the mid-morning hour toward his Bourbon Street home, and he saw the scars that were still left by Hurritcane Katrina, his blood literally boiled.
How could this have happened? Closing his eyes, he tried to blot out the boarded-up windows and fallen signs. The white FEMA trailers. But those images were replaced by the news feeds he’d seen of victims stranded on rooftops,
of fires burning, of rioting in the streets...
Nick couldn’t breathe. New Orleans was his home. His touchstone. This city had birthed him. She was his lifeblood. And in one heartbeat, she’d been torn asunder. Crippled. Never in his life had he seen anything like this.
Growing up here, he’d lived through numerous hurricanes over the years. They hadn’t had the money to evacuate for the worst storms so he and his mom would get into her broken-down red Yugo and drive up to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where they would camp out in a grocery store parking lot, eating deviled ham sandwiches made with stale bread and mustard packets, until it was safe to return. Somehow his mother had always made those days fun and adventurous, even when they were hunkered down in the car during tornado warnings.
Then they’d come home to a sight similar to what he saw now, but within a few weeks’ time, everything would be back to normal.
It was now going on two years after the hurricane and still there were closed businesses—businesses that had been there for years and, in some cases, centuries. There were entire areas of the city that looked as if the hurricane
had just blown through.
Most of his friends were either dead or relocated. People he’d known for decades.
In one heartbeat everything had changed.
Nick gave a bitter laugh at the thought. He’d changed more than anything else. No longer human, he wasn’t even sure what he was anymore.
The only thing that kept him going was his furious need for vengeance on the ones he blamed for this catastrophe.
He moved his hand to scratch his neck, then froze as he felt the bite mark there. By taking a blood exchange, Stryker had made Nick his agent. If Nick obeyed the Daimon lord, then Stryker would give him the means to destroy the man who’d ruined Nick’s life... and his town.
Acheron Parthenopaus. At one time, they had been best friends. Brothers
to the end. Then Nick had made the mistake of sleeping with a woman he hadn’t known was Ash’s daughter. Ash had torn him apart over it.
That he could handle. What had made them enemies was the night Nick’s mother had died and Ash had allowed it. Unlike the other immortal beings who made New Orleans home, Nick knew the secrets that Ash carried. He wasn’t just the Dark-Hunter leader, an immortal warrior who served the goddess,
Artemis, and protected mankind from the vampiric Daimons who ate their souls.
Ash was a god. He had the power to do anything he wanted. He could have saved Nick’s mom or at least brought her back from the dead the way he’d saved Kyrian Hunter and his wife Amanda. But Ash hadn’t done that. He’d turned his back on Nick and left Cherise Gautier dead.
Nor had Ash saved this city from the storm. Up until the night Nick had slept with Simi, Ash had loved this city more than anything. Ash wouldn’t have allowed New Orleans to suffer.
But that was before they’d become enemies. Now Ash hated him so much that he’d taken everything from Nick.
Nick paused as the driver’s voice interrupted his thoughts. He looked at the Bourbon Street mansion that had been his home since he’d started working
“Yeah,” he said under his breath. “It is.”
Or at least it had been when he’d shared this place with his mother. Nick got out and paid the fee, then pulled his suitcase from the seat. Slamming the door shut, he looked up at his house and gripped the handle so tight that his fingers ached in protest.
He’d bought this house as a birthday present for his mother when he’d been twenty. He could still hear her squeal of joy as he handed her the key. See her standing beside him as she stared at him in disbelief.
“Happy Birthday, Mom.”
“Oh Nicky, what have you done now? You didn’t go and kill someone,
Her question had appalled him. “Mom!”
Still, she’d been relentless as she narrowed her blue eyes on him and stood arms akimbo. “You ain’t doing none of that drug dealing either? ‘Cause if you are, boy, love or no love, I’ll beat you blue.”
He’d scoffed at her warning. “Mom, you know me better than that. I would never do anything to embarrass you in front of your church friends.”
“Then how you get all this money, chere? How you able to buy a house this fancy at your age? You still a baby and I couldn’t afford two bricks off this place.”
“I told you, I’m the personal assistant for a broker down in the Garden District.
He put the house in my name, but technically he owns it. He’s letting me rent it from him.” It’d been a partial lie. Part of being Kyrian’s Squire back when Kyrian had been a Dark-Hunter had meant that all of Kyrian’s properties were owned by Nick—at least on paper. This house, though, really was Nick’s. His salary was such that he could have easily bought three houses like this, but his mother would never have believed that he could make that kind of money without
breaking the law.
“Broker, hmmm. That sounds like one of those euphemisms for drug dealer to me.”
“Ah, Mom, c’mon inside and see the book room. I’ve already got your chair there so you can read those novels you love so much.”
“Baby, you spoil me. You know I don’t need nothing this big and fancy.”
Yeah, but as a kid, he’d heard her crying enough times in the late night hours that she couldn’t do better for him than their rundown rented room—that the only job she could find was stripping. “My baby deserves so much better than this.” Meanwhile her parents had lived in a nice home in Kenner and had money to burn. But they’d disowned her the minute she’d become pregnant with him. His mother had sacrificed everything to keep her son—her dignity and her future. And though she cried at night that she couldn’t give him the things she thought a boy should have, by day, she was the best mom anyone could have hoped for.
Since the day he was born, it had been the two of them against the world.
“You’ve always taken care of me, Mom. It’s my turn to take care of you. I got a big house ‘cause one day I’m going to give you enough grandkids to fill it full.”
Nick winced as he swore he heard her laughter on the wind before she’d dashed into the house to inspect it. And as he stood there, rain began pouring down on him, soaking him to the bone.
He’d found his mother dead in that chair in the library...
Unrelenting pain and grief tore through him with talons made of steel. They shredded every part of him.
How could she be gone and by such vicious means? Her throat had been ripped out and her body drained of blood. She was all he’d ever had.
“I can give you vengeance.”
It was Stryker’s promise to him. The Daimon lord had told him that if Nick gave him information against Acheron and the other Dark-Hunters and the Squires who served them, then Stryker would give him the power he needed to kill Ash.
It was all Nick wanted.
Then he heard Ash’s voice in his head. “You know, Nick, I envy you your mother. She’s one hell of a lady. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her.”
“Why did you let her die, Ash?” he snarled under his breath. “God damn you!” But in his heart, he knew who was really to blame for all of this and that hurt even more. If only he’d been a better son. A better friend. None of this would have happened.
He’d been the one who had signed on to this world where danger was an intrinsic part. Had he just told his mother the truth, then she wouldn’t have gone home that night with a Daimon. She would be safe. She was killed because of him and that was a truth that hurt to the deepest part of his being.
Unable to stand it, he forced himself to walk to the keypad on the gate and press the code. He half-expected it not to work, but it did.
He paused by the petunias his mother had planted in a large vase next to the backdoor and moved it over so that he could get the spare key.
Everything was just as it’d been when he’d been human... Only now everything was different. His stomach churning, he opened the door and stepped into his house.
His friend Kyl had told him that there had been some damage to the place during Katrina, but that the house had been restored. Nick had to give them credit, it was pristine. Nothing, other than the absence of his mother, was out of place.
“Oh, Nicky, look! It has one of them garbage disposals! I never thought I’d own something so fancy and look at them tiles on the wall. Is that Italian marble?”
He glanced to the right where the Italian marble bake center was. “Only the best for you, Mom.”
“Oh you spoil me, baby. You’re the only thing right I’ve ever done in my life. I don’t know why God was so good to me that He sent you down from heaven, but I’m glad He did.”
But Nick Gautier wasn’t heaven-sent. Like the worthless bastard who’d fathered him and then run off, he was hell-born.
He set the suitcase down by the door and laid the key on the countertop. The last time he’d been here, he’d been calling out for his mother. Screaming her name as he ran through the house, trying to locate her.
He’d found her upstairs.
Against his will, his feet took him right to the spot. He stood in the doorway,
looking at his mother’s favorite chair. In his mind, he could see her lifeless
body still there. But in reality, there was no trace of her death...
Or his own. Just before where he now stood, he’d called out to the Greek goddess Artemis to make him a Dark-Hunter. When she refused and told him he’d have to be dead first, he’d blown his brains out right in front of her.
Afraid of how Acheron would react to his death, Artemis had made him immortal and marked him with the Dark-Hunter bow-and-arrow brand on his face, but he wasn’t one of her army who protected mankind. He had powers
greater than the others. He could walk in daylight.
And now he shared powers with Stryker...
Nick frowned as he saw a half-empty Coke bottle on the sidetable. His mother had never touched regular Coke, only Diet, and he would never have dared left a drink in her secret sanctum.
Someone else had been in the house, and since there was an opened paper from today, he would say that someone had moved in and made themselves
In his house.
Anger tore through him. Who would dare?
Wanting blood, he stormed through the rooms, but found each one empty with no sign of who had dared trespass here. “Fine,” he snarled. “I’ll deal with you later.”
First he wanted to visit his mom. He winced at the thought. He hadn’t been to the cemetery since his worthless father had died. Even though he’d passed the St. Louis cemetery almost every day, it just hadn’t been a place where he’d ever spent much time. It reminded him of his father and of the gang he once ran with. A gang that used to rob tourists who dared to enter the cemetery alone.
But he would go now to visit his mother. He hadn’t been there for the funeral. The least he could do now was let her know he still missed her.
His heart heavy, he walked the few blocks that separated his house from Basin Street and walked through the stone entrance of the St. Louis Cemetery. The rains had already moved on as they often did in New Orleans. Now it was sticky and hot.
Since it was morning, the wrought-iron gates were open and chained back. As a Daimon and a Dark-Hunter, Nick shouldn’t have been allowed to walk in daylight, but a higher power had spared him that curse. Like Ash, he could walk in daylight, and unlike other Dark-Hunters, he could walk in a cemetery and not be possessed by the wandering souls that were trapped there.
Without pausing, he walked toward the Gautier family mausoleum. As he passed the raised tombs that had caused New Orleans cemeteries to be called the cities of the dead, he noted how many of them still bore traces of hurricane
damage. Even Marie Laveau’s tomb wasn’t as colorful as it’d been before. Many of the tombs were missing names and stones.
Fear crept into him at what he’d find waiting for him at his mother’s resting
place. But as he turned the corner toward his mother’s grave, he froze.
Menyara Chartier, a tiny, frail African American woman was sitting in front of the grave, talking in a whisper to his mother while she arranged bouquets
of white lilies. The Voodoo High Priestess paused mid-sentence and turned her head as if she knew who would be there.
“Ni...” she frowned, catching herself from saying the rest of his name.
“Aunt Mennie,” he said, his voice catching as he closed the distance between them. She’d been the tenant in the room next to theirs where he’d grown up and she’d been the woman who had delivered him since his mother hadn’t been able to afford a hospital stay. Menyara had been the closest thing to family he and Cherise had known. “You’re still here.”
She rose slowly to her feet. At four feet ten, she shouldn’t have been intimidating
to anyone above the age of five and yet there was something so powerful
about her that it had never failed to quell him. Without thinking, he swept her up into his arms and held her close.
“I knew you would return,” she breathed, before she kissed him on his branded cheek. “Your mother, she told me to watch for you.”
To anyone else, that comment might have seemed odd. But Menyara was a gifted clairvoyant. She knew things no one else did.
“I didn’t kill my mother,” he said as he set her down again. That had been the vicious rumor that had been going around.
She patted his arm. “I know, Ambrosius. I know.” She turned and indicated
the tomb. “Every day I have come for you to let Cherise know she
He looked down at the stacks of flowers that were arranged around the tomb and saw where a small group of black roses were blooming in a tiny patch of earth. “You bring her flowers?”
“No. I only arrange those the dark-haired man sends.”
Nick frowned. “Dark-haired man?”
“Your friend. Acheron. Whenever he’s in town, he comes and he visits too. And every day without fail, he sends over flowers for your mother to see.”
His blood ran cold. “He’s not my friend, Menyara.”
“You may not be his friend, Ambrosius, but he is yours.”
Yeah, right. Friends didn’t screw each other over the way Nick had been screwed by Ash. “You don’t know him. What he’s capable of.”
She shook her head at him. “Ah, but I do. Even better than you, I think. I know exactly who and what he is. I know exactly what he can do. And more to the point, I know what he cannot do. Or what he dare not do.” Her features softened as she touched his brand, but said nothing about its presence. “All your life, I have watched you. Your mama always say that you react without thought. You feel too deep. Mourn too great. But one day, Ambrosius, you will see that you and your friend are not so different. That there is much of you inside him.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t walk out on my friends, and I damn sure don’t hurt them.”
She indicated the flowers with a wave of her hand. “He didn’t walk out. He was here when the devil unleashed his wrath on us. Acheron saved my life and those of many others. He brought food to us when we had nothing to eat and kept your home from being burned. Don’t judge him by one bad act when he has done so many good ones.”
Nick didn’t want to forgive Ash. Not after all that had happened, but in spite of his anger, he felt his heart softening at the knowledge that Ash had been here—that he hadn’t abandoned the city. “Why are you calling me Ambrosius?”
“Because that is what you are now. Immortal.” She touched the bite mark on his neck. “My Nicky has gone. Buried by emotions so great they mock the depth of the ocean. Can you tell me if my boy will ever come home again?”
Nick wanted to curse at her. He wanted to shout, but in the end he felt like a lost child who only craved his mother’s touch. A deep-seated sob escaped, and before he could stop it, he did what he hadn’t done since the night he’d found his mother dead.
He cried. All he wanted was for the unrelenting pain inside him to stop. He wanted time to go back to the way it’d been before when his mother had been alive and Ash had been his friend.
But how could it? So much had changed…
Menyara pulled him into her arms and held him close. She didn’t speak. But her touch soothed him even more than words could.
She pressed her lips to the top of his head and gave a light kiss. “You were a good boy, Ambrosius. Cherise still believes in you and so do I. She say for you to let go of your anger. Be happy again.”
He pulled back with a curse at her words that reminded him of something
his mother would say. “How can I let everything go while my mother
“How can you not?” she insisted. “It was your mother’s time to leave this world. She is happier now that she can watch over you and—“
“Don’t say that to me,” he said from between clenched teeth. “I hate it when people say that shit. She’s not happier. How could she be?”
Menyara shook her head. “Then go from this place and don’t taint her peace with your hatred. It doesn’t belong here. Your mother deserves better than that from you.”
He opened his mouth to speak.
“I don’t want to hear it and neither does your poor mother, God rest her soul. You go on now and get out of here. Don’t come back until you get your head on straight and think of someone other than yourself. You hear me?”
Nick narrowed his eyes. He’d argue with her, but he knew her better than that. There was no talking to Menyara when she was in a mood like this.
Disgusted with the whole thing, he turned and left with no real destination
in mind. He merely slinked off toward Conti. The streets were eerily familiar and at the same time they were so empty. This time of year, there should have been tons of tourists about. Shopkeepers should have been hosing
off the balconies and streets.
Instead there were orange barrels and construction sites all around. The sound of jackhammers had replaced that of morning jazz and beeping horns. Pain infiltrated every particle of his body...
Until he crossed over to Acme Oyster House on Iberville. God, how many times had he eaten here? How many laughs and beers had he shared with his mother and friends?
It looked the same, only fresher from reconstruction. He stood beside the window, watching the waiters take orders and people chat, until his gaze fell to the table near the back.
His heart stopped beating. It was Kyrian Hunter and his wife with their daughter Marissa and a baby boy Nick had never seen before. They were laughing and chatting with other people Nick had called friends, Vane and Bride, Julian and Grace. But what absolutely floored him was the fact they were at a table with Valerius and Tabitha. Since Tabitha was the twin sister of Amanda, that wasn’t the shocker.
Valerius was what stunned him.
A mortal enemy of Julian and Kyrian, Valerius’s family had tricked and killed Kyrian—then destroyed the people and country the two of them had fought and died to protect. For centuries, they had nursed bitter hatred toward each other.
And now Kyrian was handing his son over to a man he’d once sworn to decapitate...
How had this happened?
He jerked at the quiet whisper from behind him. It was Stryker’s half-sister, Satara. Tall and dazzling, she was the epitome of feminine beauty and grace.
He stepped back so that the others couldn’t see him on the street. “What are you doing here?”
“I felt a strange sensation coming from you and I wanted to see what caused it.”
He hated that sharing blood with her allowed her to feel his emotions. It was irritating to have someone read him. “Nothing. Go home, Satara.”
She tilted her head as if looking to see Kyrian and the others inside. “It’s interesting, isn’t it? Why Acheron brought them back to life after they’d died, but refused to do the same for your beloved mother. I wonder why he chose them over her.”
“I don’t need you to poke that scab.”
“True. I’m sure it’s still raw.”
She had no idea.
“But,” she said, stepping close enough to whisper in his ear. “Why should they be here, living happily while your mother is dead?”
“Don’t start with me, Satara. That man and his family are all I have left.”
She cocked her head. “Are they? What do you think they’ll say when they find out you’re a Daimon Dark-Hunter? That through you Stryker can see and hear all they do?”
He started away from her, but she pulled him to a stop. Her long nails bit into his forearm.
“The old Voodoo bitch told you that Acheron helped here in New Orleans after the hurricane, but did she tell you who his mother is?”
Nick froze at her words. “Ash has a mother? Alive?”
She smiled. “Ooo, another secret he kept from you, huh? So much for being best friends. Makes you wonder what other things you don’t know, doesn’t it?”
Yes, it did. He snatched his arm from her grasp. “Who is his mother?”
“The Atlantean goddess, Apollymi. But she’s better known to the immortal
world as the Great Destroyer.”
“Yes. For no other reason than she was having a bad hair day, she has unleashed unrelenting storms against civilizations for centuries, and she was highly upset that night when Desiderius played havoc here in New Orleans.”
Nick couldn’t breathe as he recalled that night. Desiderius had been Stryker’s
agent, and he had been the one who had killed his mother.
She leaned in to him to whisper again, “She’s also the mother of my brother Stryker. You know him. Leader of the Spathi Daimons. Who do you think pulls my brother’s leash? Who do you think controls Stryker’s army?”
Nick felt rage swell up inside him at all the truths Ash had kept from him and the others. “Ash’s mother is the leader of the Daimons?”
“Yes, she is. Now you know why Ash keeps so many secrets. How would it look to all of you to know his beloved mother is the one who controls your enemies? That’s why he hasn’t told any of you about the Spathi Daimons such as Desiderius. Why Ash will always stay out of such conflicts. He’s not the big bad. His mother is. Face it. Ash has been lying to all of you from the very beginning. Artemis doesn’t control him. He controls her. She lives in complete
fear of him.”
Nick remembered the night he’d killed himself in front of Artemis. Satara was right. The goddess had been terrified of Acheron and his reaction to Nick’s death. That alone had caused her to reanimate him. Even against
Still, he couldn’t get Menyara’s words out of his mind. “Menyara has never been wrong about anyone.”
“Menyara has never met a god who can alter someone’s thoughts and perceptions. Think about it, Nick. How many times have the Were-Hunters tampered with someone’s mind to make them forget they saw something preternatural?”
More times than he could count. “But Ash has always refrained from doing that.”
“That’s what he says. Yet how often do people preach one thing, then do another?”
Again, she was right.
She leaned against him and rubbed his biceps. “You are blessed with the truth. Nothing in the Dark-Hunter world is what it seems. Acheron has duped everyone... but you. The question is, are you going to let him continue to get away with hurting people for his mother or are you going to stop him? How many more people must die because Acheron is a cruel sadistic bastard? It’s him or us, Nick. Whose side are you on?”
His own. To hell with the rest of them. But he didn’t want her to know that. Not yet anyway.
She toyed with his hair. “Stryker has given you the means for vengeance. The only question is, are you man enough to take it?”
He curled his lip at her. “I’m not a man, Satara. I’m an immortal with god powers.”
She inclined her head to him. “And as long as you don’t forget that,
Acheron is yours.”
Nick glanced back at the restaurant and the truth pierced him hard. He would have gladly sacrificed Kyrian and his family to have his mother back. Friendship was one thing. Family was another. Though Kyrian had been like a brother to him, he wasn’t blood. Nick had been willing to sell his soul for vengeance and he still was.
“Be true to us, Nick, and we can give you what you want most.”
Nick sneered at her. “You don’t know what I want.”
“Yes, I do. You want revenge and you want your mother back.”
“I can get my own revenge.”
“True, and we can give you your mom.”
What the hell was she talking about now? The bitch was crazy. “Don’t be stupid. My mother’s dead. There’s no way back from that.”
“Isn’t there? You’re here and yet you were once dead.” She snapped her fingers. An instant later, a tall dark-haired man appeared beside them. At six foot four, Nick wasn’t used to many men who made him crane his neck, but this one did. And by the luminescent blue eyes, Nick knew exactly who and what this man was.
Gods of sleep, they were sent from Olympus to help and protect dreamers.
And through a pact with Acheron, many of them were sent to aid Dark-Hunters. To help them heal, especially when they were asleep, so that they could continue to protect mankind from the evil that preyed on them.
This wasn’t the first Dream-Hunter to approach him. He’d sent M’Adoc away as soon as the god had offered to help Nick forget the pain of his mother’s
death. He didn’t want to forget his mother or what had happened.
Nick jerked his chin toward the newcomer. “I don’t need his help.”
“Of course you don’t, Nicky. But Kratos can do the one thing even Acheron
“And that is?”
“Bring a soul out of its eternal rest and return it to the land of the living.”
Nick wasn’t stupid enough to buy what she was selling. “At what price?”
“An act of loyalty to us. You bring Kyrian’s child Marissa down to Kalosis, and we will return your mother to this world.”
Still he was skeptical. “You can’t do that.”
Satara gave him a smug smile. “Kratos. A demonstration, please.”
Before Nick could move, the Dream-Hunter touched him. His grip seared Nick’s skin, making it burn and crawl as images tore through him. He saw his mother in a garden surrounded by roses. Her shoulder-length blond hair was glistening in the light while she laughed at a group of children who were playing
A tear slid down his cheek as he saw her kind face again. “Mom,” he
She cocked her head as if she could hear him. “My Nicky,” she breathed. “I miss you.”
“I can take you into the Underworld,” the Dream-Hunter said. “But it won’t be easy.” He released Nick and the image of his mother instantly vanished.
Nick struggled to breathe. “How do I know I can trust you?”
“I have no emotions. I only do as I’m told. Betrayal is for those who have something to gain.”
It was true. The Dream-Hunters had been cursed by Zeus to feel
Satara smiled at him. “It’s too soon, Nick. I know. You go home now and rest. When you’re ready to have your mother back, bring Marissa to us.”
Nick nodded before he turned back and did what she said.
Satara narrowed her eyes as Nick vanished from sight. He was being rather willful, but they could still control him. He needed their blood to live and so long as they had him tied down, there was nothing he could do to escape.
At least nothing that didn’t involve him begging Acheron for help and that was the last thing Nick would do.
“Do you really want me to bring his mother out of the Underworld?” Kratos
asked. “That will require a massive amount of cooperation from Hades.”
She scoffed at him. “Of course not. We get Marissa and both he and his mother can roast in their hell for all I care. But you are another matter. I want you in his dreams, every night, working on him. He has enough anger to feed you well, my Skotos. Play on that anger. Build it higher until he will be willing to do anything to free his mother and kill Acheron.”
She saw the hesitation in Kratos’s eyes.
She curled her lip. “Oh, don’t tell me you’re going to be a wuss too. I’m sick to death of weak men around me.”
He grabbed her and shoved her against the wall. “I’m not a wuss, Satara. You’d do well to remember that.”
She tsked at him. “For a god with no emotions, you seem rather testy.”
He released her. “I’m siphoning off you and your hatred. Even in this realm, it’s pungent.”
“Leave my hatred alone. I don’t want it diminished. Remember, Dream-Hunter, I’m a god too. Fuck with me and I’ll bring down the wrath of Zeus
“You’re only a demigod and a servant at that.”
“But dear old Grandpa Zeus will take an audience with me and then he’ll take your head. Are you willing to chance that?”
He took a step back and gave her a look that let her know she should be on guard while sleeping in the future.
“Just do your part, Kratos, and I’ll do mine. The Oneroi don’t monitor the dreams of Daimons. You help me keep Nick turned against Acheron, and I will give you a playground unimagined by your brethren.”
Kratos swallowed at her promise. Three weeks ago, he’d been one of the Oneroi. A servant of the gods who protected humans and immortals while they slept. Then Satara had summoned him in her dreams and had turned him Skoti. She’d seduced him with her body and made him crave emotions like a drug. Now he couldn’t stand the emptiness of his existence. He only wanted to feel and he was willing to do anything to keep his newfound emotions.
She was right. His kind didn’t prey on Daimons, and if they were half as enticing as she, then he would have a banquet at his fingertips.
And all he had to do was feed the Dark-Hunter’s anger and grief. Simple.
“It’s a deal, Satara. You give me what I need and I’ll give you what
She smiled. What she wanted was simple. Nick Gautier’s loyalty and the baby Marissa. With those two things, she could bring down both the Greek and the Atlantean pantheons.
Then she would be a god and she would make Apollymi look weak.
And Nick, Acheron, and Kratos would be her eternal slaves.
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