The Darkest Pleasure(144)

By: Gena Showalter

“I commend you, warrior,” Cronus said. “You have proven your strength.” It was more than a statement, it was a promise, a vow. A treaty between them.

At least, Reyes prayed it was so.

Shaking, scared to his bones, he lowered the blade. He strode back to Danika’s side and clasped her hand. “Release him, angel.” And we will see what happens.

A moment later, Cronus splayed his fingers. His bolt flew back into his hand, his eyes narrowing as he stepped toward Reyes. Part of Reyes expected him to attack. But he never did.

Suddenly Danika gasped out a breath and jerked upright. He turned his attention from the god king to his woman. She was blinking open her eyes, as if the light hurt them. When she saw him, she gasped again. “You’re real.”

Her arms wound around his neck, his arms snaked around her waist and they embraced with shattering joy.

“You did it!” She laughed.

“We did it. Angel, I never want to be parted from you again.”

“Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere.”

“My life is one of war, as you once reminded me. Can you live with that?” He pulled back, watery gaze locked with hers. He would leave the Lords if necessary, find a peaceful place to live, untainted by Hunters or vengeful gods.

“Are you kidding? War-happy older brothers are on my Christmas list. And hey. Demons—and I don’t mean you!—now apparently want me as their pet. Not to mention that gods and Hunters are watching my every move. I’m a popular girl. Can you live with that?”

His lips lifted in a smile. “For you, anything.”

She returned the smile with one of her own. “Good.”

“You and me. Now. Always.”

“Save this touching reunion   for later. What did you see in that painting?” Cronus asked, drawing their attention. “Who tried to take my head?”

Not tried to. Did. Reyes closed his eyes, gathered his strength. He’d hoped to avoid this topic for a while longer. Danika buried her head in the hollow of his neck, and he drew strength from her. “Do not strike at us in anger. Please.”

“You have my word,” the god replied impatiently. “Now tell me who took my head.”

“A decapitation?” Danika’s arms tightened around Reyes. “I remember that painting. It was my only decapitation. And the culprit was the one they call Galen. Hope.”

Again, the patient stillness of a predator came over Cronus. The silence was so thick and heavy not even the flap of an angel’s wing dared break it. “A demon. One of you,” he growled to Reyes.

“Our enemy, as well, I hasten to add.”

A long pause, finally a nod. “I wish to see it for myself.” The god’s gaze shifted to Danika. “I have given you back to your man. All I ask in return is that you come to me if ever you learn of a threat against me.”

She nodded. “As long as I’m with Reyes, I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”

“Warning received.” Though the god had paled, his lips curled into the semblance of a real smile. “I’ll have to ensure you live forever and that you are never parted from the warrior. Won’t I?”

“REYES! REYES! You won’t believe it.” Danika rushed into Reyes’s bedroom—no, their bedroom now—and stopped at the edge of the bed.

Reyes was lying on his back, totally naked, the covers kicked away from him. His lids were at half-mast in that sexy way of his she so adored. His dark hair was rumpled, his lips soft and red from her latest biting. Just then—hell, as always—he was the epitome of satisfaction.

Never had she been happier.

So many things had happened in the last few weeks. Aeron had come to her, head bowed, sorrow in his eyes and apologized for the pain and worry he’d caused her. She’d forgiven him without hesitation. His bloodlust had brought Reyes in her life, and Reyes was the best thing that had ever happened to her, so there was no way she could hold a grudge.

She even liked Legion. The little fiend had moved in and was Aeron’s constant companion, helping to draw him out of the dark emotional mire he still seemed stuck in. One was not seen without the other.

When Reyes had told her Legion was a girl, well, Danika had to admit she’d been surprised. But now she could see the possessive gleam in the demon’s eyes whenever Aeron was nearby, and could only smile. If Aeron ever fell in love with another woman, Legion would probably eat the poor girl.