Unraveling destiny the f.., p.4
Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5), page 4
“I’m not here for that,” I purred, smirking on cue, and letting him assume I wasn’t a threat.
“Synthia, Lucian will see you in his office,” one of Lucian’s men interrupted as he placed a hand on my bare shoulder. “Now,” he growled when I failed to turn around fast enough.
I turned, smiled brightly, and placed my hands on his massive chest. “Calm your tits, Man-Bun, before you rip your shirt on accident,” I laughed. His eyes narrowed as he let loose a tendril of his power. I followed suit, pretending to ignore the way his lips opened in surprise, or the way those inside the club turned to look as I let out a little too much power. “I’m not here to cause problems. I simply came to speak to your boss. So lead the way,” I directed, watching as he closed his lips and jerked his head once to acknowledge that I’d spoken.
“This way, Goddess.” He walked towards the back of the club without looking back to see if I was following his lead.
“He’s redone this place since we were here last,” I acknowledged.
“We’re going to be here longer than he intended,” he shrugged. “Might as well enjoy the time we’re fucking stuck here.”
“Fair enough—and you’ve invited other creatures inside the barrier?” I curiously noted that some of the creatures scattered around the nightclub weren’t human, but without looking closer, I couldn’t make out what they were.
“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,” he mumbled, not sounding happy about it.
“Or slaughter them and be done with it.” I smirked as his shoulders shook in silent laughter.
“Smart and pretty; deadly combination, from my experience,” he chuckled.
“And you have a lot of experience?” I made my way up the stairs and moved deeper into the darkened hallway. Most of the walls were glass, giving the elusive owner a glimpse of his club and any who entered it.
“Not as much as Lucian, but then again, I don’t chase tail; it chases me,” he murmured before turning and walking backwards easily. “Why run if you don’t have to? Make the women work for it.”
“Nothing worth having ever comes easily,” I noted.
“Nothing worth having comes easily and yet here you are, beautiful,” he smirked.
“I’m involved,” I countered without skipping a beat.
“Shit happens,” he smiled roguishly.
“It does, but should shit happen, nothing and no one will stop me from bringing him back,” I warned.
“Sometimes the world doesn’t need another hero, sometimes it needs a monster.” He stopped in front of the huge doors to Lucian’s office. “Heroes care if people are hurt, but sometimes you can’t save them; better to have someone who doesn’t care about collateral damage,” he muttered. His eyes narrowed as if he was trying to get me to understand his point.
“I understand,” I agreed. “And sometimes the world needs a hero and villain to balance it out and save both the innocent and the guilty. Sometimes, the monster can be both.” The door opened and I turned, giving the owner of the club a seductive grin.
“Lucian,” I greeted with a gentle nod of my head in acknowledgment. “It’s good to see that you’ve decided to stick around here.” We both knew he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Not with Lena still under his spell.
“Synthia, to what do I owe this unexpected visit?” His keen eyes moved to the glamoured brands and back to mine in amusement. “Your fiancé is well?” Slowly those midnight eyes moved to the man beside me in silent dismissal before moving back to mine.
“The Horde King is well,” I answered.
“And he let you come here alone?” He gave me an assessing glance.
“I didn’t ask permission.” I sauntered into his office and his wards sizzled at my presence. “I am my own keeper, and I’m not in danger here. Killing me wouldn’t serve a purpose. You are a wealth of knowledge and I simply need to run a few things by you. Answer them or don’t—the choice is yours. You can lower the wards, though; I didn’t come to start a war with you.”
He didn’t respond, and yet I felt the wards as he neutralized them. He hadn’t moved a single finger, which meant he was more powerful than we’d initially thought him to be. His eyes watched me, and I wondered if he thought I was here for the pleasure that his club below offered, or if he was already aware of my reason for being here.
My eyes skimmed the office for any sign of hidden threats, and stopped at a painting that appeared to be several centuries old. The woman in the painting looked a lot like Magdalena, but certain things were off, such as the slant of her lips and the color of her eyes.
“Has she figured out that she’s been reborn?” I glanced over my shoulder. I sensed Lucian was a little too close for comfort, but I also felt his unease as I examined the portrait. I was fishing here, and I knew it, but we had no idea what Lena really was, besides powerful—and dangerous, if she decided to be.
“There’s been no proof that she has been,” he evaded. “They do look similar, but nothing is certain, nor do I suspect she’s Katarina’s reborn soul. Lucifer didn’t take Lena, he took Kendra.”
“I can see some similarities in the two women, which means you can too. You protect her, which says a lot. You could have killed her, and yet you hesitated. I watched you; if you’re not in love with the girl, you’re in the process of falling in love with her. Then there is the portrait, which has familiar bone structure, so she has at least been born into Katarina’s family tree—then again, that doesn’t mean much either.”
“You’re fishing,” he growled. I could feel him trying to push past the walls in my mind.
“And you need to stay the fuck out of my head. I am fishing because you don’t like to ask for help, but you have it from us should you need it. Lena may not be the one who holds the seal, but she is very powerful, yet she’s pure from what I saw of her. She’s innocent of any past sins, or at least her soul has been absolved of any. Do you think the seal would allow it to remain so if she held it?”
“Time will reveal the truth,” he said smoothly, and then changed the subject, closing it off to discussion. “You’re changing.” His eyes watched me as mine had just done to him. “Witch, Fae, and now a Goddess. It’s quite the upgrade, isn’t it? You had to have someone pretty high up the food chain helping you to get where you are.”
“That wasn’t a question.”
“No, it wasn’t. It was an observation. The Guild has been leveled?” His tone was innocently curious, but his eyes gave him away.
“Don’t play with me. I know you’ve watched the news, or read a paper. You are, after all, a businessman. You know it was leveled, and you used that destruction to your advantage when you had Ristan take Olivia inside to get you a few things that you or your men couldn’t seem to get to,” I said carefully. “I’ve also been aware of your men slinking outside the rubble of the Guild, which tells me you need something else that’s hiding inside there. Something that is deep in the catacombs, which are still heavily warded, would be my guess.”
“That’s not really your business.”
“I beg to differ,” I countered. “I’m about to rebuild it, and if there’s something you need….well, I can be reasonable.”
“You don’t strike me as one who begs for much, Synthia. You expect me to barter for my own property?” Although the tone of his voice seemed calm and even, the power inside the room was becoming uncomfortable, and I wasn’t sure he meant for it to be that way. Whatever the Guild had, he wanted it back.
“Can you get inside?” I tipped my head to the side as I watched him. “No, didn’t think so. Whatever it is, it’s been heavily warded directly against you or your kind. You’d need someone that the wards wouldn’t attack, and you don’t have anyone, or you’d already have it. If I am guessing correctly, you were checking to see if perhaps Ristan or Olivia
“Indeed, and here I thought you were different from the others,” he sneered.
“I have questions, you have knowledge. It’s not like I’m asking for your soul, Lucian. I need answers, it’s simple.”
He turned and moved to his desk, his posture stiff as he rounded the wooden desk and sat behind it, leaning back as if he wasn’t at all worried about what I intended to ask him. I ignored his invitation as he waved his hand at the seat in front of his desk. Instead, I made my way to an open bottle of aged Scotch and chilled glasses that waited on a nearby credenza. Had he been expecting company? Was I intruding on plans, or did he always keep chilled glasses on standby? I shrugged off the questions and grabbed both glasses and the bottle of Scotch before I walked to his desk. I moved around it until I was on the same side as he was, then set the glasses down before sitting down on the surface of his desk, letting my legs dangle as I poured the Scotch for both of us.
“What could the Guild have taken that you want bad enough to give me answers?” I mused, more to myself than to him, knowing he wasn’t enjoying this line of questioning. “It wouldn’t be a file, or you’d have added that to your bargain with Vlad, so it has to be something you didn’t want us to know was there. And of course, you took all the files from Lena’s house that Kendra copied from the Guild. So my guess is it’s something you’d kill for to possess. All I’m asking for in return is for you to answer my questions.”
“So, rather than barter, you expect me to answer your questions in order to get my property back?” he growled, remaining still as he watched me.
“I do,” I grinned. “Do you really think I would be here if it wasn’t important? Ryder doesn’t know I’m here right now, and he’s not going to be happy when he figures out where I am. I’ve risked a lot by coming here, so that should tell you exactly where I stand.”
“He doesn’t know you came to me,” he mused with a wolfish grin. “I could take you prisoner and exchange you for what I want, and he’d hand it over just as easily as you would. Only I wouldn’t have to answer dick.”
“I’m not asking for dick, Lucian,” I wiggled my brows, knowing he wouldn’t risk making new enemies while he had a house of cards that could tumble at any moment. “I promise that none of my questions are about you, or anything that involves you. It’s not about your Witch, nor will it hurt anyone for you to answer them.”
“Does it have to do with the failing portals?” he questioned as I handed him a glass.
“It could,” I answered carefully.
“Fine, but here’s the deal, Synthia. I’m not going to tell you what it is that I need, not until I am prepared to retrieve it. At that time, you’ll give me what I want with no questions asked. I will, in return, answer any questions you ask of me right now, as long as you don’t ask any that pertain to who or what I am, or why I am here.”
“Deal, but you’ll answer them truthfully, or to the best of your knowledge.”
“Fine, I promise not to lie to you. We can seal the deal with a kiss.” His mouth curled into a soft, sly smirk.
“We can seal the deal with a handshake.” I held out my hand to shake as his lips tugged up at the corners as he fought off a smile.
“Deal; can’t blame a fellow for trying to steal a kiss from the future Queen of the Horde, can you?”
“Actually, I could, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the least bit intrigued by what it is you do to the Witches around here to make them oblivious to what you really are. My guess is you bat those pretty midnight blue eyes and they go weak in the knees.”
“I do a lot more than that,” he murmured.
“No, you don’t. You only have an interest in one Witch in this world, and at the moment, she doesn’t even know it, does she?”
He growled and shook his head. “Don’t go there, not when I’m feeling generous.”
“First question,” I began, allowing him a respite from his girl troubles. “What do you know about the portals of Faery?”
“Not much, other than someone found a way to open a few and that they have grown to enormous proportions. Even now, the wild Fae are slipping through and causing panic with the humans.”
“Do you know if your problems could have triggered it?”
“If my problems had triggered it, Synthia, it wouldn’t be portals opening; it would be the veils between worlds coming down. The entire rift that protects Faery would disappear and it would become a part of earth. If that does happen, hell and earth will also become one.”
“Do you know how to fix it?” My heart shriveled a little at the thought of what he was describing.
“No. I’m not sure it can be fixed. Much like the hell gates, once they are fractured you either have to close them for good or seal all access to this world from Faery. You’d also no longer be able to open portals to come back. It wouldn’t be possible to leave any open or make new ones.”
I swallowed the lump that stuck in my throat as his words hit home. I wouldn’t be able to come back here, ever. I’d lose Alden and Adrian. We’d be unable to watch over the Fae who were in this world, or the ones we’d sanctioned to be here.
“The Seattle Guild—I know you have people watching it. Have they sent anyone to Spokane?”
“They have, but we’ve intervened and kept it free of any of their Enforcers. For the most part to protect my interests,” he replied carefully.
“You’ve killed them?” I felt a little sick at the thought of more Guild deaths.
“Yes; however, they would have killed you, so consider it a favor. I knew you would be the one to rebuild the Guild here; Alden told me as much when I approached him about a few other artifacts that the Guild had possession of.”
“The Seattle Guild sent them to kill me?”
“They had iron bullets. They had pictures of you and a man with long, dark hair and green eyes, which I assume is the real Dark Prince. The Guild doesn’t like to let those who know its secrets live. You know that, so your surprise piques my own curiosity. You thought they’d leave you alone?”
“No, I am not that naïve. I knew they’d come, but I figured they would send Mages, since that’s who really wants me dead. Back to the portal thing; I’ve seen Ryder create some pretty big portals and I know of a few others that can open and close them as well. Do you know of anyone else who could be strong enough to mess with the portals, like opening these giant ass ones that can’t be closed by anyone else?”
“I know many who are strong enough. It would require knowledge, and a vast understanding of how the portals function. You’re probably looking for someone who lives inside Faery and wants to be freed, not an outside threat. The Guild wants the Fae gone. The Mages are anarchists who want to destroy the Fae, but they lack the knowledge needed to pull something like this off. They’ve lived outside of Faery and had no idea how to fracture portals. Your threat is, more than likely, inside Faery, doing it beneath your nose. Something inside that world wants out.”
“Freaking awesome,” I huffed as I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. “Do you have any idea how many creatures reside in that world?” I asked, not expecting an answer.
“Of course, I do. But you’re not looking for a needle in a haystack. You’re looking for one race that has the ability to move without being seen, and is a part of the land itself. There are not a lot of races that have the power and knowledge to do something on that scale. My question is: How do you intend to keep the Fae inside when so many want out?”
“That’s easy, we fucking destroy them if they try to leave.” I gave him a wicked smile. “We just allow the beast to rattle his cage and go free long enough to make sure they know we’re not fucking around.”
“You don’t t
“I think that he needs to show them he’s a fair King, but that in times of need, he can be a fucking monster. It’s the Horde. They need to follow their King and kneel before him; if they refuse to kneel, then he’ll need to remind them that he’s the scariest fucking monster in that world.”
“Sometimes it takes a monster to rule,” he agreed.
“And sometimes the monster becomes the hero,” I mused, and saw his eyes tear away from the glass to grudgingly hold mine.
“Are we done?” he grumbled.
“Do you love her enough to let her go if she doesn’t want to become Lena again?” I cringed inwardly as he tensed.
“I killed Katarina to free her.” His voice was soft, thoughtful. “Lena is different; she’s so much more than Katarina ever was, and she’s strong. If there’s a chance she is who I am looking for, there’s no way to free her from what will awaken. Lucifer thinks Kendra holds it, and I hope he’s right. There’s been no sign of him; however, the veils are still holding up—and trust me, we’d know if they came down.”
“So Lucifer could be wrong in assuming it was Kendra who held the soul and seal?”
“He took Kendra because his lackeys thought she was Lena; he wasn’t aware that they were identical twins. He had no idea if she held the seal, and neither do we. It would explain why the veils are still holding. Or he just hasn’t crawled out of the between and made his way to hell yet. He has no clue what he’s looking for; but here’s the punch in the teeth: Neither do we.”
“So it could potentially be anyone in the coven.” I worried my lower lip for a moment before completing my line of thought. “Even Lena,” I whispered with a twinge of regret.
“I almost want to pray that it is anyone else—almost.”
by Amelia Hutchins / Fantasy / Paranormal / Romance have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes