Home > Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark #10)(14)

Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark #10)(14)
Author: Kresley Cole

No wonder he'd appeared bewildered by his breaths. He'd pounded his fist over his chest, over his heart.

Because she'd made it beat.

Had the Order known this would happen? That she'd be his Bride and his mate? How could they have? It seemed impossible. So why did she feel double-crossed?

"Alton, ara," he commanded.

Her Demonish was terrible, but she thought he was commanding his female to come - or to heel?

"Not until you calm yourself!"


She shook her head, miming that she would jump, hanging a leg over.

With a roar, he lunged to one side to punch a boulder in frustration. It cracked wide like an egg.

His strength. He could break her bones with a touch.

She'd heard tales of vampires pursuing their females. They were unstoppable. And she knew that the demon males of some species could be lashed by a breeding drive so strong it made them crazed. Even if they knew they faced certain death following that drive, they couldn't resist it.

He was definitely in the midst of that haze right now.

Would she jump? Rather than have this brute rutting on her? Though his postcoital high might be like happiness, fueling her with enough power to escape him, the demon would tear her with his size. Would she even be conscious to draw the power from him?

Again he eased closer, and again she dangled her leg from the edge -

The outer layer of rock gave way under her foot.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Val Hall, the Valkyrie stronghold

"Nix, I'm not leaving until I get the info you promised," Mariketa the Awaited told the mad soothsayer dancing around the room. "So let's start at the beginning."

Nix the Ever-Knowing, better known as Nucking Futs Nix, cried, "Let's start from the end! It's coming soon, you know." She twirled in circles, her long black braids flying out, resembling copter rotors. She looked like a stoned supermodel, high on runway power, rather than a three-thousand-year-old Valkyrie oracle. Her baby-doll T-shirt said Carpe Noctem.

The dozen or so other Valkyrie gathered with them in the great room watched the proceedings intently - they had a stake in Mariketa's "uest to find Carrow as well. At least one of their own had been abducted mere miles away from where Carrow had been taken.

So many stolen. Myriad creatures from all corners of the Lore had gone missing, including other witches, one as young as seven. They were rumored to have been captured by the henchmen of an unknown entity, and none of them could be found. The House of Witches, the fey trackers, the powerful Sorceri, none of them could locate their own.

Inhaling for patience, Mari said, "You have to have seen something."

Nix frowned over her shoulder. "Have to have I?" Spinning, spinning.

"Nix, stop it!"

The soothsayer slowed to a standstill, casting Mari a hurt look. Then she flounced to an easy chair.

Extracting info from the soothsayer proved difficult at times. At all times. And Mari had heard that Nix hadn't even been lucid for the last two weeks. But Mari had to try - she was beside herself with worry about her best friend.

To search for Carrow, Mari had used all the power she could draw on without risking a mystical backlash. Then she'd called on all thirty-seven covens of the Wiccae to scry. Even with so many talented witches searching, no one could find a trace of Carrow. All they could say was that she was in grave danger.

Thanks for the tip, bitches.

So Mari had gone to the most powerful and famous oracle in the Lore. Her Valkyrie friend. "I got a call that you had information. Nix? Valkyrie!"

"Hmm?" She languidly gazed up. "Then tell me something about Carrow, something that no one else knows."

Tests? Mari felt her heart sinking. Nix loved to play people. In a small voice, she said, "I thought we were friends."

Nix's golden eyes flashed playfully. "You are indeed my favorite Wiccan-type person."

"Then why are you making me jump through hoops like everyone else?"

"Not hoops - scent."


"Your revealing a secret about Carrow is like giving a scent to a bloodhound. I need something to point me in the right direction."

Things no one knew? Where to start?

Though Carrow was a daughter of Bacchus - not literally - and an impulsive hellion, she was also wicked smart. Folks never saw that coming. Also a shocker? There was a method, and a purpose, to her madness. She didn't raise hell for hell's sake.

Carrow's most guarded secret? It breaks her heart every day that her parents don't return her calls.

They hadn't called for years. Mari had once walked in on Carrow sobbing over the loss.

Mari gazed around at the Valkyrie, uncomfortable divulging anything private about Carrow. For all these females knew, her best friend had an enviable life - friends, money, parties.

Only Mari and their mentor, Elianna, knew the pain Carrow carried. The party-girl witch who always had a smile on her face was rarely happy. "Very well, Valkyrie. Carrow has an emotion-based power source. She feeds off happiness specifically, but she can't seem to, uh, generate it herself. She's always thinking about how to find more. Like someone on a diet will always think about food."

Nix s"uinted at the ceiling. "Carrow is in an environment that she hates worse than anything."

"The woods?" Mari cried. "She can't stand the outdoors!"

"And yet personal preferences rarely figure in my visions, favorite Wiccan-type person."

"Tell me, Nix, why was she taken there? Who took her? Has anything like this happened before?" Nix had been around for three thousand years. She'd seen a lot. "Have Loreans ever been abducted like this?"

"Yes," the soothsayer answered, adding in a whisper, "by the Order."

"Care to extrapolate?"


"Tell me who they are!" No answer. "Is it the military?"

Nix narrowed her eyes at Mari. "Define military."

"You know, soldiers, army, et cetera."

Nix s"uinted again. "Define army."

"At least tell me if they're human!"

"Define - "

"Shut it, Nix!" She pinched her forehead, then gazed up at the soothsayer. "I can't stand the thought of Carrow out there away from the coven." What if she was somewhere alone and friendless? Because Carrow's childhood had been so seriously screwed up, she didn't handle being alone well.

The soothsayer chuckled. "Ah, Nixie plays. The Order, also known as the Deceivers, the Summoners, the Collectors, and the Mortals Who Walk on Two Legs, except I made up that last part."

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