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Archangel's Shadows(Guild Hunter,book 7)(2) by Nalini Singh

1
 
A fetid breath on the back of the neck.
 
A chill of bones. A cold whisper in the darkness.
 
There are those things that should not exist, should not walk, should not breathe, should not be named.
 
There are those nightmares that, once given form, can never be put back into the dreamscape.
 
—Scroll of the Unknown Ancient, Refuge Library
 
There had been a war. Archangel against archangel. Squadrons of angels in the air and troops of vampires on the ground. He’d told it that when he returned. The being who no longer remembered its name, who no longer knew if it lived or was caught in endless purgatory, had heard the fighting. But it didn’t care. That war existed on another world, not in the small darkness that was its own.
 
Here, it fought its own war, screaming at the faint sound of the dragging scrape-shuffle that announced the monster’s approaching footsteps. But even as it screamed through a throat cracked and raw, it knew it was making no sound, its chest painful from a lack of air. Panic had clamped its cruel hand around its throat and now it squeezed, squeezed.
 
“No, no, no,” the trapped creature whimpered inside its skull, mouth remaining locked in that silent scream.
 
Part of who it had once been understood that its mind was broken and would never recover. That part was a tiny kernel hidden in a distant part of its psyche. The rest of it was clawing horror and fear . . . and sadness. Tears rolled down its face, caught in its ravaged throat, but the haunting sense of despair was soon crushed under the suffocating weight of na**d fear.
 
Then light hit the eyes that must be its own in an agonizing blindness and its pulse froze.
 
The monster was here.