When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(6) by Alexandra Ivy
“But they would not be more suited to deciphering this.”
It wouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Styx was the Anasso, King of Vampires.
At six foot five with dark eyes, and the fierce Aztec features of his ancestors, he was the poster child for BADASS. Dressed in leather pants and white silk shirt that emphasized his massive chest, he had his long raven hair braided and decorated with tiny turquoise amulets. There was another amulet around his neck, this one a traditional medallion that held the power of his people. His size thirteen feet were shoved into a pair of shit-kickers that looked decidedly out of place in the elegant library.
Of course, there was no place in the sprawling mansion north of Chicago that he didn’t stand out like a sore thumb. His home was filled with marble columns and painted ceilings and an explosion of gilt. And the furnishings weren’t Louis XIV rip-offs. The furniture had actually come from the king’s palace. Which meant they were so delicate, a poor vampire was constantly terrified it would crack beneath his weight.
Unfortunately his mate, Darcy, insisted that he needed a lair that would impress the demon world. And if it made Darcy happy, then that was all that mattered.
The vampire walking through the door, however, was the exact opposite of Styx.
Not to say that Viper wasn’t equally lethal. He hadn’t earned a position as the Chicago clan chief because his eyes were as dark and beguiling as a velvet night sky. Or because his features were as beautiful as a fallen angel. Or because his long, silver hair shimmered like the finest satin.
He was one of the most ruthless killers to stalk the streets of Chicago.
But while Styx looked like death walking, Viper resembled an eighteenth-century dandy dressed in a dark velvet jacket that reached his knees and a ruffled pink shirt.
Crossing the priceless Parisian carpet, Viper headed directly to the side of the room, pouring himself a brandy before turning to face Styx who was leaning against the heavy desk.
“This had better be important,” Viper growled, tossing the brandy down his throat.
Styx arched a raven brow as Viper set the empty glass on a low, walnut table.
“Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?”
Viper nailed him with an exasperated glare. “I hadn’t left my bed, Your Majesty. I was enjoying a rare evening alone with my mate.”
Ah. That would explain the pissy mood.
Styx shrugged. “A pity.”
Viper rolled his eyes. “You could at least pretend to be sympathetic.”
“I would be more sympathetic if my own mate wasn’t back in St. Louis,” Styx muttered.
Darcy’s sister had recently given birth to a litter of pureblood Weres and Styx had discovered himself living the life of a bachelor as the females fussed and cooed over the babies.
He tried to be patient, but it wasn’t his greatest talent.
Oh hell, who was he kidding? It was at the bottom of the list of his talents.
Viper grimaced. “I’ve discovered that no mere male can compete with the allure of newborn babes. Even Shay insists on traveling to see them when there isn’t a waiting line outside Salvatore’s lair.”
“Yes.” Styx’s annoyance with Darcy’s absence eased at the thought of Salvatore, the King of Weres, being tormented by endless guests forcing their way into his lair. The arrogant hound was at the edge of snapping. “Poor bastard.”
Viper abruptly chuckled. “Once again I detect a distinct lack of genuine sympathy.”
“True.” Styx smiled. Truce or not, it gave him genuine pleasure to think of the arrogant bastard ripping out his hair. “The dog deserves the aggravation.”
“So why did you require that I come over tonight?” Viper demanded. “Just the pleasure of my sparkling personality?”
Styx’s brief amusement disappeared. “Salvatore isn’t the only one with unwanted houseguests.”
“I thought Sariel was out searching for his daughter?” Viper said, referring to the King of Chatri who claimed that his daughter had been kidnapped by Cyn, the clan chief of Ireland.
Styx snorted. How the hell did this happen?
One day he’d been celebrating the survival of yet another end-of-the-world-disaster, and the next his house was filled with fairies.
Fairies, for God’s sake.
It was enough to make any vampire consider burning the place to the ground.
“He is, but he has left Prince Magnus, his soon-to-be son-in-law, here.”
His tone left no doubt of his opinion of the prince.
Viper scowled. “Why?”
“He claims that he wants Magnus to be here in case Fallon appears while he’s gone.”
“You don’t believe him?”
“Of course not.” As if Styx would trust the word of any fey. Let alone the King of Fey. “Sariel is convinced that Cyn kidnapped his daughter and that I’m helping them remain hidden. He planted that annoying twit in my house to spy on me.”
Viper looked hopeful. “Did you want me to kill him?”
“Hell, no.” Styx shoved himself away from the desk, his power filling the room with an icy chill. “If anyone is going to kill the prissy pain in the ass it’s going to be me. Unfortunately I’m not prepared to start a war with the fairies, no matter how tempting.”
“Ah.” Viper flashed a smile. “Then you invited me to chain you to the dungeon wall so you don’t do anything stupid?” He offered a mocking bow. “My pleasure, Your Majesty.”
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