When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(33) by Alexandra Ivy
But as the hours passed with no sign of the imp, he’d at last started his preparations. Whether Keeley had given in to his cowardice and run or he’d been killed by the King of Vampires, Anthony couldn’t wait any longer.
The spell of Compulsion he’d built layer by slow layer around the Commission would already be starting to fade. And just as dangerous, his connection to one Oracle in particular was reaching a critical point.
A fact that had been emphasized when it’d taken him three attempts to magically command the demon to leave the caves and form the breach that he needed to travel halfway around the world.
Not for the first time he regretted his inability to use Keeley or one of the local fairies to create a portal to take him to the woods that surrounded the Oracles’ lair. Unfortunately, while he could mask his scent with a disguise amulet, there was no way to hide the power surge of fey magic that a portal demanded.
The Oracles would know he was coming before he could ever step foot near the caves.
On the other hand, a breach caused by one of their own would never be noticed.
Reaching into the pocket of his cloak, Anthony curled his fingers around the bottle of potion as he stepped into the breach. Immediately he was stung by a hundred pinpricks of electricity; it felt as if he were being attacked by a swarm of bees. This was why most people avoided traveling through a breach.
Locked on the demon who’d created the opening, he forced himself to move steadily forward, chanting a lethal spell as he at last stepped out the other side.
He was prepared to destroy any threat that might be lying in wait.
Shivering as the icy breeze tugged at his cloak, Anthony backed against the tree, struggling to see through the thick darkness that shrouded the woods. Unlike the supernatural creatures, he didn’t have night sight that could penetrate the predawn shadows.
When nothing leaped out to kill him, Anthony altered his spell to produce a small ball of light that floated just above his head.
The illumination was enough for him to catch sight of the eerily beautiful woman who stood in a small clearing, her long copper hair floating around her oval face that was dominated by a pair of green eyes speckled with pure silver.
Phyla looked like she should have been strutting the catwalks of Paris, not hidden in a damp cave near the Mississippi River. But the beautiful demon attired in a long, nearly see-through white gown, was one of the most powerful Oracles. A bonus when she was creating a breach for him or encouraging the Commission to complete the spell he’d given to her, but a pain in the ass when she was trying to escape his control.
Sweat beaded Anthony’s face despite the chill as he covertly pulled the bottle from his pocket and dabbed a small amount of the potion on his fingers. Then, moving forward, he took the female’s hand and offered a deep bow.
“Bless you, mistress,” he murmured, releasing the spell of Compulsion as the potion transferred from his hand to hers. “As always I’m grateful for your assistance.”
The demon briefly tried to fight the spell, inwardly sensing she was about to break free. Then, as the potion spread through her body, the woman’s tension eased. Slowly her features softened, a hint of confusion darkening her eyes.
“Do I know you?” she asked, her words coming out as a low hiss.
Anthony smiled with smug satisfaction. The potion enhanced his powers far beyond those of a normal druid, giving him complete control of the demons who thought they were superior to humans.
“I am nobody,” he said. “You will soon forget my presence.”
“This is wrong.” The woman pulled her hand free, stepping back with a fluid movement that reminded him of a serpent. “I should not be here.”
Anthony’s smile remained. The spell had come close to snapping, but he could feel his connection to the demon strengthening with every passing second.
“You have merely come for a stroll.” The words were spoken as a command. “Now you need to return to your private rooms. You are tired.”
She gave a blink. “Yessssss. I am tired.”
The demon turned, slowly making her way toward the caves. Anthony didn’t bother to wait for her to disappear before he was headed up the bluff that overlooked the Mississippi River. Thanks to Keeley, he was familiar with a hidden entrance into the lair that would allow him to avoid the Commission and their numerous servants.
A vital requirement for him to spread the potion and reinforce his spell of Compulsion.
Fallon knew she was in trouble.
Wandering through the magical meadow with Cyn at her side, she tried to convince herself it was time to return to her rooms.
She’d finished the plate of fruit and even polished off the bottle of champagne. There was no reason to linger, was there? Not unless she was willing to admit that she simply wanted to spend time with the vampire.
Turning her head, her eyes clashed with the steady jade gaze, the twist of his lips assuring her that he was as baffled as she was by the strange compulsion that kept pulling them together.
“Tell me about your life,” he abruptly demanded, bringing them to a halt next to the shallow brook that flowed over shelves of rocks that created tiny waterfalls.
She shrugged. “There’s not much to tell.”
“What do you do with your days?”
A flippant response trembled on her lips before she caught sight of the tight line of his jaw and felt the icy prickles of his power in the air.
Cyn was clearly battling the urge to unleash his primitive desires and toss her onto the grass to satisfy the need that continued to pulse between them. It was up to her whether they kept up the pretense of two civilized companions, or if she provoked him into . . .
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