When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(35) by Alexandra Ivy
“Do you deliberately taunt me?”
Fallon sent him a chiding frown, only to ruin it when she shivered at the delicious feel of his fingers stroking along the line of her jaw.
“I don’t like being given orders,” she informed him.
The teasing faded from his eyes, his gaze lowering to her lips. “Then why are you even considering returning to your father?”
Her heart missed a beat as she hastily lowered her gaze. She didn’t want anyone to know just how the mere thought of returning home made her heart squeeze with panic.
It was just so . . . disloyal to her family.
“Because I understand my duty,” she forced herself to say.
His humorless laugh echoed through the room. “A martyr to appease your father’s arrogance?”
The fact that he was right only pissed her off. “What does it matter to you?”
He leaned down, filling her vision with the savage beauty of his face. “You know why.”
She did. He wanted her.
And the goddess knew that she wanted him. Desperately.
But sating her lust with a man who made a habit of seducing women was hardly a legitimate reason to betray her family and perhaps ruin her life forever.
With a muttered curse, Fallon jerked her gaze back to the bowl. No more distractions.
Thankfully Cyn seemed equally determined to concentrate on the reason they were kneeling on the hard floor, and careful not to touch, they watched in silence as the shadowed form squeezed through a narrow crevice at the back of the cave.
Her brows lifted in surprise as she realized he was entering a tunnel that led to the lair of the Commission.
“What the hell?” Cyn leaned forward. “Why would a cloaked human male be creeping through the tunnels that have been claimed by the Commission?”
She glanced at him in surprise. “How do you know it’s a human male?”
His gaze remained trained on the shadowed form as it weaved its way from one tunnel to the next, occasionally halting and brushing his hand over the wall.
“The way he walks,” Cyn said in absent tones.
“You can barely see how he walks beneath that cloak.”
“I’m a predator. I’ve devoted centuries to studying my prey.” He nodded toward the bowl. “That’s a human male.”
She rolled her eyes. “Arrogant.”
He shrugged aside her insult. “I know what he is, not who he is or why he’s in the tunnels.”
“Maybe I can focus on his face.”
Fallon held her hand over the bowl, a trickle of sweat inching down her spine as she concentrated her magic on the hood that covered his head. It was one thing to set the bowls and leave them locked on a specific place. The pull of power was a steady drain that she could offset with the proper nutrition and rest. It was another to manipulate the scrying. Such a blast of energy couldn’t be compensated for.
The image of the man narrowed to the shadowed opening of his hood, giving a hint of unremarkable features.
“He’s looking for something. Or someone,” Cyn murmured as the stranger turned in a slow circle, his head tilted back. Then without warning, he came to a halt, seeming to peer directly at them through the bowl. A low growl rumbled deep in his throat. “Can he sense you?”
“No, it’s impossible,” she assured him, even as a cold chill inched down her spine.
“Impossible is a dangerous word, princess,” he warned.
On the point of explaining the numerous reasons that there was no way the man could detect her scrying, Fallon had the breath knocked from her as Cyn shoved her to the side. At the same time a visible bolt of magic shot out of the water and slammed into the vampire.
With a small cry Fallon watched as Cyn fell backward, his body crashing onto the floor with enough force to tumble a vase off a nearby table.
Ignoring the shattered porcelain, Fallon crawled toward the unconscious vampire, dread clenching her stomach.
“Cyn,” she rasped, desperately grasping his shoulders to give him a shake.
He was lying so still. As if he was . . .
No. She couldn’t allow herself to think the worst.
Torn between staying with Cyn and needing to find some way to help him, Fallon compromised by screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Help. Someone help.”
Absently smoothing back the braids from his too-pale face, she kept herself between his unconscious body and the bowl. Later she would try to figure out how the hell the cloaked figure had managed to send magic through her scrying bowl, but for now she simply needed to make sure that Cyn wasn’t hit again.
Preparing to go in search of help, Fallon was relieved when the door was pushed open and Levet stepped into the room.
“What has that bully of a vampire . . .” The gargoyle’s words came to an abrupt halt as he caught sight of Cyn collapsed on the floor. “Oh. Bravo, ma belle.”
“It wasn’t me,” she rasped. “He’s truly hurt.”
Easily sensing her panic, Levet crossed the carpet to lean over Cyn with a puzzled frown. “Human magic.” He lifted his head to meet her worried gaze. “How?”
“Through my scrying bowl.”
The fairy wings fluttered in shock. “Truly?”
“Can you help him?”
“Non.” The gargoyle gave a shake of his head. “A vampire can only receive strength from their own kind.”
Fallon surged to her feet. She didn’t know exactly where to find the beautiful Lise, but she had to be close by.
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