When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(37) by Alexandra Ivy
There was enough truth in his words to make Styx hesitate.
Perhaps the cunning little twit did travel to Chicago because of the Chatri, but there was more going on here than a simple wish to catch sight of a pure-blooded fey.
“I’ve forbidden the public to gawk at my lair,” he at last said.
“Oh, I didn’t know.” Keeley pasted on an unconvincing smile. “I’ve been out of the country.”
“And now that you do know you will leave?”
“Of course.” The smile slowly faded beneath Styx’s steady glare, the sweat trickling down the side of his face. “Although—”
“I can’t help but be intrigued by the sudden return of the ancients.” The imp nervously cleared his throat, his gaze continuing to dart over Styx’s shoulder. “Have they said why they have returned?”
“I assume if they wanted you to know they would tell you.”
That should have been the end of the conversation.
If his interest was nothing more than casual interest, then he would have accepted Styx’s contemptuous refusal to gossip about his houseguests.
Prodding a vampire was like poking at a snake.
A good way to get bit.
“You can’t blame my curiosity,” Keeley grimly continued. “The Chatri have been gone for so long that many of our younger generation have begun to believe they’re mere myths. It must be a compelling need to lure them from their homelands.”
So. This was more than mere nosiness.
“Extremely compelling,” he murmured, hoping to lure the imp into exposing the true reason he’d been spying on the lair.
Beating it out of him would, of course, be more fun. But there was always the chance the annoying weasel would lie.
“Does it have anything to do with fey business?” Keeley at last asked.
“Are they considering a return to this world?”
Styx didn’t have to fake his shudder. “God forbid.”
“Then the Chatri sense trouble?”
Ah. They were getting somewhere.
“What possible trouble could they be sensing?”
“I . . .” The imp nervously licked his lips. “There’s always some sort of disruption in the demon world,” he finished lamely.
“True, but you were referring to a specific incident.”
Realizing he’d said too much, Keeley gave a strained laugh. “Don’t be silly.”
The temperature dropped as Styx narrowed his eyes. “I’m many things, but I’m never silly.”
Keeley made a choked sound. “I didn’t intend to insult you. I was merely speculating on why the Chatri were here.”
“I can smell lies, Keeley,” Styx warned. For now he was willing to use verbal intimidation since the imp’s interest seemed locked on the Chatri. The second he suspected the bastard was a threat to vampires, he intended to rip out his heart. “Why are you here?”
“I told you.” Keeley took a covert step backward, wise enough to know Styx was reaching the end of his patience. “Curiosity.”
Styx tapped one of his massive fangs with the tip of his tongue. “Try again.”
Keeley instinctively raised a hand to cover his neck. As if that would stop Styx from ripping out his throat.
The stammered words were abruptly interrupted as Styx caught the sound of his name being called from the entrance of the dungeon.
Without hesitation he was headed out of the cell and closing the door firmly behind him.
“Wait,” Keeley cried. “Where are you going?”
Styx ignored the imp. No one would dare to disturb him unless it was important.
With long strides he was moving down the line of cells and out the heavy door that was closed behind him by the guards. Then, stepping out of the security room, he found Jagr waiting for him.
The leader of his Ravens was a towering Goth warrior with dark blond hair and features that looked like they’d been carved in granite. Dressed in black leather with a sword in his hand, he was an imposing sight.
“Talk to me,” Styx commanded.
“A female appeared just outside the gates, demanding to see you,” Jagr said, his tone revealing his opinion of unwanted visitors. “She claims to be Fallon.”
Styx jerked in surprise. “Christ.”
“Do you want me to call for the starchy prince?” Jagr asked.
With a sharp shake of his head, Styx moved to jog up the nearby staircase. He’d waited weeks to discover the location of his brother. He intended to find out what the hell happened.
“Not until I’ve had a chance to talk to her.”
“Are you sure? We aren’t entirely certain just what powers she has.” Jagr easily kept pace at his side, his expression even more grim than usual. “For all we know she’s responsible for causing Cyn’s disappearance.”
“Then it’s all the more imperative that I speak with her.”
Jagr muttered a low curse. “You’re a pain in the ass to guard. You know that, Styx?”
Styx sent his friend a wry smile. “You can take comfort in the knowledge I’m too stubborn to die. Where did you put her?”
“I left her on the front veranda,” Jagr grudgingly revealed. “Do you want me to come with you?”
“No.” Halting at the top of the steps, Styx nodded back toward the dungeons. “Keep an eye on the prisoner as well as the prince. I don’t want any fey surprises biting me in the ass.”
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