When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(38) by Alexandra Ivy
With the unwavering loyalty that made him Styx’s most trusted Raven, Jagr gave a nod. “You got it.”
Confident his back would be protected, Styx headed directly to the foyer, catching the intoxicating scent of champagne as he pulled open the door.
His brows arched at the sight of the tall, slender female with a golden tumble of hair that held highlights of a cresting dawn. Her eyes were a rich amber flecked with emerald and her features perfectly carved.
Hell, who would blame Cyn for wanting to disappear with this female?
Of course, he wasn’t yet sure that Cyn had gone anywhere willingly.
Folding his arms over his chest, he silently studied her tense expression and the way she was twisting her hands together. As if she was struggling to keep some raging emotion under control.
“You wanted to see me?” he demanded.
She flinched at his frigid tone, but grimly held her ground. “Are you the king?”
“Thank God,” she breathed, shivering as a sharp breeze whipped through the air. In the hour just before dawn the temperature in Chicago dipped well below freezing. “You have to help.”
Styx stepped forward. Fallon might look as fragile as a fairy, but there was always the danger one of the Chatri could form a burst of light that was lethal to demons.
“What have you done with him?”
“Not me,” she protested. “It was . . .” She bit her lip, her eyes darkening with regret. “I don’t know. I can explain when we get there.” She held out her hand. “Come with me.”
Styx flicked a brow upward. He didn’t doubt she was genuinely frantic, but there was no way in hell he was going to be led into a trap.
She hissed with impatience, waving her hand toward his house. “I can’t create a portal here. I’ll have to do it outside the magical barriers you have around your lair.”
“You think I’m just going to follow you into a portal?” He shook his head. “I’m not the smartest vampire in the world, as Darcy will happily assure you, but I’m not stupid.”
Her lips thinned, her chin tilting to a stubborn angle. “Cyn has been injured and I don’t know how to help him. Levet said to come to you.”
Styx stiffened, not sure if he was more troubled by the thought that Cyn was hurt or that Levet was somehow involved.
“You know the gargoyle?”
She nodded. “He’s staying with us.”
“At Cyn’s lair.”
“Impossible.” Styx had his people out searching for the missing clan chief for weeks. There was no way they wouldn’t have known he was back in Ireland. “I would have heard if he’d returned to his home.”
“We had to keep it a secret,” she insisted.
Styx narrowed his gaze. A convenient story.
She glared at him with rising frustration. Styx had seen that look before. He didn’t doubt she was considering the pleasure of zapping him with her fairy power.
“Because that’s what the Oracle ordered us to do.”
Oracle. Styx frowned. First Levet and now one of the Commission? Christ. Had everyone known where Cyn was but him?
“What Oracle?” he snapped.
“Siljar,” she said. “She’s the one who took us from my father’s palace.”
“Meddlesome . . .” Styx bit off his furious words. He should have known without asking it would be Siljar. The tiny Oracle always managed to dump Styx into a shitload of trouble. “What did she want from Cyn?”
“I can’t tell you.” Tears filled her beautiful eyes, her voice thick with fear. “Please, you have to believe me.”
He didn’t have the power to read her mind, but he could sense the sincerity of her words.
Not that he was happy at the thought of traveling around the world through a magical portal.
He’d rather have his fangs pulled.
“Shit,” he muttered, accepting that he had no choice. Cyn needed him. End of story. “If you don’t kill me, Jagr will.” Pulling the sword from the sheath angled across his back, he stepped out of the house and headed down the stairs. “Let’s go.”
Fallon didn’t hesitate. With a speed that caught him off guard, she was sprinting past him, her bare feet barely seeming to touch the frozen ground.
Together they headed down the long drive and out the front gate, halting in the middle of the quiet suburban street. Then, with a wave of her hand, she was creating the portal that Styx couldn’t see or feel.
Grimacing, Styx allowed the female to grab his arm and lead him through the invisible opening. No matter how prepared he might be, it was still a jolt to step from the public street into complete darkness.
God Almighty, he hated traveling this way. A vampire was meant to use his two feet to go from point A to point B, not be magically jerked through dimensions.
The sensation of being surrounded by complete emptiness barely had time to form before Fallon gave another wave of her hand to open the portal and they were stepping into a large room with stone walls and an open-beamed ceiling. On the far wall a cheery flame burned in the massive fireplace and the opposite wall was dominated by an arched stained-glass window that Styx had seen before.
Instinctively stepping away from Fallon so he had room to fight, Styx swiftly scanned his surroundings, making sure that there were no lurking enemies. Only then did he turn his attention to the large vampire who was stretched out on the floor, surrounded by bowls of water and one tiny gargoyle.
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