When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(71) by Alexandra Ivy
Struggling to keep the bubble of protection around them, Fallon lifted her hand. She didn’t have time to form a proper opening so she sliced a small rift, hoping they could escape. But whatever was forcing the portal to collapse slammed shut the fissure before it could properly form.
Cyn growled as the air was suddenly filled with painful pricks of electricity.
“The portal is collapsing,” she rasped, her strength rapidly draining. Damn. She had to get them out before they were crushed between dimensions.
She shook her head, giving another slash of her hand as she tried to find a way out.
“I don’t know.”
Perhaps sensing her growing weakness, Cyn wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her back flat against his chest.
“Can we get out?”
“I don’t know.” She was trembling, feeling the darkness squeezing ever tighter. “Every time I open a rift it closes before we can get out,” she rasped.
His arm tightened around her. “Shit.”
She grimaced. “Shit” just about summed it up.
She was coming close to burning out. She would have one last chance to get them out before bad, bad things happened.
“Brace yourself,” she muttered, gathering the last of her strength.
Caution wasn’t cutting it. She could only hope that she could blast their way out before her bubble of protection was shattered.
She felt him go rigid. “For what?”
She didn’t bother to answer him. Instead she closed her eyes, sending the last of her powers zinging toward the side of the portal.
There was a loud sizzle as her magic hit another magic and for a horrified minute Fallon feared that it might boomerang back toward them. What had she done?
Then, just as she braced herself for the impact, there was a sudden shift in the air pressure and without warning an explosion sent both of them hurtling out the side of the portal.
Cyn gave a shout of surprise, squeezing her tight against him as they were thrown forward. Fallon grimly held on as she tried to control their plunge through space. The last thing she wanted was to survive the catapult from the portal only to fry Cyn by landing someplace where it was daylight.
Of course, it was impossible.
She was still trying to lock on to Cyn’s lair when they were out of the portal and making a painful landing onto a rough, stone floor.
Her first thought was that it was dark. Really dark.
Her second thought was that it wasn’t much fun to be squashed between a massive vampire and sharp-edged rocks.
Cyn rolled to the side, a low groan wrenched from his throat as he forced himself to his feet.
“Where are we?”
Fallon shoved her tangled hair out of her face, managing to get to her knees as she peered through the murky darkness.
They were in a cave of some sort, but it wasn’t like the one beneath Cyn’s lair. She could sense the heavy weight of earth that extended well above them. As if they were deep in the bowels of a mountain.
Had her fear of the sun led them to a place where light never, ever penetrated?
Hard to say.
“I don’t know,” she admitted, sucking in a deep breath once she was sure the rough landing hadn’t cracked any ribs. She was studying the nearby stalagmite that was coated in some strange, shimmering goo when an icy breeze sent a rash of goose pimples over her skin. Suddenly she stiffened, a wave of dread sweeping through her at the foul odor that made her stomach heave. “Ugh. What is that stench?”
“Troll,” Cyn muttered, the word sounding like a curse. “Can you get us out of here?”
Fallon grimaced. Her royal blood meant that she recovered far faster than most fey, but at the moment she felt as if her magic had been sucked dry.
“I need a few minutes,” she admitted.
Cyn nodded, as if he’d been expecting her response. Then, without warning, he was muttering a low curse as he bent down to scoop her into his arms.
Fallon stiffened. “What are you doing?”
“Hellhounds,” he muttered. “Hold on.”
Cradling her against his chest, he barely gave her time to wrap her arms around his neck before he was smoothly running across the cave and into a narrow shaft that was angled upward.
Fallon glanced over Cyn’s shoulder at the large hounds that were entering the cave. They were nearly as big as a pony, with crimson eyes that flashed with malevolent hatred in the darkness. They had huge fangs and dripped acid onto the stone floor with an audible sizzle.
She shuddered. Yeah, it was a relief they hadn’t ended up on a sun-drenched beach, but did the alternative have to be a troll nest guarded by hellhounds?
Obviously it did, she silently conceded, burying her head against his chest as Cyn ducked the dangling stalactites and leaped over cracks in the floor at a speed that made her head spin. It wasn’t until he came to an abrupt halt that she glanced up to discover his face set in a bleak expression.
“Why did you stop?” she demanded, shivering at the nearing howls of the hellhounds that echoed eerily through the small cave they’d just entered.
Cyn gently set her on her feet, pulling a large knife from a sheath strapped beneath his sweater.
“We’re being herded.”
Herded? She frowned, wondering if it was some slang word.
“What does that mean?”
He moved to place himself between her and the opening to the cave, his legs spread wide.
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