When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(73) by Alexandra Ivy
The troll grunted, turning just enough for Cyn to miss his mark.
He dodged another swing of the fist, shoving the troll with enough force to send him stumbling backward.
With a snarl of fury the troll swiftly regained his balance, lowering his head as he charged forward.
Cyn ignored the tempting target. The skull was the thickest part of a troll. He could waste the rest of the night trying to batter his way through the impenetrable bone.
Instead, he braced himself, waiting until he could smell the stench of the troll’s rotting breath. Then, with a quick twist, he was stepping out of the path of the raging beast.
Going too fast to halt his frenzied attack, the troll ran headfirst into the side of the wall. The impact wasn’t enough to hurt him, but the tumble of sharp rocks that fell from the ceiling knocked him to his knees.
Muttering curses, the troll forced himself to his feet, giving a shake of his head as he turned back to glare at Cyn.
“No more play,” he growled, the crimson eyes filled with hate.
Cyn flipped the dagger into the air, his smile taunting. The more incensed the troll, the lower his IQ.
“Bring it on, big boy.”
A roar shook the air as the troll once again charged. Cyn held his knife ready, but once again the cunning troll managed to avoid a killing strike. At the same time, he managed to clip Cyn on the side of the head, knocking him to the ground.
A tactical mistake for Cyn as the creature managed to get past him with surprising speed.
It was far too easy to be lulled by the troll’s slow, graceless motions. They could be remarkably quick when they wanted.
And worse, while they might be a few bricks short of a full load, they possessed a lethal cunning that made them dangerous in a battle.
Still in the process of rising to his feet, Cyn watched as the bastard managed to reach Fallon, grabbing her by the arm.
Cyn didn’t know if the monster intended to try and escape with the princess or to use her as a bargaining chip. And in the end, it didn’t matter.
Even as Fallon lifted her hand as if she intended to hit the troll, he was leaping between them, a red mist filling his mind.
Gone was the vampire who fought with a cold, deadly skill and in his place was the berserker who would tear apart the world to protect his female.
With a growl he was streaking across the small space, slashing the knife toward the troll’s face. Instinctively the troll ducked to avoid the painful blow, and Cyn lowered his hand to stab at the bastard’s stomach.
The troll screeched, releasing his hold on Fallon as he jumped backward.
Cyn used the opening to turn and push Fallon on the other side of a large stalagmite.
Even caught in his berserker rage, Cyn had enough sense not to tell her to run. It was too risky for her to leave the cave. Not when they didn’t know how many trolls might be living in this particular nest.
Turning back toward the evil creature, he had no time to avoid the large arms that wrapped around him and hoisted him off the ground. He grunted as the arms tightened, cracking his ribs. Being squeezed wouldn’t kill him, but it hurt like a bitch.
Arching backward, Cyn abruptly snapped his head forward, slamming his forehead into the monster’s nose. Pain blasted through him as he fractured his skull, but the blow at least made the troll drop him so he could hold his hands to his face.
Going to his knees, Cyn grimly tried to shake off the blackness that threatened to consume him. Before he could stand, however, the troll was giving a bellow of fury as he raced forward to kick Cyn in his broken ribs.
He thought he heard Fallon cry out, but the berserker rage was pulsing through him, allowing him to continue to fight even when every movement was an agony.
There was a startled grunt from the troll as Cyn surged to his feet and with one powerful leap was smashing into the large body with enough force to make the troll flail his arms in an effort to maintain his balance.
It was all the opening that Cyn needed.
With an underhand swing of his hand, Cyn slammed the knife into the troll’s lower stomach, grimly smiling as the magical blade slid through the thick, outer flesh and found the soft organs beneath. Cyn swiftly twisted the dagger, grimacing as the rancid odor of bile filled the air.
Hissing his shock, the troll glanced down, watching his life spill onto the stone floor. Then, with a wheezing breath, he began to topple forward.
Cyn jerked the knife free, leaping to the side to prevent being crushed as the troll fell face-first.
Moaning as the sudden movement sent shards of pain ripping through him, Cyn allowed his gaze to dart toward Fallon.
He’d expected to find her hidden behind the stalagmite where he’d left her. But the space was empty. His gaze frantically scanned the shadows, a sharp fear slicing through him at the sight of her standing several feet away, her hand held out as the hellhound crouched, preparing to leap.
Bloody hell. He’d forgotten that he’d left the stupid beast alive when the troll made his untimely entrance.
Now he watched in horror as the hound surged forward.
No. He raced forward, knowing he would never make it. Time seemed to halt, his heart twisting with an unbearable terror as the hellhound parted its fangs as he prepared to rip out Fallon’s throat.
Then, just inches from her tender flesh, the hound was abruptly surrounded by a golden glow.
Cyn slowed, his eyes widening as the light intensified, becoming a blinding glare as it consumed the demon until it was reduced to a pile of . . . goo.
“Holy shite,” he muttered, his gaze moving toward Fallon who calmly lowered her hand and turned to meet his stunned expression.
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