When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(78) by Alexandra Ivy
Or more likely it was the man standing at the edge of the blanket, his eyes closed as he concentrated on trying to break through the illusion.
Tonya shook her head, a wry smile touching her lips.
The Chatri male continued to bewilder her. One minute he was an arrogant jackass whom she wanted to slap, and the next he was making her melt with his kisses.
She wanted to believe her fascination was nothing more than the predictable reaction of a woman who was forced to be in the constant company of a handsome, occasionally charming male.
After all, she’d wasted years thinking she was in love with her vampire employer, Santiago.
Unfortunately she wasn’t stupid.
Sure, she’d felt a mild affection for Santiago. He was a gorgeous, sexy, über-alpha predator. Just the sort of male to make a female’s pulse go pitter-patter.
But with Magnus . . .
Her nose wrinkled.
Hell, most of the time she didn’t know what she felt, but she did know that the thought of him returning to his home and leaving her behind was enough to make her heart twist with a savage pain.
Slowly rising to her feet, Tonya was at the point of wandering toward the babbling brook when an electric charge filled the air.
She turned to watch as Magnus snapped open his eyes, his slender body stiff with surprise.
“What is that?” she demanded, her voice low enough to avoid being carried on the soft breeze.
“A portal has opened.” Then, reaching to grasp her hand, he was tugging her along a pathway that magically appeared directly in front of them. “This way.”
She swiftly fell into place beside Magnus, her eyes widening.
“Levet,” she muttered in surprise.
Magnus glanced at her in confusion. “Gargoyles can’t travel by portal.”
She shrugged. There was no mistaking the distinct scent of granite.
“Someone must have brought him.”
He slowed his pace, his hair shimmering like the finest rubies in the sunlight.
God . . . he was a gorgeous beast.
“Yes,” he murmured, his expression distracted. “Fallon.”
Tonya sucked in a sharp breath. The mere mention of the princess was enough to make her gut twist with jealousy.
But there didn’t seem much she could do to change her reaction.
He gave a slow shake of his head. “No. Strange.” The pathway abruptly came to a halt as a large patch of daisies appeared complete with a tiny gargoyle soundly asleep in the middle of the white blooms.
“Gargoyle.” Magnus reached out his foot to nudge the slumbering Levet with the tip of his leather boot. “Wake up.”
Tonya frowned. “Don’t gargoyles sleep when it’s sunny?”
“This is an illusion,” the prince reminded her, reaching down to grab Levet by one stunted horn. “The sun has no effect on him.”
“There’s no need to be rude,” Tonya muttered as Magnus gave the dangling creature a sharp shake.
Magnus curled his lips. “I do not like him.”
“The feeling is entirely mutual, fairy,” a groggy Levet retorted, opening his gray eyes to glare at the man holding him several feet off the ground.
“Chatri,” Magnus snapped. “How did you get here?”
“Fallon,” Levet answered. “She opened a portal.”
Magnus pulled his brows together. “Why?”
Levet struggled to free himself from Magnus’s grasp, his wings fluttering in outrage.
“To search for you.”
The prince swore beneath his breath. “Who allowed her to put herself in such danger?”
Levet folded his arms over his tiny chest, a stubborn expression on his ugly features.
Magnus scowled, but with a flick of his hand he dropped the gargoyle onto the pathway.
“Answer my question,” he commanded, barely waiting for Levet to regain his balance. “Who gave her permission?”
“I do not believe she asked for permission.” Levet grabbed his tail, carefully wiping the dust from the tip. “Indeed, she insisted that she was capable of making her own decisions.”
“She has been in this world too long,” Magnus muttered, ignoring the woman at his side. “She has forgotten what it means to be a Chatri princess.”
Tonya clenched her teeth at the stiff words, her heart feeling as if it were being crushed.
Just a few days ago she would have assumed that they implied that the prince was a cold, egotistical bastard. Now she understood that Magnus preferred to hide his emotions behind the façade of royal arrogance.
The more he felt, the more fiercely he pretended indifference.
He was truly frightened for the young female.
Which was admirable, she grimly told herself. Of course it was. But if he was still in love with the perfect princess, then why wasn’t he with her?
And why the hell didn’t he keep his lips to himself?
Not nearly so self-contained, Tonya pulled back her arm and punched him in the center of his chest.
“You . . . jerk.”
Magnus blinked, clearly more astonished than hurt by the blow.
“You struck me.”
Tonya planted her hands on her hips. The man was staring at her as if she’d grown a second head.
Not surprising. She’d bet good money she was the first woman who’d ever dared to raise a hand to his royal perfectness.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online