When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(79) by Alexandra Ivy
“You’re lucky I didn’t kick you in the nuts.”
Levet dropped his tail and moved to stand at her side.
“Truly, you are lucky,” he assured Magnus. “I witnessed her make a grown orc cry with just the heel of her stiletto.” He paused to give a dramatic shudder. “It was terrifying.”
Tonya tilted her chin. She’d taken pride in her ability to defend herself when the drunken orc had tried to rape her. Prince Magnus, on the other hand, would expect her to give a womanly scream and hope that some big, powerful male came rushing to her rescue.
That was no doubt what a proper Chatri princess would do.
“I suppose you’re horrified?” she challenged. “A woman shouldn’t be strong enough to take care of herself.”
A mixture of emotions flashed through the cognac eyes, his pale skin flushing.
Was he . . . embarrassed?
“You are not a royal princess,” he at last said in a tight voice. “You are not expected to—”
“You should shut up now,” Levet said with a grimace.
“Listen to Levet,” she warned as Magnus glared at the tiny creature.
Not entirely stupid, the prince hastily veered the conversation away from his chauvinistic views of women.
“Where is Fallon now?”
“I am not certain.” Levet’s brilliant wings drooped as he stared at a small scorch mark near the daisies. “She was to follow your portal to bring me here, then she was expected to return to the Anasso’s lair. But there was an explosion.”
Tonya pressed a hand to her throat. Oh shit. She might be sick to death of hearing about the perfect Princess Fallon, but she would never wish her harm.
“What kind of explosion?” she demanded.
Levet touched a small wound on his shoulder that was rapidly healing.
“Damn,” Magnus muttered.
Tonya instinctively reached out to lightly touch his arm. She wasn’t so petty that she couldn’t sympathize with his fear that the woman he’d once intended to marry was seriously hurt.
“Oui.” Levet gave a sad nod. “I am not sure how badly Fallon and Cyn were injured.”
Magnus lifted his hand, using his power to search for the entrance to the portal.
“I can’t find it,” he rasped.
Tonya watched him with concern. “Why not?”
“The portal collapsed.”
Levet gave a small gasp. “Then she must have escaped, oui?” There was an edge of pleading in his voice. “A portal cannot close while a fey is inside it.”
“We must believe she is well.” Magnus dropped his hand, his expression unreadable as he turned his attention to Levet. “Why were you sent?”
“The Anasso wanted me to track you.”
Predictably Magnus stiffened, his expression indignant. “Why?”
“To rescue you, of course.”
Tonya lifted a hand to hide her sudden smile. The prince was literally quivering with fury.
Not just because a vampire had dared to assume that he would need rescuing, but that he’d sent Levet to perform the deed.
“Styx sent a stunted gargoyle to rescue me?” he snarled.
“Hey. I am not stunted,” Levet protested, spreading his wings with blatant pride. “I am pleasingly compact. And my magic is légendaire.”
Magnus shook his head in disgust. “You are—”
Tonya hastily interrupted the brewing squabble. She’d had enough.
“Can you see through illusions?” she asked the gargoyle.
Easily distracted, Levet turned his attention to the sun-drenched meadows that surrounded them.
“Certainly,” he assured her before wrinkling his little snout. “These, however, are unusual.”
Magnus made a visible effort to control his annoyance. “It’s a labyrinth,” he said in a flat voice.
Levet lifted his brows in surprise. “Druid?”
Magnus nodded. “Yes.”
“Ah.” Levet lifted his hands. “I have just the spell to break it.”
“No,” Tonya cried, all too familiar with Levet’s dubious skill at magic.
She’d once seen him destroy a small warehouse when a pixie had dared him to prove he could create fireballs.
Unfortunately the word had barely left her lips when Levet released his spell only to have it smash against the walls of illusion and splinter with a resounding boom.
The earth shook, sending the three of them tumbling to the ground as tiny shards of magic shot over their heads like lethal missiles.
Tonya covered her head, waiting for the dust to settle before she at last glanced up to watch Magnus surge to his feet, his face tight with fury.
“What are you doing, you fool?” he grated.
Tail twitching, Levet shoved himself upright. “I am trying to get us out of here.” His wings fluttered. “Where is the love?”
“Love?” Magnus clenched his hands, painful pricks of heat filling the air as he obviously battled against the urge to melt Levet to a puddle of tar. “You nearly killed us.”
Tonya cautiously straightened as Levet gave a shrug. “Bien. Then you get us out.”
Magnus narrowed his gaze. “I assure you that I am perfectly capable of getting us out.” His lips flattened as the overly proud prince recalled he’d already devoted several fruitless hours to escaping the labyrinth. “Given time.”
“Wait,” Tonya breathed, her gaze captured by a silvery circle that hovered in midair. “What is that?”
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