When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(84) by Alexandra Ivy
“But we don’t know how.”
Cyn might not be capable of halting magic, but he was a master at putting an end to his enemies.
“Oh, I know how.”
She blinked in surprise. “You do?”
Cyn bared his fangs. “The druid can’t perform magic if he’s dead.”
Magnus studied the breech.
Was it real or merely another part of the complicated illusion?
He ignored the three men draped in heavy cloaks. Instead, his gaze lingered on the ragged edges of the rift and the abrupt change from sunny meadow to a dark, craggy landscape with a distant stone castle in the background.
It had to be real.
An illusion would never be so sharply defined. It would have faded from one scene to another.
Even as he came to his decision, the stupid gargoyle was waddling to stand at his side.
“Do you want me to turn them into newts?” he demanded, pointing a claw toward the robed men who seemed unaware of the breech.
“No.” Magnus shot the gargoyle an annoyed glance. “You’ve done enough.”
“So I have.” Levet puffed out his tiny chest. “But I have yet to hear one word of thanks.”
Magnus shook his head. Was the creature mentally damaged?
That reckless burst of magic might have killed them, but was the gargoyle shamed? No. He strutted around as if they should all be grateful.
“Stay here and keep your mouth shut,” he commanded.
Levet folded his arms over his chest. “Ungrateful fairy.”
With a shake of his head, Magnus started toward the breech. He wasn’t going to waste his time arguing with a three-foot chunk of granite.
“Wait.” A slender female hand landed on his forearm, bringing him to a halt. Turning his head, he met Tonya’s worried gaze. “What are you going to do?” she demanded.
He nodded his head toward the shadowy figures on the other side of the breech.
“I’m going to convince the druids to release us from the labyrinth.”
“You think they’ll let us go?”
He shrugged. “I can be very persuasive.”
The imp remained blatantly unconvinced. “There are three of them.”
“Yeah, and they managed to trap us in this spell,” she muttered.
His brows snapped together at her obvious lack of faith in his abilities. Never in his very long life had his capacity to accomplish his goals been in doubt. He was a prince. A Chatri royal.
It was simply assumed he would succeed, no matter what the odds.
Being treated as if he could barely tie his own shoes was an experience that was beginning to wear on his nerves.
“Do you believe I am too weak to—”
His sharp words were interrupted as the gargoyle gave an irritated snap of his wings.
“Can you be offended later?” he requested, pointing toward the breech. “We’ve been spotted.”
Magnus hissed as he realized he’d allowed Tonya to distract him long enough for the three robed men to crawl through the opening and head in their direction.
With one smooth step, Magnus had moved to block Tonya from the approaching men.
“Stay behind me.”
He felt an elbow punch into his ribs as the imp moved to stand at his side.
“Not a chance in hell.”
He sent her an exasperated glare. “There is no discipline in this world.”
She lifted her gun and clicked off the safety.
“Oh, there’s plenty of discipline at my club,” she murmured, flashing a wicked smile. “But you have to pay extra.”
He knew what she meant by extra.
He’d heard about the vampire clubs and their twisted perversions.
But he wasn’t repulsed by her taunt.
Instead, a vivid image of being strapped to a bed by a leather-clad Tonya while she did bad, bad things to his willing body nearly sent Magnus to his knees.
Oh . . . hell.
He sucked in a deep breath. “I will never understand you,” he muttered.
She gave a lift of her shoulder. “Perhaps that’s a good thing.”
Yes, he mused, a savage sensation clenching his heart, perhaps it was.
Disturbed by the strange thought, Magnus jerked his attention back to the approaching humans.
As Tonya had pointed out, they weren’t completely helpless. He wasn’t going to be caught off guard again.
“Halt,” he commanded.
The three stopped several feet away, the middle one lifting his hands to push back the hood of his robe.
Magnus judged him to be in his late sixties in human years, although it was impossible to gauge his age without knowing if he’d used potions to prolong his life. His head was shaved bald, and his narrow face was lined with wrinkles.
“Fairy,” he murmured, offering a small bow.
Magnus uttered a low curse. “For all that’s holy . . .” He glared at the startled druid. “I am a Chatri, not a fairy.”
“Truly? An ancient?” There was a murmur of astonishment before the nearest druid stepped forward, his arm outstretched as if he actually intended to touch Magnus. “I have never—”
“Stay where you are,” Magnus snapped.
The hand abruptly dropped, but a reverent expression remained on the lean face.
“How did you enter the labyrinth?” he asked in soft tones.
Magnus wasn’t amused by the faux innocence. The druids clearly hadn’t expected the spell to be breeched and now they were scrambling to cover their asses.
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