Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(47) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
That was what he expected.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t what Carson did.
“This is weird. It’s like the spell that Kessar unlocked is reversing itself.”
Max’s breath caught in his throat as fear went through him. No… Carson was wrong. He had to be. “What?”
“She’s slowly turning back into stone.”
In that moment, he felt as if all the wind had been violently knocked out of his body. “Bullshit! Don’t fuck with me, Carson.”
He pulled the stethoscope from his neck. “I’m not.” Patting Sera gently on the shoulder, he offered her a sad, sympathetic smile. “I’m sorry. I have no idea how to reverse this.”
Her eyes glistened as she met Max’s gaze, but she managed to blink her tears back. “I should have known the gods wouldn’t allow us to go free. We were meant to be punished for riding against them. Let’s face it, they’re not exactly known for their mercy.”
Max sank down on his knees in front of her as a thousand emotions ransacked him at once. But the one that hit him the hardest was fear and anguish. The love that didn’t want to lose her again.
“I can’t let you go. Not again.”
She brushed her hand through his hair. “I’m sorry. I should never have followed Nala in her war against the gods. She was so sure the Sumerians would take over Greece.” Laughing bitterly, she winced. “Stupid bitch never backed a winning side in any conflict.”
“Why did you ride against them?”
“I don’t know. I was angry at the gods for what they’d done to us. What they’d done to our children. I wanted the blood of Apollo and Artemis for creating our races. The heads of the Fates for condemning us. It was a suicide run. Yet it made me feel powerful, as if I had some control over my destiny. How stupid is that?”
“It wasn’t stupid. Little arrogant and a lot short-sighted. But not stupid.” He laid his head in her lap and held her tight. “I can’t go back.” He pierced her with a furious glower. “I won’t.”
“There’s nothing we can do.”
“Yes, there is.”
Seraphina went cold at the tone he used. Foreboding sent chills over her entire body. “What are you thinking?”
Biting his lower lip, he swallowed hard. “Stay here with Carson. I’ll be right back.”
He didn’t listen.
As he vanished, she tried to stop him. She jumped off the bed and grabbed for his arm.
It was too late. He was gone without a single trace. Only a slight stir in the air gave any hint that he’d been there at all. Terrified, she met Carson’s gaze that mirrored her own concerns. “What is he doing?”
The doctor shook his head. “I have no idea. But I’m thinking it can’t be good.”
“Yeah. I second that.”
Max hesitated as he did something he knew was all kinds of stupid. The kind of stupid that if one of his brothers had done it, he’d have beaten them senseless. Thrown water on them to revive them.
Then beaten them more.
But he couldn’t think of any other way to spare his dragonswan from her fate. And if he didn’t move fast, it would be too late.
With a deep breath, he closed his eyes and ignored the pain of his wounds. He summoned every ounce of dragon’s breath inside him and teleported from Sanctuary to the Gates of Samothraki. While the humans in this time and place saw nothing but the jagged remains of a bygone era, he knew where the opening to a most sacred place lay. Much like the gateways to Avalon and Kalosis, it shimmered only in the faintest heartbeats right at dusk and dawn. So quickly that it was easily missed or dismissed as a trick of the eye.
But this was one of the last places where his brethren slept in the modern world.
And this was one of his last remaining siblings.
Nothing but the evening sea breeze answered him. Max picked his way through the ruins of the ancient temple complex where mankind had once paid tribute to the gods of old. Where they’d once made offerings to his kind, hoping to win their cooperation and affection.
Things today were so different.
“Damn it, Falcyn! If you can hear me, answer!”
“I don’t answer to humans. If you want to speak to me, pick the right language.”
Max laughed bitterly as he switched over to drakyn. “I don’t have time for you to be an asshole. I need you, brother.”
Something struck him hard across his chest and knocked him flying. By the pain of it, and the distance he flew before he slammed into the ground, he’d say it must have been Falcyn’s barbed tail.
With a pain-filled groan, he pushed himself up. “Feel better?”
“Not really. When I slit you from asshole to appetite, then I should rally emotionally.”
This time when he attacked, Max caught the blow. Using his force field, he blocked and sent it back at his older brother. “Please, Falcyn… please.”
The pressure against him lessened.
Then it vanished. Max relaxed, only to realize too late that it was a trick. Falcyn materialized at his back and caught him in a vicious headlock. He choked him hard as he held Max against his body.
“Behold what is left of my island because of you, brother. You brought those Greek bastards here and I hate you for it!”
Yeah, okay, this might have been a massive mistake. He’d hoped a few thousand years would have mellowed his brother’s wrath.
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