Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(53) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
If only they could.
“We need to see about Nala.”
He nodded. “I need to get the Tablet back and make sure Kessar doesn’t use it.” He picked her up and slung her over his shoulder.
Sera gasped at the action, especially when he headed for the door. “What are you doing?”
He playfully held her legs against his chest as he continued to carry her. “You keep getting into trouble. I’m not letting you out of my sight.”
“I can walk, you know.”
“Aye, but I’m a dragon. We’re known for abducting beautiful maidens and taking them to our lairs.”
Giggling, she surrendered to his hold. “I’ve always wondered about that. Why do dragons take women?”
He tsked playfully. “I’m offended you’d ask that given the ride we just had in my bed.”
“That’s not a bed… On your straw, you mean.”
As they reached the bottom of the stairs, the playfulness faded from his face. His jaw dropping, he slid her from his shoulder and set her on her feet in front of him.
Sera turned to see a new group gathered in the downstairs of Peltier House. The power coming from them was disturbing enough, but it was the two sets of identical twin gods that set her nerves on edge and terrified her.
One set was easy to mistake for each other. They were both tall, dark, and incredibly sexy. The only way to distinguish one from the other was that the one on the left had shorter black hair than the one on the right.
“Sin,” Max said, extending his hand to him. “Zakar.”
They shook his hand in turn.
The other set was much easier to tell apart. While they both had shoulder-length hair in similar styles, one had his black with a pair of swirling silver eyes. The other was blond with eyes of vibrant blue.
“Styxx,” Max greeted the blond. “Acheron.” He stepped back to introduce her. “My mate, Seraphina.”
Acheron inclined his head to her. “Wish we were meeting under better circumstances. Especially since I’m here to ask your mate if it’s okay if we feed him to the gallu.”
Sin clapped Max on the back and put a firm hand on his shoulder. “Actually, it’s not a request. Buckle up, Buttercup. We’re throwing you under the bus.”
Max gaped. “Pardon?”
“Yeah,” Styxx agreed as they surrounded Max. “And knowing them, they’re planning to back up over you, too.” He flashed a grin at Max. “Like the new hair, by the way. It goes well with the whole dragon sacrifice we’re about to make to the gods. Good times.”
“Dragon sacrifice?” Sera repeated with a gasp. “That is a joke. Right?”
“Sure. We’ll call it that.”
Gaping, she looked from Styxx to Max. “I don’t think I like him very much.”
Max cleared his throat. “That’s all right. Some days, I don’t like him either. And I’m thinking today is definitely going to be one of them. All of you do know that at this point I’m going on about thirty hours with no sleep, right?”
Acheron laughed. “Welcome to my world, adelphos. I think I remember sleep… once upon a grand time ago. Or maybe that was a hallucination brought on by extreme sleep dep. Hard to tell, at this point.”
Max rubbed at his eyebrow with his middle finger. “So you’re planning to feed me to the gallu. Any other votes taken while I was away that I need to know about?”
Zakar let out an evil laugh. “You’re remarkably calm for a dragon about to be sacrificed.”
“Yeah, well, we don’t go down easy. You don’t know what indigestion is until you try to eat a dragon. We tend to bite back. And hard.”
Dev cried out in pain. “And that’s more about your sex life than any of us need to know.”
Max playfully shot a blast of fire at him.
“Hey! Do you mind?” Fang stepped between them and extinguished it. “No burning down the bar! Damn it, children, there are some things I shouldn’t have to say, and that is really at the top of my list. Stop playing with fire indoors… around the wooden bar and flammable alcohol!”
“Anyway…” Sin ignored Fang’s outburst. “Do you know where they’re hiding?”
“Oh,” Sin said in a tone so dry it could be used to dehydrate oceans. “That’s awesome. Irkalla… Why?”
Max bent his head as if imparting a huge secret. “Well, I’m no… oh wait. Yeah, that’s right, I am an expert. So I’m going to assume he’s there because you can’t go get him, and drag him out by his ears, screaming. Or kill him.”
“He’s right.” Zakar let out an aggravated breath. “I wish we could go back in time and kick the ass of every family member we had who took a hand in unleashing these bastards on us.”
Sera frowned. “Wait… Didn’t Ishtar descend into Irkalla and return? Doesn’t that mean you can, too?”
Grief darkened Sin’s eyes. “Different time and place. And I’m sadly not the god my daughter was.” He stepped back as he reconsidered their course of action.
“You may not have to be…”
They looked at Max with an arched brow.
Max rubbed his bottom lip with his thumb as he considered their resources. “Sera gave me an idea. I actually have what Asushunamir used to restore Ishtar to life.”
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