Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(55) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Fang nodded in agreement as he went over their latest plan in greater detail. Though to be honest, Seraphina still wasn’t happy with it. Something was nagging in the back of her mind.
After a few seconds, Acheron returned, his features pale and drawn. “That was Artemis. The gallu are attacking Olympus.”
“Mia!” Sin vanished immediately.
Sera scowled at his terrified reaction.
“Mia’s his daughter,” Max explained. “She must be with her grandmother.”
Max met Acheron’s gaze. “Lead us in.”
They stood back as Acheron teleported them to Olympus. Because it belonged to the Greek pantheon, only the gods, or those they permitted, could access it. Obviously, both Acheron and Sin had permission to visit.
At least Artemis’s temple, if not the rest of the buildings on the mountain, since that was where they appeared a few seconds later.
Max had never liked going into battle with family. He liked it even less with Sera by his side. But he knew that this was who and what she was.
A fierce Amazon warrior.
It would be the worst of insults to ask her to stay home and sit this out. So he did the only thing he could. He manifested her helmet and sword and handed them to her.
She frowned at him as she took them, and put the helm on her head. With an adorable smile that did awkward things to his body, she unsheathed her sword. “How did you do that?”
“I’m the one who gave the sword to you, remember?”
Seraphina narrowed her gaze suspiciously on him before she examined the hilt of her sword as if seeing it for the first time. “It’s enchanted, isn’t it?”
The blush on his face and bashful tilt to his head answered her question.
“This was never a wedding present. It was your way of protecting me in battle.”
“I didn’t want you hurt.” He bit his lip in the most adorable fashion. “It’s the Sword of Peleus. Achilles sent it to me to watch over and protect.”
Tears choked her. She’d noticed that her battle skills had improved after her mating to Maxis. And she had thought it odd that she’d ceased being wounded in battle. Not even a scratch. She’d attributed it to her own need to stay whole and an improvement to her skills.
She kissed him as a depth of appreciation for her mate overwhelmed her and flooded her heart with warmth. He was adorably precious. “I love you.”
Max couldn’t breathe as those words struck him like a blow. She’d never said that to him before.
Honestly, there had been times when he was rather sure she hated his guts. Times when he’d have sworn she wanted to take that sword and run him through with it. Or cut off a part of his body he was rather fond of.
Teasingly, she placed her hand to his chin so that she could work his gaping mouth for him. “I love you, too, Seraphina,” she said in a feigned masculine voice.
He laughed and kissed her marked palm. “That I definitely do. You just caught me off guard with your reaction.”
Gathering her in his arms, he held her as Artemis’s handmaidens threw open a door and ran screaming into their room with demons chasing after them.
Yeah, this was even worse than they’d expected. How the gallu had gotten here, he couldn’t imagine. They shouldn’t have had any access to Olympus.
Yet here they were.
Acheron ignored the maidens and rushed to a room on their left. Max led Sera after him while the others went to help Artemis’s servants and the other gods.
Seraphina had never seen anything like this. It was worse than any dragon attack she’d ever been in. The gods were fighting, yet the gallu were fierce.
As soon as Acheron opened the door on their right, they saw that Artemis had been locked in her bedroom with her granddaughter, who had Sin’s coloring, but was the spitting image of a micro Artemis. Remarkably, the girl was fiercely calm as she held on to her grandmother. It was as if she knew Artemis would never allow any harm to come to her.
But the most shocking sight was the Malachai demon who protected them both. In full demon glory, he wore his black battle armor and had his wings spread wide to provide a barrier between them and anyone or anything that came through the doors after Artemis or Mia. His red and black skin swirled over a handsome face and perfect body. But for his demonic appearance and bright red eyes, he’d have been exquisite.
At Sin’s entrance, he allowed the Sumerian god to run behind him to see to his daughter, who released Artemis to fall into her father’s arms. When they followed after Sin, the demon faced them with his sword, ready to battle.
Until he saw Acheron.
Acheron drew up short as if waiting for the demon to attack him.
Instead, the Malachai inclined his head. “We tried to teleport Mia out when it started, but they have the whole place locked down. I’m amazed any of you got in.”
Acheron manifested his staff. “I don’t use the standard channels. I have my own access point.”
“Glad to hear it. Can you get Artemis and the baby out?”
Sin cupped Mia’s head with his hand. “Nick’s right. I can’t teleport out of here with her. We’re locked in.”
“Great,” the Malachai mumbled before he narrowed his eyes on Max. “Hey dragon, want to help a brother out? I think together we can route them out of here.”
“Right behind you, kid.” Max turned into his dragon form. He hesitated. “You want to join us or stay?”
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