Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(65) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
And while Tanya was mated to the eldest Peltier bearswain and had three sons with him, Seraphina couldn’t help noticing the way the bearswan’s face lit up whenever the lead singer of the Howlers came near her. Tanya positively glowed at Angel, who did his best to avoid being around her.
That too said a lot about their relationship, since Angel was extremely friendly and easygoing.
Not wanting to think about that, Seraphina turned to find the other council member, watching her from the back corner of the room. A part of the group and yet apart from them.
Like Max, Wren held that same disturbing aura of quiet predator that said he was eyeing you like prey. Sizing up your every movement to detect the weakness he was about to use to bring you down for a kill. The most disturbing thing was the way his eyes that changed color depending on the way the light hit them. They went from a light gray to a vibrant turquoise.
Until he unleashed a friendly grin at her that made him appear boyish and shy, and around the same age as Hadyn. “Sorry. My wife Maggie is always getting on to me for making people uncomfortable. Although she seems to enjoy my doing it at her father’s cocktail parties. Sometimes she even puts me up to it, but it’s a bitch at the playground. I’ve sent three of my daughter’s playmate’s nannies in to therapy.”
Unsure what to think, she let out a nervous laugh.
He held his hand out to her. “Wren. Nice to meet you.”
She shook his hand and by the mark on his palm, she knew he was a rare tigard. His scent told her he was a Katagari snow leopard and tiger… What a peculiar mixture.
“Sera. Thank you for coming.”
He tucked his hands into his pockets and stepped back. “My pleasure. I had a similar unpleasant experience with the Omegrion a few years back. Let’s hope this turns out as well, shall we?”
Tanya moved closer and rubbed Seraphina’s arms comfortingly. “Don’t worry. We won’t let them take your Max, any more than we let them hurt Wren. We always watch after our own.”
But as they arrived in the Omegrion council room on the mysterious Neratiti island home of Savitar, Sera felt her hope dwindle quickly. The large circular chamber was decorated in burgundy and gold. Through the open windows that spanned from the black marble floor to the gilded ceiling, she could see and hear the ocean on all sides of the room. Oddly enough, the entire room reminded her of an ancient sultan’s tent. Lavishly decorated, it had an enormous round table in the center that made her curious as to what the rest of the palace might look like. But one look at the angry grimace on Savitar’s handsome face and she knew she wasn’t about to ask him for a tour.
He was still dressed in a black wetsuit, his hair damp and his arms crossed as he sat on his throne that was set to the side of the room so that he could watch over the council members – most of whom were already there, and so silent you could hear the wood drying on the walls.
That, too, said it all about Savitar’s somber mood.
Composed of one representative from each breed of Were-Hunter, and from the Arcadian and Katagaria branches, the Omegrion council that made the laws to govern their races should have had twenty-four members.
But one chair at the table remained forever empty. An eerie warning and reminder.
Back in the day, it’d belonged to the Arcadian Balios or jaguar patria. Legend had it that centuries ago, the Regis of that group had run so afoul of Savitar’s temper that he’d single-handedly destroyed every member of their species.
Which said it all about the power and temperament of the disgruntled Chthonian sitting in judgment of her mate.
His long dark hair brushed back from his face, Savitar glared at the group who’d arrived with her. “How nice of you to join us. I trust all of you had a nice nap after I summoned you?”
Acheron had the audacity to laugh. “Miss a gnarly, awesome wave, Big Kahuna?”
“Don’t start, Grom. Not in the mood.” Savitar sat back on his throne to glare at the large crowd. But it was the collection of Arcadian and Katagaria dragons and the Arcadian Kattalakis wolves on his right-hand side that set his jaw ticcing.
Savitar let out a long, exasperated breath. “Hear ye, hear ye… ah, fuck it. We’re here today for bullshit and we all know it. So let’s dispense with the usual formality and get on with this witch hunt before I lose what little grip I still have on my patience.” He ran his thumb along his goatee. “So, Dare Kattalakis, state your case and demands to the council. And do it fast, with as few words as possible.”
A wolf who bore a striking resemblance to Fang and Vane stepped forward. Sera wasn’t sure if he was born of the same litter or not, but from appearances she would say he had to be of close kinship.
Clearing his throat, he moved to stand in the center of the round table to plead his case. “First, I want to restate what a travesty it is that my family’s seat is taken by —”
“Wah, wah, wah… quit crying at the tit,” Savitar snarled. “Your brother Vane is the head of the Arcadians and Fury leads the Katagaria. Seek a therapist who gives a shit, or if you’d like to challenge either of them for their position, we can do with some entertainment. Hell, I’ll make popcorn for the show. Otherwise, bitch, get on with it.”
Wow, he was in a particularly nasty mood. Sera was so glad he wasn’t angry at her.
Dare lifted his chin, but wisely kept his gaze away from the surly ancient. “Fine. We all know why we’re here. Maxis Drago as the Dragonbane is the cause of the war between the Arcadians and the Katagaria. Because of his actions alone, all of us have lost family and been scarred and cursed into perpetual war. Now he’s unleashed the gallu and Apollo on us! He’s —”
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