Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(67) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
And just when she thought she couldn’t take it anymore, a light came up to show a much younger Max and Illarion. While she’d known how much Hadyn favored his father, it wasn’t until now that she realized just how much they shared in face, form, and mannerisms.
But what struck her most was the starved and ragged, filthy condition Illarion and Max had been left in. The two of them were in human form, kept there by their collars, and locked inside a cage where another man stared in on them. This one was impeccably dressed in royal princely garb.
Sera’s jaw went slack as she saw the last thing she’d expected. Maxis wasn’t the Greek prince.
Meanwhile, Max stared through the bars of their cage at the prince and his elegant clothes, and the dark-haired lady beside him. He’d seen the prince numerous times since they’d brought them here, but the woman was a new addition to their drab, dingy home.
“Eumon?” she whined, trying to pull the prince away by his arm. “Why did you bring me here? Don’t you grow weary of looking at them all the time? It’s so creepy!”
Max didn’t appreciate being called creepy when the only real oddities in the room were the ones who needed his species to continue living past their twenty-seventh birthdays. There was nothing creepy about being a dragon.
That was the stuff of nightmares. They smelled and had all manner of weirdness to them he’d rather not suffer.
The prince smiled at his beautiful, petite wife, but his gaze never wavered from the two inside the cage. “Look at them, Helena. But for the fact that he doesn’t speak, you’d never know he wasn’t me. And the other… he is the very image of Pherus. It’s as if I’m still looking my brother in the eye.”
She wrinkled her nose in distaste. “Pherus was never your brother. He was the son of a slave.”
“Slave or not, he was my brother through my father. And I loved him as such.” Eumon licked his lips. “Do you think they can understand us?”
“No. They’re animals and you’re lucky you survived the merging your uncle did to you. Now, can we go? I don’t like it here. It smells.” She pressed her dainty hand to her nose to illustrate her point.
Instead of leaving, Eumon knelt down and held his hand out to Illarion. “Here, boy… come to me.”
Curling his lip, Illarion scooted closer to Max.
Eumon lowered his hand and sighed. “It seems like we should be able to train them. Doesn’t it?”
Max bit back a scoff. As if.
“Maybe so as not to wet the rugs or their beds, but I wouldn’t hold out hope for any more than that. As I said, they’re stupid animals, incapable of thought or civilization.”
Oh yeah, they were the problem in this equation…
“You are terrible, Helena!” he teased.
All of a sudden, a large number of guards stormed into the dungeon. Max tensed at the sight of them. Something that never boded well for those kept in cages. Anytime that many came in like that…
One of the prisoners got seriously hurt.
Or seriously dead.
Prince Eumon shot to his feet to confront the stone-faced soldiers. “What’s the meaning of this?”
“Orders from the king, Highness. We’re to destroy all the experiments to placate the gods.”
The prince’s face went white as Max’s stomach shrank. “What?”
The guard nodded. “The dictate came from the head priest this afternoon. The gods are demanding that all the abominations be put down. Otherwise, they’ll kill your father and you, and your brother.”
Illarion exchanged a panicked look with Max.
Never fear, brother. I won’t let them take you, Max promised, hoping he wasn’t lying as he spoke those words.
But there was nothing save doubt in Illarion’s eyes. Something that cut to Max’s bone. How could his brother think for one minute that he’d allow them to hurt him?
Never. Even if it meant his life, he’d keep Illarion safe from them and get him out of this mess.
With a mighty roar, Max rushed at the bars.
The prince stumbled back with a fierce gasp, dragging his wife with him.
Screaming, she fell to the floor. “I told you! He’s an animal! Kill him! Kill him now!”
Fury tore through Max with such ferocity that he lost complete control of his magick, even with the collar on to control it. All he knew was that he refused to go down like this. He refused to watch them kill his brother.
The howls and screams of the others filled his ears as the soldiers set about carrying out their orders.
This was utter bullshit! Max threw himself against the bars, over and over. When that wasn’t enough, he summoned every bit of magick he could and held his concentration. Then he sent it out into the air around them.
Like a thermal shock, it rolled out of him and sent a pulsating wave through the air. One that shattered the cage and sent the guards, prince, and princess tumbling.
Weak, but determined, Max grabbed Illarion. “Free the others. Be damned if those bitches are going to take their lives for this!”
It’s not our place!
“I don’t answer to the Greek gods. They can kiss my scaly ass.” Max grabbed the keys from the guard who was closest to him. Baring his fangs, he took the man’s sword, then moved to free the Arcadians and Katagaria. His brother still stood there. “Illarion! Move! Save everyone you can!”
Finally, Illarion began to cooperate.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online