Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(72) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Now, Savitar pulled back and lightened the room. One by one, he met the gaze of those seated at the council table. “There you have it. Yes, Max technically drew first Were-Hunter blood, but he did so in protection of you all. Are you really going to be as the first council and condemn him again, knowing that?”
Damos Kattalakis, the descendent of Eumon and Helena who currently held the Arcadian Drakos seat, rose. His looks reminded Sera a great deal of Vane’s and he closely resembled his brother Sebastian, whom she’d met earlier.
Slowly, cautiously, he approached Max and Illarion.
His face unreadable, he removed the feathered mask that covered his Sentinel marks. Running his hand over the scales and delicate workmanship, he studied the mask before he spoke. “It is the custom of my patria to make these out of the remains of the Katagaria we’ve slain. It’s done to remind us that while they are animals, we are not. That we are civilized and descended from the blood of princes. In particular, Eumon Kattalakis.”
He dropped the mask to the floor and met Max’s gaze, then Illarion’s. “I don’t know why my great-grandmother failed to tell us of you, but I promise that if I should be fortunate enough to have dragonets one day, they will know the truth and what we owe our Katagaria cousins.” Striking his shoulder with his fist, he saluted Max. “Thank you for saving my family. As the head of the Kattalakis Drakos, I swear that should we ever hear the Bane-Cry of you, or your mates or children, every member of our patria will answer. On our honor.”
Max inclined his head and saluted him back. “Thank you.”
Smiling, Damos drew him in for a hug, then Illarion. “My father rolls in his grave.” He turned back at Savitar and scowled. “Is this why you’ve always hated me?”
Savitar nodded. “Sins of the father, brother. Sins of the father. But today, you took the right step. And I saw it.”
Snorting, Damos appeared less than amused as he turned toward Dare Kattalakis. “What of you, cousin?”
“They can kiss my furry ass. We’re still at war.”
“You should have eaten the wolves, little brother.”
Everyone in the room turned to look at Falcyn for his dry, emotionless, and very callous words.
He stared back, completely unrepentant. “Just saying. They’re crispy when fried. Lean meat. Low gristle. It would have saved everyone the migraine of dealing with them now.”
Fury choked. “Speaking as one of the wolves, I’m extremely offended by that.”
“Good,” Falcyn said without a hint of remorse or apology in his tone. “I’ve offended wolves and Were-Hunters alike. All I need to do now is feed on a cute, cuddly baby and my work for the day is done.”
Blaise smacked Falcyn on the chest. “Don’t worry, he’s part Charonte. Hand him some barbecue sauce and he’s happy.”
Falcyn passed such an irritable scowl at Blaise that even though he was blind, Blaise felt it and shrank back – not in fear, but from common sense.
“He’s not Charonte,” Max said drily. “That would be too easy an excuse for him, and there really isn’t one. He’s just an irritable bastard… Much like Savitar.”
Savitar arched his brow. “I save your ass and you take a swipe at me? Really?”
“I’d apologize, but you hate insincerity more than you do insults.”
“Yeah, I do.” Savitar eyed the council members. “Well, we know where the dragons stand and where the wolves are officially…” He looked at Vane for confirmation on their stance.
Vane cut a vicious glare at his litter mate, Dare. “Officially, the Kattalakis Lykos, both Arcadian and Katagaria, consider Max a brother. We have no issue with him and vote that the mark be stricken.”
“I second that,” Fury concurred. “And I hope you choke on it, Dare. It and my furry ass.”
Dare took a step forward, but his sister caught him and kept him from doing something profoundly stupid. Like attacking his brothers in front of the Omegrion and Savitar.
Savitar turned his attention to the other Kattalakis Drakos, who was standing with Dare and Star. Tall and dark, the Katagari Regis favored Fang more than the others.
His ebony eyes flashed as he considered his response. After a few seconds, he pulled the silver dragon pendant from his neck and looked down at it resting in his palm. “I grew up with stories about the Dragonbane and how he killed the first Arcadian in cold, vicious blood, and started our war of species. My father impressed upon me that we were never to be such animals. That we should strive to find the human in us, even when it seemed buried and lost.” He glanced to Dare and Star. “I’m thinking that my father was wrong. We should have embraced the Drakos more than that so-called humanity.”
Darion came forward to lay his pendant in Illarion’s hand. “I vote to remove the mark and I cede my seat at the council to the rightful heir. You are the one made from Prince Eumon’s blood, not my family. It’s only right that you should be the one making the laws for our people.”
Illarion shook his head. I can’t take this.
Darion held his hands up and stepped back. “You are Regis, Stra Drago. I refuse my seat. I have no right to it.”
Savitar glanced around to the rest of the Omegrion members. “For the sake of brevity, I’m assuming the rest of you concur. Is there anyone who objects?”
Dante Pontis, the Katagaria panther Regis, held his hand up. With long dark hair he wore in a ponytail, he was the epitome of a disgruntled predator. “I’m not protesting, but I have a question.” He turned toward Maxis. “Why were you marked originally?”
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