Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(73) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Max shrugged with a nonchalance he really didn’t feel. “I’m an asshole.”
Dante grinned. “While, as a fellow asshole myself, I can respect that, care to elaborate?”
“The council mood back then was a lot different. They were still raw and pissed off from being held in a cage and experimented on. They’d just been told about the curse the Fates had handed down, that we couldn’t choose our mates. They’d be assigned to us, whether we wanted them or not, and that the Fates had decreed eternal war between our species.”
And human rationale was new to the animals, Illarion inserted. They were angry and lashing out at everyone, especially my brother and I.
Max nodded. “When they started to attack me, I reacted as any drakomas would. I told them to fuck themselves and attacked back.”
Savitar snorted disdainfully. “Talk about putting lipstick on a pig… You are allowed to say that you reacted badly.”
“All right, I reacted badly.”
“Yeah, that’s an exaggeration,” Savitar said under his breath.
Max feigned indignation. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s been a million years since I last exaggerated about anything.”
Savitar rolled his eyes.
“Anyway,” Max continued. “I lost my temper over their accusations and…” He pointed up at the ceiling. “You can still see some of the marks where the fighting broke out and we almost burned down the building.”
“That’s where I reacted badly.” Savitar flashed a fake smile. “As a result, Max was condemned and I was in no mood to refute or acquit their unanimous decision. We all had a very bad day.”
“And I’ve had a few more,” Max whispered loudly.
“Yeah. Sorry about that.” Savitar crossed his arms over his chest.
“Wow,” Dante said in a sarcastic tone. “Sounds like the mood I was in when I mounted my brother’s hide to the wall of my club.”
Savitar nodded. “Basically… So, we are all in accord?”
“Yes.” Fury flashed a devilish grin. “Dare is an asshole and nobody likes him, at all.”
Dare started for him.
Fury bared his teeth. “Bring it, you little punk bastard! Let’s go! C’mon, you and me. Here and now! I’m ready to pick your fur out of my teeth! C’mon!”
Vane caught Fury and pushed him back toward Max. “Did you by chance bring a leash? Or a muzzle?”
“No, but I’m thinking I should have.”
Just as Dare broke loose to run at Fury, who was still taunting him and questioning his parentage, a bright flash lit the room, causing him to pull up short. All movement stopped as Cadegan and Thorn appeared near Savitar. Both bleeding and in bad physical shape. Barely alive they lay in a tangled heap at Savitar’s feet.
Thorn had his arms around Cadegan as if he’d barely gotten them out of a nasty situation right before they’d been torn apart. The paleness of his bruised features added further testimony to that assumption.
Stunned, Max didn’t move. As the sons of a powerful demon, they were both seasoned warriors and had once been medieval knights. Thorn was actually even older than that and had been born an ancient warlord, and had thousands of years of heavy combat experience against the damned and cruel.
One thing those two knew how to do…
Fight. Especially anything fanged, clawed, winged, and preternatural.
His breathing ragged, Thorn cupped Cadegan’s face in a strangely tender gesture. “You still with me, little brother?”
“Ach, aye, boyo, but only because me Jo would kick me arse if I came home dead to her.”
Analise Romano, who was the Arcadian Regis for the snow leopards and a doctor, rushed from her seat to Cadegan to check on him.
Thorn carefully ceded his brother’s care over to her before he stood and wiped the blood from his lips. He looked first to Fang, then Savitar. “Remember that situation I mentioned?”
“Blew up a bit?” Savitar asked sarcastically.
“Like your temper on Olympus during a full moon party. Needless to say, we have a massive problem. And our names are engraved all over that apple of fun.” Thorn moved to drape one arm over Styxx’s shoulder and the other over Acheron’s. “Checked on Mom lately?”
Acheron visibly cringed. “Ah God, what’s she done now?”
“Well,” Thorn tightened his arm around both their necks, “I’ve just got to know… whose bright idea was it to surrender Apollo’s custody to her?”
Styxx made the same grimace Acheron had worn a moment ago. “That idiot would be me. Why? What did I do?”
Thorn released Acheron to playfully slap Styxx on the face and squish his cheeks together. “Mama Apollymi found him a new playmate,” he said in the same falsetto people used when talking to small children. “She fed his ass to Kessar, and aren’t we happy he has a new friend, boys and girls?”
“Oh dear gods.” Zakar repeated Acheron’s words and stumbled back. “Please tell me she didn’t.”
With a sarcastic, hysterical laugh, Thorn released Styxx, stepped back, and clapped his hands together. “No, wait! It gets so much better! You haven’t even heard the good part yet. No! Yeah… she decided it would be a great idea to turn Apollo into a blood-bitch like you were, Z. Yes… yes, she did.”
Groaning, Zakar covered his face.
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