Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(74) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Thorn nodded and clapped the Sumerian god on the back. “At least you see the train wreck coming.”
Acheron glared at him. “Enlighten those of us who don’t.”
Thorn stepped away to continue. “Long story short, Kessar fed from the god, and they made a pact to combine their fun-loving natures and kind spirits. As a result, Apollo attacked Olympus.”
“No.” Acheron shook his head. “I was there. That was Kessar who attacked Olympus.”
“No, punkin.’ That was Apollo leading those demons. It’s how they got in. Three guesses what he wanted. And world peace is definitely not one of them.”
Thorn shook his head at Dante and made a sarcastic buzzer sound. “Too easy, and a given. Guess again.”
Sick to his stomach, Max exchanged a panicked stare with Illarion.
Thorn applauded. “Oh look, I think the dragons got it. And why shouldn’t they? Illarion, being the son of Ares, ought to know exactly what he wants.”
He’s after the Spartoi.
“Yes. Yes, he is.”
Fury scowled. “What’s the Spartoi? Is that like a plastic model of the 300 characters? Gods, someone, please tell me that it’s an action figure and not what I fear it might be…”
Seraphina grimaced. “No. It’s your fear, I’m sure. They’re a rather nasty and invincible branch of Ares’s army. It’s said that when a Drakone of Ares sows them into the earth, they sprout full-grown, ready to battle and destroy at the command of whoever planted them.”
“And guess who has custody of those little darlings right now?” Thorn pointed to Illarion. “How do I know this? Your father squealed like a thirteen-year-old girl at a Shawn Mendes sighting.”
“Aye, he did indeed,” Cadegan agreed as he rose on shaky legs, holding his ribs. “For a god of war, Ares is a bit of a wanker. He ain’t no Aeron, that’s for sure.”
“And speaking of our favorite Celtic war god, he’s still fighting them and I need to get back and help before they make a gallu of him and we all go down in a ball of sarcastic Aeron fire. They convert him and I’m out. I don’t want no part of that fight. Ever.” Thorn glanced at Savitar. “Yes, I am that big a coward, for I have fought the evil that is Aeron, had my ass handed to me on a platter with applesauce and garnishings, and yeah… no, thank you. Nothing is worth an ass-kicking that severe.”
Max stepped forward. “We’ll settle this with you.”
Sera nodded. “And the Drakos.”
Wide-eyed and furious, Max gaped. She passed a chiding smile at him. “Don’t give me that look, Lord Dragon. I don’t want you fighting, either.”
Edena and Hadyn moved forward to join them.
“Oh hell no!” Max snapped. “I might not have a say in what Sera does, but you two I do!”
When they started to protest, Seraphina shook her head. “Your father’s right. Neither of you is ready for this. And if you roll those eyes at me, young lady, I’ll ground you till the sun explodes, and your brother, too, just because he taught you to do it when you were little.”
Edena huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “I liked it better when they didn’t talk or get along.”
Hadyn nodded his agreement, but wisely remained silent.
As Thorn moved back to leave, four Were-Hunters fell to the floor for no reason.
Silence echoed as everyone knew exactly what it meant. Those were bonded mates whose spouses had been killed somewhere else. Three council members and one of the Arcadian wolves who’d come in with Star and Dare. For that to happen simultaneously, there was only one cause.
“What the fuck?” Dante breathed.
Thorn and Savitar went pale.
As did Acheron. “They’re dividing and attacking our families to thin our defenses and hit our morale.”
“It’s working,” Fury said in a panicked tone.
Savitar motioned for Zakar, Sin, and Styxx. “We’ll see to Apollymi in Kalosis and make sure she’s secure.”
Thorn jerked his chin at the Peltiers and the Kattalakis brothers. “We’ll take Sanctuary. Sera, you better join us. Nala’s with them. I can feel it.”
Cadegan and Blaise exchanged a determined look. “We’ll stay here to guard your young. No fears there for you.”
Acheron looked to the drakomai. “We’ll return to Olympus, and finish it. Once and for all.”
Illarion and Max nodded.
Seraphina hesitated. Strange, she’d never minded riding into battle alone.
Now she did. The last thing she wanted was to be without Max by her side. But this they had to do for each other and for their people.
“Remember, Maxis,” Sera reminded him. “There is no I in team.”
He winked at her. “True, but there is in ‘win,’ ‘fight,’ and ‘die.’”
She growled at him, tempted to beat him into submission. “And you’d best not do the latter.”
“Or you. Don’t make me go to Hades and beat that bastard down to get you back.” Kissing her, he took a moment to savor her scent and the sensation of her body pressing against his. “I love you, Seramia. Don’t break my heart.”
She sank her hand deep in his long hair and clenched her fist. “For you alone, I breathe.”
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