The Beautiful Ashes Page 43

Two days? That seemed impossible, but then again, so did everything associated with the realms myself included. I\d shot someone in cold blood, and I didn\ feel the slightest bit bad about it. In fact, it was the only memory I wanted to keep about the glittering, icy realm.

’’Something\s not right,’’ Adrian muttered, his pace quickening. ’’That was easy. Only one guard stopped us, and I expected to kill at least half a dozen minions on our way out.’’

We were lucky, I almost said, and then I paused. We were never that lucky. I looked behind us, seeing nothing except trees and darkness, but that didn\ mean we were alone.

’’What\s the plan?’’ I whispered.

’’Get more guns,’’ he replied grimly. ’’Now.’’

We ran past the now-closed Visitor\s Center to the parking lot. Adrian\s car was still in the back, and Costa stood next to it, an overhead streetlight revealing the automatic weapon he\d set on its roof. That wasn\ what made Adrian stop, yanking me to a halt with him. It was the woman next to Costa, her arm almost casually draped over his shoulder, head cocked in apparent curiosity as she looked us over.

I recognized her at once. Those long, ebony-copper locks were unforgettable, not to mention that dazzlingly perfect face and the pale skin she was showing off in her low-cut dress. Full red lips drew back into a chilling smile as topaz eyes flicked over me, Adrian and the boy he held.

’’So,’’ the gorgeous demon from Mayhemium\s realm said, her voice as sensual as her appearance. ’’Which of you three is the Davidian in disguise?’’

Chapter twenty-two

’’I am,’’ Adrian stated.

My gaze swung to him in disbelief. Adrian flashed the demon a hard little grin as he let the boy slide from his grip, stepping away from him once he slumped on the ground.

’’No, he\s not,’’ I snapped hoarsely. I was going to tear Adrian a new one later for choking me, but no way was he sacrificing himself now. ’’I\m the Davidian!’’

The demon\s gaze gleamed as she looked between Adrian and me, seeing nothing except an old man and an unfamiliar young one due to our Archon glamour.

’’Who\s a noble liar, and who\s the would-be savior?’’ she mused aloud.

’’I\m not a liar,’’ Adrian ground out as if offended.

’’You lie your ass off all the time!’’ I countered, words coming easier due to my anger. ’’Here\s a surefire \Who\s the girl?\ test give him to the count of three to name a brand of tampons.’’

Adrian shot me a furious, if disbelieving, look. The demon laughed throatily, her features softening into something that resembled affection when she looked at Adrian. Then they turned flinty as she looked at me.

’’Ivy, isn\ it?’’

Her accent held the harshly musical cadence that denoted her first language as Demonish. I hated hearing that accent from anyone except Adrian, and I put all my revulsion toward her kind into my gaze as I stared back at her.

’’Ivy,’’ I repeated, wondering if I could shoot her before she hurt Costa. ’’So unpleasant to meet you.’’

Bloodred nails dug into Costa\s shoulder. He let out a yelp, which only caused the demon to jab them in deeper.

’’Don\ , Obsidiana,’’ Adrian said quietly.

I was wondering where I\d heard that name when the demon inclined her head. ’’Give me what I want, and I\ll release him.’’

’’You know I can\ ,’’ Adrian said, still in that low, resonant voice.

Obsidiana managed to make an evil chuckle sound se*y. ’’Oh, but you can, my love.’’

My love? I almost got whiplash from how fast I looked at Adrian. ’’You didn\ tap a demon,’’ I gasped out.

The way his expression closed off said that he had, and a lot. Now I remembered where I\d heard her name! Demetrius had said that Obsidiana missed him when he\d urged Adrian to come back home. From the way Adrian had stopped dead when we ran into her in Mayhemium\s realm, part of him had missed her, too.

I could guess which part, and it was all I could do not to kick it. ’’Me you keep pushing away, but a demoness is good enough for you?’’ My glare was withering. ’’Nice.’’

’’With how plain Demetrius said you were beneath that disguise, I\m not surprised’’ was Obsidiana\s smug response.

Hey, I\d been hot as a glamoured blonde! Besides... ’’Beauty fades, but Evil Bitch is forever,’’ I snapped.

Obsidiana flung Costa to the ground. Adrian grabbed her before she reached me, his arm like a vise around her neck.

She stilled at once, her topaz gaze sliding up to look at him. ’’You would harm me? Over her?’’

She actually sounded surprised, and I\d heard people refer to feces with more respect than the way she said ’’her.’’ I told myself it wasn\ jealousy or spite that made me hope he ripped her head off. She was evil.

’’I can\ let you hurt her,’’ Adrian said grimly.

Obsidiana seemed to sag in his arms. ’’When I heard someone had killed two of my people, I knew you\d come to my realm. That\s why I came alone to see you.’’ Her voice deepened with apparent distress. ’’It wasn\ even to capture the Davidian! I thought if you would finally speak to me, you\d let go of your anger. Does nothing matter to you except this fruitless quest for revenge? Don\ you love me at all anymore, benhoven?’’

’’Does this answer your question?’’ Adrian\s arm whipped back, snapping her neck with an audible sound. If she were a minion, she\d start turning into ashes, but all she did was go limp. I glanced away when he ripped something pulpy out of her throat. I hated Obsidiana, but my gross quota had already been exceeded today.


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