Home > Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(17)

Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(17)
Author: Debbie Cassidy

The ward didn’t work on him. Oh shit.

He sighed. “I don’t have any quarrel with you, sister. Stay out of my way and you won’t get hurt. Step into my path and I cannot promise you will be left unscathed.” He drained his mug and set it down. “It was nice to meet you properly. Once again, I’m sorry for any pain I caused. But Seraphina, climb into my head one more time and I will not hesitate to snuff you out.”

He was about to leave. Shit. I glanced at Cora. As Cain pushed back his chair and stood, my friend lunged, and the snap of the cuff followed.

Cain looked down at the silver metal clinging to his wrist, and his lip curled in derision.

He slowly raised his gaze to mine and shook his head. “Eve should have stressed, that for this to work, you needed to be the one to place it on me. You,” he said. “No one else, because now,” he grabbed the cuff and snapped it off his wrist easily, “now the only anchor Eve has for me is useless.”

Oh fuck. Oh shit.

His gray eyes glittered with rage.

I backed up, grabbing Cora’s arm and taking her with me. He was going to attack us, and Cora couldn’t poof us out of here because of the wards.

He closed his eyes as if composing himself. “You’re innocent,” he said. “Unaware of the truth, and your mind has given me what I need the most, and so this time, I’ll forgive your idiocy. Next time… Next time, I will not be lenient.”

He vanished.

My mind? What did he mean?

I looked at Cora. “What the fuck do we do now?”

Chapter Eighteen


Coffee, cake, and feet up in the lounge should have meant relaxation time, but my encounter with Cain, and my failure to capture him, had left me agitated and confused. I’d filled Grayson and Uri in, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of disquiet. It had nothing to do with Cain being out there—free to wreak havoc—and everything to do with…him, the person.

I’d expected a monster. An immortal with evil radiating from his pores. But Cain had seemed almost normal, aside from the mega-powerful thing. He’d seemed weary, jaded, and not as insane as I’d expected someone being trapped in Purgatory for centuries to be.

“There is nothing you can do now,” Grayson said from his spot beside me on the three-seater sofa. “The cuff Eve gave you is destroyed, and if Cain’s powers can’t be contained by the wards on Lumiers, he’s even more powerful than we imagined.”

In other words, please do not go after this guy. I understood his reservations. Hell, I had them too. Cain may have played nice today, but he’d tried to kill me more times than I could count. Even though he’d said he didn’t want to hurt me now, he’d also been clear that if I crossed him, he wouldn’t hesitate to squish me like a bug.

As much as the thought of going after him made my stomach churn and roll, the thought of letting him roam unchecked was a lung crushing sensation of not being able to breathe.

I couldn’t sit idly by and do nothing. “He’ll hurt people if I don’t stop him.”

“We don’t know that for sure,” Cora said.

Was she serious? “He tried to kill you.”

“Nah, he was just showboating.” Her hand went to her neck. “Although it didn’t feel like that at the time.”

“You don’t think he’s dangerous?”

“Oh, he’s dangerous all right,” Cora said. “But I don’t know that we have the whole story.”

Okay, so she had a valid point here. There’d been something about the way Cain had reacted to my accusations that he intended to wreak havoc that had been off. Of course, I didn’t expect him to throw his head back and cackle maniacally, evil mastermind style, but I’d expected something. Some glimmer of intent in his stormy eyes. A slight sadistic curl to his lip. Something.

I set my mug on the coffee table. “You’re right. We don’t know for sure what his intentions are. I think Eve’s account might not be the whole of it.”

“What do you mean?” Grayson asked me.

“Some stuff Cain said… The way he said it or didn’t say it. Urgh.” It was hard to explain. “I think there are things we don’t know about Cain. Things Eve may have held back on telling me.”

Cora patted my hand. “There’s more to the story, but Fee, you need to stay off his radar. He let us go today, but there’s no doubt in my mind that if we cross him again, he’ll follow through on his snuffing us out threat.”

“I’m sorry I can’t be more help,” Uri said. “The texts on the origins of man are accessible only to the upper circle and The Righteous.”

“They used to be.” I arched a brow at him. “But the Beyond has a new divine. Which means new rules. Oh, and this divine owes me a favor…”

Uri looked thoughtful. “Yes, he does. And this affects the safety of mankind. I’ll go now.” He drained his mug.

I made to stand. “I’ll come with you.”

“No.” Uri pressed me back into my seat. “You need to rest. I’ve got this.” He dropped a kiss on my head and vanished.

There was silence for a long beat, and I was just about to take a bite of my éclair when Cora made a sound of exasperation.

“Eve can’t be trusted,” she blurted. “She lied to you, and that bothers the fuck out of me. What is she hiding and why? I mean why didn’t Cain just clarify shit?”

“Maybe he just doesn’t think you matter enough to explain himself,” Grayson said, speaking from his alpha brain.

I got it. I did. To Cain we must seem like worms. I mean, the ancient power he possessed was incomparable and… Oh god, we needed to stop him from doing whatever nefarious thing he was planning before it was too late, because he had to have a plan. I mean, he’d had centuries to come up with one.

“You have a brother…” Cora said shaking her head.

My gut squirmed. “Cain could be lying about the whole sister thing.”

“You don’t believe that.”

I sighed. “No, I don’t. Fuck. I don’t need this.”

“No, you don’t,” Grayson said. “It’s not your problem. It’s Eve’s problem. Let her deal with it.”

“I can’t just ignore the fact that he’s free and wants to rule humanity.”

“But does he?” Cora asked. “I mean he never said that. Eve said that.”

God, she was a suspicious one, but her gut was usually spot on. I rubbed my temples. “We need to track him somehow. Just to be sure.”

“Leave it to me,” Cora said. “I’ll find him, and I’ll track him.”

“And then what?” Grayson said. “We have no way of stopping him.”

He was right. We were fucked. “Uri might find some answers.”

A crack sounded by the entrance, and then the scent of summer filled the room signaling my doppelganger’s arrival. “Urgh.”

Cora turned in her seat to face Eve before I could.

“You failed,” Eve said. “A simple task and you failed.”

I let her derisive voice wash over me and allowed my anger to surge up to saturate my tone.

“I failed?” I took my time turning to face her. My pack house. My fucking domain. “No, Eve, you failed. You failed to give me all the facts.”

She balked before her expression smoothed out. “What do you mean?”

“You didn’t impress that the cuff had to be applied by me, and me alone.” My smile was thin and empty of humour. “You also neglected to tell me that Cain was my brother.”

Eve’s eyes narrowed. “I was clear in my instruction that you should place the cuff on Cain. As for your heritage, yes you do carry mine and Samael’s essences, but you were born of a mortal womb.” She shrugged.

“You could have told me.”

“What would be the point?” She looked over her shoulder. “I have to go, but you must find him, and you must bring him to me.”

“Do your own dirty work,” Cora said. “Leave Fee out of it.”

Eve’s lips flattened. “If I could I would. I’ve already lingered too long. If Cain is left unchecked, your world will fall into ruin, trust me on that.” She threw something toward us. “This will bind him. It’s the final anchor I have. All you must do is place it on him somehow. You must do this, Fee. No one else can.”

She stepped back and vanished, taking summer with her.

“I don’t like her,” Cora said.

I pushed off the sofa and retrieved the object. It was length of dark hair woven into a slender braid. Cain’s hair.

“Now that’s not creepy at all,” Cora drawled.

Fuck my life.

Grayson joined me. “You’re not alone. We’ll do this together. We’ll get eyes on the streets. I’ll contact Hunter now. We will find Cain.”

Cora rubbed my back. “Go have a bath, babe. A long soak, and then we’ll have a nice dinner.”

Oh god, I loved these guys. I tucked the braid into my back pocket. “Yeah I think I’ll—”

Movement caught my eyes, and I froze with my gaze on the figure in the doorway.

Azazel grinned at me, and my heart jumped into my throat. I leapt over the back of the sofa and threw myself at him. He was quick to catch me and gather me to his taut chest. His strong arms held me securely, enveloping me in the scent of an upcoming storm, and I wasn’t even going to try and analyse the portentous nature of that observation. Instead I buried my face in his neck and resisted the urge to lick him.

I sighed against his skin and nuzzled him. “You’re here. I can’t believe it.” Wait a second… He was here. Why was he here? I pulled away. “What is it? What happened?”

He cupped my face and kissed me firmly on the mouth. “I’m here for you. Samael is lucid, and we have a map of the pit, but we need you to get us into the fortress.”

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