Untouchable Darkness (The Dark Ones Saga, #2)(10)

“I was never freaky,” Cassius defended looking completely insulted as he crossed his bulky arms over his chest. Pieces of his dark hair fell to his sharp chin.

“You were,” everyone except me said in unison.

Cassius briefly glanced down at the table then back out the window. I sat next to him, not really knowing if it was my place to offer him comfort or just wait for everyone to finally pry out of him what the heck had happened.

“So.” Ethan spoke after a few minutes. “Now that we’re in the safety of the house, mind filling us in?”

Cassius gazed at me out of the corner of his eye, his jaw was set in a firm line almost like he didn’t want me to be there.

“It’s a… test of sorts,” he finally said. “From Sariel.”

Mason grumbled “bastard” under his breath as he walked over to the island and started pulling out pots and pans. He’d turned into one of those people who stress cooked even if he didn’t eat what he cooked—which was fine considering Genesis was still human and now that she was pregnant really needed food. The guy could probably compete on MasterChef and win by a landslide. Ever since Genesis had moved in, it seemed all he did was watch the cooking channel and go grocery shopping.

Odd behavior for a species known for ripping humans’ throats out.

“A test,” Ethan repeated. “Care to elaborate or is that all we’re going to get?”

Cassius was silent.

Of course.

No emotion. It pissed me off. At least being human I expected him to do something, react somehow, at least the way he had in the car, but now it was like staring at a stone wall.

“It involves Stephanie.” He said my name like a curse. I recoiled slightly into myself, nobody seemed to notice how his words affected me, how they made me want to flinch and scream all at the same time. Instead, I plastered an indifferent look on my face and waited. “I’m to… help her.”

“Help her what?” Ethan’s voice was laced with dread.

“Find herself?” Cassius said it as more of a question.

“Is she lost?” Alex piped up.

“She was at Starbucks staring at couples, let’s not forget that,” Mason called out from the kitchen, while my face flushed with heat. “And she’s been moody.”

“She’s right here,” I hissed.

“Her powers…” Cassius shrugged. “She’s unstable, dangerous. I’m here to help her but I need to be human in order to do that.”

“Why?” I blurted out.

He shrugged.

I rolled my eyes in response.

“Seems odd…” Ethan put his hands on his hips, his muscles were tight like he was ready to pounce on something—maybe Cassius.

“What’s odd?” Cassius folded his muscled arms across his chest. Damn, did he have to still be so built? I scolded myself for my fleeting thoughts and quickly looked away.

“Well,” Ethan’s voice was doubtful. “Why would Sariel need you to be human in order to do that?”

“I don’t make a habit of questioning Archangels,” Cassius said in a hollow voice. “Do you?”

“Man has a point,” Alex piped up. “So what, you’re human, you help her, she kicks ass, and then you go back to normal?”

I stole a peak out of the corner of my eye to gauge his reaction. Cassius’s mouth turned down into a scowl. “Yes. Something like that. But I’ll need to be with her twenty-four seven, and I can’t very well do that if I’m not living… near her.”

Was it my imagination or did he just blush?

I blinked.

The pink tinge was gone.

Right, my imagination.

“House party,” Alex sang, “Does that mean we get to finish watching all the Disney movies Genesis set us up with?”

“No,” Cassius barked out while everyone else said yes.

“Outvoted.” Mason pointed with his spatula. “Trust me, Cassius, it will do you some good. After all, it’s good to remember what humans are like, think of your time here as a… learning experience.”

Cassius growled low in his throat. “I’d rather not learn from movies.”

“Don’t worry…” Alex swatted his back. “We won’t make you watch the romantic ones about kissing and falling in love and sweeping women off their feet and—”

“What?” Cassius blurted. “What did you say?”

“Uh, romantic movies, sweeping women off their feet?”

Cassius fidgeted in his seat. “It may help… learning how to deal with women, since I’ll be dealing with a prickly one for the next few weeks.”

Right. Now I was prickly. Had he been immortal I would have knifed him in the chest.

“Great!” Alex clapped his hands. “So that’s settled. Cassius stays here until Stephanie learns how to control herself… considering we don’t really know what she is…” All eyes turned to me with pity. “And since technically she gave her immortality to you…” Alex’s eyes narrowed. “Yet, now she has it back and you’re… human.”

“No.” Cassius cleared his throat. “For the time being no… but all will be well soon…”

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