Untouchable Darkness (The Dark Ones Saga, #2)(9)

I didn’t lift my head.

Didn’t acknowledge anyone at all, simply stared at the ground and walked, only stopping when I saw a pair of black boots step in my way. Slowly, I looked up and into Ethan’s flashing green eyes.

“You smell…” He blinked, sniffing the air around us, then eyes wide, took a big step backward. “Hell, that’s not good.”

“Baths.” Mason growled and walked toward me. “You should try one Dark—” His face paled as he joined Ethan.

I turned to Alex, waiting for his reaction to be the same. It was normal—typical, for an immortal to give a human, at least a male human, a wide berth. They had no use for male humans, and our history wasn’t necessarily a pleasant one all things considered.

My scent reminded them of the wars fought.

The wars lost.

The wars yet to come.

The kings that had sworn fealty to us only to hunt us later.

It would be hardest for them since they were the oldest, old enough to have been involved in many of the great battles that nearly wiped out both the humans and immortals.

Alex tilted his head, his eyes held mild amusement. “My, my, how the mighty have fallen.”

In response, I had such a strong desire to run my fist through his mouth, that my hands shook. It would only end in blood—my blood—being spilled. Therefore, I chose not to do anything. A complete first for me, I’d always been a man of action.

“Get it?” He walked closer and elbowed me. “Because technically you were like a Fallen Angel with your half blood, only now you’re just…” He shrugged. “Human.” He wrapped his arm around me, pulling me tight against him, not enough to hurt me but enough to remind me that I was yet again on the low end of the food chain. His ability to snap me in half wasn’t lost on me at all—it was humbling, and irritating as hell. “I imagine there’s a story here, care to tell it?”

“Care to go to hell?” I countered.

“Super.” He nodded. “You’ve been cursed to humanity, and yet you still have that chipper attitude…”

“Cassius?” Genesis interrupted. “You look…”

“Rough.” Mason coughed. “He looks rough.”

I sighed, “As much as I love family reunions, can we please take this inside? I’m cold.”

The minute the words left my mouth I felt weak.

And ashamed of my weakness, so much so that I felt my cheeks heat again. Shit, I didn’t like this, not one bit. How the hell was I supposed to win over Stephanie when I had nothing to offer her?

No protection.

Only weakness.

I was beginning to realize I hadn’t made a deal with an Angel, but the Devil, and I was going to end up paying with my life.


“DID HE JUST SAY he was cold?” Alex repeated after Cassius’s disappearing form.

“Yeah.” The words felt hollow coming out of my mouth. “He did.”

Alex tapped his chin then looked at the doorway Cassius had just walked through. “Interesting.”

Interesting? Try terrifying.

I rubbed my arms, I wasn’t cold, just uncomfortable… It almost felt like we’d switched places, though I had never been human to begin with, so I couldn’t even imagine what Cassius was going through—or what desperation had taken place in his mind to get him to a place where turning into a human was even a bargaining chip.

It was a punishment. It had to be.

Ethan put his muscled arm around my shoulder and kissed my temple. “So it seems you have a lot of explaining to do… or maybe just Cassius?”

I shrugged. “I know just about as much as you guys.”

“Well.” Mason rubbed his hands together and cackled. “This should be fun.”

“Play nice,” Ethan snapped. Then, as if realizing what he was saying, he chuckled. “I should probably remind myself of that.”

Genesis nodded. “You did try to kill him a few days ago.”

“He wanted what was mine,” Ethan fired back, his eyes blazing green as he hissed out a curse.

I stepped away from his embrace and made my way slowly into the house. Cassius was sitting in the kitchen staring out the window like it was going to suddenly turn into a TV and show him his destiny if he stared hard enough.

“Penny for your thoughts?” I joked.

He was silent.

The room was strung with tension.

I gulped.

“Weak.” Cassius whispered the word. “I had forgotten how weak humans were.”

“Are,” I interjected without thinking.

His nostrils flared, “My apologies. Are. Present tense.”

“Grammar lessons?” Mason waltzed into the kitchen and pulled out a chair; it scratched across the floor loud enough to make my ears hurt. “So Cassius, feeling… all right?”

Cassius rolled his eyes. “Just come out and ask it, Wolf.”

“You look funny.”

Cassius snorted out a laugh. “That all you got?”

“Smells funny too.” Ethan joined in from behind me.

“And let’s not forget.” Alex patted Cassius on the shoulder. “Your eyes aren’t freaky anymore.”

Rachel Van Dyken's Books