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Authors: Stacey Kennedy

The Devil’s Kiss (8 page)

BOOK: The Devil’s Kiss
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“What happened to you?” Valor asked him.


Thor stood, then glanced back at Isla. “I owe you much, Isla. If it wasn’t for you, I’d be dead.”


They shared a look¯one that was unmistakable. I’d seen the same look between Briggs and Rynn. She must be hi
s mate and made me curious. Why weren’t they bonded? Isla stayed with Valor and never once had I heard of this. As much as I was intrigued, now wasn’t the appropriate time to let my mind drift away with such thoughts. I gave my head a little shake to clear the swirling questions and focused back on the present


Apparently, Valor caught the glance as well and looked none too happy about it. “What happened?” he growled at Thor.


Thor snapped his head toward him, leaving Isla’s gaze full of longing. “A wolf in my pack killed a man tonight,” he answered. “His mate contacted me and when I went to him, he was in the worst of sorts.”


Valor nodded dourly. “We have just recently discovered this. Did he attack you?”


Thor looked nothing short of pissed. “I was not expecting it. Being an Alpha…” He hesitated, grumbled something incoherent then finished, “I was not prepared for such an intense battle.”


“He nearly killed you,” Isla cried out, wiping tears.


Thor met her gaze again, his brows furrowed in unhappiness. He was about to reach out to her, but pulled his hand back at Valor’s growl.


I glanced at Kyden and his look of
I’ll tell you later
was clear. Oh yeah, he’d be telling me later. This was juicy gossip—the best kind.


“Where is the wolf now?” Brax asked.


Thor shrugged. “It is Isla who can answer that. I don’t remember what took place. She came for me.”


Valor’s growl deepened, while he glared at her. “You did what?”


She lifted her chin. “I sensed danger, so I used the portal to go to him. What should I have done, let him die?”


Sensed danger, huh? They weren’t bonded yet. The idea left me flabbergasted that the bond between mates ran that deep. Even without the connection sealed, they still held the ability to feel each other. Werewolves are so cool.


It appeared Valor wasn’t feeling as awed as I was. He stepped forward, wrapped his hands around her shoulders and shook her. “This is not your place, Isla. I have told you over and over again, you are too young to be dealing with matters such as these.”


“You think I’m too young,” she shouted at him. “I am not! I’m Nexi’s age and look at what she does.”


Everyone looked at me. I gave a little shrug in her defense. “She has a point.” Valor scowled at me. I quickly raised a hand to my mouth. “Okay, mouth zipped.” I locked my lips, threw the key over my shoulder.


“Tell me what took place.” Valor demanded from his daughter.


“I felt that something was wrong, so I went to him, and found the wolf attacking him,” she answered, examining her fingernails. “Soooo…” She glanced back up to meet her father’s furious gaze. “I returned home quickly, grabbed a bat and went back.”


“Go on.” Valor’s voice had deepened.


She didn’t look at all put off by the anger ruminating off him. “He was so focused on Thor that he didn’t even notice me. Basically, I swung the bat as hard as I could at his head.”


Dante laughed. “You hit him with a bat?”


Valor glowered at him. Dante’s smile faded instantly.


Isla shrugged. “It was the only thing I could think of. I had to get him off quickly. The second he started to black out, I grabbed onto Thor, and we landed back home. Then, I dragged him back through the portal, which leads us to now.”


The room was silent enough to hear a pin drop. Everyone awaited Valor’s response.


I thought Isla had done really well. Without thought, the stupid part of my brain made me reach up and give her a high five. “Way to go, Isla.”


She laughed, beaming from ear to ear.


Valor growled at me which lowered my hand in a flash, then he hovered over Isla. “You took a huge risk with your life, Isla. I should thrash you for disobeying me.”


“Do it.” She squared her shoulders. “Give me the biggest beating, I don’t care. I will not feel bad about doing it. He’s…” She glanced to Thor, who gazed at her intently.


Valor stepped between them, breaking their locked gazes.


“I will take her punishment,” Thor said adamantly.


Pride for Isla ran through me. Valor could be one tough cookie, yet she was standing up to him as if he didn’t scare her one bit. Plus, respect for Thor couldn’t be denied if he would suffer the brunt of Valor’s dismay. My heart broke a little watching them, they weren’t lusting after each other, they were desperate to be together. It was gut-wrenching to see.


Valor grumbled, dismissing the whole incident with a wave of his hand. “We need to find this wolf now. Dante, contact the other Alphas. Inform them of this situation.”


Dante nodded, then gave his sister a pat on the shoulder, obviously sharing my sense of pride for what she had done.


“I will be able to scent him out,” Valor said to the Council. “But I do fear we will need help in destroying him.”


“Of course,” Brax answered. “Kyden, Nexi, go with Valor, deal with this wolf.”


Kyden nodded firmly.


I sighed and glanced at Kyden. “Let’s just hope we don’t become doggy dinner.”


He grinned.

* * * *


The forest was lush with most of the grounds covered in rocks and weeds. “Texas is pretty and all, but I wish this damn wolf had chosen somewhere a little more flat to go run and hide,” I grumbled as I slipped on a rock once again. Rough terrain looked easy compared to this.


Kyden chuckled. He held my hand tight as we made our way through the thick bush. Of course, he had yet to slip, which only pissed me off.


Valor had shifted immediately upon arrival, having caught the scent of our wolf. I purposely slowed down, hoping to get a little info. When Valor was a few feet away, I whispered to Kyden. “Why is Valor refusing to let Thor and Isla be together?”


He smiled. “As you heard, he believes she is too young.”


“Oh I get it,” I nodded in understanding. “He’s suffering from Daddy syndrome.”


Kyden arched a brow. “Daddy syndrome?”


“Yeah, you know, can’t let his little girl go.”


Kyden’s brow lowered as he gave a soft nod. “Thor is being patient. Isla, on the other hand, is pushing for him to get over it.”


“I just bet she is.” My mind drifted to the handsome wolf that was her mate. I’d be raising hell, too, if I wasn’t allowed near him.


Suddenly, Valor growled low. Kyden threw me over his shoulder and rushed forward. He made quick work of the ground beneath him as he ran to catch up to Valor.


When he stopped, he set me down and I gave his shoulder a little punch. “That wasn’t necessary.”


“Didn’t want you to slip, Álainn.” His voice was serious, but the glimmer in his eye conveyed his amusement.


My fist clenched to give him another punch, but when Valor shifted, my hand eased as I stretched it out.


“He is in those caves there.” Valor pointed next to him.


My gaze followed the movement and noticed a small entrance to a cave that was no bigger than our living room. The ceiling was rigid and drips of condensation splattered down on the stone floor. “We have to go in there?” I whispered to Kyden. “There could be bats.”


“You’re afraid of bats?” he asked, intrigued.


“Just so happens that I am,” I lifted my chin a little, trying to save a little pride. Vampires, easy and crazy witches, easy. But rats with wings, not so easy.


“No better time than the present to face your fears,” Kyden pulled me toward the entrance.


Oh Jesus!


Good thing our vision is superior because the place was pitch-black. Even better, the cave was very shallow. The second we stepped through, the wolf appeared, his eyes glowing as he snarled at us.


“Oh there you are.” I shook my finger at him. “You are a very bad doggy.”


He growled lower and deeper. His eyes were wild as he flew toward us. Kyden pushed me out of the way and kicked out hard, sending the wolf flying out of the cave.


Moments ago, he may have irritated me, but I could never ignore just how sexy he looked when fighting. The man exudes power and I may have sighed a little as I watched his muscles flex.


The wolf growled again and broke my ogling. I could have used the Fire element to disintegrate him. However, I made it a rule that unless I was fighting witches, I kept to my Guardian roots. It kept me true to my both halves.


“Come on,” Kyden raised his hands, calling him forward.


The wolf lunged and Kyden reciprocated with a hard punch to the wolf’s snout, which sent him flying twenty feet away. The wolf roared, lunging back toward him. In the moment of his lunge, I shot forward and kicked his side, causing him to crumble to the ground.


The wolf didn’t really have a chance. One of us could kill him, both Kyden and I were strong fighters. With the both of us together, he was as good as dead.


He snarled, glancing up at me. I gasped out a breath upon seeing his eyes. They were so dark, so viciously cruel. Nothing of a good wolf rema
ined here. Only one thing could cause eyes like that…Black Magic. But why were these wolves turning to such darkness? They had families, their pack¯what would the magic give them that they didn’t already have? None of which I had answers to. The only thing
I did know was that this magic was making them crazed and dangerous. It meant they had to die.


Kyden drew his sword. When the wolf lunged toward me, he sliced sure and swift. The wolf’s head flew in the opposite direction of his body as blood arced through the air.


When the body dropped to the ground, I glanced at Kyden. “Nice teamwork.”


He winked at me.


I glanced back at Valor. He was sitting on a rock, looking thoughtful. “You okay?” I asked, as I approached him.


He raised his eyes to mine. “You think I am being harsh on Isla?”


That was unexpected. “Valor, I don’t think it is my place to…”


He interrupted. “I am making it your place.”


“Total honesty?” I asked.


“Nothing less.”


I quickly glanced at Kyden. He gave me an encouraging nod. I let the zipper open, sent my lips a flapping. “Well, she is grown and…” I hesitated, searching for the right words. “Now having Kyden, I couldn’t imagine life without him. He has made me so happy. If Isla has something this wonderful available to her and she can’t experience it because you are withholding her…” I put my hands on my hips. “Well, that just seems wrong in my books.”


He rubbed his face. “These are the times I miss Hanna the most.”


“Isla’s mother?”


“Yes. She died while giving birth to Isla.”


“I didn’t know about her death, I’m sorry.” Valor gave me a little nod. Suddenly, I realized why he was talking with me about this. He desperately needed a female’s input. I knelt beside him and got right to it. “Okay, what’s the problem?”


He got a little teary-eyed. “If she is not in my home, I cannot keep an eye out for her.”


“Thor is a strong Alpha,” Kyden said. “He will protect her.”


Valor rubbed his face again. “I trust Thor with her safety. It is just Isla is…well…much like you, Nexi. She acts on impulse, makes quick decisions that endanger her life.”


“That doesn’t sound much like a compliment,” I said, a bit grim.


He laughed quietly. “It is what it is.” Then, his smile faded. “Thor cannot always be by her side and as Alphas we are always presented with danger. As you saw tonight, her impulse to save him might get her killed.”


I sighed, understanding his concern, but I also knew how to ease him. “I’m assuming Alphas are possessive in nature?” He nodded hurriedly. “Well then, you have nothing to worry about. Thor will guard her with his life.” I gave Kyden a knowing look following that statement, since I had a protective fool of my own.


He just grinned and winked.


Isla had better kiss me for what I was about to say. “You’re preventing her from being truly happy.” I grabbed Valor’s hand. “It’s time to let her go.”


He actually wiped away a tear. “It is not so easily done.”


“Of course it isn’t. You’re a good father to her, but really Valor, she’s twenty-four. Her hormones are probably eating her alive.” I said, then instantly regretted it. I shouldn’t have gone there.


He grimaced. “That is my biggest concern of all.”


Oh god, now we were about to have a sex talk. Get me the hell out of here. I glanced at Kyden, who grinned devilishly, seeing me squirm.


But like the protector that he was, he took the wheel. “Thor will be gentle with her, Valor. You know this.”


“I do know this, but…” He cringed a little.


“It doesn’t make it any easier.” I finished for him.


Valor gave a soft smile. “No, it doesn’t.”

BOOK: The Devil’s Kiss
9.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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