Authors: Karen Swart
Written by Karen Swart
All rights reserved. Author Karen Swart. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author.
Author Karen Swart
Edited by Melissa M Ringsted
Cover by Melody Simmons
- Guardian Fallen
- Apprentice Fallen
- Little Daughter
- Greetings or Hello
- Banished realm
Note to self: never ever use your brain again. Apparently I had a built in code for disaster, or if that is not the case, one to get myself in a huge heap of freaking trouble.
As a hellhound fallen, God’s strongest fallen, I am destined to destroy demons and ensure mankind is safe. But somewhere, in that whole grand scheme, something went completely wrong. Maybe it was my Custos, Chax De Luca, whose insane training methods pushed me into this chaos. Maybe it was more than two years in Hell fighting for my life, or just plain good old DNA. But whatever it was, I was so over this whole thing. If I weren’t fighting for my life, I was fighting with the people considered to be my kin. But whatever the case may be, I am left with only one option ...
Turning to look at Raphael, the archangel on the couch, I took in the picture around us. On the left—behind Raphael—we have the thirty strong group of fallen, all pissed off at me I might add. And on the right—in front of Raphael—we have our little group of misfits; two fallen, three half-breed fallen, and six humans.
Yip, this is going to be one of those days where I just want to kill everything.
“Okay, are you guys over your pissing contest? Because I would really like to say hello to my friend,” a girl’s voice came from behind the crowd. Making her way out of the bunch—by means of pushing and shoving—was little Nanini herself. When she reached the front she looked up at me, and with a huge smile ran to me and grabbed me in a death grip.
“Kas, you suck big time. You had us all worried to death,” Nanini said, releasing me and punching me on the shoulder.
“Yeah, and if you do that again, we are teaming up and kicking your butt back into Exsilium,” Lada said from behind Nanini. I looked up to find her and Lotan standing ready for their hugs.
“Hi, guys. It’s good to see you again,” I replied, hugging Lada and Lotan.
“Where the hell have you been all this time?” Nanini asked; concern, and what I assumed was curiosity, all over her face.
“It’s a long story, but I’m sorry, it has to wait for later. We first have to get Kali, and then I’ll give you the entire story in detail,” I replied, glad to see my friends, but still filled with dread for Kali. I looked down at my hand, it was shaking, so I quickly flicked it out and turned to Raphael to control the situation.
“So, Raphael, what is this great plan of yours?”
“Ah, yes always to the point, hellhound. Well let’s start with the layout I saw when I left there, shall we?” Raphael said, getting up and moving over to the bar, where he grabbed a piece of chalk and started to draw the whole scene he had witnessed on the bar deck. I looked at his hand; taking in as much information as I could to make sure we had the upper hand in this little adventure. If I know Ballen, this is not going to be easy. Even worse, it’s not going to be pretty. He loved watching us fight, I just bet he wants some more entertainment.
“As you can see, this is the place where they have her crucified to the bridge,” he said, pointing to a tower above the bridge.
“Crucified?” Ryan asked next to me. I looked up at him and saw his face in complete shock, and then my eyes caught the other faces around us. Chax, Caim, Lotan, and Don were standing on the other side of Raphael; Max, Amon, and Ryan were standing next to me. Still in the groupie thing I see, the one not trusting the other.
My eyes finally rested on Chax, who was still looking at me like he wanted to kill me, and yip, I smiled at him to make it even worse.
“Yes, the demon prince found this very appealing. They have always been known for their cruelty,” Raphael answered Ryan, whom swallowed hard at his words.
“Demon prince?” Chax asked, looking at Raphael even more pissed off.
“Yes, our harpy and hellhound have had the pleasure to be involved with Gluttire,” Raphael replied, confusing me. Chax’s eyes went wide and his head whipped to me, looking for an answer.
“Hey, don’t look at me. I didn’t have the option of choosing my company, so you can take that “What have you done?” look and shove it,” I threw at him, his face showing he was even more pissed off. “Okay, so Raphael who is this demon, Prince Gluttire, you are talking about?” I asked him, ignoring Chax’s death stare, and avoiding smiling at Caim’s attempt to hide his smile.
“Your demon, Ballen, is none other than
one of the princes of Hell, in this case Gluttire,” he replied, looking down at his drawing as if what he just said made total sense.
“Okay, apparently I lost a good deal of info when I was shifted to Hell against my will. So can you please explain what the hell that means?” I asked him, furious that everyone expected me to know what they know, but forgetting that I did not have the opportunities they had when it came to a normal fallen life. At my last word I looked at Chax and saw the impact my words had. He looked at me and a small amount of sympathy came into view, but was quickly replaced with the pissed off look. Yip, same old Chax, emotions are so overrated.
“It means, Kasadya, that the demon you have met is a demon prince. A demon prince is the strongest and most lethal of all demons. They govern realms of their own inside Hell, and none have ever been destroyed by a fallen,” Chax filled me in.
Okay, that puts the whole fear at Ballen’s name into perspective, but the ‘never been destroyed part,’ we’ll see. If I have to be the first to kill one, then so be it, even if it means dying in the process. He will not have Kali again. Sucking all the info up, I looked at Raphael. “So what’s the plan?” I finished, ignoring Chax.
Raphael looked at me for a few silent seconds, and then continued, “If you and your team can go in, making them think that you are the only ones, the rest of us can come in from here,” he said, pointing to the other side of the bridge. Yeah, that might work, but then again, it might not. If the demons see them approach then they will counter their attack. No shifting in and giving the element of surprise was the answer.
“No, you and the rest will stand your ground until I signal you and then shift in. If we lose the element of surprise, it’s game over,” I replied, looking up at Chax again. He was keeping a close eye on me, and it was starting to freak me out.
“Yes, that would seem to be the best approach. Well done, Kas,” Raphael replied, smiling at me.
“Okay, let’s do this and get it over with. Afterwards, Chax, you and the rest of the fallen can do what you want with me, but Max and the rest are off limits,” I said, walking away from them.
“Let’s finish this, and then we will get back to you and your friends,” Chax stated. He just doesn’t know when to quit. I will deal with that later, first Kali and then Mr. High and Mighty.
“Kas, I want you to stay next to me at all times,” Max said, grabbing my arm to make me stop and look at him.
“I have been doing this for a while, Max, so relax. We go in and we get out, just like always.”
“Kas, I hate to break it to you, but your plans don’t always end too well,” he finished, letting go of my arm. I replied by rolling my eyes at him. He is always on my case about things before we go into attack. I don’t know what’s worse, a prince of Hell, Chax, or Max?
I stopped in an open spot and locked onto Ryan’s arm, Max taking mine and Amon’s on his left. Looking up I saw that the fallen were all standing still and holding the necklaces hanging around their necks. Okay, that’s new. I left it at that and shifted to London’s bridge with my team, landing a few yards from Ballen and his crew. Ballen was leaning against a tower, smiling at us. Looking up I saw Kali and stopped dead in my tracks.
OMG, he really freaking crucified her. Hanging on the bridge, an unconscious Kali was painting the tower with her blood. I couldn’t make out her complete damage, but saw the blood pouring down from her feet and hands. This way Ballen could ensure she doesn’t heal completely, and with the amount of blood running down the tower, not stay awake to give them problems. I heard Ryan suck in a breath, and turned to look at him.
“She is immortal, remember that. As long as her head stays in place, she cannot die,” I assured him, looking at his gaping, shocked face.
“Yes, I remember. But nothing replaces the pain and memories. This will haunt her, Kas,” he replied, looking back at me. He was right. Her last time alone with demons had her literally on her knees; who knows what her mental state will be after this. But come high or low we will be there with her every step of the way.
“She has us,” I replied, and started marching to Ballen, drawing my swords and transforming into my hellhound. Max was on my left and Amon on my right, the rest falling into formation.
“Beating up one fallen female and crucifying her only tells me one thing, Ballen. You’re nothing more than a coward,” I sneered, advancing with every step.
“Ah, but Hellhound, what game would this be without some fun? I mean, really, what in the world did your friend think when she came after me? Did she really think that she could beat me?” he asked. From behind him Draco came walking out with a bunch of demons, all armed. Oh goodie, now I can get two for the price of one.
“You’re right about the fun part, demon. Now enough chit chat and let’s dance.” I looked at Ben, our light fae, who sent a light ball into the air to signal the rest. I moved with blinding speed straight for the so called prince; we’ll see if he can’t be killed. Two steps from him a demon tried to stop me, ending up with his body going in one direction and his head in another. Then Ballen and I met full force. He was already armed and ready, so the moment our swords met he went into full attack, but for some reason not transforming into his demon form. He tried to cut me on my side, but I turned my torso in time to avoid it, sending a swipe to his face at the same time. He countered it with a fast move of his own.
Backing off after his close encounter, he slowly walked in a circle, around us the battle was deafening. I could see from the corner of my eye that more demons were shifting in to help with the sudden number of fallen.