This chapter was originally between what’s now 27 and 28
After Ely and Nate meet up in the Dark Realm. It didn’t make the cut, well, because the book was already too long, and I thought, as did my editor, it disrupted the flow and tension of the story. And also I felt it probably gave away some things too quickly 😀
It’s from Týr’s POV after the Guardians discover Ely is missing
So some of it might sound familiar that’s because I used parts of it later on.
*PLEASE, NO SPOILERS 🙂
“Still nothing?” Michael asked, his fists braced on his desk, his expression grim.
Týr shook his head, shoving his clenched hands into his pants pockets so he wouldn’t punch something in the Arc’s study.
“I tracked her to the mountain cavern she used in the Catskills,” Blaéz said, rubbing his temple. “Empty.”
Dagan nodded. “Even the ones in the Adirondacks.”
Dammit. Týr paced to the door and back again. Ely was like a sister to him. Now she was missing! This was all his fault. He’d caused this chain reaction to happen when he first let her stay at the castle instead of sending her back to Empyrea like Aethan had demanded, ending with Michael taking her on as a Guardian.
“We should talk to Aba,” Nik said.
At the mention of the old demon who cared for Shadow, and that asshole… Tyr’s eyes narrowed. “If that demon, Nate, is responsible for her disappearance, I will kill him.”
“Norse.” Blaéz grasped his arm, blue eyes steady, irritating Týr further. “Calm down. Just because we haven’t seen her abilities, it doesn’t mean she is helpless. She is a Guardian.”
“Did you see anything?” he demanded.
“She’s safe wherever she is if it’s what you’re asking—”
“It fucking tells me nothing!”
“This isn’t helping,” Michael growled. “It’s been nearly a week!”
A knock sounded on the study door, and it opened, revealing his mate and Shadow.
“Hey,” Kira said as they stepped inside, shoving back an escapee strand of her curly hair, something she rarely did. Shadow glanced at Nik, but she remained at Kira’s side.
“What is it, Kira?” Týr asked.
They both stood like militant soldiers near the Arc’s L-shape desk, then his mate took a deep breath—
And he knew.
Nik’s weary exhale spoke volumes.
Hell, these females were thick as thieves.
“Kira,” Michael said, calm as all hell. “Where is Ely?”
“You can’t get mad,” she said, her gaze sweeping over them. “She’s our friend, and we will protect her.”
More like keep her secrets.
Gods! His female.
Týr folded his arms. Waited.
“She met someone,” Kira began. “Shadow’s brother, Nate.”
“And before you say he’s a demon, we know that,” Shadow chipped in. “But he is my brother, too. He’s a good person, well, to those he cares about. And he saved me.”
Nik grunted and rubbed his frontal lobe as if he had a massive headache. “I know. But it still doesn’t tell us where she is.”
Kira cut a quick look at Shadow, who nodded. She glanced back at them. “The Dark Realm—”
“What?” Týr roared, and the others straightened. “She’s in a place where the most atrocious, debased things could happen. She can’t protect herself! She’s a new Guardian who’s barely come into her abilities!”
“She’s not alone,” Shadow said, frowning. “Aba’s with her. He’s an old demon. He rescued me from blood demons who tore out my throat—”
“Dammit,” Nik muttered. “Agápi, calm down,” he said quietly, drawing his pregnant mate close, and cutting Týr a hard look.
Stars! Týr tried to reel in his fear for Ely. This isn’t happening. “How the hell do we find her in that massive place? You should have come to me, Kira.”
“You would have stopped her,” his beloved mate retorted. Then her expression softened. “Honey, if it were you, I would have done the same thing. Ely didn’t want to fail him again.”
Damn. Exhaling deeply, he drew her close, pressing his lips to her hair. “Wait—” He pulled back, frowning. “What do you mean again?”
“I’m not sure, but before she left, she said she won’t leave Nate to a terrible fate and that she failed him once and wouldn’t do so again. She didn’t explain, just said she would when she got back.”
“Where do we start searching?” Dagan asked then, bringing them back to the matter at hand.
“Wrath lives there. Seek out his help,” Michael said, coming around his desk, looking ready to wrap up the meeting and kick some demon ass.
Seek the Sin of Wrath’s help?
Týr bit back a groan. Just great. He found Kira watching him with a raised eyebrow. “Yeah, he could probably aid us,” he covered his ass quickly.
“No need,” Shadow said. “I know Aba lived in the territory of Ys. They, er, can open the portal from inside the workshop at the garage to go directly there.”
They all stared at her.
“They’re my family. They aren’t evil,” she muttered defensively. “I won’t let you attack them.”
“It’s all right,” Nik said, stroking her back and cutting them a steely look to reel in any comeback they had.
“Only old, powerful demons can open a portal,” Michael murmured, leaning against his desk. “The rest require a portal summoning stone, and those are guarded by said powerful demons.”
“And just so you know,” Shadow added, her stare gimlet, “Aba and Nate usually take care of those types if they dare to cross over.”
Týr wasn’t surprised. That area in the Bowery was a hotbed for demon activities. It must have ley lines running beneath the grounds or something to draw the fuckers there.
“Well, this helps,” Michael said. “Týr, you and Nik go to Ys. I will take over patrolling your area.”
Since time moved differently in the Dark Realm, hell, they could be gone for days or a few hours. Týr hoped it was the latter.
“Should we let Reynner know?” Nik asked.
“He’s gonna go ballistic,” Michael muttered. “Especially finding out she’s in a place he abhors. Damn…” He strode for the French doors, and they opened at his approach. He glanced back, putting on his aviators again, blocking his splintered irises. “I’ll catch up with him and fill him in later.”
“We’ll see you when we see you,” Dagan said, then both he and Blaéz stepped out onto the terrace and dematerialized.
A hand gently stroked his chest brought Týr’s attention back to his mate. He hated the worry darkening her hazel eyes. Hell, he still had issues with going to that world, and his incarceration in Tartarus rushed to the forefront, but he wasn’t leaving Ely there alone.
Now he had to leave his mate for who the hell knew how long, and it had Tyr’s annoyance growing. Oh, he’d find Ely, and then he would plant his fist in the damn demon’s jaw for causing all this trouble!
He cupped her face and gently kissed her, revealing none of his concerns. “I’ve got this, but I havta go, elska.”
“I know. Just be safe.” She hugged him, holding on tight. “Bring Ely back.”
He nodded and followed Nik, who had to drag himself away from Shadow, out onto the study terrace, then shut the French door behind them.
“Let’s do this—” He stilled at a disturbance in the air.
Aethan took form on the terrace, an unconscious Echo in his arms.
Týr didn’t need the light to see her complexion resembled a corpse, not that Aethan’s appeared any better. His hair was unkempt, slipping free from its tether, his shirt ripped and bloodied, sporting bruises on his jaw.
Aethan grimaced. “The Vales of Ishinor—the fae realm was one hell of a fucking place. Glad to be home.”
“No, no…” a low moan escaped Echo. A tear slipped free from her shut eyelids. “Don’t leave me.”
“Never, me’morae. I’m here.” Aethan pressed his lips to her head. Her one hand grasped his shirt feebly and fell again.
“Keta…” a ragged breath escaped her, and it had them all freezing at the strange word…or name. “Finally found you…se agapó, Keta. Se agapó…”
Aethan faltered a step, brow creasing. “Echo? What is it?”
Silence. She remained still in his arms, pulled under again.
“What the hell was that? What she said?” he asked, lifting his churning stare to them.
Týr shrugged, not familiar with the language. The question begged, who the hell was Keta? Some fae she met? It could be why Aethan appeared madder than a hatter.
Nik slid his hands into his pockets. Exhaled. “I love you—”
“Not now, Nik,” Týr grunted.
He snorted. “It’s what it means in Greek.”
Aethan narrowed his eyes, his expression darkening. The door flew open. Without another word, he stalked into the castle.
Did Echo have a thing for some other male now?
Damn. “And shit just keeps falling,” Týr muttered. “C’mon, let’s roll.”
© Georgia Lyn Hunter