Sunday, March 4, 2012
The Devil You Know - Dancin' With the Devil Book 5
The air in the room changed and my hand throbbed. I slid it behind my back, suddenly remembering the Slayer’s mark.
The last thing I wanted Dialle to see at that moment was that mark. “He’s gone.” I told Dialle.
I wasn’t sure if I was relieved or pissed that the Slayer had left me holding the proverbial bag. What I did know was that I still had a whole passel of problems to solve, and now I had a new one.
Sighing, I turned away and started walking toward the door.
I shook my head without turning. “I have to save Darma and Myra, then I need to figure out what’s going on. A sudden memory had me stopping dead in my tracks. A red, scaly face with a broken jaw flashed before my eyes and I heard a gravelly voice say, “King Dialle sent me to kill you.” The audio reel in my head switched to another track, and I heard Euryice, the traitorous black dragon, say, “You will die soon, dragon fighter, and your lover will be the cause.”
I turned, my gaze locked onto Dialle’s hostile face. I wasn’t sure how to ask the question that needed asking so I just came right out with it. “Did you send assassins to kill me?”
I watched his impossibly handsome face very carefully for any signs that he was guilty of the charge. I saw a surprised widening of his black eyes before they narrowed in a frown, but the emotion that flashed across his features didn’t look like guilt to me. I wasn’t sure what it was.
“Of course not, Astra. Why would I want to do that?” He walked toward me with long, ground-eating strides, clasping my arms in a hard grip. “Why are you asking me that? Has someone tried to kill you?”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. Who hadn’t tried to kill me over the last few days?
I said as much to Dialle and his frown deepened to a scowl. After a few beats his expression cleared and I thought I read understanding of some kind there. “You must come with me. I can protect you until we figure out what’s going on.”
I started to shake my head but didn’t quite manage it. I soon found myself locked in space and time, unable to move, my ears ringing with complete silence, as Dialle shifted us away from the castle on the edge of Hell, to a new place in Hades that was probably eminently worse.
Just like that I found myself driving inexorably closer to the culmination of my Settling, surrounded by devils and devilry, deep in the heart of the purest evil in the universe. Skirting the scalding fires of Hell.
Yeah, my life just sucked.
And I was so totally screwed.