The Underworld (Chapter Three, page 2 of 11)

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"She's okay," she murmured and pushed blonde hair out of the sleeping woman's face.

"Mostly bruises."

Deidre felt for the trickle of magic belonging to her mate that was always present. For the first time since entering Hell, it was gone. Any connection to Darkyn was severed.

"I felt the door to Hell open," Jared said. "Someone came through."

Darkyn. Her breath caught. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah. Probably not the boss," Jared added glumly. "Death would never let him into his realm."

Not even to save me? She didn't want to know that answer. Gabriel was devoted to his duty, and she didn't think she was ready to know just how far from helping her that put him. Deidre shivered in the chilly air.

"I'm hungry, too. No one will know if we eat her," Jared tried again. "She'll be a delicious chicken cupcake."

"Chicken and cupcakes do not go together!" she snapped.

"What do we care? We drink blood."

"We're not going to eat her!"

"You're blood bound. If you're not out of here in a day or two, you'll be dead. Just a sip."

"That's Gabriel's mate!"

"She doesn't have to know if we have a little snack while she's out."

Darkyn won't leave me. Gabriel won't leave us. Deidre wrapped her arms around her knees and buried her face into the crook of one arm. There was no denying her hunger. The Dark One had turned her into a demon, though she retained the heart and mind of a human. Sucking blood from someone who was not her mate was completely out of the question.

"Don't count on it, demon," came the voice of Gabriel's mate. Past-Death moved away from the wall. She held her head.

"You okay?" Deidre asked.

Past-Death nodded then grimaced.

"Do you know where we are?"

The woman across from her lowered her hands and gazed around with pale blue eyes. "Dungeon under my palace. At least we're where we need to be."

Deidre raised an eyebrow. "You want to be here?"

"We have to find something before the death dealers do."

"We aren't in any position to escape, cupcake," Jared observed. "You weren't able to leave. It didn't work this time."

"No, it didn't." Past-Death sounded frustrated. "I think you're too hungry to see straight."

"You can fix that."

Deidre listened, not certain she wanted to know what they were talking about.

Past-Death glared at him before turning her attention to Deidre. "I do agree with him. You need blood. Darkyn wiped most of my memories before turning me loose in the human world, but I do know that a blood-bound demon won't last long without her mate."

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