The Underworld (Chapter One, page 2 of 4)

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Darkyn's fists clenched. Unreadable, the lethal, youthful demon was glaring at him, his long fangs resting on his lips.

"Don't be a dick, Darkyn," Gabriel snapped. "We have the same goal. If we need to act fast, then tell me."

"My mate is newly blood bound. She will weaken quickly," growled the Dark One. "She doesn't have more than three days."

As usual, the demon's candidness left Gabriel a little surprised. When Darkyn had no reason to lie, he was almost trustworthy. The problem: figuring out if this was one of those times, because trusting a lying demon almost always ended in someone losing his soul.

The only leverage Gabriel had was that Darkyn was also blood bound, meaning he'd need the blood of his mate or spin out of control with unquenchable bloodlust. And … he had begun to think that the ruler of Hell had a soft spot for the mate he claimed.

"Rhyn, go on ahead and scout. We'll move fast," Gabriel said.

"I'm going with the half-breed," Darkyn replied.

"No. You're staying with me."

Darkyn faced off with him.

"Neither of us has any magic here. We have a better chance together, especially since the underworld hates full demons," Gabriel said. And I'm not letting the Dark One loose in my fucking domain. "Rhyn, go."

Rhyn drew a knife and trotted off, his thick frame disappearing into the thick foliage.

Gabriel half-expected Darkyn to trail, but the Dark One remained.

Breathing in the humid air, Gabriel assessed their location and the best way to approach the palace at the center of the underworld, where they needed to be. He had spent long enough repairing the defenses of the underworld to know where the best places to place scouts and sentries were. Common sense told him to go the path of least resistance.

The instincts of a master denied his place, however, wanted to chop a direct route through the forest and to slaughter those involved in betraying him and kidnapping his mate. As much as he hated agreeing with a demon, Darkyn was right. Gabriel needed to conquer his world once and for all.

Once he figured out how to do it without getting everyone around him killed.

"You up for a fight?" he asked Darkyn.

The demon drew two blades and spun them deftly in his hands.

"Thought so. No mercy, demon."

"It's not in my nature to grant such a thing." Darkyn almost spat the words.

Gabriel chuckled. You really fucked up this time, Harmony. Betraying one deity was worthy of a sentence in Hell. Betraying two?

If his own mate wasn't involved, Gabriel might've felt some remorse at the thought of turning over the traitorous death dealer to Darkyn.

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