The Underworld (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 13)

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Hours passed. Gabriel tried to leave the Lake several more times before giving up and lying back on a boulder to stare at the grey skies.

Mates-blood-fate. Darkyn had said this was all that mattered now, and he had been dwelling on the lessons he'd learned since becoming Death. He'd learned to track souls without the innate soul-radar granted to every death dealer brought on board. He'd discovered and healed most of the cracks allowing souls to escape to the human world. He'd found his mate, lost her, then found her again, met a couple of deities and learned too much about how little he was able to trust those he once viewed as colleagues.

The flexibility of Immortal Code, the need to respect the original three laws, decoding the ancient soul compasses, tracking demons in the mortal world …

He'd learned so much the hard way, the result of avoiding the first step he was supposed to take: placing his soul in the sacred room off Death's bedchamber.

What if he'd done that first? How many of these trials might've been avoided? How many death dealers would've been saved going to trial for their rebellion?

"You've got my attention." He spoke again to the Lake of Souls. "I understand your pain. I don't know what to do about it." He ignored any self-consciousness he experienced at the thought of talking to an inanimate object. He'd last swum through the lake to find the soul of the Ancient Andre, an expert demon tracker and half-brother to Rhyn, and resurrect him.

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