Deidre's Death (Chapter Three, page 2 of 16)

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Landon accepted it. Gabriel drained the bowl of water and placed the souls in his pocket.

"Darkyn doesn't have the numbers to set up a facility like this in too many places. He's not in much better shape than we are," Rhyn, the leader of the Immortals and Gabriel's best friend, said as he approached. The half-demon rippled with power. His silver gaze was wary and his muscular frame only slightly smaller than Gabriel's.

"Whatever he wants is around Atlanta." Gabriel's thoughts drifted to Deidre. He initially suspected the soul in Deidre's tumor was what Darkyn sought. But the demon lord had Deidre in his clutches and let her go.

At least, it appeared that way. The woman Gabriel touched today wasn't the one he touched last night. The mating bond present last night formed anew the moment he healed her from the demon attack. She looked like past-Death. She had the haughty edge of past-Death.

She was human like Deidre. Gabriel hadn't wanted to believe her story of Darkyn combining the two Deidres into one, but it certainly seemed possible. The extent of the Dark One's powers on his home turf in Hell was beyond anyone's ability to know. It was said he had no limitations. Could he then merge two souls together into a single body?

Why would he do it?

"Meanwhile he distracts us with a fucking goose chase across the world chasing the demons raiding human schools." Rhyn's gaze was stormy.

"Your brother found this place, right?" Gabriel asked, focusing once again on his surroundings. The five remaining death-dealers he brought with him were quickly extracting souls.

"Yeah. No word yet on whether or not there are more."

"They are way too comfortable in the mortal world right now."

"No shit."

At the half-demon's frustration, Gabriel glanced at him. "Not your fault, Rhyn. You're doing everything you can."

Rhyn grunted in response, his fury clear. As the head of the Immortal Council That Was Seven, Rhyn was charged with protecting the human population from demons. In the course of a few months, the old understanding between Immortals and demons - that humans were off-limits - crashed to the ground. Rhyn's Immortals were struggling to recover from battles with the demons, while he struggled to keep the Council together, let alone focused.

Gabriel understood why the old standard was gone. He wasn't allowed to tell Rhyn, due to Immortal laws governing the dealings between deities. The Dark One that ruled Hell since the time-before-time had fallen to a ruthless demon lord whose goal had long been to take over the mortal realm. Forged by war and hardened by exile to the bowels of Hell, Darkyn understood only violence, war and bloodlust. He honored nothing but laws from the time-before-time, deals he made and the occasional Demon Laws, which he authored. An understanding was not worth acknowledging and definitely not binding to the new Dark One.

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