Gabriel's Hope (Chapter Nine, page 2 of 10)

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"Wait, does this mean you have a tattoo, too?" Katie straightened, gaze sharpening.

Deidre nodded.


"On my back."

"Show me!"

Deidre glanced at Toby. He sighed and flopped onto his stomach, facing away from them. Deidre twisted and pulled up her shirt for Katie to see.

Rhyn's mate squealed loud enough for Deidre to jump. She dropped her shirt, startled when Katie flung her arms around her in another tight hug.

"Who! Mama!" Toby demanded.

"I knew it!" Katie all but shouted. She released Deidre and returned to her seat, face glowing. "I called it."


"Gabe, Toby."

Toby's face lit up. "I bet he was pissed."

"Okay, I need to know what's going on," Deidre said, the buzzing back in her ears.

"Short version. I know this will be rough," Katie started, sympathy on her features. "Once upon a time, you were an Immortal -"

"-deity," Toby corrected.

"What's the difference?" Katie asked.

"Deities are way older and more powerful."

"Whatever. So you were a deity," Katie continued. "Guess which one?"

"Death," Toby supplied.

"Not you, Toby. Deidre, you were Death for let's say, a zillion years. Somewhere along the line, you found Gabe and forced him to work for you as your number one assassin. He fell totally in love with you. You following so far?"

Deidre's mouth was dry and her hands shaking, but she nodded.

"You fell totally in love with him, too, but you were uh … well, I guess deities are sort of…"

"You were a mega-bitch," Toby said. "You took his heart and crushed it, like every day for thousands of years."

Deidre gasped.

"That's a little harsh," Katie murmured.

"Then you dumped him," Toby continued. "So then, one day you told him to kill Katie and her baby, because you were mad at Rhyn and the demons were coming."

Deidre's eyes went to Katie in horror. Rhyn's mate tried to smile, but her gaze was haunted.

"Gabe wouldn't do it. He went rogue and helped Katie evade you in the underworld. I was there, too! And Rhyn and Kris and Kiki," Toby said cheerfully. "You made Kris and Gabe trade their souls for Katie and baby's then you quit."

"That's um, the abbreviated version. You also broke immortal laws to let me go instead of killing me. You didn't quit because you wanted to, but because you had to after breaking those laws to spare me and Hazel," Katie added, patting her stomach. "You helped me escape demons through that awful underworld forest. That's how I found out you really did love Gabe, even though you um …"

"Crushed his will to live," Toby finished.

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