The Grey God (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 18)

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"Just me." Darian's voice was low.

Jenn lowered her weapons. She'd heard the crunch of snow beneath boots indicating someone had appeared without her seeing anyone. Darian was only a few feet away, a testament to his stealthy magic. She looked around, the prey she'd been stalking in the forest before dawn now lost. She'd found Darian instead. Warmly dressed and well-armed, Jenn nonetheless felt the predawn chill tickle her neck.

"What're you doing here, Darian?" she asked.

"Tracking Others. You?"

"You're certain they were Others?"

"You really need me to answer that question?" Darian snorted in amusement, though she heard the note of tension in his voice.

"I followed Jonny."

His sudden disappearances without her made more sense. If Darian tracked Others here, she tracked Jonny, and neither was there … they'd gone somewhere together.

"You thinking what I'm thinking?" Darian asked.

"Why would he be working with them? What would he have to gain?"

"There's no telling with a Black God."

"He's not like Czerno. He has some level of restraint."

"Keep telling yourself that, Jenn. It sounds like he's the one manipulating you."

"My magic no longer works on him, but I'd know if he was messing with my head," she replied coldly.

"Then you're deluding yourself." Darian's voice carried a dark note, one that made her uncomfortable alone with him in the dark forest. "A Black God does not know restraint."

"What god does?"

"Is that for me? Cuz you started this mess."

She rolled her eyes. "Can you track where they went?"

"Gone. Immortal world is my guess."

Darian's boots crunched snow as he moved closer. Jenn resisted the urge to leave, wanting to pretend things were as normal as possible between them. Running from a man like Darian would only make him chase her; this much she knew.

"Funny thing is he asked me if I knew where the portal was last night," she said. "I thought he needed to know for his own purposes."

"Maybe they blindfold him. What did you tell him?"

"I lied."

"Speaking of lying, manipulating females," Darian said, tone lighter. "I brought you something. Hold out your hand."

"Better be a cheeseburger," she grunted. She held out a hand. "I haven't eaten a decent meal in weeks."

"You and I are probably the only people who consider cheeseburgers a food group."

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