The Grey God (Chapter Eight, page 2 of 18)


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He placed something small in her palm. Jenn's cold hand closed around it as she struggled to identify it. She finally recognized the shape of the necklace she'd given Darian the day before.

"I thought you had to return this," she said in a hushed voice.

"I did."

"And … what?" she asked when he said no more.

"It's taken care of."

Jenn tucked her knife and gun away and replaced the necklace around her neck with clumsy hands. The metal was cold against her warm skin, and she pulled her scarf on tighter once the necklace was where it belonged.

"Thanks, Darian," she said. "I hope it didn't cause you too much trouble."

"More than you realize."

Jenn gazed in his direction for a long moment, unable to place the dry humor in his voice. Whatever the inside joke was, he wasn't about to share it and she didn't ask. The silence grew awkward, and she found herself thinking of the last time they were together. Her blood warmed at the idea of seducing Darian again. Alarmed by emotions Dusty had warned her were permanent, she took a step away.

"I can't risk being caught not in my assigned spot," she said.

"Jonny didn't threaten you, did he?" The dark note was back, the one she didn't like.

"Not directly. Just made it clear I'm not allowed to leave."

Darian growled, sounding more animal than human. Jenn started away from him.

"I'll be fine, Darian," she called over her shoulder. "Twelve days left. Enough time for me to figure out what Jonny's doing with the Others. I'm in no danger."

"Bullshit."

"If I don't figure out his plans before the truce is up with Ikir Damian, every Guardian on the planet is fucked. They still don't have their powers back," she said. "I can't have you distract me from my mission right now."

"Interesting choice of words. In any case, considering I'm the one that broke the balance between good and evil, immortal and mortal, you aren't the one with the fates of the Guardians on your shoulders."

"I can help fix it."

"It's not your personal responsibility to make this right."

"Would you do differently?" she demanded, facing him. He'd been following her, this time silently, and she was surprised at how close he was.

"No," he said. "But I wouldn't try to do it alone, either."

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