Katie's Hope (Chapter Five, page 2 of 15)

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"I saw how Ancients' mates work. You get no choice, Sasha!" Jade snapped, the hurt caused by Kris's rejection renewed. He slashed again. Sasha's guard fell quickly, and Jade hacked at the Ancient with all his fury until Sasha lay in a bloodied heap.

His whole body shaking, he tried to calm himself and withdrew, wanting to wipe away the taint of Sasha's blood from his clothing and skin.

"The vial, Jade!" Darkyn barked. "We are watching. If you try to take it, your death will be the most horrible I devise yet."

Jade hesitated, not wanting to go near Sasha's body. He knelt beside the Ancient and set the machete on top of the sarcophagus. Sasha was far too chopped up to be alive. Jade rifled through his pockets, part of him praying he didn't find the vial. He'd been responsible for enough Immortal deaths this night; he couldn't stomach more.

Jade's hand brushed the glass in Sasha's pocket. Sasha had the vial. The fool had really believed he could bargain with Darkyn and the Dark One! Or maybe he was desperate to return to the only place that would accept him and all his sick ways.

Jade pretended to continue to search, mind racing. It was one thing to feed Kris and the Immortals here to the demons, another thing to give the demons a tool they could use to destroy all Immortals, if not humanity, too. He'd thought he crossed the only line that mattered by selling out the Immortals but found there was another he wasn't ready for.

He left the vial in Sasha's pocket and rose. "It's not here," he said.

"Not there," Darkyn repeated. Jade bristled for an attack, even knowing the demons couldn't draw near. "Where else would it be?"

"Kris has a scientist named Ully who would've likely been given the vial. Maybe this…" he kicked Sasha's body, "wasn't as stupid as we thought."

"Or Kris locked it away because he knew better than to trust that piece of shit," the demon leader added. "Take the bodies and throw them into the sea, where no one will find them. We will find this Ully and take him to Hell for interrogation."

"Yes, master." "And Jade?"

Tensing, Jade turned to face the direction of the demon's voice. "Welcome to Hell, your new home."

Jade said nothing, conflicted. He heard the demons withdraw from the forest around them toward the castle. Suspecting some of them remained, he gave no indication he'd found the vial as he carefully lifted Sasha's body and laid it on the sarcophagus. He stepped back to look at father and son, dead-dead together.

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