Katie's Hope (Chapter Four, page 1 of 15)

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Jade waited for Darkyn to return from his meeting with Kris. He gazed into the black flames of the fire in the hearth. This had been Sasha's study less than a few days ago. He clenched his fists, not wanting to think about Sasha or Kris or how quickly he, too, could have the tables turned on him as he had done to Sasha.

He'd decided to sleep in here last night, unable to sleep in his bedchamber with the thought of Iliana's body in the trunk beside the bed. He'd accidently hurt someone innocent, and he didn't want the reminder. He wouldn't do it again.

"It went exactly as expected," Darkyn said as he walked into the study. "Kris refused to turn over Sasha or the vial. He underestimates me."

"Kris values the Code and his duty more than he does anything," Jade said with some bitterness.

"You said there is a weakness to the castle that will render the ground no longer sacred." "There is."

At his silence, Darkyn moved closer, his dark eyes piercing and the growl in his chest audible. Jade looked away. Until now, he'd always thought he could turn back. No one but Iliana had died, and the only person he'd betrayed was Sasha, whose death Kris might eventually reward him for by welcoming Jade back into his life and his bed.

"I will have it from you!" Darkyn said and struck him hard enough to knock his breath out as he slammed into the wall. Jade gasped for a moment and steadied himself.

"I … can make it happen," he said. "You cannot. You have to be in the castle to make it work."

"You seek to betray me as your predecessor did."

"No, Darkyn. I want my revenge against Sasha and Kris both, but there are innocent people there."

"No Immortal is innocent."

"Let me go to Sasha. I will make him our tool," Jade said, his mind working fast to find a way to keep Darkyn from destroying everyone. Darkyn studied him and then withdrew a thin collar and approached. Jade flinched as it snapped into place around his neck.

"If you do not return by dawn, this will bring you back to me, and I will show you no mercy," Darkyn warned.

"Will you consider sparing the rest of the Immortals, master?"

"You came to me to destroy those who have wronged you. I want revenge for my daughter's treatment at Sasha's hands, and I want the vial or the girl. I own you now, Jade. Do not question me again."

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