Rhyn's Redemption (Chapter One, page 1 of 2)

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Death was waiting for Gabriel when he dozed off. He’d planned on staying awake and moving so she wouldn’t catch up to them, but even he needed a short nap after three straight days of grueling travel in the underworld.

He found himself on the Caribbean Sanctuary, in the small chamber with the Oracle book. Sea breeze swept through the small windows of the room, and he took a step towards the lectern on which the open book rested. The pages displayed had a few words written on them rather than the constantly shifting writing that normally scrawled itself across the pages. He felt himself compelled towards the book even as his fight-or-flight instinct reared up.

You know what they say about the inner ring of Hell, Gabe. Death’s words were written on both pages of the Oracle’s book.

“Why did you bring me here?” he asked the air around him.

I can’t talk to you directly, or I am obligated to take you with me, Death’s words appeared in the book.

“This isn’t the time for your games,” Gabriel said. “I know what happens if you catch us. What I don’t know is why you’d try to talk to me. You know where we are?”

I’d know if I wanted to. The underworld is mine.

“As I thought,” he said with a frown. “No matter. I’m taking her out of the underworld.”

You know I can’t let you.

“But you’re not here to stop me.”

If she escapes, it won’t be with your help.

The words chilled him from the inside out. There was one way he’d leave Katie, and that was if he was dead-dead. Gabriel looked around the small room, irritated with Death.

“Come out,” he ordered her. “I’ve known you longer than any creature still in existence. This is a dream. You can talk to me here.”

“There was a time when you feared me then a time when I thought you almost loved me,” Death said, materializing from the shadows. “Is this what happens when your weak human emotions fade? You betray me?”

“I have to do this. If you have to stop me … it won’t change how I felt about you.”

“You could’ve ruled the underworld at my side, Gabriel.”

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