Home > The Wicked (Vampire Huntress Legend #8)(11)

The Wicked (Vampire Huntress Legend #8)(11)
Author: L.A. Banks

"Then guide him!" Adam bellowed, snatching off his golden hel�met and casting it to the white marble floor. "Teach him! Give him Hannibal's best strategies-a man brazen enough to take a thousand elephants over the Alps to crush Sicily, with the strength of a thousand kings-to make my queen's suffering end swiftly! He must be cut off from her energy and must stop dredging her heart! Even then her healing will take years!"

"Done," Hannibal said, going to Adam and clutching his forearm in a warrior's handshake. "Everything from every king of Light on this council I will collect and send to Rivera-my word as my bond, brother. From Nubia to Timbuktu, from Kemet to Songhai, from Athens to Persia, from Rome to the edges of Asia and beyond, the young king will be empowered and schooled by our old empires! It is done, tonight." Hannibal pointed toward the archon's table with his free hand, sending an arc of searing white light toward it. "He will feel the surge of power like he has never known. Here, weare our brother's keepers. Never doubt that alliance." Hannibal spat pure sil�ver on the floor. "Cain be damned! I call a remote war advisory council, Ausar."

Adam let go of Hannibal's crushing hold, seeming somewhat molli�fied as he paced between Hannibal's hulking seven-foot frame and the massive, solid gold archon Roundtable that absorbed the silver blast and swallowed it into every Adinkra symbol and hieroglyph that sur�rounded it.

"I want that bastard Cain exterminated," Adam said through his teeth. "He has ripped out Eve's heart from its tissue anchors in her chest!"

Adam's voice hitched and broke as he paced away from the table again, giving the few assembled inner circle kings his back. "I don't want the other archons to see me this way when our war council con�venes," he said, dropping his voice as the truth spilled from his lips. "Imhotep's Caduceus could not fully heal her. Eve is tied to Cain's energy by the eternal umbilical cord that binds mother to child forever-which has now become a black noose around her spirit. This is why I must have not only his head, but his heart gored before it is too late! The new Neterus must know how to sever all ties so that Eve can eventually recover. This goes beyond business as usual or the normal reach of Heaven; it ispersonal. Eve was never to be destroyed at the onset of the Armageddon... or during it. My wife has paid her dues."

"We will not fail your quest-it is ours as well," Akhenaton said in a low rumble, throttling his rage at the indignity Adam faced. "We understand."

"Do you?" Adam asked with hot tears in his eyes as he spun to face his brethren. "Mywife lies prone on her chamber bed staring at noth�ing, murmuring prayers, her gorgeous light diminishing daily... How many years did it take her to come back after Abel's murder? I wanted to slay that bastard, Cain, the moment he reached manhood, but did not follow my first mind as I watched him manipulate his mother in ways that still slaughter me with outrage. Only the birth of Seth brought her around, and his conception is still a mystery to me because my wife was so aggrieved at Abel's death and Cain's subse�quent banishment that..."

Adam's voice trailed off in a thick swallow as he walked away from the other kings and stood facing the towering white marble pillars that opened out to the perpetually lush Valley of the Kings. He stared at the monolith that bore the effigy of all the great leaders of old and willed strength. "Now, this heartbreak she must suffer as well?" Adam said as though talking to himself. He closed his eyes. "My ex-wife did this to her and used Eve's greatest blind spot, Cain, to drive a stake into my incomparable wife's heart. I will not allow it!"

"Nor will I," Ausar said in an authoritative tone, the fury-laden rumble coming from way down deep in his core. "Oh, my dear brother from the dawn of days... rest assured, nor will I. This is war."


Whew," Damali whistled, stopping Carlos's awkward apology with one finger before it could even begin. "I'm okay... but, whew."

"I know," he said, still gasping air. He gently turned her head to the side and tried to stop the jugular flow with trembling fingers. "Does it hurt?"

"Hell, yeah," she said, chuckling with her eyes closed. "You didn't even pleasure taint the nick, just-"

"Aw, baby... damn... I don't know where that came from. But, I'm serious, it won't happen again."

She opened her eyes and chuckled. "It was good, though."

"No. That was almost a damned battle bite." He slowly extracted himself from her and rolled off her to go get a towel to blot away the excess blood. "You might be a Neteru, and everything else under�neath all that, but you're my wife, and I ain'tnever supposed to handle you like this."

Carlos's mind raced with panic as he walked to the bathroom. Something was seriously wrong, and any time something foul went down, the darkside was in it playing games. Damn!

"Relax," she murmured, trying to sit up, and then thinking better of it. She was dizzy from the sudden blood loss and exertion, and be�ing with him had never done that to her before. "I'm okay."

He paced back from the bathroom and came to her side. "Lift your head and tell me how many fingers I have up."

She laughed and glimpsed them. "Three."

"One," he shouted and began softly dabbing her neck and shoulder with a towel. "Shit, D. Never again."

"Definitely not in the house. That wasnot a silent scream episode," she said, wincing as he touched near the area that was beginning to puff and bruise.

Carlos closed his eyes, not sure if he should blow on the bite, kiss away the offense, or if he could touch away the pain. There was noth�ing in his old DNA that told him how to heal a battle bite, since those were supposed to be what they were, fatal. And if one was delivered from his old throne knowledge on a female adversary that suddenly became a sexual negotiation during a death match, chances were she'd be a regenerative species, and sealing it up wasn't necessary on his part. The Neteru side of him wasn't much help, either, since he was the only one that had fangs... at least the only one he knew about this side of Nod.

"You're a hundred percent Neteru, baby... you can heal a battle bite, right, if you concentrate?" Carlos stared at her for a moment as her eyelids briefly slid shut.

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