Home > The Wicked (Vampire Huntress Legend #8)(9)

The Wicked (Vampire Huntress Legend #8)(9)
Author: L.A. Banks

"I will turn away from you and smite you if you do this to me, Aset," Eve screamed, making the floor rumble as the earthquake be�gan building pressure under them. "That ismy child, he is my heart chakra, every element within that makes me whole. Sister, hear me!"

The other queens rounded the alabaster seeing table, wiping their cheeks against tears that would not stop streaming.

"Form the pyramid of green light around her," Aset whispered while on her knees, outstretching her hands toward Eve. "My prayers are that it is swift. That the two mortal Neterus who are united in the Light make Cain's beheading a quick-"

"No!" Eve screamed again, scrambling to her feet. "Heal him, Aset. Let me go to my son and let me touch his heart as his mother. Just that is all that I ask, all that I beg of this council. After all these years you owe me that one final request!"

Eve's panic-laden gaze tore around the group of agonized queens for support and came away lacking. "I ask for the Isis blade only, that I may battle my way to his throne room, not harm Damali," Eve said as she knelt before Aset again quickly and grabbed her hands. She closed her eyes, silver tears spilling in unstoppable rivulets, her words becoming thick. "I will grovel at your feet, Aset. Great Queen, have mercy in your heart."

"It is because of the unlimited mercy in my heart for you that I cannot abide your request. Just hear me out." Aset gathered Eve into a firm embrace as she spoke with halting words punctuated by repressed sobs. "Eve, my most revered... the entire pit would descend upon you-"

"I don't care," Eve whispered, pulling away so that her silver gaze could lock with Aset's. "I care not for my own survival. It is my son's that is paramount. My child's."

"And messenger demons would rip you into shreds on the way down," Aset said, undaunted as she pressed on, gathering Eve to her once more. "Succubae and incubi would adhere to your spirit like dark lesions so that you could not even communicate with any Light being."

Aset's voice began to rise, escalating as she tried to get her queen sister to understand the wrenching decision. "Light of Motherhood, the Amanthras would ensnare you and violate all that is clean within your wondrous heart. They would rape away the concept of all that is maternal in their mating ball swarms to devour it and regurgitate it as twisted energy.Mothers would be no more. Then, Level Seven would spew up the essence of Dante's father, who always held a grudge against you for never ceding to his son after the Garden. What would they do to Adam's mind, what serpent-inspired visions would they torture him with, my sister?" Aset urgently whispered into Eve's ear as Eve began to sob even harder.

"Adam, your husband, would lose his light, too... and Lilith would stand watch and screech with cruel laughter as this atrocity oc�curred. The One Who Remains Nameless could make you, the holder of world female fertility, the ultimate vessel for the Antichrist! Eve, you know that I speak the truth. This quest to stop the Unholy is the destiny of the paired, living Neterus-not yours. As much as my heart has been torn asunder, I cannot allow you to do this to yourself, nor could I bear witness as your shrieks for mercy went unaided. How could you ask me to watch you blotted from all existence?"

"Without my son in the Light,"Eve said, her gaze unblinking as she leaned back from the embrace and stared at Aset, "I am already lost to existence. In Nod, he had a fighting chance. Hope has eclipsed in my heart if you will not allow me to try to retrieve him. I am, therefore, losing faith in my sisterhood... queens with sons who will not hear my pain... and with that, my love of you all is now in ques�tion."

Nzinga quickly went down on her knees beside Eve as Aset almost broke down into sobs.

"Dear, dear Eve... were we within our right to change the Mas�ter Plan, I would valiantly go to Hell to fight by your side. Youknow that! Any battle, any day, my sister of my heart, but do not lose faith, or love for us." Nzinga touched then cradled Eve's face. "Please," she whispered. "For the love of the Light, hope can always be restored... but faith and love are the cornerstones, the verybase of the pyramid, hope its trinity apex. Do not lose the foundation in our midst. I will stand watch day and night without rest to be your energy beacon, my queen. You were the first female of our kind. If you are lost in spirit, we all die."

The Aztec queen, Chalchihuitlcue, who had previously hung back, moved closer to touch Eve's hair, her voice a gentle, harmonic mur�mur. "Work with us to send our youngest queen sister, Damali, every advantage of our collective skills in battle that she may do what must be done."

"I will give her my medicines of the world to heal her armies," the Asian queen, Lady Fu Hao, said, coming to Eve's side. "Our Damali did not cruelly lure your son to his demise; she was the one who sent him back and sealed him away with purpose for his own good. Give her reign over the elements of nature that she may use them wisely and with swift and sudden force as only pure elemental nature can render."

"I will give her the shaman earth harmonies I own and the fauna of North America," the fern-bearing, Native American queen, Est-santlehi, whispered. "We must work as one."

"I cannot commit to giving her my elements to behead my son... Do not ask this of me right now."

Holding Eve away from her with a firm grip, Aset allowed her tears to wash her face. "Eve, how could you ask me to leave you to that fate in Hell you've requested? I would rather face your wrath of me for a thousand millennia than to watch you destroy yourself. I love you and could not bear it, nor could any queen sister who is witness to your suffering."

Eve shook her head slowly. "My son would not allow it. He would let me come to him to discuss it, to reason with him, once he saw how his decision has torn my heart out. I would go to him not as a huntress but as his mother."

Nefertiti dropped to her knees beside Eve and her voice became a pained murmur. "Your son is no longer your son. He would be faced with a choice. Either to go with a spirit queen that he has not seen in eons, his mother-one from the Light, who in his mind abandoned him-and again be cloistered in Nod without an empire or sensation. After tasting the forbidden fruit of excess, he'd side with the ultimate dark power conferred to him by his father's line. And with that side he'd have a chance to sire to start an empire through the living Neteru queen, Damali."

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