Home > Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(15)

Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(15)
Author: Debbie Cassidy

I love you.

Oh fuck. “I love you too.”

She melts away but she is still here, in my heart, in my soul. And my weary body has renewed purpose. I wash quickly.

I have a fallen original to speak to.

Samael’s quarters are on the east side of the Keep, directly above Lilith’s private chambers. I know enough about my mother to be aware of the secret passage that leads to his rooms. The one hidden in the large armoire in her dressing room.

I take the passage now, climbing the dimly lit staircase to push open the hidden door to Samael’s quarters.

The sun is setting, and the room is bathed in red light. The floor to ceiling windows are open, and the gauzy drapes billow and fall with every icy gust of air. The bed to the left is rumpled and unmade, and clothes are strewn across the floor, but my attention is drawn to the majestic figure standing on the balcony behind the drapes.

Samael is a head taller than me. His shoulders are wider, his stance sturdy, and his wings—even folded against his back—are magnificent to behold. Two sets of wings, unheard of for any other fallen or for any other celestial.

“Samael?” I know better than to approach unannounced. Lilith’s lover has been known to maim when in a delirium. Except there is a calmness to him right now that draws me closer.

“Samael?” I stop at the entrance to the balcony.

He sighs. “How long has it been?”

“How long?”

“How long have I been lost?”

A rare moment of lucidity then. “It doesn’t matter,” I echo the words I’ve heard Lilith say to him. “All that matters is that you’re here now.”

He turns to me with a frown. “Do not patronize me, boy.”

Whoa. His mercury eyes are sharp and intense as they bore into me. “You were a child when I lost myself and now you are a man. How long?”

My pulse thuds hard in my chest. “Centuries.”

He lets out a ragged sigh then holds up his hands. “She’s dead, isn’t she?”

I assume he’s speaking of Lilith. “No. Lilith is alive. I can feel it.”

He turns fully to face me. “Not Lilith. The other one. The one with Eve’s face. She’s dead, isn’t she?”

“Fee? How do you know about Fee?”

“Answer me!”

Shit. What is this? “No. She lives. She died, but she was brought back.”

“Yes, that would also do it. Her death has freed him, and now I too am free.”

“I don’t understand.”

“No, you wouldn’t. You were simply charged to protect what would be mine.”

He looks lucid, but nothing he says makes sense. “Samael?”

“She is my daughter. A seed we cast out into the ether to return when the time was right. Mine and Eve’s insurance that when the time came, when Cain became too strong, there would be a part of each of us in existence to fight him. We linked her to his bloodline, which is why you were charged to protect it. To preserve it so he would remain trapped until… Until he couldn’t be held any longer and our daughter was born.”

He’s talking about Fee. “Fee is your daughter?”

“Yes. She is my blood. Eve’s blood. She is the best of us both, and only she can stop Cain now.“ He rubs his temples. “Cain is my son, but he was troubled and riddled with darkness, so I marked him to connect him to me, to give him strength to fight the dark parts of his psyche. Unfortunately, the mark also unlocked a new power, one which he used to slaughter a whole village. He was unstoppable. Immortal because of the mark. Eve and I locked him away. We used a vast amount of energy to do it, and we knew it wouldn’t last forever, and so we consulted with the Oracle who advised us to cast a seed into the ether.”

“Fee…”

“Yes. Only Fee can stop him now.”

“How? I thought he couldn’t be killed—because of the mark?”

He shakeshis head. “That part wasn’t revealed to us. We were told she would be a cure, a saviour, but not how or what path she would need to take.”

Eve’s curse was all about keeping Cain trapped. My heart races. Does Fee know? I need to tell her.

“He will seek his revenge,” Samael says. “He will wreak havoc on the human realm just as he did before.” He stares at his hands again, turning them over. “The mark is still active, so there is hope of tracking him. I must speak to Lilith.”

“Um, that might be a problem.”

Samael glares at me. “Where is Lilith? Where is my wife?”

Samael stares at the scroll and turns it over in his hands while Conah watches him closely.

Lilith being taken has come as a shock to him, but he’s recovered fast while I’m still reeling from the revelations about Cain.

Cain is the murderer not only of his brother, but a whole village of innocents, and now he’s out there. Free. Samael is confident Cain has no idea what Fee is or what she can do. He’s confident that Cain has no interest in the demon realm. His agenda is to rule over humanity.

But I’m not taking any risks. Right now, Fee’s safer here with me than in Necro City. Yes, he says she’s the only one who can stop him, and she will. But with me by her side, once this shit is over. No way am I letting her do it alone.

And then a thought occurs to me. A potential way out for my soulmate. “This mark you put on Cain that makes him immortal … Can you not just take it back. Strip him of his immortality and stop him that way?”

Samael makes a sound of irritation. “It doesn’t work that way. I can’t take it back. Cain would have to give the mark to someone else, and the recipient would need to be willing and of my bloodline.”

Fuck. No way would Cain give up his immortality.

“I’ve read about the mark of Cain,” Conah says “I’ve never come across that proviso.”

“You won’t find it in any text,” Samael says. “The mark is a gift from me and only I, and a handful of trusted others, know how it fully operates.” He sounds almost haughty.

So, it’s up to Fee to stop Cain then. Fuck. I’ll leave to fetch her as soon as I can get away.

Conah goes back to the blank scroll he needs Samael for. “Do you know what it is?”

My Dominus brother is back to being more intrigued by the scroll than in Samael’s sudden freedom from his delirium, but my mind is still reeling over the fact that by containing Cain, Samael cursed himself.

If only Lilith had known. How different things would have been. Cain would probably still be in slumber because his progeny would have thrived.

Samael nods curtly to himself. “I need a dagger.”

Conah’s gaze flicks to me.

Give the newly lucid original fallen a dagger?

Samael raises his mercury eyes to Conah, and his lips thin. “Is there a problem?”

I jerk my head at Conah who hands Samael one of his obsidian coated daggers.

Samael turns it over in his hand. “Good workmanship.” And then he slices his palm open.

“Shit!” Conah says.

“Calm down, boy. This is necessary.” Samael slaps his bloody palm to the parchment. A second passes and then dark lines spread out from his hand, valleys and mountains and symbols bloom across the scroll.

A map.

It’s a fucking map.

Samael holds it up. “The pit. It’s been a while. I remember the day we made this…Lilith and I. We still reeked of the abyss and Satan’s blood.”

I’ve heard the myths about the daemon Satan. A powerful entity that held the Underealm in his control. The stories say that when Lilith and the original fallen came to this world, they were faced with Satan’s wrath. It was Samael and Lilith who slayed the beast in the abyss deep in the pit, and it was his final breath that tainted the air for eternity.

Samael looks almost wistful. “Mammon was there when we took the fortress. Satan kept his prisoners there, females and males he forced to please him. We set them free, and we sealed the fortress with our blood. Mammon would be able to access it because his blood was used. But to get inside you would need my blood, fresh from the vein.” He ducked his head. “Unfortunately, my time linked to Cain and this mark,” he pulled up his sleeve to reveal a puckered-up scar, “has changed me. I don’t think my blood will open the doors to the fortress.”

“Shit,” Conah says.

“But there is someone else whose blood will.”

I know who he’s referring to. “Fee.”

“Yes. And this map,” he holds up the scroll, “is incomplete without its counterpart. There is another scroll somewhere in this library.”

“There are scrolls tucked into the nooks and crannies all over the place,” Conah says. “No filing system at all.” He sounds pissed. But then that’s Conah. He thrives on organized chaos. “It could take hours…days to find.”

“Then we best get started,” Samael says. “This map is useless on its own. There are dangers in the pit that are mapped only when the two scrolls are placed on top of one another.” He lightly runs his fingers over the parchment. “It was Lilith’s idea to etch it in two parts. One for each of us so that neither of us could navigate the pit without the other. And so, we each hid a half of it in this room.” He straightens. “I will help you search and you—” His attention bores into me. “Bring my daughter to me. Now.”

It looks like I’ll be going after Fee sooner than expected, and damn, does that makes me glad.

Chapter Seventeen

Fee

I’d touched Azazel. I touched him, and I did stuff to him. Our soul bond was getting stronger, more powerful, and the ache in my heart at missing him was a little less for it.

I stretched and bathed in the warm rays of the sun. Grayson had left to attend to pack business an hour ago after ordering me to go back to sleep, but instead I’d somehow reached out to my soulmate.

My fingers strayed to his mark on my chest.

   
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