Home > Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(2)

Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(2)
Author: Debbie Cassidy

“It wasn’t Purgatory back then. That came after, but yes. When it became Purgatory things changed. Samael became afflicted. Losing time and lucidity. He came to me and we concluded that the connection he had to Cain must have switched to a two-way connection.”

“Cain was reaching out to Samael?”

“Yes. Influencing his mind and driving him crazy. Maybe it was the presence of other souls in his vicinity that fed him, or maybe it was a natural progression of his power, we couldn’t know for sure, but there was nothing to be done about it. Samael got sick while visiting me and fell into an unnatural sleep. Lilith came for him, and she blamed me.”

“She thought you cursed him.”

“Yes, and somehow convinced herself the only way to break the curse was to sever my and Samael’s bond by killing our children and their descendants.”

“Abel’s bloodline and Cain’s…”

“Yes, but Samael and I had anchored Cain’s slumber spell to his bloodline. As long as they lived, he would remain incapacitated.”

Fuck. It was all coming together. It was all making sense. “Which is why you cursed Azazel… To keep Cain locked away.”

“Yes.”

“But then…then I was cursed… At least I thought I was. But now I think…I think I may have come in contact with Cain…”

She sat forward. “Did you go into Purgatory?”

“Yes.”

“I think I saw him, but I can’t recall what happened”

She lightly touched my temples. Colors bloomed before my eyes, then I was slipping backward, falling into the deep recesses of my mind, deeper and deeper until a memory rushed up to greet me.

The darkness was filled by a soothing male voice.

“Come closer, blood of my blood.”

Yeah, creepy much? “Who’s there?”

“You don’t know me, but I’ve known you forever. You belong to me, child.”

Not likely. “I think you have me confused with someone else.” Where the fuck was the door out of his place?

“Please. Don’t go. I’ve been so lonely.”

There was a heart-breaking tone to his voice that made me hesitate. “Who are you? Your door didn’t have a name on it.”

“I am forgotten. Lost. Alone. But you can help me.”

A spark of heat ignited in my solar plexus.

“Do you feel that? It’s our connection.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Come closer and I’ll explain it.”

Yeah like that was going to hap—

What the fuck? I was moving forward as if my feet had a mind of their own. It took a moment to wrestle control and stop, but even as I did, my body tingled, alerting me to the fact that I was too late.

There was danger in front of me. And I was already too close.

I froze, barely breathing.

“You have a valiant heart,” the voice said. “I have known this for a long time, and what I’m about to do brings me no pleasure. I’m sorry… So sorry.”

Ice pierced my mind.

“Crap!” I jerked out of the memory and slammed back into spring to find Eve watching me with intense scrutiny.

“He touched you and formed a connection with you,” she said. “And then manipulated you to end your life.”

“He tried.” I rubbed my forehead, but the icy sensation still lingered. How could I have forgotten that? “He failed.”

“But you died.”

“I did. My friends stopped my heart and then… Then they brought me back.”

No need to go into detail, especially when I didn’t recall much.

“Yes, I felt your death and your return. I’ve been reaching out to check on Cain’s bloodline for a long time. Your death means that—”

“He’s awake.” Oh shit. “He told me he was sorry. That he was so very sorry.” My chest felt hollow.

“Cain is charismatic, beautiful, and compeling. He is his father’s son in so many ways, but unlike his father, he cannot be trusted. He will say whatever he needs to get what he wants.”

He wanted to be free, and he needed me dead to do it. The tulpa attacks had been him. “He’s been trying to kill me for months. He used tulpas.”

“It seems he’s found a way to exert his influence on the earthly plane after all. He’s stronger than I could ever imagine, which makes what we have to do next even more imperative.” She gave me a pointed look.

Wait, was she saying what I thought she was saying? “Are you asking me to find him?”

“Yes.”

Oh crap.

Chapter Two

Eve wanted me to find Cain. She wanted me to actively pursue the immortal who’d been trying to kill me for months.

I stared at her in horror. “Are you serious?”

She stared back at me unblinkingly.

Okay, so she was serious. “Look, Eve… Can I call you Eve?”

“Of course.”

“Okay, Eve, even if I wanted to help you, I have no idea how to track an immortal witch… Warlock? What is he?”

“He’s both, and you would do it with this.” She pulled a silver cuff out of nowhere and handed it to me.

It was warm to the touch, and my fingers prickled a little when they made contact with the smooth metal. It was obviously charged with some kind of power.

Why me? “Let me guess, you want me to put this on him.”

“Yes.”

Of course she did. “Right, so you want me to find an ancient, powerful witch-warlock who happens to be part celestial, with a chip the size of Everest on his shoulder, and cuff him?”

“Yes.”

Wow, she was really going for it. “If you hadn’t noticed, I have your face. He’ll see me and my cover—whatever fucking cover I have—will be blown.”

“No.” She smiled. “Cain doesn’t work that way. He’ll want to talk. He’ll want to persuade you of his cause, whatever it is, but you must remember that his cause will always be vengeance. You will listen, and you will fake empathy, and then, when the moment is right, you will cuff him.” Her eyes gleamed bright. “No hesitation. No doubts. We cannot afford them.”

“I turned the cuff over in my hands. “And if it goes another way? If he attacks me.”

“Right now, he’s weakened. He needs to gather his strength. He’ll lay low until he’s at full power. You have seven days until he’ll be too powerful to take down with the cuff. You must find him before then.” She grabbed my wrist and looked deep into my eyes. “Listen to me carefully, child. The power he wields is unmatched. If he’s allowed to gain his full strength, then he will be unstoppable, and who knows what shape his vengeance will take. What I can tell you is he will bring down anyone and anything standing in his way.”

Shit. It didn’t look like this was one I could walk away from. And I’d so hoped for an interlude before war in the Underealm. Just Grayson, bed, and a bucket of chicken wings, then to the Dominus quarters for some Uri and ice-cream for dessert. But no. I had to do this.

“How do I find him?”

“The cuff will act as a beacon. It will lead you to him by allowing you to see through his eyes.” She looked down at it almost lovingly. “It belonged to him. It was gift from his father. He wore it all the time until… Until Samael marked him. The cuff carries Cain’s essence, and through it you will be able to connect to him. Sleep with it under your pillow. Handle it often in the next few hours and it will help you find him. You have been touched by him, and it will recognize that and open to you.”

She looked over my head, her gaze turning unfocused. “You should go now.”

I stood with her and she held onto my hands for a moment, stroking the backs of them with soothing sweeps of her thumbs. “Do not waste time, child. Find him and the cuff will send him home. To me.”

She stepped close and brushed her lips across my forehead before touching my hair lightly. “His hair was the same exact shade. Like the rays of the moon.”

And then she shoved me, and spring tunneled away.

“Fee, fee!” Grayson shook me gently.

I opened my eyes and looked up at his concerned face.

“What happened?” he asked.

“So much”

I was getting sick of blacking out and waking up to people scrutinizing me with concern. For once, I wanted to be the concerned party hovering over someone. No, that wasn’t it. I just wanted a few normal days. No blacking out or being taken or losing anyone.

I sat up and rolled my shoulders then looked down at the cuff in my hand.

“Did she give you that?” Grayson followed my gaze.

“Yeah, we talked for a while, then she gave me this. I need a minute to process. Sorry if you were worried.”

He gave me a quizzical look. “Fee, you vanished and reappeared in a matter of seconds. There was no time to worry.”

“No.” I looked up at him with a frown. “That can’t be right. I was gone for at least an hour.”

“No, you weren’t.”

Wait, what had Eve said? This place exists out of time.

“I think time is different where she took me. I think there is no time.”

“Are you all right?” He cupped my cheek and I leaned into him. “I will be. I need coffee, and I need to think.”

“I can help with both of those.”

My stomach grumbled. “And donuts… I could really use a few donuts. I wonder what’s keeping Uri?”

Grayson chuckled. “You were gone two seconds,” he reminded me.

Oh shit. But I wanted a chocolate frosted one…

Uri

There is too much to choose from. In the Beyond, food is simple and always the same. It’s routine, but here… Here there is color and variety and so many smells. It’s why I love the human world so much. They feel so much, and through them I can feel too, but it’s different now.

   
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