The Darkest Passion / Page 70

Page 70


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He still couldn’t wrap his head around the details. “Why would they care? They were the ones who wanted me dead in the first place.”


“You sacrificed everything. For me. My Deity acknowledged your sacrifice and sought to reward you. He will return you to your body, heal that body, and you may return to the fortress. We can be together.”


“Together.” He wanted to fall to his knees in thanks. He wanted to shout and to dance. He could only marvel. Olivia was his.


Her gaze became questioning, unsure. “Are you happy about this?”


“I’m happier than I’ve ever been, sweetheart. You are all I want, all I need.”


Another smile bloomed. “I feel the same.” That smile dimmed somewhat. “Wrath…your demon cannot be returned to you, I’m afraid. I tried. But he’s been given to another already.”


“Who?”


“A woman named Sienna Blackstone. Once a mortal, killed by gunshot. But Cronus saved her soul and has kept her with him.”


Paris’s Sienna. Of all the outcomes… What did that mean for poor Paris? He could have his female back, after all, it seemed, but she would be crazed by Wrath for many years to come. She would exist only to exact vengeance upon those who sinned.


Aeron would do everything he could to ease her transition. And hopefully, the demon would recognize him. They still had a job to do, after all. Stefano’s punishment. The demons who hurt her, too.


“Will I be mortal?” he asked. Not that he cared. He would be with Olivia. What did an aging body matter?


“No. You’ll be immortal, just as before. In fact, your body will be restored to what it was at its creation. You will be without your tattoos, without your butterflies. Without your wings.” Again she appeared unsure. “Is that okay?”


“Okay? That is magnificent.” Laughing now, he spun her a second time. Could life get any better? Maybe not. She didn’t look as happy as she should have. “What’s wrong?” he asked as he stilled.


“Legion. She’s back in hell, bound once more to its flames because her bond to you was destroyed.”


Ice crystallized in his veins—right along with realization. That’s what Lysander had meant by the words “she will return home.” He should have known, suspected at the very least.


“Lucifer is so angry with her, he’s left her in her human body and the demons are tormenting her ceaselessly. Galen’s looking for her, and I think…I think he’ll even venture into hell for her. He wants to kill her because apparently she tried to kill him.”


Aeron’s eyes widened. Legion had tried to kill Galen? So much had happened since his passing. “I can’t leave her there,” he said. Despite everything that had happened, he still loved the little demon.


“I know. Which is why I’ve spoken to the Council about my new duties. As your joy-bringer, I explained that you need the demon in your life or that life will not be complete. They have agreed that if you decide to go get her, they will let her stay with you, because what she is enduring now is a hell that will last her a thousand lifetimes. Upon her rescue, though, she will be assigned a guardian angel to ensure she harms no humans.”


“Yes, yes, I accept for her.” Legion hated angels, but she could deal. She’d have to get used to his Olivia, anyway. “Yes,” he said again. He didn’t even have to think about it. “You, Olivia, are even more amazing than I realized. You did this, and I can never thank you enough.” He rained little kisses all over her face. “You have given me everything.”


“Just as you have given me everything.”


“I will spend the rest of my days ensuring you have your fun.”


“All I need is your love.”


Aeron dove in for another deep, penetrating kiss, and soon they were lost in it, their hands all over each other, eager, ready for more, determined—


“Uh, guys.” Baden’s voice pushed through the illusion of privacy and both of them turned toward him. He waved at Olivia. “Hi. I hate to break this up, because wow, but what about me? I want in on this action. I want to go back to my body.”


“I’m sorry,” she said. “You have made no sacrifice. I’m afraid you have to remain here.”


Regret and sorrow instantly tainted Aeron’s newfound peace. He’d only just found Baden, and now he was supposed to abandon him?


Baden’s shoulders sagged. “Is there anything—”


“No,” Olivia interjected softly. “I’m sorry. You are already dead. There’s no sacrifice you can make.”


“I’ll find a way to get you out,” Aeron vowed. “Pandora mentioned the box. I’ll never stop searching for it, I swear on my life.”


His friend nodded, but there was sadness in his voice as he said, “I will miss you.”


“And I you.” Tears now burned his eyes.


Baden smiled, though even that was sad. “Tell Torin he owes me a sword. Tell Sabin I haven’t forgotten how he cheated at chess. And tell Gideon I want a rematch. He’ll know what you mean.” He rattled off a message for every warrior, and damn if they didn’t break Aeron’s heart. By the end, his tears were flowing freely. “Until we meet again, Aeron.”


“We will. Meet again.”


“I will never lose hope.” Without another word, Baden walked backward, step by agonizing step. So badly Aeron wanted to shout for him to stop, but just as he opened his mouth to do so, unable to take the grief, the warrior disappeared in the mist.


“I’m sorry,” Olivia said, petting his chest.


Aeron jerked her back into his arms, grip tightening. “This is not the end. I swear it.” He buried his face in the hollow of her neck. He could never repay her for all that she’d done for him. “I love you. So much.”


“I love you, too.”


“I’m going to make you happy. Of all the things I’ve sworn, that is the most important to me.”


She pushed to her tiptoes and kissed him. “You already have made me happy. Now let’s go home. There are lots of people eager to see you.”


“First, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but fly us to my bedroom. We need a proper reuniting. Then we’ll meet with the others.”


That earned him another laugh. “That’s right. I have wings now and you do not. Guess that means I’m in charge of our more…illicit activities, too. So you can consider it done. Seeing to your happiness is my job, after all.”


“For which I will be eternally grateful.”


They kissed again before heading home.



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