The Damned (The Unearthly Book 5)(6)

By: Laura Thalassa


I began to read about a demon known as Razael who liked to—surprise, surprise—torture people.

Come to me, consort. Hades’ voice startled me from my reading.

No, I responded after I collected myself.

You used our connection. He smiled in my mind, and oh God, I needed a shower from the inside out.

I could help you with that. We could crack you ribcage open, disembowel you—

Ugh, stop it. That imagery … I shuddered.

Water is a scarce commodity here, he continued, but anything for my queen. I’d rinse you down then oh-so-tenderly put each bone and organ—

Asiri, stop.

—back. Another smile into my mind. You used my name.

I ignored him, flipping to another page of demonic book number twelve.

Come to me.

I focused on the chicken scratch scribbled onto the paper. Seeing him would probably be more entertaining than trying to read these texts, but I also refused to establish a pattern where he called and I came.

Silence on the other end of our bond.

Ignoring him might’ve actually worked. Served him right, trying to bully the queen of hell.

I read Razael’s account of how incubi got human women pregnant. Apparently, that whole myth about incubi fathering children—totally real. Only it was way more disturbing than I was led to believe.



Somewhere off in the castle, doors groaned. My head snapped up and I concentrated on listening to the sounds coming from that location. Throughout the day I hadn’t come across any other beings lurking in the castle, save for a few shades, shadow-like creatures that scurried off as soon as they saw me.

But now I heard the huff of breath and the thump of feet.

I closed the book and cocked my head. The noise was getting louder, and it was heading my way.

I stood and slid the tome back onto the shelf I’d pulled it from. A second later, the doors to the library crashed open and two gray-skinned demons strode in.

They looked like gargoyles with their large jaws and sharp teeth. Their faces were more beast than human, but their bodies looked like those of linebackers. Freakishly large linebackers.

Did I mention they were naked? Painfully naked. At least I knew for sure now that these demons had genders.

Vomit in my mouth.

I backed up as they headed straight for me. So this was the devil’s strategy—order me around, and when that didn’t work, have his goons fetch me.

The demons grabbed my arms, their claws digging into my skin.

“Get your hands off of me!” I struggled against them. The action sliced my skin open where their nails dug in too deeply.



My fangs descended at the smell and the siren rose.

It just keeps going from bad to worse, I thought as I felt her unfurl beneath my skin. The last thing I needed was her to make an appearance.

The demons sniffed my glowing skin.

“Let me go,” I said, the siren riding my voice.

Instead of doing just that, they began to walk, dragging me along with them.

Damn, doesn’t work on Underworld creatures.

We left the library and wound our way down to the first story. Then down some more. Did I really ever think that Peel Academy’s tunnels were creepy? They had nothing on the subterranean floors of the devil’s castle. Here the air felt sick with evil. Fires burned in basins set into alcoves on either side of the hall. Even these gave off less light than the scones on the floors above.

“Please let me go.” The siren still had full control of me, but she wasn’t making much headway with these two.

I was met with silence.

“Do you even talk?”

Nothing.

“I’m just going to throw this out there: you two are no fun.”

My little speech did nothing to loosen these demons up. They carted me down several hallways. My arms started to ache.

The demons finally stopped outside a set of black doors. My captors tilted their heads back and bellowed, raising the hair along my arms.



In response, the doors creaked open. I stared down a long room. I hadn’t seen the throne room before this moment. An entire day wandering this place and I missed this room. Hell, I’d missed this whole floor. Not that I was complaining.

Unlike the rest of the castle, this room was packed with creatures—demons, I corrected myself. Some looked just like my captors. Others were more animal than man. But most looked entirely human.

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