The Damned (The Unearthly Book 5)(7)By: Laura Thalassa
At the far end, sitting in a large, onyx chair, was the devil. As soon as our eyes met, he smiled. “You will learn to follow my commands.” He lifted a hand and gestured to my guards. “Bring her here.”
My skin, which had been dimming, brightened as I passed the crowd of demons. Incubi watched me as they petted each other, their eyes drifting to my glowing skin. Others, beautiful men and women dressed in suits and gowns, stared at me with narrowed eyes and sinister smiles, their faces calculating.
I read about this particular group of demons earlier. They were part of the upper echelons of demons, the ones that probably started out as angels.
My eyes moved away from them and back to the devil.
My captors stopped at the foot of his throne and released me so suddenly I crumpled to the floor. Behind me, several demons laughed.
“You think that’s funny?” Pluto’s voice boomed.
The laughter cut out.
“You there and you,” Pluto said. I glanced up in time to see him point to two demons in the crowd, “think twice before you laugh at my queen. Belial, take them to the dungeon and slice them open until they no longer have the voice to laugh.”
I scrambled up to my feet in time to see Belial, one of the suit-clad men, nod to the devil. The demons slated for punishment began to beg, but Pluto ignored them, instead focusing his attention on me.
I had to force myself not to look away. The intensity of those dark eyes and the pull of our connection made me want to creep closer.
“Little bird, next time—” His voice cut off as he stared at my arms. Then, “Whose blood is on your skin?”
Beneath the fabric of my dress I could see smears of blood where the demons gripped me too tightly.
“Did my guards do this to you?” he asked, his voice hypnotic.
My skin brightened as I realized where this was headed. I pressed my lips together instead of answering.
It didn’t make a difference.
Hades beckoned another demon forward. “Take these guards away and remove appendages until you believe they’ve learned their lesson.”
For a minute, the throne room was in an uproar as the detained demons screeched their outrage and others cheered and heckled.
The devil frowned. “Let it be known that if so much as a hair is out of place on my queen’s head, I will make you wish you were trapped in hellfire.”
A wave of vertigo hit me. This was my life.
“Now,” Hades turned his attention back to me and patted his lap, “come here.”
“I am not a dog,” I said, my voice harmonizing with itself.
He stared me down with those almond eyes of his. The entire hall waited, the tension ratcheting up. Undermining him like this, among all his subjects, probably wasn’t wise.
Just as I began weighing the benefits and drawbacks of defying him, a howling wind tore through the room. It lashed against me, dragging me up the dozen or so steps to the devil’s throne and throwing me against his black leather boots—which smelled disturbingly human—before thrusting me up into his lap.
His arms came around me. I could feel dozens of eyes on us, assessing the situation. “Defying me will get you nowhere.”
This monster had me locked in his embrace. He ran a hand up my still-glowing skin. It was putting off more light than any of the fires in this room. The siren hadn’t resettled inside me, likely because I still felt as though my life was in danger.
“I must admit, you are lovely. You’ve captivated my entire audience.” His eyes flicked to them. “Out.”
He watched me as the demons exited. When the last one left, the doors thundered closed.
His hand continued to stroke the flesh that peeked out between the lace of my dress, up and down, up and down.
Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t help but lean into his hand. I fixated on his mouth. The siren wanted her pound of flesh, and she wanted it from her mate.
“Troubling, isn’t it?” he said. “Reconciling two warring impulses.”
I nodded, leaning towards his lips. But even as I leaned forward, I fought the siren. With her, a kiss was never just a kiss. She’d want to do more. I ripped my eyes from his mouth and pushed her down, down, down and locked her up. The light from my skin extinguished all at once.