Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 20

I nodded. He’d never been in love before. Never trusted his heart to anyone.

His fingers caressed the edge of my jaw. “Liam’s love for you is . . . infectious.”

He took a step back and I drew in a breath that shuddered through my chest. It was an effort to get the words out. “What are you really up to?”

Faris looked to the ceiling and then back to me, his eyes clear. “The only way to get you to see I am the best match for you is to prove it. The only way I can do that is to spend a great deal of time with you.”

“You could die.”

He shrugged. “Everyone dies, it’s just a matter of when.”

Those were Liam’s words. Or close enough that I knew he was yet again influencing Faris. “So to everyone else—”

“I would look weak if they knew the depth of my feelings for you. So it is best if they believe I am up to no good.” A grin tipped up one side of his lips and he winked at me. Another of Liam’s traits.

Oh, this was not a good idea. Faris was gorgeous, temptation and desire wrapped into a rather irresistible package. But I’d never had a problem before, because he’d always been such an untrustworthy asshole.

With Liam’s soul in him . . . this was going to be fucking impossible. I held up one finger. “No biting unless I give the okay.”

He nodded.

I lifted a second finger. “No kissing.”

“Unless you ask me.”

I snorted softly. “I’m not going to ask.”

The slow spread of a smile on his lips, baring his fangs, sent a rush of heat through me. I held up a third finger. “You let Liam come through when I call his name.”

That smile faltered, but he nodded. “And you will admit when you fall for me.”

Right, like that was happening.

I shook my head, and tried not to think about the

way my body reacted to his presence. I knew it was because of Liam. Did that make the situation any easier?




The blade stung as Doran cut just deep enough into my arm to hit the vein. Blood welled immediately and he turned my arm so the liquid ran into the wine decanter. “This takes me back.”

I laughed, but it was hollow. “Yeah, if only we’d known then what we know now, maybe we could have avoided some of the shit we’ve seen.”

His green eyes met mine. “I did know some of it, and I still couldn’t get you to go the easy route.”

My jaw dropped open and from the table where the others sat, waiting, Will burst out laughing. “Right, like any of us could get her to see the best way isn’t always hers.”

The group had a laugh at my expense and I ignored them as my blood filled the bottom of the decanter.

They don’t understand how many times you’ve saved them. I do. So does Alex, Blaz said softly. They won’t understand until it is all done and they look back. Even now, they are too close to recognize every decision you’ve made was the best one at the time you made it, and that all your choices have brought you to this point. The strongest you’ve ever been in both body and mind.

My building anger flowed away. Alex trotted to my side and flopped his head on my lap. “I loves you, Rylee.”

I put my good hand on his head. “Love you too, buddy.”

He tipped his head, a frown rippling over his expressive lips. “I hears someone.” Without another word he took off, claws digging into the floor, scrabbling. Everyone bolted after him except Doran who held me where I was.

He gripped my arm. “Rylee, stop fighting me! We have to wrap your arm first, then you can fight another battle.”

Alex let out a howl from the other room. “Millyyyyyyyyy!”

I jerked

my arm away from Doran. “No time.” Milly, how could it be? The image of her slumped on the floor, bled out from giving birth to Zane. Of Orion’s words that she hadn’t been quite dead. Damn, if Milly was here . . . then that meant she wasn’t really herself.

Orion was here.

“Fuck!” I yanked both blades from my back and sent out a thread to Track Alex. He was at the far end of the mansion, the den, fear and excitement running through him. I ran down the long hall, Doran beside me.

“If it’s Milly,” Doran said and I nodded.

“I know.”

I would have to kill her, and hope I could take Orion out too. But how? How had this happened?

There was time, before Liam closed the veil. Milly could have slipped through. Orion wouldn’t be here in the flesh, but he could be riding her hard, using her like a puppet. The bindings on her were strong enough that he could do that, even with the veil closed.

“That’s even worse.”

The doorway to the den was open and I skidded to a stop in front of it. The group was clustered around the TV making it flicker and sputter. “What the hell is going on?”

Berget waved me forward. “You’d better see this. Everyone, back up. We’re setting the idiot box off.”

They did as asked, and Doran and I stepped forward so we could see. The TV was on a news channel, and filling the screen was a face I’d loved as a sister for most of my adult life. Her green eyes held a hint of something that was not her own, but otherwise, she was my friend. The friend I’d teased, the friend who’d helped me despite being tied to Orion. She was dressed in a business suit that dampened her natural sexuality, but she still looked stunning, her long chestnut hair wound up in a fancy coif.