Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 39

I lifted a hand. “Griffin, meet your grandson, Liam.”

CHAPTER 17

Liam

Faris didn’t try to fight for control as they stared at the man in front of them. The resemblance between them was uncanny. Put them in a lineup and Griffin could have been his twin. More so than even his own father.

As if reading his mind, Griffin nodded. “Your mother’s side, boy, yeah? But by the goddess, what are you doing in a vampire’s body? That seems like a damn stupid idea.”

Liam grimaced. “Wasn’t my idea. The vampire is a necromancer. He called on me to use my ability to heal. Then I got stuck.”

“Bullshit. You didn’t get stuck, you chose to stay. No such thing as a spirit getting stuck, yeah?” Griffin didn’t smile, but still he thought the older wolf was laughing at him.

Faris twisted around inside him. Not stuck?

“Then why I am still here? I tried to leave when I was first in this body.” That was the truth too. In the beginning, he didn’t want anything to do with Faris.

Griffin pointed to Rylee. “Because you bound your soul to her, didn’t you? I see the ties between you. That’s the tricky part about a binding. Means you two are together no matter what, and if one of you is dead, your spirit can’t move on. Unless she dies, you’re going to be bosom buddies with the vampire there, yeah?”

He swallowed hard, but there was no saliva to wet his lips. Stuck with Faris for an undetermined time was not something he wanted to have to deal with. Especially not when he was able to see exactly what the fanged one wanted to do with Rylee.

Rylee cleared her throat. “Honestly, this is all damn fascinating, and maybe we’ll get a chance to sit down for fucking high tea at some point, but we’re on a time crunch.” She eyed Griffin. “Yeah?”

He gave her a lopsided grin and looped an arm across her shoulders, which made Liam bristle. He took three steps forward and knocked

his grandfather’s arm off her.

“Liam.” Rylee shook her head. But it was too late. Bad enough that he had to share her with the vampire.

Griffin stepped into his space, a low growl trickling over his lips as he physically shoved Liam back. He kept pushing until they were twenty feet away from the others. His voice was low enough that Liam knew Rylee wouldn’t hear, but he wasn’t so sure about Berget. “Boy, what are you going to do when she tumbles with the vampire because he tricks her into believing it’s you?”

Horror, sharp and pungent, smacked him as if it were a living thing. “He won’t fool her.”

“No? Why do you think he isn’t fighting you? Why he isn’t pushing you out? Because that is the flipside. Even a green necromancer could, so fresh to the power that he doesn’t even realize he can toss a spirit. He’s playing you. Learning your moves.”

“He’s not really a necromancer.”

“Then how did he call on you? He’s playing you, Liam. Playing you for the fool you are. Your love for her is admirable, but he’s banking on it. And when the time is right he’ll make her his. One way or another.”

That was not what was happening. Yet even as he thought it, Faris pushed himself forward, stuffing Liam into a back cubbyhole.

Faris reached out and tapped Griffin on the shoulder. “Thanks for the warning, old man. But she’ll choose who she wants. I won’t force that on her.”

Griffin let out a snarl. “She’s my family too now, vamp. Remember, if you mess with her, you mess with me, yeah?”

Faris gave him a mocking bow, even going so far as to stick his leg out as if they were at court. Liam railed against not being able to say anything and when he tried to come to the surface, Faris shoved him back. As if it was no effort.

Fucking vampire, Griffin was right. He was being played.

She’s mine, Faris! MINE!

“She is her own

person, Liam. That is something you struggle to understand. She’ll choose, and when she does, I’ll break the bond between the two of you and send your soul to its rest.” Faris gave Griffin a nod and brushed past him.

“Rylee, I believe the wolves and I are done if you have questions?”

Rylee narrowed her eyes and Liam saw in them something that curled his heart around itself. She cared about Faris.

Damn it, he had to find a way to stop Faris, but how?

How the hell could he do anything when he was trapped in the vampire’s body?

I put my hands on my hips and watched closely as Faris strolled toward me. There was something different and whatever the two, make that three, men had discussed, it had pleased Faris. And that made me nervous.

“Griffin—”

An ear-shattering crack exploded the night air. I dropped into a crouch and stared back the way we’d come. Another crack and Griffin clapped his hands. “You pissed off the big ape, yeah? I can’t help you with them. Against the rules.” He shifted into his wolf form and loped to one side, lying down as if he were watching TV.

“Fuck,” I muttered, pulling my two swords free. “Think we can talk them out of this?”

Berget shook her head. “I doubt it. They aren’t smart enough from what I understand. It looks like they think you are the cure to their problems. And once they decide on a course of action they stick to it. ”

“Maybe we can change their minds.”

A tree flew over our heads, the roots trickling soil. I ducked even though it was well above us.

Berget shook her head, dirt flying from her hair. “I doubt it. They decided a thousand years ago that humans wouldn’t see them anymore, even though there are colonies of their kind all over the world. And they’ve not deviated from that. Ever.”