Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 60

She put a hand out to him, tears tracking down her cheeks. “Of course, I love you, Alex. You’re the best of us, I think.”

He grinned, big white teeth flashing against the black of his fur. “Of course I am.”

I laughed and put a hand on him too. Blaz bent over us, sheltering us from the bright sun, and Peta sat to one side of me, giving us her warmth.

I looked at each of them. “Family is a funny fucking thing.”

Pamela smiled. “And I wouldn’t change it for the world.”



Marco and Eve took Pamela, Alex, and Frank to Giselle’s place in town. I stayed with Blaz. Pamela hadn’t been able to do much in terms of fixing his wings. They were beyond trashed.

“Blaz, what can we do?” I touched the edge of one wing, carefully, feeling his sorrow with every beat of his heart.

Nothing. I would need someone like Milly to heal me. Pamela doesn’t know how. He tucked his head under one leg. I cannot be the one who takes you into the final battle, Rylee.

I leaned against him, a very small part of me happy about that.

He snorted and glared at me. I shrugged. “Can you blame me for wanting you to be safe? You always acted like you were on the outside looking in, not really a part of our family, but you are. You always have been.”

Blaz let out a long, low snort. I’m not like you weirdos.

I patted him gently. “You’re the king of the weirdos, my friend.”

I sat next to him, knowing there was nothing I could do. We watched Peta pace the top of the mineshaft. I knew who she waited for.

“Peta, she’s okay. Just tired.”

Peta glanced at me and gave a pitiful meow that sounded more like a housecat than a leopard. I didn’t try to stop her pacing though. She was Lark’s, the way Alex was mine.

What do we do now?

“Regroup. Get

everyone up to speed.” I deliberately didn’t think about what came next.

Do you know where the battle will take place?

I nodded. “I think so, yes.”

Are you going to tell me?

“Not yet. One step at a time.”

The sun set slowly and when the last of the light disappeared, the two vampires popped out of the mineshaft. “How the hell did you climb so fast?” I scrambled to my feet and ran to them.

“We climbed the shaft and waited near the top,” Berget said.

Lark was slumped in Faris’s arms. He put her down and she went to her knees, wrapping her arms around a rather loudly purring Peta.

Everything was good.

So why did I feel like it was about to go to hell in a fucking hand basket?

Marco and Eve took Berget, Faris, Lark, and Peta next—another round trip to Giselle’s.

Again, I waited with Blaz. I kept a hand on him. “We’re not done. You know that, right?”

His head swung toward me. Ophelia can fly you into the battle. She’s trained for it. It would mean going back . . . to where you daughter is to get her. Eve could take you.

My heart clenched at the thought of seeing my baby girl. One more time. How much harder would it be to leave her a second time? No, I couldn’t do that to either of us.

“Not going to happen, lizard. You might think you can get away with not being my ride, but I’m not facing Orion without you.”

I cannot fly, Rylee. I am useless.

I put my hands on my hips. “Please. It’s bad enough that I have Pamela thinking she’s no good, I am not putting up with that shit from you, too. Pull your head out of your ass and stop feeling sorry for yourself. We’ll find someone who can patch you up.”

You can’t fix everything.

I glared at him. “Would you shut the fuck up? I know that. I also know you are my dragon. Not


He shrugged and his voice went silent in my head. I kicked at him, but only hurt my own foot. I hopped away. “Blaz, talk to me.”

The cold shoulder had a whole different meaning when it came to a dragon ignoring you. Eve let out a screech and I looked up to see her sailing down to us.

She landed and fluttered her wings. “Blaz, how long before you’re all healed up?” He wouldn’t answer her, either.

“He’s busted up pretty bad.” I climbed onto her back. “Blaz, I’m not giving up on you. I’d ask you to do the same for yourself.”

He grunted but didn’t turn around.

“Leave him be. He’ll come to his senses.” Eve leapt into the air. “His pride is hurt.”

“Why, I don’t understand? He kept us safe, helped buy us the time we needed to find Lark.”

Eve swooped through the dark summer night air. I closed my eyes as she spoke.

“There is a treaty between air elementals and the supernaturals who deal in their realm. Harpies, dragons, rocs. They aren’t supposed to attack us. If they do, the wrath of those who created us is supposed to come down on them.”

“And nothing happened.”

“His faith in what he believed to be true has been shaken. Perhaps you acted before our creators could,” she said softly.

“How do you know all this?”

“I learned much of it when Frank and I went to the Harpies to ask for their help.” She didn’t offer anything more than that so I let it go.

It seemed that no time had passed and we were landing in the backyard of Giselle’s home. The only home any of us had anymore.

“Thanks, Eve.”

“Rylee, you don’t have to thank me.”