Home > Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3)(4)

Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3)(4)
Author: Laura Thalassa

The aides incline their heads, and then they’re off, storming back through the castle to carry out the Night King’s orders.

I note that none of his men tried to linger and guard him—nor did they try to sequester him away to wait out the battle. In that regard, fairies are different from humans. Or maybe the battle-tested Des, with his war cuffs and his darkness, is just different from other leaders.

The Bargainer begins to stride down the hall again. “Get those daggers ready, cherub,” he says over his shoulder. “We’re going to face the women head on.”

I reach for my weapons with shaky hands. It’s one thing to spar with Des, another to prepare for true battle.

My skin shimmers as the siren bleeds into me. With the change comes a vicious sort of confidence I was missing a second ago. I pull out my blades, the etched phases of the moon glinting along the length of the metal. The daggers are a familiar weight in my palms.

Deeper in the castle there’s a rumble, followed by an explosion. Then more screams.

Besides Des’s aides, we see no one. That, more than anything, has my claws sharpening and my wings manifesting. We’re hunting predators.

The shrieks get louder as we move down the palace hallways, heading ever closer to the main entrance.

And then we turn down a corridor that’s not abandoned.

Several fairies are fleeing our way, their eyes wild and their clothes bloody.

One of them has the wherewithal to stop when he sees the king. “Your Majesty,” he pants, “please don’t go that way … They’re slaughtering everyone in their path.”

The Bargainer’s gaze slides from the man to the hall.

“Get yourself to safety,” is all Des says, and then he’s striding forward once more.

The man spares me a hasty glance, and then he takes off like a jackrabbit.

Des and I head down another hall, towards a staircase. More fairies flee past us, and the screams are getting louder. Closer.

I tighten my grip on my daggers, my tense wings hiking up behind me, my skin glittering under the sparking wall sconces.

As we descend the staircase, the scene below us slowly unveils itself. My blood chills at the sight. There are bloody bodies scattered across the floor, their eyes glassy. Across the landing, a female soldier closes in on a palace aide, her battle axe raised above her head. She’s going to cleave the man in two—just as it appears she has these other unfortunate souls.

In front of me, Des disappears. He materializes between the two fairies just as the soldier brings the axe down.

I swallow my scream as he catches the weapon by its handle. The aide ducks out from behind Des and runs off.

The Night King clucks his tongue, looking completely at ease as the soldier yanks the axe against his grip.

“Didn’t anyone tell you that it’s poor taste to kill a man indoors?” The soldier growls in frustration as she tries to dislodge the axe from Des’s hold. When that doesn’t work, she swings at him with her free arm, her fist closed. Des shimmers out of existence just long enough for the blow to pass through him and the soldier to stumble off-balance.

He reappears, kicking the soldier square in the chest, the blow throwing her off her feet. She hits the ground hard, and I can hear the audible whoosh as her breath is knocked from her lungs. Her axe slips out of her grip, skidding several feet behind her.

“It’s all that blood,” Des continues, prowling towards her. “Easy enough to get it out of the floor with a little magic, but spirits love to cling to the last of their lifeblood. No one wants a ghost haunting their house.”

The soldier bares her teeth at the Night King, scuttling back to grab her axe. She snatches it up just as Des closes in on her. Casually, the Bargainer steps on her wrist, the bone breaking with a sickening snap. The soldier screams, the sound more an animalistic cry of frustration than actual pain. That’s the spookiest part of it all; she’s so hell bent on carnage that her pain takes a backseat to it.

Another fairy—a nobleman by the looks of his attire—sprints onto the landing from another flight of stairs, a soldier at his back. She pauses, lifting her bow and nocking in an arrow.

I don’t fucking think so.

I cock my arm back and throw one of my daggers. It flips hilt over point. With a wet thump, it lodges itself into the soldier’s throat.

Holy shit, I wasn’t expecting my aim to be that good.

And oh God, I just mortally wounded someone. The thought sits like a stone in the pit of my stomach.

The woman stumbles backwards, her hand going to her bloody throat. With every beat of her heart, more and more crimson liquid spills from the wound. It reminds me of my stepfather, of the penchant I have for nicking that particular artery.

I expect to hear the soldier let out a pained cry, or to see fear in her eyes—any indication that there’s a person residing in that body—but when her gaze finds mine, there’s nothing behind those eyes except cold, calm detachment.

Grabbing the hilt of my embedded dagger, the soldier rips it out of her throat.

Goddamn. That is way too hardcore for me.

Before my eyes, her wound begins to close.

Are you fucking serious? I mean, I know that only seconds ago I was horrified at her death, but now, the broad just needs to go.

She begins stalking forward, my weapon in her hand. I tighten my fist around my remaining dagger, adrenaline pounding between my ears.

Halfway to me, she hesitates, and her hand goes back to her neck wound. As I follow her movements, I realize that beneath all the blood, the wound is still open. I don’t know why, but it stopped healing.

She doesn’t get any more time than that. Before she or I can do anything, Des manifests in front of her, sword in hand. In one clean motion, he skewers her.

Her eyes widen as he removes his bloody blade from her stomach, and a moment later, her knees give out. The soldier’s glassy eyes stare up at the ceiling, and her mouth opens and closes until the last of her life drains out.

The Bargainer kneels down and takes my blade from her hand. A moment later he vanishes, only to wink into existence right in front of me.

He hands me my blade. “You did good, cherub,” he says, his eyes shining as he takes me in.

I wet my mouth, my eyes moving to the soldier. Being good at killing is no compliment. My siren preens at it anyway.

Des grabs my jaw and gives me a quick kiss, and my siren—she sings at the taste of my mate on my tongue and the scent of blood in the air.

Once the Bargainer releases my jaw, his gaze lingers on my face a moment longer. Reluctantly, he turns away, stalking through the palace once more, heading for the sounds of screaming.

Taking a deep breath, I follow after him.

We pass several more fallen fairies as we make our way through the castle, their deaths gruesome, violent. My warring natures can’t decide what to make of it. Part of me feels nauseous and horrified, and part of me is filled with vindictive bloodlust.

Make them suffer. Make them pay, my siren whispers.

The next sleeping soldier we come across lingers in a dim hallway, crouched over a body. I squint at her form; almost all the sconces are snuffed out in this corridor, like the light can’t bear to witness this horror.

The soldier’s head snaps up, her eyes glinting like a cat’s. Her face is splattered with blood, and the knife she wields is doused in blood, the crimson liquid coating the blade, the hilt, and most of her hand.

There’s no way the fairy beneath her is alive.

The Bargainer is on the soldier in a second, sword in hand. In one clean, swift stroke, he lops off her head.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» Fall (VIP #3)
» A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer #2)
» Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3)
» Hard Sell (21 Wall Street #2)
» Close to the Bone (Widow's Island #1)
» A Bone to Pick (Widow's Island #2)
» Professor Feelgood (Masters of Love #2)
» Trailer Park Heart