An addictive world awaits in this spicy fantasy romance, perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas, Raven Kennedy and Scarlett Sinclair. Meet Wynter and Cain . . .
The new trilogy from worldwide bestselling author Suzanne Wright, author of The Dark in You, continues. A seriously spicy fantasy romance perfect for fans of Sarah J Mass, Raven Kennedy and Scarlett Sinclair. Meet Wynter and Cain . . .
'This wonderfully wicked lady never fails to deliver the absolute best always . . . I'm equal parts envious and in awe of her mind' Netgalley review
'Please Suzanne don't ever stop writing' Netgalley review
The Ancients and the Aeons. Two groups of powerful immortals that have not seen eye to eye for millennia. And right now, at the heart of their conflict, stands Wynter Dellavale.
Wynter is a witch who sought safe haven for herself and her coven in Devil's Cradle. Founded by seven Ancient beings, the Home of Monsters provides protection, shelter, and will never give you up to outsiders . . . providing you pay the Ancients' substantial fee. Wynter already wears the brand of Cain - the mark that says she is in his service and that her soul partly belongs to him. But as their relationship deepens, Wynter has to make a choice from which there's no turning back.
Cain cannot reveal the nightmare which lives inside him, the beast that could tear apart the woman who means more to him than he ever thought possible. But with his brother Abel out for revenge, and the suspicious reappearance of his other relatives, Cain sees that Devil's Cradle is on the verge of war. As the stakes are raised, Cain knows he needs more than anything to keep Wynter safe and by his side - forever.
What readers are saying about Suzanne Wright:
'The chemistry sizzles off the page' Netgalley review
'Hot as hell . . . explosive' Netgalley review
'It's been two minutes since my last fix and I need Suzanne Wright to give me more' Edgy Reviews
'No words to describe how much I ADORE this extraordinary and magical read!!!' Gi's Spot Reviews on Burn
'Sarcastic banter, a sexy alpha demon and his smart-mouthed heroine, an intense, highly passionate romance . . . I devoured this book from start to finish!' The Escapist Book Blog on Burn
'Unique, original and very entertaining' Ramblings from this Chick
Release date: January 18, 2024
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Print pages: 100000
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The Nightmare in Him
“Famous last words,” Anabel muttered, tense as a bow. “I don’t know why you and Delilah couldn’t have made the shopping trip for me. You know how much I hate being up here on the surface.” Rubbing at her shoulder, she nervously glanced around as if someone might leap out of the evening shadows at any given moment. Just about everything made Anabel anxious. Even herself.
“It’s not good for you to never step foot out of the cottage,” said Wynter. “We’ve been over this already.”
“But I’m safe at home.”
“You’re safe out here, too.”
Anabel’s brows snapped together. “Where death lurks around every corner? Puhlease.”
Wynter rolled her eyes. The problem with Anabel was that her soul remembered each of her past lives and, therefore, each of her past deaths—all of which were allegedly violent. The blonde had never lived past the age of thirty and didn’t expect to do so in this lifetime either. Hence the paranoia.
If left to her own devices, Anabel would remain in either her bedroom or their kitchen while brewing potions. She would also use herself as a test subject while creating new concoctions if unsupervised. That tended to have after-effects, both short-term and long-term . . . which might or might not account for why the woman believed she was the reincarnation of Bloody Mary. Wynter couldn’t be sure.
“You know—and this is just a suggestion—maybe you don’t have to be so insistent that death has our coven in its sights,” said Wynter.
Anabel gave her wide eyes. “I’m telling you, its ice-cold breath is fanning my neck as we speak. Don’t give me that look. People try to kill us, like, all the time.”
“Fugitives generally have that problem,” Wynter pointed out.
She and Anabel had first met after being kidnapped by the same bounty hunters that also snatched the rest of their coven. Wynter hadn’t expected the captives to stay with her after she helped them escape. Nor had she thought that they’d propose they form a coven—one Delilah had named the Bloodrose Coven. They had elected Wynter as their Priestess, ignoring her objections, and she’d eventually decided to just go with it.
Anabel snorted. “The prices on our heads are the least of our problems now that we’re caught in the middle of a long-standing war between the Ancients and the Aeons.”
That was true. There was a lot of beef between the two camps of immortals. Millennia-old beef, in fact. All part of the first civilization, they’d once resided together in the town of Aeon. A war broke out back then, and seven survivors of the losing side were permitted to live but dumped here. Which sounded merciful, but there was far more to it than that. And it wasn’t good.
“But hey, of course you’re not worried for your life,” said Anabel with a little huff. “Why would you be? You can’t die. Me, though? I can.”
Wynter felt a frown tug at her brow. “I die. I just . . . come back.”
Few things could permanently kill a revenant—something she’d become when a deity had come to a dying ten-year-old Wynter and offered to send a monster after the boys who’d attacked her.
Kali occasionally made such offers if She felt that a witch’s death was an injustice. When She made Her offer to Wynter, the deity hadn’t specified that Wynter would return to life and be a vessel for that monster. One that wreaked vengeance like a master.
“Well, the rest of us don’t come back,” said Anabel. “And I’d appreciate it if you remember that the next time you think of putting me in the path of danger like this.”
Wynter crossed her eyes. “Enough of the dramatics. You’re fine. I’m fine.”
“For now. That can change in an instant, my friend.”
Wynter metaphorically threw up her arms. Really, she knew better than to waste her time trying to get Anabel to think past her mistrust of the world. It was too ingrained in her at this point.
In truth, Wynter didn’t have a whole lot of room to judge. She might not be a ball of paranoia, but she was just as hypervigilant—hence why she once more scanned their surroundings.
Smack bang in the middle of nowhere, Devil’s Cradle was framed by lakes, woods, and steep mountains. Taking in the many houses of varying colors, shapes, and sizes, she was again struck by how the town somehow resembled both a coastal village and a military compound. There were bars, restaurants, and plenty of stores within and around the plaza. Pastureland, warehouses, and utility structures lay beyond.
Wynter had grown very fond of the primal, untamed landscape that surrounded them. She liked looking at the hills and crooks and tall, multi-colored rock spires. The badlands possessed a haunting beauty that outweighed the lush, colorful, picture-perfect land of Aeon. She’d spent most of her years there along with her old coven. Until they’d gone and ostracized her, the pricks.
In her opinion, the best thing about Devil’s Cradle was the half-medieval city beneath it. Residents were permitted to live either underground or on the surface. Wynter and her coven had chosen to do the former.
Also known as the Home of Monsters, Devil’s Cradle gave refuge to many preternatural beings. Criminals, outcasts, crazies, fugitives, near-extinct species, the list went on. It wasn’t your typical safe haven. It wasn’t peaceful or crime-free. But you could count on the seven Ancient beings who’d founded the place to protect, shelter, and never give you up to outsiders . . . providing you paid their substantial fee.
And what might that be?
Partial rights to your soul. Rights you would only get back once you left Devil’s Cradle.
Wynter glanced down at the distinctive brand on her palm. A “C” curved around a triangle that had a snake hooked through it. It was the brand of Cain, signaling that she was in his service and under his protection . . . and that her soul partly belonged to him.
Naturally, she hadn’t been comfortable with handing over such rights to her soul, but her choices were limited if she was to stay out of the reach of the Aeons. Yeah, she wasn’t their favorite person since, somewhat pissed after being exiled and discovering that they’d ordered for her mother to be killed, Wynter had infected the land with a rot that they were unable to combat. Well, karma came for everyone eventually. They really should have considered that.
She’d known that they would either put a price on her head or personally track her down themselves, so neither had come as a surprise. Wynter had no clue exactly what the Aeons were, but she did know that they were exceedingly powerful. Too powerful for her to take on alone. She’d also been well-aware that they feared the Ancients—particularly Cain—and that had been good enough for her to haul her ass to Devil’s Cradle.
It had been a wise decision.
The Aeons had indeed come for her, but the Ancients had refused to give her up even under the threat of an attack. The attack a few months ago had turned the town into a battlefield. There had been plenty of casualties on both sides. But whereas the seven Ancients had all survived, the Aeons hadn’t been so lucky.
The Aeon who’d led the attack, Lailah—who’d also been one of the four ruling Aeons—had met her doom during the battle. That had been super fun for Wynter to witness. Particularly since it was Lailah who’d officially exiled her.
Lailah’s brother, Saul, had been badly injured and dragged away by those who were retreating. It was possible that he, too, was dead.
Tumbling into Cain’s bed hadn’t been part of Wynter’s plan when she’d come seeking a place at Devil’s Cradle. Nor had falling for him, for that matter. But both had happened, and she regretted neither.
Initially, she’d thought that they would leave it at a one-night stand, or that he would get bored after a few rolls in the sack given that immortals tired of things fairly easily. But it hadn’t worked out that way at all.
Did Cain care for her? Maybe. It was hard to say. He was both possessive and protective to the extreme, and he’d been clear that he wanted what they had to be permanent. But they had never really talked about “feelings.”
They didn’t talk about a lot of things.
Both had their secrets. He’d learned some of hers, but not all. Just the same, Wynter knew a few of his. While she longed to know more, she didn’t press him. Mostly because he would press her in return. There were things that she simply wasn’t at liberty to say—Kali wouldn’t allow it.
Maybe one day Wynter would be able to let it all hang out. For now, she needed to keep a few things to herself. She sensed that he didn’t at all enjoy being partially in the dark but, like her, he didn’t push for answers.
Finally, she and Anabel arrived at the convenience store. The bell above the door jingled as Wynter pushed it open. They each grabbed a metal basket and hooked it on the crook of their elbow.
Anabel turned to her. “I want to get out of here as soon as possible, so it’s best if we split up.” She tore her shopping list into two pieces and handed one half to Wynter. “You grab that stuff, I’ll nab the rest.”
Scanning the slip of paper, Wynter frowned. “What kind of potion could possibly require lubricant? Or is that for personal use?” she asked with a teasing smile.
Anabel’s lips thinned. “No, it’s an ingredient for some potions.”
“Also for potions.”
“Again, for potions.”
Wynter felt her nose scrunch up. “Seriously?”
“Don’t question my methods. Trust in my genius.”
“Wait, laxatives? You put laxatives in your brews too?”
Anabel’s face flushed. “No, they’re for . . . something else. Now stop quizzing me so we can get moving. The less time we spend on the surface, the better.” She narrowed her gaze at a passing couple who eyed Wynter a little too boldly. “You’d think that the staring would have stopped by now.”
Not necessarily. It wasn’t every day that people learned that they might live among a revenant.
On first arriving at Devil’s Cradle, Wynter had done a good job of posing as a standard witch, so the residents hadn’t suspected that she was anything more. Not until the recent battle when Kali’s mark had surfaced on her face—a metallic blue snake that decorated one side of her face like an “S,” its mouth wide open near the corner of her eye. The deity usually kept it concealed.
“They can’t quite decide if I’m really a revenant or if I used a glamor spell to fake Kali’s mark in the hope of fooling the Aeons into believing I’m Favored by a deity,” said Wynter.
Their skepticism was understandable. After all, revenants weren’t really people. They weren’t truly alive. They existed, they sought revenge, and they fed on blood and flesh to sustain the monster they hosted. But they didn’t age or have a heartbeat. Nor did they stick around after avenging their deaths—it was only a need for vengeance that tethered them to this realm. They generally only lasted days before returning to a natural state of death.
Wynter’s undead soul, however, hadn’t returned to the netherworld after her murder was avenged. Her body hadn’t decayed, her appetite never ran to blood and flesh, her heart beat strong and steady in her chest, and she aged like a regular person. Also, she couldn’t seem to permanently die. But that didn’t mean that she one day wouldn’t.
“They can be confused about it all without staring at you,” said Anabel.
“Forget about them, they’re not important.”
“Of course they’re not. But they’re still annoying.” Anabel adjusted the position of the basket she was holding. “I’ll meet you at the checkout counter. Be fast.”
They parted ways and headed down separate aisles. Humming, Wynter chucked one item after another into her basket, mentally crossing them off the list. She also added a few things for herself.
Reaching the wall of built-in coolers, she pulled open the refrigerator door. Cold air danced over her skin. She grabbed an energy drink and then closed the door.
Her heart jumped as she saw a man’s reflection in the glass, smirking. Saul. She spun . . . but there was no one there. Or it didn’t seem as though there was. She swiped out her arm but connected with nothing but air.
Hearing him laugh, she whirled back to face the refrigerator just in time to see his chuckling reflection fade away.
What in the rickety fuck?
Again, she slashed her arm through the air. Again, her fingers touched nothing solid.
He was definitely not physically here. Kali would have warned her if he was, just as She did when any threats were nearby—the deity was helpful that way. Wynter hadn’t merely imagined seeing Saul’s reflection, though. Only . . . it couldn’t have truly been a reflection if he wasn’t actually there, could it?
Not knowing what to make of the weird little incident, she made a mental note to discuss it with Cain. He’d surely have answers.
Wynter quickly grabbed the last few items on her list and then made a beeline for the checkout counter, where Anabel waited. Not wanting to spook the already on-edge blonde, Wynter said nothing about the Saul thingy as they bagged and paid for their stuff.
“Everything okay?” Anabel asked her as they walked to the exit. “You seem . . . tense.”
“I’m fine.” Wynter took two steps outside. An otherworldly breeze raced over her, humming with warning. Before she had a moment to react, a mini whirlwind built around her. A whirlwind in which Saul stood. Fuck it all.
A net of fire engulfed her before she had the chance to strike—a net so weirdly heavy it knocked her on her ass. Her insides rolled, the wind died down, and she realized that she was no longer at the plaza. No, she was in the woods on the outskirts of the town. She was also still caught up in the net, and freaking Saul still stood in front of her.
The net was uncomfortably hot and tight. Worse, it seemed to be stopping her from using her magick, because her efforts to destroy it were having zero effect.
Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Wynter’s monster slunk to the surface, not a fan of the Aeons at the best of times. Right now, it was eager to take control and end the bastard in front of them. It wasn’t alone in that.
Eying the flickering ball of red power in Saul’s hand, Wynter urged her monster to wait. She was difficult to kill, true, but his kind might just manage to accomplish it.
“At last, we are alone,” said Saul, a smug glint in his pale-blue gaze.
The dude didn’t look good. Not at all. There were dark smudges beneath his eyes. His face was pallid and gaunt. His dark-blond hair was dull and unkempt. It didn’t look like he’d shaved in a while. And his clothes were dirty and wrinkled, as if he hadn’t changed in days.
“I do not believe we have ever had a conversation before now, have we?” he asked.
She’d seen him a few times at Aeon over the years but, no, they hadn’t once spoken. “You never seemed to show any interest in mortals.” As if, to him, they were beneath his notice. Many Aeons appeared to feel that way.
“You are all fairly boring, really. Easy to read. Easy to predict.” He paused. “Even easier to kill.”
“Not all of us.”
“If you think I would struggle to snuff out your life, you are very much mistaken.”
Maybe. “I thought that you Aeons don’t want me dead. I can’t otherwise lift the curse I placed on your land, can I?”
“I no longer care about the curse. The land can perish for all I care. But I will avenge my sister’s death.” The sheer wrath in his voice seemed to scrape at her skin.
She hadn’t expected him to declare an intention to kill her, all things considered, but maybe she should have. A highly vengeful creature herself, Wynter could understand how such a dark craving for justice could hound a person even to a point where they would commit an act that turned their own people against them.
“Even if you do manage to kill me,” she began, “it won’t be something you get away with. Deities don’t take it too well when someone targets their Favored.”
Cain, too, would freak. He was probably searching for her right now, since Anabel would surely have alerted people to her disappearance. The news would have quickly reached him.
Saul threw her a look of incredulity. “You do not think that I truly believe you are Favored by Kali, do you?” He snickered. “I have come across a few revenants during the very long life I have lived, so I can be quite sure that you are not one.”
Wynter didn’t correct him. If he wanted to underestimate her and ignore her warnings, that was on him. And it would make it more fun when she proved him wrong. Small pleasures and all that jazz.
“I could have taken you a little further away from here, but no. I am going to kill you right in this very spot. Your blood will soak the ground. Your death will leave a mark on this place. And your body will be left for Cain to find.” Saul grinned. “I have been hanging around Devil’s Cradle long enough to hear that you are his new plaything.”
Wynter narrowed her eyes. He’d been hanging around awhile, huh? That explained why he was in such an unkempt state.
“He will not like that I have broken his toy. Just as I did not like it when he took my sister’s life.” Saul pointed a finger at her. “You are as much responsible for Lailah’s death as he is. You cursed Aeon. You ran here, dragging others into your mess. You forced us to come here to take you back.”
“Whoa, I didn’t force anyone to do anything. You chose to start a war, despite that you had other options. Lailah died because you all made the mistake of launching an attack on the Ancients and their home—that’s not on me.”
He snarled. “They shouldn’t even be alive. They should have been slaughtered long ago.”
“They should have slaughtered each other, you mean. That’s what you figured would happen when you helped cage them, right? You thought they’d turn on each other.”
Surprise rippled across his face. “Cage?”
“Not going to play dumb, are you? I know that the Ancients aren’t here by choice.” Cain had trusted her with that little titbit. “I know that you, Lailah, Abel, and Adam dumped them here and surrounded the place in an invisible shield they cannot break—a shield that’s reinforced by the Ancients’ blood. I also know that the deaths of you, your sister, Adam, and Abel would destroy that cage.” One down, three to go.
“And you think that would be a good thing?” Saul gave a fast shake of the head. “There is a reason we imprisoned them, and it was not simply to be cruel—though, yes, we found some satisfaction in it. The reality is that it is best for the world at large that they remain contained. Surely you have heard enough about them to know that it is necessary.”
She inwardly sighed. The Aeons were so very fond of tossing mud at the Ancients, accusing them of this and that. They even claimed that the Ancients had sold their souls to Satan—a rumor that many people believed, since the seven beings possessed the ability to grant a person their heart’s desire in exchange for their soul.
The Aeons had no such ability. The two camps of immortals were similar in several ways, though. They all lived underground, boasted impressive abilities, could Rest for centuries at a time, rarely ventured out during daylight, and had somehow lost the ability to procreate.
Did it bug Wynter that she was sleeping with a guy who might well have struck a deal with Satan? Maybe it should, but she wasn’t really in a position to judge. She’d made a bargain with a deity in a moment of rage and desperation. Kali wasn’t the ruler of hell, true, but She was no innocent either. Wynter hadn’t cared. She hadn’t cared how much destruction the monster would cause. She’d just wanted vengeance.
A taunting smirk curved Saul’s mouth. “You have no clue what you let fuck you.”
“Maybe I do.”
Saul shook his head, snorting. “If you knew what Cain was, you would never have let him touch you. You certainly would not have run to him for protection. And if you had not done such a thing, my sister would still be alive.”
Back to that again, were they? “I warned her that there would be consequences if she exiled me. She didn’t listen. That’s hardly my fault.”
Saul fisted his hands in anger, and the flickering ball in his hand fizzled out.
He growled. “Do not try pinning the blame on her. It belongs to you and Cain. He will pay, but you will pay first. I am going to enjoy hurting you. I am going to enjoy butchering your body. And when I am done, I will . . .” He trailed off, frowning. Most likely because he’d noticed the black liquid ribbons wiggling across her eyeballs, signaling that her monster was ready to surface. His lips parted in surprise. “Not possible.”
“You sure about that?” she asked as yet more black tapers distorted her vision.
He was silent for a long moment. “Well, well, well.” He shrugged, unbothered. “Let it take over if you wish. I do not fear it. Kali’s little pets are bestial, feral entities who can kill with little to no effort, yes, but they would never escape such a net.”
Wynter smiled. “Who says I host one of her pets?”
Her world went black as her monster lunged.
Wynter’s body jolted as she came back to herself. She was still in the woods, but she was now alone. Saul was gone.
She glanced around, taking in the blood spatter on the soil and the bits of flesh here and there. Her monster tended to make a mess. Crimson stains also dotted her skin, hair, and clothes. Awesome.
She had no open seeping wounds, so the blood evidently wasn’t hers. She did sport a few scorch marks, making her think of the flaming hot orb that Saul had conjured. Although her monster had its own form, its injuries became hers when she resurfaced after a shift. Unfortunately.
There was nothing to indicate that her monster had dined on Saul, or that he was dead. No dismembered body parts or pools of blood were anywhere to be seen. He was injured for sure, though. Her guess? He’d escaped through a whirlwind thingy. Shame.
She’d thought that he’d stand his ground and fight, being a powerful Aeon and all. Maybe it was sheer surprise that made him flee. Her monster had that effect on people.
Her coven members hadn’t run from it, but they all had a mile-wide streak of crazy, so she figured they didn’t count. They were careful never to get close to it, though. One, because the monster had no loyalties. Two, because the shift back to Wynter’s usual form was so explosive that every bit of gore from the monster’s body exploded outward . . . drenching the people closest, and then rebounded back onto Wynter. Hence the current state she was in.
Blowing out a breath, Wynter began traipsing through the woods. As she’d made a point of learning every inch of the land, she knew her way around well enough, so the hazy shadows weren’t an impediment.
She stayed on high alert as she walked, conscious that Saul could return to her and that there might be more Aeons lingering about the town. The latter seemed unlikely, since he’d attacked her alone, but still.
Hearing a squawk, she looked up to see a familiar crow flying among the treetops. Hattie was a member of Wynter’s coven who possessed the ability to take on the form of a crow.
Hovering high above Wynter, the bird squawked loudly, as if straining to get somebody’s attention. And then Cain was there in a blur of movement. Jesus, Wynter hadn’t known he could move that fast.
He towered over her, tall and lean and so very, very male. Like a supreme athlete at the top of his prime. Her hormones tended to get dizzy around him. He was just so cool and dauntless and incredibly self-possessed. Then there was that sexy apex-predator-rawness he boasted.
Also, Cain was an absolute joy to ogle. Seriously, his appearance was faultless. Yet not off-putting in its perfection. Enviable bone structure. Symmetrical features. A full, ridiculously sexy mouth. She’d never seen hair quite so black. She herself had black hair, but his . . . the pigmentation seemed to be richer, deeper, darker.
As he stood before her, his hooded, lustrous black eyes drank in her appearance and flared dangerously. There was something very serpent-like about his gaze. It was just so focused. So piercing. So intense. There were times it also seemed so very empty that she could almost believe it was true that he had no soul as some claimed. But other times, when a smile lit his eyes or when anger rippled across his features much as it was doing right now, she would have to disagree with that theory.
“It’s not my blood,” she quickly assured him, but he didn’t seem mollified.
Cain planted his hands on her upper arms. “Who took you?” he demanded in that deep, rumbly, authoritative voice that could wield dirty talk like a sexual weapon.
The crow landed on the ground and then morphed into Hattie. Unlike shifters, she didn’t need to lose her clothes when changing shape, because it was magick that caused the shift. Padding toward them, the sweet old woman tucked a loose strand of her faded red hair behind her ear. “Saul as in the Aeon?”
“Yeah, that Saul,” replied Wynter.
“Well, fuck me up the a—”
“Hattie, you promised you’d stop using that phrase.”
“But it has such a nice ring to it, and my favorite book character uses it all the time.”
Cain’s jaw hardened as he examined a wound on Wynter’s arm. “He burned you.” The words were soft. Low. Eerily calm.
The hairs on her nape rose. “He meant to kill me, but my monster interfered. I don’t know exactly what happened after that. There must have been some kind of scuffle. I don’t think he’s dead. It seems like he got away.”
A growl scraped at the back of Cain’s throat.
“Dumb bastard should never have come here,” said Hattie. “He signed his death warrant the moment he considered it.”
She had that right.
A huge-ass black feline came rushing through the trees, her iron claws raking at the ground, and quickly shifted into Delilah. Like Hattie, she was fully dressed since it was magick that caused the change. An angry flush staining her olive skin, the Latina stalked toward Wynter. “What in the seven circles of hell just happened?”
Wynter relayed the details to her, adding, “I saw Saul before he attacked me. Or, at least, I saw his reflection in the glass refrigerator door at the convenience store. It seemed like he was behind me. And yet he wasn’t. He laughed, and then his image faded.” She looked to Cain for an answer.
“He has an ability that works similar to scrying,” Cain explained, his voice clipped. “Using water as a medium, he can search for people or objects, but he can only locate them if he’s reasonably close to them, and he’ll only see them if they’re near a reflective surface. Think of it as someone peering through the windows of a house from the outside. Unless the people within the house are in view of a window, they won’t be seen.”
Even with the limitations, the ability was impressive. “He said he’s been hanging around the town.”
Delilah frowned. “Surely he’d have been noticed.”
“Saul is capable of slinking around unseen like a ghost,” Cain reluctantly conceded.
Just then, Xavier and Anabel came running into view.
“Didn’t I tell you that death was lurking around?” Anabel blurted out, glaring at Wynter. “’Cause I’m pretty sure that’s what I said. You never listen. Then you always seem so surprised when you almost die.” She all but plonked a vial into Wynter’s hand, sniffing at the thanks she received.
“What happened?” demanded Xavier as Wynter downed the healing brew. “Anabel said it was like the wind just took you.”
After Wynter had brought the rest of her coven up to speed, Cain said, “I’ll have people search Devil’s Cradle for signs of Aeons. I didn’t think that any would be stupid enough to risk staying close to the town, but I was apparently wrong.”
“I don’t think he’s in his right mind,” said Wynter. “Or that there are other Aeons with him. Unlike the rest of them, he wants me dead. He was set on killing me on your territory. He wanted my blood to soak the ground. That mattered more to him than his own safety, and even the state of his homeland.”
“Grief does things to people,” said Hattie. “He’ll be finding the death of his sister hard to take. Aeons have been around for millennia. Think how much closer Lailah and Saul would have been compared to mortal siblings.”
Wynter nodded. The two Aeons would have been at each other’s side while eras came and went. They would have made so many memories together. But their bond was now broken. He’d surely be feeling lost, if nothing else.
Wynter looked at Cain. “When you put out a description, you should mention that he didn’t look good. He was all scruffy. His face was gaunt, and he seemed tired. I got the feeling he’s been sleeping outside for days. Maybe even weeks. He’s not interested in caring for himself, only in avenging his sister.”
“There’s probably a little guilt there at work,” hedged Xavier. “He was right beside her when she died. He might feel that he sho
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