Reclaimed by Jaymin Eve
“This hold is going to kill her if she keeps it up,” Shadow muttered. “How the fuck is she even doing this? I’ve not heard of any able to control creatures like this, except maybe a Danamain, the true Mist Born. Which is a damn myth.”
Reece and Lucien shook their heads. “I have no idea,” the vampire breathed, his eyes on me.
Exhausted, I had to close my own eyes, and as I rested my head against Reece’s firm chest, I struggled to keep control of the creatures.
“Give her to me,” Shadow demanded, and I was fairly certain I’d missed parts of the conversation, fatigue sending my hearing all wonky. Exhaustion could shut down regular bodily functions, apparently. Who knew?
“You’re the only one with a shot at getting these creatures out of here before Earth becomes their hunting ground,” Reece bit back. “You can handle me holding her for ten fucking minutes.”
Shadow’s familiar rumbling growl was actually comforting. It was nice that I didn’t have to murder him when this was all over. Not fighting every battle alone made a big difference, and I wasn’t sure I could ever go back to doing it all by myself.
That would be another death. One of the soul.
Holding on to the control of the creatures as we left Torma was almost the end of me. I’d just about reached my limit by the time we arrived at the long, white hallway that connected Earth to the Library of Knowledge.
Between the three musketeers and me, we dragged the hundreds along the hall, while Shadow spent what felt like forever, searching the rooms until he found one he was satisfied would hold them.
“It’ll have to do for now, until Mera gets her strength back,” he said. “Then we can try her plan of returning them through whatever path connects her to the realm.”
At this point, I had all but passed out, my brain only coming back online when Shadow growled at Reece.
“Give her to me.” Those words were low and dark. “I need to warm her up and get some energy flowing into her again.”
Reece let out a low chuckle, and since my eyes were all but glued shut, I couldn’t see their expressions. I hated that, but for now, their words would have to tell me everything.
“I can warm her up,” Lucien said from the side. “It’s my specialty.”
There was movement and a heavy thud, followed by Lucien’s groan. “Just kidding, brother. You know how I roll.”
I didn’t know how he rolled, but it really didn’t matter because I was now in Shadow’s arms, and it was here that I felt far too fucking comfortable. “Walk,” I managed to choke out. I couldn’t lose myself to the beast. At least not until I knew more about him. I might believe he didn’t have anything to do with Dannie’s death, but he still knew way more than he was letting on. Until I knew it as well, it was best to be cautious.
He just held me closer, his arms strong bands under my ass and across my back. “Release them, Mera,” he said, the mild Scottish burr in his voice deepening for a moment. “You need to let go, or they’ll take you into the mists with them.”
That was too terrifying an idea after everything I’d seen tonight.
“They’re definitely contained in the prison?” I managed to choke out, my exhaustion complete.
“They are,” he confirmed.
I hesitated and Shadow sighed. “You have no choice but to trust me. Release them or die; those are your options.”
Dammit. The big fucker had me there.
You are free.
Instinct took over in my near-dead state, and I didn’t fight it like I might have normally. The moment my hold on them faded out, a literal boost of energy cleared my head, and I jerked upright, my eyes open.
“Let me down,” I demanded, the blinding white of the hallway making me blink watery eyes as I glared up at the beast.
“Shut up,” Shadow snapped, not even glancing at my A-Game resting bitch face. An epic look wasted once again.
“Just like old times,” I grumbled, trying to dredge up enough energy to fight him.
Pretty sure he said something about annoying shifters, which was drowned out by Reece’s laughter.
“Give up, Mera,” the desert deity said, and I wasn’t sure when we’d become such good friends, but at some point, he’d thawed toward me, acting nothing like the original asshole I’d met in the lair. “Shadow cannot be bested when he sets his mind to a task. Let him take care of you.”
I snorted and then groaned, pressing a hand to my forehead. “I don’t need a Shadow nurse. I can sort my own shit out, thanks very much.”
Digging my elbows into his chest, I tried to leverage myself away, but his hold didn’t give an inch. Not. One. Fucking. Inch.
Did he have to be powerful in all ways? It was overkill.
“Sunshine, just… I need to do this, okay?”
He almost sounded sad, and it halted my struggle as I tilted my head back to see him. “Did you kill Dannie? Or in any way contribute to her death?”
Now that I wasn’t distracted with hundreds of creatures, my head much clearer, I needed to ask again.
His steps slowed. “She’s not dead.”
I just blinked at him, trying to figure out if my ears had malfunctioned.
“Don’t—” I broke off as my throat got tight. “Please don’t lie to make me feel better… Her blood was everywhere. And the pack used her knowledge or energy or something to get into the library and shut it all down.”
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