Home > One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(15)

One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(15)
Author: Kristy Cunning

Jude leans over the railing, his entire body strung so tight it looks as though he’d break under any amount of pressure right now.

“I made Pride fall! And I made Greed beg for ‘no more.’ Get it?! You’re supposed to be cheering for me!” she shouts at us.

The silent stadium suddenly erupts into applause and rancorous cheer, as though she was commanding them instead of us.

Paca puts her hands on her hips as she eyes the silent and stoic four of us. She starts tapping her foot impatiently, while we all deny her the celebration she demands.

She’ll take it as permission to do this shit again.

“She really needs to stop thinking she’s funny,” Jude bites out.

Pride seems to wheeze on the ground, though the crowd is too loud for me to be sure, as Greed stays presumably silent and visibly limp.

“What?” Paca shouts over the roar of the crowd as she nears them, crushing the last of the roses under her foot.

I’m not sure what Caesar says, but she smiles.

“We’re hell-spawn. You can’t take things too seriously. Learn to laugh it off,” she chirps as she pats his crisp shoulder.

Ashes fall of it, and his arm severs with just that touch.

Her eyes widen, and she grimaces. “Oops. Hope that damage isn’t permanent. Otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time keeping your dick attached when someone tries to suck it,” she adds with zero tact or sympathy.

With one hard kick-off, she leaps into the air…and drops back down on her feet.

“I wanted to see if I could fly!” she shouts up to us, making her voice carry over the crowd. “I can’t!”

Cursing, Jude pushes away from the railing, and he stalks off, siphoning away in the next instant.

Kai does the same.

Gage and I stare down at her for a moment, and he shakes his head before he siphons out.

My eyes hold hers until she blinks the volcanic stare away. When her eyes return to normal, they’re no longer the same color. Now they’re the same gold ours once turned on occasion when we were with her.

She smiles up at me as though she’s on a high from the battle rush.

I siphon out.

I need to cool the fuck down before I speak to her. Otherwise, we’re going to be forced to endure this again.

It wasn’t punishment after all.

It was just Paca keeping fucking secrets and making decisions on her own. Her screwed up head thinks she’s matching us step for step, because she’s fucking obtuse as hell.

I can’t do this ever again.

She’s found our only weakness. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to realize that weakness is her.

Chapter 11


Everyone is avoiding me.

For hours now, I’ve been able to track down…no one.

Lucifer is sulking behind a bolted door with a “Keep Out” sign, refusing to speak to anyone. That doesn’t particularly bother me.

What does bother me is the fact I still can’t go phantom, because that son of a bitch locked my form. I had to walk my ass all the way from the tail to the heart, and it was a long, lonely freaking hike.

Even the monsters avoided me today. Not that it bothered me. I’m a little tired after delivering that final ass-whooping.

My siblings are all missing as though I’ll turn them into cinders. That doesn’t particularly bother me either.

The guards seem to scramble away from me in more fear than they showed just this morning. That also doesn’t bother me.

The guys are missing, and there’s no note telling me where they might have gone. Aside from Hell’s Black Heart, which I have no idea how to enter, I don’t know where they could have gone.

This bothers me. I expected champagne, roses, and gifts for my amazing feats of the day, damn it.

I couldn’t even get a little applause.

They’re such raging assholes sometimes.

Lamar is also missing, and that surprisingly bothers me as well. I expected him to come sing me praises for my glorious showdown.

I wonder if they got Caesar’s arm sorted out.

That was a total accident, and it’s his fault for not crying for mercy sooner. Pride must be a bitch of a sin to embody. Same for Pico with his greed.

I still need to give my huge unveiling to the guys and explain how much about myself I’ve figured out.

I glance at the time, seeing it’s now been several hours. Between the battle and the cumbersome, exhausting hike through Hell, I’m exhausted.

After stripping down to my underwear, I flop onto my enormous bed and curl up in the soft covers.

The guys are definitely pissed.

They’d be here otherwise. I expected some ire, but not total avoidance.

Sighing, I toss and turn forever, unable to go to sleep for fear of what nightmares may stalk me without one of them next to me. When I was passed out, I ended up blasting the room a few times, and Lamar sort of almost died after being commanded by them to look after me.

Looking over at my pretty crown, I tell it, “I’m not sure what the guys were thinking leaving me here on my own to sleep off the orgasm coma. They’re so thoughtless toward me, yet so thoughtful with each other.”

The crown stares at me with some mild disapproval. I swear. It’s legit.

“I’m serious,” I tell it, moving closer. “They’re keeping secrets, constantly leaving me behind, while they wander around the Black Heart from their nightmares, having those infuriating silent conversations with their eyes, and still acting as though they’re the unit, and I’m just the girlfriend.”

Clearly my crown is stubborn and needs more convincing. I have no choice but to oblige.

“Then they left me after my huge victory, while my phantom was stunted, and I had to walk all the way back here. Do you know how confusing Hell is? Do you have any idea how many times I got lost? No one stuck around long enough to give me directions. Even when I got to the belly, the blind tribe actually ran from me. The. Blind. Tribe. Seriously, though. This day was supposed to be—”

“Tell me you’re not talking to your crown,” comes Ezekiel’s voice, causing me to squeak and startle as I whirl my head around.

All four of them are giving me a disbelieving, somewhat concerned look.

“You weren’t supposed see that,” I deadpan before swallowing thickly, sitting up as I try to regain my cool points.

Little hard to do after being caught arguing with a crown.

Jude sips from a jar, eyes intently trained on me. Kai has his hands resting on his head, looking freshly showered. In fact, they all look freshly showered.

“What secrets do you think we’re keeping?” Gage asks me, narrowing his eyes as he examines the blade on his sword, as though this conversation is tedious.

He’s supposed to love me.

I’m starting to think love is even more complicated than it was in Ghost.

“For starters, there’s the day Jude went missing, Ezekiel disappeared—”

“I dove in a tar pit to fish out your inanimate companion there,” Ezekiel states, arching an eyebrow as he gestures toward my crown. “Tell me you didn’t put us through that just because you didn’t know that’s where I went.”

I bristle in my bed.

“You also all started acting weird after Gage and I shared the ‘I love you’ moment,” I state in my defense, staring directly at Ezekiel. “You more especially, and you got quiet for a while.”

If looks could exercise one’s true amount of frustration, his look would definitely convey that with an excellent amount of clarity.

“Because I didn’t know what was wrong with me, until we had our moment,” he states with a notable amount of annoyance. “Fuck’s sake, girl, this better not be your reasoning.”

My mouth opens and closes a few time as I blink.

“I’ve simply been worried about if we’re destroying the world or fucking saving it,” Jude states evenly, eyes narrowing. “As we all have. Some of us take shit seriously without getting a nosebleed.”

How did this get turned around on me?

“We don’t take you into Hell’s Black Heart because it’s a place of nightmares, and if you see it, with how certifiably protective you are of us, you may blow Hell to bits just imagining us in that place a little more helpless than we are now,” Gage tells me, still not looking at me. “We’ve learned to find the twisted sense of humor in the place, though it’s only because we’re far more resilient than we apparently were before we became the Horsemen. The prisoners there find nothing humorous about it, and I can’t say I blame them.”

Feeling really stupid, I hold up a finger, reminding them, “I leveled up.”

No one seems overly thrilled with that.

My bubble deflates a bit.

“You could have told us your plan,” Jude drawls, returning his attention to the jar in his hand as he staggers a little.

He catches himself on the edge of the dresser, blinking a few times.

“Is he drunk?” I ask, finding the concept oddly appealing.

Death drunk? Who wouldn’t find that appealing…and amusing.

He staggers again, and when he attempts to sit in a chair, he misses it and his ass slams onto the floor instead. I don’t think he notices he just fell. It seems he thinks he did that on purpose, because he doesn’t even blink before taking another sip.

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