Home > One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(6)

One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(6)
Author: Kristy Cunning

“She’s too stubborn for her own fucking good,” I grumble.

Gage stands abruptly, throwing a vase against the wall. It shatters, and glass rains down as Paca sleeps right through it. He runs a hand through his hair in frustration and shoulders by Lamar as he strides out with as much fury as the other two.

Lamar turns his attention to me, staring as though he expects me to know a way around this.

We’ve learned we have no fucking say over what she does down here. It’s become more and more abundantly clear. She outranks us.

It’s maddening.

“When is this showdown? We’re going to need to mentally prepare for this, since I’m guessing interference won’t be possible.”

He nods slowly. “In three days,” he tells me. “The Gemini Twins were terrifyingly excited. Cain was almost just as eager. Hera started sharpening her nails with a worrisome smile. Manella will likely concede the win after a few lashings. As Sloth, he doesn’t get as much enjoyment out of fighting. While Hera may get in some hard licks, she knows Paca will have to conserve energy for the rest, and won’t be able to retaliate at full force. It’ll allow her to go all-out without fear. However, Lilith will be the first one to make her truly crumble to her knees. Don’t let her sin fool you. Envy is a force to be reckoned with.”

Just earlier we were betting on Paca to win in a battle between those two. Lamar has crushed that dream, and now dread is inching up my spine.

Scrubbing a hand over my face, I mentally try to conjure any sort of plan to force the stubborn girl to listen. Only one comes to mind. Something tells me it’s not going to work.

“Watch after her until we return,” I tell him as I stand and head out.

I pull out my own navigator when I reach the wall of illusion, and I step through it, ending up in the middle of a firestorm.

Heat blazes against me, and the screams of the tortured echo through my ears as the fire parts for me, clearing a path.

I stumble upon Jude as he finishes hacking a man-eating plant to pieces, breathing heavily as his eyes presumably scour the land for anything else he can kill right now.

He slings his scythe toward me, the blade stopping an inch from my neck, as he rolls his eyes.

“It’s a really stupid fucking idea to sneak up on me right now,” he growls as he twirls the scythe away from me, his gaze searching the land once again.

“I have only one plan. It’ll probably fail. But the worst that can happen is that we end up with Paca between us,” I tell him.

He eyes me like he’s curious, and I turn, dropping my sai from my wrist. It turns into the triton as I sling it out, stabbing it through the middle of a zombie, red-eyed grizzly that collapses in a shriveled up heap, turning to dust before our eyes.

“If it doesn’t work, we’ll need a backup plan to break into whatever arena she’ll be fighting in,” I tell him.

He sighs in frustration as he spins, quickly beheading both heads of the two-headed lizard beast that I never even heard creep up on us.

“She’s going to drive us all insane with her reckless, irrational reasoning at some point. Remember I warned everyone from the very beginning that she was as treacherous as they came,” he bites out.

“Well, it’s too late now. Besides, would you really go back and do things differently, knowing we’d never have her, we’d never have learned our purpose, and we’d never have understood what happened to make us this way?” I volley in a dry tone.

The scene around us changes, the black sea suddenly swallowing us up. I immediately start kicking to the surface of the bubbling, boiling water that burns even my resistant skin.

I was built to withstand Hell’s Black Heart, just like all of us. A natural defense to this hostile branch of Hell is something we didn’t have in our past life. I don’t need the memories to know that.

I still have the nightmares.

Jude swims off quickly, predictably refusing to answer, as he leaps onto the back of some sea monster that looks like it has a punched vagina for a face.

Leaving him to fight the wet, punched vagina-face monster, I turn and swim back toward the exit. Fuck sea monsters.

I’d rather sleep in bed with Paca, since I never fully rested up from our last visit. This place drains us while we’re here, but it fuels us once we’ve regained our strength.

We need to find something to fuel Paca’s strength the same way.

As it stands, the only thing I’ve ever seen make her stronger is the four of us.

She can fucking have me.

Chapter 5


“You’re out of your mind. Do you have any idea how powerful your siblings are? No, you don’t. You threw out a blind challenge, having zero to no information, and then just arrogantly, stupidly believe you can take them all on. This isn’t like facing a bunch of low-level inhabitants, Paca. These are the other six deadly sins.”

“Lust has me quaking in my boots,” I drawl, flipping through my journal, ignoring Jude’s long-winded tirade that seems never-ending. “I’m not particularly worried about Pride, Greed, Gluttony, or Envy, and I’m especially not concerned with Sloth.”

One day they’ll learn to quit leaving me out, and then I’ll stop making decisions without them. They punish me when I do the same thing. It’s only fair if I punish them right back.

“Caesar and Pico combine Greed and Pride. That makes them even more prideful and greedier than you—”

“I’m not greedy at all,” I state in interruption to Kai, even as I frown. “Who’s Caesar and Pico?”

They both glare at me. “The fucking Gemini Twins, Paca. Your brothers. Their names.”

“Learn something new every day,” I quip, smiling over at them.

Mystery solved. I finally know their names.

“Take this at least a little damn seriously!” Jude snaps like he’s on the verge of blowing the top of his head clean off to let the steam roll out.

“Maybe you should take things a little less seriously. I’m starting to worry about you,” I note, which only seems to provoke him into a tantrum, as he turns and punches the air a few times, cursing under his breath.

“From all the fucking digging we’ve done these past two days, they’re unbeatable in your condition,” Kai goes on, visibly working hard to keep his own temper in check.

Still, I continue to punish them, not giving them any say in what I do. Eventually we’ll all get on the same page, but I can’t just be their doormat who allows them to dictate what I can do, while they keep all their own secrets and do their own thing without me.

Ezekiel has been weird ever since Gage confessed his love to me, even though he’s more angry than weird since he confessed his own love for me.

Lamar is a tattletale. I should have been more specific about what betrayal means. Although…he tried to get me to lay out parameters…

“This is what I get for being dismissive and lazy,” I grumble to myself, flipping to the next page.

Death ripped the virgin’s dress from her body, as Conquest clamped her hands in the shackles mounted to the wall. She sobbed, hating them for making this exciting, when it was nothing more than a deal for survival.

“Do you want our protection?” he asked her.

My thighs tighten in anticipation, eager to hear the debauchery from this chapter.

“Or should we let them come get the little jewel thief?” Conquest added with a dark, devious smirk, knowing her body could be defiled by them, or mutilated by the mob if she were ever found and arrested.

Her options were limited, and the lesser of two evils laid before her in the form of trading one sin for another. She should see it as survival and not something she held with anticipatory hunger. Her pure heart was quickly getting less and less righteous—

I snort, unable to help myself. I bet the old me couldn’t write those lines with a straight face. Lesser of two evils? Pure heart? Less ‘righteous?’ Even as a ghost with amnesia I knew better than to assume I had a pure heart. I’m curious how different it is when being mortal.

Conquest cupped one of her breasts, his head dipping as he surprised her by sucking a nipple into his mouth. She cried out, startled by the abrupt sensation, the chains rattling above her head as she squirmed.

Death shoved her legs open, freeing himself from his trousers, as his thumb slid into her wet slit. This time she cried out from stimulation and overwhelming pleasure from such a simple touch.

This was for survival, she kept telling herself. Even as she swallowed down a moan and forced her body not to arch into their touch.

Devilishly handsome, and sinfully desirable, they taunted her with the wicked ways of man. She dared to dabble on the dark side, so long as she didn’t have to admit how much she enjoyed it.

Death dragged her legs over his hips, and with no mercy for her chastity, he shoved himself—

“Hey!” I shout as Jude rips the book away from my hands. “That was just getting good! Like really good! We were being our usual wicked, horrible selves! Give it back!”

Kai grabs my wrists, and in a surprising move, he forces me to the floor on my knees.

What the what?

Jude slowly takes a seat in the chair in front of me, dark eyes on mine as his jaw tics. Unlike the others, his eyes have started alternating between the cosmic blue and solid black. Right now, they’re certainly not cosmic blue.

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