Home > Four Psychos (The Dark Side #1)(13)

Four Psychos (The Dark Side #1)(13)
Author: Kristy Cunning

“So if you were a boy band, you’d be One Erection,” I state, rambling because they have me nervous.

They don’t even acknowledge that. Kai eyes Ezekiel, who is straining to refrain from touching me, while the other two just glare at me.

“You’re sure?” Kai asks him, not sounding convinced or concerned.

“Fucking positive. Turn whole again,” Ezekiel spits out, turning that last part on me like an order.

“Gee, with that attitude, I’ll hop right on it,” I grumble, moving over to a couch. “You’re really ruining the first time I’ve felt touch like that by freaking out so much. All of you.”

“Touching him all night might have had something to do with it,” Kai suggests, his eyes raking over me differently for once.

“If we get her whole, I’m going first. You have no idea how worked up I am right now,” Ezekiel says, running a hand over the back of his neck as he starts pacing. “It’s never been this bad before.”

Well, that makes me a hint smug. Especially since he prefers redheads. But he’s also a little too scary now.

“Or you could fuck your hand,” I point out, frowning as I take a seat on the ground again. “I’m not sure I want you unleashed on me with all your strength while I’m whole. What if you break me?”

Ezekiel stops pacing to turn and arch an eyebrow at me.

“Touch us. Just try it,” Gage says as he kneels between my legs and looms over me.

“We’ll give you everything you’ve been fantasizing about if you get whole,” Jude says next to my ear.

When did he get behind me? And why does it sound like he is most certainly using his liar-voice?

Hands move over me, through me, stirring all those tingles to life. Nothing happens though. I feel like these savage beasts are trying to lure me out so they can kill me, which has my self-preservation skills likely hosing up my new level-up.

“Shit,” Gage groans when nothing happens for a while.

“I’m worked up and I didn’t even get to have my damn hands on her,” Jude says with a huff as he walks off.

“No erections without each other? So how do you get worked up?” I ask, trying to distract them.

“Usually, we want sex but can’t get aroused on our own. A date with the hand only works in the presence of each other, and it’s not as much fun without a—”

The doorbell rings, which is a first for me. No one ever rings the doorbell.

I didn’t know we had one.

Gage jogs out of the room, and Ezekiel stalks out behind him. Jude takes a seat beside me, his arm going behind my head. I lean back on it like he’s doing it to offer me comfort, though I highly doubt it.

When they return, Ezekiel walks over, holding two envelopes. Gage has two as well, handing one off to Kai.

Ezekiel hands over the other one, and he sits down really close to me, our sides touching and creating that tingle.

Jude and Kai exchange a look before casting a glance at our connection. Slowly, Jude withdraws his arm from around me, eyes still suspicious as he opens the envelope.

“So it’s official,” Jude says, closing the envelope as a calculated grin plays on his lips.

“What’s official?” I ask, confused.

Frankly, I need a distraction so I don’t sink into a depression about finally being able to feel something and having it ripped away. It’s much better to not know what you’re missing than to be tortured with just a teasing touch.

“We’ve been invited to the royal palace of the underworld. We’ll be collected in one month,” Kai answers, putting the invitation to the side.

“Why a month?” Still needing that distraction.

“Because it takes time to set up the next obstacle, and they make it as hard as possible for the twenty competitors based on how well they did in the first two rounds,” Ezekiel answers, not budging an inch from my side.

Gage studies Ezekiel, the way he’s unconsciously drawing so close that I’m passing through his body.

“Two other quad sets made it through to the next round as well,” Gage says as he closes his invitation and puts it aside.

“So twelve out of twenty are part of a quad group? Why is this done by teams? Someone needs to start at the beginning and explain all this to me,” I grumble.

“It’s done by teams because you’re going to be a part of a larger team,” Ezekiel says immediately. “You’ll become one of the elite who has access to Lucifer on occasion, and—”

“And there are some things that don’t need to be told,” Jude interrupts, arching an eyebrow at Ezekiel.

Ezekiel’s jaw tightens, but he doesn’t say anything else. I roll my eyes, because that means I’m still not trusted. I half suspect they find my vagina to also be evil now.

“Okay, so what can you tell me? Since my level-up, I can see and hear things in Purgatory, unlike before when I didn’t even know where we were going because focusing was so hard. And you guys never really talk about any of this here,” I go on.

“We used to. There’s no reason to discuss things unless we have new developments now,” Kai says with a shrug.

“We’ve been working toward this goal for a couple of centuries now,” Ezekiel goes on.

“Centuries?” I ask, my eyes widening.

“Really? Little much information,” Gage tells him, narrowing his eyes.

Ezekiel flips him off. “We told her the highlights in Purgatory.”

“Highlights and details are two very different things,” Kai points out.

Ezekiel looks at me. “A few centuries ago, we were all four born to different mortal families involved with the underworld in some way—imps, lawyers, and some media—”

“For fuck’s sake, E, not that much information,” Jude says incredulously, looking at Ezekiel like he’s lost his mind.

Ezekiel ignores him, and my gaze returns to him as he continues.

“By twenty-six, we were all going a little crazy. Actually crazy. Hearing things, seeing things, always paranoid we were being targeted or watched. I was ahead of them by several decades, and though I’d stopped aging, I wasn’t really immortal.”

“Ezekiel!” Kai snaps.

Ezekiel doesn’t even glance in his direction. His eyes stay fixed on mine.

“That’s the reason my dreams are the worst. The madness tries to return when I let my guard down. When we sleep, the bond is the weakest for some reason. It’s why Kai struggles to sleep. It’s why Jude is so pissed most of the time. Gage may seem to sleep soundly, but he’s frozen in the places his mind visits, and he becomes a prisoner until his eyes—”

Gage is suddenly grabbing Ezekiel by the shirt and ripping him up from the couch. “That’s enough!” Gage barks in his face.

Ezekiel shoves him off, and then suddenly they’re tackling each other, fists flying.

“Stop!” I snap, jumping up from the couch.

An ache lances through me when Ezekiel takes a hit to his face. And sickening dread surges when Ezekiel hits Gage so hard that blood flies.

Kai and Jude take their sweet fucking time coming to break them up, both of them glaring at me as they struggle to pull them apart.

“You don’t get to fucking tell her our secrets. That’s a group decision!” Gage snaps at him.

Ezekiel shrugs Jude off him, and without another word, he turns and stalks out of the room.

Three pairs of accusatory eyes turn and narrow on me.

Ah, great. Well, having them be semi-nice was fun while it lasted.

“What’d you do to him?” Gage growls.

“I told you she was singling him out because he didn’t find her to be a threat. Now she’s tearing us down by using our connection against us,” Kai states.

“How’s your leg, Kai?” I ask with a tight smile, my eyes dipping to the fully healed leg that I helped heal. Somehow. “Was I a threat when I was scrambling to save your life so you all wouldn’t die? I certainly wasn’t trying to separate the four of you then or pit you against each other. Wouldn’t it have made sense to do it then?”

“You’d know you couldn’t be so obvious about it. You’ve been studying us for who knows how long?” he growls.

“Five-and-a-half years I’ve been studying you. It’s not like the four of you told me before today that you couldn’t get it up without each other in the room. As you stated, there are some things you don’t feel the need to discuss after so much time together. I only heard what you shared with each other. It was usually dark jokes, women, and some killing I witnessed. That’s about it.”

He starts to speak, but I hold my hand up.

“You know what? Forget it. You can’t touch me. None of you can. Whatever happened this morning was probably another form of torture to show me what I’ve been missing, because it’s become clear to me that whatever I am is a punishment of some sort. Why else would I be stuck with the four of you?”

I turn to walk up the stairs, but Gage is suddenly in front of me.

“Leave Ezekiel alone. The last thing he needs is you tearing him away from us when our lives are at stake. You want to prove you care? Fucking care by staying away from him.”

I pass through him without another word. Just to be spiteful, I almost walk through Ezekiel’s door, but I stop myself.

For five years, I’ve stalked their lives. Today is the first time I’ve ever seen them fight.

A sick feeling forms in the pit of my stomach, and I bite back an angry curse as I spin and stalk away, moving toward the west wing and my self-proclaimed bedroom.

Right now, I really wish I could touch things, just so I could slam a freaking door.

I could hang out in my room, but instead, I zap myself back, swaying a little but not as bad as usual. Like the stalker I used to be, I hide out in the room beside them as they argue.

They all, of course, went to Ezekiel’s room.

“I get it. I get the temptation that would present. But remember what makes us the way we are,” Kai is saying.

“You don’t have a clue what it felt like, and I don’t know how to explain it without sounding completely fucking insane,” Ezekiel grumbles.

“You turned on us. Do you see the problem here?” Gage asks.

A harsh breath follows that. “Fuck!” Ezekiel shouts before something crashes to the ground.

“I don’t know if she’s here to sabotage us or just here with some really bad fucking timing, but I do know we can’t risk her severing our bond,” Jude tells them.

“So we keep our hands off her. We let her hang around, since she has saved us a time or two. Until we really know what the hell is going on and why she’s attached to us, we have to be more cautious,” Kai says on a long sigh. “Trust me, I get wanting to trust her. When she took away the pain left behind from the hellfire, all I wanted to do was fuck her, kiss her, touch her. Never wanted anything so bad in all my life.”

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