Home > One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(2)

One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(2)
Author: Kristy Cunning

Months ago, it seemed ridiculous.

“I want to try this. Anyone in?” she asks.

Gage leans over, but before he can answer, Kai says, “I’m in.”

His hand is on her shoulder, and he siphons out in the next second, taking her with him. The doors shut to the little parlor room off to the side in this ever-expanding bedroom of hers.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Jude asks on an exasperated sigh as he pinches the bridge of his nose. “We have to leave in less than fifteen minutes.”

“Don’t worry. He’ll be back shortly,” Gage says, as his lips twitch and he starts playing a game of solitaire, after dropping the journal she was reading.

“How did you tell her you fucking love her? Lamar said we weren’t capable of telling her that. It’s some sort of weird balance and shit,” I say to the jackass who has been her favorite for too fucking long.

Gage’s eyebrows bounce up, and a slow grin crawls across his face like the son of a bitch is about to mock me.

“I’m sorry. Are you really discussing his motherfucking feelings while we’re preparing to go into the Black Heart?” Jude asks me like I’ve lost my damn mind.

I have lost my damn mind.

I even bristle when I hear her giggling in there with Kai.

It should have been I who siphoned her out. My skin’s been crawling for weeks now, and I can’t figure out how to—

“Fuck no!” Kai suddenly barks as the doors swing open from the parlor, and he stalks out with a full-body shudder underway.

“What? Why not? You did it in the past life!” Paca argues as she chases after him.

“I’m curious what’s a no-go for Kai, considering he’s good with most anything,” I state as Kai shakes his head.

Paca lifts the journal and waves at him. “See?! It’s right here. We did it before, so we can do it again.”

“I’m not that fucking guy anymore. Maybe it took me two millennia to get to that point,” he snaps, shuddering again.

I shoot a questioning look to Gage.

“You really don’t want to know,” he assures me with his lips still twitching.

“It’ll be a first for both of us then! You really have been sluts in the past. I wonder if that means you’ve been technically cheating on me all these years. You know, since you were always mine and all,” she carries on, actually scratching her chin and staring off like she’s giving it genuine thought.

Out of nowhere, Jude grabs her by the back of the neck, catching her off guard, and his lips slam against hers almost violently as he kisses her.

Kai rolls his eyes when she throws her arms around Jude’s neck, and I arch an eyebrow when his arm winds around her waist.

“Thought we didn’t have time for that,” Gage states dryly. “And I’m supposed to be the fucking favorite.”

He twirls his sword, staring at Jude like he’s considering where he should stab him or something.

Jude releases her abruptly, and Paca staggers forward, as Death turns and stalks out like he’s his usual angry self. I’m not sure what just happened, and usually I understand him fairly well.

Paca’s lips turn up in a lazy, self-satisfied grin as her eyes slowly lift open again, and she blinks at the empty doorway that Jude’s disappeared through.

“Well then. That’ll do for a see you later,” she chirps before she turns and puckers up for Kai.

Kai hasn’t an ounce of dignity as he grins like he’s winning a prize and drags her to him to kiss her his way. Which is annoyingly intense. Is she fucking moaning?

Gage drags his index finger over his lips, watching as the two of them start to get carried away.

“I think that’s enough for now,” I cut in.

Gage slants his gaze to me, as my muscles visibly tense, and he lifts his brow in question.

I’m not jealous.

Not at all.

Not even a fucking little bit.

Why is this messing with my head?

Kai breaks the kiss, still smiling like he wants her to think he’s charming, and he struts out like he’s accomplished something. Paca sways on her feet with a dopey grin on her face, so apparently he has accomplished something.

Gage takes his turn, pulling her down to his lap, and I watch how very differently she kisses him. She’s the one to initiate it, and the two of them seem…a lot more intimate than the others.

That is really driving me insane.

I feel left behind.

“I’ll share you with Ezekiel when we get back,” Gage murmurs against her lips.

My jealousy deflates like it was never there, and I relax in my seat as Paca smiles over at me.

I lean over and take my turn kissing her, even as she remains on his lap. She drifts toward me, deepening the kiss, as her arms wind around my neck.

Any lingering issues dissolve with the hunger in her touch, taste, and intensity.

“Are you two fucking coming or not?” Jude barks from outside the room.

I’m forced to break the kiss, though I admit it’s a hell of a lot harder than it should be. All I want to do is drag her to the bed and keep her to myself for a few hours. Or days. Maybe a week or more.

What the hell is fucking wrong with me? It’s only getting worse again now.

Gage shoots me a curious look as I stand and walk out, and I hear Paca giggling again like he’s doing something she likes.

I spot Jude and Kai leaned against the wall, eyes trained on the end of the hallway. Following their gaze, my eyes narrow on a smirking Lilith as she affectionately strokes her dark hair.

Gage steps up beside me, face as stoic as the rest of ours, as Lilith finally turns and slowly saunters away.

The envy leaves my chest in a harsh rush once more, and I inhale deeply. Still, I want to steal Paca and keep her to myself for a few hours. It wasn’t just Lilith’s influence directing that path of thought.

“Cunt,” Kai states flippantly, as though we’re speaking of a meddlesome low-level hell guard instead of one of the Royals.

“Careful. We don’t fully know what she’s capable of,” Jude warns him.

“In a war between Envy and Wrath, I’ll tell you who my bets get placed on. She’s scared of Paca,” Gage says with a shrug, as he shoulders by Kai and starts guiding us to the Black Heart.

“Gee. I feel so masculine knowing the four of us may need our girlfriend’s protection,” Kai drawls as we all follow behind Gage.

“I hate leaving her unprotected so much. We should just take her to the Black Heart with us,” I tell them as I look back over my shoulder, seeing the door to the room is now shut.

It’s probably also locked.

A small breath of relief is all I get, because I seriously hate leaving her for any capacity of time.

Kai looks back several times as well, and Jude actually hesitates his steps, before shaking his head and walking forward even faster than Gage is.

“Let’s get this the fuck over with,” Jude snaps before he disappears through the false wall.

I hate this part.

We all follow in behind him, and the stench of rotting flesh assaults us right before the scent of burning flesh.

“Got to love the atmosphere,” Kai states as he steps over a writhing body that is crying out in pain.

It’s the zombie field. I hate the fucking zombie field. It’ll change into something else I hate soon enough. Honestly, though, I hate every single field or forest the Black Heart has.

The room shifts, turning into the torture dungeon that always makes me sick. I swallow back the bile, ignoring the prickles of awareness and remembered nightmares that try to creep in.

Kai can joke all he wants, but we all have the same thought when we walk through this dark, dank, disgustingly putrid nightmare full of screams and tortured souls…

Paca dragged us out of this.

She’d do it now if she had to.

And she’d spend centuries watching after us—

“Where’d Jude go?” Gage asks, looking around as my thoughts get interrupted.

We all start looking around, because the Black Heart is full of ever-changing illusions that only serve to fuck your head up worse.

The room has shifted from the torture chambers where bodies are strung up with chains, to the dead forest we purposely work to avoid.

Crazy shit comes out of that forest. It took three of us to bring down a three-headed zombie gorilla with a horse body. It took seven hours of bathing to get rid of the smell.

“Fuuuuuuck,” Kai groans as said forest suddenly engulfs us, even as we stand still.

Usually standing still keeps it away.

The dead trees have bleeding hearts instead of leaves, and the ground is full of fucking fingers wiggling in the dirt.

“This is why we have nightmares,” Gage says with a shudder just as we hear Jude cursing.

We all whirl around to see Jude struggling as he fights off a...no. No way. Not possible.

“Is that a motherfucking…unicorn?” Gage asks very seriously.

We all stare in a little horror as a black-eyed, solid white unicorn attacks Jude with some serious ferocity. Jude staggers and almost falls, barely batting away the horned beast’s next attack.

“I can’t tell if the unicorn is horny or angry,” Kai says uncertainly, as we all cant our heads to the side to see it trying to pin Jude down.

Jude, releasing an indignant yell of frustration, looks like he’s ready to blow the world to pieces all by himself, as he manages to get free and stun the beast with a hard hit to the head.

“Sometimes, I can’t tell if Jude is horny or angry, so maybe they’re kindred,” I point out.

Finally, Jude swings his scythe so quickly I miss what happens, and he rolls up to his feet, walking toward us with discernable anger, while he releases a litany of curses. We all watch as the unicorn’s head slides off very slowly.

“It just gets weirder in here,” Gage finally states with a firm nod.

Jude wipes the sticky, goopy black blood off his face, glaring at us like we’ve offended him just by viewing that embarrassing excuse for a fight with a mythical creature.

“Not one word of this to Paca,” he bites out, pointing the blade of his scythe at each of us, one by one.

“Like we’d tell her you just fought an evil fucking unicorn,” Kai scoffs. “One that may or may not have been horny.”

“She’d think she was right about everything all the time if she learned she was right about that,” I state in agreement, and shudder at the thought of how many times she’d throw this up as her reasonable excuse to assume as much.

“Think she just knew? I highly doubt that was a lucky guess,” Gage goes on, as Jude gripes at the sticky blood he can’t get rid of.

When his hand gets stuck to his face and the black, sticky blood starts turning the colors of a motherfucking rainbow, his eyes widen in slight horror. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Jude look so panicked.

Kai snorts, Gage shakes with silent laughter as he turns away, and I struggle to keep a straight face.

   
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