Home > Burn (Dark in You #1)(2)

Burn (Dark in You #1)(2)
Author: Suzanne Wright

Well that would be a first. Khloë had a tendency to get in deep shit. “Who did this to you?”

“Mona’s little group attacked me in the restroom a few minutes ago.”

“What?”

Mona was not only Khloë’s opponent but a bitch who had a hard-on for Khloë simply because she’d once slept with a guy Mona liked. Demons tended to hold a grudge.

“I wondered if maybe Mona put them up to it,” said Khloë. “But would she really think she’d get away with this?”

Yes, Mona would. The harbinger thought herself untouchable because her anchor was a demon within Knox’s Force. Demons were predominantly psychic creatures. They didn’t have soul mates, but they came in pairs. That meant they each had a predestined psychic mate, or ‘anchor’, who made them stronger and gave them the stability that prevented them from turning rogue.

By fusing their psyches, a powerful, unbreakable link formed between the demons. It wasn’t sexual or emotional, it existed on a psychic level. Demons were very protective of their anchors, but Harper didn’t give a shit who Mona’s anchor was – no one messed with her family.

“Where are Mona’s little bitches now?” demanded Harper, pacing.

Khloë’s expression was grim. “The doorman went searching for them, but they’re nowhere to be found – conveniently. They got what they wanted; I can’t go out there. I can’t fight like this.”

It was true. Not even their accelerated healing rate would have Khloë back to normal within the small timeframe she had. “No, you can’t,” agreed Harper. “But I can.”

 

 

Hearing a knock on the office door, Knox turned away from the reflective glass that provided him with a perfect view of the combat circle. “Come in.” Three of his sentinels – Tanner, Keenan, and Larkin – entered. Glimpsing the hard set to Tanner’s jaw, Knox knew he wasn’t going to like the information he had sent them to attain.

Setting his glass of gin and tonic on the desk, Knox said, “Tell me.”

Tanner halted directly in front of him, and the others flanked him. “More strays have gone missing than we thought. We checked to see if there have been disappearances in other areas, but it seems to only be happening in Las Vegas right now.”

The matter had only come to their attention a few days ago, since Knox didn’t monitor the population of strays – demons that chose to live outside of a lair. But it seemed that someone was simply plucking them from the streets. Strays weren’t under his protection, but that didn’t mean Knox liked anyone using Las Vegas as their own personal hunting ground. Unlike shifters, demons didn’t claim territories, but they were protective of the places where the demons of their lair resided.

Keenan pulled a flask out of his jacket that Knox knew was filled with vodka. The incubus was a heavy drinker, but since it didn’t affect his efficiency as a sentinel, Knox never called him on it. “Las Vegas is highly populated with demons,” the incubus pointed out. Demons liked bright lights, gambling, thrills, and adrenalin rushes. It made Last Vegas a popular place for their kind. “A perfect place to hunt strays.”

“The ones we spoke with are scared.” Larkin moved to the sofa beside the window. “Usually when there are crimes like this, you hear of at least one witness or one person who managed to avoid a kidnapping attempt. There’s been nothing like that. The strays that were taken weren’t weak in power, but they were easily taken.”

Knox leaned against his desk. “I have to wonder if Isla has something to do with it.”

Keenan frowned as he took a swig of his vodka. “Isla?”

“She’s been calling for changes that have been ignored up until recently. Those changes would offer strays protection. If they’re scared…”

“They’re more likely to listen to her,” finished Keenan.

“Exactly.” Demons didn’t have a global leader, they simply existed in lairs which were ruled by a Prime. The lairs weren’t organized into any kind of hierarchical structure. Demons only answered to their Primes. Isla, however, had suggested electing one of the Primes – more specifically, her – to rule above all the lairs of the U.S. For a long time, no one had listened to her. But now some demons were supporting her idea, and she’d found a true voice.

“Considering it’s rumored that she rents out her own demons to dark practitioners to use in their spells, I doubt she’ll have any qualms with plucking strays off the street,” said Larkin, toying with her long, brown braid.

“Why would Isla bother appealing for this?” Keenan shook his head. “We had a structure like that once, and it resulted in fucking chaos. Why ask to bring that back?”

“Power,” Larkin answered simply.

She was right. And there was always someone looking for power, control, and money. After so many years of being surrounded by such greed and calculation, everything had started to feel predictable, boring, and cold for Knox. Now a numbness was beginning to settle in for both him and his demon. “I had a call from Raul,” Knox told his sentinels. “He’s holding a conference on Saturday in Manhattan for every Prime of the U.S. to discuss the matter.” Raul’s lair spanned most of New York. “Personally, I think it’s best to have a formal discussion about it.”

“Do you think Isla has a chance of implementing any changes?” Keenan’s tone said that he didn’t believe so.

“I think she’s very cunning and calculated, and we shouldn’t underestimate her,” Knox told the incubus. “She-demons can be pretty ruthless.”

A grin played around the edges of Tanner’s mouth. “Speaking of ruthless she-demons, you might want to know that Kendra has got herself a boyfriend. She’s flaunting him like crazy, obviously hoping it will get a jealous reaction out of you.” And the hellhound seemed to find far too much enjoyment in that.

Inwardly, Knox groaned. “Last time we spoke, she promised me I’d regret letting her leave me and I would beg her to come back.”

Tanner laughed. “She sensed your demon lose interest?”

“Yes.” Story of Knox’s life. His demon could be very obsessive when fixated on a female, but it got bored so easily that the infatuation was always short-lived, leaving Knox to deal with a pissed-off female nursing a bruised ego.

Their inner demons couldn’t ‘care’ for others, but they could form attachments to people. When that happened, those attachments were incredibly intense, because every ounce of a demon’s natural intensity and focus was channeled into them. The only people his demon was attached to were his four sentinels. It obsessed over women it wanted, but it didn’t wish to ‘keep’ them, despite that it experienced the same loneliness that all inner demons were plagued by.

Knox snapped out of his thoughts as another knock was followed by the entrance of Levi; he’d clearly washed and changed. “You fought dirty, as always.”

Levi grinned. “There’s no other way to fight.”

“I think Mona’s up next,” said Larkin, looking out of the window. “Here comes the umpire.”

Speaking into a microphone which was wired to the speakerphones in Knox’s office, the gray-haired male announced, “There has been a change in the program. Due to Miss Wallis’ poor physical state at this time, she has been substituted—”

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