Fear the Darkness
Page 4

 Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Nick struggled to breathe. “How do I know I can trust you?”
“I have no emotions. I only do as I’m told. Betrayal is for those who have something to gain.”
It was true. The Dream-Hunters had been cursed by Zeus to feel nothing.
Satara smiled at him. “It’s too soon, Nick. I know. You go home now and rest. When you’re ready to have your mother back, bring Marissa to us.”
Nick nodded before he turned back and did what she said.
Satara narrowed her eyes as Nick vanished from sight. He was being rather willful, but they could still control him. He needed their blood to live and so long as they had him tied down, there was nothing he could do to escape.
At least nothing that didn’t involve him begging Acheron for help and that was the last thing Nick would do.
“Do you really want me to bring his mother out of the Underworld?” Kratos asked. “That will require a massive amount of cooperation from Hades.”
She scoffed at him. “Of course not. We get Marissa and both he and his mother can roast in their hell for all I care. But you are another matter. I want you in his dreams, every night, working on him. He has enough anger to feed you well, my Skotos. Play on that anger. Build it higher until he will be willing to do anything to free his mother and kill Acheron.”
She saw the hesitation in Kratos’s eyes.
She curled her lip. “Oh, don’t tell me you’re going to be a wuss too. I’m sick to death of weak men around me.”
He grabbed her and shoved her against the wall. “I’m not a wuss, Satara. You’d do well to remember that.”
She tsked at him. “For a god with no emotions, you seem rather testy.”
He released her. “I’m siphoning off you and your hatred. Even in this realm, it’s pungent.”
“Leave my hatred alone. I don’t want it diminished. Remember, Dream-Hunter, I’m a god too. Fuck with me and I’ll bring down the wrath of Zeus on you.”
“You’re only a demigod and a servant at that.”
“But dear old Grandpa Zeus will take an audience with me and then he’ll take your head. Are you willing to chance that?”
He took a step back and gave her a look that let her know she should be on guard while sleeping in the future.
“Just do your part, Kratos, and I’ll do mine. The Oneroi don’t monitor the dreams of Daimons. You help me keep Nick turned against Acheron, and I will give you a playground unimagined by your brethren.”
Kratos swallowed at her promise. Three weeks ago, he’d been one of the Oneroi. A servant of the gods who protected humans and immortals while they slept. Then Satara had summoned him in her dreams and had turned him Skoti. She’d seduced him with her body and made him crave emotions like a drug. Now he couldn’t stand the emptiness of his existence. He only wanted to feel and he was willing to do anything to keep his newfound emotions.
She was right. His kind didn’t prey on Daimons, and if they were half as enticing as she, then he would have a banquet at his ngertips.
And all he had to do was feed the Dark-Hunter’s anger and grief. Simple.
“It’s a deal, Satara. You give me what I need and I’ll give you what you want.”
She smiled. What she wanted was simple. Nick Gautier’s loyalty and the baby Marissa. With those two things, she could bring down both the Greek and the Atlantean pantheons.
Then she would be a god and she would make Apollymi look weak.
And Nick, Acheron, and Kratos would be her eternal slaves.
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Enter the realm of the Dark-Hunters—listen to Fear the Darkness* audiobook and hear insider details from Sherrilyn Kenyon...
Fear the Darkness is Narrated by Holter Graham
Holter Graham is a stage, television, and screen actor. He has recorded numerous audiobooks, including The Alibi and Fade. His lm credits include Home, Maximum Overdrive, and Hairspray. On television he has appeared in Law and Order and New York Undercover
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Part ii:
Hi, everyone!
I hope you enjoyed the short story and I know the rst question many of you will have after reading it—is that it for Nick? No! :) I promise Nick will have a full-length book in the future.
That being said, I’ve been wanting to do this short for a while, but it didn’t really t into any of the novels. I thought that it was important for the fans of the series to understand why Nick can’t simply forgive and forget where Ash is concerned. As Ash so often says, emotions don’t have brains. And as I know rsthand, grief takes years to deal with, especially when someone is violently and unexpectedly taken too soon from your life.
Nick makes a cameo appearance in The Dream-Hunter, and here’s a small bit of that cameo.
“Ah, jeez. Nick!”
Ash turned at Kyrian’s irate shout to nd the general standing in the doorway near the black mark Nick had left on the oor. A few inches shorter than Ash, Kyrian had short blond hair and was dressed in black. “I’m going to kick your ass, boy! How many times have I told you no skateboards in the house?”
Nick came up behind Kyrian with a face as white as chalk. Ash had seen condemned men look less panicked.
“It’s not Nick’s fault,” Ash said quickly as Nick stopped behind Kyrian’s back with his eyes wide. “It’s these new biker boots. Sorry. I was so stunned when M’Adoc showed up that I skidded on the oor.”
Kyrian gave him a suspicious glare, but since he couldn’t prove Ash was lying, he let it go. “Well, then, could you x it?”
The mark vanished instantly.
“You’re the friggin best ever,” Nick mouthed at Ash from behind Kyrian’s back. He held his hands up in a silent gesture that said Ash rocked. “I love you, man.”
Kyrian turned sharply to glare at Nick who immediately acted as if he were just scratching his head. “You called me, boss?”
“No. I’ve called you a lot of things, but ‘boss’ has never been one of them. And it never will be either.”
Nick raked his hand through his long brown hair. “Dang, he’s in a bad mood tonight. You need to get laid, boss.”
“Shut up, Nick.”
I just love this whole scene (which can be read in its entirety in The Dream-Hunter). Like many others, I miss the old Nick too. But Nick is on a journey, and hopefully he’ll be a better man because of it. Or he’ll die a spectacular death. Only me and my friend Janet know for sure.
In the meantime, I’m working on the next book in the Dark-Hunter series, Devil May Cry. While The Dream-Hunter has Ash’s heroine in it, DMC has events that will greatly impact Ash and his future. Not to mention it has one heck of a HUGE surprise in it. It opens in New York during Christmas and it will take the reader someplace they haven’t gone before. It also has Urian’s return and a Simi shocker. I love this book and I hope all of you will be on the lookout for it in August.
And keep an eye out for the return of Born of the Night, the rst book in the League series. St. Martins has heard our cries and has taken mercy on us. All of the out-of-print books will be back in print very shortly, and SMP was kind enough to let me go back in and edit them. So for the rst time ever, they will be a cohesive series and you will get to read them the way I wanted them to be read. I’m so excited!
I hope all of you had a great holiday season and that 2007 brings nothing but warmth to your heart and laughter to your home.
Part iii:
Sneak Peek:
Available February 2007 in Paperback
Arik wanted to curse in frustration as he watched Megeara smiling at another man. Why wouldn’t she succumb to his serum? To his pleas?
How could a mere mortal woman be so strong?
As light intruded into his dark chamber once more he let out a tired sigh at the sound of his uncle Wink’s voice. Arik was getting seriously tired of these interruptions when all he wanted was to be with his human target. “What?”
“I’ve been told to retrieve my sleeping serum from you. You seem to be abusing it and making your human ill.”
Arik rolled over to face the older sleep god. Wink’s long brown hair was braided down his back as his light gray eyes danced with mischief. Even though Wink was one of the oldest gods, he had the personality of a thirteen-year-old boy. There was nothing he loved more than to play pranks and tease—two of the very things that had gotten Arik and his brethren cursed.