Bewitch the Darkness

Book 18 in Guardians of Eternity

The vampires and werewolves chosen to be the Guardians of Eternity believe they’ve conquered their latest threat. But as one of them will learn in this mesmerizing installment from New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy, old lovers make the most ruthless new enemies…

Only one drastic mission can tempt Kyi away from the peaceful woodland where the dryads raised her: killing her mother. Xuria’s beauty masks a bone-deep evil that has enslaved fey for centuries with the help of a powerful stone. A hundred years ago, Kyi almost succeeded—until one meddlesome vampire destroyed her chance. With rumors that Xuria has emerged from her secret realm, Kyi’s determined to try again—despite the vampire who is now focused on destroying her.

Locke has been waiting over a century to avenge what he believes was Xuria’s death. Discovering the sorceress’s raven-haired fey daughter was the assassin is a surprise—until her story of Xuria’s treachery begins to ring true. Working with Kyi is one solution—and the relentless heat simmering between them is a hint that they may be fated as mates. But even a destined love will have to wait as they now struggle to defeat Kyi’s twin sister, who has a chilling plan of her own…

Genre: Paranormal

Series: Guardians of Eternity, Book 18

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The lair of the Anasso, King of the Vampires should have been a dank, musty place filled with bats and a few shabby coffins to emphasize the whole creepy vibe. Or at least dug deep underground to avoid the dastardly sunlight.

Instead, Styx had chosen a sprawling mansion on the outskirts of Chicago with lots of marble and gilt that was supposed to give it a classic sophistication. Okay, it had been Styx’s mate who’d chosen it. Styx personally thought it looked like something an aging rocker with too many burnt brain cells would choose, but it pleased Darcy. And since she was a pureblood Were with claws that could literally rip out a male’s throat, he tried to keep her happy.

Styx was currently in his office that had been stripped of most of the gilt, although there was nothing he could do about the marble. Or the fluted columns that grew like a forest through the mansion. He’d intended to spend a few hours enjoying an ancient manuscript that had been loaned to him by Jagr. Darcy had recently gone to Kansas City to visit her twin sister who was mated to the King of Weres, Salvatore, and their litter of pups. She claimed that late fall was the perfect time to travel to see the leaves changing colors.

Styx had declined her invitation. He wasn’t interested in foliage, no matter what color it might be. More importantly, the Were pups had reached an age where they spent an enormous amount of energy racing through the house shrieking and yipping at the top of their lungs. It didn’t matter if they were in their human form or their wolf form. The noise was enough to raise the dead.

And not in a good way.

Unfortunately, his decision to remain behind hadn’t gone as he’d plan. He’d barely settled into his large leather chair when a male shoved open the door to the office.

Xi was one of his Ravens, the personal guards who’d sworn to protect him. Unlike Jagr, who was the leader of the Ravens, Xi wasn’t bulky or as strong as an ox. He wasn’t even the most powerful warrior, although anyone stupid enough to challenge him would quickly find himself with a dagger shoved into his chest and his heart cut out.

But he possessed a unique talent for stealth that made him the perfect choice for Styx’s his latest assignment.

Setting aside the manuscript, Styx regarded his Raven with a lift of his brows. The male was just under six foot with short black hair that was shaved on the side to reveal the tattoos of two coiled snakes on his scalp. His eyes were dark and his finely carved features so perfect he didn’t look real. He was standing in the open doorway wearing black jeans and a black T-shirt. Keeping with the theme, his heavy books were also black. The clothing was more about blending into the background than any particular fashion choice.

Styx, on the other hand was wearing black leather pants and a white silk shirt because that’s all he had in his closet. Darcy had finally accepted that he was never going to dress like a king.

“Are you looking for me?” Styx demanded when the male continued to stand there, eying him with an inscrutable expression.

“Yes.”

“Then what are you waiting on? An engraved invitation?”

Xi’s dark gaze drifted around the room before returning to Styx. “I’m attempting to decide whether or not I have the courage to enter.”

Styx scowled. He’d witnessed this male battle a horde of orcs with nothing more than his fangs and a dagger.

“The one thing you’ve never lacked is courage, amigo.”

“Normally I would agree with you, but you have been…”

Styx lifted his six-foot five body out of the chair. “I’ve been what?”

“Volatile over the past weeks,” Xi told him.

The Raven was right. The past month had stretched Styx’s limited patience to the breaking point. It was nothing he could put his finger on. Unexplained fires. Sudden riots. Vandalism. Brutal attacks on lesser demons.

Every night he woke to discover a line of demons waiting to make a complaint or plead for his assistance. It was enough to stress out the most Zen vampire. And there was nothing Zen about Styx.

Which was why he’d requested Xi to investigate the various incidents.

With an effort, Styx leashed his burst of annoyance at the interruption. He even managed to force a wry smile to his lips.

“According to my mate I’m always volatile.”

Xi didn’t argue. “More volatile than usual,” he clarified.

“Mount Etna volatile or Mount Vesuvius?”

Xi answered without hesitation. “Definitely Mount Vesuvius.”

Styx tapped a finger on the edge of his desk. He was often short-tempered. It was part of his charm. But the past month had rubbed his nerves raw.

“I’ve had a stressful times, terrifying times, and the world-is-about-to-end times. But this…” He shook his head. “I feel like I’m being tormented by a thousand unseen ants. Each biting when I least expect it.”

“The city is seething.”

“Seething. Yes. That’s exactly what’s happening,” Styx agreed. It was like they were sitting on a simmering pot that might boil over at any moment. “I don’t suppose you’ve managed to discover what’s causing the trouble?”

“I have answers for the latest incidents.” Xi strolled forward, halting next to the desk. “The collapse at the sanctuary happened when the wooden beams in the ceiling shattered.”

The sanctuary had been Darcy’s idea. She’d spent years barely scraping by, unaware why she was different from other people. She wanted a place for demons to go that would offer them food and a warm place to sleep, as well as protection from the more predator demons. Or even from humans who had a tendency to kill what they feared.

A week ago, the old warehouse collapsed into a pile of rubble, wounding several of those seeking asylum. Darcy had been furious and Styx had promised to get to the bottom of the collapse.

“Did someone tamper with them?” he asked Xi.

The Raven shrugged. “The damage was too great to determine if it was an accident or deliberate.”

Styx was willing to bet it was deliberate. “And the others?”

“The fire at the Viper Club was caused by an electrical surge,” Xi continued. “And the rampaging vampire that we captured claims he was kidnapped and injected with some unknown toxin that sent him into a psychotic episode.”

It’d only been a night ago that Styx had received a frantic call that warned there was a crazed vampire destroying a human nightclub. The male was not only creating chaos, but he was threatening to expose the existence of vampires. Something that would be catastrophic for the entire demon world.

Styx had personally gone to the club to capture the idiot and toss him in a locked cell. It was also when he’d suggested to Darcy she might want to visit her sister. Anything to get her out of town.

“Where was he kidnapped from?” Styx demanded.

“In front of your lair.”

Styx hissed in outrage. What demon had the balls to kidnap a vampire beneath the nose of the Anasso?

A dead one.

 

End of Excerpt

Bewitch the Darkness is available in the following formats:

Kensington

November 16, 2021

Guardians of Eternity

Paranormal

Print:

Not currently available in print.

Bewitch the Darkness

Guardians of Eternity, Book 18

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