Hellhound Prince of Fire (Hellhound #3) - Rue Volley

Chapter One

What a Fucking Mess

Gunner fell to the ground as everyone else did. They had been suspended in time and he moaned as his muscles ached, as if he had torn every one of them. Ari cursed at the sky as Finna pushed herself up to her feet and swayed. She may be a Viking, but it had affected her just as badly as it had everyone else. Dorin coughed up blood and rolled onto his side as he held his stomach. He had suffered a blow from a demon, just as Lucifer had decided to freeze everyone. He suddenly remembered the battle they had been in and he forced himself up as he then stared around in a circle and there was nothing. Not one demon in sight. It was almost as if nothing had happened at all, no cracked asphalt, no blood, everything erased.

“Halo,” Gunner whispered as he tried his best to stand and then he looked at the ground, where she had been and his eyes filled with a look of panic.

“Where is she!?” he screamed as everyone tried to regain their senses. Dorin stared at him with compassion in his eyes as Gunner looked all around them.

“I am going there and I am ripping his fucking heart out,” he said as he gritted his teeth and started to walk away from everyone. Tercia started to follow, but Dorin caught up to her and grabbed her arm, stopping her dead in her tracks. She turned her face towards him and Dorin tilted his head as her eyes looked strangely vacant. He paused and she parted her lips allowing words to form.

“Dorin, I have missed you,” she said quietly as she hugged him. He stood still for a moment and then raised his arms, returning the hug to her. She felt a bit ridged, which was not entirely misunderstood for someone who had fallen as a Hound and gone to Hell. He knew the torturous nature of Lucifer and of his sister. He could not imagine what Tercia had been through, not entirely. It had certainly changed her, changed how she felt in all ways. She relaxed and then turned her gaze towards Gunner.

“Marcus,” she said as even Ari and Finna stopped dusting themselves off and stared at him. He stopped when he heard his true name, as if a blade had been shoved clean through him. He sighed as he lifted his hands and stared at them, his head still low as he looked down. Tercia started to walk away from Dorin and he could not help but think that maybe she was exactly what Gunner needed. If anything could distract him from a suicide run to Hell, it could be her.

Tercia stepped up behind him and stopped. Her skin looking like porcelain and her face framed in the blunt cut of her bangs. The moonlight broke through the clouded sky and shined on her purple hair once again as Gunner closed his eyes and let one slow breath out into the chilled air.

“I have missed you brother.”

He opened his eyes and turned to face her.

“You fell, I watched you fall.”

She nodded and looked him over, almost like a bird would their prey.

“That I did, but it was not the first time, so I was not afraid.”

“I…” he started to say.

She stepped up to him and placed one hand to his chest. He reached up and took her hand and held it there, her skin just as soft as it had always been and him feeling as if he needed to protect her.

“It was not your fault, it was my own,” she said to him and he held her hand tightly to his chest, the muscles in his jaw flexing as he heard the words and tried to accept them.

“I was given the responsibility to protect you and I have never been able to follow through.”

She stepped closer to him and placed her hand over his. “This guilt you carry is why you were branded with that curse.” She turned his hand over and stared at the pentagram embedded into his palm. He watched her as she stared at it and traced it with her fingertips.

“Lucifer enjoys watching you struggle, he enjoys watching all of us struggle. It is what feeds him, fills him with lust and power.”

Gunner watched her lips and then she lifted her eyes and stared into his.

“You have the power to defeat him, you always have, but it has to be at the right