Betraying Destiny (The Omega Prophecy #3) - Nora Ash
The word hung in the nothingness between us, expanding until it pounded in my temples and throbbed in my blood moving sluggishly through my veins.
“Why?” I repeated. The ice in my gut crawled through my body, numbing my arms, my fingertips… my chest. “Why, why, why?”
The last word came out as a wail, and Grim sighed, his lips parting slightly to expel his breath—the only movement on his granite features as he stared down at me.
Even in this place void of color, his eyes were mismatched—one light, one dark—and as bereft of emotion as the rest of his face.
“Grim!” Through the ice, through the agony pulsating in my chest where my matebonds hooked like barbed wire, fury rose. He had tricked me. He had taken me from my mates.
He had betrayed us.
My magic rose from deep in my body like a firestorm, and I shot to my feet as golden light blasted out of me and into him. “Why?” I roared.
Dark magic flickered like flames around Grim, absorbing my energy and leaving the god before me untouched.
I balled my hands into fists, narrowing my eyes as I reached for my magic deliberately this time. “Tell. Me. Why. Or I swear, I will blast you into next Sunday! Tell me right goddamn now.”
“You shouldn’t spend your magic needlessly,” he said, his voice soft even if the blank expression on his pale face didn’t change. “Hel is not a place to find yourself weakened.”
I lifted my arms and shot another blast of golden energy directly into his chest with a scream of rage.
Grim’s magic rose around him again, once more warding off my attack. With a wave of his hand, the air shifted around me, knocking me off my feet. I landed on the mossy ground with a grunt and found myself locked in place by invisible hands.
“Enough,” he said. “You will hurt yourself.”
“Why?” I ground out through clenched teeth. “Why do you care if I hurt myself? You killed me. I’m in hell, and you brought me here!”
“Hel,” he corrected. “You’re in Hel.”
“Really? You’re going to argue semantics with me now?” I hissed, squirming against my invisible ties. It did nothing, and I screamed with impotent frustration.
“It’s a bit more than semantics,” Mimir muttered from his place on the tree stump to my right.
I turned my head to glare at him. “And you! Are you in on this? Did you lure me here like some sort of grotesque bait?” Something dawned on me and I cussed, twisting back to face Grim.
“Loki! Loki sent me to you. He… He knew? He’s behind this? He’s the… Betrayer? Oh, God, he fucking tricked me! I can’t believe I trusted him!”
“It will do you no good to fret about what is done, Annabel,” Grim said.
“Are you fucking serious?” I snarled. “You killed me. You’ve doomed the entire world—your own brothers—and you’re telling me not to fret?”
Grim crouched in front of me, and something that could have been regret flickered across his features for the briefest of moments. “I have not doomed my brothers. Because of me, they will make it through Ragnarök. This prophecy of yours…” He gave Mimir a less than respectful glance. “They were foolish to place so much faith in you. Reckless to risk everything on a mortal’s strength, even if she has been touched by Fate. You ask me why? The answer is simple, Annabel: I will sacrifice anything and everything for my brothers. And so I did.”
I bared my teeth at him in another snarl. “You killed their mate! Do you not understand how a mateclaim works? They will die!”
“No, they will not. I took you through to the Realm of Death with your body intact. They will hurt, and they will suffer, but they will not die. Once Ragnarök has swallowed the nine realms, once the end has come and gone, I will be able to break their matebonds to you.
“They will be free, Annabel. And alive. Find comfort in that.”
“But I will still be dead,” I whispered, and finally the ice and fury seeped from my body like melting snow, leaving only the torment of my four bonds and an aching hollowness surrounding them. Tears pricked at my eyes, overflowing as the truth of what I’d lost finally set in. “I will never see them again. I will… be here? Alone? For eternity?”
“Yes,” he said softly. A chilly touch ghosted against my cheek, making me recoil before he pulled his hand back to look at the wetness coating his