Bound in Darkness (Misplaced Halos Book 3) - Nicole Edwards


Friday, October 13, 2017

“Son of a bitch!”

“Holy shit!”

“Tell me he’s still alive, bro!”

Kaj Courtenay had to wonder about the last one. If sheer, endless agony meant he was alive, then yeppers. He was most definitely in the land of the living.

Had to be, right? Otherwise he wouldn’t be listening to Obsidian’s fool brothers ramble incessantly about whether or not Kaj had succumbed to the lead shower he’d found himself in the middle of.

Not just one bullet. Oh, no. He’d never get that lucky. If memory served—and that was a bit iffy right now—there were at minimum three pieces of lead stuck somewhere in his torso. Likely in his lung since breathing was a bit more difficult than usual.

Oh, look at him playing the eternal optimist. Must still be kicking.

Fuck that. He was on fucking fire, every goddamn inch of him.

The blaze of agony had started somewhere in his chest and was now catching up with the rest of him. Good news… he could no longer feel his feet, so there was some relief there.

“Find Acadia!” Obsidian shouted, though who he was talking to, Kaj had no idea. “Right now!”

Breathe. Just breathe. In … out … in—

“I’m here, Obsidian.”

Holy shit, now that was the voice of an angel. Too bad he couldn’t open his eyes to see her.

“How may I assist?”

Perhaps a bit more effort was required, because, Heaven help him, he wanted to see her.

Try, try, try again.

Nope. Eyes won’t work. What now?

Oh, right.

Thanks be to the Almighty, his sense of smell wasn’t broken, so Kaj turned his face in the direction of the soft scent of … well, he didn’t know what it smelled like, but it was the best thing his sinuses had ever pulled through them.

“I’ve got to get the bullets out,” Obsidian grumbled, that deep, rumbling voice close. “He’ll need blood.”

Yes. Bullets out, blood in. Good plan, big guy.

“It would be my pleasure,” the female intoned.

Heaven. He was pretty sure her voice was the sound made by all those harps in Heaven.

That lovely cadence drifted amongst the clouds currently filling Kaj’s mind.

Not clouds, more like fog, growing thicker with every passing second. Perhaps he was hovering between Earth and Heaven, stuck in a state of limbo. Obsidian was down on the mainland while that female was drifting high in the clouds. If Kaj was dangling somewhere in between, he was ready to follow her, wherever she was. Please and thank you.

“Where do you need me?” the angelic voice asked.

“Right there’s fine,” Obsidian responded.

Kaj could imagine a halo ringing her head, casting a beautiful glow over her as she floated effortlessly on white, billowy— The image he was trying to conjure in his mind was obliterated by a blinding pain spearing his chest.

“Hey, Kaj. I can’t promise this won’t hurt,” Obsidian stated.

More than this? Yeah. Doubtful. A grumble was all he could manage, the words in his head not being relayed to his mouth.

“Don’t touch him until I’m finished.” Obsidian’s tone held an air of concern.

Who? Who was the big bastard talking to? The angel? No, Kaj wanted her to touch him. Right now would be fine. She could carry him right off into the afterlife.

Surely this was the end for him. At least he’d gone out on a high note. Those demons might’ve nailed him where it counted, but he’d eliminated at least two dozen before he’d given up the ghost. Proved himself to the male he’d come to consider a friend. A fucking angel, of all things. Never in his life had he thought he’d be cozied up to the feathered type, but hey, Kaj was open-minded like that.

As the fire blazed through him, he briefly wondered whether someone would tell his father he was gone. Would Kardobahn mourn him? Yes, he decided. Perhaps they hadn’t always been close, but Kaj had a good relationship with his father and the new female Kardobahn had mated a few years back. There was no lingering animosity between them. Probably helped that, aside from being his oldest son, Kaj was Kardobahn’s adighrielin, the advisor to the vampire Alpha. To add another title to the list: leader of the Zenith. It had taken centuries, but Kaj had finally proven his worth to his father. Surely that would mean something.

“Kaj, brother, I need you to take a deep breath.”

The cold that raced over his skin said a deep breath likely wouldn’t do any good. He was fading quickly, and truth was, he was ready. Not because he wanted to vacate his