Darkness Unleashed Page 0,1

seat, my friend,” the Anasso drawled. “This might take a while.”

For an insane moment, Jagr considered refusing the order. Before being turned into a vampire, he had been a leader of thousands. While he had no memory of those days, he had retained all his arrogance. Not to mention his issue with authority.

Thankfully, he had also kept the larger portion of his intelligence.

“Very well, Anasso, I have rushed to obey your royal command.” He lowered his hard bulk onto a delicate brocade sofa, inwardly swearing to kill the designer if it broke. “What do you demand of your dutiful subject?”

Viper growled deep in his throat, the air tingling with his power. Jagr never blinked, although his muscles coiled in preparation.

“Perhaps you should see to your guests, Viper,” Styx smoothly commanded. “Jagr’s…dramatic entrance has disrupted your charming entertainment, and attracted more attention than I desire.”

“I will not be far.” Viper flashed Jagr a warning glare before disappearing through the busted door.

“Is he auditioning for a place among your Ravens?” Jagr mocked.

Pinpricks of pain bit into his skin as Styx released a small thread of his power.

“So long as you remain in Chicago, Viper is your clan chief. Do not make the mistake of forgetting his position.”

Jagr shrugged. He wasn’t indifferent to the debt and loyalty owed to Viper. The truth was he was in a pissy mood, and being stuck in the chichi nightclub where there wasn’t a damned thing to kill beyond a bunch of dew fairies wasn’t helping.

“I can hardly forget when I am forever being commanded to involve myself in affairs that do not concern me, and more importantly, do not interest me.”

“What does interest you, Jagr?” He held Styx’s searching gaze with a flat stare. At last the king grimaced. “Like it or not, you offered your sword when Viper accepted you into his clan.”

He didn’t like it, but he couldn’t argue. Being taken into a clan was the only means of survival among the vampires.

“What would you have of me?”

Styx rose to his feet to round the desk, perching on a corner. The wood groaned beneath the considerable weight, but didn’t crack. Jagr could only assume Viper had had all the furniture reinforced.

Smart vampire.

“What do you know of my mate?” Styx abruptly demanded.

Jagr stilled. “Is this a trap?”

A wry smile touched the Anasso’s mouth. “I’m not a subtle vampire, Jagr. Unlike the previous Anasso, I have no talent for manipulating and deceiving others. If there comes a day when I feel the need to challenge you, it will be done face-to-face.”

“Then why are you asking me about your mate?”

“When I first met Darcy, she knew nothing of her heritage. She had been fostered by humans from the time she was a babe, and it wasn’t until Salvatore Giuliani, the current king of the Weres, arrived in Chicago that we discovered she was a pureblood who had been genetically altered.”

Jagr flicked a brow upward. That was a little tidbit that the king had kept secret.

“Genetically altered?”

“The Weres are increasingly desperate to produce healthy offspring. The pureblood females have lost their ability to control their shifts during the full moon, which makes it all but impossible to carry a litter to full term. The Weres altered Darcy and her sisters so they would be incapable of shifting.”

Jagr folded his arms over his chest. He didn’t give a damn about the worthless dogs.

“I presume you will tell me why you have summoned me, before the sun rises?”

Styx narrowed his golden eyes. “That depends entirely on your cooperation, my brother. I can make this meeting last as long as I desire.”

Jagr’s lips twitched. The one thing he respected was power. “Please continue.”

“Darcy’s mother gave birth to a litter of four daughters, all genetically altered, and all stolen from the Weres shortly after their births.”

“Why were they stolen?”

“That remains a mystery Salvatore has never fully explained.” There was an edge in the Anasso’s voice that warned he wasn’t pleased by the lack of information. “What we do know is that one of Darcy’s sisters was discovered in St. Louis, being held captive by an imp named Culligan.”

“He’s fortunate that she’s incapable of shifting. A pureblood could rip out the throat of an imp.”

“From what Salvatore could discover, the imp managed to get his hands on Regan when she was just a child, and kept her locked in a cage coated with silver. That is when he wasn’t torturing her for a quick buck.”


The Dutch masterpieces hanging on the walls crashed to