Read Darkness Rising: The Dark Angel Series: Book Two Online

Authors: Keri Arthur

Tags: #Fantasy, #Epic, #General, #Fiction

Darkness Rising: The Dark Angel Series: Book Two

BOOK: Darkness Rising: The Dark Angel Series: Book Two
11.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Praise for Keri Arthur
 

‘Keri Arthur’s imagination and energy infuse everything she writes with zest’ Charlaine Harris, bestselling author of
Dead Until Dark

‘Keri Arthur is one of the best supernatural romance writers in the world’ Harriet Klausner

‘This series is phenomenal! It keeps you spellbound and mesmerized on every page. Absolutely perfect!’

FreshFiction.com

‘Ms Arthur is positively one of the best urban fantasy authors in print today. The characters have been well-drawn from the start and the mysteries just keep getting better. A creative, sexy and adventure-filled world that readers will just love escaping to’
Darque Reviews

‘Vampires and werewolves and hybrids … oh my! With a butt-kicking heroine and some oh-so-yummy men, Keri Arthur … has put her own unique spin on things, and the results are a sensual and energized fantasy brimming with plenty of romance’

RomanceReviewsToday.com

‘Keri Arthur knows how to thrill! Buckle up and get ready for a wild, cool ride!’ Shana Abé,
New York Times
bestselling author’

Keri Arthur
won the
Romantic Times
Career Achievement Award for Urban Fantasy and has been nominated in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the
Romantic Times
Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She’s a dessert and function cook by trade, and lives with her daughter in Melbourne, Australia.

Visit her website at
www.keriarthur.com

Also by Keri Arthur
 

Dark Angel Series:

Darkness Unbound

Riley Jenson Guardian Series:

Full Moon Rising

Kissing Sin

Tempting Evil

Dangerous Games

Embraced by Darkness

The Darkest Kiss

Deadly Desire

Bound to Shadows

Moon Sworn

Damask Circle Series:

Circle of Fire

Circle of Death

Circle of Desire

Spook Squad Series:

Memory Zero

Generation 18

Penumbra

Nikki & Michael Vampire Series:

Dancing with the Devil

Hearts in Darkness

Chasing the Shadows

Kiss the Night Goodbye

Ripple Creek Werewolf Series:

Beneath a Rising Moon

Beneath a Darkening Moon

Myth and Magic Series:

Destiny Kills

Mercy Burns

Copyright
 

Published by Hachette Digital

ISBN: 978-0-748-12292-9

All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2011 by Keri Arthur

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.

Hachette Digital

Little Brown Book Group

100 Victoria Embankment

London, EC4Y 0DY

www.hachette.co.uk

Contents
 

Praise for Keri Arthur

 

Also by Keri Arthur

 

Copyright

 

Acknowledgments

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Darkness Unbound

For Kasey, my baby girl,
who turned twenty-one this year.
So proud of you!

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
 

I’d like to thank:

Everyone at Bantam for all the help and support they’ve given me over the years, especially my editor, Anne—you’ve taught me so much, and I really do appreciate it.

I’d also like to add a special thanks to my agent, Miriam, who is my rock when everything goes crazy. I don’t know what I’d do without you.

And finally, the Lulus—writing buddies, best friends, five women I couldn’t live without.

Chapter One
 

T
HE HOUSE STILL SMELLED OF DEATH.

Two months had passed since Mom’s murder, but the air still echoed with her agony and I knew if I breathed deep enough, I’d catch the hint of old blood.

But at least there were no visible reminders. The Directorate’s cleanup team had done a good job of removing the evidence.

Bile rose up my throat, and I briefly closed my eyes. I’d seen her—had seen what had been done to her—and it haunted me every night in my dreams. But in many ways, those dreams were also responsible for me finally being able to walk through the front door today.

I’d done enough remembering, and shed enough tears. Now I wanted revenge, and that wasn’t going to happen if I waited for others to hunt down the killers. No, I needed to be a part of it. I needed to do something to help ease the ferocity of the dreams—dreams that came from the guilty knowledge that I should have been there for her. That if I had, I might have been able to prevent this.

I drew in a deep breath that did little to steady the almost automatic wash of fury, and discovered something else. Her scent still lingered.

And not just her scent. Everything she’d been, and everything she’d done—all her love and energy and compassion—filled this place with a warmth that still radiated from the very walls.

For the first time since I’d scattered her ashes in the hills that she’d loved, I smiled.

She would never entirely be gone from this world. She’d done too much, and helped too many people, for her memory to be erased completely.

And that was one hell of a legacy.

Still, despite the echoes of the warmth and love that had once filled these rooms, I had no intention of keeping the house. Not when all I had to do was step into the kitchen to be reminded of everything that had happened.

I walked along the hallway, my boots echoing on the polished marble floor. Aside from the few items of furniture placed to give prospective buyers an idea of each room’s size and purpose, the house was empty. Mike—who’d been Mom’s financial adviser and was still mine—had made all the arrangements, talking to the real estate people on my behalf and shifting most of the furniture into storage so I could deal with it later. Only the items in the two safes remained untouched, and that was a task only I could handle—although it was the one thing I’d been avoiding until now.

I drew in a shuddery breath, then slowly climbed the carpeted stairs. Once I reached the landing, I headed for Mom’s bedroom down at the far end of the hall. The air had a disused smell. Maybe the people employed to keep the house spotless until it
sold hadn’t been as generous with the deodorizer up here.

But the soft hint of oranges and sunshine teased my nostrils as I walked into Mom’s bedroom, and just for a moment it felt like she was standing beside me.

Which was silly, because she’d long since moved on, but my fingers still twitched with the urge to reach for her.

I walked across the thick carpet and opened the double doors to her wardrobe. Her clothes had already been donated to charity, but somehow seeing this emptiness hit me in a way that the emptiness of the other rooms had not. I’d often played in here as a kid, dressing up in her silkiest gowns and smearing my face—and no doubt said gowns—with her makeup.

She’d never once been angry. She’d always laughed and joined the fun, even letting me do
her
face.

I swiped at the tear that appeared on my cheek and resolutely walked into the bathroom. Most people wouldn’t think of looking for a safe in an en suite, which is exactly why Mom had installed her second one here. This was where she’d stored her most precious jewelry.

I opened the double doors under the basin and ducked down. The safe was embedded in the wall and visible only because all of Mom’s makeup had been cleared away.

After typing in the code, I pressed my hand against the reader. Red light flickered across my fingertips; then there was a soft click as the safe opened.

I took a deep breath, then sat and pulled the door
all the way open. Inside were all her favorite items, including the chunky jade bracelet she’d bought the last time she was in New Zealand, only a few weeks before her death. There was also a stack of micro-drive photo disks and, finally, an envelope.

There was nothing written on the front of the envelope, but faint wisps of orange teased my nostrils as I flipped it over and slid a nail along the edge to open it. Inside was a folded piece of paper that smelled of Mom. I took another, somewhat shaky breath and opened it.

I’m sorry that I had to leave you in the dark, my darling daughter,
it said, and I could almost imagine her saying the words as I read them. Could almost feel her warm breath stirring the hair near my cheek.
But I was given little other choice. Besides, I saw my death long ago and knew it was the price I had to pay for having you. I never regretted my choice

not then, and most certainly not now, when that death is at my doorstep. Don’t ever think I accepted my fate placidly. I didn’t. But the cosmos could show me no way out that didn’t also involve your death or Riley’s. Or worse, both of you. In the end, it just had to be.

Live long, love well, and I will see you in the next life. I love you always. Mom.

I closed my eyes against the sting of tears. Damn it, I wouldn’t cry again. I
wouldn’t.

But my tear ducts weren’t taking any notice.

I swiped at the moisture, then sat back on my heels. Oddly enough, I almost felt better. At least now I knew
why
she’d refused to tell me what was going on. She’d seen my death—and Riley’s—if we’d intervened.
And I would have intervened. I mean, she was my
mother.

And as a result, I’d have died.

Her death still hurt—would always hurt—but a tiny weight seemed to have lifted from my soul.

I glanced down at the letter in my hand, smiling slightly as her scent spun around me, then folded it up again and tucked it into my pocket. That one piece of paper was worth more than anything else in her safe.

I scooped up the remainder of the jewels, but as I rose, awareness washed over me. Someone—or something—was in the house.

I was half werewolf, and my senses were keen. Though I hadn’t actually locked the front door, I doubted any humans could have entered without me hearing. Humans tended to walk heavily, even when they were trying to sneak, and with the house almost empty the sound would have echoed. But this invader was as silent as a ghost. And it wasn’t nonhuman, either, because in the midst of awareness came a wash of heat—not body heat, but rather the heat of a powerful presence.

An Aedh.

And he was in spirit form rather than physical.

BOOK: Darkness Rising: The Dark Angel Series: Book Two
11.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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