We’ve been back from Hawaii for two weeks now and I’ve been hit and miss on getting a lot done on Taylor and Devon’s story. It’s coming along slowly. I’m going to post this excerpt from chapter 33 (non-edited!) and will post one from chapter 34 in the next post.
“Live?” Jaden ground out. “Do you even understand what my life has been like? What growing up with that… that… piece a shit of a father was like?” He was panting hard, his chest rising and falling rapidly. His eyes burned with anger.
“But you did live!” Aveta pressed home her point. Jaden stepped over the corpse, closing the last foot between them. Aveta was tall in her goddess form, but she had to tilt her head back to meet Jaden’s gaze.
“No,” Jaden uttered, his tone was low and trembling, his breath fanning
her face. “That wasn’t living, that just existing.” He took a deep breath as he
closed his eyes. Aveta could see that he was working to regain some control over his emotions. Without opening his eyes he continued. “Do you what
to know what my life was like with him?” He opened his eyes to glare at
her. His anger was still there but now they also held a haunted expression. He didn’t
wait for her response before continuing.
“I don’t remember very much of him before I turned thirteen, just a lot of
different women working to care for me. They never lasted longer than a year or
so. I realize now that he was kidnapping young women with any kind of magic in
their blood. He permitted them to care for me while he drained their
magic…” He stopped short when Aveta touched his arm.
“You don’t need to tell me, Kaden, I know full well what he did to you.”
He snorted. “You understood he was grooming me to do the same thing? That he compelled me to fuck countless women from the time I was thirteen? You
understood that those…” his voice cracked. “Girls… women… died each time I fucked
one to drain her magic?” He stopped and glared into her eyes. “You were aware of all of
this but decided to only protect my…” With a
sigh he stepped to the side, breaking Aveta’s grip on his forearm. His eyes
moved to the couple on the floor. “Was I so worthless that you
“No!” Now it was Aveta’s turn to be angry. “I… we never thought you were worthless, Jaden.” She stroked his arm. “As much as I disliked leaving you with him as a babe, I had to. You have your own destiny to fulfill. What you endured has made you stronger…”
Jaden threw back his head and laughed contemptuously. “Make me stronger?” His
laugh stopped abruptly. “What it made me is just like my father! It made me a murderer.” He turned away and scanned the floor until he caught sight of what he had come for.
“Kaden, no,” Aveta insisted. “You didn’t kill those girls, he did! He wanted you to believe that you had, but each one of those countless deaths were from his hands!”
Jaden ignored her comments as he saw the object he been looking for. Bending, he picked up William’s withered heart and clenched his fist around it. He watched,
mesmerized, as thick black blood oozed from between his fingers and dripped
slowly to the floor. When he spoke it was more to himself rather then to the goddess
in the room.
“I won’t allow his evil to hurt anybody else.” His voice was hushed and the words
sounded like an oath. Aveta took a step toward him, reaching out for his arm. “No!” He hissed, peering at her as he
clutched the hand gripping the heart to his chest.
“Kaden, stop. Think about what you’re going to do.” She realized that he
intended to take his father’s heart between the realms, beyond the Ether. In
that fiery region, it would be incinerated, burned to ash in blink of an eye.
“Allow me send it there for you,” she kept her tone low, calm and soothing.
“Once it’s gone you will be free of your father. Free to be yourself, free of
the taint of…” Kaden cut her off with another scornful laugh and he shook his
head. His laugh broke off suddenly and when he looked at her, his eyes were
“I’ll never be free of him!” he snarled. “Free to be myself? I don’t know
who the fuck I am! All I understand is what he made me into. I can’t have a
life, a mate…” his voice cracked and he peered at where Devon still
was wrapped around Taylor. “…a family.” He stepped back a few paces, almost
into the shadows at the periphery of the room. “I will end this now. I will end both
of us now.” With that declaration he moved back another pace and the shadows swallow