Home > Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11)(15)

Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark #11)(15)
Author: Kresley Cole

She replied, "Hey, didn't I see you in a donkey show down in Tijuana? No? You've got a twin then-"

"Move on," Vincente said warningly.

She gazed up at the guard. He looked like an ex-prizefighter-heavyweight-with a pronounced brow, a brick-end chin, and a five-o'clock shadow that she'd bet no razor could KO. He was dark-haired, his features a compel ing blend of Native American meets mafioso.

He was the first human here not to gaze at her with animosity.

"So, where are you taking me, big guy?" No answer.

Yesterday, guards had hauled Lothaire by after Chase had finished "interrogating" him. The vampire's shirt was ripped open, revealing skin seared to ash. His hooded red eyes had flashed to Regin, and he'd hissed something in Russian.

Lothaire was an enemy-one who'd hurt the Valkyrie in unimaginable ways-so it'd been impossible to muster up sympathy for him. She'd hissed back, "Do svidaniya, bitch."

Now it was Regin's turn for an appointment with either Declan or the mad scientist.

In a lower tone, she asked the man, "So am I going to get a zipper in my chest?"

Had there been a barely perceptible shake of his head?

"Am I about to be interrogated?"

Nothing. Shit, interrogation it is.

Soon after, he led her into an austere room with a camera in the ceiling, an obvious two-way mirror on one of the white wal s, and a table with two chairs in the center.

Vincente pointed to one of the chairs, the one bolted to the floor. "Sit."

"S'al the same, I think I'll stand-"

He shoved her down, hooking her cuffs to a bar in the back of the chair, immobilizing her.

Once she was all battened down, a tech in a white lab coat entered to sink an IV into Regin's arm. The clear line snaked up to a bag, most likely fil ed with some kind of pharmaceutical torture juice.

Regin got the gist. The interrogator would be able to push a button and serve a dose.

After Vincente and the tech had left, Chase entered, his expression drawn, his ink-black hair still wet from a recent shower. He'd shoved it back off his smooth-shaven face, revealing more of those chiseled features, as well as the thin scars that climbed up his cheek. Dark circles marred his chil ing gray eyes.

For all his faults, Declan Chase had a kind of sinister, wretched attractiveness. She took comfort in knowing that, for some reason, the man was as miserable as she currently was.

Without a word, he sat across from her. He wore his usual military threads, but today his wool pul over stretched tighter over his deep chest and broad shoulders. He was more muscled than she'd initially thought.

"Wel , don't you look all butch today?" When he shot her a kil ing look, she stomped one foot. "What?

What'd I say?" It'd been a compliment.

Up close like this, there was no mistaking his unsettling hatred. Though she'd resisted any escape plan that involved Chase remembering his past, now she realized she might have to declare him a misfire regardless.

She gazed around with a bored air. "This feels just like Law and Order. But shouldn't you lawyer up before I throw the book at you? No? So what's in the IV bag?"

"Pain poison. Taken from the Sorceri Queen of Agonies and replicated for our purposes."

A queen was a sorceress more powerful at manipulating a certain element than any other Sorceri.

Bottom line: this is gonna smart.

"Another tool cribbed from the Lore? Like with these torques. And rumor has it that this facility is mystical y hidden. You use mysticism when it suits you, even though that's our realm."

As if she'd never spoken, he said, "You'll tell me what I need to know, or I'll administer a dose." He held up a control pad with a red button in the middle.

"Torture doesn't work on my kind, just pisses us off. It starts to col ect over the years."

"Valkyrie, I will get answers from you one way or another. Either through this painful exercise in futility, as you believe, or through a civilized conversation."

"You cal this civilized?" She strained against her cuffs, leaning in to whisper, "Psst, Chase. The sexual tension between us is grueling."

His face grew even colder, as if she'd just spoken blasphemy.

"So you're the bossman around here, huh? I saw you took down Lothaire. You've got some low-hanging goolies to mess with him."

"Do you have information about that vampire? It might affect your own treatment."

"Turn informant? Sing like a canary? The more I talk, the better I'll get treated?"

He just continued to stare at her with an undisguised loathing.

"Then get ready for an earful! So everybody thinks Lothaire is hotter than the sun he'l never see, but I don't get it." Some of her Valkyrie sisters had deemed him as mesmerizing as a shiny-shiny. "I mean, yes, his body is magnificent-when not extra crispy-but he's a leech, a parasite. His irises are nearly red. Females are always tittering about how you never know whether he's going to kiss you or kill you.

And that's just something I'd want to establish up front, you know?"

Chase narrowed his eyes.

"For the record, I like 'em young, dumb, and hung. And clever Lothaire only fits one of my criteria. Plus he's a vampire. I despise vampires. We probably have that in common-"

"You refuse to reveal pertinent information about your enemy?"

"I'll bet Lothaire won't dish about me either. Matter of fact, I'll bet you don't know much about the Valkyrie at all."

"If that's true, you're soon to remedy my lack of knowledge."

"You've never captured a Valkyrie, have you?" Had her tone been gloating?

"But I have one now."

When his thumb hovered over the red button, she stared at him aghast. "You're truly going to ... torture me?"

He cast her a puzzled look. "Why wouldn't I torture you?"

Because you used to love me, used to cherish me. "I thought we had a moment yesterday? Didn't you like seeing me in lingerie?"

In a monotone voice, he said, "Why did the charge throwers have no il effect on you?"

He's truly going to do it? Then f**k him. DEFCON. "Chase, I've tussled with vibrators stronger than your charge throwers. "

No reaction. "You consumed energy. And channeled it at will. How?"

All Valkyrie consumed it-they were each connected through a grid of mystical energy-but Regin was the only one she knew of who could radiate it through her body. She'd inherited the talent from her birth mother. "So how does one get started as a magister? Col ege or trade school?"

"I don't have the time or patience for games. Now, tell me, why do you ... glow?"

"I touched a radioactive alien c*ck once."

He pressed the button.

As her eyes fol owed a bead of poison traveling down the tube, she muttered, "You're not giving me much of a choice here, Chase."

She remembered all those centuries ago when Aidan had taught her war strategies. If this were a battlefield, then she had only one move open to her-a charge. Could she be his doom once more?

To sit and wait in this facility would mean certain death. Regin hadn't stayed alive for a thousand years by inaction.

When the poison reached her arm, she clamped her jaw shut to keep from screaming-it was like liquid fire in her vein. Sweat broke out on her face. Every muscle in her body began to knot.

She gritted out, "When I escape-"

"Valkyrie, no one has ever escaped this island."

"Nothing but a rol cal ... of dead immortals?"

"Precisely. Now, tell me what language you speak to your cel mate."

"Immortalian. No? Immoratlivan. Immortinian!"

"Do you want me to hurt you?" Another bead inched down the line.

"I want you to go f**k yourself!" she bit out just before it hit.

Her back bowed, her sharpened claws slicing into her palms as she fought the urge to shriek. Lights flared and thunder rocked the building.

Blood trickled from her nose. She tasted more in her mouth.

If he does it again, then my decision's settled.

"I'm told the effect is cumulative-it will continue to worsen." Though outwardly calm as he explained this, his face had paled even more. "But if you tell me about the Valkyrie's weaknesses, I'll administer the antidote."

"Weaknesses? So many. Foremost, we're ... ticklish."

A third bead dripped down.

"You'll pay!" The pain was blistering, like acid eating away at her from the inside. She threw back her head and shrieked as her body seized. Her arms wrenched violently against her restraints.

Pop. Her shoulder dislocated. Light bulbs shattered above them.

Going to kill him. Going to do the deed myself! When she'd finally endured that wave and faced him once more, her vision was blurred by a film of blood. Dots of crimson had begun to seep from her pores.

He narrowed his eyes. "Your glowing has lessened. Is it emotion-based?"

She spat, giving him a slow, bloody grin. "This will hurt you ... more than it ever hurts me." Must make him remember.

"And again, you act as if we've met."

"I did know you," she said. "Long before all this. Don't you remember me?"

Like a shot, he was on his feet and around the table, his hand gripping her throat. He squeezed her windpipe as he demanded, "Were you there that night?"

She gasped, "Wh-where?"

"Were-you-there?"

"Aidan or not ... I am going to serve it to you!" Her leg shot up to punt his groin, but he deflected her kick with his other hand.

"What did you cal me?" His grip tightened.

She wheezed in a breath. "Prick!" What night was Chase talking about? She couldn't think!

Squeezing harder, harder. "Why did you cal me Aidan?"

Losing consciousness. Heart pounding wildly. "Want to know? Bring me ... to your office tomorrow. Just you and me. I'll tell you . ... everything."

When her head slumped forward and her glowing dimmed even more, Declan left her in the room, barreling to his quarters.

He just reached the toilet before vomiting the contents of his stomach. After heaving over and over, he eventual y lurched to his feet. Hands gripping the edge of the bathroom counter, he waited for his balance to return. For his control to return. What is happening to me?

Administering that poison had affected him nearly as much as her. Though he'd done the same to hundreds of other prisoners.

When he'd tortured Lothaire yesterday, he'd regretted ending the session, wishing there'd been more flesh left to torment.

After Regin, Declan felt like he'd been tortured.

And she'd cal ed him Aidan. As had the berserker. If they'd intended to make him paranoid ...

It's bloody working.

Staring into the mirror, he muttered, "I f**kin' hate her." Yet he still felt that pul toward her.

Even as I was ready to squeeze the life out of her.

A mortal hunter and his immortal prey. But then, perhaps I'm not quite mortal. He shuddered.

She wanted to meet with him in his office? What was she planning? They were always planning something, living and breathing deceit.

He removed his gloves, then scrubbed his face with two handfuls of water.

To do as she asked was madness, but he needed the answers he'd promised Webb. And Declan knew he wouldn't be able to torture her again.

Why not try meeting her? Having a female prisoner alone in his office would raise some eyebrows, but Declan couldn't care less about that. No one would dare naysay him in his own instal ation.

I need to know why she called me that name.

After rinsing his mouth, he staggered into his room, sinking into his chair at the console. He pulled up the Valkyrie's cel on the screen.

Vincente and another guard were just returning her, wearing thick gloves because the poison seeping from her skin was lethal to mortals. Vincente laid her on the floor with more care than the other guard would have.

The Valkyrie's body convulsed with each wave of pain, her glow nearly extinguished.

Declan should be observing her impassively. Instead, bile rose in his throat.

As soon as Vincente closed the cel , the male halfling yanked off his shirt to wipe the blood from her.

The fey knocked his hand away before he touched Regin's skin and got himself poisoned. Then she punched the Valkyrie's shoulder directly below the joint, forcing the bal back into the socket.

Before Regin passed out, she whispered something to Natalya in that unknown tongue, the maddening language he couldn't even identify.

Whatever Regin said made the fey appear relieved. Declan had just put his head in his hands and started to squeeze when he received a screen message from Webb:

Let me know how your session with the Valkyrie

went. Productive, I'm sure. Update: information about their weaknesses takes precedence over all other inquiries, i.e., her source of energy or the vampire's ring. ...

Then Declan's path was fixed.

Chapter FOURTEEN

Again, Valkyrie?" Carrow the witch said as Vincente escorted Regin once more.

When the guard had shown up to cuff and retrieve her and she hadn't been gassed first, she'd known.

Chase had taken the bait.

"What can I say, Carrow? The magister loves my company."

In an urgent murmur, the witch said, "I saw how you fared his company yesterday. Maybe attempt not to enrage him tonight?"

On it. "I go with a peace offering. Check it"-Regin leered down at her own chest-"I'm braless."

Carrow shook her head. "Crazy ass Valkyries."

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