Home > Sin & Salvation (Demigod of San Francisco #3)(10)

Sin & Salvation (Demigod of San Francisco #3)(10)
Author: K.F. Breene

“Of course, sir.” Sodge turned, paused for a moment, then left the room. He was an odd one, and would surely be delighted when Kieran was out of the house for good. So would Kieran.

“Sir,” Zorn said, staying where he was.

Kieran rose from the cream-colored chair. “Let’s speak outside.”

He led the way to the double doors that opened out onto the back deck. The moonlight shone down, highlighting the dark waters of the ocean far below. The salty breeze ruffled his hair and sang to his heart, asking him to dive down deep and swim until he forgot all his woes.

If only that were possible.

Before Zorn could speak, he altered the winds and the violence of the ocean below. Any words loud enough to be overheard would be whisked out to sea. Not that his father or Sodge would concern themselves with him. They both thought he was useless.

“News?” Kieran asked.

“Nothing new from our efforts, assuming you read Henry’s last report about Valens’s spies in the non-magical government?”

He nodded. Yes, he certainly had. Over a dozen of his father’s people had infiltrated all levels of the non-magical San Francisco government, one as high as an advisor. Had the mayor decided to fall in league with Kieran, that advisor would’ve been in on the ground floor. Kieran’s battle would’ve been over before it had begun.

His father excelled at the long game. For years, he’d been weakening the non-magical sector of San Francisco from the inside out. His spies in the government reported any shortcomings to him, so he always knew when to step in with aid. In the guise of keeping the region strong, he had skillfully created a dependency. One day, all he’d have to do was pull away the aid, and the non-magical government would come tumbling down.

The man had absolutely earned his cunning reputation. His strategy was just shy of brilliant. His spies were everywhere.

If Kieran hoped to take him down, he could make no mistakes.

“I assume your father is otherwise engaged?” Zorn asked as he lowered onto the patio couch.

“Yes. He’s having someone over tonight. He asked Sodge to ready the…party room. He’ll be in his bathroom, freshening up.”

The party room was basically a sex room with good air freshener and regular cleanings. It was the only room in the house Kieran had never entered.

He expected Zorn to say something about the woman who’d followed Alex and Bria from the bar. Instead, he straightened his spine and said, “The results from the test came in. I got a call right before I had to go bag Bria.”

After discovering Alexis’s true magic, which meant she could only be the child of a Demigod in Hades’s line, they’d taken a DNA sample from her to discern which of the three Demigods had fathered her, a large undertaking since they didn’t want anyone to know of her existence. They’d had to make a lot of new friends, many of whom had not been cheaply bought.

“Who is it?” Kieran asked.

“Our worst nightmare. Magnum.”

The breath left Kieran’s lungs in a whoosh.

Magnum came from a time when the norm was for children of Demigods to rise up and attempt to tear their fathers down. That was, of course, Kieran’s goal, but he was after good, old-fashioned revenge rather than power and territory. Magnum thought he could prevent any such uprisings by killing his offspring. And so far, he hadn’t been wrong, which was why he’d never changed his stance. Have his baby, and he’d kill the kid. Everyone knew the stakes, and because of that, he had remained child-free for decades.

Crazy didn’t just go away.

“You’re sure?” Kieran asked quietly.

“Positive.” Zorn paused. “What are you going to do?”

Kieran shook his head. “He doesn’t know about her. I’ll need to keep it that way.”

“You can’t keep her from this fight. You know that. And when she opens up and uses her magic, everyone will take notice. Everyone. In the world.”

Kieran leaned forward against the wood railing. “I can force her to hide.”

“Like your father did your mother?”

Rage blistered through Kieran. “It wouldn’t be like that.”

“The intent might be different, but the result would be the same.”

“It’s the only way I can protect her.”

“No, it isn’t. And, excuse me for speaking plainly, but you can’t fully protect her. Not her. She and her wards won’t step down. They don’t care that they’re half-trained and mostly ignorant about the magical world. They have convinced themselves they’ll be the turning point in the battle, and without them, you’ll lose.”

Despite the situation, laughter bubbled up. “You have to admire that confidence.”

“You do. And yet, they aren’t totally wrong. The only way you can protect Alexis is to teach her to protect herself. That’s the best leg up you can give her. Then fight beside her when everything goes sideways. She’s a damn fine asset to have.”

Kieran stared out at the ocean for a quiet moment.

“She…made some strides today,” Zorn said.

“Oh yes?”

“Yes. Firstly, she found a hidden pocket of the spirit world here on our plane …” Zorn shook his head. “I don’t really understand it, to be honest. Jack said he found her earlier, standing in the middle of the sidewalk with her hands out, looking up at nothing. She expanded her magical reach with the help of the Line. That’s when she picked up…another realm.”

Kieran shook his head. “Have you ever heard of this?”

“No, but I know very little about the spirit world. The Hades Demigods would probably know something.”

“If only that were an option.”

“If only.”

“Did she know what use it might be?” Kieran asked.

“No. But she started experimenting with it almost immediately. The gremlin is not pleased. She’s not a fan of spirits.” Zorn pushed up to standing, catching Kieran’s attention. He had a feeling he wouldn’t like whatever was coming next. “Alexis prodded Thane too hard earlier. He went active.”

The words trickled around Kieran but didn’t quite seep in. The situation Zorn referenced shouldn’t be possible.

“Come again?”

Zorn clasped his hands behind his back, a submissive move for him. “Thane felt his limit approaching when training with Alexis. Not long after, she pushed him over.”

The words still weren’t making sense. “Pushed him over…”

“Thane went berserk.”

Fire rose up in Kieran’s middle. He had okayed Thane training with her and the kids, as long as Thane was sure he could stay in control. So far, that hadn’t been a problem.

“He was pushing his limits, and he didn’t walk away?” Kieran demanded.

“Bria told him to hold. She was in charge. He followed orders.”

“You put her in charge.”

“And you put me in charge.”

Without consciously planning it, Kieran took two fast steps and clutched Zorn’s throat. “Thane is one of the most powerful Berserkers in the world. You remember what happened when I had to subdue him. You remember how many people he hurt and killed—how many trained adults he had hurt and killed—before I made it to the scene.”

“Yes, sir.”

“If he’d made a complete change, you wouldn’t have been able to back him down. He would’ve torn through Alexis’s house. Her kids. Her neighborhood.” Fear choked him for the second time that day, his primal need to protect her overpowering his senses. His fingers tightened on Zorn’s throat. “He would’ve torn through Alexis.”

“He did make a complete change,” Zorn squeezed out, his hands still behind his back and his eyes calm despite his dwindling air supply. “Donovan, Bria, and Jack tried to back him down,” he continued, his voice hoarse. “It didn’t help. The kids came outside, which triggered Alexis, and she made Thane submit. She took him to the ground, all by herself. I was told that he said, ‘uncle.’ Literally.”

All Kieran could do was stare. The words didn’t compute.

“That’s impossible,” he finally uttered. “She’s not fully trained.”

“And yet it happened.”

Kieran peeled back his fingers from around Zorn’s throat. He forced himself to return to his position at the banister. Zorn stayed where he was, his hands kept behind his back. He was taking responsibility for what had happened with Thane.

“She won’t go undetected for long, sir. And the only training that seems to work for her isn’t exactly inconspicuous. She can’t stay in the dual-society zone much longer.”

Kieran had a solution for that. But it would require him to leave his father’s house, and doing so would start the countdown. Once his father was onto him, he’d have to move quickly. Quicker than the time it would take for his father’s allies to back him up.

He needed more time to prepare.

When he didn’t respond, Zorn walked over to lean on the banister beside him. “Alexis told you where she was earlier tonight. At what bar.”

“Don’t start with that. I’m barely hanging on to control as it is.”

“Alexis paid the bill. She told her ex-boyfriend to shove it, then hit him with her magic. She reacted just like you said she would.”

He took a deep breath, and something tight and sharp loosened in his middle.

She’d reacted like he’d hoped she would. There were never any assurances when it came to Alexis.

“You made the right choice, letting her stake your claim,” Zorn said. “Bria expressed a grudging respect for your decision, which doesn’t mean much, but—”

“It does,” Kieran responded. “It means a great deal, actually. She’s been leery of me since day one.”

“She’s warming up to you.”

Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Sin & Salvation (Demigod of San Francis
» Sin & Magic (Demigod of San Francisco #
» Faking Forever (First Wives #4)
» Chasing Shadows (First Wives #3)
» Half Empty (First Wives #2)
» Fool Me Once (First Wives #1)
» I'm Fine and Neither Are You
» The Smallest Part
» What the Wind Knows
» Fallen Academy: Year Three (Fallen Academy
» Fallen Academy: Year Two (Fallen Academy #2
» Fallen Academy: Year One (Fallen Academy #1