Munro (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole

            Lothaire had paled even more than usual, his lips drawing back from his own fangs.

            Munro chuckled. “My gods, it’s too easy to rile your kind.”

            Lothaire had negligently waved at him. “You irritate me. Begone with you.”

            “This is my place.”


            They’d left not long after. Munro’s visit with a former Horde vampire had reminded him that war was coming—a new kind of war—and he had much on the line.

            Reports had reached them that Quondam’s sphere was failing, with rifts throughout. The Forgotten were in chaos after Jels’s death. Once that dome fell, the Vertas would be there to rescue all those newlings, just as they had secured the ones who’d stormed Glenrial. Nïx would probably be displeased, but Munro didn’t care.

            No longer did he spend every second worrying about shite that was out of his control. If his brother could find happiness and Kereny could find a compromise with her beast, then Munro could overcome his fears.

            Whenever his sons took hold of his fingers—with surprisingly strong grips—his worries dissipated. He’d told them, “Ach, you’ll be warriors before we can blink, then.”

            Mariketa finally relinquished the babes back to their mother. When Kereny laid them on the blanket, they squirmed a bit, then fell back to sleep. She beheld them with utter adoration as the night breeze riffled their downy black curls.

            Kereny must’ve sensed his gaze. She met his eyes, and the window to her emotions was clear. When he saw her unmitigated joy, he almost roared to the sky with satisfaction.

            “Let’s go see our ladies,” Will said, his own eyes locked on Chloe. As they strode across the lawn, he said, “Here we are, both of us with mates, and you a da. Ben and Rónan are making strides. The entire pack is.” He sounded more content than Munro had ever heard him. “Fortune shines upon us.”

            “Indeed it does.” And it would continue to.

            “Those twins of yours are already close, just like us.” The boys clutched each other’s onesies in sleep. Will sighed. “And just like us, one will always be Hotter.” He buffed his claws.

            Munro laughed. “Ah, my bràthair, no’ even if I give you another nine hundred years.”


            Helvita, Royal Seat of the Vampire Horde

            sometime later

            “I left my Bride for this?” Lothaire demanded as he and Nïx prowled Helvita’s filthy dungeon. “You owe me, Phenïx.”

            “Come on, I know you love recruitment drives. And tonight we might score a ringer for the Møriør war.” Nïx’s hair was a knotted mess, her eyes exhausted. Even the pet bat perched on her shoulder looked tired. “Consider this our post-credits scene.”

            He quirked a brow at that. Nïx’s mission actually held an element of danger, even for ancient immortals like the Enemy of Old and the Ever-Knowing One.

            This mystically reinforced dungeon had been hexed to prevent unauthorized tracing. So Lothaire couldn’t simply teleport out of here in an emergency. Nïx had utilized a borrowed spell just to gain them entry.

            Lothaire asked, “How talented is this ‘ringer’ if they got captured in the first place? To defeat the Møriør, your Vertas will need A-listers like myself,” he said, only to add, “What am I saying? No one is as good a fighter as I am.”

            The bat looked unimpressed.

            They’d all heard tales of the nearly dozen Møriør. Aside from Lord Darach Lyka, that alliance included a dragon capable of burning worlds, the overlady of witches who could undo the magic of any spellcaster, and an archer whose arrows felled entire armies.

            Then there were whispers of giants and other monsters.

            But the Vertas wasn’t exactly composed of slouches.

            Lothaire said, “Speaking of A-listers . . . thanks for sending Dorada to my hidden kingdom.”