Munro (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole

            “Your beast is an incredibly powerful alpha. We could have searched a thousand planes and dozens of eras for a beast so strong as yours.”

            Eras. Some said that the warlocks had a gateway that allowed them to move through time. Munro had researched theories of time travel, hoping he could use that gateway to save his long-dead parents—anything to alleviate Will’s guilt over their deaths.

            Anything to rescue his suicidal twin.

            Munro had learned that history could never be changed, but beings could be brought forward. If one had access to a mystical gateway . . .

            Jels continued, “Your bite will seed legions of newling slaves for us.”

            They wanted Munro to turn humans? Condemning innocent mortals to decades of rabid insanity—or death? The perversion of it! “The next bite I make will snatch clean your throat. I swear that somehow, someway I will seize the upper hand with you. By all the gods, you’ll regret ever crossing my path.”

            “You can never win against me, because guile will always best brute strength.” Jels’s smug look faltered. “You have no idea what’s coming, do you? The threat that can end all of us—the Møriør! But the Forgotten will be ready. We won’t stop until we’ve amassed a Lykae army to protect us outside our realm. Until we’ve sacrificed enough beautiful nymphs to appease our dark god.”

            Munro’s busted lips split into a grin. “You’re crazed, you little fuck. Tell yourself whatever you need to.”

            A nod at Madadh set the male into motion once more; Munro braced. This one’s goin’ to hurt—

            Madadh’s claws plowed through Munro’s face, obliterating his right eye.

            Biting back a yell, Munro told Jels, “Ordering him to tickle me? You have to do better than that.”

            Another nod from Jels, and Madadh bent to grip Munro’s thigh, readying to snap a femur. Motherfucker!

            “Wait,” Jels commanded when another warlock slinked inside the cell.

            This minion whispered to Jels, “Ormlo has collected his prize.”

            “By all means, have him portal her in.” The minion hastened away, and Jels turned back to Munro. “Do better than that? It seems I just have. We’ve obtained something I think you’ll be very interested in.” His tone raised Munro’s hackles.

            Jels crossed to the wall, unhooking the chain there that secured his captive. As the tension on Munro’s arms eased, blood rushed into his limbs, setting off an explosion of pain to rival that in his maimed face. He fought to remain kneeling, keeping Jels in his limited sightline.

            He had no hope of defeating Madadh without freeing his own beast. But he could at least snatch Jels’s head from his neck. Munro tensed to attack—

            A portal opened, and two beings crossed through it into the cell: a warlock and a raven-haired woman. She shuddered, appearing dazed. A mortal?

            “Well done, Ormlo,” Jels told the warlock. “Your team extracted her.”

            Ormlo too was bald, his head shining with sweat. Dirt smudged his cheeks, and he limped. “Not without loss of life on our side, Father. The humans were full of surprises.”

            Munro barely noted that Ormlo was Jels’s son, too entranced by the lovely young female. Dressed in a formal white gown, she had olive-toned skin, irises the color of new pennies, and flowers woven into her mane of wild black curls.

            Jels told Munro, “Meet Kereny Codrina. You wouldn’t believe where—and when—we had to go to procure her.”

            She smelled of fire, spices, and sweet woman. At her ethereal scent, Munro’s body shot tight, spine straightening.

            Shock assailed him as his Lykae Instinct tolled one word: —YOURS.—

            After nearly a millennium of waiting. She’s . . . mine. His father’s words filtered through his consciousness: “When you find your mate, it feels like the hands of gods have reached out to touch you, like your soul’s been branded.”


            But her wide eyes grew glassy, and she tottered on her feet. Though Munro saw no blood marring her gown, he sensed magic surrounding her. “What the fuck did you do?” he growled, lunging for her.