Authors: Kresley Cole
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #General, #Fantasy, #Paranormal
BOOKS BY KRESLEY COLE
The Immortals After Dark Series
The Warlord Wants Forever
A Hunger Like No Other
No Rest for the Wicked
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge
Dark Desires After Dusk
Kiss of a Demon King
Deep Kiss of Winter
Pleasure of a Dark Prince
Demon from the Dark
Dreams of a Dark Warrior
The Game Maker Series
The Arcana Chronicles
Dead of Winter
The MacCarrick Brothers Series
If You Dare
If You Desire
If You Deceive
The Sutherland Series
The Captain of All Pleasures
The Price of Pleasure
First published in the USA by Gallery, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2015
First published in Great Britain by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., 2015
A CBS COMPANY
Copyright © Kresley Cole, 2015
This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.
No reproduction without permission.
® and © 1997 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
The right of Kresley Cole to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
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London WC1X 8HB
Simon & Schuster Australia, Sydney
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A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4711-1367-3
Export Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4711-4987-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4711-1369-7
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY
Simon & Schuster UK Ltd are committed to sourcing paper that is made from wood grown in sustainable forests and supports the Forest Stewardship Council, the leading international forest certification organisation. Our books displaying the FSC logo are printed on FSC certified paper.
Dedicated with much gratitude to Nancy Tonik, production genius.
You always help me build a better book.
THE LIVING BOOK OF LORE . . .
“. . . and those sentient creatures that are not human shall be united in one stratum, coexisting with, yet secret from, man’s.”
• Most are immortal and can regenerate from injuries, killed only by mystical fire or beheading.
“The mightiest of them all; filled with power, magicks, and majesty.”
• The firstborn—or the oldest generation—of a species.
“In the tongue of the Elserealms, Møriør can mean both ‘The Dozen’ and ‘Soul’s Doom.’ ”
• An alliance of otherworldly beings led by Orion the Undoing.
• Have seized control of most planes of existence.
The Noble Fey of Grimm Dominion
“A warrior nobility who ruled over all the demon serfs in their realm.”
, an ancient term for feudal overlords, which became shortened to
• Their source dimension is Draiksulia, their empire the Grimm Dominion.
The Dark Fey
“Offspring between darkness and light. Cursed banes on the fey.”
• Halflings born of a fey and a demon.
• Their black blood is poisonous, known as baneblood.
“The demons are as varied as the bands of man. . . .”
• A collection of demon dynasties.
• Most demon breeds can teleport or trace to places they’ve previously been.
• A demon must have intercourse with a potential mate to ascertain if she’s truly his—a process known as
“And a time shall come to pass when all immortal beings in the Lore, from the Valkyries, vampire, Lykae, and demon factions to the witches, shifters, fey, and sirens . . . must fight and destroy each other.”
• A kind of mystical checks-and-balances system for an ever-growing population of immortals.
• Occurs every five hundred years. Or right now . . .
Those who oppose us will know their doom.
ASSASSIN AND SECRETS MASTER OF THE
When in doubt, squeeze till something breaks.
Houston County, Texas
OURTEEN YEARS AGO
o woke to the taste of copper.
She smacked her lips, moving her tongue.
Something’s in my mouth?
Her eyes flashed open. She bolted upright, and spat two pieces of crumpled metal.
What the hell are those?
Clutching her aching head, she gazed around, wrinkling her nose at the antiseptic smell.
Where am I?
Her vision was blurry, the light dim. She thought the room was tiled.
Shit, was she in a hospital? No good. That’d mean she and Thaddie were back in the foster system and off the streets. Which meant she’d be breaking him out yet again.
Where was he? Why couldn’t she remember what happened?
Think, Jo. THINK! What’s the last thing you remember?
Slowly images of the day began to surface. . . .
It’s getting too hot to stay here.
Closing in on the library, Jo scanned the streets for the gang lord’s Monte Carlo. She thought she heard its newly replaced engine rumbling a couple of blocks over.
The streets of this hood were a maze, the Monte Carlo a dragon. She was a plucky superhero, carrying her trusty sidekick on her back.
But last night hadn’t been a game.
She craned her head around to ask Thaddie, “What do you think?” His little body was secured in the Thadpack—the stolen backpack she’d modified, cutting out holes for his legs. “We lost ’em, didn’t we?”