Two Weeks Later

ZEPHYRA SAT IN STRYKER’S CHAIR AS SHE LIStened to the sound of faint music playing. For the last fortnight, she and Stryker had been after the gallu to use them to convert more Daimons, but they were proving difficult.

In the meantime, there were only a few dozen gallu Daimons while the rest of their army needed to continue to feed on the humans.

“We will get you,” she whispered. Like Stryker, she had no intention of watching their people die while Apollo lived so blithely on. Especially given the fact that if Medea were to ever marry again, her children would be born Apollite.

And they, too, would be cursed . . .

The door opened.

She glanced up to find Stryker there with a sword in his hand. Scowling, she watched him as he crossed the floor and placed it on the desk in front of her. Without a word, he knelt by her side.

“What are you doing?”

“I promised that at the end of two weeks I’d allow you to kill me.” He looked pointedly at the sword. “I’m keeping my word.”

She arched one brow at that. “Really?”

He inclined his head to her. “You own my life, Phyra. I lay it in your hands.”

She pulled the sword from the desk, then rose with it in her hand. She angled the perfectly balanced sword and admired the gleaming edge. “You would allow me to kill you?” She placed the point directly over his heart.

His gaze locked with hers. “On my honor.”

She pressed the tip into his shirt, but not deep enough to pierce his skin. “Would you die for me, Stryker?”

“Is that not what I’m doing?”

“No. You’re upholding your honor and that’s not what I want.”

“Then what do you want?”

“I want you to stand by my side and never, ever fail me again.”

Sincerity burned bright in that swirling silver gaze of his. “I would never fail you.”

“Swear it on your life.”

His gaze hardened. “That I can never do.”

She pressed the point in until it drew a bead of blood. “Why can’t you?”

“Because you are my life,” he said, his voice cracking. “And I can’t live another day without you.”

She dropped the sword to the floor. “I despise you for what you make me feel.”

He pulled her into his arms until she was kneeling on the floor in front of him. “And what is that?”

“Weak and vulnerable. You are my soul, and I will never forgive you if you take that from me again.”

He smiled at her. “Have no fear, love. I will always be right here with you.”

As he dipped his head to kiss her, the door behind him crashed open. Angry at the interruption, he turned to growl at Davyn.

However, the words died on his tongue as he saw the man’s face. “What’s happened?”

“We can walk in daylight.”

Stryker’s scowl deepened. “What?”

Davyn nodded. “I was caught out in the dawn while trailing after the gallu. I thought I was dead, but I’m not. For the first time in centuries, I saw the dawn and I lived. I lived!”

Stryker exchanged an amazed look with Zephyra.

“The gallu are immune,” she whispered. “I never dreamed that their blood would allow us to walk in daylight, too.”

“You never tried?”

She shook her head. “I didn’t dare.”

A slow smile curled his lips. “We have our freedom.”

“The dawn of the Daimon is here and the end of mankind is beginning.”

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