BOOK 2 IN THE OTHERWORLD GUARDIANS SERIES
He's a demon one the run;
She's a witch, and healer to the Guards who let's fear rule her heart.
Everything was just the same as Erebus remembered it. The wooden walls and floors all around him. The familiar scents and sounds as he strolled through the halls. The building filled with people. Much nicer than anything he was used to in the underworld. Perhaps he should come here more often, only that meant having to listen to more of Edwins lectures, and putting up with that damn wolf, Lucas.
“Ungrateful beast,” Erebus muttered to himself, still irritated that he’d had to help free the likes of someone like him. Someone who hadn’t even bothered to thank him for his aid since his release.
Still, there were a few others top-side that he did care for. And then there was that deal he had struck with Thane, which he would need to call upon soon.
Erebus continued to trudge through the corridors, taking his time, thankful to be anywhere but his own plane, when he heard Thane’s deep timbre voice from the end of the hall.
“We’ve already been to those woods, Thane. Twice. She isn’t there.”
Erebus stepped closer, listening to part of the conversation before he slipped around the door and paused behind the boy who spoke. A human boy.
Honestly, he had expected Thane to call on him weeks ago asking for his help, but this wolf was just as stubborn as Lucas, if not more so, something he never thought possible.
“Do you want my help, or not?” Erebus asked, a smirk on his face as the boy in front of him jumped out of his skin, crossing his arms in a mirror to Thane’s stance when he turned to face him.
He looked tired, and a little irritated by the conversation he was having. Lines of stress and fatigue showing below his bright blue eyes. And yet, this was the first time in years that Erebus thought he looked happy.
Anya was certainly good for him.
“I overheard your conversation. I know you’re searching for Keri with Duncan, and this, human, and quite frankly I’m insulted.”
Thane raised a brow and cocked his head to the side, waiting for him to continue. He always was a man, or beast, of little words.
“I’m a far better tracker than both of these buffoons combined.”
“Watch your tongue, demon,” Duncan growled, glaring in his direction.
“And what would you require in return?”
“I’m hurt,” Erebus mocked, clutching at his chest, “I offer my aid out of the goodness of my heart, and you assume I’m after something more?”
“Funny, I didn’t know you had one,” Thane chuckled, nudging him with his shoulder as he stepped toward him and paused by his side. “Besides, you hate it here.”
“Coming topside has its advantages,” Erebus muttered.
He knew Thane would hear him of course, as would Duncan most likely, but he didn’t really wish to get into details about his reasons, and he knew Thane of all people would respect that, not push him to talk unless he wanted to. It was one of the reasons he liked the wolf. That and his wicked sense of humour that so many others around here didn’t understand. All of them too stuck up to appreciate a good joke.
“Besides, you’ll only come to me for help later on if she ends up taken again. Best save some time and get there first.”
Thane growled and tensed beside him, his eyes a flash of navy at the mention of anything happening to Anya, before he grunted and frowned at him, clearly not buying his story.
It was all the explanation he was going to get.
Erebus wasn’t prepared to tell him why he was really hiding up here, or that he had a soft spot for the young pup. Or even that he had in fact known who and what she was from the moment he found her in that barn. Thane was possessive and overprotective enough at the best of times, let alone now he was a newly mated male. He really didn’t need that kind of aggravation.
“I work fast, and I have a lot of favours I can call in if needed.”
“I don’t want anymore people knowing what we’re doing,” Thane groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose, “it’s dangerous enough searching for a hunter, without more and more people joining in. This needs to be kept quiet, or Richard will grow suspicious.”
“You honestly think he doesn’t know already?”
Thane and the other two didn’t answer, all of them avoiding his eyes.
“You went back, didn’t you?” Erebus asked, shoving at Thane’s shoulder. “Are you stupid?”
“I needed to know how much he knew.”
“And if he knew what you were? He could have killed you,” Erenus groaned.
Clearly Thane wasn’t thinking clearly. Nor was he thinking of Anya.
The girl was new to this world after being kept in the dark for so many years. She wouldn’t take kindly to being left alone if something happened to him. She may have her dad back now he was released, as well as having a few friends around here, and of course the old man had been like a father to her all these years, but Thane was her mate. Her heartbeat. The one person who had given her enough fight to come back from the brink of death. The connection through their bond strong enough he got through to her, even if the wolf was too dumb to realise he was the one who had saved her.
Anya may desire answers from her old friend, something he knew Thane wanted to give her, but she would not want them at the expense of his demise.
“Well, he didn’t.”
“Clearly,” Erebus answered sarcastically, grumbling as he shook his head. His brows knitted together as he pictured Richard.
“How did you manage to trick him again? That couldn’t have been easy.”
Richard was no fool, and yet Thane had undermined him on more than one occasion proving otherwise. He wasn’t the trusting type either, and after the loss of so many new recruits in that battle a few months ago, led by Keri, he would be even more cautious.
Could Thane be walking into a trap without realising it, or had the hype around Richard been exaggerated greatly?
“Richard was aware of Keri leading her own assault. Hugh and I just helped fill in a few blanks, directing the blame onto her should she be foolish enough to try and return.”
Erebus knew that Thane could be cunning, another plus to his character, but to fool someone as devious as Richard, that was impressive. But Hugh, this human? Something didn’t sit right. It all reeked of a trap to him. He’d have to keep a close eye on Richard for the duration of his time here, just to make sure he wasn’t pulling their strings.
“So, do you want my help, or not?”
“I’m already in your debt, what harm could it do?” Thane shrugged, rubbing the back of his neck.
Erebus faltered, a sharp pain stabbing through his chest.
He didn’t like having to lie to Thane, never had, but he couldn’t tell him the truth behind their bargain. At least, not yet.