Chapter no 48

House of Earth and Blood

Hunt weighed his options carefully.

He had a gun pointed at Sabine’s head. She had a gun pointed at Bryce’s heart.

Which of them was faster? The question buzzed in his skull.

Bryce obeyed Sabine’s command, her hands raised. Hunt could only follow, stepping behind Bryce so she was up against his chest, so he could snake his free hand around her waist, pinning her against him. Could he get into the air fast enough to avoid a bullet?

Bryce wouldn’t survive a close-range shot to the heart. She’d be dead in seconds.

Bryce managed to ask over the drumming rain, “Where’s your little demon friend?”

Sabine kicked the door to the roof shut. The cameras had all been disabled, he realized. They had to be, or the legion would already be here, having been tipped off by Marrin. The feeds had to be looping on harmless footage—just as she’d done at Luna’s Temple. Which meant no one, absolutely no one, knew what was happening.

Hunt slowly began to bring his good arm up Bryce’s shaking, soaked body.

Sabine spat. “Don’t fucking think about it, Athalar.”

He stopped his arm before it could cover Bryce’s breasts—the heart beating beneath them. His battle-suit had enough armor to deflect a bullet. To let him absorb the impact. Better for him to lose an arm that he could regrow than for her to—

He couldn’t think the last word.

Sabine hissed, “I told you to stay away from this. And yet you just couldn’t listen—you had to show up at the Den, asking questions you

have no right to ask.”

Bryce snarled, “We were asking those questions because you killed Danika, you fucking psycho.”

Sabine went wholly still. Nearly as still as the Fae could go. “You think I did what?”

Hunt knew Sabine wore every emotion on her face and had never once bothered to hide it. Her shock was genuine. Rain dripped off the narrow angles of her face as she seethed, “You think I killed my own daughter?”

Bryce was shaking so hard that Hunt had to tighten his grip, and she snapped, “You killed her because she was going to take your place as future Prime, you stole the Horn to undermine her, and you’ve been using that demon to kill anyone who might have seen you and to humiliate Micah before the Summit—”

Sabine laughed, low and hollow. “What utter bullshit.”

Hunt growled, “You wiped the footage of the Horn’s theft from the temple. We have it confirmed. You lied to us about Danika being there that night. And ranted about your daughter not keeping her mouth shut the night she died. All we need to prove you killed Danika is to tie you to the kristallos demon.”

Sabine lowered her gun, putting the safety back on. She trembled with barely restrained rage. “I didn’t steal anything, you stupid fucks. And I didn’t kill my daughter.”

Hunt didn’t dare lower his gun. Didn’t dare let go of Bryce.

Not as Sabine said, cold and joyless, “I was protecting her. Danika

stole the Horn.”

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