Dark Alpha’s Demand

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Light Fae Court

Western Ireland

 

Talin pushed open the thirty-foot double doors and entered…Hell. The court of Queen Usaeil was a gorgeous one. All around him, Light Fae with their midnight hair and silver eyes – their beauty a trait of being a Fae – danced, laughed, and plotted.

He paused steps into the massive room and surveyed the huge chamber. Everything glittered – per Usaeil’s demand. The decorations were white and gold, with splashes of vivid, breathtaking flowers in various colors everywhere.

There wasn’t an inch of the Queen’s castle that didn’t bespeak wealth and beauty. Add in the Light Fae, and the brilliance made it difficult to gaze upon.

Even for a Fae.

But then again, Talin wasn’t just any Light Fae. He was a Reaper – chosen by Death to be an executioner for all Fae. Except no one knew his true identity.

If he wanted to ensure that everyone lived, then they could never know.

Talin walked through the crowd gathered, in the hopes that Usaeil might make an appearance. The Fae, as a general rule, were a race of beings that cared only about themselves.

There were a few exceptions – Rhi, for instance. But the Light Fae who’d once had a well-documented affair with a Dragon King was another matter entirely.

The Fae around him now had no idea their queen pretended to be a very well known American movie star. So they wouldn’t know she was on location shooting her next film and wouldn’t be in attendance that night.

Then again, the Fae didn’t care. Their thoughts were on something else entirely.

Talin paused when the whispers reached him. Reapers. They whispered the word as if speaking it would bring them to life. Their voices were filled with fear, panic.

Dread.

And they should feel such emotions. Every Fae was subject to Death’s judgment, be they Light or Dark.

The Dark Fae preferred to use their magic for evil, which changed them physically by adding silver to their black hair and turning their eyes red. They fed off humans by having sex with them, stealing their souls in the process.

Light Fae were those who grasped the magic they were given and only dallied with a human every now and again, though never killing them.

That didn’t mean the Light weren’t judged. In some cases, Death was harder on the Light than the Dark. Balance. There always had to be balance.

As Talin listened to the scheming and constant conspiring, he could understand why. Those among the court were devious, calculating, conniving, and treacherous. It wasn’t always done to get in favor with the queen. In fact, a lot of it was done for marriages, business dealings, and even position among the Light.

Talin didn’t understand the need to have a social standing. The humans had all but gotten rid of theirs, but the Fae made up for it by structuring their entire race around such things. Though it had always been so.

Since his arrival at court, Talin had been begged, bribed, and even threatened by families to marry their daughters. All of which, turned his stomach.

The machinations to get a man to notice a certain woman made Talin wary. He’d seen the same trickery directed at him on several occasions.

He quickly moved to the side of the room and up the four steps to one of a dozen white granite pillars. From this vantage point, he could see in almost every direction.

Talin leaned a shoulder against the column and crossed his arms over his chest. He wasn’t sure why Death had chosen him to spy upon the Light court, but a Reaper didn’t question orders.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. It had happened only once, and it was a good thing the orders were questioned, because it turned out Death hadn’t sent the directive for them to kill all half-Fae among the humans.

Turns out, that order had somehow come from an old enemy out to end the Reapers – and Death. The fact this new nemesis was none other than a former Reaper Death had sent to the Netherworld for his crimes only made things more difficult.

Talin had no idea what Death hoped he might find spying upon the Light court. All he’d discovered so far was that the Light somehow knew the Reapers were on Earth.

No one knew who the Reapers were, or if, in fact, they were real. The Reapers were a story told to the young to scare them as well as deter them from turning Dark. The Dark, well, he wasn’t sure what they were told.

The fact was, there wasn’t a Fae alive – Light or Dark – who wasn’t frightened of the Reapers. Just the mention of them put the Fae on high alert.

If no one knew whether the Reapers were even real, why would the Fae somehow know they’d returned to Earth? It was a question Talin asked himself over and over again with no answer in sight.

While he attempted to figure it out, he watched those at court. There were the ones who had prestige and position within Fae society.

Those few individuals walked around with a cocky smile in place, their heads held high as if they were above reproach. In their wake were others, whispering and plotting as jealousy threatened to swallow them whole. That was the next tier of Light – those who wanted the top positions.

These Fae never stopped scheming or conspiring. Their goal was to be on top, and they were going to get there one way or another. This group was by far the largest, with its own social hierarchy that made Talin’s head hurt each time he thought about it.

The last group was those who managed to make their way to the castle by the queen’s invitation, some trade or bargain, or another such endeavor. These Fae were rendered bright-eyed by the opulence and allure, and most didn’t realize they needed to guard themselves against it all.

With the right connections, these lowest of the Fae could manage to get into the second level easily enough. However, working their way through that hierarchy was trickier than maneuvering through a battlefield.

“Hello, lover,” whispered a sexy feminine voice in his ear as hands wound around him from behind.

Talin smiled, unable to help himself. He looked over his shoulder at Neve. She raised a black brow, her silver eyes searching his.

Desire struck him quickly, making him instantly hard. Neve managed to bring such a reaction from him every time he heard her voice, felt her touch, or looked at her.

In other words, simply her existence filled him with lust. It knotted tightly within him, demanding that he claim her body. He drew in a shaky breath as he ached to taste her, to hold her luscious body against his.

“You walked right past me.” She lifted her chin, her dark pink lips tightening subtly. “I should be offended.”

Talin took her hand and pulled her around to face him. His skin prickled at the feel of her soft curves against him. His heart quickened when he breathed in her scent.

How he craved this woman.