Sins of the Night
Book eight takes us out of New Orleans (where most of the past books have occurred), and introduces us to a new team of Dark-Hunters in Mississippi. While they have also been trained and lead by Acheron, it appears that they are not as close to him as the Louisiana team. Problems are arising, and some Dark-Hunters are being lead astray by other team members who are certain Acheron has an ulterior motive for the Dark-Hunters. The same cycle occurs every hundred years or so, (losing many dark hunters to love and a few to traitorous Dark-Hunter rogues that decide to defy Acheron).
Acheron realizing that something is amiss, sends his enforcer “Alexion” to earth to infiltrate the group and weed out the bad seeds (essentially, extinguishing them for good).
Alexion shook his head at the irony. It was time for him to return to the dimension of the living and do his duty once more. Marco and Kyros were drawing together Dark-Hunters and trying to convert them to their misbegotten cause and they wouldn’t stop until he forced them to.
Their plan was to rebel against Artemis and Acheron. And Alexion’s job was to kill any who refuse to see reason.
Alexion used to be a Dark-Hunter turned ”Shade”, but continues to exist in Acheron’s world (Katoteros) only because of, and for Acheron. Devoid of mostly any feelings, he has had to adapt to an eternity without human senses and emotions that had once given him a passion for life.
But he felt nothing. He always felt nothing. Just a cold, horrifying logic that bore no emotions whatsoever. He could only observe life, he couldn’t live it.
Residing in Katoteros with Acheron, he has helped raise “Simi”, essentially being her more stern but adoring second “Daddy”, and it is through his connection to Acheron and Simi, that he has been able to feel any form of happiness.
There was something innately compelling, endearing, and ultimately sweet about the demon. Something that made him love her like a daughter. In all the worlds, she and Acheron were the only two things that still made him feel human emotion. He loved them both and he would die to protect them.
On earth, he finds himself intrigued by his Dark-Hunter host “Dangereuse” (a female from the French Revolution era who no longer trusts any man in her life due to a terrible tragedy from her past). While at first, she is resentful of Alexion and his assignment,
“That’s not how this works. When Acheron sends me in, he places me with a Dark_hunter he would like to see saved. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way, but in theory, if you cooperate, you should survive this last uprising. I use you as a friendly, trustworthy face to introduce me to the traitors so that I can decide who among them is worth saving.”
“And if I refuse?”
she begins to comprehend Acheron’s concerns and deduces that there could be an evil force at work trying to get them to betray the one whom they had always believed had humanity’s best interest at heart. Working together, they develop a trust, soothing each other’s emotional scars.
He kissed her gently, then urged her back down on the mattress. “You should get a good day’s sleep.”
She wrinkled her nose at that. “It’s kind of hard. I haven’t slept away from my home in centuries. I’m not sure about the daylight that’s starting to spill through the curtains either. It’s making me a little nervous.
He wrapped his arms around her and snuggled close.
“I won’t let it hurt you.”
Warmth spread through her. “It’s a nice thought, but even with your powers, I somehow think Apollo might win.”
The room went pitch-black. There was no sign of a single ray of sunshine now. “Sleep in peace, Danger. I won’t let anything hurt you. I promise.”
And that was the kindest thing anyone had ever done for her. Her eyes tearing from the strange tenderness that flooded her, she moved her head to kiss his arm, then snuggled down to rest.
While this wasn’t my absolute favorite of the bunch (I found myself cringing at the name “Danger”, and with mostly all new characters, I wasn’t already familiar with, it took me awhile to warm up to them), there was one scene in it that stole my heart, and a few errant, free flowing tears took me by surprise. Basically, Alexion and Danger’s time was coming to an end (he would have to render his final judgement, and return to his ethereal form back to Acheron’s realm), they are trying to make the most of the time they have left together. For once, Alexion is feeling true emotions again, and Danger wants to make sure she doesn’t spoil their last day together with sadness. Worst of all, once he is gone, her memory of him and their time together will be fully erased (as is always the case when Alexion completes an assignment).
“We have to go,” Alexion said, his voice deep and husky.
Reluctantly, she pulled away and forced herself to concentrate on anything and everything other than Alexion.
Neither of them spoke as they showered and dressed.
What was there to say? Even worse, she was afraid one of them would say something to set off her tears. It was much easier to keep herself together if she were silent.
She couldn’t even tell him that she wouldn’t forget him. And that hurt most of all.
“I don’t want to forget…”
She didn’t realize she’d spoken aloud until Alexion gathered her into his arms. “It’s better if you do. I couldn’t leave you if I knew you were in pain because of me. The only thing that makes this bearable to me is knowing that tomorrow your life will be back to normal.”
A tear fled past her control. “I’m sorry,” she said, brushing it quickly away. But it was too late. That one tear started an avalanche of sobbing.
Her mind and heart shattered at the thought of the days to come, when she would never even know he existed. She’d no longer know his touch…his scent…
God, how she loved the smell of his skin. The caress of his hand on her face. The feel of his body under and over hers…
How could she love without him?
“Don’t leave me,” she said, her voice breaking.
Alexion closed his eyes as he felt his own tears swelling. If he could have one wish…
But all the wishes in the world couldn’t make him human and they couldn’t keep them together.
“I won’t leave you, Danger. I will be here for you anytime you need me.”
She looked up at him with pain in her eyes that made him ache all the way through his being. “But I won’t see you.”
“No. But I won’t ever leave you alone. I swear it.”
Danger tightened her hold on him. She didn’t know who had it worse. The one who had no memory at all or the one who knew and couldn’t speak of it.
I’ve gotta stop…the lump in my throat is back…