I’ve seen a lot of inventive posts over the last few weeks that play on the twelve days of Christmas theme. Of course my muse latched onto this, and sent me the twelve days of the Fractured instead!
My dad always loved Christmas. He had many traditions, some of which we still follow (like French toast on Christmas morning – yum!). He was a stickler for putting his tree up twelve days before Christmas, and taking it down twelve days after. It’s one tradition I can’t stick to…I’m far to excited to wait until mid December! So, instead, I’m going to start my twelve day story. I hope you enjoy.
On the First Day of Christmas my Crazy Muse sent to me…A god with an ace up his sleeve.
Okay, so it was official. Gods made lousy drunks.
Orion stared at his cousin, Darius, the only member of his family he could still stomach, and waited for the tirade to end.
Let’s get together. It’ll be like old times sake. Yeah. Right.
It was his own damn fault. How was he supposed to know Darius was crazier than a wood nymph? Orion had been checked out for so long he was completely out of touch with the skeletons in his family closet.
While Orion had been out playing at being a cold-hearted son of a bitch, his cousin had been doing that shit for real. How had he once considered Darius worthy of his time? More to the point, how had he forgotten that insanity ran through his family tree, and damn but those roots ran deep.
But it was more than that. Darius had always been arrogant, but now his greed and cruelty showed through his skin like a toxic stain. He made the Fractured souls of Erebus seem as harmless as adolescent bullies.
Right now, Darius was waxing lyrical about teaching the Race Alliance a lesson. The more he spouted, the weaker his reasoning became. And it had nothing to do with the booze.
“I heard they hired someone. Sent them into the enemy camp. Who does that shit?” Darius said, waving his hand and causing the water on the lake to shimmer to life.
Orion froze. Not because his cousin had conjured a scene from the mortal realm across the surface, but because he was the red herring. So to speak.
The Alliance had requested his input, sent him in to end the war in the mortal realm. Getting up close and personal had been his idea. He now spent so much time with demons it was impossible to get their stink off his skin.
Damn Luke for dragging him out of his decade long pity party. His brother had a lot to answer for. And he owed him for what he was about to do.
“Hey, Darius,” he called, swaying to keep up the pretence. He’d been over-indulging for years. Alcohol no longer had any effect on him. “Catch.”
Orion blasted him with all his pent-up frustration, his power a sizzle of lighting as it reached out and froze his cousin to the spot. Darius didn’t have time to counteract. It was the only reason Orion got away with it. He’d been waiting hours for the maniac to let his guard down.
Strolling over to the edge of the lake, so he was nose to nose with Darius, he clamped his hands at either side of his head. It took mere seconds to find the canary who had sold him out. In fact, it took him longer to project that image to Lucas, so the angel could take care of their little problem. The mole in his own network.
Then he wiped the memory clean and resumed his earlier position, releasing Darius and painting an exasperated look on his face.
“What?” Darius said, looking around in confusion.
“Hell if I know.” Orion forced out a drunken chuckle. “You zoned out on me, cousin.”
Darius turned to the lake, staring at the portal he’d created as though he couldn’t figure out where he was. It didn’t take long for the madness to creep back in. “Hey,” he said, glancing back at Orion. “You know what we should do?”
Uh oh. Orion had a feeling he wouldn’t like finding out.
“We should stir things up a little.”
Yep. He’d been right.
Orion followed Darius’ gaze to the scene he’d conjured in the lake – a scene from the mortal realm that looked strangely untouched. He moved closer, curiosity getting the better of him. Most of the small towns within the realm had been all but destroyed when the Fractured descended, using it like a demons’ playground.
This estate must have been overlooked, or the humans got smart, because the small community still thrived.
Before Orion could stop him, Darius bent to slap his hands on the surface on the water. He sent so much power into the lake the ground shook.
Orion wasn’t concerned about that. The tremor on his own land would be nothing compared to the effect in the mortal realm. The effect from Darius’ transference of power.
The sound of Darius’ laughter was like barb against his skin. Orion felt rage build like an inferno in his blood. But the moment the lake settled, and he saw the devastation through the portal, he knew he didn’t have time to fight his cousin. One day. One day he would make him pay. Just not this day.
Relaxing his face into a bored expression was one of the hardest things he’d ever done. He wanted to kill Darius with his bare hands.
His mind reeled as he tried to come up with a plan. He was supposed to be protecting the realm, and he had failed because he still wanted some part of his past to mean something.
Blade? Logan? Where are you? he called out with his mind. The changelings were the only members of his team without an active assignment.
Hilmore. Blade answered immediately. This place is sweet. Definitely safe zone material.
We have a situation. He sent them a snapshot of the scene burning a hole in his retinas. The shimmer of the water rippling with aftershocks. Pull together a team. Whatever it takes.
On it. The growl in his mind could only belong to the wolf. Logan’s mental voice vibrated with anger, and it resonated through Orion.
“I have a better idea,” Orion said to Darius. “Allow me to introduce you to our new visitors at Camp Reece. They deserve your kind of entertainment.”
Darius’ eyes lit up. He knew exactly what Orion was referring to. By Camp Reece Orion meant his dungeons, and the prisoners currently housed within the cells were as despicable as his cousin. He couldn’t think of a better distraction for the crazy son of a bitch.
As he transported himself directly to the dungeons, a wave of fatigue rolled over him. If he had learned one thing over the past few months it was that he had a new family now. It was time he let go of his past.
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