The Light Bringer (Gods & Monsters #3) - Janie Marie

1

A King’s Queen

Flapping his massive wings, Lucifer cleared the dust and smoke as he emerged from the cave. The ensuing chaos was expected, but finding half of his ranks fighting alongside Belial was not.

Asmodeus dropped from the sky, landing at his left side. “My king.”

Lucifer didn’t respond; he was staring at Thanatos, who had been guarding the mouth of the cave.

“You let her go?” Asmodeus asked, glancing at Lucifer’s hair. “You took her demon into you?”

“I think that is obvious,” Lucifer said, calling forth his sword. “Death has her. She is safe for now. Go, if you wish. I have things to do.”

Asmodeus roared out as loud as his dragon form was capable of before vanishing into a cloud of red smoke, his legions following shortly after him.

Lucifer nodded to Thanatos. “You know what to do.”

“Yes, my king.” Thanatos glanced at the battle. “Belial was told about Jane’s soul. He is not happy. Half your legions betrayed you once they felt Death’s presence.”

“I assumed as much,” Lucifer said, walking away. “Go. See that everything happens as it should. Do not fail.”

“Will she recover?” Thanatos asked.

Lucifer turned and glared at him. “He took her to the vampire. I have no doubt she will thrive between them. Now, do as you’re told so things fall back into place. You already know what will happen from here.”

“Yes, my king,” Thanatos said, bowing before vanishing.

Astaroth walked toward him. Those who could not flee in time were incinerated as the huge fallen angel came to stand in front of Lucifer. “My king, what have you done?”

Lucifer flexed his wings, glancing at the battle, snarling when he made eye contact with Lancelot, who was retreating with the remaining wolves. “I saved my queen.”

Astaroth’s gaze lifted to Lucifer’s hair. “She will be in grave danger, Lucifer. Half souls are rare, and they do not last for long . . . Belial has been given gifts to aid him, and he will receive more. If he gets to her, you will be at his mercy.”

“Anything else?” Lucifer asked as the light within him pulsed to a heartbeat that did not match his own.

“Yes.” Astaroth looked up at the moon. “Separate her from Death soon. You know what will happen if you do not. Work swiftly.”

Lucifer nodded. “Gather those who are with me and be ready.”

“Yes, my king.” Astaroth bowed before nodding to Beelzebub. Both Fallen glanced at him, signaling for their legions to follow.

Belial came into view. They stared at one another, neither moving to attack.

Lucifer allowed his light to come to the surface, a command for his most loyal men to prepare. “How long have you known about her?”

Belial smirked, stabbing his sword into a fallen angel’s back. “I did not know who she was at the time, but I was told there was a female with unimaginable darkness and power. Should I or my men locate her, we were instructed to break her. Her identity only made sense when she fucked Lancelot to break your heart.”

The High King of Hell kept his expression blank. “Again, how long?”

“I would imagine it was near her fifth birthday. Apparently the beast had a weakness—a pure soul from which she was created. It was said they could not be separated, but for the lovely monster to rule, the pure half needed to be broken. Some of us got there early on.” He smiled, his blood-red eyes gleaming with sick joy. “I only wish I had partaken in the fun . . . You know how much Berith enjoys the young ones. So weak and innocent.”

Even though he was furious beyond anything