Updated: Feb 24
OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW. DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE READ HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD.
Seriously. Don't blame me past this point.
Chapter 68 * Hunt and Bryce*
Hunt is in a cell below the Comitium. Outside of it, a TV plays footage from the lobby, showing him Justinian still moaning sometimes on the cross, and Viktoria forced to endue watchin Justinian, and his blood dripping on her glass prison. Hunt had watched every second.
The door at the end of the hall opens, and Hunt doesn't both to get up to see who it is. He still doesn't get up when he sees Isaiah standing in front of the bars. He asks Hunt why. Hunt - not caring about who is listening or the camera anymore - tells him it has to stop at some point. Isaiah tells him it stops when he is dead - when everyone they love is dead. He points to Justinian, and asks Hunt if he feels like he is on the right path. If it was worth it. Hunt remembers getting Justinian's message, climbing into bed that night, and thinking it wasn't worth it. Not after Bryce. Hunt doesn't say that though, he just tells Isaiah that nothing has changed since Mount Hermon, and it hasn't gotten better.
Isaiah asks Hunt some questions, which he answers, before telling Isaiah he already answered these during interrogation, and if he wants to know he can go back and watch the footage. When Isaiah shakes his head in disgusts, Hunt tells him that he might have accepted the bit in his mouth, but he never will. Isaiah tells Hunt he doesn't accept it - he has a reason to do what he does, and he thought Hunt did too. Hunt says Bryce has nothing to do with this, but Isaiah shuts that down, telling Hunt he shattered her heart in front of everyone. Hunt fears that Micah will go after her to punish him, but Isaiah tells him no - but he is lucky, because he is sure it crossed Micah's mind. Isaiah tells Hunt that his punishment hasn't been announced yet. He came down there to say goodbye. Hunt asks him to tell Bryce he is sorry. He agrees.
At work, Bryce is trying to read when Lehabah keeps interrupting her. She is watching the news, where it shows Justinian, now dead, and Vik in the lobby still. Still no work on Hunt. Lehabah says she knows he is still alive - that she can feel it. When she tells Bryce that the news is saying they think there might be more would-be rebels, Bryce tells her to turn off the screen before she throws it in the tank. Lehabah asks Bryce if she is sure there is nothing they can do - and Bryce slams the book closed. The doorbell rings, and when she checks the cam, she freezes.
Minutes later, The Autumn King is looking around the showroom at Bryce's work. Bryce is wondering why he is bothering to see her - he hasn't in all these years. The Autumn King tells her that Ruhn told him everything that happened Wednesday night, because he felt that Bryce might be in danger. When Bryce points out that its been three days and he is now only showing up, he must have wanted to see her crucified. He tells her that her security has been ensured and her innocence, and that Micah will not hard her - even to punish Hunt. Bryce snorts. Her father tells her she she is incredibly foolish if she thinks that she is not enough to break Hunt at long last. Bryce knows Ruhn must have told him about their building relationship, but she doesn't want to talk about that with The Autumn King. Or with anyone. When she tells him as much, he tells her he will talk about it with him because he is her king. When she tells him he isn't her king, he says legally, he is.
The Autumn King asks Bryce if she is still looking for the horn. Bryce asks him if Ruhn told him - that Danika stole it on a lark and ditched it somewhere while flying high as a kite somewhere. When the Autumn King frowns, she tells him the demon was accidentally summoned because of the synth. She doesn't think anyone is looking for the horn. She thinks to herself that she doesn't know who she hates more: Hunt, Danika, or herself for not seeing their lies. The King tells her its still important to make sure the horn doesn't end up in the wrong hands. Bryce knows he means it should end up only in fae hands. Reminds him he put his Chosen One son on the task.
When Bryce appears to be done with the conversation, The Autumn King tells Bryce that he loved her mother very much, and was planning on making her his queen before she ran away. Bryce asks him if he thinks that would erase everything he did, and he tells her no - nothing will ever erase what he did. Bryce tells him to stop with the woe-is-me crap. Why tell her this after all these years? He tells her he came here after all these years to tell her that she may be like her mother, but she is also like him more than she realizes ... and that is not a good thing. He leaves.
Chapter 69 *Hunt and Bryce*
Hunt is going through the motions, only because his body demands it in his cell. Viktoria's box had been already dumped in the ocean. The thought of her trapped in that box, alone and in the dark had given him nightmares where he wakes up puking. He had no visitors since Isaiah six days ago, not that he thought Bryce would come, and give him a chance to beg for forgiveness.
The door opens at the end of the hallway, and the female scent that stalked his nightmares fills the air. Sandriel. She asks Hunt if they are really going to play "that old game again" (where he wants to kill her). She tells him that Micah was kind enough to let her see what was confiscated from Hunt - and holds up his cell phone. She links it to the TV, and brings up all the photos of Bryce and him. He see's as the dates get closer to the present, Bryce smiles more, and her eyes seem so alive. Hunt realizes this is a form of torture - to see the life he could have had. She tells Hunt that Bryce will forget about him - end up with a Fae male who can stomach an inferior pairing, or end up in the dumpster with the other half-breeds. She tells him the point is, she will move on, and Hunt and her will move on - telling Hunt his punishment - being sold back to Sandriel.
Bryce enters the bar after 11, and finds Ruhn. She tells him she wanted to thank him for the other night. He is surprised. He asks how she is holding up, and she said she feels like an idiot. Everyone warned her. Ruhn tells her he didn't think Hunt was still that ruthless - that his priorities had shifted as of late. Bryce rolls her eyes and says that both he and "dear old dad" believed that. Ruhn asks if he visited her, and Bryce told him that he came by to tell her that she is as big a piece of shit as he is. Like calls to like or whatever. Ruhn tells her she is nothing like him. Ruhn invites her to his place to watch a big Sunball game with some friends. She immediately passes, but he tells her just come for a little bit, and if it isn't her thing, she can leave. HE asks her why he keeps bothering. He asks her why she keeps pushing him away. He knows it isn't just about their fight. Bryce swallows, and tells him he was her best friend before Danika and she ... it doesn't matter anymore. She is willing to start over on a trial basis only. Ruhn tells her he will save a seat for her.
Art by Emilia Mildner
Chapter 70 *Bryce*
Bryce comes home from work, and see's Fury sitting on the couch, in the same spot Hunt usually sat. Fury came to let Bryce know that Micah gave Hunt away to Sandriel. Fury wants to make sure Bryce won't do anything stupid with this knowledge. Bryce and Fury start arguing about how Fury ignored Bryce for two years. Fury tells her that Bryce almost died that night, and Danika did die. She gave Bryce the drugs. Bryce says Fury still talks to Juniper, and Fury admits that Juniper is different. When Bryce pushes, Fury admits that Juniper and her are in a relationship. Fury explains that Danika and her were her friends. They were like two stupid fucking puppies that bounded into her life, and one of them was slaughtered. And she couldn't deal with it. Bryce tells Fury that she needed her. Fury tells Bryce that June is helping her work out a lot of her shit. Fury asks Bryce if her behavior right now is a repeat of last winter, and if she needs to call Juniper. Bryce tells her no. Fury asks Bryce not to make her regret telling her about Hunt, and Bryce says she is over it.
After she watches Fury leave, she looks at the couch, and can picture Hunt there watching a Sunball game. And suddenly, her anger reverses itself. She refuses to lose another friend. She looks at Syrinx and tells him that she promised not to do anything stupid. She didn't say she wouldn't do something smart.
Chapter 71 *Hunt, Ruhn and Bryce*
Hunt had one night to puke over the fact he was owned by Sandriel again. She left the photo feed on the TV to further torture Hunt. At nearly sunset, when Pollux and the armed guard came to lead him from his cell, to the transport, that would take him to the cells beneath the Summit building. Pollux tries to work him up, but Hunt ignores him. They meet up with Sandriel in the lobby of the Comitium. The other malakim were in the lobby, to say goodbye as silently as they could. As Hunt is led to the transport vehicle outside, they are stopped by a female yelling for them to wait. It's Bryce.
Bryce stops in front of them, panting. Sandriel asks Bryce what she wants. Bryce asks her not to take him. Sandriel is not amused, and tells Bryce the paperwork is all done. He was gifted to her. Bryce pulls a paper from her pocket. She offers to buy Hunt from her for 97 million gold marks. People gasped and Pollox took in Bryce again. Bryce extended the paper to Sandriel, and Hunt could read "Proof of Funds" - a check from the bank, made out to Sandriel from Jesiba Roga. Hunt is horrified. How many years did Bryce add to her debt to Jesiba for him. Bryce waves it at Sandriel, and reminds her its 12 million more than what she sold him for.
When Sandriel doesn't look convinced, Bryce takes off her Archesian amulet, and offers that as well to sweeten the deal. Tells Sandriel is can fetch 3 million gold marks on the market. She says please. Sandriel looks between Bryce and Hunt. As Hunt is about to tell Sandriel to ignore Bryce, and tell Bryce to leave, Sandriel grasps the necklace. She melts it. Something in Hunt's chest ruptures at the devastation on Bryce's face.
Hunt tells Bryce to leave. But instead, Bryce pocketed the check, gets on her knees, and offers herself instead, in exchange for his freedom. Hunt is horrified. She already traded her afterlife for Danika, there was no way he could allow her to trade her mortal life for him. Pollux is smiling. A male voice yells "Don't you dare!", and Ruhn arrives in his shadows, Declan and Flynn flanking him. Pollox has his sword pointed at Bryce's chest, keeping Ruhn and his friends from pulling their guns. Ruhn tells Bryce to get up from the floor. Instead of listening to him, she once again offers herself to Sandriel.
Sandriel asks Bryce if she offers her life, under no force. When Ruhn lunges forward, Sandriel uses her wind magic to hold him back, and it holds Hunt in place too. Bryce says yes, in exchange for Hunt's freedom. Sandriel says that people who think she was a fool for taking that bargain - to trade the most powerful malakim in the skies, the only one who can harness lightning, for a half breed with no power. But she knows her secret that gives her worth - the only daughter of the Autumn King. Hunt is shocked, as is Flynn and Declan. Sandriel says Bryce would be truly a prize. Ruhn looks terrified. Sandriel asks her how her father must feel, about Bryce selling her life away to a half-rate sorceress.
Bryce's eyes meet Hunt's. Ruhn speaks the ancient words from old laws that have never been changed - claiming Bryce as his sister and kin. Bryce whirls on him, telling him he has no right, but Ruhn goes on, saying that through the laws of the Fae, she is his property. Bryce tells him she will never forgive him for this, but he just tells Sandriel that they are done here, and tugs her away. Bryce tries to reach out to touch Hunt. She promises to find a way to save him. Ruhn tells her to stop. Listening to her sobs killed Hunt. In hopes she would forget about him, and stop trying to free him, he tells her he doesn't owe her anything, nor she to him. And to never come looking for him again. He gets in the transport vehicle.
Bryce wrenches herself out of Ruhn's grip. He asks her if he has any idea what she was giving herself up to, and she said yes - Hunt told her. Ruhn refuses to apologize for protecting her. That Hunt wouldn't have wanted that for her. She spits at his feet, gets on her scooter and leaves. Declan and Flynn are upset, and confused as to why he didn't tell them Bryce was his sister. That she was their princess. Ruhn tells them she isn't their princess, as the Autumn King has not recognized her, nor will he ever. When they are why, he tells them its because she is his bastard child, and he doesn't like her. He doesn't tell them that he doesn't want Bryce to be recognized, because it would mean an untimely end for her since the Oracle said his line would die with him. He tells them he needs to go and talk to her.
Bryce drives to the river. She sinks to her knees and stares across the Istros towards the Bone Quarter. She talks to Danika, telling her everything is so fucked. That she wished she was here. Bryce notices everything going quiet, and a chill goes through her. A kristallos demon tackles her into the Istros.
Chapter 72 *Bryce*
Bryce is being dragged down, and something burns along her arm. She screams, water rushing down her throat. The Kristallos grip loosens, and she struggles to reach the surface. Someone grabs her and brings her to the surface. It's Declan. Ruhn tells them the kristallos is down. Ruhn asks her why the fuck she was by the river after dark. When they start arguing, Flynn mutters that he has only know Bryce is their princess for 30 minutes and she already is a pain in his ass. Declan said that they should have figured out that they were brother and sister, as she is the only other one that gets under Ruhn's skin other than the Autumn King.
They question why the kristallos appeared. Not knowing if its a coincidence because someone nearby is high on synth, or if its a targeted attack, he tells Bryce she needs to stay with him. She tells him over her dead body. Thanks them for saving her ass, but Ruhn is dead to her, which causes him to flinch.
When she gets home, she looks over her body. There are red marks where the kristallos clawed her, but Declan's healing magic was still working its magic on her. She was thankful that the tattoo she got with Danika was still intact. But then she spirals into her emotions.
Chapter 73 *Hunt*
Hunt compares the last summit he was at in Pangera, and the one here. The one in Pangera was bedeck in silk, and gold , precious stones ... this one was in a conference center. He is led in, and brought up against the wall of the Summit, where he watches the heads of the city come into the Summit with their guard. As the Autumn King walks by Hunt, he doesn't spare him a glance, but Ruhn does. Ruhn apologizes to Hunt through his eyes. Hunt is surprised to see that the new witch Queen, Hypaxia, is none other than the medwitch that helped them with the investigation. When the Asteri arrive via video, everyone bows their heads - except for Hunt, Tharion, Ruhn, Declan and Queen Hypaxia. Ruhn tells Hunt telepathically it was a bold move, surprising Hunt, and revealing one of his biggest secrets. Hunt asks about Bryce, and Ruhn tells him she is back at work. Hunt asks Ruhn why he would help him, and Ruhn tells him because he knows he would have done anything to keep Bryce safe. Hunt asks Ruhn if he knew the medwitch was Queen Hypaxia, Ruhn tells her he didn't.
The Asteri formally recognizes Queen Hypaxia as the Queen of the witches. They tell them that the main issue they need to discuss is how to stop the human war. After they leave, everyone takes a deep breath, and Micah declares the Summit commenced.
Chapter 74 *Bryce*
Bryce is at work, watching the Summit commence on TV. She doesn't care about anything or anyone else. She just stares at the grey wings in the back, and knows it is Hunt. She spent the last few days looks through law books, trying to find a way to save him, and couldn't find anything that she hadn't already done: offer to buy him, or offer herself up as replacement. She is thinking about how she sleeps in Hunts room every night, in one of his shirts that were left behind. She thinks about the white opal, mailed back to her 3 days ago by Isaiah, with a note saying that Hunt is sorry. Lehabah asks what do they do now. Do they just go back to normal? Bryce says yes, and Lehabah asks what is normal? Bryce says it sounds boring. She apologizes to Lehabah for not always being a good friend. Lehabah sits on her shoulder, and says they will get through this. Bryce holds up a finger, letting Lehabah take it in both hands before saying "Deal."
Chapter 75 *Ruhn and Hunt*
Ruhn is bored out of his mind. He thinks back to the first day of the Summit, at lunch break, asking Hypaxia if she was ever going to tell him who she was. She said he didn't ask. He asks why she was at the clinic, and she explains her sources told her evil was stirring in the city, and she wanted to see for herself. She also wanted to feel normal for a change. He asks her if she knows what his father wants from the two of them. She says she suspects, but she has no plans to make big changes to her life right now with anyone.
Summit begins with Sandriel telling everyone Micah was called away from a meeting, so she will lead the meeting. She argues that the Mer should give up ocean space so a canal can be built for a supply line. Tharion argues it will ruin their fishing industry, not to mention the kelp and oyster beds. Sandriel tells him they will be compensating, but Hypaxia brings up that in the Sorvakkian Wars, coral and kelp beds were dug up for similar reasons. The farmers were only compensated for a few seasons, despite it still being destroyed. She asks how much Sandriel is willing to say. A 1000 seasons? 2000? It leads to a stare down between Sandriel and Hypaxia, that Hypaxia wins. Ruhn see's Tharion flash a paper to Hypaxia, with markings, counting something. Hypaxia blushes.
Hunt is also bored. He knows in the end, the Asteri will get what they want. But he wants it to last longer. He wants to enjoy a few more days before the torture begins.
Chapter 76 *Bryce and Hunt*
Bryce has been living at work for the last few days, because being at home is too hard. Because Jesiba is busy at the Summit, she knows she can get away with all the rescheduled clients, and the take out containers everywhere. She has also taken another amulet, now one of 5 left in the world. Her and Lehabah have been reading through law books to try to find a way to free Hunt, but so far she has already done the two things that can free him - offering herself up as replacement, or buying him.
Syrinx starts growling, and this is when Bryce's see's someone coming down stairs. It's Micah. In her panic over him seeing the books, she offers him a seat upstairs - which he rejects, while reading the titles of the books. Bryce asks what he is looking for, and he tells her he is looking for her.
Hunt is leaning against the wall, when a phone starts ringing, and Jesiba answers. Jesiba tells Declan to share what she has on her phone - that everyone should see this. Dozens of camera feeds show up, all of Griffins Antiquities. Hunt zeros in on the one that shows Bryce pouring wine, and Micah behind her. Bryce texts Jesiba "Help".
Ruhn is already calling the Aux to send a unit there, despite Sandriel saying Micah is doing nothing wrong.
Micah points to the books on the desk, and says she has been busy. Bryce said Hunt is her friend, and Hunt's stomach drops, knowing that she hasn't given up yet. Micah says he admires Bryce's loyalty, unto death and beyond, even though Danika proved herself to be no better than a drug addicted whore.
Amelia tells Sabine they should send a wolf pack, but Sabine says all the top ones are with them.
Bryce asks who knows the truth about Danika? Micah says the philosophers with written work in this library had opinions. Bryce asks "One Danika?" and Micah ells her not to play stupid. That a lot of these books would land her executed. When Bryce says that seems excessive for just some books, Micah tells her that humans died for these books - books on evolution, math, theories disproving the superiority of Vanir and Asteri. Micah asks Bryce is she even knows she is in the Great Library of Parthos. When Bryce tells her that's a myth, Micah points out she is contradicting herself by wearing an amulet that was once worn by the very priestesses that protected Parthos. Micah asks Bryce if she knows that 100,000 humans marched to their dearth JUST to give the priestesses enough time to grab the most important books and hide them away.
At the summit, Jesiba begs Flynn and Sabine to get the Aux there to save the books. She doesn't mention Bryce. Flynn stares at the screen, and tells Bryce to run.
Bryce finally faces Micah, bringing him his wine. She says he came there to look for her, and here she is. Behind her back, she signals to Syrinx and Lehabah to run, but they don't move. Micah tells her to have a seat. When she does, he asks her to give him the horn.
Chapter 77 *Bryce and Hunt*
Bryce knows this won't end well. Bryce says she doesn't know where the horn is, and he tells her to try again. That she figured it out the same time he did. When Bryce asks why anyone would want a broken horn, Micah says he knows that she learned in her research that the horn could be repaired by synth. Bryce gets up at this point and tells Micah that this is private property, and governor or not, if he wants to burn her with these books, he will need a warrant. He tells her to hand over the horn, and she once again denies knowing where it is. He grabs a hold of the collar of her shirt and tells her not to lie.
Hunt manages to move down one step before Sandriel uses her magic t o hold him back and render him mute. He is forced to watch.
Micah asks Bryce if she wants to know how he figured it out. He runs a hand down her spine, over and over, Then runs his fingers over her amulet. He tells Bryce that when she lost her last amulet to Sandriel, within an hour of removing it, she is attacked by a kristallos demon. Micah figured out, but looking at Danika's whereabouts before she died, and the photos on Hunt's phone - one showing Bryce's tattoo - that Danika ground up the horn, had it mixed in witch ink, and had it tattooed on Bryce. That Bryce is the horn. Micah theorizes that if he injected her with synth and uses his power on her tattoo, the horn should work.
Bryce headbutts him in the nose, but he doesn't let go. He hurls her to the floor. Bryce screams for Lehabah and Syrinx to hide. Micah has torn Bryce's shirt, exposing the tattoo. As Bryce tries to run, Micah grabs a hold of her ankle and tosses her across the room, and she screams as she shatters the desk. She has a gash on her leg, exposing bone.
Ruhn watches this at the summit, and says out loud that Micah is going to kill her.
Bryce crawls backwards and gets Micah talking. He admits to killing Danika and the pack, and enjoying it. Micah grabs her by the throat and throws her again.
Ruhn screams asking where the fuck the Aux is.
Bryce asks why he killed Danika and the pack. He tells her what Danika's job was - not security, but a hunter of sorts. She tracked down people Redner Industries wanted found, and brought them and their research in. She was the one who brought human rebels in, who created synth. She kept an eye on the research, hoping it might help her half human friend. Bryce asks how Redner Industries got away with the research, as the Asteri doesn't approve of synthetic magic, and he says it was touted as a healing drug. Micah asks Bryce if Danika left Bryce the videos of the synth test trials like he suspected she did.
Bryce is slowly climbing up the stairs, and asking more questions. Micah reveals that Danika was working on her own secret project at Redner Industries. He admits to dumping synth onto the streets, and he catches Danika buying most of it up to get it off the streets (but she doesn't get it all). He blackmails her - telling her no one will believe the party princess is buying the synth to get it off the streets. He gets her to steal the horn. But he underestimates her. He didn't think Danika would hide the horn after connecting the synth and the horn. Admits he killed her because she hid the horn before he could heal it. He tells Bryce he wants to open the rift to another world, one that would bow to his power in combination with the horn, for their help in the war. He believes the combination of his power and the horn, he would be invited to join the Asteri.
Micah describes how he killed the pack. He disabled the pack with his magic, injected Danika with synth, and watched as she tore them apart - and then herself. As Bryce is sobbing, she said but still Danika never gave up the horns location. He shrugs, because in the end, he realized all he had to do was hire the person who loved Danika the most, and wanted vengeance. That Bryce would find the horn.
.At the summit, Ruhn realizes that every time he went looking for the horn, he wanted to go to Bryce.
Micah explains everything he did, using synth and the kristallos demons to nudge Bryce onto the right path in the investigation. While Hunt listens to Micah over the camera feed, he realizes Micah would have never honored his agreement. He would have killed Hunt and Bryce.
Bryce asks Micah when he suspected it was her. Micah says is was when the Kristallos attacked Hunt, but it was confirmed after she took off the amulet, and he summoned the demon, and it went straight for her. With the pictures and information on Hunt's phone, he figured out how it was hidden. Bryce looks into a camera and Sabine says aloud that Bryce is leading him on to get a full confession out of him.
Micah holds Bryce down and injects the synth. He reaches for the tattoo, but Bryce grabs a book, holding it tight. It creates a shield around her. Micah grabs Syrinx, which makes Bryce drop the shield, but it doesn't stop him from dropping Syrinx into the tank with the nokk.
Chapter 78 *Bryce and Ruhn*
Bryce watches as Syrinx panics in the water, as he doesn't know how to swim. Micah's power hits her, and it feels like white hot flames down her back The air in the room sucks in on itself, before blasting outward, and it makes Bryce scream in agony. Micah is disappointed it doesn't open a portal, and Bryce knows he will try again and again, whether she was alive or dead.
Micah is about to carve the horn from her back when Bryce grabs another book from the shelf, and opens it. A green light comes from the book, hitting Micah in the chest, and blasting him into the bathroom. Lehabah uses the power of another book to close and seal the door for a short time.
Ruhn continues to watch this go down, and thinks to himself he didn't wake up that morning prepared to watch his sister die. Hunt manages to growl at Sandriel, telling her to help Bryce. Sandriel clamps down on her power, and tells him she doesn't have the authority to do anything in Micah's territory. Hunt still manages to get past her magic to tell her "fuck you."
Bryce gasps to Lehabah to open the feeding dock. As the bathroom door shudders as Micah tries to get out, Bryce grabs the knife Micah dropped, ties it to her leg, and heads up the stairs to the top of the tank. Lehabah is weeping, thinking Syrinx is dead, as he is now limp in the water. Bryce kneels at the opening, and starts hyperventilating. When Hypaxia asks what Bryce is doing, Tharion tells her that she is trying to get more air in her lungs. Bryce takes one more deep breath and plunges into the tank.
Ruhn thinks to himself that Bryce has no magic. No strength. No immortality. Nothing to shield herself from the nokk or Micah except for that knife - and yet she still went back for her friend instead of running. Flynn announces that this is Bryce's ordeal.
Art by Mel
Chapter 79 *Bryce and Hunt*
The water is freezing, and her lungs burn, but she manages to get Syrinx on the feeding platform. As she begins to drag them up by the chain, the nokk comes out from the shadows of the rocks. She is able to get Syrinx above the water, and take a gasp of air herself and tell Lehabah to start chest compressions on Syrinx before the nokk pulls her down. As she is pulled down, she hits her head on the rim of the tank.
Hunt is horrified and can't breath as he watches Bryce grab the knife tied to her leg, only for the nokk to knock it out of her hand. He watches as Bryce digs her hand into a pouch on the nokks lower abdomen, and twists her hand in the nearly invisible fold. The men in the room groan, watching the nokk writhe in pain as she twists his testicles. While the nokk is distracted, Bryce reaches the feeding platform again, and starts pulling herself up. She makes it just in time.
Bryce rushes to Syrinx, who is still unconscienced. She beings CPR. Hunt knows that Micah will make his way through the door at any moment, and knows Bryce needs to leave now. Ruhn asks Jesiba if they can talk to Bryce, and Jesiba tells him the camera only has one way audio. Syrinx coughs up the water in his lungs. Lehabah passes Bryce a spare shirt to cover up. Bryce picks up Syrinx, and despite a huge, and deep gash to her leg, she slowly limps her way up the stairs.
At the summit, the Autumn King says to the video feed that she needs to leave the chimera, but Hunt knows Bryce never would. And Hunt can see that Lehabah knows this too.
As Bryce makes it up the stairs, she notices Lehabah isn't with her. Lehabah tells Bryce that she will buy them some time. Bryce sobs, and pleads with Lehabah not to sacrifice herself. That she is free. She had the papers drawn up the week before, and wanted to surprise her with a party. Lehabah smiles, and tells her she already knew, because she looked in Bryce's drawer. Bryce cries and laughs, and Lehabah tells her to let people know that her first act as a free person was to help her friends. Bryce tells Lehabah that she loves her, and Lehabah tells Bryce she will always love her, and to go.
As Bryce makes it to the showroom, Lehabah is using her magic against an already formed crack on the side of the nokk tank, saying over and over that she is a not afraid. Bryce screams as she closes the door, the enchantments sealing Lehabah in with the nokk and Micah. Bryce leans against the door and sobs.
Hunt is thankful Bryce is upstairs, but is heartbroken seeing Lehabah's sacrifice. Hunt fights against Sandriel's magic, for enough control to put a hand over his heart - a salute to Lehabah. One by one, the angels in the 33rd do the same, as does Ruhn and his friends. They watch as the little sprite shakes from fear, but doesn't stop. As the bathroom door finally opens, she puts her hand to the fracture and breaks the tank, releasing a 100,000 gallons of water into the library - slowing down Micah from chasing down Bryce, exposing the nokk to the air, killing him, and sadly, extinguishing Lehabah's flame forever.
Art by Carlos
Chapter 80 *Bryce and Hunt*
Flashing red lights alert Bryce that the tank exploded, and that Lehabah was now gone. She knew she had to start moving, as the water would have only slowed Micah down.
Hunt is heartbroken over Lehabah. Ruhn swears. They notice that the showroom Bryce was just in was empty, and the front door was open. But Bryce doesn't run away. They see her running up the stairs to Jesiba's office, knowing that the synth in her system has healed her leg and giving her the strength to run. They are counting down the minutes before it turns on her and she starts ripping herself apart.
They watch Bryce grab the Godslayer rifle displayed behind Jesiba's desk. Ruhn whispers aloud that Bryce is going to kill Micah for what he did to the pack. They watch on a different screen that Micah has parted the water, and started to head towards the showroom to find Bryce. Bryce is currently throwing the parts of the rifle on the desk, before opening the safe behind it, drinking a vial of clear fluid, and then grabbing a slender golden bullet. She puts the bullet between her teeth, and while running to a hiding spot that gives her an advantage, she puts together the rifle. When Micah enters Jesiba's office, Bryce shoots him in the head.
I was hoping to have the recap done before the book came out. Sadly, that won't happen. I'm a mom, have a full time job, and need to sleep - so alas, it will be late. But I promise to finish. :) Happy reading!
*updating, slowly finishing it. :) But guys ... have you read the second book yet? Are you okay? Because I am SO not.