Bound By Blood (Bound #1)

Chapter 9

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“You always did let emotion rule you,” came Devon’s voice from the darkness.

Morgan spun around, and took a few quick steps away from the pit. “You did this.”

He shrugged.

“They’ve been attacking us, Devon! Kil ing us! You were the Council leader, you had—”

“Fuck the Council.” He smiled, showing off his bloody fangs. “And fuck you.”

Her hands fisted.

“Vampires were always so busy hiding. Oh, no, mustn’t let the humans know we’re here.” He smirked at her. “Wrong. It’s time for them to know. Time for us to show the humans that their only purpose is to feed us. They’re prey. We’re fucking gods.”

She could only shake her head. “You bargained with the devil, you opened a doorway because—”

“Because I wanted a war. Because the vampires needed to learn…it’s kil or be kil ed. We weren’t meant to hide. We’re meant to dominate.”

Bastard. “And so you sent the demons after your own kind? How is that us dominating?”

“I sent the demons after the weak. Those vampires who can’t survive don’t belong in this world.” His lips stil twisted in that sick grin as he said, “And it’s not like I can’t make more of our kind.”

More like him? No way. “You won’t be changing anyone. You won’t be kil ing anyone else.” Where was Jace? “This ends tonight.”

He laughed. “Funny. That’s exactly what your wolf said…”

A fist squeezed her heart.

“Right before I kicked his ass into hel .”

The screams behind her seemed louder. Like more demons were fighting to get out.

“Sounds like they’re enjoying their new meal.” His fangs flashed in the dark. “That’s how it works, you see. For them to come out, I offer a trade. A life.”

That’s why there were so many bones. A skeleton for each demon he’d brought forth.

“They devour the flesh, then toss out the parts that are too hard.”

Not Jace. He wasn’t in that pit. “We’re closing that hole.”

Devon took a step toward her. “You don’t have that kind of power. You think you’re so fucking special.” Another step. “Just because you were born pureblood. You always thought you were better than me.”

“No, I didn’t.” But I do now. I’m not a psychotic asshole, so yes, that makes me better.

“Do you know why I wanted you to marry the wolf?”

Wel , saving the vamp nest obviously wasn’t the reason. Morgan held her ground.

Hel waited behind her, and this bastard caged her in front.

“I needed you to get close to him,” Devon said. “I needed you to take his blood

…because I wanted to give the demons a special tribute.” He inclined his head. “You see, now that they’ve been kil ing, they’re developed a taste for wolf blood.”

“They’re not taking his blood!”

“But in order to close the deal with them, I had to prove how much I’d be wil ing to sacrifice.” His eyes narrowed. “With demons, it’s al about the sacrifice. You have to offer them something, or the lazy assholes won’t do a thing.”

“You’ve offered them humans—”

“Because I’m fucking tired of hiding in the shadows. The vampires wouldn’t take control, they were too scared of humans finding out the truth. But my demons— they’re not afraid of anything.”

The screams from the pit almost drowned out his words. “What are you sacrificing?”

Because, shit, this was a trap. For the wolves. For Jace. For—

“You.”

Then he lunged at her.

But Morgan was ready. She grabbed his arms, twisted, and tossed the traitor right over her shoulder. He hit the ground just feet away from the pit, and smoke bil owed out in a heavy burst.

He flew back to his feet. Smiled. “This wil be fun.” He licked his lips, tasting the blood that stained his mouth. “You’re the only pureblood around here. You’re the best sacrifice I can give them. I bet you’l be worth ten demons…”

He’d lost it. “And I bet it wil hurt when you fal into hel .”

That wiped the smile off his face. “Your wolf sure screamed when the demons took him.”

Dammit, that was the second time he’d said—her gaze darted to the pit. “Jace!”

Devon slammed into her, and they hit the earth. “Bitch, I’ve got wolf blood in me.

More than you. I drained that mutt.”

And he’d left Mike’s broken body behind. Another casualty.

Morgan kicked up, slamming her knee into his bal s. He jerked back. “You’ve got wolf blood,” she said, “but now you also have bal s in your throat.”

She jumped to her feet. “Jace!” Her scream broke through the night. He couldn’t be in that pit, he couldn’t…

Devon’s arms wrapped around her from behind. He squeezed so tight she lost her breath and her ribs burned…burned.

Snap.

Pain beat through her as her ribs broke.

“So tired of you…” Devon lifted her and carried her toward the pit. “Fucking a wolf

blending with humans…crying when you lost the light…”

She slammed her head back and heard the sweet crunch of bones when she broke his nose. Morgan clawed at his arms, slicing open his flesh as she fought him. His blood littered the ground as he took her to the pit.

“Let her go!”

Jace. His roar. Relief had her feeling light-headed. Or maybe that dizziness was from the pain.

Jace leapt forward. He was naked and blood poured from a gash on his cheeks.

His eyes glowed as he raised his claws and ran toward them.

Devon had her nearly over the pit. This was what she’d planned. To enter hel . To close the door from the inside out.

Only…wel , in the original plan, Jace had been the one to go through the doorway.

She was supposed to stay back and then pul him out.

I won’t sacrifice him.

The rules had indeed changed. Jace didn’t realize it. She did. If demons were al about sacrifice, then she’d give them a sacrifice al right.

But she wouldn’t give them Jace.

“Watch her burn, wolf!” Devon shouted. “Watch. Her. Burn!”

Morgan stopped fighting. Instead of slicing her nails against Devon, she twisted her hands and locked tight to him. Her gaze met Jace’s. He yel ed her name.

“Bring me back,” she whispered. Then Morgan heaved toward the pit, and she yanked Devon with her.

He tried to wrench back his arms, but she wouldn’t let go. His yel s fil ed her ears as he fought and twisted, but Morgan wouldn’t let go.

No more dead humans. No more tortured wolves. This was it.

They fel into the pit, and the screams from the demons drowned out her voice as she told them, “I’ve got a sacrifice for you, assholes…”

The fire burned, blasting at her skin and she refused to cry out. Even when the demons reached for her.

Jace’s heart stopped when Morgan jumped into that fiery pit. “No!” Not her. She wasn’t supposed to go in. Not. Her. He flew forward, and his body slammed into the ground even as his arms snaked into that hole in a desperate bid to grab her.

He’d moved fast, faster than he’d ever moved in his life, and when he shoved his hands into that hot furnace, he touched…

Flames.

The fire lanced his skin, but he didn’t let go. He could feel a body in the middle of that wild heat. He could smel the acrid scent of burning flesh.

Morgan.

He didn’t let go. He pul ed even as he felt another force tugging his prize back down.

“No! You can’t have her!” He yel ed as the fire licked him.

His upper body fel into the pit as he struggled.

“Fuck, Jace!” Louis’s yel from behind him. Then suddenly Jace felt other hands on his body, trying to haul him back.

But he wasn’t going back without Morgan“Keep him!” He roared the words in the fire.

“Choke on him—but give her to me!”

A breath of flames blew against him and blisters immediately covered his flesh.

“Give her to me!” He bel owed.

“Pull him up!” Louis snarled at the same instant. “Get him out of there, now!”

They yanked him back, but he didn’t let go of the fiery prize he held. Be Morgan. Be

He broke from the pit and fire raced along his body. Louis shoved at him and Jace fel to the ground. He rol ed, battling the flames on him and— on her. Sweet fuck, he’d pul ed her out.

The others immediately joined him and battled the flames that covered her flesh.

Red, swol en, every inch of her body had felt the kiss of the fire. Should have been me.

Her eyes weren’t open. “Morgan?” Now, he was afraid to touch her. He didn’t want to hurt her, and he knew his touch would. She was injured so badly, even a breath on her skin would hurt.

His touch would pain her, but his blood wouldn’t. Jace lifted his hand to his mouth and bit his wrist. He tore with his teeth and put his hand over her mouth. “Princess, please…”

The blood trickled into her mouth. Her lips moved the faintest bit against his skin.

“Take more.” She could take everything if she needed it.

“Alpha.” Louis’s quiet voice had his head lifting. His friend stared at him with a tense face. “You’re weak, too. Let me help you.”

Jace shook his head. “No, she’s—”

“I know she’s yours, but she’s also pack.” Louis offered his bleeding wrist. “If the blood of one wolf makes her strong, how fast do you think she’l heal when she drinks from six?”

And the others who’d survived the battle crowded behind him. Al had their wrists open. Al were ready to sacrifice for the vampire who’d seen hel .

As she fed from him, her lips like a whisper on his skin, Jace’s gaze tracked back to the pit. Only the entrance wasn’t there any longer. Dirt had fil ed in, total y blocking the gaping hole. The ground was blackened, cracked, but no smoke drifted into the air.

The doorway was closed.

He leaned close to her. “You did it,” he whispered. Her vampires were safe. The battle was over.

Now, his princess just had to survive.

Chapter Eight

The vampiress walked into the werewolf bar as if she owned the place. Since she was mated to the alpha, Jace figured that, wel , she pretty much did. Her skin was pale and perfect, not even a blister left from the fire that had nearly stolen her from him. Her lips were red, ful , and he’d soon feel them beneath his mouth. She was wearing a new pair of fuck-me boots that showed off the long length of her legs. And her eyes—they were on him.

When the others became aware of her, they stopped talking. Heads swiveled toward her. Toward him. The bar waited.

He didn’t move. Jace wanted to jump up, run to her, grab her, but he was also enjoying the sexy picture she made as she crossed the bar.

Morgan smiled at him, flashing fangs. “The Miami Vampire Council would like to official y extend its appreciation to you,” she said, her voice clear and her eyes bright.

“And if there is anything that the Council can do for the pack…” She stopped just a foot away from him. “You have only to ask,” Morgan finished, her voice softer.

She’d spent two days healing. Even with al the wolf blood, she’d had to battle to stay alive. He’d been by her side, determined to keep death away.

He’d succeeded.

When she’d woken, the vampires had made her the head of their Council. He knew she’d weeded out the vamps who’d been secretly working with Devon. The bastard hadn’t been implementing his plan alone.

She’d cut the head off the snake when she sent Devon to hel , and now Jace knew that she’d cut up the body, too.

Stil , he didn’t touch her, not yet. “Glad the Council approves,” he said, his own voice mild.Understanding flared in her eyes. She lifted her hand and put her palm against his chest.

“And you have my personal gratitude…” Her lips curved. “For pul ing my ass out of hel .”

He caught her hand. Pressed it harder against his chest. “Leaving you there wasn’t exactly an option for me.”

Jace saw the delicate movement of her throat as she swal owed.

“What was it like?” Louis cal ed out. “What did you see, cher ?”

She glanced back at him. “It was damn hot.”

Some of the wolves laughed.

“As for what I saw…” Morgan shook her head. “Some things are better not said.”

When she turned back to him, memories were in her eyes. While her body might have healed, Jace knew she’d carry the scars inside. Some memories couldn’t be forgotten.

“Is the gateway closed for good?” Because he didn’t want any more demons coming after her.

“Yes.” He stil held her hand. She didn’t pul away. She inched closer as she said, “It closed when the demons kil ed Devon. He was the sacrifice I gave to them. He opened the pit, so it only seemed fitting that he close it.”

Jace waited. He knew there was more.

“I made a deal while I burned.” Her lashes lowered as she stared at their hands.

His dark, hers so light. After a moment, she glanced back up at him. “I told those demon assholes that if they accepted Devon and shut the door, I wouldn’t send my wolf down to tear hel apart.”

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