Home > For Whom The Spell Tolls (Dulcie O'Neil #6)

For Whom The Spell Tolls (Dulcie O'Neil #6)
Author: H.P. Mallory

ONE

The decision was made.

And now that the decision was made, I could somehow think a little more clearly. It was like the proverbial fog was lifted from my eyes, revealing the reality that we were going to invade the Netherworld.

The decision to invade the Netherworld was both complicated and not-so-complicated. The not-so-complicated part was that the decision had been made so now it was just a matter of planning the strategy for the invasion. The complications arose with regard to invading the Netherworld, itself, because we, The Resistance, intended to dethrone my father, who was not only the head of the Netherworld, but also a ruthless tyrant. Given our father-daughter relationship, some people might have considered the whole situation complex but as far as I was concerned, it wasn’t.

“You good with this?” Knight asked as he sat behind the wheel of a Chevy Suburban. He kept alternating his piercing blue gaze between the road and me.

I nodded immediately. “I’m good with it.” And that was the Hades-honest truth. I mean, only moments earlier, I’d announced that we needed to stop wasting time and invade the Netherworld now. Truth be told, I was concerned that we’d waited too long already. Why? Because I’d just discovered that my father had tricked the head of The Resistance, Christina Sabbiondo, into revealing many of our secrets which had, in turn, completely compromised everything we were planning. At this point, all we really had on our side was the element of surprise. And from where I stood, banking on the element of surprise wasn’t necessarily a good bet.

Knight offered me a smile. Even though he simply raised the corners of his lips—not even into a full-fledged grin—it caused butterflies to rise up into my stomach all the same. Maybe it was because Knightley Vander’s photograph could have been posted beside the headline “So incredibly gorgeous, it feels sinful just to look at him” in good ol’ Webster’s Dictionary. Or maybe it was his personality—the quintessential flirt who could basically undress you with just a glance. But he was also incredibly dedicated and devoted to people and ideas he believed in. All in all, Knight might appear the rogue and, in many ways he was, but he was also a good guy. A really good guy.

“You realize what this will mean?” he continued, eyeing me with his black eyebrows drawn together in an expression of speculation. His pitch-black hair and olive complexion imbued him with a certain Mediterranean air, but those crystal blue eyes muddied any hunches about his ancestry. I knew what he was though—a Loki, a creature born from the fires of Hades and created in Hades’s own burly, large and stunning image.

“What what will mean?”

“Dulce, we’re going against your father with the intention of bringing him down, no matter the costs.” He took a deep breath and seemed to zone out on the road before he returned his gaze to me. “And the costs could be your father’s life.”

I felt my jaw tighten at the mention of my father, Melchior O’Neil. Glancing down at my clenched fingers, I found my knuckles were white. I relaxed my hands and shook them out as I turned to face Knight. “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a father.”

Knight took a deep breath and exhaled loudly. “He’s all you have left.”

Unfortunately, Knight was right—my father was the last of my kin. My mother had died a long time ago and my father had only come into my life recently. But it definitely wasn’t a family addition that I welcomed or invited, by any stretch of the imagination. Melchior O’Neil, my father, was basically Enemy Number One, as far as I was concerned. He’d created an illegal narcotics Utopia in which street potions from the Netherworld were transported to my city of Splendor, California, (as well as many neighboring cities) through portals. My father had been importing these street potions for centuries. As an elf, he had the ability to control his own aging, and in the process, he was able to grow incredibly wealthy, thereby gaining even more power. The irony of the whole damn situation was that I’d dedicated myself and my life to fighting crime as a Regulator for the Association of Netherworld Creatures (ANC) here in Splendor. Funny how life sometimes kicks you right in the nuts … well, if you have any, that is.

“He’s not all I have left,” I countered. “Sam, Dia, Quill, Trey and … you … you’re my family. And you all are way more family than Melchior ever was to me.”

Even though Knight and I had experienced our fair share of issues during our relationship, there was no denying that we were absolutely in love with each other and always had been. Despite trying to talk myself out of being in love with him on numerous occasions, it was a complete waste of time. When it comes down to it, you just can’t rationalize emotion, much less try to control it.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that I couldn’t convince myself not to be in love with Knight. Every time the man so much as looked at me, I felt my insides melt. What was more, a fire began to brew in my core—a fire that felt very much like yearning. It was a sexual ache the likes of which I’d never experienced with another man. But that was no surprise because sex with Knight was, in one word … addictive.

When confronted with my own thoughts, I felt heat burning my cheeks and shifted uncomfortably, trying to clear my own mind. Thinking about sex with the Loki wasn’t going to solve the issue of invading the Netherworld. All it would do was get me flustered, which was something I really didn’t need to add to the overwhelming list of emotions already plaguing me.

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