Every night, in Celine's dreams, she is held captive.
The keeper of a terrible secret.
A secret that could end the world.
For four years, life has been good for Celine Barrows. Safe in her new life, she's left her dark past far behind her. But when the God of Chaos comes calling, Celine must answer.Her one chance at salvation is a stranger who makes no promises, and leads heron a journey into the very darkness she thought she had escaped.
As the world shatters around her, and war looms on the horizon, Celine discovers it sometimes takes a monster to defeat a monster.
Lying in bed next to Fenrir, Celine was quiet for a long moment before she finally spoke.
“When I opened up my eyes, in that…horrible place, and I saw you, you weren’t a man. You were a big, black wolf. But I…somehow I recognized you. I knew you, and I wasn’t afraid.” She went quiet again. “What do you make of that?”
Rolling onto his side, Fenrir propped himself upon an elbow and reached out, kissed her hand, feeling every ounce of strength and frailty contained in those mortal bones. “And when I found you, I thought you were part of my dream, until you stared straight into me, only then I believed you were real. I didn’t think. I didn’t have time to think, or stop to think, I just plunged in and swam over and until I reached you.”
“How do you think I knew it was you that first night? In the dark? How could I have possibly known who you were? I recognized you Fen, right away. Otherwise, I would have hit you with the bat.” His lips hovering an inch away from her, he smelled her skin, the clean, fresh scent of it.
“I think…” Fen couldn’t explain the sense of certainty he’d felt when he’d seen her, the absolute sense of inevitability the moment the mists had parted and revealed her to him. “I think in my dream, when I found you, I was meant to find you. I think I was meant to bring you back here, and help you figure this thing out. We’re all bound together by the Fates, Celine. Life itself is a web, made up of the weft and warp of a billion lifelines woven together, pull a thread and the entire thing unravels, but tighten one up, and the whole thing holds.”
We’re woven together, you and I. Somehow, in all of this, you and I are entwined.
“Well, I’m glad you found me.” She murmured peacefully, her eyes beginning to drowse closed. “Are you more often the wolf? Or the man? Is that why there’s no furniture in your room?”
“I was struggling with that very issue, the night I went to the Otherworld and found you. I was trying to piece myself back together.”
“Why would you struggle? I would think it might be wonderful, to be two things at once.” Her eyes opened slightly. “To be able to switch back and forth, like you do. Besides, you changed tonight...well, you started to change. When you were angry.” She reached up and traced his mouth, pausing on his upper lip, her fingers tracing the place where his fangs grew from. Such a look of quiet expectation on her face that made Fenrir want to run his hands over her, bury her underneath him. But he stayed right where he was, holding her hand, a respectful distance away.
“That was different. What you saw wasn’t the change, it was a melding of me and the beast, an amalgam of the temper in us both, mostly me, though. When I remain on this plane for too long without visiting the Otherworld, then my beast becomes difficult for me to control. The wolf is a monster, Celine. He’ll kill anything and everything in its path. Including you.”
Her eyes softened as she huffed out a laugh. You wouldn’t kill me, Fen, I know…”
He gripped her arm and tipped her face up so she looked at him in the eye. “You need to listen to me very carefully. I was created to be a monster, with only one purpose, to bring about the end of Asgard. Transformed, the wolf does not have the capacity to choose, Celine. It has no empathy. It only kills. You might think you know me, but I am not the beast, and the beast is not me.”
His voice grew demanding as he warned her, “If there is ever a day I tell you to run from me, Celine, promise me just one thing.” Her eyes did not break from his. “That you will run as fast as you can.”