Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7)(4)
Written By: Sherrilyn Kenyon
“So we can save her?”
He nodded. “At the cost of your future. Everything’s a trade-off.”
Aeron flinched. “All magick comes with a price.”
“And the balance must be maintained.” Caleb sighed before he returned to speaking to Kody. “You and his mom were both born of the primal source to balance the Malachai. Cherise in the past and you in the future—both of you his possible anchors. The two of you should have never met.”
But the Arelim had cheated and altered the rules. Now the law of the universe was attempting to right itself and correct their audacity for daring to tamper with fate and natural order.
Of all beings, as the Keepers of Cosmic Order they should have known better. Unfortunately, desperate people moved in desperate ways and did desperate things.
“And what of the prophecy? Can we save him?”
Caleb rubbed nervously at his neck. “Maybe. But it’s not so simple. It requires a supreme sacrifice. One of utter love to reach him at his darkest hour … even then, there aren’t any guarantees.”
Kody despised those last four words.
Every bit as frustrated as she was, Caleb raked his hand through his hair. “We wanted Nick motivated … but not this motivated.” He dropped his hand. “He goes into Azmodea and we’re screwed.”
She couldn’t agree more. However, they had one not so small problem. “We can’t stop him. His powers are too strong now.”
“Believe me, I know. I’m lucky I got him tackled just then. Worse? I can’t go in there with him. Neither can Xev. Our father would chain us down beside your uncle and hand-feed us to Noir’s demons if he saw us protecting the Malachai.” He looked at Aeron.
“Don’t be cutting them eyes at me, Malphas. Not sure if I can or not. Might be able to swing an invite from Thorn. But that’ll only get me so far into that realm. Same for Dagon. You know how it goes when you’re born of other pantheons. They tend not to let us come a’playing in their backyards.”
Caleb let out a fierce groan. “Have I said today how much I hate your boyfriend, Kody?”
“Only a few dozen times since lunch.”
“Good. Don’t want you to forget it.” Growling, he headed toward the street.
“Where are you going?”
“To get my butt kicked again. You should come watch. You might actually enjoy it. I know I won’t.”
How she wished that was a joke. Unfortunately, before this was through, they were all likely to get their butts handed to them.
And their heads, too.
Nick stood in the center of his bedroom, staring at the symbols on his wall. They were ancient protection sigils that Caleb and his aunt Menyara had placed there to keep out anything that could harm either him or his mother. The first time he’d noticed them as a small child, Menyara had told him they were special Monster Away sprays that she’d made for him. It’d made him feel extra-loved and protected.
Little had he known then that they weren’t just for protection. Those scrolled emblems had also been there to restrict his powers and bind them so that he couldn’t accidentally uncover his birthright.
As a result, he really didn’t understand a lot about who and what he was.
But it was time he learned. He was through guessing and flying by the seat of his pants. If he was to save Zavid and not get enslaved by the oldest, most primal evil, he needed to really comprehend what he was capable of pulling off.
And there was one person he knew who could answer this.
Mr. Fuzzy Boots rose up from the sofa to arch his back and yawn.
Nick snorted at Xev’s alternate feline form. “I need you as a human, dude. Shed the cat skin for a while.”
He flashed himself into his extremely tall human body. Although Nick couldn’t blame him for wanting to spend most of his time in the lazy house cat incarnation. He wouldn’t mind spending his days snoozing, either.
Not to mention, the old powers had done a number on Xev when they’d cursed him to this state. Instead of being the boy-band member he’d been born, his perfect good looks were now off-putting, and there was nothing they could do to change them. Heaven knew they’d tried enough L’Oréal products to convert the entire North American and European Goth communities to normal hair colors.
Instead of his natural black, Xev’s hair was an unnatural shade of red on one side and a vibrant, fake yellow on the other. If that wasn’t bad enough, his eyebrows were a light, electric blue that clashed with his rusty-greenish-blue hazel eyes.
At least he could fake being emo in this time period, but still …
It had to suck to have your own family be so cruel as to condemn you to such a fate.
Crossing his arms over his chest, Xev scowled at Nick. “What’s trying to eat you now?”
Nick rolled his eyes and ignored the question. “Did you know Zavid was still alive?”
He made a peculiar noise. “Alive is an interesting term when one attempts to apply it to a soul-eating hellhound who was possessed by the source of all evil. But to be honest, I hadn’t thought about it, one way or another.”
“Would you mind applying your skills to it and telling me what you think?”