Martyr

Free Martyr by A. R. Kahler

Book: Martyr by A. R. Kahler Read Free Book Online
Authors: A. R. Kahler
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on his shoulder, but he didn’t draw him in for a kiss.
    â€œI need to go see Cassandra,” Jarrett said.
    â€œI know,” Tenn replied.
    Jarrett’s other hand tilted Tenn’s head up, so their gazes met.
    â€œThis isn’t your fault,” he said. “I know you think it is. I know you think they died because of you. But that’s just a part of the job. They died killing a necromancer. That’s it.”
    â€œBut he was after me.”
    â€œHe won’t ever have you. Not so long as I’m alive.”
    â€œPlease stop saying that,” Tenn said.
    Jarrett bit his lip, but he didn’t say it again.
    â€œI love you,” he said instead. There was no saccharine sweetness to his words. They were serious, uncompromising. They were truth.
    â€œI love you too,” Tenn said. “I’ll see you back in the room.”
    Jarrett nodded and leaned in for one kiss. “I’ll bring you some dinner when I get back.”
    Then he stepped back and walked up the stairs. Tenn stood there for a while, listening to Jarrett’s feet echo in the stairwell. Then he grabbed the railing and walked down, toward his quarters. His chest felt tight, and not just because he was terrified of Jarrett’s drive toward martyrdom. Cassandra would want to know everything. Everything. And he had a funny feeling she wouldn’t want him in the guild anymore once she learned all of Leanna’s swords were trained on him.

    Tenn lit the hurricane lamp in his room before shrugging off his coat and shutting the door behind him. The rooms had been constructed years ago by an Earth mage when it became clear that the Hunters needed a separate living space from those they were charged to keep safe. The room was simple, clean—smooth earthen walls that shone like black marble, a worn Oriental rug, a few lamps and candles, and a large bed. It had made him feel guilty at first, being lodged here while the rest of the citizens lived three or four to a room on the outside. Then news from New Orleans came in that a civilian had helped smuggle his fiancée, now a bloodling, into camp, sure that she would never, ever kill like the other monsters. The ensuing bloodbath had been proof enough of the necessity for separation. Hunters were few and far between, even when they weren’t being murdered in their own beds. Not to mention, Tenn had a sinking feeling that Caius and his ilk would be more than happy to do “God’s good work.”
    He stood in the suffocating silence and stared at the wall.
    He wasn’t hungry, he wasn’t terribly tired—both personally astounding given the fact that he’d been using Earth and hadn’t slept for forty-eight hours. The wall gave no answers. He hadn’t expected it to.
    â€œLost in thought, Tenn?” Tenn whipped around. Tomás.
    The incubus leaned against the door, one foot propped against the wood in a pose that reminded Tenn of those old cowboy posters. The fact that Tomás was wearing snakeskin boots didn’t help, though Tenn had never seen a cowboy go about in skin-tight black jeans and no shirt. He couldn’t help his eyes from wandering over the curve of Tomás’s lips, the arch of his collarbones, the perfect ‘V’ of his torso. Tomás seemed to glow in the lamplight. Or maybe that’s just how he always looked.
    â€œHow did you get in here?” Tenn asked. His voice caught in his throat. He tried to keep his pulse under control.
    â€œOh, I come and go where I please.” Tomás pushed himself away from the door and sauntered closer to Tenn. The guy gave off so much heat; he must have fed recently. Tenn wondered who they’d find dead and frozen in the morning. “I’m glad to see you made it back alive.”
    Another step, and he was only a foot away. Tomás reached out and caressed Tenn’s cheek. Tenn tried not to flinch. He tried not to pull the demon

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