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Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : Catherine Lievens

ISBN :978-1-4874-4072-5

Page :129

Word Count :40936

Publication Date :2023-12-22

Series : For the Gods’ Amusement#6

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Resurgence (epub) , Resurgence (mobi) , Resurgence (pdf) , Resurgence (prc)

Category : LGBTQIA+ Romance , Paranormal Romance , Romance

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-4072-5

The darkness is free, but the light is fighting back.

Apophis escaped the darkness, and there’s nothing Barnaby can do about it. He’s not a god—he’s human, and he’s a dead human at that. He doesn’t like feeling useless, so he spends his time at the bedside of an unconscious Thoth, keeping him company while he heals.

Thoth’s throat was slashed while he tried to keep Apophis locked in the darkness, and when he finally wakes up from his healing sleep, he finds that everything has changed. Apophis is free and is already using his demons to terrorize the human realm. He won’t stop there, which means Thoth has work to do.

Thoth is the god of magic, and he’s the only one who can seal off the demons in the underworld and stop Apophis from using them. It won’t defeat him, but it’s a start, and an advantage they need if they want to win this war. When Apophis sends a demon to kill Thoth, he goes into hiding, and he’s not alone.

Barnaby wants Thoth to be safe, and not even being in the same city where his murderous ex lives will stop him from hiding with him. Being stuck together in an apartment pulls them closer, but with a war brewing, there might not be a chance for them to be together.

Or to survive.

Barnaby rubbed his forehead and avoided looking at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. He already knew he looked like a mess and didn’t need confirmation.

This was what being dead and looking after an unconscious god did to a guy. He wasn’t sure which part made him feel like he could sleep for a week, but considering what was happening in the world beyond the sky palace, he didn’t think it mattered. Everything was a mess, including him. Apophis was free, and the gods had no idea how to stop him yet. Thoth was still unconscious. Lane and Osiris were trying to save the underworld palace without much success.

At least Barnaby had something to focus on that wasn’t what Apophis was doing. He was pretty sure he would have freaked out if he hadn’t had anything to distract him, and things never went well when he freaked out. He didn’t know how to deal with this stress or with the guilt that he should have done more to keep Apophis locked in the darkness, even though there was nothing he could have done as a human. He always felt guilt, though, so it wasn’t a surprise that he did in this situation, too.

Wasting time in the bathroom wasn’t going to help anyone, least of all Thoth, who was in his bed on the other side of the bathroom door. Barnaby’s job was to take care of him, so after washing his hands and splashing his face with water, he left the bathroom. Nothing had changed in the bedroom beyond it, but Barnaby hadn’t expected anything to. Everyone was waiting for Thoth to wake up, but no one knew if he would.

He was a god, and Barnaby kept telling himself that of course he would wake up. How could he not? Gods didn’t die. They didn’t get sick and certainly didn’t stay unconscious for weeks. Thoth would get over whatever had happened, and when he did, he’d find a way to stick Apophis back into the darkness.

Barnaby had always been great at lying to himself.

He needed to lie to himself right now. If he didn’t, he would panic, and that wasn’t something he knew how to deal with considering the situation. He was alone here in the sky palace, surrounded by gods and beings who could kill him with barely more than a thought. 

But if now wasn’t the right moment to panic, he didn’t know when the right moment would be.

Beyond the people he was surrounded by at the palace, what was happening in the human realm made everything even worse. Apophis was free, and his demons were wreaking havoc everywhere. Barnaby was dead, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have people he cared about who were still alive and were probably terrified.

He was.

A soft knock on the door made him look up. He had no idea who would visit, because too many people came around—too many gods.

They only ever asked him if Thoth was getting better and when he would wake up, and he never had any answers for them. He was only human, and he wasn’t a doctor. The gods could have asked their god of medicine, but Thoth was their god of medicine, or at least the major one. Thinking about the different pantheons and how many gods there were for the same things made Barnaby’s head hurt, so he tried not to.

He stepped away from the bed and went to open the door, expecting one of the gods.

It was Lane.

Barnaby stared at his best friend. He seemed to be okay, albeit tired. Considering Lane and his boyfriend had been going back and forth between the underworld and the sky palace since Apophis had escaped, he had a good reason to be.

Barnaby opened the door wider and stepped into the hallway that led to the living room. He closed the door, and only then did he allow himself to react to Lane’s presence.

He threw himself into Lane’s arms. Lane made a surprised sound, but he wrapped his arms around Barnaby, holding him close. It was what Barnaby needed to relax, and he allowed himself to do so as he clung to his friend.

“Why aren’t you in the underworld?” he asked, not letting go.

Lane rubbed Barnaby’s back. “We had to leave.”

The way he said it got Barnaby’s attention. He leaned away, intent on finding out what had happened. One look at his friend’s expression was enough to tell him that Lane wasn’t here because he wanted to be, or rather, not just because of that.

Lane and Osiris had decided to fight for the underworld until they couldn’t anymore. They’d wanted to show Apophis that they didn’t fear him and that they were strong, and while Barnaby had thought it was dangerous since Apophis was the god of chaos, it hadn’t been his place to stop them. Osiris was the god of the underworld, and it was his home. It made sense that he wouldn’t want to leave.

Lane would never abandon his man, which meant Osiris was also at the sky palace. In turn, that had to mean that something terrible had happened.

“What happened?” Barnaby asked. “Why did you have to leave? I didn’t think Osiris would ever agree to go.” Even when the palace had been under attack, he’d been there.

Lane shook his head. “He didn’t want to, but we had no choice. With Apophis free and demons flooding in, we couldn’t stay. They attacked the palace several times, and we knew we had to go before they took over. If they had…”

He didn’t have to say it. He and Barnaby knew what would have happened if the demons and Apophis’s allies had found Osiris in his palace. At best, Apophis would have tortured Osiris. At worst, he would have outright killed him, and the pantheon would be without a god of the underworld.

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Tags: Romance, LGBT, Gay, Paranormal