The Sylvermyst have a reputation as sinister cousins to the fey, and none are more mysterious than Ariyal and his tribe. To save his people from banishment, he sold himself to the evil Morgana. Finally free, he faces a new challenge: Jaelyn, an elite vampire warrior sent to capture him. By rights, he should kill her on sight. Yet he cannot bring himself to hurt her—or to resist her…
Jaelyn is stunningly beautiful, utterly lethal—and always alone. Until Ariyal. From their first encounter, she knows that what’s between them is more dangerous than simple lust. And as they unite to thwart a terrifying prophecy that will mean the end of his clan and of the world they know, she will risk everything to fulfill her destiny by his side…
Praise for Alexandra Ivy
“Beyond the Darkness kept me riveted! The Guardians of Eternity series is highly addictive.” —Larissa Ione, New York Times bestselling author
“Ivy always packs her books with buckets of action, emotion and sexy sizzle. Another winner!” —Romantic Times on Devoured by Darkness
Located on the Mississippi River midway between
Chicago and St. Louis
Mother Nature never intended for vamps and Weres to live
in peace. And she sure the hell never intended them to enjoy
the sort of you’re-my-bestest-pal bromances that were the
current flavor of the month among humans. A damned good
thing considering that just being in the same territory tended
to send the two predatory species into a homicidal rage.
But the looming end of the world truly did make for
strange bedfellows, and with the potential return of the
Dark Lord from the hell dimension where he’d been banished
centuries ago, both the Anasso of the Vampires and
the King of the Werewolves had little option but to try and
Well, the phrase “work together” might be a generous
description of their uneasy truce, Styx acknowledged, leaning
his six-foot-five frame against the walnut desk in his fellow
vampire Santiago’s office. Dressed in his usual assortment of
black leather pants, shit-kicker boots, and silk shirt that
stretched over his massive shoulders, he looked exactly what
he was: the badass leader of the vampire clans. But it was the
grim power etched into the Aztec beauty of his face and the
ruthless intelligence in his dark eyes that made wise demons
shudder in fear. Styx was more than an oversized bully. He was
cunning and patient and capable of compromise when necessary.
Which was the only reason he was standing in the same
room with a damned dog.
The tiny turquoise ornaments threaded through the braid
that hung nearly to the back of his knees tinkled as he gave
a rueful shake of his head, his gaze keeping careful track of
As much as he hated to admit it, Salvatore fit the elegant
office—with its slate-gray carpet and the museum-quality
French Impressionist paintings that were hung on the
paneled walls and carefully preserved behind glass cases—
far better than he did.
The bastard always managed to look every inch the king
with his dark hair slicked back in a tail and his muscular
body clothed in a charcoal-gray suit that no doubt cost more
than the gross national income of several small countries.
Like Styx, however, there was no mistaking the brutal authority
in Salvatore’s dark, Latin features and golden eyes.
He ruled a savage race that would quite literally rip apart
and eat a weak king. It gave a whole new meaning to “Uneasy
is the head that wears the crown.”
The Were paused to study the bank of high-tech monitors
and surveillance equipment that would give Homeland Security
wet dreams, his gaze lingering on the monitor that revealed
a pair of near-identical female Weres with blond hair
and green eyes seated at a table several levels below them.
“You’re certain that this place is safe?”
Styx snorted. The fact that he was mated to the Were
sister of Salvatore’s mate did nothing to ease the tension
between them. Not after the bastard had done his best to
kidnap Darcy from Styx.
Of course, he did have a small (very small) amount of
sympathy for Salvatore’s predicament. At the time his
Weres were facing extinction, and in an effort to save his
people he had genetically altered four Were female pups.
After they were stolen the king had sworn to retrieve them.
It was his bad luck that Darcy and another of the females,
Regan, had both chosen to mate with vampires, although his
frustrated fury had been eased when he had found a third
sister, Harley, and she’d managed to bring back the ancient
mating urges that had been lost to the Weres for centuries.
“Be happy that Santiago isn’t around,” he warned. Although
the club that catered to the demons scattered around
the Illinois countryside was technically owned by Viper,
clan chief of Chicago, it was Santiago’s pride and joy. “He
would take your lack of faith in his security as a personal
insult. And an unhappy vampire is never good.”
“I could say the same thing about a happy vampire,” Salvatore
drawled, turning to flash Styx a mocking grin.
“You were the one who asked for this meeting.”
The dog shrugged. “Harley misses her sister.”
Styx believed him. Although it had only been three
weeks since Salvatore and Harley had left Chicago for St.
Louis, the two sisters had become nearly inseparable since
they’d been reunited. But he was also certain that he hadn’t
been asked along for his sparkling personality.
“And the reunion of our mates offers the opportunity for
us to speak without alerting the world to our meeting?”
Salvatore shrugged. “I prefer not to attract any pesky
“You have information?”
“No, only questions.”
“Shit.” Styx grimaced. “I was afraid you were going to
say that. What’s your question?”
“Have your Ravens managed to track down Caine and
Styx tensed at the unexpected question. It was no secret
that Cassandra was the last of the missing Were sisters
who’d been unexpectedly located in the caves of a demon
lord. And who was now on the run with a cur who’d been
magically transformed into a full-blooded Were while rescuing
the female. The movement of his personal bodyguards,
however, was classified information.
“What makes you think I’m looking for them?”
Salvatore arched a taunting brow. “Just because I’m
beautiful it doesn’t mean I’m stupid.”
“It does, however, mean you’re a pain in the ass.”
Styx curled back his lips to reveal his massive fangs. “Increasingly
There was a prickle of danger as the power of the two
alphas swirled through the air. The frigid blast of vampire
slammed against the raw heat of Were, promising a violent
explosion if released.
Then, with a low growl, Salvatore was leashing his wolf,
the mocking smile returning to his lips.
“I know that Darcy is anxious to meet her missing sister,
and since the demon world is well aware you are firmly
wrapped around her finger it was a logical assumption that
you would have your goons on the hunt.”
Styx nodded, hoping for Salvatore’s sake it had been an
educated guess. He was prepared to work with the Weres to
prevent the end of the world, but he’d be damned if the lice-
infested bastards were going to have spies in his camp.
“Just as you have released the hounds?” he demanded.
There was a short pause before Salvatore gave a grudging
nod of his head, no more happy to share intel than Styx.
“I’ll admit that I sent Hess and a few of my trusted lieutenants
to have a chat with Caine.”
“And they claim that he and Cassandra have vanished
into thin air.” The lean face hardened with annoyance. “If I
didn’t know they were the finest trackers in existence I
would have had them skinned for either being incompetent
“And you want to know if my Ravens have had any more
“Hess speaks the truth,” Styx admitted, referring to Salvatore’s
right-hand man. “Jagr was able to track Caine to a
lair outside Chicago, and while he couldn’t enter the house
past the hexes the cur has placed around the yard, all signs
are that they simply disappeared.”
Salvatore cursed, not bothering to pester Styx with stupid
questions. Jagr was Styx’s finest Raven and if he said the
trail ended, it ended.
“Magic?” he instead asked.
“The trail was too cold to say for certain.”
Salvatore returned to his pacing. “Dammit.”
“I take it that Harley isn’t going to be pleased with the
news?” he taunted, pleased to be able to point out that Salvatore
was equally at the mercy of his mate.
“No more pleased than Darcy.” The Were shook his
head, his body tense. “But it’s not just being able to return
Cassandra to her sisters. Or even discovering what the hell
turned Caine from a mangy cur to a pureblooded Were.”
“What’s troubling you?”
“What isn’t?” His humorless laughter echoed through the
office. “Nasty creatures that we thought were gone from the
world forever are crawling out of the woodwork.” The Were
glared at Styx as if it were entirely his fault that the streets
were suddenly overrun with demons that were supposed to
have been banished. Including the damned Sylvermyst (evil
cousins to the fey), who made a grand entrance just a few
weeks ago and promptly caused Tane’s rescue of Laylah and
her child to go to hell. “And it seems like every week there’s
a new plot to return the Dark Lord.”
Styx pushed away from the desk, savage anger racing
through him. “Some of them coming too damned close for
“Exactly.” Salvatore waved a slander hand. “And we
have the babies that supposedly fulfill some stupid mysterious
The words of the foretelling flared through Styx’s mind.
He’d devoted the past weeks to discovering everything he
could of the prophecy. And most importantly, trying to discover
what the hell it might mean.
“Don’t be so dismissive, Were,” he growled. “I’m old
enough to know the dangers of ignoring such potent warnings.”
“Trust me, leech, I’m not dismissive.” The gold eyes
suddenly glowed with his inner wolf. “Not after that demon
lord nearly managed to destroy my people. All the omens
point to the barriers between dimensions thinning, which is
precisely why I’m so concerned for Cassandra.”
Styx’s lips twisted, realizing Salvatore’s mind had followed
his own path. And that they’d both been chasing
down the female Were for the same purpose.
A Were with a brain. Hell, the world truly was going
“Because she’s a prophet.” It was a statement, not a
Salvatore dipped his head in agreement. “The first true
prophet in centuries. Her disappearance at this time can’t be
“No.” Styx curled his hands at his side. The implication of
her absence was already giving him nightmares. “She would
be a priceless weapon to whoever has access to her powers.”
“We need your Hunter. She’s the only one with the skill
to find Cassandra.”
Styx hissed at the mention of the missing vampire. For
all her youth, Jaelyn was the finest Hunter to have been
trained in the past century. Unfortunately, she’d been kidnapped
three weeks ago by Ariyal, a Sylvermyst prince.
Damn his black heart.
“Jaelyn’s still missing.”
“That’s our guess, but we have no way of knowing for
They both paused as they silently accepted that Jaelyn
could be dead. Just another casualty in the increasingly
Salvatore stepped forward, his face hard with concern.
“Something wicked this way comes, vampire,” he warned,
“and we had damned well better be prepared.”
Styx nodded. For the rare moment they were in perfect
Morgana le Fey might be dead, but her opulent palace on
the isle of Avalon remained intact.
Okay, not fully intact.
More than one room was on the wrong side of tattered.
And the grand throne room had been blown to hell, but the
vast harems had escaped the majority of the damage during
Morgana’s last, great battle.
A damned shame.
Not just because the sprawling rooms designed with
mosaic tiles, marble fountains, and domed ceilings looked like
something from a cheesy Arabian Nights film set (although
that was reason enough to burn the gaudy piece of crap to
the ground) but because Ariyal had spent more centuries than
he cared to remember in the harem trapped as a slave.
It had been a well-guarded secret that a handful of
Sylvermyst had turned their backs on their master, the Dark
Lord. They’d bargained with Morgana le Fey to keep them
hidden among the mists of Avalon in return for them satisfying
her insatiable lust for men and pain.
Not necessarily in that order.
Unfortunately Ariyal had been a favorite of the sadistic
She’d been fascinated by the metallic sheen of his
bronzed eyes and his long chestnut hair. But it’d been the
lean, chiseled muscles of his body that she’d devoted hours
to exploring. And torturing.
With a low growl he shook off the unpleasant memories.
Instead he concentrated on the female who was currently
enjoying the nasty surprises hidden among the velvet divans
and exquisite tapestries.
Well, maybe enjoyment wasn’t what she was feeling, he
acknowledged in amusement, watching as she slowly came
awake to discover she was chained to the wall by silver
Jaelyn, the vampire pain-in-his-ass, let loose a string of
foul curses, not seeming to appreciate that he’d carefully protected
her skin with leather to keep the silver from searing her
flesh, or that he’d chosen one of the rooms that was specifically
built to protect bloodsuckers from the small amount of
sunlight that filtered through the surrounding mists.
In fact, it looked like the only thing she was in the mood
to appreciate was ripping out his throat with her pearly-
A treacherous heat raced through his body.