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Rogue (Cryptic Book 3)

By Lilia Blanc All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Blurb

Luca has been taken by rogue hunter, Kato. Never in his life had he thought that ghost hunting would mean he would become a hunters play toy. Anger and betrayal mix with his longing need to be with Breylin. Breylin struggles with his own personal demons. While the people around him try to convince him that Luca is just what he needs to be less volatile; he ignores them. He can't figure out his own feelings, much less what he wants with Luca. Breylin will have to come to terms with all of those conflicting emotions soon, or Luca will be lost to him indefinitely.

Luca

I never thought that I would ever meet a man as cold and cruel as the one who had taken me away that night. His name was Kato and he scared the hell out of me. I could deal with ghosts, spirits of all kinds, but that hunter? I hadn’t a clue as to how to deal with him. I learned very quickly that I was nothing but a tool for him because he found me ‘amusing’. Refusing him meant ending up with bruises and cuts. So I did what he asked without question, sometimes doing those things before he had to say a word. It quickly was becoming ritual.

He used my aura to keep his steady all the time. When he went out to exorcise the spirits, I was always with him. I couldn’t say no because he said he ‘needed me’. In other words, he would just suck the life out of me. I had to keep spirits in place with powerful talismans that sucked me dry and often cut into my soul. I couldn’t recall how many times I’d ended up coughing up blood because of it. At the same time he drew from me regardless if I had enough or not.

Kato didn’t let it get to where I died from it, though I wished he would. Instead, I ended up sleeping for days, weeks even when it was really bad. Only to wake up again and do it all over. He sealed Kit too, locked him up in a pretty blue jar that I couldn’t touch unless I wanted to be thrown around his house like a rag doll. Kato’s reason to sealing Kit was because he said the little spirit would just turn on me anyway, so it was ‘for my own good’ apparently.

I hated him.

I didn’t think I could hate someone so venomously, but it was possible as I was quickly learning that too. There was one other man I hated almost as much as Kato. My passion and attraction for him had dissolved into hatred so quickly in one night. Quite literally lying in a pool of my own blood and he had the balls to laugh at me. To turn his back to me as he flippantly said that I would just get myself killed by some spirit.

I wished something would kill me, but Kato was very particular about that. I couldn’t understand what his fascination was with me. All I knew was that I seriously wanted to stick a knife through his back. I’d never had such a feeling before in my life and though I despised how it curdled in my stomach, I couldn’t help but to want it more every day.

Hell. I couldn’t even remember the last time I laughed or smiled. My new ‘teacher’ didn’t seem to care all that much, though he would tease me about my bubbly spirit being lost. It was Kato’s fault. Just like it was his fault too. They both chopped me up and turned me inside out, and neither of them cared one bit about it.

I stopped going to work. Stopped going to college too. Didn’t call anyone, didn’t try to get into contact with anybody. What was the point? They didn’t care and even if I tried, it would just piss off Kato and that was the last thing I wanted to do. So I ended up staying at his house most of the time. Especially if I ended up unconscious due to his brutal wear and tear on my body. Well, my aura anyway. I was surprised it kept repairing itself, but I supposed that was what it was meant to do while you were sleeping. I heard once that sleep healed your body.

Well, whatever. I just wished it would stop healing itself because I was so damned tired. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take the abuse. It certainly wasn’t the first time I thought about that either. With my arm up over my eyes, I took in a slow deep breath as I was stretched out across the couch. It was my one and only spot that I could sleep and rest on. Not that resting was what I’d call it because I was tense almost twenty four seven.

Kato’s voice made me cringe, like always, “Hey. Get up if you’re awake. We’re leaving. You should be feeling up to an exorcism, yes? You’ve been asleep for a week,” he leaned against the couch, grinning down at me as his arms folded across his chest.

I tried not to glare at him, that always ended badly too, “Yeah, I’m fine,” I answered. It was the best I could give and he always wanted an answer. Bastard.

I threw myself up, groaning softly as my head swam a little. Despite the long sleep, I still felt tired as hell. Was that how Brey-... Yeah, that was probably how he felt all the time too. Not that it mattered. Months came and went and he never once showed his face to me. I hated how that twisted my stomach, pain pulsing through my throat as it closed tightly.

To ignore it, I stood up and pulled my coat on slowly. It was getting into the rainy months. I hated the rain. It was cold and gloomy. Some people loved it, I wished it would never come. Following Kato outside, of course it was raining- again. Slipping into his car, he drove us into town. Sometimes I thought I might see him, or the girls, but I never did. Kato probably knew where they were at all times and kept me away from them.

I often wondered why I even thought about seeing them.

It was stupid. Ridiculously stupid of me to think of it. So when we left the car on a random side street and started walking, my heart lodged into my throat. We hadn’t hit the main street, but it was one that was used often. In fact, if I looked a little carefully, it was near the college. A couple blocks down from it as my apartment was on the same strip. But it wasn’t the fact that I was near a home that probably wasn’t mine anymore after so many months of not paying the rent or even being there. It was who I saw on the other side of the street.

She wasn’t hard to miss. After all, the fox mask gave her away all too well. With the rain there weren’t many people out, so I wondered what it was she was doing in the street at all. I choked softly, Kato hearing it and turning to give me a frown as he arched his eyebrow. He looked around and sighed as he spotted what had my attention.

“Keep moving, boy. She doesn’t care about you, none of them do. How many times do I have to tell you that? Hu? That’s why you’re stuck with me,” he said with that wicked grin of his, his smooth rolling voice only making the underlying menace that much colder.

His hand snatched my arm and pulled me up to his other side as we walked down the street. He put me there so she wouldn’t see me, I was sure of it and I turned my gaze down to the rain soaked sidewalk. His hand directed me to where we were going, otherwise I would have just walked in a straight line, going no where.

I wasn’t sure where we ended up, but he finally let go of me and my attention was brought to a black misty blob that bounced around about ten feet away from us. Kato stepped back and I knew what he wanted me to do. Digging into my pocket, I pulled out the binding talisman that would keep it in place. Throwing it at the stupid spirit, I let my energy flow into the paper, my lips moving but my voice never leaving my mouth. Kato hated hearing the chant, so I made sure not to make a sound.

He also liked to let me hold it in place for a while. It pissed me off. Only when I swayed a little, did he finally take out his own papers and start exorcising the damned thing. Thankfully it wasn’t too strong, the spirit that was. I hated dealing with the strong ones, those took so much out of me, so quickly. Not that it mattered, because we’d go after small ones all day till I couldn’t stand properly. Once it was finished, the spirit screaming as it burst into flame from the match he threw at it, Kato gripped my shoulder tightly and took a portion of my aura from me violently.

I knew it was coming. He did it every damn time. Still, I couldn’t ever keep back the sharp cry of pain as he ripped it away. I always dropped to, it never failed. Kato stepped back, his little laugh as he was amused at me filling the street, “Thanks, boy. You do such a wonderful job keeping me all riped and ready to go. Come on, there’s more to be taken care of. So. Do you like ghost hunting now?”

He chuckled as he started down the street knowing I would obediently follow. There was consequences if I didn’t. So I pushed myself up to my feet and stumbled after him without an answer. That one I never answered because despite hating his guts, I still liked hunting. I just wanted to do it on my own without anyone else anymore.

I also, wouldn’t ever touch anything.

Ever.

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