Tied to Darkness [Last Days #1]

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Chapter 12

«Be safe, my love

Vergil’s words touched a part of her soul. He had come to save her— even when he was still angry— and that meant the world to her. The moment her life had been endangered he once again was the sweet and caring husband that she fell for.

It was crazy to love him this much when she barely knew him but after witnessing how he risked his life to protect her, she couldn’t deny her feelings anymore. «Oh dearest, you refrained from giving in to your feelings for a lost cause. Your soul will never belong to the One God, you’re meant to wander the Greek Underworld for eternity». Tears ran down her face at the truth of Thanatos words. He had been right about one thing. She should have opened her heart to her demon prince and accepted him for what he was without caring about damning her soul. After all wasn’t this life supposed to be shared with the one person who shook the ground under your feet with only a glance? Vergil was that person to her and now, for her stupid fears, she may lose him forever without ever confessing her feelings to him.

Mina stopped in the middle of some bushes and looked back at Lady’s mansion, wanting nothing more than to return and confess to her husband that she loved him, when she saw a shadow passed by her. The hairs on the back of her head stood on end and she felt a dark aura surround her. Growling sounds came from behind the bushes, reminding her of the nightmare she had on the hotel.

“You can survive this, Mina,” she mumbled to herself, closing her eyes to steel her resolve. “Don’t let your fears cloud your mind.” She opened her gray orbs feeling a strange but comforting warmth flowing through her veins and sprinted toward the east. Escaping the mansion grounds through any of the sides was her only option since going to the front gates would arise too many questions from the guards and the frontal brick fence was too high for her to climb. Her only hope lay on the possibility of finding a lower fence along the eastern garden.

She ran— dodging bushes, palm trees and other plants she didn’t stop to identify— until she saw the wine colored wall between the branches of a wattle tree. The barks behind her grew louder as she neared the brick fence. It almost felt as if the damned beast was breathing over the back of her neck, tormenting its food before eating it.

Praying to God and the angels for help, the brunette used her momentum to jump and grab the wall’s edge, one foot above her head. She then hauled her body upwards, propping one leg over the wall before sitting on top and then jumping to the sidewalk below. Landing on wobbly legs, she took a minute to recover and sprinted again. She quickly glanced back to make sure the threat had been left behind only to witness how the beast following her went through the brick wall like some kind of horrible ghost. Three mouths full of sharp teeth, three pairs of blood red eyes and ghostly white fur greeted her, making her tremble and almost fall to the ground.

¡Hijo de puta! I’m so dead! That thing is Cerberus!

Her legs threatened to give in but she pushed herself forward and continued running aimlessly down a street full of elegant restaurants and fancy boutiques. But no matter where she turned to, the horse-tall dog kept chasing close at her heels, barking and growling. The pedestrians around them didn’t seem to notice the beast but by some awful miracle of fate she could; and that only worsen her situation for no one would help a woman running around like some crazy chick.

Mina rounded a corner and crashed into a young man that began spewing what she thought were insults in Arabic. She scrambled to her feet and mumbled an apology but the man grabbed her by the arm and continued to scream at her things that she didn’t understand at all. “Please, I already said I was sorry.” Her usual bad temper and high spirits were nowhere to be seen. Maybe the fear and adrenaline were numbing her brain.

A dark aura gripped her heart again, making her glance over her shoulder. She saw the beast appear from the concrete sidewalk, eyes blazing and nostrils flaring in a very good imitation of a Spanish bull. Why did she keep witnessing the damned hellhound doing creepy things? Now the nightmares would never let her rest.

The man immediately let her go and started running the way he came, screaming “devil” at the top of his lungs. Just then Cerberus opened his three mouths and flames came out of them to incinerate her. She closed her eyes and waited for her flesh to start burning but the flames never touched her skin. What touched her instead were her mother’s ghostly fingers.

Mina’s eyes fluttered open and she saw— clear as day— her mom’s see-through body absorbing Cerberus’ fire, making it a part of her incorporeal form. But just as Marina was preparing to release the flames back to its owner, the infernal beast leapt over her and bit her.


“Run! Just run, mi niña!” her mother screamed while the creature ripped pieces of ectoplasm out of her body. “¡Vete de aquí, Mina! ¡Ahora!

Tears running down her face, she ran away leaving that infernal dog ripping her mother’s ghost to pieces. It felt like a hole was growing inside her chest. Why? Why everyone she loved was telling her to leave them behind? Her life wasn’t worth their sacrifice! In fact she wasn’t worth anyone’s life.

Gasping for air, she crumpled to the sidewalk floor and grabbed hold of the little sword dangling from her neck, whispering her angel’s name. “Eaiel, please help me find my way back to the hotel.” She should grab a taxi but then the driver’s life would be endangered and she wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt of an innocent’s death. So all it was left for her was to walk or be teleported back to her hotel room. Maybe her Guardian Angel could help her with that?

Your soul is so pure… I cannot help you with the teleportation but I can point you in the right direction, my child.

His voice was soft and calming inside her head. It was so soothing… then the meaning of his words dawned on her. Why?

Because I already broke the rules saving you once before, now they are watching me. If I break them again, I will be punished.

Who is watching you? She mentally asked as an urge to stand up and walk down the street invaded her.

The Archangels. The fiercest and strongest of us.

That make her hopes go down the drain. She would never let Eaiel get in trouble for her sake. Besides, she already knew angels couldn’t tamper with free will or the fate of a mortal then why did she get her hopes up? She let out an exasperated sigh out of frustration and rounded a corner before coming to an abrupt halt.

Her hand went to her necklace on pure instinct. “Eaiel?”

I can’t, child. His voice was filled with regret and pain. I can’t…

Really? What was the point of having a Guardian Angel if he couldn’t protect you? The freaking Cerberus was in front of her, baring his three sets of teeth at her and dripping a type of sparkly but translucent blue liquid from two of his mouths and yet her angel wouldn’t move a finger to help her! Wait… if this damned beast is here then that means…. Mom!

Rage. Pure and hot rage flowed through her veins like a river of fire. The pain, the regret, the guilt, all was burned away leaving a single growing desire in her heart. Vengeance. Mina only wanted to see that monster suffering as he made her mother suffer.

Mina! Snap out of it, child! The angel’s frantic voice tried to reach her but it was all in vain.

She remembered her mom’s serene face the last time she went to visit her at the hospital. Tears prickled her eyes at the mental picture but she wiped them away and turned her gaze at the enemy.

Your mother’s ghost will reform in time!

No. He had to pay. The burning fury subsided, leaving only cold calmness inside her heart. The earlier fire was now in her hands instead, itching to burn everything around her.

Don’t let the darkness taint your soul this way.Mina! Vengeance isn’t the way!

There was no going back now. She had to avenge her mother from the one who cold heartedly murdered her. There was no one to blame but that beast that now growled and opened his jaws, trying to frighten her again. No more. She wouldn’t be afraid anymore for there was a monster guilty of her mom dying alone… and it was standing in front of her.

“You’re going to pay for what you did to her, perro cabrón!” Mina screamed as she sprinted toward Cerberus.

Stop, my child! Don’t do it!

The hellhound jumped at her but before any of them could put a scratch on each other, a gleaming, golden barrier appeared between them, stopping their advance, and then strong arms brought her to a masculine chest. Her captor smelled like rain in the morning and all she could see was the top of a black robe with golden eyes embroidered all over the silky soft fabric.

“Who is the one you are really blaming? Hades’ guard dog or yourself?” Eaiel’s voice sounded sad while he held her against his chest.

Willing or not she was thrown back to that horrible night, the one in which her mother died.

It was winter and they were expecting the first snowfall to arrive at any moment. The day had been gray and murky so Mina decided to stay indoors studying for a very important exam she had the next day and visit her mother later in the evening. But the hours flew by without her noticing until she received a call that made her jump out of her seat.

She ran to her purse and took out her cellphone. “Hi, papi. What’s up?”

“I was visiting your mother. Today she seemed different…” She waited for David to elaborate more but he just changed the topic. “Why didn’t you go to see her? She was eagerly waiting for you!” His tone turned a bit harsh.

“Sorry but I was studying for the big exam I have tomorrow! I wasn’t wasting my time!” She took a breath before she said anything disrespectful and glanced at the wall clock. “Is it so late already? ¡Mierda!

“You only have fifteen minutes left. I suggest you run.”

She screamed goodbye and hang the call up before grabbing her purse and running out of the house.

When she arrived at the hospital floor where her mother was, Miss Nevares— the nurse on duty— told her the visiting hours had ended and that it was better to come the next morning. Mina begged but the woman stood strong and denied her pleas.

Sighing, she turned to leave when the screeching sound of a machine coming from her mother’s room flooded the entire place. Miss Nevares paled and various staff members, including a doctor, ran inside Marina’s room.

“Miss Argeneaux, I need you to stay put while I go check what happened.”

The girl felt her heart being squeezed with pain. She knew what was happening. Her mother had died. She could feel it in the air and the pit of her stomach. Her mother had died all alone without someone to hold her hand or tell how much they loved her… without her daughter to kiss her goodbye.

¡Perdóname, mami!

The image of Marina’s corpse over that sterile white bed came to haunt her again.

“It was my fault! My fault all along!” Mina fisted her hands around Eaiel’s robe and started crying. “If I hadn’t been studying until so late that day, I would have arrived in time to the night visit! Instead mami died all alone. All because of my fault!” She crumpled to the floor while Cerberus kept attacking the barrier, wanting to break it down. “I should die. I should die.”

“No. You must live or the sacrifice of those two persons who love you will be in vain.”

She lifted her blurry gaze to meet his. Those mismatched eyes of her guardian glowed brighter with every one of their enemy’s blows against the barrier, one which was starting to crack with the force of the impacts.

“Do you want the power to protect others?” Eaiel asked her while offering her his hand.

Her mom and Vergil’s faces came to her mind. No more would she leave her love ones behind, from now on she wanted to be the one to protect them. “Yes. I want it.” Her voice was steady when she took his hand.

He embraced her, covering her with snow white wings at the same time that the barrier broke in a million pieces, and whispered in her ear. “Orer Oriwohém.”

Time seemed to stop around them. Fire burned deep within her, flowing through her veins and reaching every cell in her body. She felt warm, calm and overflowing with energy, one that wanted to explode out of her body. The fire that now ran inside her was similar and different from before. Now instead of wanting to burn everything to the ground, she wanted to illuminate it and chase the darkness away.

Her hands got burning hot and shot between the angel’s feathers to grab Cerberus when he leapt at them. The instant she touched his flesh, her guardian turned around, drawing on the ground a circle full of elegant symbols— that very well could be letters in an unknown language— and paralyzed the beast.

“He won’t be able to harm you while under my spell so don’t break the contact. Let your light purify him.”

The hellhound kept growling and howling in pain and anger while the light from her fingers spread throughout his body and golden flames enveloped him. Mina jumped backwards and her eyes shot to the celestial guardian but he only nodded before going to her side.

Cerberus kept writhing in agony until the flames grew tall and then extinguish completely, not leaving a single trace of the Greek monster.

Mina leaned against Eaiel’s chest a moment before her knees gave in and her body lost all its energy. He grabbed her tightly and carried her within his arms, planting a chaste kiss on her forehead. “You did well, my child.”

“Thank you,” she mumbled under her breath before closing her eyes.

She was finally safe but would her demon prince be able to return to her arms?

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