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Chapter Forty Nine

Hendricks—the same Hendricks I had just killed—stood chummily beside Dex, his cane pointed casually at Dex’s throat. My mouth fell open in disbelief.

 

“But I…But you…” I stammered.

 

Hendricks chuckled. “Oh, Amber, you silly child. Did you really think you could kill me?”

 

My legs gave out, and I had to put my hand on the wall to keep from falling over. No…It couldn’t end this way. I’d finally gotten the strength to stand up to him, but now Dex and I were both going to die anyway.

 

“A- Amber,” Dex gasped. The tip of Hendricks’ cane tickled the edge of his throat. “Run!”

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t do that,” Hendricks said. A crackle of black lightning ran up the length of his cane. “Not unless you want your precious sweetheart to die!”

 

I looked at them, then down at the gauntlet. Holding out my hand, I let it fall off. It unclenched itself from my arm with just a thought and landed on the floor with a loud clang.

 

“Here, take it,” I whispered. “Just don’t kill him, please!”

 

“Kill him?” the demon laughed. “Why on earth would I do that?”

 

I blinked in surprise.

 

“This was exactly what I wanted!” he exclaimed, lowering his cane. Still, neither of us dared to move.

 

“What are you talking about?” I demanded.

 

“You’ve lost your nerve over the past few years, Amber,” he said. His cane clicked against the stone floor as he strolled casually toward me. “You were still an effective killer, but that wouldn’t be enough for what I had planned. Oh, don’t look at me like that! Did you really think I acquired you just to do random assassinations?”

 

“I…I don’t…”

 

“I have the Octopus for that, idiot girl! No, what I have planned for you is much, much more ambitious. But I couldn’t do it while you were so utterly weak!”

 

I glanced over at Dex. “But that would mean…”

 

Hendricks grinned so wide that I could see my reflection in his teeth. “That I was behind everything from the start? Indeed. Poor, simpleminded Dexter just thought he was the mastermind of this little plan. But he, and you, are nothing more than pawns for me to place on the board for my benefit, and mine alone.”

 

My head spun. This was getting more and more unbelievable by the second. If he was to be believed, then he had known that I would leave the stupid glove behind, that Dex would give it to Kaylie, fake my death, and then take me on a cross country trip to get it back with the sole purpose of getting me to try and kill him when I got back. He had predicted everything, down to the smallest detail.

 

And it terrified me.

 

“Now that you’ve found your backbone again,” said Hendricks, his smile widening even further, “it’s time to begin work on my ultimate plan!”

 

I gulped. “Y- Your ultimate plan?”

 

“The plan I’ve been working towards for thousands of years, Amber.” He looked as giddy as a little boy on Christmas. “To find my long lost brother, to be reunited with him at last!”

 

My heart sank into my stomach. He had a brother? Two Hendrickses? I take it back, that was the most terrifying thing I’d ever heard.

 

“And, thanks to Dexter’s help,” he went on, “I’ve finally found out where he is.”

 

“Where?” I forced myself to ask.

 

He turned to me, black eyes gleaming with anticipation. “Majestic’s Headquarters!”

 

A terrible chill ran down my spine when I realized what he was alluding to.

 

“You want me to get captured by them,” I whispered. “So they can put me in the Silverblood Project.”

 

He nodded.

 

I didn’t know what to think. The last thing on earth I wanted to do was turn myself over to Majestic’s sadistic goons. That was the whole point of why I’d come to work for Hendricks in the first place. But I’d just tried to kill him not even five minutes ago, but had failed about as hard as humanly possible. What would happen if I said no? Did I even have the courage to try?

 

“Oh, don’t look so glum, young lady!” Hendricks said. “There’s something in this for you, as well.”

 

He leaned forward and whispered into my ear.

 

My heart stopped.

 

“You’re lying!” I gasped.

 

“I give you my word,” he said, putting a hand over where his heart would have been if he’d had one.

 

If a demon gives his word, he has to keep it, Dex’s voice rang in my ears. Suddenly, my heart was beating even faster than it had been when I’d fought Hendricks. If this was true…and it couldn’t be…but what if it was?

 

Then everything I thought I knew would be a lie.

 

“What do I have to do?” I asked.

TO BE CONTINUED

IN BOOK 4

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