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Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow...
But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more – or possibly less – than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there's something strangely familiar about him...
Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds in silencing them all? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect him – and everyone – from his own fate? Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.
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DESTINED. (Chapter 1)
The human male's flesh had been soft, pulpy.
It had been a surprise how easy it had been to destroy him—to end the beating of his feeble heart.
"Take me to North Tulsa. I want to go out into the night," she'd said. That was the command that began their evening.
"Yes, Goddess," he'd responded instantly, coming alive from the corner of the rooftop balcony that he'd made his own.
"Do not call me Goddess. Call me..." She'd looked contemplative. "... Priestess." Her full lips, slick and reddened, turned up. "I believe it is best if everyone should simply call me Priestess—at least for a short while."
Aurox had fisted his hand over his heart in a gesture he instinctively knew was ancient, though it somehow felt awkward and forced. "Yes, Priestess."
Priestess had brushed by him, gesturing imperiously for him to follow her.
He had followed.
He'd been created to follow. To take her orders. To obey her commands.
They'd entered something Priestess had called car, and the world had flown. Priestess had commanded him to understand the workings of it.
He'd watched and learned, just as she'd commanded.
Then they'd stopped and exited the car.
The street had smelled of death and rot, corruption and filth.
"Priestess this place is not—"
"Protect me!" she'd snapped. "But do not be protective of me. I will always go where I wish, when I wish, and do exactly what I wish. It is your job, no, your purpose to defeat my enemies. It is my destiny to create enemies. Watch. React when I command you to protect. That is all I require of you."
"Yes, Priestess," he'd said.
The modern world was a confusing place. So many shifting sounds. So much he did not know. He would do as Priestess commanded. He would fulfill his reason for creation and—
A male had stepped out, blocking Priestess's way.
"You way too pretty to be in this here alley so late with nothin' but one boy keepin' ya company." His eyes widened, as he took in Priestess's tattoos. "So, vampyre, you stoppin' here to get you a little snack from this boy? How 'bout you give me that purse then you and me, we'll talk 'bout what it's like to be with a real man?"
Priestess sighed and sounded bored. "You're wrong on both counts: I am not simply a vampyre, and this is no boy."
"Hey, what you mean by that?"
Priestess ignored the man and looked over her shoulder at Aurox.
"Now you should protect me. Show me what kind of weapon I command."
He obeyed her without conscious thought. Aurox closed on the man with no hesitation. In one swift movement, Aurox plunged his thumbs into the man's staring eyeballs, which made the screaming begin.
The man's terror washed over him, feeding him. As simply as drawing a breath, Aurox inhaled the pain he was causing. The power of the man's terror swelled through him, pumping hot and cold. Aurox felt his hands hardening, changing, becoming more. What had been normal fingers became claws. He pulled them from the man's eyes when the blood began to seep from his ears. With the borrowed power of pain and fear, Aurox lifted the man, slamming him against the wall of the...
DestinedBy: Kristin Cast, P. C. Cast