Chapter 24

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Adora slumped back into the couch cushions, face pale. "I can't. It doesn't work."

I fought the urge to fall back into the couch as well, exhausted from willing my magic into her, hoping against hope that the next time she sang would be the moment that it'd all click together.

"I don't see how it would work. Our cells cling to magic. It's not like singing power through metal. Gold loves magic, but it is perfectly willing to let go."

I got up, walked over to her couch, and lifted her into my arms before dropping back down.

"It might be just as well," I murmured, brushing a hand along her hair. "The others didn't seem fully comfortable with the idea."

"You got that too?" she muttered.

"Hard not to."

She buried her nose against my neck and nuzzled. "How come it doesn't bother you as much?"

It wasn't that it didn't bother me, precisely. It was that our choices had narrowed far too much to cling to past sorrows. But I knew better than to go into buried history at that moment.

"I don't believe you'll become Desekthroi," I offered, finally.

"Thanks," she said, her words dry as sun-bleached bone. "Although, I wonder if anyone can really know if someone's going to go off the edge."

"I don't suppose you can," I admitted. "All things considered, however, I can promise you that I wouldn't let you kill anyone, therefore removing the chance of you becoming Desekthroi."

"I never thought that I'd say something as stupidly purple-y dramatic like this, but yeah, it's nice to know that you'd take me out before I went evil."

A laugh burbled up despite myself.

I turned my head and brushed her nose with mine.

"You will not become Desekthroi, beloved. I swear it. I'll cut you off before you can go off the deep end."


The underlying core of steel in that single word recalled me to what we had been attempting.

"I am out of ideas."

Dark eyes met mine, darker still for being stained with grief. "Me too. This was my last ditch, Hail Mary attempt."

Her mouth turned down. "This sucks. A lot. And I really don't like swallowing."

I tightened my hold. "I know, beloved." I ran my nose along the line of her jaw and pressed a kiss to the hollow at the base of her throat. "I've already let the kitchens know to lay in the pineapple," I teased.

"Yay," she said dryly. "I guess this is our chance to see how much, if at all, your semen changes taste based on what you eat. We can be all pseudo-scientific or something."

She rolled her eyes to the ceiling. "Even better. Isn't there a semen cookbook floating around somewhere? Maybe we can do test on whether or not there's magical properties to brownies made with your semen. Like pot-brownies, except good for pregnant women."

I laughed. "For a pregnant woman."

"Yeah. Lucky me." She made a moue with her mouth. "Or forget making you guys eat all the tropical fruit. Let's just make semen smoothies. Yum."

Tucking her closer, I stroked her hair and dropped a kiss on the crown of her head. Now-familiar futility dragged at me. What good was I? If the best I could do was this?

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