36 // ADDISON

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The darkened corridor stretched ahead on an incline that grew steeper the further we walked

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The darkened corridor stretched ahead on an incline that grew steeper the further we walked. It was as wide and as tall as the great doors of the hall we'd left behind us, befitting the size of Kong and making me feel small and mouse-like, particularly when flanked by Blake and his two Demon guards. The smooth walls and ceiling were curved and segmented, like we were walking inside the belly of some huge worm-like beast and not a corridor at all. Dull lights moved under the surface, like fireflies bobbing under the skin, illuminating the strange walkway just enough for me to still see the hard lines of Blake's face as he walked alongside me.

The growing heat was sticky and uncomfortable, like the sudden rush of a bad pill, and perspiration itched the skin on the back of my neck. I longed to reach up and wipe it away, almost as much as I longed to grab Blake's wrists and make him burn.

No one had said a word since Blake had told me Addi was looking forward to seeing me, but inside my head it was crammed full of voices, all talking at once, a tide of rising panic that I was desperately trying to hold at bay. Despite how much I wanted to see Addi, I'd taken no comfort from what Blake had said. The glint of amusement in his dark eyes had set my already-frayed nerves splitting apart at the seams, because there was something in there that told me he wasn't planning on gifting us a happy reunion here. I was learning fast that there was alwaysa double message in everything Blake said, and it was one thing for me to be on the receiving end of his fucked-up games, but not Addi. All that Addi had ever done was walk into the crossfire, all that he had ever done was be a bystander to my screwed-up life and he'd paid for it ever since. The thought that Blake might have hurt him, stirred something dark and feral in the pit of my stomach, something that felt alien and yet so much a part of me and who I was, that it made me wonder what I could be truly capable of, given half the chance.

I held onto that thought as we walked, hoping it would encase my heart in a layer of steel and stop it from hammering so furiously in my chest.

'Where are we going?' I said finally.

'I told you,' Blake replied. 'We are going to see your friend.'

'Yeah, but where is he? Where are you holding him? Like a prison or something?'

Blake's mouth twitched. 'He is being held in a secure facility.'

'So, a prison then? You've got him locked up in a prison cell?'

'Well, he cannot come and go as he pleases, but I wouldn't use the term prison cell.'

I pressed my lips together, the anger simmering under the surface. We carried on walking, the silence hanging like glass in the air, fragile and easy to shatter.

'You think we are monsters, Miss Brogan.' It wasn't even a question. It was a statement of assumed fact, delivered in his usual calm, maddening tone.

I huffed a sharp exhale. 'I don't know what you are. I've seen first-hand what the Angels can do and when I met Ethan, and he explained everything to me, I came to understand things aren't anything like what we've been led to believe. I get why you would want to destroy them. I just think you're lying through your teeth about what you want out of it. I mean, if you want to be tyrannical bastards and you're willing to do whatever shit you have to do in order to achieve that, at least have the balls to be upfront about it. That's one thing I learnt from Oscar. He's a nasty piece of work, but at least he doesn't smash your kneecaps to bits and then claim he's Mother Theresa.'

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