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"No! Please say you didn't do that," Sonora cried.

"Honey, it kept you alive. Do you know how many times they wanted all of you in a lab? How many times I had to come up with some reason that couldn't happen? I kept you safe. Me."

Ian's eyes narrowed. "Who are these others you speak of?"

Devon glared at Ian, irritation building up that he dare speak to him. But the glance reminded him that there was little between himself and the Atlantian. If Ian got his strength and full wits back, Devon was sure he would have little time left on this earth. "They don't have a formal name that I'm aware. We just call them History. They call the shots."

"Why History?"

Devon pulled in a sharp breath. Would the thing not stop? He considered ignoring him, but Sonora was already unhappy with him. "Because their headquarters is at the Museum of History in the city."

Ian nodded as if reaffirming something he already knew and rubbed his bleary head trying to make sense of everything.

Devon turned his attention back to his niece. "I understand that you may have some—affection for him." He tipped his head to Ian. "We will let him go. He can go home to the vile place he comes from. All we have to do is step aside, and let him go."

"It is not a vile place! It is beautiful and amazing. They knew who—what I was, and they treated me well. Amazing, if you consider how humans treat them."

"You have been there. I suspected as much." Devon's gaze went to the floor as a small niggle of shame moved within him. He had worried they hurt Sonora, but instead, they treated her well. He would return a favor. "Then we shall let him return."

Devon sent Sonora a tentative smile and waved her to him.

"No. Uncle Devon. I'm going with him."

Devon reared back. This could not happen, it could not. It would ruin everything.  Waves of red and black alternated across his vision. He had taken a half-human before he knew what he was doing. It was the biggest mistake of his life. Because of that, he had been chained to this revenge for a lifetime, far longer than he would have if he could have walked away.

He would not allow Sonora to bind herself to them, to go to their world and never come back. It wouldn't happen.

"No, Sonora," Devon said, with the firm, fatherly voice he'd used when she had misbehaved as a child. "That is not going to happen. I will have him hunted and killed before I allow that."

Ian raised himself from Sonora's support, doing his best to stand tall.

Sonora shook her head in disbelief at her beloved uncle's words. Her hands against her stomach as she wondered how this could be happening. Unwittingly, she took two steps from the side of Ian.

Just enough for Devon to throw out his hand and grab her. He wrapped his hard grip around her upper arm and pulled her down the hallway with him. Ian cursed, and lumbered behind him, still unsteady on his feet.

"Stop it!" Sonora shrieked as she tried to slow him down. "Please, Uncle Devon."

But the more Devon thought about it, the more he knew he couldn't stop. His orderly world would fall apart if he did. Everything from his family life to his work. If he could just get Sonora away where he could convince her that he was the good guy here, then he could deal with the abomination later. And if the Atlantian made it to the sea, well good riddance. He'd become more trouble than he was worth.

Devon felt something hard shove into his back. Quick as lightning, his mind went through all the possibilities before landing on the only thing it could be. He hoped he remembered to turn the setting down the last time he'd used it as the shock pulsed through him and rattled his teeth. The Atlantian setting would probably kill him.

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