Home > Unbroken Bonds (The Bonds That Tie #6)

Unbroken Bonds (The Bonds That Tie #6)
Author: J Bree

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

Gryphon’s bond

 

I wake.

A new body, a new era, the same threats to my Bonded as there always are; but this time, it’s different.

This time, we’re all here.

I watch as one by one, the god-bonds awaken, the vessels falling unconscious under our enemy’s attack. Eyes rolling back into their heads until they turn black, the voids wiping out the human life until we’re all standing around our Bonded as a living, breathing shield, filled with the souls of the dead, a gift of power from our Bonded. There’s nothing that can kill us now.

United at last.

I look over to my Bonded and the girl that it lives within, perfection incarnate, and every fiber of my being is filled with need. A need to have them, protect them, covet them, break them apart and build them back up in the way that only I can because we were made for each other. They are mine as surely as I am theirs, as surely as the world spinning endlessly in the vastness of the expanding universe.

Danger has come for us once more, but it always does. The world doesn’t want to see greatness like us happy. It wants to break us, hurt us, kill us, and bury us miles apart, just to extend our earthly torture forevermore.

I’ve lost my Bonded too many times.

Never again.

Protect the Gifted. The girl loves them, and they have been loyal to us always.

I glance over my shoulder to find a handful of Gifted there, blood running out of their noses as they bear the brunt of the god-bond’s attack and their bodies slowly shut down. I feel something extra in the girl there, the small Flame with a strong Gift, and though it frustrates me, I leave it alone for now.

It’s a problem that can wait.

Pushing my way into the other Gifted’s brains and building up their defenses is easier and as thoughtless as breathing, putting in walls of impenetrable protection against the assault of our enemy who stands before us wearing the body of an older woman.

She’d deceived us all for too long, a god-bond predator hiding amongst the human sheep.

“Don’t touch the Death Dealers,” she says to the two men behind her as they step towards us. I’m sure they’re strong for their kind, but they are nothing but men; flesh and blood and bond… not the gods that we are.

My Bonded smiles, cocking her head at our god-bond enemy. “That’s cute… thinking that will save you.”

Her hand rises and that unnatural shine takes over her skin, the inky black that is vibrant in a way that defies nature because she is Death incarnate, the true god of souls who can choose who lives and dies. She is as powerful and ruthless as the sun itself, burning away all lesser beings as though they are nothing but kindling for her flame.

Mine.

“You’re too new. Your Bonds have barely woken up. You might be stronger than me someday, but I intend on disposing of you all long before that time comes.”

The Cleaver raises his hands and his Gift pushes out of him in a violent burst, decimating everything around him in a single stroke. It doesn’t touch the god-bond before us, but the two Gifted men she had brought with her are torn to pieces. We watch with the type of apathy that only the Eternal can have as the chunks litter the ground, the blood soaking into the scorched dirt around us. There’s already bodies everywhere, the worst carnage of war laid out at our feet.

The Gifted at our side begin to stir with a groan. The Transporter looks to his Bonded the moment his eyes open, then to me as he waits for orders. The shock on his face at the sight of my void eyes has him faltering for a second, but his mouth sets into a firm line as he projects words to me, something he’s done with my vessel a million times before.

What is the plan here? We need to get our Bonded to safety.

Our Bonded.

My eyes flick down to the little Flame at his side, dirt and ash covering her body from all of the destruction she’d wrought on our behalf. She’s important to my Bonded’s vessel. She’s important to us all.

Important enough to save and not just from the god-bond before us all.

Take them to safety. All of the Gifted we care for. We will take care of this. Keep the Flame separated for now, the god-bond is taking refuge there again.

He doesn’t answer me or nod, no visible signs of his agreement that might alert our enemy to what he’s about to do. I fix my eyes back on the woman ahead of us as her lip curls in our direction. She surveys the fresh coat of blood and gore covering her surroundings.

“The Cleaver always did have such disgusting ways,” she sneers, her face a lot more animated than ours.

She’s been awake a lot longer than us.

While learning to blend in with the humans around her, it’s clear that she’s killed the vessel and is in full control. She slipped through our fingers with ease, because there was no battle going on beneath her flesh, no secondary being to flag with our sweeps of the area.

There’s a pop sound as the Transporter leaves us all behind, taking the vulnerable Gifted with him, and my Bonded shifts a little closer to the Death Dealer at her side, murmuring quietly to him as the shadows creep up his arm. The dog-like forms at their feet all stare forward without blinking, watching the threat before us with an unerring vision. They’re all still standing a little to the side where the Shield had cut her off from us all. I can see my vessel’s memory of the moment, the panic he’d felt and the instant relief as the Corvus had shifted through his shadows to get to her.

My vessel didn’t know he could do that.

It’s a standoff, all of us waiting to see who will truly make the first move. Whatever those Gifted could do, the god-bond was expecting a lot from them, and she definitely hadn’t taken the Cleaver into account. No, she’d waited on the sidelines and watched my Bonded funnel us energy and hoped that would weaken her enough to kill her, at the very least.

She has drastically underestimated the strength of my Bonded and those devoted to her.

She purses her lips at us all as though she’s disappointed with the way her Gift is merely bouncing off of us before she lifts a hand, her palm turning black as she calls on her power. The shadows all move at once, darting towards her like storm clouds rolling in, but she Transports out before they can tear out her throat.

As she disappears into nothingness, she leaves behind her parting words, a warning to us all.

“Until we meet again. Next time, I won’t come alone. Next time, I’ll wipe you from the face of the earth.”

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Oli

 

I wake up as my feet hit the ground at the Sanctuary, my stomach churning horribly as my head spins. Bile burns a path up my throat, and I choke as I fight to keep it down.

Why does it always have to feel this way?

I wait for Gryphon to ease the discomfort, but when his hand doesn’t come up to cup my neck, I’m forced to slap a hand over my mouth instead.

A strong arm bands around my waist, hauling me back onto a broad chest as North snaps, “Are you going to give Gryphon back so that he can help her or not?”

I don’t understand what he means by that, and I’m too busy gagging to figure it out. Then Gryphon’s palm finally slides around my throat and his Gift flows into my body, flooding me and chasing the sickness away. It’s only once my head clears that I realize the room around us is silent, the kind of silence where a million things are floating around us unsaid, and that Gryphon’s hand isn’t cupping the side of my neck like it usually is.

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