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Claimed by Sin (The Gatekeeper Chronicles #3)
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Sleeping gods awaken and supernatural enemies join forces in this epic conclusion to Malina’s story!
Still reeling from loss, Malina throws herself into her biggest and most personal case yet–liberating her mother from the Daughter of Chaos.
The stakes are high, time is running short, and the path to freeing Diya is fraught with conflict and danger. Now, more than ever, Malina will need the support and expertise of her allies: Ajitah’s quiet strength, Loki and Drake’s magical expertise, Aaron’s support, and Carmella’s compassion.
But most of all she’ll need Garuda–her anchor in the storm.
With her friends by her side anything seems possible. All they need is time. But fate can be a cruel mistress, and what we need isn’t always what we get. A war is on the horizon, and Malina will learn that when it comes to war, one loss is never all you’re given. And in order to win, she’ll have to play dirty…
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“Hand over the notes, Al.” I held out my hand and wiggled my fingers.
“You’re bleeding all over the place.” Al eyed my busted face and then blinked in surprise as it healed.
“Money, little man.”
The roar of The Circle still echoed in my ears. The whoops and cries of kill ‘im reverberated inside my head. I hadn’t killed the rakshasa, though. I’d have no more deaths on my conscience.
Al handed over the wad of cash. “Just keep coming back, girlie. The patrons luv ya. This is my best week yet.”
“Yeah, yeah.” I wiped the blood off my chin. “Sign me up for another.”
His bushy brows shot up. “That’ll be four in one night…”
“I can count.”
He swallowed. “Even Ajitah didn’t do four fights in one night.”
“Yeah? Well, I’m not Ajitah.”
He shrugged, licked his pencil, and jotted down something on his grimy notepad.
“I’ll be back for the rest of my winnings.” I sauntered off toward the bar and a much-needed drink.
The Circle had been treated to my amazing feats of kick-assery four nights this week. I’d won every fight, and still they kept signing up to try to best me. Not that I cared. All that mattered was the outlet. There was a ball of rage and confusion inside me that only eased when I was pummeling the fuck out of someone. I could feel the eyes on my back—curious and awestruck. My body was slick with perspiration, and my slacks stuck to my legs. I probably reeked. But who gave a shit? This whole place stank of blood, sweat, and euphoria.
The yaksha at the bar looked up and then slid a glass my way. He topped it off with whiskey and moved away to serve someone else. The alcohol ran down my throat like fire, warming my belly and making my toes curl. Good stuff.
No need to look up. The scent of musk and wet dog gave him away. A yaksha. “Not interested.”
“But I am. I’ve been watching you fight.”
“You and every other supernatural in here.”
“Yes, but I’ve been watching you. You’re not one of us.”
I turned to look at him. “A mangy mutt? No. I’m not.”
He just chuckled. “No. I mean you’re not like any of us. Not like any supernatural I’ve ever come across.”
“Aw, now I just feel special.”
He leaned in. “What in the hell are you?”
Ha, he had no idea how close he was skirting to the mark. I leaned toward him. “I’m none of your fucking business.”
His eyes narrowed and his lip curled. Perfect. A quick brawl before my next fight would be a nice warm-up. Having the seal’s power on tap was like an aphrodisiac. It was always there, thrumming under my skin, singing in my veins. I raised a hand and flipped him the finger. His chest reverberated in a growl.
“Malina, there you are.” Ajitah grabbed my elbow and pulled me away from my new toy. The yaksha eyed us up before skulking off to join his pack. “Drake managed to get us an audience with the high witch.”
“About fucking time.” I pushed past him and headed for the exit. “Al, cancel that fight,” I called out as I passed.
Al raised a hand. “You back tomorrow?”
“Count on it.”
We were strapped into the car and on our way to Mayfair when Ajitah broke his silence.
“You were deliberately trying to start a fight with that yaksha,” he said.
“I know you’re still grieving, but this—running off to beat the crap out of some stranger—isn’t going to help.”
I pulled the wad of cash from my pocket. “Yeah? This will help. There’s a thousand pounds here. I’m gonna give it to charity.”
He shot me a quick glance before transferring his gaze back to the road. “That’s very noble of you, but there are other ways to raise money for charity.”
“And there were other ways for you to make money to raise your boys.”
His jaw tensed. “That wasn’t the same, and you know it.”
I crossed my arms and slumped back in my seat. Okay, maybe I was acting out, but I needed this. I needed to vent. Eamon had been gone two weeks, and in that time, we hadn’t made any progress on finding out anything about this hinn. Loki was off on some business trip, and the high witch refused to take our calls…until tonight. The inaction was killing me. Every time I stopped to think, to take a breather, I’d see his face and know I was letting him down by not having freed Mum yet.
“Eamon wouldn’t expect you to be able to save your mother,” Ajitah pointed out. “It’s near impossible. You said yourself your grandfather told you that the hinn could be in any one of the hundreds of realities. The creature could have fractured and become several versions of himself.”
“No, he won’t have fractured. With the nagamuni in his possession, he’s immune to the laws of the multi-verse. There has to be a way to track him. If not him, then the nagamuni he’s carrying. We can find him. There must be a spell or something we can use to locate him.”