Blood filled her nostrils, pulling her from her slumber. A new meal, fresh and alive. She uncurled and went to feed.
Torches lit the feeding room and her prey. She lingered in the dark hall, studying the silver-haired man bound in the center.
Like all her prey, his wrists were bound above his head and at their limits. Every other man had slumped, borken and beaten. This man stood proudly, hands loose and relaxed, head held high. Blood stained the corner of his mouth, but he looked in no way broken.
He looked regal and delicious and like he would put up a fight.
She edged forward, holding back as hunger built. It had been a while since the last soul she'd taken, and the warlocks had used her hard, but something made her want to savor this one.
Ice blue eyes met her gaze, finding her even in the shadows. "Come out, Merilyth."
She stiffened and froze, heart suddenly racing. No mortal had ever noticed her, had always been surprised when she stepped into the light. But this handsome man had spotted her right away.
And known her old name.
Recognition stirred in her breast. Those muscles, those scars, those wolfish features, all of it seemed familiar. "Who are you?" Her voice creaked with disuse.
He sighed and hung his head, words barely heard as he spoke. "What have they done to you?"
Circling her living meal, she weighed her name, her memories. Merilyth. Power had attended that name at one point, had struck fear in mortals. She and her...
Staring at his flogged back, she licked her lips. Her keepers would expect her to generate much power for them. The strength he exhibited meant he would be a huge meal, passing that strength to her, allowing her to fuel whatever ritual she was part of.
He looked at her over his shoulder, flexing. Fresh blood flowed. Hissing delightedly, she darted forward to drink. He groaned, and pressed his muscular back against her mouth. "Drink. Drink, my love, and remember."
She clasped his hips, licking the small of his back. He smelled of male, of sweat, of blood, and delicious familiarity. Breathing deeply of his enticing scent, she took the first taste of his blood.
Memories and power rushed across her tongue, headed straight for her heart. They both groaned, and he whispered her name.
She was Merilyth, Demigodddess of Infanticide. The scarred and handsome demigod she drank from was Garad, Lord of Ambushes. Her lover. Her husband.
The one who would avenge her imprisonment.
Merilyth rose, shaking her head. Garad smiled over his shoulder, wounds still oozing. "You've looked for me all this time?" A decade she'd been imprisoned by warlocks, a magical battery to fuel their dark rituals. Repeatedly drained, cut off from the plane of the gods, she'd slowly gone crazy.
Crazy enough to forget her love.
"Let me down," he whispered, licking his lips. "Let's make them pay." Nodding, Marilyth undid his restraints.