Home > One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(3)

One Apocalypse (The Dark Side #4)(3)
Author: Kristy Cunning

Paca dragged us out of this.

She’d do it now if she had to.

And she’d spend centuries watching after us—

“Where’d Jude go?” Gage asks, looking around as my thoughts get interrupted.

We all start looking around, because the Black Heart is full of ever-changing illusions that only serve to fuck your head up worse.

The room has shifted from the torture chambers where bodies are strung up with chains, to the dead forest we purposely work to avoid.

Crazy shit comes out of that forest. It took three of us to bring down a three-headed zombie gorilla with a horse body. It took seven hours of bathing to get rid of the smell.

“Fuuuuuuck,” Kai groans as said forest suddenly engulfs us, even as we stand still.

Usually standing still keeps it away.

The dead trees have bleeding hearts instead of leaves, and the ground is full of fucking fingers wiggling in the dirt.

“This is why we have nightmares,” Gage says with a shudder just as we hear Jude cursing.

We all whirl around to see Jude struggling as he fights off a...no. No way. Not possible.

“Is that a motherfucking…unicorn?” Gage asks very seriously.

We all stare in a little horror as a black-eyed, solid white unicorn attacks Jude with some serious ferocity. Jude staggers and almost falls, barely batting away the horned beast’s next attack.

“I can’t tell if the unicorn is horny or angry,” Kai says uncertainly, as we all cant our heads to the side to see it trying to pin Jude down.

Jude, releasing an indignant yell of frustration, looks like he’s ready to blow the world to pieces all by himself, as he manages to get free and stun the beast with a hard hit to the head.

“Sometimes, I can’t tell if Jude is horny or angry, so maybe they’re kindred,” I point out.

Finally, Jude swings his scythe so quickly I miss what happens, and he rolls up to his feet, walking toward us with discernable anger, while he releases a litany of curses. We all watch as the unicorn’s head slides off very slowly.

“It just gets weirder in here,” Gage finally states with a firm nod.

Jude wipes the sticky, goopy black blood off his face, glaring at us like we’ve offended him just by viewing that embarrassing excuse for a fight with a mythical creature.

“Not one word of this to Paca,” he bites out, pointing the blade of his scythe at each of us, one by one.

“Like we’d tell her you just fought an evil fucking unicorn,” Kai scoffs. “One that may or may not have been horny.”

“She’d think she was right about everything all the time if she learned she was right about that,” I state in agreement, and shudder at the thought of how many times she’d throw this up as her reasonable excuse to assume as much.

“Think she just knew? I highly doubt that was a lucky guess,” Gage goes on, as Jude gripes at the sticky blood he can’t get rid of.

When his hand gets stuck to his face and the black, sticky blood starts turning the colors of a motherfucking rainbow, his eyes widen in slight horror. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Jude look so panicked.

Kai snorts, Gage shakes with silent laughter as he turns away, and I struggle to keep a straight face.

“Not a fucking word!” he snaps as he stalks off.

“Okay, so now I wish Paca was here,” Kai confesses, doubling over to release some of his laughter.

This is the first time we’ve ever laughed inside the Black Heart. Though, I admit, we came close with the three-headed-zombie-gorilla-horse.

I glance back as Jude trips over his own feet, kicking a few fingers around in the process, just as the forest starts to recede. We all freeze when we hear the howls of the hellhounds.

“Ah, shit,” Gage groans as he twirls his sword.

I’d rather fight an evil fucking unicorn.

“Nope. I’m not doing this. I’m going back to Paca,” Kai says as he turns and actually fucking leaves us behind. “I hate hellhounds.”

Gage and I exchange a glance, and look back at Jude, who still has a rainbow hand stuck to his rainbow face.

“I’m done too,” Gage decides, just as I sprint toward the exit.

We’re shot out in the main hall, courtesy of Jude’s new toy that Lamar delivered, and…we hear a lot of female bickering going on.

The bickering only gets louder the closer we get to Paca’s room, where the door is now wide open. Jude disappears altogether, likely because he’d never allow himself to be seen by anyone else while his hand is stuck to his face with rainbow-colored unicorn blood.

Gage, Kai, and I all tilt our heads to the right like we meant to do it in unison, when we stumble across the three female hell-spawns all fighting in the floor.

“Give it to me!” Paca shouts…

She’s blonde? When and how did she turn blonde?

Usually blonde isn’t my thing, but fuck me. She looks good blonde.

Hera kicks her off her, and she scrambles to grab a very familiar crown off the floor, as Paca releases an extremely exaggerated scream of fury. If she could turn into the Hulk, she’d already be muscled-up, green, and bursting out of her clothes.

It’s as though her crown pisses her off more than Rafael kicking her ass.

“Did time speed up instead of slowing down this time? Because I’m not sure how else to explain them acting like real sisters,” Kai states in confusion.

Lilith tackles Hera at the waist, and the crown goes flying across the room, crashing through a window that wasn’t there yesterday. This room never stays the damn same either.

Silence reverberates through the room as Hera, Lilith, and Paca freeze in place and just stare at the window five stories above a pit of tar…

Lilith’s eyes widen, as Paca turns to level them with quite possibly a look that would even strike fear into Jude’s cold heart.

Hera disappears, and Lilith hisses as she starts to literally smoke, before she blinks out as well.

“Did she just try to kill one of her sisters over a crown?” I ask very seriously.

“I really don’t think now’s a good time to judge her,” Kai stage-whispers.

Paca groans as she shoves a lock of blonde hair out of her face, but stops and stares at it for a moment like the blonde is just now registering in her mind.

With an irritated huff, she turns and stalks toward the closet, dramatically shutting the doors behind her, before yelling, “If I’m going to continuously be forced to suffer through one identity crisis after another, then at least one of my four ungrateful boyfriends could fetch my crown!”

“Not it,” Kai deadpans quietly, smirking over at Gage. “Since you love her, you go get it.”

“She doesn’t actually expect us to get it, dumbass,” Gage says with a roll of his eyes as he admires his sword. “She knows better by now. She’s just being her usual self.”

Scrubbing a hand over my jaw, I siphon out of the room, landing just in front of the tar pit that burps a really disgustingly rancid bubble right in front of my face. A lot of those rancid burp bubbles are stirring the closer I get to the edge.

I glance up at Paca’s window and try to guess where the motherfucking crown is, before I get a running start, hold my breath, and dive headfirst into the sludge.

It feels like I’m diving into quick-drying cement, and I don’t make it down very far before I have to climb back up for air. After another few empty passes, my fingers graze the crown, and I snatch it before fighting my way back one last time.

I heave for air, as I scramble to get my arms on the dry land and start dragging myself out. It isn’t until I’m able to collapse to my back and start wiping the foul-smelling goop away from my face that I blink up to see Jude staring down at me with disappointment shining in his eyes.

He still has rainbow-goop holding his hand to his face, and it’s started spreading. The tar on me is slowly freezing me in place the more it dries, and I can’t even lift myself off the ground.

“I’m embarrassed for us right now,” Jude says very seriously in that quietly seething way of his.

I’d nod in agreement, but my head is frozen in place too.

Someone clears their throat, and I cut my eyes as far as my stilled head allows. Lamar keeps a very straight face as he looks over us with flat, purposely unamused eyes.

“If anyone else sees the two of you like this, I’m afraid they won’t be able to take you as seriously as you…usually deserve to be taken,” the dick states with undertones of that hidden amusement.

Jude shuts his eyes slowly, as he exhales a harsh breath.

I’d answer for us, but all I can do is make a pathetic, strained sound.

“I’ll get you cleaned up like the common servant boy you likely won’t even show gratitude to,” Lamar adds in a prim tone as he turns and struts away.

Chapter 3


Exhausted, I try once again to find some of these servants I should have, only to come up short.

People disappear quickly when they see The Apocalypse since I started training hardcore.

Lamar appears in front of me, and I sigh in relief.

“Can I order you to fetch my crown from the tar pit, or is that an abuse of authority where friends are concerned?” I ask, tapping my foot.

His grin spreads so wide that it looks painful.

“You confess we’re friends again?” he asks with an almost desperate tone.

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