Afterglow (Wildefire)

Afterglow (Wildefire) by Karsten Knight Page A

Book: Afterglow (Wildefire) by Karsten Knight Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karsten Knight
you’re going to get a taste of both.”
    “Okay, okay,” Jenna shrieked. “My name really is Jenna Paulson. But my goddess name is Aphrodite.”
    Ash choked on absolutely nothing at all. No wonder the girl was obnoxiously beautiful—she wasn’t even human. Then Ash had a funny thought and glanced back through the window to where the unconscious Proteus had his face pressed into the soggy carpet . . . and she began to laugh. “Now I get it,” Ash said. “History’s most famous lover . . . is hooking up with the god who can be any lover that he wants. Tell me . . .” She stooped down so that shewas closer to Jenna. “When you make Proteus shift into a new celebrity every night—because let’s be honest, who wants to shack up with his real face?—does he feel empowered, or does he feel . . . inadequate? And who did you have him transform into last night, to celebrate your fake kidnapping? Matt Damon? Ben Affleck? Angelina Jolie?”
    Aphrodite just whimpered and said nothing, pressing her face into the bars of the balcony railing. Maybe the drop was starting to seem like a more pleasant fate than being interrogated by Ash.
    “So you’re a goddess masquerading as human, who seduced a god who actually believed that he was human,” Ash went on. “I’m not even going to ask if you’ve been working for Colt, since the answer to that is pretty obvious. But what I don’t get is: What the hell do you get out of this? You worm your way into Modo’s life, make him love you, all so he’ll unquestioningly build the ax that Colt needs, in order to ‘save your life,’ . . . But what’s in it for you? Money? Fancy rooms at the Greymoor? Or do you just get your jollies hurting good men you think are beneath you?”
    “You wouldn’t understand!” This time Aphrodite actually snarled, the first time that she’d shown any sort of anger since Ash kicked down the door. She quickly softened her tone, though, when she remembered it was Ash she was talking to. “You said it yourself: I’m history’s most prolific lover. . . . And those oily, hell-dwelling Cloak bastards took all my memories from me! Thousands ofyears of lovers and affairs in cities across the globe, and I don’t get to remember any of it? It’s bullshit. Colt promised me that if we cut down the Cloak’s tree, he’d get those memories back for me.”
    Ash laughed, but she was so disgusted that it sounded more like the bleating of a sheep. “Fake relationships, fake kidnappings, emotionally torturing some innocent kid—all this bullshit—because you can’t remember who you shagged a hundred years ago?” Ash pressed a heel into Aphrodite’s sternum, forcing her up against the railing. “Where is Colt holding Modo?”
    Aphrodite let out a wheeze. “Modo interns for a technology company, RazorWire. Their HQ is a tall glass building down in Fenway, and they were so impressed with Modo’s work that they gave him his own lab on the top floor. Please . . .,” Aphrodite pleaded. “You have to understand. I just wanted to remember. I just . . .” Then she started sobbing, her tears flowing off her face and onto Ash’s foot.
    Ash shook her head as she removed her shoe from Aphrodite’s breast. “If I ever cross paths with you again . . . Let’s just say that I’ll give you some memories you won’t be so keen on remembering in your next life.”
    Then she turned fast, stepped back into the flooded hotel room, and slammed the glass door. With a quick flame from her hand she heated up the lock enough from the inside so it would jam shut, then drew the curtains across to hide the balcony. Aphrodite would have tobreak her way through the dense glass door or wait until a housekeeper came to clean up the room.
    Either way, no one on the street below was going to hear her cries from the top floor.
    Either way, Aphrodite was going to have to spend a long time out on the balcony thinking about what she’d

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