Home > The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10)(2)

The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10)(2)
Darynda Jones

Now that I had all my memories back—both good and bad—I saw my mission as a celestial version of the Peace Corps. Volunteer work for the good of another people and, in turn, for the good of all.

That was a week ago. I’d been back in Albuquerque a week. I’d had my memories back for a week. And still I felt disoriented. Unbalanced. Like a Weeble that wobbled but wouldn’t fall down. That couldn’t fall down. I had too much to do.

My best-friend-slash-receptionist, Cookie, was worried. I could tell. She put on a happy face every time I walked into her office or strolled into her apartment unannounced, an action my uncle Bob, a.k.a. her new husband, did not appreciate. But one of the advantages—or disadvantages, depending on one’s point of view—of being from the supernatural side of things was that I could feel others’ emotions. And I could feel the worry that ate at her every time she looked at me.

She was right. I hadn’t quite been the same since I got back, but for good reason. Three, actually. Three main ones, anyway.

First, my daughter had been taken from me when she was barely two days old. It was for the best. To keep her safe, we had no choice but to send her away. But that didn’t make it any easier. Probably because the fault lay at my feet and my feet alone.

I was apparently made of this bright-ass light that lured the departed, those who did not cross when they died, to me. Cool beans, right? I’d always considered the light a pretty nifty side effect of being grim. But that was before I had a child who was destined to defeat Satan and save the world. Now that same light worked only to lead our vast and powerful enemies straight to me. And in turn, straight to my daughter.

Thus, it wasn’t so much that we had to send Beep away to be safe. It was more that we had to send her away from me to be safe. Her mother. Her matriarch. The woman who bore her. At the bottom of a well, no less. Long story. So the torment of heartbreak I felt was a constant weight on my chest and, unfortunately, my mood.

Second, in an attempt to restore my memories, my departed father crossed through me. When people cross, their lives flash in my mind. When my father crossed, I was flooded with memories of myself through his eyes. I saw the love he felt every time he looked at my sister and me. I felt the pride that swelled his heart to twice its normal size. But as wonderful and surreal and life affirming as all that was, I’d still lost him. He was now safely tucked on the other side of this dimension, a realm to which I had no access. None that I knew of, anyway.

But his crossing was only the predecessor of the second reason for my melancholy state. When my father’s life flashed in my mind, he also made sure I saw what he’d learned since he died. In an instant, I learned secrets of an underworld I never knew existed. Spies and traitors. Anarchists and heretics. Alliances lost and nations won. And wars. A thousand wars that spanned a million years. But the most salient thing he wanted me to see was the fact that Reyes—my husband, my soul mate, and Beep’s father—was a god as well.

A god.

But not just any god. He was one of the three gods of Uzan. Three brothers who knew only death and destruction. Who devoured millions. Who ate worlds like others ate corn chips. Worse, he was considered the most dangerous of the three, the most bloodthirsty, before Satan tricked him, trapped him, and used the god’s energy to create his son, Rey’aziel. Otherwise known as Reyes Alexander Farrow.

So my husband was a god—an evil god—who’d destroyed worlds and obliterated life wherever he went. Who was known across a thousand dimensions as the Razer. And I was married to him.

But there was still so much I didn’t understand. I’d had no idea I was a god. Not really. Not until I learned my celestial name. When that happened, all the memories I had as a god came rushing back to me. I wasn’t supposed to learn my celestial name until my earthly body passed. Until I died and took up my reapery duties. But an unfortunate series of events forced a friend to whisper my name into my ear. Now I had the power of creation itself at my fingertips and only an inkling of what to do with it or how to control it, a fact that set Jehovah, the God of this dimension, a little on edge. This according to His archangel Michael.

Michael and I don’t really get along. He tried to kill me once. I refuse to be friends with anyone who’s tried to kill me.

But Reyes has heard his celestial name. He’s even met the other two brothers. Was lent out by his father to fight with them side by side during a particularly nasty war between two realms. Does he know he is a god? Does he know the most important ingredient his father used while creating him, the one that made him so powerful, was a god? Even if he doesn’t, how much of the god Razer controls Reyes’s actions? How much of him is god? Demon? Human?

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