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Only when the darkness falls can you see the light of the stars.
For thousands of years, the scribes and singers of the Irin race have existed to protect humanity and guard the gifts of the Forgiven. They have lived in the shadows. They have kept their secrets.
But the Irin aren’t the only race with secrets.
Ava and Malachi have found each other, but wounds as deep as theirs don’t heal overnight. While the Irin world struggles to correct the power imbalance left by the Rending of the Irina, Malachi and Ava struggle to connect their past with their present.
The Fallen may scheme, but Ava has found her power and refuses to be an angel’s pawn. And while Malachi may have forgotten his history, the scribe’s relentless search for answers leads both him and his mate to the heart of the Irin power structure in Vienna, where knowledge is guarded more closely than gold and those with power will do anything to keep it.
Malachi and Ava have survived the darkness, but will they ever discover its secrets? A powerful cabal of the Fallen may hold the answers, but to surrender them, it wants the Irin race to finally face their enemies. Both those coming from the outside, and those raging within.
THE SECRET is the third book in the contemporary fantasy series, the Irin Chronicles, and the conclusion of Ava and Malachi’s journey
“In the bedroom.”
“Why do we have… a cat?”
“He wandered in,” she said as Malachi entered the bedroom. “Seemed nice enough. Probably belongs to a neighbor.” He leaned down to brush a kiss across her temple and flopped on the bed, only to have the cat jump up and sit on his abdomen.
“I don’t think it likes me.”
“Well, you are in his bed.”
“I’m fairly sure we’re the ones renting it.”
“That reminds me, I need to get some money transferred to Rhys to pay him back.”
He frowned. “Or don’t, because the scribe house is covering it.”
“Or let me do it, since I’m not worried about my budget? The house resources are probably strapped with the reconstruction.”
“Ava, you don’t need to do that.”
She spun around in her seat. “Is this going to be a macho alpha-male problem for you?”
“Am I a macho alpha-male?”
“Yes. And I’m loaded. It makes more sense to let me—or let’s be honest, my asshole of a father—cover the bill for stuff like this. It’s a better use of resources. Besides, I’d probably be paying for a hotel and a guide—possibly a bodyguard—if I were traveling on my own.”
He propped up on his elbows, his lips twitching. “Are you saying I’m your bodyguard and guide?”
“No.” Her face reddened.
“Because I am very fond of your body. So guarding it isn’t a problem.”
“I’m just trying to help.”
Now he was grinning. “You don’t have to pay me though.”
Malachi scooted off the bed and got on his knees, shuffling over to her as she sat at the dressing table. The cat gave an irritated yowl and abandoned the room. The stool she sat on was low enough that Malachi was level with her when he wrapped his arms around her waist from behind. She could see him laughing in the mirror.
“Am I your kept man, canım?”
“If you are, I feel like a lot more breakfast in bed should be happening.”
“Mmmm.” His lips trailed along her neck. “Now I feel this pressure to earn my keep.”
“Coffee in bed, at least.”
It was getting harder and harder to concentrate. The traitor cat had completely abandoned her. She should probably be getting ready for… something.
But he was playing with her. Teasing her. More and more of his personality was coming back. His humor. His bravado.
Ava fell in love all over again every time she turned around.
“All right, you’ve convinced me. I will take the job as your kept man. So…” He lifted her in his arms and turned to the bed. “Now it is time for work.”