Dark Haven Found (The Children Of The Gods #49) by I.T. Lucas



“Good morning, Edna.” Kian opened the door to his office. “You are early.”

She walked in and waited for him to close the door. “I was so surprised when you invited me to this emergency meeting that I couldn’t contain my curiosity. Lately my updates have come from my mate, who hears news about what’s going on from Kalugal.”

Her subtle criticism was justified.

Kian notoriously failed to seek the council’s advice or to update them about anything other than the most critical issues. But that was because he knew that the council members were in the loop anyway, and if they had any objections, they were free to walk into his office and voice them.

Bridget was in charge of the rescue operations, so they talked almost daily, and her mate, who was Kian’s right-hand man even though he wasn’t on the council, shared everything with her.

Since joining the clan, Turner had been privy to most of the clan’s strategic decisions, so much so that Kian was starting to realize that he’d become dependent on the guy. His mother would say that that was a good thing, but he wasn’t sure.

If Turner had agreed to hold an official position, it would be a different story. Kian could then delegate some of his responsibilities to him. But he was only an adviser, and he made himself available to the clan when it was convenient for him.

As the chief Guardian, Onegus was naturally in the loop, William was usually consulted regarding the technical aspects, and Amanda heard everything from Syssi. That left Edna, who was apparently getting her information from Rufsur, and Brandon, who wasn’t interested in anything outside of his field of expertise.

“That’s why I invited you today.” Kian walked over to the conference table and pulled out a chair for her. “But you are not here just as the council’s representative. I value your opinion, and what’s on the agenda for this Saturday morning has monumental implications for the clan.”

Smiling, Edna sat down. “I assume that you are referring to the illustrious cult leader, Emmett Haderech, who might be a different kind of immortal or just insane.”

Since Rufsur had moved in with her, the judge had been smiling more often, which was a welcome change.

“I see that you are well informed.” Kian pulled out a chair next to her.

“You should be aware that unless you explicitly ask Kalugal not to disclose the information you share with him, he tells Rufsur everything.”

Kian hadn’t considered that, but Edna’s comment made him realize the extent of Kalugal’s involvement in the clan’s affairs. His cousin didn’t hold any official title either, but Kian kept him informed nonetheless.

The problem was that it was one-sided.

Kalugal didn’t share anything about his business dealings with Kian.

Then again, the accord they’d signed indicated that they were to cooperate on security issues, and finding out that there was a whole different breed of immortals out there fell under that category.

Bridget and Turner arrived next followed by Peter and Eleanor, who were there to supply details and answer questions. Onegus and William came in a moment later, with Kalugal and Andrew arriving last.

When everyone was seated, Kian motioned for Shai to start the recording. “Most of you already know why I called this meeting. Emmett Haderech was apprehended yesterday and delivered to a cell in the keep.” Kian looked at the faces around the conference table, noting the nods of everyone other than Andrew, who apparently was the only one with no idea about what was going on.

“I’ll summarize for Andrew’s sake. Until yesterday, Emmett Haderech was the leader of Safe Haven, a cult-like organization. When Turner was hired to retrieve a young woman from the cult, he requested my help. Onegus and I chose Leon, Peter, and Eleanor for the task. Kri was supposed to join them, but it didn’t work out. When Eleanor voiced her suspicion that cult leaders might be using compulsion to secure their followers, I decided to use the opportunity and have the team investigate her hypothesis. Eleanor and Peter ended up discovering something more troubling than that. Safe Haven’s leader, Emmett Haderech, turned out to be not only a powerful compeller, but also an immortal, who claims to have a different ancestry than ours.”

Andrew cocked a brow. “Ours, as in Annani’s clan? Or ours, as all known immortals?”

“I’ll let Peter explain.” Kian turned to the Guardian. “That will bring everyone up to speed.”