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Kimberly Loth Books

Destroyer Angel

Destroyer Angel

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Naomi had a devastating choice to make….

And she chose wrong.


At least, that’s how it feels back in Arkansas with Kai. She tries to remind herself that she had reasons for this choice, good ones.

But as the darkness inside of her grows, she begins to doubt that she’ll ever be able to feel the light again. Especially with Kai embracing his role as the Master Destroyer.

Destroyers start killing Guardians. Everyone thinks that Kai is the only one who can stop it. But Naomi knows better—she alone can end it all.

But how?

Buy now to learn if Naomi ever finds out or if she has to watch more friends die....

Synopsis

Naomi had a devastating choice to make…

And she chose wrong.

At least, that’s how it feels back in Arkansas with Kai. She tries to remind herself that she had reasons for this choice, good ones.

But as the darkness inside of her grows, she begins to doubt that she’ll ever be able to feel the light again. Especially with Kai embracing his role as the Master Destroyer.

Destroyers start killing Guardians. Everyone thinks that Kai is the only one who can stop it. But Naomi knows better— she alone can end it all.

But how?

First Chapter

The flight attendant handed me a napkin, and gave me a fake smile. “What can I get you to drink?” 

Her smile tasted of sour grapes. I didn’t blame her. Flying was dangerous business these days. Most flight attendants were attacked at least once a month, and planes crashed much more frequently than they did twenty years ago. But it was safer than driving down the road.

Still. I wouldn’t want her job.

“Can I get an orange juice?”

She nodded and pointed to the empty seat next to me. “And your friend?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe you can come back later.”

She handed me my orange juice. “Of course.”

I sipped at the juice and stared out the window. A sea of clouds spread out as far as the eye could see. Strange to think that just hours ago, I was at Ginny’s wedding.

The seat jostled, and I turned. Kai leaned forward and gave me a quick kiss. It was warm and sunny. Kai was supposed to be the master destroyer, but this wasn’t destroyer energy. I wanted to ask him about it, but not in public.

“Would you please tell me where we are going?” I asked.

He touched my nose. “Surprise.”

I tried to pout, but he just laughed. 

“You’re no fun,” I said.

“Aw, come on. I did tell you where we were going. Well, the flight did anyway.”

“I have no idea where Da Nang is.” We’d done an overnight flight to Hong Kong, but we both slept on that flight. Now, we were on a short flight to Da Nang, wherever that was.

“It’s far, far away from all of our problems.” He stretched his arms above his head.

My seat lurched forward, and a woman screamed.

I spun in my seat. A man with dark hair and flared nostrils had the flight attendant in an embrace. She struggled against him. 

“Do something,” I hissed to Kai. 

Kai stood, but another flight attendant snuck up behind the man and tased him. He went down with a scream, and Kai dropped into his seat. 

“I thought things like that were supposed to get better after my mother was taken out of power,” I said, finally able to utter the words I’d been biting back since Kai whisked me away.

He dropped his head. “I haven’t learned how to control anything yet.”

I should’ve asked him why, then, we were running away, but I didn’t want to ruin anything. Here we were together at last. He was shirking his duties, but a small, selfish part of me didn’t care. He was all mine for the moment. 

I wove my fingers through his and leaned my forehead on the window. I had hoped things would be different now, easier somehow, but they weren’t. Life was still hard. People were still doing stupid things, but somehow everything would work out.

*

 I nearly jumped into the infinity pool without changing into my bathing suit. The house itself was large and airy, with a salty breeze blowing through. 

The air was thick with humidity, and that just added to my desire to jump into the water. The beach and sea spread out below. 

“Kai, the view is gorgeous.”

He stood behind me, wrapped his arms around my waist, and rested his chin on my shoulder. 

“I thought we could use time away. We’ve been through a lot.”

I tugged him close, his face only inches from mine. “We have. Thank you. How long will we be here?”

“A few weeks. Then we’ll go back and face reality.”

A reality where school children still needed armed guards and flight attendants were attacked on a regular basis. A world Kai shouldn’t be escaping. 

I ran into my room, changed into my suit, and jumped into the cool water. I floated on my back, watched the blue sky, and let my eyes drift closed. 

I wanted to forget about everything that had happened in the past couple of months, but it was impossible. Every time I closed my eyes, I felt my mother and Dwayne. I’d drained both of them of their power, and their energy still flowed within my veins. They were both the vilest of destroyers, and every day, their creeping oil-slicked emotions built in my chest. I did my best to keep them at bay, but they came out anyway. I’d told no one of this, not even Alejandro, but it was a fight every moment. I worried about how the other guardians would take it, and I didn’t want anyone to treat me differently.

Kai snatched my foot, and I squealed. I stood and glared at him, but he just laughed. He drew me close. I reveled in the sweetness of the kiss. It reminded me of everything good that I was fighting for, and when our lips touched, I forgot all about Mother and Dwayne. 

*

For two weeks, Kai and I didn’t leave the house, except to go to the beach. We had a tiny Vietnamese woman come in and cook for us. I basked in Kai’s guardian energy and did my best to control Dwayne and Mother’s energies. 

“Do you want to go out tonight? Maybe check out the town?” Kai asked.

“Sure. Though that might mean I wear something other than a bathing suit.” I waved my hand down my body.

He chuckled. “I’m sure you could get away with it. This is a tourist town after all.”

I dragged myself out of the lounge I’d napped on. “Let me change.”

Kai and I strolled hand in hand down the small alley the Vietnamese called a street. Restaurants with names I could not read lined both sides. We ate food I’d never seen before, and I couldn’t pronounce the names, but it was delicious. 

After dinner, we walked through town. Things didn’t seem as dark here as they had in Vegas, and the colors and lights mesmerized me. Maybe the violence that plagued us before was getting better after all. 

We stopped to look at sarongs, and I picked out a pretty blue one. Kai went inside to pay, and a scream came from the alley to my left. I rushed for it. I should’ve waited for Kai, but I’d heard too many screams in my life to ignore them anymore. 

I smelled sulfur, and bile filled my mouth. Bombs exploded in my ears. I clutched to the bricks, but trudged on anyway. Three men stood over a boy. They were taller than most of the Vietnamese, but still carried the same features. None wore shirts. The tallest man’s tattooed muscles tensed as he caught the boy across the temple with his fist. The boy flew backwards, hitting his head on the bricks. Another man took a knife out of his boot and descended on the boy. 

A hand gripped my elbow, and I jumped. I stared at Kai, but he was looking at the men, not me. 

“Stop them,” I hissed. “They’re destroyers. Aren’t you supposed to be in charge of them?”

He nodded somberly. 

“Stay here,” he said.

He didn’t have to tell me twice.

“Hey,” he called out, but the men didn’t even turn. One knelt down and placed the tip of the knife on the boy’s nose. He whimpered and scrambled away, but he hit the wall. 

“Stop,” Kai yelled. He grabbed the tattooed man’s shoulder. The man growled and turned around. 

“I said stop,” Kai said. He stood tall and confident. I would’ve listened to him.

The man clenched his jaw and popped his knuckles. He was shorter than Kai, but somehow still menacing. He shouted words in Vietnamese at Kai, but I didn’t understand them and doubted Kai did either. I glanced at the boy. The man with the knife scooted closer to him and dropped the knife to his throat. 

Just leave. I pleaded in my mind. Kai should be able to take care of them. 

Kai shoved the man. “Get out of here.”

The man in front of the boy stood and raced out of the alley, and the other two followed. I let out a breath. He did it. I flew after the boy. His eyes were wide with terror. 

“Are you okay?” I asked.

Tears streamed down his dirty face. He disappeared down the street without a word. I thought about trying to stop him, but he probably wouldn’t understand the words. 

Kai never moved from his spot, his jaw tight and his fists clenched. 

I touched his forearm. “Hey, you okay?”

He shook his head. “We should get back.”

He didn’t say a word on our way to the house. This shouldn’t have happened. Kai should’ve been able to control them. 

“You wanna swim?” I asked him. Not that I really wanted to, but we both needed a distraction. 

“No.” His shoulders slumped.

“You want to talk about it?”

He sank down into a chair. “I can’t control them. Things are still just as bad as when your mom was in charge, if not worse.”

“But they did listen.”

“It took too long. If I can’t control three destroyers from a distance of five feet, how am I supposed to control the whole lot of them?”

“Kai, it’s only been a few weeks. Give it time. Things aren’t going to change overnight.” Actually they should’ve, but I didn’t want him to think I didn’t believe in him.

“But that’s my job, isn’t it? If I don’t do it, someone else is going to take over, and they won’t have the same goals as I do. Your mom might have given them a lot of freedom, but she was still absolutely in charge.”

He had a huge burden placed on him, and it was as if he were trying to do it all on his own. 

“Don’t you have a council like Puck?”

 “Yes.” He pressed his lips together.

“Maybe you should ask for their help.”

 “I was just hoping for more time with you without worrying about this destroyer business, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. We should probably head back.”

“Where will we go?”

“I don’t know yet. I need to make some phone calls. Before I came to the wedding, I traveled around quite a bit hand selecting my council. Destroyers I could trust. No one else knows I’m the master. Anyone who saw me stab your mother is on the council or dead.”

“Who do they think it is?”

“Your dad.” 

I flinched. Every time I thought of him, I worried he was going to jump out and attack me. “Why?”

“Because everyone thought it was him to begin with. Only the council knows who the true master is. Control is all done by the mind. They obey because they have to, not because they want to. Your mother only had a couple on her council. Your father and Mr. Yerdin. Even now, I risk my own council murdering me for power, but I’ve promised them control and power if they allow me to do my job.”

“Do they know that you were once a guardian?”

“That was never a secret. But they also know who my father is. Most of the men I’ve gathered were on his council. Three of my father’s council are dead, but the rest are still around.”

“So maybe you’ll run it from L.A., like your dad.”

“Maybe.”

I hoped so. That way I’d be close to Vegas, and I could see Ginny from time to time. Maybe even Puck. My heart clenched. No, I couldn’t do that. For one thing, having Kai’s girlfriend running around with a guardian would look highly suspicious, and for another, he was Puck, the master guardian. Kai wouldn’t like that. 

But I missed Puck. I loved Kai, but he was so serious all the time. Puck was easier. In a way I loved him too. Maybe I chose wrong.

No. 

Kai saved me from hell. He loved me, and I loved him.

“Listen, I’m going to make a couple of phone calls. Why don’t you go swim, and I’ll join you as soon as I’m finished. Chances are we’ll leave in the morning.”

He disappeared into the spare bedroom, and I changed into one of my suits. I slipped into the pool and stared out over the ocean. I’d miss this feeling for sure. The salty air and the white sands. Maybe Kai and I could find a beach house in L.A. 

Mother stirred, filling my soul with doubt and darkness. I squeezed my eyes and pushed her away, and focused on the energy coming off the waves. After several breaths, she was gone. 

I needed to do something about her and Dwayne, but didn’t know what. Obviously no one realized that when the master destroyer died, their energy or angel soul literally went into the new one. It wasn’t just a transfer of the title. I should probably tell Kai, but he had so much to worry about already, and I didn’t want to add to it. Alejandro would be a better resource, but I didn’t know if it would be safe for me to contact him. Besides, he and Ginny were probably still on their honeymoon. 

The water splashed behind me. Kai’s face lit up as he swam for me. He slid his hands across my stomach and pressed his warm body against mine. He rested his chin on my shoulder.

“We leave in the morning.”

“Good. Your council is going to help you?”

“Yeah. A couple of them. I’m not telling most of them that I’m in trouble. I don’t want to appear weak. I know that they are compelled to listen to me, but they don’t.”

“I get that. So, anyway, where are going? Back to L.A.?”

“No, I’m sorry.”

I turned around so I was facing him. “Then where are we going?”

“We’re going to Arkansas. We’ll stay at your old house.” He gave me an apprehensive look.

The blood in my veins froze. There was no way I heard him right. “What? No.”

“We have to. Everyone thinks he’s the master. It will be much easier to learn how to do this from there.”

I wiggled out of his arms. “I can’t go back there. I can’t believe you’d want to do that to me.”

He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “I know that’s not your favorite place, but we have no choice. We’re talking about a world that has fallen apart because of your mother. I have to do everything in my power to fix it.”

I folded my arms across my tightening chest. “I will not go back there. You can figure it out from L.A. just as easily as Arkansas.”

He ran a hand through his hair and bit the inside of his cheek. “No. I can’t.”

“I will not go back there. That is my worst nightmare. You could find another way, but you are choosing not to. I can’t believe you’d do this to me.”

I scooted away from him. He didn’t love me. If he did, he’d know I couldn’t go back there.

“To you? I’m not doing anything to you. I can’t believe you’d be so selfish to sabotage the whole world because you won’t return to one house. This is important. I’m having trouble figuring out how to be the master destroyer, and I know if I go back there, it will be easier.”

I felt as if he’d slapped me. He’d taken no consideration of my feelings whatsoever. I couldn’t go to the house that held so many horrible memories. “I will not go back. Book me a flight to Vegas.”

I raced into the house and locked myself in the bathroom. I stripped off my suit and stood in the shower, hoping the hot water would wash away my tears. Mother swam to the surface, and I let her. I needed to be reminded why I couldn’t ever go back there. 

I stayed under the water until it ran cold, and then I pushed Mother away.

Tonight, I would sleep alone. 

Tomorrow I’d be with Puck. 

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