After I scrubbed my face clean and brushed out my hair, I decided my next order of business was a nap. I walked into my room and halted. Wrath sprawled across my commandeered bed, one arm draped over his torso, the other bent behind his dark head.

His position was forced casual, but the sharpness of his gaze gave his tension away. He was dressed in black again, and looked like the kind of man who’d wear it from head to toe. I wondered who he planned on beating tonight, given his reasons for liking the color so much.

“Are you all right?”

I crossed my arms and gave him a flat look. “No.”

He narrowed his eyes, his attention fixed on my bandage. “What happened?”

I lifted a shoulder. I wasn’t in the mood to answer his questions. But I wanted him to answer some of mine. “Greed and Envy both want the Horn of Hades. You must want it, too. Why not take this half from me?”

Wrath didn’t rise to the bait, but his expression hardened along with his tone. “Why don’t you just ask the question you’re really interested in knowing?”

“My sister’s diary was stolen. Someone ripped our room apart and destroyed her things.”

“And you believe I had something to do with it?” His eyes appraised me. “It’s not just a diary, is it?”

“No.” I blew out a frustrated breath. “She placed some locking spell on it, using demon magic. I managed to break it, but it didn’t give me the answers I’d been looking for.”

Wrath quietly considered the information I shared. It was a peace offering for snapping at him, and he looked like he understood that. “I would have helped you break the spell if you asked me to.”

I crossed the room and flopped onto the bed next to him, ignoring the indignant glare he shot in my direction as he bounced in place. I was bone tired, and just wanted the day to be over. After the revelation about the gates of Hell weakening, my next priority was to find my amulet. If I had the whole Horn of Hades, I might be able to lock the gates before any other demons broke free. But I needed to get some sleep so I could think straight. “Do we have anything planned tonight?”


“Has someone else made a deal with Pride?”

He nodded. “Isabella Crisci.”

“When do we leave?”


I tugged the pillow out from behind him, stuffed it under my head, and closed my eyes. A solid thirty seconds of blessed silence passed before he poked me in the ribs. I cracked an eye. “Do that again, and I’ll slap you with a containment spell.”

“What are you doing?”

“Preparing for war. Now go away.”

He muttered something under his breath I didn’t catch. Nor did I care to. I hadn’t been entirely sarcastic. I needed to be well rested and sharp to find my cornicello, and to prepare for whatever other hellish nightmare the evening would bring.

When I woke up several blissful hours later, Wrath was gone. Thank the stars. Sometimes, especially when I was exhausted, I had a tendency to roll around and talk in my sleep. Vittoria used to tease me endlessly, which was embarrassing enough, but it would have been painfully awkward if it happened in front of the demon prince.

I sat up and a blanket that had been carefully placed over me fell away. I glanced at it, frowning. I was almost positive I’d fallen asleep on top of it.


I scanned the silent, empty room. Wrath wasn’t lurking. Not that I expected him to be. It took a moment for me to realize why. It was almost dark outside, and he’d said we needed to leave at dusk. I hopped up from bed and raced down the stairs, yelling the demon’s name.

All was as still as the catacombs.

“Blood and bones.” The no-good prince left me to go speak to the witch on his own. I marched around the empty palace, seething. He should have woken me up. I had as much right to be there when he talked with Isabella as he did. Wrath obviously didn’t want me to potentially dissuade her from accepting the devil’s bargain. So much for being partners. I was so mad I could scream.

After the day I’d had, I needed to get my frustration out. I couldn’t just sit around, waiting for someone else to make a move. Especially now that I felt invisible hands tick, tick, ticking away the time that remained before the gates of Hell broke entirely. I couldn’t waste energy being angry. I had to go out and see if I could find my cornicello. I went back to my room and noticed a dress had been draped over a chair in the corner.

I picked it up. It was midnight black with gold roots sewn across the bodice, similar to the grimoire page I’d used to summon Wrath. Tiny serpents were also woven into the design. Exquisite didn’t come close to describing it.

“Testa di cazzo.” Only an asshole would think a pretty dress made up for a broken promise, though.

I slipped it on anyway. It suited my needs for tonight.

I whispered a prayer to the goddess of good fortune, and hoped she’d bless me with a little luck.

I didn’t know where I was going, but I subtly held on to my sister’s cornicello and followed a whisper of a feeling. It had worked when I’d needed to find Greed’s gambling den, so I decided to think about my amulet and see what happened. I wasn’t sure what I was sensing now, but I followed the feeling as it grew stronger.

I marched up steep streets clinging to cliffs and finally stopped to stare out at the sea. Multicolored fishing boats swayed just offshore.

It was peaceful, but I had no business stopping to admire the mundane world I no longer was a part of. Not that I’d ever really belonged. But before all of this, I could at least pretend.

I took a few steps past the cliff, and the whisper calling to me stopped. I retraced my path and it returned. I scanned the area, watching a bonfire as it started glowing below me. There was something here the magic wanted me to find. A shadowy group of people began gathering in a cove tucked into a space between two towering cliffs, mostly hidden from view. It was a nice night for a seaside party. I envied the people down there for their ignorance of all the creatures of the night.

I held Vittoria’s cornicello in my fist and squeezed my eyes shut, silently commanding it to lead me to my own amulet. There was no time for parties or frivolity. I lifted my foot to start off again, but something wouldn’t let me go.

I opened my eyes and glared down at the party. If my sister were alive, she’d be down there with them, dancing. I could almost picture her there now, swaying and laughing. Her arms thrown up to praise the full moon. I wanted her to be here so badly my eyes stung. I let go of her amulet and took a deep breath. Vittoria would have dragged me down there to dance and drink and live.

And now she was dead and I was standing up here, alone.

A powerful, glittering magic filled my veins. I was angrier than I’d been in a while. And maybe it was that fierce anger that made me decide to forget about finding my cornicello. There were twelve other witch families living secretly in Palermo. Any number of them could try and stop the demons from invading our world. And yet, no one had. Maybe I would be more like my twin. I’d dance and laugh and forget the world was a lonely, scary place for a few hours. There would still be nightmares to fight tomorrow and other battles to wage. Tonight I wanted to pretend things were normal.

Even if it was a lie. Everyone else seemed content to live in a fantasy world. They couldn’t blame me for wanting to experience that for an hour, too. And who knows? Maybe if I found a way to release some stress I’d be able to think more clearly.

Decision made, I followed the steep, narrow path to the water and sounds of merriment. I ran my fingers over tall grass, taking careful steps down stairs carved into the cliffside.

In the distance, fishermen blew into seashell horns. The sea whispered, soft, fierce. Waves lapped the shore. Gulls cawed. Whispers followed me, taunted me, just out of earshot.

The goddess cried out in warning.

Caught up in my thoughts, I hadn’t been listening to the signs. An overwhelming sense of fear crashed into me when my feet hit the sand, but by then it was too late.

I’d already reached the raging bonfire.


Moon Daughter Rituals should be observed during each full moon. To release that which no longer serves you, you’ll need a pale blue candle, bowl of water, pen, paper, and a handful of sage to burn.

—Notes from the di Carlo grimoire

It started innocently, like Pleasure took human form and dragged a cool finger down my spine, tracing little circles over my flushed skin. I lifted my arms and arched into the sensation. Happiness, pure, radiant, and all-consuming, filled me.

If I’d been angry a moment before, standing high up on the cliffs, it was a forgotten memory the second I walked across the sand. If I’d been worried about invading demons, I no longer could recall why. Now all I knew was bliss.

I was so preoccupied with happiness, I just wanted to dance; sway my hips and feel another body moving in time with mine. Rhythmic, joyful, unfettered. As if my desire summoned a dance partner, invisible hands roved across my bodice, down my sides, gripped my bottom.

I gasped. I didn’t slap my bold partner. They’d given me what I wanted the second the thought entered my mind. And I liked it.

Music and laughter drummed all around. The beat was life. Enticing. It called to my most primal witch instincts. I moved without thought, giving myself over completely to nature and my senses. I spun away from my invisible dance partner, and my skirts and hair flew around.

The serpent and root dress I’d slipped on earlier reminded me of the wilderness—I tossed my head back and soaked up the dying rays of the sun. Maybe I’d left my body and was a cloud. It felt so good to just be free, to move and forget. Here, near the crackling fire and invisible dancing people, I didn’t think about murders, or curses, or creatures of the underworld, and the devil’s horns.

I didn’t think about stolen amulets and diaries.

Dancing, down here on the beach, I only knew peace and joy and pleasure. I didn’t need to worry about anything. I could stay here, drifting from one good sensation to the next, forever. He was coming for me. My king. My damnation. I don’t know how I knew, but I did.