The moment her sister answered, she said, “No need to throw me a Welcome Home party. I’m not sticking around for long.” Do not ask me about the angel. Do not ask me about the angel.

“Bianka?” her twin asked groggily.

“You were expecting someone else to call in the middle of the night?” It was 6:00 a.m. here in Alaska. Having traveled between the two places multiple times since Gwen had gotten involved with Sabin, she knew that meant it was 3:00 a.m. there in Budapest.

“Yeah,” Kaia said. “I was.”

Seriously? “Who?”

“Lots of people. Gwennie, who has become the ultimate bridezilla. Sabin, who is doing his best to soothe the beast but whines to me like I care.” She rambled on as if Bianka had never been abducted and she’d never been worried. Sure, she’d thought Bianka was merely shirking her duties, but was a little worry too much to ask for? “Anya, who has decided she deserves a wedding, too. Only bigger and better than Gwen’s. William, who wants to sleep with me and doesn’t know how to take no for an answer. He’s not possessed by a demon so he’s not my type. Shall I go on?”


“Shut up.”

She imagined Kaia high in a treetop, clutching her cell to her ear, grinning and trying not to fall. “So really, you were sleeping? While I was missing, my life in terrible danger? Some loving sister you are.”

“Please. You were on vacay, and we both know it. So don’t give me a hard time. I had an…exciting day.”

“Doing who?” she asked dryly. Only two weeks had passed since she’d last seen Kaia, but suddenly a wave of homesickness—or rather, sistersickness—flooded her. She loved this woman more than she loved herself. And that was a lot!

Kaia chuckled. “I wish it was because of a who. I’m waiting for two of the Lords to fight over me. Then I’ll comfort them both. So far, no luck.”


“I know! But I mentioned Gwen has become the bride from hell, right? They’re afraid I’ll act just like her, so no one’s willing to take a real chance on me.”

“Bride from hell, how?”

“Her dress didn’t fit right. Her napkins weren’t the right color. No one has the flowers she wants. Whaa, whaa, whaa.”

That didn’t sound like the usually calm Gwen. “Distract her. Tell her the Hunters captured me and performed a handbotomy on me like they did on Gideon.” Gideon, keeper of Lies. A sexy warrior who dyed his hair as blue as his eyes and had a wicked sense of humor.

The thought of seducing him didn’t delight her as it once might have. Stupid angel. Do not think about him.

“She wouldn’t care if you were chopped up into little pieces. You’re too much like me and apparently we take nothing seriously so we deserve what we get,” Kaia said. “She’s driving me freaking insane! And to top off my mountain-o-crap, I was totally losing our game of Hide and Seek. So anyway, why’d you decide to rescue yourself? I’m telling you, you have a better chance of survival in the clouds than here with Gwen.”

“Survival schmival. It wasn’t fun anymore.” A lie. Things had just started to heat up the way she’d wanted. But how could she have known that would scare her so badly?

“Good going, by the way. Allowing yourself to be taken into the clouds where I couldn’t get to you. Brilliant.”

“I know, right?”

“So was it terrible? Being spirited away by a sexy angel?”

She twirled a strand of hair around her finger and pictured Lysander’s glorious face. The desire he’d leveled at her while she’d sucked him dry had been miraculous. You don’t want to talk about him, remember? “Yes. It was terrible.” Terribly wonderful.

“You bringing him to Buda for the wedding?”

The words were sneered, clearly a joke, but Bianka found herself shouting, “No!” before she could stop herself. A Harpy dating an angel? Unacceptable!

And anyway, allowing the demon-possessed Lords of the Underworld to surround a warrior straight from heaven would be stupid. Not that she feared for Lysander. Guy could handle himself, no problem. The way he formed a sword of fire from nothing but air was proof of that. But if something were to happen to Gwennie’s precious Sabin, like, oh, decapitation, the festivities would be somewhat dimmed.

“I’ll be there, though,” she added in a calmer tone. “I kinda have to, you know. Since I’m the maid of honor and all.”

“Oh, hell, no. I am, remember?”

She grinned slowly. “You told me you’d rather be hit by a bus than be a bridesmaid.”

“Yeah, but I want to have a bigger part than you, so…here I am, in Budapest, helping little Gwennie plan the ceremony. Not that she’s taking my suggestions. Would it kill her to at least consider making everyone come naked?”

They shared a laugh.

“Well, you and I can attend naked,” Bianka said. “It’ll certainly liven things up.”


There was a pause.

Kaia pushed out a breath. “So you’re fine?” she asked, a twinge of concern finally appearing in her voice.

“Yeah.” And she was. Or would be. Soon, she hoped. All she had to do was figure out what to do about Lysander. Not that he’d tried to stick around, the jerk. He hadn’t been able to get away from her fast enough. Sure, she’d pushed him away. But dude could have fought for her attention after what she’d done for him.

“You’re gonna make the angel pay for taking you without permission, right? Who am I kidding? Of course you are. If you wait till after the wedding, I can help. Please, please let me help. I have a few ideas and I think you’ll like them. Picture this. It’s midnight, your angel is strapped to your bed, and we each rip off one of his wings.”

Nice. But because she didn’t know whether Lysander was watching and listening or not—was he? It was possible, and just the thought had her skin heating—she said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m done with him.”

“Wait, what?” Kaia gasped out. “You can’t be done with him. He abducted you. Held you prisoner. Yeah, he oil-wrestled Paris and I’m pissed I didn’t get to see, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. If you let him off without punishment, he’ll think it’s okay. He’ll think you’re weak. He’ll come after you again.”

Yes. Yes, he would, she thought, suddenly trying not to grin. “No, he won’t,” she lied. Are you listening, Lysander, baby?

“Bianka, tell me you don’t like him. Tell me you aren’t lusting for an angel.”

Abruptly her smile faded. This was exactly the line of questioning she’d hoped to avoid. “I’m not lusting for an angel.” Another lie.

Another pause. “I don’t believe you.”

“Too bad.”

“Mom thought Gwen’s dad was an angel and she regretted sleeping with him all these years. They’re too good. Too…different from us. Angels and Harpies are not meant to mix. Tell me you know that.”

“Of course I know it. Now, I’ve gotta go. Tell the bridezilla to go easy on you. Love you and see you soon,” she replied and hung up before Kaia could say anything else.

Despite her fear of what Lysander made her feel, Bianka wasn’t done with him. Not even close. But she’d been on his turf before and therefore at a disadvantage. If he wasn’t here, she needed to get him here. Willingly.

She’d told him to leave her alone, she thought, and that could be a problem. Except…

With a whoop, she jumped up and spun around. That wouldn’t be a problem at all. That was actually a blessing and she was smarter than she’d realized. By telling him to stay away from her, she’d surely become the forbidden fruit. Of course he was here, watching her.

Men never could do what they were told. Not even angels.

So. Easy.

Even better, she’d given him a little taste of what it was like to be with her. He would crave more. But also, she hadn’t allowed him to pleasure her. His pride would not allow her to remain in this unsatisfied state for long, while he had enjoyed such sweet completion.

And if that wasn’t the case, he wasn’t the virile warrior she thought he was and he therefore wouldn’t deserve her.

How long till he made an actual appearance? They’d only been apart half a day, but she already missed him.

Missed him. Ugh. She’d never missed a man before. Especially one who wanted to change her. One who despised what she was. One who could only be labeled enemy.

You have to avoid him. You want to sleep in his arms. You were protective of him while he fought Paris. He angered you but you didn’t kill him. And now you’re missing him? You know what this means, don’t you?

Her eyes widened, and her excitement drained. Oh, gods. She should have realized…should at least have suspected. Especially when she’d protected him, defended him.

Lysander, a goody-goody angel, was her consort.

Her knees gave out and she flopped onto the floor. As long as she’d been alive, she’d never thought to find one. Because, well, a consort was a meant-to-be husband. Some nights she’d dreamed of finding hers, yes, but she hadn’t thought it would actually happen.

Her consort. Wow.

Her family was going to flip. Not because Lysander had abducted her—they’d come to respect that—but because of what he was. More than that, she didn’t trust Lysander, would never trust him, and so could never do any actual sleeping with him.

Sex, though, she could allow. Often. Yes, yes, she could make this work, she thought, brightening. She could lure him to the dark side without letting her family know she was spending time with him. Humiliation averted!

Decided, she nodded. Lysander would be hers. In secret. And there was no better time to begin. If he was watching as she suspected, there was only one way to get him to reveal himself.