She dressed in a lacy red halter and her favorite skinny jeans and drove into town. Only reason she owned a car was because it made her appear more human. Flying kind of gave her away. Though her arms and navel were exposed, the frigid wind didn’t bother her. Chilled her, yes, but that she could deal with. She wanted Lysander to see as much of her as possible.

She parked in front of The Moose Lodge, a local diner, and strode to the front door. Because it was so early and so cold, no one was nearby. A few streetlamps illuminated her, but she wasn’t worried. She unlocked the door—she’d stolen the key from the owner months ago—and disabled the alarm.

Inside, she claimed a pecan pie from the glassed refrigerator, grabbed a fork and dug in while walking to her favorite booth. She’d done this a thousand times before.

Come out, come out, wherever you are. He wouldn’t have just left her to her evil ways without thinking to protect the world from her. Right? She wished she could feel him, at least sense him in some way. His scent perhaps, that wild, night sky scent. But as she breathed deeply, she smelled only pecans and sugar. Still. She hadn’t sensed him when he’d snatched her from mid-free fall, so it stood to reason she wouldn’t sense him now.

Once the pie was polished off, the pan discarded and her fork licked clean, she filled a cup with Dr. Pepper. She placed a few quarters in the old jukebox and soon an erratic beat was echoing from the walls. Bianka danced around one of the tables, thrusting her hips forward and back, arching, sliding around, hands roving over her entire body.

For a moment, only a brief, sultry moment, she thought she felt hot hands replace her own, exploring her breasts, her stomach. Thought she felt soft feathered wings envelop her, closing her in. She stilled, heart drumming in her chest. So badly she wanted to say his name, but she didn’t want to scare him away. So…what should she do? How should she—

The feeling of being surrounded evaporated completely.

Damn him!

Teeth grinding, not knowing what else to do, she exited the diner the same way she’d entered. Through the front door, as if she hadn’t a care. That door slammed behind her, the force of it nearly shaking the walls.

“You should lock up after yourself.”

He was here; he’d been watching. She’d known it! Trying not to grin, she spun around to face Lysander. The sight of him stole her breath. He was as beautiful as she remembered. His pale hair whipped in the wind, little snow crystals flying around him. His golden wings were extended and glowing. But his dark eyes were not blank, as when she’d first met him. They were as turbulent as an ocean—just as they’d been when she’d left him.

“I thought I told you to stay away from me,” she said, doing her best to sound angry rather than aroused.

He frowned. “And I told you to behave. Yet here you are, full of stolen pie.”

“What do you want me to do? Return it?”

“Don’t be crass. I want you to pay for it.”

“Moment I do, I’ll start to vomit.” She crossed her arms over her middle. Close the distance. Kiss me. “That would ruin my lipstick, so I have to decline.”

He, too, crossed his arms over his middle. “You can also earn your food.”

“Yeah, but where’s the fun in that?”

A moment passed in silence. Then, “Do you have no morals?” he gritted out.

“No.” No sexual boundaries, either. So freaking kiss me already! “I don’t.”

He popped his jaw in frustration and disappeared.

Bianka’s arms dropped to her sides and she gazed around in astonishment. He’d left? Left? Without touching her? Without kissing her? Bastard! She stomped to her car.

LYSANDER WATCHED AS Bianka drove away. He was hard as a rock, had been that way since she’d paraded around her cabin naked, had lingered in a bubble bath and then changed into that wicked shirt. His shaft was desperate for her.

Why couldn’t she be an angel? Why couldn’t she abhor sin? Why did she have to embrace it?And why was the fact that she did these things—steal, curse, lie—still exciting him?

Because that was the way of things, he supposed, and had been since the beginning of time. Temptation seeped past your defenses, changed you, made you long for things you shouldn’t.

There had to be a way to end this madness. He couldn’t destroy her, he’d already proven that. But what if he could change her? He hadn’t truly tried before, so it could work. And if she embraced his way of life, they could be together. He could have her. Have more of her kisses, touch more of her body.

Yes, he thought. Yes. He would help her become a woman he could be proud to walk beside. A woman he could happily claim as his own. A woman who would not be his downfall.


AS LYSANDER HAD NEVER had a…girlfriend, as the humans would say, he had no idea how to train one. He knew only how to train his soldiers. Without emotion, maintaining distance and taking nothing personally. His soldiers, however, wanted to learn. They were eager, his every word welcomed. Bianka would resist him at every turn. That much he knew.

So. The first day, he followed her, simply observing. Planning.She, of course, stole every meal, even snacks, drank too much at a bar, danced too closely with a man she obviously did not know, then broke that man’s nose when he cupped her bottom. Lysander wanted to do damage of his own, but restrained himself. Barely. At bedtime, Bianka merely paced the confines of her cabin, cursing his name. Not for a minute did she rest.

How lovely she was, dark hair streaming down her back. Red lips pursed. Skin glowing like a rainbow in the moonlight. So badly he wanted to touch her, to surround her with his wings, making them the only two people alive, and simply enjoy her.

Soon, he promised himself.

She’d given him release, yet he had not done the same for her. The more he thought about that—and think about it he did, all the time—the more that did not sit well with him. The more he thought about it, in fact, the more embarrassed he was.

He didn’t know how to touch her to bring her release, but he was willing to try, to learn. First, though, he had to train her as planned. How, though? he wondered again. She seemed to respond well to his kisses—his chest puffed up with pride at that. He’d never rewarded his soldiers for a job well done, but perhaps he could do so for Bianka. Reward her with a kiss every time she pleased him.

A failproof plan. He hoped.

The second day, he was practically humming with anticipation. When she entered a clothing store and stuffed a beaded scarf into her purse, he materialized in front of her, ready to begin.

She stilled, gaze lifting and meeting his. Rather than bow her head in contrition, she grinned. “Fancy meeting you here.”

“Put that back,” he told her. “You do not need to steal clothing to survive.”

She crossed her arms over her middle, a stubborn stance he knew well. “Yeah, but it’s fun.”

A human woman who stood off to the side eyed Bianka strangely. “Uh, can I help you?”

Bianka never looked away from him. “Nope. I’m fine.”

“She cannot see me,” Lysander told her. “Only you can.”

“So I look insane for talking with you?”

He nodded.

She laughed, surprising him. And even though her amusement was misplaced, he loved the sound of her laughter. It was magical, like the strum of a harp. He loved the way her mirth softened her expression and lit her magnificent skin.

Have to touch her, he thought, suddenly dazed. He took a step closer, intending to do just that. Have to experience that softness again. And in doing so, she could begin to know the delights of his rewards.

She gulped. “Wh-what are you—”

“Are you sure I can’t help you?” the woman asked, cutting her off.

Bianka remained in place, trembling, but tossed her a glare. “I’m sure. Now shut it before I sew your lips together.”

The woman backed away, spun and raced to help someone else.

Lysander froze.

“You may continue,” Bianka said to him.

How could he reward her for such rudeness? That would defeat the purpose of her training. “Do you not care what people think of you?” he asked, head tilting to the side.

Her eyes narrowed, and she stopped trembling. “No. Why should I? In a few years, these people will be dead but I’ll still be alive and kicking.” As she spoke, she stuffed another scarf in her purse.

Now she was simply taunting him. “Put it back, and I’ll give you a kiss,” he gritted out.


Stuttering again. He was affecting her. “You heard me.” He would not repeat the words. Having said them, all he wanted to do was mesh their lips together, thrust his tongue into her mouth and taste her. Hear her moan. Feel her clutch at him.

“You would willingly kiss me?” she rasped.

Willingly. Desperately. He nodded.

She licked her lips, leaving a sheen of moisture behind. The sight of that pink tongue sent blood rushing into his shaft. His hands clenched at his sides. Anything to keep from grabbing her and jerking her against him.

“I—I—” She shook her head, as if clearing her thoughts. Her eyes narrowed again, those long, dark lashes fusing together. “Why would you do that? You, who have tried to resist me at every turn?”



“Just put the scarves back.” So the kissing can begin.

She arched a brow. “Are you trying to bribe me? Because you should know, that won’t work with me.”

Rather than answer—and lie—he remained silent, chin jutting in the air. Blood…heating.

Still watching him, she reached out, palmed a belt and stuffed it in her purse, as well. “So what do you plan to do to me if I keep stealing? Give me a severe tongue-lashing? Too bad. I don’t accept.”

Fire slid the length of his spine even as his anger spiked. He closed the distance until the warmth of her breath was fanning over his neck and chest. “You could not get enough of me in the heavens, yet now that you are here, you want nothing to do with me. Tell me. Was your every word and action up there a lie?”