Soon, even that wasn’t enough for him. He began hammering inside her, and she loved it. Loved his intensity. All she could do was hold on for the ride, slamming down on him, gasping. Her nails dug into his chest, her moans blended with his. And when her second orgasm hit, Lysander was right there with her, roaring, muscles stiffening.

He grabbed her by the neck and jerked her down, meshing their lips together. Their teeth scraped as he primitively, savagely kissed her. It was a kiss that stripped her once more to her soul, left her raw, agonized. Reeling.

He was indeed her consort, she thought, dazed. There was no denying it now. He was it for her. Her one and only. Necessary. Angel or not. She laughed, and was surprised by how carefree it sounded. Tamed by great sex. It figured. After this, no other man would do. Ever. She knew it, sensed it.

She collapsed atop him, panting, sweating. Scared. Suddenly vulnerable. How did he feel about her? He didn’t approve of her, yet he had gifted her with his virginity. Surely that meant he liked her, just as she was. Surely that meant he wanted her around.

His heart thundered in his chest, and she grinned. Surely.

“Bianka,” he said shakily.

She yawned, more replete than she’d ever been. My consort. Her eyelids closed, her lashes suddenly too heavy to hold up. Fatigue washed through her, so intense she couldn’t fight it.

“Talk…later,” she replied, and drifted into the most peaceful sleep of her life.


FOR HOURS LYSANDER HELD Bianka in the crook of his arm while she slept, marveling—this was what she’d craved most in the world and he had given it to her—and yet, he was also worrying. He knew what that meant, knew how difficult it was for a Harpy to let down her guard and sleep in front of another. It meant she trusted him to protect her, to keep her safe. And he was glad. He wanted to protect her. Even from herself.

But could he? He didn’t know. They were so different.Until they got into bed, that is.

He could not believe what had just happened. He had become a creature of sensation, his baser urges all that mattered. The pleasure…unlike anything he’d ever experienced. Her taste was like honey, her skin so soft he wanted it against him for the rest of eternity. Her breathy moans—even her screams—had been a caress inside his ears. He’d loved every moment of it.

Had he been called to battle, he wasn’t sure he would have been able to leave her.

Why her, though? Why had she been the one to captivate him?

She lied to him at every opportunity. She embodied everything he despised. Yet he did not despise her. For every moment with her, he only wanted more. Everything she did excited him. The pleasure she’d found in his arms…she had been unashamed, uninhibited, demanding everything he had to give.

Would he have been as enthralled by her if she had led a blameless life? If she had been more demure? He didn’t think so. He liked her exactly as she was.

Why? he wondered again.

By the time she stretched lazily, sensually against him, he still did not have the answers. Nor did he know what to do with her. He’d already proven he could not leave her alone. And now that he knew all of her, she would be even more impossible to resist.

“Lysander,” she said, voice husky from her rest.

“I am here.”

She blinked open her eyes, jolted upright. “I fell asleep.”

“I know.”

“Yeah, but I feel asleep.” She scrubbed a hand down her beautiful face, twisted and peered down at him with vulnerable astonishment. “I should be ashamed of myself, but I’m not. What’s wrong with me?”

He reached up and traced a fingertip over her swollen lips. How hard had he kissed her? “I’m…sorry,” he said. “I lost control for a moment. I shouldn’t have taken you so—”

She nipped at his finger, her self-recrimination seeming to melt away in favor of amusement. “Do you hear me complaining about that?”

He relaxed. No, he did not hear her complaining. In fact, she appeared utterly sated. And he had done that. He had given her pleasure. Pride filled him. Pride—a foolish emotion that often led to a man’s downfall. Was that how Bianka would make him fall? For as his temptation, she would make him fall.

With a sigh, she flopped back against him. “You turned serious all of the sudden. Want to talk about it?”


“Do you want to talk about anything?”


“Well, too bad,” she grumbled, but he heard a layer of satisfaction in her tone. Did she enjoy making him do things he didn’t want to do—or didn’t think he wanted to do? “Because you’re going to talk. A lot. You can start with why you first abducted me. I know you wanted to change me, but why me? I still don’t know.”

He shouldn’t tell her; she already had enough power over him, and knowing the truth would only increase that power. But he also wanted her to understand how desperate he’d been. Was. “At the heart of my duties, I am a peacekeeper, and as such, I must peek into the lives of the Lords of the Underworld every so often, making sure they are obeying heavenly laws. I…saw you with them. And as I have proven with my actions this day, I realized you are my one temptation. The one thing that can tear me from my righteous path.”

She sat up again, faced him again. Her eyes were wide with…pleasure? “Really? I alone can ruin you?”

He frowned. “That does not mean you should try and do so.”

Laughing, she leaned down and kissed him. Her breasts pressed against his chest, once again heating his blood in that way only she could do. But he was done fighting it, done resisting it. “That’s not what I meant. I just like being important to you, I guess.” Her cheeks suddenly bloomed with color. “Wait. That’s not what I meant, either. What I’m trying to say is that you’re forgiven for whisking me to your palace in the sky. I would have done the same thing to you had the situation been reversed.”

He had not expected forgiveness to come so easily. Not from her. Frown intensifying, he cupped her cheeks and forced her to meet his gaze. “Why were you with me? I know I am not what your kind views as acceptable.”

She shrugged, the action a little stiff. “I guess you’re my temptation.”

Now he understood why she’d grinned over his proclamation. He wanted to whoop with satisfied laughter.

“If we’re going to be together—” She stopped, waiting. When he nodded, she relaxed and continued, “Then I guess I could only steal from the wicked.”

It was a concession. A concession he’d never thought she would make. She truly must like him. Must want more time with him.

“So listen,” she said. “My sister is getting married in a week, as I told you before. Do you want to, like, come with me? As my guest? I know, I know. It’s short notice. But I didn’t intend to invite you. I mean, you’re an angel.” There was disgust in her voice. “But you make love like a demon so I guess I should, I don’t know, show you off or something.”

He opened his mouth to reply. What he would say, he didn’t know. They could not tell others of their relationship. Ever. But a voice stopped him.

“Lysander. Are you home?”

Lysander recognized the speaker immediately. Raphael, the warrior angel. Panic nearly choked him. He couldn’t let the man see him like this. Couldn’t let any of his kind see him with the Harpy.

“We must discuss Olivia,” Raphael called. “May I enter your abode? There is some sort of block preventing me from doing so.”

“Not yet,” he called. Was his panic in his voice? He’d never experienced it before, so didn’t know how to combat it. “Wait for me. I will emerge.” He sat up and slipped from the bed, from Bianka. He grabbed his robe, or rather, the pieces of it, from the floor and wrapped it around himself. Immediately it wove back together to fit his frame. The material even cleaned him, wiping away Bianka’s scent.

The latter, he inwardly cursed. For the best.

“Let him in,” Bianka said, fitting the sheet around her, oblivious. “I don’t mind.”

Lysander kept his back to her. “I do not want him to see you.”

“Don’t worry. I’ve covered my naughty nakedness.”

He gave no reply. Unlike her, he would not lie. And if he did not lie to her, he would hurt her. He did not want to do that either.

“So call him in already,” she said with a laugh. “I want to see if all angels look like sin but act like saints.”

“No. I don’t want him inside right now. I will go out to meet him. You will stay here,” he said. Still he couldn’t face her.

“Wait. Are you jealous?”

He gave no reply.


“Stay silent. Please. Cloud walls are thin.”

“Stay…silent?” A moment passed in the very silence he’d requested. Only, he didn’t like it. He heard the rustle of fabric, a sharp intake of breath. “You don’t want him to know I’m here, do you? You’re ashamed of me,” she said, clearly shocked. “You don’t want your friend to know you’ve been with me.”


“No. You don’t get to speak right now.” With every word, her voice rose. “I was willing to take you to my sister’s wedding. Even though I knew my family would laugh at me or view me with disgust. I was willing to give you a chance. Give us a chance. But not you. You were going to hide me away. As if I’m something shameful.”

He whirled on her, fury burning through him. At her, at himself. “You are something shameful. I kill beings like you. I do not fall in love with them.”

She didn’t say anything. Just looked up at him with wide, hurt-filled eyes. So much hurt he actually stumbled back. A sharp pain lanced his chest. But as he watched, her hurt mutated into a fury that far surpassed his.

“Kill me, then,” she growled.

“You know I will not.”