The door shut with a loud thud. He held up his hands, all innocence. As if he wasn’t a lying, cheating scum who’d betrayed her the day after their wedding.

“Tink, it’s just me.”

“I know!” She jerked the ring from her finger and threw it at him. The monstrosity slammed into his chest before thumping to the floor. Angry beyond measure, she picked up the gun he’d given her and pointed the barrel at his chest. Her hands were shaking, her blood as hot as fire. “I said no, just to save you, but you insisted I marry you.”

Darkness descended over his expression. “You plan to murder me to get free of me?” So softly asked.

Tearing her up inside.

Tears welled in her eyes. His hair was tangled, his eyes bloodshot, and his skin pallid. Obviously, too much pleasure with the blonde from the sidewalk had drained him. His clothing was wrinkled and torn—had the female gotten rough with him? Her stomach heaved.

“Yes! I saw you with her,” she croaked. “Saw you kiss her. After you’d had sex with me and promised to be faithful.” A few hours ago, she would have called it making love.

But never again.

A muscle ticked in his jaw, the catalyst to a deep, dark coldness that began to fall over his features. “You invaded my mind.”

Planting her feet on the floor, she raised her chin. “I sure did.” At first, she’d been so excited by her success. She was bound to Kane in a way she’d never been bound to another, so, of course she could reach him the way she’d never reached another. But then she’d realized there was a pretty female standing in front of him, and he couldn’t take his eyes off of her lips.

Josephina had wanted to die.

She’d also wanted to kill!

“Tink,” he said.

“Don’t Tink me! I’m not your Tink. Not anymore.”

“Put the gun down, and I’ll explain everything that happened.”

“I don’t want the gory details.”

He raked a hand through his hair, causing the strands to stand on end. “Give me a chance. Please.”

“I did! And you betrayed me at the first opportunity.”

“I hated every moment of it, I promise you. Disaster wanted her, I didn’t. He was destroying everything around me. I wanted to calm him down, that was all. He promised to leave you alone if I kissed her, and I wanted so badly for him to leave you alone.”

She hadn’t been able to hear Disaster while in his mind, but she’d certainly heard Kane. Swear it, she remembered him saying. Swear you’ll leave Tink alone.

One of the tears escaped, slid down her cheek. “What would you do if the situation were reversed, and I smashed my mouth against some strange man, just to save you?”

His eyes narrowed. “I would have ripped him to pieces, put him back together and then ripped him apart again.” He approached her, aggression in every step. “I made a terrible mistake. But I promise you, I wouldn’t have done anything more.”

“It doesn’t matter. It still hurt.”

“I’ll never do it again, you have my word.” Another step closer. “A Sent One came—”

“Sent One? And stay where you are!”

He froze, his mouth curved in a tortured frown. “A Sent One is a winged warrior tasked with fighting evil, like an angel, only...not. He told me to starve the demon, no matter what Disaster does, and eventually you’ll be safe.”

“Oh, I’ll be safe all right,” she said quietly. “I’ll be safe away from you.”

“Tink.” He took another step toward her.

“I said stay back!”

He didn’t. He increased his speed. Instinct kicked in, and her finger flexed on the trigger. Pop. The gun recoiled, smoke curling from the barrel. Horror filled her.

Kane was in front of her a second later, swiping the gun out of her hand and tossing her on top of the bed. Before she finished bouncing, his weight slammed into her, pinning her down.

“We’ll work on your aim. Later.”

“Let me go!” Josephina fought against him with all of her might, beating her fists into his face, his chest, trying to buck him off with her body. Not once did he try and deflect her blows.

“I’m sorry,” he rasped. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to do it. I hated myself. I hated being there. I hated the woman. I was sick about it. I just didn’t see another way, but I should have done something, anything else.”

“Get off me! Let me go!”

“I can’t. I can’t let you go. I don’t know how much time we’ll have together, and I want to savor every single second.”

She stilled long enough to glare up at him and pant, “Do you have any idea what it feels like to see your husband kissing another woman?”

Silence drenched with shame.

Silence that drove her into a deeper madness. She erupted, beating at him until her hands were throbbing and her lungs were burning from the forcefulness of her pants...until all she could do was collapse on the mattress and sob for the precious trust he’d torn to shreds.

Kane rolled onto his side and gathered her close. He cooed to her, smoothing the hair from her face. His breath fanned over her cheek, and she hated the sensation—because she loved it.

Finally, the sobs quieted. Her eyes were nearly swollen shut, and her nose was stuffed up. Every ounce of energy she possessed had drained from her, and yet still she tried to sit up. “I don’t want to—”

“Just let me hold you,” he beseeched. “Please.”

She relaxed against him because she had no other choice. Dizziness had taken root, and refused to leave.

His hands lowered to her neck and massaged, and she thought he was...trembling? “I hurt you, and I dishonored you, and I am so sorry, Tink. I’m so sorry. I was stupid.”

She wasn’t going to respond. She wasn’t. But the words, “Why did you pick her?” slipped from her, and she cringed. The woman had been everything Josephina was not: blonde, as delicate as the Fae royal family, with smooth hands and pale skin.

He buried his face in the hollow of Josephina’s neck, saying, “I didn’t. Disaster did.”

That shouldn’t have made her feel better. Nothing should have made her feel better. did, she realized.

“I know you’re sorry, Kane. I do. I believe you weren’t acting from a place of desire. But I can’t do this. I can’t live like this, always wondering what you’ll have to do with other women to satisfy the demon.”

“I’m going to starve the demon. I won’t do anything to satisfy him ever again.”

“You say that now. But what happens when his hunger becomes too much to bear? How can I trust you?”

“What are you trying to say?” he croaked.

She steeled herself. “I had no idea I was such a jealous person, but I am, and I don’t think that’s going to change, and I don’t think I can forget what I witnessed. So...I’m...leaving you, Kane. I don’t want to be with you anymore.”

Warm liquid trickled down her skin, as if...Kane were crying. “Please, don’t leave me. I need you. I’ll make it up to you, I swear. I’ll never even look at another woman, Tink. I’ll cut out my eyes first. I’ll never touch another woman. I’ll cut off my hands first.” His arms tightened around her. “Please. Please. I need you. I’ll be in hell without you.”

Right now, she was in hell with him.

“You won’t have to put up with me for long, I promise. Please, Tink. Please.”

He kissed her nape. He kissed her jawline. He kissed her ear and her cheek and her brow, her eyes and the tip of her nose. Her mind tried to compute what he’d just said. Something about his words bothered her. Something about not having to put up with him...for...oh, my... He licked the seam of her lips, and she opened automatically, her newly awakened body craving what only he could give. Their tongues brushed together, and she tasted...salt. He had been crying. Because he couldn’t stand the thought of being without her.

Desire bloomed, urgent, insistent, traitorous. Her blood heated, and it had nothing to do with rage. She tried to remain quiet and still, but the more he kissed her, the deeper he kissed her, and the deeper he kissed her, the more she moaned and groaned and writhed against him, desperate for more.

As she tried to fight her body’s response, he peeled her clothing away, then his own, but somehow his lips never left her, never gave her a moment to think past the pleasure. He stole the air from her lungs, provided her with air from his own. Without him, she couldn’t breathe. Didn’t want to breathe.

Skin against skin. Heat against heat. Softness against the most rigid steel. He surrounded her. He was hard, fully aroused, and hyper-focused on her. His gaze watched her, gauging her every reaction, his mind calculating his next play. His fingers moved on her, in her, stoking her need higher. His mouth followed.

“Let me show you how much you mean to me,” he pleaded as he rose up, placed himself at her core. “Let me make love to you.”

“A-all right,” she managed to say. “One last time.”

His gaze met hers, and oh, the hurt she saw was devastating. She wanted to snatch back her words, but her own hurt choked them before they could form.

“I will win you back, Tink. I will earn your trust, and you’ll want to stay with me.”

He covered his massive length with a condom and sank inside her.

She cried out, arching to take him deeper.

He didn’t move for a long while, just remained in her to the hilt, filling her, making her grow more desperate by the second. Her breasts ached, so needy. The crevice between her legs throbbed, practically weeping. Her skin burned, so feverish. Her body was the war zone, and he was the soldier determined to win it.

“Kane,” she said on a moan. “I want...I need...”

“Me, Tink. You need me.” He slid out...out...then back inside her, and this time, he slammed hard, making her see stars. “I’ll give you everything.”