“Only this time,” she added, as if he hadn’t spoken, “I’ll be on top. I’ve always wanted to try that. Well, since I met you.”

She was stronger than she appeared and managed to shove him to his back, cool cotton pressing into his bare skin. Without awaiting permission, she straddled his waist. Her skirt was so short it rode up her thighs and gave him a forbidden peek at her panties. They were blue this time, like her shirt, and tiny. So very tiny.

His mouth watered and he found his hands on her knees, pushing them farther apart and rubbing her against his erection before he could stop himself. Sweet heaven. Damn, damn, damn. Heaven. He shouldn’t be doing this.


Moaning, she tilted her head back, and the silky length of her hair tickled his stomach. Her breasts arched forward, her nipples still hard and visible through her shirt. Clearly, she wasn’t wearing a bra.

That did not delight him.

Her gaze met his, burning him to his soul. “I wasn’t kidding when I told you I needed a distraction. Legion’s attack reminded me of what the other demons did to me. And I want to forget, Aeron. I need to forget.”

“What did they do to you?” he found himself asking, even though he’d once told himself he didn’t care to know.

Some of the passion-haze left her, dulling those pretty irises, and she shook her head. “I don’t want to talk about it. I want to kiss.”

She leaned down, but he turned his head away. “Tell me.” Finding out was suddenly more important than finding pleasure.

“No.” Her lips dipped into a pout.

“Talk.” He would learn the truth and he would avenge her. Simple as that.

Wrath snarled in agreement.

A growl escaped the angel, surprising them both. “Who would have thought a man would rather converse than do…other things.”

His teeth ground together. Stubborn woman. “Even if we kiss, I will not fu—sleep with you,” he said. Lysander’s warning chose that moment to echo in his head. Do not soil her. I will bury you and all those you love.

He stiffened. How could he have forgotten such a threat?

“I didn’t ask you to sleep with me, now did I?” How prim and proper she sounded. “Like I said, I just wanted another kiss.”

Maybe that was true. Maybe it wasn’t. Yes, her voice claimed it was, but he refused to believe it. Didn’t want to believe it. Not that he would ever admit such a thing aloud. If he were to sleep with her as she so clearly craved, she would expect more. Women always expected more, whether he pleased them or not. And more he couldn’t give her. Not just because of her powerful mentor. Complications, he reminded himself. He didn’t need them.


“If I kiss you again,” he said, thinking, shut up, shut the hell up, “I won’t hold you afterward.” A kiss was not “more,” he told himself. A kiss was not something that soiled. A kiss was just a kiss, and she was on top of him, for gods’ sake. “It won’t change anything between us.” Best she understood that now. “Also, I’ll expect you to tell me what was done to you.”

Bargaining? Really? Way to resist.

“I’m a confident, aggressive woman, so I’m okay with the not changing anything between us thing,” she said with a casual—forced?—shrug. “Cuddling isn’t a top priority, anyway. But talking about what happened? I can’t promise.”

Did this “confident” and “aggressive” woman truly not care to burrow into his side and hold him tight once their lips parted? Did she truly want him for a kiss and nothing else? That delighted him. Truly. That did not disappoint him. Not even a little.

“Right now, I just want to use your mouth and your body,” she added with a blush. Not as confident as she seemed, perchance? “But don’t worry. I’ll only rub against you a little bit. So if we’re done with this conversation, I’d like to get to it.”

Despite his disappoint—uh, utter delight—that she was willing to kiss him without expecting anything else, fire sparked in his blood, caught and spread. Soon his veins were like rivers of lava, every muscle clenched and ready, burning. Use his body? Please, please, please.

I said more!

What an odd mix of innocence and hedonism she was.

What an odd mix of reluctance and enthusiasm he was.

He should stop this now, finally, before things spun out of control.

Control. Damn it. He needed to exercise some and act rationally, rather than talking himself into and out of being with her. Actually, he needed to talk himself—and his demon—out of it one final time and then leave.

“As you reminded me, you could have died today,” he said darkly. Good. Nothing upset him more than thoughts of death. “You’re easily breakable.” Except that. “So?”

“So?” He could only shake his head. Like the humans he always observed, she didn’t seem to care. She wasn’t on her knees, begging for more time, and obviously had no plans to do so. His jaw clenched painfully. She should be begging.

“Are we done chatting now?” she asked, blush reigniting. “If not, I guess I could touch myself some more. I liked it before. Maybe I’ll like it again.” Without waiting for his response, she cupped her breasts and moaned. “Oh, yes. I like.”

Perhaps she wasn’t blushing, after all. Perhaps she was simply flushed with pleasure.

He gulped. “No, we aren’t done chatting. Why aren’t you afraid of dying?”

“Everything and everyone has an end,” she said, carnal ministrations never ceasing. “I mean, you’re going to be killed soon, and though I loathe the thought, you don’t see me crying about that, either. I know what will happen, and I accept what cannot be changed. I’m trying to live while I can. While we can. Dwelling on the bad is what destroys all hint of joy.”

He felt a muscle tick beneath his eye. “I will not be killed.”

She stilled, some of the sparkle fading from her expression. He tried not to mourn the loss. “How many times do I have to tell you?” she said. “You won’t be able to beat the angel sent to slay you.”

“Tell me something else, then. You gave up your immortality for fun and immediately ran to me. That means you expect me to supply this fun. Why would you do that, why would you give up so much and rely on me so heavily if I’m to be destroyed?”

She offered him a sad smile. “I would rather be with someone a short time than not at all.”

Her claim reminded him of what Paris had said the other night, and he bristled. He wasn’t wrong in this. They were. “You sound like a friend of mine. A very foolish man.”

“Then silly me for not choosing him instead. Better a fool who plays the game than one who remains on the sidelines.”

He bared his teeth in a scowl. Don’t even think about being with someone else, he wanted to roar.

Wrath, too, erupted. Not at Olivia, but at Paris. The demon flashed images of the warrior’s head on a platter—minus his body.

Aeron instantly sobered. Oh, no, you don’t. You will leave Paris alone.

She’s mine.

No, mine, he snapped, then realized what he’d done. I mean, she belongs to neither of us. I’ve told you that. Now will you please shut up?

“Are we done chatting now?” One of Olivia’s fingertips traced down the flatness of her stomach and circled her navel. “Or shall we make this conversation more interesting?” She nibbled her bottom lip, considering. “Oh, I know what we can discuss. Can people really die of pleasure?”

Oh, hell, no. She hadn’t just asked that.

Do not soil her. “We’ll never know.” He sat up, meaning to toss her aside and leave her here. Alone. Aroused, but alone. The desire to murder his friend had done nothing to temper his need, nor had the reminder of Lysander’s threat. Retreat was his only other option.

“Well, you might not, but I promise you I’ll find out.”

He froze. Just how far would this angel go to discover the truth? As the question drifted through his mind, his cock pulsed. The image of her splayed out, her own hand between her legs, fingers sinking deep, consumed him. Dear…gods…

“No. You will behave yourself.” The words croaked from him. “Now, I have to go.”

Stay! Wrath commanded.

Gods help him, he did. He stayed. As easily as if he’d been chained to the bed, his fight gone before it had time to fortify him.

“Fine. But I really wish— No. No!” she repeated more forcefully. “You can go when we’re done. Only then.” Olivia’s arms wound around his neck, her hands firm against his hair, her nails sinking into his scalp. “I know what to do now.” She jerked his mouth to hers and her tongue instantly plunged deep.

Oh, yes. A quick study.

Her lips slanted over his, their teeth scraping. The heat…the wetness. Consuming, destroying his resolve. Everything he needed, everything he ached for. Chasing every thought but one from his head: finish.

Yes. Yes! More.

She moaned, and he swallowed the decadent sound. And when she rubbed against him, he could feel how damp she was, even through his pants. His gentleness—gone. His tentativeness—abolished. He arched up to meet her. When that wasn’t enough, he clasped her ass and forced her to move faster, harder. Deeper.

“I want to touch you everywhere,” she rasped as she plundered. “I want to taste you everywhere.”

“Me first. I—” No. No, no, no. Do not soil her, do not soil her.

She nipped her way to his chin, then lower, sucking on his neck to ease the sting.

Yes, please. Soil her all day, all night.

More, Wrath demanded again.

More. Yes. More— No! Damn it. Threaten her, Wrath. That’ll send me fleeing the room, surely.


Is that the only word you know?

More, damn you.

Aeron snarled. No one wanted to cooperate today.

“Why me?” He rolled Olivia over, pinning her down again, meaning to stop the madness but licking the hollow between her neck and shoulder instead. That hammering pulse looked too delicious to ignore. Foolish man. Stupid demon. Beautiful female.