Behind him, Aeron heard Olivia sit up. “What’s he talking about? Losing you? And why were you punching each other?”

At the sound of her voice, Wrath uttered a sigh of contentment.

Slowly Aeron turned and faced her. Having her worry wasn’t something he would allow, so he offered her a grin, one he hoped conveyed everything he felt for her. Perhaps it did. Her eyes widened, and she nervously licked her lips.

“Ignore him. I think he’s suffering from brain damage.” Which wasn’t necessarily a lie. Aeron had always considered the warrior a bit deranged. “Besides, we have unfinished business. I’ve never had you in a bed, and I really want you in a bed.”


At first, she gave no reaction. Then, before panic could bloom inside him at the thought of a rejection—no!—she reached up to the collar of her robe and pulled. The material parted, revealing those beautiful breasts with their pink, pearled nipples, that smooth stomach and those long, perfect legs.

“I would like that.”

Yes, yes.

A tremor traveled the length of him, his shaft filling, hardening. He stalked toward her, stripping along the way. A process that included kicking off his boots and stumbling over himself because he refused to stop, even for a second. Skin to skin. That’s what he needed. When he reached her, he was as naked as she was. He crawled up her luscious body, settling some of his weight atop her.

Perfect. Heat, so much heat. They both hissed in a breath. She closed her eyes and arched against him, even as her hands clutched at his back. Her neck was exposed, her pulse hammering wildly. Her lips were parted, and her hair in tangles around her shoulders.

Passion had never looked more exquisite.

He should have spent every minute of their half hour pleasuring her senseless. Licking her, tasting her, sucking her. He should have started at her toes and worked his way to her mouth. He should have lingered over her thighs and her breasts. But he didn’t. He couldn’t. He had to be inside her, couldn’t go another minute without being joined, totally and completely, with her.

“Lock your ankles on my back,” he commanded.

She didn’t hesitate. Obeyed instantly.

The moment she was opened up to him, he was shoving inside. Deep, so deep. As deep as he could go. A moan left her, because it wasn’t the easiest of fits. His second thrust was a little smoother, though, and his third a rapturous glide.

“Aeron,” she gasped out.


Ours. Learn to share, Wrath. I’ve had to. He braced his hands at her temples and rose, just a little, drinking her in while he moved in and out, in and out. He couldn’t have stilled had Galen burst into the room and placed a gun to his head. This woman delighted him, frustrated him, enraptured him, angered him…belonged to him. As he belonged to her. He wanted to brand her, so that she’d never forget him. He wanted to erase himself from her memory, so that she’d never remember him.

He didn’t want her to suffer when they parted. He wanted her to find someone else—just as much as he wanted to kill that someone else. But mostly, he wanted her to be happy. To smile. To have her fun.

Fun. Yes. That’s what he’d give her this day. Fun.

“Did I ever tell you why it’s bad to be a penis?” he asked, slowing his thrusts.

Her eyes blinked open. Passion still glowed in those sky-blue depths, but mixed with it was sudden confusion. “Wh-what?”

Paris had told him a lot of jokes over the years, but he only recalled this one. He’d never been able to scrub the thing from his mind. “Why it’s bad to be a penis.” He twisted his hips on the inward glide, hitting her in a new spot.

A cry of delight parted her lips. “No. No, but it doesn’t matter right now, I want you to—”

“It’s bad to be a penis because there’s a hole in your head.”

Her lips twitched as she clutched at him. “I never thought of it like that.”

“Well, it gets worse. Your owner is always strangling you.”

The twitching became a half smile. Her knees tightened at his hips, and she bit her bottom lip. “What else?”

“You shrink in cold water.”

There was a strangled chuckle.

“And you’re forced to hang around with two nuts.”

The chuckle became a full-fledged laugh. Gods, he loved the sound of her laughter. It was pure and magical, washing over him like a caress, dessert for his ears. He felt like a king, that he had been the one to cause that reaction in her.

“Well, your penis can hang out with me anytime he wants.”

Now he chuckled. He wished. Oh, how he wished. “Baby, sweet baby,” he said. “My baby.”

Ours. Learn to share.

He twisted his hips again, and she again closed her eyes and cried out. She reached for the headboard, meshing her breasts into his chest, and met him thrust for thrust. Common sense slipped away, the need for completion taking over. Yes, yes, so good.

Her body squeezed at him, wet and warm and silky smooth. Faster and faster he pumped inside her, unable to slow, unable to savor. He had to hear her cries of abandon. Had to spurt his seed inside her. Had to brand her, just as he’d wanted.

Soon she was thrashing beneath him. Soon she was calling his name over and over. She was all he could see, all he could hear, all he could smell, and he wanted that to last forever. But the more he pounded into her, the closer he came to the end. His muscles tensed, his blood heated to boiling, burning him up, ruining him for anything else. Anyone else. This was it. All he existed for. All his demon craved.

“I love you,” he roared, pushed over the edge.

Just like that, she climaxed as well, spasming around his shaft, hands back on him, nails digging deep. She even leaned up and bit the cord of his neck. Perhaps she drew blood. He didn’t know, didn’t care. Only knew that his body continued to rock into her, spurting and clenching and burning some more, his demon humming, purring, as lost as he was.

And when Olivia finally settled, when he finally caught his breath, he collapsed atop her before rolling to the side. Immediately she burrowed against him, several minutes passing in silence. Never had an orgasm been so intense, so consuming.

He’d wanted to brand her, but he was the one who’d been branded. She was all over him, inside him, his everything. His every breath. With her, he was calm, the demon was calm, and life was everything he’d ever dreamed.

“That was…that was…” She sighed with contentment. One of her fingertips traced a heart on his chest.

“Amazing,” he said. “You are amazing.”

“Thank you. You are, too. But…but…did you mean what you said?”

Tread carefully. If he told her the truth, she might decide to stay, even though he had to be with Legion, even though his end was near, forcing her to witness both his betrayal and his death. Forcing her to live without him if—when—Danika’s vision proved true.

“Yes,” he said, then cursed under his breath. Still, regret wouldn’t come. She deserved to know. She was more to him than sex. She was more to him than, well, anything. “I love you.”

“Oh, Aeron. I love—”

“Do not say another word, Olivia,” a male growled from the center of the room.

At the interruption, Wrath snarled in fury.

Aeron stiffened, already reaching for the blades resting on his nightstand. He didn’t relax when he spotted Lysander, gold wings outstretched, white robe glowing in the moonlight. The man’s eyes were narrowed with fury.

Who takes my head? he’d asked Strider.

Lysander. I think.

“Lysander,” Olivia gasped out, holding the bedsheet to her chest. “What are you doing here?”

“Silence,” he commanded.

“Don’t talk to her like that.” Aeron stood, jerked on a pair of pants, and said, “Tell us what you want and leave.” Don’t be here for the reason I think you’re here. I’m not ready yet.

Lysander met his stare and uttered the words Aeron dreaded hearing. “I want your head. And I won’t leave until I’ve taken it.”


FINALLY, LEGION FOUND GALEN. He was in a dingy pub in London. She’d been flashing all over the place, from Buda to Belgium to the Netherlands, and now London. The coward had flown himself here and was nursing a glass of whiskey in a shadowed corner. She could smell the ambrosia he’d already consumed; she recognized the sweet scent because Paris always smelled like that, and she knew Galen would be drunk very soon. She had only to wait.

She was too impatient to wait.Her gaze raked over her own body. She still wore that T-shirt and jeans. They were plain but clean. And though they weren’t revealing, her breasts were so large they stretched the material. Several men had noticed her already and whistled as she strolled by. Outwardly, she’d paid them no heed. Inwardly, she’d thrilled at being viewed as something other than ugly, disgusting or at best, something to be tolerated.

She stopped at Galen’s table, and he looked up through the dark shield of his lashes. “Go away.”

Steady. Instinct demanded she attack first and ask questions later. Resist. Galen delighted in tricking the Lords, in sending Bait to distract them before acting. Today, she would be their Bait.

“You’re beautiful,” she said, and he was. With his pale hair and pale blue eyes, with his flawless features and sensual mouth, he was every woman’s fantasy. But he’d helped destroy her Aeron’s life, and for that he would pay. “I want you.” Dead, but she didn’t add that part.

He arched a brow. “Of course you do. You can’t help yourself. None of you can.” He almost sounded…upset by that. “Here’s a little news flash for you. No matter what I make you feel, hopeful for a future, a wedding, babies, you’re not going to get it from me.” There at the end, he’d been sneering. He drained the rest of his drink. “Now go away like I told you. I came here for peace and quiet.”

He was the second man to turn her away since her transformation. She couldn’t help herself; she slapped him. His head whipped to the side, and a trickle of blood formed at the corner of his mouth. Guess I’m stronger than I thought, she mused smugly. Good.