Haidee. Wake up for me, sweetheart.

Amun’s deep voice reverberated inside her head, much louder than in her dreams, jolting her into awareness. She blinked open her eyes. Several seconds passed before she was able to orient herself, and when she did, she took stock. Muted light fil ed the cave. In the distance, she heard the drip, drip of water. She was sprawled flat on her back, practical y…sweating?

Haidee, sweetheart. Can you hear me?

Amun again. “Yes,” she drawled. She stretched her arms over her head, back arching. The ground beneath her was soft, as if she rested on pil ows.

Final y. Now look at me.

“Where are you?” Something tickled her bel y again, causing goose bumps to sprout in every direction.

Her gaze descended, and what she found left her gaping. A shirtless Amun was on his knees in front of her, her spread legs braced on his thighs. He wore pants. She wore panties. Only panties.

Both of his hands rested on her stomach, his fingers tracing designs around her navel, on her hips, just above the tiny patch of curls guarding her where she already ached.

“You have hands,” was the first thing she thought to say.

She’d been so afraid, so uncertain.

His lips quirked at the corners, revealing an amusement he rarely displayed. Yes. I have my hands. I’m glad you noticed.

She’d stuffed his injured arms into the backpack, eased him to his back when he had passed out, and then she’d paced, checked on him, prayed, bathed, checked on him, prayed some more, cursed, checked on him and final y fal en asleep beside him. At last check, he had stil been handless.


The backpack, as you thought. Just took a while for everything to regrow. Now, enough about that. Do you remember when you woke me up with your mouth on my cock?

She gulped, licked her lips. “Yes.”

His eyes darkened and he flattened his palms on his thighs, as if he didn’t trust himself to keep them on her. His gaze drifted to her core, and a ragged breath left him. Good. You can’t dispute that it’s my turn to wake you up properly.

Meaning it was his turn to taste her…oh, yes, please, yes.

Yet he didn’t lower his head. Didn’t make any other moves toward her, and every nerve ending she possessed went on alert, readying for his touch. Craving his touch.

“Amun,” she pleaded.

A muscle ticked in his jaw. First, he said, reaching back, you’re going to cal Micah.

Wait. What?

He lifted a smal black cel phone. I asked the pack for a phone that would reach the outside world.

“But—it’s okay.” She shook her head. “I don’t have to…not anymore, because I—”

You wanted to cal him, and so you wil . He held out the phone, forcing her to accept it.

She stared at the device for a long while, unsure whether Amun was trusting her or testing her. If she made the cal , would she hurt him? Make him think she wouldn’t take him anytime, anywhere, without his meeting certain conditions?

As soon as you’re done, I’l start. The sensuality in his tone left no doubt as to what he meant. Just know that by doing this, you’re giving up your friends. You’l never be able to return to them. They’l despise you.

Was he…giving her a chance? The very chance she’d wanted? “I know,” she replied softly.

They might even hunt you.

“I know that, too.”

And you don’t mind?

“No. I’l have you.”

Oh, yes, you’l have me. His expression became fierce. I thought I could let myself have you for a little while, but I know now that a little while isn’t going to be enough. I’m going to find a way back, and I’m going to keep you. Now, always.

He wanted her now…always; she almost couldn’t process the news. Amun, with her, forever. He hadn’t offered any words of love, and she wasn’t going to ask for them. That could come later. For now, this was enough.

So what are you waiting for? Make the cal .

Maybe he was trusting her as she hoped, maybe he was testing her as part of her feared, but in the end, anticipation decided her. She dialed, shocked when the sound of ringing fil ed her ear. She wanted this over and done with, Micah out of the picture completely.

Her former boyfriend answered on the second ring, a snarled, “What?”

“Micah?” she asked hesitantly. Her gaze locked on Amun, gauging his every reaction. He wasn’t looking at her, was looking just beyond her, his expression now a blank mask.

“Haidee?” Micah sounded baffled, relieved and overjoyed

—and stil angry—al at once. “Where are you? Tel me.

Now.” With every word, his emotions were overtaken by determination.

She experienced a pang of guilt. “Yes. I’m alive. But no, I won’t tel you where I am. I—”

“Are the bastards monitoring this cal ?”

“No.” Not real y. “Listen, I—”

“Tel me where you are, then, and I’l come and get you.”

“No. That’s not why I’m cal ing. I just wanted you to know—”

“I thought you were dead,” he interjected, once more cutting her off. Now he sounded accusing. “I mourned you. I tried to track you, tried to save you. Tel me, damn it. Tel me where you are.”

“No. I’m alive, and that’s al you need to know.” Except… “I real y need you to listen to me. I—”

“Who’s that?” a female voice murmured sleepily from Micah’s end of the line.

There was a beat of static, then a shuffle of footsteps as if he was pounding away from the intruder. In that moment, Haidee knew that he was sleeping with someone. Might have been sleeping with someone else even while they were dating. She couldn’t bring herself to care.

Had he ever wanted her, though? With her, he’d been content to keep things mostly hands-off. She hadn’t wondered why because she’d been happy with the status quo. But if he hadn’t wanted her, why had he stayed with her?

“If you’re alive, that means you’re helping them.” She didn’t have to ask who “them” was. And he didn’t even address the fact that a woman had spoken. “Otherwise, they would have kil ed you by now.”

“Yes,” was al she said on the subject. Let him take that answer however he chose. “I just wanted to cal and tel you that we’re over. I don’t want to date you anymore.”

Amun, she noticed, had tensed, his fingers digging into his thighs and probably leaving bruises. He had no idea what Micah was saying, no idea why she’d said yes to the man.

Yet he wasn’t interfering.

He was trusting her, she realized.

“Now you listen to me, you fucking bitch,” Micah suddenly growled, and there was so much hatred in his tone she was momentarily speechless. “You tel me where the hel you are, who you’re with and what you’re doing. I’m going to find you and take back what’s mine. Then I’m going to cut your fucking throat and dance in the blood. You don’t deserve—”

Click. Haidee severed the connection before he could finish berating her, shocked, at last upset, and unsure what had just happened.

Amun’s gaze final y met hers. He didn’t ask questions, just took the phone and tossed it over his shoulder. Then, without another word, he lifted her hips and stripped the panties from her, pul ing her legs in front of him, one at a time. Mouth set in a grim line, he tossed the panties beside the phone. He repositioned their bodies the way they’d been.

Tears suddenly burned her eyes. How could Micah have said those things to her? Fucking bitch. Cut your fucking throat. Bitch, bitch, bitch. He’d been her friend. Hadn’t he?

And yes, she had expected the Hunters to turn on her, but not that quickly. Not that violently.

You’re that distressed to lose him? Amun asked, and though the words were soft, she heard the fury—and even the insecurity—behind them.

“No.” She was the one who couldn’t meet his eyes this time.

“He—he cal ed me a terrible name, said terrible things.”

And she didn’t want Amun to ever think of her that way.

Even though he, more than anyone, had the right.

Like what? What name?

Amun hadn’t been furious before, she realized then. Now he was furious. If Micah had walked into the cavern, Amun would have kil ed him without hesitation. “Do you think I’m a…a bitch?”

No, he answered without any hesitation. His expression softened, gentled. I think you’re perfect, sweet…mine. And now I also think he can’t be related to me. He’s an idiot.

“Real y?” She swiped her watery eyes with the backs of her wrists. “You don’t think badly of me, I mean.”

Real y. We’re together, now and always, remember?

“I remember.” The hurt inside her eased. She was with the man she loved. That was al that mattered.



As she final y met his gaze, her heart skipped a beat. His expression was heated, his gaze heavy-lidded, his brows a determined slash. His lips were red, as if flushed. Did his blood race as swiftly as hers?

Wonderful y dark skin pul ed taut over the muscles of a warrior. She couldn’t see his butterfly tattoo, but she vowed to trace every inch with her tongue one day soon. Between his legs, his cock stretched past the waist of his pants, the head already beaded with moisture. Her mouth watered.

She knew his taste, would forever be addicted to it.

“I want you,” she whispered.

Then by gods, you’l have me.

Yes. Final y, they were going to make love. The restriction she’d so foolishly placed on their physical relationship had been vanquished. But even if she hadn’t spoken to Micah, she stil would have given herself to Amun this night.

Such a pretty pink, he said, gaze moving to her sex. So wet for me already.

Even his words were a turn-on. “I ache for you. There, everywhere.”