The artifacts. There were four, and each was needed to locate, and thereby destroy, Pandora’s box, saving him and his friends from certain death. Besides decapitation and other violent demises, that box was the only thing that could separate man from demon, wiping man from existence and unleashing the then-crazed demons on an unsuspecting world. This woman knew two of the artifacts were here—the Al

-Seeing Eye and the Cage of Compulsion—yet she expected the Lords to be upset that Amun, a Lord himself, was near them.

She didn’t know he was a Lord, he realized. She thought he was a…Hunter?

Like…her? Al that disgust, al that anger directed at the Lords…the notion seemed likely. But, if she knew him, why didn’t she know who—what—he was? And if she was a Hunter, why would his friends have placed her inside his room?

His gaze skidded to the hole in the wal . Maybe his friends didn’t know she was here. But…

She thought she knew him, and he definitely recognized her. At least somewhat. He knew her name.

Haidee. Could picture her face softened by sleep, so lovely. He knew they’d met somewhere, interacted in some way, but not where or when.

For once, his demon wasn’t spewing out answers.

This was so damn confusing, and his weakened condition wasn’t helping. Maybe she had tricked him into thinking they’d met, so he’d be more inclined to help her. But again, how? Why? The artifacts?

Would anyone except a Hunter be after them?

His stomach twisted into little knots. There was only one way to find out the truth about this beautiful woman whose presence alone both muddled and cleared his brain. That way was dangerous, the possible consequences severe.

He didn’t want to go that route, but he didn’t feel he had any other choice. Normal y he could read the thoughts of those around him; so far, he’d heard none of hers, despite the fact that she could hear his.

Therefore, he needed to deepen the connection between them, push past any mental shields she might possess and peek into her mind, glimpse her memories.

Amun would be careful. He wouldn’t let his demon wipe her brain clean—the biggest complication of al

. Secrets liked to play, to steal memories and leave the victims with nothing but static. Amun would pul away the moment the fiend tried to do so. Unless she proved to be a Hunter, of course; then al bets were off.

Gritting his teeth against the pain he knew he’d feel, Amun lifted his arms. Gods, the sharp lance, the burn, worse than he’d expected. When he’d reached high enough, he al owed his hands to fal onto Haidee’s shoulders.

“Stop whatever you’re doing,” she admonished. “You’re hurting yourself.”

Just that smal action caused him to moan and groan inside his head. Need…a moment. Must…

“Must? What do you need, baby? Tel me, and I’l take care of it.”

Baby, again. She’d “take care” of it, of him, as if she cared.

Truly cared. He couldn’t soften, no matter how much he liked the way she treated him. Touch your…temples, he said, guilt suddenly flooding him. He’d just requested her aid for her possible downfal


Did she have any idea what he could do?

“You getting kinky on me?” she asked with a chuckle. She probably meant to distract him from his pain.

She did, just not the way she’d intended. Her jest had his gaze fastening on her lips, imagining the thrust of her tongue inside his mouth.

His body reacted, blood heating, pooling between his legs.

Damn it! Just…need…temples.

“Okay, okay. I’l help you.”

No, she didn’t know. Her fingers wrapped around his wrists, so cool, so welcome—so steady—and lifted without any hesitation. No questions about his motives, his intentions.

She trusted him absolutely. When his hands reached her temples, she flattened her palms, pushing his closer, providing skin-to-skin contact.

“Like this?”

Yes. Such faith. Too much. He told himself he was disgusted by that, not delighted. It was a trick to distract him, surely.

Her lashes fluttered closed, and she nibbled on her lush bottom lip. Such straight, white teeth. Once again his body reacted. He wanted those teeth on him…lower…moving up and down on his shaft. He wanted her hands reaching out, tugging at his bal s. He wanted her tongue flicking over the slit of his erection, tasting.

I need to get laid, he told himself darkly.

The corner of Haidee’s lips quirked. “Do you now? I’m invited, I hope,” she said with husky entreaty.

Shit. She’d heard. And she wanted to join him. Wanted him deep inside her, rocking them both to satisfaction. Don’t think about that now. He’d forget he needed to learn about her and simply drag her on top of him. Besides, she could be lying, purposely distracting him as he’d suspected.

“I won’t if you won’t,” she said with a warm chuckle.


“Think about having sex.”

Damn it. He had to stop talking to himself. She heard every unshielded thought.

How did his friends stand him? He constantly read their minds, knew their every private—and mostly pornographic

—contemplation. They rarely chastised him, however, and never made him feel like a nuisance. He’d always figured they didn’t care. They must have found a way to hide their true feelings from his demon, though. No way they liked his ability.

He owed everyone in this house an apology.

Amun forced his mind to quiet and his own lashes to close.

He’d done this a thousand times before, the process as ingrained as breathing. He’d done it for Sabin, his leader.

For their cause. He blanked his mind and darkness enveloped him, then he concentrated on his senses.

Her skin, cool and soft. Her scent, so earthy. He could hear the rasp of her next exhalation…focused on the chil y breath wafting over him…al owed his demon to reach out…

Colors exploded, chasing away the black. Suddenly images began to take shape. He saw a sky of the brightest azure, a lush green meadow, untouched by time. A scattering of silver stones. Trees missing their leaves, but with sleek, twisted branches. Two little girls running and laughing, playing chase, both wearing lovely pink linen robes, flaxen curls streaming behind them. Sisters. Both possessed hearts practical y bursting with love.

Secrets purred in delight.

The reaction struck Amun as odd. Such an innocent memory, and not what the demon usual y favored.

Why did the fiend even care about this?

The image suddenly shifted, day replaced by night in an instant, leaving only one of the girls. Older now, her gray eyes sparking with tentative joy, as if she was afraid to hope but couldn’t help herself.

Her skin was sun-kissed and glowing with health, her cheeks rosy with vitality. She wore a linen robe of lavender this time, flowers of the same color pinned through her hair.

Those curls…like ribbons of the very moonlight surrounding her.

This was a past version of Haidee, Amun realized as a gentle, spice-laden breeze caressed her. She stood at the edge of a veranda, looking down into a dappled, crystal ine pond. She bore no tattoos, no streaks of pink in her hair, no piercings; she was innocence and optimism wrapped in an utterly stunning package.

“Are you nervous, my sweet?” a female voice asked from behind her.

Haidee turned, startled from her reverie. “I love when you cal me that,” she replied sincerely. “Especial y since you did not like me at first.”

“No. But that soon changed, did it not?”

“It did. And yes, yes. I’m nervous, but excited, too.”

They spoke in Greek. Ancient Greek.

He’d heard the language before, Amun thought, and recently. When? Where?

The scene continued to play on, and Secrets continued to rifle through Haidee’s memories, dabbling here and there, the girl completely unaware. Then there was a purr, and Amun knew. Answers. His demon had found the answers.

No new images sprang up, not yet, but what the demon learned, Amun learned, too. Always. So, between one heartbeat and the next, he knew that Little Haidee and Sleeping Beauty Haidee were one and the same. They were this woman. And this woman was—

Responsible for Baden’s murder, he realized.

In a flash that lasted no more than a second, Amun saw Baden, hair soaked with blood and plastered to his scalp.

Bodiless. He saw Haidee—Hadiee—as she’d once been, golden hair streaming down her back, naked, tanned skin luminous in the moonlight despite the hate radiating from her and the crimson-splatter al over her. He saw her friends, Hunters, swarming, battling his friends.

Horror blanketed him. The woman he’d lusted after had helped kil his best friend. The woman he’d thought to defend had helped snuff out the kindest soul he’d ever known. The woman he’d cradled at his side had destroyed the one man who’d stood between easily broken mortals and feral, foaming-at-the-mouth immortals stil consumed by the evil of their new demons. The man who’d said,

“Save the humans, do not hurt them.”

Baden had been the first to find himself in the darkness.

Baden had been the one to help the others do the same.

Baden… Baden… Amun’s chest constricted so painful y, the barest hint of a gasp left him. He hadn’t made a single noise as the new demons had ravaged him, over and over again, but now he was helpless to hold the sound inside.

Baden. Gone forever, because of this woman.

Each warrior had loved Baden like a brother, and each had felt as if they were his greatest confidant.

That’s where the true beauty of the man had lain. His ability to captivate everyone around him. Which had been a miracle, considering the nature of his demon, Distrust.

Now, Amun held one of Baden’s kil ers in his hands.

Cupped her temples as he’d once cupped Baden’s.

“Are you okay?” Haidee asked him, al concern and sweetness. Her grip on him tightened.

His horror was fol owed by a quick burst of confusion. How was this possible? She’d died. Hadn’t she?