“I’m nothing like the women you’re used to,” she went on. “I know that. I know that I’m not pretty.”

“You’re right. You’re beyond gorgeous.”

A gasp. “A-and my lips are ridiculous.”

“If ridiculous is the new word for a wet dream.”

Her little fists hammered at his chest. “Stop! Just stop. You need sex and you’re trying to make a sale. I did the same to you earlier, wanting to be with you one last time. I shouldn’t have thrown myself at you like that.”

His back straightened. She had offered herself to him, not because she had felt guilty, but because she had wanted him. She should not have admitted that. There would be no stopping him now. He would have her, one way or another.

He licked at her lips, saying, “Baby, I’ve never had to try. I breathe, and the women offer.”

The abuse stopped, a mewling sound leaving her. “You’re—you’re trying to put me in my place, then. Trying to tease me with what I can never fully have.”

Oh, you can have it, all right. “You know that’s not true. Not because you trust me, but because of your demon.” Wrath would have been all over any deception on Paris’s part.

A pause the agonizing length of three heartbeats. “You’re…right. How odd,” she said, both awed and hopeful. Her nails once again found purchase in his chest. “I hated the fact that a demon was placed inside me, wanted to be free of him, ranted and railed and even planned to give him back, and yet I’ve begun to count on his ability to read other people’s intentions.”

Once possessed, always possessed. For the most part, anyway. So give Wrath back to Aeron? That would be a big fat hell, no. That would kill her. Again. “You can believe me when I say that I do want you, Sienna. You’re all I’ve thought about for months. Resisting you in that room was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.”

A vibration in her throat signaled her moan. “You’re really attracted to me, despite everything?” Wonder saturated her voice, dripping over him like warm honey.

He had a thing for warm honey.

“Yes.” Backward, forward he arched, renewing the decadent contact. He wanted to push for more still, but didn’t. Not yet. He wanted her focused only on the pleasure, all her fears about ulterior motives assuaged. “Let there be no doubt on that score.”

Another vibration, this one reaching a deeper part of him. “Why me?” Her nails plucked free of his chest, her hands smoothing over him. “I mean, you could have anyone.”

“Exactly. I could, and I chose you. For so many reasons. You’re smart.”


“You’re witty.”

“No more than a thousand others.”

“You’re argumentative and can’t accept a compliment.”

“Hey!” She reached up and tugged at his hair.

Despite the grimness of their surroundings and circumstances, he found himself grinning. “You’re beautiful.”

Her fingers slid to his scalp, massaging. “Not just beyond gorgeous?” she asked dryly.

“You’re exquisite, and I don’t want to hear you put yourself down again. Do you understand?” He had killed others for doing so. Her, he would simply spank. “You may or may not be happy with the results.”

“Why? Are you thinking paddling? Because I’m getting a few images in my head.”

“Well, well. There’s something else to like about you. You understand me.”

A snort. One he relished, because he had caused the humor behind it. “You must be blinded by horny demon-colored glasses,” she said.

And she thought there were thousands of others just as stubborn as she was. He’d just issued an order alongside a threat, yet she had ignored both and continued on her merry way.

“Has your demon ever let you be with the same woman twice?” she asked, the words layered with a husky edge of arousal, as well as a note of nervousness. “I’d heard you— Never mind.”

She had gotten a lot of her info from the Hunters. He stiffened, hating the reminder of her past, but that didn’t stop him from admitting, “No one but you.”

The warmth of her breath trekked over his neck as she angled her head, placing them cheek to cheek. “Why me?”

“Don’t know. Sex doesn’t know, either. I’ve asked.”

“Well, he should have picked someone else. I have small breasts,” she whispered, as though ashamed.

He cupped the pint-size morsels in question. They. Were. Perfect. His hands were big, her nipples beading against the centers of his palms, and damn if that wasn’t the most exquisite sensation in the world. He fit his lips against her ear, nibbled on the lobe.

“I want them in my mouth,” he rasped.

A groan of approval. Nails in his scalp now, digging deeper and deeper.

Paris kissed and licked his way to her lips. They were parted, warm, the sweetness of her breath sawing in and out, scented with the spice of coconut. He hovered there, still not taking what he wanted. What they both wanted. If he started this, he was going to have a hard time stopping. A very hard time. He’d been without a female for too long, and his demon was too needy, but…

He didn’t want to take Sienna in a hallway, in front of others, he realized. Yeah, he’d done that shit before, and it had gotten old hella fast. He wanted this one all to himself, each of her cries for his ears alone, her every reaction to his touch his personal discovery. Her scent, his. Her skin, his. His, his, his.

Take what’s yours! Take, take, take!

Well, as alone as he could get with a demon trapped inside him.

“Paris?” she said, her tone unreadable.


“A word of warning. I’m really bad at this.”

Confusion rocked him, his brows furrowing toward his hairline. “At what?”


Before he could contradict her, she fit their mouths together and sucked the breath right out of his lungs. She wasn’t bad at kissing; she was hesitant, unsure and tentative, but he craved her too viciously to teach her better. He took over, unable to stop himself. His tongue thrust forcefully, demanding she concede to his mastery.

Concede she did not. After his teeth banged into hers the third time, she bit down on his bottom lip, hard, drawing blood.

He jerked back before she cut the thing in half. “Damn it, woman.”

Sex performed some sort of kickboxing move against the side of his skull. Not in complaint or to hide from the violence, but in excitement, to get closer to the violence. More, more! Kiss her more!

“I might be bad at it, but I know when someone else is, too. Do it right,” Sienna demanded.

Was she frickin’ kidding? “No one’s ever criticized my technique before.”

“That’s because they didn’t want to hurt your feelings,” she shot back. “You and I are past that stage, so I feel okay in admitting that I got a superior kiss from Carl Knickerbocker in the third grade.”

Spirit again, and damn if that didn’t rev him right back up, demolishing any lingering hint of anger. He wished he could see her face. Those hazel eyes would be sparkling, her skin flushed, her lips swollen. She would be passion incarnate. “Should you be giving pointers? You’re far worse at this than I am.”

“Someone has to teach you.” She patted his cheek. “Guess we’ll have to learn how to do this together.”

More, more, more!

His lips twitched with his amusement. Funny, that. Amusement, when his body and his demon were on fire, desperate for this woman. I’m on it.


“OKAY. LET’S SEE WHAT I CAN do to give little Carl a run for his money.��� Slowly Paris went back in, pressed his mouth gently against Sienna’s, lifted, pressed again, teasing her with the contact, barely tasting. She softened against him, her nails scraping against his scalp, her hands tracing down, down, until winding around his neck to lock him against her.

He licked at the seam of her lips, sipping at her, giving her what she wanted, slow and easy, and when she opened for him he licked his way inside, deep, tasting more of her, taking more. Her tongue met his, connecting, dueling with long, languid strokes. They learned each other, learned every nuance of tongue and teeth, breath and flavor, and it was the sexiest damn thing he’d ever experienced.

During their first meeting, she had kissed him and used his distraction against him, shoving the needle in his neck. She could have done something similar now, but he wouldn’t have cared. His body smoldered with passion, his blood already molten in a way it had never been. His heart was a war drum in his chest, pounding out its cry for more from this woman, this obsession. His limbs shook.

With the darkness so thick around them, his sight was still razed and his other senses picked up the slack. Sienna’s floral bouquet was branded inside his nose, causing his head to swim all over again. His tattooed fingertips tingled, memorizing the satiny feel of her. His ears twitched, every sound she made a caress. And her taste…oh, hell, yeah…ambrosia in its most potent incarnation.

But then, that’s what she was now, what Cronus had made her. A supplier. A walking ambrosia dispenser. Stick a straw in her vein and you could get high for eternity.

When consumed by humans, ambrosia killed. Had once nearly killed Maddox’s woman. Sienna, though, was already dead and no longer human. By feeding her the nectar mixed with the bulbs necessary for the plant’s growth, something that would kill even an immortal, she was, in essence, an ever-fertile breeding ground for the drug.

What ran in her veins was more addictive than what Paris used to pour into his alcohol. And if anyone immortal ever tasted her blood, they would be instantly addicted to her. They would need her, keep her, and fight to the death anyone who tried to take her.

Why in the name of all that was unholy would Cronus do that to her? Why would he make her such a target?