Something else for the two of them to hash out—with blades.

Don’t think about that right now. You’ve got her. She’s safe, and she wants you as much as you want her. He gripped her waist, lifted her off her feet, then pressed her more firmly into the wall. “Wrap your legs around me, baby.”

She obeyed, and he rubbed his erection against her clitoris so hard she cried out. That was…that was… There were no words.


All. Everything. There were a few words, after all. “Are you wet for me?” Usually he had a stream of lovely, meaningless praise to give. Sienna was lucky to get more than mine, more and yes out of him.

There was a beat of hesitation, then she whispered shyly, “I am.”

Wanton abandon splashed with a hint of reserve…a sultry combination.

Their tongues rolled together, faster, faster still. Her kiss was like sex. Overwhelming, consuming, necessary. He couldn’t get enough, didn’t think he’d ever get enough. Everything he’d done to reach this point, absolutely worth it.

He’d been with so very many people, had done so very many things. Some he’d liked, some he hadn’t. Ninety percent of the time he operated on autopilot, going through the motions to get what he needed while leaving his partners with a smile of satisfaction, even when he’d hated who he was with, loathed the smells, the grasping hands, the knowledge that he was inside someone he didn’t know.

He wasn’t on autopilot right now. Instinct drove him, a need to possess and to be possessed. A need to become one, as corny as that sounded. So he kissed her again, because he couldn’t not kiss her. Because he had to know more of her taste, more of her. He slanted his head, angling for even deeper contact, moving his tongue faster, faster still, taking her mouth the way he wanted to take her body.

This time, she offered no complaint. All the while he rubbed against her. His nerve endings were so sensitized he thought they’d be raw by the time he finished.

“Yes,” she moaned, and clearly, this time she liked his fervor. “Paris…I’m going to… You have to…stop… Don’t stop…please stop. Paris!”

There would be no stopping. He pressed ever harder, heard her cry out at the bliss, and hell, he was on fire. Burning for her, desperate to sink so damn deep inside her that she’d know she belonged to him.



There was that word again. “Stop.” Her hands tugged at his hair, forcing his head to lift.

“I want you,” she rasped, “but not here. Somewhere else. Somewhere private.”


He’d take her back to the bedroom, he thought, dizzy with need. Yeah. That’s what he’d do, because he had to strip her, had to see her, had to get inside her now, now, now.

He straightened, dragging her with him. One step, though, just one step, and thousands of needle pricks shot through his lower leg. Reason returned, and he jolted back into the blood circle. He was panting, could feel the warm flow of blood down his calf, would be surprised if he had any muscle left. In the time it took to snap a finger, the shadow-things had chomped on him as if he was a steak and they were starving dogs.

That’s what Sienna had endured?

Sex retreated into the back of his mind, the pain too much for him.

Darkness…rising… Paris’s hand was on his blade hilt, squeezing, as he contemplated jumping into the midst and slashing.

Sienna’s fingers curled around his biceps, stilling him. She, too, was panting. “Are you okay?”

“Hurt?” He patted her down, searching for injuries.

“Not me. You?”

“I’m fine.” Her nipples were still beaded, her belly quivering. Need was still galloping through her, yet she’d had the strength to stop when he had not. Impressive. Irritating.

“Are you—”

Just as suddenly as the shadow creatures had arrived, they left. The castle ceased shaking, the screams died. Light swept back through the hallway. Paris had to blink against the burn in his eyes.

Sienna’s cheeks were flushed a deep rose, her lips soft, swollen and parted, gleaming with his taste. He must have plowed his hands through her hair numerous times. The strands were tangled around her. She looked wanton and wicked, and so sexy his shaft throbbed against his fly.

He turned away before he fell on her, devoured her. In the center of the hallway, William crouched in his own blood circle, his head bowed. The female immortal was at her door, her eyes wide, unsure. The male William had protected was at his door, too.

The other male, the one William hadn’t reached in time, was lying on the bedroom floor, a sea of crimson and…other things spilled around him. He writhed in agony, even as he fought to put himself back together.

“You know what those things were?” Paris demanded. When his world spun, he scowled and threw out an arm to catch himself on the wall. But it wasn’t because of blood loss or pain.

Sex whimpered, spurting weakness straight into Paris’s veins. Bastard had been primed and disappointed too many times in the past few days, and with the denial of Sienna the countdown to “meltdown” had begun. That meant, if he failed to have sex, and soon, he would rapidly fade until he was completely useless. Until he collapsed, the pheromones wafting from him, drawing people to him. Until someone simply climbed on top of him.

No way he’d let that happen. His reasons for resisting Sienna hadn’t miraculously vanished, but they weren’t going to stop him anymore. He’d take her however he could get her, because the alternative was taking someone else and he wasn’t willing to do that.

“Yeah, I know what they are,” William finally managed after catching his breath. Eyes of otherworldly blue lifted and pinned Paris in place. Tension crackled in the air between them. “A long time ago Cronus created them the same way Zeus created you, but I’d heard after Cronus’s imprisonment that someone else had taken over their care. Cronus must have reclaimed them. And now I’m gonna have to have a chat with him about houseguests and manners.” Utter menace poured from him.

Clearly he anticipated a chat for two, from which only one would walk away. Yeah. Paris intended the same.

“That ever happen to you?” he asked, whipping back to Sienna and jerking his thumb at the guy split open from neck to navel. Because of what had been done to Sienna’s blood, the creatures would have gone crazy over her. Would have converged en masse, concentrated solely on her, not leaving until they’d drained every drop possible.

There was no reply.

“Sienna. What’s—” Her eyes were glazed over, he realized, glassy and glowing a bright, vibrant red.

“Punish,” she whispered.

Wrath had taken over her mind and body.

“Must punish them,” she repeated in a voice she had never before used with him, all gravel, no passion. A second later, her wings burst from her back, clouds of midnight tipped with violet. They flapped up, down, stretching to their full width and scratching the wall, the floor.

“Sienna,” he said. Calm, he had to remain calm. Otherwise Wrath would turn that need to punish on him. He snapped his fingers in front of her face. “I need you to listen to me, okay, baby?”

“Punish.” Her wings glided faster, until she hovered in the air.


Without another word, she darted straight at the only window, shattering the glass and disappearing into the night.

Paris made a swift dive for her but missed and ended up with half of his body ready to free-fall too many stories into that frothing lake of doom. Well, hell. He’d asked her to let the bastard take over, hadn’t he? Stupid. No telling where Wrath would take her, or what the demon would make her do.

One way or another, he was going after her.

Never had to chase a woman this much. He pulled himself back in and studied the incline, trying to decide the best and fastest way down without drawing the notice of the gargoyles. And wouldn’t you know it? There was only one way. He was gonna have to make the fifty-foot dive, after all, and pray his legs wouldn’t shatter on impact.

Problem was, now that he was on the downward slide to gotta-have-sex-or-die, he would hurt himself and he wouldn’t heal very quickly. Whatever. She was in danger; he would do what was necessary. He threw a leg over the pane.

“Stay here.” He tossed the words over his shoulder. “See if you can help the immortals.”

“Way ahead of you,” came William’s muttered reply.

When his other leg was in place, Paris counted down. Three. Two. So stupid. One—

And suddenly Zacharel was there, white wings spread and waving gracefully through the air. Snowflakes drifted around him, the perfect frame for his emotionless features. He arched a dark brow. “Would you like a ride?”

“Where were you when the shadows were here?” he demanded gruffly.

“I can answer, or I can help you.”

So sick of his manipulations, but there’s no denying I could use his help. And aren’t I just the cutest damsel in distress ever? Aeron had carried Paris through the skies a time or two, so he knew there was nothing sexual about it. He only prayed Zacharel realized the erection he currently sported had nothing to do with their close proximity.

The angel wrapped his arms around Paris’s waist. “You’ll find good deeds are balm for the soul.”

“That’s just peachy.” For a greater sense of being anchored, Paris wrapped his own arms around the angel’s neck. Solid muscle, ice-cold skin. Even as primed and needy as Sex was, the demon stayed quiet. “But can we do this without conversation?”

“Can we? Yes. Will we? No. While you are my captive audience, I wish to discuss your unhealthy obsession with the dead girl and the fact that she will be better off without you.”

O-kay. Paris brought his legs between them, pushed their bodies apart, and jumped.


BLOOD DRIPPED FROM SIENNA’S hands, caked her clothing and made her tennies squish disgustingly with every step she took. As with every other time Wrath had taken over her body and whisked her out of the castle, he had forced her to follow the shadows to their lair so that he could wage an attack and hurt the creatures far worse than they had hurt others. His crimson-bright gaze had shone through hers, cutting through their skin…or ooze…or whatever comprised their outer shell, burning them. He had laughed and laughed.