He hadn’t cared then. He cared now. Not just because Galen was Enemy One, but because Sienna was his and his alone. She was staying with him.

“You’re not going back to Galen.” No way, not ever. Actually, Paris would die first. “And just a quick FYI. Apparently my friends plugged the keeper of Hope full of bullets earlier today. He’s no good to anyone right now.”

“But he’ll recover, I know he will, and then…then…” The rest of the story flooded from her. The Chamber of Futures, the portraits, the three possible outcomes for the world. For Cronus. For him.

Too much to digest at once, but still, nothing changed his mind about Sienna staying put.

“We have time,” he said. “We have time to figure this out, and we will. But you’re not going to him. You’re mine. Only mine. And I’m yours. I will never sleep with anyone else. Do you understand what I’m saying? Never. When I said you were it for me, I meant it. No one else, whether you’re with me or not. And Sienna, you will be with me.”

As he spoke, her mouth fell open, snapped closed. “Do not say things like that.”

“Baby, I will do more than say it. I will blood oath it.” He reached for the daggers under the pillow, but she threw herself over his body and batted the weapon to the floor. Then, clearly suspecting he’d just reach for another weapon, she swiped her arm over the nightstand and sent the gun flying.

Now, there was the shocker of a lifetime. He wasn’t offended by her resistance, though. She wanted him safe, alive, thriving. Was even willing to sacrifice her happiness for his.

“Did you just challenge me?” he asked. They were flesh to flesh, male to female. Her wings spread, blocking out the rest of the room. She was all that he saw, all that he felt. Her breasts pressed into his chest, her nipples already beaded for him. Her core rubbed against his swollen length, and her legs splayed over his. “I think you just challenged me.”

“No. I did not.”

“You did. Quick fact—you mess with a man’s weapons, and you might as well knee him in the balls. You’ll get the same results. So I accept.” Moving so quickly she couldn’t possibly resist, he flipped her over, onto her back, spread her legs and shoved inside.

No preliminaries. Just straight-up, hard-core sex in the most basic fashion. She was wet, so very wet, so they had no problems.


“Yeah, baby, that’s it. Take me all the way in.”

“Is this how you reward all challengers?” she asked between panting breaths.

“Only you.”

Her moan of pleasure filled the room, blending with his hiss of inexorable bliss. By the time he finished with her, she would know the man she belonged with—because there would be no part of her that he left untouched.


GALEN APPEARED IN THE CENTER of the bedroom, and Legion shrank deeper into her shadowed corner. She’d been here for over an hour, having whisked herself to the coordinates he’d given her. She had no idea what the rest of the place looked like. Coward that she was, she hadn’t left the relative safety of the room. To her immense relief, no one had entered, either.

Though she’d been tempted, she hadn’t even explored the rest of the chamber. Gorgeous pile after gorgeous pile of shiny gold coins, glittering jewels and odd, ancient weapons abounded. Weapons she couldn’t use against her captor, so what was the point of studying them?

While Galen had worn white at the temple, he’d since donned a red robe. A drip, drip, dripping red robe. She frowned. A copper tang coated the air. That’s when she realized. Not a red robe, but a blood-soaked one.

His knees gave out and he fell, barely catching himself before a face-plant. His wings were tattered, and there were blade hilts and arrows protruding from his chest.

All that blood…

—hands grasping at her breasts, her thighs—

—teeth scraping over her skin—

—claws in her eyes, plucking them out—

—something hard between her legs—

—laughter, so much laughter—

—shackles on her wrists, her ankles—

Bile burned holes in her stomach and escaped, quickly spreading through the rest of her. She covered her mouth with a trembling hand, fighting tears. The memories of her time in hell never left her, but sometimes they completely overtook her, dragging her into a different sort of hell. One of humiliation, degradation, helplessness and horror.

“Fox!” Galen’s ragged shout rang out. “I need you.”

Legion must have whimpered at the sound of that shout, because Galen’s head whipped in her direction. His sky-blue eyes were rimmed with red, his cheeks streaked with dirt. Was he going to watch as “Fox” did things to her?

His expression softened. Only a little, but enough to stave off the encroaching hysteria. “You think I’m in bad condition, you should see the other guy.”

Tendrils of hope reached out, tried to wrap around her. Hope for something better. Hope for a future with the man in front of her. Panic infused her, after all, and she fought them with all of her mental strength. Finally the tendrils thinned, vanished.

“Please don’t hurt me,” she croaked.

He frowned at her.

Rushed footsteps beyond, and the door swung open. A tall, slender woman with jet-black hair and angular features flowed inside. She was attractive, in a regal way, with eyes like the differing temperatures of flames, an odd mix of blue and gold.

But there was a gray cast to her skin, bruises under her eyes, and though she gripped a gun in both hands, she was trembling. A quick scan, and she found Legion. Lifted one of the guns.

Yes, Legion thought, strangely comforted all of a sudden. Yes. An end. Finally.

“No!” Despite his injuries, Galen dove in front of her.

The girl—Fox?—had her finger off the trigger in a heartbeat, the weapon lowered.

Disappointment settled on Legion’s shoulders. Perhaps she should have ended herself long before now. Why hadn’t she? Suddenly she didn’t know, couldn’t remember.

“You don’t hurt her,” Galen said, menace a strong undercurrent. “Ever.”

Confusion joined the disappointment. He’d just…defended her.

Fox ran her tongue over her teeth. “She do this to you?”

“No. Now help me to the bed.”

As Fox sheathed her weapons, her gaze remained locked on Legion, narrowed and hate-filled. Even as she approached Galen, wound her arm around the warrior and eased him to his feet, she kept Legion in her sights. He leaned his weight into her, and they inched their way to the bed. Slowly, carefully, he sat at the edge of the mattress.

Were they lovers? Legion wondered.

Visibly weakening, now wheezing, Galen said, “Get your tools and get this shit out of me.”

With one last warning glare in Legion’s direction, Fox flew out the door.

“Will she obey you?” Legion asked softly. “About me?”

Sky-blue eyes found her, the lids heavy, casting his face into the come-to-bed sexy realm, and she hated herself for noticing. “Yes. The only person you need to worry about is me.”

So. He planned to save her torturing all for himself. And he would torture her. She had no doubt about that.

—something slicing between each of her ribs—

—rotted breath fanning her ear, trailing down her chest—

She wrapped her arms around her middle. Distract yourself. “Did the Lords do that to you?”

“Yes,” he repeated. “As promised, I let them go without hurting them back.”

“Th-thank you.” Worry for them was another constant in her life.

A long moment passed in silence, allowing her thoughts to once again careen out of control. Soon she was imagining what would happen to her once Galen healed. “Why do you hate them so much?” she asked, just to fill the void.

“I don’t hate them.” He balanced his elbows on his knees and his weight on his elbows. “I’m simply looking out for myself.”


“Who else will?” Then, “Enough about me. What happened to you in hell?”

The blood drained from her face, then the rest of her, leaving her cold and empty. “I can’t…talk about it, please don’t make me talk about it.”

He stared at her, different emotions washing over his face. Fury, regret, hope, jealousy, fury again.

Fox rushed back in, the black bag she held slamming into her thigh with a loud thump. Legion curled her knees into her chest, doing her best to become a smaller target, but Fox was through intimidating, her focus on Galen.

She crouched in front of him, set down the bag, and dug inside. After cutting away his robe, she whistled as she looked him over. “This is going to hurt like a son of a bitch.”

“Don’t care. Do what’s needed.”

As she worked, Legion kept her attention on the back of her head. Maybe because Galen kept his on her, still staring at her, trying to see past her skin and into her soul.

Fox was demon-possessed, she realized. Having grown up among the dark lords of hell, Legion sensed the evil inside her, could feel the ooze of her…distrust. Yes. That’s what she felt rubbing her nerve endings raw.

Distrust. A High Lord. The strongest of the strong, a leader of many minions. Legion was a minion of Strife, and the two demons had warred constantly, pitting their armies against each other. Distrust was no longer…right, though. The malice seeping from the girl’s pores was warped, almost frantic. No wonder her skin was grayish and her face bruised. She must have to fight the demon every hour of every day to remain sane herself.

“So, you want to tell me what happened?” Fox asked. “What’s going on?”

“No,” Galen replied tartly. “I don’t.”

“Do it anyway. You take off for Rome to deal with the Unspoken Ones and get the Cloak, and I don’t hear from you for weeks. I thought you were dead. Then suddenly you’re back, and you practically are dead.”