Sienna’s mind caught on only one fact. Three days. Paris would have had to sleep with at least one woman to maintain his strength. More likely two. Don’t think about that, either. A breakdown would stop her from doing what needed doing.

Completely free now, she anchored the blade at the waist of her pants, pushed to a stand, and held out a hand to Legion. The girl hadn’t moved, was frozen in place, her expression one of great misery.

“Where is Galen now?” Sienna asked, still using that gruff voice.

“I don’t know. He hasn’t returned.”

Good. That was good. “We’re leaving.” She waved her claw-tipped fingers. “Me and you, right now.”

Blond hair fluttered around slender shoulders as she shook her head. “I can’t.”

“Can. Come on.”

“No, I can’t. I took a vow.” The misery increased. “I have to stay with him.”

We’ll see about that. Vow or not, Sienna was taking this girl to safety. Now. Arguing would waste time. Fighting would be ineffective. As weak as Sienna’s body was, Legion would escape her in seconds. Sneaky route, here we come.

“All right. We go without you,” she lied. “Need another weapon first.” Though she almost fell a thousand times, she managed to pick up the pan, straighten—and brain the girl the same way she’d brained Fox. Clang.

Legion crumpled, landing on top of Fox. Yeah. That was gonna leave a mark.

Getting the girl, who was no lightweight, positioned properly on her shoulder was a nearly impossible task. At the last moment, Sienna found the strength to pull through and level out. But the burst cost her. Wrath lost his hold on her, her image returning to normal and her body now moving under her own steam. She stumbled her way into the hall.

A long hallway. Papered walls, freshly polished furniture. Only the best. A spiral staircase loomed ahead. Miles away, as far as she was concerned.

Then, at the far end of the hall, Galen took a corner as if he were wearing skates, all speed and furious grace. He was armed like a tanker, and menace rippled off him. Had she spotted him on the street, she would have run like hell and prayed for a quick death. Now, she could only watch as he barreled toward her, intent on taking Legion back.

No, he would never trust her now. Her only hope was to engage him, and force her blood down his throat. Then he’d want her alive. Right? Please be right.

She was about to set Legion down when she caught sight of Zacharel on one side of her and the shadow guy from Cronus’s realm on the other. Dang it, how many people were after her? These two were closing in. Galen noticed them, too, and shouted a black curse. They would reach her before he did.

And then it happened. Contact. The black mist enveloped her first. She and Legion were swept up into a world of dizzying screams. Beneath those, she thought she heard Zacharel’s roar of frustration and anger. A mistake on her part, surely. The angel was emotionless.

Wrath retreated to the back of her mind, and just as Sienna opened her mouth to release a scream of her own, the noise quieted. Wrath caught those grainy images again, and had no idea how to react. She tried to fight her way free, but the black mist held tight around her, blocking the view of her surroundings.

“Female.” Shadow Guy’s voice was raspy and coaxing. “I have a bargain to propose to you.”

Legion slipped from her grip. Sienna reached for her, but couldn’t quite get to her, the girl remaining inside the mist, floating, spinning. Eyes closed, she slept on.

“Do you have a name?” she asked.


When he offered no more, she snapped, “Well, what is it?”

“Some call me Hades.”

The king of the dead? High Lord of the Underworld? Greek god? The one Hunters feared above all others? That Hades? I am not intimidated. “I’m listening,” she said, because she had no idea what else to say.

“Your man needs you.”

Her stomach bottomed out. “What do you mean?”

“He refuses all women and grows weaker by the moment. I will take you to him. After we reach an agreeable end to our negotiations.”

Paris, weak and growing weaker. The news that he’d remained faithful to her shouldn’t have relieved and delighted her, but it did. It so did. “How do I know you’re telling the truth? What would you want in return?” More bodies to feed his shadows?

“Unlike that fool Cronus, I have no need to lie. And part of me hopes you turn me down so that I can force you. Your screams will join my others, and the symphony will thrill me for centuries to come. I’m feeling magnanimous, however, and we will try your way first.”

This can only end badly.

He continued, “I heard what the angel said to you. I heard what Cronus said to you. You are a key to victory, and I want you to play for my team.”

Argh! Once, no one had wanted her. Now everyone did. “Nope. Sorry. I’ve already picked my side.”

“I thought you would say such a thing. But I heard you bargain with the goddess. She asked for a boon, and you agreed. I will accept the same arrangement.”

“You want me to slay one of your enemy?” Shocking. He should have no problem doing that on his own.

“No. I simply wish for a boon, to be named later. Anything I desire, as long as it does not hurt your man or his friends. Do you agree?”

“I can’t go back to Paris. You’ll have to do something else to save him.”

“I cannot, but you can. All you must do is allow me to take you to him. So simple, so easy.”

Hardly. “Leaving him nearly killed me.”

“Staying away from him will kill him.” His voice became a caress. “Let me take you to him. You may be with him, strengthen and save him, and then you can convince him to give you up, for no one else has been able. No one else will be able.”

I’m so weak. Can’t leave him in danger. “The girl goes with me, and that’s nonnegotiable.”

“Of course. For a second boon.”

Sweet heaven, how many would she owe when this was over? “Very well, but only if the same conditions apply.”

“They do. And so the new bargain is struck.” Though she could make out no faces in the dark, the shadows thinned in one area, light seeping through to reveal a hint of a grin. “I take you to your man, who is searching for you, and the girl to Aeron, the one searching for her.”

Sienna blinked, and next found herself inside a tent located somewhere outside the Realm of Blood and Shadow. Too much light seeped in from the tent’s cracks. But then she spotted the fur rug and her location ceased to matter. Paris was sprawled on top of it. He was still. Too still. Fear nearly drilled her to her knees. Until she inhaled. Warm air, scented with champagne and chocolate, fogging her up in the most succulent of ways. His demon’s special scent. Her mouth watered, and her blood quickened. Her own injuries were forgotten as warmth pooled between her legs.

“Paris,” she whispered. His skin was fever-bright, flushed and beaded with sweat. He was gloriously naked, and thickly aroused. His eyes were calm behind his lids, his chest barely rising with his breaths. “Oh, Paris.” I can’t let him get like this again. Have to do something.


She rushed over to him and kissed him, knowing even so small a gesture would help revive him. The more their tongues dueled, the more aggressive he became. When his lids flipped open, eyes of brilliant red pinned her. With a growl, he grabbed her by the waist and tossed her to her back. Her heart sped into a superbeat as her wings flared to avoid being crushed.

He ripped at her clothes, shredding them. The very moment she was naked, he had her legs spread and was inside her, thrusting hard and deep.

As he worked her, he threw back his head and roared. She arched up and took him even deeper. Brutally, wondrously.

She’d missed this, missed him. Needed this, needed him. Her nails went to his ass and guided him into a faster rhythm. The passion swept her up, overwhelmed her, consumed her, broke her heart and fit the pieces back together. Her love for him knew no bounds, had no limits.

Just as climax loomed, he stopped. Just stopped, and peered down at her, panting breaths bursting over her. The flush had drained from his cheeks, and realization now flooded his eyes, followed by concern and horror.

“Oh, baby. Did I hurt you?” His thumbs dusted over her lips with exquisite care.

“Talk later. Make love now.” So close. Any second now, she would hurtle into satisfaction.

His cock jerked inside her, as if the command had sparked all kinds of naughty desires. “How are you here?”

“Later!” She squeezed at his massive length.

“Yesss.” His hips pistoned once, pistoned again, and then he was slamming in and out, and they were both moaning. Then his lips were on hers, and their tongues were intertwining, and she was swallowing his taste, and it was better than ever, and she couldn’t get enough, never wanted this to end, and…and…and… Oh!

Little pleasure bombs exploded through every inch of her. His name left her mouth over and over again, the chorus joined by his shouting of her name as he came. He jetted white-hot, giving her every drop of his passion. She relished the moment, savoring him, thrilled by all that he was.

When he fell on top of her, she cradled his weight, exactly where she wanted to be. Where she wanted to stay, forever. She’d left him once. She didn’t think she could leave him again.

“I love you,” she whispered. “I love you so much.”

“You better,” he murmured against her ear.

That’s my man. Such a Paris thing to say, and she grinned.

He disengaged and rolled to his side, but kept her close, his arm wrapped around her. “And now that I’m not dying,” he announced, expression growing somber, “we talk.”


PARIS KEPT HIS BODY LAX, not wanting to make Sienna uncomfortable, or aware of the fact that he basically had her in a choke hold. A gentle choke hold, one that did nothing to impair her ability to breathe, but a choke hold all the same.