“He will. Leave that to me.”

“He won’t wonder why I’m demon-possessed? How I’m demon-possessed?”

“He knows. My wife, his leader, told him. But he is overly confident of his appeal and his strength, and he will think he is watching you.”

“In that case, he’ll never tell me anything.”

“No, he’ll feed you false information, and the truth can be garnered from that.”

“What if he asks me to prove my loyalty to him?”

“He will.”

And she would be forced to comply to continue her ruse. Would he ask her to hurt the warriors she now wished to aid? To hurt innocent humans? Well, the answer to both was the same. Never!

Look at me. Once a human who didn’t know about the supernatural, then a Hunter in the midst of it all, hating the demons I chased, and now I’m one of those demons—and hoping to aid the others. “Sorry, but I’m gonna have to stick with my first answer.”

Another flash of red streaked through Cronus’s eyes, brighter than before. If she was intelligent, she would view that red as a stoplight for her resistance.

Why start acting like a smartie now? “That’s a big-time no, in case you forgot,” she said more firmly.

“Your human superior ordered you to sleep with Paris,” he growled, “and you did. Do not try and act self-righteous with me.”

Yes, but her attraction to Paris had been immediate and overwhelming. She had yearned for him.

Yearned for him, even though she believed his demon was responsible for infidelity, the breakup of marriages, teen pregnancies, rapes and the rampant spread of STDs. Even though Paris had been, and would always be, at the head of a never-ending parade of lovers. A fact driven home by a coworker who had watched him for days, snapping pictures of all the women he bedded, then showing those pictures to Sienna after she’d brought him in. And yet she’d still had to fight a wave of jealousy, an emotion she never should have felt in the line of duty.

Had she mentioned her mental incompetence?

“If he asks you to kill for him, seduce him into bed instead,” Cronus said. “That will save you from having to do something unpleasant.”

They certainly had different definitions for unpleasant! “You’d be better served demanding I bring you Galen’s head in a magical box of starlight while riding on the back of a Pegasus through a rainbow, because he won’t want me sexually. I’ve never been the type to attract a man’s attention.”

She knew what she looked like. Hazel eyes too big for her face—ordinary. Lips also too big for her face—unappealing. Freckled skin—unfashionable. And wavy brown hair that was neither silky-straight nor perkily curly—ordinary, unappealing and unfashionable.

Cronus remained undeterred. “You’re right. You haven’t.”

The truth can’t hurt you, she told herself—while hurting.

“But then,” he went on, “your looks will not matter. Galen will be attracted to your demonic power. He’ll want to control you, to feed you all that false information, to use you. Yes, the more I think on this, the more I like it. You will sleep with him.”

She ran her tongue over her teeth. “Killing Galen will destroy the heart and soul of the Hunters far more effectively than pleasuring him.”

“Yes, but dying is not his fate.”

“What’s his fate, then? What is it, exactly, you think he can do for you?”


Deep breath in…out… “Okay, there are two problems with your plan. Galen’s a douche bag, and I suck in bed.” Wait. That hadn’t come out right. “I mean, even if he only wants me for my demonic power—” just saying the words grated “—or because he thinks he can feed me false info, or control me or whatever other reason you think up, he’ll never come back for seconds because we’ll both be embarrassed by our performances, and the entire plan will be moot.”

The only reason she’d garnered Paris’s interest was because he’d been desperate to get laid—by anyone!—in order to survive. “Galen is more likely to laugh at me than tell me his secrets.”

Perfectly trimmed brows arched, fixing the king’s features in a patronizing expression. “You can be trained.”

“So can dogs, but they’ll only bite you.” She would do far worse.

A beat of silence as he absorbed her taunt. “Woman, you frustrate me! I’m not asking you to willingly submit to torture. I’m merely asking you to allow a man to have you in the name of duty—as you have allowed before.”

“That’s too big a commitment for me. I kill him, or I do nothing to him.”

“Galen is an immortal warrior who has spent thousands of years on a battlefield. How do you propose you kill him, hmm?”

“Just leave that to me,” she said, mimicking his earlier words. “And, hey, here’s another idea. Why can’t you kill him? I thought you were all-powerful.”

“Enough!” With a scowl as dark as a moonless night, Cronus slammed his fists on either side of her temples, creating holes in the wall and causing bricks to fall and dust to plume in the air.


Great. The entire castle was shaking again.

“How dare you, a slave, question me? I am your master, your owner. The arbiter of your fate. I answer to no one.”

Except to your wife. With the royal sovereigns, hurting one always hurt the other, pain slithering across the bond between them. But Sienna wasn’t going to remind him of that little gem. “I don’t care who you are. I will not align myself with Galen.”

Before she could so much as blink, Cronus fit his hands around her neck and squeezed until she could no longer breathe, until her lungs burned and her throat felt scaled by acid. Rattle, rattle, went the walls, as if the entire structure might collapse from within. “I can be the executioner of your soul, and you will cease to exist in every way, or I can be your savior, granting you a measure of peace at long last.” Tighter…tighter…then, abruptly, the pressure eased. “Remember that, for you are the one who will decide your ultimate fate.”

She barely curbed the urge to feed him both of her knuckles. “Whatever I decide,” she snapped, uncaring of the consequences, “you’re still an asshole.”

Surprising her, he gave a grin full of teeth. “Aren’t I, though?”

At one time, Sienna had been mild mannered, afraid of hurting anyone’s feelings, desperate to smooth any and all ruffled feathers. Maybe the demon’s bad mood had bled into her. Or maybe the waspishness came courtesy of knowing just how worthless her entire life had been. Either way, she had never had more to lose—or cared so little.

“You should have picked someone else to host Wrath. Because…wait for it…my answer is still no.”

Rather than adding fuel to the seething cauldron of his temper, her words seemed to make him back down. His features softened, the murderous rage draining from his gaze, his taut lips sliding back over his teeth. He lowered his arms.


“No,” he said, gentle, so gentle now. “There was no better choice than you.”

Her heart drummed fitfully in her chest. Though she was dead, her spirit self had developed a heartbeat, a need to breathe, the moment the demon had entered her soul-body. Unfortunately, this meant she could feel pain and if cut she would bleed.

“Why me?” she finally asked. “You have to tell me something.”

“Do I?” He turned, offering his profile and ignoring her question. “In this realm hidden from the rest of the heavens, where no one will ever find you, I don’t have to do anything.”

A muscle drummed rapidly in his jaw, and before she could reply he added, “Do you enjoy living here, Sienna?”

“No.” Not because she was magically compelled to remain inside this castle, but because he’d done what he could to make her time here a misery. Including digging deep inside her mind and yanking out the worst of her memories. Those memories played out like movies in every room, a never-ending stream of persecution, guilt and shame.

Every day she relived Skye’s abduction. How she’d failed to save her sister from the man dragging her away. Every day she witnessed the loss of the baby she’d been unable to bring to term, something she hated remembering, would never willingly dwell on. Every day she saw her foolish betrayal of the beautiful Paris. How she’d hurt the first man to ever make her crave more. How she’d condemned him simply because of his race.

“That’s too bad. Because you will remain here until you agree to return to your flock and become my spy.”

Back in the air went her nose. “If those are my choices, I’ll stay here forever.”

Cronus tossed her another grin, a cruel twist of his lips that lacked any hint of amusement. “Is that so? What if I told you that I picked you because of your sister?”

“I would demand to know why.” Her eyes narrowed to tiny slits, the king of Titans in their crosshairs. He was tricky, without morals and utterly devious. She had to be careful. “I would also point out that you could have played that particular card sooner.”

“Not if I feared you would obsess over her and forget my purpose. Now, however, you have left me no choice.”

She feigned nonchalance and buffed her nails.

He hissed at her. “What if your precious Skye once lived with Galen? What if she bore him a child?”

Take me swimming, Enna. Please, please, please. I’ll never ask for anything ever again.

“I don’t believe you.” The denial gasped from her, a croak of dismay. He’s lying. He has to be lying. “Show her to me.” She forced herself to add, “Please,” though the word was gritted.

He wasn’t done. “What if Galen is the only one who knows where they are? What if he tortures them? What if becoming his whore is the only way for you to learn the truth? The only way to save them?”