Bastard that he was, he was pleased by her jealousy. “No. I don’t. And she doesn’t want me, either. I swear it. You know I only want you.”

From the corner of his eye, he saw that Kaia had stood and was now watching him raptly.

Gradually, Gwen’s nails receded, leaving wide, bleeding gashes. Her gaze cleared. And through it all, Doubt was strangely silent. Like, dead silent, as if it had hidden in the deepest part of Sabin’s mind.

“Wow,” Kaia finally said, and there was an edge to her tone. “Impressive. You talked a Harpy from her rage. You know what that means, don’t you?”

He didn’t spare her a glance. He kept his attention on Gwen and slid his hand down her leg, then he angled her so that her knee was propped on his hip, cradling their lower bodies together. “No. I don’t.”

“You’re my sister’s consort. Congratulations.”


GWEN HAD NEVER BEEN more nervous in her life. Not in her prison cell. Not even when she’d faced the Hunters with Sabin.

After watching Sabin calm the Harpy, Kaia had summoned Bianka and Taliyah with a sharp whistle. Apparently, they’d been in the hallway, making sure no one approached while Kaia rescued Gwen. Then the three sisters had barricaded themselves inside Sabin’s bedroom for a little “chat.”“No one else knows we’re here,” Bianka had said. “So it’s just gonna be the five of us.”

Gwen would have protested the coming chat, the isolation—this kind of scenario always ended in bloodshed for the Skyhawks—but several things stopped her. One, Sabin had a death grip on her, keeping her pinned against his side. Why? Did he think she would race to her sisters and demand they slaughter him? Two, she was as weak as a newborn kitten, barely able to hold up her eyelids. Plus, her shoulder and chest burned painfully. If Sabin had let her go, she would have collapsed against the headboard. And three, she planned to be brave one more time and act as Sabin’s shield. If her sisters, who were angry at her treatment and seemed to have conveniently forgotten they’d once admired the Lords, came after him…

Why she cared, she didn’t know. Only minutes ago, he’d been embracing Kaia. Hadn’t he? The memory was fuzzy, as if she’d watched the couple on a screen rather than in real life. Real or not, though, it had pissed the hell out of her. Sabin belonged to Gwen. For now, at least. And not because they’d showered together and he’d given her the best orgasm of her life. But because, well, she didn’t know. He just did.

“Before we start talking, let’s take care of baby girl.” Kaia strode to her now, cutting her wrist along the way, and held it to Gwen’s mouth. “Drink.”

She’d drunk from her sisters throughout her childhood, “to be safe from any injury you might obtain,” they’d always told her. They themselves drank from any boyfriend they had at the time before heading to a battle or any kind of job. So it wasn’t an odd command. After all, vampires weren’t the only race that required blood, though Harpies only needed it for healing or to prevent injuries. But just as she fit her lips over the dripping wound, Sabin grasped her by the neck and spun her around so that she was facing him.

“Hey,” Kaia growled.

His neck had a long, thick gash, a gash he’d now reopened with a slash of his razored nail. “If she needs to drink, she’ll drink from me.”

He didn’t give anyone time to protest, but jerked Gwen forward, holding her head completely immobile to prevent her from turning away. Like she would. Already she could smell the sweetness of his scent. Lemons and blood. It filled her nostrils, drifted into her lungs and spread through the rest of her, leaving a trail of tingling warmth.

Unable to stop herself, mouth watering, she traced her tongue over the wound. Ecstasy. A fruity dessert. Her eyes closed and she fit herself against his body, arms wrapping around him to hold him captive, knees caging his legs. The angel side of her knew this was wrong, that she shouldn’t do it and certainly shouldn’t like it, but the Harpy side of her sang happily, desperate for more, for nothing had ever tasted like this. Like heaven and hell, perfect and wicked and sure to be her downfall.

On and on she sucked, drawing the liquid decadence into her mouth, down her throat. With every swallow a little more of her strength returned. The ache in her wounds began to ebb, the tissue weaving back together. How had she ever lived without this? Thankfully, blood didn’t have to be stolen to be enjoyed. It was a source of medicine, not food. She should have thought to drink from Sabin before.

Through it all, Sabin remained still. Between her legs, however, she could feel the hard length of his erection. His fingers had fallen to her hips and were digging deep, holding her immobile.

She could hear his breath raging in her ears, could even hear a few of his thoughts: yes, yes, more, don’t stop, so good, must…bed…mine. Or maybe they were her own.

“Don’t drain him, baby girl,” Bianka said, breaking through the mire of Gwen’s new addiction. “We have a few questions for him first.”

Nails dug into her scalp, and her head was torn away from Sabin’s neck. She yelped, blood trickling from her parted lips.

He snarled low in his throat, glaring over at Bianka while tightening his grip on Gwen. “Touch her like that again and you’ll be saying goodbye to your hands.”

Grinning, Bianka twirled a strand of black hair around her finger. “Now there’s the Lord of the Underworld I’ve heard so much about. I almost believe you’ll do it, demon. Well, try to do it.”

“I never make a threat I don’t intend to see through,” he said, turning Gwen and smashing her against his side once more.

She almost moaned. Her sisters never—never—backed down from a challenge. “I’m so glad you’re here,” she said, hoping to distract them.

“The big guy not taking care of you?” Kaia strolled around the room, lifting knickknacks, opening dresser drawers. “Oh, sweet. Black briefs are my favorite.” She even crouched in front of Sabin’s weapons case, broke the lock with a twist of her wrist and flipped open the lid. “Hmm, lookie what I found.”

“He’s taking care of me,” Gwen said, oddly defensive of him. He’d released her from captivity, guarded her, planned to teach her how to defend herself. The Hunter thing was her own fault. She should have stayed in the car. She couldn’t regret that she’d emerged to help, though. He was alive. Safe.

Are you being truthful with your sisters, because I can think of several instances that Sabin—

“Sorry,” Sabin muttered.

Good thing he’d shut that stupid demon up, because the Harpy had started squawking the moment its voice had filled her head.

Bianka joined Kaia at the chest, and they oohed and ahhed over the guns and knives. Weapons were their kryptonite. Taliyah stepped to the edge of the bed, staring down at her, expression blank, emotionless. No one was more beautiful than Taliyah. She possessed white hair, white skin, eyes of the palest blue. She was like a snow queen—and many a person had actually accused her of having ice in her veins. Not that they’d lived long afterward.

“I know your situation with the Hunters,” she said to Sabin. “I’ve heard tales of your viciousness and have admired you for it. I’ve even hoped to meet you. But now I want to kill you for bringing my sister into this mess. She isn’t a fighter.”

“She could be.” Several seconds passed, but Sabin didn’t add anything else. Didn’t try to defend himself.

He was going to leave it at that? Let them think she’d shacked up with him and he’d placed her in danger for no reason, rather than tell them the truth, that she’d been stupid, caught and caged? That he’d saved her. If he told them the truth, he would guarantee their participation in his war. A war he placed above everything else in his life, even love. Why would he do that? For her?

Tears suddenly burned her eyes, threatening to spill over. Well, she could do something for him. “Actually, the Hunters brought me in,” Gwen admitted, twisting the sheets.

“Gwen,” Sabin said. A warning.

“They need to know everything.” For his sake, and her own. Gathering her strength, she told her sisters about her confinement, leaving no detail out. As she spoke, the tears fell freely. Only a few minutes passed, but they were the most mortifying minutes of her life. Sabin, like her sisters, admired strength. Ferocity. Yet here she was, broadcasting her weakness to the only people who mattered to her.

He surprised her by tenderly wiping away the salty beads that cascaded down her cheeks with the pad of his thumb. That made her cry even harder.

When she finished, silence encompassed the room. Tension thickened the air, creating a crackling suspension of time.

Taliyah was the first to speak. “How did they get you?”

The cold tone of her voice sent a shiver through Gwen. “Tyson forgot his cell phone one morning when he left for work, and I knew he’d want it. But he was too far down the road for me to catch at human speed so I…” She gulped. Such a stupid mistake, one she’d regretted every day since. “I used my wings and beat him to his office. Hunters saw me when I stopped, thought I had magically appeared, though I didn’t know it at the time. I guess they followed me home, waited until later that night when Tyson and I—” she gulped “—fell asleep.”

“You slept in bed with Tyson?” three female voices said at once.

“What’s with you Harpies and sleep?” Sabin stiffened against her. “Not that I think you’re wrong to be disgusted by anyone in bed with chicken man. It’s that bastard Tyson who needs to die. He didn’t protect her.”

“Neither did you,” Taliyah said flatly.

“I’m alive because of Sabin.” Gwen offered him a shaky smile. “And Tyson’s not a bad guy. He tried to save me before they knocked him out.” Even though he’d been upset with her.