When he’d come home from work that evening, he hadn’t wanted to talk about what had happened. She’d utterly freaked him out by beating him to his office—because he’d already begun to notice other, weirder things about her.

She’d hidden her dark side as best she could but sometimes it had emerged despite her, and he would come home to holes in the wall, ripped sheets, smashed dishes. Once, during a silly argument about whose turn it was to pick what DVD they’d watch, she’d even shoved him into a wall and the plaster had collapsed on him. They’d kissed and made up, but that had been the beginning of the end.

“Anyway,” she continued, “I found myself wrapped up, unable to move, barely able to breathe as the Hunters flew me to Egypt. They locked me up and twelve months later Sabin and the other Lords set me free and brought me here.”

“You killed the men responsible for her torment, of course?” Taliyah asked Sabin.

He nodded. “Gwen killed one. I killed some of the others.”

Her powder blue eyes flared in anger. “Why not all? And good job, Gwen,” she added with a nod of approval.

Before she could admit it had been an accident, Sabin said, “The survivors are being held in my dungeon and tortured for information.”

Taliyah’s shoulders relaxed somewhat. “That’s all right, then.” She turned back to Gwen. “Have you eaten?”

Gwen cast a sideways glance at Sabin. Very clearly she recalled stealing his sandwich and stuffing it into her mouth. “Yes.”

Thankfully, he gave no reaction. With Tyson, she’d stolen their food from nearby restaurants and passed it off as her own cooking. He’d never known. He would have rebuked her. Would Sabin? She didn’t think so. He’d smiled at her when she’d taken things from the store.

“You ready to go home, then?” Kaia jumped onto the side of the bed, causing the mattress to bounce. “’Cause I’m more than ready to blow this joint. I know you like your demon, so you can bring him if you want. Whether he wants to come or not. We’ll get you tucked safely away and come back for the Hunters. They will pay for what they did to you. Don’t worry.”

“I—well…” Did she want to go home? Hidden, safe, everyone else taking care of things? Hadn’t she gone to Georgia in part to escape just that? And while she liked being with Sabin, she knew he would be miserable trapped in Alaska with no one to fight. He would grow to resent her.

So if she went home, she’d have to go alone. The thought left a hollow ache in her chest. What she and Sabin had done in the shower…she wanted it again. I thought there could be no more of that. I thought it was too dangerous. But faced with the possibility of going without it, without him, of never knowing what it would be like to be possessed by him, totally and completely, none of the reasons for staying away from him seemed to matter.

“She’s not going anywhere,” Sabin said.

Lord love domineering men. Sometimes. “Right. I’m staying.” Gwen peered over at her sisters, silently beseeching them to understand, to accept. They watched her for a long while, as quiet as she was.

Bianka was the first to speak. “Fine. But where should we store our gear?” she asked on a sigh.

Gwen had known they’d want to stay, as well, and that both delighted and worried her. Sabin, at least, didn’t bat an eye. “There’s an empty room beside this one. Mind sharing?”

He was giving them a room of their own after denying Gwen the same privilege?

“No, we don’t mind,” Taliyah said. “But tell me, what are your plans for the Hunters?”

“To kill them. All of them. We’ll never know peace as long as they’re alive.”

She nodded. “Well, lucky you, you’ve got yourself three new soldiers.”

“Four,” Gwen rushed out before she could stop herself. She’d meant what she said, she realized. She really did want to stop the Hunters. She wanted to protect her sisters and Sabin from them. And for once, she wanted to prove herself worthy.

Once more, everyone focused on her. Sabin, with anger—though she didn’t know why. He wanted her to do this, didn’t he? Bianka and Kaia, with indulgence. And Taliyah, with determination.

“Well, don’t just lie there,” Kaia said, arms lifting and dropping at her sides in exasperation. “Get up. We’ve got a war to win.”

Sabin ran a hand down his suddenly drawn face. “Welcome to my army, girls.”

HE WAS GWEN’S CONSORT, her sisters had said. Sabin took that to mean they thought she belonged to him. He wasn’t sure he believed it himself, but damn if he didn’t like the thought. He still couldn’t keep her, though, not without destroying her. At least, not as things stood.

She spent the rest of the day and night in bed, though she never fell asleep again. Determined to find out why, he left her alone the next morning and went in search of Anya. He found her in the entertainment room, finishing another video game with Gilly. He told her about the arrival of their guests and she clapped happily.“Lucien told me you texted him about guests, but I had no idea they were more Harpies!”

“Now you know. They’re in the gym. So what’s the deal with Harpies sleeping?”

She laughed in his face. “Figure it out on your own,” she said, sauntering to the door. “I’ve got a Skyhawk reunion to see to.”

He followed her into the gym, curious as to how such a reunion would go down.

The trio—who had already made themselves at home, with everything—spotted the goddess, stopped tossing and catching barbells as if they were tiny stones, and ran to her, throwing their arms around her.

“Anya! You took off without a word, you bitch!”

“Where have you been?”

“What are you doing here?”

They threw the questions at her simultaneously, but Anya seemed unfazed. “Sorry about that, girlies. I’ve been all over the world. You know, seeing the sights, causing trouble and falling in love with Death himself. I’m here because this is home. Like what I’ve done with the place?”

They continued to hug and talk and laugh. Sabin tried to butt in a few times, but was steadfastly ignored. Finally he gave up and left them to it, meaning to find Anya later and once again ask her about Harpy sleeping arrangements. Asking the sisters was out of the question. Harpies, he’d already learned, lived by their own set of rules, and he didn’t want to inadvertently demean Gwen with his ignorance.


Every minute with her was dangerous. Last night had been the worst. He’d remained by her side, smelling her femininity, hearing the cotton glide over her skin, but they’d kept their distance from each other, remaining on separate sides of the mattress. He would have taken her—he was weak where she, that luscious body and that lickable skin were concerned; there, he’d finally admitted to a weakness—but every time he’d reached for her, Doubt had begun spreading its poison.

Will she die if you keep her? Will she want more than you can give, then leave you when you can’t give it?

Once again, he hated the demon.

Only around her sisters did the little shit quiet, and Sabin didn’t know why. He would figure it out, though. He was determined. Because, if he could somehow work it so that Doubt shut the hell up around Gwen, he could have her. Maybe forever.

After he checked on the prisoners—who were still too weak to endure any more torture and survive—he went to the kitchen to fix Gwen something to eat. All the food was gone. Talk about déjà vu. Nothing was left, not even a bag of chips. The Harpies had been here, he supposed.

With a sigh, he strode to his bedroom. Gwen was no longer in bed. Frowning, he began hunting her. He found her on the roof with Anya and her sisters—the latter of whom were playing Who Can Fall From The Roof And Break The Least Amount Of Bones.

“I leave you for less than an hour,” he said to Gwen. “Don’t you dare jump.”

“I’m just watching,” she assured him with a grin. A grin that made his chest ache.

A smattering of warriors stood on the ground below, watching as well. They wore resigned expressions, but mixed with the resignation was awe. They were drinking in that Harpy skin like it was wine.

“Enough of this,” Sabin said before one of the Harpies could jump again. “We have training to do.”

They didn’t agree graciously, but they did agree and soon nearly every occupant of the fortress was on the ground, grunts and groans saturating the air, the scent of blood and sweat chasing nearby animals away.

Sabin stood on the sidelines, once again simply watching the happenings. Torin had just texted him and was on his way down.

Finally the warrior arrived. Keeping a good distance between them, Torin stopped at his side. “Everyone’s been so busy, I knew calling another meeting would do no good, so I’ve been trying to catch everyone individually.”

“Find something?”

“Oh, yeah.” He waggled his black eyebrows, which were a startling contrast to his white hair. “Found an obscure tabloid article about a school for gifted children in Chicago. Children who can lift cars, get people to do whatever they want simply by speaking and move faster than the eye can see. And get this. The entire thing was denied by the World Institute of Parapsychology.”

Sabin’s eyes widened. “Hunter High. Just like our prisoner told us.”

“Yep. Can’t be a coincidence, you know?”

“We need to search that facility.”

“I agree. That’s why I’m making arrangements for departure in two days. Some of you need to go, but some should stay and search for the people listed on the scrolls. I just need to know who’s doing what.”

He’d been geared up to say he’d go—kill Hunters, rescue those kids and maybe finally draw Galen out of hiding—when the rest of Torin’s speech penetrated his mind. “Wait. Scrolls?”

A soft breeze moved between them, ruffling Torin’s hair. He smoothed the strands from his face with a glove-covered hand. “Cronus just paid me a visit.”