Authors: Rose Wulf
“What, what in the
happened in here?” The horrified demand came from Ainsley. The fight hadn’t
exactly been muted.
Izzy turned her attention away then, not caring who
responded or what was said. “Darr,” she called, more softly. She rested a hand
on his shoulder and squeezed. The gesture was as much meant to offer comfort as
it was to reassure herself. “Are you hurt?”
Jaw tight, Darr lifted his gaze to her. “I should be asking
you that. I’m sorry, Izzy.”
Trying to offer him the best smile she could, Izzy replied,
“Hey, I’ve got bones of steel. I’m fine.”
Darr grunted something incorrigible and tugged her into his
chest, one large hand tangled in her hair. With his lips grazing her ear he
said, “I’ll never let him lay another finger on you.”
Izzy opened her mouth to ask about Creed and the myriad of
questions dancing around in her head, but she thought better of it at the last
moment. They had an audience. It wasn’t the right time. So instead she curled
her arms around his neck and held tight, taking deep, stabilizing breaths of
his scent. At least he was okay, and she was back in his arms. Everything else
could wait its turn.
“My wall! What in the name of heaven happened to my wall?”
Izzy didn’t recognize the voice and Darr immediately stiffened around her.
Britt said quickly, moving up near Izzy’s side. “We’ll repay you for all the—”
“No.” The shorter, balding man cut her off with a hard
look. A look Izzy had learned was actually a cover for uncomfortable fear. Not
that the distinction mattered in this case. “I want you all out immediately. No
refunds. I’ll need the money for this. But I won’t call the police if you don’t
fight it. I don’t care who or what brought the demons, but there are no
here, do you understand?”
Izzy swallowed, guilt flaring bright in her chest. No
matter what had happened to her, they were supposed to be there for Britt. And
she’d gone and ruined her friend’s bachelorette party in a spectacular way.
Taking their silence as agreement, the man continued. “You
have an hour. I want you off the property in an hour.”
“But…” Britt stuttered, clearly at a loss for words.
“Please,” Izzy interrupted, reluctantly pushing to her feet
and stepping forward. “This is my fault entirely. I have money, I can pay for everything.
And I’ll leave. No more demons will come after I’m gone.” Maybe she could
salvage some tiny fragment of Britt’s party.
Meeting her stare angrily, he replied, “Then I’ll get your
information and come after you for the overages.”
Behind her, Darr stood, his body language angry. He didn’t
generally tolerate people talking to her in what he judged a negative,
insulting manner. The property owner’s words definitely qualified. But Izzy put
a hand on his nearest arm to hold him in place.
“Please,” she tried again, softening her stare.
“So help me,” he interrupted. “I’m well within my rights if
I want to call the police and press charges.”
“You would be,” yet another new voice, also male and
undeniably powerful, declared calmly. A moment later a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed
man with perfectly tanned skin stepped through the hole and walked past the
owner. “But such extremities aren’t necessary. Go back to bed.”
Izzy held her breath as a glaze seemed to overtake the
owner’s eyes and his shoulders slumped. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Have a good
night.” Without another word of explanation he turned and walked off.
The newcomer strode several feet into the cabin before
coming to a stop. He was nearly as tall as Darr, Izzy realized, and she was
sure he had remarkable power just as she was sure he was
a demon. The sensation was confusing. As was Darr’s tensing,
let alone when he grabbed her arm and tugged her back. Not behind him, but
back, so that he
behind him if necessary. She was familiar with the stance and instantly on
“Infernal shit,” Zahk exclaimed from behind her. Izzy
flicked a glance back to him only to find he was already gone. Apparently he
hadn’t wanted to share air-space with the newcomer.
“Um…?” Letty asked hesitantly.
The stranger turned his piercing gaze toward Britt, Letty,
and the other women who’d gathered inside during the exchange with the owner.
“Why don’t you ladies take shelter in the other cabin?” He phrased it like a
suggestion but Izzy realized quickly it wasn’t.
“Yeah,” Britt said slowly, clearly uncomfortable. “Sure…”
She looked over at Izzy hesitantly and Izzy smiled.
“I’ll be fine.” In truth she had
idea what the hell was going on, let alone if she would be okay.
Despite her faith in Darr, this new guy oozed so much power she was genuinely
frightened. And she didn’t want her friends anywhere near that.
No one in the room spoke until the door closed behind Britt
and the others moments later. Darr remained stationary, like a rock in front of
her. Izzy did her best to keep breathing normally. And then the blown-out hole
in the wall became solid again, taking with it the damages to the floor. Even
the scorch disappeared.
“What…?” How was that
Oh my God…
Could this guy be Satan?
“Who are you?” Izzy demanded before she could clamp her
mouth shut. She didn’t need to see his face to know Darr did
didn’t approve. But it was too late for that.
The man met her gaze easily, his expression entirely
unreadable. Or bored. It was impossible to tell. “I am Kai.”
“What do you want?” Darr interrupted. This guy—Kai—clearly
made him uncomfortable.
Kai’s eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly when he switched
his attention to Darr. Izzy got the distinct impression Darr’s clear dislike of
him was mutual. “One of my enemies was here moments ago,” Kai replied plainly.
“I’d hoped to catch him while he was on Earth, but he sensed me coming. Still,
he wanted something from you. I need to know what that is.”
Izzy gaped. She could only assume Kai had been referring to
Creed—a point in his favor—but she couldn’t believe his arrogance.
“It’s not that complicated,” Darr returned. “He wants me
Kai’s gaze returned to Izzy. “And you are the demon’s
Izzy swallowed as Darr stepped more properly in front of
her. “She’s a victim in this.”
“Agreed,” Kai said. “Stand down, demon. I’ve no intention
of killing you tonight. You could prove useful, and your loyalty to the human
woman is … admirable.” He definitely hadn’t liked praising Darr, whether
because he was a demon or just because he didn’t often dole out praise was
“Wait,” Izzy interrupted, moving to Darr’s other side in an
effort to stay in the conversation. She looked between them and settled on Kai.
He at least seemed willing to answer questions. “I’m confused. You’re not a
demon, and you’re not … human. So what are you?” ‘Human’ wasn’t what she’d
wanted to say, but she was uncomfortable using any reference to Satan out loud.
And she didn’t want to risk upsetting Kai.
Kai looked back to Darr with a question of his own. “She
Darr released a breath but didn’t otherwise relax. Nor did
he take his glare off their guest. “He’s an angel.”
Izzy stumbled back and Darr’s hand shot out to catch her by
the elbow. She knew she’d been more than a little disoriented earlier, but
apparently it hadn’t worn off after all. Because Darr hadn’t
just said ‘angel.’ Right? “What?”
“I am an angel,” Kai echoed firmly. “A warrior.”
it, too. Or she was still hallucinating. “This is crazy,” she muttered,
stepping up to Darr and twisting her hands in his shirt for support. “I think
I’m hallucinating. I think I need to lie down. I swear you said
“Trust me,” Darr replied, curving his arm around her. “I
don’t like it, either. But you’re not hallucinating.”
“But…” But what? What was the right question to ask? The
right question to start with?
there a ‘right question’?
“We may meet again,” Kai declared. “If you wish to stay
alive, stay out of my line of fire when that time comes. Creed will return for
you and I for him. If you choose to warn him, I’ll strike you down on the
And with that he was gone in flash of pure, white light.
Izzy repeated for the hundredth time the next morning. She’d barely touched her
After Kai’s disappearance, and in light of everything that
had happened, Izzy had allowed Darr to talk her into coming home. She’d been so
exhausted she was practically asleep on her feet for the short time it took her
to pack and apologize to Britt, and she’d been sound asleep by the time he
tucked her into her bed. Given what she’d been through—just that he knew of—Darr
figured she’d be starving when she woke up, so he’d prepared a good breakfast.
Izzy had had other ideas of what to do with her morning, of
course. He wasn’t surprised, but he sure as hell wasn’t in the mood to be
grilled about Creed and angels. Although, honestly, he’d take the angel talk
over the Creed talk any day. Fortunately she was more focused on that, too.
“Yes,” he repeated. “Eat before the food gets cold.”
Dramatically stabbing her fork into her chopped potato
bites, Izzy rambled, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Wouldn’t angels and
demons be natural enemies, then? So why didn’t he attack?” She proceeded to
stuff the potatoes into her mouth, muffling whatever might have come next.
Darr sighed and sat back in his chair. “That’s a long,
complicated story. The simple answers are that I didn’t tell you because I try
hard to stay out of it. We are
natural enemies and I have no real clue why he didn’t attack. I can’t imagine
he’s that desperate for bait.”
Izzy’s hand stilled over her plate and she swallowed
heavily. “Actually,” she said, voice calmed, “that reminds me. Creed … he was
going to hold onto me. He said he wanted to use me as ‘bait,’ for you.” He
could hear the question in her words and he struggled to hide the cringe.
It was time, then.
“I’m sorry, Izzy,” he started. “Creed and I … we have a
long, sordid history of mutual hatred. And I imagine it pissed him off when he
lost track of me after your father’s summoning.”
Izzy frowned. “So you were actively fighting each other?”
Darr shook his head. “Nothing so straightforward.” She
cocked an orange brow and he added, “He was my master.”
Silence stretched between them for a long minute as Izzy
released the fork entirely. At length she finally asked, “You mean, like …
mentor or something … right?” It was clear in her voice that she was more
hoping than asking.
Darr shook his head again. “I was his slave, not his
pupil.” Creed didn’t have pupils or apprentices. Well, unless ‘for dinner’ came
at the end of the thought.
Hands flying over her mouth and eyes immediately watering,
Izzy jumped from her spot and rounded the table until she’d properly squirmed
her way onto his lap. How the hell she’d managed to do that, he wasn’t sure,
but having her unexpectedly pressing against him in a tight embrace wasn’t
something he intended to complain about.
“Oh, Darr,” she mumbled into his hair. “I’m so sorry. I had
“I know,” he assured her, wrapping his arms tight around
her waist. “And I swear, Izzy, I’ll never let him touch you again.”
Izzy eased back until she was framing his jaw in her hands.
“I know.” She leaned forward, then, and pressed her lips tenderly over his. But
he wasn’t in the mood for tender after the night they’d had.
The moment her lips grazed his, Darr’s blood burst into
flames and he growled, tugging her impossibly close and angling his head to
better devour her mouth. His tongue stroked hers firmly and she moaned,
threading her fingers through his hair. He kissed her deeply, fervently, until
he’d sucked the oxygen from her lungs.
As he released her from his kiss, he swept an arm out and
shoved the plates from the table, letting them crash to the floor in a
clattering mess. With his other hand he caught her ass and lifted her to the
Izzy laughed lightly, her breathing unstable, and caught
the collar of his shirt in a loose grip as he leaned over her. “You’re so
cleaning that up,” she teased.
“Later,” he rumbled, already working on her shorts. In no
time he’d tugged them down and off and his cock pulsed with need as she
willingly spread her legs for him. Latching his lips to the side of her throat,
Darr’s hands landed on her hips and slipped beneath the sides of her panties.
His thumb dipped between her thighs at the same time as he nipped at her flesh
and Izzy moaned low. The sound went straight to his cock.
Finding her already more than a little wet, Darr growled
against her skin and jerked his hands apart. The motion, combined with his
physical strength, snapped her soft, pink panties with ease.
Izzy shook with laughter and he caught her covered breast
in one palm, molding the pliant flesh roughly. He needed a taste of her so badly
he was nearly bursting.
His other hands landed on the inside of her thighs, parting
them a bit more, and he dropped to his knees. He heard Izzy suck in a sharp
breath when she realized his intent and one of his hands dipped beneath the hem
of her shirt again. Searching and massaging, earning another delicious moan
from her mouth. Then he found his target with his mouth, letting his tongue
tease her folds as he lapped at her juices.
One of Izzy’s hands immediately tangled in his hair,
holding on tight, and her hips rolled a little closer. He took the opportunity
to slip his tongue into her wet heat and tried not to growl again at the sounds
she made in response. He licked and stroked and nipped as deeply, as hard as he
could. As hard as he dared. And when he sensed she was on the edge he plunged
two fingers deep into her core while switching his lips to her clit and sucking
Izzy screamed out her orgasm, her body bucking sharply
before she collapsed back on the table. Probably thinking he was done.
Instead Darr pushed to his feet, unbuckled and unzipped his
pants, and let his hardened dick pop free. With a grunt and a long, leisurely
stroke of his hands down her sides, he tugged her hips forward as he thrust
into her tight core. She was hot and soaked and so fucking tight he nearly came
on the spot. The surprised, ecstasy-laden gasp that tore from her didn’t help.
She moaned again, her back arching as she took him in. Her
legs lifted and locked around his hips as her hands curled into the table top,
seeking purchase. “Darr,” she breathed, gasping for breath as he pumped into
Darr shut out the world around them as he took her, filling
her to the limit every time. Her pelvis rocked against his balls and his hands
slid up again, seeking his own purchase. He found her breasts and pulled them
free of her bra, still under her shirt, in order to play with her nipples.
Izzy moaned her appreciation, bucking harder against him.
He ground his teeth in an effort to control himself at
least enough not to actually hurt her and gave her nipples a hard flick. Izzy’s
nails dug into his forearms and he thrust into her with more strength than he’d
Another pleasure-filled scream tore from Izzy just moments
before his own orgasm slammed into him, ripping a guttural cry of his own from
He nearly collapsed to the floor before his senses returned
to him, and he gently pulled out of her, her legs falling limply to dangle off
the table. He had to brace his weight with both hands just to stay on his feet.
Izzy’s voice was breathless when she finally said, “Thank
you for breakfast.”
Izzy would bet money her father had never considered that
his little girl would fall in love with a demon. Let alone the very same demon
he’d summoned to protect her. And she was
her father would flip a lid if he somehow learned she and her demon had had
hot, carnal sex on the dining room table he’d purchased for her a few years
tempted her to tell him. Not that she would of course. What girl wanted her
father knowing anything about her sex life?
Still, there was one other thought that popped up in her mind
while she was toweling off after a late-morning shower. In all the chaos of the
night before, Izzy hadn’t had an opportunity to talk to Darr about their
circumstance. About her feelings. She still wanted to, possibly even more so
now, but she was hesitant. There were a hundred ways it could go wrong if she
even began that conversation. Most of them ended with him cutting things off
between them in all ways he could.
Some ended worse.
And that was when a crazy, stupid, little idea struck her.
Her dad had been dealing in demons since around the time he’d summoned Darr. In
all those years, he may just have come across something useful. He wouldn’t
like the idea, but she was a grown woman. He no longer had the right to make
her decisions for her, and she’d just have to make him see that. So she hurried
to get dressed and darted to the nightstand for her cell phone.
It’d been a few months since she’d last talked to her
father and, like always, her stomach knotted with the prospect of how this call
would go. She loved him, and she could never cut him out of her life, but she
honestly wished he’d change his ways. So much about his life disturbed her that
she couldn’t spend much time in his company anymore. Not even over the phone.
“Isolde? Is that you, baby?” He’d been answering her calls
like that since she’d first moved out of the house in college.
“Yes, Dad,” she replied obligingly. “How are you?” He’d
expect the small talk, so she figured she’d do her best to just race through
Gerald sighed on the other end and she heard something
, like a book or a heavy item
hitting the floor. But his voice was calm when he spoke again. “Oh, I’m fine,
sweetheart. Business is strong lately. I think I’ve even met a good woman.
Maybe you’ll let me introduce you to her if she sticks around for a few
Izzy’s heart clenched painfully in her chest. She hated
when her father tried dating. As a teenager she’d been angry, thinking he was
trying to replace her mother with some stranger. But as she’d grown she’d come
to recognize that moving on didn’t mean forgetting, and he wasn’t. If there was
one thing she knew about Gerald Duchane, it was that he’d never really be over
his late wife. It was one of the few things they still had in common. “Maybe I
will,” she promised reluctantly. A few months could change everything, after
all. “Listen, Dad, I’m sorry to cut the small talk, but I need to ask you about
something. Do you have a minute?”
“For you, Izzy? Always.”
Moving to sit on the edge of her bed and glancing nervously
toward her closed door, she lowered her voice just a bit and chomped down on
the proverbial bullet. “Is there a way to release Darr from the binding spell?”