Halston soared through the sky. The Cumbria countryside sprawled beneath him, and the bright moon and stars lit his way. Where he was going, he was uncertain. All he knew was that Viktor would be coming for him, and that Koa would awaken to learn of the monster he’d become.
A shiver ran up his spine as he thought of her. He paused and hovered in the air. A glint of light from below caught his attention. Like a beacon, it called to him.
Halston, a voice whispered. Halston raised a brow and spun around to see that no one was there.
All he knew was that it was Koa’s voice, and the light below was a sign.
He sped down to the source of the light. A white-capped mountain peak.
There, a blinding golden light awaited. Halston landed and immediately shielded his eyes as the light intensified at his presence. The heat warmed his face. One step forward and he was stung by a bolt of light.
Halston stepped back and lowered his arms. His mouth parted as his eyes adjusted to what was before him.
The realization turned his blood cold.
There she was—Koa—protected by an angelic shield that mocked his own.
A sharp pain filled his gut as he remembered that he was no longer an angel. Demons had their own shield, but that meant nothing to him.
Seeing her lay there, unconscious broke his already tattered heart. He wanted to go to her—to pick her up in his arms and tell her that it was all going to be okay.
Halston knew that was a lie. It was not going to be okay. They were doomed, and it was all his fault. After tonight, the world would never be the same.
He lifted himself into the air and wiped a tear from his eye. Knowing that Koa was changing both hurt and comforted him. She was destined to be greater than he could have imagined. A true miracle, Koa was half vampire and half angel. This, would change everything.
Koa’s angelic shield would never let him approach her. Not like this.
Torn by the urge to fly away and the desire to stay, Halston acquiesced and sat on the edge of the cliff. He folded his legs and watched her sleep. He couldn’t abandon her now, not after risking everything to save her life.
Still, he was conflicted by the fact that while her shield protected her from him, it would also cure her of the wounds Bund gave her.
At least there was that.
Halston discovered to his detriment that sleep was one of the first things to be affected by his demonic change.
Well, you could say ‘affected’ if you meant royally bollixed up.
For a little while, he had spent the silent night watching Koa sleep. It was funny how her perfectly sweet and innocent expression in sleep was now finally reflected in the change in her nature. In her sleep, Koa’s guard was down, and emotions flitted openly and honestly across her face.
It had always been that way.
Halston had always loved the way her lips would purse in the tiniest pout, which, of course meant that she was blisteringly angry at someone or something in her dreams and ending their existence in one of any number of gruesome ways. The adorable puckering frown between her brows meant she was raining hellfire down on some unfortunate figment of her imagination.
Then, there were the moments her eyelids would flutter, and she would let out a quick, breathless gasp. Those were the times when he truly would have given any treasure on earth or any of the other realms to know just what was inspiring her to make those delicious, maddening sounds.
He had been her boss, and they had worn the professional veneer thinly until it simply wore away from the constant rub of danger, misunderstanding, and longing. Maybe in the land of long agos, he would have looked away from her breathless dreams to give her some kind of privacy. He was a red-blooded man in as much as he was a man, but his modus operandi had always been a mix of sly flirtation and gentlemanly reticence.
Too much had happened to keep up that façade any more. The danger that surrounded them drove them past boundaries, and the danger from within their own natures had driven away inhibitions. Now, he had literally become a part of her, giving her all his better self to save her. The irony that she was now truly his good angel, even though she had always been the guiding grace of his heart, was not lost on him.
Halston snorted softly, watching the puff of air bloom white on the cold air then drift into nothingness. Those who said that demons could not know or understand the power of love were bloody fools. It wasn’t just that he had experienced love when he was angelic. Even now, he felt the burn and pinch of love.
He needed Koa.
She wasn’t just fundamental to him. She was elemental. Without her, his soul would be ash.
Sleep crept up on him as he was drifting through soft billows of need.
He opened his eyes, instantly alert, relaxing only when he realized it was Koa’s stretching and little waking grunts that had disturbed him. He watched from behind hooded lids as Koa raised her arms above her head and rolled her shoulders.
Her movements did interesting, sinuous things to the curves of her lithe body. Halston tapped his thumb against his bottom lip as he studied this fascinating new view of the curves of her breasts and the supple dip of her waist before melting into the gentle swell of her hips. He always prided himself on being thorough, so it would have been remiss of him not to note the fantastic things that her ruined ball gown did to reveal her long, lean legs. Really, ripped up gowns ought to be more of a thing.
The thought of the shredded fabric of her dress tugged his desires down a darker path. He sucked in a breath at the pleasure it promised and was lost.
“Well, ‘Psyche,’ you’ve been sacrificed and slept your day away on the mountain. How do you feel?”
Koa giggled and replied cheekily, “If I’m Psyche, does that make you my mystery lover Eros?”
“Too right it does.” Halston grinned and like a flash was gone from the rock he sat on and pushed her back down to the ground, pulling her arms above her head and gripping both her wrists in one of his hands.
The feeling of her body stretched out underneath him felt divine. He chuckled to himself, well, at least as divine as a demon could feel.
“Except Psyche isn’t supposed to know her lover is Eros,” Koa said, squirming a bit.
“Yes, and she goes and breaks the rules and discovers his identity.” Halston ground his hips into hers and was splendidly rewarded by one of her little breathless gasps. “Hmm, breaking rules to get answers. Doesn’t sound like anyone I could possibly know, does it, Koa?”
“They were stupid rules to begin with.” She stuck her bottom lip out petulantly, but there was just the faintest touch of strain in her voice. “Halston, you’re getting heavy.”
“Oh, love, everything is about to get heavy, so you best get used to it.”
“Wait, what? No! Stop! Stop it, Halston.” It was amusing to see a seasoned fighter like Koa at a loss in the kind of intimate battle she had never had to fight before.
Didn’t she understand that the more she shifted and bucked beneath him, the more excited he became? Couldn’t she guess that just under the skin of every man lived a beast who only grew stronger with every ounce of fight she put up against him?
Halston deliberately tightened his grip on her wrists until he saw her grit her teeth against the discomfort. He loved how his girl couldn’t be made to cry out from something as paltry as a bracelet of bruises.
“What are you doing?” Koa gasped, attempting to roll him off by rocking her body from side to side. “Why?”
He laughed and sank his teeth into the tender flesh at the base of her neck, smirking against her skin at the thought that now, he was the one biting the half-vampire. He traced the mark with his tongue.
“WHY?” The word was shrill. Desperate.
Halston hummed against her throat, working open-mouthed kisses up toward the line of her jaw and brutally slamming his hips into her to render her motionless. She might be strong and a little lioness in battle, but he was bigger, heavier, and far more experienced. She didn’t stand a chance against him. She never had.
He thought that watching that realization dawn in her eyes might be almost as exhilarating as being inside her. He fully intended to put that theory to the test in the next two minutes. After all, he had a reputation to uphold for being a stickler for details and data.
“Are you going to be a good girl, Koa?” His lips brushed her eyelids as he spoke.
“I am going to fight you every inch of the way,” she promised darkly.
“Good girl,” he smirked. “That’s exactly what I want.”
Halston grabbed the bodice of her dress in his free hand and tore it from her.
Halston blinked again, feeling the soft, melting kiss of snowflakes on his face.
He was sitting on the ground, his back resting against a boulder, one leg stretched out before him and one knee bent. Koa slept peacefully a little away from him. Her skin was unblemished by his marks, and her dress bore only the damage from the night before.
It had been a dream.
It had been a nightmare. Of epic proportions.
He might not be an angel any longer, but he was far from the kind of bloke who got their rocks off by roughing up girls. It was a struggle to slow his pounding heart and swallow down the bile of dread. The thought of doing…doing that to Koa was abhorrent to him. She was his everything. So long as she existed, whole and hale, his world had an axis to balance upon.
If anything happened to her, he would simply spin out of orbit and slip into endless, enduring darkness.
He glanced over to where Koa was starting to stir. Hopefully, that nightmare was just a one-time thing brought on by a long night of violence and flight, complicated by his changing nature.
Halston was absolutely certain of one thing, though.
He could never…would never tell Koa.
COMING SOON TO KINDLE UNLIMITED!