"Deal settled," Darkyn said, stepping aside.
Darkyn watched her go.
She hadn't seen her new mate, Darkyn – the Dark One – since he drank his fill of her hours before and left.
Her back was bare to display the name of Darkyn amid the Immortals' geometric writing that marked her as an Immortal mate.
Deidre's hand went to her neck, where Darkyn had placed a slender collar.
There were no longer demon guards outside her door, maybe because Darkyn knew she couldn't leave.
Don't know …how Darkyn did it.
She shivered, not wanting to imagine what Darkyn was capable of or how hard it might be to outmaneuver him to leave Hell.
"If Darkyn agrees," Zamon added.
Darkyn would not approve.
In a place that operated on rigged deals where demons didn't seem to lose, she was certain anything she asked Darkyn for was going to cost her.
There was no way a creature like Darkyn, who valued control over everything, was going to let her talk to Zamon.
Darkyn warned her about running.
Unable to see what he saw, Deidre prayed it was Darkyn, and the demon lord wasn't going to join them in passing her around for dinner.
The sound of bodies hitting the stone floor behind her preceded Darkyn grabbing her by a few seconds.
Darkyn snatched the demon that intended to make her its dinner.
Deidre opened her eyes, distracted by the flow of cool magic from Darkyn into her.
"Go," Darkyn ordered and released her.
The demon blood on her face and arms disgusted her, just like the sight of the ease with which Darkyn shredded three demons with bodies like humans.
She'd never thought about how long Darkyn might wait to claim his mate by Immortal law in that way.
Something told her Darkyn wasn't so considerate.
One question was answered: Darkyn was obligated to protect her in some way.
Darkyn stood beside the hearth.
Darkyn extended his hand, drawing her from the thoughts before it was able to form fully.
"It was a clever deal," Darkyn said, approving.
If Darkyn wanted her to win, what had she forgotten to add to the terms, so she won?
Zamon's conversation with her about Darkyn tricking his predecessor left her feeling like she walked into a trap when she made the deal with Past-Death.
The heaviness of her mind grew, until she wasn't certain why she should resist Darkyn in the first place.
But, if an Immortal or human or deity corners you, and you aren't able to summon me, you need to know how to defend yourself, Darkyn started.
Was she destined to feel that for Darkyn, despite knowing what he was?
Darkyn cupped her cheek with one hand, the cool energy spreading as his thumb rubbed her cheek lightly.
She may live an eternity, even if her soul comes to you eventually, Darkyn explained.
Unlike Gabriel, who was gentle, teasing, Darkyn was demanding.
Darkyn moved in and out of her slowly, taking her closer to her climax.
The dream of Darkyn was no doubt a fever dream, one that caused distant alarm despite her illness.
Was Darkyn or Fate right about what was supposed to happen?
Unwritten terms, Darkyn called them.
When the sand ran out, she'd have no Darkyn tattoo, no demon fangs, no Past-Death standing between her and Gabriel.
Darkyn had baited her.
Across the room, Darkyn held the tension of a taut rubber band.
"What do you want from me, Darkyn?" she asked, afraid to admit how right he was.
Darkyn pursued calmly, eyes glowing.
Darkyn pretended to consider.
Even Gabriel has, Darkyn said.
Darkyn caught her hands and pushed them down to her side.
"You know the Immortal mating bond is what made you connect with him," Darkyn continued.
Darkyn gave a slow smile.
They left her beyond confused, terrified and certain she didn't want anything to do with Darkyn right now.
You know Past-Death will stop at nothing to get what she wants, Darkyn said.
Darkyn responded by removing his hand from her body.