Suddenly, Past-Death's words about how Deidre became Gabriel's mate clicked.
If Past-Death was dead again, was Deidre next in line to be Gabriel's mate?
Deidre faced the door, mind working quickly.
Cold energy shot through Deidre, and she flinched.
Past-Death pushed Deidre towards him.
Deidre dug in her heels before she reached him.
Deidre saw the look on his face, the same one Past-Death gave her when admiring the product she created.
In a week, when Past-Death lost her end of the bet, Deidre would be free.
Deidre closed her eyes as Darkyn's arm snaked out to grab her neck.
In Hell, human-Deidre sat next to the hearth hours after she made the deal with the goddess who stranded her.
Deidre closed the door behind her and walked down the hallway.
Deidre continued through the halls lined with torches bearing black flames.
With an anxious look around to make sure no one was watching, Deidre peeked into the open door, hoping it led to a McDonalds or some other place with food.
Deidre reached him just as he dropped it.
With a grunt, Deidre lifted it and carried it to the table.
Deidre rubbed her upper lip again.
During the quiet time she'd had since then, Deidre began to think she'd made a bad bet.
In a week, Deidre would be dead or back with Gabriel.
Deidre stopped herself from pursuing.
Deidre retreated into the hallway and started back towards the stairs.
Deidre clenched her fists as the four surrounded her in the middle of the hallway.
Deidre shook her head.
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.
Deidre was yanked away from the demon holding her then released.
Deidre covered her face as the demon lord tore out the demon's throat with the same fangs that drank from her.
Deidre opened her eyes, distracted by the flow of cool magic from Darkyn into her.
Deidre didn't face him, afraid of what she'd see.
Deidre grimaced at the sight of blood on her arms.
Deidre stared at it.
Deidre approached him with trepidation, stopping only close enough to reach out and take the hourglass.
Comforted by Fate's words, Deidre obeyed Darkyn's order with trepidation but no hesitation, assuming he meant to drink from her again.
Deidre struggled against the sensations.
Deidre met his gaze.
Deidre found herself leaning into his solid frame without resistance, entranced by the combination of his hot, hard body and cool fire on her swimming senses.
Unable to exit the dream fully, Deidre had no concept of how long they stood before the black flames of the fire.
Deidre felt herself breathless and consumed before the end of their first kiss, yielding to the intensity of his kiss and the firmness of his touch.
Deidre gripped him, craving something she didn't know how to ask him for.
Lost in the heady sensations, Deidre wriggled and strained beneath him.
Overwhelmed by the pleasure, Deidre bit him hard enough that she tasted him.
Deidre lay still for a moment before her eyes opened.
Deidre stopped fighting her body's cry for sleep and fell into a deep, dark slumber.
Deidre awoke alone and naked in bed.
If Gabriel had killed her while trying to save her, he'd kill the soul in her head, too, the one that damned Deidre to Hell.
If Past-Death being dead had rendered Deidre the mate of Gabriel, why wouldn't it work again, once Deidre won their deal?
Deidre turned off the shower, some semblance of a plan comforting her.
Deidre whipped the door open, ignoring the sting of her wet hair against her shoulders.
Deidre went back to the mirror and gazed at herself.
Deidre closed the door, near tears once more.
Deidre didn't move, afraid of provoking him.
Her senses addled, Deidre was forced to retreat.