They said she'd be sleepy because of the medicine, so I'll try to sleep while she is asleep.
He couldn't understand why she would say that when she'd been living in his house so long.
She was positive she'd be lost for life.
After a few minutes of rest she'd go help them.
He was no gentleman, and she'd best keep that in mind.
Besides, it was time to replace some of the things she'd been wearing since before they were married.
It was a question she'd have to ask Cade.
Martha came in with baby Clair looking as if she'd gotten over what ailed her.
Julie was a basket case when she learned she'd be required to transfer planes in Los Angeles.
I think her biggest fear was that she'd lose him.
As she'd never even visited an airport much less flown, frequent traveler Betsy carefully told her the dos and don'ts while she printed her boarding pass.
Alex didn't know about her fear of flying and she'd just as soon he didn't learn.
If they served something she couldn't eat, she'd feign illness.
You can bet she'd turn Howie in in a minute for that much dough!
When she didn't get her way, she'd cry and act like she was afraid of him.
I never met your mother, but if she was anything like you, I reckon he thought she'd do just that.
This was the same man who treated her so coldly earlier today, and she'd do best to keep that picture in her mind.
If she knew I was hiring you as a companion, she'd be embarrassed.
Today while she was in town, she'd ask Connie if she knew what it was.
Claire seemed pleased to be held by anyone, at least most of the time, but on occasion she'd let out a scream, loud enough to shake Howie from the past in spite of his near-soundproof basement room.
And so, if she couldn't have it in her head, she'd put it into his.
Actually, she'd rather get a room than stay in the house.
I took the receiver as Betsy dialed the number she'd copied from the television announcement.
Right now she'd like to kiss those smooth lips - and she might if she didn't know where they'd been last.
Yes, these verses Nicholas wrote himself and I copied some others, and she found them on my table and said she'd show them to Mamma, and that I was ungrateful, and that Mamma would never allow him to marry me, but that he'll marry Julie.
Because he was trying to dig up dirt on me so she'd leave.
It would allow my future wife, who was from Iowa, to view a part of the country she'd never seen.
I'd tell her real story, as much as she'd allow, while still maintaining her absolute privacy.
My monolog was blurted out non-stop for fear she'd cut me off before I finished.
Martha asked if she'd like to hold the baby, thrilling Molly further.
"Not at seventeen," Julie said quickly, and then looked as if she wished she'd not been so outspoken.
"What?" she asked, glancing around to see what she'd absentmindedly done this time.
If this was what defined a vacation away from home, she'd just as soon stay at home.
From now on she'd have a lot more respect for the art of romancing.
I could understand why he would be chasing her, but if I'd have known she'd go for a guy older than me...
Bordeaux was the closest thing she'd had to a friend in a long time... other than Pete, of course.
Her stammering made it obvious she'd taken at least some of the calls.
I prayed she'd take my warning seriously and maybe give us some helpful press in the bargin.
No. She's sleeping but I'm sure she'd be willing to hear what's troubling you.
It was clear she'd overheard a lot of information and as I was fearful she might confide in someone else, I admitted to her that Howie was the person the world was seeking, the so-called psychic tipster.
She told me one time; she'd never cheated on Quinn.
"And I know why she'd be ashamed," said Petya, offended by Natasha's previous remark.
If he hadn't come along, she'd probably be dead, and yet, he had done nothing to assist after Allen left.
What are the odds that she'd ever meet him, much less marry him?
She was unable to pin him down on the cases of ours she'd documented earlier but he practically admitted he was personally responsible for all them and more.
Still, you'd have thought she'd lost the Hope diamond the way she carried on.
She told our neighbor Mildred she'd done something she regretted 'cause now she really liked this guy and thought maybe she'd messed things up between them.
Did she tell Mildred what she'd done?
He's never spoken on the phone; it's only Julie's word and I'm sure she'd retract anything she said earlier.
I told her I'd asked the same question of Martha earlier and she'd been noncommittal.
While I waited for my, wife's return I sifted through the startling news she'd told me.
Molly was impressed, Howie was confused and Julie petrified she'd use the wrong utensils.
If she did, she'd be on national TV!
I hummed a tune I remembered my mother singing to me as I strolled to the barn to slay the lying witch-bitch who thought she'd tricked.
Soon enough, she'd pay for her insolence.
Satisfied, the nurse swept up the linens she'd changed and left.
All he ever wanted to do was play with his stupid baseball, and she'd taken it and thrown it into the forest.
She dug through the pockets in her jeans and pulled out the stash of one dollar bills she'd been given for trips to the candy machine down the hall.
He was her world, but she'd been nothing more than an afterthought, strung along with promises for years.
After all of Jonny's childhood injuries she'd healed, she couldn't fix her own heart!
She'd never seen him so upset in all the years she'd known him.
It wasn't somewhere she'd ever venture, even in daylight.
She didn't notice until she'd jostled her way into the center of the church.
He'd dreamt many times about his sister and his family, but she'd never talked to him directly.
We'll meet soon, brother, she'd said.
She wondered how many more there would be and doubted she'd last more than another day or two if he kept draining her blood.
And yet, she couldn't forget what she'd seen him doing-- drinking another woman's blood as Talon did hers!
Maybe, if she made it out of here, she'd go to lunch Sunday and do whatever felt right, like spend her life with him.
Her eyes snapped closed, her last vision that of the most striking man she'd ever seen.
With a deep breath, she opened the door, uncertain what horror she'd face next.
When she'd finished, she twisted the knob and pulled.
She must not have twisted one of the locks, even though she'd checked them all twice.
She wondered what was wrong with Jonny, if she'd get to him in time to heal him from whatever drugs Talon gave him.
It was Sofi's whisper in his mind, a new trick she'd picked up from Darian.
Her cheek was red as if she'd been struck, and there were tears on her face already.
Sofi would chew him out if he gave Bianca to her like she was, and he himself couldn't help but feel somewhat concerned that she'd gone unresponsive.
So maybe she wouldn't get over what she'd seen as fast as she should.
Whatever Natural talent she had, she'd somehow turned her brother from a vamp back into a human.
Part of her accepted his explanations after what she'd experienced the past few days.
When he didn't, she rubbed her face, wondering what exactly she'd been dragged into and if her heart would explode if he reappeared.
Dainty cat prints trekked through the flour she'd spilled on the counter.
In that moment, he had a feeling she'd pay up without resistance.
She said she'd tell you that in person if you hadn't already taken her Traveler.
Maybe she'd hoped his parting words in the morning were serious.
Awhile later, the sound of furniture crashing against the tile floor startled her, and she sat up from where she'd been dozing in front of the TV.
At first she thought it was the thunderstorm she'd fallen asleep listening to.
The poison she thought she'd cleared from his body lingered.
Jonny started collecting the supplies she'd need, and she watched him, proud.
He glared at her, unable to shake the sense that if Bianca hadn't thought smarter than him, she'd be dead.
He knew without asking she'd left him dinner again.
Yet he couldn't shake the memory of her body against his, the way she'd looked at him last night.
His scent still lingered on her skin, even though she'd taken a shower earlier.
He seemed the most approachable of everyone she'd met.
Afraid of what she'd feel, she resisted the urge to touch them.
It was the worst place she'd ever been, worse than any horror movie, worse than any nightmare.
If that was all she got, she'd take it.
No woman would ever be more than second to a man like that, but being the woman who was second in his world sounded better than anything else she'd ever wanted.
Talon barked at her, and she realized she'd stopped walking.
Talon shoved her back into the valley with a snarled threat under his breath, and she hurried out of the trough again, breathing hard by the time she'd clambered twenty feet to the top.
If she didn't know better, she'd say whatever the poison was, it felt like what lingered in Jonny's body.
With a frown, she wondered why she'd never seen it before, why she wasted seven years trying to make things work with someone who couldn't hold a candle to the man she was meant to be with.
The brutal display of strength and speed was unlike anything she'd ever seen.
Several times she'd thought Dusty had the upper hand and could've killed the leering vamp, and several times, he'd stopped, once with a glance at his watch.
He recognized one of the orbs she'd played with.
It was where she belonged, now that she'd helped those that needed it and lost her brother.
When she was younger, she'd loved it when he told her this.
She didn't believe she'd turn into a princess any more than she believed she wanted anything to do with killing anyone.
Normally, she'd leave before it got too crowded; her father preferred she avoided people altogether.
He pointed to a small table across the pub, and she wondered how she'd missed the men at the table.
She started to the table then stopped, unable to dismiss the feeling of the man's arms around her or what she'd felt when they touched.
Instead, she'd touched his soul, and it'd laughed and turned her magic away.
Unable to find her voice, she hurried around him to the table where she'd left her coat.
Part of her wanted to return to her home that very night, and another part of her feared what she'd find if she did.
If she'd had friends, she would've gone to visit one.
She wasn't sure she'd seen a man as big as he was anywhere but on the TV.
It was one of the many oddities about her father that she'd accepted over the years.
The man before her looked pretty human himself, with beautiful brown eyes and a body unlike any she'd seen before.
Accustomed to being shunned by people, she'd almost felt normal around the stranger who seemed unaffected by her magic.
His gaze went to the wine cellar door, which she'd left cracked.
She thought of how she'd felt safe with Jule during their brief encounter.
He'd met Jenn once and didn't know her well enough to know where she'd be.
When she'd touched him in the alley, she'd left a piece of herself within him.
Pain radiated through his body from where she'd shot him, and his normally pliant temper was near the snapping point.
In the morning, her father really would kill him, and she'd be lucky to escape with another beating.
She meant what she said; she had no friends, but a long time ago, she'd had one whose family had a summer cottage near the coast.
She looked away and fumbled with the needle and thread she'd found in a sewing kit.
By the time she'd made the second stitch, he was unconscious and she was sick to her stomach.
She knew she'd have to leave him.
She withdrew then touched him again, this time pushing the energy she'd absorbed—and her own—into him.
The connection she'd experimented with when he slept grew intimate when he was awake.
In her haste to be close to him, she'd planted a shoulder in his injured chest.
She tried to regain her composure, unable to compare the brief experience with Jule to anything else she'd ever felt.
Jule was resting against couch cushions she'd put on the floor for him.
She knew she needed to leave him but couldn't find it in her to abandon the only place she'd ever felt safe.
Feeling as if she'd said too much, she turned and fled the cottage for her car and locked the doors.
If she had a choice of what to believe, she'd believe Jule, a man she barely knew.
There were few things in life she was certain about, and one of them was that she'd felt safer with Jule during their short time together than she ever did with her father.
Even the crossbow she'd used the other night was clean and perched where she'd found it, loaded once again.
She shook her head, recalling what she'd felt when she touched Jule.
The largest vamp she'd ever seen stepped into the hallway.
She'd met enough Guardians and vamps to know how unique each was, but she'd never met a creature like this one.
Itching to relieve some of her own nervous energy after the run-in with the vamps, she'd reached the door when Jonny spoke again.
Looking over the largest vamp she'd ever seen, she had a feeling a confrontation between them wouldn't end well for her.
Her voice was quiet, and he couldn't help wondering if she'd Seen something important enough to tolerate a vamp in her household.
Jule, whose soul had somehow lingered in her body when she'd touched him, and who had become the only man she'd ever felt safe around.
None of the vamps she'd seen yet were alive.
Xander, however, was a complication she'd never before run across.
Her tortured thoughts went to the thousands of men, killed by the only family she'd known, whose souls were trapped for eternity beneath the ground.
Whatever she'd accidentally done to him in the alley, she'd sealed them together in a way he never thought possible.
She sighed, aware she'd never know the answer to that question.
She'd hoped … she'd wanted Jonny to be different.
It looked untouched, but a quick search revealed the only weapons remaining were those she'd taken when she left her room, and the beacon was gone.
Something blocked the storm and sun sources she'd felt, but the others flowed to her freely.
Yully opened her eyes and released the magic she'd pulled in.
She punched slowly a few times until she was certain she'd corrected her punch.
Whoever Bianca was, she'd thought of everything.
Yully smiled, at ease with the two women she'd met so far.
Jule was right; she'd learned who he was in the alley, when she'd first touched his soul.
Yully left the gym, feeling as if she'd entered a new world.
After a lifetime of rejection, she'd found a home with the very people her father warned her against.
To ease her exposure to the sun, she'd volunteered for the evening shift to support the West Coast customers.
Dimly, Sofia knew she'd never work there again after that low blow.
By the time they found out what it was, she'd probably be near dead, like stage four cancer.
Every vision she'd had, even when Jake touched her, had been of death.
Her body was beginning to ache more, from her battered hands to her bruised cheek from when she'd fallen after fainting the night before.
Since leaving college, she'd stayed in shape through the local gym, where she lifted weights and forced herself onto a cardio machine twice a week.
He was the sexiest man she'd ever seen, and the swirling aura of command only amplified his physical appeal.
To his surprise, she'd passed out.
Since her dream, she'd heard him even when she was awake.
She checked the clock on the nightstand then the notepad listing the time of the flight she'd booked the afternoon before after exploring the mansion.
She'd had never felt overwhelmed by a man before, and she'd certainly never been a woman who felt weak-kneed!
"I saw you … I saw …" She didn't know how to say what she'd seen without seeming like the craziest person in the world.
There were a great many things she'd let him do to her to win the game in her head.
After another half an hour, she gathered up a small backpack she'd found in a closet.
The day before, she'd found quite a few treasures, to include the backpack, a flashlight, the key locker for the cars in the garage, and Jake's wallet, which happened to have a credit card, which she had secretly used to book a flight from Tucson to Virginia.
He didn't know if she'd understand—or forgive him—for what he was about to do to her.
If she had it her way, she'd not do it at all.
The moon was covered by clouds, and she crumpled the notes she'd taken.
And then she'd tried to eat chocolate and ended up in the bathroom even weaker and hungrier.
He began to cry, the soul-deep weeping of a man who'd lost all and spent his tormented life in a level of hell she'd never be able to imagine.
It was an odd mix that warned him she'd not yet accepted her place in his world.
She had checked off three of the seven exercises she'd learned from the books she read.
He led her from the library, across the courtyard, and into the far wing of the mansion she'd not yet explored.
Sofia stepped out of her way, trying hard to digest what she'd seen.
She glanced toward the door, mind on what she'd learned earlier.
She didn't want to look, sensing she'd met a source of their issues already.
Inside was the most beautiful gown she'd ever seen in a mysterious shade of dark blue sprinkled with silver sequins.
She eyed him and then looked to Damian, who stared at her with an intensity she'd last seen aimed at Claire.
She tried to think of how she could soften the pain she'd bring him.
Caterers served up food she'd kill to eat.
If Dustin's words were true, she'd never be welcomed into the home of any of Damian's people, not if they feared the sight of her!
"I'd never do that to you," she said, unable to stop the tears she'd been holding back since the start of the evening.
"You jealous little bi—" Before she knew what she did, she'd closed the distance between them and slapped him hard.
That she'd used him, killed Darian … "Damian."
He understood why she'd looked at Dusty before telling him about Claire.
Without Pierre, she'd never set foot in such a dangerous situation.
Pierre motioned her forward, and she went, afraid of what she'd find.
They were quiet the remainder of the trip while Sofia dwelled over what she'd seen in Traci's future.
She said nothing, realizing she'd told him something he didn't know.
After her explosion at Damian, she'd have to beg for food.
And she'd never demean herself to that man.
If she closed her eyes, she'd see the home video of Darian's funeral pile.
It was something normal people did during this time of year, something she'd done every year for twenty-three years.
While she couldn't shake the sense of doom that followed her from the visions, she felt more normal, less afraid, at the thought that she'd be rejoining the rest of humanity for a shopping trip with the girls, even if only for a morning.
Like the night she'd come to visit him upon arriving in Tucson.
She rose and dusted off her legs from where she'd knelt.
Any hope she'd had of them not understanding how different she was died.
His guard was down for the first time since she'd known him.
She was more grateful to him in that moment than she'd ever been.
She took his hand and kissed his palm, then ran to her library, mind racing with what she'd learned about him.
He was lined with weapons she'd watched him emplace earlier.
"That pocket is for knives, not your shit," Pierre snapped as Linda dropped another trinket she'd bought into one of his pockets.
Like the assassin who obsessed about birthdays and clothing, there were two sides to the man before her: the warm, friendly stranger with whom she'd felt so comfortable she confided to him over the phone without knowing anything about him, and the tattooed thug before them in snug biker leathers.
She saw the thaw from the cactus daring anyone to touch him to the man she'd spoken to on the phone.
Jule laughed, looking at her to see how she'd take it.
He went to the library, where he knew she'd be hiding out.
The truth settled into the pit of her stomach, along with the realization that she meant what she'd said—she would do whatever it took to free the man she loved.
Renewed by the blood, more sobs wracked her body as she thought of Damian and how badly she'd destroyed any plan Dustin or Jule could make.
The best she could hope for was eternity on this table, alone, knowing what she'd done to humanity's defender.
All he could see in his head was kiri sobbing and the dreams she'd made him remember.
When assured she'd follow, he released her and marched on into the desert, away from the mountain.
The images she'd seen the night of the Quarterly replayed in her mind.
She hadn't felt like she belonged in this world until she'd seen what good she could do.
Despite the cool fear spiraling through her, she couldn't help but feel thrilled at the sight of him after she thought she'd lost him.
She didn't know if she'd hurt him enough to drive him away forever or if there was a sliver of him that still wanted her.
I never thought she'd do something like that, he said quietly.
The new voice in her mind was the same as the voice she'd heard during the chopper ride with Darian.
As they strode into the gardens toward an awaiting helicopter, she couldn't help but think she'd just stepped into something far greater than she could ever imagine.
She reached a stairwell and descended to a floor with wider, taller corridors, as if she'd gone from the wing with private chambers to a more public area.
The book was the size of a paperback she'd buy at an airport but had to weigh fifty pounds.
During the quiet time she'd had since then, Deidre began to think she'd made a bad bet.
He'd chosen to stay with her that long, and she'd broken Immortal laws to take her place as his mate.
Unlike the others whose paths she'd crossed earlier, he didn't ignore her.
Deidre didn't face him, afraid of what she'd see.
She fled up the stairs and down the hallways she'd memorized on her trip to the library.
It was the same thrum she felt with Gabriel, after she'd been claimed as his mate.
Would it be as strong as hers had been to Gabriel, where she'd ached for him to touch her, no matter how little sense it made?
It was the same question she'd been asking herself.
The same instincts that warned her against the last deal with him told her she'd never win any bet with the devil I'll give you the terms first this time.
She found herself nipping back at his chest and neck, something she'd never done before.
Desperately trapped by need unlike anything she'd ever known, she obeyed.
The dread and guilt at the pit of her stomach were countered by the confusion of knowing that she'd fallen into the grip of the Immortal laws first with Gabriel then with Darkyn.
His words struck her as true; they were the same doubts she'd had about Gabriel since she met him.
She withdrew her teeth from his neck, not at all certain what to think of what she'd done.
He was different than the last deity she'd slept with.
Her face warmed at how desperate she'd been for a single drop of him, to feel him inside her while his fangs sank into her neck.
Darkyn was quiet and still, his body relaxed for the first time since she'd known him.
They were the same she'd said to Gabriel on the beach, the night they met.
She paused, knowing she shouldn't ask what she'd wanted to since finding out what he did.
She missed nature in the time she'd been in Hell.
Deidre moved towards it, recalling the last time she'd crossed through it.
If she didn't find one, she'd spend eternity weeping.
Relief made the tears she'd been holding begin to fall.
Before she could tell him she'd changed her mind, sharp pain penetrated her neck.
She didn't think she'd ever win with him, but she was thrilled knowing she'd done something right.
As if sensing she'd noticed, he straightened and moved away, breaking contact to stand a few feet away.
It wasn't the first time she'd heard such a thing, but it sounded far worse coming from the devil than it had Wynn.
She absently reached for the hourglass and realized she'd left it on her nightstand.
She'd made one choice, and she'd never come home to this place again.
At any minute, she'd hear him tear them apart and then, she'd freak out.
She waited, wishing she'd never come.
Wishing she'd gone somewhere other than here.
She stood, terrified of what she'd find when she went to the living room.
She wasn't certain what to feel: angry at Darkyn for setting her up or sorrow at facing the mate she'd never have.
She wished she'd realized that a few days earlier, before it was too late to matter.
Darkyn wore her out, and when she'd woken, she was alone.
The knowledge made her want to scream, knowing she'd spent years blindly letting him talk to her like this and encourage her with pretty words, while he ensured the tumor in her head killed her.
He appeared wary for the first time since she'd known him.
She'd been terrified that day, unaware she'd be mated to him twenty four hours later.
She let herself think what she'd do, if she had the choice between the two.
She was furious and so hurt, she wished she'd jumped into the Grand Canyon like she originally planned.
She shivered, unaware just how close she'd been to dying by his hands.
Darkyn was ancient, according to the tutorial she'd watched, from the time-before-time.
She wasn't, but she doubted she'd have a choice.
Her breathing quickened as she realized what she'd done.
The only other soul she'd touched had told her its life story in a blink of the eye, terrifying her.
Selyn peeked out from the two inches she'd opened the door, her dark eyes identical to her father's.
Suddenly, Deidre wished she'd left Selyn in Hell.
She didn't know what happened if she tried to make one, but she'd do what it took to protect the terrified teen.
With a sickening feeling, she realized she'd never asked Darkyn what she meant to: how to turn off the seductress or at least, defend herself against those drawn to her.
She knew she'd deserve it, just for being in here.
There's no way she'd know her mother would be released.
Cynthia released the tears she'd held in check.
What the hell, if hand signals and the language of smiles could do the trick, she'd make a fine employee.
"Let's all sign it," Cynthia said when she'd finished, and each added a signature.
Toward dawn, her conversation became fixed on the skeleton-man she'd discovered in the depths of the mine as if he too was a forever forgotten soul, equally immersed in lonely darkness.
"Ask any honest woman who she'd rather sleep with," slurred Ginger, "a jock or a PhD."
She told him god knows what she'd do to him if he didn't get all the credits he could.
"I imagine she'd have kept trying if the line was busy," Dean answered.
"I was going to ask to speak to her supervisor," he said, pouring a cup of coffee, "but I figured she'd say 'I are one.'"
Dean explained how she'd stopped him for speeding.
I wish she'd call.
I only wish she'd call so we could tell her.
I know that, but Martha said she'd telephone—we even gave her a calling card—and we haven't heard a word from her.
While she'd most likely be out on the job, he'd case the place, now that his detective hat was fitting so well.
The sister was long gone, but campground neighbors recounted she'd opened the trunk before departing.
She said she'd try and call when she got the chance.
By the time he neared the woman, she'd crossed the intersection where the water fight would be held later, and was passing the bank in the heart of town.
Jennifer paused so long before answering that Dean thought she'd not heard his question.
"It sounds as if you were very fortunate in your choice of a husband," Dean said honestly, but he noted she'd failed to answer his earlier question.
You're just afraid she'd toss you off the mountain for being so nosy—as well she should!
Either Cynthia's presence relaxed her or she'd decided David Dean was not a combatant from the enemy camp.
Jennifer began snapping her small camera at the first vista until she realized she'd used more than half the roll.
Added to it was the pleasure of seeing Cynthia, after all she'd undergone, so utterly enjoying the day.
He thought she'd walk away, but instead, she cautiously lifted the rope, turned further away from the precipice and took baby steps backwards toward him.
He knew she'd understand.
He sat on a sofa while she settled into a leather rocker where she'd evidently been sitting, as there was a nearly empty pint of vodka on the table next to her.
Dean was afraid she'd passed out.
He did so now, describing Lydia's reluctance in descending to the accident, but glossing over just how petrified she'd been.
They all feigned shock and surprise at this not-uncommon happening as Paulette huffily announced she'd absent herself with a walk around the block while they "took care of the matter."
When he visited her, she'd mentioned marriage and divorce.
"You said you wanted to grill her further but she'd been drinking too much," Fred said.
I think she'd be a lot less candid with you along.
Ginger Dawkins was sitting on the porch in her pretty blue sweater as if she'd never huffed and puffed her exit a day earlier.
By then, my mother was a single mom but she'd met my stepfather—my only real father—and she opted to remain in California.
Dean then brought Lydia Larkin into the picture by telling Jake Weller how she had radioed Fitzgerald with the two Denver investigators in her car, making the call from the spot where he claimed she'd be out of reception.
Martha, dressed exactly as she had been when she'd left, clutched her new suitcase while the barest hint of a smile graced her pretty face.
Mrs. Lincoln slipped into the room amid throaty sounds of welcome and hopped onto Martha's lap as calmly as if she'd never left.
She said she'd really like you.
There was a question of jurisdictions and when Weller volunteered that Martha was safe and comfortable at Bird Song where she'd spent the last six months, no one seemed to protest.
Maria crushed Martha in her happy embrace, although what she'd perceived of the young girl's absence through the veil of her linguistic limitations was anyone's guess.
Between bites, Martha regaled the few late rising guests that lingered around the dining room with stories of her adventure and the bus window sights she'd visited.
She was quick to deny that they were the ones she'd found, but they continued with the story without asking her the details of her initial discovery.
He didn't doubt that if it were to her advantage to do so, she'd have no compunction in involving him, however unfairly.
I would have killed her if she'd been successful.
As a human, she'd be much easier to render dead-dead.
For a moment, Wynn thought she'd refuse.
Shivering, she stripped out of the Hell garb and flung it aside to put on some of the clothing she'd chosen.
The sweaters weren't just the most vibrant shades of autumn, they were softer than anything she'd ever experienced.
As she watched Cora, Deidre began to think she'd missed a lot over the past few months despite trying to pay attention to the human world.
The strongest memory in human-Deidre's mind: the moment she realized she'd made a deal with the Dark One, when his fangs had pierced her body.
Even as a sentient soul, she'd felt fear.
If she had to guess, she'd call the emotion fear.
She wanted to see Gabriel; it was the reason she'd done everything she'd done.
Her thoughts went to the deal she'd made human-Deidre.
As much as she distrusted Wynn, she'd seen the caution in his features, the haunted wisdom of his gaze.
Telling him that she'd mated off human-Deidre to the Dark One would make Gabriel hate her.
She wasn't willing to lose him already, not after all she'd gone through to keep him.
She spent a minute thinking over how she'd seen human-Deidre buy things.
If he found out the extent she'd gone to in order to be here with him?
In his place, she'd kill him.
The features she'd admired when she was Death she now saw as stunning.
He was able to sense her presence once more without knowing she'd been gone from his reach for an entire night.
No matter how many Deidres were shoved into that perfect little body, she'd never have the control over him she once had.
There was something else in her gaze, the knowledge that she'd figured out this Deidre wasn't the same one she was yesterday.
They emerged in the chamber she'd been in before.
Without them, she'd never know for sure.
When the sun was up, she retreated from the French doors, troubled by the lost souls and what she did to make Gabriel's life worse, when she'd hoped to make it better.
"This is heavenly!" she exclaimed when she'd swallowed her first bite.
I think she thought that if I failed, she'd get him back.
He wasn't going to understand what she'd done.
With his chiseled features and muscular frame, he was without a doubt the sexiest man she'd ever seen.
She didn't want to think about the human she'd left in the hands of the demon lord.
The goddess she had been would mock her for choosing to become what she'd always despised.
He wasn't certain what frustrated him more: knowing he hurt her or knowing she'd changed every part of her – but the one that mattered.
She mourned the loss of all she'd ever learned or known.
Reluctantly, her thoughts returned to the human she'd left in Hell.
Perhaps when she lost her soul at the end of the week or maybe, if she could help him recover his underworld, she'd tell Gabriel then.
As guilty as she felt, she wasn't willing to make a deal with him to protect the human she'd condemned.
Because if she did, she'd lose what little she had left.
She trotted to the spot she'd identified from the tree as being where the currents appeared to originate from.
He chose to overlook Cora's disappointment at how close she'd been to home without being able to go back.
The emotion she'd admitted to yesterday – which Andre had told him as well – shimmered in her large blue eyes.
Her own body burned with emotions she couldn't control: love, happiness, and a hunger so deep, she thought she'd die before he sated her.
He was certain to take her to climax each time before seeking his own release, a practice she'd never participated, when she was a goddess who felt nothing.
She didn't know what to do to return to the heady high she'd been on.
She had no way of guaranteeing him that something she'd done wouldn't return to make them both miserable.
She recalled clearly the decision she'd forced him to make and kicking him out of her bed, the moment he resigned his soul to her to save his friend's life.
But no longer, because she'd been trying to make sure she never lost him.
In three days' time, she'd not only lose her soul, she'd lose Gabriel, too, this time for good.
Tonight, she'd take comfort in the arms of the only man she ever loved.
She made love to him as if she'd waited her life for the moment.
He had no idea what she'd been through the past few days at the hands of Darkyn.
Her secret now revealed, Gabriel understood why she'd refused to tell him.
He watched her pace, wondering how she could do what she'd done.
He wondered if she'd be able to swing helping him.
It sounded as if she'd already won, which meant his mate had lost.
The human was okay, and his mate was at his side, where she'd always belonged.
By the tremor in her voice, she knew she'd lost this one as well as he did.
Deidre entered the shadow world and summoned the human she'd left in Hell.
But she couldn't help feeling as if she'd never truly known the man she loved until someone else told her what she missed.
No one could love her after all she'd done!
Deidre let the tears fall that she'd held back.
But she saw what lay beneath his actions: hatred for something she'd done to him.
No longer hungry, she began to wonder how many other people she'd faulted over her lifetime.
Thinking of taking a dive in the lake and not surfacing again, except that it meant she'd lose her soul.
Of all the things she'd done, she'd never be able to forgive herself for hurting him.
She didn't know how he could love her still after all she'd done or why he was willing to try to make things work.
Deidre knew the death dealer; she'd recruited all of them.
Worst of all: she'd miss her first dinner date with Gabriel.
The girl tapped his arm then held up three fingers, the sign she'd made to mean Wynn.
Maybe she'd like to take both you and Destiny away from me.
If its contents were like the reports she'd seen in the past, it would be full medical nonsense.
She was able to decipher some of it after all the tests she'd been through.
He chuckled, this smile the largest she'd seen yet.
She lived on her terms; she'd die on her terms.
Naturally white-blonde, she'd dyed it pink on a whim last weekend.
The determination in Harmony's voice left him no doubt she'd do it.
Gabriel didn't say what he wanted, that if his predecessor knew he needed something, she'd probably torched it before she left.
Shaking his head, he walked once around the room, trying to determine where she'd hide something he needed.
Maybe he figured she'd change her mind if she saw a ring.
Angry at him again, she realized she'd been trying to work up the courage to break up with him for weeks.
Like, hooking up with a stranger at a bar like they did in movies and a few sex positions she'd been subtly trying to talk him into.
She wanted to do everything she'd ever wanted.
By the time she reached the beach house, her face was Smurf blue and she was laboring under the weight of the treasures she'd found.
Deidre flipped on the lights in the bungalow and made herself stir fry with the fresh veggies she'd bought that day.
She couldn't remember the last time she'd been so honest or embarrassed, and in front of a complete stranger!
He was the first real person she'd ever met.
Though she'd rather not be trapped by the eyes that made her blood quicken, she forced herself to look at him.
The strange energy hummed through her again, and she became aware of new sensations she'd never noticed with anyone else.
She wanted to feel his large hands on her body and to find out what it was about him that made her feel like he was the only real person she'd ever met.
He'd loved her every way he could, knowing the night she was dissatisfied with him, she'd replace him.
When her body ceased convulsing from an orgasm, she'd kissed him with tenderness and asked him how she could make him as happy.
It was past dark, and she'd come to his cabin most nights for the past two months.
She'd done things with him she'd never admit to, things that made her never want to see him again.
She held nothing back as he drove her to sensations and heights she'd never imagined.
She found herself walking down the beach to where she'd met him the night before.
The man she'd seen in daylight and the one who'd kissed her so passionately in moonlight became two separate people.
This was where she'd met him, the man who rocked her world.
There were too many things she'd wanted to do before dying; now that someone might kill her, she realized how unready she really was.
She managed to pull herself together after awhile but was unable to forget what she'd seen, what she'd done.
"Logan?" she whispered, shocked to see the man she'd thought was dead standing in front of her.
She didn't let herself listen to the instinct that told her the body she'd seen was wearing the clothes she bought him.
No one wanted a dying girlfriend, especially when she'd flat out refused to marry him.
The instincts she'd ignored at seeing Logan alive grew louder.
Far calmer than she'd ever been, she crept down the hallway.
If she gave herself a second to think, she'd stop and sob, until someone else came by and killed her.
Deidre hadn't landed in heaven; she'd landed in hell.
Judging by the strength of their bond, she'd be more than a duty to him.
No part of him doubted she'd done it.
Doubting she'd welcome him, he was drawn to her in a way he wasn't going to be able to fight for long.
The idea she'd hidden it somewhere he couldn't find was driving him mad, along with the scent of the human blood coating the walls of the far bedroom.
Deidre walked into one of four courtyards she'd discovered roaming the day before.
Half-drunk by the time Rhyn explained things to her the day before, she'd come away from that conversation more baffled than she'd been when she fell out of the sky onto the beach.
Maybe, if she returned to her apartment, she'd find everything was back to normal.
After all she'd been through lately, she couldn't help feeling a little wary.
Even though she'd seen Logan in her apartment, before Gabriel chopped him down.
Relief flooded her as she saw the police tape around the area where she'd found the body.
It was parked in the driveway of the neighboring lot, where she'd seen no lights or activity all weekend.
His perspective was unique, unlike that of anyone else she'd ever met.
Wynn had always taken care of her, yet she'd felt safe at the Sanctuary and safest in Gabriel's arms.
She crossed more boldly this time, terrified of seeing the doorway close behind her before she'd made it through another one.
She didn't want to look at Gabriel, afraid of what she'd see.
Deidre moved away from his touch, upset she'd let the moonlight trick her into forgetting how dangerous he was.
Deidre watched him go, horrified at what she'd done.
Whatever step towards him she seemed to take this day, she'd leapt back about twenty.
I assume she knew she'd need something from me, except she had no idea who I was when we met again.
That the skin around Wynn's eyes relaxed in genuine warmth made Gabe realize she'd survived partially because she really was different.
If he admitted not to killing Wynn, she'd return immediately.
Terrified she'd find him in the tub, nothing more than a pile of bones, she pushed herself away from the wall and focused hard on calling a portal.
She stepped through into the guest bedroom she'd left the night before.
Her things were where she'd left them.
Deidre crossed her arms as she moved to take the seat she'd been in the night before.
She thought she was going crazy already; if she really started to deteriorate, there was no way she'd be able to handle it.
Of everyone she'd dealt with, he was the first to give her a real choice: Life or death.
Hurrying through the brightest doorway, she recognized the massive bedchamber where she'd left Katie and Toby.
With a low brow and piercing gaze, gravelly voice, a perfectly sculpted body and rugged features, Gabriel was the sexiest man she'd ever seen.
The idea of waking up to him each morning reminded her of how centered, energized and at peace she'd been after their first night together.
As long as she was willing to accept that was the only part of him she'd ever have.
It was hard to remind herself she'd done absolutely nothing to earn it in this life.
Determined to do what she wanted with her life, she'd been good with her money but didn't save anything.
It didn't appear to be far, and it was hours before she'd be asleep on her side of the world.
She had a cute hat she'd picked out and stuffed in one pocket of her backpack.
She faced the direction from which she'd come.
And Gabriel, who she thought she'd bonded with on the beach their first night?
She couldn't fathom the enormity of a billion souls like the one she'd touched.
Gabriel's gravelly voice reminded her of one of the reasons she'd snapped in the first place.
Maybe it was his way of fulfilling his end of the bargain she'd refused by making sure she had a place to stay.
If she had limitless money, this was a place she'd pick out.
If the place didn't feel so much like she designed every detail, she'd freak out.
The main difference between the penthouse and its contents and her own life: she'd never been able to afford anything remotely as expensive or nice.
The rich cinnamon-vanilla scent of the bath bubbles filled the air, reminding her of the candle she'd bought at the farmers market the day her life went to hell.
No matter what he said, she'd heard enough about past-Deidre to understand there was much more to their relationship.
I pulled her Sight, so she couldn't tell I was lying, then asked what she'd wager on it.
I set up the chain of events millennia ago and knew if I could push her enough in one direction, she'd go peacefully over the edge, he said.
From what he knew, if they brought her back, she'd be however she left the earth.
After the fifth, she was certain she'd dreamt it all up.
It wasn't something she'd consider any other time, a form-fitting jersey knit with spaghetti straps probably more suited for sleeping than wearing out.
Not that it mattered, but she'd need five inch heels to catch the gaze of someone as sexy as Gabriel.
Deidre bought the lights she'd wanted for years.
The painkillers she'd taken kicked in soon after, and she bought ice cream.
His eyes were the most beautiful blue-purple she'd ever seen.
The portal formed before she'd finished the sentence.
Without looking back, Deidre walked through it and emerged on a familiar beach, the same one she'd ended up on when she leapt from her apartment building.
He was no longer the conflicted man she'd met on a beach a few days before.
He'd asked her if she'd take herself out of the equation before she hurt Gabriel.
Why she'd chosen to serve a demon over him… was there any part of her that cared for him?
If it didn't work, she'd die while under.
Suddenly, she was afraid she'd be tempted to pay whatever price he demanded, no matter how high.
There was no guarantee Gabriel wanted her, but she'd have a chance.
From the visions he showed her, he was capable of things she'd never dreamed of.
The simple cut reminded her of something she'd seen in movies about ancient Rome: loose-fitted and airy, it was secured by a thin cord around her neck.
She spun at the voice, startled to see Mr. Checkmate, the man she'd met on the beach when she arrived at the Sanctuary the first time.
She knew if she woke up too fast, she'd feel like she had a hangover.
If anything, she was exhausted and in a recovery room unlike any she'd ever seen before.
She was halfway across the room when what she'd seen registered.
She thought hard about all she'd learned since arriving to Hell.
Foreboding filled her at the expression on the deity's face, like she'd just won the lottery.
Deidre crossed the room, terrified she'd find Gabriel's name gone.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.