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Hunter, A Thieves Series Book 2

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About the book

When Kelsey Owens returns home to Dallas, she is a changed woman. After months of training with Marcus Vorenus, she has more control over her abilities. She’s ready to start her new job, even if it means dealing with the King of All Vampire and his partner, Devinshea Quinn. Her first assignment, however, will force her to face her past. Grayson Sloane is in trouble and she has to find him. 

With the help of Gray’s brother, a full empath demon, Kelsey tracks her one-time lover down. Before she knows it, she’s pulled into Gray’s undercover operation in a demon sex club and sitting across from a Duke of Hell. Abbas Hiberna plans to use her city to test his new drug, Brimstone. It doesn’t just give supernatural creatures a high. It also leaves them vulnerable to demonic persuasion. 

When the king’s own men begin to turn against him, even the royal family is in danger. Keeping them safe will put Kelsey in the duke’s crosshairs and test her fledgling relationship with Marcus. With her new life crumbling around her, a dark secret about her former lover is revealed, and Kelsey will have to choose between saving Gray Sloane and the revenge she’s waited a lifetime for.

ADDICT was an absolute pulse-pounding, sexy escape. Breathtaking! Powerful! Vivid! I COULD NOT get enough! It took my breath away and completely engaged my mind and my heart. It left my stomach in knots and my body aflame. I was giddy, excited, and emotional the whole way through. This was just pure urban fantasy masterpiece! Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton, Lara Adrian, and Kresley Cole will absolutely fall in love with Blake’s writing style and characters.
— Shayna, Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads, ShaynaReneesSpicyReads
This book is awesome. It has family betrayal as well as learning about a new family. The future is seen but only in possibilities. Relationships evolve and some people will not make it out alive. This story is totally action packed and will keep you glued to each page. A few new characters are introduced which adds new depth to this series. The climatic end will have you worried. And, choices are made that will change the world. This has to be one of the best paranormal series out there and each book is well worth reading at least once…….and probably even more to really get all the details.
— Terri, Night Owl Romance, NightOwlReviews


Chapter One

“You look really good, Kelsey,” Zack Owens said with a small smile of satisfaction. 

My uncle sat across from me in the limo that drove us toward the downtown Dallas building that housed the Council. It was a massive, modern building and it was going to be my new home. 

“Thank you. I think it’s the bangs.” I sat back in the plush seat. The stylist at the salon in Venice had assured me that the bangs softened my face. I was getting used to seeing the world through a fringe of brown hair. Bangs notwithstanding, I was sure I did look better than the last time Zack had seen me. It wouldn’t take much. It had been three months before and I’d been pretty messed up. The last time I’d seen my uncle, I’d been covered in blood, and a whole lot of it had been mine. 

It had been the night I’d discovered I wasn’t what I thought I’d been. I’d spent the first twenty-six years of my life in the false belief that I was human. That night three months before had taught me I was something different and given me an entirely new family. Some of them, like Zack and little Lee Donovan-Quinn, were awesome, and some, like the King of all Vampire, were a major pain in my ass. 

Zack Owens had been on my doorstep a full thirty minutes before I’d been told to expect him. Luckily, I’d gotten up early. I was still on Italian time. It would be days before my body rearranged my internal clock, or so my boyfriend told me. We’d taken an overnight flight from Venice two days before I was supposed to report to the king. I’d taken the time to pack up my small house and get things ready for life in the Council’s compound. 

“Italy agreed with you.” My uncle was an attractive man who looked to be in his mid-twenties. He was dressed casually, but for him that meant a pair of tailored slacks and a cashmere sweater. He was eight years older than me, but he looked my age or younger. Zachary Owens is a werewolf and the servant of the king of the supernatural world. His master is a vampire named Daniel Donovan, and serving him is apparently the family business. I’m the king’s death machine. 

My proper title is Nex Apparatus. It’s the title held traditionally by a vampire, but I’m not a vampire. I’m something even rarer. I’m a Hunter, the love child of a lone wolf and a human. I was born with the spirit of a wolf in my body, but without the wolf’s aversion to silver, nor am I tied to the cycles of the moon. According to the King of all Vampire, I was born to track and kill demons on the Earth plane. The king wanted to change the title of the office I held to something a bit more innocuous. He, himself, had been the Nex Apparatus at one time and I was sure he would prefer to pretend he wasn’t forcing another person into the role he’d hated. He wanted me to refer to myself as sheriff. 

It had been months since I last saw the king, and I was a bit nervous at the thought of our reunion. We hadn’t parted on good terms. I’d shot him the bird and promptly run as fast as I could away from him. Despite the fact that I’d been ordered to wait in my well-appointed jail cell for the king’s chosen trainee, I’d run off with Marcus Vorenus. My trainer was in a small feud with Donovan and his partner, Devinshea Quinn. Marcus and I had run all the way to Venice where we’d set up house and he’d begun my formal Hunter training. It might not have been wholly Council approved, but it had proven effective. 

“You seem much more confident,” Zack commented. 

Training will do that for you. So will really amazing sex with a hot Italian. “I suppose I am. I’m much more in control.” 

Zack leaned forward, and for a second I thought he would reach out and touch me. Werewolves tend to be tactile creatures, especially with their families. I smelled like his long-lost brother. It would most likely be comforting to Zack to be able to touch me. My uncle hesitated and then moved on to more business. “Your rooms are ready. I think you’ll like them. We set up everything according to Marcus’s specifications, right down to the type of towels you prefer. Marcus seemed very thorough.” 

I wasn’t particular. If a towel was fairly clean, it worked for me, but Marcus believed in having the best of everything. Apparently when you’re a billionaire you don’t settle for hand-me-down towels. 

“Is this really necessary? I have a perfectly good house.” 

Zack had picked me up at my small suburban house. It wasn’t anything special, and my hot Italian boyfriend had commented on the need for additional space and a maid. But it was mine and I was comfortable in it. The thought of being forced to live in the Council’s compound made me anxious. It pointed out the fact that I was still basically on probation. A Hunter is considered a dangerous creature in the supernatural world. The training process can take years. I’d finished the initial three-month schooling in mental discipline and I felt perfectly in control in a way I never had before. Long hours of focused concentration and working on emotional honesty and balance had given me self-confidence. Yeah, I hadn’t really had that before. I usually sought confidence in the bottom of a tequila bottle. 

The werewolf shrugged. “I think you’re stuck with us for a while, Kelsey. It won’t be so bad. The building is actually really nice. I’ve lived there for years. Once you’ve convinced the king you have control, he’ll let up.” He cocked a curious eyebrow. “We were informed that you weren’t coming back alone.” 

I smiled brilliantly, thinking of my gorgeous hunk of man. “I’m not. If the king is going to force me to live in the building, then he should be prepared to house my boyfriend, too.” 

Boyfriend wasn’t exactly the term Marcus preferred, but I wasn’t going to call him master anywhere but in the comfort of our bedroom, or when it was absolutely necessary in terms of vampire tradition. 

“What’s his name, Kelsey?” Uncle Zack asked with an indulgent smile. “You’re having dinner with me and Lisa and Courtney tomorrow night, so I’d like to be able to give my wife a name. She’s excited about meeting you finally and meeting your intriguing European boyfriend. I’d also like to be prepared for how horribly my daughter will mangle his name.” 

My face fell and Zack suddenly frowned my way. 

“You don’t know?” 

It seemed like it should be obvious to everyone that Marcus and I had become lovers. It had been practically inevitable. Our mental connection had led to a close friendship that had finally become a physical desire I couldn’t walk away from. In my understanding, it was a typical relationship between trainer and Hunter. It wasn’t a grand love. It was more of an infinitely warm and comfortable friendship. I was thrilled daily to wake up next to him and have his strength at my call. I’d gotten so used to being physically near the vampire that it felt odd to kiss his sleeping form good-bye when I’d left with Zack. It felt strange to not have him close, but I was determined to prove how far I’d come not only for myself, but for Marcus as well. It was a testament to my progress that I was able to admit I wanted to make him proud. 

Zack shook his head. “No one told me his name, Kelsey. Marcus’s assistant mentioned we should be prepared for two people, but she didn’t mention your boyfriend’s name and you haven’t mentioned him either. He must have high standards because the list of necessary household items Marcus faxed over made Dev’s eyes widen, and Dev doesn’t consider much expensive. He’s had workers renovating your apartments for weeks.” 

Lucia must have thought it was obvious as well, or she likely would have mentioned it to Zack. Marcus’s assistant had been in charge of our travel plans. The beautiful twenty-four-year-old Italian had traveled with us. She was coming to America as a mail-order girlfriend. Marcus had promised a vampire named Michael House a girl of his own, and Marcus always kept his promises. The lovely dark-haired woman and I had become friends. She was the first female friend I’d made entirely on my own. I tried not to think of Liv Carey, since I didn’t consider her a friend any longer. She’d sold me out to Donovan. I was still finding it difficult to forgive both her and my brother, Nathan. Marcus thought I should, but it was the one thing I was proving to be stubborn about. 

“I suppose it will have to be a surprise.” I attempted a smile I didn’t feel. 

If Marcus didn’t want them to know he was coming, then I wouldn’t tell them. My loyalty was first and foremost to my lover, but I wasn’t sure how Marcus intended to keep it a secret. The plan was for both of us to move into the building later in the day. We’d discussed our living arrangements on our plane trip back from Venice. Marcus was supposed to be waiting in our rooms after my training was finished for the day. I was counting on it. I panicked at the thought of Marcus lying to me. He’d only really promised me the three months of training. Maybe this was his way of easing out of the relationship. Maybe he would dump me on the Council and go back to his cushy life in Venice. 

“I have all the paperwork finished,” Zack told me. “All you have to do is fill in his name. Marcus explained to the king that it would be best if you had a lover. Something about having a physical outlet. I don’t understand all this Hunter and trainer stuff, but I did get that Marcus thought you should be…close with someone.” 

I nodded. It was a slightly embarrassing conversation to have with one’s uncle, but werewolf society isn’t as inhibited as human society. They’re more open about these things. “I’ve been told I should try to keep a lover with me most of the time. It’s easy for me to slip back into emotional distance if I don’t have an…anchor, I guess. It’s the lone wolf part of me. Apparently the wolf half of me prefers to push away as many people as possible. Being really intimate with someone helps to ignore the impulse.” 

It was true. I was growing to accept the emotional part of myself. I tried to ignore it but that became impossible when someone else felt my emotions and forced me to acknowledge them. Marcus wouldn’t allow me to pretend they didn’t exist and he wouldn’t let me shove them down. 

“Your father fought that instinct, too, Kelsey.” Zack’s eyes were a warm chocolate brown. My eyes. I’d always hated them because they weren’t like my brothers’ green eyes. It was good to see the familiar in my uncle’s face. And I was glad to hear him talk about my father. “He tried really hard to not be anything like your grandfather. It’s good to see you’re carrying on the family tradition. I thought I could show you some pictures tomorrow night, maybe some home movies, though I should warn you he mostly growls during those. I know this has been a shock for you, but I would like to be your uncle. I would really like to teach you about your father.” 

Three months of focused meditation had changed my mind about a lot of things. “I would love to see a picture of him and hear stories. I will admit it’s hard to think of you as my uncle. You look younger than me.” 

“I’m thirty-four.” Zack took his master’s blood on a weekly basis. The queen, who also took the king’s blood, had explained that Daniel Donovan’s blood was better than Botox. “Oh, I get carded when I try to buy beer, but I am most definitely thirty-four years old. I suppose if Lee had known about you, we would have been more like brother and sister than uncle and niece. He didn’t though, and I feel a definite paternal responsibility toward you. You should have caught me before I had a daughter of my own. I might have been the cool uncle then. Now I’m the uncle who really wants to know who you’re sleeping with so I can run a background check on him.” I stared at him and Zack’s eyes narrowed. “Kelsey, you have to have Council approval for a long-term relationship.” 

“I thought that was just for humans.” I wondered if this was why Marcus had decided to sleep in. He’d said it was because I should meet with the king on my own the first time, but what if he’d wanted to avoid a scene? All my carefully constructed, calm inner walls started to shake a bit. I was good right now. I was stable. If Marcus left me, I had to deal with a whole lot of shit I wasn’t ready to deal with at this point. 

The brown-haired man who looked so much like a male version of me sighed. “The king thinks you’re too valuable to risk. Anyone sleeping with you on a more than casual basis needs to be approved. I’ve tried very hard to respect your privacy, but I can’t now.” 

A flare of righteous anger flamed inside me. I was still smarting from my last meeting with the king. “You mean Donovan thinks I’m too dangerous to risk hurting someone.” 

“No, he thinks you’re in a delicate state,” Zack tried to explain patiently. “You’re very important, and he doesn’t want the wrong person to influence you. There are a lot of people who would love to see you out of the king’s influence. I’m afraid the king doesn’t particularly think you have good taste in men.” 

My heart hitched at the thought of Grayson Sloane. I could still see him in my mind, his big, beautiful body ingrained in my memory. Gray haunted my dreams. The truth was I should be glad I was going to live in the Council’s complex. It would give me access to the library. I wanted to read up on contracts. My ex-honey was a “legacy” demon, meaning he’d been born under a contract. Gray’s mother had agreed to give birth to him and signed a contract that gave Gray thirty-five years on the Earth plane. When that time was done, he would reside with his father on the Hell plane. 

I meant to get his hot ass out of that contract. 

“So you can see how anyone with as much influence on you as a boyfriend is going to be carefully vetted for a while,” Zack concluded. 

My cell phone trilled and I started at the sound. I slid my finger across the screen to answer it without thinking. “Hello?” 

“What is wrong, cara mia?” Marcus’s deep voice was soothing even over the phone. “I was pulled from a nice dream about you. You’re agitated. Has the king already made you anxious?” 

“No.” I hadn’t realized our connection worked over such a long distance. I hadn’t done anything to shield my emotions. We were twenty miles from each other, but Marcus felt my anxiety. “I haven’t even made it to the Council building yet. I was talking to Zack about our living arrangements. It occurred to me there could be trouble.” 

“Ah.” I could see his face. He would be giving me that half smile I found devastatingly sexy. “You’re worried about the apartments? Bella, if they don’t suit you, I will simply have them redecorated. Devinshea is usually thorough. I doubt he refused us our list. I already received confirmation that our clothes and the furnishings from Venice arrived. Everything will be ready for you.” 

“That wasn’t what I was afraid of.” It was useless to lie to Marcus and I didn’t even want to. “Zack wants me to fill out the paperwork to get our relationship approved by the Council.” 

There was a long pause. “Is he serious?” 

“He seems serious to me.” I glanced at my uncle. Yep, there was all kinds of seriousness there. 

“But we are both known to the Council. Why should they have any say over our personal relationship?” 

“They’re worried about outside influences.” 

Marcus cursed. He did it often, but only in Italian. “I did not foresee this. It never once occurred to me that they would question our relationship. I should have known. None of the Council has ever met a Hunter, much less have a true understanding of how the training works. I’ll get dressed and I’ll join you as soon as I can. I’ll call the king and demand a meeting.” 

“Hey. It’s fine, baby.” It was nice to be the calm one for once. Marcus sounded almost desperate. I was the one now getting the fine edge of his anxiety. Maybe it was reasonable that they didn’t know. Marcus had explained everything to me, that our closeness was almost inevitable. I suppose Donovan and the rest of the crew might think Marcus and I were an odd couple. “I wasn’t worried about them keeping us apart. I’ve been with you for months. I don’t think you could influence me more if you tried. I was worried…”

“You were worried I was leaving?” Marcus sounded a bit incredulous. “That’s ridiculous, cara mia. I have no desire to leave you. As I said before, only this morning I was dreaming of you. I adore you, bella. Ti penso sempre.

I am always thinking of you. I’d learned some Italian. It mostly concerned dirty words and love phrases. I could also order a gelato. 

“I’m crazy about you, too,” I said with a smile in my voice, thinking about how he’d adored me last night. There was a reason he was still in bed. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it. I’ll fill out their dumb paperwork. It’s a stupid formality. I’ll see you tonight.” 

“All right, if you’re sure.” I heard the yawn he tried to politely suppress. I could see him stretching his magnificently masculine body. The sheets would tangle around him and show off his lean strength. “I have many things to do before I head out to Dallas. Cara, if you do not mind…”

I laughed into the phone. This had become a daily ritual for us in Italy. I shouldn’t have been surprised he would ask here. The man liked the flavor of coffee. “I’ll see what I can do, but it won’t be the same. You’ll have to get used to the American version.” 

I disconnected the call, and Zack was looking at me, pen in hand. 

“So Marcus Vorenus then,” my uncle said as he filled in the name. “I’ve always liked Marcus, myself, but Dev is going to be upset. He thought he’d gotten rid of him. Maybe I’ll just shuffle this paperwork through. Dev can find out all on his own.” 

That faery was going to have to get with the program or he would be dealing with me. Donovan’s partner had issues with my lover, and I wasn’t sure exactly what the problem was. Initially I’d thought it was because Marcus had an affair with the wife Dev Quinn shared with the king, but I’d come to believe Marcus had never actually touched Zoey Donovan-Quinn. Whatever his problem was, I wouldn’t let it affect the only healthy relationship I’d ever had with a man. “He’ll get used to it. We need to find a Starbucks. Marcus is a grump until he’s had an espresso.” 

Zack’s eyebrows arched curiously, but he gave the driver the instruction anyway. I knew he was waiting for an explanation, but none was forthcoming. I liked to maintain a little mystery. 

Zack set aside the paperwork and leaned back in his seat, casually crossing his legs. “You have a long list of people requesting meetings. I have your training schedule, and we need to decide who’s getting your consult time. Dev was serious about you being the Council’s in-house investigator. You have potential clients piling up.” 

I sat up straighter. I was anxious to get back to work. I’d been worried that the king would force me to “train” ten hours a day and leave me with no way to make a living. I was the mistress of a billionaire, but I wanted to earn my way. I wasn’t stupid. My relationship with Marcus wouldn’t last forever. I needed something to fall back on. Besides I liked my work. “Anything interesting?” 

“I think you’ll be very interested in some of them.” He pulled out a sheet of paper and passed it to me. 

I studied my schedule, which seemed super extensive. Pretty much every minute of my day for the next three weeks was scheduled. There were no blank spaces on that piece of paper. “Tell me he’s kidding.” 

“Dev never kids about a schedule.” 

“When am I supposed to work on a case?” That damn faery had me training on every weapon known to man. I was attending some form of therapy. He’d enrolled me in a class titled “Magical Creatures and How to Destroy Them.” I had a personal trainer and daily hour and a half sessions with her. I looked up to my uncle with a bit of panic in my eyes. “When do I take a nap?” 

He nodded sagely. Werewolves understood the need to work in a good nap. “I’ll look into it. As for your caseload, you have an assistant and an hour blocked off from six to seven. We’ll move it when daylight savings kicks in. You have to keep your office hours at night. Most of the supernatural world is nocturnal.” 

“I’ll get so much done that way,” I groused. An hour wasn’t enough. Did Dev think I could simply listen to a problem and solve it? I wasn’t psychic. Detecting took time. 

The limo pulled into the parking lot of Starbucks. It wouldn’t fit into the curved drive-through. That was fine with me. I hopped out of the car as Zack’s cell rang. 

“It’s my master,” he said, touching the accept call button. “Hey, get me a latte, will you? And maybe some of those cookies that look like tiny sliced breads? And see if they have scones. Hello, master…”

I shook my head and wondered if Starbucks was really prepared for a couple of wolves. I doubted it. A red Porsche pulled into the slot next to the front door as I breezed through, letting the smell of coffee wash over my newly opened senses. I held the door open for the man who had gotten out of the Porsche. He was tall and lanky with dark eyes. 

“Thank you, love.” And he had an upper-crust British accent. I was surrounded by Euros even back in the States. 

I ordered two espressos since it seemed I’d need an enormous amount of energy to get through the day Quinn had planned for me. Along with Zack’s venti latte, I bought up most of the baked goods and a chicken salad sandwich. My tummy was grumbling. The breakfast Lucia had fixed was gone now, and it seemed like it would be a while before Quinn scheduled in some food. We were going to have to talk about my snack schedule. 

The wide-eyed barista promised to pack everything up, and I headed to the bathroom while my order was being prepared. I took care of business and then washed my hands, catching a glimpse of myself. 

I stared at the girl in the mirror. She seemed slightly foreign to me. I sometimes didn’t recognize the vibrant face that stared back at me. This girl looked well taken care of. She smiled readily and laughed often. She was a woman who joked with her lover and didn’t hesitate to jump him when she felt the need. My dark-brown hair was thick and for the first time in my life cut into something fashionable. I had playfully pushed Lucia out of the way to apply my mascara this morning. She’d shoved right back because Marcus was right about the single, tiny bathroom in my house. I’d begun to actually give a crap about properly applied makeup. I still didn’t wear much, just mascara and some lip-gloss, but it made a difference. 

Things were going to change now that I was back in the States. I didn’t get to simply be Marcus’s protégée. For months he’d coddled and protected me even while we trained. For months I hadn’t worried about anything but when dinner was or how my meditation sessions were going. I’d let the world slide away, and here I was back in it. 

Sighing, I realized I was going to have to change again. I had to find a way to balance this happy, carefree woman with the Nex Apparatus I was going to become. 

I had to find a way to live with the fact that I hadn’t talked to my mother or Nate or Liv in months. 

Or Gray Sloane. Yeah, I really tried not to think about him. 

Pocketing my gloss, I headed back out to pick up my enormous bag of food and caffeine. I nearly ran into the dark-haired Brit. 

“Excuse me,” I said with a smile. 

“Not a problem, love.” He stepped back, gallantly giving me space. “I think you shocked the staff with your order. They’re busy trying to replace the biscotti.” 

“Probably should have called ahead, but you never know when the urge for biscotti and scones is going to hit, do you?” I asked, flirting a little. 

He was an attractive man with well-formed lips, and he obviously had a flair for fashion. Unfortunately, he was also setting off my gaydar. It was perfectly fine to flirt with a boy who liked boys. 

“I’m happy to find a place that properly brews tea. If I don’t order iced tea, I get a sad bag shoved in lukewarm water.” He shuddered at the thought. 

“We’re not big on hot tea here,” I admitted. “And that’s a shame. I developed a taste for Earl Grey while I was in Italy.” 

The man smiled, but suddenly it didn’t seem so friendly. “Yes, but then I’m sure Marcus Vorenus would only spring for the best for his mistress. Tell me something, Ms. Atwood. Does the king know you’re fucking his former patron?” 

In the dim light of the hall, his eyes seemed the slightest bit red. I was really going to have to work on the whole integration thing. At least depressed Kelsey wouldn’t have spent time flirting with a freaking demon. 

“It’s Owens. My name is Kelsey Owens.” If he thought I would run screaming from the coffee house, he was in for a surprise. I really wanted that chicken salad sandwich. 

His lips quirked up in a semblance of a grin. “Ah, you’ve embraced your long-lost papa. That is sweet. He’s practically a saint to the royal family, you know. Does it bother you that he thought of the queen as his daughter when his actual daughter was treated so poorly? The queen gets everything, doesn’t she? She had your father’s love. If she’d wanted it, she certainly could have had your lover. If the queen crooked her finger, he’d be in her bed in a heartbeat. He’d forget you the minute she glanced his way. Do you really think he’d be with you if he wasn’t obliged to train you? Your own brother thought you should be in a cage. Marcus Vorenus is only doing his job, which is to keep you firmly in control. The minute the king is satisfied he has you in his grips, Marcus will fly right out of your life. No man stays with you.” 

It was like he stared into my soul and pulled out my deepest fears. He’d summed them up neatly—I was unlovable, unworthy. I was jealous of Zoey Donovan-Quinn. Marcus leaving scared me more than I wanted to admit. I took a deep breath and tried to let those feelings go. They weren’t worthy of spending time and energy on. Another thing Marcus had taught me. “What do you want, demon?” 

The demon crossed his arms over his well-made chest and glared down on me. “I want a woman with some constancy. Is that too much to ask? This is why I have no interest in the fairer sex. A good man falls madly in love with a woman. He offers her everything he has. He proposes marriage, a family. What does she do? Oh, she runs off with the first Italian billionaire to come along.” 

“You’re Gray’s brother,” I said as the pieces fell into place. It made perfect sense. Gray mentioned his older brother was an empath, and no one unattached to Gray would care that I’d left him. 

The demon’s eyes flared briefly. “I’m rather surprised he mentioned me. He doesn’t like to admit he has a family…until we’re useful, of course. It doesn’t matter. He is the only brother I have and I care for him.” 

My expression must have registered my extreme doubt. 

“I’m perfectly capable of loving people,” the demon said. “Demons are fully functional when it comes to emotions. Believe me, love is absolutely the most destructive force in the world for some people. All of the truly horrible acts I’ve committed I did because I loved someone.” 

“Did Gray send you?” I have to admit, there was a place deep in my heart that I’d locked away, and it flared to life at the thought of Gray reaching out to me. 

“Not at all.” The demon flicked lint off his tailored coat. “He would be perfectly upset with me if he knew I was anywhere close to his one true love. Unfortunately, his one true love turned out to be a whore.” 

I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t going to be offended because a demon called me names. It was in their job description. “Are you going to continue to insult me or get to the point?” 

Was my espresso ready? I was starting to lag. 

“You’re a tough one, aren’t you,” the demon purred, his lips curling upward. “You’re going to be fun. I like a challenge.” He pressed a piece of paper in my hand. “Here’s the address for a rather exclusive club downtown. I’ve made sure your name is on the list. Be there at two a.m. My brother needs you.” 

The demon started to walk past me. I put out a hand to stop him. 

“What’s wrong with Gray?” Even I could hear the tension in my voice. I was sure the demon could feel it. 

He knew he had me. It was right there in the way his lips curled up in victory. “If you want to find out, come to the club. I’ll be waiting for you. And don’t you dare bring that vampire with you.” 

The demon walked out the doors as the barista walked up with my food. I stood there holding it as the Porsche sped off. The door opened and my uncle walked in. 

“Kelsey? What’s up?” He snagged the bag I was carrying. “Nice, I could use a sandwich.” 

I gulped the espresso as I followed my uncle back to the limo. I watched as he wolfed down my sandwich. It didn’t matter. I’d lost my appetite. 

Copyright 2015 Lexi Blake