He would call the Dark-Hunter meeting in three days and then the fate of them all would be decided.
His thoughts drifted back to Kyros and he wanted to curse out loud at the injustice. Kyros was lost to him.
But I found Danger.
And in the end, he would lose them both.
Life did, indeed, suck.
"Keep an eye on Dangereuse."
Alexion froze as the soft, feminine voice whispered through his head. If he didn’t know better, he would swear it was…
"The Daimon wants you dead. If he can’t take you, he will take someone else."
Alexion swallowed at her dire tone. "Why are you helping me, Artie? I know you hate me."
"I’m not Artemis. I’m just a friend who doesn’t want to see Stryker hurt anyone else."
"Then how do I defeat him?"
"To defeat the invincible you can never strike at them. You must always strike at their heart."
"I’ve tried striking at his heart. He’s a little swift on his feet."
The voice said nothing.
"Hello?" Alexion asked, but she was gone.
"Great," he said, clenching his teeth.
Stryker was going to make a move on Danger and the only way to save her would be to strike at a god who had no heart whatsoever.
"Shit, we’re screwed."
Alexion spent the entire day watching Danger sleep. He sat in the cream jacquard padded chair beside her bed, completely absorbed by the pale beauty of her. She was without flaw. Without guile. Without cruelty inside. She would never hurt someone she loved. Indeed, she’d died trying to save her family when it would have been easy enough for her to have turned her back on them and saved herself.
It was part of why he loved her so.
"I don’t want to leave her." He whispered the heartfelt words knowing that in the end he had no choice. Damn him for not being able to control his emotions where she was concerned. All he had done was ruin his own future.
Why was that?
Why did such pain have to exist in this world? Love should be easy. It should be simple. A person should be allowed to find that one person they couldn’t live without and just go on their merry way to happily-ever-after.
But it didn’t work that way. He was living, or dead, proof of it. Liora had sworn she loved him and look how that had turned out. It was hard to trust another person not to hurt you. There was still a part of him, even now, that wondered if he could go free, would Danger drop the medallion to save herself?
Would her own personal pain be so great that she would help herself before him?
There was no way to know the answer. Especially not now.
He sighed. He knew from Acheron that it was useless to dwell on wants or what could have been. He had to deal with the present and that meant keeping Danger safe from whatever Stryker had planned.
He had Xirena with him now. Surely the two of them were capable of protecting one woman. Weren’t they?
But when dealing with a crafty god bent on vengeance, it didn’t pay to get cocky.
"C’mon, boss man," he said under his breath, "talk to me."
Alexion shook his head at the irony. In the past, he’d always hated it whenever Acheron had intruded into his thoughts or space. Now that he wanted him, the Atlantean was nowhere to be found.
He got up and went to the bed where Danger was stirring. She stretched and yawned as she watched him. "Do you always rise so early?"
"Yes," he said, not wanting her to know that because he was more or less a ghost, he didn’t need sleep. His rest wasn’t quite the same as a human’s.
She yawned again before offering him a smile. "So what’s on the agenda for tonight?"
He shrugged nonchalantly. "Migraine, futility, possible death. Same as every night, I guess."
Danger laughed. "That sounds like my life, all right." She glanced toward the door. "So how’s our demon doing?"
"I haven’t been to the media room in about two hours, but last I checked, she was knee deep in Kirk’s Folly orders. Good thing Acheron is loaded. Then again, the way these demons shop, I’m not even sure he has enough money to cover it."
Danger was amused by his words. It was so nice to wake up to see his handsome face smiling at her.
She took his hand in hers so that she could feel the masculine roughness of it. She didn’t know what it was about the sensation of a man’s skin that was so appealing, but there was no denying that she enjoyed how different it was from her own.
She breathed deeply against her fingers, delighting in the warm, pleasant scent of them. His hands were powerful and yet tender. Wonderful and delectable. Opening her lips, she gently nipped his forefinger.
He hissed in response. "You keep doing that, and I won’t let you out of that bed."
"Then why don’t you join me?" she said, pulling back the covers so that he could see her nak*d body. She’d never done anything so bold with a man before, not even her husband. But for some reason, she didn’t mind sharing herself with Alexion.
Her sense of modesty had flown and she wasn’t really sure why.
His eyes sparked green fire. "We have a job to do."
"And we have three more days to meet with the Dark-Hunters, who are going to insult and aggravate you." She ran her tongue over the pad of his thumb, then pulled back. "They’re not going anywhere. Like you said, it’s just an exercise in futility. I vote we take one night off and just enjoy it." She licked the back of his knuckles.
Pure pleasure darkened his gaze, but still he resisted her. "To what purpose?"
She sat up in the bed and wrapped her legs around his lean waist, pulling him closer to her. "You’ve changed since you’ve been here, Alexion. When you first arrived, you were so cold and distant. You’re not like that now. You’re warm and fun. I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want you to lose that."
Alexion swallowed. She was absolutely right. She had changed him.
Danger brushed the hair back from his face. "I want you to have memories of me that will help keep you warm after you leave."
Those memories would only hurt him more, and yet his heart was thrilled by the idea of it. He hadn’t had a night of normality since he’d been human, and for some reason, being with this woman made him crave it viciously.
What would it be like?
"And what will we do?"
She gave him a seductive grin that made him harden while she trailed her hand down the front of his shirt. "Have you ever been to a real movie?"
He shook his head. Acheron and Simi went all the time, but the last time he’d been in the human realm, movies hadn’t been invented yet.
"Then that’s what we’re going to do," she said in a tone that let him know she wouldn’t take no for an answer. "Dinner and a movie… Just like everyday Jane and Jack."
Alexion shook his head. "I think you’ve lost your mind."
She was slowly unbuttoning his shirt as she talked to him. Every brush of her hand against his flesh sent chills over his body. "Perhaps, but do you know what Jack and Jane would do to start off their night?"
"I have no idea."
"They’d start it off with blindingly great sex."
Alexion hissed as she sank her hand down under his waistband to stroke his hard cock. His body was already throbbing and craving hers in the worst sort of way. Or maybe it was the best sort of way.
There was truly nothing better than her hands on his body. Nothing better than the feel of Danger.
Alexion laughed as that thought went through his mind.
"What are you laughing at?" Danger asked as she stopped her sweet torture.
"I just had a bad pun go through my mind."
"And that is?"
"That I live for Danger."
Danger’s heart pounded at his corny words. They shouldn’t please her and yet they did. Oh, yeah, there was really something wrong with her. She was head over heels for this man and sinking in deeper by the minute.
"How do you always know the right thing to say?" she asked him.
"I didn’t know that I did."
"Take my word for it, you do."
He closed his eyes as she ran her fingertips over the tip of his shaft. She loved pleasing him. But as she watched the ecstasy on his face, it fired her desire even more.
Undoing his fly, she slid his pants down his legs, then pulled his lips to hers so that she could taste him.
Her tongue danced with his as she sank her hands into his thick, soft hair. His hard shaft rubbed against her bare stomach as she took her time exploring his mouth.
Delirious from that kiss, she pulled back ever so slightly. "I love the way you touch me," she breathed against his cheek. "I love the way you smell. The way you look… I need to feel you inside me, Alexion."
Alexion’s entire being was on fire as he watched her recline nak*d on the bed. Her thighs were spread open in sweet invitation, allowing him to see the tenderest part of her body. He leaned over her to take her breast into his mouth so that he could tease the taut pink tip with his tongue. Her body was absolute heaven.
Closing his eyes to better savor her, he dipped his hand down to gently stroke her. He probed the tender flesh between her thighs, separating it so that he could feel just how wet and ready she was for him. It was the sweetest sensation he’d ever known.
He massaged her as she whispered encouragements to him in French. And when he sank his finger deep inside, she arched her back with a pleasurable cry.
Unable to stand it, he moved his hand so that he could enter her.
Danger moaned at the thick fullness of Alexion inside her. He took her hand into his and held it over her head as he thrust against her hips. He moved in and out, in the sweetest rhythm that pounded through her with absolute bliss. She met him stroke for stroke, aching in bittersweet pleasure.
She wrapped her legs around his waist as their passion took her far away from the present and all her fears about the future. It’d been so long since she’d felt like this with a man. There was a connection to him. A friendship.
More than that, there was love.
How she wished that she could keep it. But at least she had this moment to remember what it was that she’d lost. This one moment to pretend that they could stay together.
He moved faster, heightening her pleasure until she couldn’t stand it any longer. Crying out, she felt her body splinter in ultimate ecstasy.
Alexion watched her face as she came for him. He loved the sight of her in the throes of cli**x. But more than that, he loved the way her body felt under his. She was so sweet, so tormenting.
She pulled him down to kiss him while he rode her even faster, seeking his own slice of heaven.
And when he came, he cried out her name. He leaned down over her as his body convulsed and throbbed, releasing itself deep inside her.
She ran her hands over his back, clutching him to her body. "So did I have a good thought about this, or what?"
He laughed at her question. "It was a great thought."
She wiggled her h*ps against his, letting him feel the wetness of their play. It was something he savored. They didn’t just have sex with each other, they made love. And it had been far too long since he’d felt that.
Danger nipped his shoulder. "Anyone ever tell you that you are an incredible lay?"
He laughed. "Well, they never phrased it quite that way."
She hugged him close to her, then kissed his cheek. "You are the best, Alexion. I mean that."
"I’m only as good as my partner is."
She offered him a smile that made his stomach jerk. And the kiss she gave him for those words set his entire body back on fire. "You keep this up and I won’t let you out of the bed tonight."
She nibbled his chin. "Would that be so bad?"
No, it would be heaven.
Alexion gently cupped her breast, delighting in the softness of the skin, before he pulled back. How he wished he could love her the way she deserved. But even if he were able to be human again, he wasn’t sure he would ever be able to trust fate with her by his side.
He was so tired of regretting the past. So tired of knowing that for him there could never be normality.
"What’s wrong?" she asked, smoothing his frown with her fingers.
Danger pulled back. He wasn’t being honest with her, she knew it. His mood had turned around completely. There was such a deep sadness in his eyes that it tore through her.
She watched as his eyes turned to a dark emerald again. It was weird how they changed color. "Do you control your eye color?"
He appeared surprised by her question. Maybe he didn’t realize they did that. "Huh?"
"They change colors constantly," she explained. "Kind of like a mood ring. Whenever we’re around other Dark-Hunters and on the night you arrived they were black. Now they’re a vibrant green. Do you decide or do they do that on their own?"
He squeezed her hand lightly. "The black I control. The green does what it wants to."
"Ew!" she said, wrinkling her nose. "That’s kind of gross."
He laughed. "Good thing I have a strong ego, huh?"
She kissed him on the top of his nose and squeezed him between her thighs. "Like cast iron. Now let me up so that we can get our date started."