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Authors: Victoria Davies

Tags: #Romance, #Fantasy, #Paranormal, #Fiction

Deals With Demons

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Remembering the past can be painful. Ignoring it can be deadly.

An
Angels and Demons
Story

In a world filled with magic, demons and death, Talia survives using her inborn ability to sense and track demons. A handy skill for a demon hunter. There’s one demon, though, who’s never far from her mind or her heart, damn his black soul.

Years ago Devlin saved Talia from the murderous demon who killed her family. The memory of him has haunted her ever since the night she fled his home, her body branded with a permanent reminder of his lust—and her humiliation.

Now he’s back at her door with an offer she can’t refuse. He’s found the one who killed her family, and he’ll help her kill the monster. For a price. One last heated night in her arms.

Temptation and the chance for revenge are too much for Talia to resist. However, once bound to Devlin in an unbreakable deal, Talia realizes too late there’s more at stake than the death of her nightmares.

Her heart wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain…but she should have known to expect anything when she made a deal with this demon.

Warning: This title contains hot demons and hotter sex. Author advises caution when making deals with the damned.

eBooks are
not
transferable.

They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

577 Mulberry Street, Suite 1520

Macon GA 31201

Copyright © 2010 by

ISBN: 978-1-60928-042-0

Edited by Heidi Moore

Cover by Kanaxa

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Firs
t Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
electronic publication: May 2010

 

Deals with Demons

Victoria Davies

 

Dedication

To my amazing family, who has always loved and encouraged me.

I couldn’t have done this without your support.

Chapter One

“The master has ordered you home.”

Talia tipped her mug up, savouring the last mouthful of beer before she slid the empty glass to the waiting bartender.

“Bully for him,” she told the unwelcome man perched on the barstool beside her.

“I’m to bring you home at once.”

Slanting a glance at the nervous man, Talia smiled her most vicious grin. “You can try,” she replied, twisting her body to show him the glint of the dagger strapped to her waist.

The man gulped.

She shook her head in disgust. He was a disgrace. Why had Devlin even bothered to send him?

“You can tell your
master
he is welcome to try and force me back. But it will take a braver man than you to get me there.”

Talia slid off the stool. She stalked through the crowded bar without a backwards glance.

Once outside she pulled her black coat tightly around herself to ward off the chilly night air. A single thought burned in her mind as she set off in the direction of her modest apartment. Why did Devlin want to see her after all this time?

Talia had been nineteen the night she fled Devlin’s mansion. Not once in the six years since had he tried to contact her. And she’d know. She’d been waiting for him to make his move practically from the moment she’d left. The fact that he’d never come for her merely underscored what she’d known all along.

To Devlin St. Clair she was not, and never had been, of any importance.

So why did he want her now?

She picked up her pace, trying to run from the unwanted memories.

Two things were special about Devlin. The first was simple. She’d been utterly in love with him since she was sixteen. The second was far more unusual. Devlin was a demon. As if that weren’t enough, he also happened to be the most powerful demon in the city. Some might even argue the country.

The world Talia lived in was very far from the one most people thought they knew. Her life revolved around blood, death and magic. It had since the night her family had been murdered when she was fourteen.

Talia shook her head to try and repress the memories. It had been a night much like this one when her life had changed forever. The nip of autumn hung in the air and overhead the bright moon was almost full.

She’d been in her room when the demon broke into her home. Her parents’ screams had woken her.

Because of her rather unusual talents, she’d known immediately what was in her house and she’d known which way he would turn when he climbed the stairs and reached the landing. Her room was to the right of the stairs, her younger brother and sister’s was to the left. Talia had thrown herself out the window with the sound of the squeaky floorboard in the left hallway echoing in her ears. Saving herself had torn her apart, but she’d known, even then, she was no match for the demon. Unable to do anything else, she’d run until she was too exhausted to move.

And there Devlin had found her. Huddled in an alleyway, Talia had been trying to hide herself behind a garbage can when he rounded the corner. She’d known what he was, of course. She always knew. But unlike the monster in her house, this demon had crouched before her and silently held out his hand.

“I swear, child, I will never harm you,” he’d whispered to her. He said nothing else, merely waited.

Eventually Talia had crawled forwards and put her dirty hand into his.

In one night she’d lost everything she’d loved and gained a new life unlike anything she’d ever imagined.

Devlin had brought her to his mansion on the outskirts of the city and she’d lived there for five years.

He’d found her the very best tutors to teach her since he refused to let her go to a normal school. And after her academic classes he trained her himself in all varieties of combat styles. Thanks to him she was one deadly woman. But he’d done more than train her. Devlin had been the first person to explain what she truly was.

Talia was a senser. She was gifted with the ability to feel demons and anticipate their movements.

Those were the skills that had saved her life when her family had been attacked. Sensers’ abilities made them unparalleled trackers and, given how rare a true senser was, their skills were in high demand.

Capitalising on her gifts, Talia quickly made a name for herself as a demonic bounty hunter after she left Devlin. After all, a girl needed to eat and her former benefactor had kindly given her the training needed to hurt all the things that went bump in the night.

Which brought her back to why Devlin was looking for her in the first place.

He couldn’t have been happy to learn he’d personally trained a woman who earned her bread by killing members of his race. However, if he wanted retribution he was a little slow. She’d been doing this for six years, and with his resources there was no way he’d be unable to find her if he truly wanted to.

Talia drew up in front of her apartment building and fished for her keys. With her salary she could afford a much nicer place, but this apartment was convenient and she liked its old charm.

She hopped into the warmth of the entrance way, thankful to be out of the chilled October air. There was an elevator in her building but she jogged up the stairs instead. An out-of-shape senser was a dead one.

Five flights later she turned the keys in her door and entered her haven.

The apartment might not be sprawling but she’d filled the small space with absolute luxury. Her home had all the state-of-the-art toys. A huge flat screen TV hung on the wall before the most comfortable leather

 

 

7

 

sofa Talia had ever felt. Her kitchen was equipped with all the fixings, even if she rarely used them.

Takeout was more her style.

Talia kicked off her shoes and headed for her large bedroom. A massive king bed dominated the room and, with a loud sigh, she dropped backwards onto the soft mattress.

Closing her eyes, she relaxed into the bed.

By now the henchman had probably reported her words to Devlin. She wondered if he would actually come for her himself or if he would merely shrug and turn his mind to other matters.

Wincing, she acknowledged the latter option was far more likely. While her world had once revolved around Devlin, in his world she was merely a decoration. His pet senser.

Sitting up, Talia looked across the dark bedroom at her vanity mirror. She had changed since they last met. The skinny teenager had filled out into a nicely curved woman. Her once long black hair was now short and red. The pastels she’d favoured had been replaced by a full wardrobe of black. The only thing the same was her icy blue eyes. Well, she amended as her gaze dropped to her throat, her eyes and the black rose forever embedded into her skin.

The outline of a rose in bloom was clearly visible over her jugular. Right where Devlin had bitten her.

At the touch of his lips, the small symbol had stained her flesh, never to be removed.

Demons are not vampires. They don’t need to drink human blood to live, but for some demons as old as Devlin, blood could be an irresistible temptation. It was like adding brownies to a chocolate sundae. Not necessary but sinfully delicious.

Seeing the mark on her throat filled her with shame. Memories of the night she’d fled Devlin swirled in her mind.

As a child, it had taken Talia the better part of two years to fully trust Devlin. He’d been forever patient with her, waiting for her to accept him for what he was. But once she had been able to put aside her fear of the fact he was a demon, she had no defense against the other emotions he inspired. At sixteen, he had been an irresistible fantasy. Endless nights had been wasted fantasising her demon would sweep into her room and declare his undying love. Unfortunately for Talia, as she’d grown so had her feelings for her tempting demon saviour. She remembered waiting breathlessly on her eighteenth birthday, wondering if now he’d finally see her as a woman instead of a child. But Devlin was never short on bed partners and when his choice of companions tended to be tall, perfect models it was hard to compete.

But everything had changed a year later, on her nineteenth birthday.

Talia squeezed her eyes shut.

That night Talia had lost her virginity and her home. Again.

“Don’t come looking for me, Dev,” she’d whispered to her dark room. “Let me disappear.”

8

 

Chapter Two

The night air felt cool against her heated skin. Beyond the balcony rail the city glittered in the darkness. Talia fidgeted with the hem of her light pink strapless gown that had been carefully chosen to show off her creamy skin and long legs. Here’s hoping it helped her win her birthday wish.

“I found another bottle,” Devlin said, stepping onto the balcony.

Talia twisted in her chair to see him. No matter how much time she spent by his side, she would never get used to his stunning looks.

Towering over six feet, he was not a man any fool messed with. His long blond hair was pulled back from his strikingly beautiful face. Piercing green eyes studied the wine in his hand as he absently walked over to her. Tonight he’d forgone his usual black suits in favour of simple slacks and a tight black silk T-shirt. Watching the way the material molded to his chest, Talia unconsciously licked her lips. Even dressed casually, Devlin was a man who took her breath away. How had she managed to live with him for five years without jumping him?

Well, no more
, she decided, eying him hungrily. Tonight was her nineteenth birthday and all she wanted was him.

Devlin dropped into the chair beside her and set the wine bottle next to the half-eaten birthday cake on the small table.

“How does it feel to be nineteen?” he asked with a smile.

“Much the way it felt to be eighteen,” she replied nervously, wondering how to phrase her request.

Devlin, it’s my birthday. Do me.
She sighed. Not quite the sophisticated offer she wanted. Besides, she was crazy to even imagine he’d want to be with her. She saw the women he dated. Hell, his harem lived in the mansion most of the time. There was no way for an awkward nineteen-year-old to compete with the elegant models he preferred.

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