Authors: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff


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Sadie shrugged. “You’re right. You should definitely shank him.”

Andrus cracked a smile. “Shank?

“You know, prison style? With a homemade blade made from a toothbrush or spoon. Go gangsta on the man.”

Andrus chuckled before a pensive expression washed over him. “Sadly, that asshole is Matty’s father. It would be very dishonorable to murder him. But now I realize that maybe I didn’t love Helena so much as I loved feeling like part of a family again and having someone to protect. I think it’s simply in my nature.”

It was just too sweet. And sentimental and…hotter than hell. “Well, the only thing you can do now is hope Niccolo comes to his senses and for you to move on with your life.”

Andrus flashed a hard look at Sadie as if she’d hit a nerve. “Unfortunately, Cimil has prophesized that I am to father a son and that son will grow up to be Matty’s mate. My life will forever be intertwined with theirs.”

Sadie gasped. “Oh.” That put an entirely different spin on things.

“But if it means Matty’s happiness, I have little choice. This is why I must meet this Charlotte and win her over—Cimil says for some reason she will not be so open to be mated to me.”

Sadie felt a twinge of jealousy. Whoever this woman was, she’d be a goddamned idiot if she didn’t fall head over heels for Andrus. Sure, he had his rough edges, but the man had a sweet streak and was so goddamned good looking that he could have just about any woman in the world.

“So if you blow it,” Sadie sighed, “you blow it for Matty.”


She’d sort of hoped that this mate thing wasn’t such a done deal, but now this settled it. She couldn’t like Andrus. Not even a little. “Well, if you could make me want you, I’m sure you’ll have no problem getting her to warm up to you.”

Crap. Did I just say that?
Her head snapped up to meet Andrus’s intensely carnal gaze burning from across the table.

Her breath stuck in her throat. That look triggered something deep inside her, something she’d never known existed. It was like an ache or a thirst that made her insides feel like they were on fire and he was the only thing capable of providing relief. Suddenly, she found herself wanting him so badly it hurt. Could he tell? Could he see it in her eyes?

“Sadie,” he said, his voice low and gruff, “I want to ask you something. Something I have no right asking, but I must. I’d like to have—”

Just then the loud clanking of cymbals and a highly coordinated giggling belly shimmied up to Andrus’s ear.
Oh, no. The scarf. He got scarved!

Andrus’s turquoise gaze slowly peeled away from Sadie, and he glared up at the smiling belly dancer.

“I’m afraid you’ve been summoned, Andrus.” Sadie had really, really wanted to hear what Andrus was about to say, but the distraction couldn’t have come at a better time.

She couldn’t want him. She couldn’t be thinking of doing what she’d obviously been thinking of doing.
You can’t, Sadie. This guy isn’t for you. He’s going to break your heart.

Andrus shot Sadie a look.

“What, are you afraid?” she egged him on.

He grumbled something, but she couldn’t hear it over the music and rhythmic clanking.

With the grace of a gazelle, Andrus pulled his large, muscled frame up off the floor and stood, towering over the petite, curvy woman with loads of eyeliner and a green veil.

She led him away from the table toward the center of the room where everyone could see.

Oh, the horror. He looks like he’s going to strangle the woman.

Facing Andrus, the woman urged him to follow along by placing her hands on his hips while the other patrons began clapping. Andrus stood there, no hip action whatsoever as he watched the woman dancing in front of him encouragingly.

He glanced over at Sadie with a scowl.

“Oh, come on, Andrus. Give us a little dance.” Sadie placed her palms together in the prayer position. “Pleeease?”

Andrus’s large chest expanded with a breath, and then he held up his index finger and walked over to the corner of the room where the woman’s sword rested against the wall.

Oh no. What’s he going to do with that?

He returned to the woman. “I’m afraid this is the only dance I know besides a waltz.”

He turned away from her and balanced the edge of the sword on his head. Then he carefully squatted with a straight back and folded his arms over his chest. Holding his torso almost completely still, keeping the knife balanced, he began kicking his legs, doing that Russian dance—she didn’t know the name. The crowd and belly dancer clapped along as he threw out his arms and kicked while keeping that sword steady. Then he stood, placed the sword between his teeth and bent down into a handstand. He walked across the open spot of the floor and then swung his legs over his head and landed on his feet.

Sadie realized her mouth had been hanging wide open the entire time. Seeing Andrus, this huge tank of muscles, laughing and doing some crazy Russian kick squat dance was downright hysterical.

Everyone clapped as Andrus took a bow and then returned the sword to the dancer.

He strutted back to the table, thoroughly enjoying the attention from every woman in the room. He truly was a hot man.

Grinning from ear to ear, he sat across from Sadie, gloating.

“Show off.” She laughed.

“It was either that or show you my uncoordinated hip rolls. I did not want you to feel uncomfortable.”

She lifted a brow. “Really? You strike me as a man who knows lots of hip moves, but maybe those are more of the back and forth kind—not the side to side.”

“You assume correctly.” His smile melted away into a lusty gaze that sizzled from across the table. “I’m happy to show you, if you like,” he said in a deep, sensual bedroom voice.

She wanted to say no and that it was not a good idea. He was practically spoken for, and she was beginning to fall in serious like. But then, if in a few days’ time he’d be off the market, did she really want to pass up the chance? After all, the man was perfection in the physical department and there was no denying now that she may be interested to see how that hip action coordinated with the rest of his hard, chiseled body. Then there was all of the other stuff about him she was beginning to more than just like—his fearlessness, the way he tried to hide his soft underbelly, his sense of loyalty.

God, I so fucking want him.

She was about to speak when he began laughing.

“Dear gods, woman, don’t look so horrified. It was merely a joke.”

She gulped. “Oh. Yeah. Of course.” Her voice had come out all shaky, so she took her glass of wine and threw it back. “But that’s too bad because I would’ve said yes.”

His laughter crashed and burned and several long moments of silence passed before he spoke. “You realize that there can’t be anything between us. I’ll meet Charlotte and want no other.”

“Yeah, I know,” Sadie said.

“And you don’t care?”

She made a little shrug. “I wouldn’t say that. But how can I resist having you for a night after you showed me that dance move?” She winked.

“Check!” he yelled for the waiter.




Cimil sat at her desk, pulling on the roots of her red hair plus one gray. “This can’t be right. It just can’t be.” She was hearing and seeing so many strange things from the dead, none of it making any sense.

It seemed that being banished and having her powers removed was a bigger obstacle than she’d anticipated. She could still commune with the dead, as that was more of a skill than a power, but she could no longer get inside their heads, which was how she pieced together events from the future. The pool of souls, where the dead hung out until they decided if they wanted to come back for another spin in a people suit or move on to rejoin the cosmic soup of energy, existed in a place beyond the confines of time. But the dead were practically useless to her if she wasn’t able to sift through their Mount Fuji-sized pile of memories with a mere blink of an eye. And without her ability to bend the Universe to her will—okay, it was really more of a nudge—she could no longer persuade or change the outcome of events. Things were now taking on courses of their own.
Completely random, unpredictable chaos. As opposed to my awesome predictable chaos with an evil cherry on top. This is not good.

If she didn’t find some way to intercede, everything would begin falling apart—Zac would go bonkers, the world would probably end up back on a collision course to the apocalypse again.
And dammit
! They’d just gone through this. It had been so close, ninety percent of the sea turtle population had abandoned ship and returned to their planet.

Without even offering to take me along. Damned sea turtles

Cimil’s cell phone began playing “You’re the Best” from the
Karate Kid
soundtrack. “Yo, baby. Wassup?”


“Really?” Cimil pinched her brow. “Godsdammit. Can’t a quasi-evil goddess ever catch a break?”


“I know, right?” She chuckled.
Those Maaskab. Such a riot with their dark humor.
“Okay. Just keep an eye on the woman Sadie. I’m going to have to go over there and stop them.”

“Gah,” he replied.

“Yep. Catch you later. You’re still on for Sunday, yes?”

“Rarrr. Kak. Rarrr…Bleh.”

“Excellent. The kids love it when you babysit. Oh. And they asked you to bring some actual cash this time. Playing poker for human thumbs is getting old now that they’re past the sucking phase. Thanks, babe.”

She ended the call, shaking her head over the news she’d just received from the Maaskab.
How am I going to fix this?

And she’d never be able to get anything done if she had to rely on actually talking to people and reasoning with them instead of using her powers. And depending solely on her network of immortals and immortal-friendly humans to keep tabs on everything was extremely inefficient when one was trying to manage a few million variables at once.

I need powers. Even if I must steal them from another immortal. Hmmm…maybe she could barter with that Maaskab.
At the moment, he was so desperate to find a gal, he’d agree to almost anything.
Even babysitting my evil children.

For the moment, however, she needed to stop Andrus from making a huge mistake.

She glanced at her watch. “I hope I get there in time.”





Sadie hardly spoke a word to Andrus during the drive back to the safe house, but the atmosphere in the SUV was tense. Sexually tense. Then they’d passed the security gate, parked, and practically ran to the front door. The moment they got inside, Andrus slammed the door shut, locked it, and stared at her with a hungry gaze.

God, she was already wet for him. The anticipation had been more arousing than any foreplay ever. She just wanted him to take her. Hard. Right there on the floor.

“What’s the matter?” she said, waiting for him to kiss her or touch her or do something.

“I’m remembering what you said about liking it when a man takes his time with you.”

“Oh that.” She chuckled nervously. “I was just kidding around.”

He shook his head from side to side. “Yes, but if it is going to be one time, I want to savor the experience.”

What? No! No.

“Sure.” She shrugged, trying to play it cool.

He stepped forward with a feral look in his eyes. “I think I’m going to lick you from head to toe. Then, after I make you come two or three times, I’ll fuck you hard and sweet.”

Gazing straight up into his turquoise eyes, she stuttered, “Ha-ha-hard and swe-sweet?”

His lips curled up on one side, forming a wicked little smile. “Oh, yes. Two or three times. Immortal style.”

“Uh. Okay. That’s sounds nice,” she said in a faint voice, trying to breathe. “Or…”

“Or?” He reached for her waist and pulled her body against him, his heat, hardness, and smell enveloping her senses in a blanket of gripping lust and need.

“Or,” she said, reaching up to slide his jacket off his broad shoulders while keeping her eyes locked onto his. “You could reverse the order.”

“Mmmm…I like that idea.” He bent his head to hers and the flurry of sparks and kisses and touching went off like a bomb.

His lips and tongue were on her mouth and neck and back again while his hands went to work pulling down the shoulders of her dress, leaving her in just her black strapless bra and lace thong. He stopped only for a moment to appreciate the view, but his little sexy growl indicated he was pleased by what he saw.

Meanwhile, her hands just weren’t moving fast enough. She slid off his tie and tore open his shirt, sending buttons flying and giving her access to those hard pecs, rippling abs, and smooth light olive skin. She gripped his shirt by the collar, peeled it down, and allowed her fingertips to soak in the sexy terrain of his masculinity; meanwhile their tongues slid, their mouths sucked, their teeth scraped.

The moment she went for his belt, he scooped her into his arms and carried her to her bedroom. He threw her onto the bed, and she giggled with a bounce.

Andrus stood at the foot of the bed, that fierce, hungry look in his eyes burning through her as he undid his belt and tossed it to the floor. Slowly, he unbuttoned his pants and lowered the zipper.

When his pants fell to the floor, she gasped. Andrus stood entirely naked in front of her, his massive, thick erection jutting out.

“Holy shit,” she said. “That thing really is huge.”

He shrugged proudly.

“Come here.” She motioned with her index finger.

He got on the bed and began crawling towards her. He then reached for her thong and slid it down, his eyes glued between her legs.

“Let me see you,” he demanded.

She opened her thighs, watching the expression on his face as he stared at her most intimate spot. Just having his eyes on her pushed her so close that one little touch would set her off.

He reached his hand between her legs, careful not to touch her throbbing bud. Instead, he gently brushed his fingers over her folds and then circled her entrance. Panting hard, she threw back her head, her body screaming for him to be inside her. “Oh God.”

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