Authors: Jenna Black
Lugh sensed my fear before I could even come close to articulating it. “I won’t hurt you,” he whispered, and I believed him implicitly.
Adam gave Dominic a long, agonizing moment to think about what was going to happen. From my vantage point, I could easily see the way Dom’s buttocks tensed as he waited, his thighs quivering with anticipation. If I’d needed any reassurance that he was loving every minute of this, all I had to do was take a look at his cock, flushed and stiff, ready for action.
When Adam pulled back his hand, both Dom and I held our breath. Then when Adam’s hand gave him a frighteningly firm smack, we both cried out.
I would have jumped about a mile if my feet weren’t so firmly pinioned, because Lugh’s hand smacked me at the same time. I was about to make an indignant protest about him breaking his promise, but I realized almost instantly that, despite the loud noise I’d heard, Lugh had given me nothing more than a gentle pat. No pain whatsoever, though that didn’t stop me from flinching when he did it again.
It was a distinctly … odd sensation, watching Adam turn Dom’s ass red with blow after blow while a shadow of those blows fell on my own flesh. Dom was clearly loving every minute of it, his cock dripping pre-cum despite the fact that it should have hurt
like hell. I couldn’t at first decide whether my body was enjoying the simultaneous stimulation or not, but as Dominic’s cries of pleasure surrounded me and seemed to echo off the invisible walls, my internal censor—the one who told me I was strictly forbidden to enjoy anything about this experience—went on vacation.
I felt like I was both myself and Dominic at the same time, watching the action as well as feeling it, but feeling it only as pleasure. The boundaries of my self blurred and bled, and I was lost in a sea of sensation.
Adam was tearing open the button fly of his jeans now, and Dominic was begging for release, his breath sawing in and out of his lungs, just like mine was. When Adam mounted him, I fully expected Lugh to take me. I was too far gone to stop him, or even to care. I just wanted to come with a desperate urgency that took every ounce of my concentration.
But as Adam began to thrust, it wasn’t Lugh’s cock I felt between my legs, but his hand. If he hadn’t created such a thorough illusion that Dominic and I were one, I doubt it would have been enough to satisfy me. As it was, I could hardly breathe through the pleasure of his touch as his hand stroked me in time to Adam’s thrusts.
You know how a tsunami kind of sucks all the water around it into its center and then explodes out from there? That’s what this was like. Every ounce of my attention, every sensation in my entire body, seemed to be sucked down into my core. And then Dominic cried out his release, and all that energy, all that sensation that had gathered in my center, exploded outward.
I think I screamed, but honestly, I was too
overwhelmed to remember anything very clearly afterward. All I knew was that I’d never felt anything like that before. And, good as it was, I wasn’t sure I could survive ever feeling anything like that again.
up groggy and disoriented. The image of Adam and Dom seemed burned on my retinas, and I was actually confused to open my eyes and not see Lugh’s decadent king-sized bed. Instead, I was sprawled inelegantly on an uncomfortably hard twin bed in a room that could have passed for a closet in some houses.
My skin felt hot and flushed, and my pulse still rushed with the remembrance of pleasure. I wanted to lie back down, to drift back into sleep before I had to think about what had just happened. I wondered if I had screamed as loud in real life as I had in the dream, and that was enough to dispel the last remnants of sleep. I would die of embarrassment if Raphael and Saul had heard anything.
, Lugh reassured me, but I didn’t particularly want to hear his voice right now, and he didn’t add any more commentary.
The bedside clock said it was almost five o’clock, and I gaped at it in shock. I’d come to lie down around one. I could hardly believe I’d slept almost four hours. On the plus side, the headache was gone,
as was the nausea, so maybe the sleep—and the events that had occurred during that sleep—had been just what the doctor ordered. I shied away from thinking about the dream, unwilling to face the aftermath.
My clothes were getting pretty rancid, so I borrowed some shorts and a T-shirt from Raphael and stuck my own outfit in the wash. I felt a moment of envy as I turned on the washer, which resided in the basement of Raphael’s house. I longed for the good old days, when I’d had a house of my own, complete with a washer and dryer I didn’t have to share with a hundred other people.
Once again, Saul was nowhere in evidence, though I presumed that, as before, if I made a run for it, he would magically appear to stop me. Not that I actually wanted to make a run for it at this point. I didn’t know who was hosting Psycho Demon right now, but I had to assume it was yet another innocent bystander, and if by some coincidence I should run into him at The Seven Deadlies, I’d need help making sure the host and I both survived the encounter.
The only part of the dream with Lugh that I allowed myself to think about just now was the part where he’d told me I had to put some work into my relationship with Brian if I wanted to
a relationship with him. It was true that just about any time we had a fight, it was Brian who later came bearing the olive branch. I could hardly argue that it wasn’t my turn. But the question remained, would I do more harm than good if I tried to make peace now?
I deliberately poked at my open wound, mentally reliving the moment when I’d realized that Brian believed that I’d cheated on him. The pain stabbed through me with an almost physical force, and I had to fight like hell not to recoil from it and shove it into
an imaginary closet where it would never see the light of day again.
The anger came seconds after the hurt, strong and fresh, waving a red flag to let me know it was still ready for action. When I thought about how Brian had snubbed me yesterday, even after he’d found out I hadn’t really cheated on him, the anger rose up to overpower the hurt. I felt my teeth grinding and forced myself to relax my jaw.
Okay, no question about it, I was still seething. Not the right state of mind for a conciliatory visit with Brian. I was more likely to further alienate him than to heal the wound.
Or was that just an excuse because the thought of going to him and being rejected again made me sick to my stomach?
When it came to relationships, there was no denying I was an utter coward. That’s why it was always Brian who had to make the overtures: because I was too chickenshit to do it myself. True, I was still angry; and true, Brian still was, too, though I didn’t understand why. But if I waited for my anger to fade before I approached him, then I’d never do it.
I was still debating my options when Saul made his entrance. Apparently, he hadn’t been standing guard outside after all; he’d been on a dinner run. His haul included six burgers and three extra-large servings of fries from McDonald’s. I guess when you’re a demon, there’s no particular need to eat healthy.
We ate gathered around the dining room table in awkward, nerve-wracking silence. The animosity that sparked between Saul and Raphael was so strong that sometimes I could have sworn I heard the crackling buzz of electricity. I wondered if they’d been fighting this afternoon while I …
I shook my head as I bit into a lukewarm, not
terribly appetizing burger. It seemed Saul was doing most of his bodyguard duty at a distance from Raphael, so they probably hadn’t had much opportunity to fight. Besides, if they’d fought, one of them would probably be dead.
I looked back and forth between them. Raphael was pretending to be blissfully unaware of Saul’s death glares, but I suspected that was nothing but a façade.
If at some point they were called upon to do bodyguard duty, would they have each other’s backs? Or were they more likely to shove each other into the line of fire?
Raphael would never hurt Saul
, Lugh informed me.
I believe he shocked even himself by coming to love his son
As happened now and again, I felt a surge of pity for Raphael. I knew how much it sucked to love someone and have them hate you in return.
I thought for sure Lugh would correct my melodramatic thinking, but he said no more. So I corrected myself instead: Brian didn’t hate me. Being angry with someone and hating them were not at all the same.
“I’d like to make a stop on the way to The Seven Deadlies tonight,” I said, apropos of nothing. It was so out of the blue I startled even myself. I hadn’t realized I’d come to a decision yet.
“Oh?” Raphael said, raising one eyebrow as he finished off his second burger.
My mouthful of burger suddenly seemed dry and chewy, so I took a big gulp from my glass of water before I continued. Nerves made my voice soft, almost breathy.
“I need to talk to Brian.”
I was staring at my fries, but I didn’t have to look
at my dinner companions to feel their eyes upon me. I didn’t even hear any further sounds of chewing.
“Bad idea,” Raphael said. I looked up with a snarl, but he met my eyes steadily. “I talked to Adam while you were sleeping, and you are now an official suspect in Hillerman’s murder. In all likelihood, the cops will be watching for you to show up there.”
“Oh.” Shit, I hadn’t thought of that. And if the police were watching Brian’s apartment, they might have tapped his phone, too, so calling him would be as bad an idea as showing up.
I almost gave up, almost decided the universe was trying to send me a message. But then I thought about the risk I’d be taking the moment I left the sanctuary of Raphael’s house. I didn’t think I was likely to die at Psycho Demon’s hands, not with my demon bodyguards in tow, but I certainly ran the risk of being arrested. It would be really hard for me to make my peace offering if I was in jail.
No, I was going to do it now, before circumstances made it impossible—or I chickened out.
I was too nervous to finish my burger, but I did it anyway, hoping Saul and Raphael would think I’d given up on the idea of talking to Brian. If they knew what I was planning, I’m sure they would try to stop me. The return of the hostile silence didn’t do anything good for my nerves.
When I was finished with dinner, I asked Saul to find a drugstore and buy some hair color. My bright red hair was way too much of a beacon, and though a change in hair color wasn’t much of a disguise, it would have to do. I hadn’t made it to the six o’clock news yet, but there had been a picture of me and an article about Hillerman’s and Keller’s deaths in the paper today. Not on the front page, but still… It was more exposure than I’d liked.
When Saul left, I retired to my room to wait for my clothes to finish drying. And to use the phone.
I was acutely aware of every little sound I made as I dialed Barbie’s number, fearing that Raphael would hear and come running to stop me. He didn’t.
“Hello?” Barbie said.
“Hi. It’s Morgan. I have a huge favor to ask of you.”
I had just emerged from the bathroom with my newly dyed jet-black hair when the doorbell rang. Saul and Raphael were sitting at opposite ends of the living room, as far away from one another as possible, but they sprang to their feet in unison, both their heads turning toward the door with identical alarmed expressions. You see, I hadn’t warned them we were expecting company, mainly since there’d been no guarantee said company would show up.
“At ease, gentlemen,” I said as I headed toward the door.
“What did you do?” Raphael growled the question as he hurried across the room toward me.
“I made a phone call,” I responded in a similar growl. “Now back off!”
By the time I’d made it to the door, my bodyguards had converged, each one grabbing one of my arms. I still managed to glance out the peephole to confirm the identity of our visitors.
“Relax,” I said, trying to yank my arms free, but when you’re a human and a demon’s got ahold on you, you’d rip your arm from its socket before you managed to make them let go. “It’s Barbie and Brian.”
Saul kept his grip on my arm, pulling me back into the living room, while Raphael opened the door.
Barbie and Brian accepted his silent invitation to come in. When Raphael closed the door behind them, it wasn’t quite a slam, but it was close.
“Are you crazy?” he asked me. “Are you
to lead the police to my door?”
“Part of my assignment was to make sure we weren’t followed,” Barbie said. “I lost our tail down in South Philly before I even headed this direction.” She smiled her most Barbieish smile and gave Raphael an appraising look. “So, we meet again, Mr. Brewster,” she said. “Amazing that you and Morgan are such close friends, under the circumstances.”
Okay, maybe having Barbie bring Brian to Raphael’s house hadn’t been such a hot idea. She knew Tommy Brewster was possessed, but she had no idea he was no longer possessed by his original demon. Nor was there any way it would make sense to her that an exorcist was hanging out with a demon she’d once been hired to exorcize.
Raphael looked like he was about one step short of killing me. His fists were clenched at his sides, his cheeks flushed with rage. “You couldn’t have consulted us before inviting her here?” he asked, and he was mad enough that I saw the phantom glow in his eyes.
I shrugged. “You would have said no. Quit crying over spilled milk.” I then tried to pretend Raphael didn’t exist. “Barbie, this is …” I let my voice trail off as I looked at Saul, suddenly realizing I couldn’t remember what name he was using. It’s customary for demons to adopt their hosts’ names on the Mortal Plain—I was going to have to try to remember to call Raphael “Tommy.” But though I’d had to give my building staff Saul’s name, I was drawing a complete blank. Did I tell them Paul? Or had we stuck with Saul and just made up a last name?
“My name is Saul,” he said, striding forward and offering Barbie a smile and a handshake. “Pleased to meet you.”