“Agreed,” Lucifer says. “Thad, you head straight to the hospital. Get a guard rotation with our men on the floor. I want Johnathan watched over. Send Andrew to the warehouse for Simon. Make sure he brings a full kit with him.”

“Got it, sir,” Thad says and rushes out of the plane.

From behind Lucifer, where he is still holding on to Asad by his scruff, James says, “Can we go? I got a bag of dicks in my hand and you know how I am. If it ain’t my dick I don’t wanna be holding it.”

Snickering, Lucifer nods his head. “Let’s get off of this plane and get out of here. It looks like we have Andrew’s car and one of Asad’s men’s BMWs.”

“Thad!” Lucifer shouts out to the man. “Go get another one of their BMW’s and take that to the hospital. We’ll be using the last of the armored cars.”

Stumbling as much as walking down the steps, I finally feel the cement beneath my feet and stare up into the bright blue sky.

It’s fucking beautiful, and for once I don’t fucking hate it.

I look back down to Meredith and pull her tight to my chest. Kissing her hard as I can, I push my tongue past her lips. This isn’t a claiming kiss. No, this is one that brings too much joy for that.

This is a declaration of life.

“Holy fuck, the Spider really isn’t gay?” Thad chortles.

I’d turn around and shoot the bastard then fuck the wound if Meredith wasn’t holding me so tightly to her. Her kiss as deep and full as my own.

20

Meredith

“I didn’t know you could drive a car,” I say, catching Matthew’s eyes in the rearview mirror as he takes the driver’s seat of the armored car we’ll be traveling in.

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me, Meredith,” he says with a smirk and starts the engine.

I incline my head, giving him that point, and turn my attention back to Simon. He’s leaning heavily into me, with his good arm wrapped around my waist.

“But I hope we can change that,” Matthew adds, surprising me.

My head jerks to him, meeting his gaze again in the rearview mirror. Intense icy-blue orbs stare back at me.

As far as I can tell, he’s being completely serious. And at this point, I have no clue how I feel about it.

Too much shit has happened today. I almost died too many times for my liking. But even worse, Simon and Matthew’s men were hurt trying to rescue me. At least one has died, and another is so badly injured he might die too.

Simon hisses as he shifts in his seat and his arm tightens around me. I look worriedly to the oozing wound on his left shoulder.

Watching him get hit by so many bullets was the most terrifying experience of my life, hands down. Even now, ice floods my chest as I remember how close I was to losing him. In that moment, I realized how much I want him.

How much I fucking need his craziness.

“Don’t cry for me, princess,” Simon says, and I reach up to wipe at my cheeks, surprised to find tears there. “I’ll be fine. It’s only a scratch.”

I shake my head and take a deep breath, trying to get my shit together. I can’t crack yet. That will have to come later, much later…

“You should have just let me go,” I say quietly in admonishment.

He could have died. He almost died. And I had to kill yet another man to stop it from happening.

Even now that man’s blood stains my face, and I’m not sure but I think there are chunks of his brain in my hair.

I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to push out the flash of his head exploding as I slammed two bullets into it.

“Never,” he says so vehemently I can tell it pains him as my eyes flash open. “I’m never fucking letting you go.”

“But—”

His good arm jerks me into him and his jaw clenches as he grits out, “Meredith, I would walk through the fires of hell and fight the devil himself to get you back.”

His declaration fills me warmth, but also sends tingling sensations down my spine. Is he implying what I think he’s implying?

Glancing towards the front of the car, I see Matthew’s hard eyes staring right back at us. Fuck, this is more drama then my poor heart can take right now.

Simon’s arm relaxes around me and he winces as he shifts in his seat.

“Simon, you need to go to the hospital,” I say, pulling away from him as carefully as I can without hurting him.

The corners of his lips curl up. Oh, how I hate that my concern for him seems to amuse him. “It would draw too much attention, princess.”

“I don’t care,” and I don’t. I could give a flying fuck about how much attention we draw. He needs to be treated. I can’t stand to see him wincing and shifting around in pain. A pain he’s suffering because of me. “You need to be treated by a professional.”

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