Just the mention of someone laying a finger on my woman has my vision turning red. I can feel the fucking rage flood through my veins so quickly I almost leap from the chair to throttle Lucifer for daring to entertain the thought.

“Not fucking happening,” I growl through gritted teeth.

Lucifer takes a moment to look at me, and I think he’s looking at me for the first time as the monster I am. “Agreed.”

We stare at each other for a long time, the men around us talking and joking about the church hit. Not us, though.

“Men, I do believe dinner will be served in a bit. Give Gabriel and I a moment to catch up before then,” he says while still maintaining eye contact.

Simon starts to object before Lucifer raises a hand to cut him off.

When the room clears, Lucifer says, “It’s been a long time since you went in Gabriel.”

“It has,” I say in response.

“Do you think I’ve forgotten what you did for me?” he asks seriously. His eyes still have that odd fucking glow to them after all these years.

They have a way of looking directly into your soul. Looking so thoroughly through all those hidden corners of your mind.

“You got me out. I think you’ve done exactly what you promised,” I say.

“That’s not what I asked,” He responds.

“No, I don’t think you’ve forgotten what I did. You couldn’t go in without this family going to ruin. Simon wouldn’t have made it through. I doubt John would have been able to, either. I was the one who had what it took to get through it all,” I say with a shrug.

The intensity gone now, both of us lean back in our chairs.

“Why did it seem like you were about to strangle me back there?” he asks.

“You mentioned harm coming to my woman,” I say with a laugh.

“Is she yours already, Gabriel?” he asks.

Without hesitation, I answer, “Yes.”



“Cream and sugar?” Lily asks as she pours fresh coffee into a mug for me.

“Yes, please,” I respond distractedly, too busy looking around and trying to wrap my head around this surreal situation.

Is this really happening? Am I really standing in this upscale kitchen, surrounded by sparkling stainless steel appliances, with this woman who’s dressed like she just stepped off of a Paris runway?

It feels too strange to be real. This perfect kitchen, Lily acting as the perfect hostess. Perhaps I’m still drugged and I’m hallucinating.

Lily adds a little cream and sugar and slides the mug over to me.

I pick it up, say, “Thank you,” and take a tentative sip.

The coffee is almost too hot, but my body’s response to the heat is reassuring.

As I set the mug back down, though, I notice the lettering wrapping around it.

Coffee Makes Me Poop.

Yeah… there’s no way this is really happening. It’s official, I’ve lost my ever-loving mind. Any minute I’m going to wake up.

And then what?

Get married to Alexei.


I really hope this isn’t a dream.

“Meghan?” Lily says, the thick concern in her voice pulling my attention back to her. “Are you okay? I’ve heard you had quite the day…”

I stare at her face for a moment, trying to determine if she’s being sincere or just faking it. She’s quite beautiful, stunning really, I realize. Even with her lips pulled down and her eyes narrowed with worry.

“Yeah, you can say that again.” I sigh and reach for the mug again.

Lily’s eyes flick down to the mug and back up to my face, the concerned look still firmly in place. “Perhaps something a little stronger is in order?”

I pause with the mug in midair then quickly put it back down and push it toward her. “I’ll take the strongest booze you have on hand.”

Lily nods and moves around the gleaming granite kitchen island. Bending down, she disappears from my sight and I hear bottles clinking together.

“Is whiskey okay?” she asks.

“Yes, that’s fine. Thank you,” I reply and frown.

Her politeness is beginning to make me a little uncomfortable and suspicious. Why is she being so nice to me? Does she have an ulterior motive?

Her blonde head reappears and she walks back to me with a bottle of amber liquid clutched in her hand.

Untwisting the lid, she tops my mug off and gives me an apologetic smile as she stirs it. “I’m sorry, it’s not Irish.”

“Being Irish is overrated,” I mutter before picking the mug back up and quickly gulping from it.

Lily’s apologetic smile turns sad, and I’m hit with a little pang of regret for causing it. Even if she does have an ulterior motive, she’s been nothing but polite, and I’m acting like a rude ass.

I quickly take another gulp of my spiked coffee to wash the pang away.

“Do you want to talk about what happened?”

My first reaction is to tell her no, hell no. I don’t want to relive a single moment. I want to get drunk and forget the whole thing happened.

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