We moved with a practiced rhythm, like our bodies did this together all the time. Those controlled strokes grew more savage, less precise. Harder and fiercer he brought himself into me, like he was going to go through the floor. Someone was making a lot of noise, and I realized distantly that it was me. I was sort of losing track of what was around me, of coherent thought. There was only my body's response, the building force that consumed me and set me on fire and still made me demand more. I longed for completion and urged him on, bringing my body up to meet his and clenching the muscles around him.


He gasped as he felt me grow tighter. His eyes burned with a near-primitive passion. "I want to see you come again," he gasped out. "Come for me."

For whatever reason, it only took that command to finish me off, to plunge me over the edge of that dizzying ecstasy. I cried out more loudly, my throat long since gone hoarse.

Whatever expression I wore, it was enough to drive him into his own finish. No sound came out as his lips parted, but he closed his eyes and held himself inside me after a final hard thrust, shaking with pleasure.

When he had finished, his body still trembling with the force of his orgasm, he rolled off me onto his back, sweaty and satisfied. I turned toward him, splaying my fingers on his chest, admiring the lean muscles and tanned flesh of his body.

"You're beautiful," I told him, taking a nipple into my mouth.

"You aren't so bad yourself," he murmured, stroking my hair. Perspiration rolled off my body too, making some of the strands damp and curl up more than usual. "Is this you? Your real shape?"

I shook my head, surprised by the question. I trailed my lips up to his neck. "I've only worn that body once since becoming a succubus. A long time ago." Pausing mid-kiss, I asked, "You want something different? I can be anything you want me to be, you know."

He grinned, flashing those white teeth. "One of the perks of loving a succubus, no doubt." Sitting up, he scooped me into his arms and then rose, slightly wobbly with the added weight. "But no. Ask me in another century, maybe, and I might have a different answer. For now, I've got a lot more to learn about this body."

He carried me off to my bedroom, where we made love in a slower, slightly more civilized manner, our bodies twining together like ribbons of liquid fire. With that initial animalism somewhat satisfied, we lingered longer now, exploring the different ways each person's body responded. We spent most of the night cycling through a pattern: slow and loving, fast and furious, rest, repeat. I grew exhausted somewhere around three and finally gave in to sleep, resting my head against his chest, ignoring the nagging worries in the back of my mind.

I woke up a few hours later, sitting bolt upright as the previous night's events came slamming back into me with sharper clarity. I'd gone to sleep in a nephilim's arms. Talk about vulnerability. Yet... here I was, still alive. Roman lay beside me, snug and warm, Aubrey at his feet. Both of them regarded me with tired, squinty eyes, wondering at my sudden motion.

"What's the matter?" he asked, stifling a yawn.

"N-nothing," I assured him. Removed from passion, I found myself able to think a bit more clearly. What had I done ? Sleeping with Roman might have bought me time, but I was no closer to finding some way out of this crazy situation.

Lying there, I caught sight of Carter's daffodils, and they jolted me into a decision. The flowers themselves had only been part of a small act, but something about them made me realize I could not sit passively by and let Roman kill Carter. I had to act, no matter the risk, no matter the likelihood of failure. We all have moments of weakness. It's how we recover from them that really counts.

It didn't matter if I loved the nephilim and hated the angel, neither of which was entirely true. This was more about me, about the kind of person I was. I had spent centuries hurting men for my own survival, often devastatingly so, but I could not be a part of premeditated murder, no matter how noble the cause. I hadn't reached that stage of life. Not yet.

I blinked back sudden tears, overwhelmed by what I had to do. What I had to do to Roman.

"Then go back to sleep," he murmured, running a hand along my body, from waist to thigh.

Yes, I knew what I had to do. It was a long shot, hardly a solid plan, but I couldn't think of anything else to take advantage of Roman's current, off-guard mood.

"I can't," I explained, starting to get out of bed. "I have to work."

His eyes opened wider. "What? When?"

"I open. I need to be there in a half hour."

He sat up, dismayed. "You work all day?"

"Yup."

"I still had a few more things I wanted to do to you," he mumbled, sliding an arm around my waist to pull me back, cupping a breast in his hand.

I leaned back into him, feigning being caught up in passion. All right, I wasn't exactly feigning.

" Mmm..." I turned my face toward his, brushing our lips together. "I could call in sick maybe... not that they'd believe it. I'm never sick, and they know it."

"Fuck them," he mumbled, pushing me back down into the bed, his hands growing bolder. "Fuck them so I can f**k you again."

"Then let me up," I laughed. "I can't call in like this."

Reluctantly he released me, and I slid out of the bed, grinning back at him as I went. He watched me hungrily, like a cat sizing up prey. Honestly, I liked it.

That desire quickly melted into apprehension as I walked into the living room and picked up my portable phone. I had left all the room doors open, acting as casual and relaxed as possible, giving Roman no cause for alarm. Knowing he could probably hear me in the living room, I mentally rehearsed my words as I dialed Jerome's cell phone number.

Not surprisingly, however, the demon did not answer. Damn him. What good was our bond if I couldn't use it at will? Having anticipated this, I tried my next option: Hugh. If I got his cell's voice mail, I would be out of luck. I could not pull off my plan if I had to call his office number and wade through his arsenal of secretaries.

"Hugh Mitchell speaking."

"Hey, Doug, it's Georgina."

A pause. "Did you just call me Doug?"

"Look, I can't come in today. I think I've caught that bug that's been going around."

Roman wandered out of my bedroom, and I smiled at him as he made his way to my refrigerator. Meanwhile, Hugh tried to make sense of my nonsense.

"Uh, Georgina... I think you dialed the wrong number."

"No, I'm serious, Doug, so don't get smart with me. I can't come in, okay?"

Dead silence. Finally Hugh asked, "Georgina, are you all right?"

"No. I already told you that. Look, will you just pass it on?"

"Georgina, what's going on - "

"Well, I'm sure you'll figure out something," I continued, "but it'll have to be without me. I'll try to be in tomorrow."

I disconnected and looked up at Roman, shaking my head. "It would figure Doug was there. He definitely didn't believe me."

"Knows you too well, huh?" he asked, drinking a glass of orange juice.

"Yeah, but he'll cover for me, despite his complaining. He's good like that."

I tossed the phone onto the couch and approached Roman. Time for more distraction. I doubted Hugh would fully grasp the situation, but he would at least assume something wasn't right. As I had noted in the past, one couldn't live as long as an immortal did and be stupid. He would suspect something and hopefully hunt down Jerome. My job now was to keep the nephilim busy until the cavalry came.

"So what exactly was it you wanted to do to me?" I purred.

A number of things, as it turned out. We wound up back in my bedroom, and I discovered waiting out the time until Hugh could take action wasn't nearly as difficult as I had feared. Slight twinges of guilt tugged at me over enjoying Roman so much, especially now that I'd made my decision and called for help. He had murdered untold numbers of immortals and had designs on a near-friend. Still, I couldn't help my feelings. I was attracted to him - had been for a long time, even - and he was really, really good in bed.

"Eternity doesn't seem so bad with you in my arms," he murmured later, stroking my hair as I curled up against him. Turning my face toward his, I saw a somber expression in his eyes.

"What's wrong?"

"Georgina... do you... do you really want me to leave this angel alone?"

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