A satisfied smile split his lips. I expected his hand to return to what he had been doing, but his mouth started under my chin again, making a slow descent. He started all over. His hair brushed my chest as his lips drifted over my collarbone. A tiny feminine sound that sounded so foreign to my own ears caught in my throat.

Seth knelt before me, spreading my legs wide. Vulnerable—I was completely vulnerable to him. Lightning rushed through my veins as he spread my legs wider, grasped my hips. His tongue glided from my navel and then lower.

I remembered the first time he’d done this and he’d coaxed me through it. Now, I didn’t need any coaxing. I spread my legs further, giving him more access.

He kissed my inner thigh, nuzzling the slick skin. The air left my lungs as he moved just an inch. He captured my flesh with his mouth, and I cried out. Lost in the raw sensations, I grasped his hair and rocked my hips. He growled against me, and my back arched, heart pounded. Water beaded on my chest. The fierce heat was building and building until I feared it would consume me, and then my body felt like it liquefied. I couldn’t breathe as every muscle locked up, ready for what was surely going to be a mind-blowing orgasm.

“Seth, oh yes…” I buckled and climaxed with such force I almost slid down the wall. He caught me, keeping his mouth on me while my body spasmed with sweet aftershocks.

Before the tremors even subsided, Seth stood fluidly and swept me into his arms. I wasn’t sure how he managed to turn off the water. Had to be the fact he was a god. The next thing I knew, he was laying me on the bed. Dazed, I stared up at him. I was snared in his molten gaze.

He tore off the dark shirt he wore, letting it fall to the floor. My gaze followed the light dusting of blond hair that disappeared under the band of his pants.

I rose onto my elbow, grinning when he arched his brows at me. “You’re sort of stunning,” I said. “But I’m sure you already know that.”

He stepped out of the wet pants and leaned over me, placing a hand on each side of me, caging me in. “You’re one to talk.”

I tipped my head back. “I love you, Seth.”

He made a deep sound, brushing his cheek over mine. “I know.”

I placed my hands on his chest, lowering them over each hard ripple. He pressed against my thigh, warm and hard. “You’re supposed to respond with ‘I love you, too.’”

Seth grasped my hips and rolled me on top of him. “I think I already did, in the shower.”

I kissed the stubble along his jaw as I reached between us, palming him. His back reared off the bed. My heart was already racing again. “Not good enough.”

He reached up, cupping the nape of my neck. His eyes were startling in the darkness of our room, consuming me. My heart tripped over itself. Lust hardened the edge of his voice. “I love you.”

“That’s better.”

Sitting up in one fluid motion, he slipped deep inside me and captured my mouth, smothering my cry of surprise. He wrapped his arms around my waist, holding me tight against him as he flexed his hips upward while pulling me down. Toes curling, I gripped his shoulders as my surprise turned to pleasure.

“I love you now,” he said, thrusting his hips. “I will love you always.”

I pressed my forehead against his, my bottom twisting down. Both of our chests were rising raggedly. “Always? I-I love the sound of that.”

He pulled back and our eyes locked.

Wordlessly, he cupped my rear, urging me to move faster. Unable to look away, I fell into those burning eyes. A sharp swirl of tingles rushed through my body. Under me, he moved his magnificent body at a furious rhythm. My release came fast and hard. My entire body stiffened.

Seth grasped my cheeks, bringing my face down to his, kissing me deeply. Lightning flew through my veins. My muscles clamped down on him as he found his own release. My cry mixed with his as he pumped his hips furiously, throwing me head first into another orgasm.

Sometime later, I stirred to lift my head from his chest, but his embrace tightened. I cleared my throat. “What happened in Chicago?”

He didn’t answer for a long moment, and when he did, part of me almost wished he hadn’t. I almost couldn’t process what he told me or the horror those poor people must’ve felt and seen. Worse yet, if Seth didn’t do what they asked, more innocent people would die. Mortals. Pures. Halfs. Everyone.

“This is bad,” I whispered.

And for the first time Seth didn’t say it would be okay.

Chapter 13

Josie

Standing among tall elm trees—trees so thick and full that only sporadic streams of light broke through their bushy limbs—I could feel the life slipping out of me.

Everything had been so perfect, so beautiful, and now…

I was dying.

It happened so fast. I’d been standing in front of Seth, staring into those striking golden eyes, holding his hands, and then there was nothing but heart-stopping pain. Unexpected. Brutal.

Cool air raised tiny goosebumps along my bare arms. I tried to draw in a breath, but the air went nowhere as I looked down at the white gown that brushed the tops of my feet—the gown I’d been so excited to wear, so ready to wear.

Blood poured out of my chest, spilling down the front of the gown, ruining it.

Ruining everything.

There were shouts erupting all around us. Chaos as the very thick tree limbs seemed to rattle and shake. Seth was reaching for me, confusion fading from his face and giving way to a raw mixture of fear and anger.

Too late. Too late.

Pressing shaky hands against my chest, it did nothing to stanch the blood flowing from between my fingers.

Oh gods, I was going to die.

My knees gave out, but I didn’t fall to the ground. Strong, warm arms folded around me, easing me down, holding me close. I blinked, trying to focus as I pressed against the warm, hard chest. Amber-colored eyes stared back into mine—eyes that had been filled with love and happiness moments before were now shining with terror.

With every stuttering breath I took, I knew I was coming to the end, that one of these breaths were going to be my last, and it was going to be all over.

“Seth,” I whispered. “Don’t let me go.”

“No.” His face contorted. Tears filled his eyes as he lifted my head, pressing his mouth to my forehead. “I’ll never let you go, Josie. Never.”

My hands slipped away, falling to my sides. I tried to speak once more, to tell him that I loved him, that I’d always love him, but I couldn’t force the words from my tongue.

“Josie.” His voice cracked as he rocked us back and forth. “I love you. I love you and I won’t let you go. I will never—”

Gasping for air, I came awake with a silent scream burning up my throat as I jerked upward. The sheet slipped to my waist as I planted a hand on my chest. My heart jackhammered.

Just a dream.

That’s what I kept telling myself as I willed my heart to slow down and stared into the darkness in the bedroom. It was just a dream.

Shoving sweat-slicked hair out of my face, I twisted at the waist. As my vision adapted, I could make out Seth’s profile. He was lying on his side, facing me. One heavy arm still lay over my hips and lap. He was sound asleep. A strand of blond hair fell over his cheek, touching the corner of his lip.

I wanted to wake him, so I could hear him say my name and to feel his touch. So I could erase the memory of the dream with all the wonderful things he made me feel.

But I didn’t.

Easing down on my side so our faces were inches apart, I bit down on my lip. What if…

What if it wasn’t a dream?

My breath caught as I closed my eyes. What if it was a prophecy, like the others? What if I wasn’t dreaming, but seeing my own death?

~

Sitting in the center of the bed, I tried to focus on braiding my hair, but it was hard.

Seth was virtually naked.

He’d just come out of the shower and all the man was wearing was a towel around his lean hips. A towel! It barely covered anything. And I had no idea how the towel was staying on as he prowled to the dresser. Those heavy biceps flexed as he lifted his hands, shoving hair that was darker-blond when wet, slicking the strands back. It was hanging so low, showing all those interesting dips and planes.

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