“Crap, you’re right,” I groaned, giving him a tight squeeze before stepping away. “All my stuff is in my room at the hotel where I spent last night.”

Athan flashed me a cocky grin. “Lucky for us, I can teleport there and back in the blink of an eye.”

“Your abilities are definitely going to come in handy.” I heaved a sigh of relief before giving him the details for my hotel. As soon as he disappeared, I raced into the bathroom to freshen up. By the time my parents arrived less than fifteen minutes later, we were dressed and drinking coffee in the formal living room. I’d recommended we wait for them there since my parents would appreciate the grandeur of the antique furnishings. It wasn’t really my style, but Athan had assured me that I could change anything I didn’t like in the house since it was mine too.

We were seated next to each other on a Victorian sofa when a maid showed them into the room. Nervous butterflies swarmed in my belly. I had never had a boyfriend to introduce to my parents, so this was all new to me. The situation was bound to be awkward under normal circumstances, which these were definitely not. Not when my parents had chartered a plane to hunt me down because they hadn’t heard from me in a measly twelve hours, and the man I was going to introduce to them was a freaking vampire.

“There you are,” my mom sighed, shaking her head. “I was beginning to think that we’d never find you.”

I stood and stepped closer to give her a hug. “I’m sorry. I meant to call you last night, but time got away from me.”

“I was frantic when we couldn’t reach you,” she cried, her arms tightening around me before I pulled away.

Athan moved silently, but I was still acutely aware of him as he came up behind me. His presence gave me comfort as I geared myself up for my parents' reaction to the news that I’d found someone and wasn’t planning to go back home with them.

“Why didn’t you answer any of our calls?” My dad’s gaze bounced back and forth between us. “Did something happen?”

“I didn’t know you’d been trying to reach me.” Lifting my phone, I wiggled it. “I forgot this at Thana’s home last night.”

My mom gasped and stared at my hand. “Where did you get that ring?”

“I gave it to her,” Athan answered, tugging me back to pull my body into his side.

“Impossible,” my mom hissed, shaking her head. “That amethyst is unmistakable. It belongs to our family and was stolen from us several generations ago.”6AthanI barely had time to process what Selene’s mother had said before she reached out and snatched her daughter’s hand and attempted to pull her away from me. No way in hell was that happening.

“Do not touch my consort,” I said in a low, menacing tone. Selene’s mother flinched and dropped Selene’s hand. I slipped my arm around her waist and dragged her back against me. Then I curled both arms around her in a protective and possessive gesture.

Her mother’s eyes widened as her gaze bounced back and forth between my mate and me. “Consort?” she whispered. Her tone was unmistakably horrified.

Selene stiffened and muttered, “Oh, crap.” I buried my face in her hair to hide my smile and held in my chuckle. She was so fucking adorable.

“You have to come with us, Selene,” her mother demanded shakily.

Selene’s father beckoned her with a gesture and a demand. “Come with us, Selene. You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into.”

“He-he’s a—”

“I know what he is.” My girl straightened her posture, and her head tilted as she lifted her stubborn chin. “I’m not going anywhere.” Seeing her stand up to her parents and exhibit such strength was sexy as fuck. She would definitely be getting extra orgasms later.

“Selene!” her father hissed. “You can’t believe anything he says. He’s just trying to lure you in so he can kill you.”

I scoffed and shot him a withering glance as I responded in a voice that was pure steel. “I would never hurt my Selene.”

“He must be a thief,” her mother added, though her argumentative stance had faded, making room for fear and hesitation. “How else would he have your great-great-grandmother’s heirloom? Her husband had that made for her and picked an amethyst that was the same shade of purple as her eyes.”

I was about to explain when Selene spoke first. “Look around you, Mother,” she said with a sweeping gesture. “Do you really think Athan has any reason to steal? Besides, you said it was stolen generations ago. It’s bound to have changed hands since then.”

Her mother shook her head, and I rolled my eyes. I was already bored with these two and wanted them out of my house. “I found the ring in a little shop a century ago. Something about it intrigued me. Now, I know it was because it belongs on the finger of my consort, with eyes that match it perfectly. Just like the original owner.”

Tags: Fiona Davenport Dusk Before Dawn Fantasy
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