I undo his button and slowly unzip his jeans. He moans, a deep, husky utterance of desire. There’s a pause where our eyes collide and we pant, deciding what we should do next. So much has gone on and in the end I know I’ll end up as confused as when this all began. Somehow, I can’t seem to care.

I want this.



He must think the same thing because suddenly he’s kicking off his jeans along with his boxers. He rips the towel from my body and his hands slide up my legs, spreading me open. I bite down on my lip, waiting in anticipation for him to thrust inside me. Instead of sliding into me, though, he dips his face down toward my open legs. I gasp as his tongue slides inside me, my body curving upward of it’s own accord.

“Alex…” I grasp handfuls of his hair, unsure what to do or where I should channel this vulnerable, helpless energy to as his tongue slips inside me, filling me like his fingers did earlier. It’s almost too much, my emotions are out of my power. I writhe against his tongue, fighting to breathe and function as I’m pushed over the edge. I scream so loud I’m sure the whole house can hear it.

As I catch my breath, his tongue leaves me and seconds later his lips crash against mine. I barely have time to regain my breathing as our tongues twine together, our bodies welding and becoming almost one as he thrusts deep inside me. It doesn’t hurt as bad as the first time, but I’m still tender. I jab my nails into his back as I hold onto him, splitting the skin open on his back, clawing into reality. Our bodies dampen with sweat as they move rhythmically together and our breaths grow ragged.

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I don’t have any control over what I’m doing or feeling. All I can do is hold onto him and, even though I’m not sure I want to, trust him not to break me.

His lips leave mine as he licks and bites a path down my neck, to my collarbone as his hand grips my breast. He grazes his finger over my nipple and so much heat coils through my body that I can’t even think straight.

With one final thrust, my body and mind spiral out-of-control and I grab onto him as euphoria takes me over. I let my head fall back and it slams against the mirror. I think I hear the glass shatter, though I’m too far gone to care.

Moments later, Alex buries his face into the crook of my neck, his body tensing. Once he relaxes, he places kiss after kiss onto my skin, sucking on it, making a path to my mouth.

With one last kiss, he slips out of me. His hands grip my waist as he guides me off the countertop, then he stares over my shoulder. I follow his gaze, turning my head, only to find that I did shatter the mirror. Glass is everywhere, behind me, in the sink, on the counter.

I turn my head back to look at him, opening my mouth to say something, but I can’t find anything to say.

He combs his fingers through my hair, tugging my head back a little, and forcing me to look at him. “I didn’t mean for that to happen,” he says. “I just…” he trails off. “I don’t know how to deal with how I feel around you. You simultaneously piss me off, turn me on and frustrate me. No one’s every done that to me before.”

“Me, neither,” I admit. “But then again, I’ve only been able to feel those things for a few months so…” I frown, unsure how I feel anymore, whether I want to be driven by a grudge or let it go.

His green eyes fill with something I can’t quite place while his fingers linger in my hair. “I don’t want you running off to Laylen for help,” he says. “I want you to come to me.”

I look down at my legs wrapped around his waist, so close to him physically, yet mentally we’re still incredibly far away. “I honestly still don’t know if I can trust you.” I look up at him. “I mean, sometimes I ask you questions and you give the vaguest answers. Also, when we first met… the stuff you did and said… it’s hard to forget.”

“I’m sorry,” he utters quietly and it’s a weird moment because Alex isn’t the type of guy that says sorry a lot. “I’m sorry all of this happened. That you had to go through everything and that I’m a total douche who you have to feel this crazy electricity feeling with.”

I swallow the lump lodged in my throat put there by the intensity in his voice. “It went away for a moment, you know. When Laylen… when he bit me.”

“How did that… how did that feel?” He seems torn with wanting to hear the answer or even asking the question.

“Weird. Crazy. Unnatural.” I shrug. “Honestly, it kind of made me feel empty.” Some of the tension leaves his face, like he’s relieved by my answer. “But I still don’t know exactly how I feel about you or what’s driving what I do feel.”

He eyes me over, seeming undecided, as if he’s having an internal battle with himself. Then he grips my waist and lifts me off the counter.

He reaches for his jeans on the floor. “Get dressed,” he says as he slips them on.

I reach for my clean shirt folded up on the counter beside the sink. “Okay.” My voice is tight, figuring we’re heading back to where we started. He’s being distant and I’m sure he’s going to start shutting down. Goddammit. Why do I do this to myself?

He slips his shirt on over his head and then heads for the door, and feelings of shame, guilt and irritation flood me.

“Where are you going?” I tug the shirt over my head. “Are you leaving?”

He pauses, glancing over his shoulder as he grasps the doorknob. “I’m going to go find the one person that I know of who can get us into The Underworld.”

I start to smile, a full, real smile. “To find my mom?”

He nods. “But don’t get so happy yet. First we have to deal with the person who’s going to help us.” He jerks the door open as I slip the skirt on. “And it’s going to be a pain in the ass.

“Why?” I tie the top of the skirt.

He looks unhappy as he steps into the hall. “The only Foreseer I know who’s not afraid of breaking the rules.”

I point my finger at myself. “Me?”

“No someone who is experienced and knows the history.” He steps out into the hall and I follow. “We’re going to find Nicholas.”

Chapter 8

“You want to bring Nicholas here?” I frown as I trot down the stairs behind him, gathering my damp hair into a side braid “Like the pervert Faerie/Foreseer/likes-to-invade-my-personal-space, Nicholas? The one who became a mirage and made me believe he was you more than a few times?”

He glances over his shoulder, nodding. “That would be the one.”

I shake my head as we enter the living room. It’s miraculously been put back into place, the walls mended, the chairs fixed, and the apothecary table looks like it’s never been touched. “Do we really need him, though?” I ask. “Isn’t there anyone else who can help us?”

“My connections in the Foreseer world are very limited.” He flops down on the couch, shaking his head. “Trust me, Gemma. He’s the last person I ever want to go to for help, well besides someone like Draven.” He glances up at my neck and I have the urge to cover my neck and hide the two small, healing bite marks on it. “Foreseer’s can travel anywhere at any moment, which is why Nicholas was able to randomly show up back in Colorado. You remember the crystal ball he used to get us into the City of Crystal, right?”

I sit down on the couch beside him. “How could I forget? I nearly broke my damn arm.”

He presses his lips together, draping his arm on the back of the sofa. “Well, that crystal ball allows them to travel everywhere.”

I perk up a little. “Everywhere as in places like The Underworld?”

His fingers brush the back of my neck and begin tracing soft, circular patterns. “That’s what I’m not one-hundred percent sure of. I’d guess yes, but I never like to guess about things. The only way to really find out is to talk to a Foreseer who knows the history.”

“And you think he’s going to willingly help us?” I frown doubtfully. “I’ve only met him once, but I’m guessing he’s not the kind of person to just hand over information.”

“I know.”

“So…what do we have to do then? How do we get him to cooperate?”

His fingers trail around to the front of my neck, up to my cheek where he finds a loose strand of my hair and coils it around his finger. “We have to bring him here.”

“And then what?” I wonder. “We just go down there and get my mom? I’m guessing it’s not going to be that easy.”

He offers me a sad smile. “It’s not… that place is dangerous. More dangerous than anywhere you’ve ever been.”

“Then who’s going to go to this place?” I ask. “Me?”

He shakes his head. “But I can’t go, either. It’s going to have to be someone we can trust to keep an eye on Nicholas since he’ll have to take them there. Someone like Aislin… and Laylen, I guess.”

I elevate my eyebrows at him and he releases my hair before shifting uneasily back in the chair. “You trust Laylen?”

His shoulders lift and fall as he shrugs. “If he’s with Aislin, then I’m sure he’ll be okay.”

“You sound like you don’t believe it yourself,” I remark, studying him over. “What are you up to?”

He narrows his eyes. “I’m just trying to help you. That’s all. Jesus, can’t you simply trust me?”

“Trust is something earned,” I say.

He glares at me, his green eyes smoldering. “Like when I sacrificed myself against a memoria extracto so you’d be okay?”

I evade the question because he’s right, yet distrust stabs at the back of my neck. I can’t seem to shake the feeling for some reason, even when he proves otherwise. “Why won’t you go?”

“Because I’ll be going somewhere else.” He stands to his feet and extends his hand out to me. “Now come with me. Let’s go get Nicholas and get this whole thing over with.”

We go into the back room where Adessa stores her supplies on rows and rows of metal shelves that are stacked with boxes, elaborate objects, and glass jars filled with disturbing looking things.

Aislin joins us, seeming cheerful as ever, yet I can feel the awkward energy between us. “Hey, Gemma,” she says.

I smile, but it feels forced. “Hey.”

She glances at my clothes. “You look good in what I picked out. Very Black Angel like.”

I look down at my boots, skirt, and tank top. “That’s why you picked me out such a Gothic wardrobe? So I’d look like a Black Angel?”

She nods, picking up a box embedded with miniscule, silvery diamonds. “I thought it would help you blend in.”

I want to tell her I’m sorry, yet now doesn’t seem like the time. Maybe when Alex isn’t around perhaps.

She lifts open the lid and sniffs the inside of the box. “So what are we doing exactly? Trying to figure out what my… what Stephan is doing?”

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