Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements 3) - Page 22

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“What about getting a tat here?” He kissed the side of my thigh, right above my knee, on the inside. “It’s a very interesting place. I like it.”

I bit down on my lower lip. “I’m sure you do.”

His eyes flared a bright ocher. “You know what else I’ve been thinking?”

With him, it was anyone’s guess.

“I think I’m going to have to make it official. You know, me being the president of the demon horde Layla fan club.”

A laugh burst out of me. “What are you going to do? Make yourself a shirt that says you’re the official president?”

“And buttons. I’m totally going to make myself some buttons.”

I started to laugh, but his fingers found the thin material—the only thing left on me—and things were most definitely going further than they had before. I was nervous, but I also trusted him. I remembered what he’d whispered in my ear earlier. I knew this would only go so far. Before my nerves could get the better of me, his lips were where his hands were, and I was no longer thinking about anything. There was only feeling—just him and the crazy, beautiful rush of sensations he coaxed out of me. He was a master at it, absolutely brilliant, because I didn’t feel like me. I didn’t shake and tremble like this and those soft noises were so not coming from me. I was like a piece of cloth being pulled too tight, until suddenly all the tension broke, and I was caught in the whirlwind, thrown so very high, I could kiss the stars.

Roth slowly rose, wiggling an arm under me and pulling me against his chest. When I opened my eyes, he looked like he’d had his mind blown, but that was strange, because he was the one doing all the mind-blowing. I was the one on the receiving end.

“That...” My tongue didn’t want to work. “That was amazing.”

His smile was part arrogance, like he already knew exactly how awesome that was, but there was something boyish about the curve of his lips. He stretched out beside me, keeping me close. He lowered his head, kissing me softly, and I was boneless and weak in his arms.

His mouth was hot against my damp brow. “I want an eternity of mornings like this.” He dropped a kiss next to my ear. “An eternity.”

A chill blew through me as my eyes popped open. The happy glow dulled and the haze scattered. I suddenly realized something very important, something that neither of us had even thought of at this point. Roth would never grow any older. For as long as he walked this earth, he would look as he did today, while I would age and die like any other mortal out there thanks to my Warden blood.

Roth had an eternity.

I didn’t.


THE CHILLED, UNSETTLED feeling followed me the rest of the morning and I hated that, because Roth and I were finally on the same page for the first time, and what we had done—what he had done—was frankly amazing and beautiful, and yes, I would want an eternity of mornings like that. Now I felt haunted, as if there was a shadow looming over us, turning infinite time into minutes or seconds. Which was stupid, because I recognized that I had a long, long time before I needed to worry about the awkwardness of a hot guy spending time with me when I was well into my golden years.

But I kept picturing Roth looking as fine and fresh as he did this morning while he rolled out of bed and cast a knowing grin in my direction. In my head, I didn’t look like I did right now. Instead, I had gray hair, a face that rivaled one of those dogs who had wrinkled skin and a hunched-over back. And instead of doing what we did this morning, we’d spend time playing bingo.

I kind of liked bingo, though.

Anyway, the whole thing went well beyond uncomfortable.

There were more pressing issues we needed to address now, which was why we were gathered in the kitchen with Cayman and another demon I’d never met before but who went by the name Edward. I seriously doubted that was the blond’s real name, because the name Edward really didn’t strike fear in the heart of anyone.

Cayman was sitting on the counter near the sink, swinging his feet like he was at the playground. I was at the island, having eaten my weight in sausage, and Roth was standing next to me. When we’d walked into the kitchen together, I’d half expected Cayman to whip out a camera and start taking pictures of us. His expression had been downright gleeful. I was doing my best not to look at Roth in that moment, because when I did, I thought about what he did this morning and what we hadn’t done, and then I went all red-faced. Things might’ve progressed further if Roth hadn’t sensed the other demon’s presence, forcing us to leave the bedroom to investigate.

Edward stood by Cayman and his eyes carried an odd light that was reflected when he tilted his head a certain way. He definitely wasn’t an Upper Level demon, and I thought he might be a Fiend.

“So, what’s on the menu today, kids?” Cayman asked.

Roth’s slow grin sent fire across my cheeks as he cast a long glance in my direction. He opened his mouth, but the look I sent him promised murder if he answered that question the way I thought he might.

He chuckled as he propped his hip against the counter. “I figure we need to hit the city, start searching out areas that we think the Lilin might be holed up in. The Wardens are doing the same, but I doubt they’re going to be successful.”

“The Lilin will sense them coming a mile away,” Edward agreed. “While we sort of blend in with the demon masses, at least until we get a chance to get close.”

I folded my arms across my belly, where Bambi was currently residing after making her way there when we left the bedroom. I thought about how the Upper Level demon reacted to me yesterday, then pushed the memory aside. “Do you think the witches that worship Lilith would be harboring the Lilin?”

Cayman shook his head. “I don’t think so. They’re obsessed with your mother, but they know how risky it would be to give something as evil as the Lilin shelter.”

Normally, having Lilith referred to as my mother would send me into an epic tizzy of unheard-of proportions, but now it was just...well, it was just the truth. Lilith was my mom, whether I wanted her to be or not. “But would any demon give it shelter at this point?” I asked.

“Not a smart one.” Roth shifted, placing a hand on my lower back. Though I wore a sweater, one of the horribly skintight ones Cayman had picked up from a corner somewhere no doubt, the weight of his hand still seared my skin. “They would have to know that not only will the Wardens be gunning for the Lilin, so will the Boss, and by extension, so will I, and they really don’t want to get on my bad side.”

“Aren’t you one bad mamajama—” Edward leaned back against the counter and his elbow brushed the coffeemaker. I jerked on the stool when the machine suddenly sparked, the smell of burnt ozone filling the kitchen as he glanced over his shoulder. The pot cracked straight down the middle as Edward faced us. “Uh, sorry about that.”

Yep. Most definitely a Fiend.

Roth scowled. “You’re going to have that replaced by tomorrow morning.”

The demon grimaced. “Yes, sir.”

Sir? Lowering my gaze to the countertop, I pressed my lips together to stop from grinning.

“None of the Fiends will help the Lilin. I can assure you of that,” Edward continued, shaking off his embarrassment, and I wondered if he was some sort of spokesperson for his kind.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout The Dark Elements Fantasy
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