“I desire you.” Lowering his head, his lips skated up the side of my neck, to the sensitive spot below my ear. “I want you. I need you.” He nipped the fleshy part of my lobe, causing me to gasp. “And I love you.”
The next thing I knew I was on my back and Roth was settling over me, and those little nips were traveling down my neck and lower, and it wasn’t too long before all the work he’d done on my hair went to complete waste in the most glorious of ways.
* * *
I was staring at my reflection again.
My eyes still seemed too big and my face was flushed, but this time I wasn’t half-naked. Which, honest to God, seemed like a major feat considering—well, once we crossed into that new level of our relationship, Roth really was...
My face burned even brighter and I lowered my gaze as I tugged on the collar of my sweater. Okay. I needed to focus. Last night and in the middle of the night and this morning were amazing, but today was going to be insane. I would be going into Hell. Nervousness didn’t even touch what I was feeling, and I still had no idea how I was going to distract Roth so he wouldn’t know what I was planning. He thought we were heading out to look for the Lilin. He’d mentioned swinging by another demon-run club in the city. While I was kind of excited to see that, it was not going to happen today.
And I also didn’t know what I was going to do when I got back—if I got back—because Roth was going be so mad.
Bambi shifted on my back, flicking her tail along the left side of my ribs, coming close to nudging Robin. As soon as I’d gotten up this morning, she’d plastered herself onto me, which hadn’t been a part of the plan, but it wasn’t like I could pitch a fit about her being on me. Roth would know something was up, which sucked, because the last thing I wanted to do was put Bambi in a precarious position.
She was practically our kid.
Twisting my hair up, I shoved a million bobby pins in, and then left the bathroom. Roth was lounging against the wall, his long legs crossed at the ankles, hands shoved into the pockets of his jeans. I saw him and I might’ve forgotten what I was doing.
Roth was striking.
With his black hair falling into amber eyes and the shirt clinging to all the right areas, he was breathtaking, but it was that smile, the one that showed off his dimples and transformed his entire being when he looked at me that—that owned me. And he was smiling at me like that now.
“I like your pants,” he said.
I glanced down. They were black. Leather. I sighed. “I’m never allowing Cayman to go shopping for me again.”
He chuckled as he pushed off the wall. “I hope he shops for you from now on.” Walking past me, toward the door, he slid his hand over my leather-clad legs. “Or at least keep these.”
I rolled my eyes as I turned around.
“Mmm.” His gaze traveled over me. “Please keep them.”
Laughing, I planted my hands on his back and shoved him toward the door. “Only because you asked nicely.”
“And because your ass looks sumptuous in them?”
“Geez,” I choked out, shaking my head as he closed the door behind us.
Out in the hallway, he draped his arm over my shoulders and hauled me close to his side. We started down the hall. “I think that’s a valid reason.”
“I’m sure you do.”
His hand moved up and down my upper arm as we hit the stairwell and began the long, long journey down to the lobby. “How your ass looks is a very important thing when shopping for pants, Shortie.”
I pressed my lips together to keep from laughing. “I’m sure there are things that are even more important.”
He scoffed. “Like what?”
“Oh, I don’t know. How about comfort?”
“What about usefulness?”
He sent me a look. “There is nothing more useful than leather pants. They’ll protect your ass while making it look fine.”
We were nearing the first floor. “You have an answer for everything, don’t you?”
“It’s annoying,” I muttered, glancing at the gray, cement door, and my pulse kicked up.
“You still love me,” he replied.
“True.” I squared my shoulders as Roth opened the door.
We stepped out into the grandiose lobby with his arm still hanging over my shoulders. Like the first time I’d seen the lobby, it was awe-inspiring. I didn’t get to see it a lot, because we always came in through the parking garage or the basement club entrance and then we stuck to the stairwell.
An enormous chandelier hung in the center of the lobby, casting bright light into every corner, but it was the mural painted on the ceiling that really drew the eye. Angels. Lots of angels hovering above, engaged in a hard-core battle, fighting one another with fiery swords. Some were falling through sudsy white clouds. Others were raising their blades. The detail was extraordinary, down to the red-orange flames and the grimaces of pain. Even the virtuous glint in their eyes was there.
I quickly looked away from the painting, unsettled by it when before I’d just been amused.
Vintage leather couches were everywhere, and they weren’t empty. People of all ages were scattered about, sitting alone or in groups, talking and laughing. Some were chatting on phones. The scent of coffee was thick in the air. To a human, they’d all look normal, but their eyes gave off weird glints.
They weren’t exactly people, not in the technical sense.
A few gave me a weird look. Others downright ignored me. One, a young woman dressed in some kind of bustier I could easily see Cayman purchasing, stood from a recliner, her wide eyes glittering as she hurried across the lobby, disappearing down a hallway.
I had no idea if that had to do with me or with Roth’s presence. I really didn’t get the demon dynamics when it came to Roth, but none of the demons milling about in the lobby came near us.
As I started to turn to Roth, Cayman appeared in the middle of the lobby, under the chandelier. Stiffening, I watched him swagger toward us, his floral pink and teal Hawaiian shirt possibly the gaudiest thing I’d ever seen.
“Okay. I officially change my opinion on Cayman shopping for you,” Roth said.
Cayman ignored the comments. “It’s a great morning, isn’t it?” he said brightly, stepping to the side of Roth. “The sun is out, but they’re calling for snow tonight. Lots of snow. So much snow—”
The crack jolted me.
He had moved so fast, I didn’t realize what he’d done until Roth’s legs folded and collapsed. Heart leaping into my throat, I tried to grab Roth, but he was too heavy and I ended up going down on my knees.
Cayman had snapped Roth’s neck.
HORROR FILLED ME as Roth’s head fell to the side at an awkward angle. “Oh my God!” I shouted, looking up at Cayman. “What did you do? What did you—?”
“We needed to distract him.” He gestured at the floor. “He’s distracted. And you have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that. Let me have my moment.”
My mouth dropped open.
A demon walking across the lobby carrying coffee in white to-go cups pivoted on her pointy black heel. “I don’t want any part of this,” she said, hurrying away.