Far less conflicted by the Jinn’s machinations, Kata stepped forward to lightly touch his cheek.

“Thank you,” she said softly.

Uriel growled deep in his throat, but Kata was swiftly moving back to his side, leaning against him as he placed a possessive arm around her shoulders.

“Now what happens?” he demanded.

“Now you return Kata to the world where she belongs.” The Jinn lifted his hand and Uriel felt a wrenching pain as his connection to the demon was severed. “Treat her well.”

All the fury and frustration and ruthless dread that had plagued him for the past two hundred years was forgotten as Uriel gathered Kata in his arms.

He didn’t care why he’d been chosen to be Kata’s savior. Or what had happened between the two of them in the past.

The future was all that mattered.

“I intend to devote my life to her happiness.”

“If you fail. .” The lavender eyes glowed with an unmistakable warning. “I will be waiting.”

Seemingly convinced that his commands would be obeyed, the Jinn waved his hand and the air next to Uriel was split open.

Uriel didn’t allow himself to question whether this was yet another trap. What did it matter? It couldn’t be any worse than where they were.

As they stepped through the gateway, the sound of Marika’s screams were still ringing in his ears.

It took nearly a week before Kata was fully recovered from her adventures through the underworld.

After falling through the gateway, they’d discovered themselves face first in the center of Stonehenge.

Thankfully there hadn’t been any pits of fire or monstrous worms or demented zombie vampires lurking nearby, and with a mutual breath of relief, Uriel had taken them directly to Victor’s lair near London.

Since then she’d been cosseted and fussed over as if she were a princess rather than a common gypsy.

Victor had arrived with news that her daughter Laylah was safely in the hands of her vampire mate. Victor’s beautiful fey mate, Juliet, had visited with the rare herbs to keep her from aging.

And even Yannah had made an unexpected visit, smugly expecting Kata’s gratitude for having led her straight into the Jinn’s lair, claiming it was the only means to break the bond between her and Marika. Once satisfied that Kata was sufficiently impressed, she’d claimed she was off to America to offer her assistance to the Child of Chaos.

Whatever that meant.

And then there was Uriel. .

No man could have been more attentive, more devoted to making certain she was fully recovered.

With a smile, Kata snuggled closer to the delicious vampire as he led her back to his private lair, deep beneath the elegant estate.

Tonight he had surprised her with all the trappings of a traditional gypsy wedding.

There had been a magnificent feast followed by festive dancing. He’d offered a bride price to be given to a human charity that assisted with abandoned children, and given her a necklace made of golden coins. Then they’d stood together before a dozen guests and proclaimed they were man and wife.

It had been everything she’d dreamed of as a young, dewy-eyed girl, but now she was ready to be alone with her man.

More than ready, she acknowledged as a sensual heat swirled through the pit of her stomach.

Impatiently waiting for Uriel to open the heavy steel door that was protected by a dozen different locks, alarms, spells, and hexes, Kata at last stepped into the large bedroom, only to give a startled gasp.

Despite the elegance of the mansion, Uriel’s own lair was surprisingly modest with more attention paid to comfort than fashion.

This evening, however, the quilt covering the heavy oak bed was decorated with hundreds of rose petals and the matching furniture draped with the vibrant silk scarves that Kata adored.

“Dear goddess,” she breathed.

Uriel wrapped her in his arms. “Do you approve?”

She tilted back her head to meet his velvet brown gaze. “Very much, husband.”

“Mate,” he whispered softly.

“Not yet.”

He groaned, his fangs flashing in the firelight. “You’re ready?”

With a wicked smile, Kata shrugged off the spaghetti straps of her blue gown, allowing the satin fabric to slither down her body and pool at her feet. Her smile widened as he ran a hungry gaze down her naked curves.

“Completely and utterly.”


With a speed that made her head spin, Kata found herself lying flat on the bed, surrounded by the earthy scent of roses and covered by Uriel’s hard, naked body. She hadn’t even noticed him removing his formal satin robe.

Laughing in delight, she looped her arms around his neck.

“I love a man of action.”

“And I love you.”

Holding her gaze, Uriel raised his arm and scored the inner skin of his wrist with his fangs. Then, with a solemn motion he pressed his bleeding wound to her mouth.

Kata closed her lips over the wound, greedily drinking the gift of his blood.

Her reaction was instant.

And wondrous.

Heat, pleasure, and overall an astonishing awareness of Uriel surged through her with giddy intensity.

Oh. . goddess.

Moaning she allowed the golden warmth to fill her, his love for her a tangible force that healed the wounds of the past four hundred years.

“Now, Uriel,” she breathed.

Uriel gently removed his wrist, covering her mouth with a kiss of raw urgency.

Kata was quick to respond, wrapping her legs around his waist as he entered her with one slow thrust. At the same time, he sank his fangs into the tender curve of her neck, the momentary pain quickly replaced by an erotic bliss that made her nails dig into the broad width of his back and her hips lift to meet his frantic pace.

She cried out as pleasure exploded through her, followed swiftly by the sensation of Uriel’s own shuddering climax that echoed deep inside her.

Uriel pulled back to regard her with a startled glance, obviously as stunned as she’d been by the sheer intimacy of their bond.

“My mate,” he murmured, the guarded wariness that was so much a part of him at last shattered as their hearts and souls were melded together.

They were one.

Two parts of a whole.

Skimming her hands down his back, Kata basked in the knowledge that she was at long last home.

“For all eternity.”

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