I poised it over my open palm, squeezing my eyes shut.

“Wait!” Daemon shouted, causing me to jerk. When I looked up, his pupils were completely white. “I need to be in my true form.”

Now I was staring at him like he was nuts. There had been many times when he did quick patch-up work in his human form. He only turned into a glow stick when things were serious. I had no idea what he was up to.

He turned to Nancy and the sergeant, who wore mirror looks of suspicion. “I want to make sure I do this quick and fast. I don’t want her to be in pain, and I don’t want it to scar.”

They seemed to believe that, because Nancy nodded her approval. Daemon took a deep breath, and then his body started to shimmer. He was changing. The outline of his form began to fade out, clothes and all. For a second, I forgot that we were in this room, that I was holding a scalpel about to slice open my own flesh, and that we were basically prisoners of Daedalus.

Watching him take on his true form was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Just before he’d completely faded out, he started to take shape again. Arms. Legs. Torso. Head. For a brief second, I could see him, really see him. The skin was translucent, like a jellyfish, and the network of veins was filled with a pearlescent glow. The features were Daemon, but sharper and more defined, and then he was shining as bright as the sun. A human-shaped light tinged in red that was so beautiful to look upon that tears filled my eyes.

I really don’t want you to do this.

Like always, hearing his voice in my head came as a shock. I didn’t think I’d ever get used to it. I started to respond vocally but caught myself. You shouldn’t have come here, Daemon. This is what they want.

The luminous head cocked to the side. Coming here for you was the only thing I could do. Doesn’t mean I have to be okay with everything. Now do this before I change my mind and see if I really can’t tap into the Source and kill someone.

My gaze fell to the scalpel, and I cringed. Getting a good grip on the handle, I could feel several eyes on me. Being the coward that I am, I squeezed my eyes shut, brought the blade down on my palm, and sliced.


I hissed at the flare of pain and dropped the scalpel, watching the thin cut immediately bubble with blood. It was like a paper cut times a million.

Jesus H. Mary mother of Christ in crutches, came Daemon’s voice.

I’m not sure that’s how it goes, I told him, squeezing my palm shut against the burn.

I was vaguely aware of the doctor stooping down and grabbing the blade as I looked up. The light from Daemon surrounded me as his hand outstretched, fingers becoming more visible as they circled my injured hand.

Open up, he said.

I shook my head, and his phantom sigh bounced around my head. He gently pried my hand open, his touch as warm as clothes freshly removed from the dryer. Man, that hurt more than I thought.

There was a low growl that replaced the sigh. Did you really think it wasn’t going to hurt, Kitten?

Whatever. I let him guide me over to the chair, and I sat, watching as he knelt before me, his head bowed. Heat flared over my palm as he started to do his thing.

“Amazing,” Dr. Roth whispered.

My eyes were trained on Daemon’s glowing, bent head. The warmth that blew off him filled the room. I reached out and placed my uninjured hand on his shoulder. His light pulsed, and the red at the edges bled inward an inch or so. Interesting.

You know how I like it when you touch me in this form. His voice sent a shiver down my spine.

Why do you have to make everything sound so dirty? But I didn’t pull my hand back.

His chuckle rolled through me, and by then, the pain in my palm had stopped. I’m not the one with the dirty mind, Kitten.

I rolled my eyes.

Both of his hands circled mine, and I was sure at that point my hand was already healed. Now stop distracting me.

I snorted. Me? You’re such a douche canoe.

“Fascinating,” Dr. Roth murmured. “They’re communicating. It never fails to amaze me when I see it.”

Daemon ignored him. I took this form to tell you that I spoke with Luc before I went to Mount Weather.

I sat up straight, all ears. Did he have anything to do with this?

No. And I believe him. He’s going to help us get out. I need—

“Show us your hand, Katy.” Nancy’s voice intruded.

I wanted to ignore her, but when I glanced up, I saw the other guard moving closer to Daemon with what looked like a stun gun in his hand. I jerked my hand from Daemon’s and showed them. “Happy?”

“Daemon, take your human form,” Nancy ordered, voice clipped.

A heartbeat passed, and then Daemon stood. In his true form, he seemed taller and was a hell of a lot more intimidating. His light pulsed once, more red than white, and then it dimmed out.

He stood there, minus the glowworm thing. Only his eyes burned with white light. “I don’t know if you’ve realized this or not, but I don’t like to be ordered to do things.”

Nancy cocked her head to the side. “I don’t know if you’ve realized this or not, but I’m used to people taking my orders.”

A smirk graced his face. “Ever hear of the saying you catch more lions with honey than vinegar?”

“I think it’s ‘catch more bees’ and not lions,” I mumbled.


Dr. Roth examined my hand. “Remarkable. Only a faint pink line. It will probably be completely gone within the hour.” He turned to Nancy and Dasher, practically thrumming with excitement. “Other Luxen have healed in this amount of time, but not to where the cut is completely sealed.”

Like Daemon needed help feeling special.

The doctor shook his head as he stared up at him. “Truly amazing.”

I wondered if the good doctor was going to kiss him.

Before he could start drooling on Daemon, the door burst open and an out-of-breath officer appeared, cheeks ruddy with the color of his buzzed hair. “We have a problem,” he announced, taking several deep breaths.

Nancy gave him an arch look, and I couldn’t help but think the guy in the doorway would probably get yelled at later for barging in here.

Dasher cleared his throat. “What is the problem, Collins?”

The officer’s eyes bounced across the room, moving over Daemon and me before darting back to us and then finally settling on the sergeant. “It’s a problem in building B, sir, from the ninth floor. It requires your immediate attention.”

Chapter 12


Building B? I vaguely remembered hearing someone mention another building attached to this one underground but had no idea what or who was housed there. I was 100 percent ready to find out, though. Whatever it was, it appeared dire, because Sergeant Dasher left the room without further word.

Nancy was right on his heels. “Take them back to their rooms. Doctor?” She paused. “You will probably want to join us.” And then they were gone.

I turned to Archer. “What’s going on?”

He gave me a look that said I was dumb for asking. I scowled. “What’s in building B?”

The other soldier stepped forward. “You ask too many questions and need to learn when to shut up.”

I blinked. That was all it took, and Daemon had the stocky guard by the neck and pinned to the wall. My eyes popped.

“And you need to learn to speak to the ladies with a little bit of manners,” he snarled.

“Daemon!” I screeched, preparing myself for the onyx.

But it never came.

Daemon pried his fingers off the gasping soldier’s throat, one by one, and stepped back. The soldier slumped against the wall. Archer had done nothing.

“You let him do that?” the guard accused, pointing at Archer. “What the hell, man?”

Archer shrugged. “He had a point. You need to learn manners.”

I squelched the urge to laugh because Daemon was eyeballing the soldier like he wanted to snap his neck. Hurrying to Daemon’s side, I wrapped my hand around his and squeezed.

He looked down, not seeing me at first. Then he lowered his head, brushing his lips across my forehead. My shoulders slumped in relief. I doubted Archer would’ve allowed a round two.

“Whatever,” the man spat, then spun on his heel, exiting the room and leaving Archer to fend for himself with the two of us.

He didn’t look concerned.

The trip back to our cells was uneventful up until the moment Archer said, “Nope. You two are not going in one of them together.”

I whirled on him. “Why not?”

“My orders are to put you two in your rooms—plural.” He punched in the code. “Don’t make this hard. If you do, all they’re going to do is keep you apart longer.”

I started to protest, but the hard set to his mouth told me that he wouldn’t be convinced. I took a ragged breath. “Will you at least tell us what’s in building B?”

Archer looked at Daemon and then me. Finally he muttered a curse and stepped forward, chin lowered. Beside me Daemon stiffened, and Archer shot him a warning glare. Voice low, he said, “I’m sure they’ll show you eventually, and you’ll probably wish they hadn’t. Origins are kept in that building.”

“Origins?” Daemon repeated, brows furrowing. “What the hell is that?”

Archer shrugged. “That’s all I can tell you. Now please, Katy, go into your room.”

Daemon’s hand tightened around mine, and then he swooped down, catching my chin in his other hand and tilting my head back. His mouth was on mine, and the kiss…the kiss was fierce, hard and branding, curling my toes inside my sneakers and stealing my breath. My free hand fell to his chest as the touch of our mouths rearranged my insides. In spite of the audience, luscious heat rose as he angled the kiss, pulling me hard against him.

Archer exhaled loudly.

Lifting his head, Daemon winked at me. “It’ll be okay.”

I nodded and barely remembered walking into my room, but there I was, staring at the bed Daemon had been sitting on earlier, as the door closed and locked behind me.

I smacked my hands over my face, stunned for a minute or two. When I’d fallen asleep the day before, I had been physically exhausted from using the Source and emotionally devastated from what I’d done. As I’d lain on that damn bed, staring at the ceiling, hopelessness had crept in, and even now it still had a hold on me.

But things were different. I had to keep telling myself that, to stop the bleakness from taking complete control. Pushing down what I’d done probably wasn’t something therapists across the nation would suggest as a healthy practice, but I had to. Those hours before I’d fallen asleep…

I shook my head.

Things were different now. Daemon was here. Speaking of which, I had this feeling that he was still nearby. The tingling had died off, but I just knew that he was still close; I felt it on a cellular level.

I turned, eyeing the wall. Then I remembered the door in the bathroom. Spinning around, I hurried into the bathroom and tried the knob on the door. Locked. Hoping my suspicions were correct, I knocked. “Daemon?”


I pressed my cheek against the cool wood, closing my eyes as I flattened my palms on the door. Did I really believe that they’d put us in two cells joined by a bathroom? Then again, they had kept Dawson and Bethany together in the beginning—hadn’t that been what Dawson had said? But my luck wasn’t that—

Most Popular