Cataclysmic. He gave a savage bellow. “Fucking feel you!”

Still coming, Mirceo yelled, “Mark me; do it!”

Cas’s demonic gaze locked on the flesh of Mirceo’s neck. “Mine!” He whipped his head forward and sank his fangs into his mate.

Marking him. Possessing him. Taking them past a boundary they could never return to.

Mirceo arched and writhed beneath him. “YES, YES!”

Cas snarled against the vampire’s throat. With one brutal thrust, that throbbing pressure in his cock gave way.

As his demon seal vanished, Cas’s eyes flashed open wide. It’s happening. Erupting in a searing rush of semen, he claimed his mate forever. . . .


The vampire slept against his chest.

As Cas brushed Mirceo’s silken hair from his spellbinding face, his demon instincts were at rest.

My mate is with me. Happy. Healthy. Safe.


Claimed. Cas was ready to seize their destiny together—whatever that might bring.

He’d told Mirceo, May the gods help any pups with you as a father, but now his opinion had changed. After all, Mirceo had already raised one child: Kosmina. He was strong, and he was fun—pups would adore him. I should be so lucky to raise a family with him.

Cas would provide the structure, Mirceo the heart.

And while biological offspring had once seemed so important, couldn’t he and the vampire raise some foundlings as well?

Cas’s lips curved. Why have I never considered that before . . . ?

For the first time in his existence, he comprehended what peace felt like. Basking in it, he pressed a kiss to Mirceo’s hair and inhaled his scent.

The staggering surprise of what ejaculating felt like had been nothing compared to the bond he shared with the vampire. Cas had accepted his ungodsly need for this male. Embraced it. Surrendered to it.

The hours they’d just indulged in each other had played out like a fever dream. Another two bouts in the bed and one in the shower had introduced Cas to fantasies he’d never known he’d had.

Now he relived snapshots of a night forever burned into his memory. His exquisite mate riding him, sucking blood from Cas’s finger, taking his demon seed again . . . Mirceo spilling his own semen upon Cas’s tongue . . . the prince bellowing into the pillow as Cas mounted him from behind.

Their shower together had been no less life-altering. Mirceo slipping behind him under the cascade, teasing him to distraction . . . Cas planting his palms on the tiled wall, offering his ass . . . Mirceo gripping his horns to drag Cas’s head back—right as the vampire bottomed out . . .

Fangs piercing. Tile buckling under a demon’s frenzied grip. Spontaneous cum lashing the wall . . .

This night—somehow both wicked and beautiful—had changed them forever.

Cas’s lust was rekindling, but his young mate slept soundly. Mirceo obviously needed to rest. Hell, their separation for the last few days had taken its toll even on an older demon like Cas.

His lids grew heavier. But just as he drifted off, a stray question whispered through his consciousness.

Will the vampire be here when I open my eyes once more?


Mirceo woke with his claws digging into his own chest, a low whine ringing in his ears. His own?

Caspion slept beside him, spooning him securely in his brawny arms. Heaven. So why did Mirceo feel such anxiety?

No! Everything had gone perfectly last night. He’d gotten his dearest wish. When he’d fallen asleep against Caspion, he’d been secure in the knowledge that he and his mate were going to have a remarkable future together.

The low roil of panic he’d always experienced after sex hadn’t disappeared; it’d escalated! His thoughts were in chaos. Maybe I want him too much.

Intense pain radiated in his left arm, just below the shoulder. He craned his head around but didn’t see any bruising or injury. The rest of his body felt amazing.

So what the hell was wrong with him? Could a panic attack manifest itself as phantom pain in a limb?

He glanced back at Caspion’s sleeping face, and a pang momentarily overrode his panic.

I . . . I . . .

Why couldn’t Mirceo complete the thought? I . . .

Desire him? Not news. Want him for all time? Again, not news. Need him? Obviously.

Easing out of Caspion’s embrace, he traced to his feet. As he dragged on his pants, Mirceo struggled to marshal his scattered thoughts. Maybe he truly hadn’t been ready to promise his entire future. Had he made a deal with the devil to get what he wanted? And now that devil would collect on his soul?

But if he suffered from commitment doubts, then why was his heart telling him to stay close to Caspion? Shouldn’t he be running away? And why hadn’t he experienced anything like this during his other encounters with the demon?

Mirceo traced to one of the draped windows, peeking out. The orange hunter’s moon hung low, setting over the grounds. The sun would soon rise.

As he stared, he felt as if he’d missed something he should have noticed—the feeling akin to that frustrating sense when a word is on the tip of one’s tongue but can’t be called forth. He began to pace beside the bed. What am I forgetting . . . ?

In time, Caspion stirred. The demon woke with a smile, blinking open those blue eyes. With his first look at Mirceo, his breathtaking smile faded. “Oh, for fuck’s sake, vampire.”


He sat up, raking tousled blond hair off his forehead. “You know what. You’ve already checked out.”