His shaft was hardening - impossible to miss that. When he sucked in ragged breaths, grasping at his chest, a ridiculous suspicion arose, but she tamped it down.

This demon looked to be on the razor's edge of lust. For all Carrow knew, he'd been out in this wasteland for centuries without a woman, as hard up as Asmodel.

And if she didn't figure out a way around it, this one was about to be on top of her, his hulking body heaving over her.

"I-I'm asking you not to hurt me," she said, studying his expression. His harsh face evinced nothing, no comprehension of her words. So no English. Trothan native? Check. His only reaction was an ever-growing erection.

Just as she'd begun to suspect he was beyond any communication, he slammed a fist over his chest, then pointed at her, rasping something that sounded like "Ara." His voice was rough, as if it'd been dragged over gravel.

When he stalked closer, she spied a tattoo, a large one that looked like black flames licking up his side - his right side.

Hekate help her, this was Carrow's target, Malkom Slaine. And the Order had been woefully mistaken. There'd be no coaxing him anywhere.

Change of plans. She wasn't going to lead him to the portal. She was going to lug his unconscious body there. After repeatedly stabbing him.

But for her plan to work, she needed him to charge her, to fall upon her. Mentally steeling herself, she motioned for him, crooking a finger.

His eyes briefly widened, but he didn't speed up his approach.

Damn it, Slaine! Charge me!


Chapter 6

Malkom had never been so astounded in his everlasting life.

On his way down the mountain, he'd caught this female's ex"uisite scent and had recognized what she was to him - the woman he'd never expected for himself.

With his horns flaring and his loins stirring to mate her, he'd leapt down from on high, then torn through the bone forest. But as he'd closed in on her, he'd also scented the demons surrounding her. While he'd slaughtered them, his heart had begun to beat, his lungs drawing breath, for the first time in centuries.

She was her. His. Fate had given him a foreign female with hair like night and emerald-green eyes. Her skin was flawless, as pale as a vampire's, though she had no fangs. She was some kind of immortal, but he didn't know what.

And her scent. She smelled as he'd always imagined a woman should. Not like those hardened, hollow-eyed demonesses who'd reeked of the males that'd used them.

Now the reasons Malkom had never had a female no longer affected him. This woman was perfect, her scent was tantalizing to him, and she was his.

What use had he for a female? The "uestion no longer mattered. I claim what's mine.

She was beckoning him, clearly recognizing him as her male. She seeks what I have to give her.

Yet now he was battle-maddened, barely clinging to the last of his control. Demonic thoughts of slaking his lust on this fine creature warred with the vampiric urge to drink her down. He could almost feel his fangs planted into the creamy flesh of her bared thigh.

She moistened her lips and subtly eased her legs open, giving him a glimpse of the dark pink silk betwixt her legs.

Thought fled. He roared and leapt for her.

Just before he was upon her, pain erupted. He gazed down at his side in disbelief. She was jerking a spear up between them, slipped under his chainmail and between his ribs. Her eyes fierce, she buried it deeper.

Tricked. Rage seethed. Losing control. She needed to flee from him. "Cotha," he gritted between clenched teeth. Run.

This being hadn't even noticed the spear, hadn't registered the pain until she'd shoved it farther into his side.

He'd just continued staring at her with a look of consuming hunger. His desire for her had been so strong it was palpable, making her dizzy.

Now, with his claws digging into his palms until blood streamed from them, he gazed from her face down to the injury, then back up. His eyes boring into hers, he again grated, "Cotha."

"I-I don't know Demonish." Ah, gods, only a few phrases! What was he telling her?

He threw back his head and bellowed, "Cotha!"

Eyes wide, she dropped the spear and scrambled to her feet. Ducking away, she fled deeper into the forest. She could absolutely believe this male would put her head on a pike.

Within moments, she heard him behind her and tossed a glance over her shoulder, gasping at what she saw. He was changing. Through the swirling dust, she spied his upper fangs shooting longer, narrower.

A vampire's fangs. A vampiric demon. And he appeared to be mindless.

She charged up an incline, winding around the lava-filled boulders, fear making her "uick. His strength would be unnatural. He'd break her like a matchstick. Sweating, salt stinging her eyes, she shoved her forearm over her face -

Suddenly, he was on the path ahead of her. With a cry, she whirled and dashed for a side trail. After one turn, she realized the path ended in a narrow ledge that tapered out over a fiery ravine.

Dead end.

When he prowled closer, she backed onto the crumbling ledge, chancing a drop that could kill her. My powers, gods, I need my powers....

He crouched low and edged toward her, seeming to be in pain, but not from his spear wound. Though injured, he remained hard.

This wasn't how she'd planned her mission! Not trapped on a finger of rock above a blazing chasm. Not staring into the black eyes of a demonic fiend with razor-sharp fangs. ...

And the unmistakable need to breed with her.

As he loomed closer, threatening pain with every unconscious flex of his corded muscles, she retreated even farther. Rocks plunged below her. Carrow peered down at the smoke churning from the depths. Would she actually jump to escape him?

No one would ever know where she'd met her end.

When he shoved his hand into his pants to adjust himself, the swollen head of his shaft jutted past the waist. Her lips parted in astonishment.

His erection looked to be visibly throbbing, the tip beading. He absently ran his palm over the uncovered crown, then froze. Slowly, he turned his hand over to see his seed glistening there.

When he dragged his gaze from his palm and faced her again, he looked even more determined to reach her, his onyx-colored eyes burning with intent. And in that second, everything became clear to her.

He would be determined. He'd clearly never seen his seed before this night.

Ah, great Hekate, she was his mate.

Though a male demon could experience orgasms, he couldn't produce se**n until he'd found his female. He couldn't release it until the first time he claimed her. With this first hint of seed, he would believe she was his demon mate.

As well as his vampire Bride. An unmatched vampire male didn't draw breaths and had no heartbeat or sexual ability until he'd encountered his female and become blooded.

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