It doesn’t matter how deep you bury the past—it’ll always climb back out.
And with some fancy-ass wings, no less.
My brain struggled to make sense of the sight before me. Part of me wanted to sag in relief at the sight of Gorrin there, alive and well—or as alive as anyone in the Chasm was.
The other part wanted to drive that dagger into him another time because of all the lies he must have told me. Those flashy wings sure as fuck said he’d kept things from me.
And yet another part wanted to wrap my arms around him to convince myself that he was real. Or let him stab me in a way we both would enjoy…
Before I had a chance to pick any of those, however, Gorrin caught my arm and the world disappeared around me, plunging me into darkness so the only thing I could see was Gorrin, as if I couldn’t bear to lose sight of him for even a moment.
When everything came back into view around me, I tried to glance around, to figure out where I was. As soon as I did, warmth pressed against my lips.
No, not pressed. That implied a sweet kiss, something lovers did for the first time when testing out chemistry and whether or not the man would get slapped for his attempt. That was nothing like this. Instead, the kiss was ravenous, angry and desperate. He delved past my lips with his tongue, devouring me, while his hands grasped my arms so tightly I’d no doubt sport bruises by the end.
And the idiot I was returned his kiss with every bit of that same need. I took my conflicted feelings out on him, letting him bear all the pain I’d suffered while mourning him.
When he held me tightly enough that I couldn’t touch him back, I used my new strength and powers to knock his arms away from me, to free myself.
His wide golden eyes said he hadn’t thought me capable of that, but I didn’t care about impressing him. I pounced at him, wrapping my arms around his shoulders, clinging to him, my legs tight around his waist as I reclaimed his lips.
I swallowed down a deep, masculine groan from him, letting it soothe and excite me all at once.
I tilted my head to deepen the kiss, and grasped his face with my thumb at his jaw and my palm against his cheek. It was far from a gentle touch. Instead, it was controlling, tilting his head to let me deeper, to give me more.
Something hard hit my back, knocking the breath from my lungs, but I didn’t give a fuck. Who cared about petty things like breathing at a moment like this? I lived off Gorrin, could subsist solely on his touch and his heat. Fuck, I could breathe the air from his lungs and that would suit me fine.
He pulled his body back just enough to reach between us, and the loud rip told me what he felt about my clothes. Any other time it would have pissed me off—ruining my shit was not the way to my heart—but for now it was in my way, too.
My shirt was gone, and quickly my pants followed. Gorrin didn’t take even a moment to check out my underwear, didn’t pull back to marvel at how lovely I looked in my black lace, and that was fine with me. He paused when his fingers found the front of my bra, as if sense had suddenly returned to him and he feared my reaction at ruining that.
Bras were off the fucking table normally—no woman enjoyed the headache of finding ones that actually fit—but now was far from normal. To make that point clear, I took his hands and used my own strength to tear the front of the bra, the rip loud even over our combined panting.
He let out a low sound so close to a growl that I shivered, then broke the kiss to pull my panties down my legs.
Of course, that left me naked and him totally dressed, which was one-hundred-percent not okay. He wore the same clothes as always, that stupid blue jacket so familiar that my eyes stung at seeing it again.
But I pushed that ugly feeling away and shoved at the fabric.
Gorrin rose up, which made me realize we were on the floor, though I didn’t recognize where.
The room was dark, but not like the Chasm. A breath in told me we were on Earth, that familiar freshness I’d recognize, but beyond that?
I didn’t know and I didn’t care.
We could have been on a football field at halftime and I’d still be taking Gorrin’s pants off. What was an audience compared with what I wanted right now?
Gorrin tossed his jacket aside, the action surprising me. He was generally so careful, but it seemed he didn’t give a fuck about things like wrinkling his jacket right now. Buttons popped off his shirt as he yanked it, the discarded items flying around before the shirt joined the jacket as he straddled me. He toed his boots off, then unfastened his pants as he raked his gaze over me.
And I’d never seen a look like that on his face before. I’d seen him angry, annoyed, even mildly amused, but never had this sort of heat rested there. Had he hidden it all this time? Locked it away somewhere deep inside him so I couldn’t even glimpse it?
If so, why?
Would things have been different if he hadn’t? If he’d shown this to me? Would we have been different? Would I not have—
Before that thought could fully form, he grasped my thighs in his large hot hands. “I don’t want you thinking, little fish, not right now.” He tugged, the action scraping my back against the hard floor, tiny stings implying it left small wounds, but the desire in his eyes drugged me enough that I didn’t care.
Especially once he pulled me up, drawing my hips from the ground, the position strange, but the way he leaned in had me more than willing to ignore that. He didn’t use his words to tease me, not like Hale did. He didn’t declare feelings like Tyrus did.
No, Gorrin was a man of action, so he simply leaned in and pressed his seeking lips right to my cunt, dragging his tongue up my slit. The touch burned, lighting some uncontrollable fire inside me, my back arching in response to the overwhelming sensation.
But he didn’t stop. Instead, he delved deeper with his tongue, as if he wanted to drown in me. I looked at him, my body entirely on display because of the position. That might have embarrassed me if I were myself right then, might have made me nervous, but the way his golden eyes locked on mine made that impossible.
Instead, I melted, my entire body going molten at every touch of his. He moved between sinking his tongue deep into my cunt and sliding it against my waiting clit, and he kept me from guessing his next move with ease.
I would have never thought Gorrin capable of this, never thought he’d feel this way, that he’d have this sort of passion inside him. He’d always looked at me with such stone, always unmovable, but I almost couldn’t see that man in the one who pleasured me now.
His grip remained on me, tight and unflinching, and the first orgasm that struck me happened so fast that I couldn’t stop my eyes from squeezing shut at the intensity. It rushed over me in crashing waves that made my entire body tense, my back arching impossibly more, my hands drawing into fists, even my feet twisting as if I could grasp some semblance of control.
All I could do was endure, though. It went on forever—especially because Gorrin didn’t pull back or stop—until I felt as if I might really die. It seemed like an eternity later when my body finally went lax, when all that tension released.
As soon as it happened, Gorrin pressed a strangely sweet kiss to my cunt, then the cool stone floor touched my sweat-soaked back as he lowered me.
If I thought it was over, though, I was dead wrong. Instead, his weight rested over me and his wet lips found mine. I tasted my own sweetness on his lips, and I happily cleaned it from him.
The blunt head of his cock pressed against my still twitching pussy, and he waited for only a moment. Part of me wondered if he’d ask, if he’d check in. It seemed like a Gorrin thing to do, since he was always responsible.
Perhaps it was a testament to how out of control he was, because instead, he wrapped his fingers in my hair, drawing his hand into a tight fist as if to hold me still, then plunged his impossibly thick cock deep into me in a single hard thrust.
It threw me headfirst into another orgasm, or maybe they were aftershocks from the last? I couldn’t tell anymore, didn’t know where one ended and the next started. It felt like wading from the beach into the ocean, where the water moved nonstop and I couldn’t tell apart the individual waves.
Each thrust caused his grasp in my hair to tug against my scalp, and fuck did that do it for me. I moaned, not caring about how I looked, how I sounded or what he thought of it. Who cared about pride at a time like this?
So I wrapped one leg around his hip, not wanting him to pull out at all, not willing to lose any of this for even a heartbeat. I dug the heel of that foot into him, forcing him to grind into me deeper, harder, to give me more.
And Gorrin did exactly that. Pain in my back said his thrusts shoved me against that rough floor, and I knew I’d be a mess of scrapes by the end, and that thought made me grin against his lips. The wounds felt like some tangible proof that this had happened, that I hadn’t just lost my mind and made it all up. They said this was real, that he was here, with me, no matter how impossible that seems.
He took me with wild abandon, as if he’d lost himself entirely to his need, as though I’d reduced him to something animalistic. He sank his cock deep into me each time, and the action ground his pelvis against my clit, each time drawing a gasp from my lips.
His huge wings blocked out the outside world, the white of them so pure in what felt like such a filthy moment that it didn’t seem like they belonged here at all. Not that it mattered—I did all I could to ignore them.
They made me think about our past, about all the secrets between us, about everything I didn’t want to intrude on this moment. So I shut that out, keeping my eyes closed to focus instead on the sensations arcing through my body, the electric feeling that ran through all my nerves from each place he touched me.
It went from where my nipples rubbed against his chest, from the sting in my scalp when he tugged on my hair, from the deep almost-ache in my cunt as he fucked me. My body felt like one single nerve, so each place he touched me lit up and threatened to catch fire.
His lips never stopped, his motions becoming even more frantic. I dug my nails into him. I was sure I drew blood, but fuck it. I’d cried for him—he could bleed for me.
Tears for blood—it felt like our normal exchange.
Gorrin rested his weight on the forearm of the hand fisted in my hair, his other hand grasping my hip as if even the slight movement from me was too much. It was as if he wanted to take over me entirely, wanted me totally at his mercy.
And to remind him I was not that woman, that I would never be that woman, I bit down on his bottom lip.
Gorrin shuddered as he delved in as deep as possible, his body stilling as he came. The copper tang on my lip from his blood threw me over that same ledge, let me leap off it with him. After how much I’d missed him, after feeling so fucking alone, I didn’t like the idea of him moving away from me in the least. So I held on to him and sank into that bliss right along with him.
When my body started to settle, when his softening cock slipped from me, when his kiss slowed and changed from the frantic madness from before, exhaustion took over. I could have fought it, could have shoved it away, but right now?
I let it take me, because a part of me still feared that this was all a dream, and I sure as fuck didn’t want to wake up from it. So, instead, I let myself drift off in the arms of a man I loved, a man I’d killed, a man I never thought I’d get to see again.
* * * *
Consciousness came to me slowly, and when I blinked, I squinted against a bright light that assaulted my eyes.
The Chasm was never this bright, which had me ready to snap at Gunnar for fucking around with something and waking me up. When my vision started to clear, it wasn’t Gunnar I found there.
Gorrin’s face, his eyes closed, brought back everything.
I’d gotten the agreement of the other Demon Lords to overthrow Hubis, and Gorrin had shown up with his fancy fucking wings. My cheeks burned as I thought about what had happened after that.
Which made me realize all the aches and pains in my body, a sure sign that I hadn’t imagined that all.
And a naked Gorrin in bed beside me also helped sell that point.
I gulped hard, and in response, Gorrin’s eyes snapped open, the familiar gold of them almost startling.
It was one thing before, when we’d both been so taken by passion, but now? Now reality crept in like that fucking sunlight and lit up the truth.
Gorrin isn’t dead.
I reached out and touched his chest, unwilling to fully believe it still.
He set his hand over mine and squeezed, saying nothing. Still, the touch let it finally sink in.
I hadn’t killed him. I’d spent all that time blaming myself, hating myself, suffering with guilt so deep I didn’t think I’d ever escape it, but I hadn’t killed him at all.
The thought brought back all my suffering, the panic attacks, the times where I wanted to close my eyes and never wake up again.
And in response to those memories?
I curled my hand into a fist and punched him.
Fuck him, and not in the fuck way we already had.
“You never change.” Gorrin didn’t react at all to the hit. Despite his already darkening skin, despite it having to have hurt, he hadn’t even flinched.
“I thought you were dead.” I shoved away from him.
He let me go, choosing to sit up instead. It let me get a good look at his body, and boy had I left my share of marks on him. He had small bite marks and deep scratches all over him, signs of my need. Not that he was the only one.
One glance down at my front showed the same, like we’d been animals desperate to leave our claims on one another.
“I know you did.”
“Don’t give me that shit,” I snapped. “How are you here? I saw you die!”
“You wounded me severely,” he admitted. “But you didn’t kill me.”
“You told me that dagger would kill anything. I watched it kill Azael.” Just saying that took me back to Azael’s corpse lying on the floor, unmoving. It also brought back the memory of Gorrin’s body turning to dust before my eyes, collapsing in on itself.
It hadn’t occurred to me before, but Gorrin’s body hadn’t reacted the same, had it?
“The dagger is bound to you, so it only works based on your feelings, your desires. Some part of you hesitated, so while it injured me, it didn’t kill me.”
I pressed my lips together and kept my hands in tight fists, wanting to strike him again, to make him understand just how much he’d hurt me. Instead, I used my words. I’d learned that beating sense into a person never worked. “Why did you let me believe you were dead, then? Do you have any idea how much I suffered!”
He let out a sigh, the first sign of him feeling a damned thing. “You stabbing me at all said you wanted me gone. How was I supposed to face you after that? I’d pushed you so far that you stabbed me. I did enough that you snapped, that a part of you broke, that you did something you would have never done otherwise. You believed me dead, so it seemed a kinder choice to leave you be. Clearly, I was only hurting you.”
I dropped my gaze, unable to look at him and think at the same time. “And the wings?” They were gone now, but that didn’t erase my memory. “Demons don’t have wings like that, which means you’ve been lying to me from the start, right?”
He sighed, the sound loud in the silent room. “There is no reason to hide it anymore, I guess. Yes, I’m an angel.”
“Since always. I was the first angel that Hubis made, back before he created humans.”
“So you were never a demon at all? It was all a lie? Why would you do that?”
“Because I needed to. Souls began to go to the Chasm, souls cut off from Hubis, but there was no order there. I thought I could do something, could make something of that place, so I went to the Chasm and set myself up as the first Demon Lord. It wasn’t a lie, not entirely. Just like Hubis takes a human form, just like you have a demon form, I took a demon form as well. It is why I could bind souls to me and rule there, and it is why when you stabbed me, when you destroyed my demon form, you gained my position and power. You killed the part of me that was demon, that had a connection to the Chasm.”
I tried to make sense of his story. In some ways, it made sense. All the details I’d heard, the fact that he had been a Demon Lord the longest, the way he didn’t seem to fit with the others—being an angel made it all fit.
Still, I couldn’t accept it. It was like he changed everything about him then, like he turned it all around. Instead of looking up to him, instead of thinking of him as the best of us, it turned out he wasn’t even one of us.
Which also took me down another path. I recalled the way Azael had followed Hubis, his loyalty to him.
Asking if I could trust a man who had lied to me so much was probably a stupid question, right?
“Where are we?” I asked.
“A place I have on Earth. I thought if we remained in the Chasm, we would get found and interrupted faster.”
“And why did you come back?” I asked, my voice quiet. “You let me think you were dead for so long, you let me mourn alone, so why come back now?”
“Because you, as always, chose the most difficult path. If you had chosen to simply do your duty as a Demon Lord, I would have watched over you as I have since I left. I would have allowed you to live your life as you pleased, content with merely serving as a shadow. You, however, can never do things the easy way. When you made the choice to gather the other Lords to do the unthinkable—attack God—I had no choice but to step in.”
Which told me what I’d been pretty sure but too afraid to say out loud.
Gorrin had heard our plans. He knew exactly what I intended to do and had shown up for that reason.
I met his gaze head-on. There was no reason to hide from it, to slink away. If he wanted to face me, there was nothing I could do. I wouldn’t run, though. “Are you going to kill me?”
He tilted his head, the action so familiar to the man I’d known that it took me back to all the fights we’d had before, all the times when we’d butted heads over what we each thought was right.
Was this the end of it? And the sex? Just some weird parting gift? I’d faced off against Azael and he had nearly killed me—if Gorrin wanted me dead, I doubted I could do a damn thing to stop him.
He let out a soft breath as though disappointed in my question before shaking his head. “No, Loch. If I haven’t killed you yet, that should show you I don’t intend to. Even after you lied to me so many times, after you worked against me, after you tried to kill me, if none of those were enough to make me want to end you, I doubt there is a thing you could do that would make me willing to lose you.”
“What does that mean?”
“I call you little fish because you always seemed so fragile, so insignificant compared to the sharks around you. You said your mother called you Salmon because you always swam upstream, always went against the current no matter how difficult. Well, little fish, trying to stop you has never worked. It seems I will swim upstream with you, no matter how foolish.”
And fuck me, because I would have sworn my heart just skipped a beat…
I am in so much trouble.