Grayson was the lesser of two evils. It was an option, but… “I can’t do that to Grayson. Mate with him, then leave to continue my life as a Dominus.”
Petra’s smile was wry. “A week or so ago, I would have agreed with you. Grayson would not have agreed to such an arrangement, but things have changed. Grayson cares for you, more than he shows, and if he can protect you from Hunter by mating with you, then he will do so. I am sure of it.”
A week ago seemed like forever ago. So much had changed, and the issues that had felt so huge felt small now. Being tied to Grayson wasn’t such a huge deal when the alternative was dying or being mated to Hunter.
I nodded. “Okay. I’ll need to speak to Grayson.”
“He’s out of town for a couple of weeks, but I’ll ask him to contact you when he gets back.”
I pushed a comm across the table to her. “Conah gave me this just in case. Grayson can use it to contact me.”
Petra slipped it into her huge purse. “You’re making the right decision. Hunter is…He’s broken.” She sighed and gathered her things. “I need to get back. Be safe, Seraphina Dawn.”
Fee wasn’t gone long to Necro, and as soon as she came back, I saw her come up here, to Azazel’s quarters. To his space.
She looks so alone standing there in the center of Azazel’s room. I want to surround her with feelings, sensations, me. I want her to look at me like she looks at him. This thing with Azazel will break her. It will ruin her. Knowing your soul’s mate, loving them but not being able to claim them, is a slow death.
She needs something. She needs me, and I must be fucking crazy because I’m about to do it. I’m about to offer her what’s left of my time even though it’ll hurt like hell. Even though every sweet moment will be a reminder of what I can’t hold on to. But it will save her. It will make her stronger and carry her through the worst of the storm.
She hasn’t sensed me yet. Too caught up in memories of him.
I step into the room.
The third floor was deserted. The paintings of me were gone. Azazel’s bed had been stripped, and his wardrobe was empty. I stood in the center of the room, a strange numbness seeping through me.
“He left a couple of hours ago,” Mal said from the doorway.
I nodded slowly. “Yeah, I thought he might.”
“It’s for the best,” Mal continued.
“I know. Will he come back?”
“In time. But the connection between the two of you needs to cool. Lilith has a unique bond with Azazel. She can’t know of his attachment to you. Once he’s shut off his emotions properly, he’ll come back. In the meantime, you need to get over him.”
I let out a bark of laughter. “Because it’s so easy to do.”
He bridged the gap between us and cupped the back of my neck. “It is when you have a distraction.”
His emerald eyes darkened, and then he kissed me, softly, tentatively. I pressed my fists to his chest, intending to push him away, but then he cupped my face and deepened the kiss. Sweet pain tightened my chest. He was doing this for me. Giving himself to me as a distraction when he was worth so much more than that. I should push him away. Walk away from him. Instead, I wound my arms around his neck and kissed him back.
He broke the kiss and drank me in, so I was drowning in a sea of emerald. “It’s going to be okay, Fee. You have me and Conah.”
I shook my head and gave him a half-smile. “What, no barbs and sarcasm?”
“I’m not having a personality overhaul, Fee.”
I laughed, and the weight on my chest felt a little more bearable.
Maybe Mal was right. Maybe things would be okay.
“Fee.” Cora appeared in the doorway. “We have a problem. Lounge. Now. Both of you.”
Conah was standing by the window, staring at a piece of paper. He looked up, his expression grim. Anxiety fluttered to life in my stomach.
“What is it?” Mal asked.
“An invitation to the wedding,” Conah said.
His wedding. So soon? Our gazes tangled, and my throat tightened. He belonged to someone else. I’d known that all along, but still…It was here. It was about to happen, and why the fuck did it have to hurt?
I swallowed past the lump in my throat. “Congratulations.”
Conah opened his mouth to speak, but Mal beat him to it.
“Kiara sent you an invite to your own wedding?” Mal looked confused.
Conah shook his head. “Not Kiara. Lilith.”
“So, we go,” Mal said. “Fee stays behind as designated Dominus to continue our duties.”
“No,” Conah said. “This invite states all Dominus must attend. It says she looks forward to meeting our newest recruit.” His gaze fell on me.
My pulse began to hammer.
“Fee,” Conah said. “Lilith wants to meet you.”
To be continued…