Guardian demons box set, p.15
Guardian Demons Box Set, page 15part #1 of Guardian Demons Series
“Give her back.”
Rickter smirked, obviously not the least bit frightened of me. “Lose something, Aires?”
“Damn it, she’s sick. Give her back.”
Rickter glanced over his shoulder, presumably at Della. His face turned serious. How could he not see something was wrong with her? Surely he wouldn’t have taken her if he knew something was wrong. I’d known immediately that something was wrong. Granted, I’d thought maybe it was a nightmare, but still.
He looked back at me. I could see the concern on his face. He might be driving me crazy with his obsession with my charge and his lack of respect for the rules, but it was obvious he felt something for Della. There was no way I could deny that.
“What’s wrong with her? I could tell she was in pain when I arrived at your place. It’s why I took her. You just arrived a little sooner than I’d anticipated. I was going to have someone come check her.”
“She suffers from severe migraines. They’re debilitating, which is why she was curled into a ball on my bed. She could barely open her eyes this morning and hasn’t said a word, that I know of.” I tried not to think about the fact that I’d left her naked in my bed. The thought of this demon seeing her without her clothes made me want to murder him.
Rickter looked worried. “I want her, but I don’t want her to suffer. Give me the pills and I’ll see that she takes them.”
I snorted. As if that was going to happen. “Give her back, Rickter. I’m not leaving her with you.”
He seemed to think about it for a moment. “If I give her back to you, will you promise to let me see her when she’s better?”
Was he really going to bargain with me while Della’s state of well-being hung in the balance? I hated the thought of giving in to him, but I needed her back, desperately. And not just because I had medication. I wanted to punish him, to make sure he never defied me again, but now obviously wasn’t the time. He held all the cards right now.
“You just want to see her?” I clarified.
“I deserve just as much of a chance to win her as you do. Just because you’re her guardian doesn’t mean you get to have her. She might find she prefers my company.” His gaze raked me from head to toe. “You may have slept with her, but she hasn’t accepted you as her mate. There’s still time for her to choose me.”
I raised an eyebrow and took in his rather fearsome appearance. Okay, so I had horns and tattoos, and my skin was blue. But I didn’t have fangs or red eyes. Only a vampire-loving human wouldn’t find that creepy. And from what I’d gathered from watching Della, she was more into Nicholas Sparks movies than Dracula. My sweetheart was a true romantic. Hmm. That might not be such a good thing, not if this Surack demon decided to come courting. I nearly snorted at the absurdity of it. But then, wasn’t that what I was doing, in my own fashion? What a mess.
What was I going to do? I was in a bind for sure. There was no way I was getting to Della unless he let me in. And he wasn’t about to do that unless I agreed to his terms. It seemed he had me at a disadvantage. Whether I liked it or not, I had to let him see Della.
“Fine. You may come visit her after she’s had time to recover.”
Rickter nodded and pushed his door open farther, allowing me entry. Della was sprawled across his bed, looking practically dead. I rushed to her side and gathered her close. She was even paler than before, and she whimpered in pain when I moved her.
Kissing her forehead, I blinked us out of Rickter’s quarters and back to mine, or at least I tried to. Once again, something blocked me. Casting him a dirty look, I carried her outside and then tried again, transporting us to my quarters immediately.
Settling her on the bed, I procured a glass of water and shook out the two pills she’d need. I helped her into a sitting position before coaxing her awake once more. I had to assist her with the pills and water as she barely moved. I laid her back down on the bed and took the glass to the bathroom, figuring I’d need it again if she didn’t improve soon. I hated seeing her in pain.
I lay down beside her and pulled her into my arms. Closing my eyes, I breathed in her scent. It bothered me that there wasn’t more I could do for her. Why couldn’t I have some super power that would allow me to heal her?
My eyes widened. I didn’t, but I knew someone who did. I sent a telepathic message to Tren, a demon known for his healing talents. If anyone could help Della, it was him.
A moment later, he appeared beside the bed. “What’s wrong, Aires?”
“She has a migraine. I gave her some pills, but I thought maybe you could help her and make her heal faster.”
Tren nodded. “Let me take a look.”
He touched Della’s forehead and closed his eyes. It didn’t take long before Della shifted in my arms and opened her eyes. She looked confused at first, then sought me out. When our eyes clashed, she gave me a small smile.
“Feel better, sweetheart?” I asked.
She nodded. “What happened?”
“You had a migraine,” Tren answered. “I cured you.”
“Thank you,” she responded. “I used to get them all the time, but I haven’t had one in weeks. I don’t know what brought this one on.”
Tren shrugged. “Probably the stress of being in hell, since it isn’t something you’re used to.”
She curled into me. I thanked Tren and sent him on his way as I cuddled Della closer. I knew I had to tell her about Rickter and what had happened, including my deal with him. Hopefully she wouldn’t be angry with me. She’d been terrified of the demon in her home, but maybe he wouldn’t seem so scary if she knew he meant her no harm.
“Della, I went to get your medication for your migraine.”
“You didn’t use it?”
“I did, but then I remembered Tren could heal you. That isn’t what I was getting to, though. While I was gone, you were taken from my quarters. Do you remember?”
She shook her head. “I just remember going to sleep last night and waking up a few minutes ago.”
I stroked her back. “Rickter came for you while I was gone. The demon from your home.”
She tensed. “Why did he come for me?”
“He wants to court you. The reason he was in your home was because he felt something for you.” Lust most likely, but I kept that to myself. She seemed worried enough without me adding to it.
Della began shaking her head.
“Sweetheart, I had to promise I would let him come here. It was the only way he’d release you into my care. I had no choice.”
Her grip tightened on me. “I don’t want to see him. He scares me.”
“He doesn’t want to harm you. You have my word that you’ll be safe.” And if I had anything to say about it, she wouldn’t be left alone with him. If I could figure out a way to stop the demon from seeing her, I would.
“When will he come by?”
I smoothed her hair back from her face. “He said he’d wait until you felt better. I imagine he’ll stop by tomorrow.”
“Can we do something today? Maybe leave hell for a little while?”
“Sure. If you wanted, you could probably move back to your apartment. I don’t think he’ll bother you as long as you give him a chance to get to know you.”
She looked wounded at my suggestion. “You don’t want me here anymore?”
“I never said that. I just thought you might be more comfortable in your own home, where you can come and go as you please.”
“I do miss that part, but I like being here with you.”
I arched a brow. “One night here and you woke up in severe pain.”
“The day preceding it was wonderful.”
I kissed her softly. “Yes, it was.”
“Do you know what I’d really like?”
“What’s that?” Whatever it was, I’d give it to her if I could. I’d give her the moon if it were within my power to do so.
“I’d like to go on a picnic, maybe by the water.”
I could go one
After taking Della to her place for a bathing suit and towels, I blinked us to Rum Cay. I’d made sure we landed in a section void of other humans. We had the beach to ourselves. I’d snagged a picnic lunch along the way and set everything out after Della spread out the towels. The white sand was warm against my bare feet, and the breeze carried the tang of the salty water. It was peaceful and the setting was quite beautiful. If I was going to seduce Della, this would be an ideal location.
I poured each of us a glass of red wine, her favorite, then set about fixing our plates, filling them with cheese, crackers, and finger sandwiches. I had a chocolate peanut butter pie put aside for dessert. I had wanted the day to be romantic, otherwise I would’ve just picked up fried chicken and mashed potatoes, something else I knew she liked.
“You’re going to spoil me,” she said, taking a bite of a cheese cube.
“That’s the idea.” I smiled.
I watched as the breeze played with her hair, tossing it gently. A strand blew across her cheek, and I reached out to smooth it back behind her ear. It still amazed me that she was here with me, willing to share a meal and some conversation, and possibly more, with me. I’d thought she’d be afraid of me, seeing as how I’d told her I’m a demon, but she’d taken it in stride. Yes, I was her guardian, but that she felt truly safe in my presence was humbling.
As we ate, I listened to her. She told me of her typical day, what she liked about her job, and as she looked at me through her lashes, she told me that she’d always hoped to find her Prince Charming. That certainly wasn’t a role I was used to assuming, but if that’s what she wanted to call me, I wasn’t going to stop her. I only hoped she realized what life with me would mean for her before she got too attached. If she wanted a normal life, she needed to look elsewhere for her Prince Charming, no matter how much I wanted that title for myself. I’d never wanted anything as much as I wanted Della.
We finished and put our things away and she cuddled next to my side, our fingers laced together, as we watched the waves crashing on the sand. The sound of the ebb and flow of the tide was soothing. It was a peaceful moment and it was nice to just be with her, not doing anything in particular. Each minute spent in her company brought me joy, regardless of what we were doing.
“Aires, why do you want to be with me?”
Now, there were many ways I could have answered that, but I figured telling her she gave me a hard-on that lasted for days wasn’t the right answer. She’d always been a romantic sort and that certainly wasn’t a romantic answer. “You’re beautiful, inside and out. I’ve never met a sweeter woman.”
That was apparently the right answer, if her blinding smile was anything to go by. And I’d meant what I said. Being with Della was like being with an angel. I’d been in the presence of one a few times during my existence, and she radiated that same warmth and goodness. What she was doing with me I had no clue.
“Why do you want to be with me?” I found myself asking.
“You’re brave, strong, and you make me feel safe. And when your arms are around me, I feel cherished.”
I buried my nose in her sweet smelling hair and kissed her temple. I was happy to hear that she felt that way, but I wasn’t sure I was deserving of such praise, not after the things I’d done in my past. I was a demon, after all. I’d spilled my share of blood, broken more than a few hearts. But the one thing I’d never done was physically harm a woman, and perhaps she sensed that. Being created to protect the fairer sex, it was impossible for me to commit crimes against one, not that I’d ever wanted to. Women were soft and beautiful, and meant for loving. I’d just always thought that loving was more of a physical thing than an emotional one. Della was making me rethink things.
My heart nearly stuttered in my chest. Love? Did I love Della? It would explain why I didn’t want to be with another woman, why her scent beckoned to me, why a simple touch of her hand sent me up in flames. In all of my existence, I’d never met another woman like Della, no one I wanted to spend an eternity with, and I realized that I wanted that with Della. If I could keep her by my side always, I would. I just wasn’t sure she’d go for an eternity in hell, and I couldn’t really blame her. It was an acquired taste.
I took out the dessert and placed a slice on a plate for her. She smiled at me and took a bite, without even looking at her plate. And a moment later, she had the most wretched expression on her face. I watched as red splotches broke out on her skin and her lips started to swell.
“Della! What’s wrong?”
She made a gurgling noise but couldn’t speak. It seemed her tongue was swelling as well. I felt myself start to panic.
As if things weren’t bad enough, Rickter chose that moment to appear.
Rickter took in Della’s appearance and growled at me. “What the hell did you do to her?”
“I don’t know. I think she’s having an allergic reaction to the dessert.”
“Are you just going to stand there, or do something? She obviously needs medical attention.”
“Tren can help her. I just need to get her back to hell.”
Rickter shook his head. “I think you’ve done enough. I’ll take her.”
I watched the demon lift her into his arms and then they disappeared. I wanted to follow, to insist that I be the one to care for her, but something held me back. For once, I didn’t feel as confident as I usually did. Would she want me by her side? I had, after all, made this happen. My heart ached for causing Della pain, but how was I to know she’d be allergic to the dessert? I hadn’t done it on purpose. I would never do anything to bring her harm.
After cleaning up our picnic, I blinked myself home. More than anything I wanted to check on Della, but I wasn’t sure she would welcome my presence. I didn’t want to cause her more stress. I might not like the Surack, but I knew he would take care of her. I had to have faith, laughable when you thought about it, that he would get her help immediately. If not, my sweet Della would be gone forever. I’d heard of such reactions ending in death, and I didn’t want that for her. How could I have been so stupid?
No, I had to believe that Rickter would take care of her. Surely she wouldn’t be afraid of him, knowing that he was trying to help her. Of course, if she were afraid, I’d never know it. As long as she was in hell, I wouldn’t be able to sense her and she wouldn’t be able to call me. If Rickter didn’t have feelings for her, I might have worried. But I knew she would be safe with him. For all I knew, he loved her every bit as much as I did. That was something I really didn’t want to think about.
Falling onto the bed, I gathered Della’s pillow close and inhaled her sweet scent. She’d been gone less than an hour and already I missed her. I didn’t know what to do without her. In the short time we’d been together, she’d become my everything.
* * *
I spent the next several days in bed, pining. It was during one of those days that I felt a disturbance in the air. Cracking one eye open, I was surprised to see Rickter and Della standing at the foot of the bed. She looked amazing, if not a little bit pissed, and I wanted nothing more than to gather her in my arms.
She looked up at Rickter. “I’ll be fine now. Thank you for bringing me home.”
Home? She considered my quarters to be her home? I’d never heard such good news before. As Rickter vanished, I pushed myself up in bed. It seemed too good to be true that she was really here. “You came back.”
She smiled. “Of course I did. I’m more than just a little upset with you though. How could you just leave me there? You knew how I felt about Rickter and yet you just let him leave with me, and then you left me there for days! I had no idea where you were or when you were coming for me. Or if you were coming for me!”
“I screwed up, Della, and
Her gaze softened. “Oh, Aires. Foolish demon. I don’t blame you for what happened. You couldn’t have known about my food allergy. If I’d been a little less wrapped up in you and had paid a little more attention to what I was putting in my mouth, then none of this would’ve happened. I’m just as much to blame as you are.”
Was it possible that she forgave me? I watched as she began stripping out of her clothes. Yes, it seemed she had forgiven me.
Della crawled up the bed and unfastened my pants. I helped her get rid of them. Once she had me naked and at her mercy, she licked her lips. “I don’t suppose you can make ropes magically appear, can you?”
My eyes widened. Pointing to the chest along the wall, I said, “There are cuffs in there.”
She gave me a delighted smile and went to the chest. Opening the lid, she rummaged inside. She pulled out the cuffs but that didn’t seem to satisfy her, as she kept digging. Next came a blindfold and a feather duster. After a little more rifling through the items, she brought out a small pot of honey dust. Just what was she up to?
Carrying her treasures to the bed, she handcuffed me to the headboard and ordered me to spread my legs. I had to admit I was more than a little curious. The fact that I’d let her restrain me spoke volumes about how much I trusted her. I’d never allowed anyone such liberties before.
With a wicked grin, she fastened the blindfold around my head. No longer able to see her, I had to rely on my other senses. I could’ve just read her thoughts, but that would’ve taken all of the fun out of the moment. No, whatever she was up to, I wanted to be surprised.
by Jessica Coulter Smith / Romance / Young Adult / Science Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes