Enter an addictive world of sizzlingly hot paranormal romance . . .
'Great humour (including genuine laugh-out-loud moments) . . . along with action and steamy sex'
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Only a few are brave enough to fall . . .
When Raini desperately needed help, she went to the one person who she knew could save her dying friend . . . her secretive and ruthlessly powerful anchor, Maddox. His price was that she grant him access to her life, yet he's still determined not to form the anchor bond with Raini. That rejection stings, even while she can't stop her body - or her demon - reacting to his presence.
Maddox is a descendent, a rare breed of demon possessing angelic blood - and Raini knows he'll let someone close when hell freezes over. As a succubus, she's used to men wanting her uncontrollably - and used to having all the power. But while Maddox wants her strictly on his own terms, for the first time she can remember Raini's struggling to keep her own emotions in check.
Yet when someone - or something - starts to target Raini, Maddox's protectiveness goes into overdrive. Suddenly he's finding it harder to keep his secrets and his distance, for nothing seems to matter as much as Raini. As the threat escalates into all-out war, they both have to decide: can they trust the other to catch them if they fall?
The next sizzling paranormal romance in Suzanne Wright's globally bestselling The Dark in You series.
What readers are saying about Suzanne Wright:
'The chemistry sizzles off the page' Netgalley review
'Hot as hell . . . explosive' Netgalley review
'It's been two minutes since my last fix and I need Suzanne Wright to give me more' Edgy Reviews
'No words to describe how much I ADORE this extraordinary and magical read!!!' Gi's Spot Reviews on Burn
'Sarcastic banter, a sexy alpha demon and his smart-mouthed heroine, an intense, highly passionate romance . . . I devoured this book from start to finish!' The Escapist Book Blog on Burn
'Unique, original and very entertaining' Ramblings from this Chick
If you love this book, make sure you check out the rest of The Dark In You series - discover how this sizzling hot story began . . .
Release date: July 1, 2021
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Print pages: 400
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Raini felt her hands flex around the steering wheel. She’d sworn she’d never come back here. She’d sworn she’d keep her distance from him. And she really would have. Probably. But right now, she needed help. Needed intel. And Maddox Quentin, well, he was a man who knew things. A powerful Prime who gathered information for a living.
He was also a descendant—a breed of demon that possessed angelic blood, since one of their earliest ancestors had been a fallen angel. She’d once heard that some archangels had fallen, too. Right now, she desperately needed the aid of one, but there was no way to contact an archangel, and they had no interest in Earth-related matters anyway. A demon with archangelic blood, though? They might be able and willing to help. If such a being existed, surely Maddox would know about it.
Of course, there was no saying that he’d tell her if he did. He was her anchor—or predestined psychic mate, to be precise— but they hadn’t bonded. Which was why her inner demon was perpetually pissed these days. It had initially been excited on finding its anchor. But the longer he’d gone without trying to form the bond, the more the entity felt the urge to rip out his spinal cord.
Demons came in pairs, but it wasn’t an emotional pairing like with shifters; it was purely psychic. When a demon fused their psyche with that of their anchor, an unbreakable link formed that enabled them both to have the power, strength, and mental stability to assert dominance over their inner entity. This meant they would never turn rogue—something that could otherwise easily happen, given how difficult it was to share your soul with what was essentially a psychopath.
Anchors were utterly loyal to each other and played a big part in each other’s lives. Growing up, Raini had longed to find her own; to have someone who’d support and shield her, who she could trust wholeheartedly. And now she’d found him. Only … he wasn’t what she’d expected.
Maddox Quentin was cold. Unremorseful. Calculated. Not to be trusted. Possessed few ethics.
Now, to be fair, some would say the latter two qualities could also be applied to not only her father but the majority of her lair—imps specialized in everything from lying and thievery to embezzlement and identity theft. But Maddox was far more ruthless than they could ever be. He brokered the kind of deals that others wouldn’t touch; the kind that had people kidnapped, for Christ’s sake.
More, he was a man who knew how to ferret out secrets. That wasn’t good. Because Raini needed hers to stay hidden. Which was largely why she’d been set on keeping her distance from him. If he’d wanted to form the bond, it would have been different, because she could have trusted that he’d never betray her confidence. But he had no interest in claiming her as his anchor.
Still, he hadn’t turned his back on her. He telepathically reached out to her on a daily basis, even though she never replied. And she suspected he had some of his lair members subtly check on her occasionally. But that didn’t mean he’d help her now.
Who would, in his position?
She’d ignored him for months. She’d been intent on cutting him out of her life. And now she was appearing at his club to ask something of him. It made her seem like a total bitch, but she wouldn’t so unfairly do this if it wasn’t an emergency.
Her girls—women she’d grown up with, built up a business with, and who’d always been there for her—were more like her honorary sisters, and she loved them with everything in her. Now, one of them was dying. Khloë was literally on her deathbed, her body ravaged by the death essence that flowed through her. And they were all helpless to save her.
Raini closed her eyes. Dread twisted her stomach, thickened her throat, and made hot tears burn the backs of her eyes. If there was one person who deserved to live—who knew how to live—it was Khloë. But only pure life could destroy death essence, and so they needed an archangel. A demon with archangelic blood would be the next best thing.
Maybe such beings existed, maybe they didn’t. Maybe they could help, maybe they couldn’t. Raini had nothing to lose by trying to find out. So she did another thing she’d sworn she’d never do. She telepathically reached out to Maddox. I’m outside your club.
His mind slid against hers, coldly sensual and far too familiar. I know.
Raini jerked back in her seat. The fuck? How could he possibly—cameras, she remembered. The first time she’d come here, she’d noted the security cameras in the lot. Not out of any interest in them, but because her father had made it instinctive for her to spot them. He’d also taught her how to disable security systems, but that was off-topic.
She licked her lips and reached out to Maddox again. I need to talk to you. It’s important.
Then why are you out there instead of in here? he asked, cool and airy.
It wasn’t exactly a welcoming invitation to enter the club, but it seemed that he was prepared to hear her out. Which, to her shame, was probably more than she would have done if he’d come looking for her.
She slipped out of the car and crossed the lot, her hand clenched tight around her keys. A bulky male stepped out of the shadows—one she recognized as a member of Maddox’s lair, though she’d never spoken with him. Descendants were pretty insular and had no time or regard for other breeds of demon.
As the guy’s eyes met hers, his pupils dilated, his breath caught, and his skin flushed—like arousal had smacked him right in the gut. Yeah, being a succubus meant she often had that effect on people. Her kind exuded a preternatural allure. They could turn the dial up on that allure; could scramble thoughts, lift inhibitions, and assail “prey” with a terrible lust that drew them in. Succubae could even snare people, making them obsessed.
She was basically a walking, talking sexual pheromone. Raini mostly hated it, because she never knew if a guy was truly drawn to her as a person or merely a “victim” of the succubae package. Plus, many men assumed that her being a sex demon also meant she’d be happy to jump into bed with just about anyone. And how uber special was that?
Although Maddox didn’t appear to be affected by her preternatural allure, she suspected he was to some extent. It seemed the likeliest explanation as to why he persisted in contacting her.
She broke eye-contact with the descendant in front of her and cleared her throat. She looked back just as he double-blinked and rolled his shoulders.
“Follow me,” he said, gruff but not rude. He didn’t take her through the main entrance. He led her around the side of the building and over to a steel door. He punched a code into the keypad on the wall and then opened the door.
She followed him inside and over to an elevator. He held a keycard up to a small, electronic screen. The shiny metal doors then slid open, and she stepped inside. He didn’t join her. He reached inside, pressed the “up” button on the panel, and then backed away.
The elevator whirred to life and began to smoothly ascend. Knowing it would be a humungous mistake to let her inner turmoil show, she did her best to wipe every trace of anxiety from her face. Maddox Quentin was an apex predator—showing weakness in front of him would be a bad idea.
He was also an opportunist who wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of this situation for his own gain. If he could and did agree to help her, that help wouldn’t come for free. He’d once said that the idea of having Knox Thorne owe him a favor would appeal to him. And since Khloë was both a close cousin of Knox’s mate and a member of his lair, Knox would no doubt grant Maddox whatever favor he requested.
When the metal doors opened, Raini stepped out … and found herself in a very spacious office. It was swanky with the executive, L-shaped desk, the leather desk chair, the comfy seating area, and the overly large aquarium. Monitors featuring CCTV feeds hung on one wall. The floor-to-ceiling glass window overlooked the club floor below. But none of that held her attention. Because there was really no way not to focus on the alarmingly magnetic male who stood a few feet away—tall, still, watchful.
Right on cue, her hormones tripped all over themselves.
Um, had she mentioned that he was hot as holy hell? Probably not. She tended to try to overlook that. But, really, it was impossible. You couldn’t overlook a tower of sheer power, solid muscle, blatant danger, and dark sexual energy. Particularly when it was wholly focused on you.
His disturbingly vacant eyes were a very vivid Prussian blue that seemed to hold an element of power—compelling you to make eye-contact. His short, stylishly tousled hair was black as the sea at night, and damn that mouth was all kinds of sinful. His white, crisp shirt looked perfectly tailored to fit his broad shoulders and hard chest that—
Hell, this wasn’t the time to ogle him. She was there for a reason. A very, very good one. So her hormones would just have to get their shit together.
He didn’t greet her. Didn’t ask why she was there. Didn’t look all smug and triumphant at the fact that she’d come to him, which surprised her. He simply waited.
Conscious of the time ticking by, she took a single step toward him. “I’ll understand if you tell me to fuck off—I wouldn’t even blame you for it. I’ve done nothing that would give me the right to come to you for help, but I don’t know who else to ask.”
He still didn’t speak. He just kept watching her, expectant.
“I realize this is a long shot, but you’re the only person I know who might be able to point me in the right direction. I once heard that it wasn’t only angels that fell from heaven long ago; that some archangels fell along with them and copulated with demons.”
His expression didn’t whatsoever change, giving her no hint as to whether the rumor had any substance.
“Do you know of anyone who might have descended from archangels?”
His eyes narrowed ever so slightly. “Why?” he asked, his authoritative voice pitched low and deep.
She’d never admit it aloud, but she liked his voice. Liked hearing it in her mind. Still, she’d never replied to any of his mundane, throwaway questions. She definitely hadn’t replied when he straight up told her he wanted to strip her naked and feast on every inch of her.
“I really need to get in touch with one,” she told him.
“And why would that be?”
She opened her mouth to reply, but a ball of emotion clogged her throat. She didn’t want to speak the words. Saying it aloud would make it real. Still, she swallowed hard and forced herself to respond, “My friend, Khloë … she’s dying.” The words sounded like crushed rock.
Not even a flicker of emotion crossed his face. “She’s injured?”
“Yes and no. She was hit by an orb of death essence. Twice. She doesn’t have long left.” Raini felt tears pool in her eyes, but she didn’t bother to wipe them away. There’d be no hiding them from him. “An angel tried to help her but couldn’t. I know it’s possible that a demon who’s descended from an archangel might be just as useless to her, but I can ask.”
Maddox stared at her long and hard, much like he had the first night they met. A smile didn’t touch his mouth this time, though. His face remained an impassive mask as that vacant stare drank her in for what felt like minutes.
She went to push for an answer, but then finally he moved. Her pulse began to quicken as he started to cross the space between them, each step slow and purposeful.
His eyes flitted over her face, which was no doubt lined with her fear for Khloë. “It wasn’t easy for you to come to me,” he sensed.
No, it hadn’t been. It had meant breaking all sorts of promises she’d made to herself.
His gaze tracked the path of a tear that had dripped down one side of her face. He gently thumbed it away. “She means so much to you?”
Raini swallowed around the hard knot that wouldn’t leave her throat. “Yes.” And if she had to beg him for help, she would. She wasn’t too proud to do it if it meant that Khloë would live.
He twisted his mouth. “I can heal her.”
For a moment, Raini could only stare at him, shocked. “You … you can heal her?” she asked, embers of hope flickering to life in her belly. At the same time, though, a hint of unease snaked through her, because it meant he possessed the blood of both a demon and an archangel—that could never be a good mix.
“Yes.” He dipped his head, his eyes snaring hers. “But you’ll owe me.”
“Fine,” she blurted out, even as it surprised her that he wouldn’t seek a favor from Knox.
“You don’t know what I want from you yet.”
“It doesn’t matter. All I care about right now is Khloë.”
“Exactly. That’s all you care about right now. But later,” he began, ghosting the tip of his index finger down the side of her face, “when you’re no longer feeling so desperate, you might find yourself regretting the deal you made here. Then you’ll try to wriggle out of our agreement.”
“No, I won’t. I keep my word. Just tell me what you want.”
“You’re sure you want to be indebted to me, Raini?”
Want to be? No. But she’d agree to owe him for Khloë’s sake. “I’m sure.”
“I have several conditions,” he warned.
“Hit me with them.”
“All right.” He edged into her personal space, swallowing it up, bold as you please. “From now on, you’ll respond whenever I telepath you—no more ignoring me.”
“No more ignoring you,” she agreed.
“You also won’t obstruct any of my attempts to make you safe, and you won’t allow your friends or lair members to do it either. We might not be bonded, but you still belong to me. It’s my right to protect you. I’m claiming that right.”
Raini gritted her teeth, battling back the urge to point out he had no business claiming any rights, all things considered. “Fine.”
“Thirdly, you will telepathically reach for me if you are ever injured, no matter how small that injury is.”
She frowned. “You’re saying, what, you can heal wounds?”
“Yes. So if you are hurt, no matter how minor the injury, you will reach for me. You will not suffer unnecessarily.”
“Okay.” It wasn’t like she enjoyed pain or anything. “Is that all?”
“No. You will come to me once a month. You will spend a few hours here each time so that my demon can see for itself that you’re well.”
Annoyance flared through her. Essentially, he was picking and choosing what parts of the anchor situation he wanted, wasn’t he? He wanted access to her. Wanted her acceptance. Wanted to claim his right to protect her. But he didn’t want to bond with her, he didn’t want to be the anchor she’d been waiting for, which hurt like hell and made her demon want to throat punch him. This here and now wasn’t about Raini or her entity, though. It was about Khloë.
A face-to-face meeting once a month wouldn’t be so bad. She could still keep him in the dark about a lot of things. Raini shrugged. “Fine. Okay. Deal.”
“I’m not done. There’s something else I want you to agree to. And you’re not going to like it.”
He told her his final condition, and her mouth fell open. “You can’t be serious.”
“I’m perfectly serious.”
She frowned, flapping her arms. “But … why? Why would you ask this of me? It’s not like I’m important to you.”
“Just because I don’t want the bond doesn’t mean you don’t matter to me.”
“Funny. Because it doesn’t feel like I do.”
“And other than not form the bond, what have I done to suggest that you don’t matter?”
She opened her mouth … and then realized she had nothing. He truly hadn’t done anything that would indicate she was insignificant to him. Quite the opposite, in fact, given that he continued to telepathically reach out to her despite that his efforts came to nothing. He’d never once vilified her for ignoring him. And even now, when he’d have every right and reason to send her on her way, he was agreeing to help. Yes, he had conditions, but it was better than him turning her request down altogether. Still … “Can we not scrap this last condition?”
He slowly shook his head. “If it was related to anything other than your safety, I might consider it.”
Doubtful. Maddox was a man who’d insist on having his way in all things. She flexed her fingers. “It would give you too much power.”
“I don’t want power over you, Raini.”
“Sure you do. Anyone can sense you’re a guy who likes to control his environment, and I suspect you’re very skilled at it.”
He gave a small shrug, not bothering to deny it. “This wouldn’t enable me to control you, though, would it? The only power it will truly give me is the power to pull you out of any form of danger.” He toyed with a few locks of her blonde, pink-streaked hair. “I don’t intend to hide who you are to me. Few people are aware of it right now because we haven’t been seen together. But that will change, and the news will soon spread. I have enemies who may think to strike at me through you. So no, I won’t consider dropping this final condition.”
Raini bit back a curse. She understood his reasoning, but she didn’t want to agree to this. Khloë would have done it for her, though, if the situation were reversed. She would have agreed to just about anything to save Raini.
“I will heal your friend, I will rid her system of every ounce of death essence, but this is my price.” His brow inched up. “Are you prepared to pay it?”
Raini didn’t hesitate to answer, because there really was only one answer, even if it wasn’t one that she liked. “Yes. Whatever. Deal. As long as you heal Khloë first.”
His eyes narrowed, but he inclined his head. “I can agree to that. Tomorrow, however, you will come back here to me so I can—”
“I will, I promise. So can we please go now? I don’t think she has much time left.”
His eyes searched hers for long seconds. Finally, he nodded. “We can go.”
Four months later
Khloë slammed down the phone and whirled around, placing her hands on her hips. “That is the fifth cancellation we’ve had this week. The fifth.”
Harper tilted her head. “Be honest, what bothers you more? The number of cancellations, or the fact that it’s an uneven number?”
The OCD receptionist sniffed. “I don’t see how that’s relevant.”
Raini rolled her eyes and went back to wiping down the checkered partition that stood between her station and that of her business partner, Harper. Devon, who did both tattoos and piercings, had her own station adjacent to theirs. They were all readying the place to be shut down for the night, which was why the scents of citrus cleaner and disinfectant now almost completely overrode the smells of paint and ink.
“Seriously, this isn’t good,” Khloë pressed. “It’s one thing to know that someone’s trying to get people to boycott Urban Ink by sending our clients gift cards for other tattoo studios. It’s another to know that it’s working.”
Putting away her equipment, Harper sighed. “I know. I’m still struggling to understand why anyone would bother to make this play. Well, I can see why the owners of the other tattoo shops around here would bother. But Knox confirmed that it wasn’t them.”
Probably by scanning their minds, Raini thought, adjusting the position of her station’s black leather recliner. “Whoever’s behind it could be someone that one of us pissed off.” She exchanged looks with both Harper and Devon, who each nodded.
Khloë frowned, her head jerking back. “Why are you all staring at me?”
“You fuck with people like it’s your job,” Devon pointed out.
“It’s good for the soul,” defended Khloë. “Anyway, I’m leaning more toward the theory that it’s an indirect attack on our lair.” She looked at Harper. “I mean, three of the four people who work here are part of said lair, and you’re the co-Prime of it. Moreover, you also own half of Urban Ink.”
Raini kind of missed the time when they were all part of the same lair. But after Harper met and mated with her anchor, Knox, she transferred to his lair and now ruled it alongside him. Devon had later mated one of his sentinels, Tanner, and Khloë had mated another of the sentinels, Keenan, so both girls had also switched lairs.
Knowing her girls were so happy with their mates, Raini was thrilled for them all, but she suspected she would have felt somewhat … left behind, maybe, if Khloë had moved out of the neighborhood and into Keenan’s apartment. Instead, he’d moved into the imp’s home, which was very close to Raini’s.
“Knox thinks the same,” said Harper. “He’ll keep looking into it. We’ll find out who’s playing these games eventually. They seem seriously petty to me.” The sphinx’s gaze slid to Raini. “Speaking of petty … is your sister speaking to you again yet?”
Raini felt her lips thin. “No.” But Demi had frozen her out so many times over the years that it no longer stung.
Harper shook her head. “If she’s going to be mad at someone, it should be Dwain the Dweeb, who needs to go home yesterday.”
Oh, Raini couldn’t agree more. Her sister’s anchor was an irritating asshole at times. “He wants to spend a little more time with his family and my sister so they can get to know his brand spanking new mate.”
“Grams said she got the impression that Dwain wants it to bother you that he’s now mated,” said Harper, whose grandmother—Jolene Wallis—was the Prime of Raini’s lair.
“I can’t think why he would. It’s not like his past feelings for me were real.” Raini crossed to the reception area and used the remote control to switch off the wall-mounted TV. “Succubae snares wear off unless the succubae wills them not to, and I didn’t snare him on purpose—he just fell into it.”
“It happens. Some demons are susceptible to them,” said Devon, cleaning her station’s large wall-mounted mirror. “If your sister had been a succubus like you and your mom instead of an imp like your dad, Dwain probably would have been enchanted by Demi instead.”
“Probably.” Raini placed the remote on the coffee table, careful not to knock off the portfolios. “I hate that he doesn’t see how much he’s hurting Demi right now.”
“What I hate,” began Khloë, “is that your own sister blames you for the fact that she’s hurting. It is not your fault that Demi fell for her anchor. It is not your fault that he fell for you. And it is definitely not your fault that he’s now mated to someone else.”
No, it wasn’t, but … “In Demi’s mind, if I hadn’t rejected him, he wouldn’t have moved away, and she and him would have gotten together eventually.”
Harper frowned. “But if you hadn’t rejected him, Demi would have hated you for dating the man she loves, so there’s really no way you can win here.”
“Oh, I know. But she never lets reason or rationality get in the way.” Most imps didn’t, to be fair.
“Do you think Dwain knows how Demi really feels about him?” asked Devon, idly fiddling with a pen from the reception desk. The hellcat scowled when Khloë snatched it from her and put it on a very specific spot on her desk.
“I don’t think so,” replied Raini. “He cares for her a lot. If he’d known this news would hurt her, he would have told her in private, not sucker-punched her with it by just turning up unannounced and saying, ‘Meet Harmony, my mate.’”
“I don’t like Demi, never have,” Devon said to Raini. “Mostly because she’s always been pissy toward you. So I’m finding it hard to feel bad for her right now, but I’ll keep trying.”
Raini snickered. She and Demi were like chalk and cheese, and they’d never gotten along. The whole mess with Dwain only made it worse. “To her credit, she hasn’t been rude or unwelcoming toward Harmony. She hasn’t tried to taint this for Dwain. Only those who know her well can sense she’s hurting.”
“Well, let me tell you, Grams is furious with him for being so blind to it,” said Harper.
“Yeah, I picked up on that easily enough. She often looks at him as though she’d like nothing better than to skewer him with a spear.” It really was a pleasant visual.
A cold, familiar psyche touched Raini’s, and then Maddox’s voice flowed into her mind. How was work today?
Coming from anyone else, the mundane out-of-the-blue question might have seemed like an awkward attempt at small talk. But one thing Raini had learned about Maddox in the past four months was that there was no small talk with him. If he asked you a question, it was because he wanted to know the answer.
He generally didn’t bother with hellos. He got straight to the point. Unless, of course, he was toying with someone. He could turn on the charm then, but it was just a mask. He didn’t wear it with her. She liked that.
It was fine, she replied. As per their agreement, she always responded now.
Don’t forget you’re due to come to my club tomorrow.
His mind briefly sort of stroked hers, and then he was gone.
She would have thought their little meetings would be awkward and strained, but they weren’t. Probably because he only ever asked her simple everyday questions as opposed to anything too personal. She suspected he already knew most of her private business; that he’d already compiled some sort of dossier on her—Maddox provided that service for people for a fee.
Initially, she’d expected him to attempt to seduce her, given his past sexual telepathic whispers. But he’d never once flirted with her or said anything suggestive, although a glitter of heat had occasionally flashed in those usually vacant eyes.
Maybe he’d quite simply decided that introducing sex into the mix would only complicate things. She’d have to agree with him on that. Which both disappointed and relieved her, because she was so very conflicted where he was concerned.
She wanted to dislike him. Wanted to hold that image of him being cruel and malicious in her mind so that she wouldn’t lament that he didn’t want the bond. But it was hard to truly dislike someone when you couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. He was a demon who carried the very potent blood of a powerful archangel. How hard must it be to feel torn on the inside by both dark and light—two such extremes?
You’d exist in the gray.
It explained why his emotions rarely seemed to fluctuate and why very little seemed to touch him. He often made her think of someone walking around an art museum bored out of their mind. He saw everything. Noted everything. Processed it all like it was data. But he didn’t really see it in a way that allowed him to appreciate it. And that seemed so sad.
Her inner demon wasn’t so sympathetic. But then, it wasn’t a creature who could feel compassion or empathy. It was too predatory. Too callous. Too dark. And exceedingly pissed that their anchor wouldn’t just claim them already.
“Hello?” sang Khloë, waving her hand in front of Raini’s face. “Raini, this is base, do you copy?”
Snapping back to the present, Raini poked the petite woman’s shoulder. “Smartass.”
“You had that ‘I’m not home right now’ look in your eyes that told me you were having a telepathic chat with someone. Was it Maddox?”
“He was just checking in, as usual.”
“Hmm.” Khloë folded her arms. “Grams said that Demi was smug on hearing that he doesn’t want to bond with you.”
“Your Grams said it to you, or she said it to someone else and you were eavesdropping?”
“Let’s not wander off the subject.”
“Is Demi all smug and shit?” asked Devon, frowning.
“She likes the idea that my anchor rejected me, yes,” replied Raini.
Harper’s face darkened. “But he hasn’t rejected you. He’s rejected the bond, which isn’t the same thing at all. Doesn’t she know he assigned you a guard—one I rarely notice, she’s so damn good at subtly watching over you—and had a hi-tech security system installed at your house?”
Both acts had originally annoyed Raini, but he’d ever so kindly reminded her that she’d agreed not to obstruct his attempts to keep her safe. That seemed to be an umbrella term that would let him get away with all kinds of shit. Like when he’d had a protective spell put on her car—it wouldn’t stop a crash from happening, but it would keep the vehicle intact, which would mean she’d suffer less injuries.
“Oh, she knows,” Raini replied. “But she sees that as him simply giving the impression that he cares.”
Harper’s brow creased. “Maddox isn’t interested in people’s impressions of him.”
“Well either she hasn’t heard about that or just prefers to believe what brings her joy.” Raini shrugged. “Whatever the case, she’s pleased that he doesn’t want to bond with me.”
Devon shook her head. “You know, with any luck, she won’t come back from her upcoming cruise. Maybe the sea will take her.”
“It’s more likely to spit her back out.” Khloë twisted her mouth, her gaze locked on Raini. “I was s
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