“How is Rome?” Abigail grinned at the phone.
“A lot rainier than I wanted it to be.” Bridget’s voice came back over. “I won’t be able to go sight-seeing until it clears up. I wish —” She cut herself off. “No, Khait.”
“He’s not even in here, he’s on the computer.” Abigail leaned over to look. “Binge-watching Netflix.”
“Well, at least he’s doing something normal.” Bridget continued chatting about the new job. Since she was mostly talking about the filing system, Abigail tuned it out and just said ‘uh-uh’ whenever Bridget paused. “And there is this stunning blond at the cafe I’ve been going to.”
Now that was interesting. Abigail sat up. “Getting back in the saddle now, are we?”
“Don’t be silly.” She could almost hear Bridget blushing.
“Ooh, tell me all about her.” Abigail grinned before leaning back again and putting her feet up on the arm of the couch.
“I uh…” Bridget let out an honest to god giggle. “I have a date tonight.”
Khait heard Abigail hang up the phone, and walked into the living room. “She is wanting to get laid tonight.”
“What?” Abigail blinked.
“Oh…” Khait frowned as he sat down on the couch. “Did I get the idiom wrong? Indulging in carnal relations? Fucking like rabbits?”
“No…” Abigail snickered. “That’s the correct idiom. I meant more ‘how do you know?’”
“I am an incubus. Khait grinned at her. “Also she wished that the coffee girl was single and then yelled at me that it was a figure of speech and not an actual wish and unless she specifically called me by name I was not to involve myself in any way in her time in Rome.”
“You know, she could clarify the whole wishing thing pretty fast by just stating that unless she prefaces it with your name she’s not talking to you.” Abigail shrugged.
“Please do not tell her. It would cut into my opportunities for amusement.” He tilted his head. “You are wishing very much that you would like your feet rubbed.” He slid off the couch to kneel at her feet, then began unfastening the buckle on shoe.
“I…” Abigail chewed her lower lip, then raised her foot just a little to give him better access. “The heels are kick ass, but yeah, they make my feet hurt after a couple hours.”
He started kneading her feet, working the insole with his thumbs. She lay back a little, and when he switched feet, he heard her let out a soft moaning sound. He let instinct guide him, and gently kissed her instep. “Mistress…” His voice was soft.
“Khait are you…” She stared down at him. Then she sat up and grabbed his hair, yanking him toward her as she stared down to him. With her free hand she slapped him across the face, hard. “Get on your fucking knees.”
A wide smile came to his face. “Yes, mistress.”
Bridget left the small condo with a huge smile on her face. She had the internship of her dreams, and had just had one hell of a make out session with an Italian bombshell. Sabrina was deliciously curvy and had a smile that could light up an area for miles. They’d planned another date, and Sabrina had offered to cook if Bridget brought a nice red wine.
Rather than take a cab, she walked. This section of the city was old, and the architecture was delightfully eclectic. It had been modernized with an eye for whimsy, and thus the street lamps had been made to look like old gas lamps. Or perhaps they were simply refurbished gas lamps. Part of her lamented having left her camera back at her own apartment. It was tempting to wish Khait over to bring it to her, and then send him back. No. He’d just find some way to cause a problem.
A small thread of guilt wormed its way through her. She’d left Abigail to deal with him. Granted, it was Abigail’s fault she’d put the ring on in the first place. A ring she still couldn’t get off her finger. No. She was not going to think about that. She was in Rome, with an internship that could get her entire future in motion, and she had a hot date in two days.
She was halfway down the little hill when someone grabbed her arm and yanked her off the sidewalk. “Well, well, what have we here?” The man didn’t speak Italian, or with an Italian accent for that matter.
“Get your hands off me.” Her eyes widened as two more men stepped out of the shadows.
“The lady is rude.” This one did have an Italian accent. The third man said something, his accent so thick that she couldn’t quite understand him.
“Yeah, lady. We just wanted to say hi.” The first man grinned.
“I’m not —” She tried pulling away.
“Now, you are being rude.” He yanked her further into the darkness, and to her horror he switched his grip from her arm to her neck.
The second man drew a knife. “You’re going to need to make that up to us, little lady.” He licked his lips. “You know, it isn’t smart to travel alone.”
“Maybe we should uh…” The first man caught her neckline and yanked it down to peer at her breasts. “Escort you back to our place to keep an eye on you.” He grinned at her. “What do you say to that?”
Oh god. Oh god. Panic filled her mind as she started struggling. And then she took a deep breath. “Khait. Do something.”
“Oh, a kitty isn’t going to do you one damn bit of good.” The first man started shaking his head.
She held his hair tightly, moaning softly as his mouth worked at her breast. This was stupid. This was stupid. The flogger hung from her hand. He’d begged to be allowed to serve her, just as she’d fantasized about when… Abigail’s head went back and she let out a low groan as she felt his teeth just lightly brush her nipple.
Nice girls didn’t have fantasies like this. She’d hidden it, kept it buried, afraid to ask even the guys who weren’t completely vanilla. Nice girls didn’t dream of beating their lovers bloody, of making them crawl like animals, or slap them and yank their hair and call them names. But this was Khait. He wasn’t human. She couldn’t even really damage him. And as near as she could tell, he was loving it as much as she was.
So she grabbed his hair and yanked him away from her breast. His eyes danced with hunger as he looked back at her. “Get back on your knees, bitch.” And she shoved him to the ground as she spread her legs.
His tongue found exactly the right spot immediately, and she purred as she felt him licking and suckling. Abigail started panting as she felt herself rising and rising and she was seconds away from —
He vanished. She stumbled forward, catching herself on the wall to keep from falling. Abigail shook her head and stared down at where he’d been eating her out just a heartbeat ago. Gone. “Oh you fucking bastard…” She gave a frustrated snarl. “Khait, you get back here right now!”
“This better —” He cut himself off as the scene in front of him resolved itself, and his eyes narrowed. Bridget was clearly terrified. Terrified enough that she looked relieved to see him. Three men loomed around her, and one had her by the neck. Another had his hand on her breast, and the third was lifting her skirt with the blade of a knife. “Not. Acceptable.”
Khait appeared behind the men. She couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when she saw him. Now if he could just transport them somewhere safe everything would be fine. She opened her mouth to tell him to do just that when the man holding her tightened his grip on her throat, cutting off her air. “Where the fuck did you come from?” The man glared at Khait.
A small smile came to Khait’s face, and then his eyes abruptly changed. They glowed red. Her eyes widened as a pair of dark leathery wings seemed to spread from his back, and when he smiled he revealed razor sharp fangs. “Hell.”
He let his human shape resume before going to where Bridget was sitting on the ground, shaking. “Bridget?” Khait knelt beside her.
“You killed them.” Her eyes were wide, and her face was pale. “You…”
“They were going to kill you. I could see it in their eyes.” He glanced at the remains laying on the ground, then looked back at her. “You would not have been the first.”
“Oh god.” She swallowed. “Oh my god.”
“Bridget?” He put a hand on her shoulder.
“Just get me somewhere safe, Khait.” Her voice shook. “Please.”
“Yes, mistress.” He swept her into his arms before concentrating.
Abigail poured the tea into the mug and brought it to Bridget. All irritation had vanished when Khait had reappeared, holding a sobbing Bridget in his arms. Bridget took the tea, then sipped at it before looking up at Abigail. “You dosed it, didn’t you?”
“Figured that was better than just having Khait knock you out.” Abigail nodded.
“Thank you.” Bridget took a long drink. She took a couple deep breaths before looking up at Khait. “And thank you.”
He inclined his head. Abigail glanced up at him, wondering if she dared ask exactly what had happened. “You’re going to be alright, Bridget.”
“I don’t —”
“Bridget.” Abigail sat next to her friend, and put an arm around her. “You’re going to be alright. We are here. We won’t let anyone hurt you, okay?”
“I need to get back to Rome.” Bridget started nodding.
“In the morning.” Khait’s voice was firm.
“I need —”
“In.” Khait folded his arms. “The. Morning.” Then he exhaled. “Bridget, I will need some time before I can leap that far again.”
“Shit. Yeah.” Bridget leaned back. “You kind of…” She let out a little giggle, then took another drink of the tea. “I’m just going to finish this tea and hope I don’t remember any of this in the morning because…” She looked up at Khait. “You’re a demon.”
“Yes.” He nodded.
“You’re seriously like…” Her voice was starting to slur a little. “You had wings.”
“Help me get her to bed.” Abigail rose.
Rather than simply transport her with magic, Khait walked over and picked Bridget up, carrying her like she was a small child. He followed Abigail into the bedroom and waited until Abigail had pulled back the covers before laying Bridget down. She tucked in her friend, then grabbed Khait’s hand and tugged gently. He followed her out of the room, and she shut off the light and closed the door. “I apologize for…” He started shaking his head.
She put her hand over his mouth. “Blinking over to Italy to save my best friend is not something you need to apologize for, Khait.” She smiled, then gave him a concerned look. “Are you okay, Khait?”
“I am tired.” He shook his head. “I will be fine.”
“Okay.” She stared to nod, then shrugged. “Okay, but if it’s sexual energy you need, we could pick up where we left —”
“No.” His voice was hard when he cut her off.
“Khait?” She gave him a startled look.
“Abigail, my sweet one…” He ran a hand down her cheek. “In my current state, I fear I could lose control and hurt you badly. I…” He smiled. “I do not wish to take that risk.” He brushed her hair back from her face, then exhaled. “And you are…” He shook his head. “You tempt me more than you should. I will go, and be back when I am safe to be near you again.”
“Okay.” She nodded. “Okay.”