He lay on the sand, watching the sun set over the ocean. Abigail’s head rested on his chest. Khait curled an arm around her shoulder. She snuggled into him, the stuffed cat in her arms. It was the only one of the prizes she’d kept. The rest she’d given away to children as they explored the pier. “Did they have anything like that in ancient Egypt?”
“Surprisingly yes.” When she gave him a disbelieving look, he shrugged. “Games and the like, on market days. A few small rides. Like the spinning swings.”
“Okay. Tell me the truth.” She raised her head to rest on her hand as she stared at him. “Did aliens build the pyramids?”
“No.” He shook his head.
“Dragons did it.”
“Actually, no.” He shrugged. “They were simply tombs for particularly arrogant Pharaohs.”
“That is…” She sighed. “So boring.”
“They made excellent decoys though. People focused on the big things, and never went looking for the little ones.”
“Clever.” Abigail put her head back on his shoulder. “I’m still not putting out on the first date.” Khait went still. She raised her head again. “Khait?”
“I…” He gave an embarrassed laugh. Then, in the second most out of character thing he’d done tonight, he decided to simply be honest. “I’ve been having such a good time I completely forgot to seduce you.”
“That is simultaneously the sweetest…” She leaned over to plant a light kiss on his lips. She tasted of cotton candy and beer. “And most disappointing thing a man has ever said to me.”
“So…” He raised an eyebrow. “Does that mean you’ll —” A shadow fell over them. “You are blocking our light.”
“Move.” One of the four men waved at him. “This is our spot.”
“Didn’t see your name on it.” Abigail lay her head back on Khait’s shoulder.
“We said, move.” One of the other men drew himself to his full and not inconsiderable height.
“Remember that cop at the airport?” Abigail put her hand on Khait’s stomach.
“That one…” Khait waved a hand, and a wet spot appeared on the front of the first man’s pants. The man went wide-eyed. “Or that one?” The second man suddenly leaped into the air as smoke began pouring out of his pants. He made a frantic screaming sound as he ran toward the water.
“The first one.” Abigail snuggled into him.
“Right.” Khait looked up at the now staring men and let his eyes go red and glowing. “Bugger off.”
His arms went around Abigail to pull her in closer as the men fled.
Bridget sat, watching the sun rise. She looked down at the ring on her hand. The offer they made was a once in a lifetime dream kind of offer. Everything she wanted in the world, offered up to her on a silver platter. Like winning the lottery. Like…
Like all the things Khait had offered to do for her, and she’d refused. She stood up and looked back at the Cabal’s office building. Then she turned, and started walking in the other direction.
She was fully clothed. Of all the ways she’d thought she’d wake up with Khait in her bed, that one had really never entered her consideration. The entire concept boggled the mind. Yet her she lay, in bed, with Khait’s arms around her. Fully. Clothed. “The world has just officially ended.”
“Again?” Khait raised his head, then blinked and frowned. “Why are you still wearing clothes?” He blinked again. “Why am I still wearing clothes?”
“Evidence would suggest…” She exhaled and sat up. The stuffed cat sat on her dresser, giving her a mocking smile. “We did not have sex last night.”
“What were we thinking?” He let his head lay back onto the bed.
“That was stupid of both of us.” She let out a sigh before falling back onto the bed next to him.
“I think we should both just pretend this never happened.” He patted her hand.
“Right.” She nodded. “We’ll just go on about our lives and never speak of it again.”
“If we did not have sex, am I still obligated to make you breakfast?” He tilted his head.
“Yes.” She elbowed him lightly. “I want —”
“Two buttermilk pancakes, bacon not burned to a crisp in the American fashion but actually cooked properly, and orange juice.” He stood up, then raised an eyebrow at her. “Must I do the walk of shame?”
“And be quick about it.” She waved a hand dismissively.
“Yes, mistress.” He saluted before turning and marching out of the room.
Abigail smiled as she watched him go, then grabbed her pillow and used it to muffle her giggles. Oh yeah. He was dangerous.
Bridget stepped out of the bathroom and headed for her bedroom. She had just stepped inside when someone grabbed her from behind. Her mouth opened. “Kha—” And someone put their hand over her mouth. She felt a damp rag, and immediately stopped trying to breath. She stopped on the foot of whoever was behind her, then heard a growling sound and the hand over her mouth suddenly became a lot larger. And hairier.
“We tried…” Joseph’s voice snarled into her ear. “Asking nicely.”
He added a rose to the tray before carrying it back to Abigail. She was sitting up on the bed, smiling, when he entered. Her eyes fell on the rose, and went wide. “A girl could get used to this.” She scooted over a bit to make room for him.
“I certainly ho—” A strange sensation went over him, and he shook his head.
“I…” He closed his eyes as the sensation increased, making him dizzy. “Something…” The tray fell out of his hands.
Abigail leaped off the bed as Khait fell to his knees, shaking. A scream tore from his throat as he convulsed. “Khait. Khait.” She grabbed him, pulling him to her. “Khait, what’s…”
He clung to her, his whole body shaking as he screamed again. She stared in horror as a long, jagged gash opened on the left side of his face, steam rising from it. “No.” He tried to bite back another scream.
“Oh god.” She held him tightly. “Khait.”
Bridget’s curses were muffled by the gag as Pascal finished cutting the ring off her finger. He had just set the torch down when she heard a scream from somewhere behind her. It sounded like… She turned her head to see Abigail, her arms wrapped around a kneeling and shaking Khait.
“Ah…” Pascal smiled. He looked down at the ring in his hand. “So pleased you two could join us.”
“You son of a…” Abigail rose and moved to stand in front of Khait protectively. “What did you do to him?”
“Damage done to a Djinn’s talisman…” Pascal held up the ring. “Tends to transfer to the Djinn.” He shrugged. “Don’t worry. As long as the stone remains unbroken he will recover.” He craned his head a little to the side. “Won’t you, Khait?”
Khait started to stand, and Pascal held the ring over the flame of a candle. Khait screamed as he collapsed back to the floor. “Stop it.” Abigail clenched her fists and started for Pascal.
Joseph stepped into her way, taking his werewolf form as he did so. Abigail recoiled as she stared up at the werewolf. Pascal smiled, then reached up to remove Bridget’s gag. “You won’t be needing this anymore.” He put the ring onto his own finger. “The job offer still stands, however.”
“Fuck you.” Bridget spat at him before rushing over to Abigail. “Abbey, are you okay?”
Abigail caught hold of her. “Bridget, what…” She was still staring at the werewolf.
“Lothar…” Khait lifted his head as he stared at the werewolf.
“Khait.” The werewolf smirked down at him. “I told you I’d see you on your knees.”
“I hoped you had something more fun in mind…” Khait gave him a vicious smile.
“You’ll not use your powers, incubus.” Joseph held up his hand. “Not without my express permission.” He folded his arms. “Stand up.” Khait glared at him as he obeyed. “Good boy.”