Page 34 of The Demon in Him

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Something in Mike snapped, and with a roar of rage, he launched forward, and a warm trickle of blood spilled onto my chest as Tate slid the knife across the front of my throat. There was a blur of motion as I was spun around. Mike seemed to move faster than humanly possible, and a bubble of dread opened in my stomach.

A trick of the light. It’s dark.

What was going on?

Something wasn’t right, and my body was reacting before my mind could comprehend what I’d seen. I was in self-preservation mode, and my arms came up to protect myself after Tate had cut my skin, a warning cut, not deep enough to kill, only enough to prove he could if he wanted to.

How could Mike move so fast?

But not fast enough, evidently.

There were no words from Mike when he realized I’d been cut, only another roar that sent a shiver down my spine, enough to almost shake the walls, and sounded like it was pushed through his vocal cords two tones at once. Automatically, my hands came to my neck as my arms were released, the cut barely enough to draw blood. A move to make a point and nothing else to remind Mike he wasn’t the one in control, and neither was I.

Tate twisted out of Mike’s reach, taking me with him and turning until I faced him. His hand was on the back of my neck, the tip of the knife pointed at my Adam’s apple, pressing painfully when I swallowed against the fear and bile rising in my throat. His fingertips caressed my throat gently, like a lover, his eyes hungry as he flicked the tip of the blade just as softly over the front of my throat. Not cutting, simply reminding me it was there.

My fight-or-flight stopped dead with the action of the blade, and I stilled. I was a jumble of sensations and confusion inside. There was something dark about Mike’s expression as he stopped dead, not taking another step after Tate nodded pointedly at the blade. There was something almost inhuman about him, the darkening of his features, the flash of yellow over his eyes I kept trying to tell myself wasn’t real.

The first thought I had was that Tate’s reference to Mike being a monster may have been more literal than figurative. But that was crazy, right? The only monsters that existed in the world were like the one in front of me with a knife pressed against my skin, the dark people that hurt others. Internally, I begged someone to say something to clear these thoughts from my mind, anything to tell me that I was crazy and was simply on edge because my life was being threatened.

Closer to the window, Tate’s face became clearer. He shot a warning look at Mike when he growled again, shifting the knife to ensure his message was clear. Was he going to kill me in front of Mike? Bleed me out as some sort of punishment for whatever went down between them? With a twitch of his lips, they curled into a smirk, and Tate held my eye contact.

Then his eyes changed.

This was no trick of the light.

His eyes were yellow—a bright glowing yellow that wasdefinitelyinhuman with black cat-like slits for irises. I couldn’t move, frozen on the spot in fear as his fingernails dug into the back of my neck and the tip of the blade pressed harder against my throat. Without words, he was telling me tolook, look at what I am.I wanted to be the sort of person who took action, who found themselves in a life-or-death situation and took control to be the action hero who, with a sudden burst of energy and skill, saved the day. But instead, I stayed with my arms useless by my sides, staring into the yellow eyes of the devil in front of me.


Mike’s shout broke the trance, and when the front door burst open, Tate shoved me away from him, moving to the window even as two sets of feet stormed toward him. He looked back at me, taking a purposeful moment to hold my eye contact, yellow meeting my hazel. Inhuman meeting human.

I thought he said, “Don’t trust him,” but I couldn’t be sure. I dropped to the floor as I was shoved again to the side and looked up as Tate disappeared out the window, pursued by a woman with bright red hair down the fire escape as another woman turned to me, holding out a hand. I didn’t take it, and she tossed a glance at Mike before reaching down and grabbing my shoulders, pulling me to my feet with strength that didn’t match her stature.

Mike came up behind me, and I leaned against him, staring at the floor and unable to wrap my mind around what I had seen. When there were this many thoughts in my head, it was impossible to pin one down, and everything was a blur.

“Ilsa, what the fuck? Where were you? How did he get in?” Mike raged, directing the question at the woman in front of me, military, by the looks of her, and I assumed she was the security Mike had arranged.

“He killed your doorman.”


She nodded solemnly. “I’m sorry, we just got back and came upstairs as soon as we saw what Tate had done.”

“Good thing I gave you a pass to my suite,” Mike said, his voice hollow.

Ilsa’s lip twitched. “We would have broken the door down if we had to. Now…” she paused, looking at me and waiting until I met her eyes—a deep brown, hard, but full of sympathy. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I said, my voice felt gravelly like I hadn’t spoken in days. I cleared my throat, standing up straight and taking my weight from Mike with the same motion. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

“You saw his eyes, didn’t you?”

Her voice fleshed out the sympathy in her face, and I shook my head, started to nod, then shook again. “I don’t know what I saw.”

She shared a significant look with Mike. “I think you two have some talking to do.” She moved to leave. “I’m going to follow Ray… see if she caught up with Tate.”

“What will she do if she catches up with him?” Mike asked.

Ilsa frowned. “She won’t kill him if that’s what you’re asking. We’ll incapacitate him, then call you.”