Page 37 of The Demon in Him

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A woman with chestnut hair was immediately at his back, grabbing his shoulders and attempting to pry him from Frank. “Emrick! What the fuck are you doing? What did he do?”

Her immediate reaction—what did he do?She didn’t doubt that Emrick had a reason for attacking Frank. She studied Frank’s smug face over Emrick’s shoulder, and her expression changed, recognition dawning. “Oh, fuck.”

Frank was grinning because that was his default look, but his eyes showed no recognition as he watched Emrick and the woman study him, and he seemed completely disinterested in Emrick’s hand at his throat. When Ilsa moved in behind Emrick, she grabbed the back of the woman’s dress and yanked her backward, sending her tumbling to the floor. Emrick turned with a roar of rage, and his momentary distraction gave Frank the upper hand, who spun him around and wrapped his forearm around Emrick’s throat, pressing his back to his chest.

“Fucking let me go! Fuckingdemon!”Emrick spat. He was fighting against Frank’s hold, but he was a fallen angel, and his strength, while still greater than a human, was no match for a demon of Frank’s age.

“Calm the fuck down. I don’t know your issue with me, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what we’re here for.”

“I don’t care what you’re here for, I’m going tofucking kill you.”Emrick rounded on Ilsa. “Andyoufor hurting Cara.”

The woman pushed herself off the floor, throwing a dirty look at Ilsa. “She didn’t hurt me, babe. I’m fine.” Cara, this must be the wife, the kind of woman to marry a fallen angel and to stand by his side while he ran the largest underground crime syndicate in the city. She approached Emrick with a casual gait and touched his arm gently, ignoring Frank’s stranglehold on her husband, and looked into his eyes or what she could see of Emrick’s eyes behind the dark sunglasses he wore.

Emrick stopped struggling, and he and Cara stared at each other for a beat before Frank cleared his throat, asking the room in general, “Is someone going to tell me why this fucker attacked me?”

“You fucked her.” Emrick pushed out through gritted teeth.

“What?” Frank was laughing now and increased his hold on Emrick when Emrick growled at him. “Who did I fuck?”

“Mywife,you demon asshole!”

Frank frowned, studying Cara over Emrick’s shoulder, no recognition on his face. My shoulders relaxed when Emrick stopped struggling against Frank. There was no need for me to intervene. Frank was more than strong and capable enough to take care of himself. I didn’t realize just how much tension I was holding in my shoulders until I released it.

Emrick’s jaw was tense as he clenched his teeth, but he kept looking forward, keeping his gaze, I assumed, on the woman he loved—Cara. She had a strange power over him, calming the beast but not quite taming him.

“When?” Frank asked, frowning, and I bit back the urge to chuckle. If he was going through a mental loop of all his sexual conquests before he found Charlotte, then we would be here for a while.

Cara shrugged. “It was years ago when I was a stripper at the Palace.”

Frank laughed louder, and his amusement seemed to enrage Emrick anew. “Let me get this straight… I fucked your wife before you were married and even met?” He ventured, and Cara nodded slightly. “And because I’m a demon, you could smell me on her and recognized the scent.” He was belly laughing now, his arm tightening around Emrick’s throat with the movement and drawing a snarl from the fallen angel. “That’s fucking gold, you overprotective son of a bitch. I’m not interested in her.”

“You fucked her!” Emrick roared, his struggling beginning again, and I stepped forward, ready to intervene if necessary. Emrick was like a wild animal at this point, lashing out at Frank but unable to move him.

“I fuckeveryone!I probably fucked your entire fucking club.”Frank laughed, and I rolled my eyes as he winked at Cara before tilting his head back to speak into Emrick’s ear. “Hell, I’m surprised I never fucked you. Now…” Frank snaked his other arm around Emrick’s chest and crushed him against his own, “… are you going to behave if I let you go?”

Emrick moved, and from the way his feet lifted momentarily from the floor, it looked like he had attempted to launch himself backward onto Frank to unbalance him. It was evident he hadn’t come up against a full-strength demon in a long while, and the remnants of celestial strength he relied on to intimidate and control humans weren’t going to cut it when it came to Frank. Emrick seemed to decide fairly quickly that fighting was both a useless and humiliating endeavor and stopped struggling, nodding, and grunting. Frank straightened his arms, released Emrick, and shoved him away in one smooth motion. Emrick took it in his stride, collected Cara with an arm around her waist, and moved to the other side of the room. They mumbled to each other for a moment, Cara doing most of the talking, touching his cheek and stroking his arm before Emrick sat on the single chair by the rear balcony door, and Cara placed herself delicately on his lap.

Then, they simply watched us.

Ray cleared her throat, the first to break the tense silence that permeated the air. She opened her mouth to speak when I interrupted, tired of standing on the sidelines and letting everyone else sort this out. This had gotten out of hand already, and the fact that I stood there with a small entourage and not alone grated against me. Tate was my problem, my creation, and I needed to be the one who dealt with him.

“We’re looking for Tate,” I said, keeping my voice steady despite the tremor of my hands.

“You’re the severed partner,” Emrick said. We stared at each other for a beat, and when I didn’t answer, Emrick grunted. I didn’t have the patience to tend to his sense of masculinity and whatever else he had going on that made him despise demons so much. “I don’t know where he is.”

“Obviously.” I scowled. “But I need to know everything and anything you know that might help me find him.”

“I can’t help you.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

“Take your pick.”

I felt Jacob’s eyes on me as Emrick unknowingly reflected my words back at me, but Jacob said nothing, and I couldn’t bring myself to look at him right now.

“Do you want to kill him?” Emrick finally asked.