Page 45 of The Demon in Him

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“I don’t like games, and he’s fucking with me. I’m going to kill that asshole.” I have no idea if he meant Earl or Tate, and I didn’t ask. Then he added, “I’m just as invested as you.”

“I highly doubt that.”

As we moved toward the door, Emrick reached behind him, patting over his pants as if to reassure himself of the weapon he held. I felt exposed without anything and hadn’t even considered arming myself. It felt wrong to do so. Going to find Tate armed was pre-empting a step I didn’t want to take. I turned to Ray and Ilsa, who were my protection. “You coming?”

They didn’t answer straightaway and looked at each other before Ray said, “We might have other leads we can follow up on.”

“I think it might be best if you stick with us. We might need your skills.”

“And muscles.” Ray flexed her arms.

“This isn’t a goddamn joke, Ray,” I hissed at her. “If you come and protect me, I’ll pay you double.”

There was another shared look between them, and Ilsa whispered, “We could do a lot of good with that money.”

“Fine, let’s go.” Ray held the door open and stepped over the bouncer, who was beginning to stir. Emrick grunted and kneeled next to him, slapping him lightly on the face. A few muttered words were exchanged, and Emrick helped him to his feet and down the stairs, seating him in a booth around the corner. He checked on every one of his men on the way to the front door, making sure they were all okay after Cade’s attack. It seemed an oddly compassionate move for someone with a reputation for being nothing but brutal.

Before we left, he explained to Cara where he was going. She’d been working the floor, and didn’t like the sound of our plan. Rage exploded from her. “I’m coming with you.”

“The fuck you are.” Emrick’s rage mirrored hers, and they stared at each other, anger swirling around in their eyes, hardly a lover’s embrace.

“I want to kill him after what he did to you.”

Emrick chuckled and placed a hand on Cara’s shoulder, wrapped his other hand around her neck, pulled her against him, and slid his tongue into her mouth. “Fuck, I love you, pussycat. But you need to stay here and run the business. I’ll kill him for both of us… that’s a promise.”

She glared at him, licking her lips slowly before nodding. They exchanged another overly passionate kiss, not at all bothered, it seemed, by the fact they had an audience, their hands trailing across each other before we left.

We had barely made it a handful of steps toward the alley that ran down the side of the club to get to Emrick’s van before we were ambushed.


Zaqiel swooped in, glancing behind him as he landed and folded his wings away as if a slight glance behind him would tell him if anyone had witnessed his wings on the way.

He was alone, and immediately the panic jumped my heartbeat up another notch, the pounding echoing in my ears, and I tried desperately to contain the mixture of emotions that rose in my chest.

“Where’s Jacob?”

“Mike, I’m sorry—”

“Sorry? What are you sorry about? What the fuck happened?” My panic jumped another notch, and beyond that was the clawing on the inside of my skin, my demon desperate to get out and get to Jacob. We’d started a bond, and on an instinctual level, I felt I owned him now. That instinct was mixing with my particularly human emotions, creating a turmoil of conflict that built and crashed over itself over and over again like a tidal wave of panic, rage, and fear.

“He was taken by a demon—”


“No, a demon. Very old, ancient, incredibly powerful. I barely kept Evie safe—”

“Evie? What the fuck about Jacob?”

“I tried.”

“He was with you for all five fucking seconds, and you let him get taken?” My fingers stretched and clamped, bending at the knuckles and where there were no joints in humans as my demon came closer to the surface. Right now, Zaqiel was the enemy, and his eyes flared a bright white as I closed the gap between us in two brisk strides and shoved hard at his shoulders. Zaqiel took a step backward to counteract my attack but moved no more. Picking a fight with an angel was beyond a bad idea, but emotions were swirling around inside me, and a surge of desire for violence was an extremely real reminder that beyond letting go a bit too much last night, I hadn’t satiated my demon as much as I should.

I’d been on Earth for a long time. I should know better than to think I could control it through willpower alone.

Zaqiel’s hand found my throat, his arm outstretched, keeping as much space between us as possible as I took a swing at him. When he spoke, his voice was deep and ethereal, a mixture of tones and sounds that made it clear he was holding back his own power. “Don’t make the mistake you’re the only one who cares,” he grumbled, his fingers tightening on my throat. “I did all I could.” He let me go with a shove that had me reeling for a few steps to right myself. I went to move forward again, and a hand landed on my shoulder. Turning to Ray, she didn’t even flinch at the rage in my eyes and simply shook her head.

“Let’s go get that creep,” she said.