The Company of Fiends (Tempting Monsters 2) - Page 97

I nuzzled against him as I shook my head. "I might even like it. Not sure yet," I teased.

Ronan huffed and his breath tickled my throat, drawing goose bumps out. "Well, we'll practice it, then. For now, are you hungry?"

I pulled away slightly, trying to fight the absurd grin on my face, at least until I saw an equally ridiculous one on Ronan's. "I am, actually."

He nodded, gaze winking with mischief. "Good, because mine is cold. Go get a plate so I can eat some of yours."

I rolled my eyes and swatted a hand at his chest. "Pfft, bastar—Mmph!"

Ronan's arms snapped around my waist, full lips snatching at my own in a deep and heady kiss. Someone across the room whistled at the pair of us, and a few whispers rose up as I wrapped my arms around him and leaned in for another press before he pulled away.

"Since you're staying the night, we ought to practice your tickling technique," Ronan said, eyebrows waggling.

"My technique?" I asked, eyebrows rising high. "With the feather duster?"

"Mm, it could use a little work. It's a bit of a limp delivery."

I snorted and tried to wrestle free of his arms. "I've changed my mind. There's no living with you."

"No, it's too late," Ronan said, grinning. "You've compromised me. Everyone in the room saw. I'm yours now."

I laughed and squirmed as Ronan peppered kisses over my throat and cheeks. We were gathering stares, and for all I was a girl who exposed herself on the stage, I still wanted to crawl under the table and hide from the attention. Because this wasn't an act, and I couldn't even pretend it was. It made me feel wired and confused and happy and terrified all at once.

Run, my head urged. Run, before it's—

But it was too late. And I wasn't my mother or my father.

"We'll figure it out, nut," Ronan said, almost echoing my own thoughts.

I settled against his side and nodded, helping myself to another cold bite of stew.

There was a killer to catch and a madman to deal with. Constantine was bound to a warlock, and Nireas and I had yet to face a conversation that was eight years overdue. I wasn't sure how it would work with my men, if indeed it worked at all.

But we would figure something out, if it didn't all go to shit first.

* * *

It feltlike it had been a long time since I'd really been present at the theater. Since Beth's death, at least. And even though the whole company was trapped together, aware of the trouble lurking in the shadows around us, it was almost like things were back to normal.

Evie and I paced up the spiraling stairs into the attic of the theater, well above the pulleys and levers, the spotlights and mezzanine seats. I had a tray of cake in one tired hand and a stack of plates in the other, and Evie's arms were loaded with jars of honey and pitchers of milk for the wee folk who kept the roof on, picked loose change up from under the audience's seats, worked the lights, and mended the clothes we never got to.

"I thought you were settling down with the orc," Evie said.

I blinked up at her swaying hips. "Who says I'm not?"

She huffed. "You and Ronan have always been thick as thieves. You're worse than ever now." I smiled at that, but Evie wasn't done. "And don't think I didn't hear you begging for your life and sanity in the guest act's room yesterday." My smile widened, and Evie stopped at the top of the stairs, glaring down at me. "Lord, look at how smug you are."

"You lot claimed to want nothing to do with Constantine—that's not my fault," I laughed, following her up and nudging her aside with my hip.

"Oh, I tried my luck with him, but he wouldn't give me the time of day," Evie said, shrugging.

My hand clenched on the railing. Evie was the girl Constantine had mentioned. Why did I have the sudden urge to send her toppling down the stairs?

I shook myself—he'd refused her, and she'd only asked for Antin, foolish woman—and remembered her question.

"Who says I can't have the orc, the imp, and the demon?" I asked.

Evie's eyebrows bounced up. "Oh, is that how it is?"

"Alexa sets a good example," I pointed out. Alexa seemed quite settled with her vampire and her handsome enchanted statue.

"I sort of assumed that was because Leon liked a stiff pair of fingers up his ass," Evie said with a shrug. Her eyes widened. "Oh! Is Ronan—"

Now there's a thought. Ronan had performed with Hugh in the past. Would he want sex with Hunter or…

"Nothing there yet," I answered before she could ask. Although there was certainly potential in Constantine, given his self-serving proclivities. And in spite of my rather possessive feelings toward all the men, that was a very tempting picture forming in my mind.

"Then you're just lucky," Evie said, turning on her toes and heading for the little nest Myra had built up here.

Broken doll houses and forts built from scraps of leftover fabric all sat cluttered together in the corners of the attic. I'd never seen any pixies myself, although I thought sometimes I heard them scuttling around my dressing room as I returned from my scenes.

"I am," I said softly, smiling to myself, ignoring Evie's snort.

"I thought you were a bit of a stalwart, like me," she said.

Tags: Kathryn Moon Tempting Monsters Paranormal
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