The Company of Fiends (Tempting Monsters 2) - Page 110

"Now I'm angry," Nireas mumbled, but a pair of his hands rubbed my hips gently.

"I don't know. I mean, there are houses and theaters meant for monsters to enjoy humans, right?" I asked, a fluttery panic rising in my chest. "And I am, but I'm—"


Hunter's command was familiar and final, making my teeth snap shut with a clack, and he marched over to the bed. Jude smiled at me from where he watched by the window.

Gentle black claws clasped my chin, lifting it to stare up at Hunter's stern face. "You haven't changed. Why would our feelings for you change?"

Warmth pooled in my cheeks and washed slowly down into my chest and my belly. I shook my head, unable to answer his question, blinking back the tears that tried to rise again.

"They won't," he said for me.

"There are plenty of places in our world where monsters are falling in love with and chasing after other monsters. Where it's only fae with fae, or satyrs desperate to catch nymphs, or vampires lusting after werewolves," Ronan said with a shrug. "Reddy's a shit, and he knows less than dirt about love."

I squirmed at the word love, and Hunter grinned down at me.

"I find your news illuminating and full of potential," Hunter said, a rough hunger in the gravel of his voice. His claw scratched my cheek and Ronan smirked, glancing between us.

"I find it a relief," Nireas said in a gust, his lips landing against the back of my neck.

"I've just realized you're seven years older than me," Ronan said, grinning. "I always knew I liked older women."

I rolled my eyes and relaxed in Nireas's arms, a kind of soft lethargy rolling over me that I usually only knew from a post-sex high.

"You're tired, little one. Rest here, and we'll discuss this more tonight after your performance," Hunter said, and this time, the pad of his thumb ran the same line over my cheek as his claw had. "But know with absolutely every fiber of truth that no detail of your birth or parentage could ever change my devotion to you. You have given me everything I've wished for. I intend to do the same for you."

The words were too much. They made me want to burrow into the mattress and hide away. They also made me want to stretch under the force of the praise, bathe in it like a cat in sunshine. Hunter bent his head, grazed a simple kiss with a flick of tongue over my lips, and stood straight, smiling down at me. I unwound under his warm stare, curling up, and Ronan and Hunter stepped back, allowing Nireas to settle me into the bed.

"You'll be here for the show, won't you?" I asked Hunter.

"I believe it's my turn on stage tonight, if Mr. Piper doesn't mind," Hunter said.

Nireas's pillows were warm, and Jude approached the bed. "I don't mind."

"Do you know how to fly?" Ronan asked Jude.

I smiled at the boyish wonder on Jude's face. He looked so much younger without that silly bowler hat and heavy coat. More fae too, beautiful and otherworldly.

"I've never had a chance to try," Jude said.

"Come downstairs and we'll give it a go," Ronan offered.

I yawned and blinked at all of them. "Constantine knows too. He guessed," I said.

Nireas petted down my side and then pulled a sheet up over my hips. "You're wearing my socks," he noticed.

"They're warm."

"I've been meaning to speak with the demon. I'll find him," Hunter said. He arched over me, kissing my brow gently, nuzzling the spot so his tusks bumped my skin. "Keep her company, Nireas."

Nireas stretched out at my back, two arms over my side. "Gladly."

Jude crouched in front of the bed, our hands linking eagerly at the edge of the mattress. "Nice, isn't it?"

My smile was watery as I nodded. I stretched up and he met me in the kiss, lips soft and eager and sweet. "Steal me away tomorrow?" I murmured.

He kissed me once more, lingering until I realized I'd forgotten to breathe, and I gasped as he pulled away. "Tomorrow," he said.

Nireas waited until the door shut behind Jude before tugging me and turning me over in the bed to face him. He was still a little pale, his eyes wide, their sharp green almost electric.

"Are you all right?" I asked.

"I feel like an idiot. Like Ronan said, why didn't we realize? I've known you for eight years."

"You've been keeping your distance," I reminded him, softening the words by stroking my hands over his bare chest. Or maybe that was for my own benefit. It was a very nice chest. I reached up and tucked my hair behind my ear, the gesture strange and unfamiliar. I usually made sure my hair covered my ears. I turned my head, and Nireas was quiet for a moment before sucking in a quick breath. "I don't even remember it. Pa probably had it done as soon as he could find someone who wouldn't ask too many questions."

Tags: Kathryn Moon Tempting Monsters Paranormal
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