Good morning, readers! Here's the conclusion of the teaser we started last week. Remember, Enslaved by Fear is available now.
Missed the first part? Read it Here.
Inherited Damnation, Book VII
He pushed her hand off and snapped his book shut. “I can too.” Rising to his feet, he returned her sultry smile with one of his own. Two could play this game. She wouldn’t like it, but his job didn’t involve pleasing Brigid, no matter how he might desire her. He leaned in close and brushed his lips across her cheek as he whispered, “I’m going for a walk. See you later.”
It required every bit of his self control not to laugh when a low growl rumbled in Brigid’s throat. Her amber eyes flared like the fire she so easily manipulated, and her delectable mouth pinched into a hard line. He tossed her a casual wink, strode to his room, and shut the door behind him.
He leaned against the door, drawing measured breaths to push the tension out of his body. “Damn,” he muttered. If it weren’t for her demonic blood, he would have already given in to the desire that stirred each time he looked at her. One of these days he wasn’t going to be able to walk away. She’d touch him like she had on the couch, put those damnable lips on him again, and he’d forget all the reasons why he should stay clear. Reasons like she was a demon. Like the even deeper desire to extract revenge on him for keeping her confined that she tried to hide.
Reasons like the dark curse that destined her to kill the man she loved.
The scent of amber and patchouli wafted from the fibers of his T-shirt to his nose. Micah shoved away from the door, stalked to his dresser, and jerked a clean shirt out. He could walk until the sun refused to rise and he’d never clear his head with Brigid’s perfume clinging to him. And if he happened to cross paths with Fintan and Beth, they’d never believe Micah hadn’t succumbed to Brigid. They expected him to fail. That he’d survived four months was testament to his training and his knowledge of demons.
He intended to survive another four. By then, maybe the McLaine’s would defeat Drandar and Brigid might escape the fear that imprisoned her far more than Micah’s incantations and spells of warding.
In the meantime, fresh air would grant him sanity.
Exiting his room, he took a moment to murmur the memorized words that would strengthen the invisible boundaries that confined Brigid to these three rooms. She shot him a glare from her position near the window, where she picked up the broken pottery. He threw her a sugary smile. “Have fun.”
Not caring to hear the litany of oaths his jibe would bring, he hurried out the door. Brigid in a fit of temper was a thing to behold. Sexy. Persuasive.
In the hall, he took a deep breath and focused on that harsh truth. No matter how she affected him, he couldn’t forget Brigid was her father’s daughter and every bit as deadly. She’d turned on her own brother. Left Fintan without aid and subject to Drandar’s malicious attack. Proof enough. She wouldn’t hesitate to turn on him if he gave her miniscule opportunity.
Still, another side of his conscience nagged as he made his way down the winding stone staircase. Brigid might be demonic, but only half. Another part of her was human, and that half was all woman. A woman that played on his mind more often than he cared to admit. He dreamt of her. She stayed with him even when he left her within the confines of her temporary prison. Brigid McLaine managed to do what dozens of other demons had never accomplished—she haunted him.
In her games he realized her desperation to be free from confinement. In the far away stare she assumed when she looked outside her windows, he recognized her longing for the nature she stemmed from. And in the infrequent touch of her lips he understood passion that burned as deep as his and carried a tenderness Brigid would never admit to.
He also recognized her fear. Not of what Micah was capable of. Not fear of her brother Fintan and his strength of light. But fear that stemmed from the very being who created her. Drandar.
Brigid feared her sire more than she feared anything in this world. Micah would stake his life on the gut feeling that terror drove her to the things she did.
Of course, he wasn’t stupid enough to point that out to her. Still, he hadn’t failed to observe the slight vibrato of faltering courage that rang in her voice when she managed to work around his magical wards and render them useless. Confronting her with that truth, however, would only enrage her.
And right now, Micah wasn’t strong enough for the inevitable fight with her stubborn pride. His magic could stand up to hers, yes. His strength of will to perform that magic on her—another thing all together. He would if it meant saving his own life, but despite everything she was, everything she represented, he couldn’t bring himself to summon his full strength and physically harm Brigid.
He saw too much of the woman inside her hard shell of darkness. Understood her too well.
Grumbling to himself, he descended the stairs. Sympathizing with a demon was the first step in failure. If he let her get to him, he would indeed succumb. And that was even worse than combating with the fiery redhead he spent his days and nights with.