Sapphira woke to the sound of voices quietly hissing at each other. Normally it would just be annoying, but for some reason it felt as if with each hiss someone drove a pick through her skull and then hit it like a tuning fork. When she started to move her hand to her forehead, she found an arm looped loosely around her waist holding it next to her heart. A warm body snuggled tighter against her back, a nose in her hair breathed in deeply as someone would when waking.
“Annoying aren’t they,” a sleepy male voice murmured.
“Damien,” she breathed in relief.
“Morning, sis.” She heard and felt his smile against her skin and it made her smile in return.
It had been a long time since they had cuddled like this. When they were only a few hundred years old, their father had found them early one morning curled around each other and told them they were too old for such nonsense. That they were warriors, not children to be coddled. That did not stop them. Something about resting together made them stronger, healed them quicker. So it was with care that they would sneak into each other’s rooms after one of their father’s rage filled beatings or a brutal training sessions to heal. Only this time it felt as if something was not quite right. As if Sapphira was not quite right.
“It’s been a while,” Damien whispered squeezing her gently. “The spell tore us completely apart. The mending of souls does not happen overnight, and we have both suffered in our time apart.”
Sapphira tightened her hand in Damien’s as the memory of the pain she endured the night the spell was cast shuddered through her. “I never want to suffer that kind of agony again,” she whispered tears coming to her eyes.
“Hey,” Damien soothed moving so she could turn onto her back and he could see her eyes. “I’m not going anywhere,” he promised wiping the tears that began to fall. “No matter what those bastards throw at us, I will be right beside you. Whether they know it or not, we are together in this.”
“Always,” he smiled leaning down to kiss her forehead.
Sapphira frowned at him when he grinned mischievously before glancing up at someone. It was then she realized the room had grown quiet. Following Damien’s eyes she saw Fallon and Gideon staring at them. Fallon’s expression was resigned., knowing whatever happened next he could not stop. Gideon’s expression seemed to be a cross between angry and sick. Next to her, Damien snuggled down beside her, nuzzling her neck as he pulled her tight against him, sliding his leg over hers. It was then she realized neither of them were wearing anything. Nothing new to her, but Gideon turned positively red as his anger rose.
“Angel boy practically had a coronary when he walked in and saw Fallon undressing you. When I curled around you…let’s just say he does a harpy justice,” Damien whispered huskily in her ear.
Sapphira’s eyes fluttered shut as a wave of desire flowed through her. Part of the twinning, or the curse – she did not know which it was at times – meant the effect Damien had on her and she on him when they touched was not only soothing, but also sexual. It made no sense to either of them, yet at the same time it did. As if deep inside they knew being together was right. Sapphira was sure it was why they reacted so strongly to each other when he found her in Hell. Centuries apart had taken its toll and their souls wanted to be reunited once again, in every possible way.
Unfortunately, one of the conditions of the spell was that they could never touch or it would begin to unravel. But then again touching had always come at a price. One they were hard pressed to ignore. The more they touched, the more skin touched, the stronger the pull between them became and the more they desired one another.
Someone said something but Sapphira did not hear it. She was too lost in the man wrapped around her. And that was the dangerous part. Getting lost in the power, the passion, the feel warm skin against skin invoked. As Damien’s lips grazed her jaw, his hands slowly slid across her ribs inching ever closer to her breast, something deep inside Sapphira yearned to connect on that intimate level. That combining of bodies that only lovers can understand.
When Damien’s lips founds hers the same time his hand found her breast, groaning, sinking his body into hers as she pushed hers against him, she knew there would be no stopping this time.
As he slipped his body over hers a light began to penetrate her eyelids, growing with every touch, every kiss. When he broke their kiss to desperately whisper her name, like a man dying of thirst calling for water, she opened herself up to him, mind, body, and soul, and everything disappeared in a blinding white light as they utterly and complete lost themselves to each other, becoming one in ways that would shake the very foundations of the universe.
* * *
When Michel had intercepted Gideon on his way to Sapphira’s room, his face grim, Gideon knew Michel’s news would not be good. What he did not expect was the angel keeping him from her room. The room he had taken great care in decorating over five hundred years ago in the event he would have to hide her here. Each piece bought with care to her likes and dislikes. Right down to the medieval canopy bed draped with thick royal blue curtains. A favorite color was the one constant in each incarnation. Now he was being told he could not enter.
When he pushed Michel aside and opened the door, Gideon did not know whether to back out of the room in shock or tear Fallon limb from limb. Michel answered the question for him when he stood behind Gideon and took a firm hold on his shoulders. The fact that the fallen angel was here was not a surprise. Before the fall, Fallon had helped Gideon find this place and hide it. They had used it to meet when there was need for secrecy from both sides. Like when they had made their pact to keep those secrets.
Now things were different, and despite what he knew about Fallon and Sapphira’s connection, the fallen touching her bare skin heated the unfamiliar emotion of jealousy to a dangerous level.
“This needs to be done,” Michel said quietly in Gideon’s ear.
“Like hell it does,” Gideon snarled pulling sharply away from his friend and striding in the room.
Fallon was just finishing pulling Sapphira’s jeans off her when Gideon grabbed his arm and shoved him away.
“You do not touch her!” Gideon spat slamming him into the wall.
“I am not undressing her for me, you idiot,” Fallon snapped pushing Gideon back.
When Fallon motioned to the bed, Gideon turned to see Sapphira was not the only one in it. Damien was very carefully pulling her against him as if she were made of glass. When he threw the covers out and over them, he revealed that the demon wore as much as Sapphira did, which was nothing. Growling deep in his throat, Gideon started for the bed only to be pushed back into the wall Fallon had just been holding up.
“This needs to happen,” Fallon hissed.
“Over my dead body,” Gideon growled pushing Fallon’s hand off him and starting forward again. Again Fallon kept him back, only this time he was careful not to touch. Smart boy.
“You don’t understand,” Fallon ground between clenched teeth.
“Then enlighten me! In fact, while you’re at it, tell me how you managed to form a mating bond without Sapphira knowing about it!”
That stopped Fallon. “How?” he asked stunned.
“When you know what to look for, it’s not hard to see,” Gideon growled, doing his best to keep his voice low. “Now explain to me, if she is your mate, why you put her in bed with that demon!” he hissed pointing at the bed.
“Because that demon is the only thing keeping her from dying,” Fallon hissed back. Gideon stepped back, his turn to be stunned. “The only way for them to heal is to be together. In every way.”
The resignation in Fallon’s voice turned Gideon’s skin cold. When he looked towards the bed, Sapphira was awake and groggily watching them. Damien leaned down and whispered something in her ear, turning her towards him. With a wicked grin, he snuggled closer to Sapphira, his hand moving under the covers as his lips brushed her jaw. Sapphira’s eyes rolled back into her head as her body shuddered in obvious pleasure. The expression on Damien’s face changed and his entire focus was on the female under him. His sister.
This was wrong.
“Don’t,” Fallon warned a hand on Gideon’s chest stopping him from moving forward. “They need to reconnect their souls or everything is lost.”
“What are you talking about?” Gideon snapped. He was so tired of being in the dark. He looked at Fallon, his frustration clear in his eyes. “Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on?”
Fallon took a deep breath and let his hand fall. “It’s complicated,” he finally answered.
“Not good enough,” Gideon growled.
A glow emanating from the bed began to fill the room, growing in intensity with each passing second. It grew so bright the angels could not look upon it. The air itself grew hard to breath, the room’s temperature rising unbearably. Fallon swore vehemently just before he pushed Gideon back against the wall. Flaring his wings, Fallon enclosed them both within.
From the bed Damien cried out and Sapphira screamed as the light pulsed a blinding white. The angels cried out closing their eyes tightly trying to save their sight as what felt like an inferno washed over them.
Then everything was quiet.
The smell of singed feathers filled the air along with something Gideon could not quite decipher. Groaning, Fallon slumped forward. Gideon caught him, careful of his wings that hung limp and smoking as he lowered Fallon to the ground. Blinking the spots from his eyes, Gideon looked towards the bed and froze.
The canopy top and drapes were in burnt tatters. In fact, everything in the room was a pile of ash; a shadow of what once stood or hung on the walls the only thing left to say that something had been there. However, that was not what Gideon was staring at in horror. He was staring at the bed where the sheets and mattress were burnt black and smoldering.
Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes