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Closing the door to the adjoining room, Vasya hovered there as if contemplating something serious.
“Is everything okay?” Cindy asked, fear and anxiety twisting her stomach and muscles into knots.
“No, but it will be.”
A knock at the door startled Cindy until she realized it was room service with the wine she had ordered. Vasya answered, signed the bill and then ushered out the hotel employee. Once he had uncorked the pinot noir, he sat down next to her, two glasses in hand.
“Here, bella. To soothe that expression of worry.” He gave her a goblet.
She took a sip, the lush, fruity sweetness of the pinot coating her tongue. “Delicious. Thank you.”
“Prego.” He put his glass to his lips, drawing in a little of the ruby red wine then nodding in agreement. “Usually I’d give it more of a chance to breathe, but things being as they are…”
His dark gaze seemed to bore into her soul, his every movement graceful, elegant and yet all male. A flush crept up her chest, engulfing her cheeks and ears.
Clearing her throat, she set down her glass. “You said you wanted to talk to me?”
“Si, bella. I wanted to be sure you are prepared for your journey to the Underworld.”
“What?” A jolt of electricity coursed through her body. “I wasn’t aware you planned to bring me along.”
He placed a hand over hers.
“We need you. Only a woman who is in…” He seemed to grope for the right words― “who is in season can read the incantation. Not to mention the brothers and I will be a little occupied battling the demon himself.”
In season? She furrowed her brow, but then his meaning dawned on her. “What? How do you know that I’m…? That I’m, you know, at that point in my cycle?”
Hell, she hadn’t even thought about it, but when she did the math, it had been two weeks since her last period and yes, she should be ovulating right about now. In season, as he called it. Lord help her.
“I can smell it.” He leaned closer, eyes closed, inhaling as if savoring the scent.
Cheeks flaming hotter, she pulled her hand away and smoothed her hair.
“Lovely.” She reached for her wine, taking a gulp.
“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”
“I’m not. You just caught me off guard.”
“My apologies.” He sipped at his wine, scooting closer and reaching for the laptop. “Denysé recorded the spell as part of my story.”
He turned the computer over, inspecting it from all angles. Fumbling with the screen lock, he lost his grip on the machine and it clattered to the floor.
“Better let me do that.” Cindy grinned, picking up the laptop.
“Grazie. I’m afraid that contraption is beyond my realm of experience.”
She booted it up and opened the file, scanning for text written in an ancient language. Once she found it, her eyes grew wide.
“How in the world am I going to memorize this? I can’t even read it.”
“I’ll help you. It’s Romanian.”
“Of course it is.” She sighed.
“Pe toţi zeii din lumina,” he began, the rich language dripping from his lips like honey.
She did her best to recreate the words exactly as he spoke them. An hour later, she had most of the incantation memorized.
“When you finish reciting the spell once, you must take the dagger we borrowed from the church, cut your hand and draw a circle in blood on the floor.” He took her hand, making a slicing motion across her palm with one finger. “Then you must recite it again. Once you finish, exit the circle. The brothers and I will shepherd the demon into the circle and then finish him.”
“Okay.” Cindy nodded, tears springing into her eyes.
This was all so damn overwhelming. Demons, Romanian spells, blood, the Underworld and the uncertainty of Denysé’s fate. What if Cindy screwed up the words of the incantation? What if she died? An image of her son’s smiling face flashed through her mind. What if she never saw him again? At this thought, a sob erupted in her chest.
“Bella, why do you cry?”
“I’m afraid, terrified, actually.” She rose, stepping away from the sitting area.
Pacing near the bed, she chewed at her thumbnail, tears leaking down her face. “I can’t do this, Vasya. I’m sorry. I love Denysé and I want to help her. I do. But…”
But what? She let her words trail off. She knew there could be no doubts, no reservations. This had to be done. If she walked away, would Azazel really unleash hell on earth?
Vasya crossed the room and stood in front of her. Gently, he pried her thumb from her mouth, running his own thumb over her lip. Plucking a handkerchief from his pocket he dried her tears.
“Shh…do not be afraid.” He placed a hand to her cheek, the warmth of his palm quickening her pulse. “I promise I will let nothing harm you. And I suspect the des Quatre-Frères would die for you as well.”
Staring up into his endless black gaze, she knew he spoke the truth. In his embrace, her fear subsided little by little, another emotion replacing it. Throat tight, heart pounding, she drew in his scent. Something about his natural musk calmed and aroused her at the same time.
As if he’d read her mind, Vasya dipped his head, brushing his lips over hers. An electric charge shot through her core. Melting against his hard musculature, she closed her eyes.
His tongue teased open her mouth, seeking out hers. He tasted sweet like the wine they had shared, his exhalations grazing her cheek. Goosebumps dotted her arms, a shiver drawing her nipples into taut buds. Tangling her fingers in his hair, she pulled him deeper into the kiss.
With ease, he boosted her up, wrapping her legs around his waist and carrying her to the bed. Desire pulsed between her thighs, her pussy echoing her heartbeat.
As he laid her back, she felt the solid weight of his body pressing down on her. He felt so good and she needed this, needed him. This very well could be her last chance to indulge in such pleasures.
Letting her eyelids flick open she sneaked a glimpse of the handsome wolf prince who was about to make love to her. God, he was gorgeous, all angular European bone structure and smooth, ageless features.
Slipping a hand up the skirt of her dress, he hooked a couple fingers in her panties. Mouth to her skin, he planted delicate kisses along her thighs and calves as he slid her underwear down her legs.
Suddenly, the door banged open.
“What in the name of the Gods do you think you’re doing?” someone shouted.
It was Rémy. She’d recognize that roar anywhere.
Vasya scrambled to his feet, covering her with a blanket.
“I could ask the same of you, whelp.” The elder wolf grasped the front of Rémy’s shirt and yanked him off his feet.
Rémy punched and kicked at Vasya as the they tumbled to the floor.
“Stop it, both of you!” Cindy struggled to her feet and righted her dress, though she knew there was little she could do to keep the shifters from tearing each other apart.
Matéo and Aimé burst into the room, immediately wrenching Rémy off of Vasya.
“Have you lost your mind?” Matéo snapped at his still seething brother.
“He was… he was violating nôtre écrivaine.” Rémy took another swipe at Vasya.
“He wasn’t violating me.” Cindy stepped between Rémy and Vasya. “He was comforting me.”
A sneer twisting his handsome features, Rémy shook his head. “Is that what he calls it? Seducing an innocent woman on the eve of battle?”
“Rémy.” Cindy put a gentle hand to his heaving chest. “I’m not some naive child. I promise you, Vasya didn’t do anything wrong.”
“If you say so.” Rémy folded his arms over his chest. “I’d expect you to be more discerning with whom you take to your bed.”
Vasya smacked Rémy across the face. “You will watch how you speak to the lady.”
They jostled Cindy aside, ready to attack each other again.
“Enough!” Aimé grasped Rémy and Vasya’s wrists. “Very soon, we must all work together to save Denysé. You would do well to put aside petty squabbles. Calm yourselves.”
Cindy had seen Aimé do this before. A powerful empath, he possessed the ability to manipulate the emotional state of others. Little by little, the fight drained out of the posture of the two combatants.
“Thank you, Aimé.” Cindy kissed his cheek.
Aimé nodded. ”De rien.”
“If you two are finished trying to kill each other, I suggest we finalize our plan to battle Azazel.” Matéo motioned to the adjoining room. “ Shall we?”________________________________
To be continued tomorrow. Find part 8 on Denysé Bridger's blog: http://boundpassion.blogspot.com/