Archangel's Prophecy (Page 38)
No, she’d been a beloved wife.
“I can almost understand what he’s become,” Elena said. “The way he is now.” She ran her fingers through Raphael’s hair as the two of them flew on into the night. “It’d be as if you chose to leave me. I’d spend the rest of my life wondering why you couldn’t come to me, why you couldn’t trust me with your hurt and sorrow.”
I would never leave you, Elena. A lethal edge in every word. Such a thing is an impossibility.
“I know you’d never leave me, not by choice.” The Cascade shoving him full of power, other forces in the immortal world, sought to steal him from her, but Raphael would never make the choice Marguerite had made. “I was just using it as an example.”
Find another example.
Laughter burst through the anger, shattering it into icy shards that melted in the heat between them. Sinking into the force of his love and commitment, she used her most penitent voice to say, “I apologize for even using it as a hypothetical example.”
He gave her a stern look, before nodding downward. “See there.”
Following his gaze, she spotted a jetboat scything through the water. It was a sleek black thing with what might’ve been flames licking up the sides. It was hard to see in the darkness, the only light coming from the boat itself. “Fancy.”
She squinted as he dropped lower, but it was a wisp of scent that floated into the air—chocolate and fur and champagne—that gave her the identity of the man at the helm. “Dmitri? I didn’t know he had a boat.”
“That’s the Honor, Dmitri’s new personal launch.” A pause before he said, “Shall I name something after you?”
Elena pretended to think about it. “Maybe the next time you buy a jet,” she said solemnly.
“I will call it the Hunter Angel.”
Elena threatened to punch him. He laughed until his eyes were pure light and white fire danced over his primaries and it felt like intoxication. His kiss was food to her parched soul, the angel dust that coated her lips without warning luscious and erotic, delicious and addictive.
The special blend he created only for her.
“Raphael.” She licked her tongue against his, a molten quickening at her core.
Body hard, her archangel speared up into the sky again and this time when he fell it was like a bullet, his wings arrowed to his back. They smashed into the water but felt no impact. A bubble of energy that arced with Raphael’s power protected them as they fell, going deeper and deeper, two bodies locked in a primal dance.
Kiss after kiss. Touch after touch.
His mouth at her throat, her fingers finding the most sensitive spot on his wings.
Elena’s need a wild thing, Raphael’s touch earthy and physical.
Skin, I need skin. She pulled at the zipper of her jacket, de—
A stab of heat in her arm, cruel enough to have her breaking their kiss. Her hair tumbled around them, her clothing askew. But her eyes were on the arm she cradled to her body. “It burns.” The shocked words slipped out past her guard . . . because this was Raphael.
Face set in brutal lines, he gently pushed up her jacket and T-shirt sleeve at once, the glow of his power lighting up the dark below the surface of the ocean. In that glow, she saw that her flesh was translucent, her bones morphing shape. A scream built inside her . . . and the illusion faded. “Did you see?” she asked through a throat gone raw. “My flesh was see-through.”
“No, I see only inflamed skin.” Raphael brushed away the piece of lint that stuck to the cut that continued to throb. “Describe what you saw.” Healing power sank into her, power that tasted of her archangel.
Exhaling shakily in the aftermath, perspiration chilling on her face and the back of her neck, she stared at the spot where the cut had been and told him all of it. “I’m changing somehow. Becoming, the Legion said. Maybe my brain’s trying to make sense of it and short-circuiting.”
“Perhaps, and perhaps the ancient being who speaks to you has encroached into your life while asleep.” His voice was frigid, emotionless. “Does the injury feel better?”
“Yes. No more pain.” Only echoes of it, serrated pieces of metal twisting under her skin.
Raphael’s face went impossibly more emotionless, the Legion mark on his temple ablaze and his wings pure white fire. “Home, hbeebti.”
“Home.” Elena closed her arms around him, a crushing suffocation in her lungs.
The house was lit up in welcome. Someone had even strung fairy lights amidst the trees and along the rooftop. “Those weren’t there before,” Elena whispered, a pressure behind her eyelids, a pounding at her temples, and a sense of wrongness in her limbs. As if her bones had truly changed shape.
Raphael didn’t speak.
Instead of turning toward the house after they landed, Elena stood toe to toe with her archangel. His fury was a living thing between them, his power crackling the air and dancing along her skin.
Spreading out his fiery wings, he closed his hands over the top arch of her own wings and stroked down firmly.
She shivered and nuzzled his throat. “Activate the glamour.”
“You need to speak to a healer, then go to sleep.”
“What I need is you.” The wrongness faded, her skin settling back on her bones. “I won’t let anything, even the Cascade, steal us from one another.” Thrusting her hand into his hair, she kissed him until he was no longer stone, until he was her Raphael again, her archangel who feared for her as he’d never feared in his life.
Red flushed his cheekbones, his pupils dilated when they came up for air. White fire and feathers, his wings shifted from one to the other in a pulse timed to his heartbeat. “We are wrapped in glamour.” He pulled off his tunic to reveal a sculpted chest that made her want to bite.
So she did.
He laughed and bit her back oh-so-lightly on the curve of her neck, his hand possessive on her breast. “Clothes, Elena,” he ordered with another bite, another squeeze of her swollen flesh.
Barely able to wait, she stripped off her jacket and dropped it to the snow, then placed her various knife sheaths, assorted other weapons, and the crossbow onto the protective leather. The rest of her clothes disappeared in a flash. “I must love you a great deal, Archangel,” she pointed out as an icy wind brushed her bare skin. “It’s freaking freezing.”
“I’ll take care of that,” Raphael said before leaping with her into the sky.
Limbs interlocked and minds entwined, flesh against flesh, warrior to warrior, they danced that most intimate, erotic dance.
He kissed her mouth, her neck, her breasts.
Nipples hard against the beauty of his chest, she petted him everywhere she could reach, her lips determined to cover every golden inch of his body.
His hands were rough with need, with fear.
Her fingernails were claws as she fought to cling onto their future.
Thighs quivering and body liquid, she pressed wet kisses along his jawline high above the Hudson River. “Inside me, Raphael. I need you inside me.”
His hand squeezing the curve of her flank where she had her leg wrapped around his waist, the Legion mark on his right temple glittering diamond-bright . . . and his stone-hard c**k thrusting into her with an earthy passion that had nothing of distance or otherness in it.
Her body clamped around his as a cry left her throat. Mine, you are mine.