“Ella’s going to comehere,” Kai said, his tone full of confidence.

Ridge shook his head. “Then let’s lure her out. It’s stupid to wait like this.”

Kai moved closer to me, his arm brushing mine. I didn’t want him touching me. Maybe it was a bad idea to come as Draya, the only female surrounded by a room full of enemies.

“Not stupid,” Kai growled. “Smart.”

Ridge challenged Kai again. “What if she comes with backup?”

Kai chuckled and moved closer, reaching behind me to rest a hand on the bar counter. “She won’t. If she’s anything like her mother, she’ll come alone. She’s not going to risk any of her people. But we’ll go with our original plan if she doesn't come soon.”

Ridge grinned and so did Aric and Bane. What the hell was their original plan? Ridge slapped a hand on his knees and stood. “That’s all I wanted to hear.” He nodded at Aric and Bane. “Let’s go, guys. I believe the tavern is calling my name.” Then he turned to me. “You coming?”

I was about to say no, but Kai beat me to it. “She’s staying,” he said.

I didn’t like the insinuation behind his tone. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end as both brothers stared at each other; there was definitely some jealousy between them. What I really needed to do was get more information from Draya. She owed me some answers as payment for her new lodging accommodations.

I moved away from Kai and followed the guys toward the door. “Actually, I should be going,” I said.

Aric and Bane walked outside while Ridge held his hand out for me. I only took two steps toward him before Kai grabbed my wrist.

“You’re staying. Ridge, get out of here.”

With a tense jaw, Ridge glared at Kai and then turned on his heel, his anger palpable. He hopped in the truck with Aric and Bane and sped down the driveway.

Clenching my teeth, I turned around to face the Shadow fae and pulled my wrist out of his grasp. He stalked closer, his eyes raking down my body, only it was Draya’s he was seeing.

“Why are you running out so fast? I don’t recall you being in such a hurry last night.”

Even though my dagger was invisible, I could feel the weight of it on my belt. “I have plans,” I ended up saying.

Smirking, Kai moved even closer. “Plans, huh? With who?”

“Someone who isn’t you,” I snapped, realizing my mistake when his eyes widened. Draya probably never talked back to him. Kai backed me up against the wall and pressed his body against mine, his gaze falling to my lips. I couldn’t move.

“Well, isn’t that a shame,” he murmured, his lips so close to mine. “I was hoping we could have some fun tonight.”

My heart started to pound. “You thought wrong.”

It was as if time stood still and I couldn’t move, not even when Kai clutched my face in his firm grasp. I had only a split second to suck in a breath before his lips pressed against mine, softly at first but then demanding and raw. A fire exploded within me, and my body moved on its own accord.

Instead of reaching for my dagger, I clasped my arms around his neck, deepening the kiss. It was forbidden, passionate . . . something I’d never felt before, not even with Iston. And it was wrong on so many levels.

“Son of a . . .” Breaking away from the kiss, I pushed against Kai’s chest. He stepped back and grinned, his eyes full of unadulterated lust.

Without another word, I bolted out the door and ran into the woods as far and as fast as I could. Then, I summoned my magic and jumped through the portal right into the living room of my cottage.

Merrick was still by the window where he said he’d be. He jerked around to face me just as I transformed from Draya’s body into mine. My heart thundered so hard in my chest that it made me lightheaded.

Bending over, I sucked in as much air as I could. Merrick ran over and bent down so he could see my face.

“Ella, what happened? Are you okay?”

“No,” I said, grabbing my chest. “Nothing is okay right now.”

What the hell was wrong with me? Merrick grabbed my elbows and helped me stand up straight.

“Tell me what happened.”

Tags: L.P. Dover Fantasy
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