Ria Morgan works for the human government; Vkhin is batting for the Fallen. They’re on opposite sides. When Ria is sent to spy on the Preserves, the prison where the Fallen lock up their rogue members, her chopper crashes after she snaps some very incriminating photos. Alone and on foot, her only hope of escaping from the Preserves is Vkhin. He’s not feeling altruistic, however—and there’s definitely going to be a price to pay for his help.
Vkhin held out a hand to her. “You come with me, and I’ll get you out of here. I’ll get you back where you belong.”
“Just like that?” Ria stared at him suspiciously.
“Of course not.” His hard, sensual smile wasn’t nice. “We both know there’s a price tag for my services. You’re going to have to pay for your exit ticket.”
His hand came up when she didn’t take it, one finger tracing the curve of her cheek. Her jaw.
She wanted to lean into that finger, that teasing promise of warmth, but he was Fallen and seduction was just another weapon in his arsenal. They both knew that. “I’m not in a paying frame of mind, Vkhin.”
The reality of him was overwhelming. Before, she’d always had the safety buffer of her camera lens between them. Now, here he was. Raw and real. Overwhelming.
“That’s too bad.” His finger paused, rested against her skin. “You should ask me, Ria.”
“Ask you what?” Her lips were dry and sensitive, as if fear or the altitude or some alien desire had left them swollen and unfamiliar. He was watching her, though, as if he were daring her to use her tongue to moisten her skin. Around them, night fell like a dark dream. As the shadows grew, it was just her and this fallen angel, making sensual promises she didn’t want. Did she?
“Ask me what I want.” His booted foot moved deliberately between hers, a heavy weight between her bent knees. “Maybe, you wouldn’t mind paying, Ria,” he whispered. His thumb stroked a coaxing circle against the skin of her throat.
“I can’t.” Arousal hummed through her, making her body heated and slow. She wanted to touch him. Wanted to feel his skin against hers and that was so wrong.
“I think you can.” His head lowered towards her. God, would he kiss her? Could she let him? “I think you can do whatever you want.”
She couldn’t believe that sensual, wicked promise. This wasn’t about sex, she reminded herself. This was about her life. Her freedom. He’d come after her chopper, which meant the Fallen not only knew what MVD was up to—they had every intention of stopping it. They were on opposite sides.
“I don’t do bonds,” she whispered.
His head jerked back, but there was no mistaking the harsh look in his eyes. “That’s just fine,” he growled, “because neither do I. I’m not part of this deal we’re making.”
Disappointment flooded her, making her wonder what was wrong with her. He was a Fallen angel and he wanted something from her, but what he didn’t want was a bond.
It wasn’t as if rejection was something new.
She shouldn’t have felt hurt. Shouldn’t have been imagining what it would be like to bond with this male.
“You took photos,” he repeated, standing up and moving back as if he couldn’t wait to put some space between them. Which was fine. It really was. “And I’m offering you a trade. One exit ticket from this hell your ass is stuck in—in exchange for the pics you snapped.”
“You won’t leave me here,” she said confidently.
He smiled. A slow, mean smile. “Now, darling, what makes you think that?”
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