Volume Two of an exclusive four-part volume by New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.
In his arms, she felt like the Amazon warrior she’d once pretended to be as a little girl.
Her name is Devon Abrams. A rising star at the firm, she has no idea that her boss is in league with the sinister Fae and their secret war against humanity. If Anson gains her trust, he can defeat the enemy from within. But first he must fight his own attraction—to this exquisitely beautiful mortal…
Read all four parts of this sensational volume and look for the full volume of Blaze in June 2017.
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About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.
"Dark, sexy, magical. When I want to indulge in a sizzling fantasy adventure, I read Donna Grant."
--Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author
Read an Excerpt
Blaze: Volume 2
By Donna Grant
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2017 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
Though Anson had his eyes closed, he didn't have to look at Devon to know that something was wrong. He could feel it in the way her body tensed in his arms.
"What is it, lass?"
"You didn't use a condom."
"I can no' get you pregnant."
There was a soft sigh from her. "Oh. But there're still diseases."
"You willna catch anything from me."
"Because of magic?"
He heard the dubious tone of her voice, but he didn't take offense. Instead of trying to explain immortality as magic, he opted not to reply at all.
Devon rose up on her elbow and looked down at him. Her blue eyes scrutinized him. "What happened between us was ... beautiful."
"Aye. It was." Even he could admit that.
Having her in his arms had felt so absolutely perfect that it had taken his breath away. The way her body had responded to his touch, the way her eyes had held such wonder and passion, and the way she had given herself to him had been his undoing.
"No one has touched me like you," she said.
It was on the tip of his tongue to tell her that no man ever would again, but he stopped himself in time. He feared they might very well fall — and he wasn't sure just where they would land.
He'd lived most of his eons of time in the shadows. Yet with her, he wanted to be in the sunlight, basking in her beauty.
"Why am I drawn to you?" she whispered.
His fingers grazed her jaw before sliding into her thick hair and cupping her head. He rolled her onto her back, moving atop her and lowering his head until their lips were nearly touching.
"Sometimes, it's better no' to ask such questions."
She lifted a finger and traced his lips. "Because of the answer?"
"Because I doona have a reply."
"I should be terrified of this hunger I have for you. I'm not, though."
The pulse at her throat was erratic as her chest rose and fell rapidly. Her pupils dilated as desire filled her eyes once more. His cock responded instantly.
He ran his hand down her side to the indent of her waist and then over her hips to her long legs. His gaze lowered to look at her full breasts and the dusky nipples that strained for attention.
Hunger. Aye, that's exactly what he felt for her. That first taste had merely been a sample. He craved more. Even as it led him closer to the edge of this unnamable precipice, he wouldn't be denied what was so sensually offered.
He looked up at her parted lips still swollen from his kisses and groaned. Taking her to bed had complicated things, but he couldn't undo what had been done. Nor did he want to.
Just as he was lowering his head to kiss her, someone rang the doorbell. His head jerked around, and she stiffened beneath him.
"Expecting anyone?" he asked.
She shook her head. "No."
He jumped up and yanked on his jeans before hurrying downstairs. At the door, he looked through the peephole and saw Devon's assistant.
When he turned around, Devon stood behind him in a blue silk robe. "It's Stacy," he told her. "I'll be upstairs."
Devon walked behind him and placed her hand in the center of his back on his spine where his tattoo was. Warmth spread from her hand over every inch of the tat. He wanted to ask her what she thought of it.
The doorbell rang again, and her hand fell away. It was his cue to vanish from sight. He looked back as he reached the stairs and found her staring at him. He shot her a smile of encouragement.
She returned it before unlocking and opening the door. He heard the two women talking as he returned to the bedroom and the rumpled bed.
The night had turned out quite differently than he'd imagined. He hated that Stacy had interrupted them. Perhaps it was beneficial. He was there to protect Devon, not make love to her all night. With his attention on her in such a way, he couldn't guard her properly.
He heard something buzzing and bent over to find his mobile that had fallen under the bed. Once it was in his hand, he saw that he'd missed six texts from Kinsey and Esther. Now they were calling him.
"Aye?" he answered.
There was a grunt before Kinsey said, "About time. What were you doing? Shagging her?" The laughter on the other end of the line died when he didn't reply. "Anson?"
"Someone attempted to break into the second-floor window. I've used magic to prevent anyone from getting in. Same with the doors," he explained.
"Yeah. Okay. Um ... is that all?"
"Her assistant just arrived."
Kinsey cleared her throat. "Well, I guess that's nice. In the days we watched Devon, no one came to her flat except those with deliveries."
"Stacy said it was to check on her since Devon had acted so weirdly this morning."
"How is Devon?"
Passionate. Warm. Beautiful. "She's beginning to comprehend how treacherous all of this is."
"Does she know that Stacy may be part of them?"
"She's smart enough to keep things to herself."
"Hmm. About my comment regarding you shagging her —"
He didn't want to talk about it, so he quickly interrupted her and said, "Leave it."
There was a beat of silence. "Just ... be careful."
"I'm no' the one you should be telling that to."
"I'm out of my depth here. This is probably a conversation you should be having with Ryder. Or even Con."
He ran a hand down his face. "This is my business."
"Well, not technically. We're all in this together. We need Devon completely focused on her task."
"She will be."
"Next time, answer the phone so we don't worry," Kinsey said. "By the way, has she mentioned anything about returning to work tomorrow? The quicker we get this done, the better."
He thought back over the evening. "That subject hasna been broached."
"Well, bring it up. I'm finishing hacking into her phone and laptop that Kyvor infected. I should be done tonight and can return it to her in the morning."
"As soon as I know what her plans are for tomorrow, I'll let you know."
Kinsey paused for a moment. "Answer the texts next time, Anson. I hate worrying."
The line went dead. It made him grin that she was concerned about him. That could be because Kinsey knew exactly what a Dragon King went through when he found a woman who was their mate.
He desired Devon to a degree that seemed crazy, but he wasn't thinking she was his mate. That's what he needed to let Kinsey know. Just because a King took a mortal to their bed, didn't mean they were in love with them.
While Stacy lingered for the next hour, he remained upstairs, peeking through the blinds to see if anyone were watching the flat. Everything was going well until he spotted a Dark Fae strolling down the street.
The Dark didn't stop two women, even when they all but threw themselves at him. However, the Fae did look right at Devon's flat.
It was unnatural for a Dark not to take humans when they offered themselves. Something was very wrong. The Kings had been thankful the Dark Fae had grown quiet since their Halloween attacks on all the major UK cities.
Apprehension snaked down Anson's spine. Ryder watched the Dark while also searching the world for Ulrik and keeping an eye on the MI5 agents on Dreagan. However, the one who really knew what the Dark Fae were up to was Henry North.
He reached for his mobile and dialed Henry's number. This wasn't a matter that could wait until morning.
"Where are you?" Anson asked when Henry answered.
There was a short chuckle before the British accent came through the mobile. "Actually, I'm outside Devon's flat."
"What?" Anson wasn't sure if he was happy or not at that news.
"Did you really believe I'd allow my sister to spy on Kyvor and not be there to protect her? I let her down once. I won't do it again."
Anson briefly closed his eyes. "You had no idea she was even working with MI5. You can no' blame yourself for what happened."
"Maybe not, but I'm going to be here for her now."
"Does she know you're here?"
Henry made a sound in the back of his throat. "I only told Con before I made the trip. I wanted to get a look at the situation before I let any of you know."
"Is there anyone lurking about besides you?"
"I do a sweep of the area every thirty minutes, and I've not seen anyone yet."
"What about that Dark Fae?"
There was a string of curses that came through the phone. "Where?"
"Right out front just before I called."
"I gave Con a map of the Dark and their movements before I left. They've been strangely silent of late."
"Too silent," Anson murmured.
Henry blew out a breath. "Who did the Dark take?"
"No one. He ignored two women while keeping his attention on Devon's flat before continuing down the street."
"Something is definitely up."
Anson hadn't been sure about bringing a mortal into the fold at Dreagan, but Banan had vouched for Henry. Since the MI5 agent had taken up residence at Dreagan, Henry had been driven to keep track of the Dark to the point that it had become an obsession.
"Keep an eye out for any more Dark tonight while you're out there. Tomorrow, I'd like to see that map you gave Con."
"Agreed. I'd begun to believe the Dark realized they couldn't win against the Dragon Kings. That could prove to be a fatal mistake on my part."
"No one knows their movements better than you. We'll figure this out," Anson assured Henry.
Henry changed the subject. "How is Devon? Esther sent me a text earlier that said Devon agreed to help."
"She's frightened but also brave to undertake such an endeavor."
"You sound like you approve of her," Henry said, his smile evident in the inflection of his words.
Anson more than approved. "She'll get what we need."
"That's good news. It's too bad none of us can go inside Kyvor with her. Anything can happen within that building. Esther and Kinsey are proof of that."
Why hadn't he thought of that before? Anson was spending so much time protecting Devon now, but he would be powerless to do anything once she was inside.
Kyvor knew every Dragon King. If he entered the building, they would be alerted immediately. He wouldn't get to the lifts before they stopped him. And what would that do to help Devon? Nothing.
Even Esther and Kinsey were unable to help. Kinsey might be able to get inside, but Anson wasn't sure how much more she could do after that. That would also put her in harm's way, something that he had vowed to Ryder he would not allow.
"Anson?" Henry said.
"We've got to find a way to keep an eye on Devon inside Kyvor in case she needs us."
"Ah ... yes, of course."
"Talk to the girls about it. I've got to go."
He hung up when he heard Devon walking Stacy to the door. As much as he wanted to take Devon back to bed for an uninterrupted night of love, her life was on the line. If his desires hadn't taken over, he would've remembered that earlier.
It was time he got himself under control. He put on his shirt and shoes. Then he started planning.CHAPTER 2
Something had changed with Anson since Stacy's arrival, but Devon couldn't put her finger on it. Before, she and Anson had been lost in a wonderful tangle of desire.
Now, he seemed to have put a wall between them. He constantly checked the flat. When he wasn't doing that, he stared off at nothing, deep in thought as he sat at her kitchen table.
"Does she visit often?"
Devon was so surprised that he'd spoken that it took her a second to realize the question was posed to her. She shifted on the sofa to look at him. "No. That's a first for Stacy."
"Do you trust her?"
"She's worked for me for several years, but I'm at the point now where I don't trust anyone but you, Kinsey, and Esther."
"Good. What are your plans for tomorrow?"
She glanced at the ceiling, thinking of her bedroom and the delicious, wonderful things Anson had done to her. Except she knew he wasn't referring to their amazing sex. "You mean about work?"
If she went in, then she could begin looking for whatever it was Kinsey searched for. It also meant that Devon could very well put herself in the middle of Kyvor's crosshairs.
"Take another day if you need it," Anson said.
She played with the edge of her robe, recalling how just a few hours before, she'd stood by the sofa and bared herself to Anson.
"It's better if I get this over with," she said. "All I have to do is look for anything on Dreagan, right?"
"We know what information they have. We want to know who is collecting it and where it's stored so we can destroy it."
"Of course." Kinsey had told her that. "I'll go in tomorrow and begin looking. If I'm lucky, I'll find what you need."
He nodded in approval. "I'll let the girls know."
Then, to her surprise, he rose and went to the kitchen and began washing the dishes. She smiled and sat at the table, her chin on her hand, completely enamored with him.
"I didn't know you did dishes, as well," she teased.
He threw a glance at her over his shoulder. "We're ... private at Dreagan. We had someone clean the manor once a month, but in between, each of us has duties."
"Had? You no longer have a maid?"
He gave a shake of his head, his black locks moving against with the movement. "Several of us have taken ma ... wives. They divvy up the work among themselves."
"What were you going to say just then instead of wives?" she pressed.
Shutting off the water, Anson kept his back to her as he said, "Mates."
"Magic. Mates. Druids. Whisky," she said as she sat back in the chair. "What a life you lead."
He turned to face her then. "Whisky is a business."
"A lucrative one if you're Dreagan Industries." She smiled at him then. "I'm having a hard time believing you do housework."
His lips curled and his eyes crinkled at the corners. "So you know one of my secrets. What's one of yours?"
"I don't do my own laundry." She laughed as his brows rose. "I detest laundry to the point that it makes me want to scream."
"That I wouldna have guessed."
She folded her hands on the table, suddenly curious to know all about him. "It sounds like there are a lot of you at Dreagan."
"There are workers we employ for the whisky, but I suspect you mean living at Dreagan. Aye, there are."
She wondered what Anson's parents were like, and she couldn't wait to meet them. Her smiled died when she thought of her own parents.
"And you?" he asked.
Devon shrugged but couldn't quite meet his gaze. "It's just me."
"It's late and has been a long day. You should get some rest."
She nodded and stood on wooden legs. Thinking of family always pulled her down into a pit of depression. Even after all these years.
When she climbed into bed, all she could smell was Anson on everything. She slid between the sheets, imagining them to be his arms, holding her, comforting her.
How she wished Stacy wouldn't have shown up. What might've happened between her and Anson? She'd never know now. Though she could fantasize. She kept listening for him downstairs, hoping and wondering if he would return to bed with her, but she knew he wouldn't.
Somehow, she managed to doze for a few hours. At four, she woke, unable to go back to sleep. She rose and meditated before doing some yoga. That ate up another hour. Then she got into the shower to get ready for the day.
By six, she was dressed. She made her way downstairs to find Anson standing before her windows. The blinds were open, and the sunlight streaming in. He had his back to her as he finished fastening his jeans.
Her gaze landed on the massive tattoo on his back. It was of two dragons in a yin and yang formation. They had their mouths open as if roaring at each other. The edge of the circle seemed to be designed as if it were on fire with flames shooting up.
There were no other tats on his entire body. Weirder still was the color of ink. It wasn't black or red, but a curious blend of both. She wasn't an expert on tattoos, but she didn't think such a combination was possible, at least not with such consistency throughout.
He pulled on his shirt, cutting off her look at the artwork. Then he turned to her. She gazed into his midnight eyes, hoping to see the man she'd glimpsed last night when he'd been making love to her.
"Are you sure about this?" he asked as he nodded to her clothes.
She raised a brow and walked to the kitchen to brew some coffee. "Before you were doing everything you could to talk me into this. Now it feels as if you're talking me out of it."
Her hands stilled. She set down the coffee and turned to him. "Why?"
"I know all too well what these people are capable of. I doona think you should go back there. Ever. Forget them and everything about the company."
"I know that by helping you I'll lose my job there. I'm fine with that. I don't want to work for such a company. But you need my help."
"We'll find another way."
"An insider. That's what Kinsey told me."
He ran a hand through his black hair. "Having help was the quickest option, but that doesna mean it's the best."
"Let me try."
She turned back to the coffee maker and proceeded to put in the filter. That's as far as she got before Anson spun her around, his grip tight on her shoulders.
Excerpted from Blaze: Volume 2 by Donna Grant. Copyright © 2017 Donna Grant. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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