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Touched by Darkness: Chapter 26


The concern in Dariana’s eyes as she watches me pace the room is starting to get on my nerves. She hasn’t stopped looking at me since I threw the fucking coffee table at the wall.

They know better than to speak when I’m like this. Nothing they say can calm the raging beast inside me.

I won’t calm down until she’s found. And even then, it’ll take me a long fucking time to rein in these emotions.

Emotions I shouldn’t have in the first place.

Walking up to the mantelpiece, I pick up a candelabra and throw that too, because fuck it, I need to break shit when I’m this angry.

“Where the hell is she? It’s been two days… she can’t just fucking vanish.”

More silence.

I stop mid-stride and glare at them all seated on the couch. “Where the fuck is she?”

“Like I said before,” Dari starts, “I bet she’s with your uncle.”

Every time she says it, I get more and more agitated.

“If she wanted to go for a midnight stroll, she would have told you.”

I ignore her as I start pacing again, burning a hole through the damask carpet. “I can’t fucking believe she escaped through the fucking window. Why the fuck didn’t I think to bar them up when she first moved in?”

“Well, that’s sorted now, isn’t it?” Alaric jerks his thumb over his shoulder at the barred windows. “This place resembles a maximum-security prison after you had your father’s staff block every possible escape route.”

Ronan snorts a laugh, his legs stretched out in front of him. “You know how to swoon the ladies. Lock them up in your mansion. She’ll love sleeping in a room with barred windows.”

“Look at my face,” I command, pointing to it. “Do I look like I fucking care what she wants or how she’ll feel about her new sleeping arrangements? If she doesn’t want to sleep in a fucking prison, she shouldn’t escape through the fucking windows.”

Alaric stifles a laugh with his closed fist.

I ignore that too, because I might kill him if I don’t. Now is not the time for rash decisions. “What if her stalker took her?”

I don’t like how much dread that thought fills me with. The very idea of someone hurting my little witch when I’m not there to protect her…

My hands fist by my sides, and I blow out a harsh breath in a poor bid to calm myself down. “I can’t fucking do this. I need to kill someone.”

“What do we always say?” Ronan replies, tossing a ball of flame from hand to hand. “We shouldn’t kill for fun.”

I come to a skidding halt and give him an incredulous look as Dariana bursts out laughing beside him. “What kind of bullshit are you sprouting now?”

He looks up at me and then, quick as a flash, throws the fireball at me. I duck just in time. “Good to see you’re not too enraged to lose your reflexes.”

“The hell was that for?” I growl, leveling him with a glare to rival all glares.

Dariana’s loud laughter grates on my nerves, but when I glower at her too, she laughs even harder.

Annoyed beyond belief, I throw hellfire at them both. Dariana launches herself to the floor with a squeal, which soon morphs into more laughter. How the fuck do you shut a girl up without choking her on your dick?

Just then, the front door opens, and we fall silent, exchanging glances. I storm into the hallway and come to a halt when I lay eyes on Aurelia, who’s covered head to toe in blood and gore. She looks as if someone emptied a bucket of blood on her and decorated her with innards and pieces of flesh.

“The fuck?” Alaric breathes out behind me as the others join us. His comment is followed by Dariana’s audible gasp.

Snapping out of it, I walk up to her and push her back against the closed door with enough force to knock the wind from her lungs. “Where the fuck have you been?”

“That’s your first question?” Dari asks, “Not why she looks like she indulged in her bloodlust at a Taylor Swift concert?”

If there’s one thing I hate when I’m angry, it’s common sense.

Common fucking sense.

Even the word is annoying.

“Answer the fucking question,” I growl, ignoring Dari. I stiffen and lean in close to breathe in the lingering scent behind the copper and human male.

Dari was right all along. She did escape to go back to my uncle. So why the fuck is she back? Is this part of their plan?

If so, it won’t work.

I won’t let her crawl beneath my skin more than she already has, and I won’t let her sink her claws into the valves of my beating heart. I don’t care how broken she looks. I don’t care about the tears that cling to her wispy lashes like dew drops in spring.

“You went to see my uncle, and you didn’t fucking think to let us know you were leaving?”

She stares up at me, defeated, broken, and exhausted. “Would you have let me?”


She tries to move past me, but I pull her back, trying and failing to keep a lid on my rage. “Why the fuck did you go to him?”

Her throat, covered in dried blood, bobs on a swallow. “I needed to ask him something.”

“You needed to ask him something?”

“Yes.” Her voice is weak, and I can’t tell if it’s because she’s lying or because she looks like she wants to lock herself away and cry for a week.

“Did you fuck him?”

Her eyes fly back up to my face, and she blurts, “No.”

“But you did fuck the human,” I state, fingering a strand of her matted hair.

She stares at me while I bring it up to my nose and breathe in the scent of death, torture, and sex. “It’s part of the hunt.”

“If you truly believe that, I’ll take you hunting right now. Let you watch me fuck a human girl until she screams my name.”

How am I so calm? It won’t surprise me if I snap her neck soon.

The others shift behind me as if they, too, sense the danger that lurks beneath my steady voice.

“Tell me, did you ride him while the others watched?”

Yes, I can smell more than one human on her.

“Did you fuck them all? Indulge in an orgie? Maybe it’s a new kink of yours.”

Aurelia slaps me, and my head snaps to the side. I take my sweet time sliding my gaze back to her stricken face. She’s angry, hurt, and ashamed. The myriad of emotions that dance across her features does little to calm the raging storm inside me. Outwardly, I’m cold and detached, but behind the mask…

Turning around, she tries to push down on the handle, but I wrap my big hand around her throat and pull her into me until her back is flush against my heaving chest. “We’re not done here.”

“Yes, we are,” she bites out, trying to escape.

My grip on her throat tightens until I’m convinced I’ll kill her if I don’t let her go. Thoughts invade my mind. Thoughts that have no place here.

Thoughts of her with someone else.

“Daemon,” Ronan warns, shifting behind me.

I ease up enough for her to inhale a ragged, choked breath. My fingers itch to kill her. Shoving her away, I call out over my shoulder as I stalk off. “Don’t let her out of your sight. She’s not to leave this fucking house.”

I can’t be near Aurelia right now or there’s a serious chance I’ll hurt her, and not in a good way. I don’t trust myself around her when I’m this destructive. I don’t trust that I won’t squeeze the life out of her for even thinking she could escape me without consequences. She fucked a human as part of the hunt. Again. Looks like I’ll have no choice but to keep her on a tight fucking leash if the darkness has this hold on her.

Ronan chases after me as I walk up the stairs. “You can’t just walk away now. We need to ask some serious questions.”

“You sound like Dari.”

“The fuck I do.”

Ronan follows me to my room and shuts the door behind him.

“You saw the state of her. We need to find out what happened.”

“She escaped through the window to go see my uncle. That’s what happened.” I take a seat at the end of the bed.

“But why? And why is she back, looking like she swam in a pool of blood?”

“I need a minute, okay? I had to remove myself or I’d kill her.”

Ronan nods slowly, his hands in his jeans pockets. “Something isn’t right.”

I open my mouth to speak, but then think better of it. I’m too angry to make sense of the situation.

Dari and Alaric will keep her in their sights until I’m ready to talk to her again. “Throw her in the shower. If I have to smell the human on her again, I’ll kill her.”


The stairs creak as Ronan descends. “She needs a shower.”

I eye her for a moment longer, unsure how to feel. I want to trust her, but she makes it so damn difficult when she arrives back, covered from head to toe in blood and reeking of betrayal and deception.

Walking forward, I seize her bloodied arm and guide her down the hall toward the back of the house. Ronan and Alaric follow behind, their looming shadows chasing ours on the stone walls.

Aurelia stays silent with her head bent.

I side-eye her as we turn a corner. She looks like her soul barely survived whatever ordeal she’s been through, and it pulls on my heartstrings to see her so… empty, for lack of a better word.

We enter a spare bedroom on the bottom floor and walk through to the ensuite bathroom. Ronan leans against the sink with his feet planted and arms crossed as Alaric takes up position near the door like a bouncer.

The little witch looks down at her feet while I open a cupboard. I hand her a towel, then start the shower.

The silence in the room stretches on and on, taking on a shape of its own, until Aurelia finally whispers, “Is the water warm enough yet?”

She sounds like an injured bird.

On cue, Alaric’s and Ronan’s eyes darken.

Reaching my hand under the spray, I let the warm water steal my attention for a brief moment while Aurelia trembles like a leaf in the wind.

The wolves will have torn her to shreds by the end of this night. The atmosphere in the room is thick and crackles with a tension that threatens to zap me if I accidentally brush up against a surface. It’ll continue to thicken like a gathering storm on the horizon until I can wash the distinct scent of sex and death off her.

Aurelia slides down the straps of her dress, first the left and then the right, her shoulders shifting, her gaze downcast. The room holds its breath. Even the silence leans in.

The fabric falls to the floor, and I take in every inch of her flawless skin painted in blood. “What happened to you?”

Instead of answering, she steps into the shower and tips her head back with an audible sigh when the water wets her face. I exchange a look with Alaric and Ronan, who both start to strip down. Ronan tosses his shirt on the floor and then pops the button on his jeans while Alaric kicks his off.

“Whatever,” I mumble as I remove my dress.

If she doesn’t talk willingly, we’ll have to find other ways to get her to talk, and I’m not opposed to seducing her beneath the shower spray.

As I step into the shower, I tell myself I’m willing to do anything to protect Daemon, but this urge inside me has nothing to do with him. I want to protect her. This is all about the little angel who is quickly turning our dynamic upside down.

Aurelia gasps with surprise when Alaric enters the shower and tips her chin up with a finger. Ronan steps up behind her.

He splays his hand over her stomach and pulls her against his muscular chest. Sandwiched between them, she looks at me as I stop at her side.

I slide her wet hair from her shoulder, marveling at the smooth olive skin on show, now that the blood is washing down the drain, pink against our feet. “Tell us what happened.”

“I…” she starts, but clamps her mouth shut. The truth is there on the tip of her tongue. All it needs is some coaxing and a little push to jump from her lips onto mine.

Palming her soft cheek, I kiss the corner of her mouth before tasting the drops of water beading on the swell of her lips. Just like her, they taste of sin and debauchery.

My teeth sink into her lip, and she moans softly at the back of her throat. “Ours,” I whisper, overcome with possessiveness. I bite down harder, struck with the need to inflict pain.

While she whimpers into my mouth, Alaric sinks to his knees and smooths his big hands up her wet thighs. Ronan nips her neck, his fingers digging into her waist.

“We’ll make you feel so good,” I promise. “If you tell us the truth.”

“I can’t.” Her breathy voice is laced with anticipation.

“You can.”

Her head shakes slightly. She drags in a breath when Alaric places her thigh on his shoulder.

His movements are slow, infused with intention, and designed to elicit gasps and moans.

Ronan grinds his hips against her, gliding his dick along the curve of her lower back.

I grip her chin, forcing her heavy eyes on me, and reach out to palm a breast. Her smooth flesh molds in my hand, supple and plump. Everything about her is perfection.

Tweaking her nipple, I pinch it hard enough to be rewarded with a sharp inhale of breath. As it dances across her lips, I lean in to steal it as my own, breathing her in. “I want the truth.”

I want you.

“I can’t tell you the truth.”

“Why not?”

Aurelia’s balance falters as Alaric leans in to bury his tongue in her wet slit. But Ronan is there, holding her up with his arm around her waist. “Because I can’t remember.”

“What happened before you lost your memory?” Ronan reaches between them and adjusts his dick, so it’s nestled between her legs.

I’m mesmerized by the shivers that dance across her damp skin as he grinds against her, his cock rocking between her ass cheeks while Alaric sucks on her throbbing clit.

It’s such an erotic sight to see her like this, sandwiched between two powerful male angels who wring her body dry of pleasure for their own amusement.

“I went to talk to Amenadiel about something.”

“About something?”


Ronan digs his fingers into her jaw and pulls her back so that she’s looking up at him. “Care to elaborate?”

Aurelia shakes her head, or tries to, as I continue tweaking her nipples. “I can’t tell you.”

“If you hold on to your secrets, we’ll torture you slowly until you’re begging for release,” I warn.

Alaric slides his fingers inside her, and I smile as Aurelia starts to shake from the overstimulation.

“Let’s move on,” Ronan says, nibbling on her earlobe. “What happened after you arrived.”

“He…” she drifts off to pant a few shaky breaths. “I shouted at him, and he invited me to stay for dinner.”

“Who invites someone for dinner after being shouted at?” I ask, slapping her breasts, then pinching a nipple.

“Please…” she whimpers, barely able to keep her eyes open. “Please, I need—”

“We’ll give you what you need after you tell us what we want to hear, but until then, we’ll keep toying with you.”

“Amenadiel… he had his servants bring in a group of injured, scared humans.”

I stop tweaking, looking up at Ronan, who leans back and frowns.

Alaric has moved back, too. “Daemon’s uncle deliberately coaxed your darkness out? Why?”

“Not only that,” I add. “He wanted her to get lost in it.”

“What the hell is he planning?” Ronan asks as a crease forms between his brows. Silence descends, filled with racing thoughts and Aurelia’s panting breaths.

Alaric resumes fingering her while I lean in to nibble on her hard nipples. I cup a breast and suck the bud between my teeth.

She’s too clean now that the blood has rinsed off. Too clean and perfect.

Too unmarked.

I slap her breasts again, if only to see my handprint blossom on her smooth, wet skin, then sink my teeth into her flesh. The boys have the same idea as me, evidenced by the bite marks on her thighs and neck.

Daemon’s muscular arm breaks my connection with her breasts as he reaches into the shower and grabs her before hauling her out and tossing her to the floor. “You don’t get to be treated like a fucking queen when you defy me at every turn.”

“Daemon,” I warn, but the glare he throws me over his shoulder shuts me up. His attention returns to the quivering angel on the floor, who looks so breakable it’s bound to get her into a shitload of trouble.

“If you want to come, you beg. If you want to lick pussy or choke on cock, you beg. If you so much as want a fucking hug, you beg.”

Instead of cowering, she unfolds her wings and snarls low in her throat. The monster inside her is close to the surface and threatening to break out, if the swirling red mist in her eyes is anything to go by.

Alaric shifts uneasily beside me.

The torches on the walls flicker out briefly when Daemon’s wings explode from his back in a display of dominance and fury. He takes a threatening step closer, and then, with a snap of his fingers, he imprisons Aurelia in a circle of flames.

I gasp at the display of power. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that he’s the heir to Lucifer’s throne and that he’s more powerful than we can begin to comprehend.

“Try to escape now, little witch, I dare you.”

He walks out, slamming the bathroom door shut behind him.


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