Eighth Grave After Dark Page 2

Still, my immediate company was nothing to scoff at. His disheveled appearance every time he entered a room of late caused the blood in my veins to surge, the pulse at my throat to quicken.

He bent to pet Artemis. I watched as he gave her a final pat then indicate the Barbie closet with a nod and a gently arched brow. I followed his gaze. The closet had been made for a person with few worldly possessions, aka a nun. And though I was now living in the aforementioned convent, I was not a nun. Not by a long shot. Proof resided in the ever-expanding girth of my midsection.

His signature heat drifted toward me, blisteringly hot, a by-product of his being forged in the fires of hell, and I turned back to him. His hair, thick and unruly and in dire need of a trim, curled over his collar and around his ears. He still wore the button-down from last night. It hung open, revealing the wide expanse of chest he’d crossed his arms over. The cuffs of the shirt had been rolled up to his elbows, showing his sinuous forearms. Beneath them, a rock-hard waist tapered down to lean hips that rested comfortably against the doorjamb. He let me absorb every inch of him, knowing it gave me a thrill. Knowing he’d reap the benefits later.

After taking in his form, my attentions unhurried, languid, I slowly returned to his face. He’d let a small grin soften his mouth. His deep brown eyes sparkled beneath dark lashes that were spiked with the remnants of sleep. As though he’d just woken up. As though he had no idea how sexy that was.

Normally, I would’ve chalked up his appearance to the bachelor party they’d had for my uncle, but he’d looked like that for weeks now. Exhausted. Disheveled. Sexy as fuck. I could hardly complain, but I was beginning to worry about him. I noticed that he grew hotter when he was trying to heal from an injury, and his heat had been growing hotter by leaps and bounds lately, but he hadn’t been injured in months. We’d both been stuck in the convent, on sacred ground, since I was about a month pregnant. That was almost eight months ago, and we hadn’t been stabbed, shot, or run down with a runaway vehicle since. I’d have to keep a close eye on him. I did that anyway, so I’d have to keep a closer eye on him.

“Hey! Wait!” I threw the cinnamon dress at him. “You’re not supposed to see me before the wedding.”

He flashed a set of startlingly white teeth. “I think that only applies to the bride.”

“Oh, right.” When he indicated the closet again with a questioning gaze, I decided to question him back. “Do you know how many times I’ve tried talking to her? She won’t stop crying long enough to catch her breath, let alone tell me what’s wrong. Why did I get this closet?”

His grin spread. “Because it’s the only one in the room.”

He had a good point. He’d been forced to use a closet in the next room, but still.

“Want me to take care of her?” he asked.

“No, I do not want you to take care of her. Wait, you can do that?”

“Just say the word.”

Sadly, I considered it. Her sobbing was taxing, probably because she was a tax attorney, and yet I heard her only when the door was open.

“Check this out,” I said, walking to the door. I opened it, and we were met with loud wailing. After a moment, I closed the door again. Crickets. Metaphorically. “This door is incredible,” I said, opening it again and closing it several times in a row to demonstrate.

“You need to get out more,” he said.

“Right? I’d kill for the delightful décor of Macho Taco.”

His face held his expression steady, not wavering in the slightest, but I felt an involuntary pang of regret ripple through him.

I let go of the door and straightened. “No,” I said, walking to him.

He pushed off the doorjamb and waited to wrap me in his arms. His heat whispered across my skin and bathed me in warmth as one arm slid around my back while he let his free hand caress Beep, the fugitive I’d been harboring for almost nine months. I felt it was about time to evict her, but the midwife Reyes had hired told me she’d come in her own time. Apparently, Beep lived in a different time zone than I did.

“No,” I repeated, blasting him with my best stern face. “We’ve done okay. We now have a semi-solid plan in place to blow this Popsicle stand once Beep is born that could actually work, if the planets align just so. I’ve had lots of time to practice my mad skills in grim reaperism slash supernatural being. And I’ve learned a lot about why I never became a nun: no closet space. This is not your fault.”

“At least your father isn’t trying to kill us.” He stilled, shocked at his own statement, then said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” I dismissed his statement with a wave of my hand. My father had died a few days before we sought refuge at the convent, and I was still searching for his killer. Well, my uncle, a detective for Albuquerque PD was, but I was helping every chance I got. “Reyes, it’s not your fault your father is evil. Or that he’s the most hated being this side of Mars.”

“That’s not entirely true,” he said. When I silently questioned him, he added, “Not everyone believes in the devil.”

“Good point.” I was not about to argue with him about his father. He felt guilty that his father would do anything in his power to kill us. To kill Beep, actually. She was the one prophesied to destroy him. I’d tried repeatedly to convince Reyes that this wasn’t his fault—to no avail, so I changed the subject instead. “What’s with all the dead people on the lawn?”

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