Be patient, he told himself. Soon she will be in your arms where she belongs. Soon.

Miles is a demon from a planet a long way from Earth. Like other males of his kind he has had to wait a long time to find the mate of his heart. Now he’s found her, and Steele is, well, she’s a bit of a thug. Not even a bit, she’s a drug dealing, gun toting gangster.

He could care less. She needs to be cared for – by him, and soon, he will be able to lure her from her less than savory life to one that she deserves – in his arms.

Please enjoy this unedited snippet from my work in progress, the next installment in my demon series.

XOXO,

SS

She was tired. She had to be to fall asleep in the middle of a party. It looked like she’d leaned her head back on the couch and dropped off, as though there weren’t two dozen people laughing and talking, their glasses clinking all around her.

She shouldn’t be that tired. He instantly wanted to pick her up and take her off to bed, tuck her in, undress her, kiss her lush unpainted pink lips and whisper goodnight into her shiny black hair. Once she was his, he’d make sure she didn’t exhaust herself like this. He scowled, angry that she wasn’t taking better care of herself.

He’d heard all about Tommy’s cousin Steele. Tommy tried to be vague about what she did, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew she sold drugs. He didn’t care. She wouldn’t be doing it much longer. He had other plans for her. His mate. He smiled.

He’d never thought to find her here in America. Having lived most of his life adult life in Australia, he just assumed he’d find her there as his oldest brother had done. Or that he’d do as his second oldest brother had done and find a mate in another demon caste. But one never knew kulup pani hyrt fem nost yon, roughly translated the Garhine phrase meant “when the smoke cleared,” who would capture your heart.

The smile vanished as a man approached. His body tensed, then relaxed as he realized it was one of her brothers. Tommy was right beside him, directing traffic as usual, as Tramp picked his groggy sister up and led her from the room.

He followed, smiling at this person and that one, laughing at a joke or pointing a finger like, “you the man!” but not letting anyone stop him as he made his way toward the back of the apartment after them. People smiled at him, but no one said anything when he mounted the stairs. He caught Tramp on the way down.

“Bathrooms occupied?”

Miles grinned at the man and shrugged. He never lied if he could help it. It hurt. But the other man just laughed and went on his way.

He moved gracefully down the hall, his feet silent on the carpet as he followed her scent and the quiet sounds of rustling sheets to a back bedroom.

“Wash,” he heard.

He stood outside the door and watched as Tommy gave her cousin a warm face towel. Eva – he couldn’t quite bring himself to call her by her last name – took it and sleepily wiped her face and neck.

“Again.”

He grinned at the bossy order, and bit his lip to stifle a laugh when Eva turned the towel over and complied. She tried to fuss when Tommy brought out something called cleansing water and cotton balls, but her cousin ignored her, working quickly to prep her face. She even rinsed the rag and wiped his mate’s lovely face again, then her neck, décolletage and hands.

He’d always liked Tommy. Now, he would cherish her. Not the same way he did his mate, but as kindred.

“Hold your breath.”

Tommy sprayed something on Eva’s face, then patted it in. He watched as she gently applied a cream underneath her cousin’s eyes. Next came a long drink of water and a lip balm.

Soon, he thought. Soon I will do those things for her.

When her toilette was complete, Tommy gently pushed Eva back and swung her legs onto the bed. He could tell she was already asleep as her cousin gently tugged the jeans from her body and pulled a sheet over her. A gentle snore made him smile, and the smile grew when Tommy stoked the black hair and clicked off the light. He was glad his Eva had someone to care for her.

He was back downstairs at the party before she left the bedroom, laughing and accepting a beer from a female caterer who made it clear she found him attractive. He took the beer and took himself off to the other side of the room where one of her male peers was working the crowd.

Soon, he promised himself. Soon there would only be one female trying to catch his eye – and winning.

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