Author: Tara Fox Hall
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 28, 2014
Would you risk it all if saving the life of someone you love would cost you your own humanity?
With Theo facing deadly odds in a fight to the death, Sar makes a pact with Lash, agreeing to give Devlin another chance in return for Theo’s life. Reforging her relationship with her handsome vampiric lover mends old wounds, even as Theo moves to regain Sar just for himself. But Devlin’s old enemy Ulysses appears, taking Sar prisoner and burning Devlin badly in a surprise attack. Rescued at the eleventh hour by Lash, Sar nurses Dev back to health, Theo bristling at a distance. Yet Lash’s own day of reckoning is here as his long life ebbs to a finale, leaving Sar to face the decision of offering him salvation, knowing that the price is her own humanity.
“Ready to go?” Titus said gently. Then he saw me with the knife.
As I looked into his eyes, I suddenly understood he both knew what this meant, and that he was not happy about my present. My foreboding deepened. “What is this?”
“It was time, Sarelle,” Titus said. “He left a week ago. Devlin thinks he went out on a job, that he’s coming back later tonight.”
I knew exactly what he was talking about: Lash’s death. My apprehension became panic. “Why?” I asked loudly. “Lash said he had years left! Years!”
“More like months,” Titus said, his red eyes holding mine. “And that was months ago.”
It all came together for me at once. This was why Lash had asked me to go back to Devlin. He’d known he was dying, and he’d wanted Devlin to have someone who loved him so he wouldn’t be alone, or get into too much trouble. This was why he had talked about family, and that it meant something to him. This was why he hadn’t cared if he’d died saving us, because he was going to be dead soon anyway. Why he had warned me to be careful, if Dev and I went out again, because if it happened again, he wouldn’t be around to save us. Why he and I had gone out for sushi that night, but he hadn’t eaten much. He hadn’t been feeling like hibernating, he’d been getting ready to die. And he’d asked me to come those extra days to Hayden because he’d wanted to spend some extra time with me, lying together in the sun as we had those months ago and talking to maybe the only person in his life who shared his taste in movies.
“But I saw him! I talked to him! He was fine!” I screamed hysterically.
“He got a wound on a job he did a few weeks ago,” Titus rumbled. “Some were bit him. It wasn’t bad, and I healed what would heal, but it turned septic anyway. His immune system is shot, and had been for a while—”
Had it been Satar who’d bit Lash? Something told me it had been. My hysteria went up another notch. “No, he was fine!” I shouted. “He saved me, saved Devlin! He carried him—!”
“He collapsed when he got back to Hayden,” Titus rumbled, his red eyes smoldering. “Saving Devlin and you took everything he had left. He spent these past two weeks recovering enough strength to go wherever it is he went.”
That day I’d seen Lash reading with the blankets. He hadn’t moved, and his body had been mostly covered. I’d thought he had just been cold…
I closed my eyes, fighting tears. “But why not stay here with Dev? Why go off alone?” I shouted. “Who wants to die alone?”
“He did,” Titus said, his deep voice agitated now. “And it was his choice.”
Fury rapidly replaced anguish. “He only made that choice because you didn’t tell him about my blood! That a massive infusion of it might work, might save him!”
“Devlin would never risk you, not even for Lash,” Titus said harshly. “He’d need to take all of it, Sarelle. You’d die saving him. And there’s no guarantee it would even work.”
This couldn’t be happening. Fate couldn’t be that cruel, that Lash could save us but not himself. That he was going to die alone, without his loved ones near him, after all the good he had done. But fate was that cruel. I’d seen it firsthand, when a freak accident had left me a widow. I’d seen it later, in the years I’d spent apart from Theo, thinking he was dead. I’d seen it in the tears Danial had cried, all those times now I’d left him.
Lash had saved us. This time he needed someone else to save him. And I’d be damned if I stayed here, knowing all this, and didn’t at least try.
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