Where are Lilith, Hugh, and Colin five years later? Here’s a little bit from DEMON ANGEL (Warning: includes SPOILERS! for “Falling for Anthony”)
“This must certainly be the lowest point to which a Guardian has ever descended.”
Hugh felt Lilith’s amused gaze, her psychic scent before she spoke. No, she no longer hid from him when she approached. So much easier when she had; he did not have to conceal his eagerness to see her when he’d no idea if she’d appear. But this waiting she forced upon him now, the anticipationâ€”it was its own torment.
He did not take his eyes from the scene before him. Frustration spilled from her before she closed herself away.
Yet her frustration could be nothing like his.
He stood stiffly, willed his heart to keep its steady beat, his body its indifferenceâ€”all the more difficult with the soft moans that surrounded them, the cries of pleasure.
“It is a vampire?” She tilted her head to better see through the window.
He gave a short nod.
“It is the one from Derbyshire? The one we helped create?” Surprise filled her voice now, laughter. “I know he is extraordinarily handsome, but I can not believe you would follow him from England for that.”
“No.” He had to fight his smile.
“Why do you watch him fuck her?”
Hugh closed his eyes. Cold. He needed to be cold. “He will feed. There have been deaths in this region; I know not if they are vampire or nosferatu.”
“Likely nosferatu,” Lilith said. “I hunted one in these mountains only last month; I came searching for poets and found a bloodsucker. They have become bolder of late. I think they tire of their solitary exile and centuries hidden in caves.” She paused. “Do you see how he kisses her thigh? Will he bite her there, do you think? Or simply feast from her? Do Guardians feast so splendidly in the halls of Caelum?”
Her voice had deepened, as if in arousal. But it could not be; impossible for demons to feel such. Only a trick to lower his defenses.
Concentrate on the nosferatu. “You have become too reckless, fighting them alone.”
“They are stupid. Ignorant.”
He could not keep himself from turning, from lifting his hand to brush her throat with the backs of his fingers. Her crimson skin burned under hisâ€”a warning, and one he should heed.
His hand fell back to his side. “Stupid also to allow one close enough to rip out your throat without certainty we would make it back to a Healer in time.”
“It cannot be as stupid as turning your back on a demon when Michael’s sword is within reach. Had your fledgling student not been near, I’d have had your head and the Doyen’s sword to present to Lucifer.” Her glowing scarlet gaze held his. “And I didn’t allow it. I fought. It was service, even had I been killed.”
His heart clenched in his chest, and he returned his attention to the bed, the darkened room. “You are correct,” he said softly. “I am the greater fool.”
A scream came through the glass, but it was not of pain. A name.
“Colin,” Lilith echoed, a smile in her voice. “I remember his vanity well. I believe had I ever called him beautiful, he would have done anything I asked.”
“Yes,” he said, but his gaze went to the cloth that the vampire had draped over his lover’s mirror. Did he hate so much what he’d become, or did something else haunt him? Guilt?
“Are you here to slay him for taking her blood?”
He shook his head. “He is not nosferatu; there is human in him. I will not begrudge him survival, so long as he is not cruel. So long as he does not kill.”
Her silence stretched the air between them, until she said, “I have been cruel. You may not have been a voyeur outside my window, but you know I have been so.”
“Only with their consent,” he said, betraying nothing of his jealousy, his despair. Keeping his indifference firmly in place. “But a vampire does not have to honor a human’s free will.”
“Nor do I a Guardian’s,” she said softly, her breath in his ear. He’d not heard her move. “He is inside her now, taking her blood. She wills it, and he brings her only pleasure. Are you satisfied?”
Quick as thought, her hand was beneath his robe, gripping him, stroking him. It took all his strength to keep his body from responding. Sweat broke over his brow. He could not think. Only hold his defenses…they could not hold long.
Lilith’s patience ran out more quickly.
With a sound of disgust, she turned away. Hugh ground his teeth together to keep from dropping his glamours, showing her the truth of it. From hauling her back, burying himself within her.
Losing himself within her.
“You swore to your student that you would protect the vampire, yet you contemplate his execution?”
How had she known of his promise? Had she listened in doorways after Ramsdell had Fallen? It was several moments before he had the ability to say, “Yes.” He glanced at her; her mouth was set, her eyes flaring with anger.
“You would break your vow?”
“Yes,” he said quietly. “If he cannot be saved. If his bloodthirst overwhelms his humanity.”
“I will kill him now.” Her sword appeared in her hand, a hard smile on her lips. “It shall bring me pleasure to finally rid the world of all bloodsuckers, half-human or no.”
“No, Lilith.” He laid his hand on her arm. She looked down at it. “As long as he is not cruel, not a murdererâ€”I will not break my vow.” And he could not keep the rest from hanging unspoken between them. Even for you.
She grinned suddenly. “A vampire’s life is nothing. Shall we bargain? A kiss, and I’ll promise not to kill him.”
It was impossible not to agree; she would be bound by the bargain, and it was a small price to help secure his vow. Perhaps it was what saved the vampire that night, and those that followed; but as her lips touched his, he felt his destruction bearing down upon him.
When had the price of saving her become his soul?