Katie's Hope (Chapter Two, page 3 of 16)

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"I think so," she replied and cleared her throat.

"I'll behave, but I'm staying." He rose and crossed to Toby, looping his arm around the baby angel and resting him on his hip. She cringed as he disappeared into Toby's room, hoping Rhyn didn't waken him.

True to his word, he stripped off his boots and shirt and lay on top of the covers. She hesitated, her blood burning and her confused thoughts terrified of what might happen. Katie crawled under the comforter. Rhyn made no moves on her, simply rolled to tuck her against his warm body.

"Maybe you'll keep the nightmares away," she whispered drowsily. "If I knew how, I would."

"Is Darkyn stronger than you?"


"If you and the Council worked together, you could take out anything," she said.

"If I could protect you alone, I'd take you somewhere safe from the demons and the Council."

"I don't think you can. Kris is your brother, and family should stick together." "You have no idea how my familyworks."

"You'll need your family when I'm gone," she said, thoughts drifting to her impending death. His body and scent felt too nice. She'd enjoy this tonight and then do what she must the next day. She'd spent the day in thought after her talk with Gabriel, and there was only one solution that might drive Rhyn away before she and Gabriel hurt him.

"You're not leaving." "I know I am, Rhyn."

At the dangerous note in his voice, she said nothing else. She'd seen the acrimonious relationship between him and Kris and understood some of what made them enemies. As she fell asleep, she couldn't help thinking Rhyn was the only Immortal on the Council she'd trust to keep humans safe.

Her nightmares that night involved her sister, Hannah, being eaten by the jaguar with the white patch over his eye. She awoke long before dawn, and her eyes went to the corner where Gabriel no longer sat. "Rhyn?"

He, too, was gone. Toby's snores drifted into the bedchamber from his room. She tossed the covers off, crossing to the French doors. The half moon's light made the snow-covered forest glow eerily. Checking the time, she counted backwards. It was afternoon in Maryland, where Hannah was.

Visions of her sister's death fresh in her mind, she changed into warm clothes and her running shoes, tucked the perfume bottle into a pocket, then sat on the edge of the bed. She closed her eyes to concentrate hard on summoning the portal to the shadow place. Rhyn's warm power filled her as she drew on their bond as mates, and the portal opened. She stepped into the clammy, wet world of fog and darkness, pausing to focus on the portal that would lead to her sister's house. Several portals glowed, and one grew more intense as she thought hard.

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