Home > The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10)(4)

The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10)(4)
Darynda Jones

As I sat pondering Strawberry’s statement, the son of Satan walked in from our bedroom wearing only a gray pair of pajama bottoms and a sleep-deprived expression. The bottoms rode low on his lean hips. The expression darkened an already dark face. Black hair sat at charmingly unnatural angles. Thick lashes hooded sparkling brown irises. The boy defined the popular phrase sex on a stick.

But I had to remember what he was. It was bad enough that his father was public enemy number one, but to be an evil god from another dimension? That was a lot of evil to pack into one body, no matter how succulent.

I should have guessed long ago that he was more than met the eye. Even barely awake he had a powerful stride. Sleek. Graceful. Like that of a big cat. I slipped into the outer edge of the supernatural realm and saw the darkness billowing out of him like a cloak to cascade over his shoulders. To wash down his back. To pool at his bare feet.

The fire that bathed him in yellows and oranges and blues licked over his smooth skin like a layer of sin. It dipped between the valleys of hard muscle. Shifted with every move he made. As though it were as alive as he.

Strawberry noticed none of that. Her harried little mind, like her body, spun in circles as though she hadn’t just dropped a bombshell on me. Why would those names be meant for Beep? It made no sense.

“What do you mean, hon?” I asked her, suppressing a giggle when Reyes spotted the little beast coming in for a landing near his rubber tree plant. It wasn’t like she could actually knock it over.

Instead of answers, I got, “I love cotton candy. I’d marry it if I could.” She swooped in for a landing, taxied just long enough to catch a second wind, then took off again. “I can smell it sometimes. There was a house on fire once, but I couldn’t smell it. I can’t smell perfume or paste or oranges, but I can smell cotton candy. Only sometimes, though. All pink and fluffy. Do you like cotton candy?”

I’d been busy watching my husband head for the kitchen, trying not to let the soft grin he tossed me ease the turmoil roiling inside me.

“Cotton candy daiquiris,” I said, unable to take my eyes off him.

We had fallen into a continuous series of short conversations and awkward silences. And I had no idea why. No idea what I had done. For a man who could barely keep his hands off me a week ago, this new form of torture was disconcerting.

Did he know that he was a god? More important, did he know that I knew that he was a god?

Such knowledge could certainly put him on edge. Then again, why? I was a god. Why shouldn’t he be one as well? Maybe there was more to this than I knew. Or perhaps his recent disinterest had nothing to do with any of that.

Maybe it was due to the fact that I had done exactly what he had predicted I would. I forgot him. When I learned my celestial name, I forgot him. He’d said I would. No, wait—he’d said I would leave him, and then I would forget him. Two for two. But amnesia was a really good excuse for not remembering someone. And it’s not like I’d done it on purpose.

The fact that he was so drop-dead sexy did not help anything. The pajama bottoms did absolutely nothing to hide the fact that he had the most perfect ass I had ever seen. Steely. Shapely. Deep divots on either side. Solid, rock-hard muscle. The kind of ass no heterosexual woman could resist. Damn him.

I craned my neck to watch him walk into the kitchen and pull the carafe out from the coffeemaker.

“I just made it,” I said, referring to the coffee.

“What do you think brought me in here?” There was a softness to his voice despite the darkness surrounding him. A humor. It was nice and more reassuring than it should have been.

“Sometimes I eat it for breakfast,” Strawberry added, then pointed to Reyes from the space between a slate coffee table and a creamy sofa. “Does he ever eat cotton candy for breakfast?”

He stepped around the counter to face us, lowered his gaze, and took a sip from the black mug in his hands.

“No,” I said. “He’s very much like the Big Bad Wolf. He eats little girls for breakfast.”

He spoke from behind the cup, his voice deep and as smooth as butterscotch. “She’s wrong. I eat big girls for breakfast.”

A tingling sensation fluttered in my stomach.

Strawberry stopped at last and crinkled her nose in thought, our playful banter going over her head, thankfully.

“Did you catch the bad guy?” Reyes asked, pinning me with his powerful gaze.

I turned around in the chair I’d pulled up to the window and sat on my heels to savor the view. “No bad guys this time. Just a man trying to make it through the day.”

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