Whoa. Cayman threw up his hands. Simmer down, crouching demon, hidden Warden. He's fine.

Em, you have a soul.

Sometimes I worry for you, Deacon, he said, his lips curving up on one side.

Someday, you'll be yourself again. But you know what? That doesn't have to be today.

The Alphas were here, and Thumper had finally come out to play.

Daemon glanced down at my hand. You sure you're okay with that?

And you just now say something? Tink vaulted over the couch. Like, jumped up and cleared the back and landed, standing on the center cushion.

This speech wasn't forever. Being embarrassed as not forever. None of this was forever. But trying was. Living was.

My internal voice was such a shit-stirrer.

I'm sorry, I interrupted. Apollo arched a brow, waiting. I felt my cheeks flush. This is just really awkward.

That's the thing about death that makes it useful. Death was always a reminder to the living to live—to live in the present and to look forward to the future.

You guys…your family really is its own world.

I came over to apologize.

If you fall and break something, I'm going to be irritated.

On a good day, the animosity levels between us were usually at CODE RED. Bad days they were at CODE I'M GOING TO KILL YOU.

Not the kind of love that was fueled by need and that destroyed cities and entire civilizations, but the kind that rebuilt them, that much I knew.

Don't look at me like I've kicked a baby pegasus into the street.

You are so many amazing things, Ivy, but most of all, you are so damn brave.

Maybe on day I can be just as lazy as you and turn off lights without moving.

People do the damndest things when they're in love.

I was going to throw myself a freaking party when I got home. Like an eat-fudge-icing-straight-out-of-the-freaking-can kind of party. Hardcore. Knuckles.

I...can't believe you have kittens. I wiggled my fingers and the little guy strained to reach them. What're their names?

Salad? Who wanted salad when I had beefy enchiladas smothered in cheese? Come on, now. The look on my face must've given away what I was thinking, because the salad bowl magically ended up closer to where I sat.

It was just a hug, but gods, it meant so much. It meant everything.

If Reece and I did make that step to live together permanently, I'd have my own personal clothing folder.

Would it be such a terrible thing if I just, I don't know, just burned the damn house down? I mean, I wouldn't let those…those humans inside burn or anything. I wasn't that terrible.

I closed my eyes, breathing in his warmth. See, that's possibly the stupidest thing you've ever said.

Ah, you are amusing.

I want to get to know every freckle and every curve on a personal level.

Was I totally against the idea of having kids with Kat one day? Other than breaking out in hives at the thought of that, the idea wasn't too horrible. Of course, I wanted the white picket fence bullshit...if it occurred a good ten years from now, and the kids didn't have weird bowl haircuts and couldn't Jedi mind-screw people.

Apollo was the damn God of Cock Blocking, and one of his powers was delivering blue balls.

Cromwell informed me I'd only have the keys to my car once I'd earned his trust back. His trust? Like I was the creeptastic person who whipped kids off the street and collected them like figurines?

He grabbed a towel off the shelf. After dampening it, he tossed it to me. Clean yourself up. He sent a devilish grin my way. I can't have my little Apol yon-in-training looking like a mess.

Jesus. He could see the headlines now. Aliens Among Us. Run!

I kind of wanted to rub all over him a like a cat or something.

It's not like I'm going to run up and hug him.

Did you think that locking me up in the community was the best answer?

Are you turning into a cougar? Is this some sort of midlife crisis I need to be concerned about?

I learned that sometimes when someone says something so devastatingly perfect, there isn't a need for a response. The words said it all.

You should go update your Match.com profile with that information. The ladies will be lining up outside, because nothing screams romance like being held captive in a cage.

You had hope, Alex. No one can ever be faulted for hope.

Air punched out of my lungs. I held her tight, and I knew right then I would burn down the whole universe for her if I had to. I would do anything to keep her safe. Kill. Heal. Die. Anything. Because she was my everything.

Jayden went for my fries, ignoring Anna's narrowed gaze. Thanks, babe.

We walk – or shuffled along – about a yard and then I walked straight into a mailbox. I grunted. Son of a bitch jumped right out in front of me!

Then I should be relieved to know what I was told an hour ago is false. It wasn't you who yanked a girl--by her hair--out of chair in the common lounge area.

He chuckled and the sound was deep, masculine, and would've been nice if he hadn't been a stalker. Okay. We are getting off to another bad start. I have that effect on people.

When is there ever a right time to fully give your heart to another? There are always going to be obstacles. You just have to decide which ones are worth it.

Thanks, I muttered and added under my breath, Douchebag.

His hand rested above my hip, having a totally different impact on me. My skin tingled underneath the chiffon. Daemon cleared his throat as he glanced away. 'You...you look beautiful, by the way. Really too good to be with that idiot.