Series: The Heights, Volume 2
Author: Lauren Stewart
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 19, 2015
Word Count: 107,000
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“What would you give up for freedom?”
“Even if it wasn't yours?”
For three years, Keira lived in hell on earth, kept and tortured by a psychopath. He should’ve killed her. Because now she’s looking for payback, to see his face when she shoves a stake into his chest, to feel his dust under her boot. Then she’ll finally be free…of everything but the memories, scars, and nightmares. Unfortunately, when a demon starts hunting the same prey, Keira’s life becomes less about getting revenge and more about fighting temptation.
For three tours above the earth’s crust, Davyn has been as close to heaven as a demon can be. In a few weeks, he’ll go home to be reforged, stripped of all the humanity he’s accumulated and be reminded of exactly what he is. Of course, in the depths of hell, nobody “finds themselves” through group therapy and happy pills. It’s not all bad news though—before he goes, at least he gets to kill a vampire. Maybe a human too, if that stubborn little hunter keeps getting in his way. After all, a nice ass can only buy so much of Davyn’s patience.
In this highly anticipated sequel to Unseen, two people from opposite sides of a war will discover the price of freedom and what they're willing to pay for it. But in the Heights, nothing is ever fair. For something they both want, one of them will pay with their eternity.
The Heights not only protects the secrecy of vampires, shifters, demons, angels, and other supernaturals, it protects the humans unaware of the world hidden within their own.
Davyn might be big, but he wasn’t slow. He moved towards the hunter, figuring she’d backup from the three-hundred-pound demon coming directly at her. Nope. She dropped to her knees and spun out of his path, almost fast enough. He swung his arm down, hitting her shoulder. The knife popped out of her grip and shot across the alley, landing with a “plop” into a puddle.
“Aww, did I break your toy?” he asked.
They both glanced at it, then each other. Simultaneously, they moved, except she didn’t go for the knife. She went for him.
What the fuck? On his way to the ground, he had his very first bout with shock. The little woman had grabbed both of his legs and squeezed, using his momentum and bulk against him. He landed face-first on the cement, so unprepared for the challenge that he hadn’t even put out his hands. The knife laid three feet away.
The hunter’s boot caught him under his chest and flipped him over. He grunted as she made a move, something more like what you’d see in a fake wrestling match than in an actual fight. She straddled him, her hands on his arms, her feet curled behind her holding his thighs to the ground.
He’d been more intimidated by kittens. Even using all her weight, she was never going to keep him down. But he gave her props because she shouldn’t have been able to get him on his back at all.
Millennia of torture, tests, ordeals—physical and mental—and he’s outwitted by a girl with a stellar body and a crusty knife. Not his proudest moment. Okay, fun was over. If she had a moment, it was because he gave it to her.
“You can’t win this, puppet.”
“I don’t have to win,” she said breathlessly. “All I have to do is not lose.”
He shrugged one shoulder, throwing her off-balance enough to reach out and grab the knife. He hissed when his fingers met the blade, the salt burning like acid. She yelled and threw herself towards the weapon, but he wrapped his arm around her waist to keep her from reaching it. He flipped it around in his hand so he held the handle and brought the blade to her throat.
“In case you missed it, this is you losing.”
She jerked away and rolled. He grabbed her by the only piece of clothing he could—what remained of her shirt. When it ripped apart in his hand, she stopped, arms curled in to cover her chest and eyes opened wide in shock.
“Seriously?” He laughed. “We’re trying to kill each other. I could’ve grabbed you by the throat and snapped it just as easily, but this is what freaks you out? Me seeing your…?” Oh shit, those were nice.
Nope. First thing’s first. With her hands and mind occupied, she didn’t even try to stop him when he wrapped a leg around her and used it to flip both of them over so he was on top of her and the blade was at her neck again. Now, what was that second thing?
Right. When his eyes lowered from her eyes to her mouth, she inhaled sharply. Her shield slipped for just a second, long enough to let him know exactly what she wanted. Same thing he did.
“Oh, puppet, don’t tempt me.” He felt his cock harden, his temperature go up a few notches. Even though she must have felt both changes, she didn’t flinch, her self-destructive desire only increasing. His gaze roamed lazily from her eyes and lips to where the blade dented the skin of her neck, down…
Their bodies fit together in a very pleasant, very unhealthy way.
Fuck. This was as stupid as it was dangerous. The salt had nothing on this. The harder his cock got, the hotter his entire body got. He geared himself up to get away from her. Her chest lifted with every shallow breath.
Just another second and he would get off her.
In a second.
She pressed her hips up against his.
“Another hot flash?” she asked.
He shot to his feet, tossing the knife at the wall, shattering it. “I could’ve fucking killed you.” Not with the knife or even on purpose. He’d lost control of his heat to a degree that should have made her boil.
“That’s for the tip, Captain Obvious.” After she’d gotten her feet, she touched the side of her neck where the blade had almost punctured her skin, her other arm across her breasts to hide them, instead just making it harder to look away.
“I wasn’t talking about the blade. Didn’t I—” He looked at the remnants of her pants, then at his. Melted pretty much everywhere they’d been touching. “Didn’t I burn you?”
“Oh please, you’re not that hot.” She looked down at her arms and chest. They were red, but not as much as they should’ve been. If she was entirely human. “Mind giving me my jacket?”
He grabbed it off the ground and tossed it to her, his breath coming faster, his mind a blur. He’d been right about how dangerous she was, and it had nothing to do with how well she fought.
It was way more than that. She could take his heat. Sure, if he turned himself all the way up, she would burn just like everything else he touched, but if he held back, just a little…
He wiped his mouth to hide the beginnings of a smile. Fuck, he could use her body to dispel his heat, vent through her. Nothing would catch fire or melt, and no one would even notice. It’d be almost as if he was free from hell, not tied to that horrible heat. He could go anywhere.
He looked at her. Just looked. He didn’t have to push into her mind to find what tempted her the way all demons above the crust avoided setting fires. Constantly having to look for something to use in people’s head, picking through their stupid thoughts to relieve the heat.
He didn’t need to do that with her. He could just…touch her, and she could take it. Take him. Her damage could be his freedom.
But nothing in their world came without danger, and he didn’t have to think too hard to figure out what it could be.
She shifted onto her other hip. “Are we going to fight or are you going to stand there staring at me?”
“We’re done here,” he said shakily. “But if you try to use salt on me again, I won’t be as forgiving.”
“Got it—no balls, no salt. Congratulations on your big win.”
This fight, sure. But every other way? Fuck no. He hadn’t won—she had.
Lauren Stewart lives in Northern California with two of the most amazing children that the world has ever seen. She reads almost every genre so, naturally, her writing reflects that. With every book, every story, you'll find elements of other genres--fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women's literature, all with a touch of humor because what doesn't kill us should make us laugh.
Unseen (The Heights Vol 1)
Hyde, an Urban Fantasy (Hyde, Book I)
Jekyll (Hyde, Book II)
Strange Case (Hyde, Book III)
Darker Water (Once and Forever #1)
No Experience Required (a Summer Rains novel #1)
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/LaurenStewartAuthor