Grace struggled to wake up hours later. She realized that it was raised voices outside of her door that woke her. With a groan she reached over and pulled a knife out of her nightstand. With a flick of her wrist, she flung it at the door and it hit the door with a solid thunk.
The people outside her door suddenly went silent. Grace smiled to herself as she listened to the knife vibrate in the door. Rolling back over, she tucked the covered around her shoulders and snuggled down in to the bed. Grace wasn’t aware that someone had entered the room until the bed dipped behind her. She was up and had a knife in her hand before the person knew what to do.
“Whoa! Grace Ann! It’s me,” Gabriel said.
Grace shook her head and pulled the knife back from Gabriel’s throat. With a sigh, she collapsed back in to bed, arm over her eyes.
“What are you doing here, Gabe?”
“I missed you?”
Grace lifted her arm and looked at him. He had a sheepish smile on his face.
“Michael sent you.”
Gabriel snorted. “You were always able to suss out what happened without my telling you. Why do you bother asking anymore?”
“It gives people a chance to lie to me. That way, I know who I can trust.”
Gabriel laughed and laid down next to Grace after taking the knife out of her hand and putting it on the nightstand. Grace pulled the covers over the both of them and sighed.
“I assume he told you what happened?”
“I can’t believe you shot him.”
“He had me by the throat. I had to shoot him.”
Gabe went still. Grace heard him snap his fingers and the lights came on. She sighed as he pulled the covers down and took a look at her neck. Grace knew the bruises were still there.
“I’d have killed him,” Gabriel said softly.
“I can’t kill him yet. I still need him. As do you.”
Gabriel growled softly and Grace opened her eyes.
“It’s done. It’s over with. You can help me kill him after we’re done using him.”
Gabriel was nowhere near mollified with that, but he ducked his head down and kissed her. Grace sighed and pulled him closer, hooking a leg around his.
“I missed you,” Gabriel murmured in to her ear when they broke apart. “I wasn’t lying about that part.”
“I know,” Grace said as she hooked another leg around him and rolled them both over so she was on top. “Did Sloane let you in?”
Yes,” Gabriel rolled them back over and kissed her, then whispered in to her ear; “Wanna pretend we’re in Reno?”
Grace laughed. “We killed the bed, destroyed a nightstand and pissed off our entire floor, almost getting us kicked out.”
“I know what happened, I was there. That’s not an answer, through.”
Grace nuzzled his neck. “I’ve got things to do today. I can’t spend it in bed with you, as much as I want to.”
Gabriel slid his hand up her thigh and gripped her hip. “Who said anything about the whole day?”
Grace rolled her hips up and snickered when Gabriel groaned. “I know you.”
“You’re wicked,” he said and slid her shirt up while kissing her shoulder.
“Demon,” She said while sitting up far enough so Gabriel could get her shirt off. There was a crash after he tossed it to the side and it took out a lamp.
Grace laughed and Gabriel looked up, giving her a smile before claiming her nipple and sucking on it, rolling it between his lips.
Grace gasped and it ended with a laugh. “Ooh, you wicked Angel.”
Gabriel laughed and looked up at her. “Says the not-quite-a-demon,”
“I would know, wouldn’t I?” Grace said with a grin as she yanked off his shirt and tossed it to the other side. There was another crash and Gabriel laughed. “What?”
“I wonder what’s going to break when I lose my pants.”
“Lets find out.” Grace said and she slid her hand down, tugging on the button of his jeans.
Gabriel grinned and tugged her hands away from his jeans. “No yet.”
Grace whined a little in her throat and it ended with a moan as Gabriel claimed her other nipple.
“Gabe,” she sighed and threaded her hands through his hair.
Gabriel slid his hands over Grace, touching and testing her response. He followed his hands down her body, tugging off her panties and tossing them aside as soon as he got them down her legs. Her body was tingling everywhere he touched. Grace bit back another whine and wrapped a leg around Gabriel, pulling him close.
“Gabe,” Grace said.
Gabriel chuckled. “Grace, patience.”
Grace sighed as he ran his hands over her legs. She shivered.
“Never had any.”
“I know, but you’re going to need to find some.”
Before Grace could make a comment, Gabriel moved forward and dipped his head between her legs and she could feel his breath on her sex. As he licked and nibbled, Grace arched up and moaned, wrapping a leg around his shoulders. Gabriel winces when she dug her fingers into his hair, but kept going. When he slid a finger in to her, then two, she moaned louder and shivered again as she climaxed with a gasp.
Gabriel laughed as she moved up her body.
“Don’t say it, just lose your pants.”
“That was fast,” Gabriel said as he kissed her.
“I missed you too,” she said as she kissed him back and slid her hand down his chest.
Gabriel moaned against her lips when Grace pushed her hand in to his pants and under his boxers before gripping him tight.
“I always do. Lost the pants.”
Gabriel pushed his pants over his hips with Grace’s help and when he tossed them over his shoulder, they hit the dresser and scattered everything on top. Grace laughed and rolled over, opening the nightstand drawer and pulling out a condom before tossing it to him. Gabriel looked at her.
“I’m not having what I’m trying to be. Dress that solider and let’s go to war.”
Gabriel laughed and with a wink, opened the package and took the condom out. As he rolled it on, Grace got up and crawled over to him. She pulled up to meet his lips while kneeling. Gabriel pulled her close by her hips and nudged her legs apart as they fell backwards.
They landed with a laugh. Grace nudged Gabriel closer, wrapping her legs around his hips and kissing him. He kissed her back, adjusting himself so he could slide in to her. They both moaned, but Grace was the first to move. She lifted her hips up and rocked them against Gabriel, who gripped her hips. He took the hint and started moving against her.
Grace arched back, digging her nails in to his shoulders. Her body was still tingling from her earlier orgasm and building for a new one. Gabriel gritted his teeth as his as built inside of him. His own legs quivered against hers as they rocked with each other, rolling across the bed till Grace was on top. As she moved on top of him, Gabriel groaned.
“You’ll kill me yet,” he panted.
“Mm.. not trying.”
Grace sped up and he surprised her by rubbing her clit in time with the way she was moving. When her eyes flew opened and looked down at him, he grinned up at her and rolled them over. His hand was still on her button as he sped up, his orgasm building. Grace groaned and wrapped her legs around him, letting her head press back in to the pillow as each thrust brought her closer to falling over the cliff with him.
As they raced together, Gabriel started murmuring her name over and over again. Grace gasped out his and stiffened, going over the peak. Gabriel tumbled after her a minute later and dropped his head to her shoulder. He was panting as hard as she was. After a minute, Gabriel rolled off her and got rid of the condom.
When he came back to bed after cleaning up, Grace opened up her arms and cuddled him close. They lay like that, catching their breath together. Eventually Grace yawned and looked down at Gabriel.
“A hundred years. Do you think we’ll ever get tired of this?”
“Never,” he whispered in to her ear as they fell asleep together.
Gabriel was the first one to wake later that afternoon. He looked down at Grace who was in his arms and smiled. He eased out of bed after his bladder demanded relief and was on his way back to bed when Grace woke. She sat up and smiled at him.
“Hey back,” he said from the end of the bed.
Grace pushed her hair back away from her face and looked at the time. Yawning, she pushed out of bed. Gabriel frowned at her. She caught the frown out of the corner of her eye and laughed.
“I’m not getting back in to bed. I have things to do today, remember?” she said as she walked in to the bathroom, stopping to wiggle her butt at Gabriel. “if you’re coming, you might as well shower with me.”
Gabriel grinned and followed her in to the bathroom. “I like where your mind goes.”
When they emerged later, laughing and wet, they found Henry entering the room. He turned bright red and slammed the door shut. Gabriel burst in to laughter.
“Oh dear. Poor Henry.”
“Poor Henry? He just got a show from the both of us without paying for it!”
Grace snickered as she made her way to her closet, picking up discarded clothing along the way before dumping it in to the basket just outside of her closet. Gabriel followed her in to the closet and goosed her as she hunted for clothes. Slapping his chest and thrusting clothes at him, Grace kicked him out of the closet while she dressed. He whined and pouted the whole way, but Gabriel went out and got dressed.
Grace emerged from the closet clad in jeans and a t-shirt. She carried her shoes to the chaise and sat down, pulling on the sock that she had tucked in to the shoes before leaving the closet. The chucks weren’t the most practical of training shoes, but with Gabriel here, she might not need to train with Henry today.
Gabriel whistled when Grace bent to strap a knife to her leg and smoothed her jeans over the blade. Grace wiggled her butt at him and stood up straight.
“Come on. I’m hungry and I need to check on Henry.”
“Can’t we just go back to bed?” Gabriel asked.
“No, you letch. I have to take inventory of the weapons room and call Father O’Brian,” Grace said over her shoulder as she walked out of the room.
Gabriel followed. “Oh yeah? He’s still alive?”
“Yeah and as feisty as ever. His congregation took out a were pack a couple of months ago. He’s been recovering ever since,” Grace caught Gabriel’s look of concern. “Shoulder slash. No bad damage. I sent Sloane to take care of it.”
“How’s my favorite doing?” he asked as they made their way downstairs.
“She’s restless. I have a feeling that she’s going to start demanding to go on more hunts after she finishes school.”
“That’s going to be trouble.”
“I know. I’ve planned for it, or at least, I hope I have.”
“Wanna let me in?” Gabriel asked as they walked in to the kitchen.
There was no one there, so Grace pulled out all the makings for a couple of omelets.
“Ham and green pepper still?” Grace asked as she turned on the skillet.
“Hard to change a habit. Hand over the peppers. I’ll clean and wash.”
Grace handed them over and the two worked in near silence as they made breakfast together. Just as they were sitting down to eat, Henry walked in. When he saw them his cheeks turned bright red.
“Sorry about this morning. Sloane told me to check on you. Said that Gabriel had arrived,” Henry said as he sat down. “she also wanted me to tell you that he passed the password check.”
“I knew that, he wouldn’t be in the house if he hadn’t. The wards in the foundation won’t allow anyone to enter the house if they don’t know the password or intend to harm anyone inside.”
Gabriel grunted in assent around a mouthful of omelette. Henry nodded.
“So what’s the plan for today?”
“First? Food. Have you eaten?” Grace asked.
“Yeah. Earlier. Sloan made french toast.”
“Good. Then you’re going to train with Gabriel today. Hand to hand and sword if there’s time,” Grace said as she shoveled more omelette in to her mouth and chewed. She swallowed before speaking again. “I have to take inventory of the weapons room and call Father O’Brian for more blessed silver. Sloan says we’re nearly out.”
“Okay.” Henry said.
Grace pushed away her empty plate and looked at Henry. “I know I haven’t given you much of a chance to take all of this in, but you’re doing pretty well. Are you sure you’re not freaking out and just too scared to say anything?”
“It’s okay if you are, Henry. We won’t judge you,” Gabriel added.
“It’s a lot to take in, that’s for sure. But,” he paused. “Everything you’ve said would happen has happened. You haven’t lied to me about anything so far. I’ve seen things down in the Arena too that make all this, more preferable to being there.”
Grace nodded. “Any time you have trouble with anything, you need to speak up. I will not have you going through a mental break down in the middle of a job. Understand?”
Henry nodded. “Understood.”
“Good. Now that Gabriel has finished eating, he’ll take you to the training room. It was the old ballroom.”
Gabriel nodded and rose from his chair at the table. He clapped a hand on Henry’s shoulder.
“Come with me if you want to live.”
Henry gave Gabriel a wan smile and followed him out. Grace chuckled as she placed all the dishes in the sink for her housekeeper and made he way to the weapons room. Stepping in to the room, Grace smiled at what she saw. Sloane was at a table in the center of the room, polishing a broadsword that Grace had used to decapitate a vampire nearly ninety years ago.
“Ah, Edgar the truly disappointing. He wasn’t that much of a vampire without his head.”
Sloan gasped and spun around to glare at Grace.
“Not funny. I’m on edge. I can feel something building.”
Grace frowned. “Your mother had that power. She said she always knew when trouble was brewing. Said she could see if in her dreams.”
“Well I think I’m coming in to more of my gifts, because the dreams are getting stronger. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about last night,” Sloane said as she pushed out the chair opposite her.
Sloane studied Grace’s ease and smile, then shook her head.
“You’re going to get in to trouble for banging that Angel.”
“That Angel has been my friend and constant companion for nearly a hundred years. Watch your words carefully,” Grace warned.
“You’re in love with Michael, who doesn’t want you. Gabriel loves you, but you don’t love him. Not that way, not yet at least. Himself’s Son professes his love, but you used it to break the binding.”
Grace sighed. “You’ve been reading the chronicles again, haven’t you?”
“You don’t tell me nearly enough to satisfy my curiosity.”
Grace made her decision then. “You start training with Gabriel today go to the ballroom.”
Sloane’s head snapped up. “You mean it?”
Grace nodded. “I can’t keep you here forever. You will finish school first though.”
Sloane nodded, but Grace could tell she was going to practically bounce out of her chair.
“Go, Gabriel is training with Henry too.”
“Not yet. I still need to go over inventory with you.”
Grace sighed. “When was it last taken?”
“Right after the boys left. I was pissed and needed something to do,” Sloane said as she put down the sword and pulled out a notebook
“Okay. Hit me.”
“The boys took a box of flares, two flare guns, two bang rods, four 9mm pistols,” Sloane said as she flipped the papers “One Glock, two Sigs and a Smith and Wesson.”
“What? No Remington?”
“They took one of the rifles, but it was a Winchester.”
Grace sighed. “Well at least they were well prepared.”
“They also took four boxes of ammo for each gun.”
Grace rubbed a hand over her neck. “Okay. Anything else?”
“Yeah, besides the blessed silver? We’re low on yew stakes, rosaries, and gunpowder.”
“Have Alan cut another Yew tree for the stakes. He and his brother can do the initial carving for us. I’ll place the orders for the rest today after I speak with Father O’Brian.”
“Alan’s on vacation this week. We’re not likely to need the stakes any time soon. I’ll have him cut it when he gets back. We will need lamb’s blood though. There’s a nasty Djinni in Vegas attracting a lot of attention,” Sloane said as she got up from the table and handed over the lists.
“Fucking wonderful. That’ll make Cooper happy.”
Sloane grinned. “I’ve already alerted him and the Council wants to talk to you about making Eden in to a Haven.”
“It already is, just not for what they want it to be. I’ll take care of it,” Grace said as she flipped through the pages. “Thank you, by the way.”
“You’re welcome,” Sloane said as she slipped out of the room.
Grace was left alone to make her calls. The first one was not to Father O’Brian. It was too late to call him. She’d have to wait until three am to make that call. Grace walked to her office at the back of the weapons room and entered with her list. Bookshelves that were packed lined every wall of the room and a huge oak desk dominated the center with a matching chair. Grace turned on the lights and pulled the chair out. She sat down, list in hand and sighed.
“You’re going to end up in an early grave if you keep it bottled up inside.”
Grace yelped and threw the letter opener at Michael who appeared in one of the two chairs that were on the opposite side of her desk. He caught it easily and look at her.
“Damn it, Michael! I knew putting your name on the foundation was going to be trouble.”
“Yet you still haven’t changed it.”
“It’s a pain in the ass to chisel something out of the foundation in the basement.”
“No it isn’t. You’re still hoping I’ll come visit.”
“What are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here.”
“I missed you.”
Grace studied him. “You’re a terrible liar. Which is surprising.”
Michael sighed. “You believed Gabriel when he told you.”
“Gabriel tells me all the time. You don’t. I hear the words from him that I want to hear from you.”
Michael looked at her reproachfully. “I told you I can’t explain why I can’t be what he is to you.”
“Then this has to stop. I can’t keep loving you and getting rejected. My heart isn’t strong enough anymore,” Grace said as she sat back in her chair, eyes downcast and wet.
“Do not cry. I couldn’t handle it if you cried.”
“Then you shouldn’t make me cry.”
Michael rubbed a hand over his face. “I’ll be right back.”
He left in his usual fashion, there one second, gone the next. Grace sighed and picked up the phone. She called The Hunter’s cell phone first, left a message when no one answered. The Wanderer was the same thing. Grace was about to call The Librarian when Michael reappeared.
“I can’t love you because I’ve been bound.”
Grace dropped the phone, in shock. “Bound? Bound to who?”
Michael sighed. “Your daughter.”
Grace sat back and stared at Michael. “You mean to tell me that all this time you’ve known what’s going to happen between us and couldn’t say anything until I pushed you to go away?”
His head snapped up and fire lit in his eyes. “I’m bound. I can’t do anything about it. I didn’t want to be bound, but He did it anyway. I cannot refuse His order.”
“Then why not say anything until now? You could have said you were bound to someone else instead of giving me hope!”
“I tried, but you’re so stubborn and you know I can’t lie.”
“Won’t. You won’t lie. There’s a difference!” Grace said as she surged forward and pounded a fist on her desk.
“Won’t, then. I won’t lie to save your heart, which I know is breaking. I am not for you, I never was.”
“You had a hundred and fifty-seven years to tell me,” Grace said softly as she sat in her chair again.
“I didn’t know until twenty years after I gave you the order.”
Grace looked up at him. “Is Gabriel bound to me?”
Grace laughed. “Figures.”
Michael sat back down in the chair across from Grace. “I’m sorry. I’ve always been sorry about all of this.”
“Well, at least it solves one of my problems today.”
“So does that mean-?”
“No. You are not forgiven yet. I need time to think about it and work out my anger,” Grace said, looking at him. “I need to talk to Gabriel as well.”
“He has his own orders.”
“Which became void the second I found out he’s bound to me. I know His Law just as well as you do. You’re the one who taught me.”
Michael groaned. “You’re going to get us in so much trouble.”
“You deserve it.”
Michael eyed her, but Grace was not giving an inch on her position.
“Speaking of bonds: my daughter? A little creepy,” Grace said.
“His orders,” Michael said with a shrug.
“You’re not talking about Sloane, are you?”
Michael shook his head. “No. Not Sloane. Yours and Gabriel’s child.”
“He’s an Angel, I’m a Demon. You know what that would bring.”
“You are not quite a demon.”
“You should be wanting me dead then. Not living.”
Michael sighed. “Despite what you may have heard, I do not hate you for who you are. I hate myself for wanting you when I have no right to hope for what Gabriel has.”
Grace rubbed her temples. “I hate this. I hate how He plays shove a penny with us all like we were toys.”
“I would say it’s more like chess.”
Grace eyed Michael. “Did you just make a joke? Stiff-necked, stick-up-his-arse Michael made a joke?”
Michael sighed and Grace snickered. He studied her.
“You’re not funny.”
“I’m hilarious, you just never appreciated it.”
Michael snorted and Grace decided that she’d had enough of interrogating him, so she dropped a bomb on his brain. She picked up a pen and sketched the symbol that she saw in the church. When she was done, Grace pushed the sketch across the desk.
Michael took it, looking down at it. His eyes widened.
“This is Nathanael’s symbol.”
“Bring them in.”
“I was just about to put in a call to The Librarian. I called The Hunter and The Wanderer already.”
“No Grace,” Michael said as he stood up, sketch in hand. “Bring them all in. Every single hunter you’ve trained on my orders. Bring them in.”
“You want me to bring twenty hunters in? They’re all out on jobs!”
“Bring them in,” he said, punctuating every word.
“Protect the innocent. That’s our motto. I can’t knowingly bring in every single hunter I’ve trained in the last thirty years! I’d be leaving the whole of the US without any kind of protection!”
“You’ll bring them in or this is going to dissolve in to World War three.”
Gabriel opened the door to the study and walked in with Henry and Sloane in tow.
“I can feel his agitation from across the house,” Gabriel said.
Michael showed him the sketch.
“Hey that’s the symbol that we saw in the church,” Henry said.
Gabriel swore. Grace had never heard that particular phrase in Arabic uttered quite so eloquently.
“Whatever he says to do,” Gabriel said. “You do it. I’ll gather the brothers.”
Michael nodded to Gabriel and he kissed Grace before leaving.
“I’ll be back with them,” Gabriel said and then he was gone.
“Bring them all in, Grace. Every single hunter. We’re going to need them.”
“Okay. I’ll bring them all in.”
“All your spies too,” Michael said. “in both courts.”
Grace winced. “You knew?”
“I’ve always known and admired your tact. Now’s the time to start calling in favors.”
Grace nodded and Michael turned to the two new hunters.
“You’ll train with me while Gabriel’s gone. We’ll need you up to speed faster than usual. Follow me.”
Grace watched Michael leave and then nodded to the two who were staring at her.
“Go. Train. He’s right. We’re going to need you.”
They nodded and left, already looking like a team. Grace smiled. They’d be good together. Grace opened up her drawer and picked up her black book that kept every number for her hunters. It was going to be a long day. Grace turned on her radio and kept it low while she made her calls. While waiting for a hunter to get back to her, she noticed the song on the radio long enough to smile.
“You had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day”