Home > End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days #3)(5)

End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days #3)(5)
Author: Susan Ee

‘Aside from the usual suspects, the entire host of angels saw you with me when I cut the wings off Beliel. They think you’re traveling in the company of a mask-wearing “demon” who cuts wings off “angels.” That’s enough to come after you, if only to find me. Besides, you’re an angel killer now, for which the penalty is an automatic death sentence. You’re quite the popular girl.’

I think about that for a minute. Is there really anything I can do about it? ‘But we all look alike to them, right? How can they even tell us apart? They all look the same to me. They’re all so darned perfect in every way – perfect Olympian bodies, perfectly beautiful faces, even perfect hair. If it wasn’t for you, I’d think that angels were all totally interchangeable.’

‘You mean because I’m beyond perfect?’

‘No. Because you’re so humble.’

‘Humility’s overrated.’

‘So is clear self-assessment, apparently.’

‘Real warriors don’t stand for psychobabble.’

‘Or for rational thinking.’

He glances at my naked legs.

‘No, not that rational, I admit.’ Raffe stands up and puts out a hand to me. ‘Come on. Get some sleep.’

‘Only if you do too.’ I grab his hand, and he pulls me up.

‘Fine. If that will quiet you down.’

We walk into my room, and I crawl onto the bed. I lie down on top of the covers, thinking he’s making sure that I get some sleep. But instead of leaving, he climbs onto the bed beside me.

‘What are you doing?’ I ask.

He lies his cheek on the pillow next to mine and closes his eyes with some relief. ‘Taking a nap.’

‘You’re not going downstairs?’


‘What about the settee?’

‘Too uncomfortable.’

‘I thought you said you’ve slept on rocks in the snow.’

‘I have. That’s why I sleep on soft beds whenever I can.’


I expect him to lie there full of tension like me, but his breathing quickly turns deep and slow.

He must be exhausted. Even aside from his lack of sleep and being constantly on red alert, he’s still recovering from his wing injuries, both the initial amputation and the surgery. I can’t imagine what he’s going through.

I lie there, trying to sleep beside him.

The scent of rosemary wafts in through the window along with the warm breeze. The buzzing of the bees near the plants below sounds distant and soothing. The buttery sunshine glows through my closed eyelids.

I turn away from the bright window and end up facing Raffe. I can’t help but open my eyes to look at him. His dark lashes lie in a crescent against his cheek. Long and curved, they would be the envy of every girl. The line of his nose is strong and straight. His lips soft and sensual.

Sensual? I almost giggle. What kind of word is that to pop into my head? I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of anything as being sensual before.

His muscular chest rises and falls in a steady rhythm that’s mesmerizing. My hand twitches, wanting to stroke his smooth muscles.

I swallow and flip over to my other side.

With him at my back, I take a deep breath and let it out slowly, like I’m trying to calm myself in a fight.

He moans softly and shifts. My movements must have disturbed him.

I feel his warm breath on the back of my neck. He must have turned onto his side, facing me. He’s so close I can feel the electric tingle of almost touching along my spine.

So close.

His breathing maintains a deep, steady rhythm. He’s totally asleep while I’m hyperaware of him lying beside me in bed. What’s up with that? Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

I try to shove this whole confusing mess of emotions into the vault in my head. But either the vault is full or this bundle of emotions is too big or too stubborn or too thorny to shove into the vault.

In the meantime, my body slowly arches back until we touch.

The second my thigh touches his, he moans and shifts, throwing his arm around me. He pulls me back toward his hard body.

What do I do?

The entire length of my back is now pressed against his chest.

What do I do?

Hard. Warm. Muscular.

Perspiration prickles my forehead. When did it get so hot in here?

The weight of his arm presses my body against him and pins me down onto the bed. I have a moment of panic where I think about jumping out of bed.

But that would wake him. A flood of embarrassment hits me at the thought of him seeing me all hot and bothered while he’s been sleeping.

I try to calm down. He’s holding me like a teddy bear while he sleeps peacefully. He’s probably so exhausted that he’s oblivious to me.

His hand is hot on my ribs. I’m exquisitely aware that his thumb lies along the bottom of my breast.

A thought slips into my head. I can’t seem to get rid of it no matter how hard I try to shove it aside.

What would it be like to have Raffe’s hand on that part of my body?

I’m seventeen years old, going on eighteen, and I’ve never had a guy caress my breast. The way things are going, I probably never will, at least, not in a good, loving kind of way. In an apocalyptic world, violence is guaranteed and good experiences are just a dream. That makes me want to feel it in a good way all the more. Something gentle and sweet that should have happened in due time with the right guy if the world hadn’t gone to hell.

While my head rages in argument and confusion, my hand covers his. Gently, oh, so gently. What would it be like to have Raffe’s hand caress my nipple?


Am I really thinking this?

But thinking is not the right word for what’s going on inside me. It’s more of an . . . urge. An irresistible, undeniable, pounding, trembling, panting urge.

I slowly inch his hand up so that his thumb presses against the soft flesh of my breast.

Then I nudge it up just another fraction.

Raffe’s breathing is still steady. He’s still asleep.

A little more. Just a fraction . . .

Until I can feel the warmth of his hand spreading over my chest.

And then everything changes.

His breathing becomes ragged. His hand pushes up and begins kneading my flesh. Demanding. On the verge of hurting, but not quite. Not quite. An incredible sensation runs through me, starting from my breast and flooding out from there.

I’m panting before I know it.

He moans and kisses the nape of my neck. He works his way up to my mouth. His lips land on mine, hot and wet and sucking. His tongue sweeps in, teasing mine.

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