Demon Gates (Helena Hawthorn Series #2)

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Donors Not Hookers

Drinking her hot chocolate, Helena glared at the two beautiful women kissing Lucious goodbye.

“Call us anytime, darling,” the skinny blonde purred, pressing her large breasts against his arm.

Helena cleared her throat loud enough for them to take notice of her. “Take your sexual frustration elsewhere.” Almost as an afterthought, she added, “Please.”

The women glowered at her and peeled away from him. They threw on their summer jackets. Instead of heading for the door, the second girl—a busty brunette—whispered something in his ear that made Lucious smile. They waved their goodbyes and were finally out of her home.

The ache in Helena’s fingers became unbearable, and she glanced down, noticing her intense grip on the mug. After loosening her grip, she moved to sit on the sofa. “You should go with them. The party has ended.”

His smile didn’t falter. He sauntered over and took a seat next to her. “And leave you unguarded?”

Internally, she debated kicking him out, anyway. She took in a deep, calming breath. Whom he takes blood from wasn’t up to her. It wasn’t like she was willing to be his blood bank.

He relaxed and let his arms fall behind the sofa. “What are you going to do today?”

Helena stared at the steam rising from her cup. She couldn’t tell him where she was going. He wouldn’t let her. Knowing him, it would fuel another fight between him and Nadine and, from what Helena heard yesterday, that could be fatal for both of them. “I’m going shopping with Perri.”

Lucious’ humour was replaced with a stony expression. “Do not take me for a fool, Helena. Even you would not be daft enough to do something so reckless at a dangerous time like this.”

Perri and Hans entered the apartment, saving her from his interrogation. They took their shoes off and entered the living room.

Perri grinned and ran towards Helena. Her smile was brighter than the Spanish sun. “Where are we going shopping?”

Helena tried keeping a straight face. She could almost make out Lucious’ teeth grinding in his reticent mouth. It served him right to stress a little after putting so much pressure on her. She set her cup on the coffee table and joined the others.

“Anywhere is fine,” Helena said. “I need to get some fresh air and look for a present for Mum and Richard. It needs to be something congratulatory since I’ll have a brother or a sister sometime in December.”

“My greatest felicitations to you and your family. I hope the child will be healthy and energetic,” Hans said.

“Thank you. I appreciate your words.”

Perri pulled Helena into a hug. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I would have prepared a meal or something.”

With a laugh, Helena patted her friend’s back. “Calm down. It’s still early in the pregnancy. You’ll have more than enough time to think of whatever you want to cook up.”

Lucious rose from the sofa and stood next to the hugging women. “Helena, you are not leaving without me.”

She drew away from Perri’s suffocating embrace. She couldn’t take him, and, thankfully, the weather was on her side today. With the sun shining brightly in the sky, he wouldn’t be able to leave the apartment. Not unless he wanted to fall unconscious somewhere.

“You can’t keep me here, Lucious. I have a life to live, even if I am hunted by a demon.”

His eyes bore into hers with their usual intensity. “Would you listen to yourself? How will you fight him if he comes after you? And what of your friend? You don’t know what he would do to her if things turn sour.”

“Let us talk.” Hans grasped Lucious’ elbow and pulled him aside.

Lucious jerked his elbow out of his grasp and followed suit. They moved to the kitchen where Helena watched the commencement of a heated argument. Their bodies made stiff movements, and their voices were barely above a whisper.

Perri tugged on her sleeve. “Is something else going on that I don’t know about?”

Helena pointed to the front door. “While those two are arguing, let’s get out of here. I have somewhere to be.”

Perri nervously glanced towards Hans, nibbling on her lower lip. “They won’t like it, but I’ll go with you.”

It didn’t take long before they left the apartment complex and got on a bus. Helena studied the names carved with some sharp tool into the plastic frame of the seat ahead. Once the names lost her interest, she glanced out the window at the passing traffic. Her eyes settled on a group of young people, walking together and laughing about something. She felt as she did when she was seven—isolated from others. There wasn’t a single thing that was normal in her life anymore. It was bursting with monsters.

“So, where are we going?” Perri asked.

Without turning her head, Helena answered, “To see Nadine.”

“The girl who visited you yesterday?”

“Yes. I have a feeling she knows a lot more about demons than anyone else in that apartment.”

Perri took her hand, spreading prickling warmth through Helena’s chilled skin. Although it was a hot day, the temperature outdoors didn’t matter. She couldn’t warm up ever since the nightmares began, or was it since Lucious returned?

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