Zamora felt Salem’s arm slip from the embrace as she rose off his bed and made her way outside. She looked guiltily at the image of Salem frowning in his sleep, his arms seeming to try to reach onto the angel. When Zamora left, she heard the faint sound of the demon calling her name.
“Again?” Hotaru provoked teasingly as she watched Zamora sneak out of her house and saunter over to the gate. “I don’t have a choice. I met someone there who I agreed to meet this night and the night after.”
Hotaru took a break from lighting the torches and turned to Zamora, arching a brow. “Who might this person be?”
Zamora frowned. She didn’t want Salem knowing. She loved the demon almost to the point that he loved her, but she had to do this for Gryphon. He loved her too, and she needed to do this small favor for him. It was all he was asking for from seeing the one he loved so much. To put it short, Zamora felt guilty.
“Gryphon,” Zamora finally answered. Hotaru’s face paled before she laughed dryly in disbelief. “Do you have a death wish, Zamora?”
Zamora frowned. “You know him?” she asked wearily. Hotaru ran a hand through her scarlet hair. “I’ve never actually seen him but there’s always been the small legend of the cursed demon’s ‘forlorn lover’ who disappeared for a century. And now he haunts Haven to find her. It’s ridiculous. The person there is probably just claiming to be him.”
Anxiety swelled in Zamora’s chest. “I don’t think so. I can tell when someone is lying. And he is Gryphon.”
Hotaru’s eyes widened. “You can tell when someone’s lying? I’ll keep that in mind.” Zamora shook her head and laughed. Hotaru’s features then took on a serious look.
“I’m warning you though, Zamora. He could be dangerous. I don’t know what kind of bet or promise you’ve made with him, but just please be safe. If what I’ve heard from Nessa is true, Gryphon would be able to kill someone like Salem in a second.”
A chill ran down Zamora’s spine. “Just today and tomorrow. I’ll be back soon, Hotaru. Thanks again for keeping this a secret.”
Hotaru waved her off. “I’m doing this because I’m a good friend. And I care about you. I’m begging you to be safe, Zamora. Hell would break loose if you went missing. Especially with Salem.”
Guilt stabbed at Zamora at the mentioning of her demon. Before she could decide otherwise she exited the village gate, embracing the cold air and new scenery.
She discovered on her own that Haven’s surroundings changed regularly. Now, it was a chilly, plain meadow. No trees, just vast dark green grass. Zamora ran, holding a flame in her hand. The experience was somehow exhilarating and surreal, as her heart picked up speed the faster she ran.
Zamora finally stopped once she was out of breath. The angel collapsed onto the plush ground and sighed. She had absolutely no idea where Gryphon was, and she was tired. An empty feeling went through her as she realized Salem was sleeping all alone. He had muttered her name when she left, and wondered if the demon had been dreaming of her.
She felt herself dozing off when Zamora was roughly pulled into something hard. Before she could attack or scream, Gryphon’s gloved hand was covering her mouth. It was pitch-black, and the only thing Zamora could process was Gryphon’s heavy breathing and earthy, musky scent.
The angel felt one muscular arm tighten around her body while his other lit a black flame in front of her. A feeling of fear and anger coursed through Zamora when she realized she was helpless against Gryphon’s grip. The black flame illuminating before her eyes was like a warning.
“I can smell him on you,” Gryphon hissed, pulling the angel impossibly tighter against his masculine frame.
Zamora’s heart hammered at the thought of him speaking of Salem. Her mind was also in a frenzy being this close to another demon. She didn’t want anyone to hold her like that but Salem.
“Let me go!” Zamora gasped when Gryphon brought the dark fire closer to her face, the heat just far enough from being painful. The angel wanted so badly to be released from his iron grip to blast him with white fire.
Gryphon would be able to kill someone like Salem in a second. Hotaru’s words rang clear in her mind, spiking her nerves and dowsing her in fear.
The demon let out a cruel, humorless laugh. “You’re lucky I haven’t killed him yet. I could slaughter your boyfriend easily, ripping his body to shreds. Let alone you.”
Tears began to fall from Zamora’s eyes as realization set in. She struggled against his stronger, larger body. “What do you want? How do you know about him?” she asked incredulously.
“I can see him with just a hint of his scent. It takes a long time for a demon to attach his scent on another, which is how I didn’t notice it before. He must’ve been close to you for me to picture him so clearly.”
Zamora cried out when Gryphon’s hand slipped to her hip and grabbed her tightly there. “Dark hair, red eyes, tall, masculine, strong…” he drawled on before a vision flashed before his eyes. The demon Salem had Zamora sitting idly in his lap while he kissed her fervently, his expression passionate and possessive as he held onto the squirming angel, holding her tightly in his powerful arms.
Another vision showed Salem hovering over the angel, his red eyes sinister as Zamora breathed heavily at the sight of his moused black hair. “Mine.” The one word Salem had said to claim Zamora was the last thing Gryphon saw in his vision. It was a power he had, to look into the memories of another and show them his own.
Gryphon was enraged at the sight of Salem with Zamora like that. His heart hammered as the instinctive to kill took over. He didn’t just want to hurt Salem, he wanted to murder him. Kill the demon for wanting Zamora so much, so passionately. The fact that Zamora could reciprocate the feelings in anyway meant there was an unbreakable bond between the two. The love Salem had for the angel was extremely rare and unconditional.
Gryphon ripped Zamora from his hold. His steely grey eyes were manic, his expression one of fury as he warned Zamora. “Come back tomorrow or consider Salem dead.”