When FBI agent Cole Gregory is called to his bureau chief’s office and recruited for a special task force called WRAITH, he is confronted with the commander of the force, a handsome, enigmatic man named Levi who makes Cole feel restless and uneasy.
The two men tell him an unbelievable tale of a world beyond our own, a world where Fairies and Demons rule, and where Fae and Paranormal creatures exist and sometimes cross over to our world to interact with humans—the Vargr Realm. They’ve known about our world for thousands of years and are attracted to humans. WRAITH is a special Vargr task force established to retrieve those of the Vargr Realm who travel between the dimensions unlawfully and to neutralize any human witnesses who come in contact with these travelers.
While all this is hard enough to believe, even more difficult to ignore is the way Commander Levi looks at Cole, as if he wants to consume him. When Levi changes into a powerful demon right before his eyes, Cole begins to wonder if he’ll even survive this encounter, or will this demon take possession of not only his body but his soul?
"Oh. Are we sharing this room? I thought…”
“Yes?” Levi said, glaring at him over his shoulder as he pulled his laptop from its case and set it up on the desk.
“N-nothing. I just…”
“Budget cuts. They affect everyone. Unless, of course, you have a problem sharing a room with a half-demon? You could share with the other human agent, if that’s the case.”
“The other one? I thought all of them…that is…I didn’t know that any of them were Vargr.”
“Yes. Gonzalez is a goblin. Fredericks is Sheeth. Both glamored, of course. The other one, Malone, is human—like you.”
“Sheeth?” he asked softly, trying not to think about a goblin in their midst and hoping like hell this Sheeth thing wasn’t even worse. Not that he knew exactly what a goblin was, let alone looked like, though he didn’t know why he should be bothered so much when he was apparently sharing a bedroom with a half-demon.
“S-i-d-h-e,” Levi replied, spelling it out and correcting his pronunciation. When he said the word slowly, it sounded more like shee-tha. “The people of the Tuatha da Dannan and the goddess Diana. They’re members of the Faery tribes, but not quite so arrogant and devious. They’re wood spirits. My mother is a Sidhe.”
“Oh. I thought you were the son of one of the high king’s human consorts.”
A bitter little smile played around Levi’s lips. “No. My mother broke my father’s heart when she left him, so he vowed never to consort with a Vargr again, even though the Sidhe hardly count as Vargr. They live in our realm, but govern themselves. My father once tried to force them into our alliance, but they disappeared into the hollow hills and not even my father’s wizards could divine a spell to get them out. He says humans can be almost as beautiful but are much easier to deal with.” His smile grew broader. “Of course that could be because the humans are all frightened of him. My mother isn’t.”
Levi put his hands on his hips and regarded Cole speculatively. “All right. Let’s get you out of those clothes and get a look at your hip.”
“W-What? No, no, I’m fine. Really.”
“You’re not fine, so stop being foolish. Take off your clothes.”
Cole sat up gingerly and put his feet over the side of the bed farthest away from the commander, slowly unbuttoning his shirt. He could feel the warm blush starting up his body again, and knew Levi could see it on his pale, almost translucent skin.
No matter how he tried to tan himself over the years, it never seemed to take. If he stayed in the sun for any length of time, his skin turned a faint pink, but even that went away in a few hours’ time. In the last few months, his paleness had gotten even worse—so bad, in fact, that he’d thought about checking with a doctor to see if he might be anemic.
He took off his shirt and stood up to slip down his pants. He swayed a little as he stood and immediately, Levi was beside him. “Sit down before you fall,” he said, pushing him back on the bed. He put his hands in the waistband of Cole’s jeans and pulled down sharply, raking off his underwear along with the pants. He rolled Cole over on his side and frowned down at the large purple bruise on his hip, cursing faintly under his breath. He ran his fingers down it and his touch was surprisingly gentle. “You need some ice for this,” he said, standing back up beside the bed. “Lie still and I’ll get some.”
He strode quickly over to the ice bucket on the dresser, picked it up and left the room without a backward glance. Cole lay there feeling awkward with his pants bunched down around his ankles. He pushed them off and pulled the sheet over his body, feeling too exposed to just lie there and wait. Levi was back in a minute or so, though, with his bucket of ice. He ducked into the bathroom for a towel and then came back to sit beside Cole on the side of the bed. Dumping some ice in a hand towel, he wrapped it up carefully before placing the makeshift ice pack on Cole’s hip.
“This will help bring the swelling down,” he said brusquely, frowning down at him. “Though if you’d look more carefully at your surroundings, this might never have happened.”
Cole felt his cheeks grow even warmer. He hadn’t thought it was possible to be even more embarrassed, but apparently he was wrong. “I’m sorry. I never saw that car until just before it hit me. It seemed to come out of nowhere. And how was it going so fast in all that traffic? The others were barely moving.”
Levi glanced up at him sharply before lowering his gaze back to Cole’s hip again. “Did you get a look at the driver?”
“No, it all happened too fast. One minute I was stepping out from behind the van and the next thing I knew I was flying through the air.”
“I saw you,” Levi said quietly, looking back up into Cole’s eyes. The look in them was almost—tender. Levi raised his hand and trailed the back of it down Cole’s jaw, just lightly skimming over his skin. Cole’s breath caught in his throat and Levi softly laughed. It had a breathless sound to it, and he leaned closer. He rubbed his smoothly shaven cheek against Cole’s and then turned his head so that his lips were only an inch away. Cole closed the distance between them, parting his lips with a sigh. He didn’t stop to think about what the hell he was doing, kissing a half-demon—kissing the Blood Prince—he simply gave himself up to it, getting lost in his kiss.
It was a long kiss and almost unbearably sweet. Levi tasted of vanilla cream with a slightly smoky flavor, and a hot trail of lightning flashed over Cole’s skin on its way to his groin. Just like that, his cock was erect and straining. Little goosebumps rose up all over his skin and the hairs on his body stood up, crackling in a storm of static electricity. At least Cole thought it was static electricity. Whatever it was, he wanted more of it, and he threw his arms around Levi’s neck and surged up against him.
This close his scent was overwhelming, a clean male scent mixed with some kind of smoldering sweet-as-honey smell. Was it his cologne as he’d been thinking? Or was it Levi himself? It was intoxicating, whatever it was, and Cole raised his head and made the mistake of gazing directly into Levi’s bottomless brown eyes. The effect was so immediate and so dizzying, he put out a hand to steady himself, touching Levi’s chest.