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Coming Darkness

Coming Darkness

Book excerpt

“You're not wearing that.”

Suppressing a sigh, Kai looked down and watched his clothes change. Instead of black slacks, shirt, and boots, he was now attired in tailored tan and cream—with loafers. He hated loafers. He turned, waiting for his lover to enter the foyer.

Lucifer, white hair unbound and loose around his shoulders, with a recently acquired black cat in his arms, entered the foyer and fixed critical silver eyes on him. For someone who always wore shades of white—and who knew there were so many?—Lucifer had a lot to say about what Kai wore. In fact, Lucifer dressed him with such dedicated fervor that anyone less sympathetic would call him obsessed. It was why Kai had been trying to sneak out of the house before Lucifer caught sight of him.

“Come on, Luc, that's not practical, and you know it,” said Te, joining them in the foyer and changing Kai back into his original clothes. “How you expect him to do reconnaissance and retrieval in loafers and kakis, I'll never understand.”

“Thank you,” Kai said to him, smiling.

“I live with Philistines,” Lucifer said with a mock sneer. “The least you could do is wear silk.” Kai was now wearing a black, raw silk shirt, and he refused to admit he liked the way it felt.

“Are you both done?” he asked, trying for exasperation but only succeeding at fond acceptance.

Te laughed. Brown-skinned and gleaming from his bald head and single, gold earring to his white teeth, Kai was hard-pressed to remember a time when Te's silver eyes weren't sparkling with good humor. Always nattily dressed, he shared Lucifer's penchant for sharp, expensive clothes. Unlike Lucifer, however, Te had never met a color he didn't like or look good in. His current suit was red pinstripe, complete with matching bowler hat, bow tie, and spats.

Lucifer gave them his patented put-upon look and, with his nose in the air, sauntered into the adjacent sitting room. Taking a seat on a couch, he stretched out, positioning his long, lean body to the greatest visual effect. The cat mirrored his posture and stretched out atop him. Even after more than seven hundred years together, Kai never grew tired of watching the one he considered his mate. Lucifer held endless fascination for him, as well as his love and devotion.

Te entered the sitting room behind Lucifer, took a seat in an antique wing chair, and put his feet up on the matching footstool. It was always a surprise that the old and delicate furniture in the house didn't protest when Te sat on it. But then, his size was deceptive. True, he was at least six-foot-five and powerfully built, but his personality, much like Lucifer's, made it seem like he was so much larger.

“What's on tonight?” Te asked when the sixty-inch smart television came on.

Lucifer made no secret about how much he hated humans. In fact, he'd go out of his way to expound on that hatred to anyone who'd listen. That didn't mean, however, that he didn't enjoy the food, clothing, and endless gadgets created by them. The house was filled with anything that caught his fancy, including the latest technology.

“Housewives,” Lucifer answered as the channels flipped.

“Is that the one with Kendra?” Te asked, a bowl of popcorn appearing in his lap. Four more cats appeared, as if out of nowhere, and positioned themselves around the two seated figures.

“Not the Kendra you're thinking of, no.”

The big demon made a face and shoveled a handful of popcorn into his mouth.

Kai leaned against the doorjamb, taking a moment to enjoy his little family.

“Wait, wait, go back,” Te said.

“Is this Rosemary's Baby?” Lucifer asked, having flipped back to the channel requested. “Oh, it is. I almost missed it. Good catch.” He looked up at Kai and crooked his finger. “Come on, you know you want to stay.”

He was right. Rosemary's Baby was one of their favorite movies, and the pull to join them was very strong, but he had a job to do. Kai retreated to the coat rack by the door and removed his leather trench from it.

“I need to get going,” he said apologetically, donning the coat. “Te, would you mind giving me a lift?”

Te looked over and smiled. “You sure? Gregory's not going anywhere.”

“I'm sure.”

“Then of course. Happy hunting.”

With a last wave, Kai was gone.

The Year I Slept

The Year I Slept

You Choose

You Choose