The Fever and the FuryBy: Stephanie Draven
She’s already killed him twice this week.
Phaedra, a fury, is bound to make Lieutenant Luke Lazaros atone for his supposed crime, but her usual method of inflicting pain doesn’t work very well on a phoenix with the power to be reborn every time he dies. However, each rebirth leaves him with an overwhelming need for sex. Phaedra’s new plan: to drive Luke mad with desire….
But Phaedra has never touched anyone—even herself—except to cause pain. She’s an innocent when it comes to pleasure…but Luke isn’t. His touch is a revelation, arousing a passion in Phaedra that is as delicious as it is terrifying. For no matter how much she wants Luke, giving herself to a man risks awakening her goddess’s wrath….
She’d already killed him twice this week.
Monday, the harpy bitch grabbed the wheel just as he was making a tight turn on a cliff-side highway. The car jumped the barrier and exploded in a fiery crash of glass and twisted metal at the bottom of Moraca Canyon.
On Wednesday morning, he’d chanced taking a shower and she dropped a hair dryer in with him, sending a deadly shock through his wet body.
It wasn’t even the weekend and she was already trying to kill him a third time.
Luke had awakened to the sinuous slide of her body atop his and, for one groggy moment, he’d enjoyed the carnal sensation of a woman in bed with him.
Then her knee came crushing down on his windpipe.
Now Luke thrashed upon the mattress, grabbing at her supple thighs, trying to throw her off. The curve of her breast brushed his arm, her moist lips parted and she clutched at his face as if she were going to draw him into an intimate embrace…just before fingernails like talons cut his flesh to bloody ribbons.
Or at least that’s what it felt like.
With the lightest touch, she could put an ordinary mortal man in complete agony. But he wasn’t an ordinary mortal man and she should have known better than to touch him.
“Atone,” the fury demanded, her voice driving needles of agony into his spine. “Atone!”
Luke was desperate enough to consider it. Anything to get rid of her. Anything to make the pain stop. Anything that might relieve him of the memories that haunted him. The blood in the sand and all the lies…
Take the money, Luke. There’ll be more where that came from.
His traitorous lips parted in surrender, ready to tell the fury whatever she wanted to hear, but then he felt his square jaw clench tight in stubborn refusal.
No. Screw atonement and regret. Luke would rather die again.
Her lithe legs wrapped around his waist like a vise. They were locked together as tightly as lovers and in blind suffering he banged the back of his skull on the headboard. It started like a fever, a sexual rush of heat that seared its way through his veins, pulsing through his hammering heart, racing to his groin.
Damn it. He liked this villa, but he’d burn the place down to get free of her if he had to. Sparks leaped from his fingertips to the bedsheets and the scent of scorched linen rose to his nostrils. The fire would obey him—it was the one goddamned thing in his life he still had any control over—so Luke made the fire rise higher, engulfing them both in a flash of flames and searing pain.
His bones went white-hot, molten beneath his skin, and he screamed. He was turning to ash. He was burning her too, burning her alive. He could have held onto her. He could have forced her to share his torment to the bitter end, but he flung her away. And her tumbling body was the last thing he saw before he died….
Phaedra was accustomed to inflicting pain, not suffering it. But now every cell in her body screamed in protest as her burned skin rose up in blisters. She was immortal. She could never die. That didn’t mean she couldn’t feel pain, and making this man miserable had somehow become her own personal torment.
She lay dazed in agony on the floor, smoke filling her lungs while Lieutenant Luke Lazaros burned alive before her very eyes. Gods of Olympus, he was stubborn. He should have broken by now, but he was only getting more unmanageable. None of the men she’d been sent to torture had ever been so obstinate. Then again, she’d never been unleashed upon a phoenix before.
In the light of the crackling blaze, Phaedra’s blistered body healed, new pink flesh knitting over the old with miraculous speed, and it occurred to her that the fire alarm wasn’t shrieking. A quick glance up at the scorched ceiling told her that he’d disabled it. That he’d planned for this exact circumstance. He was handy that way. Good with modern gadgets. And a born strategist. He’d started anticipating her. Adapting…