His voice sent shivers along Gabrielle’s spine. She hadn’t realised Kyle was still there. But he leaned over the railings of the ballroom’s upper tier and set her skin alight with his voice again. “Have you got a few minutes?”
It took everything she had to shrug him off with an absentminded wave and return her attention to the excited cheers of the nine other Guardians of Light surrounding her. Congratulating her record-breaking fifth successive win of the Case Handler of the Year, and top rank performance this year. She was being considered for one of the most prestigious promotions in the history of Devine Intervention. It was phenomenal.
“Sorry, everyone.” Gabrielle sighed after a few moments. “Duty calls.” In a flurry of kissed cheeks and congratulatory hugs, she pulled away from her colleagues. “I know” She agreed with someone’s whine. She shouldn’t have to go back to work when they were going to celebrate. “But I’m responsible for the conference and means before, during and after. I’ll come to meet you all later wherever you are.”
She waved to them as they headed one way out the ballroom and Gabrielle went in the opposite direction. Not sure she wanted to, but grateful for the opportunity to talk to Kyle again. A conversation like this one she would have prepared for. She needed him to go to Daniel and she had no idea what she was going to say to make that happen. But if she was going to salvage her case she needed Kyle and Daniel to kiss and makeup and they were running out of time. But Kyle wouldn’t be sweet-talked into anything that involved his brother.
Gabrielle crossed Kyle’s crew on the stairs as she made her way up to him and as they began dismantling the equipment Gabrielle suspected Kyle had kicked them out of the makeshift workstation where they’d overseen the entire conference.
“Congratulations Gee,” Kyle started off light as though their argument that morning hadn’t happened. She could handle that. “Will you have to leave the family firm if you’re promoted at Devine Intervention?”
Gabrielle wasn’t missing the undertone of his words as Kyle wrapped up wires and placing them in boxes. How would his brother survive without her? “I would.”
“I wanted to say thank you”
“What for?” Gabrielle shrugged. She knew he was referring to her little scolding during the morning interval. She’d taken the blame for his mistake but she no interest in letting it become a big deal.
Kyle tossed a wound cable into a box before his gaze found and locked with hers. “Oh, well if I hadn’t have been here,” Gabrielle shrugged and stayed on safe ground for the start of this conversation “So technically it is my fault. How’s little Ava?”
A mile-wide smile burst over his lips and lit up his eyes “Not so little anymore. She fifteen.”
Of course, Gabrielle knew exactly how old Ava was. She was Gabrielle’s client. Trevor had been watching over the Middleton Family for sometime before he brought Gabrielle in to assist. But when Kyle and Daniel had fallen out, Trevor had temporarily taken over Ava case until Gabrielle could get Daniel and Kyle to reconcile. But no matter how hard she tried couldn’t get through to Kyle.
“Yeah,” He pulled his wallet from his pocket and opened it “Look at her.” Fatherly pride radiated from Kyle as he stepped forward and offered the picture to her.
Gabrielle stepped closer. Ava was her first Little Angel. A child born with the gift too beyond her imagination passed down from generation to generation. If her gift followed her into adulthood Gabrielle would continue to watch her, protect her, and keep her from those who seek to destroy her spirit and take her off the path fate has set for her. If the gift remained Ava’s destiny was with the Guardians of Light. She’d become an Agent of Devine Intervention, just like Gabrielle.
But right now, Gabrielle had another problem. She had to get Kyle and his brother back on speaking terms before she ran out of time. And Kyle had opened up the window of opportunity with this picture of a very grown-up Ava.
Gabrielle hadn’t seen Ava in ten years but her eyes were just like her father’s. They were hazel in colour but shone with speckles of gold like someone had sprinkled starlight into them, they set off her extraordinarily long eyelashes. She wore her midnight black hair in a bouquet of curls over her right shoulder. Her skin was much paler than Kyle’s. Gabrielle could tell already Ava was going to be a heartbreaker just like her mother.
“I bet she’s still Daddy’s little angel isn’t she?”
Gabrielle felt Kyle’s gaze lifted from the picture and settle on her face. “She still believes her Aunty Gee-Gee is an angel.” Immediately, Gabrielle’s head snapped up, her glare met with Kyle’s watchful gaze. “I’ll never forget that picture she drew of you with a golden circle around you.” She hadn’t realised just how close they were but she felt his breath as gentle against her face as his voice against her ears. “She said you glow.”
Those eyes! Gabrielle swallowed. They were doing it to her again. Pulling her in, absorbing her strength, draining all ability to think of anything except the man whose lips were millimetres away from hers…
All the moisture evaporated from her mouth. He was too close for comfort, too close for a mortal, too close according to the rules she lived by, too close according to the rules she’d die by. He was too close… Her heartbeat kicked up a notch.
She didn’t like this spell he’d cast over her. Her body hummed like she’d been filled to the top with sweet sweet candy. Gabrielle’s tongue traced the edge of her lips as though she could taste the sugar there. She’d never wanted anything. She’d never desired anything. She’d never been tempted by anything. Guardians of Light were immune. But right now Kyle was definitely… something.
“And you are an angel, aren’t you?”
Oh yes, yes she was… and she had to remember that.
But the sound of her name on his lips poured goosebumps all over her skin. It sent shivers down her spine and clenched her muscles in places she didn’t know there were muscles. Kyle Alexander was definitely something else.
“You do exactly what my brother asks…” That’s right! Gabrielle tried to push through the fogginess of Kyle’s spell, Focus on Daniel! “…And when he asks you to, you let him have whatever he wants and you never see any of his dark sides.”
His mouth brushed over lips as he spoke and stole the air from her lungs. They hovered gently in their barely touching place for what felt like an eternity as Gabrielle’s head spun. She reached for Kyle’s forearm to keep her balance and her eyes fluttered closed and the overpowering swirling anticipation inside.
“But you can’t be his angel and kiss me.”
Kyle’s mouth crashed into hers. What the hell? Gabrielle’s eyes flew open at the force of the kiss. The beat of her heart shot far beyond a safe human rhythm as it drummed against her ribcage. Kyle wasn’t supposed to kiss her! He was Daniel’s brother! Gabrielle’s hand pushed against his arm still firmly in her grasp.
Stop it now!
Both hands pushed against Kyle’s chest. Their contact with the firm hard wall of his body zapped her strength. Her waning resistance drew a deeply satisfying rumble from his throat and instead of pulling away, Gabrielle yielded. She melted as he wrapped her into his arms and the most pleasurable whirlwind of emotions she’d ever experienced. Her stomach danced, her spine shivered, her arms and legs tingled all over, and her lips came alive.
Then, his tongue slipped between her lips and brushed over the tip of her tongue and he sent her to a different stratosphere. The touch tantalised every nerve ending in her body. Her head spun. Gabrielle didn’t think she’d ever touch the ground again. No wonder kissing mortals was punishable by death.
“Revenge,” Kyle murmured into her mouth “never tasted so sweet.”
What? Gabrielle’s spirit crashed into the concrete. For a few dazed seconds, she had no idea what he was talking about. Then everything started to slip into place. Kyle had set her up. From the moment he thought Daniel was out of the country this was a game to him. She’d made no progress at all. She couldn’t even bring herself to look at him. She didn’t want to see that hatred in his eyes. Betrayal wrapped around her throat. She couldn’t breathe. “You…” She leapt from his arms as though he’d burned her. “You…”
“Bastard?” The delight in his tone forced Gabrielle to look at him. She couldn’t believe he would enjoy it that much. But he was. He was actually laughing at her! “I’m going to enjoy seeing my brother for the first time in ten years now.”
He didn’t understand what he’d just done to her. When he told everyone about them, the council would demand a hearing, they’d hand her over to the angel of death. He’d just killed her. And what for? Revenge!
“Don’t look at me like me that, I’m going to take great pleasure in every moment of destroying his world like he did mine.” Damn it! And now she was screwed! He’d fucked her one and only chance at rectifying this mistake and actually closing this case because Daniel would never forgive him.
The hurt began to retreat and her temper began to rise. He had burned her. This was why the latte had scolded her lips yesterday. This was why she’d cut her hand on the smashed glass cup when Guardians we’re unable to get injured. The council were warning her of Kyle’s effect on her. She hadn’t listened.
“Daniel came on to my wife, Gabrielle.”
“Don’t make me pull Lucia off her pedestal!” Gabrielle shouted “She was a wonderful woman. She was a fantastic mother and she knew she didn’t have to have a stupid bit of paper to be an amazing wife. But she married you anyway because you wanted her to.”
“You deserve him!” Angry fire lit up his eyes. “You’re both liquid nitrogen to the core.”
“And Lucia slept with your brother, get over it already.”
“I’m really going to enjoy telling him I got the one thing he can’t have.”
“Well, you’re five years and one day too late.” Gabrielle cackled and lifted up the bandaged left hand. “I guessed you missed the sparkly jewellery in all the excitement of our reunion yesterday Kyle. When you ignore your brother’s existence for ten years, you miss out when he gets married.”
Kyle held her stare for a long time before he narrowed his eyes and clenched his jaw. His temper growing, gaining strength the longer he glared at her until his teeth locked together and he snarled “I wish he was dead.”
The venom hit Gabrielle like a knife in her gut. It took her breath away and forced her eyes closed. He wouldn’t have hurt her more if he had physically punched her. She almost doubled over at the blow. She gasped for air and it took her a moment to recover. When she had Gabrielle lifted her eyes to his and lowered her voice. “Be careful what you wish for, Kyle.”