...“Caecilia.” His tone was one of warning.
She dipped the end of her finger into the glass, then thrust the tip into her mouth. Her cheeks hollowed as she sucked on the digit. Vitus’s cock jerked, hardened, as he watched her. He damned Apollo, he damned Aphrodite, he damned Diana. But most of all he damned himself for wanting Caecilia as much as he had when he’d first seen her on the banks of the Tiber. She tipped the glass and swallowed the contents. It took every last bit of his self-control not to reach for her, to stroke her slender throat, to press his lips to the beautiful column, to claim what her lips promised.
She smiled, grabbed the bottle and poured another shot of the whiskey into Vitus’s glass. She lifted it and swallowed it. “It’s been a while, Vitus. It’s good to see you.”
“Is it? Why tempt me, Caecilia, when you know what the punishment would be?”
She shrugged. “After all these years maybe I’m just tired of fighting.” She leaned over the table, her plump breasts pale and enticing. “Don’t you want to forget them all, just for one night? Wouldn’t one night of just us be worth whatever punishment they meted out?”
He took her hand between both of his. He stroked his thumb across the silk of her flesh. “You don’t have a clue what it would mean to become a source for Infernia. I do. There will come a time when we’ll be together. I vow to you. One day this weight—this pain—will be gone.”
Something in her eyes shifted. He saw the need, the yearning. He released her hand. She drew away.
“Of course, Vitus. You’re a Roman warrior, after all. You’re used to deprivation. You think to save me from myself, but I think it’s slowly destroying us both. How much of your humanity is left, Vitus? After Apollo? After Zevodious? Can you even feel anything anymore?”
Caecilia knew him too well even though they’d spent so little time together. Much of his humanity seemed to have evaporated. But apparently there was still a glint left. Cuthbert had shown him that. But what about her? Caecilia was no longer the virgin maiden he’d made love to on that long ago summer’s day next to the Tiber. She was now one of Aphrodite’s sirens. Lush, seductive, and skilled in the sensual arts as she had not been so long ago.
She turned from his close scrutiny to gaze at the seduction taking place on the stage and nodded toward the actors. “He’s your mission.”
“The boy in shackles?”
“No. The demon who’s about to fuck the woman.”
Vitus swung around to look at Caecilia. “Demon? I thought it was supposed to be a sorcerer.”
“Justus is a sorcerer. And a demon. His blood is both.”
“And the couple?”
She shrugged, then poured herself another shot of whiskey. “Losers at the tables. They all know there’s a price when they come here. They aren’t the first and won’t be the last. There are no secrets. They all think they’re shrewder than the tables, that they can beat the odds. Of course, none of them do.”
Vitus had seen that hunger in Cuthbert. If not for the hell-zombies thrown in his path, and Vitus saving him in the nick of time, it could be the young gambler eventually standing on that stage. Except he sure as hell was no virgin. Justus had the woman on the bench. He was parting her legs, her thighs were shiny with her moisture. Head dropped back, eyes closed, breasts upthrust, she appeared more than ready to accept the demon’s doubled-headed cock into her sweet, young pussy.
“Newly married couple, looking to make their fortune?”
“Brother and sister.”
Vitus swung back to look at Caecilia. He saw little expression on her face, little concern for the couple on the stage.
Caecilia turned and looked up to a curtained box on the other side of the saloon. “He’s in there, watching, waiting. I believe the girl’s a virgin—for a few more seconds anyway. Greed brought them here and they’ll pay heavily for losing. The girl will go with him, he’ll keep her until he’s impregnated her, then he’ll send her back to the living world. As he does with all those who catch his eye.”
“And the boy?”
She looked at him steadily. “You know what will happen to him. Some will survive, as you did. Some won’t.” She looked at the stage. “I don’t think he’ll be one of the survivors. But with luck he won’t become one of the hell-zombies.”
The girl screamed as Justus penetrated her. She arched and her arms came around Justus as though to pull him closer. Her thighs fell open even wider, supplicating herself completely to Justus.
“Yes,” she said. “Yes. Yes. Yes.”
Justus surged into her, rode her. At the last moment his attention turned to the table where Vitus and Caecilia were seated. The girl beneath him screamed as she came. Justus drove into her again, his eyes on Caecilia. And again. Long, deep, powerful strokes. Again, Lucy came. Justus grinned, his skin now a deep wine-red burgundy expressing his depth of arousal as he fucked Lucy and stared at Caecilia.
“He wants you,” Vitus said.
“He’ll have me...”