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From Sinners and Saints Book I: Lost Wages of Sin
Dante had always seemed a bit too perfect when it came to the male form, but then again, Ava knew half a million demons who would disagree with her. She supposed it was a matter of personal taste. Her sister had an insatiable appetite for…well, men, women, and what-have-you, but Luxi was most prone to men built like football players. Ava was just the opposite; her poison was a man who wouldn’t tower over her and likewise not make her feel too butch at the same time. Dante fit the bill. He was only a few inches taller than she and had a body built for debauchery, complete with strong arms and a marble-carved chest. Tonight, he was wrapped in a snug pair of jeans and a form-fitting navy tee, which made his pale skin seem paler. His hair was coal black and his eyes sparkled blue. Ava had always loved his eyes.
Not that she’d ever tell him any of that.
“Look,” she said at last, biting her thoughts back with a healthy helping of anger. Dante might be a friend—a fucking gorgeous friend at that—but she wasn’t in the mood to trade barbs or entertain his cocky ass. Not at the moment, at least. “Are you just gonna small-talk me to death or did you just want a good seat?”
Demon One stopped in defeat and held up his cloven hands. “Hey, are we keeping you from something? 'Cause we could totally reschedule the...you know, killing you.”
“Whoa! Do you two, like, know each other?” Demon Two asked, blinking dumbly.
Dante snickered and ignored them. “You sure do attract the thick ones.”
“You're one to talk,” Ava spat.
“Look, vamp,” Demon One said in defeat. “You gonna help or not? We are kinda busy here.”
“Right,” Dante replied. “Three on one and not a single one of you has managed to slow her down.” He rolled his eyes. “Wannabes.”
It was very obviously the wrong time to crack a grin, but for whatever reason, she couldn't help herself.
“Vamps are so fucking useless,” Demon One snarled.
Demon Three, the only one in the group not versed in English, gurgled something sounding like an agreement.
Ava met Dante’s eyes. “Hear that? You’re useless.”
“Figures. Mom always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything.” Dante sighed heavily and hopped off the mausoleum. “Want a hand?”
She shook her head, landing a hard punch against Demon Two’s puss-oozing eye before elbowing Demon Three. “I got it.”
Dante huffed. “Right,” he said. “Every party needs a pooper.”
“That’s why you invited me.”
“You play with them too much,” he complained, stepping forward. “Let me show you how it’s done.”
Then he was everywhere. A blur of motion against a dark silhouette, moving with superhuman speed. Demon One collapsed before she could blink, gurgling and holding his sliced throat, a glossy look of surprise forever trapped on his face. Next went Demon Three, howling in his native tongue as his guts toppled out his split torso.
A hot flash of anger raced down Ava’s spine. This was so like him. Show up, distract her, and ruin the one solace the night had given her. Glad as she might be to see a familiar face, her frustration needed a channel, and he’d just stolen the only one in sight. “Dante!”
He tossed her a cocky grin. “Snooze you lose, darling.”
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