Home was always a good place to be, even if the place you called home was no longer a brownstone on Lakeview Avenue but a penthouse forty feet under the city of Chicago. For Tobias, home was where his mate Sabrina was, and his entire body had warmed the moment he’d returned to her.
“How’d things go with your sister?” Sabrina yawned into her hand. It was less than an hour until sunrise and she’d already curled up on the sofa. Dark circles smudged the space under her eyes, and tendrils of her bright red hair had come loose from its bun. Tobias frowned beside her. He supposed a full day of controlling the vampire population of Chicago would fray anyone’s nerves.
“Didn’t find her,” he admitted. “The woman living at her old address told us she was dead.”
“Goddess, Tobias! I’m so sorry—”
“She’s not dead.” He chuckled. “Trust me. Rowan is indestructible. But she must have faked her own death. We couldn’t get a read on her. No idea where she is. Raven is going to try magic to track her down.”
“I’d put a vampire on it, but I can’t risk them finding out what she is. Things could get difficult.” She rested her head against his shoulder, her voice quiet in the dim light.
“It wouldn’t help anyway. In Paragon, dragons and vampires don’t exactly have a chummy relationship. If she sensed one following her—and she will sense it—she’d do one of three things: run, kill them, or make damned sure to throw them off the scent. In this case, it’s best just to let Raven do her thing.”
She stretched. “Mmkay.”
“How was your night?”
“Detestable.” She pulled the tie from her hair and let it spill over her shoulders, sighing when Tobias shifted behind her to massage her scalp. “I had to lock up a young vamp who put a human girl in the hospital. Hasn’t learned to control his hunger. I’m constantly balancing my need to maintain control with my human half. My father would have executed him for the mess he made. I didn’t have the heart. He’s in a cage and on blood bags for the next three years. That should mellow him out while also proving to the coven that I’m not a pushover.”
Tobias worked his way down and started rubbing her shoulders. Sabrina was capable of ruling like her father, but she was not her father and shouldn’t have to be. She’d been a caring nurse when they worked at the hospital together. “You did the right thing. Three years is nothing in the life of a vamp.”
“Thing is, taking him down was physically demanding. These new vamps are strong as hell.” She cracked her neck. “I’m working with Madam Chloe on a spell to amplify my mind control. I need something that will make it easier for me to compel other vampires. Until then, I might need to bring more backup.”
He nodded. “You look beat.”
“I am. I think I’m going to go to bed early.”
Tobias held out his hand. “Come with me.”
She blinked up at him. “Where? I’m tired, Tobias. After today, I can hardly keep my eyes open.”
“I’ll carry you.”
With an acceding smile, she slipped her hand into his and he swung her into his arms. A few words with their personal guard and he was out the door and traveling at dragon speed. Once they’d reached the street, he took to the air. A man blinked and shook his head as Tobias turned both of them invisible and flew right over his head.
“Cutting it close, dragon,” Sabrina shouted over the wind. “Don’t make me have to hurt you.”
“What kind of hurt are we talking about? I might be on board.” She laughed into his neck.
He landed on a balcony facing Lake Michigan and lowered onto a plush white patio sofa. The night air was cool— uncomfortably cold for a human— but the cold never bothered him, and if it bothered her, he could put off enough heat for both of them.
“Where are we?” she asked. “What if the owners catch us?”
“Not going to be a problem. I had Paul check it out for us. In fact…” He reached behind the sofa and retrieved a picnic basket he’d had Chef pack for them. He set the gourmet charcuterie board she’d prepared on the coffee table in front of them, then poured chilled champagne into two crystal glasses he found packed inside. Perfect. He handed one to Sabrina.
“What is all this?” She brushed her hair back from her sleepy green eyes and popped a strawberry into her mouth.
“I thought you could use a little reminder.” He clinked his glass against hers and they both sipped their bubbly.
“Reminder about what, exactly?” She grinned at him over her glass.
“That the world is ours. The whole world, not just the underground but the sky. Not just the night but the day.” He hooked a knuckle under her chin and turned her face toward the horizon. Over the rippling waves, silver light spread across the horizon.
“I know it’s coming,” she said. “I can feel it singing in my blood. I haven’t watched a sunrise since I sold my apartment.” Her mouth sagged.
“Why does the thought of watching one now upset you?” He positioned himself on the couch and pulled her back against his chest, watching her sip her drink with unwavering focus.”
She released a gusty sigh. “Because I can barely keep my eyes open. Right now, our coven is falling asleep in the tunnels and I need to make sure I’m there when they wake up. Because this is some stranger’s balcony. Because I’m at my most vulnerable during the day and it isn’t safe for us to be here, not really. Because this isn’t my life anymore.”
He planted a kiss on her temple. “Let’s take those one at a time. First, I can help you with the fatigue.” He turned her head and claimed her mouth with his. The hot familiar sweep of energy flowed out of him and into her. Lighting her fuse. He drove the kiss deeper, his fingers tangling in the hair at the back of her head.
Only when the silvery light on the horizon grew brighter did he pull away. It would defeat the purpose to miss the sunrise. He slanted a lopsided grin at the warm blush of her cheeks and the fresh brightness in her eyes.
“As for the coven,” he said, leaning back against the cushions and staring out across the water. “You’ll be there when they wake. I’ll make sure of it.”
“It is beautiful.” Sabrina blinked at the rising orange balloon of light. Colors shot across the horizon and blanketed the city in the first glow of morning.
“As for this being some stranger’s balcony, it’s not.”
She narrowed her eyes on him incredulously.
“Gabriel’s guy arranged for its purchase. Cash of course. Through a trust not associated with either of us. Still, it’s ours.” He pulled the keys from his pocket and rattled them in front of her.
Her green eyes brightened, dancing in the light of day. He’d have to get her out of the sun soon so that she wouldn’t burn. “You bought me a sunrise studio!”
“I did.” He winked at her. “Which brings us to the part about this not being your life anymore.”
He pulled her onto his lap, his hand sweeping along her inner thigh. “This is your life, Sabrina. It’s our life.”
She inhaled deeply and tucked her face into his neck. With a thump of his wings, he was on his feet and moving toward the door.
“Where are you taking me?” she asked with a wicked grin.
“Behind the UV protective glass I had installed so you don’t burn and into our bed where I plan to do what I have to do to put you to sleep. I’m not sure what it will take, but I plan to start with my tongue right here.” He moved his hand higher on her thigh until his finger brushed her center. Her gasp told him he’d hit the right spot.
Shouldering open the sliding glass door, he walked her inside and placed her on the bed he’d set up facing the wall of windows.
“I wasn’t kidding about needing to be back in the penthouse by nightfall,” she said, suddenly serious.
In seconds, he’d divested her of her pants. He flashed her a wolfish grin from between her knees. “And I wasn’t kidding about delivering you there while you sleep. Invisibility is a very useful thing.”
She stared down her body at him, a slow smile spreading. “I guess I have nothing to worry about then. You’ve thought of everything.”
He pulled his shirt off over his head, unraveling his wings for her before settling between her knees. She reached out and stroked along the webbing, her irises shifting silver with desire. He loved the way she looked at him.
“Should a coven master worry?” he asked. “Don’t you have people to do that for you?”
“The master is exactly who is supposed to worry,” she said.
Never taking his eyes off her, he moved down her body, his lips brushing a trail from her navel to her inner thigh. “Then for the next hour, call me Master.” He lowered his mouth and teased her most sensitive flesh with his tongue.
She arched and closed her eyes. “Master.”
* * *
Thank you for reading this bonus epilogue of WINDY CITY DRAGON. Don’t miss MANHATTAN DRAGON, book 3 in the Treasure of Paragon series, available now! You’ll get more of Tobias and Sabrina, along with Rowan and Nick’s story.