"He was so busy getting his rocks off, he didn't stop himself in time." Brent laughed as if Dion's pain was the funniest thing he'd ever witnessed, although she knew Brent wouldn't be laughing if he had been the one icing his balls for the next three days.

Lexi tensed up when she saw the hospital doors swing open to lead them outside. Not only was it hot, but she didn't want to be alone with Brent, and she damn sure didn't want Hades to see her alone with Brent.

"It's too hot out here," she said. "Why don't we head back?"

"But you haven't told me anything about your life in Bath," he said, although he hadn't given her a chance to get a word in edgewise. "There's a path that leads around the hospital. Let's just make one round and you can fill me in."

With a frustrated sigh, Lexi picked up her pace, forcing Brent to widen his strides. Before she had a chance to recite the censored version of her life, he started his inquiry.

"So, what's the story with you and Luke? How serious are you, really? I don't see a ring."

The question didn't surprise her. She figured Brent had an agenda.

"We don't need jewelry to prove our commitment to each other."

Brent snorted. "Whose idea was that? Is it a money issue for him? You shouldn't settle, Lexi. You've got a lot to offer."

Lexi didn't hold back her scowl as she cut him off. "He has plenty of money, but that's not why I love him."

"Are you sure it's love? Both you and your mom hesitated when you introduced him. It makes me wonder if there's a chance someone else could put in his bid." Brent flashed his cosmetically-enhanced smile, which did nothing for her. He was a douche.

"Really, Brent. I'm deliriously happy with Luke. We're getting married at the end of December. If you're only going to drill me about my relationship status, then I'd rather go back inside and sit with my family."

They rounded a corner and were stopped by a construction barrier. A detour had been put up directing pedestrians around the perimeter of the parking lot. Lexi wasn't keen on navigating obstacles, especially since there were no other pedestrians in sight. She started to turn back when Brent unceremoniously pulled her through the construction barrier so they were hidden from view. Definitely, no bueno.

"What the hell are you doing, Brent?" Lexi yanked her hand away, making a conscious effort not to use it to slap his face. She already felt electricity tingling beneath her skin.

"I just want to talk to you for a minute, in private."

"If it's that private then I don't want to hear it." She made for the narrow entrance in the barrier when Brent grabbed her arm again. His grip was harder this time, like he meant to hurt her.

"Are you sure you want other people to hear about the fun we had in the downstairs closet of my parents' house?"

A shudder ran the length of Lexi's spine as she stood motionless, closing her eyes against the memory. It didn't help. The images returned, of Brent's mouth clamped down on hers, nearly choking her with his tongue, forcing her to give him a hand job under threat of telling her parents lies about her.

"Ah, so you do remember." Brent leaned into her ear, pressing his growing erection against her thigh. "You wouldn't want your beloved Luke to know what we did, would you? Maybe I could exaggerate the story to include more, like you riding me until I came. That's how I imagine it every time I think of you."

"Why are you doing this, Brent?" she said as she wiggled her wrist inside his iron fist. "What do you want?"

Lexi knew what he wanted, and her body's need to panic intensified the tingling. She had to get out of there before one of them did something they regretted. Like an idiot, he stuck his mouth on her ear again.

"I love it when you fight me. It makes me so hard. Touch me, Lexi. Like old times." He jammed his hand between her legs, cupping her mound roughly, and Lexi slapped it away. Fortunately, there were no sparks.

"Never touch me again, or so help me I'll..."

"You'll do what?" His face flushed as his lips rose into a smirk. "You're no fighter. You're a pushover. You did whatever I asked because you didn't want to make trouble."

"I was young and stupid. I've grown up. Now leave me alone and I won't report you for harassment." As she made for the exit, he grabbed both her arms and pulled her against his chest, gripping her neck tightly to hold her still.

"You're going to get me off right here behind this barrier or I'm going to tell your boyfriend what a slut you were before you met him."

"He would never believe you. Our relationship is based on trust."

"Bullshit! All it takes is someone dropping the hint and it will fester until it burns a hole in his heart. Then—Poof!—your relationship is toast."

"It sounds like you're talking from experience."

He scowled and snatched her hand, shoving it down the front of his pants. "Feel what you do to me, Lexi. This is for you, and you're going to have the evidence all over your hand."

Panic officially took over, sweeping through Lexi's body like a tidal wave as Brent jerked against her. She knew he was close, and the thought made her stomach wretch. She had built a wall around those memories, which she had slowly dismantled as her sexuality developed. Now, everything came rushing back, threatening to break her again. She had allowed Brent one fuck-up, but this one she refused to give him.

Lexi's powers surged before she was ready, and the sound of crackling electricity filled the space as sparks flew from her fingers. The energy behind Lexi's assault sent Brent sailing backwards, and he gasped as he landed on his back. A second later, he began twitching with convulsions, and his eyes rolled back into his head. Shit. He was going into cardiac arrest, and it was her fault.

"Lexi!" Hades voice rang in her ears as he broke through the barrier like a linebacker. "What happened?"

Lexi was already crouched next to Brent as his body shook with tremors, her mind reeling from the gravity of what she had done. "He attacked me. I was trying to defend myself. Oh, gods. I did this." She waved her buzzing hands at Hades to prove she was still dangerous.

Hades ditched the hardware in his hand and dropped to his knees. Without further comment, he released a vapor from his mouth, the godly gift he'd been given to sedate the troubled souls of the underworld. The mist billowed around Brent's head as he gulped in air, one hand clutched dramatically to his chest, his eyes wide and disbelieving as he stared up at Hades. Then Hades scooped Brent into his arms, lifting him easily and kicking the barrier open. Lexi hurried to collect the bag and follow, feeling numb and dazed. What would she say to the hospital staff? She couldn't tell them the truth.

When they reached the front desk, the shocked receptionist called for an attendant, and it only took a few seconds for a gurney to arrive. During the short wait, Brent had stopped convulsing and was lying peacefully in Hades' arms while Hades told the attendant that he and Lexi had found Brent inside the construction area in distress. Hades suspected Brent had come into contact with a live wire. Grateful for Hades' cleverness, Lexi did her part and gave the receptionist Brent's contact information, all while fighting the urge to throw up.

When Brent had disappeared through a set of double doors, Hades ushered Lexi away from the desk and sat her down on a waiting room couch. After which, he enveloped her in his arms, imbuing his warmth into her skin as he kissed her forehead. "You don't have to tell me what happened unless you want to. I can infer from context."

His nonjudgmental compassion made Lexi feel terrible, and tears pricked her eyes as she looked up at him. "I can't believe I did that. I'm supposed to heal people, not kill them."

"We both know you didn't intend to kill him, Lexi. You're still taming your powers. I'm sure Brent is going to pull through, although I expect he had it coming."

Lexi couldn't disagree with Hades. Brent had a history of malicious and perverted behavior, and it was probably not the first time he'd received a fist full of smackdown, but Lexi knew violence never solved anything, and she challenged herself to spend more time honing her skills. As for Brent, all she could do was hope the incident reminded him which head to use for thinking and which one needed to stay in his pants. 

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