Chapter Six

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"I was thinking of putting it here."

Fi was bundled up against the December chill. Owen was standing next to her in her backyard. The sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky beyond the patio. Her fingers itched to take her sunglasses from her long, grey wool coat's pocket.

Ever since Fi had shown up at her front door first thing that morning, Owen had avoided looking at her. Right now, he was doing so with an excuse. With intense eyes, he searched for the best spot to set up his foundry.

"You can put it anywhere you want," Fi purred suggestively. The risqué comment earned her a quick side glance.

Owen had had his suspicions since waking from his wet dream last night. From all his years of study, he knew that vampires were like their incubus sires. They could enter one's subconscious and tempt them into evil.

This wasn't common knowledge. Only those who studied under chancellors in the shaman council were privy to the information. Owen had been handpicked by Jakob soon after the apocalypse ended. He was to be the councilor's successor. With Magnusson missing, it fell to Owen to find what'd happened to his mentor.

Frowning at the frozen ground before him, Owen recalled the fantasy that'd played out in his sleep. The smell of Ophelia on the sheets likely created the dream in the first place. With a glance at her under his lashes, he remembered when it'd changed, become more real.

Ophelia's suggestive comment proved to Owen's mind that she'd been there, participated in the dream. The ancient wards he cast before falling asleep should have kept it demon-free. But she'd slipped past somehow.

Recalling that he needed to tease out as much information about his mentor as he could, Owen looked at the duplicitous temptress by his side. It was the first time he'd been able to do so since she'd shown up at his door earlier that morning.

Leaning forward, Owen's mouth rested next to Ophelia's ear. In a low tone, he said, "I think I know where you'd like me to put it."

Straightening slightly, Owen captured Ophelia's inky gaze. Bringing his palm up, he cupped her cheek. With the pad of his thumb, he gently brushed her soft, rose petal bottom lip.

The huskiness in Owen's tone wasn't difficult to achieve. Contrary to what his head warned, his body had a mind of its own. With their shared fantasy fresh in his mind and Ophelia so close, his cock tried to misbehave.

Clearing his throat, Owen dropped his hand. Then, he pulled his gaze away from the mesmerizing obsidian eyes that held so much promise and temptation. Looking behind him, he blurted, "Over there should work." With the same hand that'd caressed Ophelia's soft lip, he motioned at the southwest corner behind his shoulder. A brittle, hole-ridden vinyl fence stubbornly stood. He didn't think the vampiress would mind if he removed that section to make room for his foundry.

As Owen looked over his shoulder, Fi's fingertips went to her lips. They still tingled from his warm touch. It was difficult to stand still, to not grab and kiss him.

Before Fi could do anything ill-advised, Owen stepped from the patio and into the snow. Pulling her sunglasses from her coat's pocket, she trailed after him. As she put them on, she inhaled deeply, filling her nose and lungs with his scent. The way her anima made her behave was out-of-character. If Søren could see her now, he'd tease her for being weak, pathetic.

The shaman stopped about ten feet from the fence. Fi nearly ran into his back but managed to halt her forward momentum in time. Raising his hands, Owen began to chant. The words were in an unfamiliar tongue, but she was reasonably sure it was Cherokee. It sounded like the archaic cadence of the Americas she remembered hearing in her youth.

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