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An angry pounding reverberated through the right side of my skull, and my eye was swol en shut. Turning on every light in the house, I padded barefoot to the freezer and assembled an ice pack out of ice cubes and a Ziploc bag. I braved a look in the bathroom mirror and groaned. A violent purple and red bruise flowered from my eyebrow down to my cheekbone.

“How could you have let this happen?” I asked my reflection.

“How could you have let Marcie beat you up?” I shook the last two Tylenol gelcaps out of the bottle in the mirrored cabinet, swallowed them, then curled into bed. The ice stung the skin around my eye and sent a shiver through me.

While I waited for the Tylenol to kick in, I wrestled with the mental picture of Marcie climbing inside Patch’s Jeep. The image played, rewound, and replayed. I tossed and turned, and even folded my pillow over my head to smother the image, but it danced just out of reach, taunting me.

What must have been an hour later, my brain wore itself out thinking of all the inventive ways I’d like to kill both Marcie and thinking of all the inventive ways I’d like to kill both Marcie and Patch, and I slipped back into sleep.

I woke to the sound of a lock rolling over.

I opened my eyes, but found my vision muddled by the same poor-quality black and white as when I’d dreamed my way into England, hundreds of years ago. I tried to blink it away and bring my normal vision back, but my world stayed the color of smoke and ice.

Downstairs, the front door eased open with a low-pitched creak.

I wasn’t expecting my mom home until Saturday morning, which meant it was someone else. Someone who didn’t belong inside.

I stole a look around the room for something I could use as a weapon. A few small picture frames were arranged on the nightstand, along with a cheap drugstore lamp.

Footsteps trod softly over the hardwood floors of the foyer.

Seconds later, they were on the stairs. The intruder didn’t pause, listening for signs that they’d been heard. They knew exactly where they were going. Rolling silently out of bed, I snatched my discarded tights off the floor. I tightened them between my hands and pressed my back to the wall just inside my bedroom door, a clammy sweat beading my skin. It was so quiet I could hear myself breathe.

He stepped through the doorway, and I roped a leg of the tights around his neck, tugging back with all my strength. There was a moment of struggle before my weight jerked forward and I found myself face-to-face with Patch.

He looked from the tights he’d confiscated to me. “Want to explain?”

“What are you doing here?” I demanded, my breathing elevated. I put two and two together. “Was that your text earlier?

The one telling me to stay put tonight? Since when do you have an unlisted number?”

“I had to get a new line. Something more secure.” I didn’t want to know. What kind of person needed all that secrecy? Who was Patch afraid would be eavesdropping on his calls? The archangels?

“Did it ever occur to you to knock?” I said, my pulse still hammering. “I thought you were someone else.”

“Expecting someone else?”

“As a matter of fact, yes!” A psychopath who sent anonymous text messages telling me to make myself accessible.

“It’s after three,” Patch said. “Whoever you’re waiting for can’t be that exciting—you fell asleep.” He smiled. “You’re still sleeping.” As he said it, he looked satisfied. Maybe even reassured, as if something he’d been puzzling over had finally worked itself out.

I blinked. still sleeping? What was he talking about? Wait. Of course. That explained why all color was drained, and I was still seeing in black and white. Patch wasn’t really in my bedroom—he was in my dream.

But was I dreaming about him, or did he actually know he was here? Were we sharing the same dream?

“For your information, I fell asleep waiting for—Scott.” I had no idea why I’d said it, other than my mouth got in the way of my brain.

“Scott,” he repeated.

“Don’t start. I saw Marcie climb inside your Jeep.”

“She needed a ride.”

I adopted a hands-on-hips pose. “What kind of ride?”

“Not that kind of ride,” he said slowly.

“Oh, sure! What color was her thong?” It was a test, and I really hoped he failed.

He didn’t answer, but one look at his eyes told me he hadn’t failed.

I marched to the bed, grabbed a pillow, and hurled it at him.

He sidestepped, and it flopped against the wall. “You lied to me,” I said. “You told me there was nothing going on between you and Marcie, but when two people have nothing between them, they don’t swap wardrobes, and they don’t get inside each other’s cars late at night dressed in what could pass as lingerie!” I was suddenly aware of my own clothes, or lack thereof. I stood feet away from Patch in nothing more than a spaghetti-strap tank and boy briefs. Well, there wasn’t a lot I could do about it now, was there?

“Swap wardrobes?”

“She was wearing your hat!”

“She was having a bad hair day.”

My jaw dropped. “Is that what she told you? And you fell for it?” “She’s not as bad as you’re making her out to be.” He did not just say that.

I thrust a finger at my eye. “Not that bad? See this? She gave it to me! What are you doing here?” I demanded again, my rage boiling to an all-time high.

Patch leaned back against the bureau and folded his arms. “I came by to see how you’re doing.”

“Again, I have a black eye, thanks for asking,” I snapped.

“Need ice?”

“I need you to get out of my dream!” I ripped a second pillow off the bed and heaved it violently at him. This time he caught it.

“The Devil’s Handbag, black eye. Comes with the territory.” He shoved the pillow back at me, as if to punctuate his opinion.

“Are you defending Marcie?”

He shook his head. “I don’t need to. She handled herself.

You, on the other hand …”

I pointed at the door. “Out.”

When he didn’t move, I marched within range and whipped the pillow against him. “I said get out of my dream, you lying, traitorous—”

He wrestled the pillow out of my grasp and walked me backward until I came up against the wall, his motorcycle boots flush against my toes. I was drawing breath to finish my sentence and call him the worst name I could think up, when Patch tugged on the waistband of my underpants and pulled me even closer. His eyes were liquid black, his breathing slow and deep. I stood that way, suspended between him and the wall, my pulse stepping up as I became more aware of his body and the masculine scent of leather and mint lingering on his skin. I felt my resistance start to ebb away.

Suddenly, and without heeding anything but my own desire, I curled my fingers into his shirt and pulled him the rest of the way against me. It felt so good to have him close again. I’d missed him so much, but I hadn’t realized just how much until this moment.

“Don’t make me regret this,” I said, breathless.

“You haven’t regretted me once.” He kissed me, and I answered so hungrily I thought my lips would bruise. I pushed my fingers up through his hair, clutching him closer. My mouth was all over his, chaotic and wild and starved. All the messy and complicated emotions I’d gone through since we broke up dropped away as I drowned myself in the crazed and compulsive need to be with him.

His hands were under my tank, expertly sliding to the small of my back to hold me against him. I was trapped between the wall and his body, fumbling at the buttons on his shirt, my knuckles brushing solid muscle beneath.

I rucked his shirt down off his shoulders, slamming the door on my brain, which warned that I was making a huge mistake. I didn’t want to hear myself out, afraid of what I’d find on the other side. I knew I was setting myself up for more pain, but I couldn’t resist him. All I could think was that if Patch really was in my dream, this whole night could be our secret. The archangels couldn’t see us. Here, all their rules went up in smoke. We could do whatever we wanted, and they would never find out. No one would.

Patch met me halfway, pulling his arms free from the sleeves and tossing the shirt aside. I slid my hands along perfectly sculpted muscle that sent a ripple of mania through me. I knew he couldn’t feel any of this physically, but I told myself love was driving him now. His love for me. I didn’t allow myself to think about his inability to feel my touch, or how much or little this encounter really meant to him. I simply wanted him. Now.

He lifted me up, and I wrapped my legs around his waist. I saw his gaze cut to the dresser, then the bed, and my heart flip-flopped with desire. Rational thought had abandoned me. All I knew was that I would do whatever it took to hang on to this unhinged high. Everything was happening way too fast, but the wild certainty of where we were headed was a balm to the cold, destructive anger I’d felt simmering under the surface the past week.

It was the last thought I registered before my fingertip brushed the place where his wings connected to his back.

Before I could stop it, I was sucked inside his memory in a snap.

The smell of leather, and the smooth, slippery feel of it against the underside of my thighs, told me I was in Patch’s Jeep even before my eyes had fully adapted to the darkness. I was in the backseat, with Patch behind the wheel and Marcie in the passenger seat. She was wearing the same slinky dress and tall boots I’d seen her in less than three hours ago.

Tonight, then. Patch’s memory had whisked me only a few hours back.

“She ruined my dress,” Marcie said, picking at the fabric clinging to her thighs. “Now I’m freezing. And I reek of cherry Coke.”

“You want my jacket?” Patch asked, eyes on the road.

“Where is it?”


Marcie unlocked her seat belt, got a knee up on the console, and grabbed Patch’s leather jacket off the seat beside me.

When she was facing forward again, she tugged the dress up over her head and dropped it on the floor at her feet. Other than her underwear, she was completely naked.

I made a little choked sound in my throat.

She threaded her arms into Patch’s jacket and zipped it up.

“Take the next left,” she instructed.

“I know the way to your house,” Patch said, steering the Jeep right.

“I don’t want to go home. In two blocks, turn left.” But after two blocks, Patch continued straight.

“Well, you’re no fun,” Marcie said with a jaded pout. “Aren’t you just a little bit curious where I was going to take us?”

“It’s late.”

“Are you turning me down?” she asked coyly.

“I’m dropping you off, then I’m going back to my place.”

“Why can’t I come?”

“Maybe someday,” Patch said.

Oh, really? I wanted to snap at Patch.

That’s more than I ever got!

“That’s not very specific,” Marcie smirked, kicking her heels up on the dash, showing off inches of leg.