Magic Secret (Half-Blood Academy #2) - Meg Xuemei X Page 0,1

and longing filled my bloodstream.

My knight watched my every move with doting fascination.

“To ease your mind, lamb, we’re going to take another form of transportation.”

“What do you mean?” I stuttered. “I don’t like surprises.”

I wasn’t a fan of uncertainty either, considering past events.

A whirlwind swept over us, light and shadow exploding in front of my eyes. Héctor enveloped his wings around me to shield me as if I was indeed his lamb.

When the swirling light and shades vanished, glass spun around us, then stilled.

Héctor stood on the solid floor, with me climbing him like a tree.

“We’re home, lamb.” He chuckled at my expression, tucking in his wings.

“Home?” I asked like an idiot.

I’d been acting like that since the death demigod kissed me and took me to the sky. I hadn’t been able to think straight, and it was still an effort to gather any coherent thoughts.

I needed to get my shit together.

I took in my surroundings. The dream I had shared with Héctor rolled into the reality right in front of me.

We were in an opulent apartment in a skyscraper, the view beneath our feet as stunning as it had been in that dream. On one side it was a lush park of green and pink; on the other upscale Manhattan streets bustled with life and riches.

“You’re safe with me, lamb,” Héctor said, pressing me against his hard chest.

We had landed, but he wasn’t willing to let me go.

“This entire building is warded. The windows are like one-way mirrors. We can see outside, but no one from the outside can see through the glass. They’re also bulletproof.”

“How can we be safe here? Isn’t Manhattan the worst warzone?”

“Neutral zone,” he said.

“But the demons and you guys fight even harder in the neutral zones than in the warzones.”

“This part of Manhattan is off-limits to all parties,” he said. “Lucifer also has an apartment here. He stays in the east wing when he visits.”

“What?” I shrieked. “I’m not ready to meet him!”

Every demon, including the first one I’d encountered in the dark forest around Crack, had taken an interest in me, and not in a good way. I was not up to being mistaken as the “Lost One”—especially not by Lucifer, the great master of all demons—and being hurled to Hell.

It was already bad enough to have been dragged to Half-Death Academy, burned, and beaten.

“No one is allowed to touch you, lamb, not even Lucifer,” Héctor said. “You’re under my protection. Lucifer stays here a couple of days a year. Even if we’re unfortunate enough to meet him in the common area, I believe we can manage to be civilized. Our armies fight each other, but we don’t brawl like barbarians.”

My lips thinned, ready to pull away from him. “So, you and Lucifer are buddies?”

I hadn’t exactly lived under the devil’s thumb, but every citizen knew what he had cost our world and civilization.

Héctor pulled me back against him and trapped me in his arms.

“Never, lamb,” he said, his jaw clenched. “He’s my immortal enemy. We’re all awaiting the final battle.”

My heart thrummed at his mention of the final battle. A sudden, cold fear pumped into my blood. What if Héctor perished on the battlefield? I’d just found him.

“Worry no more,” he ordered, tracing his thumb over my tight jaw. “Let’s get you the bath you badly need.”

I reeked of demon blood—and my own. It was a wonder Héctor had even kissed me.

“I can do a bath,” I said, and my pulse spiked like shooting lava.

Was he going to share a bath with me? He seemed to be hinting it.

While I peeked at him hesitatingly, Héctor scooped me up. I let my head loll over his broad shoulder and let him take care of me. I was bone tired.

When he carried me upstairs, I took the liberty of surveying the open-plan apartment. A streamlined, modern kitchen led to a chic dining room and elegant living room with metallic walls, several white, flowery sofas, and a family entertainment set. Just his downstairs was larger than a football stadium.

Up the stairs, we passed his bedroom. Next to it was a bath chamber. He strolled in and reluctantly set me down next to the sink so he could turn on the water in a Jacuzzi so spacious it could easily fit his massive wings.

“Jacuzzi!” I cried in glee, my feet dangling from the golden marble counter. “I’ve never used one.”

The water rose quickly in the tub.

Héctor turned to me, and his heated gaze roved over me,