Try As I Smite (Brimstone Inc #4) - Abigail Owen Page 0,2


The enigmatic woman who’d been a burr under his metaphorical saddle since he met her. He would much rather have gone begging for a place in her bed to exorcise the spell she’d cast that seemed to grip him harder with every encounter they had.

Having to grovel for help, on the other hand, was the last thing he’d pictured himself ever having to do.

He should have known better.

“I need to see Delilah.”

In her private office, windows overlooking the Denver downtown with the snow-covered Rocky Mountains hazy in the late morning light, Delilah raised her head.

No mistaking those deep tones, even over the Christmas music piping softly through the office. Hell, she’d fantasized about that smooth-as-sin voice as she’d pleasured herself at night. Every night for over a year. An anomaly for her.

Alasdair Blakesley.

The control-obsessed leader of the Covens Syndicate who had a chip on his shoulder the size of a large building when it came to his magic-only policies, which meant he didn’t appreciate her taking on clients that impacted his kind in any way.

Well, too damn bad.

Stubborn, conceited, and unbearably sarcastic, Alasdair was a man who preferred to have the upper hand in every situation. It had taken her about two and three-quarter seconds to figure that much out. By some miracle, she’d managed to avoid crossing his path until last year when, unbeknownst to him, she’d helped his lead witch-hunter find love in an unconventional way.

Most of her ways were unconventional.

Since then, Alasdair had popped up in her life, her office, and even tried to summon her to his location, almost once a month, if not more. All on the pretext of “checking in” to see if she’d picked up any more cases related to magic wielders.

Unfortunately, to her everlasting resentment, her body turned to molten fire every damn time he came near. In fact, the sensation was already thrumming through her blood at the sound of him in her outer office, setting her teeth on edge. Her grudging respect for him—which she would never disclose, his ego didn’t need the boost—only made it worse.

What in the world was he doing in her office? On Christmas Eve, no less. She might avoid the holiday like the plague, but she knew mages celebrated.

Curiosity had her out of her seat and halfway to the open doorway when the voices grew louder.

“You can’t go in there, sir.” Her personal assistant and bodyguard, Naiobe, was as near to shouting as the freed djinn got.

Delilah sped up before Naiobe could get into a magical power struggle with one of the most formidable mages on the planet. Mentally burying what she refused to label as tumbling excitement at seeing him, she paused in the doorway. The man towering over her assistant, who glared back, nose twitching but undaunted, didn’t seem to notice.

Delilah crossed her arms, leaning against the doorjamb, and pasted a deliberately provocative smile to her lips. “If the next words out of your mouth are, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’, I’m going to be very disappointed in you, Alasdair.”

He rearranged his posture in a hurry, straightening sharply, shoulders back. He even plucked at the cuffs of his immaculate three-piece suit as though he hadn’t just been losing his shit. “Delilah,” he greeted coolly.

What? No smart comeback?

He really wears that suit.

She swept the thought into a corner of her mind littered with similar thoughts about this man.

She tipped her chin up. “To what do I owe the dubious honor? You realize tomorrow is Christmas, right?”

He didn’t respond as he swung away from Naiobe with a countenance gone hard as marble. Unless she missed her guess, the warlock was in a thundering rage that had nothing to do with being barred admission to her. Which meant this wasn’t his usual “spy on Delilah” drop-by. Interesting.

“May we speak in private?” he demanded more than asked.

Naiobe sent his back a baleful glare.

“Of course.” Delilah waved him inside, projecting more calm than the riot of conflicting emotions and anticipation currently churning in her belly. She paused long enough to send Naiobe an inquiring look.

“He’s in a mood,” she was informed through gritted teeth.

Wow. Alasdair had really managed to get under her usually unflappable assistant’s skin. “I noticed. Maybe you should bring some popcorn. This could be quite a showdown.”

That got Naiobe to ease up with a chuckle. Delilah winked and followed the man into her office, closing the door behind her with a click. She could handle Alasdair Blakesley.

He stood with his back to her, staring