protected him. It hadn’t ever been the demonic allure. It was all Isla, all along. They were obviously meant for one another. And he couldn’t keep her. The curse would filter out of her body by morning, and she’d cast him aside as she had every other man he’d seen her date. There was only one thing to do—push her aside first and save whatever scraps of his dignity and sanity he could.
Chapter Six Standing in the hallway outside Jace’s apartment, Isla wondered what the hell she was doing. After nine excruciating days of separation, she just couldn’t take it anymore. But what the hell am I supposed to say when he answers? Oh, hey, just wondering if you felt anything for me at all? Isla rolled her eyes and wiped her hand down her face. It shouldn’t be this difficult. Her heart clenched as she thought of how many times over the last week she’d hoped to see his number on her caller ID or his face on the other side of her door. After their last tryst in her car, they’d been called in for a debriefing. The higher-ups were none too pleased by the fact they’d burned down a mansion in one of the ritziest places in town. There were going to be a lot of nosy journalists and questions from people with enough money and pull in the Greater Houston area to make life for Midnight Vice a whole hell of a lot harder. Always the standup guy, Jace had taken full responsibility for the whole mess. He’d insisted he’d been responsible for Isla’s cursing and everything that followed. Isla had tried to intervene but there was no swaying Jace. She’d been given one week of medical leave without pay. Jace had taken a one week suspension without pay but had escaped the review board. For that Isla was eternally grateful. If he’d lost his job for her, she didn’t know if she’d have ever forgiven herself. Jace hadn’t seemed too terribly upset when they’d parted that night so why hadn’t he called? At the very least, Isla had expected a general sort of welfare check. Yet day after day, night after night, Jace had completely avoided any contact with her. The idea that he found it so easy to cast her aside after the intense day and night they’d shared hurt more deeply than she ever cared to admit. Yes, the sex was beyond amazing, but to Isla it had been so much more than that. For the first time in her life, she’d felt secure. Whether he knew it or not, Jace had offered a promise of normalcy that she’d so longed for all these years. Most importantly that spark between them was undeniable. It was more than lust. It was something real, something so few people ever found. She refused to let it just slip through her fingers now. Obviously Jace’s total silence was some sort of message and yet here she was, standing on his doorstep, hands trembling, throat tightening, eyes threatening to spill tears. Isla had tried to convince herself that passionate, frantic quickie in the car had been the result of the last remnants of the curse working its way through her system, but she knew differently. She’d wanted Jace of her own volition. She’d craved him so desperately, she felt as if she might have died if he’d turned her down. And he hadn’t. He’d taken her willingly, right there on the front seat of her Chevelle. That had to mean something, didn’t it? Or was it just Jace taking advantage of his last chance for a taste of her? Whatever the reason, Isla had to know. She couldn’t live another day wondering if maybe… Fingers flexing, Isla lifted her hand to the door. She hesitated and considered tucking tail and running. Refusing to give in to her cowardly inclination, Isla sucked it up and knocked. An agonizing wait followed. Would he answer? The metallic screech of the deadbolt sent her heartbeat into overdrive. Her pulse pounded against her eardrums. Knees weak, Isla hoped he wouldn’t send her away before she had a chance to talk to him. The door swung inward,