"Amity, those two guys have been staring at you for the past half hour. Are you just going to sit here and ignore them or are you going to put them out of their misery?"
Amity Monroe, formerly known as Munthukh, Etruscan Goddess of Health, gave Jill Doyle a wry grin before taking another sip of her whiskey sour-and continuing to ignore the men at the other end of Kelly's Corner Bar.
She and Jill had grabbed a table in the back, away from the constant bustle at the bar, because Amity had said she'd wanted a quiet night out with a friend.
"How do you know they're looking at me? Maybe they're looking at you."
Which would make a lot more sense. A drop-dead gorgeous brunette in her late twenties, Jill had been known to break more hearts than she saved. And Jill was a damn good trauma nurse. One of Reading Hospital's best.
Men typically fell over themselves to get to Jill. She inspired fist fights and more than a few indecent proposals.
Amity... Well, she apparently looked like the kind of woman men wanted to take home to their mothers. Not the kind who inspired panting and dirty talk. She hadn't even gotten that at the height of her worship, oh so many, many centuries ago.
It wasn't that she was ugly. No, men still looked at her with lust in their eyes and fell into her bed when she invited them for fast, hot sex. The problem was, most of them wanted to stick around the next day and the next. They wanted to keep her.
Amity had learned her lesson on that point. She may be the Goddess of Health but she couldn't heal her broken heart. Best never to let a relationship get to that point.
Humans were so very fragile. So easily broken. And she no longer had enough power to fix them.
"They haven't given me more than a passing glance." Jill leaned back and grinned at her over her wine glass. "Why don't you go over and introduce yourself?"
Sighing, Amity took another sip of her whiskey sour. She'd spent more than half her day with two of the worst cases she'd ever seen in her career as a medical aesthetician. And her frustration level at her inability to perform even the slightest miracle had boiled over about two hours ago into a crying jag.
Which was why she'd agreed to come out tonight with Jill and a few of the other nurses. The girls had been talking for two weeks straight about the new bar that'd opened only a block from the hospital on a West Reading side street. The drinks were cheap, the men good-looking and plentiful, and one of the bar owners was a former nurse whose husband was a cop and a Navy vet. Which accounted for all the guys.
"Not tonight." Amity shook her head. "I'm just here for a few drinks."
Okay, more than a few drinks with her friends, thereby avoiding the loneliness of her home.
Maybe she was totally pitiful, especially considering the fact that she didn't even want to turn around and look at the guys.
Jill raised an eyebrow at her. "Well, I think you should at least give them a chance. Gotta warn you, though. The one's a little rough looking. His face..."
Jill didn't finish and Amity saw pity cross her friend's expression.
Now, her curiosity kicked in. Not wanting to make it obvious-and probably failing miserably, because she was not going to go over there and introduce herself-she shifted around and immediately knew which two men Jill meant.
She blinked, caught first by the sure knowledge that she was looking at two Etruscan males. She was an Etruscan goddess, after all, even if she hadn't been worshipped in more years than she wanted to remember.
Her second thought... Oh, yes, I'll take two to go. Please wrap them and deliver them to my bed.
The taller one, with his short, dark hair and ruggedly handsome features, met her gaze straight on. He didn't smile, just let their gazes connect and hold until she felt a sizzle start beneath her skin.
Tinia's teat, that one fairly burned her alive with only a glance.
Pull yourself together. You're a goddess, not a horny twenty-year-old.
And she'd do well to remember that.
With effort, she dragged her gaze to the second man.
Her breath stuck in her throat. Oh my. This one had been beautiful. Once. Until someone or something had scarred the left side of his face.
And still, he held her attention for reasons other than those marks. So much strength in that face. And in the body that looked long and lean and lickable. Totally lickable.
As opposed to his friend who was built like a gladiator. And whom she'd rather take bites out of.
They can make me the filling in their sandwich any day.
As she stared, the dark-haired one leaned down to say something to the scarred one, who now turned. He caught her gaze and her chest tightened until she thought she might embarrass herself by having to gulp for air.
Wow. Just... wow.
Where the hell was her reaction coming from?
She wanted to go over and demand to know why they were looking at her like they wanted to devour her. And that was really stupid. She should be flattered. Hell, maybe even grateful.
Then again... Damn it, she was just too old for this flirting nonsense. Why couldn't they just walk over and ask her if she wanted to get naked and get it on?
Probably because she was totally misreading the looks they were giving her.
No, they must be staring at Jill.
Still, that tingling sensation low in her belly continued. How long had it been since she'd had mind-blowing sex?
Way too long if she had to think about it.
Jill elbowed her discreetly in the side, knocking her back into the moment. "Go over there and talk to them. You know you want to. You're practically devouring them with your eyes."
Shaking her head, Amity took a sip of her whiskey sour. "Aren't they supposed to come to me?"
Jill laughed. "Honey, what century are you living in?"
Good question. The answer was one she occasionally forgot. Lately, the years had been blurring into one long, slow grind.
But right across the room was, at the very least, a way to relieve some of that grind. Hopefully with a little bump and grind. Or a lot. A lot would be good, actually.
Fine. She picked up her drink, straightened her shoulders, and slid off her bar stool.
"Watch my back. I'm going in."
Jill laughed as she was supposed to. "Good luck, Amity. But I don't think you're going to need much. Those men want you something fierce."
"She's on her way."
"Are you sure this is a good idea? We don't know what the demon wants with her. Hell, I'm still not convinced it's really after her."
Romulus Cangelosi heard the doubt in his cousin Remy's voice but found he couldn't take his eyes off the woman now approaching them through the crowded bar.
"Bullshit." Rom's almost silent curse wouldn't have been heard by anyone in the vicinity except for Remy. "We both know it's targeted her and it's gonna try for her tonight or tomorrow at the latest."
Remy sighed and Rom heard resignation in the sound. Remy had been against this plan from the moment Rom had brought it up.
His cousin still had scruples.
Rom couldn't afford to have any, not when they were so close to achieving their goal.
Still, he could admit, at least to himself, seducing this woman wouldn't be a hardship.
From the first moment he'd seen her, his skin had stretched tight over his body and every one of his muscles went taut with heightened awareness. Of her.
It'd been a damn long time since that'd happened to him. Lust like this-the biting, raging, tearing kind now eating at his insides-was what brought down kingdoms and countries.
Rom refused to let his dick fuck it up.
But, damn. The woman pressed every one of his buttons. And he knew Remy wasn't immune either.
Which should make the seduction that much easier.
"I don't know why the hell you needed me to come tonight." Remy practically growled the words. "You would've done just fine on your own."
True, but then Remy would've been left alone at the house and Rom thought that might have been like waving a red flag at the tukhulkha demon they'd been after for almost twenty years.
Maybe it didn't know they were in the area. Then again, maybe it did. Rom was taking no chances. He and Remy needed to stick together or they'd wind up dead.
This woman was the key to tracking down the demon that had killed their families. For some reason, that same demon had targeted Amity Monroe, a thirty-year-old medical aesthetician who'd been employed by the Reading Hospital for the past five years.
Why the hell it wanted her, they had no idea. But when it finally came after her, they'd be by her side, waiting for it with sharp blades and even sharper teeth and claws.
No, seducing Amity into their bed was not going to be a hardship.
But Remy had to do his part.
"Damn it, Remy, at least try to look like you're into her."
Remy sighed but finally turned in the direction of their prey. "I don't have to try," he grumbled.
Surprise at Remy's comment made Rom shoot his cousin a quick glance. For the past few days as they'd followed her, waiting for the demon to attack, Remy hadn't said one damn word about an attraction to her. Amity wasn't Remy's type at all, so Rom hadn't been surprised. His cousin usually liked them blond, blue-eyed, and long-limbed.
Amity was short and curvy with dark hair and eyes. She projected a sweet femininity that other men might mistake as being plain. Those other men had been brainwashed by television and by women who believed they had to be runway-model skinny to be attractive.
Which was a damn shame, as far as Rom was concerned. He liked a woman to look like a woman, not a hard plastic doll with fake breasts and lips and hair.
Rom knew better. This woman's soft features perfectly matched the softness of her body, all rounded curves instead of sharp angles.
Her sable brown ...