Devil May Cry Chapter SEVENTEEN

"You know, you could just kill Kat off."

"Kish!" Sin snapped, wanting to splinter his servant across the wall behind him.

"What? It's been a full week since she left and all you've done is sulk like a dying cow."

"Dying cows don't sulk."

"How do you know? Do you make it a habit to hang around dying cows?"

Sin glared at the man who was busy trying to clean up his penthouse. For over a week he hadn't left his couch except to kill demons and hunt for Kessar and his brother. He'd slept on it, eaten on it, and sulked on it. And all in a useless effort to push Kat out of his life.

But the truth was, he missed her. He missed the scent of her skin and hair. Missed the way her forehead crinkled whenever she thought he was nuts. He missed the sound of her voice, the touch of her hand.

Most of all, he missed the laughter they'd shared. Her razor-sharp sarcasm.

His stomach ached from the emptiness left by her absence. It was a pain so profound that it permeated everything about him. He didn't want to talk to anyone. He had no energy.

All he wanted was Kat back.

Damn her to hell for that.

Kish picked up the pizza box, which still held an untouched pizza, and added it to the garbage. "I'm just saying a dying cow could sulk."

"The least you could do is call him a dying bull," Damien said as he entered the room behind Kish. "Man his ass up a bit. At least that would be an improvement to the whiny little girl we've had to deal with these last seven days."

Sin shot his hand out and sent a jolt to each of them. They yelped before they went flying. "Anything else you girls want to complain about?"

"Ow," Kish whined. "I think he broke my body."

"What part?"

"My whole body. It all hurts."

Damien pushed himself up on one of the bar stools to glare at him. "Do you even own a mirror?"

Sin scowled at him. "What are you talking about?"

"You. Man, no wonder Kat left you. You smell, your hair is knotted, and you haven't shaved in how many days? Forget fighting the gallu. One whiff of you would kill them." He looked at Kish as he stood up. "Don't strike a match. The alcohol fumes alone would send him up like a Roman candle."

"Shut up," Sin snarled as he got up and grabbed the half-empty bottle of Jack Daniel's off the coffee table. He headed for his bedroom so that he wouldn't have to put up with their nagging anymore.

At least that was the plan, but the walls were so thin, he couldn't help but overhear them.

"When was the last time he changed those clothes?" Damien asked.

"I think it was the last time he bathed... the day Kat left."

Sin heard the sound of glasses clinking together.

Damien cursed. "How much shit is he drinking?"

"Let me put it to you this way... I restock the cabinet twice a day now."

"Damn, how can he fight the demons and be that wasted?"

"I think you were right earlier. He strikes a match and breathes at them. Like a human blowtorch."

"If it wasn't so sad and probably true, I'd laugh."

"Yeah. I hear ya. Personally, I stopped laughing when I found this under his pillow."

Sin cursed as he realized what Kish had found and he went to his bed to quickly verify exactly what was in his hands. Just as he feared... Katra's heinous flannel pajamas.

What a pathetic fool he was. He'd been keeping them near so that he could smell her whenever he slept. Her scent had comforted him on a level that was unimaginable.

And right now, he felt like a jackass at having been found out. But that feeling vanished behind the realization that another man was holding Kat's clothes...

Infuriated, Sin stormed back into the main room and snatched them from Kish's hand. "Do you mind? These don't belong to you."


He turned to catch Damien's smirk.

"What are you looking at?"

"Nothing. I'm just trying to imagine you in flannel pink sock monkey pajamas. I'm sure you look stunning in pink."

Kish burst out laughing. "Actually, with his skin tone, he probably does look really good in it. I would definitely say he's an autumn."

"That's summer, you dweeb."

Sin gave them a cold look. "I find it fascinating that you two women know that color palettes for clothes have a name." He turned to Damien. "The fact you corrected him really scares me."

"Hey, I'm not the one sleeping in pink pajamas. I don't want to hear it from you."

Sin glared at him. "It's a good thing you don't embezzle from my casino or I'd kill you where you stand." And with that he returned to his room.

Sin closed the door and leaned against it. Before he could stop himself, he lifted the pajamas to his nose and smelled the gentle scent that was unique to Kat. How something so stupid could both soothe and crush him he didn't understand. But there was no denying what he felt.

He wanted her here with him. And it killed him to be here alone.

"What have I done?"

But he knew. He had to keep her away from him. It was for her own good. If Ishtar had fallen to the gallu, what chance did Kat stand? He would never jeopardize her safety for his selfishness.

Disgusted with his own weakness, he forced himself to toss the pajamas to his bed and head for the bathroom. As soon as he caught himself in the mirror, he understood Damien and Kish. He did look like hell.

His eyes were sunken from lack of sleep... he couldn't remember the last time he'd shaved. His hair was shaggy and unkempt. Kat would kick him sideways for looking like this, and he probably did smell as bad as he looked.

Disheartened, Sin went to the shower to bathe and prove to all of them that he could function without her.

He just didn't want to.

As he waited for the water to heat, he balled his fist and placed it against the cool wall outside the shower before he pressed his forehead to the tile. Closing his eyes, he could see her so clearly in his mind... feel her.


He tensed at the sound of her voice saying his name. It sounded like she was right behind him. But he knew better.

Then he felt it. The soft whisper of a hand on his shoulder. Afraid it was nothing more than torture invented by his mind, he didn't want to open his eyes.

"Are you all right?" she asked.

"That depends."

"On what?"

"Whether or not you're still there when I turn around."

"Do you want me to leave then?"

The word "no" hung in his throat. Dammit, man, shake your head and tell her to leave. It's for her own good. It's for your own good.

Still her touch was on his skin.

Forcing himself to turn around, he opened his eyes and saw the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen in his life. Kat's face. Unable to stand it, he pulled her to him and kissed her.

Kat couldn't breathe at the ferocity of Sin's embrace. She tried to bury her hands in his hair, but her fingers became stuck in tangles. She had to be hurting him and yet he didn't seem to notice as his tongue danced with hers and his thick whiskers scraped against her face.

The scent of Sin and whisky filled her head, and her heart raced. She'd been so afraid of his reception that this was a startling surprise for her.

"Does this mean you're happy to see me?"

"More than happy." He pinned her against the shower door, and before she could blink her clothes were gone.

Kat couldn't breathe as he dipped his head down to tease her right breast. His whiskers scraped her skin and sent chills all over her while his tongue tormented her with pleasure. He was ferocious as his hands and lips sought out every part of her body.

Ecstasy assailed her. When she'd come here, this reception was the last thing she'd expected. Truthfully, she'd thought he was going to throw her out and tell her never to come back. Or at the very least to turn and walk away without hearing a word she spoke.

Not in her wildest dreams had she expected him to be as hungry for her as she was for him. He was desperate to touch her, and it made her smile to know just how much he'd missed her. It felt so good to be in his arms again. To have his breath scorching her skin. Just the feel of his strong arms was enough to make her wet and needy.

"I want you, Sin," she breathed in his ear. "I don't want to wait."

She reached over her head to grab onto the shower bar as he entered her.

Sin growled at the feel of being inside her again. Every part of him shouted in relief. He looked up to see the precious smile on her face as she watched him thrust against her. His entire body was shaking from the pleasure of this. From the heat of her body welcoming his.

Waiting for her was the hardest thing he'd ever done in his life, and it seemed to take forever before she finally sank her nails into his arm and threw her head back to cry out. The minute he felt her climax, he joined her.

Kat's head was swimming as she released the shower rod and realized the metal groove had cut into her palm. Still, she didn't care as she wrapped herself around him and just listened to his breathing in her ear.

"That was an unexpected treat," she said with a laugh.

Sin wanted to laugh with her, but he didn't find this funny. He'd jeopardized her and recanted everything he'd tried to accomplish this last week.

And for what?

For the touch of her hand on his face...

The truth tore through him. He'd sell his soul for one moment with her. But he couldn't tell her that.

"Why are you here?" he asked, his voice thick and strange sounding even to himself.

"Xypher told me Kessar's weakness and I thought you should know it."

That was it? That was the only reason she'd come here? Part of him had wanted her to tell him that she'd missed him. That she'd been unable to function without him. But now that he looked at her, he realized that she looked great. Unlike him, she hadn't lost sleep. There was no sign of her having moped around or grieved.

And that seriously pissed him off.

She frowned at him. "Are you okay?"

"Fine," he snapped.

"You don't look fine. You look... kind of pissed. I thought this would make you happy."

"I'm ecstatic." Oh yeah, there was no sarcasm in that tone...

She slapped lightly at him. "You're such an asshole."

"Asshole?" he growled. "Is that all you have to say to me after a week?"

She folded her arms over her chest as she met that golden gaze levelly. "Yeah, that and you need a bath."

"I was about to do that when you showed up."

She scoffed. "By the looks of you, I'd say you're a couple of days late."

He grabbed a washcloth from the stack of them in the wall cupboard. "Are you simply here to insult me? Because if you are, I have two others who beat you to it. They're better at it, too."

"Oh, I seriously doubt that."

He ignored her as he checked the water temperature. "Just tell me what you found out and go."

"No. Not until you tell me what's wrong with you."

"Nothing is wrong with me."

"Right. C'mon, Sin, stop sulking and answer me."

"I don't sulk."

Yeah, right. "You're pouting like a two-year-old."

"I am not."

She put her hands on her hips and imitated a small child. Then she answered in the most juvenile tone she could muster, "Are, too."

Sin glared at her. Even though he wanted to be angry, he couldn't stop a small laugh that betrayed him. "I hate you." But there was no emotion in his voice to back those words.

She popped him on his butt cheek. "Fine. Be that way. I'll go find me someone else to love."

As she stepped away from him, he grabbed her arm.

Kat paused as she saw the angry look in his eyes. It was absolutely furious and it chilled her to the bone.

"Who?" he growled.

What the hell was he talking about? "Who what?"

"Who are you going to?"

Suddenly everything was clear to her. His demeanor, his anger. Everything. "Oh, good grief, Sin, you couldn't possibly think I was really going to find someone else. I didn't remain chaste for eleven thousand years to start sleeping around now. Believe me, if there's one thing I am, it's capable of controlling myself. So put that jealousy back in its box and cover it with a stainless-steel lid. Nail it shut and stick it where the sun never shines. I don't ever want to see this side of you again."

He stepped back. "Well, what am I supposed to think? You don't look any worse for the wear."

"Wear of what?"

He looked away from her. "Never mind."

She stopped him before he entered the shower. "Do you think this week was easy on me?"

He raked her with a sneer. "You look pretty unscarred."

She growled at him. "Boy, you better be glad you're stunning when you're naked or I'd skin you for that. I've been through utter hell this week because of you. Do you think I wanted to come crawling back here only to have you tell me to get lost again? I know it's hard for you to believe, but I do have my pride, and you've kicked it for the last time."

His face brightened. "You missed me?"

And that just irritated her more. "Is that all you got out of what I just said?"

"No, but it's what I need to know the answer to."

She let out a frustrated breath. "Yes, Sin. I missed you. I've mourned for you. I've

hated you. I've wanted to sic Simi on you with barbecue sauce and I've done nothing but think about how much I just want to hold you... and yes, I've missed every part of you, from that annoying little sound you make when you're irritated to the way you hold on to me when we sleep. Now are you happy?"

His golden eyes sparkled. "I'm delirious." He kissed her again.

Kat pulled back and shook her head. "You know, I'm starting to feel like a yo-yo here. Either you want me or you don't. You have to stop playing with me, because I can't take it."

"I want you here with me, Katra. I do. I've barely been able to function this week."

She cocked her head. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," he breathed. "You're twice the distraction when you're gone as you are when you're here."

She wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but she was willing to take it. Pleased by his rancor, she wrinkled her nose at him. "Well, in that case, get a bath. You're kind of smelly."

"No, I'm not."

She held her hand up with her forefinger and thumb about an inch apart. "Just a little."

He snorted. "Fine." He opened the shower and stepped in. To his delight, Kat followed him inside and took the cloth from his hand before she began washing his back.

"So what did you find out about Kessar?" he asked over his shoulder.

"The only thing he fears is a woman named Ravanah."

Sin gave her a duh-stare. "She's not a woman. She's another demon."

"Is she a living demon?"

"There's some speculation that she is alive and well, but no one has heard from her for centuries."

"Is she gallu?"

"Oh no. She's unique to herself."

"How so?"

"She eats the flesh of other demons. Hence Kessar's fear of her."

"Ooo, nice. She could come in handy."

"If we could find her. But I wouldn't hold my breath. Not to mention, when there aren't any demons around, she eats the flesh of infants and pregnant women. She's a vicious one."

"She sounds lovely. Maybe we should invite her for dinner one night?" Kat turned him around so that she could soap the front of him. It was actually hard to concentrate while she was touching his naked body. She'd forgotten how breathless he made her. He was so large and powerful... so incredibly sexy. It was hard to think about anything other than the fact that she really wanted another go-round that ended with her bending him like a pretzel. "By the way, I also found out that Zakar is being kept-"

"Chained to Kessar's throne and the Tablet is around his neck."

She looked up to catch the heated glint in his eyes as she ran the cloth over his cock and under his sac. "You knew that?"

"I made sure I got that information from a few of my recent kills."

"Sweet. All my information was useless. Nice to know."

He cupped her hand with his and rubbed it gently against him. Kat swallowed at the silken feel of him sliding against her soapy fingers. If he wasn't covered in soap, she'd be tonguing his nipples.

"At least you tried." He dipped his head to kiss her lightly on the neck. "That's more than most."

"I only wish it were more useful."

"It was useful."

He took the cloth from her hand and added more soap.

Kat almost moaned when he started washing her breasts. "Well, there is more."

"Such as?"

She had to put her hands on his shoulders to steady herself as he tenderly bathed her. "You probably know that the Dimme aren't really friendly to the gallu. So Kessar is stockpiling his demons around their tomb."

He paused. "Do you know where the tomb is?"


Sin laughed before he picked her up and kissed her. "Thank you."

"Aha! So I am useful."

"Yes, you are. Now all we need is a plan."

Kat nodded. "One that doesn't end up with all of us dead."

"That would be a good start."

She widened her legs as he dipped his hand to stroke her between her thighs. Then he let the cloth fall to the floor so that he could stroke her with his long fingers. Kat sucked her breath in sharply as he slid his index finger deep inside her.

"I was in such a hurry before that I didn't even get to taste you."

Kat couldn't speak as he toyed with her. All she could do was watch as he dropped to his knees and nudged her legs farther apart until he could replace his fingers with his tongue. Her breasts tightened in response while his gruff whiskers rubbed her tender flesh, adding even more chills to her.

Sin growled as he tasted her body. He wanted her scent all over him. Wanted to taste her pleasure. Her thighs were wet from the water, and her soft moans were precious to his ears. He'd never wanted to please a woman the way he wanted to her. There was nothing more gratifying than the sight of her orgasm. The sound of her calling out his name as she came for him.

The hot water pounded against his back while he tongued her. He slid his fingers deep inside her, wringing another cry of pleasure.

And in one hot moment, she gripped his hair and shuddered above him. Sin laughed in triumph as he continued to lick and torment until he'd wrung every last bit of her orgasm from her.

When she was finished, he rose up to pull her close against his chest.

Kat couldn't breathe as Sin entered her again. He held her pinned to the wall as he thrust against her. Her entire body burned and his last made her hungry. Holding him close, she sank her fangs into his neck. She was so weak, it was all she could do to stand. How he had any energy left, she didn't know. But it didn't take him long until he was growling in her ear as his own release took him.

"You are insatiable," she panted as she released him.

"I was a fertility god, remember? We tend to be that way."

She laughed. "I can certainly see why women would worship you." She laid a gentle kiss to his cheek. "But don't let that go to your head."

"Don't worry. I know you better than that. I'm sure you'll be cutting me down to size any moment now."

Kat gave him a squeeze before she withdrew and finished her bath.

As soon as they were finished with the shower, Sin called Damien, Kish, and the two Charonte into his room.

Simi squealed the instant she saw Kat. "Ooo Akra-Kat you're back!"

"I am, Simi, how have you been?"

"Really good. We've been doing lots of shopping." She held out her hands to show Kat that each finger held a new ring. "Did you know there were stores here in the casino? Xirena and the Simi has been shopping like the demons that we are."

Kish scoffed. "Yeah. Their room looks like a warehouse." Simi tossed her hair over her shoulder. "And I like warehouses.

They have lots of good stuff in them."

"Which is why I introduced them to the Container Store's Web site." Kish winked.

"Ooo," Simi cooed, "we loves that too. They have lots of boxes to hold the Simi's QVC and sparklies."

Sin cleared his throat. "Yeah and I hate to interrupt but we're facing an even bigger crisis than stockpiling demon wear." He turned to Kat. "Show them the underground layout."

Kat used her powers to draw the cavern diagram in the air.

"According to Xypher, Kessar sleeps here." She marked an X down one corridor. "He holds court and plans strategy with the other demons here." It was the corridor furthest from his sleeping chamber. "The Dimme are back here." Which looked like a round chamber quite a ways from where Kessar slept.

"Now the problem is he's intending to move all the gallu to the Dimme area and have forty humans there as sacrifice to them. While the Dimme are chowing down on the humans, he intends to propose an alliance between them. If the Dimme agree to the alliance, they and the gallu are coming for us as a united force."

Damien frowned. "If they refuse?"

"He plans to let them bust a large hole to the surface for all the gallu to run out and then kill the Dimme before they can leave the cavern."

Kish duplicated Damien's scowl. "Can Kessar do that?"

"Don't know," Kat said with a sigh. "The Tablet doesn't work on Simi or Xirena." She looked at Sin. "Would it work on a Sumerian demon?"

He shrugged. "The only people to know that would be Anu or Enlil and they're dead."

"Which is not useful to us," Damien said sarcastically.

Kish let out an aggravated breath. "Can't we just nuke these bastards in the ground?"

Sin scoffed. "Nuclear testing is what started freeing them. It's mother's milk to their kind."

"But if you can burn them ...?"

"Burning is a separate process. It's not the same as the bomb. Different molecular something or other. I'm an ex-fertility god, not a scientist. All I know is nuclear bombs don't work, but fire does."

"Then someone get some napalm," Kish said.

Kat ignored him. "Question? Why haven't they established themselves on earth? Seriously. If they can get out in small groups, why haven't they nested on the surface before now?"

"They have." Sin stepped closer to her diagram to study it while he talked. "Acheron and I have been going after them whenever we find them. Kessar has stayed underground because he has protection there. They're stronger on their home soil which is what the caverns have become for them."

"Plus there's safety in numbers," Damien added. "Out here they're controlled since they are killed within no time of leaving their territory. In the caverns..."

"There are thousands of them to fight," Sin added. "Even going after the Dimme in there is suicide."

Kat laughed. "Who wants to live forever?"

Kish put his hand up. "For the record, I do."

Sin scowled at him. "Then why do you irritate me so often?"

"Suicidal tendencies are inherent in my species?"

Kat ignored their banter as she stared on the opposite side of Sin. "It's like Kytara said, isn't it? We need an army."

Sin shook his head. "Yeah, well, we're a little short-handed. The Dark-Hunters can't unite to fight without weakening each other. The Greek gods could care less and those who care are dead. Except for us."

Damien nodded. "And we will most likely die in a good cause."

"Yeah," Sin said slowly. "Kessar has been battering me all week in my dreams and I'm exhausted from it. What we need is a miracle."

Kish quickly added, "Or at the very least a plan that doesn't end with my death."

Kessar growled as he dragged Xypher away from his throne in chains.

Xypher fought against his restraints. He wasn't in corporeal form. How the demon had managed to capture him, he had no idea. But he didn't like it and if he got free, he was going to tear the bastard limb from limb. He looked at Zakar who refused to meet his gaze.

Had the dream god managed to sell him out? It was what he deserved for trying to free him. How many times was he going to let someone betray him before he learned? People were always assholes only out for themselves. Damned be everyone else.

Zakar was the only way Kessar could have found him. Zakar was the only one he'd allowed to see him. So much for trying to help him.

A demon female grabbed him and sank her fangs into his thigh. Xypher hissed in pain. He tried to knock her away, but Kessar jerked the chain on his hands back so that he couldn't reach her.

She pulled back in confusion as she spat his blood on the ground. "He doesn't taste right."

"I'm not alive, bitch. My blood is thicker because it doesn't pump through my body like a human's."

Kessar kicked him in the ribs. "Thank you for the science lesson."

The female wiped her hand across her bloodied lips. "What good is he to us? Kill him."

Kessar studied him as if he were an insect. "If he's dead, I don't think we can."

Xypher tipped his finger to him. "Score one for the genius."

This time, Kessar kicked him hard in the back. Xypher grunted, wishing pain was banned after death. But what the hell? He was used to it.

"So what are you doing here?" Kessar demanded. "Spying for Sin?"

"Who the hell is Sin?"

Kessar kicked him again-oh he was going to enjoy ripping that bastard's throat out. "Don't be coy. You're here to spy and the only one with a vested interest in this place is Sin."

"Not true," Xypher said slowly. "I was just skimming through when I noticed there's a lot of angry people here. A Skotos could live a long time on say, you, alone."

Kessar bent over him and when he did, Xypher saw what he needed. The Tablet medallion.

Gold, round and shining, it was a beautiful thing.

Before Kessar could guess his intent, he grabbed it and ripped it free of the demon's throat and kicked him back. Xypher rolled away from him.

Kessar screamed out, his face changing as he grabbed for the chain.

Xypher was sure Kessar had him. But as the demon reached for him, he was knocked back.

Zakar grabbed him and pulled him toward the throne. "Tell Sin the Rod is in the house. He'll understand."

The next thing Xypher knew, he was back on Olympus, in the quad between the temples of Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, and Ares. "What the..."

He didn't move as he ran through the last few seconds in his mind and came up with the only plausible outcome.

To save his life and get a message to Sin, Zakar had just condemned himself to death.

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