Home > Burn (Dark in You #1)(6)

Burn (Dark in You #1)(6)
Author: Suzanne Wright

After a long moment of silence, he sighed. “I have to leave. We’ll talk tomorrow. I’ll find you.”

He was gone before she could respond to what was a half-promise, half-threat. And Harper knew that everything in her life was about to change.







Locking the door of her apartment behind her, Harper puffed out a long breath as she leaned against it. Anchor, she’d found her anchor. She still wasn’t having warm, fuzzy feelings about that discovery. Oh, she knew that was odd. Just as a shifter needed their fated mate to complete their soul, a demon needed their predestined psychic mate, or ‘anchor,’ to complete their psyche. An anchor did exactly what it said on the tin – it anchored a demon and made them stronger, so that they no longer struggled to maintain dominance over their inner demon, meaning they could never turn rogue.

It was easy for a demon to lose their way, since it wasn’t possible to fully control the entity that lived within them. The entity could take over if a demon didn’t have the mental strength to be the dominant figure. It was a constant fight. Demons that didn’t turn rogue often went insane or even committed suicide due to their struggle.

Once a person was anchored, however, they no longer had to fight as they had the stability, power, and strength to maintain the dominant position. It didn’t mean their inner demon wouldn’t still surface from time to time, but it did mean that it couldn’t permanently hold the reins unless permitted to do so.

There were other good things about having an anchor. For instance, it meant having someone you could rely on, someone whose loyalty would be absolute. In most cases, anchors became tight friends and confidants. They would protect, support, and defend their anchor if necessary. It was instinctual.

However, there were downsides. Anchors could be possessive and overprotective, which often also caused them to be annoyingly meddlesome. Additionally, demons could find it mentally uncomfortable to be away from their anchors for long periods of time. There was also the fact that if a demon died, it was very psychically painful and draining for their anchor if the bond had been formed. That psychic pain could be bad and long lasting, in some cases.

When Harper had been a little girl, the idea of having an anchor – someone who would protect her and always be there for her, no matter what – had been thrilling. Of course, that could have been a lot to do with the fact that neither of her parents were anyone’s definition of ‘dependable.’ Not once in those girly daydreams had she envisioned an anchor who was anything at all like Knox Thorne.

But then, would anyone imagine their anchor being who was potentially the most powerful of their kind? Doubtful.

Despite knowing that about him, Harper didn’t fear him. She couldn’t deny that he unbalanced her. And she had to admit that she found him a little overwhelming. But even before she’d known he was her anchor, there had been none of what would be considered very rational, plausible fear. So either she’d sensed who he was to her on a subconscious level, or this was just part of her not being smart.

Still, she couldn’t say she was eager to bond with him. Not just because of all she’d heard about him, but because there was no doubting that Knox Thorne would be hard to have as an anchor. Just fifteen minutes in his company was enough to tell her that he was controlling, authoritative, and wanted what he wanted exactly when he wanted it. He’d interfere in her life and dictate to her. Being that she was stubborn, willful, and contrary – traits she was proud of – she’d drive him insane.

Having spent most of her life traveling with an emotionally immature nomad for a father, she’d taken most of her leaps in life all on her own. She had become so independent that she found it both difficult and uncomfortable to have people do things for her. Being alone was her comfort zone, it was what she knew. That kind of thing didn’t go hand-in-hand with having an anchor like Knox Thorne.

There was also a little complication she would bet that Knox wasn’t aware of; something that could mean he would decide not to accept her as his anchor anyway. She supposed she’d find out soon enough.

In the meantime, she needed to know more about him. Settling on the sofa, she pulled out her cell phone and dialed a familiar number. “Hey, Grams.”

“Hello, sweetheart.” Jolene Wallis might be a bossy, meddling, master manipulator that even Lucifer found hard to deal with, but she loved and protected her family ferociously. She had also trained and prepared Harper to take over as Prime one day, but it was a position that held no appeal for Harper.

“How are you doing?”

“Fine,” replied Jolene. “You sound tired.”

“It’s been a long, busy day at work.” And an even busier night.

There was a heavy, frustrated sigh. “I teach you to lie, steal, extort, embezzle, commit identify theft, and hack into bank accounts. And what do you do? Get a job.”

Harper rolled her eyes. “Anyway…I called to tell you that, um…I found my anchor.”

“Really? Who is the lucky bastard?”

“You’ve actually met him.”

“Well, don’t keep me in suspense. You know I don’t like that.”

“It’s Knox Thorne.” Total silence greeted that announcement. “Grams, you there?”

Another heavy sigh. “I suppose I should have anticipated that your anchor would be someone strong-minded and powerful. They would be no match for you if they weren’t.”

“You don’t disapprove?”

“Knox Thorne is a powerful demon who will do whatever he has to do for those under his protection – and that now includes you. How can I disapprove of that? Quick warning: he won’t accept any of your ‘I don’t want an anchor’ shit if he wants the bond bad enough.”

“Yeah, I know. But there’s a lot I don’t know. I’ve heard rumors about him, but that’s all. I need some facts.”

“Well, he has one of the largest lairs and, from all accounts, is a very protective Prime who polices his demons well. He runs a pretty tight ship. I’ve heard many tales of his versions of ‘punishment.’ Not so long ago, one of his demons was kidnapped by vampires. Knox hunted the vampire responsible, subjected her to gruesome torture, placed her in a solid brass coffin and then set a fire beneath it.”

“I heard a little about that.”

“He can be merciless and brutal. And if you ask me, he’s even more powerful than we believe. But he’s never caused our family any problems. He doesn’t war with other lairs. He could have abused his power by trying to rule at least the U.S., if not the world. But he hasn’t. Not like this Isla-bitch who’s been making plenty of noise lately – she’s cold and greedy for everything that represents power. Knox isn’t like that, which says a lot about him.”

“What do you think he is?”

“I don’t know. Some think he’s simply an extremely powerful incubus, given his incredible allure.”

Harper didn’t believe that. He was something…more. Something she instinctively knew she’d never encountered before.

“In any case, don’t let Knox or his demon bully you. Any weakness you show will be pounced on. I’m not saying provoke him or lose your wariness of him – anything that dangerous should be watched carefully. But don’t be afraid to stand your ground.”

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