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Wicked Temptation: The Excalibur Duet (The Siren Coven) by Kim Loraine (1)

Chapter One

Gabriel

I can’t believe I have to do this. I have more pressing matters than reuniting two star-crossed lovers, don’t I? But the apocalypse has started. Lucifer is free. And these two are vital to closing the seal and ensuring the demons don’t take control of Earth.

“Why does it have to be me?” Gwen asks as we stand outside the door to the flat where my brother, the fallen angel Tamiel, housed our chosen one. The little witch shifts back and forth on her feet, clearly uneasy.

The sounds of a busy London street outside filter in through an open window at the end of the hall. All these humans surrounding us are living their lives without any knowledge of what’s around them.

Gwen shifts and sighs, not wanting to be confronted by her past. But she can’t be allowed to abandon him this time. Not with the fate of the world at stake.

I can feel the magic of Excalibur from behind the door. Perhaps I should pay a little visit to Avalon. I haven’t spoken to the Lady of the Lake in quite some time.

“You are the only one who can do this. You’re the only thing that remains from his old life. Now, stop whining.”

I push open the door and shove her through, barely controlling my frustrated sigh. If God says jump, you say, how high? That’s how this works. Why do these creatures consistently fight me on this?

The knight is asleep on the couch, complexion pale but with a little more life than I expected. No doubt his trace of fairy lineage has helped him combat the demon venom in his system. Honestly, the fact that he thought he could fight a horde of demons with nothing more than a sword—even Excalibur—was insanity. Clearing my throat, I use my grace to turn on every light in the small flat.

He opens his eyes, blinks a few times, then his brows pull together in a frown as he stares from me to Gwen. “Guinevere?”

“You.” She spits the word, a ferocity and venom coming from her I've never seen. "Of course, at a time when I don't have my magic."

"You're a witch? That makes perfect sense to me now. Why else would I have sacrificed everything for you?" His voice is laced with anger and tight with pain, but there’s strength behind his words.

Oh, Father help me. This is not what I expected.

"Get me away from him," Gwen orders, urgency in her tone.

"Gwen, really? That’s not an option.” I try to argue, but she's blind with anger. This is a Gwen I’m not familiar with. “He’s no danger now. He can barely move.”

"He can't be trusted. First Tristan, then Paris. Don't you see? Even death won't stop Calista from ruining us."

I do understand her fear. She and her coven had spent thousands of years cursed to die and be reborn because of Calista. “Do you honestly think I’d put you in danger? He’s the key to ending the apocalypse…to getting you your magic.”

"This man might claim to be righteous and good, but he's not.” She glares at him. “You made certain I learned that lesson well, didn't you?"

I look at the man whose face holds betrayal and confusion. "What is she talking about?”

Gwen stares hard, rage on her face. "Why did you tell them your name was Arthur?”

“I never said that.”

She turns to me and I realize with absolute certainty she had no clue who was waiting behind the door when we arrived. “This has to be some kind of joke. Right, Gabriel? There is no way the archangels think I need to be tied to my former lover.”

“I don’t joke. He’s your responsibility, Gwen. From now until I lift the enchantment, you are bound to Lancelot.”

Then, I leave. The two of them can work out their issues on their own. I’m an archangel, not a therapist.