Storm and Fury

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Enter a world of gargoyle protectors, rising demons and one girl with an explosive secret.

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed...


“Just a kiss?”

Excitement thrummed through my veins as I tugged my gaze from the TV screen to Clay Armstrong. It took a moment for my wonky vision to focus and piece Clay’s face together.

Just a few months older than me, he was beyond cute, with light brown hair that was always flopping over his forehead and just begging for my fingers to run through it.

Then again, I’d never seen an unattractive Warden even though I didn’t have it in me to do the mental gymnastics to figure out how they looked like a human and then like a Warden.

Clay sat beside me on the couch in his parents’ living room. We were alone, and I wasn’t quite sure what life choices I’d made to end up with me sitting here beside him, our thighs touching. Like all Wardens, he was so incredibly bigger than me, even though I was five foot eight and not what one would normally consider a short girl.

Clay had always been friendlier toward me than most of the Wardens, flirty even, and I liked it—he gave me the kind of attention that I saw between others but never had been on the receiving end of until now. No one in the Warden community besides my friend Jada, and of course Misha, paid much attention to me, and neither of them wanted to kiss me.

But Clay was always nice, complimenting me even when I knew I looked like a hot mess, and for the past couple of weeks, he’d sought me out a lot. I liked it.

And there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with that.

So, when he’d approached me at the Pit, which was just a really large fire pit where younger Wardens gathered at night to hang out, and asked if I wanted to come back to his place to watch a movie, I didn’t have to be asked twice.

Now Clay wanted to kiss me.

And I wanted to be kissed.

“Trinity?” he said, and I flinched when I saw that his fingers were suddenly close to my face. He caught a piece of hair that had fallen against my cheek and tucked it behind my ear. His hand lingered. “You’re doing it again.”

“Doing what?”

“Disappearing on me,” he said. I had, and I did that a lot. “Where’d you go?”

I smiled. “Nowhere. I’m here.”

Those Warden eyes, a bright sky blue, peered into mine. “Good.”

My smile grew.

“Just a kiss?” he repeated.

The excitement went up a notch and I exhaled slowly. “Just a kiss.”

He smiled as he leaned in, tilting his head so our mouths lined up. Mine parted in anticipation. I’d been kissed before. Once. Well, I’d done the kissing. I’d kissed Misha when I was sixteen, and he’d kissed me back, but then it became really weird because he was like a brother to me, and neither of us were about that kind of life.

Plus, things weren’t supposed to be like that between Misha and me, because of what he was.

Because of what I was.

Clay’s lips touched mine, and they were warm and...dry. Surprise flickered through me. I thought they’d be, I don’t know, wetter. But it was...nice, especially when the pressure of the kiss increased and his lips parted mine, and then it was more. His mouth moved against mine, and I kissed him back.

I didn’t want to stop him when the hand along the nape of my neck slid down my back, to my hip. That felt nice, too, and when he eased me down, I went with it, placing my hands on his shoulders as he hovered over me, using his arm to support his weight so he didn’t crush me.

Wardens’ body temperatures ran high—higher than humans, higher than mine—but he seemed hotter, like he was about to burn up.

And I...I felt sort of...lukewarm.

We kissed and kissed, and those kisses weren’t dry anymore, and I liked the way his lower body had settled over mine, how it moved against mine, a mysterious rhythm that felt like it should be, could be, more—if I wanted that.

And that was...nice.

Nice like when he’d held my hand on the way to his place. So was the candle he’d lit that smelled like watermelon and lemonade—there was something romantic about that, and about the way his hand opened and closed on my hip. I felt warm and pleasant, not rip my clothes off and let’s get it on kind of excited, but this was... It was really nice.