Felicity here. I have a new release. The sixth book in my Her Angel romance series is now available in ebook and paperback around the world.
He will not let his wretched master have her. She will belong to him.
Liora is a witch with a bad reputation and an obsession with fighting demons. A mission gone wrong sees her sent to Paris to cool off, but when a dark and deadly warrior with a gaze of golden fire lands in her life, she ends up burning hotter than Hell for the wicked angel. Nothing will stand between her and the immense, forbidding male. Not her cousin. Not Asmodeus’s sworn enemy and twin, Apollyon. And certainly not the Devil.
Caught up in a tempest of danger and soul-searing passion, can they survive against the odds and seize their forever after?
It was a black day in Hell.
Asmodeus stood high above the bottomless pit, his amber gaze locked on the tall obsidian spires in the distance. Screams and sobs rose up from below him on the hot air, the grunts of their tormentors a harsher note in a symphony he so often enjoyed. The demons were busy today. He had been busy too until he had felt the call of his master.
As much as he had wanted to keep the Devil waiting while he had finished his latest masterpiece, he had dropped everything and left his castle in the wastelands via a portal that had brought him to the plateau above the bottomless pit.
And there he stood, debating how long he could put off crossing the cragged, grim landscape to the Devil’s fortress before his master lost his temper and called him again.
Asmodeus enjoyed pushing the male right to the limit of his patience. There was something satisfying about irritating his so-called master. The Devil would be able to sense his proximity and that he hadn’t moved in close to twenty minutes. It was a game of wills he often played with him. Who would break first?
The call came again, stronger than it had been before, a tug he felt as a physical yank on his ribs, pulling him forwards towards the fortress.
A reminder that he was given freedom in Hell, but he was not master of it.
Asmodeus tipped forwards and plummeted towards the snaking wide ribbon of lava hundreds of feet below. Hot air rushed at him, sweeping his black hair back, battering his bare chest and ruffling his feathers. He stretched his obsidian wings to their full span, caught a thermal and levelled out just metres from the fiery surface of one of the principal rivers in Hell.
He gave a leisurely flap to keep his altitude and glided across the black, forbidding terrain.
Hell’s angels stalked the land below him in their demonic forms. Dragon-like wings furled against their huge black bodies and their claws made quick work of the whimpering lesser demons they were dealing with for their master. Some demons were little more than pests in Asmodeus’s eyes, and the eyes of his master. They caused more trouble than they were worth.
Asmodeus grinned, turned into a barrel roll and swooped down at one of the small scaly brown demons. He plucked it from the ground, had snapped its neck before it could even loose a shriek, and dropped it on the head of one of the Hell’s angels in charge of cleaning up the area. The male snarled at him, exposing sharp red teeth, the fires of Hell burning in his crimson eyes.
Asmodeus flipped him off and beat his black feathered wings, resuming his course. He weaved as he flew, following the thermals that would carry him to the Devil’s fortress without him having to expend any effort. What did his master want with him?
He didn’t bother Asmodeus often. Normally, when he called upon him, it was to give him an important mission. Torture a captive demon for information on the angels. Track down a traitor in one of the more dangerous regions of Hell. Drown someone in a lake of lava.
Kill one of the angels who protected the plateau, Heaven’s only sanctioned area in Hell.
Personally, Asmodeus couldn’t see why they had access to any part of Hell. No creature of this realm was allowed to set foot in Heaven unless they were shackled and contained in the prison there. How was that fair? If Heaven could station a small contingent of angels in Hell, then Hell should be allowed to station some of its men in Heaven.
Asmodeus’s grin widened.
He had sent his pet there recently. How had he fared?
Nevar had been a guardian angel until Asmodeus had found him snooping at the pool that recorded the history of the three realms. He had dealt with the curious angel, battling him until he was weak and then pushing him over the edge. The male was tainted now, turning as wicked as his new master. Asmodeus.
He had wanted Nevar to shake Heaven, but it seemed his wolf had failed to blow down the fortress as instructed. Perhaps he should have waited until Nevar had grown stronger, the darkness within him in full control, but patience had never been his strong suit. It was part of the reason he often lost the game of wills he played with the Devil and something he was working on. Now, Asmodeus had lost track of Nevar. What was he up to?
Asmodeus wanted to know, but since he had sent the angel to Heaven and he could not leave Hell, it was impossible for him to find out. He didn’t doubt that their paths would cross again soon. Nevar had been hell-bent on killing him the last time they had seen each other. The male would be hunting him down soon enough and then Asmodeus would command him to return to Heaven and succeed this time, or die trying.
He beat his wings and shot over the spires of black rock that curved around the semi-circular courtyard of the Devil’s obsidian fortress.
The tall twin black doors opened, revealing a crack of orange light and the silhouette of a figure that looked tiny in comparison.
Asmodeus lowered his feet and glided down to land on the black flagstones. He set down on his left foot and casually walked from there, furling his large wings against his bare back at the same time. The feathers grazed the gold-edged black strips of armour protecting his hips with each step and the longest ones curled forwards to caress his black knee-high leather boots and the metal plates that shielded his shins.
The Devil reached the top of the steps that led down from his fortress and straightened out the cuffs of his impeccable black suit jacket in a way that told Asmodeus he was on the verge of losing his cool.
The handsome black-haired male lifted his amber gaze and pinned Asmodeus with a glare that sent a shiver through him. A bolt of fire and lightning followed it, zinging through his blood and bones, a fierce reminder of the power this male wielded and a warning not to keep him waiting again.
The power flowing over him grew stronger and Asmodeus gritted his teeth as his knees trembled and fought to remain standing, refusing to succumb to the Devil’s will.
He would never go to his knees unwillingly.
Asmodeus clenched his fists, every muscle tensing against the strain of remaining upright. Sweat broke out across his brow. His limbs shook and his breathing quickened, but he kept his gaze locked on the Devil’s, holding it and showing him that he wouldn’t back down.
He would not submit.
A curvaceous naked female stepped out of the fortress, wavering as she walked slowly towards the Devil, a distant look in her dark eyes. She draped her hands over his shoulders and rubbed herself against his back, mewling softly at the same time.
The Devil huffed and the pressure bearing down on Asmodeus lifted.
“Go back inside,” the Devil muttered and touched the female’s hand. She obeyed, turning away from him and plodding back into the fortress.
The Devil had been busy recently.
His Hell’s angels had been bringing him female after female for him to seduce ever since his daughter, Erin, and the traitor Hell’s angel had escaped his grasp. The Devil had even taken to keeping some of the mortal women with him at the fortress, creating himself a harem.
Attempting to bring another child into this dark world.
A difficult task to accomplish when there were few females strong enough to bring his child to term.
Erin was a rare success in a sea of failures.
The Devil had only managed to produce one single offspring in thousands of years of trying.
Asmodeus didn’t think his current desperate tactic of sleeping with as many females as possible in an extremely short span of time would produce the result the male was looking for. Erin would birth her child soon and then she would be back to fight her father for his throne.
Asmodeus couldn’t wait.
Hell was about to get very interesting.
Until then, Asmodeus was content with amusing himself watching the Devil grow increasingly frustrated and desperate. Weak.
He had never seen the Devil this weak before, not in the thousands of years he had lived.
“What business do you have with me?” Asmodeus casually preened his feathers, preparing them for the flight home, and ignored the Devil’s scowl.
The male hated it when he spoke to him without an ounce of respect. Everyone else under his command simpered and scraped at his feet. As far as Asmodeus was concerned, the Devil had enough pathetic creatures kissing his expensive Italian leather shoes. Asmodeus wasn’t about to join them. He was above them.
The Devil’s right hand man.
A male created for destruction and bloodshed.
“You are to travel to the mortal realm and retrieve a female for me.”
Asmodeus’s black eyebrows pinched in a frown and it took him a moment to absorb exactly what the Devil had said and the connotations it contained.
One, he was ordering him to lower himself to the role of minion, retrieving him another female for his harem. Treating him like a servant. That irked him. He was not just another of the Devil’s servants.
Two, he was offering him a taste of the mortal world, granting him leave to step outside the environs of Hell for the first time in his existence. That intrigued Asmodeus. He had always wanted to see the mortal realm with his own eyes and experience it.
Asmodeus stared at him, weighing his options. Swallow his pride and finally fly in the world above, seeing the buildings and the colours, and all the things he had only ever seen in the pool on the plateau, or tell the Devil to stick it and spend the next week in the cells, probably tortured, possibly maimed permanently for his disobedience.
Asmodeus swallowed his pride and it tasted bitter. “Fine.”
The Devil grinned, revealing short fangs. “Good. You will find her in Paris, in the middle of the park near the base of the Eiffel Tower. She will be wearing crimson and black. Bring her to me.”
Asmodeus nodded, took a step backwards and then turned away from the Devil.
He threw his hand out in front of him and a black vortex appeared, swirling like smoke. It had been many centuries since he had bothered practicing glamours and veils, having given up on ever leaving Hell and having no need for changing his appearance in this realm. He hoped he hadn’t forgotten how to cast them.
Asmodeus focused on himself, casting a veil so none would see him when he stepped through the portal into the mortal realm.
“Bring her to me quickly, Asmodeus,” the Devil said behind him and Asmodeus nodded again.
Perhaps he would dally just a little. Who knew when the Devil would allow him to leave Hell again?
He stepped through the black portal and tensed as he appeared in the mortal realm. His eyes watered and he blinked against the assault of strong light, leaning back into the shade of the tower that speared the blue sky above him.
Asmodeus tipped his head back and stared up at it, and then looked at his surroundings. Green trees. Dark metal. Pale stone. Mortals dressed in a multitude of colours. The warm air carried strange scents. Dust. Something sweet. Smoke. Sounds came from every direction. Blasts of noise and distant rumbles of what he suspected were vehicles. Constant chatter. Laughter. Squeals of happiness. All alien to him.
All choking and closing in on him.
He didn’t like it.
He took a step back towards the portal behind him and glared at everyone as they passed. Ants. Hundreds of them. Swarming. Shoving. Jostling each other. He wanted to kill them all. They were noisy. Brutal. Irritating.
Asmodeus grinned, his golden eyes narrowing with it, and flexed his fingers. His fangs began to lengthen and his black claws followed them.
Prey for the hunter.
He would drown out the disgusting scents with the smell of blood. He would replace joy with fear, with screams and sobs and pointless pleas for mercy. He would bathe this colourful world in crimson.
A flash of that colour caught his eye and his gaze zeroed in on it. It was gone, lost in the sea of other hues. It flickered again, further off to his right, and his eyes shot to it. Wavy chestnut hair bounced against crimson ruffled material with each light step. He caught a sliver of black jeans. Crimson and black. The female the Devil wanted.
She turned and he glimpsed her face, and his desire to bathe his hands in the blood of these puny creatures slipped away, calm suffusing him, making him forget his irritation and dark desires.
She blinked, black lashes shuttering luminous hazel eyes, and turned away, continuing onwards towards a strip of green land to his right beyond the shadow of the tower.
Asmodeus felt a tug behind his breastbone, pulling him in her direction, but something told him it wasn’t the Devil commanding him to follow her. It was something else that made him want to track her through the crowd.