Category Archives: Excerpts

Wrath’s Patience – Excerpt

‘Stay away.’

Her voice reached his ears stroking down his back like the flutter of fingers. He couldn’t, goddamn him, he couldn’t turn and leave now. She had done something to him when she threw out her magic and shocked his body. Not only that, but he felt a drive to protect, not just her, but that small young of hers.

He had been shocked when a second female had come out, almost identical to the one that smelt like vanilla, only this female had slightly darker hair, was built differently, and walked with a pure stubborn confidence. To his eyes those two women might be twins but they were vastly different from each other. His eyes were locked on only one female right now, her body silhouetted by the light within the cabin.

In the back of his brain, he could feel the buzzing of madness trying to regain its hold on him. The pain was a slow pulsing behind his eyes, but it was nothing he couldn’t deal with. He considered leaving but fear gripped him. If he left he might forget she was here. The madness would consume him again, and he might hurt her or her child. That would be unacceptable, he needed her to help him, he needed her voice to drive away the rage.

Lifting his large head he slowly padded from the bushes and began to scan the clearing, it was large with a gravel driveway heading off into the woods. Off to one side sat a rundown barn where he could scent all kinds of animals, some of them not even of this mortal world. Slowly he headed in that direction a soft light emitting from within the barn.

Pushing his nose through the door he sat down taking in the scene of large pens and a few stables, most holding some kind of animal. It didn’t take long for them to notice him. Those that were natural prey shrunk back, making sounds of warning, they felt a predator in their midst. He ignored them focusing his flame eyes on the large white stallion that watched him with silver eyes, shimmering large white wings folded up on his back, a nasty looking wound on his hind leg.

You do not belong, Dimoni. You are wrong. The stallion walked to the door and poked his head from his stall flicking his huge wings out and folding them against his back.

He felt the beast speaking with him. His brain tingled with the sensation. He followed that path of communication reaching for words. He could almost remember words.

I.Do. Not remember. He shook his head hard, the words forming slowly.

You are cursed, I can smell it, as do all creatures of the world. You should leave. The pegasus stomped his foot against the stable floor snorting loudly.

I cannot. Need to stay, need her. The stallion reared in his stable and snorted again sending all the animals in the barn into a frenzy.

She is Seer, speaker of beasts, you will stay away, Dimoni!

The wolf shook his head. I cannot. Their conversation was cut short as he heard a door at the other end of the barn opening and the voice of the twin sister filling the room. The wolf darted into an empty stall dropping low to the ground to hide in the shadows as the one who did not smell of vanilla entered.

“What’s wrong with everyone? If you hurt yourselves again I’m not fixing it.” The not vanilla-one looked around the barn quickly. She walked to the stable that held the pegasus stroking down his magnificent face slowly.

“Easy now, what’s going on?” The winged beast snorted and scraped at the floor again but let the little human touch him. The wolf watched his ears flicking forward as a soft glow encompassed her hand as she stroked down the beasts’ long nose. The stallion settled and her bright eyes began to scan the barn. She was a smart one, she knew something was up. He would have to watch out for this one, she might get in the way of his plan to be near the female he needed. No one would get in his way, he could not allow that to happen.

Envy’s Kindness – Excerpt

Ze stopped the bike and took in the homey scene before him. The door to an almost totally rusted-out hunk of junk truck stood open, illuminating the food strewn across the ground.  Broken eggs oozed out of their shells and mingled with spilled milk in the dirt, leaving a disgusting puddle in the middle of the driveway.

The only thing that came to mind in that second was the Malakhim. Those messed up angels had decided that ending the human race was next on their to-do list. Couldn’t they just take up needlepoint if they were bored? Damn bastards were hunting for the Seers. Women with magical blood running through their veins. Their whole plan hinged on capturing one alive so they could make her open Pandora’s Box and release the remaining Sins trapped within, thereby bringing about the total destruction of the world. So the carnage of groceries strewn like leaves had him rushing from the bike and pounding on the door.

“Sera Holt!” He shouted her name, pulling on the door. Muffled whimpering and crashing came from inside. Panic rose in his chest. He gripped the handle and yanked. The flimsy door ripped from the frame, and Ze rushed into the farmhouse battle, ready to defend the Seer with his life.

A section of wall beside his head suddenly exploded. He yelped and dropped to his knees, his silver gaze searching for the assailant, coming to rest on a five-foot-nothing pixie with flaming red hair and blazing jade eyes. She was holding a double barrel shotgun almost the length of her whole damn body, and the death glare was meant only for him. Holy crap—was this the Seer?

“Get out of my house! You can’t be in my house!” She trembled violently. The gun must have been heavy in her grip, but her knees were strong. She was not budging, even if it did look like a stiff breeze could knock her over.

“Whoa! Wait, I’m here to help you!” Ze stuck his hands into the air as another round of buckshot splintered the post and balusters of the staircase. He felt the telltale sting from wood shrapnel against his skin. Damn, he was lucky she was a crap shot. The force of the recoil made the small female stagger, but she recovered quickly, opening the breech, pulling out the spent shells, and replacing them with quick skill.

“You have five seconds to get off my property before I blow your head off!” She lifted the reloaded firearm, sighting down the length of the barrel.

Ze remained in a kneeling position, his hands up and eyes wide as he stared death in its dazzling jade eyes.  “Listen to me, Sera. My name is Ze. I’ve been sent to get you. Isabelle assured me you would understand. She said she found you, reached for you from afar.” He was one dead demon if she didn’t drop the gun. Tiny as she was with her mane of wild red hair and flashing eyes, she held some strength in her little body, and her arms were beginning to shake.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about! I don’t know anyone named Isabelle!” Ze made no move toward her, nothing threatening at all.

“Okay, she said this might happen. I have something for you. She told me you would understand. I have it written somewhere, damn it…” He patted his jacket pockets, trying to find the letter Isabelle had written to the crazy woman. Reaching inside his jacket, however, was a stupid idea.

“No! Take your hands out!” Panic filled the room, and the gun went off a third time. The banister beside him exploded, sending shards of wood and pellets deep into the side of his face and neck.

Ze hissed loudly and leaned forward, covering his face, swearing low. He gritted his teeth at the radiating pain. He was just lucky he hadn’t lost an eye. The gun clattered to the floor, and he looked up. The crazy pixie was terrified. Shaking her head, she backed away as if he were the one holding the gun on her.

Her eyes were wide with terror, her skin taking on the pallor of fear, losing all of that beautiful red rage she had held only moments before. The woman was breaking apart right before his eyes. Unsure if she was actually seeing him or just reacting to the blood, Ze winced and stood slowly. Her eyes were locked on the blood streaming down his face, dripping to the floor. Her hand moved to her throat.

“My God. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you, no, please…” she just kept repeating.

His brother, Abbadon, had been right. Something bad had happened to this woman the last time she helped the police, and because of that, she had withdrawn from the world. Unfortunately, he had barreled in headlong, resurrecting whatever had terrorized her in the past. Guilt hit hard in his gut. He needed to fix this. He moved toward her, exercising caution. She didn’t budge, just continued shaking her head and mumbling she was sorry.

“Easy, Sera. I’m coming toward you, please don’t shoot me again or anything.” He reached out, gently pulling her hand from her throat. “Come on, little pixie, look at me. Let’s get some of that fire back. I much prefer you trying to kill me than this.” Keeping his tone level, he tilted her head up keeping her gaze away from the blood on the floor.

It was as if she were trapped in some inner world, unable to break free. Tears rolled down her cheeks, yet she uttered no sound. It broke him, seeing her in such terror. No one should have to live like this. He racked his brain, trying to think of a way he could get through to her without bringing her any more agony.

Isabelle, his brother’s future wife and the Seer of Empathy, had mentioned that Sera was most likely gifted with psychometry—the ability to see the past. To his people, it was known as Hindsight, one of the great Seer gifts. Using his teeth, he pulled the glove from his hand. He prayed to Hades—and any other god who would listen to his damned soul—that this would work so he could break her free of this comatose stupor in which she was now stuck.

Gently he touched his fingers to her cheek, her whole body convulsing in his arms. She arched her back, collapsing in his grip, taking them both to the floor. Ze felt himself being sucked into the storm within her mind. Keeping his grip on her, he let the power pull him into the swirling waters of memory that held her.

Greed’s Charity – Excerpt

Chapter One

 

“Greed!” The voice dripped with rage, smothering all who heard in a blanket of terror. It ripped through the darkness, making lower demons cower in fear for their continued existence. When the Lord of the Underworld roared your name, you hid or welcomed oblivion.

Seven flames wavered in the darkness, sparking and flickering in the black. Not a single one created light around it, yet each blazed with a blinding, horrifying glory. A low rumble began in the chamber; a flame of azure blue transformed into the shape of a man. His breathing was deep and fast, sweat covering his muscled chest, his eyes mirrored the blue of the fire now sinking into his flesh. He turned that gaze on a flame of emerald green. The roar that left him contained pure rage and unending fury. He tackled the sparkling green flame, ripping from it another male form.

“Greed, you bastard! You pissed him off. Again!” Satanus, Sin of Wrath began to beat the male to the floor, fists delivering one crushing blow after another. His rage made the very air around him shimmer with pulsing heat.

Behind him, three other flames of blood red, flickering silver, and glowing orange coalesced into human form. Eyes glowing, matching the fire that slowly seethed and retreated under their flesh. One flame of undulating gold expanded into a glowing mist and hovered in the corner. They all watched the Sins of Wrath and Greed fighting on the chamber floor.

Greed let out a feral growl. Tired of being pummeled he rolled, pinning Satanus below him, delivering harsh blows of his own. Two pairs of arms grabbed him, pulling him off, another moving to stand between the two raging demons.

“Lucifer! Unless you want to be my next target, get the fuck out of my way!” Waves of fury beat against flesh as Satanus stood, locking his murderous gaze upon his brother, Mammon, the Sin of Greed.

Lucifer, Sin of Pride turned his blood-red eyes on Satanus, turning to fully face him. His long, white-blond hair laid pin straight over his shoulders, perfectly pristine, as the two squared off.

“Father has summoned us. More to the point, he has summoned Mammon. So, shall we continue to fight like beasts, or shall we answer his call?” As the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, he spoke with utter confidence in every word that flowed from his mouth.

Satanus glared at his leader. Behind him, Mammon gave a half smile and a wave, emerald eyes mocking him. Roaring, Satanus charged towards him. Lucifer lifted his fist and struck with pinpoint accuracy, crushing his brother’s windpipe in a strike so fast, no mortal would have seen. Blue eyes went wide with pain and Satanus fell to his knees coughing, covering his throat as he tried, unsuccessfully, to take in air.

“Mammon, do you want to be next?” Lucifer slowly turned his red gaze to Mammon. The look he gave his youngest sibling said he was going to get a fist to the throat as well in a second.

Mammon knew better than to cross Lucifer and dropped his eyes to the floor. At his side, Beelzebub, Sin of Envy, and Belphegor, Sin of Gluttony, released his arms and took a step back. One flame remained flickering in the room. Sloth snorted in dismissal of his leader’s words. Red eyes turned on the remaining flicker of writhing black.

“Abbadon, get your ass out here, or I will inform Father why you are absent.”

The dark flame audibly sighed and began to form, arms and legs wreathed in liquid darkness. His eyes, gray like pounded steel, glowed with inner annoyance. His skin was as black as shadow and appeared to be cut from obsidian.

“Of course you would, Lucifer, such a good little pet. Let’s all do what Daddy says. Maybe he will give you a pat on the head for being such a dutiful son.” Abbadon leaned against the wall watching the blood-red flames flickering in Lucifer’s eyes. He crossed his arms, observing his leader’s attempt to control his temper.

Mammon let out a bark of laughter at the whole scene. As the youngest, he was more inclined to push the boundaries. His laugh earned him a smack to the back of the head. Rubbing the spot, he scowled at Beelzebub, whose silver eyes were almost haunting to behold. They swirled and moved like molten metal. It was exceedingly eerie at times.

“Don’t push it, Mammon. You have already pissed off Father. So, let us go and see if we can save your ass from one hundred years in the Pit.”

“Geez Ze,” Mammon glared at him.

Ze glared right back before he turned and walked from the chamber. He was built hard and lean, like a swimmer, nothing but pure muscle. With a thought, clothing wrapped around his form—clearly he wasn’t going to attract the ire of their father for being late or naked.

Satanus snarled at Mammon as he scrambled to his feet. Rubbing his sore but rapidly-healing throat, he left the chamber, followed by Belphegor. Lucifer turned his ruby gaze back to Abbadon and Mammon. His eyes settled on the shimmering, iridescent golden mist undulating in the corner.

Asmodeus, the Sin of Lust, was a formless entity. He sighed and began to coalesce, becoming a solid figure forming from the swirling mist. The sparkling golden haze sank under the new skin of a male who did not look much different from Lucifer. Well, Asmodeus did need someone to imprint from if he was going to take on a human form. Lucifer growled and shook his head at his brother’s mimicry. Asmodeus just grinned and ran his newly formed hand through his own slightly darker blond hair, daring his leader to say something.

“You three will be the death of me. Move.” Lucifer’s voice was tight with exasperation. If Mammon didn’t know any better, he would have mistaken Lucifer’s tone for concern. He hung back and watched Lucifer exit the chamber, a sudden fear biting at him. He pushed it away quickly; showing fear to Hades was a death sentence. Abbadon pushed off the wall, smacking Mammon upside the head.

“Your antics will get us all thrown in the Pit, Bro.” Mammon flinched and rubbed his head again. Abbadon moved towards the door, an unfamiliar feeling of worry for the others hit him square in the chest. Abbadon was the only one close in age to himself. He would like to have said the rest could go to hell, but they were already in hell.

Registered with Copyright Safeguard