Hi all! In keeping with the Tuesday Teaser, upcoming release previews, we have Immortal Surrender coming up around the corner! Let's delve into Farran's world a little bit....
September 25, 2012
You must save your seraph. Azazel knows of her existence. I cannot come.
Gabriel’s adamant warning pounded through Iain’s head as he jogged down the darkened alley the archangel bade him to follow. At the end of the street, Bianca Moreau’s weatherworn apartment building sat in the shadow of a hulking modern high- rise. Forgotten and neglected. Like the woman within.
Iain knew she had suffered much in her young life, but he knew not what he would find. Whether she would be lovely or plain, refined or crude. However, his heart took wings at the prospect of binding himself to the seraph who would heal the darkness in his soul. He would take her from this cold, unfeeling city of Paris and care for her. Devote himself to her. And like the American Templar commander, Merrick, Iain would know coveted peace.
A greater gift, the Almighty could not grant.
He set his hand on the doorknob and a slight smile tugged at his mouth. Convincing her to accept her role might prove a more difficult chore than battling Azazel’s minions, but ’twould be worth the effort.
Hurry. We haven’t much time.
Gabriel’s words rose to his memory, and Iain dismissed the quandary of how to explain all to his immortal mate. He turned the knob, finding it unlocked as Gabriel foretold.
As he eased open the door and stepped into a musty hall, a rat scurried across his boot. He kicked the vermin aside, briefly reminded of a different season, a different century, when he had walked the streets of France and witnessed the horrific destruction of the plague. How he despised the city. A seraph should not be bound to these degrading conditions.
He took the dingy staircase to the fourth floor, aware of the strange quiet that clung to the hall. No muted televisions echoed beyond closed doors. The insects stayed within the walls. Even the air stilled. He breathed deeply, searching for the putrid scent of rot that would identify one of Azazel’s foul creations.
Only dust, the aroma of human bodies, and stale sex filtered to his nose. Dimly, a soft feminine moan rose to his ears. A sound of pleasure, he realized with a wry smile.
He strode down the short hall to number eight and reached for the lion-head knocker. As his fingers grazed the tarnished brass, the door moved beneath his light touch. It swung open a good six inches. Unlocked. Her door should not be unlocked. Not here. Not in this indecent building.
The hair at the nape of his neck lifted. He dropped his hand to the hilt of his sword. His fingers closed around air, and he silently cursed. He had left the weapon in the SUV, afraid ’twould frighten her and make his task more difficult. Saints’ blood, he had been foolish!
He set his hand on the painted wood and pushed the door open. Darkness flooded her front room. Her kitchenette. The hall. The oppressive silence clung more thickly here, and Iain’s pulse tripped.
Faint light at the end of a short hall caught his eye. He breathed easier as a rustling drifted to his awareness. The sound of a mattress creaking. Covers unfolding as she put herself to bed.
Yet the nagging suspicion something was amiss prevented him from calling out and making his presence known. Quietly, he approached the light.
“Please . . .” she begged softly. “Please.”
His throat tightening, Iain stepped into the doorway.
The sight before him stilled his heart. Nude, two figures lay atop her bed, oblivious to his presence. Her long blond hair spilled across the pillow. Her lips sought the masculine mouth that hovered over hers. She arched her back, a mewl bubbling in her throat, as the man eased his hand between her parted legs.
’Twas not, however, the sight of her sexual pleasure that constricted his chest. ’Twas the man. For as Iain’s centuries of living amongst angels could reveal. From powerful shoulder blades two cloaked wings spanned toward the ceiling. And there could only be one angel who would indulge in carnal delight.
“You will serve me,” he cooed against her engorged nipple. “Please me. Do my bidding.”
She answered with a moan.
Rage, unlike any Iain had ever experienced, surged through his body. It overpowered the fear that came with Azazel’s unholy presence and possessed him like a mad man. He threw himself at Azazel, knowing ’twas futile, hoping he could pull her from her trance enough to bid her to run.
With a malicious snarl, Azazel reared off her body. In one effortless swing of his arm, he flung Iain across the room, sending him crashing into the wall. Something inside his chest cracked. Pain erupted, white hot and engulfing.
With the distraction, Azazel’s magic collapsed. But in the half second where he clung to his human form before his fathomless black wings could emerge, Bianca regained her senses. She lifted her legs and kicked Azazel in the chest. It sent him staggering.
“You have doomed her,” Azazel hissed.
Iain struggled to rise. Agony dropped him to his knees, scarcely able to breathe. Helpless to aid his seraph, the only woman in this world who could save his soul and aid the Templar purpose, he watched as Bianca scrambled across her bed in a vain race for the door.
Azazel snatched at her shoulder. Claws dug into flawless flesh, whipping her around to face him. Before she could do so much as whimper, he thrust his hand into her chest. She screamed. Her body convulsed in his deadly embrace. Azazel released the hand that supported her back, and she fell to the floor. Her heart remained in his vile hand. Blood poured down the length of his arm.
A smirk drifted to Azazel’s lips as he carelessly tossed her heart atop her broken body. “A pity. She was most entertaining. I could have enjoyed her company a good while before that became necessary.”
Unable to form words through his blinding pain, Iain spit at Azazel’s feet, daring the lord of darkness to take him next. To put an end not only to his physical suffering, but also to the eternal damnation of his soul.
Yet Azazel would not grant him such respite. He chuckled at Iain. “You will serve me soon enough. I await the power of your sword.”
A fetid breeze stirred, and Azazel vanished.
Iain’s gaze fell to Bianca’s bloodied form. He closed his eyes to the hot rush of tears. Fighting against the searing heat that taunted him with the bliss of unconsciousness, he dragged himself across the carpeted floor to her lifeless side. With a shaking hand, he pushed her thick hair away from her face. Long lashes graced high cheekbones.
She had been beautiful.
His heart broke as he touched her still-warm cheek. He had failed his seraph. Failed his brethren. There would be no salvation for his tainted soul. Not now. Not ever. He would suffer until the darkness overcame him. When it did, he would know escape. But he would raise his sword against his brethren and join Azazel’s ranks to conquer the Almighty.
Come back next week, folks for Chapter 1!