Book Length: 124 pages
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp./Lyrical Press
Making a deal with the Devil is the least of his problems.
Zaphkiel, a chain-smoking, hard-drinking archangel, never intended to unleash the sun demon upon the city. Bad enough his boss wants him dead, and this recent crime is the perfect excuse. The timing couldn’t be worse. Somehow, Zaphkiel’s executed lover, Caliel, is alive and reincarnated as Sean. Zaphkiel is thrilled to be reunited with Caliel again, but will his lover feel the same when he learns Zaphkiel’s darkest secret?
Hired by Lucifer, Sean wants nothing more than to fit in. But how can he compete when the Devil’s friends include archangels and a Tarot reader, and he was born without special abilities? Or so he believes. The Tarot hints there may be more to him than he realizes.
Recruited by the Devil to find the two pentacles sun demon Sorath plans to use to destroy the universe, Zaphkiel and Sean find themselves pawns in a game of power and control. If the archangel gives his boss the pentacles, Ophaniel will overlook his crime. But Zaphkiel knows he can’t trust either Ophaniel or Sorath, and the deal he’s made with the Devil could cost him not only his life, but also the lover he believed gone forever.
Ten minutes later, Zaphkiel entered Lucifer’s office.
The devil motioned for him to sit. “You wanted to see me?”
“Yes.” Zaphkiel debated standing. He needed to be in control, make sure Lucifer understood he was serious. How many desperate people sought the devil’s blessing, craving a power beyond their capability? “I want vengeance against Ophaniel.”
Lucifer leaned forward, hands clasped on his desk blotter. “How do you plan to do that?”
“Make me a fallen angel. I lost my powers, but I’m still an angel, regardless. I can never be human. If I can’t be an angel, I’ll be a demon.”
Lucifer narrowed his eyes. “Do you understand what you’re asking? Once you fall, there’s no going back. You’ll no longer be a Throne angel. You’ll no longer be able to return as their leader.”
“I know, thanks to Ophaniel’s double-crossing.” Lucifer had to understand his plight, having suffered the treachery of his celestial brethren. A headache formed between his eyes, and he rubbed at the skin there, trying to control his frustration. If the devil saw any hesitation or weakness, he’d refuse his request. He needed to shove Ophaniel from his mind, convince the fallen angel he could handle whatever happened. “I can’t stand the thought of him getting away with it.”
A small smile played on Lucifer’s lips. “And you think becoming a demon will help you get the revenge you want?”
Would it? Zaphkiel paced the room. “I don’t know.” He drew a deep breath, finding his center, and forced himself to remain calm. “But I can’t stand by and do nothing.”
“I see. What does Sean think?”
“He doesn’t know. I haven’t told him who I am.”
“Sooner or later, you’ll have to.”
Zaphkiel sank onto the ottoman. “He’d never believe it.”
“You might be surprised.”
“He seems to have accepted you without much problem,” Zaphkiel admitted.
Lucifer fired a thin ice shard from his index finger at the dartboard on the back of his door. The tip speared the bull’s-eye. “I fascinate people. I’m glad you’re together again.”
“Yeah, but I wonder if he really remembers me. I want to say something, but I promised I wouldn’t.” Zaphkiel stood and paced the room, sneakers sinking into the plush carpet. Part of him wanted to protect Sean from his past, from the horrible memories he feared would awaken in him. Or perhaps he wanted to protect himself, a part of him certain Sean would blame him for not helping him when he’d been arrested. “It’s hard sometimes. I keep wanting to call him Caliel and have to stop myself.”
“I appreciate you and Raziel keeping quiet. To try to force him to remember too soon would only have repercussions.”
“Sure, but I want him to be with me because it’s what he wants.”
“You realize your choice will affect not only you but him as well?” Lucifer gave Zaphkiel a direct look. “Is your decision worth it?”
Pamela Turner drinks too much coffee, and wishes she could write perfect first drafts. Influenced by shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, and Twilight Zone, she writes paranormal suspense. Publications include the short novels Death Sword, a finalist in the Chanticleer Book Reviews’ Blue Ribbon Paranormal Awards 2013, Exterminating Angel (both from Kensington Publishing/ Lyrical Press), and The Ripper’s Daughter (BlackWyrm Publishing). Her short, dark suspense story, “Family Tradition” (MuseItUp Publishing), was a finalist in the EPIC 2014 EBook Awards, and her short screenplay “Cemetery” placed second in The Writers Place Short/Teleplay screenplay competition. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, EPIC, and a supporting member of HWA. Besides coffee, she likes cats, cemeteries, and old abandoned buildings.
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