Why is that I can’t get the angel out of my head? The way she cocked her head as she assessed the situation when Daemon had that girl in his arms. At first, she was angry, a feral beast pacing its cage, almost irate. But then…
The calm and control that washed over her.
As much as I want to understand the darkness and how it functions, we’re clueless. Today proved as much.
After she dropped to her knees, we left her locked in the bathroom while we gathered downstairs to discuss what the fuck happened. Daemon had been his usual self, too blinded by his own self-importance to grasp that he’d been under her control earlier. Dari and Alaric were alarmed, but cautiously curious, too.
It’s obvious now that she’s more powerful than any one of us can comprehend. Even more so than she herself can begin to imagine. I don’t even think she realizes the power she possesses deep inside herself.
The conversation ended abruptly when Daemon stood up from the couch and announced he was bringing the angel to his bedroom because, in his words, he wanted to keep an eye on her during the night.
He’s fucking pussy whipped.
Is he in love with her? I don’t know. But he’s drawn to her because she’s a challenge, and Daemon likes those more than anything. He likes that she doesn’t bend to his will unless he makes her.
He especially likes that she has the potential to be more powerful than him. That really gets his back up and provokes the alpha within him.
I bring the joint to my lips and squint as I take a deep pull, watching the flames dance in the fireplace. The others have gone to bed, but I can’t sleep. Too restless from the day’s events.
The creak of the floorboards announces her arrival. She enters the living room, wearing a short, flowing dress, her long legs on display.
My eyes skate down her body, feasting on her smooth skin, then flick back up. “How did you escape security?”
More importantly, how did Daemon stay asleep? The guy is a worse sleeper than me.
Her bare feet pad closer, black painted toenails sinking into the thick carpet. “I have my ways.”
“If you fucked his guards, they’ll be dead by the morning.” She didn’t. I’d be able to smell the males on her if she did, but I let the threat linger in the air.
Her smile is saccharine, and I like that she is comfortable enough around me to treat me to a healthy dose of attitude. It reminds me of Dari when we were younger. Back then, she used to dislike me for reasons unbeknownst to me. I’ve always been a charmer, in my opinion.
“I fucked them all. At the same time.”
My smile is easy. “Daemon will still spank your ass for sneaking out of bed.”
Wincing from his treatment earlier, she sits beside me on the couch. “Can’t wait.”
“Do you mean that?” I ask as she watches me smoke the joint.
“I do, yes.”
I get the sense it’s not because of the pleasure, even if that’s a side perk. Her reasoning is something deeper. Something I can’t begin to unravel, but because I’m curious, I ask, “How so?”
I take another pull on the joint, watching her through the curling smoke.
Aurelia shifts on the couch to face me and tucks her hair behind her ear. “I know what it’s like to not be seen by him… or you…”
I pause, the joint dangling from my lips.
And like a predator in the night, she climbs onto my lap and straddles me. Her soft fingers stroke my hair away from my brow, then slide over the stubble on my cheek and jaw before tracing the dip on my top lip. I hold my breath, surprisingly affected by her touch.
Removing the joint from between my lips, she takes a drag while holding my gaze. I check my senses to ensure she’s not pulling the same stunt on me that she did on Daemon earlier. But no, I still have my wits about me. I’m still in control of my own mind and actions.
She places the joint back and orders me to smoke, which I do, one arm slung over the top of the couch.
“I think you see me now,” she breathes, rolling her hips against me.
I smoke in silence while she grinds herself against me. There’s something about her that demands attention, and it’s not her tempting cleavage or how the strap of her dress has slid from her shoulder to reveal more of the swell of her breasts.
But I am a man with a brain pumping blood to my dick, so I tuck the joint between my lips before yanking down her dress. Her breasts bounce free, swollen with pink, peaked nipples.
Leaning forward and reaching behind her, I crush the joint in the ashtray on the coffee table, then relax back to palm her full tits. They’re a little more than a handful. Just fucking perfect. I cup a breast and swirl the tip of my tongue over the hard bud, over and over, until she tugs on the hair at my nape.
“You torture me.”
I look up at her from between her full breasts. “Show me how you manipulate fire.”
She stiffens in my arms. “Now?”
Massaging her tits, I bite the flesh of one before soothing the sting with my tongue. “Unless you don’t want to.”
Her throat jumps, and she leans back slightly and holds her hand up between us. With her eyes on me, she brings a small flame to life. It dances and flickers, clinging on for dear life when her next shaky breath threatens to extinguish it.
I bring my hand up, too. Flames dance across my knuckles, and she watches as I let my fire slide from my hand onto hers.
A sharp gasp leaves her.
I knew it wouldn’t hurt her, not after she touched Daemon’s flames earlier.
While we’re immune to our own flames, hellfire is unique to each wielder. It has a fingerprint and a life essence of its own. Very few angels can combine their flames, so it’s mesmerizing to watch mine dance around hers, almost as if testing the waters, before becoming one much larger flame. I find myself holding my breath.
She looks at me, and in that one brief second before our lips collide, I sense a shift inside me. It should terrify me, but my body acts on instinct. I palm the back of her head and jerk her lips to mine. Licking and nibbling, I explore her hot mouth and tangle my tongue with hers as if she’s the essence I breathe. My hands find her breasts again, grabbing, squeezing, and slapping her swollen flesh.
Her lips never leave mine while she grapples with my belt and frees my dick, as fucking desperate to ruin me as I am to destroy her. Lifting up onto her knees, her hands brace on my shoulders for support. I pool her dress around her waist and snap her panties straight off before driving two fingers inside her soaking cunt.
“So fucking wet for me already.” I curl them, coaxing Aurelia to roll her hips in time with my thrusts. “And so greedy for my fingers.”
Her head falls back between her shoulders, and like a siren call at sea, her slender throat moans out for my mouth.
She takes my breath away, riding my hand with abandon and digging her nails into my shoulders while she takes what she needs.
“Ronan…” My name flows from her lips on a soft sigh that has my dick jumping against my tensing stomach.
I slide my digits out from her tight pussy and rest back against the couch with my dick clasped in my hand. “Sit on my cock.”
The flames in the fireplace burn brighter in response to my magic when she sinks down on my throbbing length. She’s so tight that it almost hurts, and I grit my teeth against the intense pleasure of being inside her.
I guide her up and down with my hands on her hips, my teeth sinking into my bottom lip as the wet sounds of her cunt fill the air. “Fuck me just like that, baby.”
The image of her bouncing on my dick, and her tits bobbing enticingly, is one I want to imprint on my mind.
“Oh, Ronan,” she moans, snaking her hand between her legs to rub her clit. I slap it away before pressing down on her throbbing nub with my thumb. “Don’t you fucking dare. Your orgasm is mine.”
She begins to shiver and shake on top of me, her movements growing jerky. Lifting her off, I guide her over the armrest, and slide inside her from behind. My fingers tangle in her dark hair, and my hips piston against her ass while she takes my pounding with her sweet ass in the air.
“Ronan. Ronan. Ronan,” she chants, and I swear I’d do anything to be the object of her pleasure. In the past, I’ve fucked to get off or to seduce my meal to make the most of their blood.
This is something else.
It’s a calling.
I need to get this girl off if it’s the last thing I do. I need her to sing my praises to the God she turned her back to. I need him to hear what I do to her. But more than that, I want her orgasm for myself.
My hand comes down on her ass in a hard slap. “Come for me.” I slap her again and again until, finally, her pussy clamps down on my dick. She tries to muffle her cries into the couch cushion, but I pull her back by her hair. “I want to fucking hear you scream my name, little angel.”
Two more thrusts… three… and then I still inside her tight cunt and grit my teeth as I fill her full of cum.
I don’t know how long I stay with my dick buried inside her before reluctantly sliding out and pulling my jeans back up. Aurelia stays draped over the armrest, my cum slowly trailing from her pussy and down the backs of her thighs.
Stepping forward, I swipe my cum up and push it back where it belongs, leisurely fingering her cunt while she catches her breath.
“I don’t think I can move.”
Her admittance makes me smile. With a final slap to her ass, I scoop her up into my arms and carry her naked upstairs to my bedroom. Unlike Daemon, I don’t have guards stationed outside the door, which is lucky, because the thought of them seeing her naked awakens the possessiveness inside me. I don’t want to explain to Daemon’s father why I killed his hired guard.
After kicking the door shut, I place her down on my bed. I lie beside her and pull the quilt up to her shoulders. Cocooned against me like this, she feels so small and innocent.
Only, she’s anything but.
Struck with the intense urge to protect her, I stay awake while she sleeps. My gaze never strays from the door in case her stalker decides to pay a visit.
Lucifer sits on the armchair in front of the fireplace while we wait for dinner to be served. He stares at me from across the room, dressed in a wine-red button-down with a slim black tie.
Daemon has given the staff strict instructions to keep the girls unharmed and quiet, so they don’t trigger the darkness in me to rise to the surface. It feels like a science experiment, but judging by the tense silence in the air, I guess they don’t want Lucifer to find out what happens when I lose myself.
I overheard them in the kitchen earlier, discussing how my power could awaken the alpha’s need to dominate.
Lucifer is the ultimate alpha in this neck of the woods.
I’m not sure what that means, but it doesn’t sound good, so I keep my mouth shut and my wings tucked. It’s best to be safe than sorry. The last time Lucifer wanted to get rid of me, he tried to sell me to Amenadiel. If it’s one thing I have learned, it’s not to underestimate the ruler of Hell.
As if pulled forward by his own curiosity, he rises from the armchair and walks up to me.
Seated on the couch, Daemon watches his approach with tense shoulders and a carefully blank face.
“Why is it that the longer I watch you, the more familiar you seem?”
I stay silent, acutely aware of the shift in the air, when he starts to circle me. A blind person could sense the crackling tension in the air.
Dariana tries to break it. “It’s nice to have you back, Lucifer. You’ve been gone for a while.”
His eyes remain laser sharp, focused entirely on me as if he’s peeling me like the layers of an onion. “What is your intention with my son?”
My eyes automatically find Daemon, who remains a statue. I remember this from last time. He barely moves when his father is around. “Intention?”
Lucifer stops in front of me and buries his hands deep in his pants pockets. His shirt stretches tight across his shoulders, and his dark hair is styled back. “Yes, intentions. You’re not marrying my son.”
My eyes pop wide open as my heart takes flight. “Who said anything about marriage?”
“Oh,” he hums, “so you admit my son is nothing more than a fling?”
I’m so confused. Shifting on the spot, I open and close my mouth in search of the right words.
Lucifer speaks first. “My son is the only heir to the throne. He will be king one day. Naturally, there is the question of marriage.”
“Marriage—” I start, but before I can speak another word, he continues. “My son is already betrothed to a woman of high enough standing to be worthy to serve by his side.”
My heart ceases to beat, and Lucifer tilts his head with a smile, attuned to reading a room.
“You didn’t know?”
“Father,” Daemon warns, his tone low and threatening.
If anything, it makes the smile on Lucifer’s face grow. His eyes flick over my shoulder, and he holds his hand out. “Come here, Dariana.”
I gasp, my mouth falling open as she rises from the couch and walks up to us with obedient steps.
“Meet Daemon’s future wife. His betrothed. The female angel who will one day produce an heir to the kingdom.”
Tears prick the backs of my eyes as they lock on Dariana. The girl I once fell for… It turns out she knew all along and never thought to tell me. She let me fall for him when he played his twisted power games. She let me fall for her.
My feet carry me backward, first a single step, which is soon followed by two more.
When Daemon notices, he flies up from the couch and gives me a warning glare.
The kind that tells me not to go anywhere or I’ll be in deep trouble. I don’t heed his warning, intent on protecting the damaged, bleeding organ in my chest.
I’ve desperately tried to gain their love again, but it turns out it was never mine to own.
I look back at Dariana, and for the first time, I see what she is. She’s a royal in waiting.
She’s the woman chosen for Daemon. The one deemed worthy. She’s the one who’ll get every damaged and imperfect part of him.
The one who’ll get to feel his child kick inside her.
It’ll never be me. I’m a placeholder. The heartache I’ve endured to get them back has been for nothing.
Everything was for nothing…
A sob escapes me—a pained, haunted sound that cuts through the silence like a sharp knife. It slices my heart, tearing the organ into tiny pieces that float through the air like confetti.
In the midst of my heartbreak, I hear the creak of an old door behind me.
The door no one else can see but me.
More tears fall, but I don’t fear the pale hand covered in rotting flesh and maggots. Not anymore.
Dark smoke seeps through the stone walls and glides down the damp surface to pool on the floor. Closer and closer it crawls, tendrils of smoke creeping toward my feet.
My eyes snag on the wide-open door and the gaping darkness inside. It calls to my bleeding heart. Whispering promises that claw beneath my skin and pull me closer.
I step through the thick fog at my feet, disturbing it with every step.
“What is she staring at?” Dariana asks, looking to Daemon for help, who is inching closer.
Screams of terror emanate from the darkness. I pause, barely daring to breathe. The air is cold, and my breath puffs out in front of me. I take another hesitant step closer.
“Daemon?” Dariana’s voice is growing urgent. The others are on their feet, too.
Lucifer is watching me with a crease between his brows.
Their concern can’t save me now.
I look down and pause. My dress is torn, and my chest is covered in stab wounds, too many to count. Touching my fingers to the bloody lacerations, I stumble back, only to be pulled forward again as the voice inside the doorway screams.
The walls crumble to dust around me, and the flames inside the fireplace spread out over the floor, setting furniture alight and burning everything in its path.
In the midst of the chaos, Lucifer watches me closely with narrowed eyes.
“It must be a vision, right?” Dariana asks the others. “She’s seeing things?”
I’m close now. The door is right in front of me, demanding my full attention. Inside lurks the birth of evil—the very essence of fear, pain, and betrayal. I can sense it with every fiber of my being. I’m drawn to it like the tide is drawn to the moon. It calls me closer, whispering sweet nothings to the monster inside me.
Just as I’m about to cross the threshold, I’m pulled back against a hard chest.
“No.” A simple command.
My eyes fall shut as Amenadiel wraps his fingers around my throat from behind. “That is one door I can’t let you enter, Angel.”
“You promised the veil was mended.”
“Well,” he whispers, his lips brushing the shell of my ear, “I lied.”
I knew it. Ever since that first dream, I knew he’d tried to convince me I was going crazy.
“Step away from the door, Aurelia.” His voice is a cold threat, but underneath it lies something else.
A resemblance of fear.
It’s there in the slight tremble of his voice.
I turn in his arms, needing to see it with my own eyes. “What’s behind that door, Amenadiel?”
Hands pull and tug on me. Daemon shouts at me to look at him, but their screams are whispers in the distance. It’s just Amenadiel and me here, suspended between worlds.
“What’s behind the door?” I repeat.
His eyes flick over my shoulder, and he swallows audibly. “There are some truths you don’t want to know.”
Another earsplitting scream raises the hairs on the back of my neck. My eyes fall shut as my heart matches the rhythm of the fearful, throbbing energy in the resuming silence. It pulsates against my skin, clawing for a way inside.
“What will I find behind that door?”
Amenadiel’s voice is careful. “If you enter through that door, you will reset time as you know it. Some changes can never be reversed.”
I slowly turn around and step out of his arms, inching closer to the black void behind me. “It’s okay, Amenadiel. I already know what’s waiting for me on the other side.”
He tries to grab me, but I shoot my hand out and erect a firewall between us. It spreads like a match to a trail of gasoline, and when he tries to walk through, his clothes catch fire and he steps back with a curse.
“You can’t pass it. I’m stronger than you in many ways, Amenadiel. Guess why?” As if on cue, another bone-chilling scream echoes from the doorway, and ice-cold, rotten fingers grip my arms and pull me back toward the darkness.
“Listen to me very carefully, Aurelia. You do not want to step through that door,” he bites out through clenched teeth.
“You never answered my question. Why am I stronger than you? Why am I the most powerful angel to ever enter Hell?”
The almighty Amenadiel tears at his hair. “Fuck, step away from the door, Aurelia.”
“Hear that scream? That’s me, isn’t it? Those rotten, maggot-eaten hands? They’re mine, too. Your brother didn’t birth Hell. I did. And when I step through that door, what I’ll find is me.”
Amenadiel paces back and forth, then stops and looks at me with pleading, bloodshot eyes. “What do you want? What can I do to make you step away from that fucking door?”
I search for the organ in my chest that bled emotions not too long ago. It’s an empty, hollow shell, as if the darkness has already feasted on it. I guess it’s good, in a way. Daemon is engaged to Dariana, and I have been a piece on their playing board to cure their endless boredom until the day they walk down the aisle to carry on their legacy while I rot, alone in the woods.
“I do wonder one thing, Amenadiel.”
His eyes snap to mine, and he tries to cross the flames to get to me but ends up burning his hand.
“You knew all along. I’m not going to ask how, but I will ask this: how were you planning to wield my power against Lucifer? It was your plan all along to get me here. You introduced me to the darkness before I was ready. Chaos, you called it… You watched me flounder in it and fight desperately to survive. You even fucked me in my dreams. Why? What were you planning?”
I take one more single step back.
Amenadiel springs forward, his hand outstretched over the burning flames as if to beg me to come back.
I don’t let him reply. “Unfortunately for you, I don’t want to hear the truth from your lips. No, not anymore.”
The smell of rotting flesh, maggots, and buzzing flies enters my nostrils as the hand on me slides over my throat.
“It’s time I find out for myself.”
The arms pull me back, and I stumble into the icy darkness as the door slams shut with an echoing finality. The last thing I see before the world goes black is Amenadiel’s terror-stricken face.
A voice whispers from somewhere deep inside the void. “Genesis…”