QSFer Christine Raven Wright has a new MM paranormal book out:
In the eternal struggle between demons and angels, Talon and Kayne are total opposites. Talon, a guardian angel, is swayed by his compassionate heart and strays from the ordained Master Plan one too many times. Kayne, a fallen angel turned into a demon lieutenant, is ruthless at his job. He is tasked with punishing Talon. In the depths of Hell Talon endures torture and damnation at Kayne’s hands. Such an existence shouldn’t lend itself to a bond forming between the two immortal enemies, but the unwanted attentions of the Lord of Darkness himself brings Talon and Kayne closer than expected. Talon desires his freedom but can he trust the demon to save him?
All books under the Raven tagline will be darker and explore grittier topics than Christine’s normal light hearted fiction. Includes Non con, dub con, non-HEA, cliffhanger, pain, humiliation, murder, suicide, multiple partners, explicit language, Sadism
I decided not to apparate or fly because, if I did, the demons would have an easier time tracking me. If I stayed on foot, blending in with the mortals, it would slow their pursuit and perhaps even throw them off my trail. The trouble was the streets were lonely and abandoned this late at night.
Behind me came the demons yips, snarls, and howls that spurred me onward. I turned a street corner and paused. I was familiar with the home of my ward and his general location within the human town but street level details were sketchy to me. I had no idea how humans could live so close together. Hearing insane chuckling and cackling as the demons made up ground and closed in pushed me into a hasty decision. I darted between two homes and ran down the next street, trying desperately to find people.
I passed a strip mall where the bank’s sign showed the time and temperature and wished someone named Mike a successful retirement from the military. The sandwich shop, Cash Advance store, and the used bookstore had their metal grates down over their doors. Only a tiny, run down bar at the corner seemed open. I grabbed the door and hustled inside making sure to make myself visible and recognizably human.
The barkeep glanced up at me as he wiped down the top of the bar with a rag. He called out firmly, “Buddy, we’re closing up in a few minutes.”
Frantically I asked him, “Is there anybody else here?”
“Anybody else? More people?”
He frowned at me, spreading his hands to indicate the small space. “Does it fucking look like there are other people here? Are you on drugs or something? You need to get your ass out of here.”
“I need help!”
“Not from me you don’t. Tell you what though, I’ll call the cops. You can tell them what the trouble is.”
“Where are there more people?” I asked in growing desperation.
“Lots of people at the police station… Or maybe the hospital down the street, they could probably help you.”
Hospital, yes! Injured, sick, and dying humans! Perfect! Their varied life signs would mask my own and confuse the hunters, at least temporarily. I waved my hand to make myself invisible to the man and erase his memory of me. He went back to wiping the bar and whistling. When I stepped outside the street lights were dimmer and a low fog was rolling in. I shivered knowing that the demons were almost on top of me now. Their whispering and snickering could be clearly heard. Any moment I’d see one.
I tore off as fast as I could and left them behind. Every few corners I made abrupt turns, and in a couple places, hopped fences, doubled back, darted between homes and hoped to hell I was deceiving them well enough to reach the hospital. It loomed just ahead and as I entered it I automatically thanked my maker. I shuddered at the cold, lonely feeling I experienced in response. I was completely on my own and couldn’t count on a rescue this time from my fellow Angels.
The best humans to distract the demon hunters would be the insane or the dying. As it turned out, I was standing in the Emergency Room lounge. I hurried over to the reception desk, and allowing myself to be noticed, said to the girl on duty, “Is there anyone dying tonight?”
I got the typical blank human look. Sighing I tried a different tactic. “I’m a priest here to give last rights. Anybody need my services?”
She smiled politely. “I hope not. All we have is a broken wrist, a sprained ankle, and a bad asthma attack, but the little guy is responding well to the treatment.”
I didn’t have time for this. I used my angel power of Compulsion to make her answer my next question. Technically using it for my own welfare was forbidden but whatever. I was already screwed. “Where are the insane kept?”
“Fifth floor, Inpatient Behavioral Health,” she replied. “You can’t go up there though, visiting hours are over.”
I cleansed her memory and made myself invisible to her realm. I risked apparating to get to the fifth floor, I didn’t want to get trapped in what humans quaintly call elevators. The Inpatient Behavioral Health halls were full of muted colors, overly bright hallway lights even this late at night, and dingy industrial carpeting. In fresh pen marks someone had scrawled on the wall by a door, ‘I am dead inside’. Perfect. The demons would have a field day tormenting such a soul while I made my escape.
I popped into the room. A thin, gaunt young man lay upon the bed, secured to it with padded straps and cuffs. He was mumbling in his sleep and started to squirm when the demons drew nearer.
A hyena type of laugh chilled me and a gravely voice called out, “Hey, Angel. Come play with us! We just want to RIP OUT YOUR THROAT and maybe DRINK YOUR SPURTING BLOOD!”
“Yeah,” whispered another. “It only hurts A LOT.”
There was soft snuffling at the edge of the doorway and growling as they tested my control over my powers. When I didn’t try to spell them away the doorknob turned. I knew it was locked, it shouldn’t be turning and the sight of something impossible happening somehow made it worse. I was reacting like a scared human, not a freaking angel. I straightened up and shouted in Angel Tongue, “Get thee hence, demons!” I put a punch to my words that normally scattered them to the wind.
This time the door opened and Hell walked in.
Christine Raven Wright hails from the state of Alaska. It is understandable then why her stories can be dark and cold. The unpredictable wilderness and extreme winters encouraged her to embrace her dark side. She resides in a sunny place now and hopes readers will enjoy crossing back and forth with her between her two realms of fiction. All “Raven” tagged books will explore the boundaries of topics considered taboo.