Bound to a legacy he cannot escape, Riley is a demon unlike any other. With each passing century, his soul grows darker until the seductive trouble-magnet, Saia Sen-Grayson, stumbles into his path and throws his entire world off kilter. But danger has a way of finding him and destroying anything worthwhile in his life.
The biggest challenge in Saia’s life is evading her matchmaking socialite mother. Then she crashes into the sexiest man in her aunt’s building. One look into his striking green eyes and her fleeing days skid to a halt, except she gets more than she bargains in the sexy, tattooed bartender.
And neither can deny the burning attraction between them.
When his tainted past closes in on him, Riley’s forced to make the toughest decision ever to keep her safe. Then Saia’s hauled by a deadly adversary into his dark and treacherous world of Stygia—a place of old betrayals. Now Riley must face his past and accept his future in order to save the woman who belongs to him. And nothing will stop him from claiming her, least of all Saia herself.
But danger comes in many forms and the one least expected might be the sin that seals their fates once and for all…
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EXCERPT 1: opening chapter (PG)
He had another damn tail on him!
Did the bastard really want to die?
Riley snagged a shot glass and filled the ordered green poison. With Satire’s jam-packed from the rush of tourists, it was the only thing nailing his feet to the floor from an all out fight. And this one was brave enough to sit in his bar and eyeball him for the past hour.
In this world, his kind tended to blend in with mortals and usually kept below the radar for a simpler life. But not this asshole. He had no idea he was dancing with death right now.
Already on edge, his body wound too tight as restlessness clawed at his psyche, Riley sent the absinthe sliding toward the demon down the counter. The male grabbed the thing and tossed it back like water.
The demon’s human girlfriend leaned against his arm and peered at Riley beneath her lashes. He met her sultry stare as he readied a line of shooters for a noisy trio of college kids.
Oh, yeah, his looks and badass rep were the perfect draw, got him the females. So easy to accept her invite but he wasn't interested in a quick backroom bang.
He was in need of something violent. Bloody.
A dark haze stole into his mind, knowing his damn past would never leave him alone. His fingers clenched. A loud shatter, and glass rained onto the scoured wooden counter. Blood and vodka ran over his hand, drenching the crystal fragments.
“Rile-man, you okay there?”
A six foot two hulking tattooed male with a buzz cut, appeared at his side. Zacarias. His friend, manager and sometimes bouncer.
A terse nod. He looked up from his bleeding hand, his gaze colliding with those of his watcher.
Anger unleashed, he scaled the counter in movements too fast for human eyes and was across the floor in seconds. Grabbing the dark-haired demon by his shirt, Riley shoved him against the red brick wall. “Why the fuck are you on my ass again? Do you want to die?”
All the demon guards hounding him in recent months were seriously pissing him off. No matter how many he sent back to the Dark Realm wounded or dead, more just took their place.
This idiot didn't even try to fight back. His gaze grew languid, his smile seductive. “No. But I know what I do want,” he purred, walking his fingertips up Riley’s chest.
The haze turned red. Riley slammed his fist into the demon’s gut. The male squeaked in pain. Startled gasps erupted from the customers. Before he could get in another shot, someone grabbed his arm and yanked him off the cowering demon, who hurriedly slunk away.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?” Zac snapped. “You want to draw notice, you’re sure going about it the right way. So the guy came on to you, it never drove you homicidal before.”
Riley elbowed Zac off. Not a guard—not a damn guard! He’d hit an innocent demon—one of those docile Otium demons who’d escaped the tyranny of the Dark Realm for a better life here. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
“Get your damn self together,” Zac growled. “You don’t want to start an all-out fight in the bar. Go walk the streets, find something outside to kill, and cool the crap off.”
Breathing hard, Riley walked out of the bar and into the crowded street, the familiar reek of seafood enclosing him. Avoiding the noisy tourists and drunks loitering about, he cut through the back alleys in the French Quarter, rife with the stench of decaying waste, and headed for his apartment several blocks away.
Unable to expend the rage roiling inside him, he pulled out his cell phone from his pocket and made a call. A female answered.
“See you in ten.” He rang off.
Pandora was one of the few humans who knew what he was. She didn't want the ties either, just some fun time, and she was the perfect submissive when he needed that edge. Tonight, he was definitely in the mood for something darker.
The sounds of a roaring V8 engine split the silence, a blood-red Corvette Stingray came to a squealing halt in front of his building, the acrid burn of rubber stinking up the night air.
He scowled. “Damn maniacal drivers!”
The door flung open. A petite, but curvy female jumped out and flipped back yards of wavy, inky-black hair, giving him a tantalizing glimpse of her face. Her tan skin revealing her mixed-race ethnicity, her lush mouth flattened in a tight line.
Cursing, she kicked the tire then pressed her cell phone back to her ear. “I swear, Zayn, if you tell Mother you spoke to me, I will personally call all your girlfriends and tell them they aren’t the one…” She laughed evilly. The light, raspy sound grazed his senses with an unexpected sensuality, and had him slowing to a halt in the shadows.
“Yeah, that’s me, spawned from the devil, but Daddy wouldn’t appreciate the comparison…”
She listened then snorted, impatiently pushing back her heavy fall of hair. “Liz loves me like her own. Stop complaining and tell Mother you haven’t seen me because I'm not coming to another boring party… Who?— Why would I care if Piers is back in town, he’s your friend…”
She marched alongside her car, hip-bumped the door closed as she listened, the streetlight casting a soft glow over her irate features. “Yes-yes, I'm always careful…” Despite her tart response, she cut a quick look around.
Riley stilled as her dark gaze skimmed past him then darted back to the spot where he allowed his form to blend in with the shadowy trees, the cover of night his camouflage. A frown marred her smooth brow.
She sensed him? How, he had no idea. Obviously, all her senses were in working order.
The faint reek of decaying swamp and sulfur drifted to him. Riley narrowed his gaze. They weren’t alone. And this little human probably couldn’t smell the bile-inducing stench of evil—had no idea how close to danger she truly was.
He willed her to get back in her car and leave. She did nothing of the sort. Instead, she popped the trunk, tugged out a large suitcase, and dumped it on the sidewalk. Then she sat on the thing and continued her call as if basking in the Maldives.
Him, she sensed, but the evil drawing closer just flowed over her pretty little head.
For hell’s sake, did she not get a whiff of the damn stink?
I’ve been creating stories from the moment I could string two words together. No matter the tale, it always has romance woven through them. Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic.
When I’m not writing or plotting new books, I like to read, travel, painting, or troll flea markets where I usually buy things I might never actually use because they're so pretty.
After working in a few jobs all art related, a chosen career as a fashion designer, then an art teacher, I finally found my passion four years ago: writing. There really is no other job I’d rather do.
Oh, and I hail from the beautiful country of South Africa, and currently live in the Middle East.
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