Amelia ambled along the hot pavement, her head already home in her flat or, more precisely, next door to it with Marcus. He had been a gentleman last night when she had wanted to take things further, and while it had irritated her at the time and made her doubt his attraction towards her again, it had taken on a certain appeal as her day had progressed. In the morning when she had gone jogging, she had done so out of frustration at how the night had ended on what could only be described as a very chaste kiss. By the time she had made it to lunch with her friends, she had been replaying their more passionate kisses in her head, so much so that her friends had commented on her unusual silence. She had made her excuses and not mentioned Marcus. Her friends would think she was rebounding.
Did Marcus think that?
She didnâ€™t want him to see himself as just a rebound guy. He was more than that. She couldnâ€™t put her finger on it but there was something different about him. Something that set him apart from the average man.
Amelia had never had a man treat her in such a gentlemanly fashion and wasnâ€™t sure what to make of it. All of her previous boyfriends had been as passionate as she was and at times she wondered if that was part of their appeal. Because of her attraction to Marcus, she had expected him to be similar to the previous men in her life in that respect. That expectation couldnâ€™t have been more wrong.
The moment he had said that he wanted to take things slowly, she had realised that Marcus really was nothing like her exes, and was everything like the man she had always hoped to meet.
Maybe he was right and they should take their time, if only so she could prove to Marcus that he was more than a rebound to her. She really did like him. Her mind had been stuck on him since the night she had paused to take a good look at him and even now she was itching to see him again. She wasnâ€™t good at going slow. Once something seized hold of her, she generally forgot everything else in a passionate pursuit of what she wanted.
In this case, Marcus naked and pressed against her.
He had been hesitant and strangely polite to her after their kiss, and his sweet goodnight played on her mind, filling her head with doubts.
He had kissed her though.
And it had felt good.
She could do the softly-softly thing with him any day of the week. She wouldnâ€™t care how slow things went between them if he just kept kissing her like that.
Amelia was so lost in her thoughts that she didnâ€™t realise that she had gone the wrong way until she heard three men addressing her. She quickly scanned her surroundings, eyes darting around for an avenue of escape in case things took a turn for the worse.
â€œLost?â€ The innocent expression on the face of the man in the middle didnâ€™t fool Amelia.
It wasnâ€™t dark yet but the sun had already set and she had wandered into the quiet side streets behind the apartment buildings. She looked around again, hoping to spot someone other than the three men, but she was alone.
â€œNot really.â€ Amelia turned to walk the other way but another man was there.
No, not another man.
The same man. His dark hair hung in messy threads across his eyes, obscuring his face enough that she wouldnâ€™t be able to describe him well to the police if it came down to that. God, she hoped it didnâ€™t. She hurried to get a good look at the other two men. Both around the same height as the first, tall and with slim figures, and both sporting dark jeans and jackets, clothing that seemed far too warm for such a hot summer evening. She was sweltering in her small pale blue dress.
â€œI donâ€™t want any trouble.â€ She clutched her leather handbag closer to her, holding it in front of her stomach. Could she use it as a weapon? She kept so much junk in it that it was probably heavy enough to knock someone out if she swung it hard at their head.
Her heart accelerated at the thought of actually trying to fend off these three men. They didnâ€™t look strong, but they had the advantage of numbers and she couldnâ€™t tell from their clothing just how built they were. For all she knew, they could be like Marcus. His build didnâ€™t show when he wore loose clothing like these men were.
She did have one weapon she could use without too much fear and it might be enough to deter them.
Amelia shoved her hand into her black bag, pulled out her mobile phone and flashed it around so all three men got a good look at it.
â€œIâ€™ll call the police.â€ Not a tremble touched her voice. Brave Amelia. She held the phone out, standing her ground, unwilling to let these men get the better of her and see her scared.
The two lighter haired men smiled at her, as though her words were more amusing than threatening.
She flipped the slim black phone open and quickly punched 999 but before she could bring the phone up to her ear, she dropped it.
No. Not dropped. It had shot out of her hand and clattered along the ground to the first man, the one she presumed was the gangâ€™s leader.
What the hell?
The dark haired man casually bent down and picked it up. He brought it to his ear, raised an eyebrow, and then snapped the phone in two as though it was made of tinder wood.
Double what the hell?
Amelia spun on the spot when one of the men behind her grabbed her bag. She swung her fist on instinct, smashing it hard into his temple, but he didnâ€™t let go. He didnâ€™t even flinch. Shit. This wasnâ€™t going to go well. She opened her mouth to scream but the sound died when the man who had grabbed her suddenly levitated before her wide eyes.
Not levitating, she realised as she saw the fingers tightly grasping the manâ€™s neck with such bruising force that they dug hard into his flesh. Her heart missed a beat when the manâ€™s attacker threw him to one side.
Marcus stood before her, fury darkening his handsome face and rage burning in his blue eyes.
The man hit the wall with a startling bang and Marcus grabbed her hand and ran. She only had a moment to look back, but it was all she needed in order to see that the two remaining men were coming after them, and that the third lay on the tarmac just below a crater in the bricks of the building at his back.
Amelia stumbled and Marcus dragged her up, bringing her attention back to him and his fierce grip on her. How strong was Marcus? Could a human throw a man into a wall and create a dent like that? Was it the anger she had seen in his eyes that had given him the strength to do such a thing? She was being ridiculous. The buildings were old around here. Maybe it was just weak brickwork.
Or maybe there really was something different about Marcus.
â€œFocus,â€ he snapped and her mind instantly cleared, her attention shooting to her feet and to running as fast as she could.
The men were still in pursuit and she didnâ€™t want to be responsible for Marcus having to take both of them on.
Everything else drifted to the back of her mind as she ran, her breathing loud in her ears, following Marcus as he wove through the back streets. She didnâ€™t dare look over her shoulder to see if the men were still coming after them. Marcus kept glancing back, his silver-blue eyes either lighting on her or the path behind them. She presumed the men were still there since he kept running. Her legs were beginning to tire and her feet were aching. How much further did they have to go? Why hadnâ€™t Marcus made a break for the busy main street where they would be safe rather than pounding through the alleys and side roads?
Amelia frowned. She had left her bag back in the alley. It had come off her shoulder when Marcus had torn the man away from her. She could remember seeing it next to him where he lay crumpled on the floor. Dead? She hoped not. She didnâ€™t want to be linked to the man and if he were dead that would make Marcus a murderer. She glanced up at his profile. It wobbled in her vision as they ran but she didnâ€™t miss the steely look of determination etched on his profile.
â€œWe should go right,â€ she said, out of breath and desperate to reach the main roads and growing afraid that the men would catch up and Marcus would be forced to fight again.
â€œNo,â€ he said without sounding at all tired or strained and looked up. â€œThis way.â€
Amelia couldnâ€™t believe it when he kicked in a fire exit door with a single blow of his booted foot and started leading her up the back stairs of an old building. Was he insane?
â€œWhere the hell do you think youâ€™re going?â€ she ground the words out between breaths, trying to keep up with him as her legs began to flag. Running on the flat had been tiring enough. She wasnâ€™t going to make it more than a few flights of steps without collapsing.
â€œDead end,â€ she squeezed out. â€œWeâ€™ll be trapped.â€
Panic sent her heart rocketing and she looked back down the dark stairwell, afraid that the men would be following them and would be faster than she was. Adrenaline kept her legs moving but each step was becoming increasingly difficult. At this rate, the men would catch her. She jogged her backside off most weekends and some weekday mornings in order to remain fit and healthy, but she had never been good at flat out running.
When she turned back to Marcus, he was looking at her, his eyes unusually bright in the low light.
â€œTrust me on this.â€ He paused on the next floor, not at all out of breath.
Amelia panted like a dog, her throat burning as she dragged in each breath, her breathing so loud that she couldnâ€™t hear anything else. Were the men coming? She stared down the stairs and then looked across at Marcus. His eyes had to be a trick of the light but they were so vivid and bright, bluer than she had ever seen them.
â€œI need to get to the roof and then I can deal with the men.â€
â€œAs in, fight them?â€ Her expression turned to horror but Marcus just nodded.
â€œI said I would protect you, Amelia. I meant that.â€
â€œYou think theyâ€™re coming after me? Why? I dropped my bag. Theyâ€™ve got what theyâ€™re after.â€
The look in Marcusâ€™s eyes said different. He knew they were coming. She didnâ€™t want to know how he knew or why they were after her, but she did know that going with Marcus was her only option. She couldnâ€™t fight the men alone. Perhaps when they reached the roof, they would find that the men hadnâ€™t come after her at all and could escape another way.
Marcus grabbed her hand again and started running, his footsteps heavy on the staircase. Amelia stumbled after him, keeping up as best she could, her legs cramping and threatening to give out. A warm rush of air burst against her when he kicked the door to the roof open and the brightness of the light blinded her for a moment. She kept running with him, one hand clutched in his and the other trying to pin the skirt of her dress down.
Her eyes adjusted.
The two men were standing a few metres in front of them, near the edge of the black tarred flat roof.
Amelia looked back at the door she had come out of with Marcus and then around her at the roof, her heart pounding and sweat trickling down her back, sticking her blue dress to her skin.
There werenâ€™t any other routes onto the roof. No ladder or adjoining building. How had the men reached the roof before them?
â€œMarcus,â€ she said but the rest of her sentence died when she saw him.
He stood with his back to her, the warm breeze tousling his black hair, his broad shoulders relaxed as though he wasnâ€™t facing two dangerous men.
But what stole her breath, what made her heart flutter in her throat, was his clothing.
Gone were his jeans and shirt and boots.
In their place was something she could only describe as armour but it seemed ridiculous that he would be wearing such a thing. The deep blue back plate shone like mother of pearl in the fading light of evening, reaching only mid-way down his back, and had two long slits over each shoulder blade. She could see his tattoos through them. Strips of armour in a similar material covered his backside like a short skirt but revealed the dark material beneath. His muscular thighs were bare and taut, exuding strength as he stood firm with one hand at his side and the other still clutching hers. The armour encased his bare forearms too, brilliant blue and edged with shining silver and decorated with rearing silver unicorns.
Amelia stared at him, head light and fuzzy, confused and unable to comprehend what she was seeing.
Marcus was wearing armour.
She looked around for his clothes, convinced it was a trick of some sort and he had somehow been wearing this incredible costume beneath his clothes, but she couldnâ€™t see them and he hadnâ€™t once let go of her hand.
His other hand moved at his side and her eyes widened as they fell on the short sword strapped there. He removed it from the sheath, the curved steel blade around the length of his forearm and hand combined, and held it down at his side.
â€œLeave,â€ he said and she wondered if he was speaking to her until she leaned to one side and looked past him.
Her eyes popped wide.
The two men had changed appearance too and this time she decided that she was hallucinating. The fear had gone to her head or perhaps she had passed out, because rather than two humans, she was looking at two human-shaped things with pitch-black skin and glowing red eyes. They were huge, at least three feet taller than before, and built like brick shit houses and both were staring intently at Marcus, lips peeled back in a sneer that revealed sharp red teeth.
Amelia felt faint but held it together. She couldnâ€™t pass out in her own nightmare.
Or was it a dream?
Her gaze slid back to Marcus. He turned at the waist and looked over his shoulder at her, his face a mask of calm confidence, and released her wrist. He certainly looked like something out of a dream. A warrior. Otherworldly. Elementally masculine. She resisted her temptation to look at his body again and see the way his muscles twisted with him, full of strength and power. He would look beautiful if she stepped back and took him all in. Sexy as hell.
A chill settled on her skin.
Amelia stepped back on instinct, distancing herself from him without thinking, and pain flashed in his vivid silver-blue eyes before he turned away.
Had she caused it by placing more distance between them? Her heart had made her feet move, afraid of what she was looking at and the knowledge that Marcus was dangerous. He had possibly killed a man in the street and looked as though he was going to kill these two men, or whatever they were. What insane world had she fallen into? Marcus had said to trust her. He had promised to protect her.
And she believed him.
She just couldnâ€™t bring herself to believe what she was seeing.
Amelia flinched when Marcus flicked his left hand out at his side and the handle of the blade extended into a long staff that rivalled his six foot plus frame. The silver engraving that covered it reflected the dying sunlight.
She blinked and Marcus was gone. A boom shook the ground and a hot wave of air knocked her onto her backside. She sat there with her hands pressed into the tacky tar roof on either side of her thighs, staring, unable to take her eyes off the battle happening right before her.
Marcus was fighting.
Did you enjoy today’s snippet?
Her Guardian Angel
A love so strong it will shake Heaven and Hell.
A guardian angel dedicated to his duty, Marcus will do whatever Heaven asks of him, but even his loyalty has its limits. When his superior orders him to gain Ameliaâ€™s trust through seduction, Marcus starts to question his mission and his feelings for the beautiful woman he has watched over since her birth.
Amelia has gone from one bad relationship to another, so when a gorgeous guy moves in next door looking like Mr Right, she hopes he doesnâ€™t turn out to be another black knight in disguise. But thereâ€™s more to Marcus than meets the eye, and when he rescues her from three demonic men, Amelia is thrust into his nightmarish world. On the run from demonic angels and the Devil himself, aided by warrior angels and their amazing women, Marcus and Amelia discover a love that will last forever.
When the strength of that love is put to the test, will Marcus and Amelia win their fight for survival against the odds or will they lose in a deadly eternal game between Heaven and Hell?
NOTE: This book can be read out of order with the rest of the series and kicks off the main story arc that runs from books 4-7
You can get your hands on the first book in this series, HER DARK ANGEL, for FREE right now on selected Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks Stores. Find out more at my Paranormal Romance Ebook Offers page.
If you haven’t had a chance to read any of the books in the Her Angel romance series yet, they’re all available at major ebook retailers and in paperback, and you can find the links and samples of the books at my website:
Her Dark Angel (Her Angel Romance Series #1)
Her Fallen Angel (Her Angel Romance Series #2)
Her Warrior Angel (Her Angel Romance Series #3)
Her Guardian Angel (Her Angel Romance Series #4)
Her Demonic Angel (Her Angel Romance Series #5)
Her Wicked Angel (Her Angel Romance Series #6)