It was cold. Dark. She ached, a thousand lacerations and bruises burning on her tired limbs, the result of the battle she had survived.
Noise blurred around her, loud and piercing, a din of unfamiliar sounds.
It drove her to move.
She was vulnerable here, out in the open. Exposed.
Her stomach growled.
Lysia shoved her bloodstained hands against the green earth and pushed herself up into a sitting position. Verdant nature closed in on her from all sides, and beyond it pricks of bright yellow lights. Where was she?
She tried to remember how she had come to this place.
Sharp pain stabbed behind her eyes and she screwed them shut, unable to bite back the whimper that slipped from her lips. The fierce fiery ache subsided and fragments of memories of the battle took its place, speeding through her mind, distorted and bringing their own form of pain as her head throbbed and her body throbbed with it. Each blow she recalled echoed on her body, pain that burned in her limbs and seared every healing gash anew.
She forced her eyes back open and scanned the area around her, focusing on it to push the memories to the back of her mind. No sign of the battle she had taken part in. It hadnâ€™t happened here.
Lysia thought back to it again and pain blazed through her bones, setting them on fire, and she cried out as it seared her mind. She collapsed against the grass, breathing hard, each inhale filling her senses with the smell of it and the sweet coolness of the dew that clung to each blade.
The memories ended with the darkness of sleep.
She could only surmise that she had stumbled here from the battlefield and had passed out.
Lysia pushed herself up again and studied her surroundings. They were unfamiliar, noisy and strange. She could see great stone buildings beyond the trees and odd colourful growling creatures that roamed beyond the boundaries of the patch of nature. Their bright eyes swung her way at times and she shrank back, her heart pounding, fearing they would come for her while she was weak.
She needed a haven. Somewhere warm that would provide her with sustenance so she could restore her strength.
She stumbled onto her feet and closed her eyes, tipping her head back and her face to the inky sky.
Deep within her, she felt a familiar stirring. Demons were nearby. She would be safe with them.
She followed the sensation, using it to lead her to them. When she reached the edge of the trees, she hovered in the shadows, watching the growling boxy beasts as they rumbled past, seemingly patrolling the area but not acknowledging each other. Thankfully, they didnâ€™t seem to notice her.
There were a few mortals on the path ahead of her, between one set of the great buildings.
She was in their world.
She waited for them to disappear from view before scurrying across the black smooth rock surface to one of the buildings. From there, she stayed close to it, hurrying along the paved path, tracking the demons. She was closing in.
The sensation led her down narrower paths into darker areas, and she slowed her pace, sensing mortals ahead of her. Where the demons were.
Why were the demons with mortals? Were they feeding?
Her stomach growled again, the noise loud in the quieter air.
In the distance, she could hear the distinct chatter of voices, and a heavy tribal beat. A gathering?
Perhaps there was a sort of feast happening.
Her stomach made a stretched out series of gurgles, whistles and peeps at that. She rubbed it and hurried forwards, stopping only when she came upon the mortals. She lingered in the shadows of a building, hidden behind the corner of it, and peeked around to view the feast and gauge whether it was safe.
A string of mortals were lined up against a wall, a large demon ushering them one by one into the building. He eyed them all closely and turned some away. Was he in charge of picking the best from the worst? He flashed a toothy grin at two females and raked dark eyes over them as they entered.
Lysia had the impression he had earmarked them for himself.
A bright colourful sign hung on the wall above the door, the language unfamiliar.
She studied it until her eyes hurt and the words were burned onto her retinas, trying to make sense of it, and then shrugged. It didnâ€™t matter. She would enter this place and there she would find sustenance. She needed to be inside, out of the cold and safe. She would be safe inside. She felt sure of it.
Lysia scurried across the flat cool expanse of stone to the door. The big demon looked her way and his eyes widened.
She smiled and he staggered backwards, his eyes dropping to her body and widening further. Pleased that he was allowing her entrance, she hurried inside and immediately clapped her hands over her ears. The noise she had heard from outside was even louder inside, pounding at an ear-splitting volume. She growled beneath her breath and searched for food.
The demons in their human forms were not eating the mortals.
This was not a feast.
Many of the demons were occupied in dancing with the mortals, grinding against them and almost fornicating in front of everyone.
She hovered by the entrance, unsure whether to enter or leave. Her stomach gurgled again, making her decision for her. She had to stay. There were colourful glass bottles lining the wall to her right and demons there were serving drinks to people who lined a long black bar. If they had mead and other liquids then perhaps they had food for her.
She moved deeper into the room and everyone turned to stare at her, their eyes wide. She frowned at them all. Why did they stare? She thought them all strange but she wasnâ€™t being rude by staring at them. If she hadnâ€™t been so hungry, she would have asked them, or forced them to tell her the reason.
She pushed through a group of male demons, all of which were wearing their human forms, and they turned on her. Their growls died as their eyes fell on her and they parted, staring as she passed.
Lysia leaned against the tacky black bar top.
A man walked over to her, tossed a rag over his shoulder, and smiled.
â€œWhatâ€™ll it be?â€
â€œI require sustenance.â€
He frowned, a puzzled edge to his dark eyes, and shook his head.
Lysia tried again. â€œI must eat.â€
He waved his right hand and another man joined him, a blond with pale eyes.
â€œProblem?â€ the blond said.
â€œNot getting this one,â€ the brunet responded.
The blond raked his eyes over her, his right brow quirking. â€œTaking things a bit far, arenâ€™t we? You want something?â€
She nodded. â€œI need sustenance.â€
He looked at his friend and shrugged. â€œI donâ€™t understand her.â€
What was there to understand? She only wanted food.
The two men walked away, serving others who seemed to have no problem ordering what they desired and receiving it. She cursed them and everyone who communicated with them with ease. While she could understand many languages, she could write and speak only one. Without being able to speak to the serving staff, she had no chance of getting blood.
A woman beside her cast a glance her way, looked down at herself, and slipped off her seat and walked away, disappearing into the heavy crowd.
Lysia sighed, perched herself on the seat, and leaned on the bar with her forehead resting on her arms. She was warmer inside this noisy inn but still hungry, and still tired. She needed to feed. How?
A male stopped to her left.
She turned her head towards him and ran her eyes up from the waist of his impeccable crisp black suit to his shoulders and then his face. Vampire. She knew his kind and could see through his faÃ§ade to the wretched monster beneath. He smiled, his fangs on show to her and his pale blue eyes swirling with ill intentions.
â€œHaving trouble?â€ The dark-haired vampire leaned his left elbow on the bar beside her and she sat up.
She nodded. â€œI need to order blood.â€
He frowned at her and her heart sank. He didnâ€™t understand her either.
â€œWhat language is that? Iâ€™m afraid Iâ€™m not familiar with it. Can you mime what you want?â€ He shifted closer and she focused hard on every word he said, listening closely so she could grasp the words he used and use them too.
He smiled a little wider, and shifted a little closer. His gaze drifted down to her chest and back up again.
â€œMime?â€ He made a show of using his hands to make shapes.
She was about to do as he asked when he danced his fingers over her left shoulder.
A cold shiver ran over her flesh and skated down her spine.
Lysia flicked her right wrist and hurled him across the room, scattering the crowd and ripping a few shocked gasps from them.
A male further along the bar looked her way.
She froze as her eyes met his, heat pulsing through her, a visceral throb that reached right down to her bones.
The male was handsome, but darkness clung to him, danger that called to her and lured her to him. There was evil in him.
He would know her tongue.
He raised a glass filled with green liquid and tipped his head, causing threads of his silver-white hair to fall and brush his brow. He swept them back and she caught a brief glimpse of tiny horns above his ears. Her belly flipped and heated.
â€œKudos for giving Villandry hell,â€ he said above the thumping music, his deep rumbling voice doing funny things to her insides and turning her knees to rubber.
She presumed Villandry was the name of the vampire now picking himself up off the floor across the busy room. She wasnâ€™t sure what kudos meant though.
Lysia swallowed her trembling heart, slipped off her seat and approached the pale-haired male with all the confidence she could muster when he was staring at her, his jade eyes burning into her body and setting her aflame.
Rousing strange feelings within her.
She halted beside him.
He swivelled to face her, set his drink down on the bar but kept his left hand on the stem of the elegant glass, and raised an eyebrow.
â€œWhy are you naked?â€
Did you enjoy today’s tease?
Her Avenging Angel
Once a proud angel of Heaven, Nevar is now a servant of Hell, bound to a new masterâ€”the King of Demons. Consumed by darkness and driven to seek revenge, he set in motion a series of events that awakened the Great Destroyer, a force that will bring about the apocalypse. Now, he is the creatureâ€™s master and the fate of our world rests in the hands of an angel with only darkness in his heart.
Lost in the mortal realm without any recollection of how she came to be there, Lysia is only aware that she has survived a great battle. When she stumbles into a demon bar, she finds more than a chance to discover what happened to herâ€”she finds a dark and deadly angel warrior who stirs fire in her veins and awakens soul-searing passion she cannot deny.
With the mounting threat of the Great Destroyer, the forces of Heaven and Hell against him, and a band of dangerous angels intent on capturing Lysia on his heels, can Nevar protect the beautiful woman who is light to his darkness and find the strength to save the world?
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)
Her Avenging Angel (Her Angel Romance Series #7)