The door opened behind her and Erin didnâ€™t make the mistake of whirling to face the visitor this time.
She turned slowly, expecting to find either the Devil or one of his cronies come to torment her.
It was neither.
A bloodstained and beaten man wearing tight black jeans that emphasised the thickness of his thighs and a black t-shirt that stretched across the impressive hard cut breadth of his chest stood in the doorway.
He was holding a very big sword.
Had he come to kill her?
She glanced back at the abyss below her feet. What would be a better and less painful death? Falling to this scarlet-haired manâ€™s sword or plummeting into the volcanic river?
â€œErin, I presume?â€ His deep voice wrapped around her and Erin couldnâ€™t miss the concern that laced the weariness and irritation in it.
Erin looked back at him.
He slid the broadsword down his back and scrubbed his hand across several daysâ€™ worth of dark growth on his handsome face.
One good-looking man had fooled her already and it wasnâ€™t going to happen again. This man was every bit as lethal, brutal and vicious as the Devil. It was there in his eyes and the way he held himself, legs spread in a warriorâ€™s stance, ready for a fight.
He looked as though he had already been through several battles recently. Now that she looked closer, she spotted tears in his t-shirt that revealed startlingly enticing glimpses of hard packed muscles.
Erin dragged her gaze down to her own feet.
She must have lost it in the past few days. She had finally plunged into crazy, her mind frazzled by her captivity and being in Hell. She had to be insane to be ogling the man who had clearly come to kill her.
â€œWhy donâ€™t you just do it and get this over with?â€ she said, feeling a spark of defiance ignite in her chest. If she was going to die, she might as well go down fighting.
â€œExcuse me?â€ He frowned at her, a quizzical look filling his dark eyes. â€œGet what over with?â€
His dark red eyebrows pinched together. â€œIf youâ€™re not Erin, I might.â€
It was her turn to frown. â€œYou donâ€™t want to kill me?â€
â€œAre you Erin?â€
â€œThen I donâ€™t want to kill you.â€ He stepped into her cell and she noted that he didnâ€™t bother to stay close to the door. If she were entering a cell on a mission to save someone, she would certainly keep one foot in the door in case a bad guy came along and shut them both in. Did he have another means of escape if that happened? He raked dark eyes over her and she shivered under the heat of his gaze. â€œYou are not what I was expecting.â€
â€œDitto,â€ she said and shrugged when he looked into her eyes, confusion lighting his again. â€œI was expecting the Devil to come back.â€
â€œThe snide little fucker actually paid you a visit in person?â€
Erin frowned at how casually he badmouthed the Devil, as though he wasnâ€™t afraid of him. She stared at the man, taking in his impressive height and build. He was taller than the Devil and much broader too, thick sinewy muscles visible beneath his tight clothing. His biceps were huge, so large she would struggle to wrap both of her hands around one arm. Her fingertips and thumbs wouldnâ€™t touch if she tried. Matching black and red tribal tattoos curled around those biceps, a tantalising peek of a larger design that disappeared under the sleeves of his t-shirt.
Erin found herself wanting to strip his top off to see the rest of it.
She really had lost her mind.
â€œAre you alright?â€ He frowned again.
â€œJust a little brain damage,â€ she said, trying to make light of everything.
He crossed the black floor and stopped before her, towering close to a foot over her, his immense body overshadowing hers and making her feel tiny. He slid one large hand along the line of her jaw, tilted her head back, and stared down into her eyes.
Erin swallowed. It should be illegal for a man to be so handsome yet so lethal-looking. He screamed danger but she wasnâ€™t quaking under his touch because of it. It was a whole other feeling that had her trembling.
â€œYou donâ€™t look crazy,â€ he whispered and she added his sultry low voice to the list of reasons someone should stamp him with the words â€˜dangerousâ€™ and â€˜forbiddenâ€™. â€œNow… all opposed to being rescued, raise your hands, otherwise, Iâ€™d like to get the fuck out of here.â€
Erin didnâ€™t argue, not even when he clamped one strong large hand around her slender wrist and drew the broadsword strapped to his back with the other. She stared at the open door, battling a flood of emotions that threatened to sweep her under. Freedom. This man was here to save her. It was too sweet and glorious to believe. It had to be a cruel trick, another form of torture to break her.
She didnâ€™t have much time to take in what was really happening when he pulled her over the threshold and into a long black corridor that ran between the cells. Before she could even glance back at the cell that had been her home for God only knew how many days, he was dragging her along the hallway.
â€œCan you run?â€ He glanced over his broad shoulders at her and didnâ€™t give her a chance to respond before he started at a pace.
Erin tried to keep up. The prospect of actually surviving and escaping Hell flooded her with adrenaline that had her bare feet moving but she couldnâ€™t match his long strides. A bright flash blinded her but it didnâ€™t slow her companion. He kept running. They passed a large open room and she turned her head in time to see several dead bodies strewn across a floor slick with blood. More flashes lit the darkness and with each one, a body disappeared.
They looked like humans. Had the man killed them to reach her? What was that light and why were they disappearing?
She started to ask but her gaze settled on the hard angles of his profile and the stern set of his jaw and she thought better of it. This man was her ticket out of Hell and she wasnâ€™t about to piss him off, not when she had the impression that he was quite content with killing.
Erin pounded along the black-walled corridor beside him, her legs beginning to tire and each step jarring her bones and sending pain shooting across the soles of her feet. She lost her footing on one of the sets of steps that led downwards and almost fell. The manâ€™s hand on her wrist stopped her. He pulled her up by her arm as though she was nothing but a ragdoll in his hands, suspending her off the ground for a second before setting her down again.
â€œYou are weak,â€ he said and she bristled at the double meaning in his words. He wasnâ€™t just saying she was weak from her captivity, but that he thought she was weak period.
Erin snatched her wrist free of his grasp and rubbed it. She turned her nose up and stormed ahead of him, feeling crazy for taking the lead when she didnâ€™t know where she was going and she didnâ€™t have a weapon, or the knowledge of how to wield one. She couldnâ€™t let him think she was weak though.
He followed behind her, a dark shadow barely a few feet from her, his footsteps almost silent.
They reached a split in the corridor and Erin paused. Neither of the avenues she could take looked inviting. Both were pitch-black and voices came from one. Or was it the other? Everything echoed in the corridors and it was hard to distinguish which would lead her to a grisly death and which would lead her to freedom.
She chose the right.
The man grabbed her around the waist from behind, twisted her in his arm, and slung her over his shoulder.
Erin struggled and his arm tightened against her back, causing his thick shoulder to press into her stomach. Her organs protested, sharp pain lancing each one.
â€œYouâ€™ll fall off. I need to move fast and youâ€™re slowing me down.â€
Well, that was just rude. Erin punched his backside. God, it was like a rock. She almost purred. Could this man get any smexier?
â€œYou canâ€™t carry me and fight your way out of here.â€
He laughed, the warm timbre of it echoing around the dark walls. â€œBelieve me, Sweetheart, I can fight with both hands tied behind my back. Youâ€™re no hindrance at all.â€
He jogged down the left corridor with her, each step jolting her on his shoulder until she felt close to losing what little remained of the last thing she ate. Erin grabbed his leather belt, hooked her thumbs into the waist of his jeans and pushed herself up enough that it didnâ€™t hurt as much as he ran.
This was just embarrassing now.
It was bad enough having her rescuer belittle her.
Having him carry her fireman-style to freedom was making her wish he had left her in her cell.
Warm fresh air assaulted her, as fresh as Hell got anyway, and she looked up to see the huge black walls of the prison fortress bouncing away from her.
â€œYou can put me down now,â€ she said but he didnâ€™t hear her. Either that or he was ignoring her. She was tempted to punch him on the backside again but gave up and let him have his way.
The jagged towers of the prison slowly wobbled into the distance and were lost from view behind the spires of black rock that lined the path her hero had chosen. Vents in their sides and tops belched hot acrid smoke that stole her breath. She pulled his black t-shirt up, exposing a lean delicious back, and covered her mouth with it. How the hell could he run in this?
Erin wanted to be sick.
She counted the bounces in his step to keep her focus off the horrendous smell of rotten eggs invading her lungs and the increasing number of bleached bones that lined the path as though someone had kicked the bodies out of the way and just let them rot there. Or perhaps some smaller creature had picked the bones clean. There were grooves in some of them, as though sharp teeth and claws had scraped them. Erin hoped it had happened after death and that the screams still ringing in her ears werenâ€™t the death cries of people being eaten alive.
The man managed over three hundred steps before he finally stopped and set her down with surprising care in a wide clearing.
â€œAre you alright?â€ He held her at armâ€™s length, looking her over.
Her blood heated when his dark eyes lingered on her breasts and then the tiny shorts she wore.
â€œDo you always dress like this?â€ He raised an eyebrow.
Erin folded her arms across her chest, covering her breasts. The black pebbles of the path cut into the bare soles of her feet. â€œI was in bed when they took me.â€
He ran his gaze over her again and a touch of crimson ringed his dark irises.
Erin took a step backwards.
That had to be a reflection of their fiery surroundings. It had to be.
Mr Tall, Dark and Deadly couldnâ€™t be something straight out of Hell.
Did you enjoy today’s snippet?
Her Demonic Angel
A demonic angel with a heart of ice, Veiron walks a dark path with vengeance on his mind. Nothing will sway him from his mission to destroy his master… until he risks his life to enter Hell once more to save a mortal female. The fiery beauty makes him burn with hungers he must battle and needs he cannot deny, tempting him to surrender body and soul to her.
Erin is convinced her refusal to do the Devilâ€™s bidding will see her die in a terrifying realm straight out of her nightmares. The last thing she expects is the lethally sensual warrior who breaks into her cell and awakens the darkest desires of her heart and a fierce longing to know the heat of his caress.
Pulled into an incredible world where war is set to ignite and darkness is on the rise, Erin races with Veiron to escape the Devilâ€™s legions in a journey fraught with danger and filled with passion that flares white-hot.
When Erin is faced with a life-shattering realisation and an extraordinary destiny, will their love give them the strength to battle both Heaven and Hell or will they be parted forever?
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)