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Bedeviled

Bedeviled

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Bedeviled

valutazioni:
4/5 (2 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
157 pagine
2 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
May 5, 2016
ISBN:
9781311807892
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Their love my tear both Heaven and Hell asunder.
Can a fallen angel find true love? Caleb wants nothing more than to repent for all the horrible crimes against humanity he’s committed in purgatory. After many guilt-ridden centuries, he escapes the pit and joins the human race, to live among them, to right the wrongs and find forgiveness.
He never expected to find love among them. He never expected to meet a man like Micah—a man pure of heart, a servant of the people and the one person that can bring Caleb peace.
Not everyone is happy about Caleb’s journey to Earth or his newfound love. Danger is lurking, dark forces are gathering and there will be Hell to pay.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
May 5, 2016
ISBN:
9781311807892
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

J. Ashburn is your source for exciting, sensual gay paranormal fiction featuring unique stories, magical characters and wild settings. Werewolves, witches, polymorphs, psychic warriors, phantoms, creatures of the night and more dominate the worlds of J. Ashburn. Follow the paths of romance and the supernatural entwined with hearts and minds of men who love men.

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Anteprima del libro

Bedeviled - J. Ashburn

Ashburn

1

Their love may tear both Heaven and Hell asunder.

It had been a mistake. It had all been a mistake. Caleb, the fallen angel, sat upon a hill of bleached bones, pondering. He no longer wanted to torment the damned, tear the flesh from their bones with spindly fingers and razor nails. The flames of Hell no longer held their sway over him, no delight, no sallow joy, no glorious triumph over the sins of the righteous.

The creeping dark offered no comfort. The screams and shrieks were no longer musical notes that brought rapture to his ears. Sulfur was not the scent of choice. It reeked and stank, an offense to his senses. His brethren were deformed and ugly, outcasts, awful creatures to be shunned and feared.

Caleb was filled with regret. He was sorry, so sorry for what he’d done. He wept for those poor souls he helped damn to Hell. His heart broke for those he tricked into committing sin and then tormented forever more. The poor men and women of Earth—they didn’t deserve the evil he and his brethren spread among them. He wished he’d never supported the war on Heaven with Lucifer. This was not what he was promised. Living in Hell was not what it was cracked up to be. It lacked what Heaven always had…the splendor, the unity, the…love. Why had he ever done it? The promises Lucifer made withered into ash blowing on blistering winds. Nothing he said had come to pass and millennium after millennium Lucifer told lie after monstrous lie.

He wanted out, he wanted to go back. He wanted to be in Heaven again, wrapped in its warmth and loving light. But how…how would he gain its favor again? He wanted his Father’s forgiveness. He needed that forgiveness to return.

All he wanted in all of eternity was redemption. But how could a fallen angel ever catch his Father’s eye again? How could one that had done such evil, such unspeakable things to God’s most beloved children be welcomed back to paradise?

For many more years Caleb sat and thought, trying to find a way to be forgiven. And one day the answer came. He knew exactly what to do. He would go to Earth and do good, help mankind, make up for the crimes he committed against them. It was the only way. He could barely face them now, all he wanted to do was weep for them, but that was not enough. No. He would go above and make up all the wrongs against them. He would show them he was wrong and that they deserved his Father’s love, just as he did. If they could forgive him perhaps Father would too.

The denizens of Hell weren’t just supposed to come and go as they pleased. If you weren’t possessing the goodly, tempting the innocent or haunting locations of grave crimes and unspeakable misery, then you could be summoned by a follower of Lucifer or one of his servants that practiced the dark arts. Other than that, you were to remain here to suffer along with the rest of the lost souls. Except Caleb knew of Lucifer’s personal chink in Hell’s armor. He’d seen the Dark Lord come and go at will. It was purely accidental of course. He and the succubus Angelique stumbled upon it while searching for a soul that had gone AWOL. Little did they know Lucifer had taken the soul out of Hell with him, for what end they did not know. Caleb memorized the location of this escape hatch.

Caleb slinked through the bowels of Hell, passing through personal purgatories and hiding in the shadows as his fellow fallen ones did their worst to many lost souls. When it seemed there were no spies aware of his presence and that Lucifer was busy on more pressing matters, he made his way through layer after layer of darkness and sadness, cold and heat, spirit and body until he reached a desolate membrane between the worlds.

He pressed a scaly, clawed hand against it and it rippled like pond water. In his racing mind he pictured the physical world of mankind, the lush green trees, the amazing blue skies and the golden bright sun pouring its radiance down on the world and stepped through. He had to walk the Earth in a physical form and needed to appear in some way that wouldn’t terrify anyone he tried to help. Black wings, scaly flesh and sunken eyes were not a pleasing form.

Caleb focused all of his energy and shifted his metaphysical form to a man, one with dark hair that matched that of his wings, a clean-shaven, kind face with shimmering eyes, smooth skin and toned muscles. He hoped he would pass in the human world and do the good he set out to do. He climbed through one spiritual wall after another, one plane after another, like slipping through a whirlpool that wound into a vortex, until he reached the physical world that they called Earth.

He stumbled out into a dirt road, flanked by trees on both side. His knees buckled, his eyes burned then adjusted to real light and finally, he fell. Looking up, he expected to see beautiful blue skies and a glowing yellow sun but he did not. Instead, the sky was gray, gloomy, and full of clouds. It was raining.

Figures, he murmured to himself. First time back on Earth in almost four hundred years and it’s raining.

He pulled himself up, looked down at his attire… a black t-shirt and jeans, hoping it was appropriate for the time and started down the muddy road.

2

Micah’s alarm clock startled him and for a second he thought about hurling it across the room. Last night’s visit to the D-bar and all those drinks was probably not the best idea on work night but there it was. His head felt like it was in a vice. Why oh why did he listen to Nicki? For a few moments he listened to the rain patter against his apartment window.

God, I hate when it rains. They’ll be more car accidents then usual today. Fun.

He rolled out of bed, and hopped into the shower. What luck, neither Nick nor Rick, twin brothers and his roommates, were already in there. The hot water really woke him now and he hurried through the bathroom as fast as he could.

Dressed and dried, Micah sat down to a hot bowl of oatmeal with some sliced banana and toasted almonds, and a big glass of orange juice. He was half way done when the front door flung open. Nick and Rick sauntered in, soaking wet.

I was wondering where you guys were, Micah said.

On a run, replied Rick.

In the rain?

The weather doesn’t matter when it comes to your health, Nick said. We’re hardcore. Any time, any place. You obviously don’t care that much about living a nice, long life.

Micah rolled his eyes. Got no time, Nick. People need me.

It’s Nicholas, Nick said with a tone.

"Dude, really? I’ve known you since college and now you want me to call you Nicholas?"

He’s going through a phase, Rick said. All gay guys do.

I never did, Micah said with a smirk.

Eat me, Nick growled.

Oh, you’d like that. Micah smiled again and looked over at the sopping wet brothers, their dusty blond hair matted to their heads, t-shirts and shorts clinging to their swimmer’s builds. They were both over six feet tall and gorgeous but Micah had always thought of them as his brothers. He never even fooled around with Nick in college despite him being gay just like Micah. Rick was totally straight, or so he claimed.

The brothers stripped their shirts off and grabbed some towels out of the linen closet in the small hallway. I got the shower first, Nick said.

"C’mon, Nicholas, you always spend way more time than I do. Let me go first."

No way. I called it.

Rick grabbed him and the two wrestled in the hallway, grunting and bouncing off the walls.

This would be totally hot if I was at all interested. Micah got up from the breakfast nook and shoved his dishes into the kitchen sink.

You know you dream about this! Rick called, giggled, as Nick put him in a headlock.

Whatever makes you feel better. I’ll let you two fight to the death, gotta go! He grabbed his raincoat and keys and headed out the door.

###

Micah drove slowly through town in his station wagon, careful not to hydroplane on the wet streets. It was a used car, not cool or luxurious, and it was all he could afford at this time in his life. It didn’t matter to him. He wasn’t really into cars or trying to look cool or gain status. He just needed something reliable to get him to work and back, he didn’t care if he looked like an eighties soccer mom.

He crossed to the other side of Blackstone and into the Cranberry Condo complex. Micah stopped at Unit C, and pulled into the guest parking then honked the horn. The door to apartment 303 opened and Nicki came running out wearing her pink raincoat, its hood pulled over her head.

She pulled open the door and hopped into the car. Nicki pulled the hood off of her head, revealing her mane of fiery red hair and gave Micah a kiss on the cheek. Good morning, she beamed.

Hi babe. Micah threw the car into gear and started through the parking lot. He glanced at her and smirked.

What?

You really love pink.

She looked down at her pink blouse and then at her raincoat and shook her head. It’s my favorite color, so sue me.

He rolled his eyes. The red-haired girl that wears too much pink. It doesn’t go with your complexion. You need to break up some of the red color tones and pick things that go with your hair and eyes.

This isn’t stylist to the stars.

You got that right.

Nicki smacked him across the shoulder. You’re such a bitch.

Micah giggled. Ouch. You hit harder than most guys.

Keep it up. That was me holding back.

I’m only trying to help.

It doesn’t matter what I wear to work, we put our uniforms over everything any way.

Okay, okay, whatever.

You’re in a mood today. Wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

You made me stay out too late last night.

Sure always blaming me. Tell me you didn’t have fun last night?

I’m getting too old to stay out all night drinking on work nights.

Nicki laughed. Too old? You’re a hot, young gay man, you should be out all night drinking and dancing. How else are you going meet a guy?

Micah groaned. "All the guys I meet out there are so shallow. All they want is to play

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