A fallen angel with a mean streak and a mohawk, Hades has spent thousands of years serving as Jailor of the Underworld. The souls he guards are as evil as they come, but few dare to cross him. All of that changes when a sexy fallen angel infiltrates his prison and unintentionally starts a riot. It’s easy enough to quell an uprising, but for the first time, Hades is torn between delivering justice — or bestowing mercy — on the beautiful female who could be his salvation…or his undoing.
Thanks to her unwitting participation in another angel’s plot to start Armageddon, Cataclysm was kicked out of Heaven and is now a fallen angel in service of Hades’s boss, Azagoth. All she wants is to redeem herself and get back where she belongs. But when she gets trapped in Hades’s prison domain with only the cocky but irresistible Hades to help her, Cat finds that where she belongs might be in the place she least expected…
Everything was gray. Light gray. Dark gray. And every shade of gray in between.
Cat blinked. Where was she? Squinting, she shifted her head from side to size. She was lying down, apparently inside some sort of lidless stone box. It was a huge, about the size of a king size bed, and like a bed, it had blankets and pillows. Who the heck slept in a giant box?
She sat up, but she was so weak that it took two tries, and as she peered around the room, her head spun.
“Ah, Sleeping Beauty awakens.”
Cat turned to the owner of the voice, and she would have gasped if her breath hadn’t clogged in her throat. Hades? What was he doing here? Of course, it might help to know where “here” was. “Here” appeared to be a room constructed from the same stone as the box she was sitting in. Iron sconces on the walls gave off a gloomy light, but the fire in the hearth kept the place from being completely horror movie chic.
“Where am I?” Her voice sounded cobwebby, which seemed appropriate, given that the room looked like a tomb.
“My place.” Hades walked over to the far wall, where a pot steamed over the fire’s roaring flames. He was shirtless today, and the light from the fire flickered over his skin, the shadows defining every glorious muscle as he went down on his heels and ladled something into a cup.
Gods, she was confused. Why was she here? What had happened? The last thing she remembered was being in Azagoth’s office…no, wait. She’d gone to the Inner Sanctum to find a human. But everything was pretty cloudy after that.
She rubbed her eyes, which were as blurry as her memories. “What happened to me?”
Hades came over, moving in that way of his, like a panther on the hunt. Not even the chains on his massive black boots made a sound when he walked.
“That’s my question for you.” He held out the cup, which was really more of a bowl. That looked suspiciously like the top of a skull. “Drink this.”
She eyed the contents as she took the bowl, nearly splashing the clear yellow liquid on her hand. It seemed safe enough, wasn’t full of floating eyeballs or anything.
“Smells good,” she said, as she put it to her lips. “What is it?”
“It’s a healing broth. Made it myself from the skin and bones of a Croix Viper.”
Cat tried not to gag, even though the liquid actually tasted decent, like spicy chicken soup. “Thank you.” She tried to hand it back, but he shook his head.
“Drink it all. It’ll heal the rest of your wounds.”
She looked down at herself, but there wasn’t a mark on her. Her jeans were dirty, and there were splashes of what might be blood on her feet, but it didn’t appear to be hers, and otherwise, she seemed to be in great shape. “What wounds?”
He picked up one of several blades he’d laid out on a crude wooden table and began wiping it down with a rag. “You were pretty messed up when I found you. I have the ability to heal minor physical damage, but the other stuff is beyond my ability.”
“The other stuff?” She watched him slide the blade into a leather harness hanging off a chair.
“Psychic wounds,” he said gruffly. “The kind you get when an Orphmage thrusts his magic stick in you.”
She drew a sharp breath. “Magic…stick?”
“Not that kind of magic stick. Seriously, you ever seen an Orphmage’s junk?” He snorted. “I figure they use their staffs to compensate for their tiny dicks.”
She’d have laughed if she wasn’t so confused about why she was here and what had happened to her. She hadn’t spoken to Hades much, but she’d seen how he interacted with others, and she loved his sense of humor. He was so inappropriate and nothing like the people she’d dealt with in her sixty years of life in Heaven. She was pretty sure most angels had magic sticks up their butts.
“Maybe I could get out of this…” She looked around at the box she was sitting in. “This…um, coffin? Am I in a freaking coffin?”
“It’s actually more of a sarcophagus.” He grinned. “Cool, huh?”
Actually, yeah. Hades, guardian of the demon graveyard, had a sarcophagus for a bed. He really lived the part, didn’t he?
He offered her his hand, which she took, relishing the hot static buzz that skittered over her skin as she allowed him to help her to her feet and out of the giant coffin. And man, his hand was big. And strong. And it made her wonder what his fingers would feel like as they caressed her skin.