Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Like Angel stories??

My friend and fellow author Marie Dees has written a super MM angel story called 'Angel in the Middle'. It's hot and it's funny and I can really recommend it!

When Darius, the most naïve angel ever bounced out of Heaven, falls from grace and lands in Ybor City, Florida, he finds himself caught in a power play between Heaven and Hell. In desperation, he realizes he must follow the advice of Tribal, a fallen angel turned demon. Tribal advises Darius to seduce the demon hunter coming after him as a way to avoid going to Hell. But how can an angel, who has never experienced sex, seduce Franco, the big bad demon hunter, and just what does Tribal stand to gain by playing Cupid?

Chapter One

Franco stepped aside as a second police officer flew out of the alley and hit the side of the Hummer with a thud. The man slid to the sidewalk and lay unmoving beside his partner. The rest of the Atlanta street crowd had become invisible. Franco knew they’d be watching the street, but no one wanted to be found nearby when something started tossing cops out of an alley.

The smell of cheap rum in the air hinted at what had tempted this one from Hell. Booze, not sex. After all, he’d just thrown away two perfectly acceptable cops, but then, Franco always appreciated a man who supplied his own cuffs.

Opening the back of the Hummer, he studied his options. The alley was too narrow to swing the sword. He considered the crossbow. Nah, for this one—he pulled a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark out of the SUV. The liquid glowed like gold as he held the bottle up. Well, the job did demand sacrifices. He gave the unconscious officers a quick salute with the whisky and strode into the alley.

The demon loomed halfway down a narrow space cluttered with garbage from overturned cans and ripped trash bags. “Do you know who I am, mortal?” it bellowed.

Franco removed the top from the bottle and made a show of taking a swig. The scent of the whisky helped to mellow the reek of the alley. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and studied the creature. It could almost have passed for one of the homeless with its greasy skin and ragged bits of clothing. Except the homeless weren’t eight feet tall with leathery wings. Damn, if this one took to the air, he’d need the crossbow.

“Nope, who are you?” They never gave their real names, and he never understood the priests who expected them to. Franco edged forward. He’d been hoping this was just a minor imp to send back down to his work in the pits; then he’d be off for a night at The Heretic. Instead he had a high-ranking demon on a binge. There was one name on the latest list. He just hadn’t expected to run across him so soon.

“Lucifer, cast down from the Heavens. Look on me and despair.”

Not that high ranking. Franco tilted his head and stepped forward, as if he needed to get a closer look. “Nope, don’t think so. Luc’s a good-looking fellow.” He took another step, holding the bottle out in front of him. The creature’s gaze moved to it. “His hair isn’t greasy, and he doesn’t have boils.”

With a roar, the demon made a swing for the whisky. Franco pulled back, letting the bottle drop onto one of the half-empty trash bags. The demon lunged for it.

Franco caught him by one ear. “By your name, Gressil, I bind you where you stand.” The demon howled, and Franco tweaked the ear. “Thought so.” He’d only had time for one guess, but this had to be Gressil, the demon of sloth and indolence. Any other demon of his rank would have torn the street apart. Gressil had hunkered down in an alley to get drunk. “See, I’ve met Lucifer. Made a bargain with him once. It went something like this—I don’t go to Hell if you do.” The agreement also meant he was provided with the names of any free-roaming demons. The priests would have been jealous. When it came to demon hunting, they were freelancers. He was staff.

He tweaked the demon’s ear again. Even a lazy demon would object to being returned to the pits. “By your name, Gressil, I send you back to your duties in Hell.”

The demon stretched out his hand, possibly in a plea for pity but more likely in an attempt to reach the whisky bottle. Then the air sizzled around him and he vanished, leaving nothing more than the odor of brimstone to mingle with the scent of spilled whisky. Franco put his hand out and felt the static in the air where the demon had been. The energy wrapped around his fingers and moved up his arm as part of the demon’s life force became his. He stood for a moment, evaluating the change. “Hardly worth the effort.”

He strode from the alley to find one of the cops stirring. Since he could already hear the wail of approaching sirens, he checked the second officer to confirm that he was still breathing, moved the first cop away from the Hummer’s wheels, and drove away. The men had been lucky. Gressil ranked high in Hell’s power structure, but he was a lazy demon without the motivation to do much in the way of real damage.

Franco noticed a few curtains flick as he drove down the deserted street. Tonight no one would talk. By morning three different gangs would be claiming responsibility for dropping the cops. And if he was lucky, he’d have a few days before the next assignment.

* * * *

Darius twitched his linen robe so that it covered the uncomfortable stiffness between his legs and tried to focus on the song. If he didn’t look at the Seraphim, the discomfort would fade. It had last time. If the Seraphim noticed his lack of attention to the song, he’d be assigned to other duties. Serving the Seraphim was a demanding job. Most others took breaks to buff armor for the Powers or run errands to those watching over earth. He only served the Seraphim. He longed for nothing more than to be near them, to listen to them, to sing with them.

He tried to lose himself in the song. When he opened his eyes to gaze on the nearest Seraphim he noticed the pale hair, the elegant hands, and the shape of the thigh under his robe. Darius shifted his position and rearranged his robe again.

Robes rustled as others shifted their positions, and for a moment, he worried that someone had noticed his inattention. But the heads were facing away from him to where Raguel stood, tall and stiff as one of the pillars, at the edge of the group. The Archangel’s gaze moved over the room, and Darius looked away before it settled on him. He focused on the rise and fall of the song and pushed all other thoughts aside. Raguel could see into an angel’s mind and never went anywhere unless he was seeking those who’d transgressed by thought or deed.

When he heard soft sighs, he dared to look around again. Raguel had departed. Darius gathered his robes about him and fled. Raguel could cast out even one of the Seraphim if he caught him with an impure thought.

As he walked through the golden light singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” to himself, he decided he’d overreacted. After all, nothing had happened. He’d just sit further away from the Seraphim next time so he wouldn’t be distracted. He’d focus on the holy singing, and if Raguel showed up again, he would see that Darius was devout enough to sing with the Seraphim.

“Hey, Choir Boy,” a voice called out. “Are you here to join the fun?”

Darius stopped. The path around him had changed. The familiar golden light had dimmed, and the grass under his feet faded to a dull yellow brown. He spun around, ready to retreat, but only gray fog swam behind him. Ahead of him stood a group of angels wearing robes as gray as the fog. He stepped back. “I’m sorry if I disturbed you. I’ve walked too far.”

“You’re a pretty one, aren’t you, Blondie,” one said, moving nearer. He wore his robe hitched up in the cord at his waist so one leg was bare. Darius tore his gaze away before he committed an offense. The angel moved nearer. “Is it true what they say about choir boys? That you can’t sing if you’ve even had an impure thought?”

“I’m not one of the Seraphim.”

The angel licked his lips. “So you do have impure thoughts. I can help with those.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Darius stammered.

“I saw you gaze at my leg. Would you like to see more?”

“No.” Darius stepped back, bumping into someone who stood behind him. A hand grabbed his butt. He jumped in surprise and found himself in the arms of the first angel.

“Don’t be so eager to rush off, Choir Boy. We can teach you joys the Seraphim know nothing about.”

“No.” He’d never measured himself against another angel before, but this one stood a hand’s breadth shorter than he. He shoved him away. “This is not proper.”

He heard a laugh behind him, and someone grabbed his robe, stripping the loosely draped linen from him. He whirled, and his hair flew into his face, blocking his vision. He pushed it out of the way and grabbed for his robe, but the angel holding it tossed it to another. The first angel stepped close, his gaze moving over Darius’s naked body. Darius struck out with his fist, but the angel danced back, dodging the blow.

“Watch out, Blondie is getting angry. Wrath is one of the deadly ones, Choir Boy. Feels good, doesn’t it? We’ll get you to lust in no time.” He tugged his robe up to his waist, revealing his genitals. Darius stared at the thick, swollen penis. “Lust, Blondie, and you’re the one causing it.”

Darius turned away from the sight, but that only brought him nose-to-nose with the angel who’d been touching his bottom. That angel wrapped an arm around his neck and touched his lips to Darius’s. Darius shoved him, and he fell back a step or two with a smile. “Damn, but you are beautiful.”

“Almost good enough to be one of the Seraphim,” his original tormentor said. Darius wanted to deny it, but knowing eyes met his. “Bet you even think about it. Pride. Another deadly one. But lust, well, that one’s the most fun.” He reached down to stroke his thick penis. His hand froze, and his eyes widened in horror. “No, not now. Not yet.”

Darius watched as his tormentor fled, only to see him stop as fire flared in the fog. The angel spun around, eyes wide and his robe tangling around his legs. A fiery ring surrounded the group, and the other angels bunched together, leaving Darius standing alone. As the flames drew closer, he could make out the winged figures of the Powers, the warrior angels who guarded Heaven itself, each holding a sword of flame. They threw a wide band around the group, driving in stray angels from the fog.

Darius heard thunder and a yelp. He whirled to see a jagged crack in the brown grass. The crack grew, snaking its way toward the clump of condemned angels. The group split, shoving each other in their attempt to escape. One fell into the growing gap in the firmament and vanished with a scream.

Flames lashed upward, and the ground beneath Darius moved, tilting him toward the growing hole. He dropped to his hands and knees and crawled toward the Powers. He needed to get close enough for them to see that his soul light still shone pure. He heard another cry and looked over his shoulder to see one of the group that had been taunting him tumble into the gap. His stomach heaved as the angel’s soul light flared into fire, burning away his robes and wings. Darius lurched away from the growing hole. His fingers dug into the firmament, and he shoved himself to his feet. He rushed toward the holy warriors, skidding to a stop only when the nearest leveled a sword of flame at his chest.

He fell to his knees and raised his hands. “Please. I was only lost.”

“To be lost is to fall.” The warrior pointed his sword toward the pit.

“No, please,” he begged. “I don’t know what I’ve done. I’ve not been judged.”

“Raguel has judged. All here have fallen.” The warrior stepped toward Darius, his frown deepening as his gaze flicked over Darius’s shoulder.

Darius looked back and saw the three who had taunted him rushing toward him. For a moment hope flared. They could explain that he’d only wandered off the path. He rose and held his hands out to them, but they didn’t stop. The one with the hitched robe shoved him, sending him skidding toward the warrior. Darius swung his arms, trying to regain his balance. He saw the warrior raise the sword that would extinguish his soul altogether. Then someone else slammed into him, sending him spinning.

The flame of the sword brushed past him as the warrior shifted his attention to his attackers. Darius fell and rolled with the impact. He lay staring at the legs just inches from him. He could see every detail of the straps of the warrior angel’s sandals as they crisscrossed up the back of his muscular legs. He’d landed outside the ring of flame. The others had meant to use him as a distraction to rush past the Powers. Instead, they’d saved him.

His salvation was short-lived. Light flared as Raguel, tall and imperious, appeared. His shoulders drew back as he looked down at Darius. Darius clasped his hands together in a plea. But Raguel only frowned. Light crackled around the Archangel’s fingers. Darius rolled to one side as the first bolt struck, then the second. They missed him, but he felt the ground shudder beneath him as the firmament shattered. He fell in a rush of wind and a roar of sound.


Arlene said...

Marie Dees has another winner on her hands with this one. Congrats to her and I can't wait to read it.

Barbara Elsborg said...

I honestly love angel stories and Marie has such a great turn of phrase ability.... yes, it has to be a winner.