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The rights on this book reverted to me a couple of months ago, but I was finishing Legacy of the Stars and let it sit in the computer.  I picked it up a couple of weeks ago and am now on the final read-through/polish to resubmit it somewhere.  I think I’ll try Boroughs Publishing, a new publisher with Chris Keesler (formerly of the defunct Dorchester) at the wheel. Or I’ll send to my editor with the request she send it to the Scarlet line.

Here’s the opening of the first chapter:

Chapter  1

The stench of Hell burned Salseph’s nostrils.  Lost Souls¸ how he hated to return home.  For all his trials on Earth, he preferred the human realm to this insufferable place.  In the mortal plane, he could, with considerable effort and pain, divest himself of his wings, and feel as if he belonged—at least for a time.

Evolerzzal, a slimy glob of green flesh, grabbed Seph’s shoulder as he passed into the gloom of the Demon Realm.  “Well, if it isn’t Salseph the Beautiful.  What are you doing here amongst us humble creatures?”  A clawed hand beckoned Charzzel, a demon of the Second Order.  “Look who’s come home.”

Seph shrugged free, vaulting his wings skyward.  The dim, smoky light refracted on his feathers, and the movement immediately drew the attention of every demon in sight.  His jaw tightened, a muscle twitching.  He yearned to drive his fist into the grotesque face and take to the air, but it wasn’t Evolz’s fault the demons hated Seph.  Paimon had insured that Salseph was an oddity, a freak.  His appearance and the majestic wings set him apart from the others.  Hell, there were no others of his kind.  In all of Perdition, he was the only demon who looked like an angel.  His face was handsome, his body lean and muscled—the body of a man, not a monstrosity. His blond hair fell thick and silky to his shoulders, not the coarse wisps atop most of the demons heads.

“I smell angel,” a low-ranking atrocity shouted, his high-pitched voice rasping on Seph’s nerves.

The demons stank of brimstone and ash.  His creator had only missed one detail in replicating a celestial being.  Like each angel, he possessed his own mysterious scent, the airy fragrance part of his allure.  Unlike an angel, he had no sigil.  A sigil, the angel’s name in Malachim script, was branded in his celestial palm at his creation.  Paimon lacked the ability to bequeath a sigil to his demon son.  The fallen angel had, however, created Seph with irresistible sexual magnetism.

A disgustingly ugly brute bared his fangs, a laugh rumbling from the creature’s slavering maw.  He stumbled into Seph, crushing one of the long white feathers trailing the ash-gray ground.  “Hello, Salseph.”  Two taloned fingers drifted down the feathered arch.  “Wish I had pretty wings.”

He flinched from the malicious caress, folding his wings in a tighter arch.  The creature chuckled. A hot burst of anger ground Seph’s good intentions to dust.  When he’d landed, he’d planned to hurry to his cave, avoiding another senseless confrontation with his brethren.  The fiends detested him no less than he abhorred them.  It was an effort of will to resist a scathing retort.

“I think he’s hideous,” a demon in the shadows called.  “Angels are our enemies.  Every time I look at Paimon’s favorite, I want to draw sword.”

Jealousy and envy gleamed in Evolz’s yellow eyes.  The demon reeked of the Pit.  Sulfur wasn’t an enticing perfume.  “Now, who would want to spit our lovely Salseph on a sword?”

“Let me pass.”  He’d have shouldered by Evolz, but touching the creature repulsed him.

“Coming home from another assignment?”  The high-ranking fiend smirked.

Seph refused to give the other demon the satisfaction of a reply.  He was returning from another demeaning mission with his stomach in a knot and his heart bleeding for a poor human woman whose only sin was loving with him. As he’d been created and commanded to do, he’d left her in emotional ruins. He was shamed and disgusted by the painful tasks he was hard-wired to carry out. Secretly, he longed for a woman he could love and, knowing what he was, she’d love him in return.

“Did you eat her baby or pump a little half-demon into her womb?”  Evolz leered, his glob of a head tilted to the side, his hairy ears wagging.

“I don’t consume human flesh.” Seph shot the monster a disdainful look. “Now, step aside.”

“Or you’ll do what?  Report me to Paimon?”

Seph flared his wings, striking Evolerzzal and sweeping into a stumbling retreat.  “Sorry, Evolz.”  He drove his wings down hard, rising straight into the sultry, close air.  Voice dripping sarcasm, he said, “I forget how powerful I really am.”

He hovered above the vile blob, his condescending smile, goading Evolz.  The demon glared at him but said nothing, a quick comeback beyond his limited mental capacity.  Why were they all so fiendish?  One of the ogres snatched at his ankle.  Laughing, he flew higher and, still chuckling, soared toward his cavern—the place he hid.  He’d never thought of the dim stone cave as home.  His heart stuttered over raw pain.  He had no home and belonged nowhere.

On a sulfurous breeze, Seph glided to the rocky shelf at the mouth of the cave.  The other demons remained together, the Realm their only habitat.  He’d discovered a large fissure where he could imitate real life, transporting human furniture to Hell and, modifying the chairs to accommodate wings.  Stone walls overcame the heat, the cavern cool and dim.  Mica sparkled in the floor.  He unbelted his travel pack from his waist, tossed the leather satchel on a polished cherry table and sighed.  In a gold mirror, his reflection mocked him.  Sometimes, life didn’t seem worth the living, but there was damned all he could do about it.  He was immortal.  His appearance allowed him no friends among his own kind. On the human plane, he had no contact with men, only women whom he must reduce to begging and tears.

To her detriment, Leslie had loved him. She’d lost her husband, her home, everything she’d been, all because she’d fallen for her ‘angel’. Days, when she was alone, she’d allowed him to come to her, then they became bold. He visited nights when her husband traveled out of town . After almost a year, Hubby’s suspicions had taken them to divorce court.

Guilt haunted the recesses of Seph’s mind. Sometimes, like now, he couldn’t escape it. He wasn’t proud of what he’d done. No, not a whit. His past and future were doors to shame. Memories drove him to a chair by the fire. He let his thoughts wander over the time he’d spent with Leslie.

With her long red hair, green eyes, long legs and shaved pussy, she was as hot as any pinup. Every time, the first time, she wanted it hard and fast—instant gratification. Then she was up for foreplay. She liked to suck his dick. When she did, her mouth expertly caressing his cock almost tossed him to his knees. He opened the door to the past, images and emotions flooding back.

It warms up here, and I’ll stop even though it is an erotic site.  Look for the announcement of the release by whomever of On Wings of Desire.

 

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