When a trio of demons kidnap Vdarra Jansen, her normal life is ripped away. Her abductors claim she is the “lost heiress” of the Underworld, and the commander of the mighty Army of Duemos. They don’t seem to care that she knows nothing about the Underworld, or that she only remembers the last ten years of her life…
Former archangel Jacob will do anything to bring back his lost love’s memories. But if he succeeds, it could mean the end of the world. Torn between love and duty, Jacob will do whatever it takes to save her.
Jacob and Vdarra must learn to trust each other, and push aside old hurts to find their way. They are in a race to find the one thing that will decide Vdarra’s, and the world’s, fate – the lost Seal of Solomon. It will mean choosing between innocent lives…and their hearts.
This scene contains SPOILERS, so I suggest reading Her Fallen Protector first.
In my original draft, Jacob was involved in Vdarra’s kidnapping, but my editor and I decided the entire manuscript needed to bring out his hero side, so this scene got cut.
Jacob has just left Vdarra in Rio. For good. Until he realizes he’s put her in even more danger…
The subway rushed passed, kicking tendrils of rotten New York City air against him. Slowly coming to a stop, the car rested, its doors hissing open. Jacob had no idea where he’d go, only that a fiend had been following him since his return to the States. The decomposing sulfuric stench filled his nostrils. He’d lead them away from Vdarra for as long as he could. Before his encounter with her in Rio, he pitied his mate’s followers and their beliefs. They’d dedicated their entire lives to a rumor their leader had only been stripped of her powers and memories when thrust down to earth. Now, however, he realized he’d gotten caught up in them himself.
And proven the demons wrong.
His mate had truly died. No reincarnation. No bond to be renewed. Her mind had been wiped permanently and her immortality stolen. The woman he’d slept with wasn’t his and never would be as long as the demon’s followed Jacob for clues.
Jacob stepped onto the train, snaking his way passed single mothers, homeless men, and punks. None of them held his interest. In fact, he hadn’t even noticed a familiar face as he wound his way through the bodies, so consumed with the ache in his chest.
“I’ve missed you,” a feminine voice said, but Jacob knew its origin to be anything but female. Or human. Slim fingers walked across his shoulders from behind, sending a shiver down his spine, but not in pleasure.
Before those fingers wandered over any other part of him, Jacob grabbed her hand, pushing it away. He confronted the fiend in front of him, shoulder tensing in preparation for an attack. “And I told you I don’t care. What do you want, Isabel?”
A shrill laugh escaped her lips, borderline maniacal, as the demon looked up at him with reflective red eyes.
“I think you know exactly what I want.” Isabel smirked, her incisors elongating mere millimeters. The change wouldn’t be noticeable to a human, but his abilities still lingered, reminding him exactly what laid behind that pale skin. “But that’s not why I’ve come to see you.”
Jacob inhaled slowly, fully aware of the humans surrounding them. “Be careful what you say next.”
“Don’t worry about them, my love. They can’t see or hear us.” Stepping into him, Isabel pushed her puffy lips into a pout. Blonde waves of hair swung forward, sweeping across her perky breasts, but did nothing to hide the pointed tips of her nipples under her tanktop. “Why must we fight?”
Those fingers made another appearance, sliding down his torso and ending at the button on his jeans. “There is so much more we could accomplish when we get along.”
His hand moved of its own accord, pushing Isabel back as his fingers wrapped around her throat. Her head smashed against the opposite side of the subway car, but no humans seemed to take notice. The smile crawling across her lips in response to the violence disgusted him. Demons had a sick sense of humor. “Enough with the games, fiend. Why are you here? What does Damien want?”
The piercing laughter returned, but Isabel made no move to pry herself away from him. “Kiss me and I’ll tell you.”
Jacob released her with a scoff, turning his back on her and walking toward the other end of the train car. “Get away from me.”
“You’re not even curious why he sent me?” she called from behind.
He didn’t answer, pushing his attention to the mortals around him. They led such simple lives, oblivious to what waited for them in the Afterlife. War infested the earth through generations, but didn’t compare to the eternal war raging between the Father and the Deceiver. They’d learn when their time came and then they’d have to make their choice.
As he’d once been forced to do.
Wisps of anger rode along the memory of that choice and Jacob turned to face the demon, his decision made. He’d lost the most important pieces of his life to the war. He had nothing left but Vdarra and he’d keep Damien and his pet from her until his bones turned to dust. “No.”
Isabel’s lips pulled into a half smile as she sauntered toward him. “I bet I could change your mind.”
The rocking of the train did nothing to unbalance him, but the expression on the demon’s face did. Doubt clouded his mind for just a moment. Evil had always lingered behind the fiend’s eyes, but something inside Isabel had changed. “I said no.”
Jacob turned his back on her, reassuring himself angels were faster and stronger than their evil counterparts, but evil never fought fair and he’d lost his strength over the past eight years.
“Even to save your human?” she whispered into his ear.
Dread slithered its way across his back, pulling his shoulders back in preparation. So they’d followed him to Rio. Jacob faced his enemy. Ice shot through his body, muscles tensing for a fight long coming. “She has nothing to do with this.”
“That’s not what I saw, seraph.” Isabel worked her way closer to him, those eyes bright with mischief. “In fact, that’s why I’m here.”
The demon stepped into him, her body pressing against his. Isabel’s tongue darted out, licking its way from the base of his throat to the tip of his chin. “Tell me, does she taste the same as Duemos? Does she kiss the same? Love you the same?”
The line of saliva practically burned as she gazed up at him and Jacob wiped it away with the back of his hand. He stared down on the fiend as cold hatred slithered up his back at the mention of his mate. “If you touch her, I will kill you, then Damien and anyone else who dares defy my protection order.”
“How are you going to do that with no power, Israel? Even now I can feel it leaking from your body like blood leaks from a wound.” Isabel dropped the coy expression. Pieces of the demon inside showed through the temporary disguise, he assumed from her anger, but Jacob reacted with indifference. He’d seen the rotted skin of her true self before, seen the slimy black muscles of the damned. She laughed once more as if to lighten the mood, stepping away as the train came to a halt at the next stop. “Besides, it’s too late. You aren’t fast enough to stop us anymore.”