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Tarnished Wings Book Three

Tarnished

Purple Sword Publications, LLC

Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 18,099
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The Devil has finally come to collect his dues. Cassie tries to run from his wiles, but finds him as irresistible as all the tales she has heard. Soon she is under his spell and the longer she is, the more she loses her soul. There is only one way for Cassie to retain her wings and save her soul. Will she discover it in time, or will Lucifer claim her for his bride?

Excerpt

I jumped at the resonating thunder. The stench of sulfur increased. The atmosphere grew heavier, tangible.

I called my power to whisk me away to someplace safe and familiar, with loving hands surrounding me. But nothing sparked inside of me; I was alone and helpless. Human. The figure remained praying, only I suspected his performance was a farce. Power emanated from him in soft waves, teasing my flesh. I resisted it, knowing the display was only to entice me toward him. Underneath, his power was more sinister. My mind searched out any cracks in the blanket over the sanctuary. There wasn’t even a hair's breadth for me to slip through.

On the other side of the door, Tristan and Daniel were trying to fight their way in. Even their combined power could not break down the doors. I examined the altar. The cross on the wall was almost unhinged from the wood now. The tree behind it had fused itself around the rusted bolt. The branch tried to make the relic one with it. The light defining the church as a holy site had not diminished. White purity encompassed the hand-hewn cross. It was a beacon to heaven making it known as a sanctuary to any tired soul who needed rest. Similar to when I was led to the spot during my human days, the church gave me solace, serenity, and a slice of my own life. Now that slice had been ripped away. I had no choice but to face my silent jailer.

My boots creaked. The echoes of my footsteps made me realize how vulnerable I was. What would my sister say if she saw me now? A Goth cheerleader turned Angel of Death, shivering at my own shadow. I tightened my resolve. This was a game of faith. I would not lose mine. My hand reached out to touch the shoulder of the solitary parishioner. Instead of my fingers meeting flesh, they passed through a shadow. The shape dissolved in a wisp.

A soft chuckle landed on my ears, surrounding me. The brush of wings caught the side of my cheek. I turned quickly. There was no one behind me. A shadow moved. The perfume of sulfur receded when I peered into the shadows.

“Cassie. So beautiful. So full of life. I see why both protect you.” His voice had the hint of an accent. It was layered to my ears with deeper tones and whisper trails. The tenor was cold and yet it seemed his breath scorched the back of my neck.

Turning around quickly again, I checked the church for the intruder. He was not there. “Show yourself.”

“Why should I, Cassie? You’re the new Death. You should be able to find me wherever you are. We’re tied together, you and I.”

My power lashed out. The pews slammed together and others pounded the back wall. The sapphire blue cushions flopped on the floor. I wasn’t one to be messed around with. I’d had enough.

“Who are you?” I whispered.

Hands wound underneath my arms. They cupped my breasts. A jolt of intense heat caressed my spine where his body pressed against mine. I should have tried to get away. I should have screamed. I should have. It means the same as what if. A statement and a question overused in the human language. The phrase marched through my mind. Tristan and Daniel were outside trying to liberate me. But I didn’t need to be rescued. I turned in my captor’s embrace. My eyes locked to his. I was amazed at his beauty. I never thought the Devil would be so magnificent.

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