I will admit, I am sort of terrified. Not only because the series is ending, but because I don't want to let my fans down. In this story, we tie up all of the loose ends - the relationships between Nesy, Zane, and Aydan, the war between Mikayel and Aydan, the vengeance of Lilith, the betrayal of Caim...
All of it is addressed in some way in this story. WHEW!
Okay - so some of you saw an early version of the opening. Yes, as you probably guessed, that was trashed during rewrites. Okay, not trashed but significantly changed.
Here is a new excerpt for you from the beginning of the story. This scene brings Lilith and Azza together in Infernum, and sets a tone that continues throughout the story:
Flames lick the walls of the cavern that fills the center of Infernum, casting huge shadows against the space. Screams vibrate through the rocks and hang in the air, like something out of Dante’s Inferno.
A human version of hell, Lilith thinks as she enters the small cave.
“I see you’ve returned,” a deep voice says. Shadows begin to dance along the cavern walls, joining to form a large mass. Immense bat-like wings stretch across the rocks, a skeletal form in the middle, with fanged teeth and clawed hands.
Lilith takes a step back, awed by the form in front of her. A thousand years of hatred has done nothing to diminish her appreciation for Azza’s commanding flare for the dramatic.
“What? Don’t like my version of this place? It is my domain, after all.” The shadow of Azza’s form grows taller and bends at odd angles, covering the entire cavern.
“It’s just so...human.”
Azza releases a low, menacing chuckle. It fades too fast, replaced with unveiled expectations. His shadow swirls and changes as he morphs into his human form. Blond hair tied back at the neck, chiseled features, and the distinctive brand of Celtic knots circling his neck. A brand carved by Iblis, Lilith’s father.
And the reason for her vengeance.
“What do you have to report?” Azza asks as he closes the distance between them, his eyes pinning her where she stands.
“Everything is as I’ve promised, Lord Azzaziel.” Lilith’s voice is steady, undeterred.
“And Aydan? Do you have him?”
“Yes, he is ready to serve you as well.”
“Complete. Just as you’ve ordered. Nothing has been left undone. You will not fail this time, my lord.”
“And the angel, the Sentinal? What does she know?”
Lilith swallows hard. Azza will not tolerate failure. “She...” Lilith hesitates. “She has her memories. The Mediator—”
Azza grabs Lilith by the throat. “What does she know, Lilith?”
Lilith tightens her neck, willing her form to remain solid. “She only knows that Aydan is gone, that I’ve taken him. She knows nothing else. I’m certain of it.”
Azza closes his grip around her neck. The symbiont protests and begins to pulsate through her body.
She must stop this before Azza figures out what’s happening.
“She’s mortal, my master. She cannot prevent the war.” Lilith leans into Azza’s grasp and whispers in his ear. “She has no power now.”
Azza glares at Lilith, his eyes ablaze. “Do not make the mistake of underestimating her.” He brushes his lips against Lilith’s. “I want her dead.”
Be sure to stalk my FB page as I will likely post a few more excerpts over the weekend, and come back Monday for exciting release news!