Read Desiring A Demon (Archangels) Online

Authors: Missy Jane

Tags: #Raphael, #Fallen Angel, #Paranormal, #Contemporary, #Demon, #Epic, #Romance, #Entangled, #Missy Jane, #Angel, #Fantasy, #PNR, #Heaven, #love, #Archangel, #Series, #Covet

Desiring A Demon (Archangels)

BOOK: Desiring A Demon (Archangels)
9.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Loving her is forbidden. Leaving her is impossible...

Raphael is the Archangel of Justice, a champion of humans and warrior who has kept demons from the human realm. Having a half-demon hiding in his home is strictly verboten. And the fact that he can’t keep his hands off her? Well, sometimes the war between good and evil is best fought between the sheets...

Astaroth Sinclair’s demon side is taking over, staining her entire body red and raising her body temperature hot enough to incinerate her clothes. Even more complicated is the fact that she is helplessly and hopelessly in love with Raphael—even if they have nothing in common other than explosive chemistry.

But when Asta starts digging for answers, she sets off a chain of event that no one could have foreseen. Now her love for Raphael will either save the world...or destroy it.

Table of Contents

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Copyright © 2015 by Missy Jane. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.

Entangled Publishing, LLC

2614 South Timberline Road

Suite 109

Fort Collins, CO 80525

Visit our website at
www.entangledpublishing.com
.

Covet is an imprint of Entangled Publishing, LLC.

Edited by Robin Haseltine

Cover design by Curtis Svehlak

Cover art by iStock

ISBN 978-1-63375-263-4

Manufactured in the United States of America

First Edition April 2015

I’d like to dedicate this book to my wonderful readers.

Though I first began writing purely for selfish reasons, I continue to do so for all of you. Thank you for choosing my book to read, I truly hope you enjoy it.

Prologue

At three a.m., Asta pushed through the door, the deep bass beats of the music still thrumming through her head, although she’d shut the bar down an hour ago. Only a couple more weeks and she’d be forced back on the road. Already there was trouble. There always was, no matter where she went, no matter how hard she tried to fit in. One of the waitresses was whispering about her. The bartender leered and made bolder sexual suggestions every night, even though he was dating the cashier and Asta did everything she could to shut down his advances.

The suspicions, the slurs, the glowers from her coworkers followed her from job to job. The faces might change, but the reactions were always the same.

“I know this is going to sound like a pick-up line, but I’d really like to take you somewhere to talk.” A deep voice caught her off guard, and she spun to find one of the regular customers leaning against the side of the building. He never sat at one of her tables, just observed her while he nursed a beer then left. Instead of creeping her out, the way he looked at her, the way his gaze floated gently over her, gave her the oddest sense of peace.

This was the first time she’d seen him up close. He was even handsomer and taller than she’d realized. A zing of attraction shot through her. He towered at least a foot above her and had the wide shoulders to fit his height. Alarms went off in her head, but she found herself nodding anyway and following his lead when he motioned to the sidewalk.

“We can walk for a bit first, if you’d like,” he said.

“Sure. I guess.”

He set a slow pace that she matched. As she drew nearer to the mystery man, the mumbled voices in her head, which had been a part of her since puberty, slowly quieted. For the first time in years there was blessed silence, and the shock nearly stopped her in her tracks.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

She stared at him a moment, trying not to gape. Was the quiet his doing? Finally, she shook her head and resumed walking. “Umm, yeah. I’m okay.”

“My name is Rafe, and I need to ask you a few questions. But first I have to tell you what I already know.”

Her unease resumed, and she made more space between them but continued to walk at his side. “Okay.”

He stuck his hands into the pockets of his jeans, walking as if he didn’t have a care in the world. “I know your name is Asta, and you’re fairly new to the area. My guess is you travel a lot, going from place to place, job to job. You never really fit in anywhere no matter how hard you try. After a few weeks, someone always screws things up for you, and you run. You might get frequent headaches, and maybe you even think you hear voices. There’s always something not quite right, and you usually don’t feel safe anywhere.”

She froze and stared at him. He stopped walking and faced her.

“I can help you, but you’re going to have to do something that will probably be very hard for you.”

She had to swallow twice before she could speak. “O-oh? And what the hell is that?”

He smiled with so much patience and understanding it weakened her knees.

“Trust me,” he said.

Chapter One

Three months later

Asta rolled onto her side and stared at the red numbers on her bedside clock. It wasn’t even midnight yet. She shouldn’t be straining to hear the sound of Rafe coming home. She shouldn’t care. With a huff of frustration
,
she sat up and rubbed her hands over her face. Sleep had eluded her
,
but she refused to acknowledge why, even to herself. She left her very comfortable bed and strolled to the living room to watch TV.

Every now and again
,
she met a man who attracted her on more than a physical level
.
Because of her demon side
,
she’d never had the chance to explore where it could go before things soured. Rafe and his brothers had done their best to explain her parentage to her as soon as they realized her father was a demon. It hadn’t been easy
,
but she’d taken the news well in front of the others. Later, Rafe held her as she cried that night in his house. That had been the first and last time she’d shown any weakness in front of him.

Since Rafe had tolerated her for weeks on end, despite who she was, she now knew him better than anyone, and the attraction grew with every day.

An hour later, she was still flipping through channels when a key turned in the front door lock. Her pulse sped up
,
and she fought to calm it as Rafe walked into his home. From the corner of her eye she saw him enter the living room, drawn by the sound of the TV, most likely. He stood and crossed his arms but she couldn’t see the expression on his face. Her blond angel was one hot piece of man. Broad shoulders tapered down to a trim waist and muscular legs. He and his brothers rarely swung swords around, but their bodies easily told of that skill and many others. In what had to be a great cosmic joke, he was the epitome of what she’d create to be the perfect man
.
He pushed every single one of her hot buttons just by standing in the same room.

But a demon and an angel together? Never.

“I expected you to be asleep by now,” he said.

His deep voice thrummed through her veins, igniting her blood like a live wire. She always reacted to him in the same way
,
and it seriously pissed her off.

“I’m not tired,” she replied before looking at him
.

One blond brow went up
,
and he smirked at her obvious lie. Her shoulders drooped in fatigue
,
and she’d seen the circles under her eyes earlier. But there was no way in hell she’d admit to waiting up for him.

He removed his suit jacket and dropped it carelessly on the nearest surface. She watched the play of muscles beneath his shirt as he crossed the room to sit at her side on the sofa.

“So…how was it?” Pride filled her at the steadiness of her voice. Perhaps he wouldn’t realize how hurt she was at not being invited.

Leaning close
,
he put his arm across the back of the sofa behind her. She fought the urge to cuddle into his warmth.

“It was good…different. We’d never done the ceremony before and didn’t know what to expect.”

She nodded as he regarded her steadily.

“You know that’s why I said you should stay here, right? We had no clue what might happen
,
and I didn’t want you hurt.”

She shrugged and stared at the TV again. Of course she couldn’t attend a religious ceremony. Her demon half would probably rebel in some way
,
and she could’ve been a danger to everyone. But knowing that hadn’t eased the loneliness she’d felt all night.

“Hey.” He used a finger to turn her face his way. “You do know that’s the only reason I didn’t take you, right?”

“Yeah,” she replied shakily. “Of course.”

His finger lingered a moment, then he slipped it up her cheek. He finished the movement by tucking a few strands of hair behind her ear. They weren’t long enough to stay there.

“I’m sorry if you felt left out, Asta, but your safety comes first.”

“I know. It’s fine.”

Annoyance filled her
.
She dropped the remote in his lap then pushed off the sofa and stepped away from him. Being angry at Rafe was irrational and pointless, because he really was concerned about her safety. But irrational or not, it still hurt to be left behind when he gathered with his brothers for something so important.

“So Zerach’s human now?” she asked.

A glance showed his shrug as he watched her pretend to rummage through his DVDs.

“For all intents and purposes
,
yes, but he will retain some of his angelic powers.”

“Will he still help keep demons from crossing over?”

“Not physically, no. It’ll be too dangerous for him to fight them in the way we do, but he can help in other ways. He’s mortal but he’ll still have angelic strength, and
,
to some small degree
,
angelic senses.”

“His wings?”

“No…and I think that really bothers him. Isadora seemed pretty worried about it.”

“Yeah. She told me that was one of the most difficult hurdles he’d have to face in his decision to
fall
for her.” She sighed. “But they love each other, so I guess Zerach thought his sacrifices were worth it. They’ve been flying around a lot the past week. She hasn’t said what he thinks about not fighting demons anymore though.”

He chuckled. “It’s a never-ending pain in the ass, but protecting humans from an overwhelming evil influence is one of the main reasons Watchers were created.”

“But you and your brothers aren’t Watchers.”

He shrugged. “Strictly speaking, no. But as soon as we decided to remain in the human realm we took on that role. It will be a new life for Zerach
,
because he’s been demon hunting for centuries. But I’m sure Isadora will be able to keep him happily occupied now.”

Isadora was the only person Asta considered a true friend
.
Rafe was…complicated, but she could tell Isadora anything. Though any time she was near Rafe she wanted to confess every secret she ever had, she held back a lot from him. But then
,
she’d always been careful with men, even before she knew she should be.

She turned her attention back to the DVDs and began to rearrange them. Rafe closed the distance silently
,
and she jumped when he set his large hands on her shoulders.

“Shit. You scared me.” A shiver worked down her spine from his touch, but not from being startled
.

“Sorry.” He chuckled. “I didn’t mean to. Why don’t you go to bed? I’m home. Nothing’s going to hurt you while I’m here.”

She closed her eyes and fought back annoyance at both herself and him. Herself
,
because she really did rest easier when he was around, and him
,
for knowing it. “I’m not exactly fragile, you know.”

“Yeah, I do know. But you are exhausted.” He used his hands on her shoulders to turn her so she faced him. “The shadows under your eyes aren’t getting any smaller. Go to bed, Asta.”

She pushed him away halfheartedly and headed for the guestroom.

“Hey,” he called out.

She stopped and looked back at him over her shoulder. “What?”

“Sweet dreams.”

She quickened her step so he wouldn’t see her blush.


Rafe fought down an uncharacteristic spurt of annoyance as she left the room. Much more than just a woman, Asta embodied sensual temptation. Her demon half rarely showed in his presence but he knew it was there, sensed it on an elemental level. Which was the main reason he’d done no more than provide a safe place for her to sleep and eat, despite his hidden desires. Part of him wanted to run after her, strip her out of her skin-tight jeans and ugly black T-shirt
,
and taste every inch of her ivory skin. The other, more disciplined, part of him fought to keep from pulling his fiery sword from the ether and lopping off her head. One less demon to wreak havoc in the mortal plane.

Because she wasn’t truly a demonic threat, and because he shouldn’t lust after her, he was pacing around his living room while listening to her getting ready for bed. He looked heavenward with a sigh. Eons of life fighting against demons, and now a half
-
demon resided in his very human home. What an odd turn of events.

With a shake of his head
,
he wandered to his own bedroom. The Source had overlooked every other vice the angels had taken up over the centuries. Sex was certainly not off
-
limits. However, Rafe was very leery of giving into his physical want of Asta. What would happen then? Perhaps she’d be more demon than human and kill him. Or maybe she’d assume he was hers to play with
,
and she’d be as sadistic as every other demon he’d ever encountered. He couldn’t chance it. There were still too many unknowns.

He took a quick shower and got into bed
,
but sleep eluded him. One of his six brothers was now mortal, more human than angel. Zerachial had chosen to
fall
for a human, Isadora, and he would now age along with her for one human lifetime. After that…who knew for certain? Only the Source of All Creation, and that voice hadn’t spoken to any of them in eons. He put that thought out of his mind and
,
with a sigh
,
let his body rest.

What felt like seconds later, he shot upright in bed
,
panting and drenched in sweat. A glance around the room proved he was home, in his bed
,
with no lower
-
level demons anywhere in sight. He wiped his hands down his face and groaned as the nightmare replayed through his mind. Asta had been surrounded by flames
,
and he hadn’t been able to get to her. As an Archangel
,
he couldn’t ignore what he’d seen; his dreams had proven to be prophetic time and time again.

“Damn.”

They all knew her father remained a threat to the human realm and to her specifically. But now his dream warned him something bad was coming, and he had no idea how to stop it.


Asta woke promptly at eight a
.
m
.
like she did every morning. She rolled out of bed, strode into the bathroom
,
and stepped under a hot spray in the hopes of washing away her bad dreams. They weren’t exactly nightmares. She’d had enough of those over her lifetime to know the difference. No, these were just bad enough to leave an unpleasant taste in her mouth upon waking. Visions of running down empty streets covered in blood. Memories of her father, the demon Armoros, right before the Archangels had banished him back to hell not long ago. Dreams where her father succeeded in taking her to hell with him.

She shook the visions off, dressed
,
and headed into the kitchen, the one room in the house where she was totally in her element. But she stopped short at the sight of Rafe already at the stove.

“I made pancakes,” he said. “The eggs are almost done.”

“Okay, cool. Thanks.”

She set about making coffee while secretly glancing at him. Her pulse sped up at the sight of him in one of his designer suits, perfectly tailored to showcase his muscular physique. It should be illegal for a man to look that good. His suit jacket was draped over one of the chairs at the kitchen table, where she set a full mug of coffee for him.

“How late are you working today?” she asked.

“I’ve got a meeting this morning, and then court this afternoon. The case isn’t simple but I’m hoping it won’t take too long. You never can tell with these things.”

“You don’t go to court very often.”

He left the stove with two heaping plates of perfectly round pancakes and fluffy scrambled eggs and walked to the table. “Nope. Arbitration usually works. And sometimes it’s just a meeting with the judge that settles things, but today’s case is a doozy.”

“Oh?”

He set the plates down and sat across from her. She sipped her coffee and watched him.

“Yeah. I’m representing a man this time. His wife was abusive to both him and the kids. Her lawyer insisted on a jury trial. Waste of time and money if you ask me.”

“Your client wasn’t embarrassed to admit his wife abused him?” Some human behaviors completely fascinated and confounded her demon half.

“He said it’s been going on for years
,
and he was putting up with it because he truly loves her. But then she started hurting the kids, and that’s where he drew the line.”

“I can’t imagine ever hurting my kids…if I were to have any.” She drank more from her mug as that settled in her mind.

One blond brow went up as he swallowed a bite of pancakes. “You want kids?”

Heat filled her face. She lowered her head as she shrugged and used her fork to play with the eggs on her plate. “Yeah, I guess. I mean, I never really thought about it before.”

She didn’t admit she hadn’t been sure kids would be safe with her, or that she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to take care of them. No way would she admit that kind of weakness to him, or anyone.

“I think it would be kind of fun to raise a kid. So long as I could sleep every now and then.”

She snorted. “You don’t need to sleep.”

“Even angels feel fatigue.”

“I probably wouldn’t even know what to do. My mother wasn’t exactly a great role model.”

She kept her gaze on her plate as she took another sip, but felt him watching her.

“Some behaviors are instinctual. I think you’d make a great mother…though your kids might be a little overweight from your amazing baking skills.”

She raised her gaze to his face and smiled
.

They finished breakfast in companionable silence
,
and then she cleared the table while he finished his coffee. It was as close to a routine as they ever got, but it made her feel almost normal. A nice change from just a few months ago, when she was living in a cheap motel and working one dead-end job after another
.
The loneliness of that lifestyle had worn thin long ago.

BOOK: Desiring A Demon (Archangels)
9.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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