Dirty Deeds (Paranormal Erotic Romance) (9 page)

BOOK: Dirty Deeds (Paranormal Erotic Romance)
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“Like me?” Biting her lip, she looked away.

“Yes, like you.” He hated seeing the insecurity in her eyes. “We've been trying to get back to hell ever since. But there is only one way back.”

 

“Harold has to be eliminated?” Her voice low, reserved. “But he created me… What happens to me if Harold is destroyed?”

His eyes darkened and he turned away from her. She knew before he spoke that it would be bad. Very bad.

“And therein lies my latest dilemma. Whatever happens to Harold happens to his demons as well.”

“You and your friends want to go home. But in order to get there, you have to destroy Harold, which in turn will kill me.” He didn't need to answer. The truth of her statement was written all over his face. She sat heavily on the bed.

“Harold doesn't have to be killed. I have a choice. Eternal punishment or death will suffice, and at this point, death seems too easy for him.”

“When are you planning to do this?”

“We aren't exactly. You are.”

“What? Why would I do that?”

“We know about your quota, Melody. It's the clause we've been waiting for.”

“I definitely don't understand.”

“When Harold asked to create you, permission was given on a provisional basis. You are to meet a monthly soul quota. If you don't meet it three months in a row, then Harold and by association, you, are punished permanently. And we both know being tortured in the Lake of Fire for eternity is no cushy office job.”

“That sounds ridiculous.” And far more painful than she'd bargained for.

“Well, many demons aren't known for their logical thought processes. This deal was all about Harold's arrogance and how it would end up becoming his downfall.”

“If I don't make my quota tonight, it will be the third month in a row I haven't made it.”

Drake nodded his head. “We know, hon. Randy, my Chaos Demon, has been keeping track for us. We've been waiting for this, and I was brought in to make sure you don't succeed.”

“You're here to ensure I die tonight?” He nodded his head, and her heart shattered. Everything she'd dared to hope for despite her head telling her otherwise fractured before her eyes. Sudden pain cramped her belly, an ache she'd thought long forgotten. She turned away, unable to look at him anymore. Melody was supposed to be smarter than Melanie, yet here she was repeating her same mistakes over and over. When would it ever end? Her eyes began to burn with a sheen of tears that she swiped quickly away. No way would she start crying in front of Drake. It would be a cold day in hell, and she knew how unlikely that was.

“But, Melody, don't you see?” His fingers gripped her arm and forced her around. “I can't do it. I—I care about you.”

Melody jerked her gaze from his, afraid to make a mistake. Her heart tightened in her chest as she agonized over what to believe. Every cell in her body screamed for the man in front of her and she was afraid.

Lies and deceit filled her world now. Innocence and faith didn't belong. Yet that small kernel of humanity remained—the piece that made her want to believe. To give the man she loved another chance. Sure he hadn't given her the declaration of love she'd been hoping for, but she had to take a chance. Deep down, her instincts told her how he felt about her.

“I won't stop you from getting your souls. I want Harold to pay for his crimes, but I'll have to find another way. The price is too high.”

Melody thought on this for a minute. Puzzling through the details. The agonized pain in his voice gave her insight into a man tortured for too long.

“Drake, how long have you been trying to take care of Harold?” His hesitation was more telling than she imagined. “How long?”

“One hundred and forty-five years.”

A chill swept over Melody. She loved Drake and his pain tore at her insides. One hundred and forty-five years was a long time to live with that kind of torture. Too long. He didn't deserve this.

“I'll do it.” She blurted out with little thought to the consequences. Sure she knew the results, but she refused to dwell on that now. Her self-centered behavior had gotten her into this, and now she would be free.

“You'll do what?” His brows pulled together in a puzzled expression.

“I'll refuse my quota. Yeah. I'm not bringing Harold any more souls tonight. I'm tired of the threats.”

“Whoa, hold on there, Melody. Listen to what you're saying.” He grabbed her shoulders. “I can't allow you to sacrifice yourself like this.”

“Ha. This is one time, Sir, when you do not have any control over me.” She jerked from his grip.

“Listen to me, Melody. If you go through with this, you'll go with him when he's banished. Do you think the Lake of Fire will be fun? You haven't even thought this out.” He paced the floor in front of her. “Don't you see? You gave your soul to Harold. Where he goes, you go.”

“Then let's get it back.”

“What?” A deep laugh rumbled in his chest. “Yeah right, Melody, let's just take a trip down to his office, let him know you don't want to play his games anymore, and by the way, can you please have your soul back?” Drake doubled over in laughter. Tears shone in his eyes when he looked back at her.

“Drake, you don't have to be such an ass. I wasn't suggesting we ask him to give it back. I was instead suggesting that we steal it.”

His laughter broke off, his eyes boring into hers. “What did you say?”

“Yeah, that's it. I'll just go to his office pretending to bring him souls, and find a way to snatch mine back before he realizes he's been duped.” She turned to face Drake. “What do you think? Can we do it?”

“Of course not. He'd see that coming a mile away, sweetheart. He hasn't been in charge for this long because he's stupid, Mel.”

She sat on the bed with an exasperated sigh. “Then that's it. I just won't complete my tasks tonight and be done with it. You and your friends can go back to hell, and the world will be less one evil demon and one rather pathetic one.”

“There is an alternative.” Drake's voice lowered to a near whisper. “You weren't too far off track when you said we could steal it. Although your soul can't be stolen. It has to be given.”

“Drake, you're not making sense. You already said he won't give it to us. And if we can't steal it, what else can we do?”

“Well, there's one thing I haven't told you yet.”

“Oh boy. This is the part I'm not going to like, right?” Asking questions she really didn't want the answers to would one day be her downfall.

“Depends.”

“On?” She tapped her foot, waiting.

“What you feel like doing for the rest of eternity.” Amusement flickered in his eyes.

She strode over to him, grabbing at his shoulders to shake him. “Stop laughing and tell me what the hell you're planning.”

“Wouldn't you like to know?” His fingers grazed her lips, softening them from their grim line. “I love the shape and color of your lips.” His head bent, his mouth slanting over hers. Instead of the hard and fast kisses of before, his lips were soft and gentle as they caressed and explored. “And the taste. Oh, baby, you taste like honey.” She edged her hands across his thick broad shoulders to flatten her palms against his muscular pecs before shoving him away as hard as she could.

“Stop trying to distract me with sex and tell me.” Her breath came in heavy pants, revealing a desire stronger than the outrage she didn't want to let go.

“Yes, Drake, tell her so we can both have a good laugh. Although the show was just getting good, and I wouldn't mind watching that either.”

She jerked at the sound of Harold's voice behind her and turned to see he wasn't alone. He'd brought several of his playmates with him, who were now blocking the door. Demons of the unfriendly and extremely ugly sort, ones who wouldn't hesitate to get their hands dirty. She spared a quick glance at the clock. Five minutes to midnight. Where had the time gone?

“You're too late Harold. I can't fill my quota.” Somehow, that fact didn't comfort her when he caught her with his gaze, and she felt his power wrapping around her. Tight, powerful bands biting into her flesh. Her back teeth clenched while she fought with the full force of her will, to no avail. She'd been down this road before, and no amount of struggle would set her free.

“Quotas don't matter anymore little one. We're beyond that now.” He walked forward, keeping his power focused on her. “What does matter; however, is that you belong to me and I'm the one that decides your fate. Not that half-breed over there.” He snarled, nodding his head to Drake.

A roaring blast of heat pushed at her and Harold from Drake's direction, but she was powerless to look. Harold's demons shielded him, protecting him from the heat and whatever other strike Drake might have been considering.

“Randy!” Drake yelled, his voice contorted with anger.

Behind Harold, Drake's Chaos Demon shimmered into view, two other lesser demon guards at his side.

When Harold motioned to his guards, an adrenalin-laced shot of fear rushed through her, giving her just enough control back to scream. “Harold, wait! What do you want from me?”

“I told you if you didn't complete your job there would be hell to pay, and I'm here to collect. You're going with me.”

That familiar pull of power propelled her forward, closer to her boss one step at a time. Why couldn't she fight it?

She whimpered when a meaty hand wrapped around her throat.

“She's not going anywhere with you dickhead.”

Momentarily caught off guard, Harold turned to Drake, lessening his hold over her. The vise of his grip loosened, and she sagged to the floor.

“You have no say-so in demon matters Drake, and you damn well know it, so stop butting in where no one gives a damn about what you have to say.” The satisfied smirk across Harold's face made her want to puke. She had no idea who was the more powerful of the two, but she suspected the outcome of a power struggle would be ugly for everyone involved.

“Your arrogance astounds me, asshole. You know you've lost and yet you still can't slink away without causing trouble.” Drake stalked toward Harold, his guards sticking close. “You messed up with this one.” He motioned to Melody. “Some people can't be made bad no matter how hard you try.”

Harold leaned forward, putting his face right up to Drake's nose. “Don't be so sure about that. She may have had a hard time with the soul collecting, but she took to the fucking like it was nobody's business. But I guess you've already found that out firsthand. And I've heard she's quite the fuck.”

Her jaw dropped open. When she finally came to her senses and thought to say something, she was too late. Drake pulled his arm back and planted his fist into Harold's face, the bone of his nose crunching under the force. Before she could haul herself from the floor, demons swarmed the room. Demons and arms and legs were flying in a flurry of male posturing to prove who knows what.

“Enough!” Hands placed on her hips, she yelled at the top of her lungs. The deafening sound bounced around the room, catching everyone's attention long enough for her to get in a word.

“If I'm going to die in the next few minutes, the last thing I want to see is a bunch of idiots fighting over hell knows what.”

“Die? What are you talking about?” Harold looked genuinely confused.

“The three-month rule you idiot. Did you think no one knew? Or would be watching? I've been waiting a very long time for this. I never expected you'd make it so easy by making a bargain your butt couldn't cash,” Drake exclaimed.

BOOK: Dirty Deeds (Paranormal Erotic Romance)
8.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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