Read Lost In Time: A Fallen Novel Online

Authors: Christie Palmer

Lost In Time: A Fallen Novel

BOOK: Lost In Time: A Fallen Novel
6.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Beautiful, majestic and powerful. She wanted to leap down and grasp him in her arms hold him close, feel his power and strength, pretend he loved her as much as she loved him. She wanted him to know all the times she had cared for him while in the Infernos. She sighed and looked back over the city. They were fairy tales.

“Can’t we have just a little fairy tale, with a happy ending? Is that too much to ask?” she said it knowing how wistful her voice sounded. It was something she would never dare say to her brothers or her father. They dealt in death; they didn’t do happily ever after. But her mother had told her they existed, and she hoped that her daughter found hers one day.

“Yes,” Marcus sighed heavily.

That pretty much summed it up for her, and she pursued her lips together. She had fantasized about this man for two centuries, and the reality was a disappointment, but really, what did she expect? To spend five minutes in his presence, and he would drop to his knees and promise his life and love to her for all of eternity?

A tear slipped from her eye, and she whipped it away. She needed to grow up. Marcus was right. There was no place in their life for a fairy tale ending.

She turned to face the city, blocking out the blinking lights and the beauty for something other than the red, orange and dusty light of the Infernos where time passed in the blink of a mortal eye.

Copyright 2013 © Christie Palmer.

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the author.

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This 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, locals, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

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.

Jinx Fantasy Fiction LLC

Salt Lake City, UT

Cover Design by: Jaycee De Lorenzo of Sweet N’ Spicy Designs

Ebook formatting by
www.ebooklaunch.com

ISBN: eBook: 978-0-9885557-3-0

Paperback: 978-0-9885557-4-7

Manufactured in the United States of America

First Edition February 2013

Second Edition September 2014

Other Books by: Christie Palmer

Shadow Play (A Tracker Novel)

Lost In Time (A Fallen Novel)

Reaper Mine (A Reaper Novel) – Oct. 2014

Dedication:

This book is dedicated to Debbie and Connie, women who have shown me what it means to be strong and courageous. I can only hope it shows in my life and the female characters I write. I love you two, I couldn’t ask for better best bitches.

And their husbands who put up with them. And as always to my husband, whom I love and who does everything in his power to make all my dreams come true.

Prologue

Ash billowed into the heavens on the wings of the screams and cries of the mortals. Their bodies were cloaked in boiling lava from the erupting volcano. Marcus believed he could smell the stench of the burning flesh, hear the tortured screams of the poor souls. He knew the sounds of the burning and the dying would stay with him for a long time if not forever.

He doubled over in pain. “Make it stop,” he gritted out between his teeth, trying to keep from screaming out in pain.

“They are deserving of their fates,” an unearthly voice boomed over him the voice pounded              d into his head like an anvil.

Marcus looked down into the ash and smoke covering the once beautiful and serene countryside. The screams dying along with every living creature in the valley.

Once, it was a prospering metropolis. Filled with people who hoped and dreamed. Now they were nothing.

“This is unnecessary,” he ground out, still feeling the pain of the dying souls. The souls would not be recycled. They would not go into Limbo, they were lost forever. The pain of the loss making Marcus wretch. So many lost souls, it was incomprehensible.

“Really?” a female Angel flew over to him where he lay. Her wings stirring the air around them. “And what makes you think that? What right do you have to question the Judgment?”

Marcus pushed himself to his feet. “We murdered children and innocence today? Are we really any better than the Damned?”

Several Angels gasped in outrage. “Blasphemy,” one Angel cried.

“You would be wise to watch your tongue,” a voice echoed from the crowd of gathering Angels.

Marcus could still feel the lingering pain of the dying mortals. “I will not stand by while light and innocence is murdered without regard.”

“It is not your choice.” The voice shook the heavens again driving several other Angels to their knees in pain. “You do not have the gift of free will,” the voice bellowed in rage.

Marcus pummeled his fists against the granite he knelt on. “This is wrong. The God I love would not have chosen this fate for his children.”

“It is ordered the mortals pay the price for their sins. False Gods, greed, treachery, lust,” the voice boomed with disgust.

              Marcus felt the weight of those lost souls descend on him. He knew what he had to and do and that it would change his very existence. That his decision would drive him from the love and peace of his creation. And the only existence he had ever known. He pushed himself to his feet and expanded his wings, thrilling in the power he sensed flow through his body. A collective gasp at his actions echoed through the gathering of Angels at his show of pride.

“Think carefully before you speak, Marcus,” the voice whispered over him.

He looked out through the assembled crowd of Angels, their beauty and love all he all he had ever known. Marcus looked up at one of the most beautiful Angels. He would miss that beauty, the love grew in his heart for every member of the congregation. He may not approve of the decision, but it didn’t change the fact he loved them all.

“Even we sometimes lose our way, and the actions today prove that,” he said cementing his fate. Several Angels took flight disappearing into the heavens not wanting any part of Marcus. “His love would have extended to those that had wandered from the path. He would not have wiped them from the face of the mortal plane.”

“Marcus, stop.” Sariel ran toward him on bare feet, her wings flowing behind her. She was the closest thing he could call a friend in the unconditional love of the congregation.

“No, Sariel.” Marcus held up his hand to stop his friend from coming any closer. He had felt disconnected for many years now. Now would be the time to take a stand.

He looked up into the clear blue sky, the ash and smoke having cleared from the visage of heaven and the fields where the Angels lived. “We are to be the compassionate ones. We are to show mercy and love when none other exists. Guide and care for the mortals. Be the light He gave us for them. Today we had none of this to give. And I would rather live among the ones with free will, then abide with the now corrupted power of the Angels.”

“So be it,” the voice boomed from the heavens shaking the ground Marcus stood on.

Marcus felt the voice from deep in his head, spiking pain throughout his entire body. The sound of his screams alien to his own ears. He clamped his mouth shut biting his lip as he did so. The unfamiliar taste of blood filled his mouth, and he spat it out gagging.

Lightning lit the darkening sky as his body writhed in pain.

“You have chosen, FALLEN.” The voice had turned into a screeching sound.

“FALLEN!” It repeated over and over again, making his ears pop. Something trickled from them, and he knew he was spilling his own blood; blood that had never been split until this day. He was proud to spill it on behalf of the poor souls that had been condemned.

Unfamiliar pain spread through him as his wings were ripped from his back. Marcus arched into the pain and heard his own voice begging for mercy he knew would never come.

If the collective could wipe out all the people of the valley, then the screams of one fallen brother wouldn’t sway them. He screamed anyway begging for the pain to stop. Finally, blackness swallowed him, and he sank into its arms gratefully.

Chapter 1

Celeste motioned for the other women to leave as she leaning over Marcus. His lash marks raised and bleeding freely. He had been there countless times, received countless punishments. She cared for him each time, tending the wounds of his body, ensuring his recovery. Thoughtless of his immortality, the very idea of him suffering could bring her to her knees.

Soaking a cloth in the special herbs that would aid in the healing processes, she pressed it gently against the flesh that lay open. She drew comfort from the small stone room, shelves carved into the walls held everything from ancient medical tools to state of the art medical equipment found in any emergency room. The bitter smell of the plants and antiseptic competed against each other. The old and the new, the room was meant for the woman of the Fortress, not for the Reapers or visitors.

Marcus was the one exception to the rule, he was tried held accountable and treated. Celeste could only imagine that he knew of the great honor Dante gifted him by treating him after his punishment instead of sending him back to wherever he belonged and to whatever Fate awaited. No, Marcus was treated and left under his own power, a testament to his fortitude and willpower.

Celeste gentle washed away the blood covering Marcus’s back she flinched when he flinched. She added a painkiller to the bowl. It bubbled and smoked, she dipped the cloth back in wanting to comfort him. But this wasn’t the first time he had lain here, and she didn’t think it would be the last time either.

Haunting emerald green eyes stared up at her, glassy with pain. “And here you are again, my own personal Angel of mercy.” She didn’t smile, the first time he had said it, it had brought a smile to her lips, but now— she understood those words to be the mutterings of a man driven out of his own mind from pain.

He often called her Jessica. It tore at Celeste’s heart. And although she had no idea who the woman was she wanted nothing more than to find her and tear her limb from limb and she would do it with a smile.

“Why spend the time cleaning them? They won’t kill me. There is no death for a Fallen,” he muttered more to himself then to her.

“Is that what you seek, Fallen? Death? Oblivion from your immortality?” Celeste wondered if death was his ultimate goal. Why else cavort with Reapers, and everything else an Angel would find repulsive? Breaking rules like he did. Taking the punishments as required, seemingly seeking nothing in return. Celeste had never been able to put a finger on exactly what the “something” could be.

“If you seek oblivion then why not ask, Dante? As the ruler of the Infernos and the Keeper of the Gate to Hell, he alone answers to none other than Lucifer himself. He is capable of providing it. Instead of the torture and punishment you continually endure.” Celeste commented as she continued to clean his back.

She was surprised when a smile played at the corner of his full lips. “I seek the feelings of being alive. And your gentle touch. You are what I seek.” The words were like a caress, she soaked it up knowing she would pay for it later. The Sex Demon in her stirred, deep in the pit of her stomach, causing spikes of sensation to tingle down to the base of her spine.

Celeste finished cleaning his back, staying with him until he drifted off to sleep. Luckily he said nothing further, and she gently brushed a stray curl of his short brown hair off his forehead. It was not possible to stay with him the entire time he convalesced, although it was what she truly wanted. She stifled the urge to stay with him and comfort him when he woke. If her father knew she looked after the Fallen he would be very displeased. A person did not displease Dante, doing so often led to a different kind of punishment altogether.

Victor found her lingering in the hall outside the Infirmary fighting with herself. She toyed with her long braid of red hair hidden under her long cloak, the feel of the tightly braided strands a tactile anchor to her world.

He shook his head at her. “Stay away from the Fallen,” he ordered.

Celeste dropped her heavy braid and pulled herself to her full height, unfortunately she still stood more than a foot under her brothers over six foot frame. But that didn’t stop her as she pushed past him. “I don’t answer to you, Victor.

“So you would have me go to Father?” he threatened following her.

Celeste rounded on him. “And just why would you do that? Marcus is unconscious and delirious with pain. He doesn’t know anything much less who cares for him. Each time he has come and been punished, I have treated his wounds. Not once in all those times has he recognized me as the one that treats him each time. He will be healed and gone soon, no harm, no foul.”

Victor snorted. “Don’t go and bat your pretty violet eyes at me. I’m immune, just stay away from him. His recovery is not your concern.”

She crossed her arms over her ample chest and watched her brother stalk away. No way would she tell her brother she had actually fallen in love with Marcus. It had happened so long ago she couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t loved him. How did she explain to her brothers, or even her father for that matter, her general curiosity had turned into an obsession? An obsession that had driven her to taste his blood, to cement his essence in her very soul. She could Trace him on any plane. She could feel his presence when he entered the Infernos. Feel it when he left. There was no place he could hide from her, and it was a gift as much as it was her own personal torture device. One she had given to herself, in the vain hope that one taste would satisfy the lust and want she had for him. More her the fool.

Celeste shook her head, it was wrong, this obsession with Marcus. After all, why in the world would a beautiful Fallen Angel ever even look twice at a half Demon, half Reaper abomination? She was small with wild red hair the hung to the back of her legs when braided. She had the full hourglass figure of all Sex Demons, they were breed to attract males, and it was totally out of her control. As a fighter she hated she couldn’t control that part of herself. She had trained her entire life to control every action she made. Maybe it had something to do with the response her brothers and father had to her physical appearance. They would see her and shake their heads saying she needed to stay hidden.

Just thinking about all that pissed her off, so Celeste made her way to the training area, needing to burn off her frustration before it consumed her. Several of her brothers were training. Perfect. Stripping off her robe, she wore dark blood red pants and a cropped tank top that hugged her upper body. The tight leather may show her off, but it also held her in, leaving her free to move as a fighter should, move the way she had been taught and trained. Her long red hair pulled back in its normal braid at the top of her head hanging down to just below the back of her knees. The mental spikes she wound into the ends of her hair tinkled as she rolled her shoulders and walked onto the mat.

A couple of her brothers took one look at her and stepped off the mat. “She isn’t in a good mood today,” one of them mumbled.

“When the hell is she ever in a good mood?” another asked. They all laughed. She rolled her eyes. They always thought they were so funny. But they were also the ones walking away from a woman, and they were Reapers. What the hell did that say about them?

One brother remained— Christian, and he smiled at his sister beckoning her forward. With a come and get it motion of his hands. “No holding back?” he asked with a lecherous smile on his face. He had won the last sparing match, but she wouldn’t hold back this time. Celeste learned from every encounter she had, and she knew exactly what had gone wrong last time and wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

“When do you ever hold back?” she asked before stepping into the fight.

He caught her off guard with a round house that connected solidly to her face. She tucked and rolled out of his reach, moving into a crouched position. Celeste spat out blood, and shook her head. Endorphins rushed through her blood stream awakening the Demon in her. Her fingernails elongated, turning a burnished shade of purple. She racked her fingers down the mat leaving cleanly sliced holes in their wake.

“Well now, you’ve just gone and pissed me off.” She laughed bitterly. She needed this, the fight. The endorphins and rush of power, the feel of a good fight.

When they were done, she had a split lip, two broken fingers and aches and bruises on most of her body. Christian, however, lay unconscious in the center of the mat.

She looked around. All her brothers had stayed to watch. Shaking her head she accepted a towel from Victor and wiped at the blood on her face and hands. Victor took her and wrapped her in his arms, she felt his flinch of pain as he felt what she had gone through. Victor had the ability to heal his brothers and sister, it was his curse. For he did it without regard, unfortunately he went through the same pain his siblings experienced.

“Didn’t like hearing the truth earlier?” he asked once he released her. “Feeling a little hostile?”

“When aren’t I feeling hostile?” Her brothers were right, as much as she hated to admit it. And it continued to get worse. She had to visit the mortal plan and find a man to relieve the tension that built inside of her as a Sex Demon. It made her brothers and father nuts when she did it. But they knew if she didn’t get the sexual release her body needed, she could become a menace to them all. Damn her mother for being a Sex Demon and her father for falling for her tricks. She didn’t know who she hated more. Especially since she couldn’t have sex with the one individual she most wanted. No, she had to settle for second rate, one night stands.

“Are all our visitors finally gone?” If anyone remained in the Fortress other than family she remained fully cloaked, and she hated it. It kept her safe, but after a few hundred years, it had officially run its course.

“Yes, except for Marcus, however, he should be leaving soon.” She nodded and grabbed her cloak. She swung it over her shoulders and headed for her room. She needed to get out of the Infernos for a while. But to take any extended time away, she first had to get her father’s permission.

Celeste showered and put on a clean linen gray Grecian style dress that bared one shoulder and hung on her lithe form. She wound red beads around her waist showing how slim she was and went barefoot to find her father. A half-skeletal house servant stopped her, which could only mean her father entertained someone. Swearing to herself, she grabbed a cloak from a peg and wrapped it around her shoulders, pulling up the hood.

Celeste opened the door quietly and stepped through, letting it close behind her.

Marcus stood at the foot of her father’s dais. At first she wanted to demand that the Fallen return to his sick bed. He couldn’t be healed all the way. She tamped down her reaction and stood quietly by while they spoke.

His hair caught the light of the candles that lit the room, turning it golden brown. Celeste took the opportunity to just stare at Marcus. Green eyes sparkled with the pain she knew he tried to hide. His hair was just long enough to run her fingers through. She knew from doing it while he had been unconscious. She also knew it felt like silk through her fingers. He had a strong brow, and even though she rarely saw him she knew he was quick to smile which emphasized his strong cheek bones and jaw making his green eyes sparkle. Slight stubble covered his jaw, which she found sexy. Her fingers itched to run along the planes of his face. The face of an Angel. She started to shift uneasily from foot to foot. That Sex Demon in her was fully awake now with the combination of the fight she had earlier with Christian it was taking everything she had to hold herself back from doing something stupid.

“Thank you for, you’re…” Marcus’s words faltered. “Hospitality?” He finished with a sly smile on his lips. Celeste smiled herself. Marcus played a fine line with the Reapers and Dante.

Dante laughed. “How many times will you come to us Marcus? Ask favors that force my hand?”

Marcus shrugged, and Celeste could see the pain that passed through his beautiful green eyes even from across the room. “There is very little I would not give in order for light and good to triumph.” She could be wrong, but she thought she sensed a slight bite of sarcasm in his voice.

“Bullshit,” Dante barked. “Your quest to feel alive is going to leave you a broken and beaten man and nothing but a shadow.”

Dante’s words didn’t seem to faze him. Marcus took a step up the dais and extended his hand, shocking Celeste. “We will, of course, meet again, Dante.” One should never offer a hand to Dante. Not in all of her existence had she known someone to willing be Touched by Dante. Celeste’s mouth sagged open in shock for a moment. To be Touched meant you owed your soul to Dante, and you didn’t want to owe your soul to the ruler of the Infernos.

Her father stared hard at the Fallen’s offered hand. “You offer more than you have to give.”

Marcus shrugged again, this time hiding the pain. “I offer only what I am willing to.”

“And you grow weary?” Dante asked. Marcus said nothing, leaving Celeste to wonder about his motives. Dante reached forward and took the Fallen’s hand. Marcus shuttered, but otherwise showed no other emotion of being touched by Dante. “When it is time, I shall claim your soul myself,” Dante promised before releasing Marcus’s hand.

Marcus stepped back and nodded. “I would be honored, Dante.”

Again her father laughed. “We shall see, my friend. We shall see.”

He turned to leave, but stopped when his eyes fell on Celeste. She very much wanted to step back when piercing green eyes seemed to focus too deeply into the shadows of the cowl she wore. But she held her ground. He didn’t know she existed, but his green eyes burned into her for a moment. His deep stare created a shiver that worked its way down her spine and into her lower back, making her ache with such need. After what seemed like an eternity, he looked away and continued out of the hall.

BOOK: Lost In Time: A Fallen Novel
6.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

A Truck Full of Money by Tracy Kidder
Darkest Before Dawn by Pippa Dacosta
Dizzy Dilemmas by Beeken, Mary
Folktales from Bengal by Soham Saha
Darkest Temptation by Kohler, Sharie
Doubting Abbey by Samantha Tonge