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Authors: Erica Hayes

Revelation

BOOK: Revelation
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PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF

ERICA HAYES

“Weaves rich, sensual imagery and dark eroticism into a breathless thriller plot…Hayes’s characters have distinct and delightful voices, and she’s developed considerable skill at blending the gritty and the supernatural.”


Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“A thrilling and darkly erotic tale of betrayal, passion and redemption that will ensnare the senses with lush prose and a deadly vision of the Fae that conjures fairy tales of old.”

—Caitlin Kittredge, bestselling author of
Soul Trade

“A mind-bending blast into a darkness that enfolds and ensnares you from the first page…Pure magic from the word go.”


Bitten by Books

“Steamy urban fantasy…Magical [and] fast-paced.”

—RT Book Reviews

“Hayes’s debut and series opener exemplifies erotic urban fantasy at its most visceral, illuminating the splendor and squalor of life on the edge. Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry novels and Caitlin Kittredge’s Nocturne City books will enjoy this tale of sex, violence and the supernatural.”


Library Journal

“Readers will thoroughly enjoy this entertaining tale of forbidden love. Erica Hayes has a great future ahead of her as a bestselling author.”


Genre Go
Round Reviews

“Hot, spicy and well-rounded…Awesome…I’m waiting for the next round!”


Tynga’s Reviews

REVELATION

A NOVEL OF THE SEVEN SIGNS

ERICA HAYES

BERKLEY SENSATION, NEW YORK

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) • Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

REVELATION

A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / October 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Erica Hayes.

Excerpt from
Redemption
by Erica Hayes copyright © 2012 by Erica Hayes.

Cover art by Kris Keller.

Cover design by Rita Frangie.

Interior text design by Kristin del Rosario.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-1-101-61151-7

BERKLEY SENSATION
®

Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

BERKLEY SENSATION
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

10   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

ALWAYS LEARNING

PEARSON

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Redemption

CHAPTER 1

And the second angel poured out his vial into the sea,
and it became as the blood of a dead man,
and every living thing in the sea died…

—REVELATION 16:3

Today, of all days. It was Thursday. The world couldn’t end on a Thursday.

Luniel, the fallen angel, crouched on the shore of Liberty Island in a hot August sunset with blood lapping at his feet. It licked the rocks beneath his boots, clotting. All the way across the bay, to the firelit Brooklyn shore and the gleaming blue arcs of the Narrows Bridge, what used to be water gleamed sick and scarlet.

The angel sniffed the air, and tasted copper. A dead fish bobbed belly-up, pale white flesh and fins. He poked the warm liquid with his finger, and licked. Yeah. Definitely blood. And human. There were seaweeds and algae that sported the same fleshy color. But Luniel had tasted enough blood in his three thousand years to know this wasn’t algae.

He straightened. No breeze flicked his long black hair back. In his human guise, he had no wings. He scanned the distant shore with sharp blue eyes, further than any human could see, and his nose twitched. Hunting. For something. Anything. A trick. A college prank. A fish slaughterhouse. Overflow from some industrial accident, one of the factories along the built-up Jersey waterfront spilling toxic chemicals.

Not a sign of the Apocalypse. Not God’s wrath.

Across the bloody bay, Babylon’s glittering towers razored
the red sky, the decadent sprawl of skyscrapers and spires they once called Manhattan. The sunset flashed on steel and mirrored windows, glaring in competition with neon lights and rainbow columns of virtual advertising. Even from here, Lune’s preternatural ears detected buzzing electrics, the faint digital beep of comms towers, snatches of conversations, and in his magical angelsight, the city glowed, green with the living, pulsing energy of human souls.

Helicopters lasered their searchlights through smoke and heat haze, sweeping over burned-out housing projects and shining condominiums. Traffic noise hummed—the groaning subway, horns and engines and wailing sirens, police and fire and the ever-more-urgent ambulances. At the height of summer, plague had stolen into the Empire State like a homicidal houseguest, more frightening than California dengue and deadlier than arctic flu, and people were afraid.

But terror happened in Babylon, the world’s richest, rottenest city of sin. You only had to look at the shining glass spire piercing the sky, one hundred and ten stories high, built back in wiser days where a pair of ill-fated twin towers once stood. The world had turned ever more rapidly to shit since then, but Luniel still remembered that day well. That day, angels dived for earth, fiery wings flashing, but it was too late. Even the fallen, like Lune, were powerless. The people screamed and died and thought the world was ending.

Horrific? Yeah. But the monkeys had no idea what they were in for.

What the end of the world would really be like.

Luniel shivered. This wasn’t over yet. It couldn’t be.

He dug into his jeans pocket for his phone, and speed-dialed. Trendy SIM implants in your ears were all very well for humans, but fast-healing angelflesh rejected biotech. The irony was pleasing and bitter. “Come on, Ithiel,” he muttered. “Answer your rotted phone.”

Ithiel was still on heaven’s A-list, but he and Lune stayed in contact. If anything was going down, Ith would know. But voicemail kicked in, his brother’s laid-back laughter:
I’m busy. Leave a message. If I give a shit, I’ll call back.

Luniel swore—even after centuries, defiance felt good—and
waited for the beep. “Party never stops upstairs, huh. Call me, asshole,” he said, and ended the call.

A week. Ithiel hadn’t answered for a week. And now this.

It could be stupid luck. Coincidence. Random events colliding like flotsam.

But after two millennia spent dealing out heaven’s wrath, and going on another one walking the earth and seeing it all from the other side, Luniel was wearily certain that what goes around, comes around to kick you in the balls.

Coincidence was bullshit. Nothing was random. Everything happened for a reason, and fate was one dastardly, despicable motherfucker you just couldn’t avoid.

But inexorably—inexplicably—the blood lapping at his feet made him angry.

Defiantly, recklessly, sinfully angry.

He unclenched his fingers, and called another number. Above him, Lady Liberty looked on, unmoved. “Dash, it’s Lune. There’s something I think you should see.”

“Lune, you old dog.” Dashiel’s voice, rough with whiskey and centuries of shouting on the battlefield. A shuffle, his hand over the phone to block out music, clinking glass, the laughter and noise of a party. “Got my hands full here. Can it wait?”

“No. I’m on the shore at Liberty Island. Get down here.”

“Okay, but I warn you…”

Warm breeze rippled Lune’s hair, and Dashiel materialized with a white flash and a
whoomph
of displaced air. Dashiel was the leader of their fallen gang, a bunch of shunned angels called the Tainted Host, still chained in servitude to a heaven that liked to pretend they didn’t exist. The Tainted had done bad things, but not bad enough to get cast into hell forever. They were one step away from damnation. Which kinda made it hard to say no to any of the dirty jobs heaven handed out.

“…if that luscious little lady blows me off, I’ll blame you,” finished Dash, stuffing his phone back into his pocket. Rich brown hair tied back, sun-bronzed skin, flashing dark eyes. Lune was taller than most humans, but Dash stacked inches on that, and pounds of extra muscle to match. He wore dark jeans, a white shirt and a golden snakecharm on leather around his neck, and he had a cherry-red lipstick kiss on his cheek.

He folded his wings, ruffling shiny feathers the color of espresso flecked with gold. “What’s the emergency?”

Luniel sighed, and slipped his phone away. “Jesus. Stealth it up, Dash. It’s the twenty-first century, not the Dark Ages. We’re not exactly top of the charts these days.”

“Like anyone can see me,” Dashiel scoffed, but he did cover up, sliding on his human guise. Not that it helped much. His wings vanished, and his coloring faded to a more acceptable level, so it didn’t dazzle human eyes. That was all. He still looked unearthly.

BOOK: Revelation
7.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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