"Do you like action, alpha heroes, kick-ass heroines, suspense, mystery, and just about everything else a juicy paranormal erotic romance can possibly contain? Then you donít want to miss Faith Revisited, a story that gets the blood pumping and the motor running." - Whipped Cream Reviews
It was a time of war. No thanks to the damn demons, the paranormal community's presence continued to remain hidden by a thread. But at least now the vampires and shifters were united and were no longer hunting each other. They had a mutual enemy: the demons. For some reason, the bastards from below were trying to drag them all, kicking and screaming, out into the open. And so all paranormals took up Archangel Michael's motto "The only good demon was a dead demon."
Faith cast a glance toward her vampire -- or soon-to-be vampire -- twin, Hope. At twenty-four, the twins had yet to enter their Transfiguration -- the biological process by which a human born of a vampire father becomes a vampire -- so they had to be very careful during their hunt. Until the twins transfigured, they were easy to kill. And if their father, Garrett, ever discovered how they spent their evenings, the demons would be the least of their worries.
Hope nodded, and the pair split up, each twin rounding the building from separate directions, hoping to catch the demon unawares and cut off his chance for escape. Seattle had been hit hard these last few weeks: five dead women -- proof the Lilu demon had developed a taste for human flesh. Damn, how Faith hated Lilu demons! They were the epitome of most vampire legends -- the red-eyed, soulless, bloodsucking vultures that crept into your bedroom at night and drained you dry. She shuddered as she recalled stories of how one had risen from Hell in the seventeenth century and how humans had begun plunging red-hot irons through the hearts of their dead -- and unfortunately, some of their living -- in their exuberance to eradicate vampires. Fortunately for her, most humans wouldn't know a vampire if one smacked them in the face.
With a smirk, Faith turned the corner. Hope was in sight, nonchalantly meandering toward the demon. As of yet he seemed unaware he was being targeted. Their not having undergone Transfiguration was a plus that aided the twins while hunting. To most demons and many paranormals, they seemed human and were therefore perceived as nonthreatening.
From a distance, Faith watched Hope reach inside her jacket for the weapon she carried. Faith had scoffed when her twin had shown her a picture of the fantasy-game replica online. But the first time she'd seen the clawlike dagger Hope had commissioned in action, impressed could hardly define her sentiment. Hope had hurled the blade like one would a boomerang, and it had sheared the demon's head clean off his neck. But this time Faith knew her twin was reacting too quickly, giving away their intent far too early. And the demon responded by lunging at Hope.
"Fuck," Faith hissed, breaking into a run as Hope tried to sidestep the demon. Her sister was an excellent marksman, but when it came to hand-to-hand combat, her skill left something to be desired.
A sudden burst of noise, like the sound of snap pops on the Fourth of July, and the unmistakable scent of sulfur were all the warning Faith had before she realized the Lilu demon was the least of her problems. An Alu demon -- a huge, nasty cross between a human and a bull -- had teleported onto the sidewalk between her and Hope. Faith knew they were now well and truly fucked.
Hope's blade whistled through the air, but the Lilu demon pivoted to the right, avoiding near decapitation. Without its intended target to stop it, the dagger continued to fly, spinning as it traveled. It nicked the Alu demon, serving only to further enrage the seven-feet-tall male.
"Son of a bitch!" Faith snapped, ducking just before the wayward knife would have taken off her head.
As the dagger swung back toward its owner, the Lilu demon took advantage of the situation, dissipating before either Faith or Hope could kill him. That left the Alu demon. His nostrils flared in agitation while the tips of the horns shooting out from his temples vibrated, the sound causing Faith to raise her hands to cover her ears. Then the hoofed creature turned to Hope, and with a roar, he charged.
"Fuck! Hope, run!" Faith cried, moving toward the pair, knowing that even with the two of them attacking together, they probably wouldn't stand much of a chance against the beast. She watched in despair as he grabbed Hope's wrist, knocking the dagger from her hand as if it were a useless toy. Hope let out a wail, her wrist snapping under the demon's punishing grip. As her knees buckled from the pain, the demon grabbed her by the neck and lifted her off the ground.
Faith reached the pair and, without thought, embedded her serrated bowie knife into the demon's shoulder. She sobbed in relief when he threw Hope from him, and after slamming into the side of the brick building nearby, Hope slumped to the ground. Faith's respite was short-lived as the demon, yanking the knife from his shoulder, turned his attention toward her.
"Oh shit," she mumbled, knowing the likelihood of her surviving this encounter was minimal. And if she did survive, her reprieve would last only as long as it would take her father to finish the job.
The demon let her knife slide from his fingers, the clank of it hitting the pavement echoing through the darkened street. Then he reached behind him and pulled out a curved sword from the waistband of his pants. Before Faith could even react, the demon had thrust the blade toward her, piercing her side. As the steel ripped free of her flesh, she clutched at her side, blood flowing over her fingers. Pain lanced through her like a thousand tiny pinpricks. Within moments she began to lose feeling in her legs, and Faith knew something was not right. What she didn't know was that she had been stabbed with the one thing that could kill even an angel -- Lucifer's poisoned blade.
* * * * *
A disturbance in the air, a tiny ripple most would not notice, caught Bale's attention. Something had just teleported nearby. As he inhaled deeply, the faint trace of sulfur teased his nostrils, indicating a lower-level demon was close by. The smallest sound, a snort of an animal, told Bale he was dealing with an Alu. Zeke's intelligence had been correct. The meeting was going down tonight as planned.
As Bale moved out of the shadows, he watched in dismay as a Lilu demon dissipated and two human females stepped into the path of the huge Alu. His mind did not even register the females' lack of response to the creature's grotesque appearance or the weapons within their tight grips. He only saw one hit the ground unconscious as the bastard turned toward the other.
Pulling his thirty-three-inch Damascus steel sword out from under his sweeping black leather trench coat, Bale stalked toward beast. He did not stop to consider the course of his actions or the fact that he needed information from this demon. Because of the oath he had taken, he had no other option but to interfere.
The Alu stepped away from the other female with a derisive snort. The redhead staggered backward, her hand clutching her side, the metallic tang hitting Bale's nostrils as blood wept from beneath her fingers. He had no time to give any more thought to the female's condition, because at that moment, the bastard spawn of Lucifer and his demon bitch, Lilith, turned toward him.
"What have we here?" the creature asked in a deep, gravelly voice. He grinned, the mouth full of blackened, rotting teeth sickening Bale. "To what do I owe a visit from the Grigori?"
Bale shrugged nonchalantly and raised his sword. Pointing it toward the demon, he widened his stance, preparing for battle. "Your stench was hard to miss."
The fiend laughed, a sound that caused most to break out in a cold sweat, but there was very little Bale feared about demons. "Well, a little exercise before dinner never hurt anyone. And once I have dispatched you, Watcher, I shall enjoy the bounty before me. Nothing is tastier than human flesh."
The demon's comment brought a whimper bubbling up from Faith's lips as she sank to the ground beside her twin. The pain in her side was excruciating. She could feel the poison spreading through her veins, her own blood assisting in her defeat. She knew she was dying, and she forced herself to focus on the newest member of this ill-fated dance. She was beyond saving, but there was still Hope to consider.
Thankfully the male looked like he could hold his own. He was tall -- almost as tall as the demon -- and by far taller than most vampires. A few of the werewolves she had encountered over the years were of similar height, so she vaguely wondered if he was from one of the local packs. His long black hair was tied back and swung across broad shoulders, which filled out every inch of the leather trench coat he was wearing. Though his back was to her and she could not make out what was underneath the coat, she just knew he would be a prime piece of eye candy.
The pair shifted, and Faith caught a glimpse of the male's profile, her jaw dropping in awe. He was beautiful, his face exquisitely flawless even though it was clenched tight in anger. Then, as he lifted the sword, her attention drifted to his hands. His long fingers gracefully clasped the weapon as if it were a natural extension of his fingertips. The veins prominently displayed the strength wrapped around the silver and black handle. He didn't wave the sword around but held it steady, his eyes never wavering from the demon.
Faith attempted to remain focused on the pair before her, but her eyesight was clouding. Blinking quickly several times did little to improve her vision, so Faith gave up the fight, allowing her lids to close.