Welcome guest: Author Christine Ashworth
Demon. Human. Fae. Tribred, and 100% sexy male. The woman sent to save him has no idea what she’s getting into…
Gabriel Caine stands on the edge of the abyss. A vampire has stolen his soul and if he doesn’t get it back soon, his next step will be into Hell. Only the mysterious Rose can help him retrieve it. Without her, he really will become the devil himself.
Rose Walters has been sent back from the dead to complete one task-save Gabriel Caine. She’s drawn to Gabriel on the most basic level, but restoring his soul may cost Rose her life.
Rose has touched the whole of Gabriel, making him yearn for a love he believes he can never have. Her willingness to put her humanity on the line for him forces him to bring all three parts of himself – demon, human, and Fae bloodlines, and the strengths of each – into harmony, and into the fight that decides their fate.
“Where the hell are you?” It took all of Rose’s concentration to keep walking, one throbbing foot in front of the other, down the length of the empty outdoor shopping mall in Santa Monica. The long night had finally tumbled into a dawn cloaked in shadow and fog and the cry of seagulls.
After walking west for more hours than she cared to remember, at last she’d ended up at her destination, cold and miserable. With no purse, no money, and no wish to return to her previous life. All she had to cling to was a name.
She stood on one foot and eased the tennis shoe off the other one, wincing at the sight of crimson blood on the heel of her white sock. Blisters. Perfect. Add that to being cold, ready to drop from exhaustion, miserable and without a penny to her name, and the day was starting out just great.
“Freaking perfect.” Rose sat heavily on the curb of the empty mall and rested her head on her knees. She wasn’t going to give up. Not now, not after all she’d been through to get here. Yet it would be so nice to sleep…her head slipped off her knees and she jerked awake.
Damn it Gabriel Caine, I need to talk to you. Please.
Rose chewed on her thumbnail. He had to be close, had to be here somewhere. She refused to give in to panic.
“Gabriel. Gabriel. Gabriel.” His name fell like a litany on the cold air, as it had in her mind for the last three months.
When she’d been stuck in a coma, wandering the gray between-place, she’d been offered a chance to come back. Rescue Gabriel Caine. She’d accepted the task, grabbed for it eagerly. When she finally woke up, she’d worked her ass off getting healthy again. If saving this Gabriel dude meant she’d begin to atone for all her past sins and achieve some sort of redemption, then she was all for it.
She winced and walled out thoughts of her muddy past, refocusing on Gabriel. Guided to this place, at this time and in fighting shape despite the blisters and the exhaustion, the only missing ingredient was the man himself. As she waited for him, doubts crept in.
“I’m clear on the saving part. But from what? And how?” Her words fell flat in the thickness of the mist. “Especially since I can barely stand. I’m not exactly Marines material, people. And would it have hurt the lesson to add some aspirins to my pockets?”
The cry of a gull brought goose bumps. “Sorry. No disrespect meant, you know that, right?” Rose rubbed her chilled arms. Gabriel Caine. Gabriel Caine. Gabriel Caine. “Come on. I don’t have all day. Where the hell are you?”
Shut up, woman. Let a man think. His voice was like velvet brushed with impatience in her mind.
Rose’s muscles locked. Gabriel? Excitement rushed through her body, giving her the energy to stand and stare wildly into the mist. She cursed her racing heart. A dark shape came striding toward her through the fog and her breath caught. Gabriel Caine?
You’ve been yammering at me for hours. Shut up, would you? You’re giving me a headache.
His long black coat flared out as his legs ate up the space between them. Even from a distance he exuded a sexual magnetism that made Rose’s knees weak, a cliché she’d never believed before now. She stared down the mall as he came toward her, the fog alternately hiding and revealing him with every step.
What the hell were you thinking, projecting my name out there for anyone with any telepathic abilities to overhear? Are you trying to get me killed?
Rose put her hands to her head in wonder, dug her fingers into her hair and tugged. The new pain assured her she was awake. His exasperated sigh in her mind had her wincing.
“Sorry, but we need to talk. Out loud.” She was still wrapping her mind around the whole telepathic thing.
He was closer now. Gabriel Caine in person was bigger, stronger, sexier than any man she’d ever met, with an energy she could feel charging the air and brushing up against her skin. He had to be six five, if not taller.
She took a step back both mentally and physically. She was supposed to save this man? Rescue him? This muscled guy in leather, black jeans and a dangerous aura blended in perfectly with the misty, deserted mall. He didn’t need her help. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle; she was quite sure of it.
Rose swallowed her disappointment. She’d been so sure she could save him. But with each step bringing him closer, she had the overwhelming urge to curl up and cry.
Or curl up in his arms. A surge of longing for him shocked her. She’d never been so strongly attracted to anyone, but she could think about little else than the two of them, naked. Heat lit her cheeks. Talk about bad timing.
Gabriel snorted. Bad timing doesn’t begin to cover it. You don’t want me too close to you. His mental tone was dry and unamused.
Rose flushed. “I can’t believe this,” she said, and crossed her arms protectively. “People shouldn’t go around reading other people’s minds.” Arrogant ass.
When they broadcast, it happens. Your mind is broadcasting on a wide band. You have no shield, no barrier of any kind to keep me out. And I’m not an arrogant ass. As he came closer, he slowed down, finally stopping a couple yards away.
Surprise crossed his face before it hardened. “This is no time for games, Satine. You’re not welcome here. You will never be welcome here.”
“Excuse me? I’m not – whoever. My name is Rose,” she protested. “I’m supposed to be here. I’ve been sent here to help you. Though now that I see you, I’m not exactly sure what the hell it is I’m supposed to do for you.”
He took a couple more steps toward her and they stared at each other.
The picture she’d seen didn’t do him justice. He looked dark-angel, messed-up beautiful. His gray eyes were a study in intensity. White skin covered a classical bone structure made more approachable by a crooked nose. A thick, shiny scar on his left cheek stretched down his throat and continued below the neck of his shirt. His hair, the color of ebony, brushed his shoulders without a hint of curl.
She glanced up and noticed him looking her up and down, interest gleaming in his half-open eyes. Heat washed over her.
Power radiated from him. She fought to stand straight, to appear strong in the face of his strength. Inwardly she quailed. He really didn’t need her. What was she supposed to do now?
“Are you done staring?” His physical voice sounded much like his mental voice, a rough velvet. The interest she’d seen was masked now.
“Yeah. You?” Rose bit out the words. She looked around, anywhere but at him, and saw her shoe on the ground. She bent and slipped it on, wincing as the canvas hit her blister. “It’s important that we talk.”
He studied her for a moment. “Through there.” He pointed to an easily-overlooked door beside an imports shop. “If I know my brother, it’ll be open.”
The glass door led to a staircase. Doing her best not to limp, Rose went first, flushing again as his scent seemed to surround her, an earthy, greenish-brown scent, elemental.
She totally had to get a grip or she’d start stripping for him right on the staircase.
I wouldn’t mind, but the staircase isn’t my preferred place to make love to a woman. She could hear the faint mocking tone in his words and flushed even hotter.
“Would you stop that?” she snapped.
“Sorry.” But he didn’t sound it. “When you project such clear and detailed images, it’s very hard to ignore.” They got to the bare landing and Gabriel reached around her to try the doorknob of the door to the left.
Rose stopped breathing as his arm brushed her breast. Ye gods, woman, get a grip. He is so not for you. And yet, what they could do …Hell! He can hear me! Biting her lip, she focused on the tiny pain, working hard to keep her thoughts to herself.
Gabriel rattled the doorknob again.
But the door remained stubbornly closed. Rose backed toward the staircase to get some breathing room. Standing so close made her entirely too aware of him, his scent, his implacable strength. Retreat seemed like a good idea.
Gabriel frowned at the door, then knocked hard enough to rattle the glass. “Damn it, Justin, open up.”
Something in the air shifted slightly and she shivered. Even Gabriel tensed and faced her, muttering beneath his breath. A noxious smell drifted toward them. She sneezed and looked down the staircase.
A small, misshapen creature in a brown cloak flowed up the stairs, showing glistening teeth. Its thin, long arms ended in stubby fingers with wicked claws that reached for her.
Fear and panic tumbled in her head. Protect Gabriel. Save Gabriel. I can do this. A cry built deep inside her as the nightmare came closer.
Heedless of her battered body, her energy surged and she let loose a warrior’s cry. Grabbing both hand rails of the staircase, she kicked out at the thing with her feet, knocking it back a few steps. A sharp pain radiated up her legs and she yelped. Mother of God that hurt! Is it made of cement?
Find the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Demon-Soul-Caine-Brothers-Book-ebook/dp/B01AAZ1RQK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8