It’s time for Snippet Saturday! Each week has a theme or is author’s choice. This week the theme is Author’s Choice.
When selecting the snippet for last week’s post from the fifth book in my Her Angel romance series, Her Demonic Angel, I found another snippet from earlier in the book that I really wanted to share but that didn’t fit the theme… so I’m going to use it this week for my author’s choice post!
This is much earlier in the novel, just after Veiron has rescued Erin from the clutches of his master, the Devil, and is trekking with her through Hell. He’s found a safe place for her to rest, but Erin can’t sleep.
Erin pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. “I have nightmares when I sleep.”
He found that both difficult and easy to believe. She had been through a lot and seen things that would haunt her forever, but she hadn’t shown any sign that she had been having a nightmare when sleeping in his arms.
“I’ll keep the demons out of them too.”
She smiled. “I’m not five. I doubt you can keep my nightmares away. If you can, and it’s another power of yours, I wish you had been around my whole life.”
She lowered her chin and rested it on her knees, and looked up at him through her fringe. He had thought she had looked small and fragile when sleeping in his arms. He had been wrong. The way she had curled up and was holding herself, the tone of her voice, and the trace of fear in her eyes all combined to leave her looking vulnerable, and it made him want to pull her onto his lap and wrap his arms around her. Not just because he wanted to protect her, but because he knew she was letting him see this side of her, that she wasn’t this unguarded with her fears and her feelings around others, and it touched him. A kindred spirit. He hadn’t realised how strongly she felt things and that she guarded her heart as fiercely as he guarded his.
Her eyes met his, open and honest, speaking to his tainted soul. “I’ve always had horrible dreams… the things I see… my parents even had me tested once to put all our minds at rest.”
Veiron leaned towards her in the cramped cave, reached over with his right hand and brushed the black lengths of her hair from her face, hoping to comfort her. “What sort of things do you see?”
“Places like this sometimes… only worse. Horrible things that I don’t want to speak about.” She looked away and then closed her eyes.
“You didn’t have a nightmare when you were in my arms.” He wasn’t sure why he put that one out there. Tormenting himself? He was the big bad hero who chased away Erin’s nightmares and made everything right. Her knight in tarnished armour. Yeah, right. It didn’t matter what he did, or how alike they were beneath the surface. As soon as she realised he was one of those bastards she hated so much, it would be game over and goodbye Veiron. Kill it before it started. It was the only way to save himself.
“I didn’t. Can I sleep next to you?”
“Sure.” Way to resist and keep that all necessary distance between them. What was it about this woman that had him going against his better judgement? It was more than her beauty and how similar they were to each other. It ran deeper than that.
Erin moved closer, flashed him a tired but grateful smile, and settled on her side with her head on his thigh. Hell. He warned the part of his anatomy that she had chosen to snuggle up right next to not to get ideas. Those dirty thoughts spinning out of control in his mind were not going to happen.
Do not touch her. Do not lay a hand on that smooth but dirty slender arm of hers and stroke it to see if her skin feels as soft as it looks. Do not.
Veiron ran his fingers along the length of her arm.
“Veiron,” she whispered, his name like ambrosia to his aching soul as it fell softly from her lips. “I can’t sleep. Talk to me.”
“What about?” Any subject but himself. Keep it professional. Keep some distance. Any subject but himself.
“Sure.” Fuck. Why didn’t he just smash his fist through his ribcage and tear out his heart right now to save himself the inevitable pain in his future?
“Are you fallen?”
“You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want to.” She tipped her head up, rolling slightly onto her back so she was looking at him. “Tell me if I’m being too nosy.”
He didn’t want to answer it, and she damn well was being too nosy.
“I am,” he said rather than refusing her and wished she would go to sleep. He shouldn’t have woken her. He should have tried to carry her down the slope. He might have made it to the ledge even with her extra weight rather than tumbling into a volcanic abyss.
Veiron looked down at the bubbling flame-filled plain below. Fiery painful death was beginning to look good but dying was off the menu. Not going to happen. Death meant rebirth, and rebirth meant a return to Heaven and forgetting everything until he fell again.
“Did they cut off your wings?” She glanced away when his gaze darted to meet hers. “You don’t have to answer that.”
If he didn’t have to answer any of these questions, then she should stop asking them and just go to sleep.
“How do you know my sister?”
Evidently, she had taken his silence to mean he wasn’t answering any questions about wings. If she knew he still had wings, she would ask what they looked like, and then it was a small leap to realising just what sort of creature’s thigh she was using as a pillow.
“We had a problem in common. I helped her and Marcus deal with it.”
“Is Marcus an angel too?”
She smiled. “Are all angels of sorts? You say that every time. You don’t like to talk about angels, do you?”
He shook his head. It wasn’t his favourite topic. Just the word had his hatred bubbling to the surface and awakened his desire to unleash every drop of his rage on Heaven and Hell.
“Do angels wear robes and fly around Heaven playing harps and singing?”
Veiron laughed. “Fuck, no. We wear armour and fly around carrying out our master’s wishes with angelic weapons… and those missions often entail spilling blood in copious quantities.”
“Like warriors?” She was starting to sound sleepy.
“To the core.” He stroked her arm and then her black hair from her face, curling it behind her ear so he could see her face while she slept. She closed her eyes and sighed out her breath, resting her cheek against his thigh. Her right hand settled further up his leg, her heat burning through his black jeans and making him painfully aware of her proximity and touch, and how good she felt against him.
“I think you’re my guardian angel,” she murmured and his fingers froze against her face.
She didn’t notice. A soft snore broke the heavy silence.
A guardian angel. He hadn’t been one of those in centuries and he had no desire to ever become one again. Not a guardian angel. He was her demonic angel, a man driven by cold fury to pursue something that might end in his death and inevitable rebirth.
Veiron stared into the hazy heat filled distance.
When that rebirth came, he would make sure it was into a different world, one devoid of the Devil and God. They would both pay for the vicious game they played with his life against his will.
Did you enjoy the snippet?
More about the book:
Her Demonic Angel
A demonic angel with a heart of ice, Veiron walks a dark path with vengeance on his mind. Nothing will sway him from his mission to destroy his master… until he risks his life to enter Hell once more to save a mortal female. The fiery beauty makes him burn with hungers he must battle and needs he cannot deny, tempting him to surrender body and soul to her.
Erin is convinced her refusal to do the Devil’s bidding will see her die in a terrifying realm straight out of her nightmares. The last thing she expects is the lethally sensual warrior who breaks into her cell and awakens the darkest desires of her heart and a fierce longing to know the heat of his caress.
Pulled into an incredible world where war is set to ignite and darkness is on the rise, Erin races with Veiron to escape the Devil’s legions in a journey fraught with danger and filled with passion that flares white-hot.
When Erin is faced with a life-shattering realisation and an extraordinary destiny, will their love give them the strength to battle both Heaven and Hell or will they be parted forever?
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Don’t forget to visit the other authors who are participating to read their snippets…