Miranda’s Masks: New Release from Lisabet Sarai

 

Shy and serious by dayinsatiable by night.

 

Buy now for 99 cents!

 

 

A Journey to Pleasure and Love

 

I’m here to share a bit about my newest release, Mirandas Masks. This novel chronicles the experiences of a young woman learning to trust her own sexuality. Scarred by the cruelty of her first lover, Miranda Cahill takes refuge in her studies. Though she tries to deny her needs, her attempts to suppress her libido ultimately fail. She finds herself engaging in increasingly extreme sexual scenarios with strangers who have no notion who she is. Her body demands satisfaction, but Miranda’s not willing to risk her heart—not until her equally adventurous colleague Mark Anderson wins her confidence and her heart. She comes to realize that Mark is not only her soul mate, but also her companion in the quest for erotic pleasure, and that far from being opposites, lust and love a mutually reinforcing.

  

Miranda’s Masks Blurb:

 

Betrayed and abandoned by her first lover, shy and studious Miranda Cahill freezes in response to any sexual attention from someone she knows and likes.

 

During the day, she works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she finds herself drawn into increasingly extreme sexual encounters with strangers. Public coupling, multiple partners, age play, spankings, bondage, lesbian lust—each experience reveals new dimensions of her depravity. Her anonymous secret life begins to take over when she discovers that the masked seducer she meets in a sex club and the charismatic young professor courting her are the same man.

 

Dickens scholar Mark Anderson seems like an affable, uncomplicated Midwesterner, but he has hidden depths, myriad talents, and an unlimited appetite for erotic variety. With Mark as her guide, Miranda gradually comes to understand and accept the intricacy of her own desires, as well as to trust her heart.

 

Note: This novel was previously published under the title Incognito. It has been expanded, revised and reformatted for this release.

 

*****

 

eXcessica, November 2017

Taboo contemporary erotic romance (Five flames)

BDSM/Ménage/Multiple partners/lesbian/gay

Approximately 86,000 words

HEA ending

#bdsm #eroticromance #lisabetsarai #bondage #discipline #dominance #submission #victorian #boston #london #crossdressing #incestfantasy #literature #Shakespeare

 

*****

 

 

Miranda’s Masks Excerpt:

 

He stood aside to let her out the door first. She passed very near to him, sensing the heat of his body. It made her feel strange and quivery inside. The sleeves of his plaid sport shirt were rolled to his elbows, exposing the tanned, bare skin of his forearms. She suppressed a sudden impulse to reach out and stroke that skin.

 

As she had predicted, they were the restaurant’s only customers. After taking their order, the young waiter left them alone.

 

At first, Mark did most of the talking, about his acting, his travels, his students, his Chinese neighbors. Miranda listened to his colorful tales with half her mind. At the same time, she was studying his expressions, watching his movements, trying to sort out her feelings toward him.

 

He was unquestionably attractive, if you liked the egghead type. The eyeglasses lent a serious air to a face that otherwise was boyish and mischievous. She liked his body, too, lean, compact, with a frank physicality that both drew and scared her. He used his whole body when he talked, making pictures in the air, reaching across and touching her hand to emphasize a point. The first time he did that, she unconsciously pulled away. As she got more used to him, she found that she didn’t mind it at all.

 

Miranda finished her garlic soup and took a sip of her wine. She didn’t ordinarily drink at lunch, but she had accomplished so much during her morning’s work, she felt a desire to celebrate. She also hoped that it would relax her. In fact the effect was somewhat more than relaxation; she had only consumed half the glass and already she felt distinctly tipsy.

 

Time to bite the bullet, she thought, raising her wineglass to her lips again during a lull in the conversation. “So, Mark, I feel that I owe you an explanation. Some justification for why I’m such a cold fish.”

 

“I’d hardly call you that,” said Mark with a strange smile.

 

“Well, you know what I mean. You’ve seen how I am. Whenever things get the least bit physical, I freeze. I can be feeling sensual and receptive, enjoying your company as I did last night. But let sex rear its head, and reflex takes over. I become numb, or worse, terrified. And the more I like the man, the stronger the negative reaction.”

 

Mark listened attentively, but made no comment.

 

“I actually know why I am this way. I just can’t stop it.” Then she told him about Geoff, her first lover, her first betrayer. The story poured out of her, even the details of her sexual initiation. Surprisingly, it was easy to talk to him about sex, even though the slightest action in that direction immediately raised her defenses.

 

Mark sat across from her, frowning. “He just disappeared, without a word, without saying goodbye?”

 

Miranda nodded. “After we spent every night together for three straight weeks. After he took my virginity and my heart. I never heard from him again.”

 

“No wonder you have some problems trusting a lover,” said Mark. He took her hand, but this time she didn’t flinch. The touch felt brotherly. “Poor Miranda.”

 

“Well, lots of people have bad relationships. I don’t know why I can’t just let go of the whole thing. It was almost three years ago.”

 

“A woman’s first lover has a special hold on her psyche. At least that’s what my mother used to tell me. She warned me to be very careful of virgins. ‘They break easily,’ she said.”

 

 

Buy Links — Just 99c/p until next week! 

 

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077J37RW6

 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077J37RW6

 

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mirandas-masks-lisabet-sarai/1127499525?ean=2940158774584

 

Add to your Goodreads TBR list! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36622764-miranda-s-masks

 

 

About Lisabet:

 

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels
includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

 

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Getting Upside Down

 

 

As promised, today’s post is the second installment of Fit to Write and my challenge to prepare for a pole photo shoot in June 2018. (If you want to read the 1st installment, follow the link) For those of you who don’t know, I started a beginning pole dance class six months ago when Polerocks opened a studio just up the road from my gym – first lesson free. I wanted to give my workouts and my fitness routines another dimension. Well, that might have been how it all began, but it definitely evolved into something way more than that.

 

I just learned that I’ll be graduating to the intermediate class in January. I’m both pole-happy-dancing and biting my nails. I’ve been training for almost six months now. I can climb, I can do the sits and the stands, I can do the spins and combos we’ve learned – maybe not elegantly, but I can get through the techniques. At the end of the day, though, all the strength and conditioning, all the core training during those months, all the stretching and all the bruises have been leading to one major goal and that’s inversion – getting myself upside down without help from an instructor.

 

The thing about training pole is that unlike kettle bells, I can’t order one online and just stow it behind the sofa when I’m done with it for the day. My house is way too small to easily use one even if I did. That means my brain is constantly trying to think of ways I can practice techniques and core building and flexibility at home. That means every signpost, every light pole, every scaffolding pole I see, I speculate whether or not I could use it to practice when no one is looking. I can’t help wondering if a middle aged woman could get away with climbing the rugby goal posts in the middle of Stoke Park – when no one is using them of course. While I’ve not done that just yet, but there is a plan in the works for going over very early some morning …

 

Part of the reason I love pole so much is because it’s endlessly creative, even as I fumble about to figure how best to train when I’m not in class. Starting January 4th there’ll be pole classes two days a week rather than one. While I’m very excited, I’m now faced with the task of getting myself conditioned enough that two classes a week, plus my normal training, won’t kill me. That’s a post for another day. In the meantime, it’s all about getting upside down.

 

I had no idea just how complex the core is, and how much there is to training it just so I can pull myself into a v-sit position (a Teddy) and then into an inversion onto the pole. I’m close, but there’s one little sweet spot I haven’t quite trained enough, coaxed enough, strengthened enough to get my body over that one last hump. My goal, at the moment, is to be able to do that inversion from a Teddy on my own before the January extra classes start. Each night I sit in front of the telly doing v-sit leg lifts. At the gym, I practice leg raises from the dip machine, I do jackknife push-ups with the TRX suspension straps. I’ve even figured out how to use sheets of plastic or paper plates on the living room carpet to do sliders. And then there are the times when I’m just too tired to do anything at all, the times when my body reminds me that I ain’t twenty, and like it or not, my ass better get some patience or there’ll be hell to pay. In fact, I’m just getting over a nasty cold because I didn’t get me some patience when I needed it.

 

The shots in this post were taken last Friday. Having signed up for the June photo shoot, looking good upside down has become even more important, so most of the session with my pole trainer, Lauren McCormick, was about getting upside down. The screen shots are because I’m not quite brave enough yet to share the videos that happen in training, but this gives you an idea of what’s involved in getting upside down.

 

Oh! And did I mention skin? Yes, there’s a very good reason why pole dancers don’t wear a lot of clothes. It’s because skin grips and cloth slides. Gripping on the pole is essential, thus my exposed belly. It’s taken another level of courage for me to wear shorts, let alone expose the middle of me, but for the Gemini move, the extra grip along the side and hip makes all the difference.

 

 

I find it fascinating that all of our journeys, no matter what we’re doing or where we are, happen on so many more levels that we can easily see. I’ve never been more aware of it than I am now when my body’s journey mirrors, sometimes even predicts and leads the journey of my mind and of my creative self. There’s something about pushing, even when I’m scared sh*tless, that makes me aware there’s always so much more going on in all of us than we ever expect. We’re all capable of so much more than we think we are. That makes us all explorers of our own unknown if we’re brave enough to take that first step, even if we do it with knees knocking and heart racing. That gives me hope.

 

Finally Found—Lesbian Erotic Romance by Lucy Felthouse, Out Now! @cw1985 #lesbian #romance #lesfic #shortstory

Finally FoundBlurb:

Natalia has been in love with her best friend Ashleigh for years, ever since they were housemates at university. Unfortunately, circumstances, and then Natalia’s unwillingness to jeopardise their friendship, mean that she has never confessed her feelings, choosing instead to be grateful for the close relationship they do have. However, on a weekend away together, a bottle or two of wine and an erotic book place the girls in a highly charged sexual situation. Will Natalia make a move, or is she too afraid to rock the boat and risk losing Ashleigh altogether?

Please note: This story was previously published as part of the Lover Unexpected: Sappho Edition anthology.

Available from:

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/finallyfound

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finally-found-lucy-felthouse/1127213165?ean=2940154581544

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finally-found/id1295030753?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/finally-found-6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/752769?ref=cw1985

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36401551-finally-found

*****

Excerpt:

Natalia smiled as she caught sight of the familiar redhead sitting at a table in the hotel bar. Thankful for the thick carpet masking her footsteps, she walked up behind her friend, ensuring she wouldn’t be seen. Then she slipped her hands over her eyes. “Guess who?”

An excitable squeak, then, “Oh, I don’t know. Is it Scarlett Johansson?”

“Hmm, close, but not quite. Guess again.”

“Oh, shut up you silly cow, and come here.” With that, the redhead stood and turned, throwing her arms around Natalia and pulling her into a tight hug. “Hey, gorgeous. I missed you! How are you?”

“I missed you too, Ashleigh. I’m good, thanks. How about you? You look great.”

Disentangling from their embrace, Ashleigh looked down at her clingy black top and skinny jeans and shrugged. “Thanks. I’m okay, I guess. All the better for seeing you. It’s been forever. Come on, sit down. Let’s get a drink.”

They sat down, and a waiter appeared. Natalia suspected he’d been waiting at a safe distance until they’d finished their enthusiastic greeting.

He smiled. “What can I get you ladies?”

Natalia looked at her watch. “You know what, it’s Saturday and it’s after twelve. I’ll have a glass of white wine, please. Something mid-range and not too dry.”

Ashleigh piped up. “Make it a bottle. Thanks.”

The waiter nodded, gave a little bow and walked away.

“So,” Natalia said, settling back into the plush armchair, “how was your journey? I always find getting into London a total nightmare, but it’s not so bad once you’re here. The Tube may be sweaty and crowded, but at least it’s fast.”

Ashleigh nodded. “It was all right, actually. The train into the city was on time and not very busy, and, like you say, the Tube is quick and easy. It was pretty stress-free. You?”

“Much the same. I’m just glad we’re finally here. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we’ve seen each other. It’s so easy to forget that when we talk almost every day.”

“I know. I’m sorry. It’s just life gets in the way, doesn’t it? Especially as we live so far apart. And then there was all that stuff with Kayla…” Ashleigh lapsed into silence and dropped her gaze to the table.

Natalia didn’t know how to respond to that, so she just nodded sagely. Kayla had been Ashleigh’s live-in girlfriend, until the discovery of some text messages and emails tipped Ashleigh off that she was being cheated on. Despite all of Kayla’s pleas and declarations of true and undying love, Ashleigh had no intention of being a doormat, so she’d thrown Kayla out, and that was the end of it.

Of course, Natalia had known that Kayla was going to be thrown out before Kayla did. As soon as Ashleigh had found the incriminating missives, she’d gotten straight on the phone to Natalia for advice. And as much as Natalia wanted to tell her friend to get the hell rid of the cheating bitch, she also wanted her to be happy, so instead she’d asked Ashleigh if she thought she was being too hasty.

“Fuck no,” Ashleigh had replied, “as far as I’m concerned, she’s destroyed my trust. Once that happens things are never the same, so it’s not worth it. And if I meant that much to her, she wouldn’t have done it, would she?”

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves and Hiding in Plain Sight. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

I’m thinking about sex magic again. I think about sex magic a lot, actually. Certainly I’ve been thinking about it with the launch of Blindsided, as with every novel in the Medusa’s Consortium series. I’m always struggling to get my head around why sex is magic, why human sexuality defies the nature program /Animal Planet biological tagging that seems to work for other species that populate the planet. I don’t think I could write sex without magic, and even if I could I wouldn’t want to. I’m not talking about airy-fairy or woo-woo so much as the mystery that is sex. On a biological level we get it. We’ve gotten it for a long time. We know all about baby-making and the sharing of the genes and the next generation. It’s text book.

 

But it’s the ravenousness of the human animal that shocks us, surprises us, turns us on in ways that we didn’t see coming. It’s the nearly out of body experience we have when we are the deepest into our body we can possibly be. It’s the skin on skin intimacy with another human being in a world where more personal space is always in demand.

 

When we come together with another human being, for a brief moment, our worlds entwine in ways that defy
description. We do it for the intimacy of it, the pleasure of it, the naughtiness of it, the dark animal possessiveness of it. Sex is the barely acceptable disturbance in the regimented scrubbed-up proper world of a species that has evolved to have sex for reasons other than procreation. Is that magical? It certainly seems impractical. And yet we can’t get enough.

 

We touch each other because it feels good. We slip inside each other because it’s an intimate act that scratches an itch nothing else in the whole universe can scratch. During sex, we are ensconced in the mindless present, by the driving force of our individual needs, needs that we could easily satisfy alone, but it wouldn’t be the same. Add love to the mix, add a little bit of romance, add a little bit of chemistry and the magic soup thickens and heats up and gets complicated. I don’t think it’s any surprise at all that sex is a prime ingredient in story. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s any surprise that it is also an ingredient much avoided in some story.

 

Sex is a power centre of the human experience. It’s not stable. It’s not safe. It’s volatile. It exposes people, makes them vulnerable, reduces them to their lowest common denominator even as it raises them to the level of the divine. Is it any wonder the gods covet flesh? The powerful fragility of human flesh is the ability to interact with the world around us, the ability to interact with each other, the ability to penetrate and be penetrated.

 

So as I mull through it, trying for the zillionth time to get my head around it, I conclude – at least for the moment – that the true magic of sex is that it takes place in the flesh, and it elevates the flesh to something even the gods lust after. It’s a total in-the-body, in-the-moment experience, a celebration of the carnal, the ultimate penetrative act of intimacy of the human animal. I don’t know if that gives you goose bumps, but it certainly does me.

 

 

Excerpt Blindsided: Lusting for Flesh:

It was a dark place where she found him, with walls so high only a small patch of starlight was visible above, but she was a vampire now. She didn’t need the light, and he, well he had never needed the light, had he? He stood naked with his back to her. He was broad of shoulder. There were white scars like latticework across muscles stretched taut over his shoulder blades. At first she thought they were from a whip, but as she drew nearer, she saw that they were more geometric in form, as though perhaps they were some sort of ancient ceremonial writing. She traced the shapes of them with the tips of her fingers, and his muscles rippled with the sensation. With a start she realized she’d never seen his body before.

“That is because I have none,” came his reply. “Only in dreams can I wear the flesh of my choosing.”

“You’ve worn flesh often enough. I would have thought it was always of your choosing,” she said, making no effort to hide her bitterness.

“It was not my own, though. That pleasure, I have never known.”

“Only in dreams, you say. Then this is a dream.”

“You know that it is.” He didn’t turn to face her but leaned toward her, and she slipped her arms around him and rested her head on the flat of his back. His belly tensed at the touch of her hands, and he caught his breath in a soft moan. “Touch is what I longed for most,” he said. “I thought the lack of it would drive me insane while I languished in my previous prison. But here, with you, I’m closer to touch than I would have thought possible. I do not mind it, you know. It is no hardship to be nestled inside you, close to your heart.”

She released him and took in their surroundings once more. “This is the place I’ve created for you?”

He pulled her arms back around him and sighed with contentment as she laid her head against him once more. “This is how I have decorated. The place you created for me was only the shape of myself, both boundless and infinitesimal. Oh, it did not matter. I could see through your eyes, feel through your flesh, even though it no longer lived as it once did, even though you never spoke to me. I hoped that someday you would.”

“And when I refuse, you come uninvited into my dreams?”

“All dreams are uninvited, Susan, and perhaps this time it is you who have come uninvited into my dream.”

She thought about that for a moment. Was it even possible to visit the dreams of a demon? Did demons even have

dreams?

“Susan?”

“Yes?”

“If I had come to you more gently, if I had courted you and companioned you and been patient with you in the ways of your world, would you have loved me?”

“You never gave me that chance.”

 

Working Out My Demons

Over the years I’ve noticed certain recurring themes in my novels and stories. I’ve also noticed them in the novels of my
favorite authors – the ones whose entire body of work I devour hungrily. How can I not wonder about the psychology of those themes and what it is me and my favorite authors – quite possible all writers of story – are trying to work out in our own psyches. Back before I published my first novel, those recurring themes ended up in the enormous navel-gazing tomes of journals I wrote. These days they work themselves out in my stories, and so much the better, I think. Certainly it’s more creative and more fun.

 

Speaking of recurring themes, it hit me just recently that I seem to write a lot about demons. Almost all of my paranormal and urban fantasy novels have to do with demons in one way or another and, as I just released Blindsided, book two of the Medusa’s Consortium series, I found myself wondering just what my writing so much about demons says about me. Some of my stories are about exorcising the demon, getting rid of it completely, but most are about embracing the demon, or at least finding a way to live with it. Certainly that has turned out to be a major theme in the first two Medusa novels. Personally, I’m inclined to think that the latter is by far the most practical method of dealing with demons in real life. In reallife, unlike in fiction, our demons are not that easy to exorcise.

 

We all have them – demons. And they come in as many varieties as there are people. We writers have more than most, I think. Though I’m sure in my case a lot of my demons are linked very tightly to the fact that I’m just flat out, majorly, neurotic. Oh I’ve definitely tried exorcising them, but I’ve actually found that exercising them works better. And didn’t you see that coming from a fitness junkie and wannabe pole dancer?

 

The truth is I take the old adage ‘working out my demons,’ literally. I take mine out for a nice long walk or invite them to be my guests at the gym to sweat it out with the kettle bells, and it seems to suit them down to the ground. And yes, they are loving the pole dance training. I think they’re especially fond of the bruises. I guess maybe all that hard work and exercise wears them out enough that they forget to torture me. Or maybe after the endorphins have kicked in and we’re all well sweated and relaxing with a good protein shake or a handful of nuts, I just don’t notice their torment so much. But the truth is, they can often be quite useful, my demons.

 

Having said that, I guess it shouldn’t come as any real surprise that I write about demons so much. If there’s anything my demons like more than to be exercised, it’s to be the center of attention in a novel or a story. Frankly, I don’t think it matters if I’m writing about demons in the literal sense or if I’m writing about the less paranormal, more concrete demons my characters battle. By writing the story, but exploring the things that frighten me, the things that make me uncomfortable, I think I’m finding a healthy way to live with those inner demons. As neurotic as writers tend to be, the truth is that the best place to write the most powerful stories is right smack dab in the middle of the neuroses – the scarier, the more irrational, the more chaotic the better. It’s a helluva ride, but if I can stick with it, the resulting story is worth the bruises and the shear terror.

 

Telling a story is another way of exercising my demons. I make them work for me instead of against me. In truth, I don’t suppose I ‘make’ them do anything. I think maybe they wanted to be put to the challenge all along. Don’t get me wrong, they seldom make it easy, and they’re often uncooperative. They often make it as difficult and as uncomfortable as possible for my characters and they often make the telling of my characters’ tale as squirmy and uneasy for me as they can. What the hell else is a demon supposed to do?

 

Writing with demons … there just might be a book in there somewhere. Oh, wait a minute, I just wrote one! Anyway, my point is that sometimes the things that cause us the most stress and make us the most fearful are the things that not only make for the best fiction, but the fact that we do write from the place of our discomfort makes the writing all the more powerful and the demons all the more bearable.

 

The other thing about demons is that they seem so much less terrifying when I’m writing my brains out with a story that won’t let me rest until it’s finished. It’s almost like there’s no room for demon intimidation when I’m in the grip of a tale needing to be told. For that bright and shining span of time it almost feels like instead of the demons possessing me, I possess them. Perhaps that’s the true story I was trying to tell with In The Flesh and now with Blindsided. Perhaps our demons don’t possess us so much as they drive us, and if we can just figure out how to buckle up and go along for the wild ride, then living with demons, writing with demons – paranormal or otherwise — can actually be useful.

 

From Blindsided, here’s a little peek at just how helpful a demon can be. Michael has been mortally wounded; Alonso is chained and just when it looks like no help is in sight … enter the demon.

 

 

Enter the Demon – Blindsided Excerpt:

 

“You’re unable to fight, angel,” Cyrus said as Michael struggled to his feet. “If you surrender to me now, I won’t promise you a painless death, but perhaps it will be a little quicker, since I am expecting a guest at any moment.”

The impact was like being hit by a bus. And then it was as though the fucking bus shoved its way right on into his chest and parked there. “I don’t remember you being so rough,” he managed, his eyes watering from the experience, his heart hammering with the adrenaline rush.

“I don’t remember you being in such desperate need,” came the Guardian’s voice inside his head.

Michael knew that wasn’t true. He was always in desperate need when he was the Guardian’s lover, but then again, it was never like this, never with those he loved depending on him. Back then, it hadn’t mattered if he lived or died, but it mattered now. More than anything it mattered now.

Immediately he was full, in a way he’d never been full before. Even when the demon had taken possession of his body, it hadn’t felt like this. He felt no pain, in fact he felt so much more than himself that he wondered if he could survive it.

“You will survive it. The need of our cocks was never as great as this need, my darling Michael. I have given you more of me than I ever did before, more of me to use as needed, for I have promised Susan that I will bring you and our Alonso back safely. I have promised that we will defeat this deformed bastard of the sea god, and I will see that promise fulfilled.”

“That totally works for me,” Michael responded.

“Angel? With whom are you speaking?” Cyrus’s voice broke into the conversation. “Are you calling upon your scribe? Surely you know she can’t help you with her puny words. And Magda Gardener, well, she doesn’t care enough about you to be in any hurry to save your unholy skin, even if she could, and she can’t. Perhaps you’re delirious? Perhaps I’ve hurt you too much for you to fully experience what I have planned for you? Is that it?” But even as he spoke, he stepped back, sheathed the knife and lifted the axe at the ready.

“Trust me, Michael. Trust me as you have never trusted me before, and we shall defeat this creature together.”

Michael gave up the last vestiges of control and felt the Guardian fill every muscle fiber, every cell, felt the exquisite timing that even a retired angel could have never managed, and just as the axe fell, when it was but a hair’s breadth from severing his arm at the already-wounded shoulder, he shifted. The blade came so close that it literally shaved the hair from the skin.

As though the world around him had moved into slow motion, he grabbed the handle just above the axe head, and in one smooth movement he gave it a hard yank. Both blade and wielder went flying, hitting the metal cage where he and Alonso had been imprisoned with such force that it bent and almost collapsed.

As Cyrus struggled free, Michael scrambled to the cross so quickly that he barely knew he’d moved. He took the chains that bound Alonso in a hand that he recognized as his own, but with power he could scarcely imagine. A single tug, and the chain broke and coiled free with a clatter around Alonso’s feet.

“Watch out!” He heard Alonso’s voice in his head just in time to shove him out of the way and swing the chain, sending the end whipping out to coil around Cyrus’ neck and pulled him off balance.

“You wanted a battle. You got one,” Michael roared, feeling the Guardian even in his voice. “You will not hurt me or mine ever again, and you will take the message to your child-raping father that he’s not welcome here ever!”

Cyrus fumbled free of the chain, hefted his axe and charged, his rage sizzling through the chamber. But Michael had some rage of his own. Add that to the Guardian’s and Alonso’s and they were damn lucky the place didn’t blow itself apart. Michael tore an aging metal pipe from the wall and met Cyrus blow for blow, while Alonso took on the now advancing Myrmidons, snapping the neck of the first one and arming himself with his sword as he shoved the corpse aside and attacked.

“You’ll pay for your blasphemy with punishment clearly your god was too weak to exact,” Cyrus roared. His rage was an old rage that stank of fear and helplessness and needs unmet, things that Michael would have never recognized without the Guardian in residence. He ducked and rolled, and the axe came down in a flare of sparks against the concrete where
Michael’s head had been. He’d barely made it to his feet when the chamber went icy cold, and the skin on his bare arms goosefleshed as the presence of something familiar, someone familiar, filled the space.

“What is it, Cyrus, the truth not to your liking?”

All heads turned as Magda Gardener strode into the chamber, the walls coating with hoarfrost at her approach, even with her dark glasses still in place. Michael had never seen her so angry. Around her face the golden hair flew like a banner, and the serpents peeking from beneath her locks and coiling around her arms hissed, mirroring her rage.

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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