Eternity can suck when it’s all work, work, work. Death harvests souls even when they stack up faster than pancakes in an all-you-can-eat-buffet.
As the patron angel of death and dying, Azrael works closely with Death, but is dying for true intimacy. She’s the only immortal who’s ever aroused such powerful emotions in him. One taste of her leaves him needing her like humans need air and food, but will a demon’s lies leave a bad taste?
No one escapes Death – except King Sisyphus. Twice. With the help of Damien the demon, Sisyphus tries again, and she’s determined to have justice. Some say Death’s a bitch, but only when she has to be. But will the price of justice be a broken heart?
Genre: Paranormal, urban fantasy, erotic romance, dark fantasy
Heat level: 4
Word count – 34k
Cover art by LFD Designs
Death kept a safe distance from the wreck. Inside, a thirtyish man slumped behind the wheel, the air bag deflating away from his near-lifeless body. Blood oozed from a nasty gash to his head. Should have worn his seat belt. Too late for life lessons, though. Those weren’t her expertise anyway. Just the opposite.
Leaves crackled in the underbrush beyond the nearby trees. Death gripped the silver charm bracelet on her wrist, her senses on high alert. Her finger poised near the hidden latch, ready to release a stream of lightning.
A deer. It stilled, its wide eyes fixed on her.
Seeing nothing else, she continued with a modicum of caution. Taking souls didn’t exactly make her popular, and after so many millennia, she should’ve been used to it. The bad jokes. The Halloween parodies. A scythe? Please. She’d never used cheap props. Only the finest weaponry. No mortal ever suspected the intricately designed baubles adorning her bracelet were anything more than ornamental.
Moonlight gleamed off the curves of the sports car, and she ran a gilded nail along its hood. She wouldn’t mind taking one of these babies for a spin. In its former condition, of course, before this guy took the curve too fast and wrapped it around a tree. Humans always rushed everywhere, sometimes straight into her arms.
The man’s moan signaled she had no need for weapons. This one would give her no trouble. She fingered his blond hair, matted with blood. What a shame. So young, and so handsome. He’d leave at least one lover grieving, no doubt.
His eyes fluttered open. When he looked up, recognition intensified the flicker of life in his eyes.
She needed no introduction. They always knew her, unmistakable in the glimmering black filament gown, its folds revealing a glimpse into infinity.
The stilettos usually earned a second glance, the four-inch heels glistening like fool’s gold. The butterfly tattoo spanning her upper arm likewise drew curious looks, which inevitably changed to horror when the souls recognized the face imprinted within that colorful ink: their own.
Multipublished, award-winning author Cate Masters loves stories with a dash of magic, mayhem and romance! Reviewers have described her stories as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” and “such romantic tales that really touch your soul.”
When not spending time with her family, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com, Facebook, Goodreads and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.