Closure of Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour

A silence. When it’s quiet, the French say “an ange passe” – an angel is passing through. How fitting.

I stand here, in this rich silence, and hear echoes of these past two weeks. During this great blog tour, I’ve read more about angels and demons than ever, and marked so many great books on my wishlist that I’m ecstatic and about to go on a shopping spree. Thank the heavens Xmas is just around the corner. 🙂

My love for angels and demons manifested in a series of short stories, novellas and novels revolving around this theme (Binding Spell, Suriel’s Sword, Idriel’s Sin).

Misty Malone touched upon the connection between demons and ghosts (The Hitcher and His Rider) Ellis Carrington spoke of Mayan angels and demons (Amor Prohibido). D.C. Juris talked of angels in love (On God’s Honor). J.K. Coi showcased her “bad boy demon” Gabriel and his angel who’s trying to save him (Falling Hard), while Kiki Howell explored the story of a demon saving an angel’s life in battle (A Questionable Hero). Michael Mandrake’s stories blur the line between angel and demon (Vertigo) and Angel Martinez talked of Asian demons (Boots). Marie Dees presented Tribal, ‘the rent boy from hell’ in her fun and hot series about fallen angels, demon hunters and horny demons (Angel in the Middle). Sara York created a world where angels and demons can switch bodies, blurring the boundaries between goodness and beauty (Fire and Ice). Barbara Elsborg wrote about angels caught between heaven an hell (Power of Love), while Hayley B. James invented a different breed of angels and demons (Water Waltz). Arlene Webb presented Damon of the demon eyes, making us rethink the concept of demons (Splintered Energy) and Diane Hartsock talked of Alex – an angel who bears the pain of the world (ALEX). Concluding the tour, Kiernan Kelly talked of our attraction to men with big wings 😉 (Dancing on the Head of a Pin, Demonology 101).

So we have come to the end of this wonderful journey, with a stack of stories I can’t wait to dive into, just in time for Xmas. What better time to read of angelic and fallen creatures, beautiful and sexy?

If you have missed the tour, click on the links on each author’s name to read what they wrote and find the links to their stories.

I, for my part, would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all the great authors who took the time to participate in this tour. It was a great pleasure working with you and reading about your thoughts and stories. I wish you all a great holiday season, and many sales!

But, above all, for the love of god and all his angels (but also of all those sexy demons!), write more such stories. We readers love to read them. 🙂

 Go to the blog of author Krista D. Ball to see who is the winner of the draw!!! 🙂

And as a happy side note – my novel Idriel’s Sin has now been released by Amber Allure Press!

Thank you all for following us on this tour. I hope you had fun and discovered authors and stories you might like to read.

Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour – Day 1

“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” Rev 20: 1-2

I used to be a good Catholic girl.

That was a long time ago. 🙂 Since then, I’ve sinned and not repented. Thankfully, bad girls go everywhere…

I always had a fascination with angels. Not so much because I prayed to them for protection, but more because I wanted to know who the heck they were!

Call me curious…

I mean, forgive me for my candor, but we’re not just talking emanations of God here, we’re talking an army fighting in heaven, casting Satan into a pit, falling from high out of pride or love, striding about and announcing doomsday events, and even fighting among each other where mere mortals can see them on staircases leading to heaven… (Jacob’s vision)

Who were those guys? Are they still around, still fighting, still obeying God’s every command, struggling to keep Satan in the Pit and occasionally failing Him, too human, too weak in the face of attraction and love to remain up high? Do they still Fall?

Well, do they?

And all the demons obeying Beelzebul, Satan himself, weren’t they angels once? If their essence was so noble and pure, can they be really evil? Is there no redemption? Isn’t love the answer?

In both canonical and apocryphal texts, we see many different perspectives on the legends on the fall and the nature of angels, showing us creatures who are far from perfect, albeit beautiful and wise. Angels speak the will of God, bring devastation or joy, like good little soldiers.

That gave me interesting ideas. Soldiers. A military regime. Monastic and strict lifestyle. Any physical desire is a sin to be punished and regretted. Angst. Rebellion.

Sex. 🙂

I do love it when they give in. I’m a cruel author.

Hence I set out to write a number of stories recording my own personal vision of angels Falling. And they Fall in such fascinating ways.

Because I thought, you know, angels, in the writings, never fell for other angels. They crave what is truly forbidden, and different. According to the scriptures, they fell for mortal women.

But demons are far more interesting as love interests. Fallen angels themselves, they are they ones who have already given into desire and need. They are tragically doomed by their choices, serving Hell and suffering the consequences, yet unrepentant and beautiful. They are the epitome of bad, sexy boys in leather. Who wouldn’t love them?

You do see where I’m going with this…

I threw together angels – handsome, repressed and aching with unfulfilled desire –  with demons – sexy, bad-ass, cool guys – and waited for the fireworks.

They were beautiful together. I had fun and so I secured for myself a little piece of “heaven”. 🙂

Do you love reading about angels and demons and their erotic adventures? Then check out Jay’s stories featuring the hot angels and cool demons (click on the covers for links to the book stores):

Meet Idriel and Eligor!

Idriel’s Sin (m/m novel) coming on the 23rd November 2011 with Amber Allure publishing (link will be updated as soon as the novel is released)

Idriel, a second-class angel accused of murdering his comrades-in-arms, is sent to bootcamp on Earth. The last thing he expects is Eligor, first class demon and more handsome than any angel, who grudgingly takes Idriel under his protection. While waiting for his sentence to be passed, Idriel trains with Eligor and finds himself falling hard for said demon. But Idriel’s days on Earth are numbered. Soon he will be sent to the Pit, according to Heaven’s Law, and nothing can stop it from happening – until all Hell quite literally breaks loose and what Idriel considered a sin may now be his only salvation.

Meet Mador and Jay!

Binding Spell (m/m novella) published with Cobblestone Press.

Mador, a fallen angel turned demon and slave to a prince of Hell, never thought he’d lose his heart to a mortal – again. Summoned and made flesh by Jay, a young man in trouble and in a bind due to a deal he made with a powerful demon. Mador has to fight his mistrust and fear to finally find redemption and perhaps a second chance at love.

Meet Suriel and Arioch!

“Suriel’s Sword” (short m/m story) published in the Ravenous Romance anthology Wicked Good: An M/M Angels and Demons Anthology.

Suriel, a warrior angel, is sent on a mission to retrieve a dangerous crystal that has the power to corrupt the dead into Hell’s undead minions. His partner is the demon Arioch, whom Suriel finds himself irresistibly drawn to. The angel fights the temptation, but cannot help but surrender to his desire. Discovered by the heavenly host, Suriel is branded as a sinner, and told that if he gives in to temptation again, he will be banished from Paradise. Suriel must choose whether to remain in Heaven and lead the only life he knows, or follow his heart and go to Arioch.

 

Meet Jazar, Seden and Mayon!

“Angel Blood” (short m/m/m story) published in the Ravenous Romance anthology Three’s a Charm.

Vampire Seden belongs to high demon Jazar body and soul – but when an angel comes to visit, claiming Seden has something of his, there will be strife – and hot sex.

 

Meet Sefu and Arjun!

“Classified” (short m/m story) in the anthology Love Bites published by Cate Masters – for free on Smashwords!

What’s a guy to do when his guardian angel is a handsome hunk who visits his bedroom every night?

 

I wish you all lots of fun reading these blog posts and stories, and see you tomorrow at the blog of author  Ellis Carrington http://elliscarrington.wordpress.com

Launching the “Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour” – Intro By Misty Malone

Happy Sunday everyone and welcome to the launch party of the The Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour!

For two weeks, known authors of romance and erotica will talk about angels and demons, and present to you their stories. Join us in this exquisite blog hopping tour, starting today!

Opening this tour is erotic romance author Misty Malone (Phaze books), so without further ado, here is what she says to you today:

Launching the The Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour

By Misty Malone

Maybe it started with that book about the feud between the Vatican and the Illuminati.  Or maybe it was a popular TV show about two brothers chasing paranormal activity across the country.  But whatever the reason, tales of angels and demons have witnessed a recent resurgence across the landscape of literature, flying from the pages into our minds and hearts.

And sometimes, pants.

Whether it’s a fallen angel with a sin staining his soul, or a succubus searching for her one true love, we can’t get enough of these heavenly hosts and demonic bad boys.  Perhaps it’s because together they hold the experience we lack in their hands.  Some are full of tricks while others grant miracles in the darkest of times, which both inspire and frighten us.

Without a doubt, angels and demons have become more accessible in recent years. Before, they were discussed only theologically.  Just a couple of decades ago, it would have been blasphemous to write about them at all because they were considered very real. Now, though, they’re like faeries, elves, and ghosts—improbable, but not impossible.

Angels are known for intoxicating beauty, their presence awe-inspiring, their energy irresistible and almost heartbreaking.  And if we can believe in redeemed vampires, then it’s not such a big leap to accept a demon has the same capacity for goodness and salvation and sexiness.  Then, of course, there’s that age-old question of whether their opposite natures will keep them forever apart continues to tantalize our imaginations and leave us craving for ever more interpretations on that theme.

And it’s that insatiable desire that gave rise to the Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour.  Author Jay Di Meo has gathered sixteen of today’s hottest, most divine, most sinful authors who dabble in the heights of heaven and the pits of hell to bring you spicy tales of these ancient creatures that have held our collective consciousness for centuries.

But don’t just take my word for it.  Follow the Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour to quench your thirst.  And for each comment you make on any post of the Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win one free ebook from each of these authors!  Check back right here for a tour wrap up from Jay Di Meo, Marie Dees, and myself on November 30 to see if you’ve won.

And in the meantime, join us and come play where sexy angels and seductive demons dwell.

About Misty Malone

A taste of the sensual, a measure of passion, and a dash of darkness.  Misty Malone scorches the pages with sex, fantasy, and emotion that keeps readers immersed until the last page is turned.  Whether tales of the contemporary, the fantastic, or the paranormal, Misty thrives on giving her readers the ultimate in epic adventure and explicit romance.

Look for her male/male erotic romances Dead Men Get No Tail (contemporary) and The Consort (historical romance), plus her newest title due out in early February, Once Upon a Hunter (fantasy), all available at Phaze Books (www.Phaze.com/author.php?author=241).

To learn more about Misty, please visit www.mistymalone.com or contact her directly at mistymalone@rocketmail.com.

Schedule of the Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour:

Nov 14

Jay Di Meo

https://jaydimeo.wordpress.com

Nov 15

 Ellis Carrington

http://elliscarrington.wordpress.com

Nov 16

Daniel Christian Juris

http://dcjuris.blogspot.com

Nov 17

JK Coi

www.jkcoi.blogspot.com

Nov 18

Kiki Howell

http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com

Nov 19

Michael Mandrake

http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com

Nov 20

Angel Martinez

http://www.freewebs.com/angelwrites

Nov 21

Marie Dees

http://mariedees.com

Nov 22

Sara York

http://sarayork.blogspot.com

Nov 23

Barbara Elsborg

www.barbaraelsborg.blogspot.com

Nov 24

Hayley B. James

www.hayleybjames.com

Nov 25

Ryssa Edwards

http://www.ryssaedwards.net/blog

Nov 26

Andi Anderson

http://andiandersonauthor.blogspot.com

Nov 27

Arlene Webb

http://www.arlenewebb.blogspot.com

Nov 28

Diane Hartsock

http://diannehartsock.wordpress.com/my-blog/

Nov 29

Kiernan Kelly

http://kiernan-kelly.blogspot.com

Nov 30

Tour Wrap Up
Jay Di Meo, Misty Malone, & Marie Dees

https://jaydimeo.wordpress.com

Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour starting tomorrow!

Who isn’t fascinated by angels and demons? Erotic romance writers certainly are! 🙂 We can’t resist the chance to toy with such heavenly or fallen creatures, all beautiful beyond imagining and fighting or succumbing to temptation.

This is our playground! 🙂

With this in mind, a group of writers of erotic romance got together and organized a blog tour to talk about our fascination with angels and demons, and about our stories where they star.

Starting tomorrow, on this blog, we launch this tour with author Misty Malone (author at Phaze press) introducing us to the concepts and the whole idea behind the tour, as well as to the participants and the programme of the tour – for your pleasure! 🙂

Each day, for two exciting weeks, known authors of erotica will be blogging, one each day, on their blogs. By the end, you will know as much about angels and demons as about wonderful stories featuring them.

AND, at the end, on 30th Nov, we will conclude and one lucky commenter will win books from all of us. 🙂

So, tune in, starting tomorrow, to this blog and follow us as we tour great authors’ websites and discuss great stories. See you there! 🙂

Novel accepted – covert art ready for IDRIEL’S SIN!

Boys, girls and all that is in between, above and below:

I have the enormous pleasure of announcing that my wonderful publisher Amber Allure Press has accepted for publication my M/M angel and demon novel IDRIEL’S SIN.

Blurb:

Idriel, a second-class angel accused of murdering his comrades-in-arms, is sent to bootcamp on Earth. The last thing he expects is Eligor, first class demon and more handsome than any angel, who grudgingly takes Idriel under his protection. While waiting for his sentence to be passed, Idriel trains with Eligor and finds himself falling hard for said demon. But Idriel’s days on Earth are numbered, and he knows it. Soon he will be sent to the Pit, according to Heaven’s Law, and nothing can stop it from happening – until all Hell quite literally breaks loose and what Idriel considered a sin may now be his only salvation.

AND I have beautiful cover art! *is immensely pleased* 🙂

Tentative release date:

E-book: End November

Print: Mid December

To celebrate, I am thinking of writing a very short story with — what else? — angels and demons. 🙂

Have a great day!

Six Sentence Sunday – Song of Love and War

Hi guys, happy Sunday! I am so excited – my m/m paranormal novella Song of Love and War releases today with Amber Allure! 🙂

Here are six sentences from where we left off last week:

The elf looked sideways at him. His eyes were all the shades of blue, changing constantly, like the emotions playing on his face – pain, grief, surprise, annoyance, bitterness. “What do you want?”

Good question. Thane rubbed his chin. “Are you all right?”

Blurb:

In the war against the androids, humans have one main asset: the assistance of a few elves wielding strong magic. When the elf protecting Thane’s squadron fails, all Thane’s comrades-in-arms die. Thane is sent to a spa resort to recover from physical and psychological traumas. Torn between blaming elves for his friends’ death and admiring their courage, Thane is intrigued when he meets an elf, Suresh, who seems to hide painful wounds. Suresh is beautiful and brave and soon wins over Thane’s heart – but who is he really, and can he and Thane find love?

Available at Amber Allure at this link

I also have another announcement:

My short story Angel Blood is now out in an anthology by Ravenous Romance which just released:

Three’s a Charm

I will be posting more about this in the next days. 🙂

Check out the six sunday site for many more wonderful excerpts from different authors.

Six Sentence Sunday – Suriel’s Sword and new release!

HI everyone and happy sunday! I am back with a snippet from my short story “Suriel’s Sword”, released on Friday (6 May) in the Ravenous Romance Wicked Good: A M/M Angels and Demons Anthology, edited by EM Lynley! 🙂

Suriel is an angel devoted to Heaven’s service, a warrior of God. His attraction to Arioch, a beautiful demon, will quite literally send him to Hell – which at least is warmer than Heaven…
Arioch is a famous demon warrior. His affection and lust for Suriel will lead him to acts of self-sacrifice – after all, every angel needs a guardian demon, right?

Right. So begins their story, which I hope you will like!

Suriel rubbed his arms. Heaven was beautiful, yet he was always cold. He yearned for warmth, and for something else he couldn’t name.

How he wished to see Arioch again. Suriel pressed his lips together as he turned at an intersection and headed east, his steps echoing. The handsome demon haunted his dreams, ever since the day Suriel had set eyes on him so long ago.

No angel of Paradise was as comely.

The anthology contains many fabulous stories. Here is the link!

The authors of the anthology talk about their inspiration for the stories on editor EM Lynley’s blog

To read more great snippets by different authors participating in six sentence sunday, go to http://sixsunday.blogspot.com/

Have fun. 🙂

And the werewolves go to…

… Cobblestone Press! 🙂

First of all, let me say I love this publisher. They have published so far a novel, a novella and a short story of mine. Their editors are excellent, their cover artists fabulous, the organisation and attitude impeccable.

Second, let me say I love this story. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my stories and all my characters. But there is something about this one – I don’t know, a sense of urgency and desperation and courage and fierce love that gets me.

Yes, I know that I wrote it.

Yes, okay, fine. I shouldn’t review my own work.

But the thing is, I just love these boys.

Tristan: golden werewolf, abused in his past, fiercely loyal to Jade, willing to sacrifice himself time and again

Jade: golden werewolf, stopped from becoming King of the Golden Clan through magic, in love with Tristan and willing to submit, even if his body disagrees and wants to dominate

Sorrel: silver werewolf, unjustly sought for murder and prevented from becoming King of the Silver Clan through magic, willing to submit to love, even if it happens in the face of a vampire, a species who is enemy to the werewolves

Marcel: vampire, willing to share his magic in exchange for being saved from loneliness, and falling for Sorrel

What has Tristan done to save Jade? What is Jade’s body telling him to do? Why is Sorrel accused of murder, and what spell binds him to Jade? Does Marcel know the answer and can he help them?

These and many more questions! All answered in the end, I promise. This is a novella, about 30K, and is due to come out in the next months. I will keep you updated and post cover art as soon as I have it!

BINDING SPELL released by Cobblestone Press!

A demon, released from Hell only to be bound in flesh.
A mortal man who made a desperate deal to save his family.
Two men bound by lies and desire, and in the end perhaps something more.

Find

BINDING SPELL by Cobblestone Press

Cobblestone Website

Read the first scene:

If only the hellhounds would lose his scent, Mador could be free for a while. He ran faster in the dark hallway. He’d make it. Not too far now. His hiding place was close. A wonder Prince Sitri hadn’t discovered it yet.

He might hide and stay low for a couple of days, sleep and dream and try to forget—forget the knives carving his flesh, the whip cutting through his muscles, the twisting and beating and hurting.

Being a demon didn’t mean he had to like being in Hell.

A shout.

Mador stopped and turned, his heart thundering.

Nobody.

Faint wisps of red light beckoned from the balcony ahead. He sprinted toward it. Nobody would seek him in the cave. After his long sojourn in the pits for disobedience, compliments of his master, he yearned to curl there, quiet and barely breathing, pretending not to exist. He longed for a moment of reprieve. I’ve earned it.

Just one moment alone. Safe.

“Madorael…”

Who was calling him? He swallowed a curse and glanced over his shoulder.

The voice threaded the air, whispering. Male or female? He couldn’t tell, but it burrowed and buzzed into his ears.

He shook his head in an attempt to snuff it out, his long hair caressing his bare shoulders and chest. He spun around, snapped his fingers, and several torches in the wall flared.

He scanned the passage. It stood empty.

The torches sputtered. Thin smoke swirled in the light.

Figures I’d finally go fucking mad in here. He shrugged and let the torches die, yet he hesitated to turn away. He stood still in the dark. Cold currents whipped his pants and hair, making him shiver.

He turned his head this way and that, trying to make out any sound other than his own breathing.

It really was all in your mind, Mador.

Inhaling deeply, he turned once more, the gleam from the balcony inviting. His light steps whispered on the stone floors. Red reflected on the walls, and he already felt the air change, rush past his face, not stale like in the depths of the castle but fresh with a hint of wood smoke.

Heavy steps pounded behind him. He glanced over his shoulder. Winged shadows detached themselves from the wall, spread on the floor, lengthened.

That goddamn voice had distracted him, slowed him down.

A spiral staircase loomed at his right. He sprinted up the narrow steps, but hands grabbed his ankles, and he tumbled back down, hitting the steps with his ribs.

Curse them, that hurt.

He instinctively curled and kicked at them. He heard grunts and reached out for the stairs again but only made it onto the second step when they fell on him again and flipped him over. His head hit the stone, and his eyes blurred.

Two bat-winged demons leered down at him, long black tongues lolling.

Fuck, that was way too soon. “Who sent you?”

They did not reply, but he was pretty sure he knew the answer.

The demons lifted him between them. Mador struggled and kicked, twisted and lashed out at their legs and torsos. Their claws sank into his arms—a warning.

“Sitri’s orders?” he croaked but again received no reply.

The demons stared straight ahead, ignoring his thrashing. They loped down dark passages and lit halls, their talons clicking on stone, and stopped before a great black door with ornate golden patterns that Mador knew well.

Shit.

The demons dropped him to the floor. Maintaining their hold on his shoulders, they knocked with clawed hands. Echoes reverberated through the walls. The door creaked as it swung open, and Mador was dragged into Prince Sitri’s candlelit chambers. The flickering flames swirled across the polished floor and reflected in the mirrors that lined the walls and ceiling.

Mador’s stomach twisted with terror.

Prince Sitri lay against silken cushions on the huge canopied bed. Tall and thin, pale like a fish that swam in dark caves and never saw the light, he rested among lithe male bodies. A golden demon with wings covered with engravings fed Sitri green grapes.

Sitri chewed, a smile starting at the corners of his lips. He looked Mador up and down then chewed some more. “Release him.”

Mador shook off the demons’ hands and fought the shudder that crawled up his spine. “You called, my prince?” Prick.

Sitri raised a frosty brow then waved his hand. “Join me, will you, demon?”

Mador looked away, lips thinning, and didn’t move.

“Sit down, Mador.”

Flames burst around Mador, pierced and hooked his skin, and dragged him onto the bed. He cried out as he fell onto the slippery satin sheets, writhing with myriad needles of agony. The other demons drew back as he tried to get his limbs under control.

“You really thought you could run away?” Sitri’s voice rose in volume with each word until Mador’s ears rang. “What made you think it would work this time? Haven’t you learned yet in all these centuries that I can always find you and bring you back?”

With slow motions, Mador pushed himself upright and perched on the edge of the bed. As always, no marks marred his skin. He folded his arms over his chest, doing his best to mask the trembling of his hands.

Sitri pushed the golden demon away and sighed. He threw the plate of grapes to the floor where it vanished without a sound, and then he undid his robe, ran a hand down his strong chest, over his flat belly. With an effort Mador took his gaze off the demon prince.

He just had to ignore the bastard, pretend he was somewhere else, somewhere safe.

Sounds drew his attention to the side. A demon with glossy black skin licked the chest of a pale, hairless one with silver horns. With his long, ruby tongue he teased first one pink nipple, then the other, and moved lower, toward the demon’s crotch. The silver-horned demon writhed, his eyes squeezed shut, and grabbed the black demon’s head with both hands. His breathless moans made Mador shift on the mattress, his pants suddenly too tight.

Damn, it’s been way too long.

“Let’s get comfortable, shall we?” Sitri rose, winked, then snapped his fingers, and Mador’s silk pants disappeared.

Mador found himself staring down at his own erection. A pearly drop glimmered on the tip of the head. He lowered his hand to touch it.

“Tsk.” Sitri raised his middle finger.

Pain lanced through Mador, ribbons of fire that twisted around his bones. He fell backward, his spine thumping on the mattress, limbs jerking, all arousal gone. White light seared his eyes and erupted into a black void.

Prince Sitri leaned over him, filling his vision. Long pale hair brushed Mador’s arms, and washed-out grey eyes nailed him. “Have I given you permission to touch yourself?”

Mador bit his lip and reached for his cock again, aroused or not. “Fuck you.”

Shackles materialized around his wrists and ankles and pulled him up to hang spread-eagled in the center of the room.

Moloch’s mother, not again! He tried to pull free and shuddered when needles of fire pierced his wrists. “Stop this.”

“You like to disobey me and be punished for it, don’t you?” Sitri walked around him, examining him like merchandise. Shadows flickered over Sitri’s face, turning it briefly into an animal’s muzzle. “You love the pain. You want it. Say it.”

“No, I don’t.” Mador licked dry lips. “I don’t like pain. Release me.”

“Tsk.” Sitri tapped his chin. “Wrong answer, demon. Again.” The constraints tightened, wrenching a cry from Mador’s throat. Sitri pressed himself closer as a whip materialized in his hand. “Let’s see if I can remind you who is in charge here.”

Mador tightened his jaw, keeping his expression neutral. To show fear guaranteed an extra serving of pain. He’d been taught that lesson well.

Sitri sent the whip cracking against Mador’s side and leg, cutting into his flesh, and Mador gasped then bit his lip to keep himself from crying out.

Sitri smiled. His whip slithered on the floor like a thin black snake. “Remember now who owns you, Mador?”

As if Sitri would ever let him forget even for one moment. Asshole. Mador refused to give any sign he’d heard him. He clenched his fists until his nails bit into his palms.

The welts burned with pain, and then tickled as they quickly healed. The demon Prince smiled.

“Enough?” Sitri winked. “Or is more pain in order?”

“No.” Mador struggled to catch his breath. “No more pain.”

“Ah. I gather we have an agreement, then. You will obey and stop acting like a wimp.” Sitri trailed his hand over Mador’s face. “You are beautiful, Mador. It is as if your sin has not corrupted you, deformed you. They say you loved a mortal once. Love changes you.” He stroked down Mador’s shoulder.

Mador squirmed, wondered how much Sitri knew about his distant past.

“But surely you don’t believe in love anymore.”

Sorrow caught Mador’s breath in its snare. “No.” He shook his head to dispel the memories, to free his mind from the web of remembered joy. “I don’t.”

“You’ve never been flesh, yet you think you know what pain and pleasure is.” Sitri clucked his tongue. “What you feel here in Hell is but the idea of suffering and satisfaction. You have never been summoned into the mortals’ world, have you?”

Mador shook his head, throat tight. “Thank Lucifer for small mercies.”

“Mortals.” Sitri grinned. “Be glad you are with me, Mador. Mortals are cruel. I am merciful. I understand you. I am like you.”

“I bet…” Mador fought the suffocating depression. “…that they wouldn’t hurt me. They’re not as cruel as you.”

“The mortals’ world is a sad place. Much like Hell, but without the perks, without the grandeur, if you see what I mean. An animalistic place of primal emotions and sensations. You think you know mortals? Think again.”

But Mador had wished to roam the earth long ago, after his fall, because the rumors were true. And his heart, if angels or demons had hearts, had been broken. The mortal man he’d loved as an angel, back before the boundaries of Heaven and Hell had been erected due to Lucifer’s War, was lost to him. How he’d wished back then that the mortal would have summoned him. Now he feared that Sitri was right, that pain would be his only reward if it ever happened.

“I know you,” Sitri purred. “I know what you need, what you deserve.”

Mador’s lips pulled back in a snarl. “You have no clue.”

“Haven’t I, now, insolent slave?”

The shackles vanished, and Mador slammed to the floor with a groan. Still gasping, he sat up, trying to control the shaking of his limbs.

“Your flippancy is refreshing, albeit a tad annoying.” Sitri tapped his lips with a fingertip. “You know Belial has been trying to get his hands on you. That’s one demon prince you really shouldn’t have angered, Mador, my boy. He has made me all kinds of offers for the right to torture you, but I refused. Learn to appreciate my protection, demon.”

Mador let the words sink deep. Belial. Through the stretching film of time, he saw Belial before the Fall—an angel, his halo golden, his great white wings spread. He’d offered Mador titles and power, and Mador was never able to understand why he’d attracted the powerful angel’s attentions. To Belial, Mador’s preference for the mortal man had been a deathly insult. He’d commanded him to leave the mortal, to follow Belial when Lucifer’s war began.

Mador had refused. Belial had never forgiven him. Not even the Fall from Grace could make him forget his resentment.

“Maybe I should let Belial have you for a while,” Sitri said, shoving Mador, “to teach you a lesson you won’t forget.” He smirked. “But I do not share what is mine.”

“Is that why you sent me to the torture pits to have me lashed and broken?” Mador bit his lip to stop the words from spilling. Damn it. Thinking of the past was a bad idea. It broke his focus. If he wanted to avoid a repetition of his last stay in the pits, he had to learn to hide his feelings. He lowered his gaze, balled his fists, and showed his teeth in a thin grin. “Er, listen, my prince—”

“Defying me again, Mador?” Too late. “Again refusing to accept your true nature, and my wisdom?” Sitri snapped his whip on the floor. “Turn around.”

Mador tried to comply, but his body began to shake. Sitri gestured. Energy pulsed, pushed Mador down on all fours, and he hung his head, angry and grim, knowing what would follow.

Sitri cracked the whip. The barbed ends whistled before landing, digging, dragging across Mador’s back, licking it with scalding tongues. He hissed. The whip landed again and again, cutting deep each time. And each time the prince waited for the welts to heal before hitting him again with smooth, practiced movements.

Flashes from his last stay in the pit brought a howl to Mador’s lips. He locked his mouth, keeping it inside. He thought he felt again the iron claws tear his insides, the sharp teeth shred his muscles and break his bones in a never-ending cycle of terror.

Mador didn’t realize the lashing had finally stopped until Sitri grabbed his hair and pulled his head back. Mador sat back on his heels, clenching his jaw, waiting for the images to fade.

Sitri walked around Mador, his long red robe parting to reveal strong legs. “You enjoy the pain, Mador. Admit it like a good demon. The stay in the dungeons must have been a joyride for someone like you.”

Mador kept his face blank. His body never scarred. His memory, however, did. He tried his best to forget his nightmarish experiences in the pits, or else he might really go mad. If I’m not mad already. “A joyride, yeah. That’s right.” He turned away.

There had been a time of freedom and joy so long ago it seemed a dream. He thought he remembered that. He had soared in the heavens and had believed that the world was perfect and that love existed. A dream was all it had been.

“Maybe I should make you flesh,” Sitri said. “Show you what the sensations are really like. The intensity of them so strong it can drive someone truly insane. The pleasure. The anger. The pain.” He waved a hand in the air. “To be broken in so many ways you will beg for madness, and then…” He flashed a dark smile. “Then to beg for my mercy, my kindness, beg me to fuck you and give you such pleasure as you have never imagined possible.”

Sure. “Well, that’s mighty kind of you, I suppose, but—”

A tingling sensation rippled through Mador, stealing his breath. The room rocked slightly. Then he heard his name called again by the same immaterial voice as before. The voice tickled his ears like a feather and faded once more.

He shook his head to clear it. “What the fuck?”

Sitri circled Mador to stand behind him. He yanked on Mador’s long hair, sending pain through his scalp. “What is the matter, demon? Losing your concentration?”

Mador chose not to answer and watched Sitri’s face. Did the demon prince hear the voice, too? Was it some trick of his to confuse Mador?

Sitri wrapped Mador’s hair around his hand and pulled, snapping his head back, sending more pain down Mador’s spine.

What I wouldn’t give to meet someone who doesn’t get off on giving me pain.

A large mirror on the wall showed him Sitri, and himself in the demon prince’s mercy, hanging in Sitri’s hold, neck exposed, back arched, eyes hollow and full of despair. It made Mador want to scream.

“Are you paying attention?” Sitri’s whip cracked on the floor.

Mador clenched his fists, expecting the pain the familiar sound promised. I wonder what life without pain must feel like. I wish—

The incorporeal voice returned, louder. “Madorael!” It seemed to rush at him from everywhere at once. “Come to me.”

“Come where?” He turned his head to see, realizing in the next moment that nobody had called him with his full name for millennia.

Space lurched. Sitri released him as the rocks in the walls liquefied and dripped to the floor in puddles of black goo.

With a shout, Mador flung himself away. The bed melted, leaked into the floor. The demons fell, clawing at each other, and then their faces distorted and twisted like heated metal. Sitri reached down for Mador, snarling.

The air thickened, solidified, pressed against Mador, then sucked him through the melting walls and empty passages, out and high into the air. He hovered there, wriggling, gasping for breath. Then he was flung back down into dimness.