Dark Wings (Never Dark Book 1) (4 page)

BOOK: Dark Wings (Never Dark Book 1)
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Famine removed his knife from my neck and pushed me forward. I managed to get my hands out in front of me before I ate the varnished floor. Thick black smoke engulfed me and I couldn’t see. I coughed and gagged, trying to
clear my airway. Loud bangs thundered on the door, people were trying to get in. I managed to get to my feet. I ignored the burning in my chest and my eyes as I squinted through the smoke looking for Lucas. Then I felt him grab my hand. Through the smoke, I saw him, he appeared unaffected and I realized I was the only one trapped in smoke. It circled me—choked me. Desperately, I clawed at Lucas’s arm before his grip slipped from mine.

“Lucas!” I screamed.

He kept his eyes on me, watching me apologetically as the Horsemen grabbed him and disappeared into nothing. The smoke that surrounded me dispersed… so did the flames that filled the room. The door flew open just as I fell to my knees, crying and screaming.

Lucas was gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncover

 

 

Lucas

 

“Leave,” I demanded hoarsely, breaking the silence in my dimly lit hotel room.

The slender redhead nodded sheepishly, gathered her clothes
, and left. I swung my legs over the edge of the bed and dropped my head into my hands before raking my fingers through my hair. Tonight, I asked specifically for a redhead, hoping to acquire my ‘Violet fix,’ but she didn’t compare.
No one has
. I wanted to release my anger and built up tension via my favorite outlet—sex, but seeing Violet made me not want anyone besides her. I wanted her in my bed, not some strange woman I barely knew. I never had a problem with it before… not until I saw her blue eyes watching me and her red ponytail blowing slightly in the wind. I clenched my fists against the urge to run my fingers through it. I slid into a pair of jeans and walked over to the bar to pour myself a strong drink. As I sipped at it, I walked over to the open window that overlooked the entire expansion of Concave City and wondered where she was staying.

“I love you, Lucas.”
Her beautiful voice and equally beautiful body ran through my mind. A low growl rumbled through my chest as I imagined her long hair curling over her bare breasts, exposing everything, but nothing at the same time. I slammed back my whiskey and threw my glass hard against the panelled wall. It shattered into a million pieces and I turned back to the window. She’d come for me eventually, when she realizes I haven’t left. And although I’d never admit it out loud, I wanted her to come for me. I wanted her to tear my heart from my chest, to end my suffering. The scary part was my demon side would fight her. He’ll do everything in his power to stay alive… even kill her. I walked over to my desk and pressed the intercom button. “Mena, bring me the witch.”

If I locate
d Violet, maybe I could convince her to get out now, before she got hurt.

I wait
ed patiently in my chair until Mena, my pretty Asian assistant, opened my door, escorting in a beautiful, dark-skinned witch. The only witch I’d work with.

“I’m not one of your call girls, Lucas
,” her strained voice warned.

Perhaps it was selfish of me to pull Eva from her sleep. A woman of her age needed plenty of rest.

“Unfortunately,” I chuckled playfully.

She rolled her eyes and
sat opposite me, placing her weathered hands softly on my desk. “What is it you want?”

I sat in thought for a
while, trying to decide what I wanted exactly. It was simple, really. I wanted Violet and I wanted her now. I leaned forward, placing my elbows on the table.

“I need you to locate someone.”

Eva sighed. “Who?”

“Her name is Violet
Ashton. She’s here in Concave City, somewhere.”

She leaned forward, intrigued. The dark purple fabric of her dressing gown made a gentle whooshing sound as she rested her elbows on the table.
“Is it possible that the big, bad Mr. Lucas Cross has an infatuation?”

I frowned.
As if I’d disclose that kind of information. “Can you locate her or not?”

“Maybe. Do you have anything of hers
I can channel?”

“No.”

Now she frowned. “Then unless
you
have a strong connection with her, I can’t locate her, and I know you don’t have a strong connection with anything other than your whiskey bottle. So, can I go back to bed now?”

I held my hands out toward her. “Channel me.”

Her gold eyes flared with frustration and her brows furrowed. “Like I said, unless you have a connec—”

“Just channel me
,” I snapped, growing rather impatient.

Without hesitation, h
er soft, papery hands clasped around mine and she went quiet. Her face scrunched and straightened out a few times before she gasped.

“My, my
,” she breathed as she opened her eyes. “What a connection…”

Eva
paused and closed her eyes again. I waited in silence, watching her every expression. I’d done this location thing plenty of times. It had never taken this long. Slowly, Eva’s eyes opened and her thick, dark lips curved into a slight smirk.

“Y
ou’re in love?” she asked.

I yanked my hands back and slammed them down onto the table, forcing myself to stand. She didn’t jump,
her face didn’t even change. She wasn’t scared of me, I was like a son to her now. “I asked you to locate the female. I didn’t ask you to snoop around in my fucking head!”

Eva
crossed her arms tightly over her chest and looked up at me disapprovingly. “You better watch your tone with me, mister, or I’ll—”

I interrupted. “You’ll what, Eva? Hm? What are
you going to do? I saved you from War. I took you from him and gave you a better existence.” I raised my fingers. “One click and I can send you straight back.”

Her expression tightened, but she didn’t snap back at me.
Slowly, she rose to her feet and suddenly I felt bad. “Goodnight, Lucas.”

In a puff of smoke, I appeared
in front of her. I have to admit, if there was one cool thing I’d gained since joining my brothers in the Underworld, it was the ability to teleport wherever I wanted in the blink of an eye.

“I’m
sorry, Eva. I’m not myself today,” I said, pulling her in to my chest.

She kept her hands balled into tight fists at her side and
pulled away from me. “And I suspect the redhead has something to do with it?”

I narrowed my eyes. I wasn’t saying anything that could put Violet in danger. Eva snoo
ping around in my head was risk enough. I trusted Eva—I did, but she used to work for my brother War, and I sure as hell didn’t trust him.

“She’s staying in an apartment complex,” Eva began. I left her, opened my wardrobe and pulled on a t-shirt. “The address is A
173 Boundary Street, Velmount.”

I grabbed a coat off
the hanger by the door. “Lucas”

I
disappeared in a puff of smoke before Eva could finish her sentence. My need to see Violet again outweighed my need to be polite.

 

***

 

I hated the suburbs and their identical houses. Not to mention the sound of a dog’s incessant barking. This street wasn’t as bad, I suppose. It had more apartments than houses, meaning no one was allowed a dog. I didn’t have to follow the street for long and soon I found her apartment complex. I focused on the window and then I appeared in her room. My smoke floated around the room and she coughed slightly. To humans, my smoke is undetectable, but angels could usually pick up the scent and feel it at the back of their throat. I waited for the smoke to dissipate before I approached her bed. I suppressed the groan that rose in my throat when I saw her lying there in a camisole and her underwear… the black lace matched her cherry red hair that sprawled around her like a flame on a wick. I reached out to push a lock of hair off her cheek. She twitched and her eyebrows knitted together. I watched as her eyes flickered beneath her eyelids. I decided I wasn’t going to wake her, not tonight, anyway. Instead, I watched her for a little while. As I watched, I pondered ways to keep her safe and get her away from Earth. If my brothers knew she was here, they’d think I was plotting with the angels to foil the plans of the apocalypse. My brothers are already obsessed with her, there’s no telling if they’d kill her or turn her into some kind of sex slave. I suppressed a shudder and gritted my teeth at the thought. Her skin felt warm and soft as I brushed the back of my index finger along her jaw line. Her lip caught between her teeth and she moaned softly. I tilted my head back and glanced at the white ceiling. I’d never do anything to a woman without consent, but my god she was making it difficult to stand by that moral code. Before I could lose control in more ways than one, I planted a kiss on her cheek and went home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disposition

 

 

Violet

 

Rubbing sleep from my eyes,
I sat up and peered around my room, the faint taste of smoke lingered at the back of my throat and immediately my body tensed. It was him, Lucas, and he’d been in my room. I glanced down at myself and yanked the blankets up to my neck. I knew it was pointless, he’d already seen me in my underwear. I felt embarrassed and angry, but some sick part of me felt excited, thrilled even, like I’d shoplifted or jumped out of a plane. I rubbed my cheek. Underneath my skin, my blood tingled, but it wasn’t from my own touch. It was from his. I sighed and fell back onto my pillow. Only Lucas could provoke such an intense feeling inside me and it was a shame that I’d have to kill him. I felt flustered and frustrated, but I should have known he wouldn’t listen. He was stubborn like that. He always has been.

 

***

 

Like yesterday, I parked my Range Rover in the private parking around the back of the headquarters.

“Back so soon?” The overly-cheery
Janet greeted me as I stepped into the lobby.

I wasn’t in the mood for any kind of chit chat
, forced or otherwise. I nodded and walked past her. I marched down the wide hallway with a thin manila folder in my hand. After last night, I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I plotted my next move against Lucas. I knocked on Cole’s office door, tightened my ponytail, and waited patiently.

“Come in
,” a muffled voice called.

I opened the door and stepped in. Cole Nark sat at his desk
, patting the edges of his mouth with a napkin. On his shirt sat a small spattering of pink frosting, no doubt from his usual morning donut.

“What do you want?” He sighed, still feeling emasculated after I dominated him yesterday.
Serves him right.

I fought the urge to smile smugly.
“I have a mission adjustment that I need you to sign off on.”

He extended his hand and I gave him my folder. I stood across from him, my hands behind my back and watched his face as he read it.
His messy eyebrows knitted together. “What the hell is The Darkside?”

I rolled my eyes at the originality of the name.
“It’s a nightclub-slash-hotel in the south of Concave City. Intel says Lucas owns it and is living in it. He didn’t take my threat seriously and now—”

“Oh, now you’ll kill him?”
His voice held a sarcastic tone and I glowered at him.

Cole cleare
d his throat and subconsciously rubbed his stomach, appearing to suddenly regret his attitude.

“What’s this about go
ing back to his apartment?” he said, changing the subject.

“A long time ago
, Lucas and I were involved. I plan to play on those feelings and hopefully he’ll let me get close enough to rip his heart from his chest.”

I
could swear Cole was leaning away from me in his chair.


Do you need back up?” he asked.

I’ve killed
ninety-nine demons, I don’t need help. I placed my hands on my hips rather defensively. I was offended. “No.”

“I’m assigning
you back up anyway.”

I stepped forward and placed my palms on his desk. “I’ll make a dea
l with you. If I haven’t torn the heart from his chest by three a.m., you can send back up.”

Cole tapped his chubby fingers against the folder in thought.
His nails were worn, chewed down to the skin. “Fine, but if you fuck this up, Ashton—”

“Yeah, yeah,” I interrupted. “It’ll be on my head. I get it.”

I strolled from the headquarters in a strangely good mood and I wasn’t sure if it was because I’d kill the biggest demon of my career tonight or because I was seeing Lucas. To be honest, both made me equally giddy. I climbed into my car and slumped into the chair. I needed to go dress shopping. I had no idea what kind of club The Darkside was. My guess was that it’s crawling with all kinds of demons and if I was going to avoid drawing negative attention, I was going to need to dress like them.

 

***

 

“Can I help you?” the shop assistant asked.

I looked
her over. She was a tall, leggy, black-haired woman covered in tattoos and wearing a tight, almost see-through little black dress. Somehow, fashion companies had managed to make the sluttiest piece of clothing even sluttier. My brows furrowed. Perhaps this shop was too outrageous for me.

“I’m just looking. Thank you
,” I replied with a curt nod of the head.

“So you’re, like, not after anything in particular… or?”

I stared at her, waiting for her to finish her sentence.
Or
was a conjunction, it was meant to connect a sentence… wasn’t it? My frown deepened because she was staring at me like I was the one not-fully-there.

“I’m going to
The Darkside. I need a dress.” I glanced at her outfit and then at her name tag. “One that isn’t see-through, Tasha.”

H
er eyebrow piercing stuck a half an inch out of her skin as she scowled at me. “What kind of dress are you after?” she asked. The fake politeness was clear in her voice. “Short? Long? Maybe you’re after a dress with shoulder pads and a face veil?”

I laughed.
I appreciated a good comeback when I heard one. “Just tell me what people usually wear to The Darkside
,
and please don’t point over to the section those two girls are currently standing in, trying on dresses that have less fabric than a handkerchief.”

Tasha rolled her eyes. “This way
, Grandma.”

The assistant walked ahead of me and thankfully bypassed the girls who might as well
be naked.


These are last season’s dresses. They’re longer… kind of.” She leaned against the rack, preventing me from browsing through the dresses. “You’re not from around here, are you?”

I didn’t have time for this. I wanted to find a dress, go h
ome, prepare, and then kill Lucas. I folded my arms across my chest. “No, I’m not. Anything else?”

She shrugged and ran her tongue across her top teeth, forcing her lip to protrude outwards. “I like you
,” Tasha said, smiling at me like we’ve been friends for a lifetime. “You’re a bitch, like me. If you need anything, I’ll be at the cash register.”

I stared at the
clothes rack for a moment after she’d left me. Had I just made a friend because I was a bitch?
What the hell is wrong with people
? I shook off my confusion and searched the rack. Tasha was right about one thing; the dresses over here had slightly more fabric on them and they came in all kinds of colors and lengths. It was summer in Concave City and the air was warm, so long and thick material dresses were out of the question. I was searching for at least twenty minutes and was about to give up when I saw it, the dress I’d wear to The Darkside. It wasn’t black, or overly provocative… it was perfect.

“You can’t wear that to The
Darkside
,
” Tasha called over my shoulder.

I turned toward her. She was bagging a micro mini skirt and leopard print crop top for a customer, but her
gray eyes were on me.

“Why not?” I rebutted, hugging the dress tighter
against me.

“Because it’s white and
virginal. You’ll get eaten alive.”

“Maybe that’s the plan.”

Tasha cocked an eyebrow at me and fought back a smile. The girls at the counter paid for their clothes and left the store. I hung the dress out in front of me to get a better look at it. It was short, at least mid-thigh, but if I moved appropriately, then I wouldn’t have to worry about flashing random clubbers. It was very low cut, but instead of showing bare skin, it was covered in a beautiful white lace, cutting across the chest, over the shoulders, and down the arms. Lace was hopeless protection in a fight, but there was no way I’d be let in if I was wearing my catsuit, and Lucas would know immediately why I was there. If I had any chance at beating him, I’d need to catch him by surprise.

“May I ask what your plan is?” Tasha inquired as I brought the dress up to the register.

“You can ask, but I’m not going to tell you.”

She laughed as I paid for my dress and she put it into a bag.
I farewelled her and left the store. Humans were so annoying and I found myself praying that no one like Cole or Tasha would be turned into an angel when they die or I’d have to find a way to kill myself.

BOOK: Dark Wings (Never Dark Book 1)
13.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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