Into Temptation (A More Than Men Novella)

BOOK: Into Temptation (A More Than Men Novella)
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Into Temptation

 

A More Than Men Novella

 

Kira Sinclair

 

 

 

Written by Kira Sinclair

Published by Kira Sinclair

Copyright 2013 Kira Bazzel

 

Cover Art Design by The Killion Group / Hot Damn Designs

http://thekilliongroupinc.com/
     

Hot D
amn Designs

 

KINDLE EDITION

 

All rights reserved. Except for the use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or part in any form by electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the author, Kira Sinclair,
[email protected]

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblances to the actions persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

Other books by Kira Sinclair

 

Harlequin Blaze Series

 

Whispers in the Dark

Afterburn
*

Caught Off Guard

What Might Have Been

Bring It On
+

Take It Down
+

Rub It In
+

The Risk-Taker
*~

She's No Angel
~

The Devil She Knows
~

 

* Uniformly Hot Series

+ Island Nights Series

~ Sweetheart, South Carolina Series

 

Independently Published:

 

Into Temptation
**

 

 
**A More Than Men Novella

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

No one could touch him.

Sweaty, overheated bodies slipped and slid against each other, all grinding hips and grabbing hands. He wanted them. Craved them and the pulse of sin and sex that surrounded him. The memory of the taste burst painfully through his mouth.

But none came close.

A sea of humanity writhed around him, and still he was utterly alone. A bubble of nothing enveloped him. Even through their hazy senses clouded with alcohol, drugs and sexual stimulation, they knew something was wrong.

And they were right.

The hair on the backs of their necks stood on end if they moved too close. A shiver of dread raced down their spines. Like pinballs, they spun away from him without even realizing a force had set them into motion.

Although, stripped of his powers, there wasn’t much Brone could do to them. Not anymore.

The dark club’s interior smelled of stale alcohol, overheated bodies and cast-off inhibitions. Heart-thumping rock vibrated through the center of his chest, where his heart would have been i
f he’d actually possessed one. But his had stopped working long ago. He could hear, smell and even taste the temptation and pleasure as it tingled across their naked skin.

It tormented him.

How long since he’d been cast into his own personal hell? Brone didn’t know. Didn’t care. What did the number matter when the years ran together in an endless mass of singular deprivation?

For a creature that had used excess, sensation and pleasure to control and destroy, it was the cruelest punishment.

Hundreds of years since he’d heard the timbre of his own voice. Why speak if there was no one to hear or answer?

Nothing to eat. Nothing to drink. A gnawing hunger and unquenchable thirst that could never be sated. Someone passed close enough that the
tempting scent of whiskey wafted up to him. His throat spasmed painfully. The drink was cheap, a bitter, nasty version of the smooth, rich concoction he’d bestowed on the ungrateful humans so long ago. It didn’t matter. He wanted it.

Hating himself for the desperation, Brone purposely turned his back. It was the only thing he had left: free will. He refused to morph into the blathering ball of agony his tormentor wanted.

Some would say purposely surrounding himself with everything he couldn’t have was masochistic torture. But then he was a dark angel, one of the fallen…a demon. Masochistic torture was kind of his thing. Although he had to admit he preferred inflicting the pain on others instead of himself.

One of Lucifer’s princes, he’d been all-powerful. Deadly. Dangerous. The inhabitants of Hell and Heaven alike had revered and feared him.

Now he was nothing.

After eight hundred years of excruciating solitude he’d give anything to be back in the thick of things. Tempting, tasting and licking his way to collecting multiple souls. Before, this club would have been his ultimate playground.

He watched the uncaring humans and wanted nothing more than to be able to fulfill his purpose for existence. They had no understanding of the danger that lurked among them.

Not that he posed much himself, stuck in a vast wasteland, walking the line between two worlds he could never again be a part of. But there were plenty of others. Plenty more where he had come from who could indulge, supply and bewitch.

He should slink off to some corner of Antarctica and let his mind go crazy talking to the penguins.

But he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t give Lucifer the satisfaction. That’s what the Dark Lord wanted. He had surely expected Brone to succumb to the agony he’d devised long before now. Well, Lucifer had underestimated him.

He could take the torment of endless temptation with never the possibility for fulfillment and appreciate the irony of the situation his lord and master had devised. Just as he’d done with thousands of humans, Lucifer had looked deep inside Brone and seen his one weakness, then twisted and contorted it against him. Clever, if cruel.

The first and only dark angel to have been kicked out of Hell. What a way to be remembered.

Brone laughed, a lonely sound only he could hear. Remembered? No one remembered him. Not anymore.

And still he came here — or rather, places like here — to watch humans indulge in the sins that would lure them onto the slippery slope of damnation. A little enticement here, a little self-gratification there… These clubs were a breeding ground for demons bent on collecting souls. Humans made it so easy. It was as if they wanted to sell their souls to the devil.

Perhaps they did. He shrugged. It was no longer his concern. He did enjoy watching the process, though.

Even now several demons shifted through the crowd. There were thousands of demons scattered across the earth, but they tended to congregate where the easiest souls lurked. He watched three of them now. Maybe that’s why he was here, to be reminded that there was more to the world than sensory overload and satisfaction deprivation. A touch of home even Lucifer hadn’t been able to take away from him.

They were beautiful, as all angels were. Somewhere along the way a myth had been born that demons sported horns, forked tongues and scaly black skin. Probably some overwhelmed mother intent on keeping her children in bed at night. What most people seemed to forget — or didn’t care to have learned in the first place — was that the majority of demons were fallen angels, cast out of Heaven with Lucifer.

Perfectly formed, they possessed the same striking features and war-honed bodies as their lighter counterparts. Hell, they even had wings, although instead of solid white his were tipped in a red so dark it resembled spilled blood. That was one way to tell them apart.

Another was the eyes. Angels of Heaven were all that was good, light and self-sacrificing. Perfect and pure, they were also as deadly as any demon.

The fallen were everything dark — anger, greed, hedonism and self-satisfaction. It was in the eyes, that glitter of temptation nothing could hide. Humans simply never looked close enough. Or didn’t want to believe what they saw. Either way the result was the same.

Humans made it easy to read their innermost desires. Once you had that knowledge, providing the bait was easy, the result predictable.

Brone watched for hours, standing unmoving in the center of the room. It wasn’t like he had anywhere else to be.

Three demons worked around him, two men and a woman. The woman, flaming red hair a shade straight from hellfire, slunk across the dance floor. Her eyes were half-closed, her mouth half-open, her body simulating sex as she rubbed against anything she came in contact with. Man or woman, it mattered nothing to her. They were all putty in her hands.

She touched and teased, zeroing in on the minds and thoughts of those at the club looking for an easy, beautiful and quick conquest. She gladly obliged. He counted at least five humans — four men and one woman — she’d begin to collect tonight.

Sex. It was never the goal but rather a very effective tool. An easy way to control. Once the body was conquered, the mind, will and soul were fairly easy to take.

She would do well for Lucifer tonight.

With an apathy born of hundreds of lonely years, Brone turned his attention to another. The male — blond, tall and distinctly resembling the statue of a Greek god — stood in the corner of the room. Dressed from head to toe in black, a dark foil to his light complexion, hair and eyes, he leaned nonchalantly against the wall. Arms crossed beneath his chest and his head dropped back, anyone caring to pay attention would see a man bored with the entire night.

But as he watched, Brone saw the truth. People slid up to him, handed over money and received whatever their hearts desired — meth, coke, crack, weed, pills, X…anything that would subvert their inhibitions and leave them open with no will of their own.

Drugs were both an easier and harder way to a human’s soul. They instilled a mindless need for the next fix, but there was so much propaganda now about the dangers and effects that for every five people eventually hooked enough to sell their soul, there were twenty that slipped away. Drugs were a numbers game Brone had never had the patience for. Besides, it wasn’t nearly as enjoyable or self-satisfying as sex.

His attention turned to the third, a demon he recognized from Lucifer’s ranking circle. As with any court, there were certain demons the Dark Lord favored. Once upon a time Brone had been one of them. So had Kearn.

Never what you would call friends, they were more like wary acquaintances. Hell didn’t exactly breed trust. Peppered with powerful beings who’d been kicked out of Heaven in an attempt to overthrow God, they all thirsted for power. And would betray anyone to get more.

While the other, lesser demons concentrated on the numbers games, Kearn focused his energy on two specific men. Dark and dangerous on their own, Brone recognized the hard edge to their eyes. Kearn was close to collecting. Whatever these men wanted, they were willing to pay any price.

Their gestures were sharp, pointed and agitated. Revenge? Probably. Greed or power were also possibilities, but anger always had a more hardening effect on the human body than the other desires. Revenge seekers were simple collections. He’d have expected Kearn to gather more intricate and difficult souls. Maybe he had additional humans on the line aside from the two here tonight. That could explain it.

The three were good. He’d been better.

He watched them work anyway. Analyzing their moves, targets and techniques kept his own skills strong. He didn’t know why that was important since he’d likely only get to use them again when Hell froze over, but he did it anyway.

He couldn’t pinpoint the moment when things changed. Suddenly he was worthy of notice to the three demons.

Oh, they’d known he was there. They’d simply ignored him. He wouldn’t have been able to talk to them, touch or respond even if they’d wanted to communicate. He was used to being ignored.

Which was why when the redhead’s gaze met and held his, he nearly spoke. Catching himself in time, he clamped his jaw tight against the urge. He wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. They simply wanted to report back that they’d twisted the knife a little harder on his torment. Shown him what he wanted more than anything — interaction — and then cruelly denied him.

Turning smoothly away so he’d be the one to break the contact, Brone began gliding through the crowd to the exit. His bubble moved with him until a woman lurched into it, nudging his back.

He froze. The sensation of her body against his, that brief moment of contact, was like a white-hot poker of pleasure shoved beneath his fingernails. Unbelievable pain covered with a protective barrier of bliss.

A rush of heat swept through his body, and for the first time in centuries he realized just how cold he’d become. Like the pins and needles of awakening extremities, that heat hurt.

But still he craved more.

Snapping around, Brone reached for her, desperate for any part of her — hand, hair, face, hips — he could feel against his skin again. But before he could grasp anything, she moved away.

Empty air oozed through his clenched fingers. His body heaved against the building pressure of need, like a human hyperventilating for breath. He tried again, but she was jostled away.

Her small, heart-shaped face stared up at him as she shouted through the blast of noise, “Sorry.”

She could see him. Touch him. She’d spoken. To him.

Desperation leaked through his body, a spreading poison that would surely kill him. Not reaching for her was the hardest thing Brone had ever done. Every instinct screamed that he should snatch her up and never let her go. Instead he forced himself to fold his arms across his chest and tuck his hands tightly against his body.

He didn’t understand what was going on, and until he did, the best strategy was to do the opposite of what he wanted. This was clearly a trap. He just had to figure out how and why.

“No problem.” His voice came out deep, feathered and rusty. Although he was surprised it worked at all.

“I hope I didn’t hurt you. Some jerk pushed me.”

An unexpected smile played at the corners of his lips. This slip of a woman thought she could hurt him, the battle-hardened demon? He could crush her right now, and there was nothing she could do to stop him.

Her brows scrunched together. A flicker of wariness crossed her face, and she took a single step away.

Panic hit. He didn’t want her to go.

She looked over her shoulder and scanned the crowd.

Behind her, Kearn watched, the two men he’d been working completely forgotten. Had Kearn pushed her? Why would the powerful demon do that?

Her palm settled onto his arm. Brone jerked, a ripple of ecstasy tearing through him. He could feel her heat. One of the few things he’d enjoyed about interacting with humans was the sensation of warmth that didn’t come from the rings of Hell but the life force that pumped beneath their skin.

Without thinking, he dropped his hand over hers. Something sharp zinged up his arm. After several seconds his fingers began to absorb her body heat just like he’d have taken in her soul if given the chance.

Her startled eyes jumped to his. She tugged, trying to get him to release her hand. He wouldn’t let her go. Couldn’t.

BOOK: Into Temptation (A More Than Men Novella)
7.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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