By: Dawn McClure


First I would like to thank my husband, Torrey. My dream of being a romance writer would never have come to fruition without your support. I love you more with each passing day. *Always and forever*

To my mom—you were right! This was the year. Thanks for your confidence in my ability.

Nikki Duncan, you were right there with me when I started this book, and without your help things wouldn't have turned out the way they have. I'm glad I have you on speed dial.

Gen, you have been there for me from the beginning. Your friendship means more to me than you could possibly know.

To my editor Sasha Knight—you have made my dream come true, and I could never thank you enough. You are an absolute joy to work with.

And to my children, Sarah and Katie, you can do anything you put your mind to. Never let someone tell you that your dreams are impossible. I love you.

Chapter One

Azazel focused on Lucifer and shut out the screams of the tortured. It was just like Luc to arrange a meeting in Hell. The term "Godforsaken place" took on its original meaning here. There was no light, save for the orange glow of the fire that only intensified the shadows.

"We have a situation."

Luc's militant façade was as annoying as the smoke that filled Azazel's nostrils, which caused him to sneeze whenever he was in the pit. Luc seemed unfazed by the putrid stench of those that died over and over in the inferno. Breaking his own promise to keep his eyes averted, Azazel glanced at the eternal fire.

When a soul went to the pit they didn't go in their bodily form. It was their spirit that couldn't escape, as though the flames held a gravity of their own. If bodies had been condemned to the pit the torture would be over before their toe hit the first flame. In spirit form they were screwed. Nowhere to go, no way to escape.

Luc faced the Lake of Fire. "Approximately seventy or more souls joined together and escaped the pit, so you can take that thought and shove it up your ass. The impossible has become possible."

Azazel quickly masked his thoughts. He hated when Luc used his mind-reading power on him. "Where did they go?"

Luc pulled his wife-beater over his head and tossed it in the flames, revealing a myriad of tattoos on his chest and back. He had a sleeve of tattoos on his right arm that curled up to his collarbone. Crosses and angels, of all things. "To the human realm. Where else? They left as a group, sharing their powers, so I doubt they will separate."

Azazel sneezed then sniffed, bringing more of the smoke into his lungs. "I'm to send them back to the pit?"

Luc materialized a black suit on his body. "Yes. Track the bastards down and fling their asses back to me. Their thoughts linger on gaining a body and using that person to acquire a following. That I will not allow."

"Did you ascertain where they were headed?"

Luc turned to him with a smile. "They are searching for a human with special abilities. Psychics, telepaths or empaths seem to be their target. I'd start looking in L.A. or New York. That seems to be where most of the quacks are living. I'd leave Kentucky off your list, if that's what you're asking."

No, that hadn't been what he was asking, but it would have to do. Using Luc's own obsession of Tom Clancy novels, Azazel brought his hand up in a salute, emulating Luc's favorite character, Jack Ryan. "I'll report back as soon as I hear anything."

Luc's mouth tilted up in a lopsided grin. "Don't trash Clancy. He's a damn good writer. And don't report to me until you've completed your mission. If I want an update I'll pop in." He patted the lapels of his suit. "How do I look?"

Azazel noted the red glint in his eyes, which matched the tie and the smirk on his face. Knowing the sardonic humor would be appreciated, he couldn't let this opportunity pass.

"Absolutely devilish."

~ * ~

"I'll break your back like a dry twig in autumn." Alexia kept her look blasé and her stance relaxed as she gripped her sword in her right hand. She let her fangs show, knowing the demon in the front of the pack would realize she yearned for his sweet, delicious blood. It was no secret that vampires craved the blood of demons. Their blood was so much better than humans. Richer. Thicker.

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