Monday, June 7, 2021

Lael - book one - Between Heaven and Hell - Paranormal Romance


Book One



Rose was on the run. She knew the demons of her past were chasing her. The minute they catch up with her, she’d be back living her old life, which was lived on her back or dead. So, when a little dirt road beckoned to her, she took it, hoping for a place to lay low for a couple of days.

Lael was in the form of a male. When was the last time that happened? Then, he was living, breathing, and walking the earth plane. His hell beast was rejoicing, but he knew that pain was around the corner.

When Rose showed up, he was forced to acknowledge that something had changed in his life. Together they agreed that demons were real and there was one out to kill her. Could they work together to find a way to defeat it? And if they fell in love, would that be so bad?

To be together, they would have to defeat a demon and pray the Mist didn’t come to reclaim Lael.

This book is for 18 and older

Chapter One

“The wards failed.”

Asa lifted his head, copper eyes blinking. “What do you mean the wards fell?”

Lael gave a deep sigh. He hated dealing with Asa when he was in the mood to be a dick. That’s what happened when you were blessed or cursed with older siblings.

“I mean the wards failed.’” He slowed it down in case his brother was suffering from age-related disease. “Should I call a healer for you?”

“Don’t be a dick, Lael.”

“I was thinking much the same.”

“How did the wards fail? Have you called the mage?”

“He’s coming along with Rada.”

Lael stepped out of the room, walking outside while he waited for the others. What was coming? Their small town had been shielded for centuries. Now the humans were getting a chance to peek at things that didn’t concern them.

The brightness of the sun made him shield his eyes. Now that the shield of invisibility was gone, the shine of the sun and the heat of it bore down on him. His neck stretched when a small breeze caressed him. He sniffed, enjoying the fragrant smell of spring. He never smelled anything as good as the sun-warmed green grass wafting around him.

When his brother and the mage came out of nowhere to stand in front of him, he stared at them before turning around.

“What took you so long?” He threw his question over his shoulder as he took the stairs two at a time.

“You might not have realized it, but the barrier seems to be having issues,” Silas, the mage, told him, drawing out his words.

“What’s your excuse, Rada?”

“I don’t need one; I’m here now.”

Like Asa, Rada was used to doing whatever he wanted when he wanted. Something as life-changing or straightforward as their barrier disappearing wouldn’t make him move any faster. They were immortal, invisible to the eye of mankind. The barrier may be gone, but all anyone should see was a vast forest and some land for grazing.

Asa was sitting when they came in. His eyes were closed like he was communicating with someone.

“What happened to the wards?” Asa asked without acknowledging them.

“Not much.”

Lael turned to look at Silas, noticing that his brothers were now paying attention to the mage.

“Not much?” Lael discovered that the wards were down when a human stood staring at their land. He almost thought the human saw him. That was impossible. No one had seen him, his brothers, or the others who occupied their town. He couldn’t be sure what the human was looking at, but it wasn’t him. The sound that human-made was enough to bring a smile to his face.

“Something funny?” Silas asked.

“Yeah, could you imagine what would happen if the humans could see us?” This would be worse than the witch trials.

“All the wards didn’t fail, at least, not yet. The ward that hid this small hamlet is gone. There are still protection spells as well as several more in place.”

“Then we have nothing to worry about. You’ll renew the invisibility ward. The humans can’t see us, and when the ward goes back up, it will wipe their memory. It will be business as usual.” Lael headed for the door.

“Not so fast.”

He really hated the mage. When you’ve been around each other for centuries, it wasn’t unusual. If he weren’t immortal, Lael would put him out of his misery.

“What haven’t you told us?” Asa demanded. He was starting to get upset.

Lael nodded; he wanted his brother to get upset, that should keep him from attacking Silas. When you’re immortal, fighting to the death was a great blood sport while giving you something to do.

“None of you have a sense of humor.”

Asa went to stand in front of Silas. “Not all of us were granted the privilege to move around the humans.”

“Not that we’re complaining. Killing humans for sport got old a long time ago.” Rada and Asa tilted their heads, agreeing with Lael.

Silas took a seat in a chair while the other three made themselves comfortable on the thick carpet.

“Everything’s changing. I can’t reset the ward, not even with blood magic.” He took a deep breath. He had all their attention, finally. “Not only is the invisibility ward down but the look away ward is not working. Also, there are weak spots in the wards. Certain people, humans, will be able to cross.”

“We can retreat to the in-between until…”

The shaking of Silas’ head stopped Lael mid-sentence.

“What?” Rada asked.

“You’ll only be able to be in the in-between for seconds, maybe minutes.”

“You’re talking in riddles.”

Silas tilted his head towards Asa. He was talking in riddles. He stood going to the window that the brothers didn’t realize they could use.

“There’s a prophecy,” he chuckled. “You don’t understand how funny that is, but if I said that to a human, they’d laugh until they cried. There is always a prophecy.”

Three sets of eyes tracked him. It was a little unnerving to come under scrutiny from the brothers. All their lives, their futures depended on them. He made his way back to his chair before his knees that were visibly shaking betrayed him.

Lael felt the desire to bare his teeth. The mage stunk of fear. His heartbeat picked up as his eyes dilated. He moved a little closer to the mage. When Silas slowly opened a drawer and pulled out a water bottle, Lael snarled at him. They would battle later when he wasn’t threatening him with holy water.

“I love this stuff,” Silas said, petting the bottle like it was an animal. Not like an animal would survive around them.

“Enough,” Asa growled. He was at the end of his small amount of patience.

“When we were corralled several millennia ago and placed in this prison, provision was made for us to go free,” Silas told them.

Their eyes flared with brief hope before it was extinguished.

“Remind me, didn’t we do that and fail?” Rada said.

“No. You’ve been tested as the centuries passed. Supposedly, to give you a fighting chance when the prophecy came to be.”

“What are we to do? Become the pampered pet of some monarch?” Asa asked while he licked a fang.

“Maybe we’ll become the monarch's champion, killing any who try to betray him,” Rada threw out.

“With our luck, we’ll spend several centuries as slaves. Thanks, Silas, but we’ve been there, done that,” Lael told him. If he never saw another whip or executioner’s blade it would still be too soon.

“Wrong, all three of you are wrong. Before you ask, I don’t have the answer. Why would the gods give me information that will help you? I think this prophecy is just one of their ways of having fun at your expense.”

“They really are… ”

“Don’t say it,” Asa interrupted Lael. “The last thing we need is to remind them that we live.”

“Let me get this right,” Lael said, looking at Silas. “The ward is down. Humans can see into our town and may even be able to stumble their way in. We are living in some prophecy that you think is funny. We’ve been cut off from the in-between, and we have to figure this out while being visible to the humans. Did I cover it all?”

“No. You may have not realized it yet, but you are no longer invisible, and you’re in the form of males. Hot, sexy males.”

Lael jumped to his feet, ignoring Silas, who always preferred the male form to the female. He rushed to a mirror, his brothers on his heels. He had forgotten what he looked like as a flesh and blood male.

“What the fuck?”




Rose drummed her fingers against the steering wheel as she hummed to a song on the radio. She raised her eyes to the rearview mirror needing to assure herself for the thousandth time that no one followed her. Was she paranoid? A snort came out as she answered herself with a loud resounding yes. That’s okay though, it was better to be paranoid and alive than clueless and dead.

She gave herself a good pep talk as she decelerated, wanting to read the sign at the side of the road. She wasn’t sure why it caught her attention. There was a small dirt road that seemed to break off from the main highway.

It read Between Heaven and Hell population three thousand three hundred and fifty.

They called their town Between Heaven and Hell? Heck, that’s where she spent most of her life. Wondering if she was making a bad decision, she took the dirt road. She never saw the sign change to read population three thousand three hundred and fifty-one.

She traveled for what felt like a long time through the land that looked like it should be used as pasture for grazing, but there were no animals out. She shrugged; what did a city girl know about grazing? Then she hit the woods or the forest. It was beautiful with trees that reminded her of ones she’d seen on Facebook. They were as tall as the sky with trunks so big you could make them into a house.

When the town came into view, she had to pull over. It was a cross between a medieval village and a futuristic city. How could this place exist? Some stores looked like huts next to stores that were so far advanced she had never seen ones like them in the city. She drove the street slowly as people turned to stare at her.

“Excuse me,” she slowed down. “I’m looking for a hotel, motel, holiday inn.” Her bottom lip disappeared between her teeth when there was no lick of understanding at the old song lyric. “Maybe there’s a bed and breakfast? Some place I can rent a room for a while.”

A small child who she hadn’t noticed stuck his head in the window. “You need to go to the house of the beast. That’s where all new people go.” He flashed her a smile before taking the hand of the woman she thought was his mother.

The house of the beast. It would have been nice if he had pointed it out. She started the car as the desire to run sat on her shoulders. The last thing she wanted was to face another beast. Her life was filled with them. That’s why she decided to run.

She drove around aimlessly, enjoying how the old seemed to meld with the new. When she came to a structure that looked like the cross between a federal building and a mansion, she stopped. Along each side of the steps was a beast out of a horror movie. Pulling the car over, she got out like she was being pulled in. The beasts were cast in black material. They almost looked alive. She went to one, looking at its snarling face. It had fangs that were about six inches long. The statue was huge, and the beast was down on his haunches. How much bigger would it be if the beast were stretched out? The hair on it was wild. What caught her attention was his eyes. The pupils were a vibrant blue with a red circle around them that faded into pink before the white of its eyes took over. She shivered, looking at it. Not it, him. This statue had to be a male. She gave a laugh at her musings. It was apparent that she was feeling free for the first time since she’d been a child.

Her hand went to her throat when the air was cut off. She tried to slow her breathing as her airway was constricted. Please, she begged as her mind swirled, taking her back to another time. Sweat popped on her brow as her heart raged, her chest moving fast under her shirt. Her hand shot out to clutch the beast, trying not to fall.

There was a growl when she touched the beast that forced her to her knees. Tears she refused to cry prickled the back of her eyes as her mind screamed; she was not free. She was trapped again.

A hand touched her. She threw her arms up to protect her face as she crawled along the steps.

“You’re safe.” A rough voice told her.

She looked up to stare into the eyes of the beast.


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