Series: Dark Angel
Author: Hanna Peach
Available: November 22, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: ~90,000 words
An army of angels walk among us. They have kept us safe and ignorant, so far.
Earthbound for centuries and ruled by the Elders, they have established hidden cities, a society and The Code: obey your Elders, kill all demons, eliminate Rogue-angels, protect the mortals, remain hidden. Their warriors are the ungifted earthborn angels armed with blades and the ‘borrowed magics’ of distilled angel-blood tattoos.
Alyxandria is a young warrior with a fondness for customized knives and illegal night-races. If only she could overcome the taint of her parents who abandoned her to become Rogues.
When Alyx saves Israel, a gifted mortal with a past, she is forbidden to see him again. But she can’t help herself, drawn to him through their Guardian-bond, an ancient and long-forgotten bond; if he dies, she dies.
An encounter with a handsome Rogue leaves Alyx questioning all she has been taught to believe. Alyx begins to dig into the Elders’ secrets. Two thousand years of secrets that begin with the death of the Archangel Raphael. She is not prepared when she uncovers an Elder’s dark plan.
Somewhere on earth is a key to unlock hell. Somewhere on earth are pieces of an amulet that controls Lucifer and his army. Somehow Israel is the link and now both sides are after him. Who can Alyx trust when Good and Evil is no longer clear?
The war for earth begins.
“This is going to sound crazy.” She presses her palm to her forehead.
He laughs softly. “Remember who you’re talking too.”
“Right,” she says. “I think it’s time I admitted some things to you. But you have to promise not to freak out or get angry before I finish, okay?”
“Remember the last time we met, you asked me how I happened to come by the alley in time to save your life…”
“A lucky coincidence.”
“It wasn’t. I knew you would be there, I knew you were being attacked.”
Israel frowns. “How?”
Alyx takes a deep breath - no turning back now - and begins to tell him about her visions of him. Then to prove she isn’t lying she describes each one.
“Let me get this straight,” he says. “You see things through my eyes?”
“Essentially, yes. That’s how I knew where to find you then. And tonight.”
“Do you hear my thoughts as well?”
“Just whatever thoughts you have at the time.”
“That is...” his eyes blaze at her, “...so frickin’ cool.”
Her mouth parts as she sucks in air, realizing that she has been holding her breath. “You think so?”
“Think about it Alyx. You have been inside my body, felt my heart beating as if it were your own, felt how I feel, thought as I thought. You know what it’s like for me.” He leans forward as he speaks, grabbing her hands. “You don’t just know me, you know me.”
Alyx swallows, hard. His eyes have a way of making her feel like she is underdressed. Alyx wonders for a moment whether he can see inside her as she does him.
A writer of fantastical things, especially stories with fangs, magic or wings.
I want to tell you tales that will rip away the glamour from your life, keep you running and fighting and gasping long past the devil’s hour and maybe, just maybe, reality will look a little bit different when you return.
Sit with me around this witchlight. Let me tell you a story.
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“I am looking to trade.” Alyx holds up a handful of pouches, all full of gold.
The RaceKeeper makes a noise under his breath. “And what might I have that you would be interested in? You aren’t looking to trade for the little Sparrow again are you?”
“I want information.”
“What kind of information?”
“I know you have Rogues in this crowd.”
He makes a non-committal noise.
“Which means you must have access to their community. I want to know,” Alyx pauses, taking a breath, “I want to know where my parents are.”
“Your parents? I see. But why are you so interested now, Bullet?”
“That is none of your business.”
“Hmmm.” The RaceKeeper takes a long languid puff from his pipe and blows smoke rings towards her face. She grits her teeth and instructs herself not to react. She needs his information. “You have discovered the truth about them have you?”
Her world stops. He knows too. Has he known all along? Does everyone know but her?
“You know about them?”
“My dear, I never accept competitors for my races without a full investigation into their past. You do have some interesting demons in your closet don’t you? Poor Symon must have a rough time keeping you under control.”
Alyx clenches her fists. What else does he know about her?
“I will pay you for what you know.” Alyx throws the pouches at the RaceKeeper’s feet.
The RaceKeeper pokes them with his pipe. He picks one up with his chubby fingers, shakes it, opens it and pulls out a coin. He lifts the coin to his face and it disappears in the blackness. Then he pulls it back out to study it.
There is now a small mark on the coin. He has bitten it, checking that they are pure gold. Pure gold is so soft that teeth can dent it.
“You don’t trust me RaceKeeper?”
“Just business my dear. Don’t take it personally.”
He pulls out another coin, bites, studies, and pulls out another. He does this with all of the coins.
Finally he puts down the last pouch. “Is this all your parents are worth?”
Alyx struggles to hold down the bile that rises in her throat. She pushes her fist into her jacket pocket and pulls out her last four pouches. She throws them on the pile at his feet. All of her savings.
“Holding out on me I see?” The RaceKeeper laughs. “I accept your offer.” He takes another toke of his pipe. “Now, I have good news and I have bad news for you. Which one do you want to hear first? I recommend the good news.”
He is enjoying this. Alyx wants to kick him in his flabby gut, which is spilling out over his purple drawstring pants, but she restrains herself.
“The bad news.”
A slow crawling smile is stretching across Michael’s cold carved face. The smile chills Mayrekk more than the hate in his eyes.
“Are you going to disappoint me Mayrekk?”
“I hope not Elder.”
“Good. Tell me... where has she gone?”
“Is Alyx missin’?”
“Don’t play games with me.”
“Honestly Elder, I don’t know where Alyx is.”
Michael considers Mayrekk for one long excruciating moment. Michael takes one precise step towards him.
“We have something in common you and I.” With a flick of a wrist Michael now holds a kris in his right hand.
“I also fancy myself a kind of scientist.” Michael waves the kris to indicate the devices about the room. “Oh yes, a scientist.” Michael brings the kris up in front of him and fingers the point with his other hand. “Did you know that the average adult human body holds around five liters of blood?”
Mayrekk shakes his head and shuffles back as Michael continues his languid approach towards him.
“This means that we also hold five liters of blood in our bodies.”
“Interestin’ fact that.” Mayrekk knows his voice is shaking. But he has to stay strong. Everything depends on him staying strong. Stay strong. For her.
“Do you know,” Michael says, stroking the gleaming blade of his kris with one finger, “how much blood you would have to lose before you died, Mayrekk?”
“Of course your body goes through many painful stages before death from blood loss.”
Mayrekk swallows hard as he hits the bench behind him. Nowhere left to go.
“We are lucky aren’t we Mayrekk.” Michael takes another step, the gap between then closing.
“We are lucky in that we, unlike mortals, heal very quickly from most wounds.”
“So for someone, like you for example,” Michael smiles, “to sustain such a significant blood loss you would have to be cut many, many times, wouldn’t you say?”
“Aye.” Mayrekk’s voice quivers. But he will not break down. He can’t break down. Everything depends on this.
“Mark my words Mayrekk, before I am through with you, you will tell me what you know.”
Michael closes the gap between them.