Candy didn’t bother to turn around and face the creature. She pulled her sword out, stopping just a second to watch the blood trail down the silver length as a metallic scent filled the night air.
The number of demons crawling around the mortal plane had increased dramatically in the last three days. Ever since the lesser demons had rose up against Hell’s ruling family, the House of Demons. As the oldest son and heir to the House of Demons, her friend Damien Hellerman had gone to Hell to defend the rights of his family. No one had heard from him since.
The smell of death lingered around every street corner. Candy’s lips curled in disgust as she stared out into the dark night made yellow by the street lamps.
Her family had spent the last few centuries keeping balance in the realms. That balance had tipped with the auspicious one. Daria Mathews was born under all the right signs and stars, making her the first auspicious child to grow to adulthood and gain power. Whoever drank her blood would gain immense powers. Those who ate her flesh became immortal. And whichever House claimed her, won the right to rule all the realms. When Candy’s baby brother Jason had won her heart, their house had irrevocably solidified their place as ruler of the supernatural realm.
And that made her an even more desirable match than she had been the last few centuries.
She glanced at the skies. Damn. She was late to meet her father.
Candy stepped into a shadow and arrived at the library at the House of Fallen Angels a second later. Books filled the floor-to-ceiling shelves and behind a looming mahogany desk, sat her father Lucifer. He crooked his finger for her to step closer. She watched him slide a sheet of paper towards her and didn’t need to read it to know its contents.
“This is getting old, Candace,” Luke told her as he leaned back in his chair. “You can’t use Jason and Daria as an excuse anymore.”
“I still have the uprising in Hell,” she murmured with a small smile.
Luke scoffed. “What do you want to say this year? That you’re too busy killing demons? Zerachiel will offer to help.”
Candy pursed her lips, mulling over the right answer. Every year for the last decade, Zerachiel had written a letter to her father asking for Candy’s hand in marriage. For all intents and purposes, the marriage made sense. Zerachiel watched over the children of parents who sinned. And who was a bigger sinner than her father? As the youngest of the seven archangels, he was closer in age to Candy than he was to Uncle Michael and her father. Zerachiel hadn’t participated in her father’s falling and a marriage now would help to amend ties between Heaven and their House.
At least, that was what she had thought before she learned that God still controlled her father like a master puppeteer did his dolls. With the new information, she wasn’t more eager to agree to the proposal. Quite the opposite, it made her even more adamant to oppose.
“My answer doesn’t change,” she replied. “I don’t want to marry him. I certainly can’t live in Heaven. He can’t live here. We wouldn’t ever be together because we’re from two different worlds.” She held her up wrists. Heavy black shackles trailed from her wristbands to disappear into the ground. The signs of her family’s punishment.
“If we had children, would they be born with chains as we were or will they live in Heaven?”
Her heart tugged at the thought of children and she quickly wiped the pain that she knew showed in her eyes at her father’s intense gaze. Nothing ever slipped by her father. And she doubted her excuses all these years had either.
Luke said nothing for a long moment, merely tapping his fingers on the desk. Then suddenly he asked, “Aren’t you running late for your next appointment?”
She glanced at him surprise. He knew.
Candy stood and bent over the desk to give her father a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you, Daddy.”
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the author is illegal.
Thank you for supporting the author's rights.