Who doesn’t love a second chance? As we get older we grow, learn from our past mistakes, and occasionally regret that one bad choice we wish we could go back and make right. Sometimes apologizing isn’t possible for more reasons than pride. Perhaps there are circumstances too big to overcome or situations to shaky to go back over a second time. Layla was forced to make a decision every woman would consider her worst nightmare, saving her unborn child or her husband. It was a no brainer, but the cost was catastrophic.
Alone and loathed she came to earth, forged a life, and did her best to forget the demon she’d fallen from heaven to be with. Strong, determined, and creative she carved a place out for herself at Purgatory. The only bar that practices neutrality and welcomes all who mean no harm. For a time it worked, until the new life she’d painstakingly built crumbled. Half demon, half angel, her child, Hevenleigh is the key to opening the gates of hell, and Lucifer, better known as Lucien these days, wants out in the worst way. With the cat out of the bag father and daughter meet for the first time and she finds herself in the hot seat.
Heavenleigh is stunned to find out Daddy Dearest is no other than Lucifer. If her mother can keep this under lock and key for sixty years, what else is she hiding in her closet? Reeling from the reveal her lift continues to spiral out of control when Lucifer, or Lucien as he likes to be called, comes top side for a visit at Purgatory.
Once the Queen of hell Layla left Lucien’s to protect the unborn baby growing inside her. Forced to feign the ultimate betrayal, she turned his love to hate. Now makes an offer he can not refuse, her life in exchange for Hevenleigh’s freedom. ‘
Lucien spent years searching for a way to open gates. Finding out the ruin of his only child is the key is a slap in the face. He has a chance at a second family who won’t betray him. It’s an offer her can’t refuse. Layla handing over her freedom is a bonus he plans to exploit. She made him the laughing stock of the underworld, and the time for payback is finally at hand.
She held her hand up to the door and held her breath. It clicked open stunning her. He hadn’t changed the wards in all this time? She stepped inside and the doors slammed behind her. The lights went up and she found him seated in black, leather chair.
“I’ve waited almost a century for this moment. To watch you come back and beg me for something. The way I did when you left me, do you remember that Night?”
“Yes,” she whispered. The foyer that used to welcome him home seemed cold. There was no fire in the hearth behind him and the couches were black leather.
“I figure you want something. If I say no, you’ll be humiliated because you made the trip for nothing. If I say yes, it’ll come with a horrific set of clauses. So I win, or I win.” The maniacal laughter that spilled from his perfectly shaped lips sent an icy stab of fear through her bones. This was the side of him that scared her, though it’d never been directed toward her until now. “So tell me what brings you down here to … slum.” He splayed his elegant fingers over the arms of the couch and leaned back, observing her.
“Oh… she’s our daughter now? Funny how that changed as soon as I caught wind of it.”
“She’s always been your daughter, Lucifer, that was the problem.” She was pinned to the door, lifted off her feet and held by her throat before she could think to react. Damn, I forgot how fast he is. He didn’t harm her, or exert pressure, but his point came across loud and clear.
“You’d better watch how you talk to me now Night. You’re no longer in my favor, wife or not.”
“I meant it literally.” She licked her lips. “It was why I left, her duality…this place would’ve eaten her alive. Between the pull to be dark and the call of the light, she wouldn’t have stood a chance. She needed a neutral place to learn control, how to balance, and thrive.”
He lowered his hand and she slid down, grateful when her feet kissed the ground. “Go on.”
“Even on the surface she ran into issues growing up, starting fires, fits of rage, and at times a pension for some very dark behavior. You were just starting to rebuild your army .I couldn’t allow her to be just another soldier.”
“After two eons together you didn’t trust me enough to tell me?” His words twisted the knife into her gut. Shame weighed heavily on her.
“Not at that time… war was all you saw.” She shook her head.
“It was my right to know. And why cheat?” Despite his aloof façade his voice held a hint of hurt.
“I had to make you believe it. You always saw through me like glass. I needed to …” She shook her head.
He narrowed his eyes leaned forward to peer deep into her brown eyes. His red gaze burned her. “That was a lie too wasn’t it?”
“Y-yes.” Her lower lip trembled. Relief slammed into her like a seven ton. Finally after all this time he knew the truth.
He tsked. “What am I to do with you? You knew when we joined our souls our bound could never truly be broken. Marriage to the king of hell is eternal, it was in the contract. Now you return to tell me your mass exodus was in the best interest of my child.” He frowned. “It does nothing to quell my anger. I am not appeased. Did you think your revelation would soften me in some way?”
“No.” Ashamed she kept her gaze trained on the ground. A part of her had hoped. Too many romantic comedies had her thinking she had a snowballs chance in hell of a happily ever after. “I came to make a deal.”
“What would you have that I can’t take?” His sneer felt like an open hand smack to the face. Her heart stuttered. All the years she’d been pinning he’d grown his hate. It was an impossible situation of her own making. She wanted to open up, tell him how difficult the years had been. That she’d never stopped loving him. Instead she buried her head in the sand like an ostrich and prayed for the best.
“Me.” Guess I really am a coward.
“Are you really that self centered?” He scoffed.
“My freedom in exchange for the prophecy, we both know if you managed to convince Heavenleigh to open that gate, all the powers in heaven will be after her. She’ll never be safe. The life she has now will be in ruins. The only place she’ll have to go is here, and over time…you know exactly what will happen to her.”
“We’d be out. Protection wouldn’t be an issue.” He scoffed.
“She’s a child of the light too. What do you think being enclosed in darkness indefinitely would do? Some of these people are here for a very good reason. Unleashing them would be like swallowing the sun. Is your need to prove a point worth that?” She held her breath. Have I gone too far?
“Details.” His voice was nonchalant but his eyes were anything but. His mind moved a mile a minute, always ten steps ahead.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“Hmmm.” He gave her a heated once over. “You probably will be. I need more details to truly consider your offer. What does… having you really mean?”
Squeezing her eyes shut she balled her hands into fists. I knew we’d come to this, eventually. She licked her dry lips, peeled her eyelids open and met his cool stare. “What do you think it means?”
“No games! You came here and propositioned me. So, you’d better come correct.”
“It means… I’m your puppet. Is that what you wanted to hear?” Just when I thought I couldn’t sink any lower he shows me I’m wrong. Typical for him in general, but it wasn’t a talent she’d ever expected to be on the receiving end of.
She balked. This is the only thing I have to barter. Is this a ploy to make me beg?
“I want to hear you say you’re my slave.” A lustful leer twisted his face into something ugly.
“Are you starting now?” The bravado she placed in her tone conflicted with the desolate forest of her soul.
“I want to sample the good before I…” he grinned. “Purchase them.”
“I’m your slave.” Uttering the words snapped the thin reed of hope she’d held for them into.
“Yes, you are.” He nodded.
Born to a fallen angel and a demon, Heavenleigh Spirit has never truly fit in. Shunned, tested, and ridiculed, she’s hardened her heart, building a wall around her none are allowed to scale. Carving a life for herself running the neutral bar, Purgatory, she caters to all things winged , clawed, and other. Provided they play nice. When she breaks her middle of the road stance to rescue a newly fallen angel she gets more than she bargained for.
The amnesic angel awakes in the bed of the only woman he’s ever lusted after with nothing more than the knowledge he was sent to protect her. Struggling to remember who he is, and why she’s in danger, he fully embraces the passion between them that blazes hotter than hell fire. When the truth about his mission comes out he must fight to convince her the love they share is real, and he’s not going anywhere.
In an ironic twist of fate the woman cast aside for a birthright she never asked for holds the keys to the worlds ruin or salvation.
About the Author:
Told once ‘You have to be an author, then you’re craziness becomes eccentrics’, Shyla Colt has always been in love with the written word and possessed a desire to write. Named after Super Girl in the comics, she often mistakes her mortality for super hero status. So, she holds many hats, Mother, Marine Wife, and writer are her top three. Writing allows her to explore new venues, face her demons, and touch others. A huge practitioner of paying it forward, and putting in what you want to get out, she hopes to inspire, enlighten, move, and entertain you with her work. Mixing humor, drama, and strong women, often with a paranormal element, she continues to soldier ahead in the writing field. One of her favorite things is talking to fans. If you’d like to learn more or just drop a line, please check her out at www.shylacolt.com.