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Faith of the Fallen

Faith of the Fallen

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Faith of the Fallen

Longueur:
168 pages
2 heures
Sortie:
Sep 25, 2018
ISBN:
9781386310419
Format:
Livre

Description

Libby has an uncanny ability to heal the odd ailment, but her gifts go much further than she could possibly imagine. When she starts dreaming "as Lucifer," her life takes a sharp nosedive into the strange and unusual.

Lucifer and the other angels are content with their lots in life until God announces plans to move forward with an apocalypse. Without purpose, angels are lost and destroying humanity can't be Lucifer's purpose.

An unconventional witch, her long-dead ancestor, and a rag tag team of angels and demons must work together to stop the apocalypse in a paranormal suspense novella heavily influenced by Dante Alighieri's Inferno.

Sortie:
Sep 25, 2018
ISBN:
9781386310419
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Jessica West (a.k.a. West1Jess) is currently pursuing a state of self-induced psychosis, also known as writing. In the past, she has worked for Wal-Mart, a lawyer, and a bank. Now if she could just get a couple years’ experience with the IRS and the NSA, world domination is in the bag. Jess lives in Acadiana with three daughters still young enough to think she's cool and a husband who knows better but likes her anyway. If you’d like to get in touch with her, just google West1Jess; she’s everywhere. To get emails when she writes stuff, sign up at https://www.subscribepage.com/JessicaWest_SFF.

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Aperçu du livre

Faith of the Fallen - Jessica West

SLIDE

Chapter One

Lucifer

Sounds of struggle disturbed the serenity of the bright, open space. Archangel Michael delivered a kick to his brother’s midsection and Daniel flew through the air, slamming into one of the sturdy oaks that lined either side of the arena. He rebounded off of the tree and landed flat on his face.

Lucifer couldn’t stop the laugh from escaping.

Daniel, gasping to catch his breath, lifted his head and glared at him. Oh, you think that’s funny?

Hilarious.

Daniel shrugged, conceding the point.

Michael and Daniel joined him under the pavilion. Its bright white marble would have been blinding if not for the heavy burgundy and navy drapes to break up the monotony.

Noah burst up through the cloud cover at the southern edge of the arena, nearly flying past the heavenly outpost sparring partners preferred for its expansive lawn. Aside from the building at their backs and the tall oaks lining the eastern and western borders of the floating island, nothing cluttered the landscape.

He quickly slowed his ascent and tumbled midair, headfirst, to change his direction. His landing sent a shockwave outward and a loud boom the humans far below would no doubt hear and misconstrue as thunder. Lucifer admired Noah’s childlike exuberance.

Hey, little brother, he said.

The young angel’s cheeks reddened. Hey, guys.

Lucifer hadn’t meant to embarrass him. That he was a relatively new angel shouldn’t have been a source of humiliation. He made a mental note to work with Noah on building his confidence and to make every effort not to call him little brother. Ready to spar?

Yep. He paused with a glance to the still-heaving Daniel. Uh, Daniel. Are you ready?

Lucifer chuckled and Daniel rolled his eyes. I’ll be working with you today, he said.

Noah’s eyes widened.

Though Lucifer was his mentor, he’d never sparred with the much younger angel because the fight would have been far from fair.

He’d take it easy on him.

Daniel dipped his hands into the fountain of clear, cool water and drank from his cupped palms, then splashed his face to wash some of the sweat off. He and Michael sat on the steps of the pavilion while Lucifer and Noah strolled out onto the lawn. The evergreen carpet softly stroked his feet with each step.

He turned to face his opponent, the pavilion’s white marble outlining a silhouette of Noah. Whenever you’re ready.

The younger angel hesitated and Lucifer wondered if allowing him to attack first had been the best approach. Then the moment passed and Noah launched himself at Lucifer.

As he dodged a volley of attacks, he wondered if Noah’s hesitation had been a deliberate attempt to put him off guard. He certainly surprised Lucifer when he sprang into action.

But that brief surprise would only carry him so far. Lucifer remained faster and stronger. He twisted beneath a wide swing, spun around, and caught Noah in the back of his head with an open palm in a move intended to strike a spark.

He took the bait, but instead of the smack irritating Noah, it inflamed him. With a roar, he dropped onto both hands, tucked his legs against his torso, then blindly kicked back with both feet.

Lucifer had been expecting him to turn around, get his bearings, then attack again. The mule kick took him by surprise. Even so, Noah had only managed to graze Lucifer’s chest as he leaped backwards, away from the blow.

He spoke before his feet touched the ground, trying to get Noah’s head back in the fight. The setup takes too long for that move to work unless your opponent is stunned. Not to mention it’s impossible to aim without being able to see. You have to know where your opponent is, feel their energy as it interacts with the world around them.

I knew exactly where you were.

That he did. If Lucifer hadn’t jumped back, he’d have nailed him. But the lesson stood and he wouldn’t acknowledge the childish mumbling with a response.

Noah flicked a glance over his shoulder.

Lucifer turned to see Sophia and Samael joining them.

Heat at his back warned him of Noah’s attack. Instead of dodging, Lucifer turned his head slightly to check his approach.

Face first. Bad idea.

He turned his torso slightly and raised his arm, then allowed Noah to tackle him from behind. As they fell, Lucifer slammed his elbow into Noah’s face.

He was out cold before they hit the ground.

Sophia rolled Noah’s limp form off of him and offered her hand.

He let her help him up and hugged her in greeting. Samael had joined Michael and Daniel at the pavilion.

Sophia looked down at the young angel, who was slowly coming around. Poor kid. You should take it easy on him, Luc. He’s no match for you and you know it.

I would have, but he’s not fighting smart. He’s fighting dirty. He was too eager to win, at any cost. I’ve seen him battle Daniel countless times. He’s much better than this.

He and Sophia stayed nearby while Noah regained his senses. Angels healed quickly, but that was a helluva hit delivered by the highest-ranking angel in existence. Little brother wasn’t going anywhere for a while.

Sophia brushed Noah’s hair out of his face in an effort to make him somewhat more comfortable.

Warmth stirred deep inside Lucifer’s heart, in a chamber he kept carefully locked. Love between the angels wasn’t forbidden, but it was frowned upon. They were supposed to love each other equally. They were supposed to be better than the humans. Especially an angel of the highest order.

When he let out a heavy sigh, Sophia’s gaze quickly found his. She’d caught him staring longingly at her.

Tease, she said.

I’m sorry, Sophia.

She waved off his apology.

It meant little when he would do nothing to show her he truly did regret his position. But he couldn’t let down his Father. Love was for other angels, and she had plenty to choose from. As much as the thought of her with another angel rankled him, he hoped she would find whatever it was she was looking for in love. As for him, there was plenty of purpose in his life without love.

He had the humans to care for, and they needed every bit of compassion and patience he could spare. There was no room in his life for love anyway.

You two look awfully cozy, Daniel said.

Lucifer and Sophia helped Noah stand as he, Michael, and Sam approached.

Just taking care of Noah, Lucifer said.

You know, you’d still be God’s favorite even if you admitted your love for Sophia.

Lucifer sighed again. Leave it to Daniel to put it all out there. He always spoke his mind, no matter what, to the chagrin of God and everyone.

Michael laid a hand on Lucifer’s shoulder. Big day on Earth today. Are you ready for church? The prayers are going to bury us at this time of year.

Ready as I’ll ever be for Christmas.

Daniel threw his arms out. Seriously, we’re just going to pretend everything’s fine?

Michael took a deep breath. Of the three, he had the greatest control over his temper. But Daniel knew which buttons to press. Everything is fine, Daniel.

I disagree.

Of course you do. You make a big deal out of every little thing. Heat rose in Michael’s face. His hands balled into fists at his sides. They’d had this conversation before. It always ended with Daniel calling Lucifer a liar for denying his feelings and Michael storming off, beyond angry. One day, he’d stand and fight. One day, Michael would unleash his fury on Daniel. When that day came, Lucifer hoped to be somewhere else entirely.

Enough, he said. We have work to do.

Sam stepped between the two angry brothers. Need a sparring partner? he asked Michael.

Sure, Michael said, his anger already dissipating.

As long as Daniel kept his mouth shut, everything should be fine. Lucifer was torn between wanting to keep Daniel from speaking and wanting to flee. Daniel wasn’t someone who would be silenced. But if anyone could accomplish the impossible, it was Lucifer. As far as his brothers were concerned, Lucifer was second only to God. They would defer to him. Or, at least, they always had.

Hey, Daniel. I didn’t get in much time with little brother here. He gestured toward Noah. He might have felt the tiniest bit guilty about calling him little brother again, but as long as he was acting like a child, Lucifer would treat him like one. He had to learn to control his temper. He couldn’t be trusted to help care for the humans otherwise, and without a job to do—without humans to guard—an angel served no purpose.

Daniel gave him a blank stare, still fuming. His gears were still turning. He wasn’t ready to let it go.

I could use a sparring partner, Daniel. What do you say? Lucifer extended his hand.

The last of Daniel’s anger faded as he gripped Lucifer’s hand. Sure, Luc.

They shook hands and turned to the opposite side of the arena, giving Michael and Sam plenty of space as Sophia guided a still-dizzy Noah over to the shelter.

Before they could begin, a booming voice sounded from inside them and all around them. Lucifer, Michael, Daniel... come to me.

Lucifer and his brothers closed their eyes and tipped their heads back, spreading their arms wide.

With their hearts completely open to His grace, He entered their minds. Gone was everything else. There was only light and warmth. The moment would only last an instant to anyone watching their forms, but for them, time meant nothing.

Father, a single voice resonated in the stillness, though it came from all of them at once.

I have decided on a course of action.

Decided? Action on what?

The humans and their corruption. I will not waste time making another planet habitable for humans until I am certain I can trust them to properly care for it and themselves and each other. It would be much easier to start over here, on Earth.

Start over?

The humans have a word for it. They’re the ones who gave me the idea. We’ll have an apocalypse. Clear the slate, as they say. Start fresh.

Silence reigned for a long moment. What did this mean for them?

Lucifer’s thoughts were open to the others, tied together as

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