The Fallen [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Kimberly Zant & Jaide Fox & Celeste Anwar
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
eBook Description: Before the dawn of man they walked the Earth. In time they passed through the gateway where no man could follow, but the Fallen, those who have lost favor, are banished to Earth until they can redeem themselves.... Throughout time man has seen them as gods, above themselves, but despite their powers, they are a warlike race and once more a battle has begun for power. Fallen Angel by Marie Morin: When Kylee's quest for justice leads her into the dark underworld of the city, two worlds collide and the Elumi, Gabriel, drawn unwittingly and unwillingly into her private war, becomes her sword of vengeance. But is the price too high? Archangel by Jaide Fox: When scientist Danielle Logan inadvertently breaches the gateway, Archangel Kirin, guardian of the gate must stop her from opening the gates of Pearthen to human invasion--or die. He discovers, though, that Danielle is surprisingly determined to protect her invention. She will take convincing. Blood Sin by Kimberly Zant: Nicole is a woman with a mission: retrieve the 'golden' seed of an Elumi known to flourish even in the womb of a woman unable to conceive. Gideon refuses to donate, which leaves her no alternative but to steal it. The vengeance of an infuriated Elumi, she discovers, can be ... interesting. Dark Thrall by Celeste Anwar: Banished from his beloved Pearthen forever, Raphael can no longer bear his solitude. Desperation to end his loneliness drives him to search among humans for a life companion, a woman to bestow his child upon. Isabel isn't particularly thrilled to have the honors, especially when she discovers her hunk has wings and some very bad baggage. Rating: Contains graphic language, explicit sexual content, profanity, forced seduction, and violence.
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, Published: 2005
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2005
185 Reader Ratings:
"It's been two frigging years," Kylee said angrily. "You mean to say you've got nothing? How could you have nothing?"
She could see that the detective sitting across from her was holding onto his patience only with a strenuous effort, but she didn't care. Snatching a drawer open, he hefted a file fully six inches thick from it and plopped it down on the top of his desk.
"We've got a whole lot of nothing," he said tightly. "We've followed every lead, but we ran out of leads more than a year ago. So, unless you have something new...?"
Her stomach tightened as she stared at him, trying to gather up the nerve to put her plan into action.
She'd never considered herself a coward--still didn't. The plan that had slowly evolved in her mind wasn't the product of a sane person of bravery, but one insane with grief and the need for vengeance. But she was not so far off the deep end to feel no fear of something she had every reason to fear.
"I've--I decided to smoke him out. I'd like your help if you're willing to help me, but I'll do it anyway," she said quickly before she lost her nerve.
Detective Strand gave her a patronizing look that made her long to slap him. "If you'll pardon me saying so, that would be plain out stupid. You'll only end up getting yourself killed."
"You know it was her.... "She stopped. She couldn't bring herself to say 'pimp', not about her baby sister. Drug dealer sounded almost as bad. The truth was the bastard had gotten her little sister hooked and used her and then killed her when she tried to get out because she knew too much about him. "...boyfriend that killed her," she finished, feeling ill even to use that description, although it was less offensive to her sister's memory.
"We think it was him, and that means exactly zero, because we haven't found anything to link him to the murder aside from the fact that he was her pimp. It could just as easily have been one of her johns."
Kylee winced at the word pimp. How dare the bastard sit in judgment on poor Stacy! She hadn't been much more than kid, easy prey for the sonofabitch that had used her, but she could see it in his face. As far as he was concerned, Stacy was nothing but trash, a whore and a junky and undeserving of life--or his valuable time. White faced, Kylee got to her feet. "Well, how about I do your job for you? If I get a confession for you on tape, do you think you could put the bastard away? Or does it take more than two hands for you to find your ass?"
Detective Strand was beet red when he shoved his own chair back and surged to his feet. "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that," he growled. "If you're so damned determined to go out and get yourself killed, I don't see how I can stop you, but if you do anything illegal, you're the one that's going to end up in jail, Ms. Griffin!"
"It's a hell of a lot safer to run in law abiding citizens, isn't it? Especially if it's a woman half your size!"
His eyes narrowed. "I put my life on the line every day," he growled, "not that people like you appreciate it."
"It's your job, Detective! If you didn't like the job description, you shouldn't have taken the job to start with. I don't have to appreciate your half ass service. I pay the taxes that support you! The biggest problem I see with that is that I don't have anything to do with hiring and firing. I just get to pay taxes through the nose and listen to excuses whenever I actually need you!" Grabbing her purse up, Kylee stalked from his office before he could fall dead in a fit of suppressed rage.
She was still so furious when she left the precinct that she merely stood on the sidewalk for a time, staring at nothing in particular while people walked by her, jostling her. Finally, she moved to the curb and hailed a taxi to take her back to the room she was renting.
She hated the city. There were too many people, too many cars, and too many opportunities for corrupt and/or incompetent cops and outright criminals.
She was still seething when she reached the shabby room she'd rented. She was also terrified. All she really wanted to do was to tuck her tail between her legs and high tail it back for home where she could feel safe and untainted.
She was hardly a saint, but the filthy things that happened in the dark corners of the city made her feel unclean just from proximity.
She couldn't just go home knowing the bastard that had butchered her little sister was still going about life as usual, making money off of the bright eyed young girls that flocked to the city for adventure and ended up as carcasses on a slab in the morgue, picked clean, sucked dry.
She'd spent a solid year hoping to hear he'd been caught, hoping to hear he'd been found dead--anything that would make her feel that justice had caught up with him and he wasn't able to prey on anybody else's little sister.
She was never going to be able to put this behind her as long as she had the mental picture of his grinning face next to her sister's cold, dead one.
She didn't want to die, though, and she had very little confidence that she could carry out her scheme. She wasn't street smart. She'd seen plenty of violence, even in the small city where she lived, but although she'd been a 'wild' teenager she hadn't dealt with the drug scene and certainly not prostitution. She hadn't rubbed elbows with users, or dealers, or women that had been forced to make their living in such a way.
She was going to stick out like a--victim just waiting to be pounced on. She might as well strap a sign to her ass.
After taking a hot shower to try to calm her frayed nerves, she lay down on the bed, hoping she could force mind and body to rest. If she was going to be out half the night, she needed to have her wits about her. * * * *
Kylee had spent nearly a year training in self-defense. She had a bottle of pepper spray in one pocket and a tape recorder in her bra and she still felt naked, completely defenseless, and scared totally shitless as she made her way down the dimly lit streets where her sister had lived and died.
How could Stacy, five feet nothing and, maybe, ninety pounds soaking wet have gotten up the nerve to come to such a dangerous place to start with? How could she have lived here, she wondered? Were drugs that powerful? Did they distort reality that much? Even if they did, Stacy would have had to have been bombed out of her mind all the time not to notice how dangerous the area was even for a two hundred pound gorilla, much less a speck like Stacy.
Knots of hookers waited on just about every corner. They gave her suspicious, aggressive glances whenever she passed them. Derelicts dotted the landscape, swigging from bottles, lying in the gutters, squatted behind the dubious concealment of trash dumpsters that over flowed everywhere, or staggering along the sidewalk. 'Pimp mobiles' passed along the street at intervals, creeping along so that the 'ladies' could get a good look at them and stay on their toes.
She was almost relieved when she saw the sign she'd been looking for, the bar slash pool hall where Enrico, Stacy's former boyfriend, was known to hang out. Girding herself, without waiting to think it over, she grabbed the door handle and stepped inside.
Her lungs seemed to collapse in her chest like deflated balloons. Her heart put on brakes.
There were probably two dozen of the lowest looking low lifes she'd ever seen hovering around the pool tables, slouched in bench seats in front of rickety tables, and standing along the walls. A few of them glanced toward the door when it opened and did a double take.
Kylee ignored them, raking her gaze over the assemblage in a desperate attempt to see if she could identify Stacy's killer.
One of the guys that had glanced her way elbowed a man standing in the shadows. The guy looked up, took a step forward.
Kylee's heart slammed into her chest wall as it surged to life again.
Whatever doubts she'd entertained that she would recognize him vanished.
Whatever doubts she'd had that he would instantly know she was Stacy's sister disappeared, as well.
He looked like he'd seen a ghost.
It was all she'd come to do.
Stepping from the bar, she walked as briskly as her shaky legs would allow in the direction from which she'd come, resisting the temptation to break into a run. She had just reached the first intersection when she heard a shout behind her.
Glancing back, she saw that Enrico had barreled out the door of the bar. Kicking her heels off, Kylee sprinted down the next block. She'd left the rental car on the street at the next intersection. "Please, God! Don't let it be stripped down to a shell before I can get to it!" she muttered under her breath, dodging a man that tried to block her path. He caught her anyway, swinging her around. She dug for the pepper spray and filled his face full.
Screaming, he released her to rub his eyes and she leapt away, her feet pounding against the pavement in time to her heart beat. She slowed enough to dig for her keys when she saw the car. She could tell from the sounds behind her, though, that Enrico was gaining on her.
Reaching the car, she shoved the key in the hole after scraping paint off the door all the way around the hole. Diving inside, she slammed the lock down and shoved the key into the ignition. Luck was with her. The engine turned over at the first try.
Someone grabbed the door handle, wrenching on it. Kylee turned to see Enrico glaring at her through the window. "I know what you did and I'm going to see you fry for it!" she screamed at him, flicking him a bird.
It was probably one of the more ill advised impulses she'd had, and given in to.
He slammed his hand against the window so hard she was surprised it didn't shatter. Screaming, she jerked the car in gear and stepped on the gas just as he slammed his fist against the window again. That time the glass did shatter and he grabbed a fist full of her shirt, tearing it half off of her as the car's momentum yanked him off balance. He rolled away from the wheels as she jerked the car into the street, narrowly missing another car.
She ran the red light at the next intersection, almost hitting a second car as she glanced in her rearview mirror to check on Enrico. To her horror, she saw him leap to his feet, run around to the driver's side of the car and yank the driver out.
She turned at the next intersection, whipping the wheel around the corner at the last minute. The car fishtailed. She fought for control and managed to get the car straightened out. When she got to the next corner, she turned again, glancing in the mirror to see if the car Enrico was now driving had managed to make the turn. The sound of grinding metal reached her as he sideswiped a parked car.
She didn't wait to see if he made the next turn, zigzagging through the city in an attempt to lose him. Driven by sheer terror, it was a while before she realized that she was moving deeper and deeper into no man's land.
She found herself in a 'ghost' town, an area of the city that contained nothing but run down, or falling down, buildings. About the time she realized she hadn't seen a soul in several blocks the car Enrico was driving barreled out of an alley, slamming into the rear of her car and sending it spinning completely out of control.