One surviving hijacker is charged
Alliance I-Marshal Weber hauls Yadira to her home planet and infiltrates the human-trafficking ring controlling her. But he finds himself unbearably attracted to his witness. A gift for detecting deception reveals she’s the next victim of a criminal industry.
Descending into shadowy worlds of slavery, Yadira endures a dark angel stalking her dreams and watches the quiet I-Marshal become dangerous in her defense. Everything about him moves her…except the memory of seeing him execute the most important man in her life. Shouldn’t she take vengeance? Delusions of a heavenly guardian affect her mind.
Slavers and demons plan to snatch Yadira from Weber’s custody while he is uncovering connections, and he won’t hesitate to execute the guilty surrounding her. Who but a son of fire can save her from fiends harboring hardcore fantasies of harming her?
I hope you enjoy Vigilant.
[This excerpt is rated R for creepy violence
“Did you execute my men, Marshal?” the demon Morosi asked the seething cop he held caged for the revenge show playing out before his eyes.
Yadira shivered in her shackles, chilled for the horror Morosi would put her through. She stayed quiet, afraid the only sounds she could utter were cries of fright.
“Your men had attempted suicide by coming to take me,” Weber deadpanned, his vision focused on her lying chained to the bed. “One’s still alive, but he wants to die. I don’t think he’ll return to your employment.”
“I’ll have him killed before his trial.”
“That would save Alliance citizens a fistful of money.”
The I-Marshal began to slam his big combat boot into the cage lock she’d failed to pick.
She desperately prayed Weber could weaken the bars.
“If you think I’m going to let this go your way”—slam!—“you’re wrong.”
“You’ll grow old, Dokiel, kicking those bars. It’s a bomb-worthy metal.”
Rising horns blended into Morosi’s black hair, creeping her out. His black eyes rimmed in red cruised her body with clear intention to anger the I-Marshal’s more base instincts. “Does it sicken you, son of fire, to witness me ruin her? You won’t want her after this.”
Yadira fisted the small spike in her hand to conceal it, dreading the size of her only weapon. She didn’t know that Morosi had a heart to stab or even if he were alive in any way that made him killable by a mere mortal. Would Morosi find the spike in her possession and beat her bloody for it? It would no doubt be foreplay for the monster.
“I’m going to destroy you, Morosi.”
“People in Hell want ice-water, Marshal.”
Pleased with the cage’s strength, the demon grabbed Yadira’s ankle and yanked her harshly to stretch her body the length of the bed. She fought, but his grip cut the blood flow to her foot. He cuffed that ankle with long leg chains to the bed footboard. She shuddered again, and worked to be brave and think clearly. Or fake it.
“More likely, I’ll teleport off this planet in an eye blink while you stand trapped in a cage, watching her bleed, listening to her weep. Her buyer will collect her afterward. Another thing you can’t prevent.”
“Returning to the abyss you came from, you ghoulish fucker?” Weber taunted him.
Laughing, Morosi grabbed her other ankle, and her most vigorous fight was fruitless. He chained her other leg to the footboard.
“There’s no place like home. As you ignorant mortals are fond of saying.”
Yadira’s hands were cuffed together on one side of the headboard, and the demon would have to unlock her right hand to reposition it for his ultimate act of revenge.
“I’ll hunt you down, Morosi, and drain your demon body of your corrupt blood. I’ll see your carcass go up in the blue flames you deserve.”
“But the two of you will have this memory forever. She’s never going to recover.”
Her legs secured, Morosi straddled her hips in morbid domination, despite her awkward position. His rough hands stripped the remnants of her blouse from her body, leaving her bra and topazes to cover her. His awful eyes drilled into the sky-blue jewels Weber had given her, as though the demon needed to concentrate to rid her body of them. Morosi hadn’t complained of pain when Weber had busted him in the mouth or had burned a beam through his head, but the monster feared a gift of love around her neck. He’d ordered his men to remove the jewels in an attempt to avoid them.
“I’m going to uncuff your hand, and you’ll remove the jewels,” the demon gunman hissed above her.
“Take them off yourself!” Yadira screamed at him. “If you aren’t powerless in the face of goodness!”
Bare-handed, the demon snatched the topaz necklace from her neck, scattering the jewels in all directions. She heard the sizzle of his flesh, and he howled aloud and gritted his teeth to bear the pain. His blood-red lips rolled up to reveal sprouting fangs. Her mind warped in consideration of all the horrible things he could do to her.
Crazed Morosi shook his horned head and seemed to grow bigger. Tendrils of smoke rose from his nostrils. His fangs flashed, white and sharp. His black vision roved over her, and his mood changed to a sick glee.
“Yadira, you’re the most marvelous piece of art I’d like to crush. The helplessness, the fright in your eyes makes them sparkle. The paleness terror gives your flesh is delicious. You’re so weak, you’re beautiful. Your buyer should want to see it often.”
“I’m not weak!”
“I can see what the I-Marshal took, and that was supposed to be mine. I’ll wipe away the triumph for him while he watches. Considering all the revenge you represent, I’ll make this last a very long time. What do you say, son of fire, to watching the repercussions of stealing from me what I’d murdered for?”
Slam! Weber’s only answer was another slam of his combat boot into the cage lock.
Having her chained and pinned beneath him, the man transforming into a beast removed his stiffly pressed shirt, revealing carvings on his lithe and darkening body growing bulkier in his slow shift. Steel-girded muscle expanding told her she’d not escape him.
Yadira repulsed at the thought of this damned creature violating her so hideously. She began to weep, hoping to convince her captor she’d given up on a rescue, that his infliction of fear worked, and she no longer had fight in her. She surrendered. Weeping was easy.
Morosi delighted in her loss of hope.
“I’m going to destroy you, Morosi,” the I-Marshal promised the demon again, his concentration focused on breaking the cage lock.
“You’ll want to, especially after this.”
Yadira tried not to shudder, but the fear controlled her. He had her stripped down to her bra and panties.
The demon’s lascivious inspection stopped at her bare thighs. He growled, “I see your handprints burned into her, Weber. I don’t care that you’ve marked her for your possession.”
Weber’s handprints seared into her thighs? She’d fantasized his touch had melded into her flesh. It was the vision he’d given her and a wish she’d made in the shower with his scorching, pleasuring hands stroking her thighs, water droplets sizzling away.
“I care, Morosi, that you’re violating my property. You’ll meet holy fire for touching her.”
When the filthy demon uncuffed her hand concealing the spike to recuff it across the headboard and maximize his access, his grip was overconfident. She yanked her hand from his grasp and stabbed at the throb in her tormentor’s neck.