A Whole World Full of Hurt
All her life, Raven Westbrook has been looking for love. After enduring the emotional abuse of her family and the physical abuse of her lovers, she joins The Black Cauldron. Under the coven's powerful high priestess, Abigail Sheen, Raven becomes an accomplished witch. Unfortunately, this new future doesn't turn out as Raven intended.
To stop a mad quest for ultimate power, Lloyd Edwards, a top government agent, joins forces with Raven, and they gather a troop of angels to take on an impending demon horde. They need only one more thing: a woman of renewed faith.
With time running out, can Lloyd, as a man of renewed faith, convince Raven there's reason to trust in the goodness of life? Can she find the faith and the love she lost, the way he did, by overcoming the pain she's suffered in her own world full of hurt? Their lives, and the fate of the world, depend on them. If only he can reach her, and if only she can trust him, they may have a chance, yet, to save the world.
Raven grappled with the halo. “Earth, air, fire, and water! Hear me, Earth Mother! Let that which burns turn to water!” Raven cried.
The radiant halo fell from her wet face and burst upon the floor, watering Lloyd’s carpet.
Ellen flicked her fingers at Raven, and a swarm of spinning colored lights zoomed toward her. Raven brought her arms up, crossing the wrists in front of her breast, and swept them apart again. The rainbow of lights vanished. “You must be desperate—or a rank amateur,” she told her adversary, “not to know that the many-poisoned prism spell is easily warded off.”
“Yes, it is,” Ellen acknowledged, “but it bought me enough time to follow up with this!” She closed her eyes, frowning with concentration, and wasps, scorpions, bats, snakes, rats, and leeches flew from her forehead, as she focused her destructive thoughts upon Raven, letting them assume whatever forms they would.
The wasps and the scorpions stung. The bats flitted about her head, some becoming entangled in her hair. The snakes slithered over her feet and embedded their fangs in the muscles of her calves. The rats scurried over her feet and climbed her legs, their claws ripping at her flesh and their teeth nipping at her arms and neck. The black, puffy leeches sucked her blood. Raven detested such creatures. She’d always been revolted by them, and they repulsed her now as they swarmed her face, climbed her legs, and clung to her neck. Several rats perched on her shoulders, inches from her face. She shivered, panic rising inside her, building to a flood.
Lloyd wanted to leap to his feet, rip the bloodsucking leeches from her body, and cast the rats from her person. He wanted to snatch away the snakes and wave off the bats and bees. He wanted to crush the scorpions. He couldn’t. Paralyzed by Ellen’s spell, he could only lie on the floor of his den and watch helplessly as Abigail’s lieutenant tormented the woman he’d come to love.
Come to love? Lloyd asked himself as he watched Raven struggling with the vermin that assaulted her. Did he love her?