“Have you found her yet?” Raphael asked as he swept into the operations center where his team of angelic beings oversaw and managed all the healing miracles that occurred on Earth. A cloud of emerald green sparkles drifted along behind him.
“Not yet, Sire,” Bartholomew, his right-hand angel, turned from studying the map of the East Coast of the United States. “It’s as if in the last Earth month since we last checked on her, she just disappeared, or…”
“Don’t ever think that,” Raphael ordered sharply. His heart clenched painfully at the thought his assistant’s words alluded to. She would not cross the veil voluntarily. “She’s strong, a fighter. She’s survived so much in her life already. She’d never harm herself. Widen the search. Maybe she went traveling. You know how humans love to travel these days.”
Bartholomew nodded and waved his hand over the map screen. It reduced in size until they could see the entire country. “There she is. At least I think it’s her,” he pointed to a pale green blinking dot halfway across the country from where she had resided for the last fifteen Earth years.
Another sweep of his hand and the barely visible green dot moved to the center of the screen and grew as Bartholomew enlarged the map around it. “She’s in a place called Texas, but her light is much dimmer than the last time we checked on her. And why is she here? For the last thirty Earth years she’s been in North Carolina. How did we miss such a big move?”
Unable to help himself, Raphael stepped closer to the map, needing to be closer to her. As his assistant so very accurately stated, the green dot, which represented her belief, her trust in Heaven and its occupants, had faded dangerously light.
Was she being pulled toward the dark side?
Would Heaven lose one of its strongest advocates on Earth at this time?
Was her life force slipping away?
He had not received any prayers for intervention from her. Nor had others been praying for a healing for her. He would know. Anything having to do with this particular human came to his attention. He was even notified when others’ prayers about her were sent to the Boss or one of his fellow archangels.
Or was it, that, after all she had survived during her life on Earth, had her belief in God, angels, and the Divine disintegrated to the point she was barely a blip on Bartholomew’s believers’ map? Were they losing one of their strongest advocates on Earth? Was this Earth angel now in danger of being recruited into Satan’s army?
Watching the screen for another moment, Raphael made a decision. It was time. Time to save her soul. Time to restore her faith. Time to remind her about the love she was meant to have. Time for him to go to Earth and reclaim his woman.
Raphael had loved her since before the beginning of time. When she had requested, no begged, for an Earth assignment, he could not refuse her. His love for her kept him from denying her anything, even though he knew her life would not be an easy one.
She was a helper angel, and during this time she was spending on Earth, she continued helping others. He had watched as, over the years, her angel helper side ended up with her being hurt time and again. Until just recently, her belief in God, Heaven, and angels had never wavered. Something must have happened to cause her to now be questioning her faith. She was in serious danger of being enticed to the dark side unless something was done to restore her faith.
Nodding with what was the easiest decision he had ever made, Raphael said, “Bartholomew, you’re in charge while I’m gone. I’ll clear it with The Boss before I go.”
He could not help but smile when his assistant visibly paled. He swallowed hard before saying, “But Sire, what do I do?”
“You’ve worked in the Department of Healing for three thousand years. You know the rules regarding angelic intervention, the criteria for miraculous healing, and how to run the coffeemaker. What more could you possibly need?”
Without waiting for a response, Raphael swept out of the room as quickly as he had swept in. He had plans to make and an angel’s faith to restore. His woman needed rescuing from her past. She needed to know the reason she had never found satisfying, enduring love with a human male was that she was meant for greater things.
She was meant to be loved, adored, and cherished by an angel. And not just any old member of the angelic realms, but an archangel, one of those closest to God, one who sat on the board of directors of all creation.
She was meant for him.
Two hours later, Raphael tensed as he waited. He had just laid out why he should be granted a leave of absence from his duties, which was a break of Heavenly policy of noninterference to visit the Earthly realm for an extended stay. Now he waited for The Boss to decide whether or not he could carry out his hastily laid plan.
“You will have one Earth week in which to win her heart,” the glowing white orb at the end of the long table finally declared. “If, at the end of that time, she has not professed a renewed belief, as well as love for you as a man, and one of My Chosen, you will return and we will never speak of this again. When her time on Earth is through, she will be judged as a human, and not as one of my angels sent to Earth.”
Raphael did not fight EJ’s lead as she kissed him. Nor did he take control when she opened his shirt and stroked her hands over his chest and belly as far as she could reach. Only when she shifted to straddle his lap, pressing her pelvis hard against his cock, did he wrest control from her. One of them had to stay in control or their loving would be over before it began.
And though he wasn’t sure getting physical with his woman was the right thing to do without her knowing the truth of his existence, he wasn’t about to turn her down. He was anxious to touch her, to see her, to show her what real loving was all about. And from her books, and knowing her as he did, he also knew she wanted him to take charge and dominate her without causing her pain.
Grabbing her hands, he guided them to his shoulders under the shirt. Breaking the kiss that had them both panting for air, he growled, “Leave them there.”
She blinked once and her eyes grew wider, but she did not argue. Instead, he felt the staticky, protective wall of energy around her heart soften. Though she tried to project differently, EJ was submissive to her core, and would not fight his need to guide her, dominate her, love on her. He only hoped she would not regret her submission when her logical mind clicked back into gear.
Though he would have preferred to use magic to vanish their clothes away, that would break the mood and bring up even more questions to the list she had, for now at least, shoved to the back of her brain. Instead, he kissed her as he wrapped his arms securely around her body before standing. Carrying her to the bed, he set her on her feet beside it.
Holding her until she was steady on her feet, he then released her and took two steps back. “Get naked and get on the bed.”
He knew the words were straight out of her dreams and had to fight back a smirk when she blinked before taking a gunslinger’s stance with arms on her hips. “You first.”
Unlike her dreams, he was happy to oblige. In seconds, he had shrugged out of his shirt, opened his belt and jeans and pushed them to his ankles, leaving him wearing nothing but a grin. When his back began to tingle in response to his growing excitement, he had to take deep breaths to stay in control.
Her eyes were once again wide, her expression startled, but hungry. He felt the heat of her gaze as her hands opened and pushed her jeans down her legs, stepping out of them. A moment later, silky panties joined them on the floor.
When she reached for the hem of her shirt, she hesitated as fear crept into her expression. “I have a fat cat,” she said softly.
Rafe blinked, shocked that he had been doing a lot of that lately. Looking around the room, he went so far as bending down to look under the bed. Nope, no cat in sight. Then he heard the most glorious sound ever.
EJ was giggling.
Straightening, he looked at the woman who was still clutching the hem of her shirt, though she no longer looked scared.
“I’m good with animals,” he said. “But we’re the only ones in here and I don’t remember seeing a cat in your jeep.”
EJ giggled harder.
He was obviously missing something. In an instant, he recalled everything he knew about sex, love, and the human female. While it was apparent the Heavenly archives were not nearly as complete or up to date as they should be, he could not remember anything about cats being required in the room.
Finally, her giggles eased off. “Not a real cat, silly man. My pussy. It’s fat.”
Rafe remained clueless as he puzzled, her cat wasn’t a cat, but a pussy?
EJ saw his confused expression and once again began to giggle, but not quite as forcefully this time.
Then she pulled her shirt over her head, dropping it to the floor followed by her bra. Then she pointed to the juncture of her legs. “This pussy. It’s fat. Like the rest of me.”
Raphael frowned as he tilted his head, looking her up and down. She was full-bodied, with large tits and curves that he would happily spend the rest of eternity exploring. “You are not fat, and the next time I hear a negative word cross your lips about this body, I’m going to turn you over my knee and spank you. For now, I want you up on the bed so I can lap at your pussy’s cream until you purr for me.”
His continuing the feline references seemed to tickle EJ’s funny bone once again. She giggled, but then stopped and looked nervous as she asked, “You don’t think it’s fat? I had it waxed the other day because I wanted to write about the experience in my latest book, but then I looked at it and realized I have a fat cat.”
Instead of answering, Raphael pointed to the bed. Once she was reclining in the center of the big mattress, he climbed on after her, pushed her legs apart and settled between them. Studying the area, he ran his fingertips all over it. The skin warm and smooth against his. When he parted the lips, he found everything in between soaking wet despite her nervousness about being naked in his presence.
“I think your cat is like the rest of you, breathtakingly beautiful and perfect. And just for me.”
Leaning closer, he pursed his lips and placed a loud, smacking kiss at the top of her mound, earning himself another little puff of laughter. That sound transformed into a moan when he pushed the tip of his tongue between the puffy lips that protected her opening.
She tasted like the sweetest ambrosia and his control snapped. Keeping his mouth glued to her pleasure center, Rafe settled in, determined to show his mate what true pleasure and loving was. Once he was through, EJ Brooks would never again doubt her desirability as a woman.