A damned soul, Dexter is trapped in Hell, until he sees Lorelei for the first time. Now he is doing everything he can to get out of Hell so he can make the angel of a woman fall in love with him.
Lorelei has a male watching her. And when she figures out he is a demon, she wants nothing to do with him. But there’s something about him she just can’t ignore—so much so, that she charges into Hell to rescue him.
Dexter curled his hand into a claw shape and lashed out at the demon blocking his path. As he swiped, he focused his will and poured his demonic energy into the attack. The creature in front of him curled its back as Dexter’s claws connected with its torso. It let out a horrendous scream and collapsed.
Dexter didn’t stop to appreciate the fact that it had been easier than it should have been. He moved faster, before anything else could try to stop him. He had to see her, and there was only one place in Hell that he could accomplish that mission.
As he moved through the landscape, he tried not to notice Hell’s real estate, but it was impossible. There was no way you could ignore it.
The ground was hardened lava as sharp as blades under his feet. Sulfurous vents spewed toxic gas into the air he breathed, and if he didn’t watch himself, he could step on seemingly solid ground that would become boiling lava under his feet.
He stumbled over a particularly sharp rock and landed with his arms extended and his palms splayed on the glass like surface. Fresh blood oozed out onto the ground and the Hell earth sucked it up like a sponge.
With a curse, he righted himself and started running again. His time was limited. It wouldn’t be long before his overseer would notice his absence. Then there would be—he snorted at the pun in his head—Hell to pay.
Eligos had gotten Dexter into more trouble than any other demon under his supervision, thanks to Dexter’s penchant for escapism—a fact that Eligos took pleasure in reminding Dexter of in a painful way, on a regular basis.
Dexter shook his head. There was no time for mental tangents. He had to make it to the oasis, since that was the only place he could look through, and up, to see what was happening topside.
A piercing scream made him duck and roll, and the winged demon just missed Dexter with its razor talons.
“Fuck!” Dexter hissed with frustration. Why did nothing ever come easy? He paused. “Because you are in Hell, moron,” He insulted himself as he swerved to avoid another grab by the flying demon.
He crouched down and curled his fist around a loose rock. The sharp edges cut into the meat of his palm as he tightened his grip.
Tilting his head back, he oriented himself with the creature, took in a deep breath, and held it, just as he had done when he’d been a sniper.
He curled his arm, and despite his crouched position, he threw the rock with force.
A grin spread on his lips as he hit his target. The winged demon’s head exploded like overripe fruit and it plummeted, hitting the ground in a crumpled heap.
That wouldn’t keep it down long. Everything in Hell regenerated, and the only place spawn were vulnerable was topside, on earth.
Dexter set off at a sprint. The oasis wasn’t far now, over the next rise. He fought back the urge to cough as a plume of sulfur vented near him, making him dodge the heated gas with a quick side step.
It felt like he was never going to reach the top of the rise, but he knew it was an illusion. One of Hell’s side effects.
Dismal, abject hopelessness. Nothing ever felt achievable in downside, which was one of the talents he’d discovered he had early on, when they dumped him in the fiery pit.
He could ignore the despondency. He could power through any hopelessness and reach an objective. He assumed it was a bonus of his military training, but then being in Perdition was a side effect of following too many dubious orders.
He crested the rise and paused a moment to stare down at the oasis.
Hell was—well—hellish. Words couldn’t really describe how bad it was, but in rare places, some little bits of the pit were, for a lack of a better way of saying it, heaven.
Dexter looked down at one of those places from his spot at the top of the rise.
Viridian trees and cobalt water sparkled in the sunshine that shouldn’t exist. He could hear the sound of water birds and songbirds as a breeze that shouldn’t be possible blew up the rise and ruffled his hair.
He drew in a deep breath, pulling the oxygen he didn’t need into his lungs.
A screech in the distance warned him that the winged demon had reconstituted and he had better get his ass in gear.
Dexter started scree running down the rise. He spread his arms for balance and leaned back so he wouldn’t topple forward and break his neck falling down the glass rock shards.
Dust billowed all around him, and the sound of scraping rock was almost deafening in the quiet.
He reached the bottom and blew out a breath of relief. He had never enjoyed scree running. To him, it was like jumping out of a plane without a parachute.
Dexter took a careful step forward and put his booted foot down on lush, green grass. His weight crushed the blades and he drew in a deep breath closing his eyes at the pleasurable smell of the shredded grass.