Sunday, December 16, 2012

Devil Under the Mistletoe by Sam Cheever

Perdition guide Damian is supposed to escort sexy Amanda to Hell. But he’d much rather keep her.

Damian Noire is a Perdition Guide. He escorts people who die to their rightful spot in Hell. Business always seems to pick up around the Holidays and this Christmas is no exception. Damian’s assignment is to bring a beautiful young woman to Hell to stand before the judgment assembly, and then take her to her assigned circle of Hell. It sounds simple. But it’s about to become the hardest assignment he’s ever performed.

Amanda Wright might have been unjustly judged. She might not belong in Hell at all. Problem is, Damian really kind of likes her. He especially likes enjoying her lush, willing body under the mistletoe. If he gets her the judgment she truly deserves, he’s probably going to lose her forever. But if he doesn’t help her, an innocent may spend eternity in Hell. It appears to be a lose/lose situation on all fronts. Proving once again that holidays truly are hell!


Worm emerged from the assembly vault a few moments later. Fear shot through Damian at the speed with which the judges had decided. The ugly little man gave Damian a sneer. The girl’s presence is needed in the chamber.”

Damian stood.

“Not you. You’ve been dismissed.”

Rage flared and Damian took a step toward the smaller man, his fists clenched. “What the hell kind of trick is this?”

Worm shrugged, his ugly, round face smug. “No trick. In fact, I think I’m being very clear. You’ve been judged to be too close to the… erm… situation to be objective, and you’re no longer on the case.”

Amanda clutched his arm, her face paling. “What’s going on, Damian? What are they going to do with me?”

Damian drew her behind him. “You’re not taking her in there without me.”

Worm’s smile widened, and something mean sparked in his eyes. He inclined his head slightly, just enough to give Damian a warning, but not enough of one. Hard hands clasped his arms, dragging him backward, away from Amanda.

She screamed his name and tried to follow but Worm grabbed her, holding her in place as tears streamed down her cheeks and she sobbed his name. Damian fought with everything he had, but the judgment demons who had hold of his arms were massive, eight feet tall, with tree-trunk-sized arms and hands that could hold his entire head like a football. The enormous black and white demons dragged him away from her, his feet scrabbling for purchase on the stone floor as he pummeled them.

“Get your fucking paws off her, Worm. I’ll kill you with my bare hands.” Heat flared over Damian, fire. He embraced the pain, nurtured the flame, until the demons holding him tensed. “Amanda!” Even to himself he sounded pathetic. He was desperate, terrified for her, but he couldn’t get to her. “Amanda, run!”

But she didn’t run. Couldn’t run. Worm dragged her backward, toward the chamber door. Damian was relieved to see that she’d stopped crying, but he was concerned that she looked pissed. If she mouthed off to the judges…

He fought harder to get away.

They reached the end of the hall, and Damian heard the door to the outside opening. In another second he’d be locked outside, and Amanda would be lost to him forever. He concentrated hard, bringing his inner fire forward. He burst into flame and the creatures holding him screamed, loosening their grip. It was enough, barely enough, but Damian was desperate. He wrenched himself free and turned, kicking out with enough power to take the legs out from under one of the demons. He didn’t spare the toppling giant a glance as he leapt off the ground and swung his leg toward the second demon, catching it in the midsection. The monster doubled over but didn’t go down. Damian took off running. Behind him, thunderous footfalls told him at least one of the demons was after him.

He didn’t care. He had only one thought. Get to Amanda.

He came through the chamber door just as Worm pushed Amanda to her knees before the judges. They were about to proclaim her sentence. “No!”

Amanda’s head whipped around. “Damian!”

“No, she’s an innocent! I’ll go to the angels myself and tell them.”

Rock-like hands wrapped around his arms and yanked him backward. He roared his rage, flailing out, but a fist the size of a boulder hit him on the side of the head and the world spun, darkened.

The last thing he heard as the world folded away was Amanda’s screams. He hit the rock floor, dazed and bleeding. His fingers clutched convulsively on the gritty floor. Amanda. He had to get to her. She was yelling something… pleading with them. She was in danger. If he didn’t save her he’d never see her again. Damian lifted his head. “Amanda…” His voice was muffled, feeble -- he doubted she even heard him. The boulder smashed into his head again, and everything went black.


Debby said...

Sounds like another wonderful book by Sam. I love her books.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Sam Cheever said...

Hey Debby! Thanks so much for stopping by.