I'll Be Damned
by Kate Hill
Heat Level: Erotic
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover art: Bryan Keller
Purchase Links: Changeling Press
Related Books or Books Set in the Same Universe: Wild Woods, Frenzied, Alaksan Flame
Sinister is a demon who has never lived up to his name. He's mischievous at his absolute worst, but that's not good enough for his superiors. They send him to Earth on a mission -- to wreak havoc. Sinister knows this is the end of the line for him. Unless he shapes up, he'll be tortured and cast into oblivion. When he finds a beautiful private investigator in trouble, instead of making the situation worse, he helps.
Jayden is used to working on her own, but she ends up with a rather strange guardian angel, one she can't help loving.
Sinister knows that a demon impersonating an angel must be breaking some cosmic rule, but that's the least of his worries. By loving Jayden and surrendering to his good side, he has sealed his fate and will be destroyed by his hellish masters, but is there a way to save a demon with an angelic soul?
The following excerpt from I'LL BE DAMNED is for readers 18 and over.
It was early dawn when Jayden got home after being questioned by the police. She was finally released without being charged for killing the intruder who turned out to be Francois' bouncer, Lou.
Unfortunately she had to tell the police she'd questioned Francois regarding a case she was currently working on and he'd threatened her.
Jayden's client had wanted to avoid police involvement. That's why she'd hired a private detective. Now, with a shooting in the mix, it was impossible to avoid the authorities.
Jayden felt as if she'd failed, even though she'd warned her client that Francois was a dangerous man. He wasn't merely a club owner. He had strong connections to the criminal underworld. Drugs. Prostitution.
Jayden had hesitated to take the case, but her client had seemed desperate. Of course many of her clients were desperate, but something about this mother searching for her missing daughter got to Jayden, so she'd agreed to do her best to locate the girl.
With a sigh, Jayden peeled off her bloody clothes and took a long shower, as if she could wash away the horror of the night along with the gore. She wasn't happy about killing a man, but it had been self-defense. Lou had no doubt intended to kill her and he'd shot Cinder.
Cinder bothered her even more than Lou. She still couldn't believe what she'd seen. Part of her wondered if she hadn't imagined it. If the police hadn't asked her about the second wounded man she'd reported to the emergency dispatcher, she would have doubted her sanity.
She'd nearly told the cops the truth, but refrained. They would think she was either crazy or a liar. Instead she told them what Cinder had suggested--that the second man had run off. Maybe he hadn't been injured as badly as she'd thought, or perhaps he'd been wearing some kind of bulletproof vest.
She insisted she had no idea who he was, but told them he'd helped her and hadn't appeared to be with Lou.
The police seemed satisfied, at least for the moment.
Jayden turned off the water, stepped out of the shower and dried off. She wrapped the towel around her and walked into her bedroom where she gasped upon seeing Cinder standing by the window. He'd cleaned up and changed out of his bloodstained clothes. Dressed in black pants and a red shirt that draped his muscular frame, he looked incredibly sexy.
"Damn it! You need to stop doing this. You're going to give me a heart attack," she said.
"I'm sorry. I just came by to make sure you're all right."
"And you promised to tell me who and what you are."
"I know." He stepped toward her. Their gazes locked and something in his luminous blue eyes aroused her so much that she almost squirmed. He lifted his hand to her face and caressed her cheek.
Jayden swayed toward him and he covered her mouth in a deep, tender kiss. His tongue stroked hers and he cupped the back of her head, his fingers sliding through her hair.
When the kiss broke, Jayden leaned against him, her palms splayed against his hard chest. She closed her eyes for a moment and shook her head. A realization struck her and she stepped back to glare at him.
Pointing in his face she said, "You bastard! It wasn't a dream the other night, was it?"
His blue eyes widened and he shrugged.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about. When we. . ." She paced the room, torn between rage and shame. Then she paused. Why should she be ashamed? He's the one who--
"I didn't force you," he said.
She shot him a furious look. "You lied to me."
"How did I lie?"
"I thought I was dreaming. You came in a puff of smoke and--"
"I never said it was a dream. If you remember, I asked if you wanted me in your bed."
"We did it under false pretenses! Who the hell are you, anyway, and why do you keep bothering me?"
"Bothering? I saved your life twice and gave you unearthly pleasure once already."
"Already? You think it's going to happen again?"
He smiled and gently cupped her chin. "I hope so."
Jayden knocked his hand away. "You still haven't answered my question."
"You've scarcely given me a chance to get a word in edgewise."
She stepped closer to him. Cinder was a bit above average height and Jayden was quite tall, so they stood nose-to-nose. "Start talking."
"You must know by now I'm not human, even though I look human." He waved his hand in front of his face.
"I got that much. What are you? You change to smoke, right? How is that possible?"
He hesitated. "The explanation is too complicated for a mere human."
She curled her lip. "So you're condescending on top of a liar."
"I didn't lie."
"All right. Fine. Technically you didn't lie. Are you an alien, a government experiment? What?"
"I'm not from this or any other physical realm. At least not as you know it. The best explanation I can give is I'm a supernatural part of the natural order."
"That makes no sense unless you're a. . ." She paused, then smiled faintly. "I feel like a kid again. My grandmother really believed in you, but I always thought it was just a story."
His expression turned wary. "What's just a story?"
"Guardian angels. That's what you are, isn't it? That's why you've been protecting me. I didn't think we could actually see you, unless---Oh damn." She covered her mouth briefly. "I'm sorry. I probably shouldn't curse in front of you."
"I don't have a problem with cursing."
"It seems you don't have a problem with a lot of things angels shouldn't do."
"I've answered your questions. Maybe you can answer a few of mine."
"Aren't you all-knowing?"
"No, no. That's for one being alone." He lifted his eyes toward heaven.
"Oh. Right. What are your questions? Do you mind if I put some clothes on while we talk?"
He grinned. "Since you're asking, I prefer you don't."
Jayden smiled and shook her head. "Something tells me you're being a bad boy. Won't pleasures of the flesh make you fall from grace or something like that?" She walked to her dresser and pulled out panties and a knee-length cotton nightshirt.
"There are different kinds of angels and we're bound by different rules." He approached and slid his arms around her from behind.
He kissed her neck and Jayden closed her eyes and leaned against him.
"I shouldn't do this," she breathed as he tugged off her towel and cupped her breasts. His thumbs swept over her nipples and a sexual thrill tore through her from breasts to pussy.
"We've done it before."
"I didn't know then what I know now. If I make love to you, I'll probably go to hell."
He turned her in his arms so their gazes locked. Instead of his usual faint smile, his expression was serious with an underlying sadness. "You won't go to hell, Jayden. You're good. I can sense good."
"I'm sure you can," she said, then lowered her gaze. "I killed a man tonight. How good is that?"
"He was trying to kill you. If not for my powers, he would have killed me too."
"Thank you, by the way. I never thanked you for saving my life--twice."
"It's not necessary," he said in a husky whisper. He kissed her again, gently at first. When she closed her eyes and opened her mouth to his searching tongue, the kiss turned passionate. She didn't protest when he picked her up and carried her to the bed.
Cinder gently placed her on her back and kissed her. She wove her fingers through his hair and returned his kiss. Their tongues joined in a sensual dance.
He kissed her neck and breasts while his big, warm hand cupped her soft mound.
Moaning, Jayden arched against his stroking hand. His thumb rolled over her clit and his fingers slid into her wet pussy.
"I love how you touch me," she breathed.
"And I love touching you," he said and trailed his tongue along her collarbone.