Wicked Good: A M/M Angels and Demons Anthology
By: EM Lynley | Other books by EM Lynley
Published By: Ravenous Romance
Published: May 06, 2011
ISBN # 9781607774099
Published By: Ravenous Romance
Published: May 06, 2011
ISBN # 9781607774099
Word Count: 55,000
Available in: Epub, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
DescriptionThe concepts of good and evil have fascinated us for thousands of years. Who isn't attracted, even tempted, by what we know we shouldn't have or do? If we're good, the bad boy-or girl-is all the more exciting. But if we're bad, we love the idea of bringing one of the good ones along with us for the ride.
When it comes to love and sex, all bets for any sort of restraint are off.
With angels and demons, the stakes-and the rewards-are even higher.
So polish your halos or horns, and let have some wicked good fun!
Demonology 101 by Kiernan Kelly
Roger is a Hunter, raised from birth to hate all demons. His mission in life is to seek and destroy them, but Xyle, a gorgeous, BBQ-loving demon, threatens Roger's entire belief system and teaches Roger a lesson about tolerance and love he'll never forget.
Involuntary Deceit by Mychael Black
Saen is a fallen Grigori, a Watcher angel who interfered in the lives of mortals and now lives as a human must. His existence, aside from work and his best friend Nathan, is a lonely one. Then he meets Ely, an enigmatic man who takes him to new heights Saen's never seen before. When the answer comes as to why Saen's so drawn to Ely, however, it might be more than Saen can handle.
What We Carry With Us by Crystal Bay
The decision of a single mortal is all that stands between Hell and victory - a victory in the battle against Heaven that will bring the Apocalypse. Lex is a demon sent to help push this mortal towards Hell's side, only to find that the angel watching over this human is someone he once knew intimately, in the time before he fell from grace.
Angel Levi by Martin Delacroix
Levi's been an angel for two thousand years; he runs God's errands. Levi lives on Earth, he looks just like a mortal (though he never ages) and he works in the receiving department at Walmart.
In his mortal life, in ancient Jordan, Levi was a promiscuous gay man who scoffed at romantic love, and God punishes Levi for his sins. While Levi can have sex with many gay men in his angelic life, he cannot not fall in love, ever. If he does, God says, Levi will burn in Hell for eternity.
When handsome Hector de Sousa comes to work in Levi's department at Walmart, the angel is smitten. Hector is receptive to Levi's advances, but will Levi face eternal damnation if he pursues Hector's love? Is it worth the risk? Does Hell even exist?
Fallen Guardian by Taylor Lochland
Mitchell has terrible luck in love. Rehlar was once Mitchell's guardian angel, but is now his guardian demon. One night, while Mitchell is sitting on the balcony of his apartment building feeling sorry for himself, Rehlar appears to him. Mitchell is smitten, and soon finds himself in a romance. However, love between a guardian and a charge isn't quite accepted in the spirit realm. Is their bond strong enough to withstand resistance from both Heaven and Hell?
Suriel's Sword by Jay Di Meo
Suriel, a warrior angel, is sent on a mission to retrieve a dangerous crystal that has the power to corrupt the dead into Hell's undead minions. His partner is the demon Arioch, to whom Suriel finds himself irresistibly drawn. The angel fights the temptation, but eventually surrenders to his desire. Discovered by the heavenly host, Suriel is branded as a sinner, and told that if he gives in to temptation again, he will be banished from Paradise. Suriel must choose whether to remain in Heaven and lead the only life he knows, or follow his heart and go to Arioch.
Reader Rating: (3 Ratings)
Excerpt:What We Carry With Us
by Crystal Bay
Philadelphia, in the grip of winter, is gray and miserable with concrete sidewalks and paved streets caught between tall, colorless buildings. The night sky is dark and moonless, faint light filtering through thick clouds. Fluorescent streetlights illuminate everything in harsh light, and the gleam of ice everywhere is brittle instead of beautiful.
Lex isn’t particularly fond of it—it’s definitely not the scenic route—but it’ll get him where he needs to go. His heels click along the pavement and turn at the corner of a city block into downtown. Here, lights spill color from shop fronts across the icy streets, and red, blue, and green reflect in the crystals. People move in groups, huddled deep inside their winter coats of down and wool, their faces surrounded in fur or obscured by scarves. All around thumps the sound of muffled bass from behind the plate glass windows lit with neon enticements.
He ignores the glances of the others around him and moves down the street until he finds the name of the place he wants. He pushes the door open and smiles as warmth and noise hit him. It’s dark and smoky inside the club; music pumps and lights flash, human bodies push and shove against each other, flesh packed tight into sweaty space. It’s not all that different from Hell, except for the laughter instead of the screaming.
Lex maneuvers his way through the loud, inane chatter above the blare of pop music throbbing from the speakers. A dark-haired girl in a red, satiny t-shirt that fits like a second skin gives him the eye as he approaches, and he winks, letting his hip brush against the denim of her abbreviated shorts. He can smell her perfume, the salty musk of her sweat, and he’s sorely tempted for a moment.
It’s been too long since he’s worn human skin.
He lets his eyes roam over the crowd as he mills through it, moving closer to the center of the room. He spots what he’s looking for within minutes; a man so fresh from boyhood he barely deserves the title of ‘man,’ sitting at the corner of the bar. His eyes are the same rich brown as the longish hair swept sideways across his brow, fingers of one hand fixed on the stem of his half-empty wineglass, other hand toying at the cross strung around his throat. It glints gold beneath the bar light, shimmering as he twists it back and forth.
Lex knows at a glance that this is the one he’s been sent to find. He also knows there’s no way the man will be alone.
He lets his eyes lose their focus a little, roving over the faces in the room. Alcohol demons are everywhere, lounging this way and that against humans like décor, hands made of iridescent liquid that clutch their hosts in a lover’s embrace. Tobacco demons are scattered about the room, arms trailing gray smoke as they wind around the necks of their victims, riding like literal monkeys on their backs. There are other lesser-demons present: apostasy, lust, greed, vengeance, and a score of others. Lex only sees two other full demons, possessed bodies crackling like black fire as they move on the dance floor, all wings and flashing eyes and seductive movements. None of these are of any interest to him.
There, moving along the back wall of the club. This one is possessed of an entire human body, glowing white and golden, wings folded back primly, tips brushing the small of his back.
Lex focuses on this reality again, eyes falling on the form with a knowing gaze. Rahmiel’s human vessel is blond and light-eyed as always, body moving with an easy, liquid grace as it threads through the mass of people cluttered by the bar. Lex’s lips twist in a crooked smile, one brow arching in a welcoming challenge.
He moves to the bar, sliding between bodies to stand next to a couple seated on the stools. They’re new to love, mouths pressed together with need and heat, hands twined in each other’s hair, aware of nothing but the other’s feel. Lex lets his shoulder just graze the girl’s as he leans against the bar. The man meets his eyes and the girl turns a moment later, a graceful curve to her pale neck as she considers him. Lex gives them an appraising, sideways glance.
“You know he was thinking about your sister just now?” Lex asks the girl conversationally.
“Cynthia, your sister,” Lex says, as if she might be slow. “When he was kissing you just now, he was thinking of her. The birthmark just above the line of her bikini. The one that looks like a letter ‘o.’ He was wondering what it would taste like.”
The girl just stares at Lex, her mouth as round as the birthmark on her sister’s belly.
“Are you going to get out of my seat, or do you need to hear what he imagined after that?”
Not a word is spoken between the lovers as they rise from their seats, but Lex can hear their thoughts easily enough, and then their voices, growing loud and harsh a moment later.
“Trouble in paradise,” he mutters, clucking his tongue against the roof of his mouth as he slides onto one of the vacant stools.
“Can I get you something to drink?” The boy who leans across the bar towards Lex can’t be more than twenty-one, barely old enough to stand behind it. He’s pretty, though, with round, wide blue eyes and smooth pink lips set into an angular face that looks almost chiseled. His honey-blond hair sweeps back in carefully careless spikes. His manner is just as carefully careless, body draped over the bar like an unspoken invitation.
Lex lets his eyes roam the length of the impressive musculature underneath the too-tight, faded blue t-shirt down to the curve of the boy’s hip, eyeing the sliver of bare skin exposed between the hem and the equally tight and faded jeans.
“Something tells me you can do a lot more than that.” Lex leans forward into the boy’s space, words spoken like a dirty secret. He watches the faint blush climb the boy’s cheeks, making the tips of his ears red as fire, and smiles.
“I’m Gabriel.” The boy’s eyes are slack, shimmering with a glaze of lust.
“Gabriel …” Lex smirks, one fingertip teasing at the tip of Gabriel’s, dancing a pattern over the nail. “Such a lovely name.” Lex can see his own reflection in the mirror behind the bar. His eyes are bright green behind a dark fringe of lash, his nose comes to a delicate point above full, lush lips set into a face just as chiseled as the boy in front of him— if by a finer, more exacting hand. Tiny, fine lines crinkle at the corners of his eyes when he smiles. His hands are strong and sensitive, and fitted clothes emphasize his wide shoulders, broad chest, and narrow hips. Lex knows what he looks like. Even if he didn’t, the lustful expression on Gabriel’s face would make it clear.
“I knew someone else named Gabriel, once.” The words are a hot whisper on the smoky air. “If he he’d been half as tempting as you are … well … things might have been different.”
“Never too late for a change.” Gabriel’s words are the barest flutter of breath, mouth a fraction of an inch from Lex’s.
Lex can feel Rahmiel’s annoyance from across the room, and he smiles. “Scotch on the rocks, first,” he replies, voice full of promise, finger trailing up the back of the boy’s hand.
As Gabriel turns to fulfill his request, Lex sweeps his other hand toward the stool beside him in invitation. “I can feel you there, you know.” When there’s no reply, he adds with a smirk, “Don’t try to insult me by pretending you’re not watching me. We both know better.”
“Alexiel.” The word is a harsh, barely tolerant sigh.
Lex lets the requisite moment of silence pass and then lifts a finger. Gabriel turns instantly. “A glass of red wine for my … companion.” He flicks his eyes towards Rahmiel with a smile. “Red wine is favored by Christianity, as I recall.”
“Have you seen him?” Rahmiel asks, taking the seat with an air of faint disdain. He’s so poised, perched on the edge of the stool, almost reluctantly so.
“Who?” Lex asks innocently, eyes widening.
“You know exactly who I mean.” Rahmiel’s voice is reproving. “Samuel.”
Trust Rahmiel to take all the fun out of the game.
Lex cuts his eyes to Samuel and taps a cigarette from his pack. It’s impossible to explain, the delicious satisfaction when the smoke hits his lungs, the slight burn that feels like comfort. He’s missed this.
Samuel is seated near at the end of the bar. His skin is tanned, stretched across a long, tall, thickly muscled frame. He looks solid, far too solid and strong to have such vulnerable eyes filled with so much pain and innocence. His eyes are a sharp contrast to his appearance, to the power that thrums just beneath his skin, pulsing thick with every heartbeat, so familiar that Lex can almost taste the darkness in him.
And yet Samuel clings to the cross around his neck as if it were a lifeline, other hand still wrapped around his drink, his thoughts confused and desperate but pure.
“He’s a mess. A gorgeous mess of a dichotomy,” Lex says, voice low and suggestive, as if in agreement with Rahmiel. He tilts his head back with a slow smile and exhales smoke into the air, watching it curl and turn beneath the recessed lights above the bar.
Gabriel hands him his drink and sets down the wineglass with a disappointed glance at Rahmiel. Lex lets him go. For now.
“Does it never tire you?” Lex asks, glancing sidelong at Rahmiel. “Watching these mortals and their petty struggles?”
“Your kind is far more tiresome,” Rahmiel replies.
“Oh, you wound me, angel,” Lex grins at Rahmiel and flicks ashes into the glass ashtray at the edge of the bar. He touches a hand to his human vessel’s heart, tapping the bone, feeling it beat beneath the skin. “Wound me, I tell you.”
“Why were you sent?” Rahmiel demands, turning to look at Lex fully for the first time.
“The same reason you were.” Lex swirls his scotch, ice tinkling delicately against the glass.
Rahmiel hesitates, eyes settling on the untouched wineglass in front of him. “His fate is uncertain.”
“Uncertain.” Lex lets the word hang between them, one corner of his mouth twitching. “Everything is uncertain. That’s what makes this game worth playing.”
“Why you?” Rahmiel’s jaw tightens, muscle coiling beneath the skin of his vessel. “They could have sent anyone.”
“Would it make it easier for you if they had sent someone else?”
Rahmiel is reluctant, tight-lipped as he nods. “Yes.”
“That,” Lex confides with a smile, “is why they sent me.”
Rahmiel’s face tightens even further, brows drawing down, and Lex can feel the anger, the way it rolls from him in waves. “He is one of God’s chosen.”
“So was I, once upon a time.” Lex exhales a cloud of thick smoke and stubs out his cigarette as he rises from the barstool. He pauses then, and leans close across the space between them. He can feel the heat of Rahmiel’s skin, his own lips just barely grazing the curve of the angel’s ear. “Watch and see …” he whispers, fingers tightening against the edge of the bar. Lex’s gaze is brazen, sizing Rahmiel up, traveling the length of his form. “How easily I take him, make him mine.”
Rahmiel closes his eyes against the words and says nothing. A moment later, he rises from the stool and departs through the crowd, wineglass left behind, untouched. Lex watches him go, fingers tapping restless indecision against the bar for a moment.
Well, that was what he wanted, after all, to get Rahmiel out of the way so that Lex can do his job.
Lex pulls a cocktail napkin from the bar and leans forward, grabbing Gabriel’s pen from behind his ear as he passes by with drinks meant for someone else. Lex winks at him and Gabriel returns a smile as he continues past. Lex scribbles words across the thin paper, and by the time he’s done, Gabriel has returned for his pen.
Lex tucks it back behind the boy’s ear, letting his fingertips linger against skin. “One more favor.” Lex smiles. “Send another glass of wine to the man at the end of the bar, and tell him it’s from me.”
Gabriel’s face falls, expression going suddenly reluctant, and Lex slides the napkin across the polished wood along with two crisp twenty-dollar bills. “And then, when you’re done working,” he adds, smile curving into something deeper, more suggestive, “come to my place.”
Gabriel looks down and his eyes light up when sees the address written on the napkin. He tucks it hastily into his jeans pocket.
Lex watches as Gabriel serves Samuel another glass of wine. Samuel’s dark brown eyes, filled with a guarded curiosity, travel down the length of the bar and find Lex’s. Lex holds that gaze just long enough, lets Samuel get a good, long look at him. Then, Lex sends him a smile and a wink before he turns away, disappearing into the crowd.
Let him wonder. By the time Lex returns tomorrow night, Samuel might be curious enough to seek Lex out on sight. If he isn’t, he’ll at least be curious enough to accept Lex’s company.
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: mml819 on Sep 13, 2012Fantastic anthology. I enjoyed all but one story and they were all pretty long, especially for an anthology. Loooooved Kiernan Kelly's Demonology 101 and the sexy angel tale Suriel's Sword by Jay Demeo. A great mix of angels, demons and humans, and believe it or not, romance. Not erotica, but erotic romance, so it's got a real good balance of story and steaminess. I'll re-read this one for sure.