eBook Details

Splendor and Darkness

Series: Rebel Angels , Book 3.0
By: Cyndi Friberg | Other books by Cyndi Friberg
Published By: Anything-but-Ordinary Books
Published: Nov 07, 2012
ISBN # 9780988300132
Word Count: 49,484
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Categories: Romance>Paranormal/Horror Romance>Historical Medieval Romance>Erotic Romance

“There is no peace in Heaven, and life has lost its splendor.” With those words Lailah joins the ranks of the Rebel Angels. Now she is on a quest to rediscover life’s splendor, which isn't easy as an Angel of Death.

Nate’s life is shattered when brigands claim the lives of his family. He nearly surrenders to despair when an ethereal creature appears offering comfort and tenderness. Convinced she is only an illusion, Nate abandons himself to the dream.

A year later an old friend arrives at Monthamn Castle for an extended visit. Nate is shocked and fascinated when his friend’s traveling companion turns out to be the “angel” from his dream.

Can a shattered soul and an Angel of Death find peace in each other’s arms?
Reader Rating:  Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   Not rated
“Release them!”

The angry words dragged Nate from the merciful abyss. Pain stabbed down his spine and exploded in his legs. Bile rose to the back of his throat, gagging him. With a breathless groan he lifted his face from the muddy ground and tried to raise his eyelids. Something warm and sticky coated his lashes. Blood?

Mist swirled around him, embraced him, and called him back to the comforting darkness. Shifting one arm beneath himself, he shoved against the ground. His eyes refused to focus through the fog.

“They have suffered enough. Release them.” A flash of gold accompanied the female voice.

Nate turned his head toward the light. Searing pain rewarded his efforts. Why couldn't he move?

Jumbled images erupted in his mind. A sea of hooded brigands materialized out of the fog, dragging his party from their horses. Daggers flashed, swords scraped. The darkness was filled with screams of agony and pleas for mercy.

Then the acrid stench of death.

Nay! An anguished cry echoed through his mind, but the sound never passed his lips. Dry and useless, his tongue refused to move. His eyes burned as he scanned the tree-lined trail. Night had not yet fallen when the raiders attacked. How long had he been unconscious? Hours? Days?

“You have no authority over me,” another female replied. Nate searched for the source of the argument, ignoring the agony triggered by his slightest movement.

Two figures stood backlit by the harvest moon. One was tall and slender. The elaborate sleeves of her flowing silver gown rippled in the breeze. Light emanated from her, shimmering in her hip-length hair. Even in profile her features were elegant, hauntingly beautiful.
She stepped closer to the other figure, sparks trailing in her wake.

Undaunted by the aggression, the second figure held her ground. Dressed in a tunic and hose like a lad, bronze light emanated from her body, leaving no doubt about her gender. Though smaller and darker than the first, the second entity was no less remarkable.

“Be gone!” The silvery apparition gestured sharply, knocking the other back.

Terrified, Nate struggled against the oppressive weight pinning him to the ground. The bronze spirit hissed. Blue light ignited in her eyes, revealing angular features and full lips. She raised her hands, but the silver spirit launched another attack. Screaming, the bronze specter wrapped her arms around her belly and convulsed. A final burst from the silver-haired being forced the darker one to retreat. Her image wavered for a moment then faded from view.

Trembling with fear and trepidation, Nate couldn't take his gaze off the vision. She floated toward a shape in the darkness, a denser shadow against the gloom. In a voice soft and musical, she spoke words he didn't understand. Her slender hands hovered over a body sprawled on the leaf-strewn ground.

A hazy image jerked into focus, more agonizing than his pain. His brother frantically battling the brigands as Nate watched…helplessly pinned beneath his horse. A sob lodged in his dry throat. Tears filled his eyes.

Not William. Take me!

The specter didn't hear him or she ignored his silent plea. She moved on, wavering light illuminating her destination. Nate trembled, tears streaming down his face as the spirit knelt beside his wife. Clutched tight in Catherine’s arms was their three-year-old daughter Estel. Her tiny body shuddered, struggling for breath.

“Nay!” Grief clogged his throat. He forced the word out and the specter looked at him. “Please. I’ll do anything! Spare them.”

Her wide, ice-crystal gaze bore into his, her expression both compassionate and confused. “I’m here to release them from their suffering. She had no right to trap them here.”

“Death is no mercy! Heal them. Right this wrong!”

“That's not within my power.” Regret softened her tone. Her radiance shifted from silver to gold and back. “Their spirits would have departed long ago were it not for the other’s wickedness. Death is all I can offer. Would you rather they remain in agony?”

Nate couldn't speak the words. He lowered his face to the ground. Was his mother still in the wagon? Who had arranged this slaughter?


Time passed, an eternity of agonizing moments. He imagined Catherine’s gentle smile, her eyes alight with warmth and tenderness. The memory of Estel's sweet laughter unleashed a maelstrom of regret. He would never hear her giggle again. He wouldn't be able to watch her grow, see her experience life’s wonders and overcome its challenges.

He wept.

Now! Let the spirit take him now. He longed for Death’s embrace.


What was taking so long?

With great effort he raised his face from the mud. Her otherworldly radiance subsided as the specter knelt at his side. Her long, pale hair spilled forward, brushing his cheek. Without the illumination, she looked like an ordinary woman, her features lost in shadow.

“Am I the last?” he asked, his voice cold and composed.

“I have tried to free you, Nathaniel.” She gathered her hair and pushed it behind her shoulders. “You are not meant to die.”

“Nay!” He screamed his fury to the fog-shrouded night. “Don’t leave me here! You heartless bitch! Don’t leave me…” He lowered his head, clawing at the mud.

She stroked his cheek and whispered in her strange, musical language. He flinched from her touch, cursing his helplessness. As Nate willed himself to die, the Angel of Death began to sing.

Splendor and Darkness

By: Cyndi Friberg