Authors: Carrie Ann Ryan
Dust of My Wings
Carrie Ann Ryan
Copyright Fated Desires Publishing, LLC
Carrie Ann Ryan
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locals or organizations is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author.
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Dust of My Wings Blurb
Humans aren’t as alone as they choose to believe. Every human possesses a trait of supernatural that lays dormant within their genetic make-up. Centuries of diluting and breeding have allowed humans to think they are alone and untouched by magic. But what happens when something changes?
Neat freak lab tech, Lily Banner lives her life as any ordinary human. She’s dedicated to her work and loves to hang out with her friends at Dante’s Circle, their local bar. When she discovers a strange blue dust at work she meets a handsome stranger holding secrets – and maybe her heart. But after a close call with a thunderstorm, she may not be as ordinary as she thinks.
Shade Griffin is a warrior angel sent to Earth to protect the supernaturals’ secrets. One problem, he can’t stop leaving dust in odd places around town. Now he has to find every ounce of his dust and keep the presence of the supernatural a secret. But after a close encounter with a sexy lab tech and a lightning quick connection, his millennia old loyalties may shift and he could lose more than just his wings in the chaos.
To Rebecca Royce. Thank you for the plot bunny that bred even more bunnies. You are amazing. I love you.
Every book I write seems to take more and more out of me and therefore more and more people in my writing tribe.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you Lia Davis for being my writing partner, my sound board, my BFF, my…everything. You’ve been with me every step of the way and I couldn’t have done anything without you.
Thank you Devin and Donna. You two are my new editing crew that are freaking amazing. Thank you for teaching me so much and dealing with me.
Thank you Scott for a cover so beautiful I freaking cried the first time I saw it because THIS IS MY COVER!
Thank you oh Husband of mine for dealing with my grouchy moods when I had a tough time. Thanks for dealing with our kittens Miley and Maxie, and thank you for getting me a new “office” chair. I love you.
And finally, thank you to my readers. I am so blessed with you guys. You guys are amazing. The emails, Facebook comments, tweets, and notes make my day. It’s because of you that I get to do this.
A summons from the council never led to good things. Shade Griffin’s millennia worth of experience told him that. No matter what he truly desired, he’d do what he was told. He didn’t have another option, and why would he disobey now? He never had before. Whatever demands they dealt might seem tedious to a long-lived being such as him, he didn’t have anything else better to do.
Such was the life of an angel in his predicament; a vast and endless sense of being, yet no one with whom to share it.
Shade shook off the misery that threatened to creep along his skin and suffocate him. The idea of sharing his endless life with someone else, someone special, had long since burned away. No need to think about it again.
The sun broke through the clouds, warming his cool, honey-colored, almost dark tan, skin. He lifted his face, letting the rays soak into his pores. His eyes closed, and he took a deep breath, not really wanting to leave the spot. He rolled his neck, stretching his muscles, and then opened his eyes. His back ached from the long flight to the enclave. He stretched his wings, the light shimmering off his midnight black wings that trailed to a rim of deep blue. The wind picked up, his blue-black hair flowing behind him.
Shade arched his back, his wings flared, and blue dust trickled off and into the air, and drifted to the ground below.
Damn stuff kept doing that; and there was nothing he could do about it. He clenched his fists and winced in pain. He looked down at the healing abrasions on his knuckles and muttered a curse.
As one of the appointed enforcers of angelic law, he’d just come back from the punishment of a young angel: a cocky one at that. He hated doing it, but the unrepentant jerk had decided it would be fun to fly in broad daylight without cloud cover over Area 51. Really? Cliché much? It was easy enough to downplay the event as another UFO sighting, which would certainly bring out the crazies, but it didn’t negate the fact that the reckless angel had broken angelic law by letting humans see him flying.
Because he had decided to laugh about it to his friends and merely shrugged it off, Shade had to step in. If he’d apologized, then Shade wouldn’t have had to use his fists. But no. The young one mouthed off and challenged him, so Shade had to accept. After all, as a warrior, he could not ignore a challenge. Doing so would negate his authority.
And he won.
He still hated punishing others, even though it was his job. Between him and his best friend, Ambrose, who was practically his brother, they dealt with most of the enforcing the angelic laws. Together they’d done what they had to do for centuries, and in Ambrose’s case, even longer.
Shade was a warrior angel. In the times of the Angelic Wars, he’d fought alongside the best of the best. Hell, he was the best of the best. Well, maybe tied with Ambrose, but he wouldn’t tell the other angel that.
Shade chuckled as he envisioned Ambrose’s reaction to his thought. Ambrose was sure to want to prove just the opposite to be the case, and Shade would be more than willing to give it a go.
If you couldn’t fight for supremacy with your best friend, how else would you even know how good you were?
Now those wars were long since over. Times of awkward peace were at hand, meaning the warriors herded the other angels and made sure they followed the rules the council members set in place.
They followed the rules, even if the rules were sometimes, in his opinion, too strict for their own good. But he would never voice it. He was merely a warrior angel.
He wasn’t even a godly one like in the fables of mortals. Their race wasn’t that of a god. Yes, if theology was correct, a god at some point had created them, but they weren’t God’s right hand men; they were not the symbol of goodness and hope. Far from it. They were just another species with rules, regulations, and a seemingly endless long life in order to be subjugated.
Wow. Bitter much?
He shouldn’t be; he had everything he wanted, didn’t he? His forehead scrunched as he thought, and his wings fluttered a bit in agitation.
He certainly had all the money, titles, glory, and privileges a warrior of the finest caliber could have. Why did he feel like he was missing something?
Shade shook his head and looked around. He stood at a midpoint on the mountainside, the enclave circling him. Stone buildings jutted from rock faces, thousands of feet above the surface, old as time. No stairs or elevators here. Open the door and, without wings, they’d drop to their death. Marble and crystal twinkled in the sunlight from the adornments and windows on all of the structures. It may have looked cold to some, but to Shade and his angelic brethren it was warm and inviting.
It looked like home, but it wasn’t truly a ‘home’; There was no love waiting on the other side of the door, and that pained him.
He sighed. He really needed to stop thinking such depressing thoughts. Taking one last look at the place he called home, he jumped off the ledge, his wings spreading to catch a drift, as the cool breezes hit his skin. He flew past other angels in the air, nodding to a few, but kept to himself. He was a warrior angel, the last face some would see as they stared beyond the end of his blade. Tough to make life-long friends outside of certain circles that way.
Shade descended, the wind whipping his hair back from his face, until his feet touched the stone balcony set off the council chambers. He set his wings back, making sure they didn’t trail on the floor. He was exhausted, but that didn’t give him a reason to be lazy. He walked through the ornate doors that reached tall to the roof. Despite his thousand years of living, sometimes the immense beauty of the council chambers had him at a loss for words.
Gold and crystal adorned the walls. Intricate carvings and art filled the room. Eons of pride and talent gave the room a sense of grandeur and honor that made Shade feel young in relation to the other angels surrounding him.
In reality, he was the youngest warrior angel of them all, and second in command to Ambrose, the leader of the warriors, the best at the job. That wasn’t pride talking, just fact.
Shade walked to the center of the room and surveyed the five council members before him, perched high on their thrones, their noses turned up towards him. Another presence worried him. Ambrose stood off to the side, a frown on his face. What was happening?
“I see you have finally decided to grace us with your presence,” Caine, the leader and all-around pain-in-the ass, admonished, and Shade held in a scowl. The brown-haired angel lifted a lip as if the mere sight of him disgusted the ruler.
Shade bowed his head. “I’m sorry I was late. I had just finished my dealing with the young angel and needed time to clear my head before I came. I didn’t want to taint the council with the thoughts and actions of a warrior.” There. That didn’t sound like sarcasm and distain, did it? Well, maybe it did, but it was the best he could do. He wasn’t overly happy with Ambrose in the council chamber. It felt like an ambush.
Caine snorted and shook his head.
Okay, apparently he couldn’t quite mask his true feelings. Oh, well.
Shade didn’t hate the council. He just didn’t like the fact that they held all the power and didn’t seem to do anything but hand out decrees and punishments that were enforced by the warriors. There were only three classes of angles: the council, the warriors, and the others. He didn’t like all the power on the top that trickled down to nothing, but who was he to speak out of turn?
“Enough of your pleasantries. We need you here, now,” Striker, the second-in-command, cut in. Dishwater brown hair and plain features made him look almost human. If it weren’t for the brown wings coming out of his back, he’d look like a mortal. Maybe that’s why the angel was always an ass.
“Okay.” Shade nodded. “What is it that you need?” He once again wondered why Ambrose was there? Why did they need two warrior angels? Tingles of dread filled his belly. Had the other faction of angels done something? They hadn’t destroyed the rebels completely in the war. It was always a cause for trepidation and concern that the others would come back and start something. Were they on the brink of another war? He’d not heard anything, but he couldn’t be too sure.
“We have been alerted to a breach of security,” Caine announced. “Our secrets may be unraveled soon if this is not fixed.”
“You mean the secrets of the supernatural?” Shade asked. “How can that be?”
Striker gave a laugh, filled with bile rather than humor. “You dare ask this when it is your fault we are in this predicament in the first place?”
Shade froze. “What?”
“Your dust.” Striker sneered. “Your oh-so-favorable blue dust has been collected by a human. If it falls into the wrong hands, do you understand what will happen? Everything that has been held secret for eons will be lost because you have a dusting problem.”
As a child, he’d had a problem with his dust. Whenever he got excited or angry, he’d sprinkle dust where he flew or stood. Beyond a few occurrences recently, he’d thought he’d conquered it years ago. How had someone gotten it? Did they even know what it was?