Authors: Carrie Ann Ryan
Tags: #Fated, #Desires, #Dante's, #Circle
A Dante’s Circle Novella
By Carrie Ann Ryan
A Dante’s Circle Novella
By: Carrie Ann Ryan
Published by Fated Desires Publishing, LLC.
© 2013 Carrie Ann Ryan
Cover Art by Scott Carpenter
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All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.
As the youngest son of Lucifer, Fawkes has long since known what paths his future could take. He could follow his father’s footsteps, stealing the souls of humans and slowly lose his own, or starve himself and wither away until he finds his true half and forms a bond that can not only save his life, but his soul.
Leslie Masterson’s life has been one torment after another. A submissive wolf, she’s tried to hide in the shadows of her Pack and find the will to live another day. After her brother—the man who has beaten her verbally and physically her entire life—is killed when he challenges the Alpha, Leslie finally sees a path to freedom.
It only takes one look between the two for them to know that they could be the answer to each other’s prayers, but some of the Pack isn’t ready to let Leslie go. It will take the strength of a fiery demon from hell and the love of a submissive wolf to overcome not only their past, but their chance at a future.
Dante’s Circle Characters
With an ever growing list of characters in each book, I know that it might seem like there are too many to remember. Well don’t worry; here is a list for you so you don’t forget. Not all are seen in this exact book, but here are the ones you’ve met so far. As the series progresses, the list will as well.
—Brownie council leader.
—Sole female on the Angelic council.
—One of the seven lightning struck women. Works at an inn. Has a past that is very secretive.
—Warrior angel, Shade’s mentor. Father to Laura
, husband to Ilianya
. Mate to Balin and Jamie, story told in
Her Warriors’ Three Wishes
—Black-winged angel. Striker’s third in command.
—Non-soul devouring demon, son of Pyro. Mate to Jamie and Ambrose, story told in
Her Warriors’ Three Wishes
—One of the seven lightning struck women. Works as a bartender at Dante’s Circle. Mate to Hunter Brooks, story told in
An Unlucky Moon
—Angelic council leader.
—Dragon shifter. Owner of Dante’s Circle.
—One of the seven lightning struck women. Works as a welder.
—One of the seven lightning struck women. Works as a photographer.
—Demon, son of Lucifer, friend of Balin. Story told in
(Found in the Anthology
—Leader of the demon council.
—Lily’s sleazy ex-boss.
—Wolf and Beta of the Nocturne Pack. Met Ambrose, Jamie, and Balin in hell during the demon games. Mate to Becca, story told in
An Unlucky Moon
Sister to Shade, wife to Ambrose.
—One of the seven lightning struck women. Bookstore owner and lover of romance. Mate to Ambrose and Balin, story told in
Her Warriors’ Three Wishes.
—Old djinn council member, ally to Pyro.
—Gray-winged angel, Striker’s second in command.
—One of the seven lightning struck women. Worked as a lab chemist in solid-state NMR. OCD and quirky. Mate to Shade, story told in
Dust of My Wings
—Infamous demon from hell and Fawkes’ father.
Daughter of Ambrose.
—One of the seven lightning struck woman. Works as a school teacher.
Son of Amborse.
—Demon from hell, father to Balin.
—Warrior angel, ex-fiance to Cora, brother to Illianya, mate to Lily Banner, story told in
Dust of My Wings
—Angelic council member, leader of the rebels.
—New Djinn council leader.
—Co-worker of Lily’s. Had a crush on her.
—10 year old brownie.
“You’re a disgrace to the name Devil, son,” Lucifer spat as he paced the long dungeon. “You had such promise and then you’ve thrown it all away. Or at least, you’re planning on it. Don’t lie to me. I know all.”
Fawkes looked up through the blood running down his face, stinging his eyes, and lifted a lip in a sneer.
He was twenty years old—young to most but a grown man to others—and yet the way his father treated him it was as if
was the adolescent who needed a good scolding.
Not that his father had ever acted the caring paternal figure.
“You’re the actual Devil, Dad,” Fawkes said, his voice slightly hoarse from screaming. Sometimes the screaming helped the pain, even if it did annoy him Lucifer enjoyed it so much. “I’m just one of your many sons.”
Lucifer rolled his eyes—a gesture that made him look as immature as he acted—then ran a hand over his red horns that stood a foot out from his head—the exact matching pair to Fawkes’.
“You’re my last son, Fawkes. The others are either fierce warriors and soul eaters or dead. None of them however, ever chose the path you’re looking at. No son of mine will. They all died in battle or because they were idiots. I won’t let you sully my good name. It’s time for you to make your choice and eat the souls of humans.”
Though Fawkes was chained to a wall in his father’s favorite torture room, he didn’t feel threatened by the man humans feared more that the things that went bump in the night. Actually, his father
the thing that went bump in the night. Lucifer just wanted Fawkes to fall into his deadly footsteps, taking souls and becoming dark.
Fawkes wasn’t sure he wanted to do that though.
He’d seen what the other possibility could be and, frankly, that looked better.
Once a demon reached twenty, he had a year to reach a decision before his life started to fade. Demons needed souls or a mating bond in order to survive. Without souls, they would die slowly and painfully. Once they reached their three hundredth birthday, they’d fade from existence—excruciatingly. They only had that first year though to take their first soul, or they’d harm themselves to the point that they’d need a true half—the one person, or persons in a triad’s case, that was meant for them and would create the perfect mating bond—in order to survive.
Since demons didn’t find their true halves with other demons—a punishment for their killing existence—they had to venture out into the human and other realms in order to find the person—or persons—who would not only be part of them, but save their lives. Demons could mate with each other and create more demon offspring, like his father had done with the many women who’d given birth to Lucifer’s progeny, but they would never find that perfect…peace within that mating.
Another demon, Balin, had been one of the few to actually choose against becoming evil. The other demon had almost died because he’d refused to do what almost all other demons had done in order to survive. It was only because Balin had found Jamie
Ambrose that he’d survived at all.
Now Fawkes was old enough to make his choice.
Lucifer narrowed his eyes. “Are you even listening?”
Fawkes blinked. “Uh…yeah?”
Lucifer spat then let the fire running through his veins rage from his palms. He spent his energy toward the wall, scorching a line of black soot in an arch before fisting his hands, letting the fire burn itself out.
Fawkes had to learn that handy trick.
“You have less than six months until you have to choose. If you don’t take your first soul, you’ll waste away until you find your true half. It doesn’t matter if you take souls after that because you’ll still fade away. That’s what Balin didn’t understand before and that’s why you
take a soul. Now.”
choice Dad. Mine.”
“I’ll do what Pyro to Balin and keep you here until you have to make the correct choice,” Lucifer threatened.
“Pyro was a sadistic bastard.”
Lucifer gave him a bland look. “I’m the Devil, son. No one is worse than me. It would do you good to remember that.”
Fawkes held back a groan. His father had to be the most conceited demon out there.
demon was allowed to be stronger or fiercer than him.
“Yes, you’re more of a sadistic bastard than Pyro ever was,” he deadpanned.
Lucifer blinked slowly then pressed a button on the wall. The chains attached to the manacles on Fawkes’ wrists pulled up and turned, forcing his gaze to the opposite wall and leaving his back to his father’s ministrations.
This couldn’t end well.
The first crack of the whip was a familiar sting. He’d been beaten all his life, but not to the point others in his father’s
had been. He was still whole, still himself.
He knew others out there hadn’t fared as well.
Lucifer snapped the whip again, the pain arching across Fawkes’ back a heated flame. He gritted his teeth and let his father finish his ministrations before finally Lucifer gave up.
“I’d lock you up but the last thing I need is the other demons thinking I can’t take care of one of my own,” Lucifer spat. “You’ll have to make the choice yourself, but if you make the wrong one…”
Fawkes didn’t answer his father’s unspoken words. No matter what, the Devil wanted his due and Fawkes would have to take the blame. He just didn’t know if he could last as long as Balin had.
He thought of the angel and demon pair that had promised him sanctuary in the human realm. If he went to them now, he might be condemning himself to death, but that might be better than what he’d do once he took a soul.
One didn’t come back from that whole.
His father left without another word, slamming his hand into the button on his way out the door. The manacles around Fawkes’ wrists opened and he slammed onto the floor. He ran his tongue over his molars to make sure he didn’t crack one with that jolt then stood on shaky legs. He’d been hanging for a few days and his body had weakened just enough that he knew he needed to either leave the hell realm soon or do something he might regret.
He looked down at his leather pants and boots and shrugged. They would have to do in the human realm because he wasn’t about head back to his room and try to get his belongings. He had a feeling if he happened to cross Lucifer’s path again, his father might not be so easy-going and trap him in a dungeon.
With conscious thought, he forced his human glamour over his body, his horns disappearing from this head. He’d have to make an effort to hide the red flecks in his black eyes, but maybe Balin would be able to help him with that. Fawkes had only ever been to the human realm a few times and that was only on training missions so he could learn how to blend in if necessary.
Despite what other Houses of demons might want to do, he knew one of the most important things he could learn was to keep the supernatural secret. Humans were far more dangerous when they knew the truth about what lay hidden within other realms.
Using some of the last energy he had since he was so freaking hungry, he opened a portal to the human realm. Thankfully, he knew where Ambrose, Jamie, and Balin lived so he could make sure the portal ended in their backyard, rather than in someone else’s home. He let his scent signature seep along the portal so the triad would know who was coming and stepped through. The last thing he needed was to end up on the wrong end of Balin’s sword because he hadn’t announced himself. Plus, Fawkes was unarmed thanks to his dad—not something he truly wanted to be.