Authors: John Corwin
Tags: #romance, #action, #fantasy, #paranormal, #incubus
Infernal Father of
Book Seven of the Overworld
Copyright © 2014 by John
Digital eBook Edition.
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EVERYBODY HAS DADDY
Justin's reunion with his father starts with a
punch to the face and their capture by Exorcists, a cult branch of
the Templars supposedly disbanded centuries ago. The Exorcists
banish Justin and his father, David, to the Gloom.
Fighting to escape exile, Justin discovers
everything he knows about his father is a lie. Even worse, the man
is a complete jackass who won't give a straight answer to the
simplest of questions. But when they stumble upon a secret army
being grown by one of Daelissa's minions, they realize much more
than a healthy father-son relationship is at stake.
Justin and his father will have to escape the
Gloom, bring back reinforcements, and crush the enemy before
Daelissa marches her forces into the real world. Unfortunately, the
army stands between them and freedom.
Daddy issues will have to wait. The
war starts now.
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On a bright sunny day in the middle of a small
cemetery, I punched my dad in the face.
David Slade staggered back a foot before
recovering his balance. He rubbed his jaw. Grinned. "I suppose that
wasn't the answer you wanted."
Breathing heavily, rage building inside, I
stared at this man, unable to believe he was the same man who'd
raised me. The same man who'd rented movies and bought pizza every
Friday for family night. The same man who'd thrown baseballs and
footballs with me despite my pre-supernatural clumsiness. The same
man who'd once so gently kissed my mother.
I'd saved Mom from Daelissa. My long-lost
little sister, Ivy, had left the Conroys and was now living with me
and Mom. My family was so close to complete in a way it had never
been before. And still this man insisted on abandoning
"Does this mean you won't come to the wedding?"
my father asked.
Somehow, I pushed back the
anger. "Let me get this straight. I just told you Mom and Ivy are
living with me in Queens Gate. Your family is waiting, and you're
just ignoring us?"
David leaned against a tombstone. When I'd
asked for a meeting, he'd chosen a tiny cemetery trapped between
two new high-rise condominiums in Buckhead. The unfinished
buildings loomed on either side, all gray concrete and rebar. "When
you reached out to me about reconciling, I knew it was a bad idea.
Does your mother know about this meeting?"
I shook my head. "No, but Ivy does. We were
hoping to surprise Mom."
He crossed his arms. "You should have asked
Alysea first. There are bigger things at stake here than just a
happy family reunion."
"Bigger stakes?" I threw up my hands. "What
have you been doing the past few months that could be more
important than reuniting with your family?" The last time I'd seen
him had been just after Vadaemos Slade escaped from Templar custody
with the help of Daelissa and nearly killed me. It hadn't been more
than a few months ago, but the man I faced now seemed completely
"Justin, do you think you can beat Daelissa's
forces as things stand?" David's expression turned serious. "She
practically owns the vampires, the Synod Templars, and probably a
good portion of the Arcane Council."
I wanted to be an optimist, but couldn't.
"Probably not. Right now it's just my friends and the Templars
under Thomas Borathen's command." I narrowed my eyes. "What's your
"What I'm doing isn't for me. It's for you
My blood pressure spiked. "What a load of bull.
You're still betraying Mom to marry Kassallandra, that red-headed
"I knew you weren't ready for this," David
said. His amused grin returned. "I guess I'm expecting too much
from an eighteen-year-old."
My teeth clenched. "I'm nineteen."
isn't my father. He's a stranger, and he doesn't give a crap.
I'd held such high hopes for this meeting. Buoyed by having Ivy and
Mom back, it had seemed so simple to convince my father to come
home. After Mom abandoned my father and me to live with the Conroys
and Ivy, I'd thought David's entire reason for marrying
Kassallandra was some kind of payback. Now I wasn't so sure about
his motives at all.
My fists clenched as I fought back anger. "Mom
says she can't tell me about you. About how you really met. I want
to know the truth."
He pursed his lips. "Are you sure?"
"Don't you think I deserve it?"
A smile flickered across David's
"What's so funny?"
"I suppose it depends on whether you'd view the
truth as punishment or reward, son."
"Don't call me that," I said. "You haven't even
come close to earning the right to call me your son
He put up his hands in a surrender gesture. "I
get it, son—Justin. I'd just hoped maybe what you'd been through
had evolved your way of thinking."
"Not when it comes to family,
"Fair enough." He crossed his arms and watched
me without offering more.
I crossed my arms. "The truth.
"I am not, strictly speaking, a man." He
paused, as if letting that sink in.
"Um, ok. You're Daemos, so of course you're not
David grinned. "Perhaps I should have phrased
that a little better."
Something flickered in my peripheral vision. I
looked up at the towering concrete structure to my
David followed my gaze. "What is
"I thought—" A human silhouette appeared next
to a support beam. Whoever it was seemed to know I knew he was
there, because he didn't move from our line of sight.
"Did you bring along your Templar friends to
watch your back?" David asked.
I shook my head. "Elyssa promised she wouldn't
follow. Commander Borathen wouldn't send anyone without
"Yeah, we're about to have a
The watcher's arm catapulted forward. Something
flashed in the sun. We jumped back as a silver disc landed on the
grass between us. The grass sizzled and hissed. Bright orange light
flashed, smoke rising from charred vegetation, forming a perfect
circle crisscrossed by blackened lines. The silver disc
"I think this is the situation you mentioned,"
David said. "Time to go."
The two of us raced toward the low stone wall
at the back of the cemetery—or tried to. Before we'd gone two feet,
we both bounced back from the edge of the circle.
"A sense of déjà vu just hit me," David said,
touching the air at the edge of the circle, unable to push
My bounty hunter friend, Harry Shelton, had
once tried to bring in my father. He'd trapped us in a simple
magical circle designed to contain demon spawn. Because of my angel
side, however, I'd been able to leave the circle.
I pressed my hands to the invisible barrier. "I
can't get out either."
A group of hooded people filed from the small
red brick church in front of the cemetery. Without a word, they
made like a human train and encircled us while we watched,
perplexed. They didn't look like Templars or act like Templars, and
they sure as heck weren't dressed like any I'd seen before. If
anything, they looked like monks.
"Who are you?" I asked.
A grim look passed over David's face. He
touched my arm. Shook his head. "Exorcists."
"From the Catholic Church?"
"No. They used to be a division of the
Templars, but some of them left to form their own cult."
"We are not a cult, demon," said a man, his
face hidden beneath the black hood, though the robe strained to
conceal his generous paunch. "We cleanse humanity of your
"You don't like demon spawn?" I asked. Stupid
question, of course. Nobody seemed to like our kind. At least my
friends had learned I was a kinder, gentler sort of demon spawn—all
warm and fuzzy.
"Is that my old friend I hear?" David said, the
relaxed look on his face belying what felt like a dangerous
"I am no friend of yours, infernal creature,"
the man replied in an imperious British accent.
David tutted. "Really now, Montjoy, is that the
way to treat someone you've known for so long?"
Who the hell is Montjoy?
I clung to a
brief hope David actually knew the guy and this was all some big
"Subdue them," Montjoy said.
Hope faded, and smartassery took over. "Maybe
someone should subdue your appetite," I said. "Or at least buy you
a new robe." I thought I heard someone snicker, or maybe it was my
"You would do well to keep your mouth shut,
Justin Slade." The man pointed a meaty finger at me. Rings adorned
every finger, each one crowned with large jewels, though one with a
fat gray stone stood out from the rest. "It will go better for you
if you do."
"You mean I'll get candy and ice cream?" I said
in a childlike voice. "Oh, gee, Mr. Montjoy, that would be
That time, someone definitely
"I'm curious. How did you know about this
meeting?" David asked.