Save her life…or save mankind. His choice could cost him his soul.
, Book 2
For nearly two centuries, Marcus has been the Watchers’ most faithful soldier. Sworn to protect humanity, driven by an unrelenting compulsion to atone for past sins, he has rarely found a compelling reason to question his mission, let alone defy his leader.
His partner, Regan, is his exact opposite, an enigma he longs to solve. A free spirit and reckless to a fault, Regan acts first and thinks later. Her smart mouth and tender heart have fascinated Marcus for decades, but the Watchers’ strict vow of celibacy has forced him to ignore the sizzling attraction between them. Until now.
When Regan goes rogue to protect a very special little boy, Marcus is forced to make an impossible choice—commit an act of treason or watch the woman he secretly loves die.
Hunted by enemies and allies alike, Regan and Marcus run for their lives, fighting to thwart an age-old prophecy and guard a boy whose destiny may very well be to destroy the world…or save it.
Product WarningsContains violent battle scenes, angels with twisted agendas, nail-biting suspense, intense emotion, burning-hot sexual tension, and a sexy, stubborn hero who would rather face death than admit what’s in his heart.
Copyright © 2012 Anne Hope
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
The vintage Victorian cottage should’ve been beautiful, with its Palladian windows framed by tall, white arches, its rough-hewn stone façade and its quaint wraparound porch. It was the kind of house that brought to mind comforting images of checkered tablecloths and apple pies cooling on windowsills, no different from any number of historical homes found in Newport, Oregon.
But as Regan climbed the creaking wooden steps leading to the weathered oak door, all she could think about was death. Her nostrils blistered from the smell of it. The stench of charred flesh permeated the air, as did the lingering energy of something bright and powerful.
“You feel that?” Marcus crowded beside her, his wide frame dominating the narrow stairway and making her all too aware of the tension coiling through him. The same tension that snaked through her.
She nodded, her hand rising to the hilt of her dagger. “Cal was right. Something weird definitely went down here. I’d bet my departed soul on it.”
With a concentrated thought, Marcus unlatched the door and sent it swinging inward on well-oiled hinges. Being a soulless, immortal creature with tainted angel blood had its benefits. They crept inside, unsheathing their daggers as they entered.
The stench intensified, and Regan wrinkled her nose in disgust. “I think I’m going to lose my lunch.”
“I warned you not to eat that cheesecake.” Thick, dark hair brushed his forehead, fringing eyes that glinted with a hint of humor. Marcus’s icy features and penetrating glance gave an impression of lethal efficiency, but despite the dead-serious expression he favored, he could be quite a tease.
“A girl has to get her perks somewhere.”
She didn’t stick around to hear Marcus’s witty comeback. Using her unique ability to fold space, she materialized in the kitchen, where the smell of seared flesh grew so thick, her stomach curdled in response. Something had definitely been flash-fried here, and it wasn’t apple pies.
Holding her breath, her heart pumping a million beats a minute, she circled the counter and glimpsed behind it. Regan had witnessed her share of horrors over the past three decades as a Watcher. She’d seen people turn on each other, their souls corrupted by prolonged exposure to her kind. She’d disposed of countless shrunken carcasses, both human and not. She’d experienced the devastating effects of war and seen women and children ruthlessly slaughtered. But none of that had prepared her for the sight that greeted her in this sun-dappled kitchen.
A couple lay sprawled on the terracotta tiles in an awkward display of limbs, their skin mottled and gray, staring up at her with empty eye sockets. Bones protruded at sharp angles, the bodies atrophied beyond recognition. The two victims were nothing but skeletons with leathered skin, and yet according to the Watchers’ leader, Cal, the disturbance he’d sensed in the atmosphere had occurred mere hours ago.
Marcus’s tall form suddenly filled the doorway. “Find anything?”
“You could say that.”
He closed the distance between them, took in the macabre scene. Apart from a slight twitch in his jaw, his countenance gave nothing away.
“Could be a Rogue attack.” Only a Rogue would leave such a mess behind.
Her partner frowned, his features carved in granite. “No. This energy is different, made of pure light. I sense no darkness in this house.”
Marcus possessed a very special skill. He read energy patterns like a signature. His ability to recognize the different frequencies each life-force emitted and determine exactly who’d been in a given location and where they’d gone never failed to impress Regan. That was what made him the Watchers’ most valued tracker and the best partner she could’ve asked for.
“Then what could’ve done this?”
He didn’t answer. Instead, he made his way to a small pantry at the far left corner of the kitchen and swung the door open. Crouching on the floor, his thin arms wrapped around his bent knees, was a boy of no more than seven or eight.
The child scuttled back when he saw them, pressing his spine against the wall. A shiver coursed through him, and he looked up at them with wet, startling blue eyes. “I killed them.” He bit back a sob. “I killed my parents.”