Divinity The Gathering Book One (Excerpt)
“Are you going to answer any of my questions?” she asked with a hint of impatience.
Her eyes widened at my simple reply but I think she took it just as she should have— affirmation that what she was asking, saying and thinking . . . were all correct, so far.
“Even if I already know?”
“What do you think you know?”
There was momentary silence.
“You don’t smell like or look like the others I’ve encountered at all. I don’t get sick to my stomach around you and your feather is still pure white, but . . .” she deduced and stopped herself.
I waited for the beat of a few seconds, exhaling slowly to release the tension that had begun to grip me all over.
That was the longest few seconds I’ve ever experienced, waiting for her to speak again.
“Drake is the angel, isn’t he?” She finally concluded.
I could literally feel my spirit breaking at the fact that she did know. Saying it aloud was much different that her simply knowing it, and I felt anger, shame, regret, and sorrow all weighing down heavily upon me at once.
We weren’t far from the farmhouse, maybe about a mile or so, but I pulled the car over to the shoulder and parked the car anyway. She instantly tensed, keeping her widening eyes on me with caution.
“Why are you pulling over?” She wanted to know.
I looked at her, unsure of what I wanted to say.
The rules had long since been broken but I hadn’t been the one to do it. Technically, I never revealed to her directly what I was at any given time.
Drakael’s voice entered my head just then, instantly pissing me off. He had his nerve, not only to be watching us but to have to gall to speak to me telepathically — and right now of all times.
“Don’t you dare do it! You’ve gotten away with quite enough already.” He warned.
“Screw you! She’s already called you out as you’ve just heard. I told you that she would figure you out soon too, you moron.”
Good. If he was watching now, then he could watch me kill her too, just like I had wanted.
“You don’t seem afraid.” I said, while listening to the vicinity around us for Drakael or any other being for that matter.
“I am afraid but not of you.” She answered.
Her response shocked me. I looked at her curiously to gauge just how serious she was about that. Her heart beat hadn’t increased and her posture remained somewhat relaxed. She was telling the truth.
“Then maybe you really don’t know or understand what I really am.”
Divinity Transcendence Book 2 (Excerpt)
I wasn’t trying to be rude. I was too busy marveling at it all. The unnatural sky above caught my attention. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it was. It was more of a purple blue and the moon looked wrong, like the color of pink chalk with a hint of yellow and blue mixed in. There were thousands of stars though, and it niggled at the back of my subconscious as if I should have been seeing something in them.
“Why does the moon look like that?” I asked him.
He turned to look at me, “This is the spirit realm. It’s a completely different dimension—one of many, actually.” He replied.
I glanced over at him curiously. “A dimension? Not like heaven or hell?” I asked.
“Neither, but all the beings and creatures that you never thought existed before, exist here. Not all of them are bad though.”
I stopped walking and looked at him with alarm. “Creatures like what?”
“Angels, demons, imps, shadows, all kinds of dark beings, light guardians, and of course the devil himself.” He grinned.
I shivered at the mere mention of those words, not because it scared me but because it all sparked a memory in my mind. A memory that I couldn’t quite piece together fully.
“How long have you been here?” I asked him as we continued to walk down the long corridor.
“I don’t even keep track of time anymore. There’s no point and you’ll come to find out why soon enough.” He replied. “This way.” he motioned with a nod of his head.
We made a right at the end of the ‘T’ split corridor.
“So, you just train and live here day after day?” I asked as I bit into a strawberry.
It was incredibly sweet and juicy. The explosion of flavor completely overwhelmed my taste buds, rising into the back of my throat and my nose, and reminding me of why I absolutely adored strawberries in the first place.
“Wow, these are really good. Want one?” I offered, holding one out to him.
He declined with a shake of his head. “No thanks. I come back every now and then to train and do brandings, but I don’t stay here for more than a few daybreaks at a time.” He replied.
“Oh, that’s right. You live in the human world.” I remembered Lira saying in the dining hall. Durien was a veteran.
He nodded. “Yep.”
“How long before you can decide?” I asked.
He shrugged a shoulder. “It depends. You need to learn about the spirit world around you first. Understanding what you are now, what you can do, and the role you play in all of it is important. Learning how to fight comes secondary but it’s highly crucial. You won’t master it overnight, although I don’t think it’ll be difficult for you to do.” He smiled.
It was silent as I finished my strawberries. There was so much that I wanted to ask, I didn’t know where to start.
Durien spoke again, “There’s going to come a time when we’re all going to have to go against darkness. Not just us, the human race I mean. We’re the frontlines though. We have the abilities, the wit, and the divine backing. We’re the shields against the darkness. Training is about ninety percent of why we’re all here.” He gestured with his hands as he spoke. He too, gazed off into the distance at the sky above.
I could actually hear the night insects out there. I concentrated on the sound of waves and the rippling of water. It was refined, bringing in the scent of fresh, cool moisture and earth.
“So, level with me. I mean, the real reason why I seem to be so popular already and what that girl was talking about in the dining hall. Is that why you wanted to talk to me?” I finally broke the silence.
I heard him breathe in, followed by a hesitant pause, and then a sigh.
Durien drew his legs up to his chest, wrapping his arms around his knees, and clasping a hand around his opposite wrist.
“I’m not trying to freak you out or anything but keep in mind that when you move past the boundaries of the Divine hall and past the sanctified lands, things get extremely dangerous. Every word and sound you make, your every move . . . even your smell is being heard, watched, and tracked.” He began.
I tensed but I was paying attention.
He licked his lips, glancing out into the darkness.
His eyes returned to mine, “The dark ones single us out by auras. If we were actually just a few feet outside the vicinity of the hall grounds right now, they could see and hear us talking. By that, I mean that they can actually hear every single word of our conversation. That’s what makes them so sneaky and deadly. Even though they can’t cross into sanctified lands, let alone the divine hall, all they have to do is wait because at some point— you will be in their territory. Now, with your aura, you’re gonna have to be extra careful. You’re a walking spotlight— literally and…” He trailed off.
My eyes were round with intrigue, my mouth parting slightly wondering why he stopped.
“And what?” I finally asked.
He exhaled and shifted, standing back up, and gazing out into the night.
“Remember when I said earlier that the dark ones prefer us over normal mortals?” He began.
His hesitation was beginning to annoy me. I stood up too.
“Process of either elimination or temptation. Each of us were chosen. Because of that, we were able to see things of this plane during our mortal existence. The dark ones already know who we are, but we don’t always know who they are and we still have choices. We’re not off limits, meaning we can still be killed— and turn on each other. It’s happened many, many times before.” Durien began to explain.
That wasn’t positive news. Why was he telling me this? I wondered.
“We can still be killed? I thought we were immortal?”
He smiled. “We are. All that means is that you won’t age, you’ll heal extremely fast from most injuries, and it will take a lot to really do some damage, but we can be killed. We’re superhumanly stronger, faster, and smarter now though. We have to be. It’s our only edge. We’re going against beings that have the advantage of time, immortality, great strength, magic, and abilities that we can only dream of having. Here in this realm . . . they aren’t bound to any Universal Laws. The only reason I’m telling you all of this so soon,” he explained and then turned to look at me. “Is because they already know who you are by face— and by name. You’re wanted, not just by the dark fallen but by Morning Star. And, there’s another one . . .” he gauged me with a serious look in his dark brown eyes.
A freezing chill suddenly spread throughout my body as my mouth fell open. My heart began to thump rapidly in response to his last few words, but it was more than simply hearing this.
~~Conversation between Durien and Starling
Divinity Immolation Book Three (Excerpt)
Then, she smirked with deviance and her voice was purposefully low this time. “He’s an Incubus and a powerful one at that. Sweet and taboo on so many levels. No wonder you’re rendezvousing so soon after having just been with him. You can practically feel his magical energy and aura stroking and caressing your skin. But you’d better be careful. That combination among their kind makes him extremely dangerous too. Shit!” Jamie then hissed.
“She may be weird but she nailed my presence. She’s good.” Cam commented, apparently impressed.
Damn. How the hell had she managed to assess all of that so quickly and accurately? Just how fascinated and into these supernatural beings was she and for how long?
Jamie suddenly wielded her weapon and was on her feet in a split second. I instantly stiffened once the thick, silver, retractable chain linking her double hand-held scythe blades together, took form in each of her hands. Her brandings had a hint of a glow to them, just like mine began to do in automatic reflex to the looming impending conflict and fight. I jumped to my feet and wielded my blades too, just in case she tried to attack Cam.
“What are you doing? I said to wait, I’ve got this! Don’t make me have to attack her over you!” I urged.
“She’s not attacking me. That damned seraphim is quickly making his way back towards you two right now, and there’s two fallen and several imps who have spotted you both. I’m getting you out of here!”
“Me? What about them?” Adrenaline began to surge from the anticipation and the current gravity of the dangerous situation.
“I don’t care about them.”
“That isn’t right, Cam!”
Before I could even register or comprehend what just happened, Jamie disappeared in a blur, running stealthily into the dense trees. After a grunt and what sounded like a body slamming hard onto the ground, I ran over swiftly to see if she needed help.
To my astonishment, Spencer was lying on the ground —out cold with his illuminated lightning Bo still in his grip.
“You two had better get out of here now. He won’t be out long.” She urged and then her head snapped over to the left.
I smelled them now. The wind was picking up and the odor was foul, like old Sulphur, rotten flesh, and wet feathers.
“Damn, too late! You’re about to get your first crash course in combat right about now!” Jamie shouted as she snapped her weapon taut in front of her. She began swinging her right-handed scythe in a circular rotation so fast, it literally formed a perfect, silver disc that appeared to be spinning backwards.
Now, I was impressed. She can fight in hand to hand combat, she could classify an unseen fallen quickly, and she could work her weapon like that? Despite her bizarre, semi-sour personality, I guess she was pretty bad-assed.
The underbrush rustled, leaves rushed upwards, and branches snapped signaling their oncoming stampede. Above us, the wind began to pick up speed, kicking up dry leaves as two large fallen began to dive down towards us from above like shadowed missiles. Then, they both winked out of view and completely disappeared right in front of our eyes.
“Aw hell, not good! They’ve cloaked themselves!” Jamie exclaimed.
Several medium-sized forms were charging towards us on the ground from all directions grunting, snorting, and snickering like wild, evil pigs. I didn’t freak out this time. An intuition unlike any other I’ve ever felt since being here began to kick in as we both readied ourselves to fight. I didn’t understand Jamie’s initial action at first but I did now. I still didn’t know what it all meant and if I could trust her at all though.
Glancing at Spencer’s inert form on the ground, I felt guilty even though I hadn’t been the one who had essentially sucker punched him.
“It might not have been a good idea, knocking him out right about now. What are you gonna tell him when he comes to?”
“He’ll get over it” Jamie huffed.
The anticipation of where the hell those fallen were going to emerge and attack from, along with the imps, was definitely way more important —but we didn’t have to make a move at all.
In one swift blur, Cam literally swooped down. He stood in front of the both of us protectively with his sword in hand, wings splayed out to shield us, and stopping the two fallen in mid-dive as they calculatingly launched themselves at us from the opposite sides.
His heroic instinct, his height, muscular broadness, and the grand span of his majestic, ruined wings, had us both awe-stricken. The intense heat of his power and magic was practically tangible, causing static to crackle and thrum in the air around him.
This was all new to me. I’ve seen him in battle with that other fallen from the club, but seeing it this close up and feeling it . . . was a completely different experience.
He stunned the fallen with a spray of long needles formed from light, which forced them to materialize and give away their locations. While they screeched in pain, he quickly took advantage, lighting his black sword and slicing across the line of imps with swift ease. They didn’t even know that they had been struck until they began to disintegrate into rank, acrid, steaming smoke. Then, he went for the fallen.
I heard bones breaking, grunting, growling, and the squishy sound of his blade both slicing and tearing into flesh. The cloying smell of putrid blood made me feel nauseous. It literally took him less than five minutes to destroy and kill each and every one of the black-horned imps, and the two fallen that hadn’t expected him to simply—appear in front of us. The combination of his master sword handling and combat expertise turned me on. A bizarre reaction I know, but it couldn’t be helped.
I completely understood Jamie’s secret fascination with supernatural beings at this very moment.
~~~Conversation between Jamie, Starling, and Cam`ael
Divinity Realm of Annihilation Book Four (Excerpt)
I moved in close to him and ran my fingers through the ultra-soft downy texture of his feathers in fascination. I loved the way they felt against my fingertips and palm.
“Are you ready for me to take you back to your friends now?”
I looked up at him in question. I thought I was going to have to continue to argue my case with him.
Trying to read past his expression, I replied, “You seem in a hurry and obliging to take me all of a sudden. What gives?”
He laughed. “Oh, now you don’t want to go, huh?”
“No, that’s not it.” I shook my head. It was frustrating, he seemed a little moody now.
“Did you eat?” He asked.
“I’m not hungry.”
“You need to eat anyway. You’re eating for three. There are some things that I need to do and I don’t want you to be here all alone.”
Looking up at him, I narrowed my eyes. “What kinds of things?”
“Things that were asked of me by Elohim a while back.” He revealed.
I was instantly humbled. “Oh. Well, how long do you plan on being gone?”
There was a long pause — one I didn’t like.
“I don’t know.”
Those words were like a sledge hammer straight to my gut. I even felt the twins flutter briefly in response to my reaction. Out of my control, tears began to fill my eyes. I wanted to punch him and throw myself into his arms at the same time.
“Don’t cry, Starling. I’m not leaving you. I could never do that, not unless you tell me that you never want to see me again. Even then, you may as well kill me when you say it.”
I couldn’t help it. Warm tears began to stream down my face and he immediately pulled me up into a hug.
“Then where are you going and how long will you be gone?”
“I can’t tell you. I mean, I could, but I’d rather not.” He set me back down after kissing me tenderly.
Gazing up at him through blurry eyes, I sniffed. “Why?”
“I just can’t. Not right now.”
“What about the babies?” More tears fell as my hands went to rest against my belly.
“I’m not abandoning you, I promise.”
“Then why can’t you tell me what’s going on and how long you’ll be gone?”
He sighed, “You know how to reach me any time you need me. It’ll never take me more than a few seconds to get to you.”
Half of me wanted to collapse and faint, feeling as if Cam just ripped my heart into two shattering pieces. I couldn’t believe he just said what I thought he said. Struggling between crying, utter devastation and being angry, I hauled off and put everything I had into jumping up to reach his face with a swift, open-handed slap.
What happened since the whole reassuring speech he gave me back at his place? How much he loved me, how much I meant to him, and that he couldn’t exist without me? Lies.
My hand connected with his face in a loud, sharp clap and he grunted, his head snapping to the side. I must have been super quick because he obviously wasn’t prepared for it.
Disbelieving what I had just done, he actually staggered sideways a bit from the impact.
I didn’t realize that I had that amount of strength, but I guess I’ve never been this pissed off before either. Even my brandings began to glow in reaction, preparing for me to fight. He brought a hand to his cheek in shock, a scorching red handprint was already forming on his skin. Did I burn him? Good!
“Okay, I deserved that.” He nodded as he rubbed his face. My handprint was already gone when he moved his hand. His eyes were suddenly focused on mine with an intense fascination.
“Is this what you call being soul-bound?” I was yelling, but my voice was wavering as I struggled to keep myself from breaking down.
He turned away from me. “This has nothing to do with that. We will always be soul-bound. The soul-bond can only be broken by you.” He said softly.
“Then why didn’t you just ask me to do that instead of this bullshit?” I couldn’t stop my tears.
“That isn’t what I want! Losing you would leave me with no reason to exist, especially now that you’re having my children. Nothing in this Universe means more to me than you!”
My breath hitched. I was taken aback by his abrupt tone but it wasn’t anger, there was passion in his proclamation.
“Stop giving me the same damned speech! If you can just up and leave me like this, then you don’t mean any of it!”
His eyes tightened and he looked at me as if I had slapped him again. “I mean every word!” Then he sighed, lowering his voice, “But I think I’ve made a mistake.”
Those words stung.
I took a step away from him. “A mistake? What, me? I’m the mistake? Getting me pregnant?”
“No. In wanting something that I was never supposed to have.” His voice was barely a whisper and he turned away from me as if embarrassed.
I didn’t even know what to say. Where was this coming from? So, this is what’s been bothering him since we got here.
“At the end of the day I’m still a demon, and I will always be a demon . . . filled with darkness.”
He turned to look down at me reverently. “I can’t allow myself to corrupt you, Starling, especially the children. Because of me, you’re an open vessel. I can’t take any more than what I’ve already taken from you and made you give up.”
So that was it.
I didn’t understand why this would occur to him now.
“Because of you? You didn’t make me give up anything, Cam. I chose this! I chose you! How dare you go out of your way to make me remember and fall in love with you again, only to jump up and leave with a selfish notion that I’m that weak, or that you are for that matter! We created these lives together and the babies are a part of you too, of both of us. Light and dark can’t exist in the same space, so explain to me how that was possible? How are you possible?” I gestured at him with an upward flip of my hand.
He seemed both confused and surprised that I was chewing him out like this, but at least he was listening.
I pointed to his left wing. “Have you actually looked at your wing lately? You have more white and gold-edged ones now than I ever remember seeing before. The feathers grew back that way. What does that tell you? I love you, not for what you look like or what you were, for your magic or even how good you are in bed, but for your soul and your heart! Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”
I was trembling and my hands were tightly fisted by my sides, nails digging into the heel of my palms. Hot tears of anger continued to roll down my cheeks.
Cam just stared at me in silence— speechless, and taking a brief moment to glance over at his left wing. After what I pointed out, he examined the feathers as if he’d never seen his own wings before.
I wiped my face and sniffed. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe this was never meant to work at all, a warrior and a Fallen? The whole idea doesn’t even make sense! We’re a ridiculous and pointless match!”
Judging by the look on his face when I said that, you would have thought I was slowly ripping his heart out with my bare hands.
My breath caught and I couldn’t stop the fresh burst of tears, but I wasn’t finished reaming him yet either. “I can’t argue or be mad if God truly asked you to do something. But if you’re lying to me because you want to leave, then go! You’re not a demon . . . you’re a selfish asshole!” I finally stammered, not bothering to hear his reply. I swiftly turned to run back towards the house.
He quickly grabbed my arm and pulled me back to him, holding me. His wings rustled, each fanning out and forward to curl around us both.
I fought against him for a second before finally giving in and allowing him to restrain me.
“It isn’t a lie — but you’re right. I deserve all of your anger . . . including that fiery bitch slap.” He whispered into my ear.
~~~Conversation between Starling and Cam`ael
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