The Forsaken<br/>

Author: Renee Pace
Publisher: Etopia Press
Published: 2013-02-28
Language(s): English
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult, Juvenile (8 - 12), Youth (13 to 17)
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy Read Excerpt >

Quiet descended over the bar the minute the shimmering lights and techno beat ceased. A hush of anticipation soared through the motley teenagers.

Nathanael felt his body gravitate toward the stage and realized he too was caught up in the crowd’s anticipation. A mass of excited people, four levels deep, stood between him and the dark backdrop. Muffled conversations and hushed whispers thickened the air. The mood in the place moved from partying delight to sweet ecstasy. The curtains swung up like a billowing cloud and there before him stood four Cherubs, their heavenly bodies on display in clothing that would make the Mistress weep.

Each wore a pleated black-and-white skirt barely covering their bottoms, high-top red sneakers with black laces that traveled all the way up to the knees, and white blouses tied into halter tops that showcased more of their honey-colored, heavenly flesh.

You’re kidding me. Nathanael blinked. What were the odds the Cherub he’d been thinking about for days, the one who had saved him in the alley, would be the star of the show? Guess one hundred percent. He hoped his surprised expression didn’t make him look like an idiot, but he had to get closer. Elbowing his way forward he stood to the side of the stage. Two members of the band had blonde hair that fell in tight ringlets to their waist, one had straight pixie-cropped white hair with red-dyed ends framing her small face, but the one center stage bore the traditional thick, straight blonde locks of a Cherub, and she was the female who had saved him in the alley. The tiny gold star embedded in her belly button winked at him. Her skin glowed like a warm candle and she, like the rest of the Cherubs, looked about seventeen. With the thick outline of black makeup around their eyes, they were a spellbinding sight.

Nathanael wasn’t sure what to think. He sort of thought the females banished would be boot ugly, and secondly crazy. That was how the rumors made them appear. Instead they were all Cherub beauty and their eyes were filled with keen intelligence. The hush in the center grew. Nathanael became acutely aware of his own ragged breathing. He eyed the lead Cherub hoping she’d catch his look. Once again she wore skintight black pants but this time she had on black boots that went to her calves, and they looked military issue except for the silver buckles along the seams. Nathanael didn’t like how she made his heart race. He was used to being in control of his emotions, but she made him uneasy. A bell rang, a second and third. A soft, haunting melody of a hum started, growing louder with each Cherub until the girl at center stage threw her head back and sang. The wail of the sorrow-filled song filled him with both sadness and beauty. Nathanael felt the power of her song realizing it stroked each person’s soul. She was allowing the purity of her voice to work its magic, easing all of their anxiety, allowing them in this moment to let their heart truly love.

Every cell in Nathanael’s Seraphim body recognized the song. He’d heard it sung by other Cherubs growing up but never had it sounded so good. He enjoyed the foreign words she sung. Ancient Hebrew, the cadence rolled off her tongue like the taste of heavenly red wine. Her words caused the fine hairs on his skin to rise with pleasure. If he’d had his wings, they’d be arched back, proudly displayed. Shaking his head, Nathanael forced his body to cool, taking another dreaded sip of his drink, wanting the bitter tang, anything to force his mind to heel from the fantasy he was envisioning. He wasn’t a youngling but he wasn’t entirely in control of his body either and he didn’t like that. When the remaining Cherubs threw their voices into the melody of the song, a flood of such intense love slammed into him, he felt like he’d had one too many urdal—the blessed seeds from the heavenly plant many Seraphim chewed to experience a more divine holy prayer. Nathanael worked his way through the crowd. He shouldered some stupid humans out of the way, glaring at them if they dared look at him. At the stage door, where the lighting dimmed, keeping him more in the shadow, he enjoyed the music more. A total of four more songs followed. By the end of their first set, his breathing was labored, his heart pounded loudly in his chest, and his palms were sweaty. He moved from the wall to flex his muscles. A part of him was angry. However, he wasn’t sure if that emotion was directed at himself or the girls on stage.

What he’d witnessed felt sacrilegious, and it burned through him. He prayed that tonight he’d be back in heaven’s realm, mission accomplished with his future heavenly wife in tow. The minute he found her, he’d call to the Mistress and as promised, she’d let them back into the heavenly realm once his Cherub agreed to the wedding. Then he’d repent for the impurity of his thoughts. Again he shifted, wishing his jeans weren’t so tight as he tried to calm his emotions. He prayed one of these Cherubs wasn’t Isabella. He didn’t want her to be openly displaying her body or voice for mankind. Cherub angels were purity. They exemplified all the heavenly descriptions of what that word entailed.

Marching toward the back of the stage, he wondered why no one stopped him. Cherub angels were never unescorted in the heavens, yet here on Earth, they walked about alone, vulnerable. A sharp steel blade cut into his throat, catching him off guard.

“Well, what do we have here? Why, I do believe it’s a Seraphim and just my luck, the one I saved from the alley the other night. To whom do we have the pleasure of addressing?”

Blood slid down his throat as the metal scraped across his neck, causing Nathanael to attempt to move back. The blade cut more into his flesh—the Cherub with the sharp knife wouldn’t think twice about ending his existence. Casting aside his anger and stupidity, he realized he was intrigued by these Cherub girls with their macho-Sera attitudes.

“I am Nathanael, First Born of the House of Raphael.” A gasp stole through the other three angels…but not the one controlling the knife. “Why, Sere, are you here on Earth?”

Contempt and hatred spilled from the voice, which only moments before had had him almost on his knees with a longing he didn’t want to examine too closely.

“I am here to find Isabella and bring her home,” he said.

“Why?” the leader asked.

“She is to be my future heavenly wife, and I have come to claim her.”

“Like Hell,” she said, twisting around to confront him face-to-face. Demon daggers looked more inviting than the leader’s pale blue eyes as they narrowed in contempt. Her jaw clenched shut so hard he heard the click of her teeth, and her knife cut deeper into his throat, causing more of his golden-hued blood to flow down his throat and onto his collar.

The Forsaken   by   Renee Pace   |   See Bio >
Book 0 of 0 in the The Forsaken Series.
Fighting for freedom means falling from grace.

Fighting for freedom means falling from grace.

After taking up arms in a heavenly war, teen angel Isabella is banished to Earth. Her penance: to live as an immortal teenager. Her objective: to create a safe haven for her fellow exiled angels who believe in her mantra of independence. Faced with life on the mortal plane, she and her girls form a rock band as a means to literally sing for their supper. 

But when Isabella saves a fallen male angel, things fall apart. If she thought her penance was hard before, she’s got an even harder path to follow now that she realizes Nathan is her soul mate—and that he holds the key to returning her to the heavenly realm. But she has no intention of going anywhere if it means leaving her sisters alone in exile. Until she discovers a hellish plan to amass a human-turned-demon army. Now she must convince the very angels who cast her out that war can no longer be avoided—if they want to survive…

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