It's almost Halloween. Every site is doing something appropriately ghoulish. I apparently fit right in with that theme. Halloween is my birthday. I work at a cemetery. I write stories that have ghosts, demons, dragons, werewolves and vampires in them. I am a Creepster. I like creepy things like my Zombies Ate My Brain t-shirt and Skulls and Bones candies. I don't watch horror movies but that's because I don't really have time to and the fake blood makes me yawn anyway. I did like Zombieland but it wasn't really a horror movie.
So for all you creepsters out there who like the macabre, I've got three things for you today. First, if you run over to my Five Dark Realms website and sign up for my forum and participate on the board by posting a few times, you'll be entered into a drawing and could win books! Second, I'm going to invite you all to post your cemetery questions today and I will answer them. Just don't be upset if I can't do it right away. I have to use my lunch hour to do it and I'm on Pacific time. Third, I'm going to give you a taste of my dark tale Ain't Nuthin' But a Hellhound which is in the Weirdly III anthology of creepy dark tales.
Lilah hunts hellhounds because she can. Half demon, she travels the night in search of the hellhounds who steal human souls. Using her powers, she strips the demons of their prey and saves the humans’ souls. But a demon lord, the Lord of the Hellhounds and her former lover, stalks her even while her father, demon royalty, seeks to bring her back to the demon realm. When Lilah saves the soul of a college professor, he teaches her a lesson about power that sets the demon hunter on a collision course with both her father and her former lover.
Lilah didn’t give in to her demon side, except for her work. She’d become a demon hunter because her father didn’t believe in her. Aside from her mother, he and one other were the only beings she’d ever loved, and they thought her human side made her weak. They seemed unaware of the fact that she had never felt human and despised human weakness. Still, she knew in her heart that she didn’t belong in the demon realm right now.
The converted warehouse she called home loomed at the end of an industrial cul-de-sac. Before she could reach the huge spell-locked metal door, Lilah realized she was no longer alone. She stopped, her acute hearing picking up the sound of something non-human. Turning, she faced a hellhound.
“You scared my minion. He was new and now you’ve frightened him. He’s afraid to go back out in the field.”
The familiar voice washed over her, bringing with it the sting of desire in her body. Ignoring her rising pulse, Lilah raised one brow. “You should train them better, Xavion,” she replied in an icy tone.
The tall figure of the hellhound emerged from the shadows. He stepped closer to her, deliberately invading her comfort zone. She didn’t step back, although she wanted to. Xavion enjoyed taunting her with his body and the pleasures he could give her.
“I train them well, Lilah. You just keep getting better at deterring them,” he murmured, reaching up to wrap a lock of her hair around his forefinger. “I love it when you show off what I taught you.”
She scowled at him. “My father taught me. I rarely think about the things you showed me.”
Xavion laughed softly. “Even after fifty years, you’re still trying to forget that I took your virginity and gave you such pleasure.”
“Someone had to take it. Might as well have been you,” she muttered, turning her back on him and walking toward her warehouse. “It wasn’t anything special.”
“Oh, ho! So you say, my lovely. I happen to know that it was.” He grabbed her arm, pulling her around to face him. “It was special for us both. Why have you kept me at arm’s length?”
Lilah glared at him. “Because I don’t want to be involved with you. You are my father’s heir, a hellhound lord, and my natural enemy, Xavion, not my lover.”
“I’m not your enemy, Lilah, natural or otherwise. When will you get that through your thick skull?” he ground out, pressing his body to hers. “You do this…this soul saving…only to thwart me, to show me that you don’t care for me or your father. But I know better, Lilah. We belong together.”
She shook her head. “No, we don’t. You’re nothing to me except another hellhound I must stop. You take the lost souls. I save them. We have nothing in common, Xavion, so leave me alone!”
He grabbed her chin with hard fingers. If she had been human, his grip would have broken bones or at least bruised her severely. “You’re wrong, Lilah. I can wait until you acknowledge it.”
“You will wait forever then.” Her tone was resolute, giving no quarter, as she stared at him defiantly.
Xavion’s dark head bent, and his beautiful mouth hovered over hers. “It’s a good thing that I have eternity on my side. I will win this battle, my love. I must.”
He kissed her, his lips taking hers, demanding a response. She fought the urge to kiss him back. Her body screamed in protest, wanting to cleave to him, touch him. Her heart recoiled from her physical response to the lord of the hellhounds. She didn’t want him, didn’t want what he represented, didn’t want to be a pawn between him and her father. She grew icy cold, stiffening in his grasp.
Xavion released her and stepped back. His broad chest heaved, and his dark eyes glowed feral red. “Things are changing in the demon realm, Lilah. You would do well to remember what I offer you.”
She glared at him, despite the frisson of warning that snaked down her spine at his mention of changes in the demon realm. “I sampled what you have to offer, Xavion. That was enough for me. I have no use for demons.”
His expression tightened with anger at the insult. “I’m not kidding, Lilah daughter of Desrael. I must have you. And I will.”
Xavion muttered an incantation, and a hole opened in the night, an inky swirl of darkness in the empty space beside him. The shimmering hole in the air was so black and deep it sucked light right into it. The scent of sulfur and dark spices emerged from the blackness giving away the fact that it was a portal to the demon realm “It’s not as bad as you think there, Lilah. It’s no different than any other realm in the universe.”
“It’s Hell, Xavion, and you’re a hellhound, a minion of the darkest forces this universe has to offer. I am not one of you.” She turned and walked away, not waiting to see him use the portal, deliberately ignoring the lure of his body and his world.
I hope you enjoyed this taste of my dark tale. Now, it's time for you to ask me anything you want about the cemetery or my books or my crazy birthday. (Trust me, the cemetery stuff is MUCH more interesting than my birthday.) Tell me what you want to know about the cemetery! Or ask me where to get the cool zombies shirt. ;)
Wishing you a creepy, macabre Halloween!