Excerpt

Abigail surveyed the crowded bar with languid, smoky eyes. There was a certain fun triviality to being a haeman. The laborious aestheticism of applying make-up that would only be removed later. The glugging of chemical substances that destroyed the skin casing in the name of enjoyment. The innately cruel nature of these beings.

Not for the first time, Abigail wondered why Lord Aravat had bothered making such a pathetic species. They were not strong like the other creatures in the Kingdom. Nor were they amassed with wisdom. They were greedy, selfish, spiteful – and although this greatly served Abigail’s needs and she intended to keep them that way – she couldn’t help but wonder what Aravat saw in them.

Finally, her eyes landed on one man leaning against the bar. He was alone. Drinking something that Abigail could only assume to be whisky. Blinking twice and summoning power to her eye sockets, immediately the man’s information was displayed above his head.

   Ajax Simpson.

  Thirty-four years old.

  Unhappy marriage.

  Chain smoker.

  Abigail flipped open her hand mirror and checked herself once over. Yes. She looked like a certifiably attractive haemon. If the men leering at her hadn’t been obvious, the mirror confirmed it. She applied a little more lipgloss and shook her head slightly, the movement adjusting her fringe over her forehead. Shutting the mirror, she stood and walked towards the bar.

Her stepfather’s voice echoed in her mind and all the memories of training came flooding back. For a Fallen angel who despised The Codex, Zitali sure could quote it inside out. She’d only asked him why once.

“To know the truth is our greatest advantage Abigail,” he’d explained. “Only by knowing the truth can we pervert it. Learn the laws, and then twist them. Remember that.”

That had been rule number 2. Rule number 1 came directly from the Codex, and Zitali had repeated it a number of times.

Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. It was something that filled Abigail with great euphoria, and every time she was about to complete a job, she remembered it. There was no way she could fail. The abyss was limitless and the amount of souls she could entrap were – logically – also limitless. Haemankind were insatiable, wanting more and more regardless of the damage it did to them. More adrenaline rushes, more sensations, more intimacy, more activity. They were in a constant search to fulfil a gaping hole within their soul and once they accomplished one thing, they moved to another. Or they stagnated. Either way, Abigail was there to help.

She reached the bar, choosing a spot only a metre away from Ajax. Leaning forward onto the bar, so that her breasts were straining against what was an already revealing top, Abigail called the bartender.

“Hi, I’ll have whatever he’s having,” she gestured towards Ajax.

Ajax looked up in surprise. His eyes, almost uncontrollably, glanced at her chest and then back up to her face.

“It’s a whisky,” he said apologetically. “Strong jameson. No ice.”

“I’m sure I can handle it,” she winked.

When her drink arrived, Abigail took a sip and screwed up her face. It tasted like slightly bitter water, disappointingly weak when compared to the liquor all the Fallen enjoyed.

“Told you it was strong,” Ajax said, laughing at her expression.

Abigail didn’t bother defending herself and instead slid closer towards him.

“Alright, I get it – you’re a tough guy. Point proven,” she said, a lazy smile stretching its way across her face. She placed a hand on his knee jovially. “What’s your name then?”

The glass he had been lifting froze halfway to his mouth, and he stared almost mesmerised at her hand.

“Ajax,” he said. His voice was dry yet dependable. His eyes jaded and depressed. “Yours?”

“I’m Abigail.”

“Nice name. So how come you’re here – by yourself?”

“I could ask you the same question.”

He grunted and downed the rest of the drink, summoning to the bartender for a top-up.

“Well can I guess?”

“Sure,” Abigail said.

“You’re meeting someone. Boyfriend?”

“Nope.”

“Husband?”

“No.”

He narrowed his eyes.

“Girlfriend?”

“I’m not meeting anybody,”

He scratched his chin. “Well then I can’t imagine why someone like you would be here alone.”

“Someone like me?”

“You know; you’re very attractive.”

“What about you?”

“I finished work and thought I’d pop in for a quick pint or two before I head home.”

“Anyone waiting for you at home?”

“Wife and kids,” he said after a pause.

“Oh, well then you can’t be the guy I’m looking for.”

“I thought you said you weren’t meeting somebody.”

“Nothing prearranged. Ajax, if you really must know the reason I’m here…it’s that I’m bored. My boyfriend recently broke up with me. I’m at the stage where I just want to have fun – y’know. Nothing serious.”

“You are?”

“Don’t judge me. Goodness knows I’ll regret it soon after but now…well now all I can think of is unadultered, steamy, sex.” Abigail glanced at him through her eyelashes, a pink tinge encircling on her cheeks, her eyes lusting over.

Ajax’s expression changed and he stammered slightly.

“I…wow…I…that’s pretty upfront.”

“Well we’re all adults here, aren’t we? It’s a shame really. I could’ve shown you a good time.” She stood and gave him a long, searching hug. Her fragrance was subtle yet enchanting and her chest was pressed against his own.

“Have a good night, okay?”

She pulled away.

“Wait. There’s no need to go. We can talk?”

“Sorry Ajax. I can’t waste my time with polite chitchat.”

“Hang on. What if – if you – and I – ” he rubbed his face in his hands tiredly. “If we -?”

Abigail sat back down.

“If you and I…were to have sex?” she said.

“Oh for – for crying out loud – do you have to be so…?” He glanced around but nobody seemed to be listening in to the conversation. “Could we keep it down a bit?”

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