Firstly, all the pre-order links are live (links at bottom of post)! Pre-order and get ANGELDUST at the special price of $2.99 before it reverts to $3.99 on release day!
Now as I promised, an exclusive sneak peak into ANGELDUST. Enjoy!
* * *
Alyx pulled pull out the charm Raphael had left for her. She sat in her chair, dangling it from one hand. It looked like a round metal coin on the end of a necklace wrapped in a mirage. When she touched it the mirage faded away to reveal an eight-pointed star within a circle all in silver. Engraved around the outer and front edges of the circle were the shimmering words,
“Look within your soul to find the path to the truth.”
What the hell did that mean?
She stared at the charm, reading the words over and over again. She supposed that “the path to the truth” could be a metaphor to mean the location of Raphael’s missing Amulet piece as Balthazar suggested, but what did it mean to look within herself? What did she actually have to do?
Was the answer inside her? Did she have to say the answer to the riddle out aloud? So, what was in her soul?
“Um, love,” she tested, “love is in my soul.”
Still nothing happened.
The shimmering ink seemed to wink at her. “Come on,” she let out, frustration making her nerves jangle, “tell me what the answer is.”
The charm, of course, did not reply.
Jesus Christ, she was sitting here talking to a piece of metal. She must be going mad.
Maybe Tobias could help. He might know more about Raphael. Or Jordan. He was good with riddles. But, she remembered, Mayrekk did say that only the Guardian could understand the riddle.
She jolted from her chair and snatched the charm into her fist. She relaxed when she saw who it was. “Israel, you scared me. I didn’t hear you come in.”
Israel chuckled as he moved towards her and wrapped her in his arms. “You were concentrating pretty hard. Do you know when you concentrate you stick the end of your tongue out?”
“I do not.”
“You do. Makes me want to kiss you.” He leaned down her and brushed his lips against hers. His tongue grazed her lips teasingly but he kept his mouth just out of the reach of her greedy lips. It was teasing, tantalizing torture. Just before Alyx thought she might lose her mind, he closed his mouth over hers. She floated herself off the floor so that they could deepen the kiss.
Finally he pulled away. Alyx sighed happily in his arms. This, a girl could get used to. Who knew that one day she might find more time for kisses than blades.
“So,” Israel asked, “what are you working on that requires such concentration?”
Alyx had all but forgotten. Again. He did have that effect on her. She showed him the charm, explained what it was and read out the riddle hidden under the mirage.
“And you thought that ‘abracadabra’ would work, huh?” Israel said.
Alyx blushed. “You heard that? I thought it couldn’t hurt.”
“But it didn’t.”
“Nope. Nothing has so far.”
“Can I help?”
“Please, if you can make sense of it.” She handed over the charm to Israel. It looked so delicate in his strong hands as he turned it over. She watched his scar on his top lip dance as he spoke out the riddle on the charm under his breath. “Raphael said that only the Guardian could understand the riddle, which means me.”
“So all you have to do is to use your extra special Guardian powers to figure it out.”
Alyx blinked. “My…what?”
Israel frowned. “Well, it makes sense why only the Guardian would be able to figure out the riddle if figuring out the riddle requires you to use a gift or knowledge that only you have because you’re the Guardian.”
“Oh my God.”
“Just call me Israel.”
“Israel, you’re a genius. You deserves kisses for that.”
“It was nothing.”
“Big fat kisses.”
“Well, if you insist.”
“No. You deserve more than kisses. You deserve…naked kisses.”
“Ridiculously, scandalously naked kisses.”
Israel’s eyes widened and he made a strangling noise in his throat. Alyx took this opportunity to snatch the charm back from him. She began to turn away but he stopped her with a hand on her arm. He stepped closer into her, his eyes darkening that delicious devilish green when he was thinking of one thing. Alyx sucked in a breath as her body heated starting from when their skin meet.
“I’d like my reward now,” he said, his voice dropping low and thick as his hands began to move up her arm. His nose and lips traced her neck and she could feel him breathe her into him. Her mind felt like it was short-circuiting, the air humming between them. “Alyx, my reward.”
“I do believe you said I deserved kisses…naked kisses…in fact, I do remember you said, and I quote, ‘ridiculously scandalously naked kisses’.” His gaze lowered to her mouth. “I want to claim my reward.”
“I…um…” she didn’t have a chance to finish her sentence. Israel lips closed on hers. Her world darkened around them as their connection twisted around them both. His fingers found her face and the skin on her neck as he deepened the kiss. His tongue running across hers made her body begin to tremble. I can’t get close enough to you, angel, he whispered in his head. I want to be under your skin. She hadn’t even realized she had fallen into him, something that her Guardian bond allowed her to do.
Her Guardian bond. The answer to Raphael’s riddle.
Alyx pulled back, her body moaning at her for pulling away from his sweet mouth. “We’re going to get carried away. Again. We’ll lose another day. I need to solve this riddle and find the missing piece of the Amulet and stop Michael from destroying our planet.”
Israel groaned. “What happened to the usual ‘sorry, honey, I have a headache’ excuse?” He sighed, seemingly resigned, but he didn’t pull away. He grabbed the back of Alyx’s neck and held her in place as he stared deep into her eyes. “Fine. But when this is all over, you and I are going to spend some major alone time without any distractions.”
“Major alone time?”
“Ridiculously scandalously naked alone time.”
Alyx felt her body flush. “Okay.”
Israel placed a kiss on her mouth. It was heated and full of promise and he gripped her as if he feared that she might disappear. Alyx felt herself melting into him, her mind disappearing into this complete bliss that only Israel could weave around her. Her resolve began to fall away. What was one more day? She deepened the kiss and pressed her body against his.
This time it was Alyx’s turn to groan when he pulled away. “Why did you stop?” she moaned. “We don’t have to stop. What about naked kisses?”
He leaned his forehead on hers, his breath rushing hard around her cheeks. “I don’t know. Something about saving the world.”