I haul ass across a tenement rooftop. The sky threatens rain, but what else is new? This is Purgatory, after all. Land of blech. On the next building over, Desmond the klepto demon scrambles his lizard-like butt off as he attempts to escape. “Attempts” being the key word in that sentence.
At every step, my fiancé Prince Lincoln keeps a steady pace by my side. A warm sense of happiness seeps through my chest.
We’re demon hunting together again. At last.
Ahead of us, Desmond leaps onto another rooftop. This part of town is cramped and deserted, so he can easily scramble around without freaking out the general populace. Desmond’s a lanky dude with green skin, a flat nose, and an enchanted book in his possession that he just snatched from me when I exited my limo.
What a douche.
Anger pulses through my bloodstream. Desmond stole the Rixa Codex—a small book of evidence that’s hugely important.
I want it back like now.
I force my breathing to slow. Even though the book is crucial, I need to be patient. Plus, the chase is all part of the fun, right? And hell knows I haven’t had any demon-fighting fun in ages.
Speaking of which, what’s the rush to grab Desmond anyway? It’s not like he stands a chance against both Lincoln and me.
From the corner of my eye, I give my guy a quick once-over. Hmm. Someone looks mighty spicy in his new black body armor.
Maybe if I let Lincoln run ahead a little, I can get a quick peek at his butt.
I take care to pant excessively while slowing my pace across the uneven shingles. Sure, it’s unlikely that I’d actually be tired at this point. Like every native of Purgatory, I’m a quasi-demon. That means I’m mostly human with a little bit of demon DNA. It’s what gives me a kick-ass tail as well as powers across two of the seven deadly sins, namely lust and wrath. My lust side grants me a pretty face, curves that stop traffic, and auburn hair that looks amazing without any product. Thanks to my inner wrath demon, I can fight like hell and run full out for days.
Even so, sometimes a girl just needs to slow down and check out her fiancé’s butt, so that’s what I do right now. Carpe assem.
Lincoln runs ahead of me. “For the record, I know what you’re up to.”
“Sure, it’s called conserving energy. Why should we kill ourselves to catch Desmond?”
“Ah, then this is only about the klepto demon?” Lincoln leaps super-high over some kind of ancient television aerial. From this angle, it’s a mighty lovely sight. “Not my glutes?”
I’m so shnagged.
“Fine. I like the view.”
“We’re hunting a demon, Myla.” There’s no missing the smile in his voice. Lincoln loves it when I’m sassy.
“Hey, I can multitask.”
More smiling-voice-ness. “I’ve noticed.”
Here’s the deal. Six months ago, I was the baddest-ass warrior in Purgatory’s Arena. Then, I got transformed into a supernatural called the great scala, which means that I’m the only being who can permanently move souls to Heaven or Hell. Trouble is, if I’m hurt, it’s a showstopper for the spirit world. Long story short, until a Scala Heir is named, I have to be a responsible demigoddess. That means working behind a desk instead of killing things. It sucks. Hard.
“I concede your multitasking skills.” Lincoln makes another mouthwatering leap. “You’ve got two minutes to dawdle.”
“Did you just say dawdle?” I put on a tone of mock-outrage. “What are you, eighty?”
“I’ll pass along your critique to my royal tutors.”
“Like they’ll listen.” I snap my fingers. “Hey, I’ve got an idea. How about you watch some television?” Or any, really. “That’ll help you sound like you’re from this century.”
“Last time I checked, resembling a young human wasn’t one of my life goals, and you’re not changing the subject. One minute of dawdle time remains.” He places extra-emphasis on the word dawdle, the cheeky monkey.
“Eh, bite me.”
“No comment.” He looks back over his shoulder and winks. When the situation calls for it, Lincoln does love to use his teeth, and not in a bad way. At all.
After that, my guy goes quiet, so I return to ogling mode. Lincoln is tall and broad-shouldered with strong bone structure and messy brown hair. He’s twenty—a year older than me—which some say is too young for us to get hitched. Whatever. I can’t wait for our wedding. Plus, Lincoln’s a kind of demon hunter called a thrax. His people are part angel, obsessed with tradition, and live deep under the Earth’s surface. Lincoln’s their high prince. More importantly, he’s whip-smart, honest, noble almost to a fault, and a great kisser. Now that we’re engaged, we’ve been working up to bigger things than kissing. It involves a lot less body armor and tons more skin.
Mmmmm, a partially naked Lincoln is a beautiful sight.
“Time’s up,” says Lincoln.