They’d appeared out of nowhere, Grace had been curled up by the window in the living area looking out at the city. She caught a glimpse of something moving behind her in the reflective surface. She had turned with a smile on her face expecting Azriel to be there.
Her smile fell as she saw the wraiths. Two inky black beings seemed to hover in the air a few feet from her, they held out their boney hands to her, she flinched away. As soon as their spindly fingers met her shoulder, air rushed around them. Terrified, Grace scrunched her eyes closed.
When the whoosh subsided she waited a second before slowly opening her eyes again.
She seemed to be in a marble lobby, it reminded her of some of the expensive hotels in the city centre. White marble floors with grey veins ran throughout, behind her were two large elevators with gold doors, in front of her was a desk. The man stood at the desk wore a red bellboy uniform, his head was down peering at the screen of a computer.
The wraiths disappeared from Grace’s side.
Her steps were tentative as she walked towards the counter, the man looked up and she took in his appearance properly. His skin had a slightly blue tinge and he had two horn stumps sticking out of the front of his head under his bellboy cap. As he took her in she noticed his eyes were tinged red and he smiled at her, exposing his fangs.
“Hello, welcome to hell,” he grinned.
“Please take a seat in the waiting area and his highness will be with you shortly,” he directed her to a sitting area around the corner. Plush royal blue armchairs stood unoccupied and Grace perched precariously on one.
She was honestly speechless. She had no idea why she’d been bought here, more than that though. Grace had been in some hard positions, she had been in some hellish situations and this, this was not what she had expected at all.
As she sat waiting she began to seethe. She hadn’t even managed a full day of peace. She just wanted one day to curl up, to sleep and to recover and whatever they were, they had taken that from her. She was tired and angry, the bandages on her wrists itched, the bruise facing from her eye still hurt. Why couldn’t they just leave her be?
She dug her nails into the velvety fabric of the chair.
By the time “his highness” decided to grace her with his presence her anger was white hot blinding rage.
The elevator let out a high pitched ‘ping’ and a second later a large man, blonde and well muscled rounded the corner to where Grace was sitting. He smiled broadly at her, revealing too-white teeth.
“Welcome!” he exclaimed, throwing his arms wide and gesturing to the room around him. Grace didn’t think she would ever get used to seeing the wings. Where Azreil's wings had been as dark as night, this male’s wings were polar opposite. They were almost iridescent.
Each feather seemed to glow in a different way as it caught the lights in the room.
He was probably one of the most attractive males she had ever seen. That did nothing to dim the fire of her rage though. Being pretty didn’t mean he could be a prick.
She stood in one fluid motion, he must’ve seen the anger on her face because, although he was the king of hell or whatever, he had the good sense to look mildly concerned.
“What do you people want from me?” Grace gritted her teeth. She didn’t care that he was immortal, she didn’t care that he towered over her, she didn’t care that he was devastatingly beautiful. She was pissed.
“It’s lovely to meet you too Grace, my name is Luke, this is my kingdom,” his tone was sarcastic. With a wave of his hand he turned from her, gesturing for her to follow him.
Grace stalked towards the elevators after him.
“Oh, I am glad you’re so polite Luke, forgive me if ABDUCTING ME gave me the wrong impression,” every ounce of strength she had, every bit of sass she could muster, went into those words and she flung them at him like a spear.
The doors pinged open when he got to them and he looked down at her in surprise. She saw the amusement dance in his eyes as he studied her. She willed steel into her spin. She refused to be afraid of him.
He gestured for her to enter the elevator and she did so without hesitation. She was not afraid.
He followed her in. She tried not to study herself in the mirrors. Tried not to look at his reflection either. The elevator doors closed. There were no buttons on the inside, no way of knowing where they were going.
When it began to move she balled her fists at her sides. It was an effort to maintain her balance.
“If you want to stay alive, you need to keep your mouth shut at this meeting,” he said to her quietly. Before she could ask what he meant, the elevator came to a halt and the doors opened.
He stepped into the darkness beyond the golden doors, his wings glowing faintly. Dread scuttled up her spine and her every instinct was telling her to run or to hide. Luke beckoned her and she had no choice but to follow him into the pitch black.
As she stepped out of the light, the doors closed behind her and then they disappeared entirely.
When her eyes finally adjusted, she could see Luke and four other winged figures.
KEEP A LOOKOUT FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER!