Authors: Rosalie Lario
Tags: #Paranormal, #romance novel, #Genre Fiction, #Urban Life, #Romance, #fallen angel, #Urban, #erotic romance, #angel romance, #paranormal romance, #Literature & Fiction, #fantasy romance, #Fantasy, #sexy romance, #supernatural romance, #dystopian romance
The Fallen Warriors Series
In a world where angels rule over humans, twelve outcasts dare to defy expectation, warring with their angel brethren to prevent the extinction of mankind.
War has broken out between the angels and mankind, and former mates Seth and Lily are caught right in the middle. As two of the Fallen Warriors—angelic defenders of mankind—they must work together to defeat their enemy. But shadows of the past have their way of creeping in, and Seth and Lily’s past is far too complicated.
Seth knows his betrayal stung Lily deeply. He may have lost her forever when he fell for a human, but that doesn’t mean he can stop himself from loving her, or fighting to win her back. If their world is going to end, he wants to be with her when it happens.
Lily wants nothing more than to move on from Seth, the angel who recklessly broke her heart. Adam, a striking nephilim, presents that very opportunity, but there’s just one problem: Seth. He’s determined to win her back, and if there’s one thing time has shown her, it’s that the tempting angel who was once her mate is all but irresistible. As the Fallen Warriors battle to save mankind, Lily must make a choice: the nephilim who desires her, or the angel who once deceived her.
Copyright © May 2015 by Rosalie Lario
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.
Cover Art provided by Brittany Smith, Amaranth Dreams.
Editorial Services provided by Kristie Stramaski, Freelance Editor.
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More Than Twelve Years Ago.
Just Before the Fall of the Veil…
he light of the full moon filtered through the clouds in the sky, illuminating the roaring waters of Niagara Falls as Seth soared overhead. By morning this area would be teeming with human activity, but right now, everything was blissfully quiet.
He loved this place. Its natural beauty had spoken to him since the first time he and his mate, Lily, had slipped through the veil separating their world from this one. Fascinated by the vibrant beauty of Earth, so colorful in comparison to their ice-laden world, he and Lily had procured a cottage near the Falls and begun to visit often. Given that their kind had the ability to absorb their wings into their bodies, the two of them had taken joy in masquerading as humans.
After a century together, they’d had some of their best times here. It had been pure bliss. Until the unthinkable had happened…
He shouldn’t have come back here alone. He knew that now. This was
place: his and Lily’s. But when she’d had business to attend to on their world, he’d seen no harm in slipping off here alone.
Now he knew he’d been wrong. But it was too late. The damage had already been done.
Seth still loved it here, but those emotions, like every other one he had, had become twisted and confused. Nothing was as easy as he’d once thought it was.
It was this knowledge that had propelled him into the night air, which now drove him relentlessly. What was he going to do?
There was no easy solution for him. No way to make this right.
He was doomed.
Down below, a lone figure sat on the bluff overlooking the Falls. Even in the darkness, he saw who it was.
His heart thumped against his ribcage. He hadn’t known she was here. When he’d left her earlier in the day, she’d been back on their world. Her job as educator to the few angel children who existed often kept her quite busy. This time he’d slipped away to Earth without telling her, as he had the past several times he’d come here.
A jumble of thoughts paraded through his head as he did a full circle and descended directly behind her. As always, the sight of her caused a spark of arousal in his chest. It seemed he’d always loved Lily, always desired her. That had never changed, and it only made things more confusing.
Why was she here?
The moment he touched down, he was hit with the full force of her emotions. She was grieving, in pain, and it frightened him. He could only hazard a guess as to what was wrong, and it certainly didn’t bode well for him.
Since all angels had the ability to sense emotions, they learned at an early age to keep a tight rein on them. Only the most intense emotions filtered through. Which meant, if he was feeling this sorrow now, Lily was truly suffering.
By the way her back stiffened, he knew she sensed his presence. He rolled his shoulders, absorbing his wings into his body, and approached. “Lily?”
She turned to face him, and the pure agony emanating from her nearly made him buckle with weakness.
“I know,” she whispered, the words drifting through the space between them. Though it was only a few feet, it might as well have been an entire chasm. He sensed that now.
Seth tensed, struggling to contain his emotions deep within him. To find the right words to say. “Lily—”
“I came onto this world earlier to look for you.” Her lips twisted and her hands clenched into fists. “I had a feeling you were here. I knew something was off.”
“Lily,” he whispered, her bleak tone all but crushing him.
“Then she found me.”
He fought to keep his breath steady, to remain standing, when it felt as if the veritable earth were being ripped from under his feet. “She did?”
.” The last word was wrenched from her as if it were a curse, which he supposed it was, at least on their relationship. “It was her sister.”
“Her sister?” he repeated dumbly. He hadn’t even known Isabelle had one.
“She was looking for you.” Lily’s gaze focused on his left shoulder. “She wanted to tell you… Isabelle was in a car accident just after she left you. She’s dead.”
Her words, so blunt and unexpected, made his heart wrench in desolate sorrow. A harsh groan escaped his lips. It was a reaction he couldn’t fight, couldn’t mask, and Lily felt every bit of it.
She gasped, her eyes shooting back to his face and her shoulders scrunching. Clutching her hand to her chest, she whispered, “So it’s true. It was real. You really did…”
A maelstrom of emotions pumped through his veins. He wanted to rail in anger, to crush Lily into his arms. To hold her tight and drink in her comfort as he grieved, but clearly that wasn’t going to happen.
Like so many times in the past few months, he found he didn’t know what to do.
“Lily,” he choked out, anguish deepening his voice. “I love you. You know that.”
“No.” She stumbled back a few paces, shaking her head in agony, in disbelief. “I know
. Not anymore.”
With that, she grew her wings and soared off into the night sky, leaving him truly and utterly alone.
Instinct propelled him to spread his wings wide in preparation to chase after her, but then reality struck.
She would never let him catch her, and even if he did, she would never understand.
Because of his folly, he’d lost the woman he loved.
Both of them.
ain. Agony. Sorrow.
The whirlwind of emotions wound their way through Seth’s body, coalescing into a ball of twisted fear deep in the pit of his stomach. He’d lost track of how many days it’d been. How many days had passed since he and several of his brethren had been captured and tortured by the Tribunal, the council that ruled over angelkind? How long had it been since they’d been rescued, only to lose Mara and Ben to the fiery flames of the angelic torches, the only thing that could kill them?
His wounds had mostly healed, leaving behind only bruises and internal scars. But he ached inside, ached for the loss of his fellow Fallen and for the destruction humans faced now that war had been declared between angels and mankind.
Mostly he ached for Lily, the woman who’d once been his mate, the angel he’d so foolishly betrayed.
Mara had been Lily’s best friend, her confidante. She had been the only other female who survived condemnation at the hands of the angels, and the two had grown as close as sisters after they’d escaped. Now Mara was dead, and he could only imagine the depth of Lily’s suffering.
A knock sounded out on the door of the room he was in. He pushed up onto his elbows on the narrow cot that served as his bed.
“Lily,” he croaked.
But when the door opened, it wasn’t Lily’s face he saw. It was Ruby’s.
Jason’s mate gave him an apologetic glance as she entered the room with a tray in her hand. “Sorry, it’s just me.”
She set the tray down at the edge of his bed. It contained a sandwich, a glass of water, and more of the healing salve that covered a good portion of his body.
Seth sat up and slid his feet over the edge of the bed, scrubbing his hands over his face. Heavens, but he desperately needed a shower.
“How long has it been?” he asked Ruby.
She understood what he was asking. “Seven days.”
Seven days since they’d been rescued, since Ben and Mara had been killed.
He frowned. “I’ve been lazing around in bed for seven whole days?”
Ruby snorted. “Most of your bones were broken. I’d hardly call your healing sleep ‘lazing around.’”
Flashbacks of the past week assaulted his memory: the painful flight back to the underground subway tunnel that served as the rebel base; supporting a grieving, battered Michael for half of the flight; then being joined by Lily, who helped him with Michael’s weight while silent tears streamed down her cheeks; Lily assisting him to this room and then returning with salve for his beaten body.
“Did I imagine her being here?” he murmured, more to himself than anyone else. But Ruby responded anyway.
“No. She’s been back and forth.” Ruby’s sympathetic gaze washed over him. “She was worried about you.”
Her words made his heart clench. Over the years, he’d often wondered whether Lily’s love for him had turned into hate, but every so often she would do something to remind him that she still cared, even if she longed not to.
“How is she? Michael?”
Ruby’s mouth tightened, and she looked down. “Everyone’s still grieving. But we’re trying to stay focused. We’ve been strategizing and preparing for battle. Michael’s been in touch with the vice president.”
After much struggle and turmoil, the Fallen had managed to obtain a video showing the angels plotting to eradicate mankind. Once the Tribunal had slaughtered the nation’s president, the vice president had declared war on angels. After a dozen years of being painted as enemies of mankind, he and the rest of the Fallen had finally been revealed to be the good guys. Given clear proof, humans had no choice but to accept that the Fallen had been condemned by their kind, not because they hated humans, but because they were trying to protect them.
Before he could say anything more, the sound of a male voice cut through the space. “Ruby. Are you around?”
Ruby rose and stalked toward the open door. “In here. What’s up?”
Curly, a scrappy teen with a mop of curly hair, popped into view. He gave her a broad grin. “The caravan’s here. The rest of the rebels are back.”
Before Ruby had met and mated with Jason, one of his Fallen brethren, she’d been the leader of a gang of rebels, a motley crew of humans who didn’t believe angels were altruistic, as they claimed to be, and had decided to live off the grid. They’d converted this ancient, abandoned tunnel into their home base, and Seth had to admit, it was a perfect hideout. Iron casting prevented any angels flying overhead from making out the essence of the Fallen and nephilim down below, and it was located in Brooklyn, close enough to the Tribunal headquarters in Central Park.