The beautiful. The bad. The possessed.
Some people worship them. Some people fear them. And some people--like Morgan Kingsley--go up against them toe-to-toe, flesh to flesh, and power against power. An exorcist by trade, Morgan is one of the few humans with an aura stronger than her possessor, even though her demon can tease her body senseless. She's also a woman who has just discovered a shocking truth: everything she once believed about her past, her identity, may have been a lie.
With a family secret exploding around her and a full-scale demon war igniting, Morgan is a key player in an unsettled world. Then a rogue sociopathic demon enters her life with a bang. His name is The Hunter. And since she is the prey, Morgan has only one choice: to hunt The Hunter down--no matter what heartbreaking truths she uncovers along the way....
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July 28, 2008
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Excerpt from The Devil You Know by Jenna Black
There's no denying Dominic Castello is a treat to look at--the classic tall, dark, and handsome. Soulful hazel eyes framed by thick lashes, warm olive skin, muscles in all the right places . . . But on seeing him standing in my doorway, my first impulse was to slam the door in his face.
He must have read my expression, for he wedged his foot in the door and smiled at me. He has a sweet, disarming smile that would turn most women to jelly, but I'm not most women. Besides, his equally good-looking boyfriend was the sadomasochistic demon host who'd shot my brother. That put Dominic near the bottom of the list of people I wanted to see, with only his boyfriend, Adam, and pretty much my entire family below him.
Unfortunately, with him being over six feet tall and at least two hundred pounds, I wasn't keeping him out of my apartment now that I'd been stupid enough to open the door in the first place.
Giving in to the inevitable, I moved away from the door, letting him enter--though I didn't actually invite him in. I headed to my minuscule kitchen, where a half-full pot of coffee left over from breakfast still sat on the warmer.
"Wanna cup?" I asked without looking at him.
I filled two mugs, noticing that the coffee was dark as ink and smelled stale. If it were just me, I'd make a fresh pot, but I didn't want Dominic staying that long.
"Cream and sugar?"
Dominic looked at the tar-scented swill in the cup I handed him and shook his head. "I doubt it would help much."
That almost made me smile. "So, what brings you to this part of town?" I took a sip of the coffee to prove it was drinkable and tried not to gag when I discovered it wasn't.
When Dominic didn't immediately answer, my nerves went on red alert. Apparently, this wasn't a social call, which I suppose I'd known all along.
"Maybe we should sit down for a bit," he suggested.
I really hated the sound of that--and the way he wouldn't quite meet my eyes. My stomach gave an unhappy gurgle, and my fingers clenched on the coffee cup. I put it down before I took a sip by reflex.
For the last few weeks, I'd been trying my best to live under a rock. I'd had enough stress lately to last me a lifetime--or three. Realistically, I knew my problems were far from over, but I'd been determined to hold them at bay for as long as possible--ideally, until I was on my deathbed.
See, here's the thing. I'm an exorcist. My calling in life, my very raison d'etre, is to kick demon ass. Only the ones who possess unwilling hosts or who commit violent crimes, of course, but in reality I don't like legal demons much better. So as you can imagine, my life became a little complicated when I found out I was possessed by the king of the demons, who was embroiled in a war for the throne of the Demon Realm.
For reasons neither of us understands, the demon king, Lugh, can't take control of me the way a demon normally dominates a host. Even though I'm possessed, I remain in total control of my body. For the most part, Lugh can only take command when I'm asleep, and can only communicate with me through dreams.
From the moment I'd found out I was possessed, my life had shot straight to hell and stayed there. My best friend had tried to kill me. My house was burned to the ground. I was thrown in jail for murder. My boyfriend, Brian--actually, he's my ex-boyfriend now, though I have yet to convince him of this fact--was kidnapped and tortured in an attempt to get to me. And to win his aid in rescuing Brian, I'd let Dominic's boyfriend whip me bloody for his own amusement.
All in all, I was desperately in need of some R&R. But since I wasn't getting Dominic out of my apartment through brute force, I figured the quickest way to get rid of him was to listen to what he had to say.