BOOK 1 of the GUARDIANS Series
Claire, A young guardian angel, haunted by memories of her human past, is sent to save the soul of a Brazilian-born painter who wants to take his life.
Daniel has been tormented by a powerful and seductive dark angel and his sexy female accomplice.
In helping Daniel, Claire discovers he is also the man she was created to love. But will their passion ignite the flames of their own destruction, or can she bear immortal separation to keep him safe?
Daniel nodded and closed the door. He turned off the lights but left the mess in the living room. He stared at the scene one last time, then shook his head as he climbed the stairs. Claire followed several steps behind, yellow bag over her shoulder. Daniel sighed heavily. He unbuttoned his top while climbing and was bare-chested by the time he approached the last step.
She was startled by a noise downstairs and turned around to see Josh emerging through the front door without opening it. Claire froze. Josh looked first in the corner where she’d been hiding, then around the room, landing his gaze at the bottom of the stairs, ensuring Daniel was out of sight. Josh bowed to the room, looking around afterwards. It was obvious he could not see her.
“Round One goes to the challenger.” He delivered the statement with a smile and disappeared back through the door the way he had come. The thin trail of grey smoke left in his wake smelled faintly of cloves.
Her heart pounded. Everything else was eerily silent.
She focused on the temporary save, pushing away any lingering fear. I told Mother he wouldn’t die tonight.
Anticipation coiled in her stomach and tingled down her spine. She was alone with him now. Time to start her job.
Daniel changed into navy silk pajama bottoms he wore low on his hips, but remained shirtless. He got into bed.
Claire loved the smell of a man’s bedroom when he lived alone—soap, cologne—the personal stuff of a man’s life. This is just the best job in the whole universe.
He lay on his back at first, right arm bent over his head. His long fingers were curled in the palm of his outstretched hand as if he were holding something delicate. A raised blue vein extended from mid forearm all the way to his elbow, snaking across the muscles underneath. He closed his eyes and drifted off to light sleep.
Claire likened these first dream encounters to how an inexperienced young human bride would feel on her wedding night. It was private, this intimate look inside a man’s thoughts to see the secrets of his soul. She never got over the miracle of being inside a dream, exploring the parts of his life. “Rest well, Daniel. I’m here now to help you,” she whispered. “Show yourself to me.”
Startled, she saw a smile on his lips. It soon faded.
He was a delicate balance of beauty and strength, she thought. The moonlight made the well-developed muscles of his shoulders and forearms look like marble. He took good care of his body. She lay down to watch him from the side in the quiet of the night.
No one would ever know about the chaos that occurred this evening, or how close he came to spending eternity in the underworld, his soul lost forever. It made her cold to think of the many files on Mother’s desk. Daniel’s file could have been one of them.
He must be saved. He touches me with magic.
The moon had a crazy effect on humans. It was good they were asleep during its reign. Perhaps it was for protection. Like most Guardians, she preferred the purity and warmth of the sun.
Why not level with these people, tell them Father didn’t run things alone? He was the creator and organizer, but angels were the technicians.
Guardians fix things that are broken.
So the job before her was to inspire Daniel. Her specialty was landscapes screaming with color. She’d done some large purple buildings, turquoise sand and pink snow that looked liked cotton candy. What a delight that he was a painter.
She gently stroked the length of his injured arm, tracing the shallow cuts that crossed a deep blue vein down into the palm of his hand, which suddenly squeezed shut as if to capture her fingers.
Claire sat up at full attention, noticing Daniel stirring. She checked her invisibility. He became fully awake, staring at the ceiling. She cocked her head to the side and watched his sparkling eyes in the moonlight, waiting.
Daniel still felt sick to his stomach. How close he’d come to killing himself, to ending the pain. How stupid he’d been. Yeah, Audray had done a number on him, and his career had crashed, but had that been reason enough to give up on life? He mentally thanked the messed-up alarm system, Josh, and the cops who’d stopped him from self-destructing completely.
Yeah, his life was still messed up, but he’d been given a second chance to fix things. He could let that chance go and finish the job he'd started, or he could continue wallowing in self-pity. Or he could pull himself up by the bootstraps and figure out how to get himself out of this nasty mess. Easier said than done. But maybe the only choice. He thought about how far he'd fallen and how fast the ride had been.
He couldn’t get the picture out of his head: Audray being pumped and pleasured on his green couch by some guy with a really hairy ass. After he’d caught them, he’d been left alone with the painting she loved to look at while being f***ed silly. His painting. Her favorite. He’d had to kill that painting.
As his eyes got heavy, he felt his life unravel before him. It all began the day he met her. He used to call it his lucky day. But now he saw there had always been an edge to her. Something otherworldly. Something dangerous. She was different than all the other women he’d ever loved. He was addicted to her presence. His cock was in a continual state of arousal, harder and fatter than it ever had been. That woman pulled him into doing things way outside his comfort zone. Not that he was afraid of life and its sensual side, but Audray demanded he push past his limits. She was always more than he could afford, emotionally, causing some element of pain along with the pleasure. He was powerless to do anything about it until it was too late. She had him in her claws with every ministration, every sensual pleasure she extracted from him.
Daniel allowed the sleep to overtake him and closed his eyes.
Claire hovered above his sleeping form and spread her arms out to the sides, lengthening her legs and arching her back. She could delve into Daniel’s dream without this, could catch his REM waves by focusing on his resting brain, but she wanted the full on sensual experience of possessing his physical form first. She had learned this method in the past, with no ill effects.
The pull of his skin sucked at her breasts, thighs, and shoulders, as she laid her head at the top of his heaving bare chest, then turned to expose her cheek to the warm spicy underside of his jaw and down the right of his neck. She inhaled his moist man scent there, allowing her lips to wander up, cross his chin, and linger in the airspace between them. Feeling the pull, she allowed herself to be drawn into him. She breeched his body, warming herself inside his soul, which burned hot, flickering with red flames of torment.
Like brushing across a delicate flower with her fingertips she calmed the fires and immediately felt his body relax and remain open to her. She repeated the motion and was rewarded with a moan traveling up his neck and a stirring in his groin. The flame inside him flared golden, without sputtering.
Claire smiled. She was closer to him now than anyone had ever been in his life. If she wanted to cause him harm, he was vulnerable to anything she could do. She held his soul in the palm of her hand.
Daniel, you are mine now.
“Yes,” he whispered as his flame turned bright yellow.
Claire gasped for air. She withdrew and scooted over to the edge of the bed, resting against the wall of the room.
He feels me. Was this a good thing or not?
She put a thought out to her Guardian friend, Angela. Going higher in the angelic chain of command would be acting smart, like she’d been trained. She hovered in the doorway of indecision, and recalled the admonition Mother Guardian gave her just before departing Heaven. She could not make herself known to her charge.
It had been clear every other time she took over a charge. But something was different about Daniel.
She decided against getting a second opinion and came back to his body.
What can it hurt? Just a little taste of what humans feel.
Once again she descended on him and, as she floated closer, she felt the heat of his body and the movement of the muscles and sinews underneath his flesh. She rubbed her first two fingers against her thumbs, sending a sparkling trail of dust down onto his closed eyes. The magnetic pull began. His breathing developed a catch and his abdomen flattened lower as his chest expanded, full of air. He bit his lower lip, a crease forming at the right side of his mouth. Those full lips curled in a smile and his hips undulated upward.
She wondered what would happen if she remained there awhile. Was this wise? The magnetic attraction pulled her nipples until they hurt.
Can this develop into something else?
The torch inside his soul began to spark, became erratic. She continued the breech until she was able to settle him down again.
He appeared in the white room. She remained invisible, stood just behind so she could whisper suggestions in his ear.
“Show me, Daniel,” she coaxed. She stood one breath away from his back, leaning her head into his shoulders and wrapping her arms around his chest. “Show me where it hurts.”
Sharon’s award-winning spicy Navy SEAL stories in the SEAL Brotherhood series, have consistently made best sellers lists and review sites. Her characters follow a sometimes rocky road to redemption through passion and true love.
She lives in Sonoma County, California with her husband, and two Dobermans. A lifelong organic gardener, when she’s not writing, she’s getting vera vera dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.