Micah and Ariel are angels and soul mates created to guard the throne room of the Almighty in Heaven. They are incomplete without each other and cannot bear to be apart. But Heaven is under attack and the forces of Hell have a plan to separate them -- by putting them together.
Using an infernal sword called the Reever, Lucifer, Prince of Demons, strips the souls of the doomed angels and sends them down to Earth to live as humans. But the moment they come together again in love and passion, they will be free of their Earthly forms and regain their celestial bodies. Knowing this, Lucifer plots to have them sent into the bodies of siblings -- Owen and Leah DeMarko.
Growing up with no knowledge of their origins, Owen and Leah are close until Leah suddenly blossoms into womanhood. Then, fearing his unnatural attraction to her, Owen cuts his beloved little sister abruptly out of his life.
So begins an epic struggle between right and wrong, desire and illicit love. For Owen and Leah know nothing of their former lives as angels or the war that rages between Heaven and Hell. They only know they must not give in to what they feel for each other for their love is forever...Forbidden.
* * * * *
Dr. Owen DeMarko sighed and ran a hand through his dark blond hair. The dim light of his study lamp danced over it, creating the brief illusion of a halo, which was ruined when he pushed it back down again, flat against his skull.
His hair had a perfect golden luster that was enough to make any woman alive jealous. On Owen it was natural, as were his large cerulean eyes, thickly fringed with dark lashes. The beauty of his face had attracted countless women -- and quite a number of men as well -- but Owen wasn’t interested in any of them. He liked to keep his mind on his work, and physical appearances -- even his own -- were unimportant to him.
To complement his face, he had the broad shoulders and muscular body of a natural athlete. He had competed in several sports in college, but not now. Now the only sport he participated in was surgery, and he had an important one coming up tomorrow.
So why couldn’t he concentrate?
“Pull it together,” he commanded himself and went back to studying the patient’s chart.
He had never wanted to be anything but a doctor. Healing came naturally to him -- sometimes too naturally. Sometimes all he had to do was examine a patient -- just touch them -- to start the process. It was an unspoken phenomenon at Tampa General Hospital, where he operated. The triage nurses never mentioned it out loud. They seemed to look at Owen with a kind of superstitious wonder. It was as if they felt that if they said anything, the magic might abruptly stop. And the one time another doctor had tried to approach him about his abilities, Owen had shut the man down cold. He had no explanation to give -- to himself or anyone else. So the staff of TGH kept quiet, though he was often requested for a surgical consult when the patient involved was elderly or a child or anyone who looked too frail for the OR. More than once, after Owen had laid his hands on the injured person, their X-ray or ultrasound had come back clear. It didn’t always work, but greenstick fractures and ruptured appendixes seemed to melt away under his fingers often enough that the ER staff regarded him with silent awe.
Owen wished they wouldn’t. It was a gift -- one he’d always had. Even back when he and Leah were kids and she’d skinned her knee or had a sore throat -- He cut off the line of thought abruptly. The chart. Read the damn chart.
Outside, the wind howled and rain poured. Tampa had two seasons -- hot and wet -- and they were both in effect tonight. The neighborhood he lived in was an old industrial area full of abandoned cigar factories that had been remolded into high-end lofts. It was just fifteen minutes from TGH, but also prone to flooding. Owen spared a moment to hope he wouldn’t have any trouble getting to the hospital the next day and then went doggedly back to work.
“Mrs. Simpkins,” he said aloud, reading from the forms in front of him, though he already knew most of the details by heart. “Sixty-year-old Caucasian female suffered a slip and fall, leading to an intracapsular femoral neck fracture ...” He trailed off, unable to continue. Sixty. God. The same age his mother had been.
Owen put a hand over his eyes. “Damn,” he said thickly. Now was not the time for grief. But the funeral had been only two months ago, so when was the right time?
The cancer had spread so rapidly. Dead a single month after the initial diagnosis. Still can’t believe she’s gone... And then the thought he’d tried the hardest to suppress, the thought that tormented him at night as he lay in bed sleepless, rose before him. If only I’d been there. Maybe I could have saved her.
But how could he have gone to his mother’s side, even if he’d learned about her illness in time? How could he, knowing Leah was there too? He’d spent most of his adult life running away from --
Owen threw up another mental roadblock. Can’t think about that. Can’t think about her. Not now. Not ever.
Determinedly he turned back to the chart. But his mental defenses must have been crumbling, because all he could see in his mind’s eye was her.Leah, so beautiful, radiant even in black at the funeral. Her long golden hair, a few shades lighter than his, flowing over her slim shoulders, and her pale azure eyes shadowed by grief. Owen had wanted in the worst way to take her in his arms, to comfort her and take comfort from her. Their father had died three years before of a heart attack, and they had no other family. They were orphans now, with only each other in the whole world.
He had wanted to hold her, but he had turned away instead. He had seen the hurt in her eyes as she turned to bury her face in her fiance’s shoulder, but he couldn’t risk it. Couldn’t risk getting that close. Especially when he wanted to get so much closer...
Owen put his head in his hands. God, can’t I stop for even a minute? Ever since the funeral, his mind had been fixed in this eternal loop of guilt and grief until he felt like he might tear himself apart from inside. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just let it go?
But he knew the answer to that. He was never going to be able to let the guilt about his mother’s death go. Because he was never going to be able to get over the reason he hadn’t been there with her in the first place.
As though the thought of her name had drawn her to him, he heard a sudden knock at the front door of his loft, and a soft, familiar voice called, “Owen? Are you there?”
Copyright © Evangeline Anderson