This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Regal didn’t waste his time hunting in rural areas. There wasn’t enough prey to kill without someone noticing a pattern. He preferred working in built-up urban cities like San Diego, where one missing person or two wouldn’t create much of a stir. Yet, in the small town of Woodburn, Iowa, everybody knew everybody. The risk of being caught was too high, even though he knew that would never happen.
The one good thing about rural communities is that they were the perfect place to relax after a long weekend of work. That is, if you could find a place to settle.
He had managed to find a new diner toward the middle of town called The Goldfinch. It was a small establishment, resembling a wooden cabin to give it the homey-feel that made it the most successful diner in the area. During the day it was filled with customers, mainly elderly couples in the afternoon and families in the evening. However, as the sun set and night approached, the diner became empty.
This is when The Goldfinch became a haven for people with big dreams. It was home for teenagers and young adults who were looking to become something greater than what the town had to offer. They gathered at dusk to eat and drink while their friends stood in front of the diner to recite poems and play instruments. Next to woodworking and welding, being a musician or slam poet was considered the next best job opportunity.
By day, they dressed like well-to-do gentlemen and proper ladies, but at night they became wild. They wore racy clothes, listened to secular music, and cheered on their fellow poets and musicians with snaps and whistles. They would mutter amongst themselves, discussing the deeper meaning and the flow of poetry and literature.
Regal thought it was all a load of nonsense.
Sitting in the darkest corner of the room, he leaned back in his seat and watched the newest performer walk onto the stage. In his limp grip was a lukewarm cup of black coffee, which he swirled with lackluster. His gray eyes glazed over with boredom as yet another annoying and monotone voice rang in his ears.
“I should kill him,” he thought tiredly as he closed his eyes. “I’m sure he won’t be missed.” Regal probably would have done so, too, if he weren’t too tired to bother.
Regal took a sip of his coffee. He wrinkled his nose as the bitter liquid touched his tongue. He couldn’t stand coffee. Yet the dark and quiet ambiance of the diner after dark was soothing. So, he continued to drink it, blending in as best as he could.
Whether he liked it or not, this was his crowd. They drove him insane, but they didn’t question his presence. To them, he was “cool,” and he didn’t judge them for wanting more out of life than being a lumberjack.
He couldn’t wait to get out of there and head back to New York City. That’s where all of the interesting souls lived.
Regal preferred hunting the Mythos over humans. The fabled creatures were more of a challenge; some of the put up a fight, and others sensed the danger that came off of him before he could get close. The resistance made it more fun.
Many of the people in Woodburn were normal humans: boring and stupid. However, there was a surprising amount of Mythos visiting The Goldfinch that night, which is why Regal hadn’t decided to leave earlier.
He continued to lazily watch the crowd, taking note of the Mythos: a male pixie worked behind the counter serving shitty lattes, and the small pack of she-wolves gossiped amongst themselves at one of the tables. Even the young man playing guitar on stage resembled one of the mer-folk despite his human scent. Yet none of them fully roused his appetite.
Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of a young woman in her late 20s searching for a place to sit. As she came closer, Regal examined her: wavy brown hair, dark chocolate eyes, and an average face; he had seen much better. She wore a tight blue and black sweater, cute stilettos, and chunky bracelets.
He watched her with dark eyes, scanning her body up and down. From what he could tell, she was a normal human with no signs of any mythological bloodlines. He could do better, and he wasn’t in the mood to try and seduce her; he was still exhausted from his last catch in Des Moines.
Fate seemed to be on his side that night as her gaze connected with his own. Regal perked up as she walked over to him, her hips swaying in time with the clicking of her heels on the wooden floor. She didn’t seem to be the shy type, which was a welcome change of pace for Regal. For once, he wouldn’t be the one chasing after the women — not that it was ever much of a chase anyways. He caught the smell of her perfume as she came closer. It was sweet, just like the smile on her face as her dark red lips curled up to show perfect white teeth.
“Hey there,” she said. “Mind if I have a seat?”
“The pleasure is all mine, beautiful,” Regal replied smoothly.
The woman chuckled at his response and sat down beside him. She crossed her legs, subtly flashing him some skin. Regal smirked as she leaned closer until their shoulders were brushing.
“My name is Jen.”
Regal smiled despite his urge to roll his eyes. Hell, even her name was boring. “I’m Regal.”
“That’s so unique,” she said with a seductive grin. “You’re not from around here, are you?” She twirled a piece of her hair around her finger. Regal had learned to pick up on these classic cliché signs of flirting after years of experience.
He acted surprised by her statement. “How’d you know?”
“I think I would remember someone like you.”
Regal’s smirk grew, eyes narrowing just enough to let her notice. Ah, so she was playing that game. Too bad he wasn’t in the mood for compliments or flirting. He wanted something much more…instinctual.
“Just passing through actually,” he stated, leaning back into his chair as he sipped his coffee again. It had already grown cold, but he wouldn’t show it. It’s wasn’t “sexy” to gag at your stale drink.
The woman frowned a bit, her lower lip pouting. “That’s too bad. I’d love to show you around the town.”
“There isn’t much of a town to show,” he thought cynically. “I’d like that too,” he lied with a coy grin he had mastered over years of practice. It was the subtle reactions that always did the best job at making women swoon. His playful smile and subtle hint of interest did the job, causing her cheeks to flush a bit and her pupils to dilate with desire.
“You don’t seem like you’re enjoying this place very much,” she cooed, glancing around the café.
Regal shrugged in response. “It’s alright.”
Focusing back on him, she scooted closer in her seat, brushing her leg against his. “We can always ditch this place and have fun elsewhere.”
Now that was what he wanted to hear.
“Sounds good to me,” he purred as he ran a hand against her thigh. She shivered under the gentle touch. Regal loved it when they reacted the way they were supposed to. It was even better when they willingly came to him. He didn’t have to work hard to flatter and seduce them. “Where would you like to go?”
“I know a club in the next town over. They have a fantastic DJ and the best drinks,” she said eagerly, biting her lip to try and not seem too fervent. Her excitement was a turn on for Regal. Like a predator, her high levels of adrenaline and arousal spiked his desire to hunt. He decided that his exhaustion could be ignored if it would land him another woman to win over.
“I’ll take your word for it.” Regal smiled as he stood up, lending his hand out for her.
“Oh,” she said suddenly. Regal could feel waves of anxiety rolling off her. “You are 21, right? I don’t want to rob the cradle or drag a kid out to the club when they shouldn’t be there…”
“I wonder why that is?” Regal thought. “Worried that past mistakes of fooling around with minors will come back to haunt you?” He chuckled, pretending that he found her question funny. “I get that a lot. I may look young, but I am over the age of 21,” he assured her. “Much older, actually.”
“Great,” she sighed with relief. She took his hand and got to her feet, masterfully balancing on her six inch heels.
Discarding his drink in the nearest trash bin, Regal slipped his hand around her waist and pulled her close. “Just lead the way, beautiful.”
She giggled again, her eyes dancing in the dim lighting. She was clearly flattered by the pet-name Regal gave her, and he could feel the energy sparking between them, building up rapidly. As she led him toward the front door, he began to plan his final night in Woodburn with this vixen.
A warm sensation washed over him. It was an unnatural feeling and it made his stomach churn. He paused and stared out the front window in surprise. Watching hard for a moment, he waited for the warmth that surrounded his body to fade. Instead, it came back even stronger as he caught sight of a thin man walking toward the diner. His face was hidden underneath his mop of blond hair that glistened in the moonlight. Fixating his gaze on the stranger, Regal caught sight of glowing blue eyes.
“Dammit, he’s here?”
Regal turned around, holding tightly onto the woman in his arms for balance. He hissed under his breath with annoyance. Who would have thought he would think of searching for him in a place like this?
“Are you okay?” The woman asked with concern, her voice slightly higher from being spun around. She noticed that Regal was considerably paler in complexion and seemed nervous.
“Yes, fine,” he said quickly, his mind reeling as he tried to think. He was so close to claiming another victim, but he couldn’t stay here. It was too dangerous now. With a soft sigh, he pulled his arm from the woman’s waist. “I’m sorry, beautiful, but I have to go. An emergency turned up.” He turned, cupping her face in his hand before placing a soft kiss on her cheek. “Perhaps next time.”
As soon as the last syllable fell from his mouth, he left her side and headed for the back exit, pushing people out of his way as he fled. He heard the bell ring on the front door as it opened and another strong wave of warmth crashed into him. He wove around tables and chairs until he reached the back exit. He shoved the door open and hurried out, not bothering to make sure that it was closed as he fled from the diner.
Guided by the barely present crescent moon, Regal sprinted down the back alley toward the edge of town. The darkness of the night charged him, making him feel stronger, but it did nothing to protect him from the light that was close behind. He could sense the other man on his tail. Regal glanced behind him, catching sight of the same strange glow that reflected on the walls. He kept running and examined his surroundings. The alley was too tight; he would never be able to escape upwards. His only choice was to run straight.
Clearing the end of the alley, he headed for the woods across the dirt road. Like the flick of a switch, Regal activated the innate celestial charm of invisibility that hid him from the sight of humans and mythos alike. However, those like him could still see him. His only chance at escaping his assailant was to get lost in the cover of the trees and put plenty of distance between them.
He sprinted for another several feet, his shoes crushing the grass and weeds of the unkempt meadow. As soon as his foot hit the edge of the forest, he let out a deep breath and leapt into the air. Black wings unfurled from his shoulder blades. They fazed through his green sweater without tearing the fabric. His wingtips brushed the ground as he stroked them downward, attempting to become airborne. His feathers caught in the tree branches. The forest was denser than he expected. Cursing, he grabbed a thick branch and curled his wings in. He’d have to climb to the top before he could fly freely.
He only made it half way up the tree before he felt a hand grip his ankle. Hissing, Regal kicked back at his assailant. His gray eyes turned an inky black with rage as he swiped at his attacker with a clawed hand.
Regal ignored his pleas and continued to climb. He yanked on a tree branch and let it whip back. It smacked the man chasing him in the chest. A mixture of green, red, and yellow leaves fluttered to the ground as Regal pushed his way to the top of the canopy. The man behind him was persistent though, and climbed up after him with little hesitation. Although he was not as nimble, he managed to catch up to Regal.
Unfurling his dark wings once more, Regal leaped off the top of the tree. Black feathers dropped behind him as he pumped his wings, desperately trying to climb higher into the air.
“Please, wait!” The man called out as he chased after Regal.
“Persistent little bugger,” Regal grunted with annoyance, forcing himself to fly faster and higher. Yet no matter the power he put into each stroke, his stalker could match it.
That’s how life was for them. They were made to be each other’s perfect opposite, although their power was created to be equal.
Regal was, however, certain he could outsmart him.
He suddenly changed direction, dive bombing toward the ground. He tucked his wings in, gaining speed as he headed for the forest. The rush of wind in his face, tugging at his feathers and pricking his skin, was exhilarating.
Regal glanced behind him and smirked when he saw no sight of the other man. Before he hit the ground, he extended his wings again, catching the air to slow him down. He angled his feet for the floor, landing smoothly as his heels dug into the soft dirt. He began to sprint once he was on steady ground again. Tucking in his wings, he ran under the cover of the canopy of trees.
He panted, walking toward a natural cave near the edge of the forest. Welcoming the darkness, Regal sighed and sat down against the wall and closed his eyes, basking in the cool dampness of the cave. Soft squeaks of bats greeted him, and he couldn’t help but smile.
This was his domain, his home. Any dark cavern or shadowed room was his safe haven. He felt protected here.
He wasn’t expecting the warm — almost affectionate — sensation to hit him so hard again and ruin his moment of peace. Before he could even pull himself to his feet and flee, his stalker was blocking the exit.
“Didn’t think you’d lose me again with that trick, did you?” the man said smugly, proud of cornering the demon.
Regal hissed, flaring his wings in an attempt to deter the man trapping him. However, all it did was make the other man do the same, shedding a bright light into the cave. Regal winced and his behind his wings to block out the holy aura with darkness.
“Please don’t run anymore. I need to talk to you.”
The demon peeked through his feathers, groaning as the glow shone through. With the walls of the cave reflecting the light and trapping the heavenly essence inside, it was like flying too close to the sun. “Put those damn things away and maybe I’ll listen.”
Regal’s stalker did as he was told. Regal sighed, his body aching from the concentrated exposure to the warm aura. He stood up straighter in an effort to look strong and unaffected by the other’s holy essence. The other man smiled warmly, causing Regal to sneer.
“Tell me what you want, Keir.”
The man named Keir stepped back a bit, his expression growing nervous. Regal watched as he toyed with his hands, as if uncertain of what to say.
“Spit it out!” he barked impatiently.
“I can’t just spit it out,” Keir replied, his voice wavering with apprehension. “I have to word it carefully.”
Regal sighed heavily, moving from his place in the shadows to walk closer to Keir. “I suggest you say what you want before I rip your wings from your sockets,” he growled. The guttural sound ripped from his chest as his fangs flashed again in warning.
Keir’s eyes widened in fear. He knew Regal could easily dislodge his wings if he wanted. “I…I want you…” he squeaked quickly, his face flushing.
Regal laughed, his voice echoing in the cave and making him sound louder. “I knew I was good, but not that good.”
Keir’s flustered expression hardened at Regal’s reaction. He looked Regal straight in the eye and continued, “I mean I…I love you.”
Regal’s stroked ego deflated as he stared at Keir, his lips curled in a repulsed snarl. “No, you don’t.”
“Yes, I do.”
The demon reached out to grab the collar of Keir’s shirt in his hand, dragging him closer until they were face to face. “Then you’re delusional. Angels don’t fall in love with demons. It’s wrong. Even for a demon, it’s wrong.”
The angel yelped, his hands flying up to claw at Regal’s grip. “I’m not delusional! Ever since I met you, I’ve loved you,” he all but screamed in panic.
“That’s not how I remember it.”
“Who cares how it happened.”
“Loving me is forbidden, let alone completely ridiculous.”
“I know that,” Keir started, his voice quiet, “But…I decided that I had to find you and tell you, no matter what happened in the end.”
The angel was so dense. Regal closed his eyes, shaking his head. “Angels and demons cannot and will never get along, and they will most definitely NOT fall in love.”
“But isn’t that your specialty?” Keir shot back, growing a bit braver as they argued.
“I’m an incubus, a master of lust, skilled with the art of seduction! I don’t play with your concept of love,” Regal barked back, snarling as the angel dared to quarrel.
“Haven’t you already proven how talented you are? Because here I am, and I will not leave so easily.”
They stood in the mouth of the cave, their eyes glowing dangerously in the dark as they stared each other down. Around them, the wildlife grew silent. Crickets stopped chirping, deer huddled in high grass, and families of rabbits shook with fear. They could sense the struggle that was mounting between two beings much more powerful than anything in their world.
A demon from the deepest pits of Hell and an angel from the gates of Heaven were never meant to meet face to face. They were never meant to interact except in battle. They certainly were never meant to fall in love.
Yet, that’s what Keir was claiming. That he fell in love with Regal from the day they first met nearly three years prior. It was a day that Keir cherished, and one that Regal loathed.
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...
Alex Rushmer: Although I don't know the story of the Phantom of the Opera, I really enjoyed this story. The writing was very evocative, and it really put a picture of time and setting in my mind. The voice of the story really added to the character development. The idea of the time travelling -- or whatever re...
FateFellShort: I have read this story and have followed the writers on tumblr from the beginning. Its a wonderful story. Beautifully written with a really nice pace, that makes it enjoyable to read more than once. For me, fairy tail has very good characters but what the writers have done is give them more depth...
MegaRogueLegend666: I love this story so much. It's impossible to describe my excitement with each new chapter in words. The author has such a good writing style, very good descriptions of the fighting and character descriptions/emotions. the plot is also amazing! This fanfic could be a side anime show or novel ......
Animeviewer: It is one of the best stories I've ever read. This story will have you riding a roller coaster of emotions and nearly dying to know what happens next.You will get very attached to the characters and in my case I relate well with some of their very traumatic or emotional experiences, Just Juliet f...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
Lacey Schmidt: The Trouble with Super is that you can't stop reading it. Mr. Barrett's characters are all to easy to relate to even if you don't have a super quirk of your own, and their plight is both heart-rendingly funny and heart-warmingly sad at the same time. It's a bit like Office Space meets the Matri...
ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."