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Twice Fallen

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Summary

A demon has his exit plan in place to retire from the business, but he meets the girl whose rejection sent him hell bound eons ago. Now his plans and future get shaken to the foundations. Fallen from grace, Warren Makepeace is a seasoned devil who could teach the minions a thing or two about how to turn souls around. His unorthodox ways set him apart from men and demons as an outsider to both worlds. But when he meets Hope Bradshaw, the girl whose rejection sent him hell bound eons ago, its enough to shake up his world and plans for the future. Everything he ever believed, doubted, or worked to achieve threatens to fall apart. Falling for Hope may be Warren's ultimate demise, making him lose everything he has for the one thing out of his grasp. Devils had once kept hidden, working in the shadows of history. But in the modern era, they work in multi-national corporations in the midst of humanity. The world has so far drifted in the direction of free spirits that the tempter's work is practically an irrelevant profession, a relic of bygone ages. Twice Fallen is the story of hope vs. despair, of life and humor. Can a devil be redeemed by love? Or will his efforts to rediscover everything he's ever rejected bring on his final fall from grace?

Genre:
Fantasy / Humor
Author:
Dex Benjamin Devey
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
97
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

1

“How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!“
—Samuel 1:25.

“Self-preservation, nature’s first great law, all the creatures, except man, doth awe.”
—Andrew Marvel


“CAN I HELP you…?”

“Hopeless is the man unable to help himself.” Warren waved off the seating host and strode into the Signature room.

Under his breath he added, “Or the beast lacking in prey.”

Creating impressions was the sum total of his job. This was the executive in charge, sharply dressed in a charcoal dinner jacket with a silk, crop-collar shirt, black, with the top button loose. His expression was drawn in stiletto lines, his hair smoothed back with just enough looseness to imply a velocity of movement. It all came down to bearing, the relaxed confidence that entered a room like a gust of summer wind that swayed limbs and turned a few heads. Diners paused forks and glasses, then resumed their tasks and conversations.

He spotted his mark nursing his wounds with an aperitif. Ty Gibson wore a rumpled suit over a drab gray shirt buttoned shy of the collar with a dark silk tie dragged below the unused button. He sat in a corner next to the riser, attempting to look inconspicuous among the elite crowd of day traders, posers, and grifters, all posturing with straightened neon smiles and sculpted companions in designer fashions.

A bottle nested in a silver ice bucket on an untended tray by a side entrance to the kitchen. It looked neglected, so Warren plucked it out of its isolation chamber, wiped its tears on a towel, and brought the bottle to the table.

“No thank you,” Gibson said, hardly looking up. “I didn’t order a bottle.”

“It’s on the house.”

Gibson looked over the black frames of his glasses as Warren pulled out the chair and sat across from him.

“Your critics are brutal.” Warren picked the words out of his memory. “‘Ty Gibson delivers the longest yawn in a single sitting with unintended comic remake of Karamazov Brothers.’”

Gibson pushed a spear of raven hair out of his eye. He used a pronged fork to dig the meat from the roasted lobster tail on his plate, dipped it in butter and stuck it in his mouth. He gnawed on the bite through the reply. “Thanks a lot, Warren. Maybe you could have the waiter bring more salt for my wounds, while you’re at it.”

“I’m your best fan Ty.”

The producer pushed his glasses up the straight line of his nose and raked his hair with lanky fingers. “You give new meaning to the term.”

“And you redefine the drama genre.”

Gibson stared as if Warren had slapped his face, and it still shone red from the stinging. He turned and looked out the picture windows. Warren followed his gaze. From the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center, Chicago’s Merchant District sparkled beneath them in the night. A life-size postcard in 3-D, it was a multi-dimensional panorama of overlapping grids. The rectangular pinpoints showed millions of interior views, lined up in staggered rows and columns, glimpses into innumerable worlds. White and red pinpoints moved on the ground plane between the straight lines converging into distant vanishing points. Inside the room, a woman performed a laid-back version of Gershwin’s Anything Goes on the grand piano.

Warren pulled a folded sheaf out of an inside pocket and laid it flat alongside the bottle. “Don’t take it personally, Ty. Your demise would be embarrassing if you were on anyone’s radar. Show business is as ruthless as it can be ... ah, rewarding.”

Gibson emptied his glass and set it down. “Doubtless, that’s where you come into the picture.” He tried to stab the baby vegetables with the pronged fork, but the carrots split and fell apart.

Warren opened the bottle. “More wine?” He read the label. “Romitorio di Sante Dame.”

Ty rolled his head and held out the stem. Warren filled the glass, and watched the producer knock it back.

“Vintage 2001. A bad year-end for financials,” Warren reminisced, “but nowhere else to go but up, don’t you think?”

Ty tilted the half-empty glass in front of him, stared through the ruby tint. “Is that what you think?”

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe your best years are ahead.” Warren set the bottle down. He looked at Gibson and shrugged. “Or it could get a lot worse...”

Warren watched for the fighter instinct. The moment the cornered beast turned back and saw no way out except through the predator. He recognized the glint in Gibson’s eye.

“That’s why you came? Another critic to pan me? Take a number and get in line. I actually thought you had some purpose to meet here.”

“I have an idea, your next success. And financing. It’s more than you can imagine …”

“The pitch or the bankroll?” Gibson looked up. “My imagination knows no limits.”

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