Black curtains adorned the windows of the circular room. Michael was a sweating mess, heaving as he wiped the perspiration off his face No matter how many times he punched, kicked, or blasted fire, the window wouldn’t break.
Neither would the metallic door. The room he was trapped in looked something out of a fantasy. Gorgeous sleek furniture, a black vanity, and a king-sized bed with a vanity were on separate sections of the small space. Each piece of furniture was black. Lastly, a plush ebony rug sat atop the soft white carpet. The walls were white as well. The only thing that wasn’t white or black was the grey chandelier high above Michael.
The blond glanced up at the fumbling doorknob. The door opened, revealing Gryphon. Michael despised him, hated him to his core. All Michael had wanted was to find Zamora. He’d stupidly asked a demon for help, and then the crazy bastard had locked him away. Gryphon was dangerously powerful.
“Touch her and you die.” Those were the last words Michael heard before he threw a beautiful woman inside the bedchamber and shut the door once more.
Zamora looked up, her amber eyes wide as she brushed her chestnut bangs from her face. “Michael?” she cried.
Michael picked up on her aura. His verdant eyes dilated as his heart pounded against his ribcage. “Zamora!” Before he knew it, he was rushing over to embrace the angel.
Zamora didn’t know what to think. She knew she was trapped in this building, and that Salem was far away from her. Salem. An anxious, terrible feeling went through her at the thought of her demon being put under so much distress.
She hugged the male angel fiercely, coating his tattered white clothes with fresh tears. Zamora was strong but not when it came to Salem.
“Zamora, what happened? It’ll be okay, I’m here,” Michael’s soft, masculine voice eased her just slightly. “He hurt Salem, he took me,” she was struggling to get the words in.
Michael’s hold on Zamora tightened at the mention of the demon before he loosened it. He had to protect Zamora, to keep her away from Gryphon. They could escape together, Michael thought. His mind shifted to the idea of them being married in Heaven. The mere idea had Michael blushing red, giving him a warm feeling.
If he thought Zamora was gorgeous before, she was stunning now. Her skin was a golden brown, almost matching her wavy hair. Her eyes were a unique gold, her body developed and entirely feminine. Even if she didn’t have the full appearance of the typical fair angel, her aura screamed kind hearted. Besides, she was nowhere near being a demon.
“We’ll escape, Zamora. I’ll make sure of it,” the blond coaxed. Zamora shook her head as a humorless, doubtful laugh fell from her plump lips.
“How did you end up here, Michael?”
He didn’t hesitate to answer. “I went after you.”
Zamora sighed as she slowly removed herself from the angel. “Michael, I can’t marry you.”
He ignored the pang in his chest. He vowed to change her mind, to make her his. Though it would be nearly impossible with that demon Salem.
“We need to escape. I think we can do it together, but if Gryphon catches us, I’ll be dead.” Zamora sat down on the stygian bed, bouncing slightly. “Why wouldn’t he kill me?” Zamora knew the answer immediately after she had asked the question. He loved her. In some twisted way, he loved her.
“Gryphon wants you, he’s nearly obsessed,” Michael gritted out as he sat beside her. Zamora shifted on the bed until she was laying down over the velvet blankets. She needed to close her eyes, to think this through. She closed her eyes tightly as thoughts of Salem lying helplessly in the dry desert land polluted her mind. It was the most terrifying, scariest thing she’d ever seen. But no matter what Gryphon did to her, it was worth it to save Salem’s life.
She heard the bed creak as Michael began moving to hug her, to comfort her. The second she felt his burly arms wrap around her, she shot up. “Zamora what’s wrong?” Michael asked, his voice hinting at annoyance.
“I can’t,” Zamora shook her head as she felt a tinge of guilt. It didn’t feel right for Michael to hold her like that. Only Salem could.
“He’s a demon, Zamora!” She gaped at the sudden outburst. He knew exactly where her thoughts were. Michael stabbed his fingers through his light hair, anger fueling his voice. “You’re a princess! An angel! There’s a reason you’re supposed to be with me. Salem is evil, he works for Lucifer. You’re probably nothing but a job to him. Demons can’t feel love anyway.”
Zamora froze, her eyes wide. That wasn’t true. Salem loved her, as she loved him. It didn’t matter what species you came from, everyone could feel love.
“He does love me! And I love him too, Michael. I don’t care what rules there are, why can’t I just me happy?” Zamora cried.
“Because I love you too. And when we escape, we’re going to Heaven,” Michael suddenly evaded an incoming punch from Zamora.
“Like hell we are,” she bit out.
A knock on the door interrupted their dispute. It opened slowly, revealing a woman with narrow eyes and long, sleek black hair. Her dress was frilly with a white apron over it.
“Who are you?” Michael asked. The woman blushed at the handsome angel before looking down obediently. “I am Kurami. Master wishes to see Zamora,” her dark eyes glanced nervously to Zamora before they looked back down. “Master?” Zamora questioned.
“Yes,” Kurami answered in her soft voice. Michael glowered, moving closer to Zamora. “Master Gryphon,” Kurami clarified skittishly.
“He’s not taking her away!” Michael called loudly, in a strong voice. Though slight fear tinged it.
“You don’t decide that, Angel.”
Zamora and Michael both froze when Gryphon suddenly appeared beside Kurami. He still looked as devilish as before, with his red highlighted hair and steel grey eyes. Tight black clothes hugged the demon’s muscular, intimidating form. A stark contrast to the loose silk robes hanging at his broad shoulders.
Michael backed into the headboard, pulling Zamora with him as his pine eyes watched him with in fearful warning. Zamora was too tense, too shocked to react to Michael’s protective hold on her. Something about Gryphon was different. He seemed more powerful, more evil.
The demon scowled at the sight, his lips curling in disgust. “Release her,” his dark, baritone voice sent shivers down Zamora’s neck. She began to sweat as her fear rose.
“No,” Michael denied.
“No?” Gryphon smiled almost sadistically as he held up one hand. Zamora’s eyes darted to Kurami, who was rooted to the ground.
In a second, Gryphon’s grey eyes bled fully to black. Blood the same color raced across his neck and body. Soon, his skin turned a translucent alabaster.
“Michael!” Zamora shrieked when the angel’s head bended backwards, his body kneeling and tensing at Gryphon’s will. Anguished, horrid cries fell from Michael’s lips as his muscles, bones, ligaments, all burned in the hellish pain.
“Stop!” Zamora blasted a ball of white fire towards Gryphon. Her amber eyes were wide with frantic emotion as all her focus directed to Michael’s distressed voice ringing in her ears.
Kurami doused the fire with her hand. Kurami had the ability to create water at will, a rare ability given to lower demons and angels if lucky. Her entire reaction to the thing was so robotic, so unnatural. Her dark eyes were devoid of emotion.
Gryphon let his hand fall, and Michael collapsed on the bed, panting and sweating. The demon’s eyes faded back to grey, his skin retaining its healthy color.
Michael glared at Gryphon with as much anger as he could project in one look. His golden hair messily fell to frame his chiseled face, the angel’s green eyes narrowed into slits. Michael couldn’t hurt Gryphon. The cursed demon was too powerful. That fact left Michael feeling furious and helpless.
The demon merely shook his head and instantaneously teleported next to the bed. Michael froze, his mind screaming at him to do something, to stop him as he loomed over them. But he couldn’t. He was useless.
Zamora gasped when Gryphon grabbed onto her arm. Golden eyes met triumphant grey ones, and in a second, Gryphon had taken Zamora away.