Black Wings and Blood Fire

In 2020, the Dark Angel will return in a full length novel, Black Wings and Blood Fire which will be available only as an E-Book. The story will introduce a number of new characters including Hell’s Assassin, Silver Fox, the Vampire Princess, Amber Cherry and the Voodoo Witch, Drarinisi. 

The book which is currently in development and promises to include the particular brand of sex, violence and wicked chaos that you have come to expect from the Dark Angel.

All a woman needs is a string of pearls, a pair of high heels and a certain amount of attitude!

To whet your appetite please see short stories below introducing the characters. Drarinisi, Amber Cherry, Silver Fox and Azrael respectively.

INTRODUCTIONS TO CHARACTERS

Drarinisi crouched in the dark; the flickering light of the candles painting her naked wet skin with moving shadows. Thick curling trails of incense smoke filled the narrow room with a heady perfume that did little to mask the underlying odour of sweat and blood.

For the third time she picked up a handful of bones and oddly shaped stones from the ground in front of her, the objects felt cool against the warm flesh of her palm.  She closed her eyes, mumbling random indiscriminate words, before a flick of her wrist spun the items back into the chalk circle that had been marked on the wooden floor.  The ruins and symbols etched around the circle flickered briefly as the objects danced and bounced before settling into position.  An identical pattern reappeared that had on the previous two throws.  She frowned, leaning forward and shaking her head, the long twisted dreadlocks writhing like snakes.  “What does it mean?” The man sitting cross-legged opposite her demanded, but she ignored him and stared into the shadows.  She could smell the fear on him, had smelt it from the moment he entered her shop, along with the cheap liquor that seemed to ooze from his pores.

Her shop was unmarked and unnamed, located in a garbage strewn alley in one of the worst parts of the city.  It was a place found only by those who need her specific skills and services. The lost and damned, those with no other place left to go. She had wanted to tell him to leave, but she had taken pity on him, inviting him inside. Now she was regretting that decision.  She began to reach for the thrown objects again, but hesitated as a breeze drifted through the curtain of beads that covered the doorway, making them rattle and dance.  Tilting her head to one side she listened as a voice only she could hear whispered into her ear. Her eyes narrowed at the words, the bones and stones momentarily forgotten on the floor. 

She glanced at the man. “Your soul has been promised to another, there is nothing I can do!”

“Throw them again!” He reached forward and pushed the bones and stones towards her.  “Throw them or damn you to hell, bitch!”  She ignored his outburst and rose from her crouched position.  The flames on the candles flared abruptly, revealing her fleetingly in the warm yellow light.  She could feel the man’s eyes on her, taking in her naked form, the long legs and high breasts, the nipples almost black against her dark skin.  His gaze slide down over her flat stomach, staring at where the shadows still concealed the hidden pleasure between her thighs. Unbidden he licked his lips, and she almost laughed as she watched the lust replace the fear and anger. His hand reached for her and her dreadlocks reacted writhing about her, each strand etched with a blue glow, as they snapped and struck out, leaving inflamed welts across his skin! He hissed in pain, cupping his injured arm against his chest.  Her eyes blazed with anger. “You need to leave!” She glanced towards the doorway as the beads twisted and jangled again. This time the breeze carried with it the scent of rotting meat. “Now!” she emphasized the word by jabbing a finger in the direction of the street.

Even as the words left her lips some of the candles began to extinguish one by one, casting the room into darkness.  Drarinisi stepped back into the deeper shadows, feeling the rough wood and earth press against her back. 

The background noise of the city had faded, replaced by footsteps that sounded ominously loud in the sudden vacuum. They came to a halt outside her door, pausing briefly, lingering. The man on the floor tried to rise on unsteady legs, all thoughts of lust and desire from just moments before forgotten.  A hand appeared through the bead curtain pushing them aside and the man whimpered. Drarinisi’s nostrils flared at the sudden stink of urine from the terrified customer in front of her, the piss dripping on to the floor between his feet.  A figure stepped into the darkened room and the few remaining lit candles guttered and writhed, the flames twisting away. Eyes wide, Drarinisi mumbled words and incantations beneath her breath. She knew he wasn’t there for her but the she still felt the cold touch of fear making her shiver involuntarily.

The skull painted face turned towards her and a long fingered hand tipped the battered black top hat briefly in respect.  “Drarinisi….” His voice was soft and mellow with a slight trace of affection tinged with an accent.  She nodded her head, “Baron Samedi.” She acknowledged. “It’s been awhile.”  He smiled, revealing white even teeth then glanced around the room taking in the rough walls lined with shelves containing jars of powder and liquids and the remains of various animals. “Far too long. I’m glad to see your still maintain the old ways of magick even if you are using it to help the lost, the unfortunate, and the damned.” The last word emphasized as he turned his stare towards the customer who had been edging towards the door. Baron Samedi’s hand curled and the man was driven to his knees, held there by a force he couldn’t resist.   “Your soul is mine, you promised it when you died and demanded another year of life!”

“Not yet, not so soon, I never got what I was promised!” The man’s tone was petulant.

“I gave you a year, you wasted it!” The skull painted face grinned. “It’s time to pay!”

“No!”  With an unexpected surge of strength the man pushed himself to his feet, one arm wrapping around Drarinisi’s throat, the other pulling the long blade of a knife from his belt and holding it against her stomach.  “Let me go Baron!”  Baron Samedi laughed, it was a low soft chuckle.

“You poor fool!” Pulling a cigar from the top pocket of his jacket and lit the end with a touch of his finger. “Haven’t you realized that I’m not the most dangerous person in this room?” He puffed out a cloud of aromatic smoke then inspected the glowing red end.

As the Baron’s words became apparent the man tried to take a step back, suddenly aware of the danger he was in. He could feel Drarinisi’s warm body pressed against his, distracting him, and his grip tightened on the knife.

Too slow and too late, the dreadlocks were already reacting, the blue glow turning purple as they slashed and sliced, scoring his arms and chest and face with deep cuts, thick viscous blood flying through the air.  The knife dropped from his nerveless fingers, blood dripping from the multiple wounds.  He dropped to his knees staring up at Drarinisi but the witch’s eyes held no mercy.

He turned towards the Baron who was gazing at him dispassionately. “No please, can we renegotiate?”

Baron Samedi glanced at Drarinisi and once more tipped his hat, then raised a bone white finger and waggled it at the fallen man, the grin becoming wider.

“No negotiation, no compromise, you are the only one here damned to hell BITCH!”

The graveyard stood silent and empty except for one small group huddled beneath umbrellas around an empty coffin sized hole.

The young minister stood to one side, his low monotonous tone muffled by the rain that fell in a constant insistent drizzle from the ominous grey sky. There were six mourners in all, gathered around one side of the gaping hole that had been expertly cut into the sodden ground.

Opposite, the dark-wood coffin stood wet and waiting on a metal trestle, ready to be lowered to its place of final resting.  Of the mourners, five were men, all wearing dark suits, staring stone-faced and silent, their jackets wet and crumpled by the inclement weather.

The sixth mourner was a woman dressed in gothic black, her pale face hidden by a long black veil attached to a fashionable hat.  Beneath it, tendrils of dark red hair coiled and twisted hanging loosely on one shoulder.  One of the mourners stood mutely next to her holding an umbrella above her head, ignoring his own discomfort as he protected her from the weather.  She held a crumpled white handkerchief in one hand, her shoulders shaking silently as the minister concluded his speech.  In the other, she held a single red rose that stood out like a splash of blood against her outfit. 

The final words had barely been completed when the minister turned slightly and nodded towards his assistant standing wet and uncomfortable next to the silent coffin. Rain spattered and ran from the polished wood and, with the touch of a button; it began to lower into the hole.  The motor sputtered slightly then caught again as the minister grimaced and turned his eyes heavenwards and offered a silent prayer.  The motor stuttered once more then continued to smoothly lower the coffin into its final resting place. The motor was turned off leaving only the sound of the rain hitting the wooden lid and the raucous sound of ravens from the trees that lined the graveyard.

The woman stepped forward, and with a flick of her wrist sent the red rose tumbling to land on top of the casket. She began to recite what sounded like an ancient prayer. The man holding the umbrella joined in, it was hypnotic.

“Of blackest night, soul seeped in blood red sin, go forth now to rest in this hallowed earthen tomb.

May death take no hold of your immortal soul; and shall the sun never rise upon you. Under midnight skies I will call your name; Ryder of the White Court!

Until you wake and leave this graves embrace, and join me once more in life’s sweet blood fanged grace.

Arise now and be free from Deaths eternal womb.”

Awakening from the trance and realizing that his job was almost done the minister wanted nothing more than a hot shower and a change of clothes but he needed to first provide some final words of condolence or comfort.  The other mourners had already moved away leaving only the woman and the umbrella holder standing over the grave. The minister stepped closer, failing miserably to keep his eyes from appraising her shapely form in the tight black dress.  Her long stocking clad legs held his attention as he found unsolicited erotic thoughts and visions clouding his mind.  Images of sex and sudden violence!  Thoughts that had not assailed him since he joined the priesthood.

He bit down hard on his lip trying to force the unwelcome visions away until a flutter of wings distracted him. A raven or crow landed on one of the nearest gravestones, followed by a second and then a third.  They perched on the weathered stones watching the group silently through black expressionless eyes. 

In control of his emotions again, the minister took another step toward the woman and leant forward, closing his eyes at the intoxicating smell of her expensive perfume.  Her head turned towards him, deep green eyes holding his, full lips curling into a slow inviting smile.  Long pale fingers each tipped with a blood red nail brushed the skin of his bare wrist. His gasp was almost inaudible as her fingers slowly caressed his skin like a razor cutting through silk.

He wanted nothing more than to take her, to tear off her panties and spread her thighs on top of that wet coffin.  He wanted to bury himself inside her, feel the wet heat as her legs wrapped around him pulling him deeper, rutting like animals.  In that moment he would have forsaken his God!

Her fingers slipped away and the moment was gone, the vision broken.  Somewhat belatedly the minister realized that his cock was fully erect.  Embarrassed, he stepped away, convinced that everyone could see his rising excitement.  His hand dropped to cover the obvious arousal and he took a step back. His heel slipped on the wet earth he tottered precariously on the edge of the grave before a large hand grabbed him painfully by the wrist and pulled him back.  The minister’s eyes were wide and staring, his face pale as he stumbled away from the edge, dropping to his knees.

He finally managed to catch a shuddering breath, his heart pounding painfully like a jack hammer in his chest.  He glanced up and realized the woman was walking away leaving only the umbrella-holding man for company.  The man reached down and hauled the young minister to his feet.  “My mistress had requested that you join her at the wake.” He smiled revealing a mouth lined with sharp teeth like that of a shark, the smile of a predator.  A ripple of fear crossed his face as the minister tried to pull back but the man’s grip was too strong and held him easily.  The smile disappeared. “She hates to be disappointed!”

The minister glanced up as the woman climbed into a long black limousine, the movement pulling her skirt up to reveal the flash of a pale thigh above the stocking clad legs.  He shuddered with sudden anticipation, watching as the door closed and the car pulled away.  “I’ll be there.”  The man nodded as though he expected nothing else and began to walk away.

“Wait!” the minister called and the man turned back to face him.  “What is the name of your mistress.”

“Amber!” He smiled again revealing the shark-sharp teeth. “Her name is Amber Cherry!”

Angel watched through narrowed thoughtful eyes as the man approached her. She recognised him by reputation but not by sight. He was older than she expected, his close cropped hair a silver grey. Despite this, he carried himself well, the dark expensive three-piece suit showing off his broad shoulders and chest. He stopped in front of the booth where she sat and nodded a brief greeting. His blue eyes crinkled in the corners as he appraised her, taking in the tight pink low-cut dress pausing briefly on her ample cleavage before moving back up to her face and holding her gaze. Angel felt a slight shiver of electricity as her eyes met his.

“Angel,” he acknowledged, “your reputation precedes you, although I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting someone quite so…,” he paused briefly “delicious…” He grabbed two glasses of champagne from a passing waiter and handed one to her. A look of annoyance crossed the waiters face, and it looked like he might complain, as his eyes met Silver Fox’s they widened in recognition and he nodded and hurried away.

Angel watched the waiter’s departure with a slight smile took a sip of the champagne, “judging by his reaction he’s aware of your infamous reputation Fox!” She glanced up and down allowing her eyes to hover briefly on his crotch, “and I wasn’t anticipating such a sophisticated package.” She patted the seat next to her. “Please join me.” She watched as he sat down, the twin pistols concealed in the holsters strapped on either side of his chest were briefly revealed as he adjusted the suit jacket. Angel shifted slightly allowing her dress to rise up slightly giving him a tantalisingly brief glimpse of her tanned inner thighs as well as the daggers strapped there.

He smiled drawing his eyes away from the enticing but dangerous view. “Now that we both know we’re serious let’s get down to business, we can discuss pleasure later. I believe we have a mutual target that requires firm handling and I’ve heard you’re the ummm…, lady for that.”

Angel laughed, “I’ve been called worse, but I believe you prefer to ease you way into difficult situations, by making sure the way is sufficiently accessible.”

The man opposite her threw back his head and gave a genuine laugh of amusement. “I suppose we can spend the whole evening with these sexual innuendos, but I believe that there is business afoot.”

Angel shrugged. “Business, pleasure, sometimes it can be the same thing…especially for the likes of us…” She ran a delicate tongue across her slightly pointed teeth. “Tell me Fox, the rumour is you prefer to work alone but now you’re looking for a partner.”

Fox responded. “This is not a normal contract.” He reached inside his jacket and Angel stiffened slightly then she gradually relaxed as he withdrew a white envelope. “This is the contract. I’ve already received confirmation that the deposit of five hundred thousand has been made to my account, I’m happy to split the commission fifty-fifty.”

Angel glanced at the envelope then picked it up, sliding one pink nailed finger beneath the edge of the flap and pulling out the single piece of paper, frowning slightly at the contents. She turned to Fox who was watching her intently and again she felt a brief surge of heat between her thighs. “This is a contract to terminate an Archangel.”

“A rogue Archangel!” Fox corrected. “Azrael; has pissed off some people, some very important people, and who better to approach as a partner than the Dark Angel.”

Angel glanced at the signature at the bottom of the page and her eyes widened. “You’re not shitting me, this come from the very top.”

Fox grinned. “Or the very bottom.”

Angel finished the champagne and signalled the waiter for a replacement. Is it true you made a pact with Satan himself to pay off past indiscretions as hells assassin, to rid the netherworld of problems that have become irksome, annoying or just damned boring?”

Fox took a sip from his glass and grimaced slightly. “That’s the thing about stories, they’re not always necessarily true, but by allowing them to grow and expand just adds to the reputation, fuelling a legend.” He put down the champagne glass and signalled the waiter. “Enough of this shit, I heard your drink of choice is Tequila.”

Angel nodded as the nervous waiter placed two shot glasses, a shaker of salt and a plate piled with lemons in front of them. He broke the seal of a bottle of Don Julio Tequila and poured them each a generous shot with shaking hands then left the bottle.

Fox raised his glass. “Let’s drink to new alliances.”

Angel raised glass and clicked it against his and swallowed with a sigh of pleasure then frowned. “You didn’t answer the question!”

“Didn’t I?” Fox shrugged and poured them each another generous measure of tequila. “The world is a dangerous place, but you and I, dear Angel, are monsters from an even darker, deceitful and treacherous hell, and the only thing we fear is dying of… boredom. Shall we take this bottle to the bedroom to continue our conversation about which of the two of us is the most dangerous?”

Angel raised a delicate eyebrow, “hmmmm… you leave me with little choice, I like a man who’s in charge.”

A Devils Tail

Azrael stood bare-chested in front of the full length mirror and flexed his large formidable wings, the intricate black feathers shone in the early morning sunlight. His powerful muscles gleamed from the oil that had been applied earlier and he tensed them deliberately, admiring the way they moved and shifted beneath his smooth unblemished skin. The black leather pants he wore low on his hips showed off his flat muscled stomach and the large bulge in his crotch indicated he was most definitely male. He kept his face turned so that only the right side was in profile, the strong jaw, high cheekbones, even his swept back blue black hair. He was beautiful. His full lips tightened and the anger that emanated from him was almost physical. Beautiful… but only from a certain angle. Slowly he turned his head so that the left side of his face came into view. The skin was burnt and deformed, damaged flesh held together with uneven strips of thick scar tissue. The eye that stared from the mass of ravaged flesh was opaque and blind in direct contrast to the other which was a dark deep green. The hair had fortunately grown back on the spoiled side of his face, and he smoothed it forward to cover some of the damage. He had hoped after all this time that the flesh would have healed, he was an angel after all, but the hellfire that had burnt and scorched him proved to be permanent and immune to his powers. Just staring at the mutilated skin reminded him of the bitch who had done this to him. Angel! As he had done every day since she had sliced off his wings and kicked him over the edge of the Crossroads Bridge, he cursed her name and vowed revenge! Perhaps, if he had managed to escape immediately the initial damage would have healed, but he had been trapped. Without his wings he had been unable to escape the fires of Hell, until they grew back and it had taken an age. His once ethereal white wings had grown back black, an eternal black; as formidable as the Hell fires in which they were forged. His mouth tightened and he slammed a powerful fist into the mirror, shattering it. He stared at it for a few seconds longer, his fragmented broken reflection staring back at him, distorting his already ravaged features even further. With a snarl and a snap of his wings he walked away.

A moment later, he was standing in the entrance of a refuse and debris strewn alleyway. Time and location were just a thought to the Angels, especially one as powerful as him. This part of the city was mainly derelict, a last refuge for the lost and lonely who inhabited it. There were a number of temporary lean-too shelters lining the alley, inhabited mainly by men who had fallen on difficult times in an uncaring indifferent world. He strode purposely down the center of it, the debris swirling and twisting behind him to mark his presence and as he passed each homeless person they stared at him with terror etched in their expressions. They recognized his power, sensed his anger, and they were justifiably afraid. Azrael glanced briefly at them as he passed by. He could sense the sins of each and every one; some were murderers, rapists and worse. Others however, were just men who had simply lost their way, the sorrow and anguish etched in the lines of their faces. A disproportionate number of them were veterans, soldiers who had fought in the wars of man and had seen things they no longer cared to remember, discarded by the government they had once fought for. Azrael came to a halt opposite one of them and paused, frowning into the shadows of the large cardboard box that lay on its side. The man within lay on a stained and torn blanket stared back with and eyes that were old, far older than they had any right to be. They were the eyes of a man who had seen the very depths of hell and depravity and held on to his sanity by a sliver. A warrior who had fought wars in the flesh and now fought them in his mind.

Azrael smiled but it was not a pleasant sight, the perfect side of his mouth pulled up and the damaged side remained motionless. “Old friend.”

The man glared back. “You’re no friend of mine angel, I’ve seen you on the battlefield and you revel in the anger and fear and bloodlust!” Azrael shrugged. “Everyone has to have a hobby.” “Leave me be. Let me live and die in what little peace I can find.”

Azrael’s shoulders shook as he laughed but the sound contained little humour. “There will be no peace for the likes of you, the memories of the atrocities you have committed will haunt you.” He flexed his shoulders and the huge wings stretched out behind him. “I will make sure of that.”

The man’s face fell, the pain and grief etched deeply into his features. His eyes met Azrael’s but there was no pity in the angels’ expression, who stared back with a cold calculating gaze. “What do you want of me?”

Azrael reached into the pocket of his leather pants and pulled out a gold coin. “This is one of the coins originally given to Judas in payment for his betrayal.” His fingers moved and the coin rippled over the top of his knuckles, “I know your deeds, your own treachery and there is a price to pay for that but I have a proposition for you.” The angel’s expression became calculating and he turned his face slowly to reveal sides, the perfect and imperfect. “A proposition that would go some way to repaying your sins or at least put you on the righteous side of hell.”

The man stared back silently for a moment as though weighing up the words. “Tell me.” He finally spoke, his eyes still watching the coin as it flickered back and forth.

Azrael smiled, although the damaged side of his mouth did not respond making the expression look more like a leer. “I want you to kill someone who has wronged me,” he raised his other hand to the ravaged side of his face, his fingers brushing delicately over the scarred flesh, “but to do that first you will need to die.” He held up the gold disc and showed the man both sides. One side was engraved with a pair of wings whilst the other had a pair of horns and a twisted tail. “The coin will decide your fate. Wings will mean you simply die the horns and tail means you will die, painfully! Are you ready?”

The man nodded, his eyes never leaving the coin.

Azrael grinned and spun the coin into the air, its edges catching the light. It hung in the air for an eternity until Azrael reached out a hand and caught it then offered it to the man in his open palm. His mouth stretched into a satisfied sneer. “A painful death it is… it’s time for me to claim your soul.”

Copyright Rayven Angel. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the author.