Broken Angel (Bad Things Book 4)

By: Cynthia Eden

Chapter One

He’d found his prey.

He’d been searching for her, looking so desperately for a very long time now—but the hunt was over. She. Was. His.

Rayce Lovel paused just inside of the low-rent bar, a dive named Maverick’s. It was a too loud, too crowded, too smoky spot in the middle of nowhere, and it was the last place he’d expected to find his angel. But she was there, he knew it. He hadn’t spotted her yet, but he could smell her. A sweet, light scent that hung over the alcohol and cigarettes. Her scent.

Once a werewolf got his prey’s scent, he didn’t lose it.

He stepped into the room, and the snow fell off his shoulders. Fucking snow. He hated the cold and would have much preferred to be back in the Keys running wild on the beach. But she was there…in the wilds of Colorado, and that meant so the hell was he.

The band kept blasting, voices kept shouting, and the smart humans near him? They got the hell out of his way, as if instinctively sensing a beast was nearby. Sometimes, humans could do that. They could feel trouble when it was close.

Trouble was very close right then. Because he wanted his prey. He wanted Lila, and he would not be leaving there without her.

His nostrils flared as he pulled in more of her scent. Lavender and fucking candy apples—that was what she smelled like to him. Heaven. Fitting really…considering his prey was an honest-to-God angel. And angels? They didn’t belong on earth.

And they don’t belong with beasts.

He went to the bar and rapped his knuckles against the faded surface. The bartender, a woman with blue-black hair and piercings in her left eyebrow, gave him a bored look. “Want something?”

My angel. He’d been looking for her too long. The woman kept vanishing. But then…it was easy for her to disappear. Lila’s kind carried so much magic. She also carried a target on her back. A big one that was going to cause all kinds of unfortunate situations. The longer that Lila was on earth, the more dangerous she would become.

Is it already too late for her?

His gaze scanned the crowd once more. He didn’t see Lila’s tell-tale red hair anywhere, but he knew she was in that bar. “There a backroom in this place?” he asked the bartender.

“What you see is what you get.” Her response was fast, clipped and also…a lie.

Slowly now, his instincts alerted, Rayce turned his head back toward the bartender. Her pulse was beating a bit too fast at the base of her throat and her gaze had jerked away as she began to tap the countertop with her index finger. The black polish on her nail was chipped.

“I don’t think that’s true,” Rayce murmured as he rolled back his shoulders. He was wearing a heavy black coat and the sleeves of his coat brushed against the bar top. “Why don’t we try that answer again?”

Her stare—a shaky, pale blue—jumped to his. “You some kind of cop or something?”

Not a human cop, no, because he didn’t usually give a shit about what the humans did. As long as they weren’t hunting his kind, he didn’t have a problem with them. But the “or something” part of her question?

He was an enforcer, of sorts. He worked for Luke Thorne, the big, bad Lord of the Dark. Luke ruled all of the darkest, most dangerous paranormals in the world. And Rayce? Well, he was the one who hunted down the assholes who thought they could screw over the Lord of the Dark.

Only this time, my prey is a bit different. This time…well, the hunt had turned personal for him.

Rayce flattened his hands on the bar. “Where’s the secret room?” And what in the hell was his angel doing in there?

The bartender backed up a step. She licked her lips. “There—there isn’t one!” Her voice cracked on the denial.

Rayce rolled his eyes. Did he look like he was in the mood for bullshit? “You have something I want in that room. And I won’t be leaving without her.”

Then the bartender made a mistake. She jerked her head and pointed at Rayce and he knew that she’d just gotten security zeroed in on his ass. A long sigh slid from him. “You know, we could have done this the easy way. You could have told me where the room was. You could have saved the guard coming for me a whole lot of pain. And we could have all just gotten along.” He gave a sad shake of his head. “Now, I’m going to have to knock his ass out. And I’m going to have to rip this place apart until I find what I want.” He leaned over the bar. “A word of warning, when the fight starts, you might want to duck down low.”