He is the guardian of hell, more monster than man. She is the goddess of oppression, more angel than woman. Together they will enter the flames to battle a dangerous horde of demon lords -- and discover a passion unlike any other....
Don't miss this sizzling prequel to Gena Showalter's breathtaking new paranormal series, The Lords of the Underworld! Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive -- and unimaginably powerful....
This short novella (34 pages) is the prequel to Gena Showalter’s Lord of the Underworld (LOTU) Series. In the LOTU series, demons inhabit the bodies of immortal warriors and in The Darkest Fire, we see how those demons escaped from hell.
Geryon was once a human who sold his soul to save his wife, and she repaid his sacrifice by leaving him for another man. Transformed by Lucifer to resemble a beast, Geryon is cursed for all eternity and he’s appointed as The Guardian of Hell.
Kadence is the Goddess of Oppression and sentenced to be The Guardian of Hell by the gods as a punishment. She is bonded to the gates of hell and can feel when someone is touching the wall as if they were touching her own skin.
Geryon and Kadence have lived in close proximity to each other for hundreds of ages, but have never spoken to one another, each lost in regret of their past mistakes. But that quickly changes when Kadence senses an imminent break in the wall that encloses hell. She enlists Geryon’s help and together they venture into hell, hoping they can seal the gate and destroy the demons who are trying to escape.
We don’t have a happy ending in this story, Fellow Readers, but the journey Geryon and Kadence undergo is very emotive and beautifully written. It’s a great way to get introduced into the series and explains how the demons that now inhabit the Lords of the Underworld came to be. I can’t wait to get started on the LOTU series!
She gave a startled gasp. “You’ll help me? Even knowing you are no longer bound to the prince?”
“Yes.” If she spoke true and he was free, he had no place to go. Too many centuries had passed, his home gone. His family, dead. Besides, he might crave the very freedom the goddess promised but he feared trusting her. She might not intend malice, but Lucifer certainly would. With the prince, there was always a catch. Free today did not necessarily mean free tomorrow. No, he dare not hope.
“Thank you. I didn’t expect—I—Why did you sell your soul?” she asked softly, tracing the crack again.
There was a beat of silence.
“What would you have me do?” he repeated rather than answer. He did not wish to admit the reason for his folly and the subsequent humiliation.
Her arm dropped to her side, and her expression softened. “I am Kadence,” she said, as though he had asked for her name rather than instruction.
Kadence . How he loved the way the syllables rolled through his mind, smooth as velvet—gods, how long since he’d touched a material so fine?—and sweet as wine. How long since he’d tasted such a drink?
“I am Geryon.” Once, he’d had a different name. Upon arriving here, however, Lucifer had dubbed him Geryon. Guardian of the Damned, it translated to, which was what he was and all he would ever be. Some legends, a demon had once jeered at him, proclaimed him to be a three-headed centaur. Some, a vicious dog. Nothing compared to what he was, so he did not mind the stories.
“I am yours to command,” he said, adding, “Kadence.” Tasted even better on his tongue.
Breath caught in her throat; he heard the hitch of it. “You say my name like a prayer.” There was astonishment in her tone.
Had he? “I am sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Her cheeks flushed prettily. Then she clapped her hands and brought the conversation back to what should have been their primary concern. “First we must patch these cracks.”
He nodded but said, “I fear the wall is already compromised. Patching will merely strengthen it for a time.” But might not prevent an eventual fall, he did not add.
“Yes. Knowing demons as I have come to, they will return and inflict more damage.” Once more she turned to him. Once more she lifted her gaze to him, kernels of fear swirling where there should only be satisfaction. A crime. “Geryon,” she began, only to press her lush lips together.
What was left of his heart skidded to an abrupt stop. She was just so lovely, her gentleness and goodness setting her apart from everything he represented. He wanted to duck his head, hide his ugliness from her. “Yes?”
“I should not ask this of you, but I know not what else to do.”
“Ask me anything you desire.” He would see it was done, no matter the consequences. “It will be my pleasure to aid you.”
“I pray you remember those words. For after we’ve repaired the wall, we must enter hell—and hunt the demons who would destroy it.”
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