He is the deadliest of Sins. Luxure is LIVE just in time for Halloween!
Read the prologue and grab your copy of this #99cent Paranormal Romance from Sienna Parks!
The space between.
A fleeting moment that can last a thousand years. A rush so intense it can rip you apart and piece you back together in seconds.
In the Uitare plane, time means nothing to me. I can manipulate it to suit my desires, and anyone who knows me, knows I always suit my fucking desires. I don’t give a shit about anyone else.
You don’t know me, but I know you. I know everything about you. There’s nothing new, special, or unique about a single one of you. You’re all the same in the end—pathetic, weak, and unable to see what’s staring you right in the face. Me. I’m the voice in your head, the wet dream that wakes you in the middle of the night. I’m the reason for that slick sheen of sweat that covers your body and the dampness that pools between your trembling thighs. I’m your every dark and dirty desire. I am the most primal part of you—your basic instinct. The human race needs me, and it scares you half to death.
I can make people do anything, say anything, and discard the people they hold dearest for just one hit of the intoxicating pleasure I will freely give. You want me, you crave me, but there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to give in.
Why is that?
Because if you give in to me, if you open yourself up to everything I have to offer… who knows what you’ll be capable of? The depths you’ll sink to?
The world believes that the seven deadly sins are a concept, traits that need to be suppressed to be a ‘good’ person. It’s a lie. A huge cover up the ‘Almighty’ created so that humans would believe they have a chance of resisting us. If you knew the truth, it would be far too easy to manipulate any and every moment of your mundane existence, because you’d lose all hope and faith in yourselves. And we all know the guy upstairs relies on faith above all else. Take that away, and the churches will be empty on a Sunday morning. The prayers will stop. People will allow themselves to indulge their vulgar side—the side they keep hidden tightly behind a mask of propriety.
And what is the truth, you ask?
The seven deadly sins aren’t just an idea. They are supernatural beings, demons, and brothers. They live in the shadows, in the light, in your dreams, in your reality, and sometimes you make it so easy that they can stay in their realm and watch you destroy yourselves without any help from them. They wreak havoc on Earth using humans to amuse themselves. They are the marionettes of the Underworld.
No one is safe from my reach. The most powerful men in the world crumble at my feet. The purest of women melt into my arms. Trust me when I tell you that I can make you feel so fucking good, that you would gladly burn in the fires of hell for all eternity for one night in my bed. I can be anything you want me to be. I will fulfill your every fantasy no matter how depraved it is. I don’t judge, and I never say no.
I fucking love who and what I am. I take great pleasure in ruining the lives of humans… at least I used to.
Who am I?
I am Luxure, but everyone calls me Lux.
However, you know me as… LUST.
I am the deadliest of sins.
One thousand years ago
“The Vollstrecker are coming. I can feel them. We need to get out of here, Luxure.”
I pull her into the shadows freezing time and space around us. The quiver in her voice is causing a physical pain in my chest. “What’s wrong, Abiteth? Talk to me, my love. Why are you so afraid?”
She wraps her small, cold hands around my cheeks pulling me down to meet her lips and enrapturing me in a mind-altering kiss. I get so lost in the feel of her—her taste and smell. I completely lose myself, and with it, my grip on time. Everything starts moving, and I can hear the Vollstrecker closing in.
“I love you, Luxure.” I can see the fear in her eyes as her body begins to shake in my arms.
“Abi, what’s going on? You’re scaring me.”
“It’s Lucifer. He’s angry with me. He thinks I betrayed him.”
“What did you do?”
“Nothing. I swear.”
I search her eyes, looking for any indication that she’s lying to me, but all I see is love, honesty, and fear. I grab her hand and run. She’s not a warrior—her body wasn’t built for it—she is all soft curves and delicate features. If we stay and fight, there is no way I’ll be able to save her from the enforcers who are hot on our heels.
The Vollstrecker are Lucifer’s army. They ensure his rules are followed to the letter, and if not, they enforce justice. There is no gray in their world. The guidelines are black and white, and if you deviate in any way, then they will see to it that you never disobey him again. They ensure you don’t survive long enough to try.
“Do you trust me, Abi?”
“With my life.”
“Then close your eyes, hold on tight, and I’ll take you to Uitare.”
She stops dead in her tracks. “I can’t survive there. You know that.”
“I don’t have time to argue with you or explain right now. Take my hand. I’ll keep you safe. I promise.” Her hesitation was all they needed. I can see at least fifteen of them closing in on us, and I act on instinct grabbing her around the waist, my fingers digging into her hips to make sure I don’t lose contact with her. I close my eyes, calming myself, ready to use every ounce of power I have to get her out of here. I only need ten seconds, and we’ll be gone. They won’t be able to reach or track us. My body begins to vibrate, the force of will needed to jump planes with another person is taking its toll.
I block out everything around us focusing only on Abi.
Four… three… almost there… two…
She’s ripped from my arms as I begin to transition.
“No! Abiteth!” Her screams ring in my ears as I watch them drag her away, my name on her lips as she struggles in their hold. And then she’s gone. I’m gone.
I find myself in Uitare—alone. There is no sound in this plane. The silence is deafening. I scream and curse, but nothing comes out. I need to get back to her. I need to save my mate.
I quickly transition back to the Underworld freezing everything around me. The vultures are suspended in mid-air, and the flames surrounding me cease their incessant flickering. I’m frantic as I search for Abiteth and any trace of the Vollstrecker. They have vanished into the depths of Hell, and I have no option but to go directly to the source. I need to find Lucifer.
I manipulate the space around me jumping from place to place until I find him.
He would know my voice anywhere. He’s my best friend, and I am his second-in- command.
He turns with fluid ease, a sly grin pulling at the corners of his lips. “Luxure, my friend. To what do I owe this honor?”
“Where is Abiteth? Your overgrown apes tore her from my arms just moments ago, and I can find no trace of her in the realms. What is going on?”
Shaking his head, he slowly makes his way over to me troubled by this turn of events. He snakes his arm around my shoulder, and a cold dread spreads throughout my body.
“I’m so sorry, old friend. I know she was important to you. But…”
I shrug his arm off my shoulder turning to face him head on. “WAS? Where is she?”
“She betrayed me, brother. She betrayed us all. You know the penalty for that. I wish it could be different, but I can’t make exceptions. It would set a bad example.”
I don’t believe him. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t kill my mate not without consulting me. I’m his right hand, his friend, his brother.
His twisted, evil grin returns. “I told them to be quick. She didn’t feel much pain.” I lunge at him, rage consuming my every conscious thought, but he’s too fast. “Don’t do something you’ll regret, Luxure. I don’t want to have to send them after you next.”
“How could you do this to me? She was everything to me.” I catch him off guard, my fist connecting with his cheekbone shattering it with one punch. He’s up and on me in seconds pinning me to the ground.
“Do not cross me, Luxure. Remember your place. She was everything to you?” He leans down, his lips brushing my ear as he speaks. “I’m everything to you and don’t forget it. She had to go. She made you weak. I need you focused and strong and doing as I say.”
I flip him off my body, leaping into the air, and crashing back down on his chest. “My loyalty to you died with Abiteth.”
“Then you can join her, you stupid lovesick puppy.” He turns his gaze to the assembling army. “Get him! And don’t make it quick. I want him to suffer.”
The Vollstrecker descend on me in droves, Lucifer disappearing from beneath me. I take off at a sprint fighting everyone who gets in my way. It’s do or die, and if I don’t get away now, I’m done for. I’m not going to let that happen. I won’t give him the satisfaction. I use every advantage I have to put some distance between the army hot on my trail and me. I’m faster, my body less cumbersome, lither, but just as strong. I push myself to the limit glancing briefly over my shoulder to gauge how long it will take for them to catch up with me. If I’m wrong by even a second, they’ll use it to end my existence.
I come to an abrupt halt turning to face them—my arms outstretched in a show of surrender. It throws them off slowing them down just enough for me to concentrate. All I can see when I close my eyes is Abi—her face when she was pulled from my embrace. The pain is overwhelming, but I have to shut it out. I have to stop the onslaught of grief that threatens to take over if I’m going to get out of this alive.
They’re getting closer, more enforcers joining the chase with every passing moment. I ignore them, letting the familiar vibrations take over, breaking apart the pieces that form my physical body. I can sense how close they are, their bloodlust evident in the stench that emanates from every one of them. I keep my eyes closed and my breathing controlled hoping beyond hope that this works. Their screams and hollers become louder, and the moment I feel the cool metal of a blade slice into my abdomen, it’s gone. They’re gone.
I made it.
Uitare is deserted but for a handful of Masuulka—the guardians of this plane. I drop to the ground exhausted and wounded. I’ve never plane jumped so much in such a short space of time before, and my body is protesting as every muscle in my body throbs in agony. I can’t self-heal quickly here, but I can’t go back to the Underworld, and if I go to Earth, they’ll find me. My only option is to stay here and wait. Wait to heal and wait for them to stop looking.
I crawl across the rough terrain causing further wounds, but I don’t have the strength to hold my body upright. I eventually find a small cave to shelter me for the night. As I lay my head down to rest, it hits me like a lightning bolt—she’s gone—my Abiteth, the love of my life, the reason for my existence. He killed her. In the absolute silence, I fall apart, sobs wracking my body as I mourn the loss of my mate, my silent roars of grief lost in the void of the space between. When I become too weak to sustain the violent spasms of grief that rack my body, I slowly shut down allowing the healing process to begin. As I lose consciousness, there is only one thought going through my mind.
I will avenge my mate. I will bide my time, and I will kill Lucifer if it’s the last thing I do. He won’t even see it coming…
Present day - San Francisco
Is there nothing new in this universe? God needs to up his game if he thinks he’s going to win the war. I used to enjoy the thrill of the chase, the slow seduction, edging the pure and good of the world over to the darkness that surrounds me. It’s never taken me long, at most a few weeks to corrupt a soul. But now, it’s as if they’re born evil. I’m lucky if I find someone who holds out for more than a day. Earth is a sick and twisted place, nothing like the first few thousand years of my existence. Things were simpler back then, but there was a stark contrast between the Underworld and the human realm. Now? Sometimes I think demons have higher moral standards than humans. At least they live by a code, even if it is to save themselves from Lucifer’s punishments. Earth is like Sodom and Gomorrah all over again. There is nothing new, nothing exciting, and nothing is off limits to these beings. It’s pathetic and boring.
Today is the same as every other day of the past seven hundred and fifty years. Find a target. Tear their life to shreds. Get my rocks off in the process. I’m not completely heartless, though. I make sure that my chew toy for the day gets the best fucking orgasm of their life, and if I’m feeling particularly generous, then they get a few more thrown in for good measure.
After I lost Abiteth, my existence became worthless. I was an outlaw, wounded and stranded in the Uitare for two hundred and fifty years. The healing process was slow as the poison from the blade kept the wound open—the sensation of burning becoming a constant in my life until I was able to return to Earth and heal properly. I didn’t need food or water to survive, but I consumed them just to pass the time. I didn’t need anything. I’m immortal whether I want to be or not, and only Lucifer himself can kill me.
When I finally emerged from the cave, I was lucky enough to befriend the Masuulka who recognized my despair and took pity on me. One, in particular, Selma, took a shine to me. Over the years, she has become my best friend and confidante, but I know she wants more. She’s been patient more than any human could ever comprehend. She’s waited almost a thousand years for me to make her mine, and as much as I hate to hurt her in any way, I can’t take that step with her or with anyone. Losing Abiteth was the worst moment of my life, and I could never replace her. I could never betray what we had and give myself completely to another being, even one as gentle and beautiful as Selma. The Masuulka aren’t demons, they aren’t cold and evil like me. They are more akin to angels, quiet souls who live only to guard Uitare. They are fierce warriors and could strike down any demon with ease, but unless war breaks out on this spiritual plane, they live in harmony. Peaceful and silent, communicating through thought alone. Thankfully, I possess that ability to lure humans into my sinful schemes.
The Masuulka live and work together as a family. I used to have that. My brothers and I were always close throughout the centuries championing each other’s victories and enjoying the spoils of walking the Earth as gods of our given sins. I used to tag team with them on occasion enjoying how our combined skills and powers of persuasion could complement and enhance the thrill. Taking a sweet pastor’s daughter and fucking her while she goes down on one of my brothers was always a favorite of mine. I shared everything with them until I met Abi. She was the one woman I wouldn’t share, except with my brother, Colère, or Cole for short. You know him as Wrath. On the rare occasions that Abi wanted something darker and dirtier than I alone could give her, I would allow Cole to join us. I would have given her anything she asked of me, and even though it broke my heart to see her with him at times, the joy she found in pleasing us both at once outweighed my reservations.
It took two hundred and fifty years for Lucifer and the Vollstrecker to stop searching both the Underworld and Earth for me. The only place I was safe was in Uitare. Very few demons can survive for any length of time there losing their mind to the silence. There are even fewer who can to jump as fast and as frequently as I can. The Brotherhood perfected the talent over thousands of years. I, alone, could freeze time around me, but that is a talent I have lost with the loss of my brothers. Their strength fueled me enhancing my capabilities beyond anything any other demon could achieve.
When I got word that everyone thought I was dead and the search had been called off, I decided it was safe to start journeying to Earth for short periods of time. Almost three hundred years without a good fuck was a hard pill to swallow for me. Sure, I found willing bodies in the shape of the Masuulka. They had never been around such a sexual being, both male and female alike flocked to me drawn to the essence of pure concentrated lust that my body encapsulates. I’d be doing them a disservice if I said I hadn’t had my share of fun, but fuck me, I missed the raw, desperate, clawing desire of a soft, pliable, warm-blooded female human being. They are by far the most appreciative of any species, and the way they cream around my cock is out of this fucking world. No other being does that. As much as I loved fucking Abi with everything I had and every ounce of love I felt for her, her body never reacted to me in that way. The Masuulka are cold like granite, and no matter how turned on they get, they don’t sweat, they don’t get breathless and boneless and go limp in your arms after an intense climax.
Since I decided to straddle both planes seven hundred and fifty years ago, my life has become… comfortable—not exciting, or amazing, or even worthwhile in any way. It’s comfortable, and I fucking hate comfortable. So, I decided to start seducing more prominent figures giving myself more of a challenge finding the strong-willed, the religious, and the sanctimonious, and taking them down, one by one. Last week it was a handful of devout nuns from the same convent—each more boring and inexperienced than the last, and quite frankly, ugly to look at. But the thrill didn’t come from their skill or lack thereof, it came from one thing and one thing only—a big flip of the bird to the Almighty. He thinks he’s so fucking special! What gives him the right to ask people to live like that? To give up everything which makes a human existence extraordinary? Lucifer always warned me to stay away from creating a stir and drawing attention to myself. He would shit his pants at the repercussions that could come his way. He likes to act tough, but I was his right-hand man for thousands of years. I know he’s a cowardly son of a bitch when it comes to his nemesis.
Today, I’m out scouting for a new target. The streets of San Francisco are full of unsuspecting humans going about their day unaware that one of them will be my next lucky victim. I blend into the crowd letting people see me as one of them—a short, balding businessman in a cheap suit caught up in the rat race like everyone else. If they saw me as I am, I would attract too much attention. I could never slip under the radar undetected. As I take in the sights and sounds around me, I think about how much this city has changed over the years. I remember when it was just untouched land as far as the eye could see, and now it’s a bustling metropolis. I always come back here—it’s one of the few places I feel ‘at home,’ if you can call it that.
I bought an apartment here fifty years ago under the guise of one of my many aliases. One of the other perks of being able to read people and infiltrate their lives—rich guys talk. I’ve got more money than I know what to do with, but my penthouse apartment is one of the few things I spent a lot of money on, and it was worth it. Unfortunately, I don’t stay very long, because if anyone from the other realms found out that I’m still alive, they would more than likely track me down under cover of darkness. Instead, I spend my days here when I’m in town, and then I head back to Uitare and Selma.
The air is crisp today. Winter is coming, and a light mist has settled over the Golden Gate Bridge. I love days like this when there’s a bite in the cold air… not enough to hurt, but just enough to make you feel alive… if that’s what I am. I make my way through the crowds until I spot a couple heading in the direction of the University campus. She looks so in love as she gazes up into his eyes, but him, he’s hiding something. It’s enough to pique my interest, and I decide I’m going to follow them and figure out a way to have some fun today. As we get closer to campus, I change my appearance to blend in—twenty years old with some scruff and a face just cute enough to catch a girl’s eye but not enough to draw attention. I’ve watched body language for centuries—it’s an art form. Everyone around me is an open book. I’m surrounded by the traits my brothers and I embody most. College is a perfect melting pot for every sin imaginable. The lust of a nineteen-year-old boy is probably the most powerful emotion he will feel in his entire life. Raging hormones, no parents to control them—they are an easy target for someone like me. None of them understand what they have when they have it. They cheat and lie to get as much tail as they can, and when they figure out that it’s not worth it… the right kind of girl is so far beyond their reach, it’s laughable.
And as boys exhibit the worst of themselves, they fuel the worst and most common saying among women. It’s said as a joke, but it’s buried in centuries of truth—‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’ My brother, Cole, has magnified this deep-seated insecurity in women and turned it into the ultimate weapon of wrath. There is no better age to instill this than the college years. Girls’ souls are so beautiful—so innocent and hopeful when they are young. They dream of prince charming and pretty white dresses, white picket fences, and babies. It’s almost sad to see every last one of those expectations dashed by every schmuck who breaks their heart and cheats on them with a girl that doesn’t come close to their beauty. It makes them question everything. The most beautiful women in the world suffer from the most intense and crushing self-doubt… and why? Because some trumped-up little asshole couldn’t keep it in his pants in college and treated them badly.
Greed and Gluttony are two of the easiest sins to amplify. The human race has become so consumed by consumerism—my brothers haven’t had to work for the past century at least. When they created television and advertisements, human nature took over, and everyone wanted more, wanted the next new thing. Nothing is ever enough. They want more… more… more. My brothers have always been a tag team throughout the ages—twin brothers that thrive off each other’s energy. There was a time when I loved nothing more than to spend time with them. They were the life and soul of every party—fuck, they are the party—loved by every aristocracy in history and known by every person of influence, money, and fame. They go by many names, many faces, but the results are always the same. To me, they will always be my baby brothers, Gier and Craos, or Cray, as he likes to be called. I miss them when I allow myself a moment to remember. The last time I heard anything about their whereabouts was a hundred and ten years ago when they single handedly built the town now known as the excess capital of the world—Las Vegas. I don’t keep tabs on my brothers. If I track them, it means they can sense me, and I can’t risk that. The only reason I know where they are now is because of Selma. She hears things from time to time and lets me know if any of them are involved.
I think of them often wondering what they are doing, if they are okay, if Luc has tried to go after any of them. I wonder how they took the news of my death, and if they felt I betrayed The Brotherhood in my vain attempt to defend Abiteth. It was never my intention to put my love for her above our family, but I couldn’t sit back and let her die for something she didn’t do without putting up a fight. If only I’d been strong enough to save her.
I’m pulled back to the present when the couple I’ve been following turn and say their goodbyes before heading in opposite directions after planning to meet later for drinks. I didn’t even realize I had followed them into one of the campus buildings during my moment of nostalgia. I decide to follow the boy. As cute as the girl is, she would be too hard to corrupt. She’s got that love-struck innocence about her. I wouldn’t be a good enough reason for her to betray her boyfriend—not yet anyway.
The boy does what I suspect he’ll do. Within seconds of his ladylove being out of sight, he takes his phone from his pocket and calls girl number two. So fucking predictable. She’s going to meet him in their anthropology class and duck out for a quickie in the storage closet after class. Really? Could they be any more of a cliché? BORING! I want to mess with this little punk just to teach him a lesson. The older I get, the more I feel like a big brother to some of these college girls. Don’t get me wrong, I still corrupt a lot of them in the most delicious of ways, but they’re not a challenge anymore, and when I see a girl like this asshole’s girlfriend—who is one of the girls you keep, not discard—I find myself getting a little angry. He’s going to fundamentally change who she is, killing her trust and ability to see the good in everyone around her. So I’ve decided that today is the day I will make him pay for his transgressions. And then I’ll go and console his girlfriend and show her what a real man can make her feel. Sometimes letting your emotions dictate your actions isn’t the best thing for you. I’m going to ruin him, and then give her a night she will never forget!
As I follow him into the lecture hall, I hear the professor saying hello to each student who enters. Great, one of those people. They know every single person in their class, which makes my job of blending in that much harder. I quickly morph back into the old bald guy from this morning. No one around me will remember the boy I was moments ago. They see what I want them to and forget anything that came before. I think on my feet and head over to the guy I assume is the T.A. I distract him from his paperwork just long enough to mumble something about auditing the class and walk away before he has a chance to ask me any further questions.
I keep a close eye on my target, watching as he leaps up the stairs to the back of the room with boyish enthusiasm finding the girl from the phone call. She’s hot. Ironically, she’s not as hot as his actual girlfriend. It’s always the way. Men are primal in their stupidity. They always mess around with girls who are uglier than their wife or girlfriend. It’s cheating 1-0-1. They pick someone who offers it on a plate and who is so grateful for the attention, they will keep his dirty little secret.
He doesn’t even try to hide it in here. He slobbers all over her letting her hands wander down into his pants below the table with no regard for the strangers around them. I have to give her points for depravity. The hustle and bustle of students taking their seats fades into the background, and the noise level drops in an instant. I’ve never seen anything like it. Everyone is mesmerized by the professor who has uttered no more than the simple words, “Good morning, class.” Then I understand why…
I turn my attention to the front of the room where the melodic tones of her voice emanate. Holy fuck! She is… stunning. I’ve never seen a human being as perfect in their beauty. I’ve been around since Eve, and this woman would outshine the mother of all mankind a thousand times over. Botticelli’s Venus couldn’t hold a candle to her. Aphrodite, herself, would pale in comparison to the exquisite beauty standing before me.
There is something… different about this woman.
I feel like a boulder has just smashed straight into my chest.
What the hell was that?
And why is she staring at me?
“I am the deadliest of sins… but you know me as Lust.”
Estranged from The Cardinal Brotherhood, Lux has been roaming the Earth for a thousand years, biding his time until he can avenge the murder of his mate. Once upon a time, he was Lucifer’s second in command, and the most revered warrior of the Underworld. Presumed dead, he’s been lying in wait, readying himself for revenge.
Passing the time with humans has gotten old - seduction has become too easy in the twenty-first century. Lux believed there was no challenge left in this world… until the moment he set eyes on Sirena Sovende.
“She sees me for who I really am, like no being before her ever has.”
An anthropology professor, Sirena is convinced that there is no higher power, destiny, or fate in this life. However, she’s never found an understanding of her own wants and desires. The day she crosses paths with Luxure Zonder, her carefully constructed world begins to crumble, uncovering earth-shattering revelations that could threaten not only her life, but the very foundation of mankind.
As the reality of her existence unfolds, Lux begins to question everything he’s ever known. Now, he must make the decision to reunite The Cardinal Brotherhood, and enlist their help to save Sirena from falling into the clutches of those who would harm her, and risk throwing the Underworld, the Heavens, and everything in between into chaos.
Lux marks the beginning of an incredible journey of humanity, spirituality, and romance. The Cardinal Brotherhood is a paranormal powerhouse series. It will keep you on the edge of your seat, and desperate for more.
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Sienna is a native Scot, but lives in Texas with her husband, two kids, and a whizzy little fur baby with the most ridiculous ears. She first fell in love with British Literature while majoring in Linguistics, 17th Century Poetry, and Shakespeare at University. She is an avid reader and lifelong notebook hoarder. In 2014 she finally put her extensive collection to good use and started writing her first novel. Sienna recently became a writer at Prism Heart Press, and is currently writing some exciting new projects.
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