The fallen have trespassed into Heaven for the first time in eternity. Prepared for battle, Michaela and her Archangels open Heaven’s gates to confront the fallen. Only, Michaela’s Archangels—her brothers and sisters in Heaven—betray her. And when the fallen attack the sanctuary in the skies through the gates Michaela inadvertently left open, the holy angels accuse Michaela of planning the invasion.One simple mistake with a thousand consequences.Dragged to Earth by an Archangel turned fallen, Michaela will do anything to return to Heaven and save it. In her fervor, she kills the Archangel—something no angel has ever done before. Wingless, without any hope, Michaela welcomes death when an unlikely human ally, Clark, finds her. With the help of Clark and Gabriel, an innocent Archangel whose friendship deepens into something far more torrid and unexpected on Earth, Michaela must prove the holy angels have their own plan for Heaven, and it is one that may prove to be the End of the Days.It may be too late to save herself, but Michaela is the only one who knows the truth about the holy angels. If she fails, she may never be able to return to Heaven. But even that may be a hopeless dream.
“Do you remember the day you cast me out of Heaven? I do. I’ll never forget. It’s not the fall to earth that haunts my dreams. No, it’s the moment you held me over the edge of Heaven. Do you remember? You had my wings in both hands like this.” Lucifer picked up her wings, one in each hand. She cried out. The bones of her wings went deep into her back, grinding and scraping together as Lucifer adjusted his grip.
“I dangled over the edge, half in Heaven, half in space. You stood above me, like this.” He eased her forward until all she saw was her reflection in the stream.
There was a stranger staring back, blinking dull eyes at her.
“And then you placed your foot in the center of my back.” He pulled her wings tight as he put his booted foot on the most broken part of her. Her body bowed, and her head lolled back to once again stare at the missing sky. The pain exploded in her bones, searing her insides raw until she was freezing cold. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut and bit her lip to keep the screams inside. She couldn’t stop the tears that leaked through or stop her mind from begging for Gabriel. In the most painful moment of her life, all she wanted was him, and it made the pain even harder to endure.
“You whispered something to me. Do you remember what you said, Michaela?” He leaned so her ear grazed his mouth. “You said, ‘you will never belong.’ And then my body split in half as you tore my wings from my back. Half of me went over the edge of Heaven, and my better half, my wings, stayed in your hands. I didn’t understand what you meant at first. Then I realized. Our wings are our only connection to our fellow angels, to Heaven. Without them, I couldn’t sense anyone. It was a permanent telepathic block. I was completely alone, which I guess I’d asked for when I decided to leave Heaven forever. But you know the worst part—the part that will be torture for you? Everything you were will be gone. Who are you without your Archangels? Without your role as General? Without your precious Gabriel? They’re allgone.”
He licked her ear, his breath heavy on her face. She closed her eyes and waited. “Gabe,” she whispered, but Lucifer didn’t hear. Inside her, Gabriel’s awareness flashed like a strobe light. He was coming, but it would be too late.
“I can’t tell you how much pleasure it gives me to bring you down to my level. We’ll have matching scars. You will forever be broken—just like me. Forever cast out. Never able to return home. That will haunt you, eat at you.”
His grip tightened around her wings as he repositioned his leg against her back. Her eyes reared open. The scream, a gasping sob of a sound, finally escaped her mouth. Michaela wished she could take her punishment in wretched silence, endure it, suffer through it, but she couldn’t. Her hands flailed in front of her, clawing the air. Her struggling only wrenched her wings in Lucifer’s grip more.
“Please!” she screamed, begging. “Don’t do this. Please…” Her voice broke, her throat sticking around the mucus of her tears. She closed her eyes. “Oh, God. Please don’t do this.”
“Everything you once were is no more. Everything you can be isn’t much. Michaela, you will never,” he bent one final time and whispered in her ear, “ever belong.”
Meg Collett lives deep in the hills of Tennessee where there the cell phone service is a blessing and internet is a myth of epic proportions. She is the mother of one giant horse named Elle and one giant dog named Wylla. Her husband is a saint for putting up with her ragtag life. End of Days is her first series, and trust her when she tells you that she hopes you enjoy it, because it has been a big pain in her #%&. Just kidding. Sort of.