Hi! *waves* Thank you, Addison, for allowing me back on the blog again. Did you know that World Nutella Day is in February? Now you do! And to celebrate, I wrote a story called The Devil Will Care.
It’s not about the actual devil, but a red-skinned, horn-wearing, tail-waving, eight-foot-tall alien. Hey, don’t judge! As an author, you have to amuse yourself when you can 😆
So we have a devil-lookalike alien, a life stealer, which is a human with the ability to siphon the life force from other people, and Nutella. Add to the mix that they’re in prison, an intergalactic prison inside of Nix, which is a moon.
Despite all the aliens, intergalactic, moons, and stuff, this isn’t a very sci-fi-y story. It has all the components of a paranormal romance. Khaal, our devil, was a space pirate captain before he ended up in prison. Now he only has two of his crewmates left, and they’re planning an escape. But to escape they need a ship. And how do you get hold of a ship when you’re in a prison?
Azrail is a life stealer, and he’s in prison because he stole a life. He arrived eight months prior to when we enter the story, and so far, he’s managed not to call any attention to himself. He shares a cell with Dot, a witch who came on the same flight as he did.
Everything is fine until Dot sees that there is Nutella in the food delivery to the guards, and she talks Azrail into breaking into the pantry. While they’re there, they come face to face with a devil.
From there, things escalate.
They get away with a jar of Nutella, but they’ve made mortal enemies of the devils… at least it looks like it until Khaal steps into Azrail’s cell and realizes Azrail is his mate. The problem is that Azrail is human, or close to at least, and we don’t have fated mates, do we?
There are some benefits to having a mean-looking devil claiming you’re his and threatening to kill anyone who looks at you wrong, especially when you’re in prison. And it’s not that Azrail dislikes Khaal once they’ve gotten past the mortal enemies stage, but liking someone and promising forever are two different things. Though, if you add Nutella to the mix, it can be a pretty sweet deal 😁
As you might have guessed, this isn’t the most serious of stories. When I got the edits back from my editor, she said she’d been laughing several times while working on it, which I take as good praise. Devils and Nutella shouldn’t be too serious, I don’t think.
So if you’re in the mood for sticky-sweet (I’m talking about the Nutella, sticky-sweet love stories aren’t my thing) devils with excellent tail control, and a prison break, give it a go! 😂
The Devil Will Care
What would you do if the devil claimed you were his destined mate?
Khaal Lupehell isn’t really the devil, but he’s a red-skinned, horn-wearing, tail-waving, eight feet tall alien who claims Azrail Crow is his mate. For eight months, Azrail has been in an intergalactic prison, and for the most part, he’s managed to keep his head down and melt into the interior. That all changes when he runs into Khaal.
Khaal has to get out of prison. He’d planned to escape even before he met Azrail, but now he has to find a way out. He can’t live with his mate in a prison cell. It’s out of the question. So he’ll steal a ship, take Azrail, and they’ll run for their lives. It’ll work out fine. Hopefully.
Azrail has read stories about destined mates, but surely it can’t apply to him. He’s human, and humans don’t have mates. But when Khaal talks about escaping, Azrail wants to come with him. Being mated to the devil can’t be worse than being locked up in prison, can it?
Something wrapped around his middle and a sound of surprise escaped him. As he tried to free himself, he noted the red skin. The devil. He stilled. It was a tail wrapped around him. Turning his head, he looked at one of them and frowned. “Captain?” He believed it was the leader. There was one other standing behind him. “It’s impolite to cut the line.”
“I didn’t get in front of you.”
No, he hadn’t. “Could you let go?” He tapped the tail with his forefinger. It was warm, and while it was red, it had the same texture as skin. Maybe a bit more of a velvety feel. He carefully moved his finger half an inch or so, noting how Khaal shuddered, and removed his hand. Yes, more velvety than human skin.
“No.” The tail curled tighter, pulling Azrail against Khaal’s front. Damn, he was warm. If he didn’t fear that this would end badly, he’d have leaned into him to soak up the heat.
“Seriously, Khaal. I don’t want to get in trouble, and the no-touch rule in the showers is pretty clear.”
The squid turned their way and Khaal’s tail slid down his body before letting go. Azrail refused to let it affect him, but he hadn’t touched anyone but Dot for eight months, not for more than a push or shove at least.
Khaal crouched to speak close to his ear. Damn, he was big. “The peace gift. We want more.”
Azrail huffed. Dot had been right. It had been stupid to give them a jar. “No can do, man.”
The creature in front of Azrail moved, and he found himself first in line.
“What do you mean?”
Azrail kept his focus on the squid overseeing the showers. “I can’t get you more.”
“You and the painted female get that for your meals?”
Shaking his head, Azrail glanced at him over his shoulder. “No. The guards eat it.” He lowered his voice more. “We stole it.”
The other devil grunted, and Azrail had the feeling he was the one who’d been in the storage room.
“From the guards?”
“From the storage. But there isn’t much; not meant for us.”
The squid motioned for him to walk into the changing room where he quickly shed his clothes. He wished he could hide the tattoos covering his body. He had no idea what had driven him to cover his skin in devils, demons, and pentagrams. He had started getting them when he still was a teen and shouldn’t have been allowed to be tattooed at all, but they had always called to him. Something deep inside drew him to the devils. And he loved them, but not in the presence of an actual devil. It made him appear like a fanboy.
Before Khaal was let into the changing area, Azrail walked in under the spray of one of the showers. The water was still warm, and he groaned.
The moment he reached for the soap, a red tail brushed against his ass. “Hey!” He smacked it away and glanced toward the squid, who was watching the line. “They shouldn’t have them on shower duty.”
Khaal raised a hairless eyebrow. It looked like he had eyebrows, but there was no hair. Azrail allowed his gaze a quick once-over. No hair. Anywhere. Other than his head. There he had long black hair reaching down between his shoulder blades.
Azrail tilted his face toward the ceiling and scrubbed his skin until suds covered most of it. He would not be ogling the devil next door, no matter how much he wanted to. Once the shock of the red skin had dulled, it was easy to get lost in the ridges of muscles and the smoothness of his skin. Heat washed over him and Azrail cursed his deprived mind. They were in the prison showers, for fuck’s sake.
Normally, he would have lingered, but today he washed off quickly and walked over to the shaving and cutting area. There were a few species who had hair, and while the area was heavily guarded and only one person was let in at a time, they had use of razors and scissors. There was even a mirror. Azrail might not have the trendiest haircut, but he was improving his DIY trimming skills. Today, he ignored his hair but shaved his face.
When he exited the room, Khaal was next in line. “You have nothing to shave.”
“I wanted to watch you.”
Azrail had no idea how to reply, so he walked toward his clothes.
“Come by our cell when we’re let out.” It wasn’t a request.
“Sorry, dude. Dot and I are having sundaes in the sun.” He pulled on his shirt and hurried toward the exit. Before he could leave, the other devil—what had he called him? Chavir?—was blocking his escape.
Azrail glared at him. “What?”
“The captain told you to come.”
“The captain can go fuck himself.” The squid watching the line outside caught Azrail’s eyes and he saw his chance to escape.
About Holly Day
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.