I’m here as Holly today! And what I think you should be reading is aliens. My story, The Devil Will Care, was released a few days ago. I wrote it to celebrate World Nutella Day, so I guess I could’ve popped on here to say you should read books with Nutella in them. But how many books do you know of that have Nutella in them?
Maybe there are loads, and I just don’t pay attention. In contrast to my lovely aliens, I’ve never understood the thing with Nutella. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes good, but what do you use it for? If I want to eat chocolate, I buy a bar of chocolate. Sticky things in a jar won’t be my go-to thing when I crave something sweet. Sorry, but it’s impractical.
But, we’re talking aliens, not Nutella. It’s not often I write alien stories, and I might read them more often than I write them, but not by much. I do love a nice alien, I’m just not big on the sci-fi-y parts.
One of my all-time favourite books is Bone Rider by J. Fally. I love the Claimings series by Lyn Gala. If you like dark, check out Where Willows Won’t Grow by Lia Black. Blind Space by Marie Sexton is good, and as insane, as it might sound, I’ve read The Last Pure Human by Twisted Hilarity more than once.
But what I wanted to talk about today is that there isn’t only Nutella in space, in some places you might even find ice cream. Or a burger. More specifically, if you go to the Luna Terminal, you’ll run into Max, and Max has a restaurant selling human food.
If you want to know more about Max and Noir, you should check out It Doesn’t Translate by Ofelia Gränd. And it might just be that Azrail and Khaal from The Devil Will Care will have some ice cream in Max’s diner since they’re planning to escape prison and go to the Lunar Terminal.
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?
Paranormal Gay Romance: 35,225 words
JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/TheDevilWillCare
Steps drew closer, and they turned toward the door. Azrail walked in first, stiff and tired-looking, with his hands in the pockets of the prison suit trousers he wore. Behind him came Dot, all dressed in black, but not in a dress. Khaal narrowed his eyes. He’d never seen her wear anything but a dress. The black pants clung to her, and there were chains and straps. Would the guards allow her chains? She wore an over-sized knitted thing up top. He didn’t know if it was a tunic, a sweater, or a cardigan. It was black with white weird-looking skulls, and it had been ripped in several places, though he suspected she wanted it to look like that.
“Hi.” Azrail stepped into the cell. His lips were a blue shade, and he moved as if he’d hurt his back.
“Are you okay?” Khaal took a step closer, but before he could get close enough to touch, Azrail held up a jar of human food.
“For the stash. It’s not a peace offering, and it’s not to be eaten.”
Khaal took the offered jar. “How did you get it?”
“From a guard, said I needed it because Dot was in shock.”
He looked at Dot. She looked well enough. Without thinking, he curled his tail around Azrail’s arm. “Did the guards get you?” He turned his gaze away from Dot and assessed Azrail. Was it why he was so stiff? Had they hurt him?
“No, we made it back to our cell before they came running, but we have to get out of here. It was too close. If they’d gotten Dot, I’d have… I don’t know what I’d had done, but I think it’s safe to say with the combination of the two of us, no one would’ve survived.”
The combination of the two? They were tiny little humans. Though he’d seen Dot call fire, and Azrail… A shiver went through him. He didn’t know what Azrail had done, but Dot had dropped within a blink of an eye.
“Look, we’re in on the plan. We have to get out of here sooner rather than later, so from now on we work together. Right?” He looked first at Khaal, then at Yilea and Chavir, only to turn back to Khaal again.
“Yes, we work together.”
Azrail turned a little and motioned for Dot to get closer. “So, we’ll be honest?”
Unease curled in Khaal’s gut. Would he say he didn’t want him? That they’d work together to get out but then split up? It wasn’t an option. Azrail needed to be at his side at all times. “Honest.” He nodded, despite not knowing what he was nodding about.
“I don’t know where you come from.”
Yilea shifted her weight. “Dogron, but we’re not going back.”
Longing hit Khaal. Part of him would always want to go home, but it wasn’t an option.
Chavir snorted. “We killed the leader of one of the biggest clans and stole his ship. They’ll kill us if we go back.”
“And it’s too far.” Yilea sighed. “Going back would take too long, and we’d have to have a planned route to stock up and get fuel. We have nothing to trade, so we’ve been taking what we need. It got us here.” She flashed her teeth.
“Pirates.” Dot’s voice was neutral, but he suspected it was an act.
“Yes, pirates.” Khaal flashed fangs. “More out of necessity than desire, but pirates all the same.”
“Aye aye, Captain.” Dot grinned, and Khaal reassessed. Maybe she didn’t mind much.
Azrail broke in. “So, where are you going?”
Khaal looked at Yilea, then Chavir and both shrugged.
Azrail huffed. “I believed you had a plan.”
“We do. We’ve taken over this cell, so we’re right next to the dock. When a ship arrives, we’ll take it and get out of here.”
Azrail’s nod was slow, and if a nod could be, a bit condescending. “And you have a destination in mind? A plan for food, fuel, manpower, and so on?”
“So far, we’ve focused on the first part of the plan.”
The sound coming from Azrail was one he couldn’t describe. It flowed out of him, and it made Khaal shiver and tingle. A couple of seconds later, Dot joined in. Both of them were shaking and water was gathering in their eyes.
“What’s going on?” Chavir rubbed his arms and looked at Khaal.
“I don’t know.”
What had them making more noise? Azrail touched a hand to his forehead, and it looked like he made an effort to quiet the sounds. “Nothing but a little breakdown.” A new wave of sounds spilled out of him, and Dot touched his shoulder. Khaal stared at the hand, the casual touch, and wanted to snarl. He’d been so focused on his reaction to Azrail, he hadn’t considered his and Dot’s relationship.
“Will you stop?” It came out harsher than he’d meant to.
Azrail straightened. “Of course.” The sound died away, and Khaal regretted having interrupted because now Azrail looked angry. Dot quieted too and glared at Khaal. Damn, he didn’t want to catch fire.
“So, to put it plainly. You invited us to share your plan, but you don’t have a plan.”
“We have this cell and—” Khaal held up the jar of human food.
“Yes, a jar of Nutella we gave to you.”
Yilea took a step forward, forcing Khaal to either block her or take a step back. “What do you suggest we do?”