Creatures of Fire
Sariel Baldwin Series
Sariel Baldwin Series
Number of pages: 212
Word Count: 69836
Cover Artist: J.B. Brooklin (Cover copyrights: Ring of Fire © dvarg #34150031 – Fotolia.com, the dancer © Alexander Yakovlev #34413982)
She is a half demon, oblivious to her true nature.
He is a demon set out to avenge murder.
Together they are hunted by the one person she thought she could trust.
Separate they may be able to save each others lives.
“Creatures of Fire” a tale about power, ambition, responsibility and trust.
New York – Paris – Dschinnanya (the world of the demons)
Nobody knows how they come into existence. The Ifrit; also called demons or ghosts of the dead.
Fire is their element.
It is said they appear as a column of smoke where murder has happened.
That may be.
It is certain they move with the silence of smoke.
It is certain that human beings can only see them if the Ifrit allow them to.
It is certain they only appear to avenge murder.
It shouldn’t have happened. It was supposed to be impossible. And still, she had seen him, although he was invisible to the eyes of humans.
“Are you a friend of my uncle?” Her question confirmed his suspicion. With a smile he turned to face her. At the same moment he made sure that the people around them could see him. It would be strange if they noticed her talking to thin air.
“Yes, but I haven’t met him in a long time. Which is probably why you do not know me.” He offered a short bow. “May I introduce myself? My name is Alexander. And you must be his lovely niece, Sariel.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“Enchanté.” He released her hand with an inner curse. He had no idea what had possessed him to give her a kiss on the hand. Hell! These courtesies had been out of fashion for several decades. And why had he responded in French?
“You are French?” He had drawn her interest with his unusual behaviour. It was the first time in years that he had talked to a human being. Clearly he was out of practise.
“I am sorry, but I must beg you to excuse me. I have business to attend to with your uncle.” With this rude remark he turned and vanished into the crowd.
Without paying attention to where he was going he found himself in a room, or rather a sanctuary, which offered respite from the crowded terrace where he had met Sariel.
Sariel. A name out of a fairy tale. And the woman was absolutely... Girl, he corrected himself silently. She was just a girl. Not older than seventeen or eighteen. Whereas he was more than one hundred years old. His interest in her was ridiculous.
With a wry smile he directed his attention to the treasures that surrounded him. The walls were covered with masterpieces. All originals from the greatest painters the world had seen. Here, just to his right, he discovered a Picasso study. Next to it, a Chagall. And there...
“The Tizian!“ He spoke the words aloud in his surprise. Madonna with her child and the holy Lukas and Katharina. It was one of the painter’s few large canvases owned by private collectors.
Against his will he was impressed. Harold Baldwin, the man he had come to kill, obviously had impeccable taste when it came to art. Too bad that he was also an unscrupulous human being who had yet to be punished for his crimes.
He was interesting. Though a bit old-fashioned!
Sariel tried to catch a glimpse of the hastily retreating figure, but failed. This Alexander was the best-looking man she had ever seen. And not only that, he looked exactly like the one; the lover she had always envisioned in her dreams. The man who would sweep her off her feet. Who would make her forget the tragedy and sadness that were her life.
But apparently the one had no interest in her.
“You are just being stupid,” she murmured, careful not to be overheard by the people surrounding her. Not that they seemed to notice. She could have been invisible for all the attention she got. Usually that didn’t bother her. Since her parents had died two years ago she preferred to be left alone. Tonight was no exception...or maybe it was. She would have been glad to talk to this Alexander for a while. He was not only good-looking. Something about him fascinated her, but she couldn’t say what it was. She would have liked to find out what it was about him that gave him this special aura.
One thing was for certain--he didn’t feel the same way about her. And he was older than she was. Somewhere in his mid-twenties.
With a sigh she turned around. She would leave this “party,” as her uncle liked to call it. This social gathering was one of the most sought-after events for the upper class in New York. Or rather the whole of the United States. Politicians, actors, writers, and the wealthy loved to mingle at the yearly gathering her uncle held in his Manhattan penthouse--five floors of the most expensive real estate in the city.
“Wait!” The single word was spoken in a low voice. A male voice. Even before she saw him, Sariel knew that it was him. Alexander. All of a sudden she felt a chill crawl down her spine. It was not an uncomfortable feeling; rather it was one of anticipation. Of...she was being stupid again. That much was for sure!
“I am sorry. It was very rude of me to just leave you like this. Will you forgive me?” Alexander stepped in front of her and smiled apologetically.
“It’s alright...I...Anyway, I was about to leave.” Her stammering voice sounded horrible in her ears and her face felt hot. God, he must think I am an idiot.
“I am sad.” He pressed his hand over his heart as if to keep it from shattering. “I was hoping that you would find the time to show me around. Talk to me...and make this evening more pleasant.”
“No! It...I must leave. Right away.” And with that she left, confused and, at the same time, mad at herself for not staying. For not being brave enough to talk to him; flirt with him. Whatever it was that a woman did when she was attracted to a man.
She was running away! From him! With a puzzled expression on his face Alexander watched Sariel as she wove her way through the crowd. He wasn’t used to women turning him down. In fact, it was usually the other way around. As an Ifrit his appearance changed according to the image a human woman would have of the perfect man; the man to whom she would be most attracted. Usually it wasn’t hard for him to use this to his advantage.
But not with her. Apparently his normal charms and demon magic didn’t work on her. With a bemused smile he remembered the past. It had been years since he had last tried to seduce someone of the opposite sex. Obviously he no longer knew how to do that. She is just a girl, he reminded himself again. Good for her that she left. Girls didn’t do affairs. They wanted love. And that was one of the many things he wouldn’t give her. Besides, he had work to do. He came to kill her uncle, not to get Sariel Baldwin into his bed. Hell. She was distracting him. Again. He should be focused on the task at hand, not wondering about the actions of some teenager.
When he exacted revenge he was concentrated, zeroing in on his goal. Not like the confused fool Sariel had made of him.
Harold Baldwin was going to die.
But not tonight. His niece had bought him some time. He would return when...
The thoughts of another being invaded his mind. Black pulsating energy was closing in on him. With a sudden clarity that had evaded him before, Alexander knew that he was trapped. Among the many errors that made up this day he had been careless and arrogant. Too sure that Baldwin would not be prepared.
It was too late to escape now.
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About the Author:
J.B. Brooklin is a German author. Having lived abroad for several years in the US (Oregon, California, Florida, New Jersey), Spain and the Seychelles the writer recently returned to her home country and started writing mystery and fantasy novels.
When she is not writing, her husband, twins and her cat are keeping her busy.