For Nanowrimo 2010, I wrote a paranormal romance between an angel and a demon set during the 2012 Apocalypse.  The following excerpt is from the prologue to the section titled Death.

Venice – 1502

She stretched as she made her way slowly to the window, the low-cut dress that was a part of her trade barely staying up as she leaned on the sill and looked down towards the canal. The building she worked in was surrounded by several others that were much larger than their own, so when she looked out the window, all she could see were the other tenants through their windows. She had learned some interesting things about her neighbors that way, and interesting facts to pass on to people who could actually use them. Consequently, she had to look towards the canals to gather the time of day, and currently the water was tinted a dull orange-red from the sunset, and it was the first of the month, which meant that her visitor would be calling soon.

“Claudia! Claudia!” one of the other girls called from the hallway as if on cue, and she turned from the window and swiftly made her way to the hallway. The girl was wearing a dress almost identical to hers, only hers was a pale green, and she was out of breath from running up the stairs. “The matron wants to see you downstairs. The Councilor’s here.” As if she would have been called down for any other reason. She quickly made her way downstairs, but was accosted at the bottom of the stairs by the matron who roughly grabbed her arms and pulled her aside.

“I don’t know what you to do to keep the Councilor coming back, but you better make sure he’s well satisfied,” she hissed in her ear as she led her slowly towards the foyer.

“Your other customers had started to complain that you don’t give them their full attention, and if you lose his patronage as well, you’re out of here,” she finished with an angry hiss as she pushed her ahead of her into the foyer. It wasn’t much of a concern since she knew exactly who she was looking for anyway.

“Councilor,” she said with an open smile, making her way directly towards the distinguished looking gentlemen hiding in the corner and doing his best not to look at the other girls who were trying to garner his attention. “So good to see you again,” she cooed as she wrapped her arm through his and started leading him away and back upstairs to her room. There was no need to keep him waiting, after all, and the other girls had a tendency to make him a little uncomfortable. He remained silent until they had made it back to her room and the door was shut firmly behind them.

“What news do you have for me this time?” he asked, sitting down gingerly on the chair as if he had assumed it to be the safest place in the room. She grinned as she plopped down on the bed.

“Oh, I have lots of news. Councilor Giovanni has been funding smugglers and he thinks no one suspects a thing.” It was amazing the things the politicians would talk about once their pants were down. “Speaking of no one suspecting a thing,” she started, clapping her hands together, “wasn’t this the perfect arrangement? No one suspects a Councilor regularly visiting a brothel.”

“Stroke of genius,” he said, waving his hand dismissively, and she scowled at him. “Can we just get on with the news?”

“What news? Like the news of what I’ve been up to in that chair you’re sitting in?”She almost laughed at the speed with which he shot up from the chair. Almost, except something far more pressing had just caught her attention, like the sound of several men stomping up the stairs at once. One of the benefits of being close to the stairs was being able to hear something like that. Thinking quickly, she wrapped her arms around the Councilor’s neck and kissed him, hard, figuring once he figured out that she had saved his life, he would forgive her.

She acted just in time, too, for a second later, her door was kicked in by a very angry looking guard. “Excuse me, but the Councilor and I are busy,” she said, keeping her body close to him and not removing her arms from his neck. If anything, instinct from the host body told her to move closer, since no other rooms were being targeted, and their swords were very definitely drawn. They weren’t even human, not anymore. The entire group had been possessed by lesser demons.

“Don’t try to fool us, whore,” the captain said, moving slowly in the room and together, she and the Councilor inched towards the window. “We know that the Councilor has been playing host to an angel, and we’re here to get rid of him.”

“Run!” she ordered, toppling the Councilor out the window before he had a chance to protest. As long as there were no gondola’s about, he would land safely in the canal and would survive at least a little bit longer. She picked up her metal fan from beside the bedside table and, and when the demons took their momentary shock to run fully inside the room, used her power to close the door behind them and seal it permanently. Or at least as long as that body played host. Now if they wanted to kill the Councilor, they would have to get through her to go out the window, and she held the fan up defensively and dared them to try to come closer.

Dare they did, and though she put up the best fight she could, there were five of them, and the only defense she had was her fan. While she permanently disabled two of the hosts, the captain eventually managed to stab her in the gut with a poisoned dagger. As she fell to her knees, the door unsealed, and the three remaining demons surged back out in search of their real quarry. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the skeletal form of Death waiting for her, and she could no longer remain on her knees, toppling to her side as her vision went hazy and her breathing labored.

That was when he remembered that being murdered generally hurt, and he carefully extracted himself from what remained of the host’s consciousness while she wondered if had really been worth it. He glanced briefly at Death as equals in his own true form, and Death nodded briefly at him before swooping in to claim Claudia.


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