Website of K.J. Bryen          

                     (Also Kelsey Warren-Bryant)

PROLOGUE


Thomas Jackson hung the phone silently on the receiver, his heart pounding like a drum in his chest. He was shaking. The news he received filled his body with dread, the shock spreading along his insides in a slow, creeping trickle. He wanted to move, but his feet seemed stuck to the hardwood.


His phone began to ring again, sending a loud noise throughout the house. He feared answering it . . . but it could be him.


He pressed the green, flashing button.


". . . Hello?"


"Thomas," a voice said. It was Sophia from church. She was old, and her words came out in sputters. "Have you checked on him?"


". . . What?" His mind was too fuzzy to process her question.


"I know this news is awful, but you need to check on your friend. Now."


"His feet began to tingle. "You're right . . . I'm sorry. I-I'm heading there now."


Tom hung up the phone and forced himself forward, his shoes clunking loudly as he exited the house. Darkness shrouded the city street. His weak legs formed long, earnest strides across the concrete as buildings zoomed past in a blurry whirl, the night air blowing drops of water on his flushed face. Streetlamps illuminated the sidewalk, flashing him with sudden jolts of yellow light beneath the clouded sky.

Why had he hesitated before? He had to get there soon; his friend needed him. He pressed even harder against his sore limbs, the world seeming to dissolve around him.


It felt like ages before he finally turned on that familiar street. The tiny white house loomed ahead, its red door slightly ajar. He leapt on the concrete steps and past the front yard where the grass was beginning to turn a murky brown. He barreled inside.

The house was dark, with a few pieces of furniture flipped over, and broken glass scattering the tan carpet.


"Hello?! It's me, Tom. Are you there? HELLO?!"


Silence. A sudden crack of thunder boomed, and lightning flashed outside the dim windows. Steady drops of rain pelted the roof.


His chest still heaving, he bent down and grabbed a broken frame lying on the floor. He stared at the picture with a heavy heart.


"Lord," he whispered, another strike of thunder sounding out behind him. "Only you can help him now. Please help him."


Outside, beyond his scope of hearing, a woman began to laugh, her high-pitched cackle resounding into the night sky.


LOKTE


Logan Lokte has a job to do. He must get Marianne Garcia to sign a contract with the devil. And he is on a schedule.

As time ticks away, Logan begins to develop feelings for Marianne. But Lucifer is watching . . . and getting impatient. Lucifer threatens that if Logan doesn't get the job done, both he and Marianne will die. Logan must decide whether to save Marianne's soul and incur Lucifer's wrath, or lead the woman he loves into damnation.

The decision he makes has horrifying consequences, altering the courses of their lives forever.


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