When danger strikes at the heart of the angelsâ inner circle, Jude discovers he is faced with a task far greater than he has ever known. The light must be protected at all costs, in all of its forms. The ultimate evil has a plan, and with the most innocent among them at stake, Jude knows heâll finally have to face his sins and meet the pain in his soul dead on. Corianderâs touch is the only thing that soothes, but is it enough to make him whole? Can she help him work through the pain long enough to remember his faith, or will he be foreverâ¦fallen?
âI was a fool. A stupid, arrogant fool. I went against the will of God, Persephone. The will of God!â Sobs wracked his frame. âAnd we all paid the price for my arrogance. Domniel was right. I listen to the wrong people.â
âOh, Lucius. I'm so sorry.â She buried her face in his chest and held him to her so hard he thought her arms would break. He felt her lips place soft kisses over his skin, and she worked her way up to his face, cooing and shushing him. He sniffed hard and looked down at her in the darkness. Her face was soft and sad and those rich amber eyes were full of tenderness. âIt's okay,â she whispered.
He pushed her back and frowned. âOkay?â he rumbled. âHow can it be okay? I decimated them,â he ground out. âInnocent, beautiful people. Women and children, Persephone. And their blood is on my hands!â He thrust them at her. âThese hands! The ones I touch you with! How can that ever be okay?â How could she not see? How could she not understand?
Persephone took his hands in hers and brought them to her mouth, placing tender kisses over their entwined fingers. âYou can't change what happened in the past, Lucius. What's done is done. You have to accept it and move on. Don't let it define you.â
He flew off the bed and stalked across the room, running his hands through his hair. âYou don't understand, Persephone.â
She frowned back at him. âI understand that you did a terrible thing. I understand that you put your trust where you shouldn't and got a little full of yourself. And I understand the guilt is eating you alive. But it doesn't change the man you are. And it doesn't change the fact that you serve Him now. At some point, you have to stop and realize that it's getting you nowhere. You have to accept it or it will haunt you forever.â
His heart sank at her words. âIt's supposed to,â he said with quiet resignation. âI can't rest because I can't ever make it right.â
She got off the bed and stood in front of him. âDo you really think that's what He intends? To punish you forever? What about repentance? Forgiveness? Or do those only apply to everyone else but you?â she challenged.
âI'm not going to assume, Seph. That ended badly for me the last time.â