Exclusive Excerpt: Cipher - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Larissa Ione comes a new standalone story in her Demonica Underworld series… 

It’s been seven months since Cipher, an Unfallen angel who straddled a razor thin line between good and evil, woke up in hell with a new set of wings, a wicked pair of fangs, and a handler who’s as beautiful as she is dangerous. As a laid-back cyber-specialist who once assisted guardian angels, he’d been in a prime position to earn back his halo. But now, as a True Fallen forced to use his talents for malevolence, he must fight not only his captors and his sexy handler, but the growing corruption inside him…before the friends searching for him become his enemies and he becomes his own worst nightmare.

Lyre is a fallen angel with a heart full of hate. When she’s assigned to ensure that Cipher carries out their boss’s orders, she sees an opportunity to take revenge on those who wronged her. All she has to do is appeal to Cipher’s burgeoning dark side. But the devastatingly handsome fellow True Fallen has other ideas — sexy ideas that threaten to derail all Lyre’s plans and put them in the path of an approaching hell storm.

Danger and desire explode, even as Cipher and Lyre unravel a sinister plot that will fracture the underworld and send shockwaves into Heaven itself…

Book Type:

Paranormal Romance

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Exclusive Excerpt: Cipher
By Larissa Ione

Exclusive Excerpt: Cipher

A fight between good and evil. An unbidden desire between a True Fallen and his handler. Larissa Ione is back with a standalone novella in the Demonica Underworld series. I’m thrilled to share a sneak peek from CIPHER—his sexy paranormal romance out this week!

He looked over at her as she kicked her slender legs up on the bench. Legs he’d been between just an hour ago.

Fucking Flail.

“They don’t back him,” he said. “They just prefer him over Satan.”

She gave a dismissive snort. “Same thing.”

No, it wasn’t. Heaven needed allies like Revenant, but from what he’d heard, the Powers That Be didn’t interfere with his rule. If Revenant wanted to help someone get revenge on an angel, Heaven might be miffed, but ultimately, they needed him.

Okay, maybe they backed him.

Not wanting to admit she was right, he focused again on the code, choosing a random ampersand as his victim. “Altun!”

The code just laughed at him. Well, not literally, but it felt that way.

Sighing, he turned back to Lyre. “So what happens after you get your revenge?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, what do you want to do with your life? Spend it helping Bael torment Azagoth? Spend it preparing for Armageddon?”

She drew her knees up to her chest, her expression troubled. “I hadn’t really thought that far ahead.”

“So you shackled yourself for all eternity to Bael and his empire of evil for the sole purpose of getting revenge and without any thought about what comes after? Seems a little shortsighted.”

She glared, the silver in her eyes glinting like daggers. “Well, hello, did you think about the consequences of ruining a Primori before you did it? Or were you bent on your own self-gratification or self-destructiveness?”

“Touché,” he muttered. “But in my defense, I never said I wasn’t a hypocrite.” That coaxed a smile from her, but it was distant. He’d touched a nerve. Maddox insisted that was the best time to keep pressing for information. Cipher had always found the opposite to be true, but hey, he’d give it another shot. “So, this is off topic, but what did Flail mean when she said you couldn’t set wards?”

“Nothing,” she said with a jerky shrug. “It’s just not my skill set.”

Seemed odd. Wards were the most basic kind of conjuration there were. Sure, he didn’t know how to set one, but that was because he’d only had access to his fallen angel powers for a day. He should have a firm grasp on them within another day or two. Lyre should have obtained the knowledge years ago.

“So how’s your progress?” She jumped to her feet. Clearly, she was ready to talk about something else. “Were you able to delete any of the code?” When he shook his head, she cocked hers and asked, “Can you touch it?”

“I tried earlier. My hand passed through it.” He suddenly remembered how he used to manipulate 3-D programs in Heaven, and an idea came to him. “But maybe I don’t need to touch them.”

His wings quivered as he summoned energy to his fingertips and reached out as if trying to swat at a group of characters. They vibrated, and he held his breath as he tried again, harder this time.

Yes!

Three numbers and a demonic glyph spun away from the main group and hung in the air. Refocusing his objective from manipulating symbols to obliterating them, he pointed at each line of code and watched as they broke apart and dissolved into sparkly glitter.

“I did it!”

Lyre sat up straight. “We have the internet in here now?”

He blasted the last remaining lines of code. “We should.” He turned to his computer and searched for a connection. When the signal lit up, he let out a whoop. “We have active demonweb, baby.”

Excited, hopeful for the first time in months, he went straight for his private inbox. Junk. Junk. More junk.

And an email from Hawk, dated seven months ago.

We’re looking for you.

That was all. Four words. But those four words meant everything.

Another one from Hawk, dated six months ago.

We’re looking for you.

There were more, one each month, ensuring he’d know they hadn’t given up. But it was the most recent one that had his heart pumping a mile a minute.

We found you. Flip the bedora gateway switch.

He grinned like a lunatic. Hawkyn and Journey had hacked into Bael’s private network and given Cipher a way to shut down his security system. Cipher just had to access it.

“Um…Cipher? What’s going on?”

He looked up, alarmed by the urgency in Lyre’s voice. The walls, once opaque, were growing transparent, and suddenly a klaxon rang out.

The code…oh, damn, oh, shit!

“I missed the failsafe.” How could he have been so stupid?

“What?”

His fingers flew over the keyboard. He had to get a message out. Fast. “There was code in the spell that triggers an alarm if the spell is broken.”

The door burst open, and armored guards, their weapons drawn, spilled inside.

He. Was. Fucked.

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