Hello everybody! Because I have a lot on my plate, I'm going to find a balance between posting on a rigid schedule and flying by the seat of my pants. Rest assured, I always finish what I start. By the way, Malicious Compliance updated Monday ;)

We're four years from the end of Devil Incarnate. In case you need a reminder, Layla and Quinn married and had a baby, Aerinn. Is there an award of some kind for using every single name in canon Twilight? Or maybe for creating the most original characters because you killed off the rest? Maybe just wine and cookies, which you can find in the Angst Freakout Room on FB.

Pacing behind the man bound to the exposed pipe, Bella focused on her surroundings. Water dripped in the distance, the plop plop plop echoing throughout the vacant warehouse. Air whistled in and out of his lungs, laboring under the stress of his wounds. Her own heart roared in her ears, nearly drowning out all of the above. Darkness surrounded her, and if not for her infrared goggles, she'd be blind.

The sound of her boots on the concrete was muted by the thick leather soles, but every once in a while she kicked a miniscule pebble that went skittering across the floor. Here and there, a few puddles made for a sploshing sound as she walked.

Thinking on the fly, she began speaking. "Once upon a time."

In the relative silence, her voice boomed harshly loud.

"I made a deal with the devil. Taking him to my bed, welcoming him between my thighs."

The man snorted, but she ignored him.

"The devil's spawn were bred within me, nurtured in my womb, and the angels themselves trembled at their births."

His voice was gruff and weak. "The fuck is your point?"

Instead of answering, she continued her story. "The devil doesn't extend his protection to just anyone, but for those he does, he absorbs their sins as his own."

Glancing at her watch, she determined how much time she had left.

"We've all got a limited amount of time on this earth. Yours less than mine."

"Go fuck yourself," he spit.

"Now that's where you're wrong. The devil demands his due, and he never fails to satisfy me."

"Whore bitch!"

A bead of sweat trickled down the back of her neck, but she put it out of her mind. "If you think fucking my husband makes me a whore, I feel sorry for you. If you've never had that pleasure, never had someone you could give yourself to completely . . . Ah, but you've already condemned yourself, so it's too late to find out."

Time's almost up. Breathing in deeply, Bella let the air out in a thin stream between her lips.

"When the devil's time on this earth is done and he returns to the pits of hell, taking us with him, another will rise and take his place. You won't get the chance to meet his successor. Your sins are too many, too great, too goddamn hideous. Your time is up.

"Because the devil is here with us, and your life is the payment he demands."

Finally, he'd come for her. Backing up, she bumped into the solidity as familiar as the heart beating in her chest.

Thank God, he had a suppressor. Thank fucking God he'd finally made it, killing her enemy and saving her as he'd done time and again. Left without munitions, she'd been forced to stall. Only pure luck had given her the chance to tie him in place. If he'd not been injured in the fight, he would have easily overpowered her.

After everything they'd been through, she should have felt relieved.

She tried to stop it, to keep it buried deep, but the blood curdling scream would not be quelled, ripping up from a throat strangled with clutching terror.

I didn't plan on starting this out with a short prologue, but the creative part of my brain doesn't care what the logical part thinks. At least it isn't as much of a cliffhanger as the one in DI. See you soon with chapter 1!

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of S. Meyer. The original plot is the only thing that belongs to me. No copyright infringement is intended.

Credit goes to my ladies: coppertopj, kimmie50, NKubie, and Pearlyfox.

The link to my facebook group is on my profile, and my blog is MeteorOnAMoonlessNight. blogspot. com