Azazeal smiled contentedly and allowed his gaze to travel languidly over the length of the delectable woman lying at his side. His hand of its own accord lifted and traced over her hip, causing her to stir and turn onto her front. His smile broadened and he lay back against the pillows tucking an arm behind his head.

They were all so lovely, each one of them different in so many ways and he could recall each of them with perfect clarity. This one had the most amazing hair, a deep russet red that cascaded down her back to her waist; it was the first thing he'd noticed about her. It seemed designed to tempt his fingers to run through it and then keep them there, tangling around the fingers, soft and thick and strong; not that he'd had any desire to escape its clutches. He knew that the men in the club would have given her the once over and then moved on as she was no great beauty on first inspection. That just proved to Azazeal that men were invariably stupid, unable to see past the end of their own noses. He had noticed her hair and then taken the time to see the intelligence and humour shining out from the somewhat narrow hooded eyes, the air of mischief in the slight crooked smile on her full mouth and had been shocked once again by how quickly a girl who at first glance might seem plain became a goddess if you truly looked at her.

He had taken great pleasure in the slow seduction of this one. She was sweetly shy but possessed of a truly devastating wit that pleased him no end. He had revelled in her keen humour and desire to please him and she in turn had seemed to blossom under his scrutiny and attention. By the time they left that evening Azazeal wasn't surprised to notice that he was now the object of envious glances by all the idiots who hadn't bothered to give her a second glance earlier in the evening. His lady however didn't notice and he rather suspected that she wouldn't have cared anyway.

The ardour with which she responded to him in his bed should not have surprised him after the passion he had seen in their conversations earlier but he had been delighted when she met him with the same intensity he felt; an equal partner in all their interactions this evening. He had made love to her with his whole heart and soul, unable to hold anything back. It was always this way, he reflected; while he often had ulterior motives for an initial seduction he always fell in love, as though once started on a path he found he could not deviate. Azazeal had often pondered just how he could fall in love so quickly and so often and not become jaded and tired. How many times had he been disappointed and how many had he wounded and broken? Often he had tried to resist the allure of these human women, they were so frail and so weak, apt to become hysterical at the slightest provocation. But always there was another to tempt him with her beautiful eyes, or perfect lips or lithe legs.

In some ways it was no surprise; a fallen angel he might be and his true appearance still reflected his state of disgrace but nevertheless an angel he would always be. The bible stated quite clearly that God had made man in His own image and while that may be so, man had not been the first of His creations. The hosts of Heaven, He had created to adore and worship Him, and they all had their own places, their own specific tasks; but one thing they all had in common. When God created the angels they may not have been given His physical image but He had put a little of Himself into each and every one of them. Angels were not just made to love they were love. The task of the Nephilim may have been to watch but their motivation for doing so was overwhelming love and concern for those they watched over. So really was it any surprise that they had crossed the line from concerned observers literally filled with love for their charges to physical lovers of them? And once that step was taken how then could they deny their loves the knowledge of which they were possessed? This was the crime for which they had been exiled however, for acting according to their nature and it still rankled. Azazeal had long suspected that his own reaction to being outcast was also to be expected and equally a part of his angelic nature. God Himself was prone to vengeance, jealousy and rage; one only had to take a quick flick through the Old Testament to see abundant evidence of that.

Azazeal had taken a good measure of inspiration for his own plan from His example, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Vengeance. Retribution. He had been so full of rage in the early days that the idea of destroying this world that had been so lovingly created and which had caused so much trouble had seemed perfectly right and just. Since then Azazeal had plotted and planned and acted with that one aim in mind, to free his brethren and bring about the destruction of those who were responsible for his downfall. As the centuries had passed the sense of urgency had lessened but not the sense of injustice that demanded action. Several times he had been close to success only to be thwarted at the last moment and each time the pain seemed unbearable. His mind drifted back over each of the women he had loved and lost, tears trickling unheeded from his eyes.

The woman lying beside him stirred and sighed again in her sleep, dragging Azazeal's mind away from the past and back to the present and the future. After the mistakes of the past, Azazeal had spent much longer preparing the way for his next opportunity. This time he had been careful and he would allow no one to interfere, he had carefully selected the women involved and followed them every step of the way, mother to daughter down the line. This time he would be successful.

Smiling to himself he reached out for the woman next to him, trailing soft kisses from her shoulder to her neck, waking her gently. This particular woman may have no part in his overall plan, but she was here now, happy to be with him and the passion he could share with her would wipe all thoughts of long past lovers and those yet to be from his mind. For now, at least for a short time, he was content to love and be loved, content to revel in the pure pleasure he could experience and let the future take care of itself for a little while.