Here’s another sneak peek at book two in the Shadowlands series – this time it’s a short one from Gabe’s POV and is from the second chapter of the book.
When Gabe had first arrived in the Infernal Kingdom, he’d thought there wasn’t a chance in hell—no pun intended—that he’d ever get used to the bitter cold that was a constant fixture in this place. In his mortal life he’d lived for summer—always counting down the days until daylight savings and trips to the beach. But here he was, more than six months after being turned into a lilin, and he felt as though he could barely even remember what the sun looked like.
He kicked at a clump of snow on the ground, feeling nothing but relief as the ice cold chill seeped through his battered high tops to his feet. His thin t-shirt did nothing to shield him from the elements and he was grateful for it. He understood why so many lilin chose to forgo clothing while in the Kingdom—the sensation of the cold seeping through his bare skin into his bones was amazing—but Gabe hadn’t been able to bring himself to let go of this last vestige of humanity just yet. If Nessa asked, it was because it made it easier for him to slip in and out of the human world. But in reality, it made him feel more like his old human self and less like the monster he was becoming.
Slipping through the night time shadows of the Infernal Kingdom’s capital city, Dis, Gabe made his way to a tiny bar hidden down one of the city’s many closes. It was the kind of bar that specialised in discretion. The kind of bar where creatures who might not have been welcome elsewhere were not even remarked upon. The kind of bar where people who shouldn’t be seen together could meet without cause for concern. As long as you had enough coin to pay your tab and leave a generous tip, everything else was irrelevant.
Entering, he made a beeline for the small bar that stood to one side of the room.
‘Anything?’ he asked Hagan, the one-eyed centaur manning the bar.
Hagan just shook his head and poured Gabe his usual without being asked. Yes, Gabe had been here before—many times.
He had originally started coming to this place to meet up with Griffin, but reapers were finding it more and more difficult to get into the Kingdom, let alone it’s capital, so they’d moved their meetings to the human world. That was just as easy for Gabe, even if it did carry the risk of being abducted and incinerated by that Pommy reaper and his sidekick. Since then he’d been coming here for a different reason, although recently that reason seemed to have disappeared.
Dispirited, he took his drink over to a corner table and sat with his back to the wall, his eyes locked on the door—just in case.