Jegudiel (Deadly Virtues #2) -Tillie Cole Page 0,2

done something irreparable to Diel. For years the Fallen had evaded the Brethren, stayed hidden so as not to draw their attention to the boys who had evaded the final exorcisms. Gabriel had made it that way, made them ghosts to anyone outside of Eden Manor, for their own protection. But Gabe wasn’t like Diel or his brothers. His blood didn’t sing to exact revenge on the men that had tortured them. He didn’t yearn to kill every single one of the secret sect until none of them remained. Until nothing was left of them but bloodstains and bones.

It was all Diel thought of. Day and night. Every minute of every day. It was his obsession.

Sela nodded, then, with his paper in hand, approached the bars of the cell. He kneeled down, his dark eyes fixed on Diel, and turned the piece of paper he had been drawing on. Diel’s blue gaze fell on the intricate sketch—every detail was perfect, as if created by Michelangelo himself.

It was the Brethren.

The Brethren dead on the floor, seven cloaked and hooded men around them. The Fallen, looking down on the sect of priests that had plagued them for too many years to count. Diel reached out and ran his fingers over the slain and broken bodies. His skin bumped in excitement. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

“If you think the rest of us don’t think of destroying them too, all the fucking time, you’re dead wrong.” Sela turned the page to face himself and drank in the picture, his cheeks bursting with red. “It’s consuming.” Sela’s brown eyes darkened as something clearly crossed his mind. Diel knew what it would be. His best friend would be thinking of the member of the Brethren that Sela would one day bring down. The one who haunted him the most, the one who’d betrayed him beyond anything the rest of the brothers had experienced. The one who should have protected him, but instead threw him to the wolves.

The sound of footsteps on the stone staircase to the Tomb echoed off the old manor’s walls, ripping the two best friends from their mutual bloodlust. The light in the Tomb was low, but Diel saw Gabriel’s golden hair despite the darkness. It was like a damn halo, bright blond curls that framed his face and fell over his forehead. Gabriel was dressed as always in his priest’s attire, even down to the white dog collar. His blue eyes fell on Diel. Blue eyes that were always haunted, teetering on the brink of showing how badly he was breaking. Sela got to his feet and moved back to his chair, pencil back on the paper once again.

“Diel,” Gabe said, approaching the cell. “You okay?”

“Let me out, Gabe.” Diel got to his feet, wiped his hands on his pajama pants and wrapped his hands around the metal bars of the cage. Gabriel sighed, but, clearly happy that it was Jegudiel he was speaking to and not the monster inside of him, he reached for the key on his waistband and unlocked the door.

As it swung wide and Diel stepped out, Gabriel said, “We’re in the gym.” Diel felt the remnants of last night’s dream clinging to his skin like starving leeches, biting into his tight muscles, refusing to let go. But he nodded and followed Gabriel up the stairs, through the manor and out to the large gym Gabriel had had built in the vast gardens. The frigid air slapped at his skin, a heavy mist hovering over the landscaped grass like a sleeping spirit. The sky was overcast and gray, and drizzling rain sank into Diel’s dark hair with every step. Sela followed, his newest picture tucked into his pocket.

The rest of Diel’s brothers were already in the gym, shirts off, track pants on, and sweat dripping from their skin.

They looked up at the sound of the door being opened. “Here he is.” Bara approached Diel and Sela, his long red hair like a raging flame in the still-dark morning.

Silently, Gabriel moved to the changing room, leaving Diel with the rest of the Fallen. Bara stopped in front of Diel, his skin flushed from exercise and his usual disturbing smirk on his lips. Uriel came beside Bara, resting his arm on his best friend’s shoulder. His heavily tattooed skin was drenched in sweat, and messy blond hair stuck to his damp cheeks.

Diel’s head twitched under their attention, his monster pacing back and forth with excitement