I am excited to welcome author Linda Poitevin, who is celebrating the release of her second Gregori Legacy novel, Sins of the Son. Today, Linda is giving LE an exclusive prequel story to her Gregori series where we see the exchange that put the Archangel Mika’el against One.
When homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis sees a photo of Seth Benjamin on a police bulletin, she knows that Heaven’s plan to halt Armageddon has gone terribly wrong. As the only mortal who knows of Seth’s true nature, only she can save him. Aramael was a hunter of Fallen Angels until a traitor forced him into earthly exile. Now, with no powers and only a faint memory of Alex, his mortal soulmate, he will stop at nothing to redeem himself-even if it means destroying Seth in the name of the Creator…
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of Sins of the Son and the winner will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a fabulous necklace/earring set designed by Cemetery Cat.
An Archangel’s Defiance
Emotions utterly foreign to him clawed at Mika’el’s core as he faced off against his Creator, tearing at the essence of who he was, what he was supposed to be. Across the desk, the silver gaze held his without wavering. She really thought she was doing the right thing. She believed her angels would be better off without their free will, without their ability to love or even know the soulmates that were to have been theirs for eternity.
Or did she?
A shadow flickered across the One’s gaze and Mika’el caught his breath.
If he could find the right words, perhaps she might yet change her mind. If.
“I cannot support this, One.” He cleared the roughness from his throat. “I will not. To take away love and free will from your angels in the name of battle? The very idea goes against everything you stand for. Everything you’ve created.”
“Not in the name of battle, Mika’el, but of compassion. You’ve seen how they suffer, how they hurt.” If his voice had been rough, hers was utterly raw. She moved away from the desk to gaze out the window, shoulders bowed by the weight of the decisions forced on her by the helpmeet who was supposed to have stood by her for eternity. The one angel none had expected to abandon her. Who had shattered not only her but all of Heaven with his desertion.
The angel so powerful that it had taken the combined force of all the Archangels to force him across the barrier between Heaven and the newly created realm of Hell.
Well. All the Archangels that had remained after the Fall.
Mika’el scowled at the One’s back. He hardened himself against the tremor he saw in the hand that held aside the filmy curtain.
“I cannot ask them to continue fighting their own kin,” she murmured. “Husband against wife, mother against son, brother against sister…no being should ever have to make such a choice, especially because of me.”
“Then end it!” he growled. “End the war now and there will be no more suffering.”
“Then let me. If you allow me to draw on your power, One, I can still finish this. With Lucifer gone, the others are certain to lose their taste for this fight.”
Except one, perhaps, but he would deal with him later.
“I can end this battle,” he added.
“But at what cost, Mika’el? Your own life?”
“It would be a small price to pay to rid the universe of the Light-bearer.”
She flinched. “I disagree. It would be an enormous price, and one I am not willing to pay. Not when the agreement I propose can also end this battle.”
He shook out his wings irritably. “Temporarily, perhaps. But it will not hold forever.”
“It’s a beginning.”
Of what? Lasting peace between Heaven and the Fallen? Are you really that naïve?
Only with great effort did he hold back the words…and their accompanying snort. He rolled the shoulder that still hadn’t fully healed from his encounter with Lucifer. Damn it to the newly formed Hell and back. With or without him, the One had made it clear she intended to follow through on the idea of this agreement. He would not—could not—make her handle the negotiations with Lucifer on her own.
“Fine. If I meet with Lucifer to discuss terms, will you, in return, forego the cleanse?”
“Even if the agreement succeeds, Mika’el, the pain will remain. Too much has passed between our sides. Too many lives have been lost, too many wrongs committed. It would be wrong to let those who remained loyal to me continue to suffer the pain of their choices.”
“We’re stronger than you think, One. You created us to be strong. Give us a chance. Give us time to heal.”
“I cannot,” she said again. “In the name of compassion, I must allow my angels this escape.”
“You mean in the name of guilt.”
His Creator’s mouth thinned.With the bitterness of betrayal rising in Mika’el’s throat, however, he refused to give in. She might call it a cleanse, but he knew it for what it was. What it would be. While he couldn’t argue that stripping angels of free will and the memory and knowledge of their soulmates would alleviate the pain of battling their loved ones—or the agony of choosing to do so—it would do more than that. It would strip them of all that made them individual and unique; all that gave them depth and compassion of their own; all that allowed them to be more than the sum of their loyalties.
It would take away memories he was not willing to lose. Not now, not ever.
“This is your final decision?” he asked.
“Then I refuse to participate. I will broker this agreement with Lucifer as you ask,” he said heavily, “but I will do no more than that.”
His Creator went still. Silent. Shock at his insubordination rippled outward from her, tiny pulsing waves that barely disturbed the air but beat at his soul like a bludgeon. He stood firm.
“You defy me,” she said at last. Not a question, but a statement of astonishment. He did not reply. She turned from the window to face him. “Why? Is this about—?”
“No.” He cut her off. He hadn’t heard his soulmate’s name spoken since her departure; better that it remained that way. “This isn’t about anyone; it’s about what’s right. The cleanse is wrong. I will not participate.”
Wounds first inflicted by Lucifer reopened in the One’s silver eyes. Tears gathered there, shining and accusatory. She drew a long, quivering breath. “I never thought to see you abandon me, too, Mika’el.”
“I’m not abandoning you.”
“I cannot allow you to remain if you refuse the cleanse.”
Without the balance his wings provided, he might have fallen to his knees, driven there not by the desire for forgiveness, but by utter disbelief. As it was, he staggered in an effort to remain upright as he gaped at her. “You’re throwing me out?”
Unshed tears glittered in eyes that slowly hardened. The One’s chin lifted. “The choice is yours, Mika’el. Not mine. Refuse the cleanse and you must leave.”
Delivered with harsh finality, the ultimatum hung between them, a gaping hole in the fabric of Heaven itself. It sucked the air from his lungs and coherence from his thoughts. A part of him—an enormous, suddenly terrified part—wanted to capitulate, to give in to the One’s demands. Could not face being apart from her.
But another part, the part that she had only yesterday relied on for counsel, stood tall and unbending. He had been created as a warrior, not an automaton. Had been created to stand up for right, to defend it with his very existence. The need to do so flowed in his blood. Formed part of his essence. Overrode all.
Even if it meant that he stood against his Creator.
“So be it,” he said. “I will complete the agreement and then leave. But know that I do not choose this path, One, and I will never fully accept it. Whether I am by your side or not, whether you wish it or not, I will remain loyal to you.”
Meeting the shock in her eyes, he spread his wings wide in a reminder to them both of who he was. What she had created. He drew himself tall, certain of his truth.
“I am the Archangel Mika’el,” he said. “And I serve you for eternity.”
Meet Linda Poitevin!
Linda Poitevin lives just outside Canada’s capital, Ottawa, with her husband, three daughters, and a varied collection of animals. In her spare time, she gardens (organically), cans and freezes the family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knits (basically), crochets (better), and starts way more projects than she ever finishes. (Fortunately that doesn’t hold true of her books!) She loves spending time with her family, having coffee with friends, walking by the river and watching thunderstorms…in about that order.
Want to purchase Linda’s novel?
Thank you Linda for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Linda is giving away a copy of Sins of the Son (print in US/CA or digital for international) and the winner will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a fabulous necklace/earring set designed by Cemetery Cat. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: What’s your reaction to what One wants to do? Do you think she’s doing the right thing or would you side with Mika’el? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until April 30th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.