Rafe's War [Apocalypse Series Book 1]
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by Jade James
Description: The humans thought they had years before the foretold apocalypse would arrive. They were wrong... The angels and chosen humans are to unite, to save the world from endless destruction, resulting in a bonding that will last forever. Archangel Rafe's assignment is twofold; convince Melina to join him eternally, and to protect her against the evil that stalks her. Love was the last thing he was expecting to find. Even with everything she's seen, Melina's not prepared when Rafe saves her. He claims she was destined to be his wife, but Melina can't accept that idea without his love. WARNING: The title contains sexually explicit content and violent themes.
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: March 2007
12 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [97 KB]
Reading time: 58-81 min.
"Jade James has an explosive start to an awesome new series. Rafe's War has the action and sexuality that will have the readers coming back for more. Melina and Rafe's love story is a very beautiful thing in a time when love is most needed to defeat the horrific evil that is surrounding them. Ms. James has a kick butt romance that has all the action and sizzling hot sexuality that anyone could ask for and so much more."--5 Angels & A Recommended Read, Sonya, Fallen Angel Reviews
3 Months Later
Earth wasn't what it used to be. The demons, released from their hellish prison, now roamed freely upon the world, wreaking havoc and spreading destruction. A blanket of depression covered the planet, ensuring certain death to those that did not have faith in the Higher Power above.
Rafe Santos watched silently as he walked the streets, glass crunching under his booted feet, the smell of rotten garbage and burning debris hitting his nostrils. His gut tightened at the unbearable stench. Noxious fumes mingled with the odors of waste, nearly clouding his senses.
His heart broke at the sight of humans walking in dazed, zombie-like oppression, while more bodies lay scattered on the sidewalks. Humans, once so alive, now roamed the earth like the soulless undead.
Rafe glanced at the sky, not surprised to see a colorless space that no longer held the sun, stars, or clouds. The sun hadn't bestowed its bright essence on the planet in over a year. The moon offered the only source of light, shining its brightest in what used to be daylight hours. But the days were shortened to sixteen instead of twenty-four. There were no more seasons. Mankind now lived in a never-ending summer of heat and humidity. Grateful that his skin adapted to whatever climate he entered, Rafe stared at a dazed man, slowly walking by him, sweat pouring down his flesh like buckets of water. And still the man didn't know what awaited him. The humidity here was far more pleasurable than the lake of fire.
The apocalypse was in full force, and evil reined in every corner of the earth. Humans possessed by that evil and marked by the beast wielded authority over other holdouts, promising death to any who refused to take the mark. And still, there were those that preferred death to hell, knowing that taking the mark meant eternal torture of their souls.
Rafe took everything in and wondered why people still doubted the existence of a heaven and hell. Daily battles were waged for the souls of innocents. And still people were blind to the obvious. While demon possession wasn't an easy thing to do when the beasts remained locked in their prison, it was now an uncomplicated task to just leap into the souls of the doubtful.
Rescuing them had to come from both the archangel and the unmarked one. If that chosen one had doubt about who he or she should accept, the demon could then take the advantage and forge its way into the chosen's heart. The demon would feed on that doubt until guilt grew and turned the person's life into such a bleak existence, a soul lost forever.
Since the apocalypse, the Higher Power picked his angels to brave hell on earth to rescue the chosen ones. No one questioned the way God worked. Tonight, Rafe got his assignment. But he also got a surprise, the revelation that he would find his mate on earth.
Rafe didn't know how to feel about that. Angels have always known of their purpose. Their job since creation was to protect the humans, using various powers and strengths God had given them. Rafe excelled at the job and was thoroughly humbled at having such an honorable task placed on his shoulders.
Rafe assumed he was destined to be alone, not because he couldn't find anyone, but more because of choice.
He had fought side by side with some of the best archangels, and even thought he had found love at one point. Emma Sacred was one of the best angelic warriors, one of the reasons why Rafe admired her so much. They got along in battle, and the attraction they experienced encouraged them to seek the next step in their relationship.
Apparently the hand that wielded fate didn't agree. Emma became one of the fallen angels deceived by Damien. Thrown out of heaven for believing in his lies, Emma now roamed the world, causing destruction along with Satan and his minions.
Rafe prided himself on never making mistakes, so Emma's deception caused a deep burning sensation in his gut. Hurt. Disappointment. Loss. Yet, he wasn't surprised by his reaction. He despised nothing more than deception.
Since then, he purposely stayed away from all females, and instead threw himself into every task that came his way. When he did go to battle and needed someone there with him, he always requested a male, deliberately avoiding contact with another woman. Avoiding the possibility of a painful experience, which didn't need repeating. He knew the Higher Power saw right through him. Rafe was grateful that it had never been brought up in conversation. He considered it a blessing that his Lord allowed him this concession for so long.
His mind flitted back to an hour ago when God revealed to him his ultimate destiny.
"Everyone is created for a purpose, Rafe. You have done your job well, but it is time for you to leave heaven and seek your destiny. The past will stay buried. Remember everything happens for a reason. You are to find your wife and convince her to join forces with us against the evil plaguing earth. Her name is Melina Soar and her soul is pure, Rafe, but her life is in danger. Find her and convince her before it is too late."
Rafe walked carefully, aware of the demonic slime clinging onto the brick walls and ground, while his thoughts remained on the conversation he had with his Father at the same time.
Rafe knelt before the Father, showing him the respect due him. Temporarily speechless that he was chosen for this life-altering mission, Rafe quoted the sacred passage that would explain his feelings thoroughly. "Worthy are you, my creator, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created! I will do as you say, Father."
"Look at me, my son," the Lord exclaimed in his thunderous voice. Rafe jerked his head up and beheld the wondrous eyes of his Lord. "You will succeed. It is written in the scriptures that I am coming soon, but it is your job to make sure Satan and his minions do not get to the chosen ones. Deaths and plague surround earth. Stay strong in your faith. You will live amongst the humans, but I will leave the powers bestowed upon you since your creation. You know Melina is yours, so you must never cease guarding her."
Rafe adjusted his long, white coat, hiding the golden sword beneath it as he recalled his Lord's words. Stay strong in your faith. He supposed everyone created by the Lord would have his ultimate belief tested.
Rafe had no doubts. He trusted and believed in him, but he instinctively knew that convincing Melina Soar to do so wasn't going to be easy. And convincing her that they were destined to be together would certainly be more difficult. A test handed to you by the Creator was never an easy one, but always a life changing one.
Living on earth didn't bother him. Rafe knew the apocalypse wasn't going to last forever, which meant the ruined planet would go through a great change, once the destruction was over.
"Oh, God. Someone help me!"
Rafe tensed, his mind shifting into battle mode. Those words--that voice--made him instinctively remove his golden sword and race down the street.
Turning the corner, Rafe saw two demons holding a woman, each of their sharp claws clutching an arm. Rafe's gut clenched at the sight as he silently wondered why she wasn't indoors at this time of the night. He held his sword raised high, ready to swing.
Everyone stilled. The stench of the night weighed as heavy and thick as a sheet of fog. All Rafe could hear were the rapid breaths coming from the woman.
Frightened crystalline blue eyes rounded in shock, staring at him warily. Rafe smiled, already knowing who she was.
God has a way of showing us our paths, he thought. Sometimes placing us right in front of our destinies.
Silence stretched while time stood still, and a visible spark of fire flew between them, igniting a longing in the pit of his stomach. Her eyes rounded in shock, as surprised as he was at the intensity of the energy flowing back and forth between them.
Rafe willed the reaction to disappear. They had plenty of time to get to know each other and the passion that lay beneath. For now, however, he must concentrate on the monsters holding his eternal mate.