Happy Hump day, everyone!
Today I'm sharing a snippet from my current WIP, book 3 in the Alpha Protectors series.
Max stood in position behind his brothers in arms. Sweat slithered between his shoulder blades, clinging to his flesh for a brief instant before continuing its downward path. A breeze ruffled the feathers on his wings and he wrinkled his nose at the stench of rot and stagnant water. The South Wing always stunk.
Located at the bottom of the Hall of Portals the place resembled an abandoned fort. Aged and decaying, the long corridor with its high roof and thick columns harbored seven arched gates. Each of them was shut with iron wrought bars ever since the incident of the Human-Guardian, Kaila, sneaking through one of them.
Frankly, Max didn’t think it was a bad idea. Those giant entranceways led into equally large rooms, with smaller doors at the back. Therein lay the threat, for they were the portals into the Sin’s lairs: Wrath, Sloth, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Envy and Pride.
From almost the dawn of time, the seven monsters dedicated themselves to toying with every living being, wreaking havoc and despair wherever they went.
It was for that reason, that the Virtues created the Guardians.
Max touched the tattoo on his left arm. He didn’t need to see it to be able to trace the half- moon braided with tree vines and crossed over by a black arrow.
The two words burned in his mind as if affixed there by a hot iron. Defeat Evil. Destroy the Sins and maintain the balance. That was his purpose in life.
A burst of adrenaline rushed through him and he glanced at the door at the back of the room. Carved in stone, the image of a sexless being mocked them, alluring at one angle and defying with its beastly form at another. Above it, written in the ancient language and glittering under the torchlight was the name of one of the worst sins known to mankind: Lust.
Lust was not sex, for that was an integral part of all living creatures, it was a genderless beast which drove people into a state of out of control desire which devoured body, mind, and soul. A person entrapped by lust lost sight of the virtues. They neglected love, hope, courage or honor.
They became empty shells focused on only one thing: mindless coitus.
A bell chimed, followed by a loud crack and the ear-splitting sound of scraping stone. Lust’s door opened, revealing a crisscross of red lights shimmering through a thick mist. A strong gust dried the perspiration on his temple and brought in the smell of charred wood.
Max folded his wings behind his back until his shoulder blades practically touched. He gripped the hilt of his sword, finding comfort in the hard steel against his leather gloves. His eyes
narrowed, focusing on the passage.
It was time. They might never win, but they would die trying.