Sympathy for the Devil By Ripley Proserpina

I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of my new book, Matched with a Demon. This book, a paranormal romance, is the first in my Demon Matched series.

Matched with a Demon drew on a lot of my favorite things, mythology and history, poetry and mysticism. The research was almost as much fun as writing! June 6th, this story drops, so here, my friends, is a bit of a teaser.

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He advanced on her, the cloud rising and swallowing her. It was alive, and it smothered her. A manifestation of every doubt and fear she ever had, she could hardly breathe beneath it. It whispered to her, you’ll never be anything, you’ll always be alone, no one loves you, you’d be a terrible mother, give up, give in. 

Stubbornly, she pushed through it, knowing Delia was hurting on the other side and she needed her. And the man—fudge, when she got out of here, she was getting his nameneeded her, too.

Like moving uphill through a blizzard, she finally reached the crest of the darkness and collapsed. Kneeling, hands against the cold marble floor, she caught her breath. “Stop,” she panted.

Delia stood, feet planted on the couch, her gaze fixed angrily on her uncle. Before her eyes, an answering cloud rose around the child. Was it possible there was a color blacker than black? If so, Delia created it. Small body vibrating with energy, her hair began to whip around her head.

“Enough!” Lucia yelled. Pushing herself to her feet, she stumbled to Delia, grabbing her. The cloud immediately disappeared and black eyes met hers. “Enough, Delie.” There was a sound like a window shutting out a storm. “Enough,” she repeated. “Both of you.”

Whatever anger held the man up abandoned him. He collapsed, falling onto his butt. His arms hung limply off his knees and he stared at his hands like he’d never seen them before.

“You’re both hurt, you’re both scared. But you have each other, and you have me.” At her pronouncement, the man looked up. “Well, Delie has me. You… Never mind.”

Delia trembled, laying her head on Lucia’s arm. Smoothing the child’s now wild hair, Lucia continued, “You have family. This is your uncle. That’s good, isn’t it? And maybe he has an anger issue, but he certainly seems like he could protect you if needed.”

Lucia could feel his gaze on her, but she refused to glance his way.

“You’re not going to leave me with him?” Delia’s voice trembled, her eyes wide and scared.

“No.”

“Yes,” he answered simultaneously.

Pinning him with a glare, Lucia repeated, “No. I’m not leaving you with Uncle Grumpy-pants.”

Delia giggled. “Maybe he needs an ice cream.”

Lucia continued to watch him, pretending to contemplate her idea. “You might be right. Ice cream helps everything.”

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