“Second Chances: The Do-Over” by SF Benson Chapter Excerpt
Coming later this month (keeping my fingers crossed for March 31st), Falls Creek gets a reverse harem-type story! This is the story of how Colton Najex’s parents—Sybil and Khan—met, and it starts in present day and then ventures back into the eighties!
Want a sneak peek?
This is from the first chapter:
Chapter One Excerpt
Slipping my feet into my red patent-leather stilettos, I’m preparing for another party. Too bad my son was in such a hurry to leave Hell. Colton should have tried harder to have a good time. For Royals, Hell can be a vacation if you apply yourself. Ever since my arrival, it’s been one non-stop celebration with a different soul warming my bed each night. It’s the most fun I’ve had in years. Yes, I realize that coming to the Nether Region wasa punishment. In all honesty, it’s been anything but penance. It should be a sin to have such a good time.
It is a sin!
Well, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m a happy sinner.
I smile at the changeling guards at the front door of the Inner Circle Club. At the moment, they resemble a couple of well-renowned male dancers from the human world. Delicious. They dip their heads as I cross over the threshold. If they read my mind, then I should find them in my room later.
Inside, a techno rhythm and pulsing red lights greet me. Demon after demon flash toothy grins in my direction. I love this place. Here, I’m a queen. Beings bow down to me and not my despicable husband.
Instead of taking part in the numerous sex games offered in the darkened recesses, I let a muscular dark angel sweep me up into his embrace, and our bodies gyrate to the beat. I turn to grind my ass against his swollen crotch when I notice Ashmedai, the King of Hell and my father-in-law, watching us.
“Just the succubus I’m looking for,” he announces as the Dark One steps away from me. “We need to talk, my dear.”
Rolling my eyes, I follow Ashmedai into the VID—the Very Important Demon—room. Deep moaning comes from a corner booth. Shit, it’s the two incubi who have been sexing each other up for two months. Ashmedai clears his throat, and they jump apart.
“I need the room,” the King says flatly. “Take that shit back to your room. If I see it again, I’ll permanently separate you.”
The males zip up their pants and rush from the VID.
Sitting on a cushioned chair in a distant nook, I say, “Was that necessary? They were only doing what comes naturally.”
Ashmedai sits across from me. “There’s nothing natural about incubi into each other. They were created for females.”
“Now, now, Ash. That’s not exactly how you felt with Colton.”
My father-in-law ignored my son’s choices. Ashmedai indulged Colton and allowed him to be human for a month to discover his true self and his life’s purpose. He now lives as an immortal in New York City.
“That’s different,” admits the King of Hell. “I could never refuse my grandson anything. But I didn’t come here to discuss your son.”
I flag down a server carrying a bottle of Devil’s Mark. She hands me the container along with an etched glass tumbler. Pouring myself a generous portion, I nod toward the alcohol. Ashmedai holds up his palm. “What did you come here for, Ash?”
A barely perceptible flinch passed over the King. He was never a big fan of my casualness around him.
“You’re too comfortable here, and that’s a problem, Sybil.”
I take a sip, eyeing Ashmedai over the rim of the glass. “Really? I didn’t know it was possible to overstay a visit to Hell.”
Actually, I’ve been here thirty days past my due date back home, but I’m having fun. Once I return to Falls Creek, I’ll have to give up wearing jeans and skimpy tops. I’ll put my waist-length, black hair upinto my normal severe bun. My husband prefers me in humdrum suits and dresses with sensible shoes and no makeup. Boring!
Ashmedai’s eyes narrow as he crosses an ankle over his knee. “You know what I mean, Sybil. Khan expected you a month ago.”
Khan’s expectations no longer concern me. I toss back the alcohol and wipe a red-tipped finger across my mouth. “He can wait forever. I don’t plan on going back to him.”
My father-in-law tips his head but doesn’t indicate any real surprise at my revelation. “He is your husband, and you have a duty—”
“Don’t talk to me about duty!” I spit back. “Khan doesn’t respect his vows. I’ve decided that I won’t either.” Crossing my legs, I notice Ashmedai’s eyes drifting over my curves. It’s one reason why my husband doesn’t like me in jeans—the attention the garment brings me. Glancing back up at my father-in-law, I say, “Ash, I’ve done some thinking since I’ve been in Hell. I want out. I’m done with Khan, his demands, and his ever-changing stable of females.”
Ashmedai lifts a dark eyebrow. “Are you requesting an absolution? You realize that it must be a mutual decision?”
Tilting my head and pursing my lips, I think about his questions for a moment. “Do you really want an honest answer? Let me ask you something. Do you know that your son only does things that benefit him?”
“How do you mean?”
“Khan doesn’t consider my feelings or needs. I can’t remember the last time we were intimate. Unfortunately, I do recall the moments he spends with his whores. Every single damned night he visits with a different one, leaving our bedroom to fuck someone else. Then he comes back smelling of hot sex. Not even bothering to wash off the stench before slipping between the sheets. Some nights he stays in their wing and doesn’t return till morning. The only thing I’m grateful for is not having to hear their constant moaning.”
Ashmedai shakes his head. “An unfortunate situation. I didn’t know about it, but I want you to think on this.” He strokes his beard. “Granting an absolution is a permanent act. Once done, I won’t reunite you.”
My fury grows, and a crack forms in the glass. I set it on a side table. Last thing I need is to injure myself. “Good. Like I said, I’m done with Khan. Let someone else deal with him. I’m sure he’ll be happy with the Whore-of-the-Day.” My decision is final. I’ve had enough of being my husband’s doormat.
“Not acceptable,” says Ashmedai. “When I joined you, it was for eternity.”
His words infuriate me. “Then un-join us! Our marriage is a farce that I didn’t ask for! If you don’t undo this, I’ll walk away. I’ll live the life I want with or without your permission.”
“Calm down, Sybil.”
“I will not! It’s unfair to ask me to give up living to appease Khan!” I’m tempted to leave the VID, taking as many males as I can drag with me through the front door, and locking myself in a room for perpetuity.
Ashmedai’s dark eyes rake over me. “What if I offered you a deal instead?”
Deals with my father-in-law are always precarious. Usually, they involve great risk to the person accepting the tempting offer. Curiosity, however, begs me to learn more. “What do you have in mind?”
He intertwines his slim, elegant fingers around his knee. “A Do-Over—a resetting, if you will. Thirty days to rediscover each other.”
Interesting, but I need more information before I agree to anything. “What happens if we don’t find each other?”
“You’ll forget one another, and the lives you shared.” He pauses for effect. “Because I love him, Colton will remain untouched and retain his memories of you.”
The possibility of forgetting my son is troubling. Granted, I’ll never win the Mother-of-the-Year award, and I’m pretty sure Colton considers me the worse female ever to give birth. After all, what parent manipulates her son to abduct an innocent female? But in my defense, I only did it out of love.
Khan wanted to rule over his family. That wasn’t what I bargained for, so we only had the one child. I refused to let him dictate how our son should live, but then Khan began tormenting Colton. I had to intervene. Honestly, I thought if Colton found the right female, he’d forget his predilections and settle down. It would have gotten Khan permanently off his back.
With hesitation, I ask, “Will I remember my son?”
“No. You’ll only know him as he is now—a young male married to his soul mate.”
There’s a news flash. I had no idea that Colton found someone. Khan only told me that the perversion he created was in love with a fallen angel. I had hoped I might meet the former Celestial.
“And Khan?” If I have to forget my son, I sure as Hell hope the same fate falls upon my spouse. That male deserves to have all his memories erased.
It’s a tempting solution. A chance to do it all again. Maybe find the right male this time around. “How does it work?”
“I send you back to when the two of you met.”
“Thirty days is too short.” Honestly, it took me much longer to give in to Khan’s pleading. “Give me three months, and we’ll have a deal.”
“That’s unheard of, Sybil.”
“This situation requires time. You weren’t there years ago. Three months passed before I even went on a date with Khan. He pleaded for me to marry him. Ours was not a love match.” That was information I didn’t learn until well after we said the vows. “If you’re expecting us to rekindle emotions, we need the same amount of time.”
Khan lowers his chin. “And you’ll accept the consequences?”
“Yes.” Hopefully, with a second chance I’ll follow my heart instead of my head.
Ashmedai holds his hand out but quickly withdraws it.
“Is there a problem?” A handshake sealed most deals.
My father-in-law rises to his feet. “Here’s what I’ll do. First, I must go over the details with Khan. Do-Overs have to be mutually agreed upon. Once he accepts, we’ll exchange a virtual handshake.” Ashmedai stares at me for a moment. “Sybil, you’ll enter into this arrangement blind. You won’t know about the first outcome.”
Holding my chin high and pushing my shoulders back, I say, “Understood.”
“You will, however, have an awareness of Khan’s intentions. If they’re not pure, you’re welcome to act accordingly.”
“Works for me.”
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