`Edge of Heaven is the first book in my Angels in the Afterlife series. These m/m (or m/m/m) stories are set in limbo and feature angels who are all just a little bit fallen. 😉 Book two–Angel Mine–is in the works. I hope to release it, and book three, Feels Like Heaven, in 2019.
Welcome to the afterlife, where men are men and the angels are fallen.
It was a reckless act of passion that ended Edge’s life and left him in Limbo–literally. Now, he’s stuck here. While most of the other angels-in-training move quickly up the celestial ladder, Edge knows it can never be that simple for him. He’s dealing with issues that are a lot more complicated than a simple lack of closure.
While Edge doesn’t know for sure what it will take to get him into Heaven, there is one thing he’s certain won’t help; that would be his latest assignment guiding angel-baby Matteo Matinucci while the newbie find his wings.
But twenty-something Mattie–sexy, beautiful, recently departed and openly gay–could turn out to be the answer to all of Edge’s prayers, as well as the fulfillment of all his fantasies, even the hot, sweaty, secret ones he’s never confided to anyone.
Hands down, Matteo Matinucci has to be the sorriest-looking angel I’ve ever seen. And if there’s one thing I’ve seen my fair share of during my stay here in limbo, it’s disenchanted newbie angels in training. More than my fair share, if you really want to know, ’cause ever since I screwed the pooch with the special angel in charge of assignments, helping the new recruits settle in is the only work I ever seem to get.
The rookie du jour is standing on a pier at sunset, looking out over a lake, when I arrive for our meet and greet, and since it’s nowhere I’ve ever been before, I have to assume this is someplace he’s remembering. Of course, everything here is basically an illusion anyway. This isn’t really a pier, just like that’s not really the sun out there, disappearing behind the pine trees, but that’s not what’s important right now. Real or imagined, the echo of my footfalls, loud against the old wooden planks, drifts out over the still water as I amble along the boardwalk. He turns at the sound. The minute our eyes lock I know I’m in trouble.
Are those tears I’m seeing? Yep, I’m pretty sure they are, and the thought of playing damp shoulder to one of the newly departed does not improve my mood by one iota.
He shakes his hair back from his face and blinks once or twice like a man waking up from a very deep dream. A faint flush mounts his cheeks. Those glistening eyes narrow slightly. Other than that, his puppy-dog gaze never wavers as I shorten the distance between us. My steps finally falter under the weight of that unsmiling amber stare. The smile I’d plastered on my own face falls away. I clear my throat but still have trouble getting the words out with anything like my usual cool nonchalance. “Hey there. You must be Matteo.”
I’m used to my new charges looking lost and alone, used to them looking scared or confused, but this one… Damned if it doesn’t look like he’s discovered a whole new subbasement level to gut-wrenchingly distraught. The pain and longing in his expression hit me like a fist. A big part of me wants nothing more than to fold my arms around him and promise things’ll get better. Never mind that the saner parts think popping him one instead—demanding he man up and stop sniveling—would be a far better way to play this. I mean, what call’s he got to look so damned depressed? Sure, he’s dead, and I know that disappoints a lot of people, but it’s still no cause for the abject despair he’s radiating.
He’s not in hell, all right? Things could be worse.
Determined to try again. I paste my smile back in place, extend my hand. “So, Matteo, right? Or do you prefer Matt?”
“Call me Mattie,” he says, relief painting his features as he finally comes unstuck. His hair swings forward again as he lunges enthusiastically for my hand. I feel a shock of recognition when strong fingers wrap mine. He folds my hand up with both of his and hangs on for dear life. Once again our gazes collide, and I find myself staring, unable to look away.
Mostly I’m hung up on the name thing. Call him Mattie? Like hell. That’s a kid’s name. The kind of name any self-respecting guy should have outgrown by the time he turned eight. There’s a tense sensation in the pit of my belly, a spreading tightness in my chest, a sudden snugness in my jeans, and I can’t account for any of it—until the press of his fingers on mine finally registers in my brain.
Oh, holy shit. We’re holding hands? Still? Not cool.
I pry myself free and take a step back, feeling instantly a whole lot better now that I’ve put some distance between us. I shove my hands in my pockets—just to keep them out of harm’s way—take a deep breath, and try again. “Good to meet you, Matt. I’m Edge. I’m the angel assigned to help you settle in.”
Matteo looks me up and down with altogether too much warmth, igniting an interest I do not want to feel.
“You’re an angel?” There’s a fair amount of skepticism in his tone, but at least he appears to be perking up a bit. I figure that’s a good thing. “And your name is Edge? Seriously? What kind of name is that? Is it short for something?”
Can you believe this shit? I’m getting crap about my name from a guy with a handle I wouldn’t give my pet Pekingese. Not that I’d ever be caught dead with a Pekingese. No pun intended. “It’s not short for anything, all right, pal? It’s just my name.” And speaking of names, he is damned well going to have to get used to being called something other than Mattie. At least while he’s under my wing.
His eyes glimmer. A smile starts licking at the corners of his mouth. The look he’s giving me creeps me out. It’s a little too knowledgeable, a little too understanding, and far too wise for his years, which I’d put at around mid to late twenties or roughly the same age I was when I’d kicked it. The big difference between us being I’ve been stuck here on the astral for far too long. I’ve earned all of my wisdom and understanding. The hard way.