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Lucifer's Daughter (Queen of the Damned #1)
Author:Kel Carpenter

Lucifer's Daughter (Queen of the Damned #1)

Kel Carpenter




Chapter 1



Hell must have frozen over.

That’s it. The only possible excuse for why Kendall Clackson, our resident Bible fanatic, was strutting through my favorite diner on a Saturday morning. She usually saved her shenanigans for earlier in the week, on days I didn’t have off. Coincidence? Not likely.

I froze in my spot and considered bailing, but that thought only lasted about half a second before her smug face made me stomp across the diner and settle into my usual booth.

Fuck it. I’ve done the same thing every day for the last ten years. I’m not changing now.

Swinging my legs into the booth, I didn’t even pick up the menu as Little Miss Georgia Peach approached me with all her southern charm.

“Ruby! What a pleasure seein’ you here, hun.”

I turned fractionally and nodded once, hoping she would get the hint. If there was anything that Kendall didn’t understand, it was how insufferable I found her exaggerated southern accent to be. We lived in Portland for devil’s sake.

“I hope you weren’t comin’ here lookin’ for Josh. He’s playin’ golf with some of the other men in our church. Bless him. Found his way to the Lord through me.”

I could barely contain rolling my eyes. Oh, yes. I’m sure he did. Just as soon as you gave him what I wouldn’t. I snorted to myself, but didn’t say anything. Kendall made it her job to remind me, and everyone else, that he had left me for her and God.

“What’s so funny? You know, Ruby, you should find a church. It might help with your”— she dropped her voice low—“issues.” Several regulars threw us curious, and somewhat scathing glances. It was an unspoken rule with us Saturday folks that you kept to yourself and didn’t start trouble. Like Kendall was currently doing.

“Issues?” I asked, pretending to be mildly surprised by her comment. I knew damn well what she meant. I had a bit of a temper, but in my defense, there’s only so much you can do when you’re half-demon.

I waved down Martha on the other side of the diner, and she took one look at Blondie before rolling her eyes. Yeah, this wasn’t the first time this had happened, but clearly, I’m the one with issues.

“You know, your anger—”

“What can I get for you this morning, Ruby?” Martha asked, appearing beside Kendall and seeming not to notice her at all.

“Black coffee and four orders of bacon, please,” I said, not bothering to look at the menu.

Martha chuckled under her breath. “I’m not even sure why I ask anymore,” she muttered as she walked away.

Kendall resumed her preaching, knowing full well her advice was unwanted. “You know, Ruby, you really should lay off the fat if you ever want to find a nice Christian man.”

Something like heat prickled inside me, but I clamped down on it hard. Kendall could pick at me all she wanted. I knew it wasn’t actually me she was angry with. It was my cheating ex-boyfriend that wouldn’t leave me alone, despite my repeated attempts to send him away. It wasn’t unreasonable that she was pissed with him. It was unreasonable that she stalked me for it, and made my life hell. Particularly, when she was the one he had cheated on me with in the first place. Yet, somehow, she didn’t see the irony in all of this.

“Hmmmm…let me think about that. Bacon or church? Bacon or church? Well, it’s really a no brainer, Kendall. I’m atheist, so I think I better go with the bacon,” I said, smirking at the way her mouth popped open. I did enjoy riling her up. What could I say? I have a penchant for trouble.

“Is that Satan talkin,’ or just your jealousy, Ruby? You should’ve known that Josh would find his way to our Lord, with or without you.”

This was too much. I couldn’t hold back my laughter and I failed miserably when I tried to disguise it as a cough. “Kendall, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we split up because he fucked you in a broom closet, and unless ‘God’ is what you call your vagina nowadays, I think you’re fooling yourself.” I gave her my most mocking of smiles and made a shooing motion with my hand. Even beneath the orange of her spray tan, I could see her face reddening. She thought she could come here, in my sacred space, and offend me. Slander me and throw my break up out there for everyone to see. She thought it would embarrass me. What she failed to see was that I didn’t care. Josh was someone to pass time with, and his dick got the better of him. As a half-succubus, it wasn’t my nature to believe in love. Not when the “heart” could be swayed by a pretty face and a three minute fuck.

Kendall’s anger seemed to intensify. She put on a saccharine smile as Martha came around the corner carrying my bacon and coffee, but I didn’t miss the look in her eyes.

“Bless your heart,” she sneered, turning on her heel. I breathed a sigh of relief, but it was a second too early. Her foot came out and caught Martha’s black sneaker before I could say anything. Next thing I knew, heat flamed my chest as the coffee splashed across my maroon sweater. It wouldn’t burn me, but she didn’t know that.

Martha caught herself, but the damage was already done. My bacon lay on the table, soaking in a puddle of coffee that was dripping into my lap.

Her white apron and yellow shirt smeared with grease and coffee, Martha spluttered, “I’m so sorry about that, Ruby! Can I—”

“It’s okay, Martha,” I said, glaring at Kendall. The bitch had returned to her seat where three other Stepfords sat, each blonde and almost impossible to tell apart. They wore the same impossibly pleasant smiles with their impossibly perfect makeup. Kendall had strength in numbers and gave me a little wave for show as she took her seat.

I. Saw. Red.

Standing from my seat, I hastily helped Martha clean up the mess. She kept repeating to me: “She’s not worth it, Ruby.” Not that it mattered. Someone needed to teach Ms. Upstanding Citizen a lesson. This was the third time she’d tried to corner me this week, and while it was funny playing with her, what she just did was unacceptable. Not that I deserved any of this, but Martha certainly did not. She wasn’t even involved. Kendall could fuck with me all she wanted, but dragging Martha into this and nearly hurting her crossed the line of bullshit I was willing to take. It was time for her to reap the consequences for being a shitty human being.

I placed a ten on the table and left the diner without another word. The door jingled as it swung shut behind me, and I turned my eyes on Kendall’s baby blue Mustang.

A fit of glee came over me as my inner demon smiled. I went to my car and grabbed the baseball bat and a lighter I kept in the driver's side door.

Josh should have warned you what happens when you play with fire.





Chapter 2





“You broke the windows and set her car on fire. It blew up. How do you deny that when we have twenty-eight—no, I’m sorry—twenty-nine witnesses that saw you?” The officer leaned back in his seat, rolling his eyes. The cops picked me up half an hour after I did it, and dragged me back to their cesspool of a police station. Joe-Schmo and I had been going back and forth for the last fifteen minutes as he attempted to persuade me to admit guilt and pay for Kendall’s car. Not fucking happening. At least not without a fight.

“They could be lying.” I shrugged, leaning back in my own chair and kicking my feet up on the table. My boots clunked against the metal top as bits of mud and grass fell off. They hadn’t even bothered to handcuff me when I was arrested, but I wasn’t exactly new to this. Me and Joe were on a first name basis. Practically.