The following scene was deleted because Hell's Phoenix had became too long and needed to be shortened. This scene is right after Mads and Nix's tsunami war and right before the Sherlock bar incident. Obviously, it's not been professionally edited!
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“Why are you here?” Micah asked as he stepped out of the portal from Hell.
Since entering Hell and accepting the benefits of his covenant, Nix had grown to understand the appeal Madison once coveted for the King. The fallen angel could be ruthlessly charming and with a common goal, they got along as thick as thieves.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about Mads.” Nix flicked his fingers through the fur of the dog stretched out across his lap and let loose a burst of power. The pooch jerked to life and whined. Just as quickly, he took the canine’s life away. “What if I’m wrong, Micah? What if she’s not alive? This hope inside me hurts. I—” He shook his head and repeated the life and death process with the furry animal.
Micah peered at the Alabama home he and Madison once lived in as a married couple. The same residence Nix spent three months falling in love with her.
“Hope is like a heartbeat inside me.” The dog’s heartbeat pulsed beneath Nix’s hand. “But it can be extinguished as quickly as it’s born.” He jerked the life from the animal.
“Why do you torture the canine, Phoenix?”
After setting his plan into motion to lure Mads out of Zen’s protective custody—if she lived as he believed she did—she’d been so heavily on his mind he needed to be near her. At the very least someplace that he’d once cohabitated with her.
The animal had been dead in the street when he came out of the portal. He’d picked the mutt up and proceeded to practice his mojo. Not out of a necessity to torture the creature, but the more he employed his Messianic power, the more fluid it became to manipulate. If Mads were alive, she wouldn’t join them willingly. It would take time and lots of his magic to convince her to stay with them.
“I’m practicing.” Nix shoved another bubble of magic into the dog before setting him on his feet. A wobble as if the canine were newly birthed, but a second later, the animal bolted.
“What makes you so convinced Madison is alive?”
Nix propped his feet on the railing. “I’ve already told you why.”
“I know the taste of her intimately, and all I tasted was salt water in the tsunami. This is Zennyo Ruyo fucking with us, Phoenix.”
“You sampled her before she started jacking into her demonic side. She’s different now. Our first kiss, she tasted like fear and innocence. Then you shoved Pandora’s Box inside her and she had a spicy tang, a darkness that didn’t fit her personality. In the hotel room, there was fear, but not for herself, for me. The innocence was there too, but when she climaxed, I felt her, the presence of her soul and the grandeur of how far she’d fallen. The power she’d already accepted.” Micah bristled and looked away. At odd moments the fallen struggled with Nix’s sexual knowledge of Mads. “I don’t know how to describe it better than that, Micah. Do you even realize how much she’s accepted her succubus? The irony is she’s becoming what you wanted even though she did it to keep from being what you wanted.” Nix rose from his chair and approached Micah. “I’m certain she lives. Don’t pretend for a moment she won’t fight us when we find her.”
“I wish I felt your certainty, lover.” Micah swiped his fingers through his chin-length hair. Nix reached out and adjusted a stray strand that cocked at an odd angle. The King turned his face into Nix’s palm and he caressed Micah’s cheek. “She’s too vital to me to hope as much as you do, Phoenix.”
Micah sounded so forlorn, Nix grabbed him by his nape and tried to comfort him by touching their foreheads together. “Losing her was never an option for me, Micah.”
Micah kissed him, evoking a response Nix would’ve despised four months ago. “I hope she’s alive, Phoenix. Sharing her death with you made it easier to bear.”
“If I’m right”—Nix felt certain that he was—“sharing Mads will construct a magnificent future for us.”