Series: Sympathy For the Devil #4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 2018
Published by: Changeling Press
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One of the most revered rock gods, Nabu is known for his focus and wisdom, as well as his ability to keep his cool under pressure. But all the intelligence in the world won't help when your plane goes down and in order to save an innocent and rather sexy woman, you have to expose your deepest secrets.
This was to be one last job for Aika, then her student loans would be paid off and she could make her way out in the world as a writer and cartoonist. Being on the flight crew on a private jet is at least interesting and will give her a lot of material to work with... like the sexy-hot crazies from the band Abadon. But one of the super hot band members is destined to play a key role in her fantasies. What's a woman to do when the man she is crushing on big time happens to save your life and claims to be an ancient god at that?
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"Is that the Westboro Baptist Church?"
Charle's eyes were wide in shock as he stared at the group protesting outside the private airstrip they had booked for the trip back to the Canary Islands.
Among the Locusts carrying banners and cheering the band on, a dedicated group of haters were amassed. The men, some wearing khaki pants and white polo shirts, were carrying signs denouncing fagotry, women's rights, savage people, and rock and roll. According to one list that contradicted itself several times over, underneath the big JESUS LOVES EVERYONE line they were all going to burn in hell 'cause Jesus hated fags.
"I don't think that's what the good book preaches," Nabu muttered, shaking his head as he pointed to one poster that depicted him being lynched while the rest of the band served as logs that burned beneath his swinging body. "I don't ever recall anything about hanging people from their necks till their feet quit kicking."
"I am pretty sure they made that one up themselves," Apollon, who appeared strangely buzzed, noted. "I think they make up half this shit for jealousy, and the other half is because they want to fuck us. Oh, Charle," he interjected as he pointed from their limo window. "You're included in the debauchery now so look out, you gonna fry."
Charle's eyes widened as he saw a photo of himself engulfed in flames that looked like they'd started from his ass.
"Flames coming out of your butthole," he read the caption. "Only when we don't use enough lube," he commented casually, causing the other band members to snicker. "But Nergal always heals me up just fine."
"Overshare!" Nabu chuckled, the beads in his braids clacking as he shook with laughter. "More than I wanted to know... like we already don't know you switch off all the time."
"Making up for lost time," Nergal, the front man for the band Abadon and known publicly as Abadon interjected, pulling his lover closer and pressing a kiss on his forehead.
Charle smiled as he looked around at the band that was quickly becoming his new family. They were all brothers united by being ancient gods and using the success of their band Abadon to keep themselves topped up with godly mojo from the worship they received from their adoring fans.
"I am so glad that Orion missed out on this." He leaned forward and tapped Sin, known as lead guitarist Python, on the knee. "I'm not sure he's ready to run the gauntlet of stupidity without getting into someone's face about it."
"I'm sure he's watching this from his apartment." Sin paused in braiding his long red hair. "I expect to get a phone call any minute. He's going to be so pissed about this." He tilted his head to the side, one hand leaving his braid to pet his ever-present snake wrapped around his body, his emotional comfort snake. "And amused. I think he's going to laugh his ass off at this too. He's good at laughing at stupid people... in their faces. He's also good at throwing punches. I've never seen him do it, but the condition of his knuckles tells me that he's knocked out a few teeth in his lifetime. He doesn't deal well with ignorance."
"But any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right," a giddy Apollon interjected. "And in your case, learn to pronounce your name, Charle Lexington. They keep saying you name like you were grilled over an open fire. Maybe that's why they drew you with flames... coming out of your butthole."
"If that were true, I'd have brought some hot dogs to roast... or at least some marshmallows. It could replace your opening act; burning things with the flames from my ass. It'll be a hit. It's very rock and roll."
"In the anime world," Nergal pointed out, snickering. "If there are any flames coming from your ass, I'll snuff them out, baby."
"With your dick!" Apollon shouted, snickering at his own joke, the others nodding in agreement or chuckling along with them. The two were not very quiet about their sex lives.
"But my articles would get a lot more attention." Charle snickered. "More than they do now. Apparently there are a lot of people interested in the working dynamics of dating a rock star... and so many more stars are now willing to get interviewed by me because I haven't let out any of your dirty little secrets. Rihanna agreed to let me interview her next month because I've managed to maintain my professional integrity when it comes to ignoring assholes that criticize, and never allowing an interview to loop back into our personal lives. I think she has a lot of secrets she wants to keep and it's not my job to ferret out shit she doesn't want told. I keep it about the music and the artist's goals as an individual."
"That's a plus," Nabu, known as Hash and the drummer, added. "I can remember walking out of more than one interview because the one conducting it got really stupid about my past or kept harping on my race instead of my talents." His eyes narrowed as he began reading more and more of the negative picket signs. "Gods, these people need dictionaries. How do you misspell 'go back to Africa'? I don't even think that guy is with the church. He and his group are... Alt-right?"
He frowned, his dark brown skin showing a tint of red as his frustration with this stupidity increased. "You think they would have something better to do with their lives instead of becoming the equivalent of gigantic cockroaches of the world."
He leaned back and closed his eyes, making a visual effort to control his temper, Charle noted. Apparently Nabu didn't abide ignorance well. It seemed to affect him more than the others in the band. Maybe it was because he really wasn't a war god? He was a statistician and a god of knowledge, a master of the word arts who valued loci above everything else. It was one of the reasons he and Charle had become such fast friends. But that mess going on outside... Charle turned to stare out of the window once more.
"This stupidity defies logic," he muttered. "The haters are even hating themselves. I don't think the church people like the alt-right people much."
"I remember when skin color prejudice became a thing. It shocked me that people could be so stupid when we were dealing with, you know, famine, disease, pestilence, and death. Out of all the things they could fixate on, they bypass negative intent and actions while they jump straight to appearance. Humanity sickens me so much sometimes."
For the quietest member of the band, Nabu had taken an unfair bout of hazing from the community at large, some saying that it was wrong to have a black man playing in a rock and roll band, others saying that a black man should be supporting his own race by playing black music... whatever that was supposed to be. And then there were those who fetishized the man, not because of his talent or skill, but because of his skin color.
He was growing visibly exhausted.
"You were brought into existence because they needed intelligence, man." Apollon calmed a bit to lean against Nabu's side. "Just because they recognize the need doesn't mean they're going to follow through," he added. Nabu huffed.
"There will always be a selection of humanity that sinks to the lowest level," Sin agreed, offering his snake to Nabu, who reached out to pet its head, smiling a little as it nuzzled up against him, more like a kitten than a snake. "But there is always a larger selection who decry stupidity and embrace learning from each other instead of tearing each other down. You, who have seen more civilizations rise and fall than any one of us, know this to be true. When all of our temples were torn down and they attempted to erase us from history, the powers that be always venerated you and carried your writings and your wisdom through the ages, and insisted that your legacy remain. The fact that you still are one of the most powerful of all of us proves that there are intelligent people out there. They just have better things to do with their time than visually assault others with their bad spelling and lack of grammar."
That drew a laugh out of Nabu, who, after giving the snake one last pet, settled back in his seat as they drew closer to the private jet.
"Don't feel too bad." Charle tried to interject some levity into a dark situation. "You would really get pissed if some of these idiots started a letter writing campaign against you. I got a letter from the gay black men's alliance saying that I am a traitor to my race for publicly supporting a man who is not black. They misspelled traitor and alliance and used the same two misspelled words over sixty times in two paragraphs. I think they're jealous 'cause his dick is big enough to buck the stereotype and I'm getting it every night."
The rest of the band groaned but Nabu laughed outright.
"And you're forgetting the Locusts out there aren't taking any shit."
"Oh yes." Apollon suddenly giggled, turning to look out the window where an explosion of color caught their eyes. "Right in the daddy button, baby."
Themes: Dark Desire, Multicultural & Interracial, Rock Star Romance