The Covalent Healers Ease Barakiel’s Wounded Heart
By Libby Doyle, author of the Covalent Series
The Covalent Series began with The Passion Season. On the vernal equinox, a group of shadowy monks from France burned a man’s internal organs in a bizarre ritual sacrifice. Through this gruesome crime, FBI Agent Alexandra “Zan” O’Gara met Rainer Barakiel. They fell deeply in love, but Zan didn’t know that Barakiel is a superhuman warrior from another dimension. The shadowy monks were the minions of his father, Lucifer, who perpetually seeks his death or enslavement.
Zan learns Barakiel’s true identity in The Pain Season, Book II of the Covalent Series, when she is attacked by demons at the autumnal equinox. She questions her sanity, and leaves him. His duties as a warrior give him some relief, when he can express his emotional pain and rage by cleaving the skulls of demons, but this goes only so far. Barakiel’s passions are as strong as his sword. He never loved anyone the ways he loves Zan.
In the following scene, Barakiel visits the Sylvan Three. The most masterful healers in the Covalent Realm. He is there to be repaired after a battle, but they also offer their understanding, a soothing balm to his lovesick mind. This scene is not in the book. It happens “off-camera,” after the Three have healed Barakiel’s leg wound and he has awoken from his restorative sleep. They know about his broken heart.
Barakiel opened his eyes to see the exquisite faces of the Sylvan Three looking down on him, their tranquil smiles betrayed by the nervous movements of their hands.
“How do feel, warrior?” they asked in unison, arranging themselves around the pale green glow of his bed.
He stretched and flexed his muscles. “As if I could combat Lucifer’s armies single-handedly. Thank you, Three. As usual, your healing powers have made me better than I was.”
“Yet, still you do not shine. We wanted to restore your light.”
“I know,” Barakiel said softly. “I wish I could get better for you.”
They laid their hands on his naked frame and explored where his leg wound had been, before they pulled him upright. One healer cupped his face in her hands.
“It always hurts us, when Covalent lose their mates. We cannot help them.”
“But you do help me, Three. The only other Covalent who knows about my love is Pellus, and he warned me that it would come to no good end. He does not believe she is my mate. He thinks I am deceiving myself, and that a Covalent could never truly choose a human. He does not understand that I will never stop loving her.”
“We understand, Barakiel. We felt your mind. Your love is deep and pure. It cannot end.”
The Three handed Barakiel a robe and beckoned for him to follow them. Soon, they sat in their inner chamber on white cushions next to a pool of clear water that bubbled gently at its edges. A servant brought them glasses of root wine, rich garnet red in delicate crystal goblets. Barakiel sipped his wine, wondering why they had brought him there.
“Tell us about her, warrior.”
Barakiel rested his hand on a slender ankle. “You know, Pellus would say that will make it worse, indulging my reflections.”
“Have you found anything that will stop you from thinking of her?”
“Tell us about her.”
He chuckled and they matched him with a musical trill.
“Her name is Zan. Like me, she is a protector of her kind. She is tall, strong and clever, as courageous as the finest Covalent warrior.” Barakiel broke into a wide smile as he spoke. “She plays the guitar. You should see her on the stage, Three! She is a force of nature. That’s when I wanted her, when I saw her play. I was beside myself with lust.”
“But it became more?” they asked, sipping their wine, smiling back at him.
“Yes, much more. I feel the snow in her skin. I see the night sky in her eyes. When she holds me, I feel like I belong to her, in her mind and to her body. I never felt that belonging before.”
“How could you, Barakiel? You were so young when the Covalent Council banished you.”
The warrior closed his eyes. He did not want to lose control. The Three put their arms around him.
“It’s all right, warrior. The Council banished you and now they expect you to slaughter our enemies. You selflessly attend to your duties, yet know one never asks you what you need. We recognize your love. At least you can feel some measure of belonging, here, with us.”
“Yes, I can,” he murmured. He let his head fall and revealed his grief to the only beings who would accept it from him.
***The Pain Season is available now at these book sellers:
The Pain Season
The Pain Season
ON THE AUTUMNAL EQUINOX, ZAN O'GARA'S LIFE WILL CHANGE.
Tonight’s the night. Rainer Barakiel is going to tell me all his secrets. I thought I’d be excited, but I feel like someone shoved a knife into my gut.
Heh. Fitting, considering I met Rainer because of his expertise in edged weapons. The daggers used in that ritual sacrifice became our best lead thanks to him. What kind of omen is it, that I met the love of my life because someone found a human spleen in the bushes?
I didn’t expect someone like him. When he opened his door I couldn’t talk, I was so stunned. God, how I flirted with him. Hell of a way for an FBI agent to act. This whole relationship is a hell of a way for an FBI agent to act. I didn’t want to face that he was hiding things from me.
What if he has something to do with this murder?
I’m being paranoid. He’s denied being a criminal and I believe him. I don’t see how my instincts could be so wrong. He can’t be bad. He can’t.
He’s hiding things from me, but he loves me. I feel it. Maybe he didn’t expect to fall in love with me, but he did, and now he wants out. He’s going to confess, leave it all behind. For me.
I wonder, after he tells me all his secrets, will this become a wacky story we love to tell? Or a story I tell only to myself, alone in a stale-smelling apartment, stewing in pain? The story of how my heart got damaged beyond repair.
WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, and explicit sex. Adults only, please.
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Although not a cliffhanger, The Pain Season is not a stand-alone novel. The story begins in The Passion Season and will continue in The Vengeance Season coming in 2017.
About the Author
Libby Doyle is an attorney and former journalist who took a walk around the corporate world and didn’t like it. She escapes the mundane by writing extravagant yarns, filled with sex and violence. She loves absurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband. You can discover more about Libby’s world at http://www.libbydoyle.com