The Devil Made Me Do It

By: Alysha Ellis

Chapter One

“Shame on you for looking at such filth.”

Jess looked from the book in her hand to the pursed lips and disapproving frown of the woman who’d spoken. She looked back at the thin volume again. She still didn’t get the connection.

The woman, clearly irritated by Jess’ confusion, stabbed a rigid finger towards the cover. “Would you want your mother to know you read such vile stuff? That picture alone would make any mother weep.”

Jess couldn’t argue with her. The gorgeous hunk, with the rippling pecs, awesome six pack and his shorts pulled down almost but not quite far enough, damn near made her weep as well. Especially since the only excitement she had in her life at the moment came from books like these and looking at pictures of naked men on the internet.

And now some self-appointed moral crusader wanted to take even that away from her.

Jess fought against the urge to put the book back on the shelf and pretend she hadn’t been really interested in it anyway. Why did people feel obligated to try to make her ashamed of perfectly legitimate choices? Through tight lips she recited her mantra, “This is a book shop, this book is for sale and I am a mature adult who has the means and the time to read what I want.”

Wishing she had the courage to ignore the woman’s disapproval and hold the book with its cover displayed for all to see, Jess turned away and slunk to the checkout.

By the time she stalked down the side street to the car park she was furious, at both herself and the interfering do-gooder. No one was around to hear her, so she gave in to her anger and muttered her list of complaints aloud.

“I am so sick of holier-than-thou types telling me what to do and what to think. I am sick of everyone telling me if it’s enjoyable, it must be evil. All I’m trying to do is to enjoy my life. If that makes me a wicked woman, then I guess I’m going to Hell. Why can’t I read sexy books, eat too much chocolate, drink too much wine and screw my brains out with a man who really appreciates hot, sweaty, raunchy sex, without someone telling me I should feel guilty about it?” She stopped and thought for a moment. “To do that last one I’d actually need a man, which I don’t happen to have at the moment.” Her shoulders slumped. “I admit it, I’m desperate. I’d be prepared to get down and dirty with the Devil himself if he’d devote a few hours to my personal pleasure and make me come, screaming.”

“Okay. I can do that. Let’s go.”

Jess spun around. Her heart pounded painfully and she cursed her lack of awareness, even though it was broad daylight. The man standing before her was tall and powerfully built, looking like one of the models on the covers of the books she loved. Jess couldn’t believe he’d been able to get so close without her noticing.

“Leave me alone.”

Her voice was a lot shakier than she wanted it to be. It certainly didn’t intimidate the stranger. He didn’t back off an inch.

“Hell, no. You said you’d get down and dirty with the Devil. It sounded good to me. So here I am.”

Jess started to back slowly away. “You’re crazy. Beat it.”

The man stepped closer. “Jess, you’re frustrated, angry and bored. You want hot, sweaty, raunchy, guilt-free sex. You want a real man, not something on the internet, and you are definitely over sex with your vibrator. I can fix all that.”

“How do you know that? How do you know my name?”

“I know everything about you. I can give you everything you want.”

His voice was velvety, deep and seductive. He had the face of a fallen angel. The heavy lidded smoulder of his dark eyes promised all manner of sensuous delights. He didn’t look or sound like a lunatic or a serial killer. He looked like the embodiment of every one of Jess’ wildest desires.

“Who are you?” she whispered.

His eyes never left her face. “The Devil, of course.”

She looked at his perfect body, at his beautifully shaped head covered in smooth, glossy, black hair. “Aren’t you supposed to have,” Jess wiggled her hands above her head, “you know, horns?”

“Do I look like a cow to you?” The Devil let out a frustrated sigh and cast a glance skywards. “I blame Up There’s PR people. I have told them, over and over, if they’re going to try to turn people away from the old religions, the least they could do is get it right. ‘The Devil is horny’, not ‘The Devil is horned’. But is anyone ever told that? No! Everyone expects to see sharp pointy things sticking out of my head. You have no idea how bad it is for my image.” He folded his arms, looking sexier than any human being had a right to be.