At Courtesan Press, we love all kinds of heroes, and we really love Jay Ellison’s newest book! Cuddle up with some warm, winter blankets and enjoy!
Author: Jay Ellison
Series: Elegant Little Bites
Elegant Little Bites are perfect 10K jewels of erotic goodness designed specifically for your busy schedule–enjoy them on your lunch break, during your evening soak in the tub, just before bedtime, or anytime you need a quick romantic getaway!
Hungry for a Hero
As a newspaperman, Simon Strand has followed the heroic exploits of The Blue Angel for years, trading his broken love life for endless work. As Central City’s number one protector, the sensual and mysterious Angel has inspired thousands and has a huge fan following–including Simon. Then a chance encounter with the super sexy superhero changes Simon’s life forever. Fanboy lust is one thing, but surrendering his heart to the Blue Angel may require a feat of super-strength even he is incapable of.
“Quick, Simon, get out to Bay Bridge, we have a situation!” my boss, Mr. Ferguson, said, sticking his head out into the chaos of the bullpen.
I didn’t ask details. From the man’s expression, I could tell he was charged about something, and that could only mean one thing: The citizens of Central City had once more sighted the Blue Angel.
“On it, boss.” I quickly saved the article I was writing, jumped up, slipped into my field jacket and grabbed up my gear bag, which included my phone, a digital camera, and my tablet—all the things a modern-day reporter needed, really.
Sulking at the desk besides me, my geeky protégé Marvin pushed his horn-rimmed glasses up his nose with one finger and said, “Is it him, Simon?”
“We’re about to find out. Grab your gear, kid.”
From the office, it was only a quick ride downtown to Bay Bridge. The word hadn’t gone out yet, so traffic wasn’t yet impossible…but things were well on their way to a disaster of titanic proportions by the time we got there.
I drove off the highway and we parked my old woodie right under the bridge disaster. Marvin let out an expletive under his breath, but I could hardly blame him. “This safe?”
Half of Bay Bridge had been rendered rubble by an enormous explosion. Cars and trucks teetered on the remnants or were buried under thousands of pounds of debris. A few people hung off the bridge, holding on for their lives. Bits of concrete debris pattered down around us like a strange rain. It was surreal…but also so utterly Central City.
Mr. Mephistopheles, the Blue Angel’s primary nemesis, sat atop his giant robotic bat as it fluttered around the bridge, the wind from the big machine’s synthetic wings blowing vehicles here and there and making the panicked people clinging to the bridge scream in sheer, unrelenting terror.
Marvin let out the same expletive as he started frantically scribbling notes in his notebook. A novice, he wasn’t used to these things, but I’d been on the paper for six years; for me, it was almost commonplace. “I didn’t think it would be this bad,” he said.
“Oh, it can get bad. Watch your step!” I said, feeling a surge of adrenaline pushing me out of the car. I used my handheld digital camcorder to take a video of the disaster-in-the-making while Marvin snapped off a series of pictures with my field Nikon. Marvin had transferred to our newspaper only a few months ago and still didn’t have much field experience, but my boss Ferg wanted me to show him the ropes—and keep him safe, seeing how he was the boss’s nephew. I couldn’t stand the guy, personally, but I still did my duty by him and warned him out of the way of a piece of falling rebar.
It was dangerous as hell, but that’s why we were here. I did a short voice-over of the action thus far while I filmed, but in the back of my mind, I was hoping the rumor that the Blue Angel was on his way was real. Sometimes people were right. Other times, they were mistaken. The Angel, as we called him, had a huge fan following. He had his own website and Facebook page. Women regularly threw themselves at him when he showed up to stop some disaster. Often enough, citizens swore they saw Central City’s biggest crime-fighter when it fact it was nothing but a small bi-plane from the private airport a few miles west of here. No one knew where the Blue Angel came from, and no one knew where he flew off to when he wasn’t needed.
“Did you see that? He’s shooting lasers!” Marvin gaped. He reached into his outdated tweed jacket and withdrew an asthma inhaler. He took a few quick breaths before snapping off yet another picture.
“Yep,” I answered. Then to my soon-to-be-audience: “As you can see from the footage, Mr. Mephistopheles seems to be trying to destroy Bay Bridge with a good collection of evening traffic atop it.” I made my narrative voice calm but dramatic for the benefit of the video as I traced the route that the masked, red-cloaked super-villain was traversing. “This has to be his cruelest, most diabolical attack to date.” It sounded a little cheesy, I knew, but Ferg would love it, and I knew he’d give me the story to write.
For the record, I’m not one of those field reporters who revel in blood and guts. Quite the opposite. You’ll never see me first on the set of a really bad accident. I hate the sight of blood, and a huge part of me was desperately hoping we would see the Blue Angel soon. I didn’t want to see anyone hurt, especially the innocent people hanging off the bridge. My own parents were killed by a supervillain very similar to Mr. Mephistopheles when my sister and I had still been in our teens.
Suddenly: “There he is!” Marvin cheered, pointing toward the skyline.
I turned my camcorder toward the place he was pointing, jiggling it a little, but I couldn’t seem to find anything except the sun setting over the tall, glass buildings of Central City.
“Are you sure? I don’t see anything. Marvin?” I said, and turned to glance at my protégé, but he was running toward some buildings. Before long, he was lost from sight. “Marvin!”
Meh. I didn’t have time to worry about Marvin. I aimed back toward the horizon and tracked the sky for evidence that the Blue Angel was here. Sure enough, seconds later, I saw a winged blue blur descending from the clouds. Oh man, I started getting nervous as hell, my heart started knocking against my ribs, and my heads were suddenly sweating around my camcorder. I grew so jittery you would have thought I’d had one too many espressos. I was afraid for the already volatile situation, sure, but also a little excited. Very few people had ever gotten a good video of the Blue Angel in action.
He was one gorgeous superhero, let me tell you. He was tall and gloriously well muscled in his azure impact suit. A blue hood hid the upper portion of his face, but you could tell he had a stubborn chin, well-chiseled features and shocking blue eyes that seemed to reflect the late day light like dark, seething sapphires. Rumor had it he was the offspring of a human woman and an angel that had fallen to earth. I believed that rumor today when I saw his huge, fanlike wings slashing at the open air as he arrowed toward the bridge.
I gave a little cry and pumped my fist into the air—I admit I’m a bit of a fanboy, sue me—and urged him to go faster, faster! As if reading my mind, he poured on the speed, and soon he was little more than a blue as he approached the shattered bridge. At about that moment, a young businesswoman finally let go of the safety rail she was clinging to and began to fall. Her green suit and blonde hair was a blur as she began plummeting the four hundred feet down to her death. She screamed, clawing at the air. The Blue Angel deftly zoomed in on her, catching her about a hundred feet from the ground and setting her down on her feet.
She clung to his arm, gasping out her gratitude, but he didn’t wait around to listen to her. Up he zoomed again to catch a man whose grip had slipped. The Blue Angel lowered him, too, to the ground.
Mr. Mephistopheles bellowed out a cry of outrage and aimed his mechanical bat toward the Blue Angel. Since the Blue Angel was busy lowering two older women to the ground, one tucked under each arm, he didn’t see the attack coming.
I had to do something. I pointed upward. “Look out!” I cried as loudly as I could. “Behind you!”
The Blue Angel must have heard me because he let the two women down a little roughly a few feet from the ground and turned to meet the threat head on. By then, Mr. Mephistopheles was practically on top of him. He tried to duck out of the way, but he wasn’t quite fast enough, and the giant mechanical bat clipped one of his wings, sending him spinning off into the sky. I gasped, watching pale blue wing feathers scatter into the air.
Grumbling to himself, Mr. Mephistopheles turned his lasers back on the bridge, blowing another part of it to smithereens. I had to jump out of the way of a hunk of handrail, which bounced off the top of my old car and down to the river running nearby. I danced around the falling debris, but I kept the camcorder up and centered on the action. I was recording when the Blue Angel blew back into the frame, this time angry as hell.
I could see from the set of his jaw that he’d had enough. He grabbed the front of Mr. Mephistophele’s bat-like machine, turned, and used his unearthly strength to swing the war machine around and around before letting it go. Mr. Mephistopheles and his giant bat flew off into the clouds. I could hear the supervillain cursing the whole way.
I started cheering like crazy…but at that moment, a huge piece of cement decided to detach itself from the shattered bridge. I felt the shadow of it as it dropped right toward me! I had microseconds, not even enough time to pray. I knew this was it. I squelched my eyes shut, unable to face my final second of life.
A second passed, then another. When I finally found the courage to open them, I realized the Blue Angel was holding up the enormous piece of concrete not more than twenty feet over my head. Oh my God, I thought. He saved me! I couldn’t believe he’d moved that fast!
I aimed my camera up toward him and saw him smirk at me. “You all right, young man?”
“Yeah, thanks to you!” I said. Dear God, he had a great smile. I’m a little ashamed to admit even that was giving me some unexpected wood. Just like every other woman—and not a few men—in this city, I was crushing on the Blue Angel big time.
Tossing the concrete aside, the Blue Angel went about the task of rescuing the rest of the people clinging to the bridge. Without the threat of Mr. Mephistopheles and his war machine, it only took maybe fifteen minutes to transport them down, but by then, the bridge had had enough. With a terrifying, earth-shattering groan, its last supports gave away and I saw it falling apart like a giant, faulty Tinker Toy.
Oh, damn, I thought. Marvin was right: I’m waaay too close!
Then I heard a whoosh of air and huge, feathery wings seemed to encompass me as the Blue Angel scooped me up and carried me away, out of the fall of thousands of tons of concrete and steel debris.
The earth left my feet, the world was a colorful blur, the wind cold, but I wasn’t afraid. The warmth of his powerful arms made me feel safe. His breath tickled my ear as he said, “Don’t be afraid, Mr….?”
“Simon. Simon Strand,” I offered.
“Don’t be afraid, Simon. I won’t let you fall.”
“I know,” I said, ringing my arms around his thick, muscular neck. His entire body felt like heated steel. No wonder they said he was indestructible. He even smelled good, a spicy cologne under his own loamy male scent.
The city looked so tiny from up here! I was more thrilled than afraid—but I knew it couldn’t last. I was just a little disappointed when we landed on the other side of the river. As he set me down, I stumbled.
He put a hand on my shoulder. “Okay, Simon?”
“Yeah, I’m great,” I answered. I looked up into his face, took in his impressive ten-foot wingspan, and felt humbled and more nervous than the first time I had asked a boy out in high school. I couldn’t believe I was speaking to Central City’s guardian! This was like a dream come true. “Uh, thanks…that was stupid of me. I should have known better. But thanks.”
“You work for the newspaper,” he said, staring at the press badge I wore around my neck. I liked how deep and hoarsely masculine his voice was, the way it seemed to ring on the open air.
“Yeah, The Central City Post. Not the biggest one, but we try.”
He smirked at me, making my wood that much worse. “Write up a good story, and don’t forget those people who are doing their part.” He pointed across the river, where many of the rescued people were helping their fellows out, getting them blankets and helping them walk as the ambulances and police cars started pulling in.
“I will. And thanks again!”
“I’m happy to help. It’s the least I can do.”
“Maybe I can get an interview sometime?” I asked…begged, really.
He smirked. “Maybe.” Then the Blue Angel darted into the sky, flying at inhuman speeds. I tried to follow him with my camcorder, but before long, I lost him in the clouds.