Hell’s Ballad – Nicola C. Matthews
Jax Monroe has everything he has ever asked for out of life. He is the front man for the world’s hottest
metal band, his name is on the lips of everyone between the ages of fifteen to fifty, he is the envy of
everyone in the entertainment industry….but he also has a secret so dark, so destructive, that it will one
day consume his entire soul.
Deals have been made, his promise bound in blood, and soon it will be his turn to pay the ultimate price.
He’s resolved to his fate, but when Eva Lane Montgomery walks back into his life, he begins to question
his blood oath, suddenly unsure if he has made the right choices.
In the end, the Dark Prince will have what is his. Will his pact be too strong to break, or can love truly
It was that dream again, that same damn dream, the one which left his heart pounding mercilessly in his chest every morning. He could see himself standing over Eva, the woman he loved more than anything, the knife in his hand glinting evilly from the dancing flames of the fire. The look in her aquamarine-colored eyes was one of terror beyond measure as she struggled to free herself from the ropes. She begged him to stop, crying desperately in whispers that she loved him, begging to know why he was doing this.
‘Jaxon, please! You have been hallucinating again, not sleeping. Please don’t hurt us!’
‘You know I have to do this, Eva. You know it can’t be allowed to live. It will destroy us all!’
The woman he loved shook her head fiercely as the tears rolled down her face. She was shaking in terror, her eyes huge in her pretty face. ‘There’s nothing wrong with our baby, Jax! You’re not well. You just need some sleep,” she whispered, her voice catching in her throat. ‘Please, please don’t do this.’
‘I have to,’ he whispered.
‘No, you don’t. I know you don’t really want to hurt us, Jax. I know you love us, I know you love me and our baby. Please, Jaxon, please untie me and let’s get you to the hospital before it’s too late.’
‘It’s not too late, Eva, not if I kill it now. Please be still. I don’t want this to hurt any more than it has to.’
‘Jaxon, please, no!’
He lifted the knife above his head and plunged it deep into her body, cutting off her pleas of mercy as the blade sliced through her abdomen effortlessly, allowing him easy access to the still squirming form which he plucked from within her. ‘We’ll be safe now, Eva, and we can be together forever.’
In that one fatal blow he had sealed his deal with the Dark Prince, forever binding his life and soul to the evil one.
Jax Monroe jerked awake, his entire body shaking, his skin drenched in sweat. His dark brown eyes darted around the tiny compartment, taking in his surroundings as the entire floor beneath him lurched slightly. He sat up as a tiny knock came to the collapsible door.
“Jax, we’re about half an hour out from the venue,” Rave, his lead guitarist, said through the closed door. “You up?”
Jax ran his hand through his damp hair, mumbling, “Yeah, okay, I’m up.”
He stumbled up from the small bunk as the tour bus lurched forward once again, finally settling into a rhythm which could barely be felt. Jax moved to the tiny bath in the corner, splashing water onto his face. He stared at himself in the mirror, but he didn’t see his own reflection. He was lost deep in thought, his mind replaying the dream over and over again.
Only this time he relived the true events of that night some ten years ago. The woman tied to the altar had not been Eva, his high school sweetheart. She had left him several years prior, right before he dropped out of high school. She had told him she couldn’t be with anyone who wasn’t going to make something of himself one day. His dreams of becoming a rock legend were not good enough for her, or so she had said. She had left him a few days later, moving out of state with his best friend at the time, the best friend who had been accepted into medical school.
He had eventually found his way in the world, although it had been far from easy. He had moved to Los Angeles a few months shy of his eighteenth birthday with nothing more than his broken down delivery van, a few clothes, and barely a hundred dollars to his name. He had spent the next three years doing odd jobs and anything else which fell into his lap to keep food in his stomach and strings on his guitar.
Those first few years had been hell on earth. He was almost always hungry and agents were constantly telling him he wasn’t going to make it in this world. The industry didn’t want metal groups with wild hair and black eyeliner, they wanted cute boy bands who were just as good at sucking cock as they were at fucking pussy. He was determined if nothing else, and just when he thought he was either going to die or have to return to his bastard of a father, he got mixed up with people who could help him see his dreams come true, and he had never looked back.
Even now as the events of that long-ago night replayed through his subconscious on an endless loop, he did not regret his decision. As the dreams interfered more and more with his sleep, causing him to feel tired and listless most days, the endless nights of sleeplessness fading together into a sea of faceless fans, he still did not regret one moment since that night. If anything, he wished he would have bargained for more time.
“Jax, man, we’re almost there,” Rave said as he opened the door just a crack to peer in, his grey-blue eyes smudged with a thick ring of black eyeliner.
Jax’s brown eyes shifted over to look at his band mate in the mirror. Rave was freshly shaved, his eyeliner looking like he had slept in it for days instead of being freshly applied, something Jax had yet to master. The natural dark brown hair he had been born with was dyed a perfect shade of Raven Black, his signature color which was only part of the reason why he took on the name when the band came together.
“You want to head straight there or stop off at the hotel first?”
Jax stifled a yawn with the back of his hand before answering. “Let’s just go straight there and get set up, get at least one sound check in before we head over to the hotel.”
Rave nodded his head. “Sure thing, I’ll let Wheels know he-“
Rave stopped mid-sentence as a loud scream came from the front of the bus. “You fucking son-of-a-bitch, how many times have I told you to not fucking do that shit!”
Rave moved out of the way as Jax hurried out of the small compartment which housed the bands’ bunks and small bath, almost colliding with Treble and Tribe as the two of them wrestled in the narrow hallway in the middle in the bus.
“What the hell are you two doing?” Jax asked, watching as his other guitarist and drummer bumped along the walls in their tussle.
The two of them stopped, Treble holding Tribe in a choke hold, the white of Treble’s hair mixing in with the black onyx locks of Tribe’s waist-length hair. They looked at Jax like he was some deranged lunatic who had suddenly materialized in the middle of their home.
“Dude,” Treble said, looking Jax up and down in disbelief. “What the hell did you do after last night’s show?”
Nicola C. Matthews Biography
About the Author
Nicola Matthews was born in Biloxi, MS in 1975. Raised in southern Mississippi, she still resides in her small hometown with her husband of twenty years, their three children, and their pet Yorkie, Lily-Claire. She loves music and her favourite thing to do to de-stress is crank up the tunes and hit the treadmill. Nicola enjoys reading as well as watching movies, shopping, and meeting new people. Her favourite genres include mystery thrillers and supernatural/fantasy movies and books.
Nicola’s love affair with reading and books first began at the age of seven, when she immolated her favourite author at the time, Dr. Seuss. As the years passed, her passion for writing and reading turned into a way to escape a broken and oftentimes violent home life. She funnelled her love for all things creative into her writing, penning her first novel at the age of thirteen.
Throughout high school, Nikki would continue to pen two additional novels and a host of short stories and poems. At the age of fifteen, she began her journey into the publishing industry, spending her weekends at the local library researching the industry, writing query letters, and sending out sample chapters to publishers.
By her graduating year, Nicola had racked up several hundred rejection letters from every publisher she could find. Undaunted, she continued to write over the years, but raising a growing family took precedent over her fledgling career. In 2006, at the urging of a large social media audience through her Yahoo!360 page, she began to research self-publishing. In 2009, her first novel Temptation was published under her own publishing house. After taking a break to finish her business degree, Nicola continued to write and publish under her own house name.
Vindictus, The Dark Lord published in December 2010.
Various shorts, including bestsellers “The Devil’s Slave” and “Master” published periodically from 2011 – 2013
The Red Fang, the first book in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES SERIES, published in June
2011, and would be relaunched through the X-Cite Press June 2016.
Immortal Sins, the second book in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES SERIES published in 2014.
In 2015 she teamed up with fellow erotica writer Angel Scott to launch a new romantic comedy series, Sweet Seductions, which follows the love stories behind the fictitious vampire metal band White Coffin. The Taming of Andy Savage, book 1 in the series was released in November 2015 with book 2, Collaring Ash, released in February 2016. The third book in the series, Jinx’D, is scheduled for release in late summer 2016.
Today, Nicola works full time for a multi-million dollar technology reseller and continues to write and publish under her house name.