It was one of those nights. The kind where Sunshine Runningwolf wondered why she bothered leaving her loft.
“How many times can a person get lost in a city where she’s lived the whole of her life?”
The number seemed to be infinite.
Of course, it would help if she could stay focused, but she had the attention span of a sick flea.
No, actually she had the attention span of an artist who seldom stayed focused on the here and now. Like an out of control slingshot, her thoughts drifted from one topic to the next and then back again. Her mind was constantly wandering and shifting through new ideas and techniques– the novelty of the world around her and how best to capture it.
To her there was beauty everywhere and in every little thing. It was her job to show that beauty to others.
And that neat building they were constructing, two or three, maybe four streets over, had distracted her and got her thinking up new designs for her pottery as she wandered down the French Quarter toward her favorite coffee house on St. Anne.
Not that she drank that noxious stuff. She hated it. But the retro-beatnik Coffee Stain had nice artwork on the walls and her friends seemed partial to drinking gallons of the tar-liquid.
Tonight she and Trina were going to go over…
Her mind flashed back to the building.
Pulling out her sketchbook, she made a few more notes and turned to her right, down a small alley.
She took two steps, and ran into a wall.
Only it wasn’t a wall she realized as two arms wrapped around her to keep her from stumbling.
Looking up, she froze.
Ay, CorumbÃƒ ¡! She stared into a face so well formed that she doubted if a Greek sculptor could do justice to it.
His wheat-colored hair seemed to glow in the night and those planes of his face…
Perfect. Simply perfect. Totally symmetrical. Wow.
Without thinking, she reached up, grabbed his chin and turned his face to see it from different angles.
No, not an optical illusion. No matter the angle, his features were perfection incarnate.
Wow, again. Absolutely flawless.
She needed to sketch this.
No. Oils. Oils would be better.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
“I’m fine,” she said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you standing there. But do you know your face is pure eurythmy?”
He gave her a tight-lipped smile as he patted the shoulder of her red cape. “Yes, I do. And do you know, Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf is out tonight and he’s hungry?”
What was that?
She was talking art and he…
The thought faded out as she realized the man wasn’t alone.
There were four more men and one woman. All insanely beautiful. And all six eyed her like some tasty morsel.
Her throat went dry.
Sunshine took a step back as every sense in her body told her to run.
They moved in even closer, penning her between them.
“Now, now, Little Red Riding Hood,” the first one said. “You don’t want to be leaving so soon, do you?”
“Um, yes,” she said, preparing to fight. Little did they know, a woman who made it her habit to date mean biker-types was more than able to deliver a swift kick when she needed it. “I think it would be a really good idea.”
He reached for her.
Out of nowhere a circular something whizzed past her face, grazing his outstretched arm. The man cursed as he pulled his bleeding arm to his chest. The thing ricocheted like Xena’s chakram, and went back to the opening of the alley where a shadow caught it.
Sunshine gaped at the outline of a man. Dressed all in black, he stood with his legs apart in a warrior’s stance while his weapon gleamed wickedly in the dim light.
Even though she could see nothing of his face, his ever-changing aura was mammoth, giving him a presence that was as startling as it was powerful.
This new stranger was dangerous.
A lethal shadow just waiting to strike.
He stood in silence, looking at her attackers, the weapon held nonchalantly, yet somehow threateningly, in his left hand.
Then, total chaos broke out as the men before her rushed the newcomer…
Talon fingered the release for his srad and folded the three blades into a single dagger. He tried to get to the woman, but the Daimons attacked him en force. Normally, he’d have no trouble whatsoever obliterating them, but Dark-Hunter Code forbid him to reveal his powers to an uninitiated human.
For a second, he considered summoning a fog to conceal them, but that would make fighting the Daimons more difficult.
No, he couldn’t give them any advantage. So long as the woman was here, he was fighting with his hands tied behind his back, and given the superhuman strength and power of the Daimons, that wasn’t a good thing at all. No doubt that was why they’d attacked.
For once they actually stood a chance against him.
“Run,” he ordered at the human woman.
She’d started to obey him when one of the Daimons grabbed her. With a kick to the groin and a whack across his back after he doubled over, she dropped the Daimon and ran.
Talon arched a brow at her move. Smooth, very smooth. He’d always appreciated a woman who could watch out for herself.
Using his Dark-Hunter powers, he summoned a fog wall behind her to help shield her from the Daimons who were now more focused on him.
“Finally,” he said to the group. “We’re all alone.”
The one who appeared to be the leader, rushed him. Talon used his telekinesis to lift the Daimon up, spin him head over heels and slam him into a wall.
Two more came at him.
Talon caught one with his srad dagger, the other he kneed.
He tore through the two of them easily enough and was reaching for another one when he noticed the tallest of them running after the woman.
That momentary distraction cost him as another Daimon attacked and caught him in the solar plexus. The force of the blow knocked him back, off his feet.
Talon rolled with the punch, and shot upright.
“Now!” the female Daimon shouted.
Before Talon could catch his full balance, another Daimon caught him about the waist and shoved him backwards, into the street.
Straight into the path of a mammoth vehicle that was going so fast he couldn’t even identify it.
Something he assumed was the grill of it hit his right leg, shattering it instantly.
It pitched him forward, onto the pavement.
Talon rolled for about fifty yards, then came to rest under a streetlight on his stomach while the dark vehicle went careening down the street, out of sight. He lay with his left cheek against the pungent asphalt, his hands spread out beside him.
His entire body ached and throbbed and he could barely move from the pain. Worse, his head pulsed as he struggled to stay conscious.
But it was hard.
An unconscious Dark-Hunter is a dead one. The fifth rule of Acheron’s handbook came to his mind. He had to stay awake.
With his powers waning from the pain of his injuries, the fog began to dissipate.
Talon cursed. Any time he felt any sort of negative emotion, his powers diminished. It was yet another reason why he kept such a strangle hold on them.
Emotions were deadly to him in more ways than one.
Slowly, carefully, Talon pushed himself up to his feet at the same time he saw the Daimons fleeing down another alley. There was nothing to be done about it. He’d never catch them in his current condition and even if he did, the worst thing he could do to them was bleed on them.
Of course, Dark-Hunter blood was poisonous to Daimons…
Shit. He’d never failed before.
Grinding his teeth, Talon fought the wave of dizziness that consumed him.
The woman he’d saved ran to him. By the confused look on her face, he could tell she wasn’t sure how to help him.
Now that he saw her up close, he was taken by her pixie-like face. Fire and intelligence burned deep in her large, dark brown eyes. She reminded him of the MorrigÃƒ ¡n, the raven goddess he had sworn his sword and loyalty to all those centuries before when he had been human.
Her long, straight black hair fell in braids of all sizes around her head. And she had a smear of charcoal across one cheek. Impulsively, he brushed his hand over it and wiped it from her face.
Her skin was so soft. So warm, and it smelled strangely like patchouli and turpentine.
What a strange combination…
“Oh my God, are you okay?” the woman asked.
“Yeah,” Talon said quietly.
“I’ll call an ambulance,” she said.
“Nae!” Talon said in his own language, his body protesting the gesture. “No ambulance,” he added in English.
The woman frowned. “But you’re hurt…”
He met her gaze sternly. “No ambulance.”
She scowled at him until a light came to her intelligent eyes like she just had an epiphany. “Are you an illegal alien?” she whispered.
Talon seized on the only excuse he could give her. With his heavy, ancient Celt accent it would be a natural assumption. He nodded.
“Okay,” she whispered to him as she patted him gently on the arm. “I’ll take care of you without an ambulance.”
Talon forced himself to move away from the glaring lamplight that hurt his light- sensitive eyes. His broken leg protested, but he ignored it.
He limped over to lean against a brick building where he could take the pressure of his damaged leg. Again the world tilted.
Damn. He needed to get to safety. It was still early evening, but the last thing he needed was to be trapped in the city after sunup. Whenever a Dark-Hunter was injured, he or she felt an unnatural urge to sleep. It was a need that would make him dangerously vulnerable if he didn’t get home soon.
He pulled his cell phone out to notify Nick Gautier he was hurt, and quickly learned that his phone, unlike him, wasn’t immortal. It was in pieces.
“Here,” the woman said, moving to stand beside him. “Let me help you.”
Talon stared at her. No stranger had ever helped him like this. He was used to fighting his own battles and then cleaning up after them alone.
“I’m all right,” he said. “You go doÃ¢â‚¬â€”
“I’m not going to leave you,” she said. “You got hurt because of me.”
He wanted to argue, but his body throbbed too badly to bother.
Talon tried to move away from the woman. He took two steps and the world started to shift again.
The next thing he knew, everything went black.
Sunshine barely caught the man before he hit the ground. She staggered from the sheer size and weight of him and somehow kept him from falling over.
As gently as she could, she lowered him to the sidewalk.
Note, she said as gently as she could. As it was, he slammed into the pavement rather forcefully, making her hurt for him all over again as his head practically made a dent in the sidewalk.
“I’m sorry,” she said, straightening up to look down at him. “Please tell me that didn’t just give you a concussion.”
She hoped she hadn’t hurt him even worse by trying to help.
Whatever was she going to do now?
The illegal biker-looking alien dressed all in black was huge. She didn’t dare leave him on the street unattended. What if their attackers came back? Or some street punk rolled him?
This was New Orleans where most anything could happen to a person while conscious.
Well, there was no telling what the unsavory ones might do to him, so leaving him alone was not an option.
Just as her panic was getting the better of her, she heard someone call her name.
She looked around until she saw Wayne Santana’s beat-up blue Dodge Ram pulling up to the curb. At thirty-three, Wayne had a ruggedly handsome face that looked a lot older. His black hair was laced liberally with gray.
She breathed a sigh of relief at seeing him there.
He rolled his window the rest of the way down and leaned out. “Hey, Sunshine, what’s going on?”
“Wayne, could you help me get this guy into your truck?”
He looked really skeptical about that. “Is he drunk?”
“No, he’s hurt.”
“Then you should call an ambulance.”
“I can’t.” She gave him a pleading look. “Please, Wayne? I need to get him back to my place.”
“Is he a friend of yours?” he asked even more skeptically than before.
“Well, no. We just kind of collided out here.”
“Then, leave him. The last thing you need is to get involved with another biker. It’s none of our business what happens to him.”
“He could be a criminal, Sunshine.”
“How could you say such a thing?”
Wayne had been convicted of involuntary manslaughter seventeen years ago. After he’d served his time, he’d spent several months trying to find a job. With no money, no place to live and no one willing to hire an ex-con to do anything, he was on the brink of committing another crime to return to jail when he’d applied for a job at her father’s club.
Against her father’s protests, Sunshine had hired him.
Five years later, Wayne had never missed a day of work or been late. He was her father’s best employee.
“Please, Wayne?” she asked, giving him her puppy-dog look that never failed to bend the men in her life to her whims.
As he left the truck to help her, Wayne made a series of irritated noises. “One day, that big heart of yours is going to get you into trouble. Do you know anything about this man?”
“No.” All she knew was that he had saved her life when no one else would have bothered. Surely such a man wouldn’t hurt her.
She and Wayne struggled to get the unknown man upright, but it wasn’t easy.
“Jeez,” Wayne muttered as they staggered with him between them. “He’s huge and he weighs a friggin’ ton.”
Sunshine concurred. The man was at least six feet five inches of lean, solid muscle. Even with the thick leather motorcycle jacket concealing his upper torso, there was no doubt just how well-toned and muscular he was.
She’d never felt such a hard, steely body in her life.
After some doing, they finally got him into the truck.
As they headed toward her father’s club, Sunshine held the stranger’s head on her shoulder and brushed his wavy blond hair back from the chiseled features of his face.
There was a wild, untamed look about him that reminded her of some ancient warrior. His golden hair brushed against his shoulders in a loose style that said he was attentive to his appearance, but not obsessive about it.
Dark brown eyebrows arched over his closed eyes. His face was ruggedly scrumptious with a full day’s growth of beard. Even unconscious, he was compelling and drop dead gorgeous, and his nearness stirred something needful deep inside her.
But what she liked most about this stranger was the warm, masculine and leather scent of him. It made her want to nuzzle his neck and inhale heady mixture until she was drunk with it.
“So,” Wayne said as he drove. “What happened to him? Do you know?”
“He got hit by a Mardi Gras float.”
Even in the dim light of the truck’s cab, she could tell Wayne was giving her the are-you-nuts stare. “There’s no Mardi Gras parade tonight. Where did it come from?”
“I don’t know. I guess he must have ticked off the gods or something.”
She brushed her hand though the man’s tousled blond hair and toyed with the two thin braids that hung from his temple as she answered Wayne’s question. “It was a big Bacchus float. I was just thinking this poor guy must have offended our patron god of excess to have been run over by him.”
Wayne muttered under his breath. “Must be another frat boy prank. Seems like every year one of them is stealing a float and taking a joy ride in it. I wonder where they’ll leave it parked this time?”
“Well, they tried to park it on my friend here. I’m just glad they didn’t kill him.”
“I’m sure he will be too, when he wakes up.”
No doubt. Sunshine leaned her cheek against the stranger’s head and listened to his slow, deep breaths.
What was it about him that she found so irresistible?
“Man,” Wayne said after a brief silence. “Your father is going to be pissed about this. He’ll have my balls for dinner when he finds out I took an unknown guy up to your place.”
“Then don’t tell him.”
Wayne gave her a mean and nasty glare. “I cannot not tell him. If something happened to you, it would be my fault.”
She sighed irritably as she traced the sharp line of the stranger’s arched brows. Why did he seem so familiar to her? She’d never seen him before and yet she had a strange case of deja vu. As if she knew him somehow.
Weird. Very, very weird.
But then she was used to weirdness. Her mother had written the book on the subject, and Sunshine had redefined it.
“I’m a big girl, Wayne, I can take care of myself.”
“Yeah and I lived for twelve years with a bunch of big hairy men who made meals off little girls like you who thought they could take care of themselves.”
“Fine,” she said. “We’ll put him in my bed and I’ll sleep at my parents. Then in the morning, I’ll check on him with my mother or one of my brothers.”
“What if he wakes up before you get home and steals you blind?”
“Steals what?” she asked. “My clothes won’t fit him and I have nothing of any value. Not unless he likes my Peter, Paul and Mary collection anyway.”
Wayne rolled his eyes. “All right, but you better swear to me you won’t give him a chance to hurt you.”
Wayne looked less than pleased, but he remained technically quiet as he drove them toward her loft on Canal Street. However, he cursed underneath his breath the entire way.
Luckily Sunshine was used to ignoring men who did that around her.
Once they reached her loft that was located directly over her father’s bar, it took them a good fifteen minutes to get the stranger out of the truck and inside her home.
Sunshine led Wayne through her loft to the area where she’d strung tie-dyed pink cotton fabric along a wire to seal her bedroom area off from the rest of the large room.
Carefully, they placed her unknown guest on her bed.
“Well, let’s go,” Wayne said, taking her by the arm.
Sunshine gently shrugged his touch away. “We can’t leave him like that.”
“He’s covered in blood.”
Wayne’s face showed his exasperation. It was a look everyone had around her sooner or later–okay, it was most often sooner. “Go sit on the couch and let me undress him.”
“Wayne, I’m twenty-nine years old, a divorced artist who took nude drawing in college, and I was raised with two older brothers. I know what men look like naked and in their underwear. Okay?”
Growling low in his throat, he stepped out of her bedroom and went to sit on her sofa.
Sunshine took a deep breath as she turned back to her hero dressed all in black. He looked humongous on her bed.
He was also a total mess.
Tentatively so as not to hurt him, she reached to unzip his motorcycle jacket which was the neatest thing she’d ever seen. Someone had painted gold and red Celtic scroll-work all over it. It was simply beautiful. A true study in ancient artistry, and she should know. All her life, she had been drawn to all things Celtic. She’d cut her teeth on their art and culture.
As soon as she unzipped the jacket, she paused in shock as she saw he wore nothing underneath it. Nothing except lush, tawny skin that made her mouth water and her body instantly throb. Never in real life had she beheld a man with a body so hard and so well-toned. Every muscle was defined and even while relaxed, the strength of him was evident.
The man was a total god!
She ached to draw those perfect proportions and immortalize them. A body this fine definitely needed preserving. She pulled the jacket off and carefully set it on the bed.
Turning on the lamp that rested on her scarf-covered nightstand, she took a good look at him and was floored by what she saw.
He was even more gorgeous than the people who had attacked her. His wavy blond hair curled becomingly around the nape of his neck and two long, thin braids hung down to his bare chest. His eyes were closed, but his dark eyelashes were sinfully long. His face was perfectly sculpted with high, arching brows and he had a very dignified, yet untamed look to him.
Again, she had a strange case of deja vu as her mind flashed on an image of him awake and poised above her. Of him smiling down at her while he slid himself slowly in and out of her body…
Sunshine licked her lips at the thought as she throbbed in painful need.
It had been a long time since she had been this attracted to a stranger. But something about this man really made her ache for a taste of him.
Girl, you have been too long without a man.
Unfortunately, she really had.
Sunshine frowned as she moved closer and got a better look of the torc he wore around his neck. Thick and gold, it had Celtic dragon heads facing each other.
What was so odd was that she’d sketched that very same design years ago in art school and had even tried to cast it into a torc for herself, but the piece had ended up a big mess. It took a lot of metalworking talent to make something that intricate.
Even more impressive was the tribal body tattoo that covered the entire left side of his torso, including his left arm. It was a glorious maze of Celtic artwork that reminded her of the Book of Kells. And unless she missed her guess, it had been done to pay tribute to the Celtic war goddess, the MorrigÃƒ ¡n.
Without thought, she ran her hand over his tattoo, tracing the intricate design.
His right arm had a matching three inch band of scroll work around the biceps.
Incredible. Whoever had drawn his tattoos certainly knew their Celtic history.
And as her finger brushed against his nipple, she was jarred from her artist’s appreciation of the design.
The woman in her snapped to the forefront as her gaze darted over his lean muscular ribs and abs so tight and well-formed they should be part of a body-builder show.
Oh yeah, this was one fine looking man.
Even though there was a lot of blood on his pants, there didn’t appear to be any injury to have caused it. Come to think of it, there weren’t even many bruises. Not even where the Bacchus truck had slammed into his arm and ribs.
How weird was that?
Her throat dry, Sunshine reached for his fly.
Part of her couldn’t wait to see what was underneath those black pants.
Boxers or briefs?
Better yet, if he was this studly fine so far, it could only get better…
It was just an artist’s appreciation for his body, she told herself.
Ignoring that thought, she unzipped his pants and discovered the fact that he wore nothing underneath them.
Her face flamed at the sight of his extremely endowed maleness nestled against dark blond curls.
Oh come on, Sunshine, it’s not the first time you’ve seen a guy naked. Jeez! Six years of art school, you saw naked men galore. And you’ve had plenty of them to date, not to mention Jerry the ex-ogre wasn’t exactly small.
Yeah, but none of them had looked this good.
Biting her lip, she pulled his heavy, black Harley boots off, then slid his pants down his long, muscular legs. She hissed as her hands contacted with his skin that was liberally laced with short blond hairs.
Oh yeah, he was definitely hot and fine.
As she folded the pants, she paused and ran her hand over the fabric of them. They were made of the softest material she’d ever touched. Almost like chamois, only different. It was a strange texture. They couldn’t possibly be real leather. They were so thin and…
Her thoughts stopped as she caught sight of him on her bed.
Oh yeah, baby. Now that was every woman’s fantasy. A gorgeous naked guy at her mercy.
He lay across the pink comforter with one tanned arm draped over his stomach and his legs slightly apart as if waiting for her to join him there and run her hands up and down that lean, hard body.
He was a luscious one to stare at.
She sucked her breath between her teeth as she ached to climb up that strong, magnificent body and lay herself over him like a blanket. To feel his large, strong hands on her skin as she took him into her body and made wild monkey love to him for the rest of the night.
Her lips burned for a taste of that marvelous golden skin. And he was all golden skin. There wasn’t a tan line on him.
Sunshine shook her head to clear it. Goodness, but she was acting like a total goober over him.
There was something very special about this man. Something that called out to her like a siren’s lure.
She jumped at Wayne’s impatient call. She’d completely forgotten his presence. “Just a minute,” she said.
I just want one more peek. A woman needed a good ogle every now and again and how often did a woman get a chance to ogle an unconscious, handsome god?
Resisting the urge to fondle her guest, she covered him with a blanket, picked his jacket up from the bed, then left the room.
As she walked to the sofa, she studied his bloodied pants. Where had the blood come from?
Before she could investigate the pants, Wayne pulled them from her hands and grabbed the wallet out of the back pocket.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Checking him out. I want to see who this guy is.” Wayne opened the wallet and scowled.
“Let’s see, seven hundred and thirty-three dollars in cash and not a bit of ID. Not even a license or credit or debit card.” Wayne pulled a huge dagger out of the other pocket and flicked a release that spread the dagger out into a circle of three lethal- looking blades. Wayne cursed even louder. “Shit, Sunshine, I think you found yourself a drug dealer.”
“He’s not a drug dealer.”
“Oh yeah, how do you know?”
Because drug dealers don’t rescue women from rapists. But she didn’t dare tell Wayne that. It would only get her lectured and give him indigestion.
“I just do, now put that back.”
“Well?” Camulus asked Dionysus as Dionysus entered the room.
Styxx looked up from his magazine at the sound of Camulus’s voice. The Celtic god, Camulus, had been sitting on the couch across from him in the hotel suite while they had waited for news.
Dressed in black leather jeans and a gray sweater, the ancient deity had been flipping channels incessantly since Dionysus left, making Styxx want to snatch the remote from his hand and slam it down on the iron and glass coffee table.
But only a fool took a remote from a god.
Styxx might have a deathwish, but he had no desire to be ruthlessly tortured before he died.
So Styxx had gnashed his teeth and done his best to ignore Camulus and wait for Dionysus’ return.
Camulus wore his long, black hair pulled back in a ponytail. There was something devilish and evil about him, but then given the fact he was a god of war, it was rather par for the course.
Dionysus paused just inside the door. He shrugged out of his long, cashmere coat, then pulled his brown leather gloves from his hands.
At six ten, the god of wine and excess would be an intimidating sight to most people. But then Styxx was only two inches shorter and as the son of a king and a man who longed for death, he found very little intimidating.
What was Dionysus going to do? Send him back to his hellish isolation?
He’d been there, done that and had the Ozzy t-shirt to prove it.
Dionysus was dressed in a tweed jacket, navy turtleneck and pleated brown slacks. His short dark brown hair was perfectly streaked by blond and he had an immaculate goatee. He looked like a successful billionaire magnate, and did, in fact, run a major international corporation where the god got his jollies by crippling his competitors and taking over other businesses.
Forced against his will into retirement centuries ago, Dionysus had been banned from Olympus and sent to live in the mortal world which he hated almost as much as Styxx did.
“Answer my question, Bacchus,” Camulus said. “I’m not one of your dickless Greeks to be kept waiting for an answer.”
Rage flared in Dionysus’s eyes. “You better take a more civil tone with me, Cam. I’m not one of your flaccid Celts to shake in terror of your wrath. You want to fight, boy, bring it on.”
Camulus shot to his feet.
“Whoa, hang on a second,” Styxx said, trying to calm them down. “Let’s save the fighting for when you take over the world, okay?”
They both looked at him as if he were insane to come between them.
No doubt, he was. But if they killed each other, he’d never die.
Cam glared at Dionysus. “Your pet is right,” he said. “But when I have my godhood back, you and I are going to talk.”
The gleam in Dionysus’s eyes said he was looking forward to it.
Styxx took a deep breath. “So, is the woman with Talon?” he asked Dionysus.
Dionysus smiled coldly. “Just like clockwork.” He looked at Camulus. “Are you sure this will immobilize him?”
“I never said it would immobilize him. I said it would neutralize him.”
“What’s the difference?” Styxx asked.
“The difference is he’s about to become an even bigger distraction and concern for Acheron. Yet another way to weaken the Atlantean in the end.”
Styxx liked the sound of that.
Now they would just have to ensure that the Dark-Hunter and the woman remained together. At least until Mardi Gras when the threshold between this world and Kolasis would be thin enough to breech so that they could release the Atlantean Destroyer from captivity.
It had been six hundred years since the last time this had occurred and it would be well over eight hundred years more before it occurred again.
Styxx cringed at the thought of living another eight hundred years. Another eight centuries of lonely, never-ending monotony and pain. Of watching his keepers come and go, grow old and die as they lived out their mortal lives surrounded by family and friends.
They didn’t know how lucky they were.
As a human, he had once feared death. But that was ancient aeons ago.
Now the only thing Styxx feared was that he would never escape the horror of his existence. That he would keep on living, century after century, until the universe itself exploded.
He wanted out and up until thirty years ago, he hadn’t had a hope of it.
Now he did.
Dionysus and Camulus wanted to reclaim their godhoods and they needed the Destroyer and Acheron’s blood to do it. It was a pity he didn’t have Atlantean blood in him or he would gladly offer up himself as sacrifice.
As it was, Acheron alone held the key to the Destroyer’s release.
Styxx was the only creature alive who could deliver Acheron to them.
Just a few days more and everything would be set right. The old powers would return to dominate the earth and he…
He would finally be free.
Styxx sighed in sweet expectation. All he had to do was keep the Dark-Hunters at each other’s throats and keep them distracted while he kept the gods from killing each other.
If either Talon or Acheron ever realized what was happening, they would stop it. They alone had the power to do so.
It was him against them and this time, this time, he would finish what he had started eleven thousand years ago.
When he was through here, the Dark-Hunters would be without leadership.
He would be free and the earth as all knew it would be a whole new place entirely.
Just a few days more…