“He needs to be destroyed. My preference is painfully and quickly, but any means that ultimately results in his death will work.”
Acheron Parthenopaeus turned his head to see the Greek goddess Artemis approaching him. Dressed only in black leather pants, he sat on the stone railing of her temple balcony with his back against one of the Dorian columns that lined it. The balcony was made of sparkling white marble that overlooked a breathtaking view of a rainbow waterfall and a perfect forest scene.
But then one would expect no less on Mt. Olympus where the Greek gods made their home.
With flowing red hair, perfect porcelain skin and sharp green eyes, Artemis would be beautiful if he didn’t begrudge her every breath she drew.
“Why do you have such a burr up your ass all of a sudden where Sin’s concerned?”
She curled her lip. “I hate it when you talk like that.”
Which was exactly why he did it. “You’re changing the subject.”
“I’ve always hated him. He was supposed to die. Remember? You intervened.”
She was seriously oversimplifying that. “He survived on his own. I merely gave the guy a job after you screwed him over.”
“Yes and now he’s gone insane. Did you not see that he broke into a museum last night, knocked out three guards in the process and stole a high profile artifact? How is that not exposing the Dark-Hunters to public scrutiny? I swear he did it on purpose, hoping to get caught so that he could tell the humans about all of us. He’s a threat to everyone.”
Ash dismissed her anger even though he did agree it was a reckless move on Sin’s part. Usually the man had more sense. “I’m sure he just wanted to touch a piece of home. Hell, whatever he took, probably belonged to him or some member of his family. I’m not going to kill anyone because they were homesick, ArtieÃ¢â‚¬” kind of like killing someone when they’re on the can. It’s just wrong.”
With her hands on her curvy hips, she glared at him. “So you’re going to dismiss it?”
“If by that you mean I don’t think it warrants his immediate execution. Call me crazy, but yeah, I’m dismissing it.”
“You are going softball.”
Ash frowned until he realized what she meant. “Soft, Artie. You meant to say I’m going soft.”
“Whatever.” She moved to stand beside him. “The Acheron I remember would have sizzled him for half the infraction.”
He released an agitated breath before he responded. “Fried, Artie, **** learn to speak. I’ve got a headache from trying to figure out what the hell you mean. And at no time in my life would I have ever fried anyone for something like this.”
“Yes, you would have.”
He thought about that for a moment. But as usual she was wrong. “Nope. Only you would move me to that kind of violence over something so insignificant.”
“You’re such a bastard.”
He leaned his head back against the column so that he could look up at her. “Why? Because I won’t do your bidding?”
“Yes. You owe me this. You made me get rid of Thanatos and now I have no control over those creatures-”
“That you created,” he added, interrupting her angry tirade. “Don’t forget the important part here. The Dark-Hunters wouldn’t exist at all had someone, and for the sake of your missing intellect let me clarify that, you stolen those powers from me. Excuse me for banning you from killing them because you have reverse PMS.”
She scowled. “Reverse PMS?”
“Yeah, unlike a normal woman, you’re cranky twenty-eight days out of the month.”
She moved to slap him, but he caught her wrist in his hand. “You haven’t bargained for the right to hit me.”
She wrenched her arm away from him. “I want him dead.”
“I’m not your tool in this.” And lucky for Sin, Ash was here. He was the only reason Artemis didn’t kill Sin herself. They’d made the pact centuries ago after she’d flambeed a Dark-Hunter for one erroneous comment that she would never again go after a Dark-Hunter without Ash’s approval.
Her eyes were still seething. “He’s up to something. I can feel it.”
“Of that I have no doubt. He’s been plotting your murder since the day you stole his godhood from him. Lucky for you, I’m in the way and Sin knows it.”
She narrowed her eyes on him. “I’m surprised you’re not helping him.”
So was he. But in the end, he knew he couldn’t be a part of that. He needed Artemis in order to live and if he were to die, the world would become an even scarier place than it already was.
Too bad that. Cause honestly, he wanted nothing more than to bid her ass goodbye and never look back.
Artemis shoved at his raised knee. “Aren’t you at least going to ask him why he was at the museum? And why he assaulted those officers?”
A sliver of hope went through him. “Are you going to let me leave to do it?”
“You owe me three more days.”
So much for hope. He should have known better. The ***** had no intention of letting him out of her temple until his two weeks were up. “Then it looks like it can wait.”
Artemis curled her lip at him as she curled her hands into fists. Acheron was ever her bane. Why she put up with him, she didn’t know.
Actually, she did. Even in his stubbornness, he was still the sexiest man she’d ever seen. There was nothing she enjoyed more than watching him move. Or even sit as he was doing at present. He had the most viciously perfect body any man had ever possessed. His long blond hair was braided over one shoulder as he leaned back with his arms folded over his chest and his left bare foot tapped in time to an imaginary beat only he could hear.
Powerful and bold, he only bent to her when she forced him to it by blood and bone. And even then, he did so grudgingly and defiantly. He really was like a wild beast that no one could tame.
For that matter, he bit and snarled at anyone who tried to pet him.
And the gods knew she’d tried for centuries to either win him over or beat him into submission. But nothing worked. He was ever near and ever unattainable. It infuriated her.
She pouted at him. “You’d like for him to kill me, wouldn’t you?”
He let out a small laugh. “Hell, no. I want that honor myself.”