The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action.

Cael paused as he heard Acheron’s voice behind him. He turned around on the sidewalk to see the ancient warrior walking through the night’s mist. There was something really spooky about Acheron. There always had been.

He’d first met him on September 15, 904, on a cool night much like this one in Cornwall. Cael had been covered in the blood of an entire raiding party of Vikings that night. The fires he’d started had singed his hair and blistered his skin.

But he hadn’t cared. All that had mattered had been avenging his wife, brother, mother and sister who had been slain by the Vikings.

Even after all these centuries, he could still see Morag’s beautiful freckled face, hear the gentle lilt of her voice as she called out his name. With hair redder than the sun and a smile every bit as radiant, she had been his entire world. Her and his baby sister, who’d been on the brink of adulthood. Corynna had held eyes so blue they rivaled the sky, and a laugh so musical that it should have belonged to a songbird.

And his father had sold them all into slavery to save his own life. But the Vikings hadn’t wanted slaves. They’d wanted victims to practice on. Bound in chains, Cael had watched helplessly as every one of them had been tortured and killed for fun while their cries of pain and pleas for death had echoed in his ears.

Not even his own death had been able to silence their agonized voices. It hadn’t erased the sight of them being beaten and dismembered. There were times even now when he came awake, shaking from the memory of it.

Acheron had appeared to him after Cael had taken his vengeance on those who’d preyed on his family. He had shown Cael, a simple peasant bastard, how to fight the Daimons, and how to live again when he had nothing in this world worth living for.

He owed everything to the Atlantean leader of the Dark-Hunters. Had Acheron not shown him how to put the past behind him and go forward with his life, he’d have never made it to this time and place.

Never made it to Amaranda.

Amaranda who was Apollite born…