Together Forever…the beautiful orange roses Dion had planted for her would bloom, flourish, but wilt and die, like him. Except the roses would bloom again the following year…
Twenty-one years of happiness was cut off abruptly when one of Jorgenson’s hitmen killed Dion. Devastated and alone, Lux throws herself into her work—solving cold cases, and especially to find the killer that robbed her of her mate.
When the GIA sends her to another planet to solve a cold case to locate a missing princess, Lux takes it on. Little does she know that she will meet the mate destined for her by the gods. Or, that the mysteries surrounding that case will solve the mystery of her origins.
Azan’s arm around Lux tightened as a whirlwind breeze surrounded them. Lux’s long black hair flew around her head, over her face, and she stepped further into Azan’s arms to lean against his chest. His arms held her securely against him as the wind funnel spun them faster and faster.
Lux clutched tightly to Azan as the funnel spit them out. They tumbled to a hard, wet surface. With her head still spinning, she sat up, feeling disorientated. “I guess we’re here,” she mumbled.
Azan was already on his feet and held out his hand. “You okay?”
“Yes. Thanks. I wish I could always do that. It would make space travel so much easier!” Lux gazed at her surroundings. Behind her was what looked like a large, round window that was overgrown with green vines. A greenish sky with swirling white clouds was visible beyond it. When she looked the other way, she faced an opposing scene—a dark opening with black withered vines draping down.
Azan let go of her and stepped through the fissure. She heard him shout and rushed through the split in the grotto’s wall. Azan stood with his sword drawn, facing the biggest spider she’d ever seen. It was taller than him, and he was not a small man. Red eyes bulged from its head. Instantly, Lux’s defense mechanism kicked in. She called on her fire magic and threw fireballs at the spider, while Azan hacked at its reaching hairy legs and gaping mouth filled with razor teeth. A fireball hit it smack between the eyes, and the beast crumpled to the ground. Lux continued her assault until nothing was left but a pile of ashes.
“What a lovely welcome. I wonder if there’s supposed to be an Oracle here, too,” Lux murmured.
“Maybe the Oracle only appears when called upon? Look at the difference beyond the window and here. Perhaps that’s where the Oracle is, only we can’t see it from here? Maybe the window shields it from the darkness on this side. The gods weren’t joking when they said we were going to a dark planet. Thank you for helping me defeat that creature.”
He held his hand out, and she took it, once again experiencing the jolt of energy flowing from his hand into hers and up her arm.
“Let’s get out of here and see where we are,” he suggested and pulled her along through the cavern.
It was inky dark. Lux called on her powers and conjured up a sphere of light. When it lit up their surroundings, they saw nothing but slimy black rockface, and small scummy creatures with dozens of hairy legs slithering away from the sudden light. The air had a rotten effluvium to it as well.
“So the Oracle has finally seen fit to send me visitors! Welcome to my humble home!” a shaky male voice said, startling them both.
A stooped old man—wrinkly, missing half his teeth, a long straggly beard reaching to his feet, and greasy gray hair just as long—appeared before them. The only thing that stood out noticeably was his eyes. They were sharp, the eyes of a much younger man, but an eerie orange color. His clothing was nothing but a ragged, black sack, and a foul stench emanated from him.
Death…he reeks of decomposing corpses… She’d come across corpses many times when solving cold cases, some still in stages of decomposition, and she knew the stench well. It was nauseating, to say the least.