As the son of the infamous New Amsterdam city mayor, Lucian learned at an early age that power is king, love is for the weak, and a real man has no use for tears or mercy. The only light in Lucian's formative years was Shea who gave Lucian the impetus to break free of his father and leave the city. Shea is never far from Lucian's side, a friend and companion.
But after a lover dies despite Lucian's best efforts, Lucian returns home with new purpose: build an empire to destroy the darkness that steal lives and souls. Shea's back in the city, too, and when three long years pass without contact, Lucian realizes he can't live without confessing that Shea is his only solace and reason for living.
When reuniting with Shea leads to a horrifying discovery at the hands of the very evil Lucian wishes to eradicate, Lucian vows a path of bloody vengeance to save Shea from certain destruction.
Lucian made it to the Rover, and time kept skipping. He didn't recall the porch, the gravel, or his keys, but he relished the spin of tires when he hit the gas.
Something was wrong with Shea.
The Rover found traction on rock and snow and bounced down the mile-long drive toward the main road that wound its way by the Ollivander farm. Lucian couldn't stop shaking, realized he'd left his coat on the rack inside Shea's cabin, and he nearly hit a tree.
Someone had hurt Shea.
Yanking the wheel in the direction of the skid, Lucian avoided a head-on collision and reality stuttered again. The next thing he knew, he was on scraped asphalt, tires straddling the center lines. He glared at the speedometer that screamed he was doing ninety in a thirty-five, and the Rover careened back to the proper side of the road.
Something Lucian had done had made Shea lash out.
Lucian's back throbbed in complaint, and he ignored it. He slammed on the brakes in the middle of the street, stopping next to a wooden fence lining private property. Lucian didn't recognize the fence, the pasture, anything. His breath fogged the car, he couldn't feel his hands or feet, and he smashed at the controls on the dash until heat flooded the interior. A horn blared, Lucian braced for impact, and a sedan whipped around the Rover. The driver shook a fist, and Lucian's head hit the wheel, once, twice. The pain barely registered.
Someone was going to pay.
Slamming on the hazard lights, Lucian eased the truck off the road and into a ditch. He fumbled in his pockets until he found his phone. It slipped to the floorboards, and Lucian cussed in stammers that worried the last remnants of his sane self. He couldn't figure out how to turn off the damned keyguard, and he screamed in the enclosed silence, deafening.
Finally hitting the right buttons, Lucian clutched at his chest and doubled over in the seat. The call rang and rang, and Lucian felt alone in the world. God and purpose and everything he'd ever worked for didn't matter, didn't know his name, and Lucian hung on the cliff of despair.
Lucian tried to speak, couldn't.
"Hello?" Clark said.
"... dialed you accidentally," Lucian heard in the background. Daniel. "Why's he calling this time of --"
"Shea," Lucian said, the single syllable a mess of sound.
"Luke? What's wrong?"
"Don't f-fucking call me that!" Lucian cried.
"Sir. Sorry, sir." The snap in Clark's voice didn't lessen the concern, and Lucian couldn't breathe. His chest hurt; he was sweating and shivering. It felt like he was dying.
"What's your location, sir?" Clark asked.
Lucian shook his head and snarled. "I don't know. Farm. Near the farm."
"The Ollivander Farm, sir?"
"I don't know. Goddammit, Clark, something's wrong."
"I understand, sir. We'll fix it. Just tell me where you are."