While she wants no part of being a TrueMate, he has to have her or die.
Camulos, the God of War, lost his family when he couldn’t give up what his wife, Ashlyn, called his war-like ways. After she leaves taking their twin sons, he secludes himself. He’s unprepared when ten years later Cayleigh, Ashlyn’s aunt, shows up with his now teen-aged sons. With his wife dead, he’s shocked to realize after waiting for centuries the Fates have finally given him the headstrong TrueMate he requires. Even as Cayleigh denies his claim, in the throes of the assero vel’abeo he has no choice. He has to have her submission. With less than twenty-four hours to insure it or die, whoever said the Fates were kind?
“Kill him!” The clash of metal against metal rang out. “He doesn’t deserve to live! Remember Berwick!” A warrior wearing blue war paint and wielding a broadsword bellowed.
“I will, brother. We will have our revenge!” His brother in arms swung viciously at the British knight in front of him, lopping off his hand. The man screamed in agony.
Camulos, the former Celtic-Romano God of War, rolled his eyes at the corny lines being shouted on the television screen. These fools don’t even have a clue what actually happened at the Battle of Berwick. He pressed the pause button on his remote, stilling the bloody battle.
“Who the hell writes their dialogue? Like any warrior would stop in the middle of battle to talk about another bloody battle. It’s a damn fine way to lose your blessed head.” After jotting down a few suggestions for the director, he thumbed the remote and the battle resumed.
By the end of the footage, he had a list of suggestions for the director and a half-assed headache. He often wondered why he ever thought consulting with this damn film company in New Zealand would alleviate the boredom brought on by his marriage. His family was gone. He was lonely once again and was still bored.
If only I’d known. But then again they say hindsight is twenty-twenty.
He rubbed his temples in frustration. “Damn her! Why couldn’t she have understood? I was the freakin’ God of War!” Even though, he’d known Ashlyn might have issues with his nature, and that she wasn’t his TrueMate, he’d wanted the Serenity Faerie.
And to have her, I tried to give up my warrior ways. I was so tired of being alone, that I gave her my oath. I quit practicing with Invincible because she said there was no reason to keep my sword skills honed. I cancelled all the tourneys that were to be held in my honor because even as a sport she saw them as violent.
He began to pace the theater room in agitation, unwilling to let the past go.
I should’ve realized after thousands of years being together, she’d freak out about me being a fight scene consultant. Even without me wielding the sword, she’d still find issues with violence portrayed on the screen. I should’ve never stolen her from the faerie realm. I should’ve realized she wouldn’t be able to handle the constant turmoil in the Mortal realm. The only good thing that came from our marriage is our sons.
A sharp pain filled his chest at the thought of them.
When he’d come home to find Ashyln gone, her desertion wasn’t a surprise, but it hurt like hell when he realized she taken their twin sons with her. He missed Kennet and Flannery, his little blond-haired tykes, like a drug addict yearned for his next high.
All the while he had no one to blame but himself. Ashlyn’s parting words made sure of it.
“I just knew you couldn’t change, Camulos. Once a God of War - always one. I was foolish to think you would keep your oath. We’re going back to Faerie realm, where your blood thirst won’t rub off on my sons.”
He’d pled with her to not take his children, their precious miracles who were finally conceived after thousands of years of marriage, but in end it hadn’t mattered. His boys were whisked away to the Faerie realm and out of his reach until they came of age.
His broken oath had sealed his fate.
Across the room the phone rang, jerking him out of his torturous memories. He considered ignoring it just as he had the last six times it’d rung. When it continued ringing unabated, he finally snatched the receiver from the cradle.
“Yeah?” His snarl seemed lost on the person on the other end.
“Don’t you take that tone with me, Camulos! Open the gate! If it hasn’t escaped your notice it’s raining out here.”
The feminine voice was both sensual and tart. It had him pausing even as his body reacted violently. His cock, which had refused to respond to another’s touch, was now primed as if he’d indulged in hours of foreplay. A tingle at the back of his neck and the urge to mate—no to dominate the woman—consumed him. He nearly dropped the phone in surprise.
This can only mean one thing!
While he hadn’t been interested in any female, let alone reacted to one since his wife left him, his body was now telling him his TrueMate was at his front gate.
He cleared his throat before forcing himself to speak. “Who are you?”
“Your worst nightmare unless you open this god damned gate!”
Even through his daze from his body’s unexpected reaction, he could hear a young male in the background. The need to kill the male boiled over. He reached for a sword that was no longer there.
“Now he went and did it. Only a fool pisses off Auntie.”
“I’m going to show you who the fool is if you call me that detested title again, Flannery. Quit laughing, Kennet, before I kick your ass up between your shoulder blades!”
The shock of hearing his sons’ names calmed his need for blood. She has my sons!
With no recollection of the woman presenting him such temptation, he surged out of his chair. He had to find out who she was and why she was with his sons.
“I’ll be right there.” His voice was gruff as he dropped the phone on the floor, uncaring about the muffled protests coming from it. He left the room at a dead run.
* * * * *
Standing outside the gate, Cayleigh grumbled as she pushed her damp hair off her forehead. The rain continued to fall. It was late autumn in Colchester, England and, as usual, the weather just sucked. Cold and rainy did not agree with her demoness side at all. She liked hot and dry – not cold and damp places. Behind her the cabbie looked at her hopefully from inside the warm taxi. Probably waiting to be paid. Jerking her head at Flannery, he nodded before ambling over to pay the man.
Moments later the car was gone and Kennet’s continued laughter had her considering the idea of knocking the teen on his ass. Despite the fact at sixteen he towered over her did little to deter her. Of the two, he was the practical joker. While both boys supposedly had the bodies of their father – the God of War – she wasn’t the least bit intimidated by him or his twin, Flannery. They may have had a good fifty pounds on her and ten inches in height, but she was just plain meaner and nastier. After my stay in the Underworld, how could anyone expect me to turn out differently? Her niece had accused her more than once of being down right vicious.
Cayleigh made no apologies or excuses for her nature. She was a bitch partially because of her father. As a minor demon under Bilé - the ruler of Underworld, her father, Alastir, whisked her at a young age to the world of eternal damnation when her mother had died.
As a Serenity Faerie few things other than misguided love could kill them. Her own mother’s continual denial of her love for Alastir had caused her to slowly waste away as if being eaten from inside. Not unlike humans with their deadly cancers.
Raising a young girl, even a half-demoness, in Hell had taken serious balls. Under Alastir’s patient guidance, she grew up every inch a true demoness despite her slightly pointed ears and the delicate frame she’d inherited from her mother. In fact most considered her a full-blooded demon because of her vicious reputation.
It was quite the surprise, when her peace-loving niece called her for help five years ago. Her great-nephews were beginning to mature and were running roughshod over Ashlyn.
Remembering the situation she’d walked into, her niece’s pleas made perfect sense. At eleven, the twins towered over Ashlyn and were capable of being more than their already weakening mother could handle. It’d pained Cayleigh to watch her niece wither away from the same calamity as her mother. Only a foolish faerie woman gives her heart to an unacceptable man. Cayleigh had decided then and there she would never allow it to happen to her.
Thankfully it only took me a couple of weeks to get them under control and bring some sort of semblance of order to their house. The last thing Ashlyn needed was more stress in her life as she grew worse. Now all I have left to do is honor her last request.
Feeling an unfamiliar pang in her chest at her reason for bringing her nephews to Colchester unsettled her. Not wanting her unease to show, she faked a lunge at Kennet. She grinned when he scrambled backwards.
Despite the rain and the cold breeze, they were on the verge of a full-blown wrestling match when Camulos rushed through the gate. His long blond hair blew in the wind and rain dampening his dark sweater and faded jeans.
“What the hell are you doing? Unhand my son!”
Cayleigh froze at the god-like boom, and the effect it had over her senses. Even though she ignored the faerie side of her nature on most days, she couldn’t help but pause. It was a well known fact that faeries love sound, especially the deep timber of a virile man.
Narrowing her eyes at her grinning nephew, she promised him retribution for his little taunt. She shook her head when Kennet burst out in laughter. “Insufferable brat.”
She stiffened when a large masculine hand landed on her shoulder.
“Remove it or lose it.” Her breath left her in a rush when she was spun around by the hand. Looking up, she smirked at the thunderous expression on the man’s face. “Ew - is that your scary face, Cami-baby?” The knowledge the man in front of her was a real but ancient Celtic god didn’t scare her. Let him try to strike me down, I’ll be waiting for him in Hell. She laughed when utter disbelief crossed his roughly honed features.
“What did you just call me?”
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kennet double over in laughter. Flannery took a step forward, as if he wanted to protect her. When will that boy learn? I don’t need protecting? She shook her head.
“Cami-baby, you need to get over your bad self. I come bearing gifts.” She nodded to the two boys. “Meet Kennet, the fool, and Flannery, the protector. Your sons.”
He gave her a not-so-gentle shake. “I know who they are, but what I don’t know is why my wife’s rabid demoness aunt has them!” He kept his hands on her shoulders.
Biting her lip, she tried to control her need to deck the tall, yummy-looking god in front of her. “I see my reputation has preceded me. You’re going to get a first hand demonstration, if you don’t let go of me. Right now!” Keeping her tone soft and even, she could still feel the press of her horns begging to be released. During her time in this realm of normalcy, she’d been tempted many times to allow her true nature to show, but until this very moment she always managed to keep herself in check.
When he tossed his head back and laughed, a low warning hiss escaped her. She noticed that Kennet had stopped laughing to watch the unfolding drama.
“Father, I wouldn’t…” Flannery’s warning barely penetrated the standoff the two adults were having.
“Ah, shut it, Flan! I want to see Auntie kick Dad’s ass!”
Of course the little shit does, he’s almost as bloodthirsty as his brother.
Camulos laughed even harder, but didn’t take his eyes off her, even as he spoke to the boys. “Like there was ever a chance she could take me. You wound me with your lack of faith, Sons.”
She let an evil smile cross her face. “Just remember you can’t say you weren’t warned, Cami-baby.” Loosening her control, she let the strange ripple that accompanied her glamour dropping away flow over her to reveal her true form.