Lucien was forced to walk away from love years ago, so when fate offers him a second chance, he grasps it with both hands and refuses to let go.
Perry has changed a lot since they last saw each other, including the fact that he is now a falcon shapeshifter who has spent the past few years enslaved to a mutual enemy. What hasn't changed, though, is the feelings that burn between them.
When Perry's ex-captors decide they want him back, leaving little trace of the abduction behind, Lucien has to learn that just weathering a storm isn't always enough. Sometimes, you need to ride the lightning, too.
Long ago in a place without time, a group of Demi-gods gathered.
Krogan peered into the Well of all Tears, his brow furrowing into deeply grooved lines that showed the true depth of his concern. His fingers gripped the gold gilt edging of the pool that lapped with a gentle ripple from the gathering moisture far above, falling as a single teardrop at a time into the shallow waters below. The reflected image shimmered, quivering in a motion that matched the unsettled trembling of his churning stomach.
Tiona—the other half of his heart—wrapped her arm around his waist, weaving herself under his arm and against the breadth of his chest as she too peered into the waters, shivering as she watched the fragments of the future unfold before her. A tear slipped from the corner of her eye and traced down her cheek, sliding down her chin and joining those shed by the heavens, into the pool.
Krogan's gaze swept around the great hall, so bleak and dark...as dark as the heaviness that weighed on the hearts of his gathered brothers, sisters, and their mates. Each wept, their souls crying out throughout the spiritual plane for the lives that would perish, if the world were to continue on the path it had been set upon.
Men, women, children, and preter...life held little meaning, as brother turned on brother, friend on friend, and lover on lover...while their enemies united in strength. Gathered like rats from a fire, the remains of mankind huddled within the vision, scavenging through the leftovers of war, while famine and pestilence extended their reach and claimed what little remained of a once flourishing land.
The dregs of society, skin traders and peddlers of misery, ruled those unfortunate enough to be unable to avoid capture and enslavement—their lives little more than added currency for those who could pay for the enjoyment of their pain, their blood.
With a fraction of the population left and a complete loss of humanity running rampant, Krogan knew what he was seeing was indeed the end of days, come to life in all its sickening glory.
Obeying the edict of the gods and simply letting this future come to pass...just the thought of doing so was unfathomable to both his heart and mind. The only prevention was action. As he looked around the hall, he knew that as the offspring of a god, they all had to step forth and join in his efforts. While they might not be able to physically move in and interfere, there were ways they could give humanity a chance, indirectly.
He straightened and rolled his shoulders, a new resolve firm in his mind as he met the eye of each of his brothers, sisters, and their mates. While his siblings were each unique in their spirits and abilities, they were born of the same father—a god who apparently loved variety, yet cared little for the responsibilities left to him by his choices in bed partners. It didn't matter. They didn't see shifter, vampire, warlock, and more, as they looked toward each other...they saw family, an unbreakable bond that tied them to each other for eternity. As it was their father's carelessness—that sowed the root of destruction they watched before them—they each knew they would all have to deal with it.
"We can see the path that has been set. It is the end, a price each life will pay if we do not act. While we do not have the power to divert the disaster before us, we can deliver those who will.
"Join with me. Let our own blood repair that which is broken, before all life falls to pieces." A round of nods and determined expressions met his request.
Drawing on his shifter spirit, he focused on his life energy, pulling a single thin filament from within his soul and into his awaiting hands. Tiona did the same, holding the golden spark of her thread in her small, cupped palms. He guided her to slide her breathtakingly beautiful essence into his palm, to join with his own.
The threads swirled, Krogan's silver essence entwining itself against Tiona's gold. They writhed, rolled, until they blended into one. A bright flare of pure light, that heralded the starting spark of new life, blinded Krogan for an instant. The tiny new life felt warm against his skin, pulsing with a gentle energy, so fragile, yet bursting with promise, with hope.
He turned to his brothers and sisters, smiling at the rainbow of colours nestled safely within the hands of each new father or mother. They turned to the well, joining voices as they murmured the incantation that opened the veil between earth and their own higher plane of existence. The veil parted with a slight whooshing sound, and the men and women farewelled their offspring, before releasing them through the parting in the veil with hearts heavy, yet happy at the same time.
Their children would find a safe haven among the wombs of the worthy, those who would protect the new life with their own. They would grow, unaware of the heavy weight of responsibility that awaited them until each child's true spirit awoke to their destiny when the time arrived to act. Until then, Krogan and his siblings would watch, and wait...