Vengeance is futile against a man of many breeds…
John Lodington is a 2,500 year old paranormal mutt. His “father,” Feng, used genetic altering on his werewolf mother when John was in the womb. When Dixie Harmon walks into John’s general store in the Colorado Rockies it takes all John’s might to not bash her over the head like a caveman and take her home with him.
Adonis is looking for revenge against his brothers. He knows John and his other brother, D.L., left him and their father for dead in the ancient caves of the Wei River Valley in China. He has finally decided to take his retribution.
Dixie and John figure out that she is not entirely human either. Before they know it, not only is Adonis after them, the witches’ council wants them dead too. John hopes to earn Dixie‘s trust, and eventually her love…
2,500 years ago…
Lying on the cold ground, Adonis’s sense of smell kicked in and brought him out of unconsciousness. There was a fire. He lifted his head from a sticky puddle of blood and saw the far containment cells were in flames, flickering along the wall with a bright blue glow. That didn’t make sense. Only he and his father could use the witches’ magic. Why was Feng burning the containment cells? Then his memory came flooding back.
D.L. and John. They did this.
Pushing to his knees, he swayed, his head heavy. Reaching up to the back of his head, his fingers dragged over something rough and jagged sticking out. That’s not good. He grabbed the bars of the cell his brothers had locked him in and pulled himself to his feet. He stumbled to the cell door and pushed. It wouldn’t budge. The blue powder that made fire was spread across the cell floor.
Adonis dropped to the floor and scooped up as much of the precious powder as he could. He ripped off a strip of his shirt, put the powder in it, and wrapped it into a dime-sized ball. Then he stuffed it into the lock and dug into his pocket for the rock that could make a spark against metal. He hammered the rock against the door. Seventeen tries later, a spark lit the powder and ignited a fireball. Stepping back, he kicked the door lock. It didn’t break. Sweat dripped down his face. He kicked the lock again and again. A piece of the cloth fell out igniting the blue powder and started a fire near him. Panting, he booted the lock one last time. The door flew open.
Father, he thought. Get to his father—he would know what to do. He ran up the cavern path to the room where his father did experiments. There was no sign of him. No, wait. He inhaled deeply and caught the faint scent of his father somewhere in the room. Then he spotted him in the corner, lying on the ground. Adonis ran to him and screamed, “Father!” Adonis lifted up the old man’s face. Feng looked frail and his strength seemed to be slipping away.
Adonis carried him to the forest outside. He set Feng down and cradled his head in his lap. Crying with confusion, he said, “Father, father, what do I do?”
Feng looked up him. “My son, you are hurt.”
“Yes, but Father, you are going to…”
“Die. Yes. I am.”
“What do I do?”
“Nothing, my son. Your injury is deadly too. It seems fate has insisted that one of us die. You need to drink my blood. Heal yourself.”
Adonis opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Tears flooded down his face. He hugged Feng to him. “Father, I cannot do as you ask.”
Feng whispered into his ear, “But you must. You and your brothers are special. You must get to them.” Feng’s voice sank to an almost inaudible rasp. “They must …you must…kill…” Feng died.
Adonis blinked away his tears. “Father?” He looked at the old man’s body. All life had left it. “Father, what do I do? I must what?” He dropped his father’s body down and screamed. The entirety of his life was in the cave with his father. He lived to serve his father. He was above all the other experiments. He was his father’s only true son; Feng had told him so.
His pain turned into anger. He was going to make his brothers pay, even if it took all eternity. He bent Feng’s head back and sunk his teeth into his neck. He honored his father’s last request and drank.
A minute later he stopped and pulled the protrusion out of his head and studied it. It was a chunk of black obsidian that they had often used it as a cutting tool. He threw it to the side and drank more. Satisfied with his fill of fresh blood, he picked up his father’s body and took it to the fire in the cave. He threw his father’s body into the fire and left. He did not look back.
Dixie grabbed her camera and was playing with her settings when a man’s voice said, “You are human.”
Expecting to see John she said, “Yup, and I’m a girl. If you would’ve come down to the party last night you would’ve learned that earlier.” She met the man’s eyes. This was not John, but he looked similar. The same height and build, but his hair was lighter and even longer than Johns. His skin color was lighter too. “Oops, you’re not who I thought you were.”
“Oh, and who might I be?” said the man.
Chills ran down her spine. He definitely gave her a bad vibe. She did not want to be near him.
She stuffed everything in her pack and zipped it up. “I thought you were…someone else. Sorry, I have to go.” She stood up.
He moved in front of her, blocking her, unless she wanted to jump into the mud. She was seriously considering that option when another voice said, “She’s here with me.”
Mystery man’s face contorted, but his focus stayed on her. “John. You don’t write, you don’t call. I have missed you considerably.”
“Leave her out of this Adonis. Let’s take our business elsewhere,” said John. He nudged Adonis back a step and walked to her. He held out his hand. She grabbed it and was yanked behind him.
A presence was in her mind, “Go, take the trail.” It was John’s voice.
He couldn’t be in her mind. That was impossible. She flinched. “Go, don’t look back.” There it was again. He was communicating with her telepathically or she deserved a one-way ticket to the looney bin. She looked at him. John nudged her. She didn’t understand, but she did exactly as he ordered. Anything to get away from the man named Adonis.