Eternal Guardians, Novella
“Find me. I’m waiting. I’m waiting only for you…”The words echoed in Prometheus’s head as he wandered the empty halls of the ancient castle high in the Aegis Mountains. He heard them in his waking hours now, not just when he was asleep. Heard them tickle the hairs on his nape, heard them whisper like a lover in his ear, heard them call like fire to his blood until he twitched with the need to find her and claim her as his own.
Her. The female with the flame-red hair and eyes like glittering emeralds he’d conjured with his mind. The female who was now more real to him than, well, him.
Damn, but he’d fantasized about her so often over the last few months he wanted her more than he wanted his precious isolation. But the voice wasn’t real because she wasn’t real. Not even a Titan, a god with the power to match that of any ruling Olympian’s powers, could make her real. The only person in the cosmos who could summon life was the Creator, and the Creator had screwed Prometheus over so long ago, Prometheus knew there was no chance in this world or the next that he’d ever be blessed with a living version of his endless fantasy.
Life didn’t work that way. Correction, his life didn’t work that way. His life was a series of bad choices and never-ending repercussions. Which was exactly the reason he was determined to stay right here in this dank castle and not follow the sultry voice that made him so hard he could barely walk.
He waved a hand, using his telekinetic powers to light a torch along the wall in the cold, dark hallway as he moved. Maybe he was going mad. Maybe all these years of isolation were finally catching up with him. After the Argonauts—warrior descendants of the strongest heroes in all of Ancient Greece—had freed him from Zeus’s chains, Prometheus had craved nothing but solitude. To do what he wanted, when he wanted—or to do absolutely nothing at all. But now, more than twenty-five years later, he was starting to wonder if his self-imposed seclusion in this ancient castle was at the root of all his problems. He was hallucinating, for shit’s sake. Not just visions, but voices now, too. A sane person didn’t do that. A sane person—mortal or immortal—recognized when he was standing on quicksand and got the fuck out.
“Find me. I’m waiting, Titos. I’m waiting for you…”
She always called him Titos in his hallucinations. A nickname that translated to fire. One that now brought him around to stare down the dark and empty hallway even though he knew she wasn’t real.
Nothing moved. No sound met his ears. The castle was as silent as it had been since the day he’d arrived. But his spine tingled with apprehension, and his god-sense, something he rarely relied on because no one knew where he was, shot a warning blare straight through his ears.
The witches in the valley at the base of Mt. Parnithia had told him this castle in the Argolean realm had once belonged to an evil sorcerer who’d chosen darkness over light. That sorcerer’s quest for power had cost him his life, and he now resided in the lowest levels of Tartarus, tortured endlessly by Hades much as Prometheus had been tortured by Zeus. His energy still lingered, though. A vile and murky energy Prometheus felt vibrating in his bones. As a divine being, Prometheus wasn’t worried that energy would claim him—he was too strong for that—but he couldn’t help but wonder if the sorcerer’s dark energy was somehow affecting him. Could it be the source of the voice?
“Titos… I’m waiting…”
“Who’s there?” he called.
Silence met his ears. His pulse ticked up as he scanned the darkened corridor, the only light coming from the torch behind him. Still nothing moved. Even the wind outside the castle walls had died down as if it too were afraid to utter a sound.
His imagination. It had to be. A hallucination or whatever the fuck he wanted to call it. Frowning, he turned away only to catch a flash of white out of the corner of his eye.
He whipped back. Some kind of gauzy fabric disappeared into the library, followed by the sound of laughter.
Sexy, feminine laughter.
Prometheus’s stomach tightened as he rushed to the threshold of the room, grasped the doorframe, and peered inside. Shelves lined with books covered all four walls. A cold, dark fireplace sat across the distance. An empty couch, two side chairs, and a small coffee table lingered in the middle of the library.
Nothing moved inside the room. No fabric rustled. No laughter sounded in the cool air.
His stomach dropped when he realized he was hallucinating again, and he lowered his head into his hand and rubbed his aching temple. What had he said to himself earlier? A sane person recognized when he was standing on quicksand and got the fuck out? Maybe it was time he did that. Maybe it was time he moved on from Argolea and refocused on what he should have been doing these last twenty-five years. Namely, finding a way to screw Zeus over for everything the asshat god had done to him.
“I can help you.”
Prometheus’s head jerked up at the sound of the sultry feminine voice he’d heard so many times in his dreams. Only this time when he looked the room wasn’t empty. This time a gorgeous female with hair as wild as fire and eyes like chipped emeralds peered back at him from the couch.
“I can help you exact revenge on Zeus,” she whispered, sitting forward so her breasts heaved in the low-cut white gown. “All you have to do is help me first.”