Destined to Crave(2)

By: Setta Jay


Three decades had passed since “the end,” and the new world still felt the effects. Humans were still learning to live in the ever-changing Earth plane.

All the magic used to save mankind also changed it, altering humanity at its very core. Many diseases ceased to exist, and once-magicless humans were rapidly evolving into Mageia, mortals with powers over earth, air, fire, or water. No one was sure where the changes would end. New abilities were being discovered every day.

Things could no longer continue as they had before. The two Gods, Hades and Aphrodite, along with twelve ancient and powerful Guardians of Earth, now walked among them, refusing to allow humanity to destroy the world they’d saved. Humanity’s dangerous weapons of mass destruction were eradicated, and new laws were set forth. The mortals had to change their ways, if for no other reason than the Gods and Guardians had children of their own, powerful children secreted away until now.

Mankind might be under the protection of the almighty beings, but they were expected to follow the rules.

Little did they know that the Deities and Guardians of Earth were the only things keeping humanity safe from the secrets and dangers lurking in the shadows.





Chapter 1


Slake Resort, Peirasmos Island – Earth



Lucy stilled on the moss-covered steps of one of Slake’s most private and secluded entrances. Suddenly off balance, she braced a hand against the shoulder of the stone gargoyle at her side, willing the rough surface to ground her. The fact that she was alone in the dark with only a piece of rock for stability made her more aware of her surroundings. The dark recesses of the jungle seemed too silent, but her Immortal senses caught the rustling of wind through the moonlit trees.

That didn’t mean she was alone.

Rykr.

Gooseflesh rose over her bare arms as raw need tightened her body. It was fleeting, there one moment and gone the next as if the erotically charged presence hadn’t sent her nerve endings humming.

The long strands of her hair slid over her face and neck as the wind picked up, and she swore she heard the rush of heavy wings far off in the distance. Her nipples hardened against the lace of her bra at the mere thought of his being near.

Sucking in a breath, she sent her senses deeper into the canopy, knowing she wouldn’t detect anything out there.

He was gone, if he’d truly been there at all. The sensation of being alone made her stomach clench.

She bit off a curse as she got herself together. Every damned time the awareness came, it was only for a split second, just long enough for her to doubt whether it had been there at all. Was she constantly imagining his presence because she ached for their connection?

If it was truly her Rykr, the power signature felt different, not that of the boy she’d known nearly a decade ago. She’d seen images of him over the last five years and barely recognized her would-be mate. The familiar teasing smiles were replaced by firm lips and the icy blue stare of a dangerous, tattooed God. Even the heavy midnight wings he’d inherited from his grandfather Hades had grown stronger and heavier. The silky black feathers grazed the ground behind him as he walked or stalked, as he was wont to do.

Every night, she fantasized about the sexy male he’d turned into while mourning the loss of the mischievous boy she’d loved.

His twenty-fifth birthday was looming in the near future. She wondered if he’d finally come for her or if he would punish her, make her wait longer for insisting he deserved this time. She didn’t know the male he’d become, so she couldn’t even guess at his motivations.

Her fingers slid over the twining tattoo that covered her bare arm. It was a reminder of how she’d crushed him once.

Lucy cut through the winds, her hooves barely skimming the ground as she galloped through the dew-covered meadow to the lake beyond, her straining flanks nearly one with the elements she commanded in beast or Immortal form. The crisp mountain air slid into her lungs, carrying hints of the forest around her.

Though she usually felt completely at ease on her family’s land, no amount of sunlight sparkling over the crystalline waters of the nearby lake could give her peace now. She was completely lost in her head and felt flat-out sick to her stomach.

When Immortals found their mates, the bond was eternal. True mates were rare and beautiful gifts. Finding yours wasn’t supposed to feel like a nightmare or some kind of curse.

But fate had screwed up this time. You weren’t meant to find something so incredible in childhood. The complications were just too much to deal with, even for someone like her, the daughter of a powerful ancient Guardian of Earth and all its Realms.

With a thought, she shifted out of her warhorse form. Snow-white flanks were quickly replaced with tanned legs covered in a soft green sundress. As a Hippeus, she had the option of a human form, that of a full warhorse, or half of each. Hers was the only Immortal race to have three shapes, but she preferred the full beast or full human to what mankind thought of as centaurs.