War's Passion (Sons of War)

BOOK: War's Passion (Sons of War)
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War’s Passion

 

By
Lia Davis

 

War’s Passion

A Sons of War Novel

By: Lia Davis

Published by Fated Desires Publishing, LLC.

© 2014 Lia Davis

ISBN: 978-1-62322-066-2

Cover Art by Scott Carpenter

This
ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person or use proper retail channels to lend a copy. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the publisher at
[email protected]
.

 

All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.

 

 

Dedication

 

 

For those who share my love for dragons

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

 

The idea of Sons of War came to me in January 2012 and stems from my love of dragons and Greek mythology. After starting and stopping a few times, I’m overjoyed to finally bring them to life and share Markus, Ty, Zavier, Seth, and Drake with you.

None of this could be possible without the support and praises from you, my readers. Thank you! I’d also like to thank my editors, Virginia and Heather. They rock.

To my assistant, Hope, who helps me with the behind the scenes.

To my cover artist, Scott. He totally rocked this cover!

To Charity for joining the Fated Desires team as PR and admin assistant. We are happy to have you on board.

Finally, I’d like to send out a huge hug and thanks to my BFF and business partner, Carrie Ann Ryan. Thank you for making it an awesome two years and I look forward to many more to come.

 

 

War’s Passion

 

 

After losing her parents in a brutal attack from a monster straight out of her nightmares, Gwendolyn Preston tries to pick up the shattered pieces of her life. Along with her best friend, she moves to a small fishing village on the coast of Maine to find a new life away from the nightmares that haunt her. Just when she believes her life could go back to normal, the deliciously dark and handsome Markus Sullivan disrupts her hopes to grieve in peace.

  Markus drew the short straw when it came to being the liaison between his father, Ares—God of War—and his brothers. When he discovers that the earth bound demi-gods, known as the descendants, have banded together to start another rebellion against the gods, it becomes his number one priority to stop them.

That is until he meets Gwen, the granddaughter of Aphrodite, and the next target of the descendants. Together, their path is rife with passion and danger. It might take more than the son of War to win this battle…Gwen herself.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

A cold
sensation rolled down Gwen’s spine like an icy finger as she stepped out onto the back porch of her parents’ Florida home. She focused her senses out into the cool evening, and inhaled the fragrance of night jasmine lingering on the breeze. The moonless, star-filled sky didn’t chase away the feeling of menace lurking in the shadows, waiting. The awareness had clung to her since she’d woken that morning and she wished she could feel the creatures of the night like her best friend and adopted sister, Elle, could. Although Gwen descended from the gods themselves, sensing monsters wasn’t her gift. As the great-granddaughter of Nyx, goddess of the night, Elle could see into the darkness and all her secrets.

Descended from the goddess of love
, Gwen held the power of persuasion, and she could sway people, especially men, to bend to her will. The gift came from her father’s side of the family—Tom Preston was one of Aphrodite’s earthborn sons.

She loved
nights like this as well as the calm that blanketed the small town of Perry. It was a few minutes before midnight and everyone slept. Elle had left early that morning to show her latest paintings and sculptures at a gallery in Jacksonville. It was the first time the girls had been apart since becoming friends in the third grade.

The sound of
glass breaking behind her made Gwen’s heart hammer and her stomach clenched. Spinning, she saw three large men charge into her home through what used to be the front door. Splintered wood lay half in the kitchen, half in the living room, and the long rectangular windows on either side of the entrance were destroyed. Glass littered the living room floor.

Fear rushed through her like wildfire and she darted
to the side to hide behind the curtain of the sliding glass door. Helplessness consumed her as she watched one of the men open drawers to her father’s desk, dumping the contents on the floor. Another searched the living room, then stepped into the kitchen. Her heart sank as the third man turned toward the hallway.

Mom, Dad
.

Without another thought
for her own safety, she rushed after the man that went down the hall. Before she could make it, another man crashed into her, slamming her to the ground. Sharp, stabbing pain shot from her hip down her leg. Gwen screamed, hoping to wake her parents, as she clawed at the man’s face, aiming for his eyes.

A
loud thump followed by her mother’s cry reached Gwen’s ears. Terror filled her, cold and crippling. Tears ran down her cheeks. A moment later the man that went towards her parents’ room flew backwards through the living room, and further until he crashed into the kitchen island. Then her father stood at the hallway entrance, hands fisted by his side.


Let her go.”

Gwen
stared at her father in disbelief. His body glowed with power.

“You think to use mortal magic on me?”
The man holding her laughed, then released Gwen and rose to his feet.

A bright flash of black and gold light filled the room, leaving a large black dragon where the man had been.
Disbelief and horror twined through her veins as she stared at the creature. Smoke rolled out its long snout and the eyes almost glowed red. Shaking, she managed to scramble backwards to keep from being trampled by the beast—which was way too big for the house.

Her father
held his hands out from his body, palms facing the dragon. A soft white light beamed from the center of his hands, then brightened and grew into a ball of bright white energy the size of cantaloupe before her father thrust it at the dragon.

Gwen screamed again, not knowing what she could do. There was a freaking dragon inside her home and her father…well
, she didn’t know what he threw at the beast because he’d never used his magic to that extent before. The ball of light didn’t do anything, but drive the dragon back a step and whip his tail around to hit Gwen. The blow knocked her out the back door. Landing on the deck, she watched in horror as the dragon breathed fire toward her father.

Tears streaming down her face,
she shouted for her father to get out, but too late. Flames covered him and he stumbled forward, igniting the carpet with each step and the couch as he fell. The dragon let out a roar that rocked the house. The men that came with him rushed outside right before the beast blew out another blast of fire and swiveled his head around the room. The whole house engulfed in flames within seconds.

Agony
ripped through Gwen’s heart and she sobbed, but no one heard her.

 

 

Chapter
Two

 

 

Fourteen years later

“Don’t you just love it?”

S
tepping out of her Audi, Gwen seriously doubted her best friend’s ability to see. “Elle, it’s a lighthouse. An old lighthouse that looks like it should be condemned.”

Gwen studied the house, trying her
best to look on the positive side. Built onto the original tower of the lighthouse was a three-story old Victorian-style home. Faded wood siding revealed cracked and weathered paint. The roof lacked shingles in several spots.

That
was what she got for letting Elle make the final decision about where they lived. Gwen had picked the coast of Maine for the sheer beauty of the cliffs, rocky shores, and beautiful lighthouses. Not to mention the ocean.

So Elle
had picked the house. Gwen should have known it’d be a fixer-upper. Elle was an artist, after all.

Her best friend
looped her arm with Gwen’s and squeezed. “It has so much potential. I know you can’t see it now, but trust me, hon. I’ll make it a masterpiece. The realtor gave me the number of a great and reasonably priced local contractor.”

Letting out a soft sigh, Gwen returned Elle’s affection by wrapping an arm around her shoulders.
Trust had never been an issue between them. They’d known each other since the third grade and lived together since high school. Elle’s parents died in a plane crash when Elle was sixteen and Gwen’s parents had taken her in. The two of them hadn’t been apart since.

With
bottom lip stuck out and eyes wide, Elle faced her and blinked, once. Gwen hated when she made the lost puppy face. It was nearly impossible to turn down. With her straight black hair hanging loose around her shoulders under the oversize brimmed straw hat she wore to keep the sun off her face, Elle batted her lashes. “It’ll be fun. The two of us starting over. We can redesign the whole house.”

Gwen smiled, unable to say no. Plus
, it did sound like a fun project to work on together. It would definitely give her mind something to do and could help keep the demons at bay. “Okay. Let’s go inside and see what the damage is.”

Elle squeal
ed and clapped as she whirled around to jog up the steps. The porch with its missing slats and aged wood looked like it would cave any moment.

Well, that
was the first thing they’d have to fix before someone broke a leg.

“Be careful
.” Gwen followed her friend into the house and almost gagged. She cupped her mouth and nose. “It smells like someone died in here.”

Elle crinkled up her nose. “It didn’t smell like this last month when I came to see it.”

“Well, something must’ve crawled in here and decided to make the house its final resting place.” Gwen rushed to the closest window and opened it.

Without responding,
Elle hurried around and opened the rest of the windows in the living room.

The inside looked better than the outside
, which wasn’t saying too much. The open floor plan spread out before Gwen. Large windows on either side of her illuminated the interior.
Okay, so maybe it does have potential
.
As long as we can get rid of that awful smell.

To her left, a spiral staircase crawled from the back corner of the room and vanished into the ceiling
. A smile lifted her lips and she drifted over and tested the bottom step, then placed a hand on the railing and gave a little shake. It appeared sturdy.

“Go on up. The realtor had the stairs replaced to show off the place.”
Elle came up behind her.

“Hmm. That was nice of them
,” Gwen said dryly and continued up the stairs.

O
n the top floor, Gwen glanced around in awe. The space appeared to be in better shape than downstairs, except for the cobwebs and mounds of dust everywhere.

Elle leaned into her. “You like it, don’t you?”

Gwen rolled her eyes for effect, but couldn’t hide her pleasure. “I have to admit, it does have character.”

S
mile widening, Elle turned to the right. “I’ve already picked the rooms. Come on.” Gwen followed her into one of the large bedrooms. “This one is yours because it has a great view of the ocean.”

Warmth and happiness filled Gwen’s heart.
Her sister knew Gwen’s love of the ocean well. Being able to open the windows on summer nights and listen to the waves crash against the rocks would be heaven.

Elle turned to face her with a gleam in her eyes that rivaled a child’s on Christmas morning. “So…can we keep it?”

A laughed bubbled out of Gwen. “Yes. You have your project house to work your magic on.”

The next instant,
Elle leaped toward her and hugged her tight. “This is going to be so much fun. Our own place and a fresh start.”

Gwen
agreed. Yep, a fresh start, away from the nightmares of fire-breathing dragons chasing her.

 

****

 

Markus sat at his dark cherry-stained oak desk in the large estate he shared with his brothers, Drake, Ty, Seth, and Zavier. The mansion sat high on the coastal Maine cliff, overlooking a small fishing village named Serenity Cove.

Many of the locals called the large house a castle, which in a way it was. Ty and Seth designed
the structure and the five of them had built it—about five hundred years before, after they were cast from the Heavens thanks to Garrick’s betrayal.

Fisting
his hand over the keyboard of his laptop, he ground his teeth. The mere thought of Garrick made Markus’s blood boil. The male held a vengeance over Markus and his brothers as well as the gods. He believed the motive for his brother’s rage against them surrounded the death of his mate.

After leaning back in his black leather chair
, Markus studied his brothers. Drake sat across from his desk with a tablet in his hand and a notebook balanced on one knee, his dark brows drawn together as he read something on the computer screen.  He scrubbed a hand over his shaved head and lifted his brown gaze to Markus’s.

The male’s dragon flashed in his eyes, but Markus ignored it. Drake submitted to his
animal half more than the rest of them.  Although he was just as aggressive and deadly in human form as he was as a dragon so he avoided crowds and almost never went into the village without one of his brothers—usually Markus or Ty to play escort.

Drake
was content to stay home and research news feeds, tabloid sites, and magazines for reports of “the strange and unusual.” He gathered information about magical beings, angels, dragon attacks, or anything suspicious in order to find some clue to the whereabouts of Garrick.

To Markus
’s right, Zavier sat at the small round table. His light brown hair fell into his eyes as he worked on the household’s monthly finances. If it had anything to do with a computer, security, or money, it was Zavier’s domain.

Quiet and reserved was the best way to describe
Z. His love for technology and being left alone made him their best resource. There wasn’t a software program in existence that he couldn’t hack.

Behind Z, in the far corner of the room, Seth
held his cell phone pressed to his ear. With his supernatural hearing, Markus could tell it was a business call. Seth was the co-owner of Sullivan Contractors.

Ty was the other owner.

Seth was the playful one. He always had a smartass remark or a prank up his sleeve. Even his dragon liked to play with its prey before killing it. His high level of energy and aggression needed to be released regularly or he made Drake seem like a big pussycat.

Moving his gaze from Seth,
Markus met Ty’s stare and arched a brow. “Do you have anything to report?”

Ty’s mouth twitched, which did nothing to
reveal the other dragon’s mood, especially with the damned sunglasses he wore all the time. Markus understood the reason behind the shades. The upper right-half of his face was scared and left his eye unable to shift back to a human appearance. An injury he received when Garrick and his Imperials had held him captive. Something Ty never spoke of it.

“I have nothing
.” Ty turned his gaze to Seth in interest.

Markus turned to Drake. “Anything on your end?”

“Nada. It’s like the bastard fell off the earth or something.”

A growl rose from Markus’s chest
. “We should be so lucky. The coward is hiding. I want him flushed out. What was his last known activity?”

“A small town in Nebraska a few weeks ago.”
Drake scrolled though his electronic notes.

“Why a small town?”
Markus sat up in his seat.

Shaking his head, Drake sat back in his chair.
“Don’t know. All I’ve been able to gather are sightings of a winged man walking out of a cornfield. The article is filled with a bunch of stuff about the witness being an older man and that it was dark when he saw it and so on. I did find out there was a police report filed by a woman named Gwendolyn Preston a few days before the old man’s sighting. Her complaint says she was being stalked.”

Markus drew his brows tighter. “Do you think the two
events are connected?”

“I’m suspicious of everything strange. I had Zavier hack into the police records and guess what?”
Drake shrugged.

“The police didn’t find anything.”

“That or they didn’t care to look. There was some bullshit about how no strangers came to town and Ms. Preston was being paranoid.” Drake growled before continuing. “I also had Z looking into the woman’s medical history. She was treated at a psychiatric hospital for about six months after her parents were attacked in their home and killed.”

Markus raised a brow for Drake to continue, but Zavier spoke next. “I believe her parents were attacked by a dragon.”

“Fuck,” Ty and Markus said at the same time. Markus ran a hand through his hair and said, “How long ago?”


Fourteen years. The house burned down and both bodies were charred beyond recognition. I hacked into the MD’s personal files and found notes about gouges on the female’s bones. The MD placed time of death before the fire started. It’s possible she was mauled to death. The husband didn’t have any other cause of death besides thermal injuries—he was burned alive.”

“Seeing your parents killed by a mythical creature would be reason enough to see a
shrink.” Ty sat forward in his chair and shook his head.

Shoving his phone into his pocket,
Seth crossed the room and joined the conversation. “So we’re mythical creatures now, are we?”

A
smile tugged at Ty’s mouth. “Straight out of humans’ nightmares.”

Seth shrugged. “I have proof that we’re the object of some of their fantasies.

“Yeah, in your fantasies.”
Ty snorted.

After a brief grin,
Seth turned serious. “I just got off the phone with a new resident to Serenity Cove. Her name is Danielle Roberts and she and her sister just bought the old lighthouse down the beach.”

“What are you not saying? It’s not like you to bring contracting business to all of our attention.”
Markus asked.

“Her sister’s name is Gwen Preston.”
Seth nodded.

Drake, Zavier, and Ty all cursed at the same
time and Markus stared at Seth for a brief moment in disbelief.
Could it really be so easy?

“Ty, I want you and Seth to meet with the women in the morning. See if this Gwen is a descendent.” Markus
sat back in his chair. “Zavier, email me the files on the woman.”

Zavier nodded and typed on his keyboard. A few seconds later Markus’s phone beeped, indicating he had a new message.
Turning to his computer, he logged into his email account. Too many unanswered questions revolved around this Gwen Preston. He wanted to know more about her, but mostly he wanted to know why Garrick attacked her parents.

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