In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, we get a peek at how the immortal king first met the telepath Joss. He’d been looking for work without success, having been thrown out by his abusive father. When a young woman offers him money in exchange for sex, Pietas storms off, furious that he can get no better offer of work.
“Hello?” called a female voice.
“I am not for sale!” He swept back his wet hair and glared up at her.
“That’s good to know.” The woman who looked down at him was not the one who’d offered to buy him. This one wore a white dress uniform.
Pietas clambered to his feet. Faint with hunger, he braced himself against the wall.
Kind blue eyes seemed to look through him. Unlike his, her blond hair held tones of gold instead of white. A beam of sunshine sneaked through the clouds and wrapped her in blazing light. Seeing her, a man could believe in angels.
He stood straighter and pushed wet hair out of his face. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be. Are you Pietas?”
“I am.” Was this someone who could hire him? Her left chest sported a brace of ribbons as wide as his hand, most related to weaponry. He must not look slipshod. He drew his sodden hair into a tail and tossed it over his shoulder. Wiping wet hands on wetter clothes, he held himself in as military-correct a posture as he could manage. “How do you know me, ma’am?”
“From your mother’s description.”
“My mother?” Homesickness arose in him so strong he staggered. He caught himself and straightened. He might be new to the greater Ultra world, but he hadn’t been raised a fool. He kept his distance. “If you know her, what’s her name? What’s my father’s name?”
“Helia and Mahikos. Your mother and I were created at the same time. She was scientist class and I was warrior, but we became friends. I introduced her to Mahikos. Thankfully, she doesn’t hold that against me.” A wry smile tilted her mouth. “She called me, said she had a son named Pietas and a daughter named Dessy. She said you and your father had a fight and she asked me to look for you. She sends her love.”
Hearing her speak took him back to the warm safety of his mother’s presence. “You’re Joss Avaton.”
How often had his mother spoken of this woman? And always with reverence.
“Mother talks about you all the time. She misses you. She said you were the sister she wished she had.”
“Did she?” Love and amusement came through the aether, as warm and embracing as his mother’s. “I’m glad to know that. I wish she’d told me about you before now.”
“Don’t be. That isn’t your fault.”
“Is Mother here? Have you seen her?”
“No. But she was worried so I said I’d find you. I should have tried the work halls first.”
Surely it wasn’t wrong to fall in love so fast. Mother had said not to trust strange women, and from his experience with the one earlier, she’d been right. But this was Joss. Her friend and heart-sister.
Pietas took two steps toward her, checked himself.
When Joss offered her hand, he took it.
She clasped both of hers around his.
The moment she touched him he felt some inner part of him reach toward her, a sprout benath the dark earth yearning for sun. He’d had no idea at the time she was using her gift of Clarity to help him see his path.
All he knew was he would survive. He could do anything. His life was not over. This amazing woman cared about him.
“Thank you for looking for me. Finding me.”
“My pleasure.” She slid her fingertips down his jaw, out to the dimple in his chin. “Let’s get you off these streets, find you a meal, then bathed and into some dry clothes. We’ll call your mother. She gave me a private link to her no one else knows about.”
“You mean my father doesn’t know about.”
“You don’t need to worry about your father.” Joss took his hand. “You’re safe. You’re with me now.”
With her? His heart did somersaults.
Yet at the thought of his father, his stomach still tightened with dread.
Forged in Fire…
When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that’s the problem. He’s not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped in their pods and it’s up to Pietas to rescue them. Before he can save his people, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he’s fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father. Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever…
Amazon and in print. Free on Kindle Unlimited
No profanity or explicit content, but lots of angst, a little humor, some sweet romance, and a ton of betrayal with plenty of vengeance. Oh, and let’s not forget–one ginormous black panther “kitty.”
Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.
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