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  • Home > Samantha Young > The Tale of Lunarmorte > Blood Solstice (Page 2)     
  • Blood Solstice(The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)(2) by Samantha Young
  • “You will not,” Kirios snapped, inwardly surprised he was standing up to his father.

    Phaedrus looked just as shocked. “I beg your pardon?”

    “Father, please promise me that you will not put the blame on Perikles. You are leaving Athens… please do not leave it in a complete upheaval by killing one member of the Democratic Party and turning another into a murderer.”

    “How dull of you, son.”

    “I happen to be fond of my city. That is all.”

    Xanthippe sighed. “Oh, very well. We promise.”

    “Thank you.” He exhaled in relief, running his hands through his hair in frustration before turning from them. He couldn’t bear to look any longer at the mess they had made of Ephialtes.

    “We leave at dusk,” Phaedrus informed him.

    His heart began pounding again. Gods, he hoped they didn’t overreact. “I’m not coming with you. I mean… I’m leaving too… but not with you.”

    At their continued silence he finally got up the nerve to turn and look at them. Their faces were mirror images of their usual blankness. “I’m not like you,” he tried to explain.

    Finally Xanthippe sighed. “We know. We… are trying to understand.”

    Kirios smiled at that. It was more than anyone could ask of them. “I know. But you never will. So… I must leave you both.”

    Phaedrus growled, “You are more human than vampyre… I curse Demeter for this.”

    Even Xanthippe gasped. Kirios frowned. “Father, please don’t. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

    “You are my son. You should be with me, exhilarating in the kill.”

    He felt so helpless in the face of his father’s despair. So much the disappointment. “I am truly sorry, Father.”

    “I don’t blame you.”

    There was more emotion in that statement than he had ever heard from either one of his parents since his thirteenth year. A little of the dark heaviness eased from his chest.

    “I will leave you both now.”

    They nodded at him. “Fare thee well, son.”

    “And you both.”

    Tyras, Miletus 441 B.C.

    The tall magik gazed at him with an expression of sympathy and understanding in his dark, magnetic eyes.

    “I cannot let you have Eneas. I cannot let you commit any act of violence within my home.”

    Frustration and the need for revenge bubbled beneath Kirios’ skin like hot springs in a winter landscape.

    Eneas.

    He wanted the hunter dead.

    “Your parents were murderers, Kirios. Eneas was merely doing the job that was asked of him.”

    “Under whose authority?” Kirios growled.

    A look of dead calm and the superiority of one with his power settled over the magik’s face. “My own.”

    Kirios sneered and yet found himself lowering his eyes in submission anyway. Galen, the magik before him, was famous throughout the supernatural world. He had established himself here in Miletus, under a colony called Tyras, situated on the north-west coast of the Black Sea. After Alexander the Great had rescued Miletus from Persian grasp, Galen had ‘persuaded’ Alexander to bestow the colony on himself and his followers. Kirios had heard of this Galen before he had tracked Eneas here. His infamy had grown because of his crusade; his crusade to find peace from the human wars and supernatural predators. And to do so he had enlisted the aid of supernaturals such as the lykanthrope, Eneas, who hunted those who preyed upon the humans. Kirios could not find fault in the crusade. He could find fault, however, in the fact that he had had no life in which to speak of for the last twenty years… for it had been spent hunting Eneas, after discovering the lykan had killed Xanthippe and Phaedrus – the penalty for killing Ephialtes.

    Kirios sighed wearily. “I would lose my honor if I did not exact revenge against those who took that which is mine.”

    Galen nodded. “And you are an honorable vampyre, Kirios. I know. I have heard of you. You are of the second generation. You feed on the blood of animals. You travel from place to place. You’ve even been known to rescue humans utilizing your superior power. You… are not so different from Eneas. In fact, if not for the obvious, I think you would rather like him.”

    “You will not even let me challenge him?”

    Galen shook his head, his eyes suddenly bright with animation. “Instead I would ask you to stay. Live here with my people, Kirios. Become one of my hunters.”

    He tried not to let the surprise show on his face. Why on Gaia’s earth would Galen want him? He was a nobody. More to the point he wanted to kill one of Galen’s men.

    “Why?”

    Subtly, so subtle he almost didn’t feel it, the irritation and rage beneath his skin began to wane as Galen spoke of the world he envisioned. He preached that they, as supernaturals with their blessed gifts, should be protecting the humans’ fragile existence in gratitude for what the gods had given them. After all, humans were the children of the gods just as much as they themselves were. All this Kirios had known, had appreciated, but it was only now under this magik’s spellbinding presence he began to see that he was just as culpable as those who hunted humans, for he had the power to hunt the hunters, protect the hunted, to give back to the gods… and he had not been doing so.

    Tyras, 377 B.C.

    “Galen?”

    No answer.

    “Galen?”

    He was catatonic. Kirios glanced anxiously around at the others. His friend, the magik Agamemnon, shook his head sadly. “What has happened?” Kirios demanded.

    “Parthenia is dead.”

    Kirios stumbled back. Oh Gaia, no. How could Galen bear it?

    Eneas.

    At the acceleration of his heart, Kirios rushed from the entrance hall, throughout the grounds, his speed knocking over ornaments and fripperies as he went. How had these last fourteen years come to this?

    After struggling with his anger he had finally settled into his life as Galen’s man, hunting supernatural predators. It hadn’t taken him long to fall easily into the way of life, to make friends into family, for Galen to become like a father. It had taken thirty years to unbend towards Eneas. And now… now sixty years on and Eneas was like a brother. How could it be possible that he had betrayed Galen, betrayed them all? In truth, Kirios would say it had all begun fourteen years before when Galen had fallen in love with a human girl, Kleisthenes. They had married, had children. She had been completely aware of who and what they all were, and that their children would have magikal gifts. For the closest of them, they had been comfortable in her presence. There had been others, however, who had a difficult time with Kleisthenes. Kirios blanched remembering his friend, a vampyre, who had confessed to be dreaming of Kleisthenes each night, dreaming of drinking her blood until his obsession was sated. Sadly, he could not be counseled through it, and when he attacked her it was Kirios who had saved her, and Kirios who had been chosen to execute his friend. Soon after, the household of supernaturals began to dwindle, until only Eneas and Kirios remained among the magiks and faeries. Only a few years after the incident, Galen had come to Kirios in confidence, revealing fears that his wife was having an affair. Kirios could not believe it of Kleisthenes, but had promised to investigate Galen’s suspicions. He felt sick as the vision of her lovely figure posed so elegantly in her bedchamber flashed before his eyes, blood soaking the bed coverings, a gaping hole in her chest where her heart had been savagely cut out. They found Kleisthenes murdered the very day after Galen had come to him. The household had been devastated, Kirios also, but he had gladly assumed the task he and Eneas were charged with – to find the culprit and bring him to Galen alive.

    For a number of days the trail had been cold, until one evening Galen’s eldest daughter came to Kirios’ room with Kleisthenes’ journal. Parthenia had claimed she knew who had murdered her mother and urged Kirios to read the pages.

    Eneas.

    He had been the one carrying on the affair with Kleisthenes… it was fair to assume he had been the one to silence her. Kirios had made Parthenia promise not to tell anyone until he had found Eneas and the truth out for himself. It had been this very night Kirios had set out to catch up with him where he was questioning townspeople. But Kirios was dragged back to the house by a messenger with urgent news.

    Parthenia.

    Hades, Eneas! Kirios crashed into the bedchamber with hopes of finding the journal pieces. He stopped abruptly, instantly sensing his room had been disturbed. That’s when he felt the cold press of the blade to his throat and the heat of the lykan at his back.

    “Brother,” he pleaded in Kirios’ ear. “You have to understand.”

    “Understand what?” Kirios bit out, his entire being trembling with rage and desolation. “That you would kill me to cover your crime?”

    “I made a mistake, brother. She wasn’t even worth it. I can’t lose Galen. He’s like my father, he is all I have ever known.”

    “And yet you took what was most precious to him.”

    Eneas growled, spittle flecking the side of Kirios’ face, “She seduced me! It wasn’t my fault.”

    “Ye gods, what has become of you, Eneas, that you would blame a hapless human for your own folly?”

    “Hers also.”

    “Yes. But she is gone and with her, an innocent child by your hand.”

    Eneas held still, seeming to have stopped breathing altogether. And then… “This can only end with your death, brother. I am truly sorry.”

    Before the blade could pierce his skin, Kirios whirled as if a tornado, took the blade from Eneas’ hand and plunged it into his black heart.

    His blood soaked Kirios’ hands and tears his face.

    Seven nights later

    His prison was cold and solitary. Like his heart, he snorted. Bitterness threatened to overwhelm Kirios but he held true. This was not his fault. Who knew Galen was a poisoned dagger biding its time before plunging its blade into the hearts of those he had sought to befriend. The beginning of a war was brewing and it had only been but a few days. After he had sought out Galen with his evidence of Eneas’ treachery, Galen had gone mad, almost as if he had been taken over by the gods themselves. What had once been a magik of, yes, mercurial moods, was now a magik of molten violence who held a deep hostility towards lykans and vampyres. He threw Kirios in prison (an act of mercy, ha!) and was already enlisting faeries into espionage, searching for powerful communities of vampyres and lykans that he and his remaining children could destroy.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire