Authors: Alyssa Day
“If you love pulse-pounding action and heart-stopping romance,
IS THE BOOK YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! Alyssa Day works her own brand of sexy sorcery in this fabulous new paranormal series. Warriors and witches have never been so hot!”
New York Times
bestselling author Teresa Medeiros
“Alyssa Day's Atlantis is flat-out amazingâher sexy and heroic characters make me want to beg for more! I love the complex world she's created!”
âNational bestselling author Alexis Morgan
“The legend comes to life. Alyssa Day's superb writing, fascinating characters, and edge-of-your-seat story bring the legend of Atlantis to life. I cannot wait until the next installment.”
âAward-winning author Colby Hodge
“Alyssa Day creates an amazing and astonishing world in
you'll want to visit again and again.
is romantic, sexy, and utterly compelling. I loved it!”
New York Times
bestselling author Christine Feehan
“The Poseidon Warriors are HOT!! Can I have one?”
bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks
“Alyssa Day's characters grab you and take you on a whirlwind adventure. I haven't been so captivated by characters or a story in a long time. Enjoy the ride!”
New York Times
bestselling author Susan Squires
“There's nothing more evocative than the world of Atlantis. Alyssa Day has penned a white-hot winner!”
âGena Showalter, author of
The Nymph King
“Wow! Alyssa Day writes a marvelous paranormal romance.”
bestselling author Susan Kearney
“Inventive and electrifying. An exhilarating new series!”
“Alyssa Day roars onto the paranormal scene with this tense and magnetic read.”
“Fascinating and intriguingâ¦Fantastic reinvention of Atlantis.”
Huntress Book Reviews
“Breathtaking paranormal romance is the start of a phenomenal new series.”
“Wow! What a spectacular series openerâ¦The love scenes are sizzling hot.”
Once Upon A Romance.net
“The world-building is superbâ¦The Warriors of Poseidon are a sexy, chivalrous, and dangerous team [who] create an atmosphere of testosterone so thick you can cut it with a knife; the interaction between this brawny bunch is priceless.”
ParaNormal Romance Reviews
The Warriors of Poseidon
BERKLEY SENSATION, NEW YORK
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhiâ110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright Â© 2007 by Alesia Holliday.
Cover illustration by Don Sipley.
Cover design by George Long.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY and the “B” design are registered trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
To my readers, who made the dream a reality.
To the booksellers, who spread the word.
To Judd, who had no doubts.
To Cindy Hwang, who always had faith.
And to Steve Axelrod, who said
it was never “if” but “when.”
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you beyond words to the following amazing people:
This one was rough, in that “oh, wow, my brain is melting” sort of way. So I have to give huge chocolate-covered thanks to the best editor in the world, Cindy Hwang, who has the crappy job of herding creative-type authors to try to hit a point somewhere in the same universe as the deadline. Herding cats would be far easier. Hell, herding
would be easier. She gets the ulcers, and I get the lovely reader mail, which doesn't seem fair at all. So I tell herâa lotâhow wonderful she is, and if you go to New York, you should tell her, too. She's the gorgeous one down on Hudson Street. Stop when you hear the sound of teeth grinding.
Leis Pederson, who is chief assistant tiger wrangler and is marvelous at it.
Steve Axelrod, who is so brilliant it's scary, in a world-domination sort of way; and Lori and Elsie, who make it all work.
Barbara Ferrer and Cindy Holby (see “brain is melting”); Michelle Cunnah (ditto, plus more last-minute critiquing); Eileen Rendahl and Lani Diane Rich (they know why).
My family, who helps me brainstorm. (Yes, I'm still thinking about that Were-Koala, sweetie.)
This is a shameless love letter to every one of you. There I was, working away at my writing career, hoping to never, ever be forced to go back to practicing law, and
happened! You took a chance on a new series, and my book hit bestseller lists all over the place. And nobody could have been more shocked/happy/grateful/blissed out on champagne than me. So
for keeping courtrooms all across the country safe from me.
for the letters and e-mails telling me you had fun with my warriors. And
for plunking down your hard-earned cash and coming back for more. You
. (Oh, and for the official stuff they make me say, see belowâ¦)
Thank you for coming along with me on my journey to Atlantis. I hope you've enjoyed Conlan's story in
and Bastien's story in “Wild Hearts in Atlantis,” a novella in the anthology
. Be sure to look for Justice's story in
, and Ethan's story in the anthology
, both coming in spring 2008. Please visit me at www.alyssaday.com for excerpts, bonus short stories, and downloadable screen-savers for members only!
We will wait. And watch. And protect.
And serve as first warning on the eve of humanity's destruction.
Then, and only then, Atlantis will rise.
For we are the Warriors of Poseidon, and the mark of the Trident we bear serves as witness to our sacred duty to safeguard mankind.
“These are my kind of odds,” Ven said, drawing his sword with his right hand and one of the seven daggers strapped to various parts of his body with his left. “Not even gonna bother with my Glock and its nifty new silver bullets for this mangy crew.”
The vamp leading the gangâ
flock? herd? What the hells did you call a group of vamps this big?
âof vamps that had cornered them in the alley hissed, making sure to show a mouthful of fang. “Prepare to die, human. You are vathhhtly outnumbered,” it threatened, with that peculiar lisp so characteristic of the recently undead. They hadn't quite yet gotten the hang of talking with a mouthful of tooth.
The alley was everything an alley always was; gray stone and chipped brick, crumbled trash on the ground, and the smell of old urine and fresh despair combining to make Ven seriously twitchy.
Twitchy and amused. He laughed in the vamp's pasty face. “You've got a couple of things wrong, dead boy. First, we're not human. We're three of Poseidon's finest. Second, you're the one who's gonna die, so you can kitthh my atthh,” he mocked.
The vamp's eyes glowed redder, but it sort of danced around a little instead of charging. Ven figured it wasn't quite prepared to take on six and a half feet of Atlantean warrior carrying a sword at least half that size. But the creature was working up its nerve, especially with his bloodsucker buddies egging him on.
“Silver bullets are not particularly helpful on vampires, as you know, Lord Vengeance,” Brennan replied in his usual even, calm tone, as he pulled a handful of throwing stars, no doubt with some kind of magical spell crap all over them, out of the folds of his long leather coat. “I am unsure as to whether the newly turned, such as these, would be even slightly hindered by silver. It is an interesting question, although perhaps for another time, as to why we are encountering such increasingly high numbers of the newly turned here in the Pacific Northwest.”
“Yeah, I'm thinking another time,” Ven said, trying not to laugh. Trust Brennan to want to get philosophical when faced with imminent death-by-bloodsucker. The hordeâyeah, horde was goodâ
of vamps edged back a little bit.
They were hissing and screaming some truly vile threats, sure, but they moved back. After Ven, Alexios, and Brennan had spent an entire week in this rainy part of the world, the word had gotten out about how deadly Brennan was with his pretty little toys. Too bad he'd probably had to play footsies with some witch to get the weapons magicked up. Except for bloodsuckers and shape-shifters, there wasn't much that Ven hated more than witches and their kind. Especially witches who dabbled with the dark.
“Shut up, already. I'm counting,” Alexios growled at them. “Seventeen, eighteenâ¦oh, yeah, can't forget the big, bad, and seriously ugly one lurking behind the Dumpster. Nineteen to three odds, girls.” He shook his head. “That doesn't split three ways. I call dibs on the leftover.”
“Age before beauty, Goldilocks,” Ven said, baring his teeth in what might pass for a smile. Then he whirled around, sword arm already in motion, to catch the vamp who'd tried to sneak up on them by scaling his creepy ass down the side of the building behind them.
Ven yelled in triumph as the vamp's head smashed down on the ground. Its body followed a few seconds later. “Okay, we're all evened up. Six each, boys?”
“For Poseidon!” Alexios called out in response, grinning like a fool. The scarred half of his face pulled and twisted down the side of his mouth, so he probably looked like an insane apparition or a wickedly bad dream to the newbie vamps. Ven watched as three of them in the back of the mob did some kind of signaling thing to each other and turned to flee.
Quicker than a bolt of lightning riding the waves of a sea storm, Brennan's hand flashed out once, twice, three times, and the three went down, screaming, clouds of smoke rising from their backs. “I would never stab an honorable opponent in the back,” Brennan said. “Luckily, these undead have no honor.”
Brennan flashed a glance that Ven almost swore was smugâif Brennan could even do smugâat Alexios. “I believe that is fifty percent of my total?”
The vamps must have taken that as a sign, because they attacked in a swarm of hissing and shrieking, flashing their fangs and claws. Alexios shouted out a wild laugh and hurled himself into the thick of them, sword flashing and dagger plunging. Ven leapt into the air, shimmering into mist as he pushed off the ground and rematerialized behind the front row of his attackers. “Surprise, you sorry excuse for Dracula wannabes! Just call me
Helsing! Get it?”
Nobody laughed. Guess a sense of humor didn't travel well beyond the grave. With one stroke, Ven cut off the heads of three of the vamps, who'd very helpfully lined up, shoulder to shoulder, in order to attack him. “Personal best, Brennan! Three for one! Did you see that?”
“Lovely, Your Highness,” Brennan replied, pulling his dagger out of the chest of one of the vamps with one hand and simultaneously hurling another shooting star with the other. “Your brother will be so proud.”
Ven tore into two more, using his dagger and sword, then groaned as a vamp behind him got the drop on him long enough to dig its filthy, unhygienic claws into the side of his neck. “Damn you!” He finished off the ones in front of him and whipped his head to the side, but couldn't disengage the feral vamp, who now had a hand wrapped in Ven's hair and was trying to get close enough to bite him. “Get your nasty-ass fangs away from me! And where have your hands been? I'm going to have to disinfect myself after this.”
The vamp reared its head back and struck, but Ven threw an elbow up to block its chest. Still, the undead thing was so close Ven could smell its rancid breath. Which was way,
too close. “Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you,” he said, then reached up with the hand not holding off the vamp and sliced clear through its arm with his dagger. The vamp fell back and away from him, shrieking, but its hand still dangled from Ven's neck by its claws.
“I am so gonna need some freaking iodine,” Ven snarled, ripping the now unattached hand out of his neck, pulling what felt like half his skin with it. He clapped a hand to his profusely bleeding neck and whirled around to gauge the remaining threat.
Only to see that the threat was entirely gone. Nineteen vamps lay all around him in various states of decomposing acidic slime. Alexios leaned up against the wall, boots carefully away from any of the crud, and Brennan crouched on the edge of the metal Dumpster, five feet off the ground.
“So. Good job, boys,” Ven said, scanning the area for signs of any of the now permanently dead vamps' buddies.
“Yeah, nice of you to notice. I took out my six, by the way,” Alexios said, grinning. “Your
“Call me that again, and I'll kick your ass for you, my friend,” Ven said, leaning down to wipe his blades on a clean piece of cloth that had fluttered to the ground from somebody's shirt.
“My own tally was six as well, Lord Vengeance,” Brennan said, leaping down off the Dumpster to a clear spot on the alley pavement. “You yourself accounted for the remaining seven, I believe.”
“You must be slipping a little, Ven,” Alexios said, shaking his head sadly. “You would have killed at least ten of them in the old days. Getting old, coming up on the big five-oh-oh.”
Ven glared at him. “Yeah, yeah, laugh it up now, ladies. You didn't think
Helsing was funny, but you laugh at me now? Losers.”
He glumly sheathed his sword, but then a cheerful thought occurred to him. “Ha! Just wait till the Council gets
in their sights for the maiden-in-stasis lotto. As high-ranking sons of your respective Houses, you know you're heading down the same path of doom that I am. But for now, we're free to find some women who meet my top two requirements: they have to beâ”
A new voice cut him off. “Yeah, yeah, we know. Brainless and forgettable.”
Ven had his sword up blocking his face before the second
, but now he lowered his weapon and laughed. “You got it, Christophe. Brainless and forgettable. Hanging back while we fought the vamps, were you?”
Alexios laughed and shoved his daggers back into their sheaths on his thighs. “His pedicure probably took longer than he planned.”
Christophe floated down in the entrance to the alley, his body shimmering faintly with the essence of the elemental power he called. Ven knew that Alaric, Poseidon's high priest, had certain concerns about Christophe's untrained channeling of power.
Yeah. And Alaric isn't the only one withâ¦concerns.
Ven watched the younger warrior until Christophe's boots rested solidly on the pavement. “I thought you were still in Atlantis? Is there news? Is it Rileyâ”
Christophe held up a hand. “No, no. As far as I know, Riley's fine. Or at least no worse off than she was before. It's about you, actually. Conlan wants you to go to a meeting with a rep from the main coven in this region. The Seattle Lights or something.”
“The Seattle Circle of Light,” Brennan said, a hint of censure in his voice. “Perhaps, Christophe, if you are honored with carrying messages from the high prince of Atlantis to his brother the Lord Vengeance, you might trouble to remember the correct phrasing.”
Christophe's face darkened. The warrior had never been one to take criticism of any kind well. Ven studied him and made a mental note. Christophe might be in need of some serious ass kicking.
But that was a thought for a later time.
“What meeting? Where and when?” Ven asked, resigned. Conlan had been on an alliance-forming kick lately, especially since his new soon-to-be-wife's sister just happened to be one of the leaders of the human forces rebelling against vampire and shape-shifter control. “I need to get cleaned up, maybe pop a couple of stitches in my neck, and get a serious drunk on to wipe the taste of vamp breath out of my mouth.” He shuddered. “Nasty.”
“It's going to have to wait,” Christophe said, with a shade less attitude. “The meeting is supposed to happen now.”
Ven let loose with a string of words that called into question the parentage of every witch, wizard, and sorcerer in the Pacific Northwest, then hung his head, resigned. “Fine, bring it on. But, first, anybody got any iodine?”