Authors: Gabrielle Bisset
|The Destined Ones |
Sentenced to spend the rest of his three remaining lifetimes in Nil, Amon Kalins is freed with the help of his Sidhe servant, Gethen, but now he must accept his life is never to be his again as the Council won't rest until he's safely back imprisoned within Nil's cold walls. Broken and nearly dead from his time in prison, Amon is saved by an Aeveren healer named Althea Forester. As a healer, Thea has served her people for forty-five lifetimes, never having a destined one and always knowing each lifetime would ultimately end with her alone. But destiny hasn't forgotten her.
Drawn to the seductive Amon, Thea quickly becomes a pawn the Council uses to trap him. Taken prisoner by the sadistic leader of the rebel group, the Soren, Thea must survive the vicious world of the people hellbent on taking her destined one away forever, and Amon must risk everything dear to him to free her from those who would sacrifice her to claim the bigger prize and return him to Nil.
A college history teacher by day, Gabrielle Bisset is an erotic romance author by nights and weekends. A romance reader for years, she published her first novel, Stolen Destiny, with Siren Publishing in June 2011. The novellas of The Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy followed soon after, with each novella spending time on numerous Amazon Top 100 bestselling lists. Not wanting to rest on her laurels, she released Destiny Redeemed in October 2011 to critical acclaim, and a follow up novel to one of the Trilogy novellas, Blood Avenged, was released in ebook in December 2011 beginning the Sons of Navarus series. Always busy creating new stories to tell, she plans to continue writing for many years and many stories to come.
to spend the rest of his three remaining lifetimes in Nil, Amon Kalins is freed
with the help of his Sidhe servant, Gethen, but now he must accept his life is
never to be his again as the Council won't rest until he's safely back
imprisoned within Nil's cold walls. Broken and nearly dead from his time in
prison, Amon is saved by an Aeveren healer named Althea Forester. As a healer,
Thea has served her people for forty-five lifetimes, never having a destined
one and always knowing each lifetime would ultimately end with her alone. But
destiny hasn't forgotten her.
Drawn to the seductive Amon, Thea quickly becomes a pawn the Council uses to
trap him. Taken prisoner by the sadistic leader of the rebel group, the Soren,
Thea must survive the vicious world of the people hell-bent on taking her
destined one away forever, and Amon must risk everything dear to him to free
her from those who would sacrifice her to claim the bigger prize and return him
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and
events are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to
events, locations, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
2011 Gabrielle Bisset
Copyright © 2011 Gabrielle
All rights reserved. Without
limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or
transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of
the copyright owner.
Published in the United States
Cover Design: Elaina Lee
Editor: Yvonne Glanville
First eBook Edition: October
Contains graphic sexual content
Sometimes a character takes
hold in your mind and won’t let go until he gets what he thinks he deserves.
Amon Kalins is that character for me. From the moment he was introduced in
, he seemed to take up all the space in the room. His story was born
the day he was, whether I accepted it or not. I feel fortunate to have been
blessed with a character as wonderfully layered as Amon.
To my beta readers who notice
the crazy things this writer doesn’t sometimes, thanks. I know it means
reading after work in the middle of the night and when you just want to relax
after a hard day of reading other people’s work, but it means the world to me.
To my family, who have heard
so much about Amon and Thea that they feel they know them personally, thanks
Finally, to the readers and bloggers who love the romance genre: Your support
is so appreciated by this author who knows that you’re an integral part of
every book’s success. Thanks for everything.
Main Street of Cochecton, New York hummed with the excited squeals of miniature devils,
witches, and ghosts along with a variety of cartoon and movie characters. Stopping
at each house with the hope for more treats than tricks, children scurried here
and there as parents dutifully followed behind. The small town’s downtown was
lit up as bright as day, but behind a building two streets over, there were no
costumed children or candy but a scheduled meeting of people who had finally
ended their wait. It would happen tonight.
solitary man walked nervously through the hoard of masked children and doting
parents, looking for the first opportunity to move into the shadows. To be
caught now would mean not only Nil for him but the end of him afterward. They’d
never let him live another life if he failed this night.
quick left off Main Street into the natural darkness of night forced him to
adjust his eyes and for a moment he ceased his hasty march to his destination.
His vision focused, he began his journey again, careful as always to make sure
no one was following him. He listened for footsteps, the crackling sound of a
shoe crushing the swirling dried leaves he’d just passed, but heard nothing. He
was alone in the dark alley.
ahead he saw the flicker of lights and checked his watch. 7:56. The crisp
October breeze hit him and forced him to stuff his hands into his pockets as he
walked, and he picked up his pace.
a difference a year makes
, he thought to himself. One year earlier, he’d
celebrated Samhain with a few dark Sidhe who had deliciously reinforced his
love of their kind and brought in the New Year believing things were going to
get better for him. How wrong he’d been! Not two weeks later one foolish
mistake—of the many he’d made in his lifetimes— had brought the wrath of the
Council into his life and made him enough enemies in the circles he traveled in
to make him persona non grata in many of his favorite places. It certainly had
been one hell of a year.
would all change tonight. Tonight, he’d perform the most important magick of
all his lifetimes. And when he succeeded, he’d get his life back. No more being
shunned. No more being without the protection of the Soren. No more living in
constant fear of the Council. Tonight would be the beginning of better times
meeting place was an old abandoned tailor shop accessed only by the alley he
was now on. He hadn’t chosen it and had no idea what to expect. He’d simply
been given orders to be there at eight o’clock with the implied threat in the
man’s voice that if he didn’t, he’d never find acceptance in the Soren again.
Since he’d prayed for any chance to fix what he’d done, no threat was necessary.
He would’ve moved heaven and Earth to get back what he’d had before. Instead
he’d move Nil.
he walked down the side of the building, he looked up to see the quarter moon
above peaking through ominous dark clouds and then glanced down at his watch.
turned right around the corner of the building and saw just one person.
man he spoke to stood stiffly, looking back at him as sternly as he always had.
Dressed in all black underneath a black overcoat, only his deep green eyes
disrupted his funereal appearance.
is no one else. It’s just us.”
Has everything been called off?” he asked, his voice verging on frantic at the
thought that his one chance at salvation had been ripped away at the last
moment. Before the other man could answer, he continued, his hands punctuating
happened? Why would they do this to us?”
Gethen said icily, “nothing has happened. There was no need for more people to
be involved, so I told them so. The plan remains the same.”
need for more people? We’re breaking the big man out of Nil, and you don’t
think we need anyone else? Have you lost your fucking mind, old man?”
watched as Markku paced back and forth past him in the small area they stood
in, his progression halted by walls of discarded pallets on three sides of
them. As was often the case when he was around the excitable Markku, Gethen felt
heartburn stab at him just below his sternum. He was sure the man was something
far more than just a magickian by the way he made both him and his master feel
ill whenever he was around.
he needed Markku to calm down, if not to help his heartburn then to complete
the Herculean task they had ahead of them, Gethen put his arm out on one of
Markku’s passes by him and stopped him.
We need to get going. Collect yourself now because if this doesn’t work because
you couldn’t focus...”
didn’t let him finish the statement. Gethen knew no matter how much he found
him irritating, the magickian understood how much was riding on what he did or
didn’t do tonight.
his hand up to stop him, Markku interrupted. “Yeah, yeah. I know.”
watched the man shake out his arms and then his legs as if he were getting ready
to perform some feat of physical strength. Already disgusted in the short time
he’d spent with him, he leveled his gaze on him as he gyrated like a man having
a seizure and in a voice that he hoped signaled his irritation asked, “Are you
done? May we leave now?”
problem, Gethen. Lead the way. Home, James.”
appreciating his allusion to him being a chauffer, Gethen squinted his eyes
into angry slits and mumbled, “Just follow me and get ready.”
led Markku to a clearing on the mountaintop outside of town. As he stood waiting
for the man, the chill of the wind cut at him, intensifying the feeling of
dread that had resided in him for almost a year.
every day his master had been imprisoned in Nil, he’d worked to find a way to
bring him back. Each day the foreboding feeling that told him that Amon was
suffering grew worse and ate at him, magnified by his failure to solve the
puzzle of how to free him from his hell. But now, finally, he’d do what he must
to return him to his life.
set out his supplies and looked up at Gethen, who watched him closely. “I don’t
understand what you need me for if you can travel between worlds.”
I can travel between them. Amon is Aeveren, so he’s why you’re here. The spell
is to protect him, not me.”
Markku fingered his knife. “What do you mean?”
glared down at him angrily. “What I mean is that you need to protect him or he
could be harmed and then I may never get him out. So get moving and finish
whatever you have to do to ensure he won’t be injured when I bring him back.”
began to chant and the wind grew stronger, whipping over them. Gethen prepared
himself for the journey to Nil, focusing on his master’s soul for direction.
He’d never been to Nil before, but he knew all he had to do was find Amon and
take him out of there.
up at Gethen, Markku nodded. “It’s finished. He should be safe to bring back.”
his eyes, Gethen became mist and the wind took him away as Markku looked on in
stunned silence. Moments later, he rematerialized in Amon’s cell and as his
eyes refocused, he saw the horror he’d feared all those months.
to his knees, he knelt next to his master and watched in fear and sadness for a
sign of his breathing to ensure he was still alive. He wanted to reach out to
touch him, to give any comfort to the one he loyally served, but hesitated out
of fear of causing him further pain, his hand frozen in midair over a bruised
and broken Amon.
eyes catalogued the pain Amon had suffered in his time in Nil, from the scarred
wounds on his back, to the cuts and bruises on his face, chest, and arms. In
sadness, Gethen realized he barely recognized the soul that sat slumped over on
the floor next to him, a man he’d known and served for lifetimes.
hard, he pushed his emotions down to deal with the task at hand. He leaned in
close to Amon’s ear and whispered quietly, “Master?”
trails of moisture trickled down the wall to the grey cement floor. The
prisoner in cell 801 felt one touch his shoulder as it was stopped on its
journey, and he shivered at the feel of it as it touched his tender skin. The
dampness of his cell, the chill, reflected what the place had done to him.
Underground, in the bowels of the Earth, he did little more than exist in this
place, like a creature unwelcome in the light of the sun and home only in the
cold darkness of Nil. Beneath him, the cold floor made the painful areas on his
legs ache, and a dull throbbing throughout his body reminded him of the
countless punishments in his time there.
nighttime noises of Nil stabbed at him, and as they had every night for the
past year, they become the terrifying soundtrack to the worst part of Amon’s
time in Nil. The screams of the weak reverberated through his body, a reminder
of the horrors he’d endured on so many nights there. Not that he needed to be
reminded. The pain that ran over every square inch of his skin, tactile terrors
chasing after one another in a constant game of sadistic tag, never let him
forget what he’d suffered through and what lie ahead in his future.
mind drifted back to the night just after he’d arrived when the guards not only
looked the other way to allow the other inmates to perform their initiation
ritual on him but also told them who he’d been before being sent to Nil, as if
they’d needed any encouragement for their bloodlust. Nothing in forty-seven
lifetimes had been as terrifying as the hungry look in the eyes of the men who
pushed him down face first on the cold, damp concrete floor while the one with
the knife loomed over him. He hadn’t seen his eyes, but he’d heard his hollow
laugh right before the sound of the vicious click of the blade coming out of
its home made him stiffen in sheer terror.
many nights since then had he lay on the hard floor listening to the screams of
the most recent victim of the initiation into Nil? How many times had he heard
the click of the knife and the tortured moments of silence just before the
ran his fingertips over the scars on his right shoulder, evidence of his
welcome to this place. If that had been all they’d done, he could know he’d
survived and not be laid out on the floor of his cell praying for death to at
least escape this lifetime, his mind unable to imagine the three future
lifetimes ahead of him in this Hell.
changed in his time in Nil. Naturally lean, he now rippled with muscle, a
result of the only activity he was allowed other than work. The prisoners were
encouraged to be bigger and stronger to survive, but years and lifetimes of
experience and rage easily overwhelmed his newer, muscular body. In time, he’d
rise to the higher ranks of the prisoners, but for now, just a year into his
sentence, Amon remained at the very bottom, vulnerable to attack at any time.
the attacks came often. Mostly at night, after hours of backbreaking labor when
he’d give anything for just a few moments of rest and peace. Fists that
pummeled his ribs and tore his muscles, trying to break him.
he struggled to sit up, he had no idea what had been damaged that night. His
right leg may have been broken. He didn’t know. All he felt was blinding pain
just below his knee. Blood slowly trickled into his mouth from beneath his left
eye, and he tasted the familiar tang of it on his tongue. The eye continued to
swell so that now he only saw clearly with the right one.
only thought that stayed in his mind was the one he had each night when he was
let me pass out and never wake again.
Please answer,” a voice said plaintively.
heard a voice he was sure couldn’t be near and cursed his mind for playing
tricks on him. Struggling to open his left eye, he slowly lifted his head
toward the sound of his servant’s voice. To his left Gethen stared in fear at
able to speak, Amon hoarsely whispered, “Gethen? Are you here?”
here, master,” he answered, his voice full of emotion.
eyes filled with tears at the knowledge that he wasn’t alone. He couldn’t
remember feeling more joy at the sight of another ever in all his lifetimes.
gently ran his hand over his head, and Amon saw by the sadness on his face that
he remembered how he’d looked before being sent to this place. With his hands
on the sides of Amon’s face, he wiped away the blood that ran from the gash
under his eye with his thumb, staying away from the swelling that had closed
the eye completely.
savored the warmth of Gethen’s skin on his and leaned his cheek into his right
palm, thankful for a touch of kindness after so long. If he died now, at least
the last moments of this lifetime had been spent with one who cared for him.
Closing his eyes, he began to slip into unconsciousness, happy to have Gethen
with him once again at the end of a lifetime.
please don’t leave me! I’m here to take you home!”
struggled to remain alert, his eyelids fluttering as he tried to focus.
put your arms around me so we can leave.”
moved to crouch between Amon’s legs as he tried to lift his arms but failed. “I
can’t do this if you aren’t touching me.” Gingerly, he took his hands and
placed one hand and then the other around his waist.
need you to stand up. Can you do that?”