Authors: M. W. Muse
Tags: #New adult
Table of Contents
Copyright © February 2013, M.W. Muse
Cover art by JTLW Design © February 2013
Penning Princess Publishing
Maumelle, AR 72113
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To my mom for knowing the difference between constructive criticism and glowing praise…and for not being afraid to shower me with both. Any talent I have pales in comparison to the multitude of those you possess. Your gifts come effortlessly, and I hope to one day shine in this as you have in all that you do.
Legacy’s throat was on fire, the need to scream trying to overpower her.
She was having a nightmare, but that wasn’t unusual. She’d spent all summer dreaming about tornados, storms, lightning, snakes, Adin, River, Medusa, and a little girl, who turned out to be her.
She’d found out at the beginning of summer she was becoming a goddess and would be going through changes up until her eighteenth birthday. Lissa, her guardian, hadn’t told her any specifics of her mother or of these changes, so she’d spent the summer figuring out everything. Well, some things.
The biggest revelation? Learning her mom was the Greek goddess Demeter, A.K.A. Anesidora, A.K.A. Pandora. Yeah, it was confusing. But what was equally mind blowing was learning she’d been created in the likeness of Persephone, a goddess abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld. The abduction was the reason her mother wanted to recreate Persephone. Demeter wanted a better destiny for her. A new legacy.
She hadn’t had to learn this all on her own. She had River to thank for helping her accept the unimaginable.
River Rysaor was a new best friend to her, though he seemed hell-bent on making it difficult. And being the son of Medusa, one of the gods who wanted to hurt her and Legacy’s mom, kinda put him in an awkward position. It was because of River’s connection to Medusa that Adin didn’t trust River. Well, that and the prophecy. It had been prophesied that she would be with River as long as Adin stayed alive. Yeah, that hadn’t gone over well at all with her boyfriend, Adin.
She never really thought of herself as a sappy person, but she knew she loved Adin and he loved her. She also knew they both wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, no matter how long their lives were. Her eighteenth birthday signified the ascension into her godly status, but Adin was mortal for all intents and purposes. Sure, he’d descended from the Greek gods like she—and River—had, but Adin hadn’t ascended on his eighteenth birthday. As far as she knew, that meant he would die after a normal, humanly lifespan. Star-crossed lovers and all that.
The dreams she’d had over the summer also helped her with everything. She’d learned to embrace those dreams and dissect them for any and all clues. She’d taken refuge in them because they’d helped her with her own acceptance of who she really was.
Her dreams were therapeutic, really.
But what was unusual about the nightmare she was currently having was that she wasn’t asleep at all. She was living it.
“Legacy,” Adin murmured.
She shook her head as she stared through Adin’s windshield. She didn’t want to hear what he had to say about this new revelation. What could he say, really?
Adin had taken her to a banquet at his new college where she’d met a woman named Venus. Her name meant love, and Legacy knew she’d been created in the likeness of Aphrodite, the goddess that Adonis was bonded to. And Adonis was the god Adin had been created from. This meant Venus was here for Adin. Legacy knew this had to be the case because one of the lessons she’d learned over the summer was that there were no coincidences.
And just like she had no control over her bond with River, she knew Adin had no control over any bond with Venus.
So here she was, spending the ride back to her house crying—trying not to scream—feeling Adin’s gentle touch as he caressed her knee while he effortlessly handled his sports car. He was trying.
It wasn’t working.
As she thought about how unfair this was, her body began to shake as a new round of sobs consumed her. She covered her face and leaned away from Adin. Gods, this was so unfair.
With both hands grasping her cheeks, she noticed immediately that one felt so hot that it almost burned while the other was like ice. A bone-chilling sensation crawled down her spine. Each hand was a completely different temperature than the other. Of course, this was nothing new…just another facet of her freakiness she’d discovered. But, she hadn’t needed that ugly reminder right now. She held her face in her hands and cried uncontrollably.
A muffled sound from outside the car caught her attention, and she slid her hands down her face to look.
It pounded on the car.
A torrential downpour would be her guess as she stared out the windshield, unable to see hardly anything else. But as she watched the scene unfold, she could feel Adin’s eyes on her. She shook her head and covered her face again, unwilling to look him in the eyes.
It was raining because she was crying. This was part of the changes she was going through. She was going to be a goddess and inherit Persephone’s abilities, and her emotional state was linked to the weather. She knew this, but she couldn’t control it. Lissa had said she needed to learn how to deal with her emotions, as they related to the weather, so she could harness her abilities and not cause any harm. She realized now that learning to control her emotions would be extremely difficult.
After Adin pulled into her driveway, he got out of the car and ran to her door. He helped her out, and they both hurried up the porch and out of the rain. Rain that she just caused from her sudden depressed state. Surreal was the only word she could think of to describe that feeling for the moment. It was one thing to learn about something after the fact, like the blow she’d taken with the lightning, but a wholly other thing to understand a phenomena while it was actually happening.
The porch light was on, but the door was locked. It was late, but for some reason, Lissa wasn’t here. She glanced at the driveway and didn’t see Lissa’s car where she normally parked it. Legacy didn’t care why her guardian was gone. She had way too much on her plate right now.
She glanced at Adin before fumbling in her purse for her house key, though she couldn’t stop her breath from hitching while tears continued to fall. Adin stood right up against her, rubbing her back, not saying anything. He was such a wonderful man. He’d loosened his silk red tie he’d donned to match her dress for the evening, and it clung to his damp shirt, his hair even curlier and unruly from the moisture. He truly was the hottest guy in her world, one who she never thought she’d be lucky enough to have, and he was hers. But for how long?
Once she retrieved the key, she struggled to get it in the keyhole and started to get frustrated. She knew how to use a damn key! But for some reason, it would not go in the hole. Adin waited patiently for her to unlock the door, but when her frustration manifested into the thunder, he finagled the key from her hand with ease and unlocked the door for her.
She stormed inside the house, threw her purse on the table, and walked straight into the bathroom while more thunder sounded. She stared at herself in the mirror, listening to the thunder and rain.
She was a mess. Her makeup was streaked all over her face, and her hair was a wet, frizzy cluster. She couldn’t do much about her hair in here, but she could at least do something about her makeup. She washed her face while she cried some more. When she managed to get all her makeup off, she walked out of the bathroom with the towel still in her hand, drying her face.
“I’m going to change,” she said without looking at Adin, too distraught to even find the irony of using the word “change.” She continued dabbing her face and started up the stairs.
“Okay,” he whispered.
She knew he wouldn’t leave. Even though she didn’t want to talk about the events of this evening, she knew Adin too well. He wasn’t going home until he had a chance to speak, to console her.
When she got upstairs, she decided to deal with her hair before changing. She walked into the bathroom and started pulling out the bobby pins. She watched herself in the mirror while she let her hair down, and she started crying again. She didn’t stop until she had all the pins out and her hair combed through.
She walked into her bedroom and rummaged around her drawers until she pulled out some cotton shorts and a tank top to sleep in. After she changed, she sat on her bed with her arms wrapped around her knees and cried again. Gods, she was a bumbling mess. She cried for several minutes until she heard a knock on her door.
“Can I come in?” Adin asked.
“Yeah,” she said, and her voice broke. She grabbed some tissues off her nightstand and wiped her eyes while Adin entered.
“Lissa left a note downstairs,” he murmured. “She had to go out of town. She’ll be back tomorrow night.”
“Okay.” She still didn’t look at him.
Not even when she heard Adin walk toward her and felt him sit on the bed beside her did she look at him.
“Y-you can leave…I-I’ll…be f-fine.”
She nodded while she tried to catch her breath. She really didn’t want him to leave, but she knew there wasn’t anything he could do for her. She knew her being upset was probably torturing him, and she hated causing him anymore pain than what he probably already felt by this wretched revelation.
He reached up and stroked her hair, and she lost it again. She sobbed into her hands, but now Adin didn’t have the excuse of driving not to hold her. He reached over, put his arms around her, and she leaned into him.
She didn’t realize how badly she needed him in this moment until he surrounded her with his warmth. As she leaned closer, she threw her arms around him and clutched as tightly as she could while she cried into his neck.
Adin lifted her up as he scooted onto the bed and put her on his lap. He held her tightly while she cried. And she did just that for several minutes.
“Sweetheart, please calm down,” he begged as he gently rocked her.
Her need for his comfort was too great for her to bear any longer. She lifted her head and looked into his eyes for the first time since they left the banquet. His blue eyes were lighter than normal because of the redness surrounding them. He had been fighting his own tears, and she was sure it was because of her reaction to the news of the evening rather than the news itself.
She ran her fingers into his hair and grabbed his head, forcing his lips onto hers. She kissed him as strongly as she could while she twisted in his lap so that she was facing him, straddling him.
Adin kissed her back, but was startled by her reaction. He reached up and tried to dislodge her fingers from his hair.
“No,” she mumbled.
She pressed herself closer to him, and he stopped trying to free her hands. Instead, he put his hands on her arms and pushed her back. He stared into her eyes while her breathing hitched again.
“Legacy, we have to talk about this,” Adin whispered.
“I know, but I can’t. Not right now.”
Adin nodded and held her for several more minutes while she continued to cry. She
to hold him, but she
him to hold her. He hugged her tightly and buried his face in her hair.
“Will you stay with me tonight?” she whispered into his chest.
“Yes.” It sounded as if this were a decision he’d already made. “I need to run to Grandma’s to get some clothes.”
She nodded. He stood up and kissed her forehead before leaving.
Adin’s grandma lived next door to her. He once said that he thought his grandma lived next door to her for a reason. She was brought here so that she and Adin could grow up together, so he was probably right. Although they had their own free will to develop whatever relationship they wanted, what they wanted was to be together. She assumed the gods figured that would happen, but Adin’s grandma living next door probably served a purpose.