Warriors of Light (book 4)
by April Zyon
Published by Evernight Publishing
Cover and artwork by Jay Aheer
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The moment Sophia Duffy met him she knew he was the one for her. She’s seen him in her dreams for years, knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were fated for one another. So when he shuns her Sophia doesn’t know what to do, expect to leave.
Gunslinger James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok has always lived by how fast he can draw his weapon. Statistics, odds, and where the sun sits in the sky he understands. But the pull of one woman on his heart, and soul he fears more than a bullet with his name on it.
They only have one shot at forever. Danger is coming their way, pushing at them all to make the wrong choice. James is running out of time to make the right call when it comes to Sophia, or risk losing her forever and missing out on the perfect love.
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Two weeks after returning to the Mountain, James saw her again. Sophia Ann Duffy.
Pausing in the corridor, he watched her walking and talking with her sister. They were such opposites. Vivian was a bold woman, not just with her red hair and take-charge attitude, but she had a presence about her that said she wouldn’t take crap from anyone.
When they’d found Vivian, she’d been on a story that had quickly led them to hunting down Vivian’s sister on the job. The monsters had targeted Sophia because she was one of the thirteen rarest women alive, a vestal virgin, destined to bond with a guardian.
There was something about the dark-haired beauty that called to him. Unfortunately, if he focused on her too long, he ended up with a headache. One the medics were stumped by, since there was absolutely no medical evidence to support it.
The doctors might be clueless, but the other guardians knew something. At least that was his guess, given the looks he’d been getting from Gaius, Hector, Jason, and Mercury. Even Alexander, who pretty much hated James’s guts, was giving him that same knowing stare. They knew something and they weren’t telling him, which was seriously pissing him off.
Sighing, he watched as Sophia disappeared around the corner of a corridor intersection, and his headache let up.
Giving his head a shake, he continued on his way to the base’s main hub. He couldn’t keep thinking about Sophia, no matter how often his mind went to her. She didn’t seem to want to see him, so it really didn’t matter if he wanted to talk to her. She avoided him all too well in a place he knew better than she ever could.
“James, about time,” Mercury said.
Acknowledging their leader, James then nodded to Helen, their tech guru, and took a chair near her. “So, what’s the news?”
“Eric updated me early this morning. He’s found our guy again and is tracking him now. He needs backup out there,” Mercury answered.
“So, you’re shipping me back out to Miami?”
“No, Alexander’s already departed to assist him. Gaius is having fits again, understandable of course, but still, we need to keep an eye on him. He wants to go out there, but we all know how that would end up.”
Yeah, Gaius on a rampage to get the man responsible for Emily, his soul mate, being hurt wouldn’t go well. Godzilla had nothing on Gaius when he got his back up about something and went looking to kill someone.
“So, I’m here why?” James asked. He didn’t get why he’d been summoned, especially since he’d been off training. Mercury didn’t interrupt training for any reason.
“You and I need to talk.” Mercury moved to the door and shot James an expectant look.
Groaning, James rolled his eyes and followed the man. They went through the halls to Mercury’s office, where James took the chair he was pointed to. “What do we need to talk about?”
“About you getting your head out of your ass and seeing what’s right in front of you.”
“It’s been two weeks since you got back, and while I agreed at the time with the others to keep my nose out of it, enough is enough.”
“Again, I’m going to have to go with ‘huh’?”
Mercury raised a brow. “You and Sophia. Deal with it, sooner rather than later.”
“There’s nothing to deal with, Merc. She’s a great girl and all, but she wants nothing to do with me. Given how my head practically explodes with pain any time I’m near her, it’s probably a good thing she’s avoiding me like she is.”
Mercury scraped a hand through his hair. “I can’t believe you have no clue,” he muttered. “Do you remember what I told you about the medallion when I brought you back?”
“Yeah, don’t let anyone shatter it, as it’s as effective as having my head removed. Which, in my case, is pretty much the same thing.” James was obviously missing a key point, though, because Mercury was giving him a look that called him an idiot nine ways of Sunday.
“There was more to it than that. It wasn’t that long ago, and even with the brain damage you suffered, you should remember it.”
Frowning, James thought back. The medallion would give him life as long as it wasn’t shattered, or he didn’t lose his head. It would help to guide him to stay in the light, but it couldn’t override his own needs and wants. If he gave in to the darkness that surrounded them, then he’d become one of the evil ones.
Then it hit him. The medallion would direct him to the one woman in all the world that was his – his heart, his light, his soul mate. “Shit,” he breathed out. Sophia Duffy was his soul mate. It all made sense now, he could recall the way that Jason would rub at his chest as if he was in pain when he met Vivian. Now that he was thinking about it he could feel the ache each time he had seen the disappointment in Sophia’s eyes when he first met her. What had he done? Now just thinking of how he had treated her made his head hurt and his soul scream in pain.
And he’d pretty much done everything in his power to drive her away because of the headaches. The headaches! He let out a groan and pressed a hand to his eyes. No other guardian had a medallion in their head. It made sense all of a sudden. He was getting the headaches because the medallion was trying to draw him to her.
“There we go,” Mercury said. “I knew all you’d need was a nudge.”
“Fucking hell, Merc. Why didn’t someone point it out sooner? She hates my guts right now. I did everything I could to push her away, and I succeeded. She won’t get within thirty feet of me anymore.”
“Well, then, you have a hell of a lot of work to do. I’d watch out for Vivian, though. She’s a very protective older sister, and Jason’s been teaching her hand-to-hand combat tactics. While you might beat her on the draw, I figure she’ll take you down out of sheer determination and whatever women have that makes them stronger than we men could ever hope to be.”
Mercury got to his feet and came around the desk. “Now, get out of my office and figure out how to win your woman back. Soon, too, or she might just be handed off to another guardian by whatever power lays within the medallion.”
“Can that happen?” James asked in sudden horror.
“Hell if I know, but it’s a power beyond anything I understand. It might just decide you’re not worthy of her and give her to someone that will actually treasure her for the gift she is. And that may very well mean you’re out of luck, permanently.”
“Shit,” James whispered. Popping up to his feet, he got out of there quickly. No way in hell am I losing my only hope at staying in the light to another guardian. The mere thought of Sophia being touched by another man made his stomach turn. She was his.
Stopping, he looked around. Now he had one major problem and a minor obstacle—getting Sophia to speak to him again so he could apologize and avoiding being gutted by her sister. He’d seen the looks Vivian had been shooting his way, and now he understood them.
God, she loved how sexy he was, but it was more than that. She loved how he treated her, how he loved her. She loved everything about him. He dropped his pants and kicked them aside, then stepped back up to the tub. Climbing in behind her, he moved down into the water at her back. “Damn, this is toasty,” he said, shifting around a little. “All right, honey, come here and let me cuddle you.”
Sophia turned slightly so that her feet were on the other side of his thighs. Resting her head on his shoulder, she sighed. Smiling, she wrapped her arms around his back.
His arms came around her, one hand drifting lovingly up and down her rib cage. “Much better,” he told her. One of his hands trailed down to run over her thigh. After a moment, he moved it between her legs, slipping down to cup her mound, a finger teasing her and slipping between her folds to rub at her clit.
She shivered and found herself opening her legs even more for him. She circled her hands around his neck, her thumbs stroking over his rapid pulse. “More,” she begged.
“Spread your legs for me, honey. Let me have access to all of you,” he said in a low, rough tone. “Are you wet for me, Sophia? Hot and ready for anything I might do to you? Is your pulse racing, your body humming in need for me and my touch?”
“Yes,” she hissed. “I’m very wet for you. I think I stay that way, honestly.” She whimpered. “I need you,” she told him without hesitation. “Please, don’t stop.”
“Good to know,” he said against her ear. The scrape of his teeth to her earlobe was the prelude to his fingers pushing into her. James curled them and hit that spot deep inside that had her tensing almost immediately for what was to come.
“Oh God, James.” She sobbed his name and opened herself wider for him. “No pain. Feels so good.” She was moaning again, rubbing against his finger as he moved it in and out of her body. “More.” It was a demand, pure and simple. “More, James.”
“Touch yourself. Play with your clit. Learn your own body, and its responses.” He cupped her breast in his free hand, pinching and rolling her nipple.
Sophia did just that. She moved her hand down her body, over his that was working in and out of her, and rubbed her thumb over her clit.
“That’s it, Soph.” He pulled his fingers from her body, laced them through hers, and pressed a digit from each of their hands back inside her. “Feel how hot, how wet, you are, Sophia. You’re so slick, so ready.”
“I want you inside of me. Love me,” she begged.
“I do love you, with everything I have in me.” He drew their fingers from her body again and grabbed her hips. Lifting her up, he turned her around to put her back to his chest, then poised her over himself. “Guide me into your pussy, Sophia. Take hold of my cock and help me slip into your sweet little body.”
Reaching between them, Sophia closed her hand over his thick shaft. “Holy hell,” she moaned. “You’re so hard.” She adjusted herself, her thumb still stroking over her own clit, and sobbed while bracing her other hand on his arm. “You feel so good.”
He let her slide down his cock slowly, one of his hands moving up to cup her breast and pull her back to his chest. “You’re in the position to move, to control what we do, Sophia. Move your legs so you can use them to lift and lower yourself on me.”
She moved experimentally up, then down on him and sobbed back a sigh of pure, intense pleasure. “Holy hell,” she moaned again.
“Nice and slow, Soph. Take your time, honey. We have all the time in the world. It’s just you and me.” He gave her breast a gentle squeeze, flicking her nipple as he caught her free hand. Sliding it down her body, he pressed it to where they were joined.
“That feels so good.” She swayed back and forth on him, shivering in reaction to his touches. “There, that feels good.” She was moving slowly now, taking his advice and simply loving every single part of their union.
“It should always feel good between us, Soph. No matter what we do, no matter how we do it, it should always be fucking amazing.” James pressed a kiss to her neck, her shoulder, and scraped his teeth lightly over her skin.
She was rocking faster now, her actions just a bit rougher. “James.” In the pit of her stomach, butterflies threatened to burst free and take flight. Her pussy tightened against his cock.
“That’s it, Sophia. Ride it out. Let it break free. I’ll be right here to catch you when you fall. I’ll always be here to catch you.” He was undulating his hips, driving his cock faster, taking her higher and higher. “Let go and scream for me, honey.”
Sophia moved harder and faster on him. She needed this every single bit as much from him as he needed it from her. “There,” she sobbed, and with her head falling back, she screamed his name and let her release break free.
He held her tight to his body as he rubbed her clit, drawing her climax out. Over and over, he slammed into her body until he finally stilled deep inside of her. His teeth latched onto her shoulder as he growled out her name and heat flooded her sheath in long splashes.
“Damn, woman, I think you might have killed me.” He hugging her close as he pressed kisses along her throat and jaw. “I can’t wait to give you a baby.”
“A baby?” She sat back on him, moaning when she did. “Oh, lordy.” She couldn’t believe how good it felt, even with them both being spent. “I didn’t think about that. It’s not something we have to worry about for a while, right?”
He smoothed a strand of hair away from her temple. “We can see about some contraceptives, if you want to wait a while. We’ll stop by the medical offices and have them give you a checkup and see what options you might be open to. For now, though, I think I’ll have to use condoms.”
“Okay. You don’t like that idea, do you? Condoms, that is?” She moved in closer and once more wrapped her arms around him. “I think that Viv takes a shot … or no, it’s something that was implanted inside of her, but I’m not sure what it is.” She shrugged. “Medical will know.”
He nodded. “And no, I don’t really like condoms. But I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’re happy. If you’re not ready for babies right away, then that’s okay.”
Sophia pursed her lips, then said, “I just think we should spend more time together before we think of babies. We’re both really young, and I love you, but I think right now you and me just getting to know each other, traveling and enjoying life together, is good.”
“Whatever you want, Soph.” He smiled. “Let’s get out of the tub before you start to prune up. You need to eat, and so do I if you keep attacking me. Not complaining, just so you know, making a statement is all. After we eat, I’ll call down to medical for an appointment.”
“Sounds good.” Sophia laughed and looked up at him. “And I’m attacking you?” She was grinning. “Well, okay, so I’ll definitely be the one who owns that. ’Cause I saw you naked, and I couldn’t help myself.”
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In the war between good and evil, a new breed of warrior has emerged. Strong and proud, they will band together to challenge an evil incarnate that threatens to tip the balance between the dark and the light.
Gaius Julius Alexander has learned a number of things over his many years. The bad guys are extremely impolite and their timing sucks. And the best laid plans will always go sideways at the least opportune time. For centuries he’s protected the innocent and fought for what’s right. Solid.
Solitary. Dominant—and secretly afraid of turning into the monsters that he hunts. Until a routine assignment changed the game and gave him something worth living for.
Emily Duncan has spent her life trying to do the right thing. Between running her own shop and using her psychic ability to help the police track down cold-blooded killers, she didn’t think her life could get much crazier. Until a tall, dark stranger showed up and claimed that her life was in danger and insisted she go with him if she wanted to stay alive.
This is a previously published work. It has been expanded and edited for Evernight Publishing.
Hector is a born warrior and protector. But in the war against evil, he cannot fight alone. While he has his brothers-in-arms by his side, a new element is necessary for this battle. That's when he finds Riley, and he realizes dreams can come true—even for one cursed to walk forever throughout time.
Riley Jensen is sensitive to lies—the lies others tell, and any she has ever tried to tell. Seeking out sanctuary behind thick walls is her only escape from the pain. Except now it appears she might be the hunted. Not one to sit back and wait, she goes on the offensive with the help of a powerful warrior.
As the danger grows thicker, lies will blend with truth. Only Riley can discern fact from fiction with her gift to keep all the warriors walking the true path. This is a previously published work.
It has been revised and edited for Evernight Publishing.
For the first time in her life, Vivian Duffy is pushing herself to the limits of her abilities. With people dying in her city she seems to be the only one willing to dig for the answers when the evidence isn’t making any sense. But when her sister fits the profile of the killer’s victims, Viv knows she may need to make some hard choices.
Jason has walked the Earth for more years than he cares to remember. Always with the singular goal of ensuring the safety of all the humans around him. Meeting the woman who was meant to be his was never even a consideration for him, not until Vivian crosses paths with him at the scene of a murder.
The danger is growing around them, and with the fate of his woman on the line this Argonaut will do whatever is needed to keep her protected.
This is a previously published work. It has been revised and edited for Evernight Publishing