Wow what a detailed and delicious story of romance, war, betrayal and new found freedoms. You can't go wrong with this story. A kinda love I can definitely go for to read again and again. - Jessica, Goodreads (Deminon)
Published: December 25th, 2019
Born an orphan, raised as a warrior princess, desired by men. Can an Immortal claim her heart?
The first adopted daughter of Stella and Darius, Diana has been raised as if she were one of the fabled Amazon princesses. Her mornings are spent training with Darius at the agōgē, her skills as a warrior matched only by a few of the Deminon army recruits. Her afternoons are spent with Stella as she learns the art of diplomacy and the importance of service to others.
Never does Diana wonder why her parents are so devoted to one another, or why they seem to speak of the past as if they lived in it.
The curious stares aimed in her direction by the agōgē’s doctor, Antony—even when she’s not in the circle of battle—has Diana on edge. Learning she has a much older adopted brother—one who seems to youthen as he ages—has her questioning her origins.
So the arrival of Augustus of Assyria seems fortuitous. Her father’s oldest friend is welcomed with open arms even as he is followed by a threat to the future of Deminon. With his intimate knowledge of her parents, perhaps he’ll have the answers Diana seeks. Or will the Roman senator’s revelation about her only complicate matters? For his attentions are far more intense than those of Antony—and far more arousing.
Her short sword held to the side and her feet positioned for an attack, Diana regarded her opponent with a grin. “You are winded, old man.”
Darius of Agremon furrowed both brows and dropped his sword to his side. “Old man?” he repeated, incredulous. “Why, I think you are in need of...” He didn’t have a chance to finish the response when Diana took advantage of his relaxed stance and came at him with a perfectly aimed attack.
Although he was able to recover and stop the swing of her blade just before it would have connected with his forearm, Darius was left off-balance. Before he could reposition his feet, her follow-up thrust caught the fabric of his exomie and sliced it. The short sword continued downward, allowing him the fraction of a second he needed to step to the side and raise his own sword in defense.
Diana grinned again. “A lesson?” she teased, thinking that’s what Darius was about to claim she needed.
He narrowed his eyes as he caught his breath and nodded. “A lesson, indeed. A lesson in how to respect your elders.” He started an attack then, bringing his sword down in an arc that Diana had to deflect from an awkward angle. He continued the attack, impressed at how the warrior-in-training seemed to guess correctly at his every move.
He was also surprised at how her loyal dog remained beyond the circle. The black Molossian, a huge and muscled canine, could have easily decided Diana was in need of protection and made a run at him. Instead, Takoda was sound asleep under a plane tree, apparently unaware his mistress was under attack.
Except she wasn’t just then. Diana had just countered his latest move and then swung her sword in an unexpected arc to the side. Darius paused, as if uncertain of what to do.
The pause was his undoing.
The arc of Diana’s sword changed, the flat of the blade striking him hard against the side of his hip. With her momentum carrying her in the same direction, she dropped and rolled, one leg kicking out to pull one of his from beneath him. Darius went down—hard—and let out a curse in a language Diana hadn’t heard before at the very same moment she returned to a battle stance.
Love can last a thousand lifetimes when you’re an Immortal... or so they thought.
What’s become of the Immortal Darius? His wife, Stella, worries about his fate as she rules over their city-state of Deminon, especially when she learns he’s been the victim of treachery. She’ll do anything to get him back.
Enslaved as a traitor to Rome, Darius is forced to fight gladiators as part of the funeral rites of powerful Romans. His years of experience on the battlefield serve him well in the arena—until he’s forced to fight Marcus—a younger, stronger gladiator who is unaware of his own immortality.
Sure he’s about to suffer a defeat by the hand of Marcus, Darius is forced to make a decision that will change his future and Stella’s—preserve his essence by allowing his body to die so that he can live on in Marcus. His two-thousand years of memories and life experiences should be powerful enough to overcome the essence of the untested Immortal. Allow him to return to Stella and resume their life together, even if she won’t immediately recognize him.
But Marcus isn’t giving up so easily. Especially when he meets Stella.
Will Marcus help Darius take revenge on the one whose deceit led to his arrest on charges of treason? Or will Darius’ essence slowly be subsumed, the memories of his nearly two-thousand-year lifespan—and of Stella—fading away in the mind of Marcus?
These Immortals once had all the time in the world. Now it’s suddenly of the essence.
Marcus awoke with a start a few minutes later, a slight breeze cooling his sleep-warm body. Turning over, he discovered the door he had used to escape the bedchamber the night before was still open. He glanced at the slumbering Stella, and thought for a moment to simply remain in the comfortable bed, in the event she wished for his cock again. He would freely provide it. She had given in equal measure what he had given her, their mutual ecstasy an event he would gladly experience again. Never had he felt so satiated after a night with a woman.
Even his own wife.
Her words of earlier that morning had him wondering if he had agreed to her suggestion—that he marry her and become King of Deminon. He couldn’t remember if he had said anything in response, or if had simply taken the body she offered.
Marcus knew she didn’t want him, exactly, but rather the being with whom he shared his head. He supposed he couldn’t blame her. Having watched a parade of images, a stream of memories from the other Immortal’s past, Marcus understood why it was she was so beholden to Darius.
Why Darius was so beholden to her.
She loved him. Had loved him for all of eternity. Or at least since she had been plucked out of that olive tree on Thera all those years ago.
And she would continue to love him until the end of Time. Of that, he was quite sure.
But he is not me, Marcus thought, deciding he really needed to close the door.
For the first time that morning, the other being in his head—Darius, he now knew was the being’s name—put forth a thought.
I am you, and you are me.
Another gust of wind made its way into the bedchamber, as if to reinforce the words.
Immortality can be a lonely existence, especially when the world is about to implode.
For over six hundred years, Darius of Agremon has fought wars on behalf of those who needed his skills in combat. As a lechagos on Strongili, he spends his days commanding the Minoan coastguardsmen against pirates and marauders. His nights are spent alone, for despite having had wives in the past, he has watched them all grow old and die, childless, as he continues to live.
So when he senses immortality in an olive farmer’s young daughter, Darius bargains to take her to wife when she is old enough to marry.
A foundling, Stella works in her adoptive father’s orchard above Akrotiri, climbing the ancient trees to prune and to harvest the strings of pearls from their branches. She fears invaders when she watches flaming arrows arc in the sky, a sign the island is under attack. She worries about how the ground quakes beneath her feet and steam erupts from cracks in the ground. She wonders at the odd tingling she experiences whenever Darius of Agremon is near, a sensation not unlike the one she feels when spending time in the oldest trees.
Unaware of the arrangement her father has made with the lechagos, Stella thinks she has been sold into slavery when Darius comes for her. Her youth has been spent admiring the man who helped her father’s business thrive. Now she has only contempt for him and his hard-headed manner, despite the pleasures he incites whenever he claims her body.
While the earth trembles and a volcano threatens to destroy the island of Strongili, these two will have to forge a relationship that will last far longer than a lifetime—one that must endure an eternity and the disaster that’s about to wipe out the only home Stella has ever known.
About the author:
A self-described nerd and lover of science, Linda Rae spent many years as a published technical writer specializing in 3D graphics workstations, software and 3D animation (her movie credits include SHREK and SHREK 2). An interest in genealogy led to years of research on the Regency era and a desire to write fiction based in that time.
A fan of action-adventure movies, she can frequently be found at the local cinema. Although she no longer has any fish, she follows the San Jose Sharks. She is a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC) and makes her home in Cody, Wyoming.