In the beginning there is always darkness…
Aramon’s blood runs hot for the ravishingly beautiful Eliyn, the mysterious young woman who seemed to appear like magic out of the woods, lost and alone. But as Garde Lumia of the kingdom of Kinra, he is bound by duty to his country and the divine family he has sworn to protect. Aramon must marry according to his high station, the laws of the kingdom have no care for the desires of his heart.
Eliyn lost the only family she has ever known to the barbaric Viscans, and is grateful to the royal family for taking in. She knows Aramon would willingly defy his king to bond with her if she would only say the word, but she is mindful of her low-born status. All she can ever have of him are nights of forbidden passion.
Then a dark ship appears on the horizon, a ship bearing Araqael, the Night Lord cast from the heavens by the goddess herself. The centerpiece of his plot for revenge is his intended bride—Eliyn. The world would be hers to command if only she would take her place at his side. She must choose between the demon who could offer her everything and the man who could offer her nothing but his heart.
But Divinity has other plans…
Having fallen from grace, Araqael’s powers had diminished but not yet vanished. And to his shadowed world, he brought with him the Virtues, a once angelic order who were now loyal to their dark lord. Now referred to as demons, they sought to help him exact his revenge on the divine Goddess who had betrayed him…
Unbeknownst to most in Kinra, as the moon rose in the sky, the dark ship crossed the spans of the Madro Sea. Even through the crystal lens of his spyglass, Aramon could see little more then the outline of the emerging vessel. The flag of Hadren flapped vigorously at full mast as the demons approached.
In the distance, he could see three winged demons circling the ship. Their armor-like scales reflected the indigo hues of night and cast a brilliant dark tone over their normally pale bodies. Aramon knew the sunless night would give them no pause for concern. Demons were more adapt to darkness. They would sail by the glow of the moon until they reached the sands of Kinra’s shore.
Aramon lowered the spyglass and turned toward the guard. “A single demon ship. Three demons in air. Summon the Council.”
“Yes, my lord.” Endmond gave a slight bow and turned to leave Aramon alone with his thoughts.
Aramon looked once again to the sea. There was no kinship between Kinra and Hadren. The war between their kinds had raged since the beginning of time. It was said that the demon lord had been cast out of the heavens and had birthed a demon army from which he intended to overtake the world and become ruler of mortal men to spite the Goddess who’d rebuked him. Of course that was a mere tale as far as Aramon was concerned. He believed not in gods and heavens. Even the sacred holy Illumi had been mortal after all. No, as far as Aramon was concerned, the Night Lord was simply a tyrant who wanted the world on a platter. And Aramon wasn’t about to let him have it.
With one booted foot resting upon the rocky cliffs, Aramon watched the moon continue to rise into the night sky. The lands of Kinra were his home and he loved his country as much as he loved the men and women he was sworn to protect. As Garde Lumia, the keeper of light and leader of the great army of Kinra, he would protect these lands and the people until his dying breath.
Aramon rested his hand on the hilt of the sword at his waist. Handed down from Garde to Garde, forged with the light of the heavens by the Illumi, and supposedly blessed by the Celeste herself, the sheathed blade that pressed against his leg was a reminder that power and protection always lay at his side. He cared not where the blade came from, its power was all that interested Aramon.
A soft, pale hand slipped around his waist as Eliyn pressed herself against his back and whispered into his ear, “Aramon, my darling. Something troubles you?”
The sound of her voice drifting upon the winds of his country was as dear to him as any sound in all the land. He could fight a hundred battles, slay a thousand demons without hesitation and yet all he had to do was hear the voice of his beloved to find himself hopelessly weak in the knees and aching in the chest. Slowly, he turned toward her.
She’d let loose the raven tendrils of her hair so that it stirred about her porcelain face in the evening breeze. Her eyes, bluer than the clearest waters, twinkled like stars under the faint light of the moon. He slipped his hand about her neck and felt the feather-soft strands of her hair glide over his knuckles. He took hold of her and dragged her toward him so that his mouth pressed forcefully against hers.
A soft, aching whimper escaped her throat to drown in the depths of his urgent kiss. He dipped his tongue between her lips as she eagerly opened to him. He ravaged her mouth, his tongue dancing madly over hers, taking all that she had to give.
When he pulled away, breaking free from the kiss but keeping her captive in his arms, he was nearly as breathless as she.
He bowed his head against her shoulder while she ran her fingers tenderly through the dark curls of his hair. Aramon breathed out a sigh as he lingered in the comfort of her touch.
“Aramon?” she whispered softly.
“A ship from Hadren approaches. The Council awaits me.” He lifted his head to gaze into the crystal pools of her eyes.
She smiled, cutting a glance at him from beneath cocked brows. “Then I shall wait for thee.”
She turned to leave, but Aramon took hold of her hand, staying her. “Eliyn.”
“The Council, my lord.”
Without a word, he let her slip away. Duty bound her to her station just as it bound him to country. He turned back upon the sedated sea. He could see nothing now. No ships in the distance or demons dancing upon the crest of a wave. Darkness had slipped over them so that he could see no more than the moon’s reflections upon the water’s surface. He shifted his sword, and then turned to head to the Light Hall where his men awaited him.
Dawn is giving away a copy of Divinity in Chains to the lucky winner!