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Unchained: An Eternal Guardians Novella


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Unchained: An Eternal Guardians Novella


  Unchained

  An Eternal Guardians Novella

  By Elisabeth Naughton

  1001 Dark Nights

  Unchained

  An Eternal Guardians Novella

  By Elisabeth Naughton

  1001 Dark Nights

  Copyright 2016 Elisabeth Naughton

  ISBN: 978-1-942299-54-7

  Foreword: Copyright 2014 M. J. Rose

  Published by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or establishments is solely coincidental.

  Book Description

  Unchained

  An Eternal Guardians Novella

  By Elisabeth Naughton

  PROMETHEUS – One of the keenest Titans to ever walk the earth. Until, that is, his weakness for the human race resulted in his imprisonment.

  For thousands of years, Prometheus’s only certainty was his daily torture at Zeus’s hand. Now, unchained by the Eternal Guardians, he spends his days in solitude, trying to forget the past. He’s vowed no allegiance in the war between mortal and immortal, but when a beautiful maiden seeks him out and begs for his help, he’s once again powerless to say no. Soon, Prometheus is drawn into the very conflict he swore to avoid, and, to save the maiden’s life, he must choose sides. But she has a secret of her own, and if Prometheus doesn’t discover what she’s hiding in time, the world won’t simply find itself embroiled in a battle between good and evil, it will fall in total domination to Prometheus’s greatest enemy.

  About Elisabeth Naughton

  Before topping multiple bestseller lists--including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal--Elisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A voracious reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Naughton now writes full-time. Besides topping bestseller lists, her books have been nominated for some of the industry's most prestigious awards, such as the RITA® and Golden Heart Awards from Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Golden Leaf Award. When not dreaming up new stories, Naughton can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home. Learn more at www.ElisabethNaughton.com.

  Also From Elisabeth Naughton

  Click to purchase

  Eternal Guardians

  (paranormal romance)

  MARKED

  ENTWINED

  TEMPTED

  ENRAPTURED

  ENSLAVED

  BOUND

  TWISTED

  RAVAGED

  AWAKENED

  Firebrand Series

  (paranormal romance)

  BOUND TO SEDUCTION

  SLAVE TO PASSION

  POSSESSED BY DESIRE

  Against All Odds Series

  (romantic suspense)

  WAIT FOR ME

  HOLD ON TO ME

  MELT FOR ME

  Aegis Series

  (romantic suspense)

  FIRST EXPOSURE

  SINFUL SURRENDER

  EXTREME MEASURES

  LETHAL CONSEQUENCES

  FATAL PURSUIT

  Deadly Secrets Series (starting July 2016)

  (Romantic Suspense)

  REPRESSED

  Stolen Series

  (romantic suspense)

  STOLEN FURY

  STOLEN HEAT

  STOLEN SEDUCTION

  STOLEN CHANCES

  Anthologies

  BODYGUARDS IN BED

  DARK NIGHTS DANGEROUS MEN

  WICKED FIRSTS

  SINFUL SECONDS

  ALL HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS

  Discover 1001 Dark Nights Collection One

  Click here to explore

  FOREVER WICKED by Shayla Black

  CRIMSON TWILIGHT by Heather Graham

  CAPTURED IN SURRENDER by Liliana Hart

  SILENT BITE: A SCANGUARDS WEDDING by Tina Folsom

  DUNGEON GAMES by Lexi Blake

  AZAGOTH by Larissa Ione

  NEED YOU NOW by Lisa Renee Jones

  SHOW ME, BABY by Cherise Sinclair

  ROPED IN by Lorelei James

  TEMPTED BY MIDNIGHT by Lara Adrian

  THE FLAME by Christopher Rice

  CARESS OF DARKNESS by Julie Kenner

  Also from 1001 Dark Nights

  TAME ME by J. Kenner

  Discover 1001 Dark Nights Collection Two

  Click here to explore

  WICKED WOLF by Carrie Ann Ryan

  WHEN IRISH EYES ARE HAUNTING by Heather Graham

  EASY WITH YOU by Kristen Proby

  MASTER OF FREEDOM by Cherise Sinclair

  CARESS OF PLEASURE by Julie Kenner

  ADORED by Lexi Blake

  HADES by Larissa Ione

  RAVAGED by Elisabeth Naughton

  DREAM OF YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout

  STRIPPED DOWN by Lorelei James

  RAGE/KILLIAN by Alexandra Ivy/Laura Wright

  DRAGON KING by Donna Grant

  PURE WICKED by Shayla Black

  HARD AS STEEL by Laura Kaye

  STROKE OF MIDNIGHT by Lara Adrian

  ALL HALLOWS EVE by Heather Graham

  KISS THE FLAME by Christopher Rice

  DARING HER LOVE by Melissa Foster

  TEASED by Rebecca Zanetti

  THE PROMISE OF SURRENDER by Liliana Hart

  Also from 1001 Dark Nights

  THE SURRENDER GATE By Christopher Rice

  SERVICING THE TARGET By Cherise Sinclair

  Sign up for the 1001 Dark Nights Newsletter

  and be entered to win a Tiffany Key necklace.

  There’s a contest every month!

  Click here to subscribe.

  As a bonus, all subscribers will receive a free

  1001 Dark Nights story

  The First Night

  by Lexi Blake & M.J. Rose

  One Thousand and One Dark Nights

  Once upon a time, in the future…

  I was a student fascinated with stories and learning.

  I studied philosophy, poetry, history, the occult, and

  the art and science of love and magic. I had a vast

  library at my father’s home and collected thousands

  of volumes of fantastic tales.

  I learned all about ancient races and bygone

  times. About myths and legends and dreams of all

  people through the millennium. And the more I read

  the stronger my imagination grew until I discovered

  that I was able to travel into the stories... to actually

  become part of them.

  I wish I could say that I listened to my teacher

  and respected my gift, as I ought to have. If I had, I

  would not be telling you this tale now.

  But I was foolhardy and confused, showing off

  with bravery.

  One afternoon, curious about the myth of the

  Arabian Nights, I traveled back to ancient Persia to

  see for myself if it was true that every day Shahryar

  (Persian: شهريار, “king”) married a new virgin, and then

  sent yesterday's wife to be beheaded. It was written

  and I had read, that by the time he met Scheheraz
ade,

  the vizier's daughter, he’d killed one thousand

  women.

  Something went wrong with my efforts. I arrived

  in the midst of the story and somehow exchanged

  places with Scheherazade – a phenomena that had

  never occurred before and that still to this day, I

  cannot explain.

  Now I am trapped in that ancient past. I have

  taken on Scheherazade’s life and the only way I can

  protect myself and stay alive is to do what she did to

  protect herself and stay alive.

  Every night the King calls for me and listens as I spin tales.

  And when the evening ends and dawn breaks, I stop at a

  point that leaves him breathless and yearning for more.

  And so the King spares my life for one more day, so that

  he might hear the rest of my dark tale.

  As soon as I finish a story... I begin a new

  one... like the one that you, dear reader, have before

  you now.

  Table Of Contents

  Book Description

  About Elisabeth Naughton

  Also by Elisabeth Naughton

  Discover 1001 Dark Nights Collection One

  Discover 1001 Dark Nights Collection Two

  Foreword

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Discover 1001 Dark Nights Collection Three

  Discover the World of 1001 Dark Nights

  Discover Elisabeth Naughton

  Special Thanks

  “There is the heat of love,

  the pulsing rush of longing,

  the lover’s whisper, irresistible—

  magic to make the sanest man go mad.”

  ― Homer, The Iliad

  CHAPTER ONE

  “Find me. I’m waiting. I’m waiting only for you...”

  The words echoed in Prometheus’s head as he wandered the empty halls of the ancient castle high in the Aegis Mountains. He heard them in his waking hours now, not just when he was asleep. Heard them tickle the hairs on his nape, heard them whisper like a lover in his ear, heard them call like fire to his blood until he twitched with the need to find her and claim her as his own.

  Her. The female with the flame-red hair and eyes like glittering emeralds he’d conjured with his mind. The female who was now more real to him than, well, him.

  Damn, but he’d fantasized about her so often over the last few months he wanted her more than he wanted his precious isolation. But the voice wasn’t real because she wasn’t real. Not even a Titan, a god with the power to match that of any ruling Olympian’s powers, could make her real. The only person in the cosmos who could summon life was the Creator, and the Creator had screwed Prometheus over so long ago, Prometheus knew there was no chance in this world or the next that he’d ever be blessed with a living version of his endless fantasy.

  Life didn’t work that way. Correction, his life didn’t work that way. His life was a series of bad choices and never-ending repercussions. Which was exactly the reason he was determined to stay right here in this dank castle and not follow the sultry voice that made him so hard he could barely walk.

  He waved a hand, using his telekinetic powers to light a torch along the wall in the cold, dark hallway as he moved. Maybe he was going mad. Maybe all these years of isolation were finally catching up with him. After the Argonauts—warrior descendants of the strongest heroes in all of Ancient Greece—had freed him from Zeus’s chains, Prometheus had craved nothing but solitude. To do what he wanted, when he wanted—or to do absolutely nothing at all. But now, more than twenty-five years later, he was starting to wonder if his self-imposed seclusion in this ancient castle was at the root of all his problems. He was hallucinating, for shit’s sake. Not just visions, but voices now, too. A sane person didn’t do that. A sane person—mortal or immortal—recognized when he was standing on quicksand and got the fuck out.

  “Find me. I’m waiting, Titos. I’m waiting for you...”

  She always called him Titos in his hallucinations. A nickname that translated to fire. One that now brought him around to stare down the dark and empty hallway even though he knew she wasn’t real.

  Nothing moved. No sound met his ears. The castle was as silent as it had been since the day he’d arrived. But his spine tingled with apprehension, and his god-sense, something he rarely relied on because no one knew where he was, shot a warning blare straight through his ears.

  The witches in the valley at the base of Mt. Parnithia had told him this castle in the Argolean realm had once belonged to an evil sorcerer who’d chosen darkness over light. That sorcerer’s quest for power had cost him his life, and he now resided in the lowest levels of Tartarus, tortured endlessly by Hades much as Prometheus had been tortured by Zeus. His energy still lingered, though. A vile and murky energy Prometheus felt vibrating in his bones. As a divine being, Prometheus wasn’t worried that energy would claim him—he was too strong for that—but he couldn’t help but wonder if the sorcerer’s dark energy was somehow affecting him. Could it be the source of the voice?

  “Titos... I’m waiting...”

  “Who’s there?” he called.

  Silence met his ears. His pulse ticked up as he scanned the darkened corridor, the only light coming from the torch behind him. Still nothing moved. Even the wind outside the castle walls had died down as if it too were afraid to utter a sound.

  His imagination. It had to be. A hallucination or whatever the fuck he wanted to call it. Frowning, he turned away only to catch a flash of white out of the corner of his eye.

  He whipped back. Some kind of gauzy fabric disappeared into the library, followed by the sound of laughter.

  Sexy, feminine laughter.

  Prometheus’s stomach tightened as he rushed to the threshold of the room, grasped the doorframe, and peered inside. Shelves lined with books covered all four walls. A cold, dark fireplace sat across the distance. An empty couch, two side chairs, and a small coffee table lingered in the middle of the library.

  Nothing moved inside the room. No fabric rustled. No laughter sounded in the cool air.

  His stomach dropped when he realized he was hallucinating again, and he lowered his head into his hand and rubbed his aching temple. What had he said to himself earlier? A sane person recognized when he was standing on quicksand and got the fuck out? Maybe it was time he did that. Maybe it was time he moved on from Argolea and refocused on what he should have been doing these last twenty-five years. Namely, finding a way to screw Zeus over for everything the asshat god had done to him.

  “I can help you.”

  Prometheus’s head jerked up at the sound of the sultry feminine voice he’d heard so many times in his dreams. Only this time when he looked the room wasn’t empty. This time a gorgeous female with hair as wild as fire and eyes like chipped emeralds peered back at him from the couch.

  “I can help you exact revenge on Zeus,” she whispered, sitting forward so her breasts heaved in the low-cut white gown. “All you have to do is help me first.”

  * * * *

  “Help you how?” The Titan took one step into the library and stopped. “Who are you? And how did you get here?”

  This was where she needed to be careful. Circe slowly pushed to her feet and brushed the thick curls over her shoulder. If he suspected too much, all her efforts would be for naught. She had to play this cool, had to stick to the plan, had to wait for just the right moment to strike.

  “My name is Keia.” Not entirely a lie, she figured. For thousands of years, humans had called her a goddess pharmakeia, which was just a fancy nickname for witch or sorceress. She was simply borrowing from that label. “But I am not here. I am only an apparition.”

  “I don’t believe you.” Prometheus stalked forward. He reached out to grab her but
his wide palm and long fingers passed through nothing but air.

  His hazel eyes widened as he looked from his hand back to her. “What the hell?”

  He was only a few inches taller than her nearly seven feet, but he was bigger everywhere. A wall of solid steel that stood between her and eternity. Power radiated from his broad shoulders and chiseled muscles. A power that made her heart beat faster and her blood warm in a way it hadn’t done in ages.

  His dark hair was cut short, his jaw strong and square and covered by three days worth of stubble that made him look both dangerous and sexy. He was thousands of years old—like her—but he didn’t look a day over thirty. And when his eyes narrowed and his luscious lips thinned, she had an overwhelming urge to dive into his mouth to find out if he tasted as good as he looked.

  “How did you find me?” he said. “What do you want with me?”

  Circe blinked, his voice pulling her back to the moment. She’d not been sexually attracted to anyone in so long, she’d forgotten what that rush of excitement felt like. Then again, she’d not had the chance to be attracted to anyone. Zeus kept her locked up tight and had for way too long.

  Focus. Sexy as hell you can use to your advantage.

  She lifted a foot-long length of heavy chain. “Look familiar?”

  His face paled as he looked at the chain Zeus had used to bind him to that rock. The rock where he’d been tortured daily by a giant eagle that had torn into his side and consumed his liver day after day. “Where did you get that?”

  “Find me and I’ll tell you.”

  His confused gaze lifted to her face. “Find you?”

 
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