Immortal, Insatiable, Indomitable, page 1
Vidar, an immortal in the service of the Norse god Loki, is ready to die—until he lays eyes on the most beautiful mortal he’s encountered in centuries. Not only is Kara sexy and eager to be ravished by him, but she also defends him from minions of his enemy…making her the only human to ever put their life on the line for him.
Vidar and Kara soon enjoy the unbridled ecstasy they seemed destined to share. Yet they know they can’t be together for long. Vidar can sense that Kara will die soon—unless he can find a way to make her immortal, too….
Immortal, Insatiable, Indomitable
Death must be your heart’s desire.
Vidar slammed his glass down on the counter. The crack went off like a shot in the first lull in the marrow-jarring music the mortals had been writhing to since he’d walked into the club an hour ago.
Damn Loki and his riddles.
The bartender’s head jerked up, his hand freezing on the way to pour a sixth shot of vodka. “Want something else?”
Vidar fisted a wad of money from his inner pocket, threw it on the counter. “Just leave the bottle. And bring me another one.”
The bartender hesitated. Vidar wondered if he’d mention an alcohol consumption limit or ask for his car keys.
Nah. As burly as the man was, he was eyeing him with the wariness he was used to seeing in mortal men’s eyes when they saw him. This man knew violence, could estimate his chances against other men. Against him, he’d rightly calculated them to be none. And that was based solely on the pissed-off vibe Vidar was radiating.
He wondered what the man would think if he knew he could take out the hundreds of men around them without breaking a sweat.
The way he felt right now, he was itching to do that.
The man must have sensed it, too. He did as ordered, though to his credit, with utmost reluctance.
Vidar fleetingly considered reassuring the bartender that he wasn’t breaking any professional code. Having the metabolism of a shape-shifting immortal, he could drink a swimming pool’s worth of Midgard’s—Earth’s—hardest liquor and it would barely smooth his frown. The only time he’d been drunk had been a millennium ago, after he and his team had released Alvar from Fenrir the Wolf’s clutches. And then only because he’d celebrated by going through two barrels of mead imported direct from Asgard.
He frowned into the colorless liquid in his glass. His fellow Lokians wouldn’t touch that stuff at the threat of a hit from Mjolnir. Daven had been pounded by Thor’s Hammer in a wager between Thor and Loki that he would. He hadn’t.
But Vidar’s fellow Lokians didn’t trawl bars and nightclubs for recruits. They’d taunted him that he did so because puny mortals’ liquor was all he could handle. Either that, or he’d grown lazy.
He hadn’t volunteered the real reason. That he’d grown indifferent. Finding recruits had ceased to matter decades ago.
And then, he had found many of his candidates in such places, where outcasts went to blend in. His days of being creative in looking for recruits were long behind him. The extra effort hadn’t proved more effective, and recruits found in joints like this one actually ended up lasting longer. All he had to do while he cast his senses out on search was endure the cacophony and legitimize his presence by downing overpriced, ineffective swill.
He’d better find someone to recruit here. He wasn’t in the mood for another wasted night.
But what else was new? He’d had centuries of wasted nights. To say he was sick of it all was the understatement of the literal millennium.
That was why he’d invoked Loki at dawn that morning for a one-on-one.
Loki had taken his sweet time answering, had appeared around noon. After an hour of enduring the god talking up his latest TV channel acquisition and how he planned to use it to invade Normals’ minds, and showing off his new clothing line’s threads, he’d cut him off. Loki had his undying allegiance and all, and for millennia he’d actually enjoyed listening to him plot and brag, but not today.
Today it was over. He wanted to quit.
He should have, centuries ago.
It had been that long since he’d known his job was futile.
He couldn’t speak for the others, but being one of the twelve Originals of Loki’s Legion hadn’t turned out as advertised. He’d signed on thinking it was the ultimate cause, upholding Loki’s purpose in searching out Gifted outcasts, recruiting them, fostering them, and swelling the ranks of his army for Ragnarok, the Final Fate of the Gods, where they would help him survive that battle in which all the gods were supposed to kill one another, then take over this fucked-up world. All Vidar had managed to do so far was watch his recruits burn in the flames of self-destruction, disintegrate in the maelstrom of madness or wither in the abyss of depression. Rinse and repeat. Ad infinitum.
He was weary of counting the fallen, of the futility of knowing they’d fall. Millennia of that had gotten old. Ancient. He had no more purpose. Not in this existence, anyway. His purpose would be renewed when said existence came to an end.
But he was no longer holding his breath for that. Judging from the millenniums that had dragged by with nothing happening, Ragnarok seemed to have been canceled.
After a long moment of studying his perfectly manicured nails and dusting imaginary lint from his ten-thousand-dollar Loki Line suit, Loki had answered. Not out loud.
The words had expanded in Vidar’s mind.
So you want death.
Vidar had only nodded. Loki had gotten that right.
He could quit without dying. After the first few centuries, Loki had no longer tied the immortality of his Originals to continued service. But without serving Loki’s cause, he had nothing to live for. He’d lived far too long already. He was centuries beyond ready—hell, beyond rip-roaring eager—to hang it all up.
There was only one way to do that. Loki had to strip away his immortality so that his body could die. Or be killed.
But Loki had only flung the cryptic answer at him.
Death must be your heart’s desire.
Then, citing a hot date with his wife, Sigyn, followed by a showdown with Thor over some epic squabble between their sons, he’d disappeared before Vidar could probe or persist.
Vidar grunted with a resurgence of frustration and tossed back another swig of vodka direct from the bottle.
What was a heart’s desire, anyway?
He’d never wanted anything with the all-consuming passion he supposed such a desire should be. And how in Ragnarok’s name could death become that to him? Wasn’t it enough that he wanted the damn thing, longed for its reprieve?
Evidently, not according to Loki. And knowing the god, he’d said his final word on the matter. That meant Vidar would probably live until Ragnarok and, if they were victorious then, beyond.
He’d often heard mortals moan, Someone kill me now.
He so sympathized.
He panned his gaze around. Epileptic bursts of colored light sundered the semidarkness. The air was pregnant with odors and emotions, pheromones and hormones, naturally and chemically induced. And the din. Only mortals high on one thing or another could find this not only endurable but enjoyable. Mating practices had sure changed since he was a mortal.
He’d give finding a recruit another thirty minutes. His life might be unending, but his patience wasn’t. And then…
A woman was sitting in a booth at the farthest end of the club.
And she was…glowing.
Kara winced at the pungent masses, the bone-shaking noise and migraine-inducing strobe lights, and damned herself again.
What was she doing here?
She streaked past this joint every day on her way home from the hospital. Tonight, some compulsion she couldn’t resist had made her approach, tell the hulking, BDSM-clad bouncers she wanted a peek inside. She’d felt certain that they, who seemed to let in only weirdos, wouldn’t open the door for unescorted, boringly clad meat.
To her shock, one had led her to a booth and ordered her a complimentary drink. Before she could worry that the mass of muscle was hitting on her, he’d left. She was still wondering what that had been all about.
So here she was. Sitting in the midst of what looked like a mass ritual for the exorcism of every inhibition and dress code known to humankind.
She’d never thought places like this existed outside of movies. And though most of the mayhem ranged from ridiculous to repulsive, she had no intention of leaving. Why, she had no idea.
But then, what was one more insanity? Her normal life had turned out to be a lie, and the truth…unadulterated madness.
She reached for the pineapple juice the waitress had snorted at when she’d ordered. She took a sip of the watered down but blessedly hydrating liquid, scanned the light-pulsing, body-packed, crimson-hued psychedelic space over the rim of the glass.
Suddenly the coolness sliding down her throat turned scalding. Her heart sputtered, her every nerve fired.
A man. On the far side of the gigantic room.
He had an elbow propped on the bar and a hip on a high stool, semifacing her. His eyes rose from contemplating the liquor bottle in his hand with disgust, slammed into hers.
If she’d been standing, she would have keeled over.
And that was before a path cleared among the crush, affording her an unobstructed view of him.
Her mouth dropped open, air stalled in her lungs.
This must be what a fallen angel looked like. Or a god. A Norse god. This impossible beauty. This hair-raising aura.
She could swear she saw the latter. It had a thousand hues and influences to it, each eliciting images, sensations, wrenching responses. And then came the physical details. The fluid power of his limbs, the pure maleness in his pose, the utter poetry of his proportions, the shoulder-length mane weaved from sunlight and bronze. And his eyes. She shouldn’t be able to decipher their color at this distance. But she did. They seemed to emit an azure force field that stormed through her, pillaging and possessing….
The rest of her breath left her with a choppy huff.
Okay. Congratulations. She’d just veered from insane to pathetic. Since when did she think such things exciting? Any man who’d tried such overriding tactics on her, she’d handed his head, right after she kicked his ass. Why would her mind be filling with images of this man walking over to her, dragging her into his arms and giving her no choice as he ravaged her mouth and exploited her flesh for his pleasure?
She was getting wet just imagining it. Her core was starting to throb, like it hadn’t done in…ever. Not when it hadn’t been in response to some seriously well-written erotica. No live man had done this to her before, taken hold of her imagination and libido and churned them into a frenzy this way.
He’d done it with just a stare.
Okay. Any time now. She was more than ready for it. For his eyes to betray a vapid shallowness behind their at-first unfathomable depths.
And that perfect body probably reeked. Those painstakingly sculpted lips probably smelled like a cheap, alcohol-soaked ashtray that spilled guttural vulgarities, and he probably had all the finesse of a phlegm-spitting lowlife and the intelligence of a unicellular life-form.
No one could be that…endowed in more than one arena. And his share of the physical must have kicked him out of line when they were handing out other attributes. The universe wasn’t that unfair that it would give him more advantages than the…distressingly obvious.
Decimating her expectations wasn’t working. She couldn’t stop her body from readying itself for all-out sex. Which it must be doing from genetic memory, since she’d never had sex that could be described as all-anything, except maybe all-boring, all-disappointing.
Then she literally couldn’t stop her body.
She found herself getting up on legs that shook as she imagined them wrapping around his bulk as he drove into her. Then her feet were taking her closer to him.
Vidar stared at the woman.
She wasn’t really glowing. But she was. To his senses. And to his more…fundamental parts. She radiated a compulsion, transmitted it on a wavelength that revved dark, dangerous urges inside him. Untempered, unrestrained.
A power he rarely used—making mortals unable to bear the impact of his gaze—emptied a path to her. Then his Lokian vision—another gift he seldom engaged, finding little in this world to warrant its clarity—zoomed in on her.
He magnified each feature of her exquisite face, every strand of spun-fire that framed it, every slope and curve and pore. Her broad, clear forehead bore the mark of intelligence. Her elegant nose and firm jaw spoke of character and strength. Her lips, dainty and dimpled, would be edible smiling or serious, but now, flushed and parted, they invited his ferociousness. Of her body, he could see only the capable, square shoulders, and the heavy breasts, hugged loosely by something out of place and beige.
But it was her eyes, gleaming like Asgard’s moons and as verdant as its seas, that had excesses storming through his mind, sending blood like molten steel to his erection.
He’d thought he’d seen it all. Every kind of beauty, on the mortal and immortal planes. He’d been right. Until now.
Until this woman.
Even the gods hadn’t been so ambitious as to dream of beauty like hers. Nature, in his experience, had never come close.
And her effect on him wasn’t due to a spell or a power.
She was human. Mortal. He even felt that her life force was unstable. She wouldn’t have a long lifespan.
He should take her while he could, then.
He imagined himself walking to her, then without saying a word, pushing her back on that bench she was sitting on and mounting her.
He hadn’t done anything close to that even when he’d been a barbarian and behavior like that was the norm.
He wanted to do it to her now.
Now that was desire. Although of something south of the heart.
And it was reciprocated. She wanted him to ravish her.
She was coming to him, the demand for his possession, his pleasures, rising in urgency with her every step closer.
How he would answer it.
Kara neared the man, only the crush of sweating bodies slowing her advance. The emptiness between her thighs throbbed harder with every step.
But along with arousal, anxiety intensified, too.
It would serve her right if he did something obscene when she reached him. Her off-the-charts, out-of-character behavior in walking up to a man who looked like a…a marauder, with drool no doubt trailing behind her, deserved at least a breast grope.
What would she do if he did that, or worse? Slap him? Run away? Rub herself against his rock-solid gorgeousness and beg for more? For everything?
That was it. She’d lost whatever had been left of her mind.
Don’t do this. Turn around, walk away.
If she didn’t, she’d blow away whatever normalcy remained in her life. After her “family’s” recent revelations, she barely had any left. This was just the guy to end “normal” once and for all.
But she could be imagining things. He might be just another mediocre guy, and she’d soon get this will-siphoning lust
Yeah, sure. Like she’d been imagining things when she’d thought there was something seriously wrong with her. Her “foster family” had set her straight on that.
Next to what they’d revealed, walking up to the most incredible and lethal-looking man she’d ever seen with the intention of asking him to fuck her brains out seemed tame.
To make things worse, he hadn’t moved an inch to meet her halfway, just kept staring at her. If you could call that denuding/dissecting/devouring gaze a stare. And if she trusted her senses at all now, she would swear he was getting…bigger.
She was only a dozen feet from him when he suddenly looked away.
Mortification scalded her.
He gazed with even more intensity at whatever had caught his attention. So he looked at everything that way. It hadn’t been for her. He might even be here with someone. He…
He had men converging on him. Lumbering, black-leather-clad men whose heads were shaved in patterns that looked like gothic runes.
And from their body language, they didn’t want to buy him another drink.
Vidar wanted to kick himself.
He’d been so lost in the mortal’s eyes, in his fantasies of how many ways, how long and hard, he’d fuck her, he hadn’t noticed the minions of Odin closing in on him. Not until they were a dozen feet away. He usually felt them from at least a mile.
He transferred his gaze to them, cursed them most for forcing him to relinquish savoring his mortal vision’s approach.
Odinians, like most religious cultists, were sociopaths desperate to belong to something bigger than they were, to draw importance and power from the affiliation. Even if it killed them. But preferably if it killed others.
He wondered how they’d realized what he was. Before arriving at the club, he’d shifted to only three-quarters of his real size.
OLIVIA GATES SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Immortal, Insatiable, IndomitableConveniently His PrincessTo Touch a SheikhTemporarily His PrincessThe Sarantos Secret BabyThe Desert Lord’s BridePregnant by the SheikhTo Tempt a Sheikh
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