From New York Times Bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton, comes HUNTED,a new novella in her Eternal Guardians Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!
Erebus – Dark in every sense of the word, a skilled and lethal warrior, and sinfully sexy by design.
Since the dawn of modern man, Erebus was Hades’ secret weapon in the war between the immortal realms. Until Hades lost the minor god in a bet to his older brother Zeus. For the last hundred years, Erebus has trained Zeus’s Siren warriors in warfare and the sexual arts. But he’s never stopped longing for freedom. For a life filled with choice. And lately, he also longs for one Siren who entranced him during their steamy seduction sessions. A nymph he quickly became obsessed with and who was ripped from his grasp when her seduction training was complete. One he’s just learned Zeus has marked for death because she failed the last Siren test.
Before Erebus can intercede on the nymph’s behalf, she escapes Olympus and flees into the human realm. In a fit of rage, Zeus commands Erebus to hunt her down and kill her. Erebus sees his opportunity to finally go after what he wants, but he’s torn. Freedom means nothing if the Siren at the center of his fantasies doesn’t truly crave him back. Because defying the gods will unleash the fury of Olympus, and if he chooses her over his duty, whether she joins him in exile or not, the hunter will become the hunted.
A flash of blonde hair to his left caught his attention as he ran through the dark forest. His target—Trainee #429745—was close, but then he knew that already. His god powers were strongest in darkness, and his hearing, smell, even sight were amplified when night disadvantaged other hunters. He could hear her labored breaths echoing in his ears, could smell the lemony scent of her skin in his nostrils, but seeing the flash of long blonde hair had surprised him. He hadn’t looked at her picture before he’d left Olympus for this hunt. He’d memorized her trainee number, read through her file and made mental notes of her trainers’ mostly average comments about her hand-to-hand combat and warfare skills. Had questioned the stupid guards she’d overpowered at the gates of Olympus when she’d fled, and who were now suffering their own just fates. And he’d located the portal she’d used outside the gates to cross into this forest in the human realm. But he’d purposefully not looked at her image. Putting a face to a number gave his prey a human quality he didn’t need to concern himself with. His orders from Zeus were clear: “She failed her last Siren test and ran. Hunt her down and bring her back to me.” It was not Erebus’s place to question Zeus’s command. The King of the Gods could have ordered Erebus to kill the trainee—which he’d done in the past and would do again when called upon because it was his duty—but Zeus hadn’t. That made Erebus’s job this time a helluva lot easier, and for that he was thankful. But that flash of blonde... He’d seen it somewhere before. Or hair like it. Not a white blonde. Not a honey blonde. Not even a multicolored blonde like many of the Sirens sported on Olympus. This hair had been a golden blonde so bright it had looked like a gilded waterfall in the darkness of the forest when she’d whipped past him through the trees. Not important. What she looked like had no impact on his current assignment. Clearing his mind, he shifted direction and picked up his speed, heading toward the flash of blonde he’d seen. Her labored breaths grew louder. Her scent stronger. Ahead, that golden blonde flashed again, whipping behind her as she turned to look into the dark forest at her back then angled forward again and ran faster.