When a Shiver’s fed up, no one’s safe.
Koi Pyktis is the last of the Shivers and, lately, he’s been feeling as if the whole world is in love, leaving him the odd Shiver out. Though he has his eyes on Kofi’s friend, Christophe Sidler, he knows he must keep his hands off him. His father’s enemies are out there and they seem hell-bent on starting a war between the Shivers and anyone else they want.
Christophe Sidler has loved Koi Pyktis since the moment he laid eyes on the studly Greek. But he’s fresh from mourning his mother, getting his feet wet in the business world and trying desperately not to put his foot in his mouth around Koi.
However, what will Christophe feel and say when he finds out what Koi really is, and where will Christophe stand in the battle ahead?
General Release Date: 19th April 2016
The North Shores
“This is the second time Poseidon has had to save the Red Sea nations.” Koi sat in deep conversation with Ares and Hercules. “I don’t understand what is going on.”
“None of us get this, Koi,” Hercules said. “I was tempted to seek Zeus’ assistance in figuring out this mystery but we all know the end result of that.”
“Our father has all these powers,” Hercules continued. “Yet he sits back and allows all these horrible things to befall us.”
Koi was tired of his father’s indiscretions coming back to haunt him and his siblings. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. He was tired of the fighting, of having to take lives since there was usually no other alternative. He rose, approached one of the massive windows and stared out at his mother’s garden.
“I do not understand,” Koi repeated more to himself than to Hercules. “What else do we have to do to prove that we want no trouble, that we mean no harm? Sometimes I wish we were never born.”
“Don’t say that,” Ares said. “I, for one, am happy to have you.”
Koi shook his head. “This is getting out of hand and with all the fighting and the death we have experienced already…”
“As I said,” Hercules began, “it is only a rumor.”
“There is no such thing on Mount Olympus and you know it! They might as well have put up a billboard that says ‘We want Shivers dead!’ Since Zeus sired us, there’s been a target on our backs and everyone wants to cash in. There is absolutely nothing we can do short of blowing up Mount Olympus—and even then we would still be screwed.”
“You know we won’t let anything bad happen to you, right?” Hercules asked. He stood close to Koi now. “You have us and we have your back for as long as you want and longer. Yes, no one knows better than me that having Zeus’ blood flowing through your veins means a horrid life sentence. So trust me when I say this—you cannot continue to live your life worrying about what may come. Let us face it when it gets here.”
“It is not so simple.” Koi bowed his head. “Sometimes love is not enough. This is one of those times.”
“You can’t mean that,” Ares added. “Koi, it has to be enough. We deserve to be happy too, even if our father is a man whore.”
“I was hoping to find someone, settle down,” Koi admitted. “Be happy like my brother and Osaki.”
“What’s stopping you?” Hercules asked. “You still can! I mean, look at me.”
“How can I bring someone into this? Herc, you, better than everyone else, know how bringing an outsider into this family will end. They tortured your mother, made you kill your children, brainwashed your wife into killing you—how can you not see what I mean?”
“And you’re right,” Hercules said. “I get that, and no matter how many years pass, what they did was and will always unforgivable. But you cannot take on that worry, that guilt or that shame.”
Koi shook his head. “I fear that is where you are wrong, brother.” Koi lifted his head then and stared at a particular flower his mother had taken to calling Kyria. “There is no happiness for me now. Maybe if Zeus’ blood wasn’t flowing through my veins I’d have a chance. But if we’re being honest, we’d admit there is a never-ending battle being waged, and with Osaki and Ciro out, it is left up to me.”
“What nonsense, brother!” Hercules snapped. “You must know the first people to be by your side in a fight are Ciro and Osaki.”
Koi swung to face his brother. “They will want to. There is no questioning their love for me or their loyalty. But we both know they have more to live for now than before. It wouldn’t be right dragging them into a war, away from their families.”
“Koi, you can’t mean that. What’s more important than your brother?” Ares wanted to know.
“Love,” Koi replied, simply. “Love.”
Hercules sucked his teeth. “That makes absolutely no sense.”
Koi shrugged and turned to the window again. He folded his arms across his chest and took a breath. “If someone is truly after me, this is my fight.”
“There is no such thing as ‘my fight’ here, Koi,” Hercules informed him. “Like it or not, we are family. All we have is each other. If they’re coming for you, they’re coming for me. That’s just how it is.”
“This is not a debate, Koi,” Hercules said. “It is not a democracy.”
Ares lifted a hand to silence the younger demi-god, and Hercules frowned.
“Well, we are here whether you need us or not,” Ares told Koi. “We will not let you do this alone.”
Koi gave him a smile then walked toward the exit. Before stepping through the door, he vanished into the cool mist of the North Shores, appearing again in the sands by the Okeanós Sea. The wind caused his trench coat to flap about his ankles. As he stared out at the water, the waves dancing back and forth like a lullaby, Koi accepted his fate. Ciro had taken care of Koi ever since they were children. He’d battled with Zeus and all those who would try to harm Koi or anyone else in their family.
Zeus had never claimed them—not really. He stayed away for the most part. Sometimes, Koi could feel his father lurking nearby, watching, and Koi never knew why. Sometimes he told himself he didn’t care what Zeus’ reasons had been. Other times he wanted to know so he could take away said reason.
It was a sad existence knowing he had a father who didn’t love him. With a deep breath, he left the calmness of the waves and when he stepped into existence again, it was on Earth. He was in the middle of the Nyiri Desert. He wasn’t sure why he’d gone there, but something had pulled him from his destination of Ciro’s home that Ciro now shared with his husband, Carter. He glanced around. Koi was alone with garbage swirling in the unruly wind. Dirt stung at the exposed skin of his face, and he had to duck as a large barrel narrowly missed him.
Koi glanced upward. The sky looked dark and ominous. Though he was certain the humans couldn’t see the lightning crackling above the clouds, Koi was a Shiver and could feel the electricity from them as it sizzled through his eyes.
But nothing came from above. Instead, in the distance, walking toward him, was a man dressed in a gray suit with a long sword by his side. This person was not friendly—Koi sensed it.