Acheron (Page 18)

Acheron (Dark-Hunter #15)(18)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

His long blond wavy hair framed his features to perfection. It appeared softer than down and was every bit as inviting.

And his body . . . It was lean and well muscled. Tanned. Gorgeous. There was something about it that made her mouth water for a taste of him. Never in her life had she felt such an incredible pull toward any man.

More than that, he was taller than she, a mortal rarity that she appreciated.

"Have you any idea who I am?" she asked him.

"Judging from your anger and what you just did to me, I would assume you’re Artemis."

So, he wasn’t stupid after all.

"Then bow down and apologize."

Instead, he offered her an intense look that caused her stomach to flutter. He walked toward her with an arrogant swagger that made his entire body ripple like a panther’s. A foreign aching need pounded through her. She didn’t understand what she felt, but whatever it was, it left her breathless and weak.

He laid his warm hand against her cheek as he stared down at her face with those beguiling eyes that seemed to hypnotize her. "So, you’re a goddess," he said, his voice thick as he boldly examined her. His pupils dilated . . .

Her stomach tightened even more. His nearness was searing. His eyes riveting.

She’d never felt anything like this.

Before she realized what he intended, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.

Artemis couldn’t breathe as she tasted him. Part of her was outraged that he would dare such, but another, alien part of her was thrilled by the unexpected sensation of his lips on hers. Of his tongue exploring her mouth.

His arms surrounded her as he pulled her closer to him.

Her head spun as he pulled back slightly and trailed his lips from her mouth to her neck. Chills swept over her, and at the same time an incredible heat built inside her. All she wanted was to pull him closer . . .

To feel every inch of his body.

He made an appreciative noise against her skin that made her ache. "You do taste divine."

He dropped to his knees before her.

"What are you doing?" she asked as he lifted one of her feet into his hands. She didn’t understand what was going on. It was as if she had no control of herself. This . . . creature compelled her in a way that was wholly unnatural.

He looked up at her and her stomach felt as if it were turning over. "Kissing your feet, goddess. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?"

Well, yes, but as he nibbled her instep she couldn’t suppress a deep moan of pleasure. Artemis leaned back against the wall as his mouth worked magic on the sensitive tendons of her foot.

She’d never known such a rich, deep burn deep in her blood. And he didn’t stop with her feet, he trailed his lips up her leg, to the back of her knee.

Artemis struggled to breathe.

Then he moved his mouth higher.

"What are you doing now?" she gasped as his warm breath fell against her bu**ocks.

"I’m kissing your ass. Isn’t that people are supposed to do?"

"Not like that."

She groaned as he nibbled her high on her bu**ocks. She should stop him. He had no right to touch her like this and yet she didn’t want this to end. It felt too good.

He nudged her legs farther apart.

With a mind of their own, her legs obeyed him. Artemis looked down to see him with his eyes closed as he tormented her with pleasure.

She felt his hands on her as he touched her where no man had ever touched her before. His fingers ran down her cleft, making her burn even more before he took her into his mouth.

Reaching down, she buried her hand in his hair as he tasted her.

Her senses went wild as she surrendered herself to him and the licks he gave that sent her careening to an unimaginable height. Every one sent a white hot shiver through her. Her throat went dry an instant before her body burst apart.

Artemis cried out as she experienced her first orgasm.

Terrified and embarrassed, she vanished.

Acheron sat on the floor in stunned disbelief. The taste and smell of Artemis permeated his senses. His body burned with aching need.

He’d never really tasted desire before. His body had always reacted to being stimulated by others or by drugs, but he’d never really wanted to touch someone.

Until now.

Now he wanted a woman . . . no, he wanted a goddess and that made no sense to him.

He laughed bitterly. "The least you could have done was kill me, Artemis," he shouted. That had been his only intent when he’d first approached her.

But the moment he’d touched her, he’d felt real desire.

Unable to fathom that, he wiped his mouth and pushed himself to his feet. Turning around, he looked up at her statue which bore no resemblance to her whatsoever. He gave her a sarcastic salute.

His body strangely hungry, he left the temple and made the long walk back to the palace alone. And with every step he took, his anger built even higher than it’d been before.

It was eerily silent as he walked through the marbled corridors of his father’s home with no destination in mind. Everyone had gone to see Ryssa’s sacrifice. He wondered idly if it would work. If Apollo’s favor could be swayed from the Atlanteans to the Greeks,

Not that he cared. Neither the Atlanteans nor the Apollites had been any kinder to him than the Greeks had been.

All any of them wanted to do was f**k him.

Sighing, he found himself in his father’s large and impressive throne room-his first time walking into it, since the previous times he’d been bound in chains and dragged through the doors.

His gaze narrowed as he saw the two gilded thrones at the far end. Thrones that should have been his mother’s and father’s, but since his mother had been banished for his birth, Styxx had occupied her place. Too bad the old bitch had died in her isolation. She would have loved to see her precious Styxx become King.

Styxx. His baby brother.

Acheron cursed. If not for his eyes, he would have been the one to sit to the right hand of his father.

No one would dare mock him then. No one would ever have forced him to his knees to . . .

He snarled at the memories.

It was so unfair.

He’d never asked for this life. Never asked to be born. Never asked to be a demigod.

He heard Estes’s voice in his head. "Look at him. Son to an Olympian. How much will you pay for a taste of a Greek god?"

Acheron didn’t even know who his father was. His mother had always protested her innocence over his birth and no god had ever stepped forward to acknowledge him.

Angered by that fact, he crossed the room to sit on his father’s throne. The man would die to see him perched on it and that gave him an instant moment of gratification. His father would have it burned.

Perhaps he should let his father find him here. It would serve the king right to know a whore had fouled his beloved throne.

A whore . . . he flinched with the thought.

By birthright, this should have all been his. Closing his eyes, Acheron tried to imagine what the world would have been like had he possessed blue eyes like Styxx.

People would respect him.


The word hung like a phantom in his mind. That was the only thing he’d ever craved.

"Don’t you want to be loved?"

He opened his eyes to see Artemis standing in the center of the room, studying him.

"Everyone claims they love me." At least while they screwed him. Unfortunately, that affection ended the minute they came. "I’ve had more than my share of other people’s love. I’d rather do without it for a while."

She frowned. It was a delicate expression that he found oddly sweet. "You’re a strange human."

He scoffed at that. "I’m a demigod. Can’t you tell?"

Her frown deepened as she drew near him. "Whose issue are you?"

"They tell me Zeus."

She shook her head at that. "You’re no son of an Olympian. I would know it if you were. We can always sense our own."

Her words went through his heart like a knife. "Then whose son am I?"

She cupped his chin in her warm, soft hand so that he looked up at her as she stared into his freakish eyes. Eyes he’d hated all his life. Eyes that betrayed him.

"You’re human."

"But my eyes . . ."

"They are strange, but birth defects are common among your kind. There are no god powers inside you. Nothing to mark you as divinity. You’re human."

Acheron closed his eyes as pain assailed him. So he was his father’s son after all.

It was the last thing he’d wanted to hear. A birth defect. A simple accident of birth had deprived him of everything. He wanted to scream out in anger.

"Why are you here?" he asked, opening his eyes to find Artemis still staring at him.

She ignored his question. "Why do you not fear me?"

"Should I?"

"I could kill you."

"I asked you to, but you didn’t."

She cocked her head as if he baffled her completely. "You’re very handsome for a human."

"I know."

Artemis scowled at his words. They weren’t said arrogantly. Instead, he’d said them angrily as if his beauty bothered him. He was so unlike any human she’d ever met.

If she didn’t know better, she would believe his claim of divinity. There was something unnatural about the desire he created in her.

But gods and their issue had an essence that was unmistakable. All she felt inside this human was hatred, despair. He hurt so badly that it was almost painful for her to be near him.

"Why are you so sad?"

"You would never understand."

Most likely not. Sadness wasn’t something she normally felt. As for despair . . .

It was completely alien to her.

In all eternity, she’d never wanted to comfort a human. Today, she did and she didn’t know why.

"Do you ever smile?" she asked him.

He shook his head.


"No. All it does is draw people toward me. Make them want me more."

"But I thought all humans longed to be desired."

Again he scoffed. "Do you know the Atlantean term tsolous?"


He gave her a blank stare.

Artemis gasped as she caught his meaning. "You’re one of them?"

"I was."

Her vision darkened with the knowledge. "And you dared to touch me?"

"So will you kill me now?"

That made her anger falter under another wave of confusion. Who was this man who braved more than any before him? "If you wish to die so much, why not kill yourself?"

His lip curled as his eyes flared with fury. "Every time I’ve ever tried, I was brought back and punished for it. It appears the gods don’t want me dead so I figure if one of you kills me, then I’ll finally be at peace."

"Then it’s not fated for you to die."

He came to his feet with a snarl so feral that Artemis actually took a step back in fear.

"Don’t you dare say their name to me. I refuse to believe this was my fate. I was not meant to be this. I was never meant to be . . ." The pain in his eyes tore through her. "This can’t be all I was born for."

"It’s the fate of mankind to suffer. Why should you be different?"

Acheron couldn’t breathe as her words tore through him. Over and over in his mind he saw himself and his past. Saw the horrors and degradations he’d suffered.

But the most horrifying thoughts were those of the future. Forever alone with nothing but scorn and abuse for company. Being forced to eat against his will, or worse, traded like nothing more than a sack of wheat.

Chapter 9

Too angry to speak, he stormed from the room and headed to his "prison." Granted it was better than the hole his father had thrown him into initially, but it was still a prison.

It was all he would ever know and if his father had his way, he’d be kept shut in here for the rest of his life.

At least there were no guards outside it today. Even they had been given a day of freedom. A day to do as they pleased.

"Why did you leave?"

He drew up short as Artemis appeared before him. "Why are you following me?"

"You make me curious."

"Curious about what?"

"About you."

He laughed bitterly at that. Even a goddess was no better than the humans who hounded him. "Do you want me nak*d so you can explore me?"

Her cheeks darkened, but even so he saw the heated look in her eyes.

He also noticed she didn’t contradict him. So be it.

Artemis watched as her newfound human slowly released the pin for his peplos. She should stop him, she knew it and yet she couldn’t bring herself to say the words.

She trembled from expectation of what he might look like nak*d. No wonder her brother spent so much time with human females. If they were half this evocative . . .

He dropped his peplos to the floor.

Her thoughts scattering, she swallowed as she saw his nudity. He was even more handsome than she’d suspected.

His skin was tawny, inviting, and stretched over a body that was finely honed and well muscled.

Against her will, her gaze dropped down to the part of him that was uniquely male. He was very well endowed and as she stared at him, his shaft grew larger, thicker as it slowly lifted to curve against his body. His balls tightened.

She’d never seen a man like this. Rife with desire. So bold and uninhibited by fear of her.