QUOTE: Of course they save the best for last. Once you get to know me, you won’t need anyone else. ~ Falcon
HERO: Deval Hope
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A bet between Eros, the God of love & desire, and Chloe (Chlotho), the Fate of birth, leads to a year filled with match-making and passion.
After months of waiting, it’s time for Falcon to claim her prize. The one Hades and Persephone promised for her years of loyal and undying servitude. All she needs to do is find the human and take him home to the Underworld. Then she will finally have someone to share her days. Someone to fill her lonely nights. Someone to claim as her own. If they happen to fall in love, then she’ll be happy with that. But it certainly isn’t necessary.
Deval Hope is still fighting. Fighting the addiction his sister saved him from so many months ago. Fighting to keep the darkness that fills his soul, at bay. His days bleed into each other, as he struggles to keep his sanity. At night, he escapes his reality with dreams of a dark-haired vixen he calls his own. She makes him feel whole and at peace, something he never thought he’d feel again. He knows there is something missing in his life, but doesn’t know what it could be. The arrival of a petite badass that tickles something in the back of his brain has him wondering if she’s the missing piece.
NOTE: Mystic Zodiac is a 12 book series. It is NOT a serial. Each book ends in a happily ever after for the main couple. However, the prologue and epilogue of each story follows the Gods that kick off the series, Eros and Chlotho (aka Chloe). At the end of the series the bet between the two will come to a conclusion.
Chloe stepped up to the woman standing on the ledge of the building. The all black leather look and dark demeanor a sure sign that this was Falcon, the favored minion of Hades and Persephone. Almost like a daughter to them, Hades had said. She was also one-half of the couple Chloe needed to match in order to win her bet with Eros.
If Chloe had learned anything in the few days since she’d talked to Eros, and the follow-up conversation with Hades, it was that getting Falcon to fall for Deval would be easy. The girl had been infatuated with the Eternal, as Chloe had thought, since she had seen him in January and didn’t care if they fell in love. She merely wanted someone to call her own. The real problem came with getting Deval to fall for Falcon, and then transition from the earthly realm to that of the Underworld. It could pose too many changes, too many issues to handle at one time for his fragile state of mind.
The sun had set hours before, leaving them in darkness and completely invisible to the people below. “You know, this is very reminiscent of a movie I heard about.” She tilted her head to the side for a moment. “Two actually, but one was about a man who didn’t have supernatural powers. Either way, a leather-clad badass kept watch over the city, keeping an eye on the citizens or some such thing.” She waved her hand through the air as if it weren’t really important. Which, let’s face it, it wasn’t. The reference was merely a way to break the ice with the woman. Alert her to Chloe’s presence.
“I’m not looking out for everyone. I’m searching for one in particular.” The woman didn’t even bother looking Chloe’s way. Her intense gaze focused on the people milling about the grimy city below.
“Yes, I know. You’re looking for Deval Hope, your reward, and I’m here to help you.”
The petite woman tipped her head slightly in Chloe’s direction. She gave her a cursory inspection. Narrowed eyes looked her over, sizing Chloe up. She snorted in disbelief. “You’re here to help? I don’t see how.”
Chloe hummed in answer, not bothered by the lack of faith. Instead, she cast a glance down below. There were so many people. People who had been forgotten about. Pushed from the memories and hearts of the ones who used to love them. There were prostitutes. Addicts. Gamblers, and whatever else people could become addicted to down there.
Viral City, home to the scum of the realm.
Not a very catchy tagline, or one that would bring in the tourists, unless they were looking for a fix, but quite apropos. Most big cities had a place similar to it, but this one was the worst of the worst.
Falcon shook her head slowly. “No offense, lady, but I don’t think you can help.”
“Ah, but I can. And, I am not just any lady. I am the Goddess Clotho, the Fate of Birth, but you may call me Chloe.”
“The one with the bet with Cupid?”
Chloe chuckled. Oh, if he ever heard the girl call him that. “Eros, yes. I’m also the one who had a meeting with your boss the other day. Hades sends his regards. He expects to see you home soon.”
The girl sighed and shoved her hands deeper into the pockets of her leather jacket. “I’m Falcon.” She paused and looked at Chloe fully in the face. The corner of her mouth twitched up. “But you should know that already, correct?”
“That is correct. It’s time to collect your prize, my dear, and for me to finish off this bet.”
“Tell me where I can find Deval and I will. I’m ready to be off this realm of the earth. The damned of the Underworld are leagues better than the scum here.”
“Won’t all of these lost souls end up there anyway?”
Falcon shrugged, one shoulder hitching up and down quickly. “By then, they’ll have become nothing. At least most of them anyway.”
“Very well.” She could understand the girl’s desire to leave. Viral City was the one place no one wanted to be. Craved or be drawn back to over and over again—yes. But no one actually wanted to be there. “The quicker I get you to Deval, the quicker this game can be over. I’m ready for my prize as well. Do you know where Grigori Thane used to live?”
The girl’s forehead scrunched, and her lips pursed like she’d sucked on a lemon. “No. The only time I ran into him was at his task’s home. The woman that is the sister of my reward. I didn’t get the idea he was there willingly, so I assumed it wasn’t his home.”
“Ah, well. Good thing I have inside knowledge and a proper mode of transport.” Chloe looked over her shoulder. “Oh, Gabe,” she sang softly. “I need you.”