All the King's Men: The Beginning

BOOK: All the King's Men: The Beginning
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All the King's Men

Book 6

 

All the King's Men - The Beginning

 

 

Published by Phoenix Press

Copyright 2014 by Donya Lynne

 

For sales information please contact Donya Lynne

on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDonyaLynne,

or at [email protected]

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or author. Requests for permission to copy part of this work for use in an educational environment may be directed to the author.

This book is a work of fiction. References to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or persons or locales, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Cover Art:  Reese Dante   www.reesedante.com

 

 

Contents

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Preface

The War

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

About the Author

Books by Donya Lynne

Connect with Donya Lynne Online

 

 

 

Dedication

 

To you, because I love your story and it deserves to be told in its entirety.

 

 

Acknowledgements

The more I work with my team of beta readers, the more I realize how incredibly special they are to me and my stories. Without them, the world of AKM would not be what it is today, and it would not be branching into so many wonderful directions. I opened an honest line of communication with them, and every time I send them a draft to critique, I tell them to, "Destroy it, pick it apart." And they do, for which I am eternally grateful, because it allows me to find the magic inside the words I've written, pull it out, and glorify it. So, thank you Elizabeth, Leann, Elvina, Alana, Debra, Kathy, Amanda, Brandy, Gianna, Martha, Ashley, Toni, Sandy, Adriana, Tami, Dawn, and Samantha. You all rock! 

 

 

Preface

On March 23, 2012, I published Rise of the Fallen, book one of the All the King's Men Series. At the time, I was a "newbie." I had recently left the realm of online role playing, where my character, Micah, had built up a dedicated following, and wanted to focus my creative energy on turning Micah's online antics and story into a published book. Rise of the Fallen was that story, transcended from the role play medium into published fiction, and it turned out better than I thought it would.

As I made the transition from role play to fiction and dove deeper into Micah's world, an interesting thing occurred. A host of other characters suddenly appeared, all with a story to tell. Those early days of writing Rise came with a slew of split personalities living inside my brain, and some days I couldn't keep up with all of them. Tristan, Arion, Io, Severin, Trace, and Malek were born. Many more have joined the cast since, and still more knock on the door requesting to join on a regular basis, but those were my originals.

After Rise came out and met with overall enthusiastic critical acclaim, I noticed one bit of criticism that came up from time to time in reviews and reader feedback. It seemed that some readers felt they had "missed something." Some even searched book sites to ensure they hadn't missed a book that came out before Rise.

I will admit that, at the time, I still had a lot to learn about writing and story craft. I still do, but now, if I could go back and get a do-over, I would do a better job filling in the gaps of what came before the beginning of Rise of the Fallen. Then again, I take my cues from my characters, and, at the time, they weren't giving me much about what
did
happen before. For example, Tristan and Josie rarely spoke to me at all about their past, so I had little to say about them. It wasn't until recently (and here it is two years later) that Tristan and Josie finally began talking to me in earnest. And, at the time I wrote Rise, King Bain had not shown himself to me, so I couldn't write about him, either. So, perhaps the series was
supposed
to unfold this way, as ramshackle as that may seem.

Which brings us to the prequel. As I began work on Bound Guardian Angel, which is Trace's story, an explosion of new information about the past engulfed me. I can remember the moment it happened. I felt like a computer downloading an entire databank of material, and when the bulk of it had infiltrated my brain, I actually rocked back in my chair as if I had been shoved and said, "Oh my God! Wow! So,
that's
what happened!" Questions that had sat unanswered in my mind since Rise was published suddenly had answers. And then my friend Jowanna suggested that I write a prequel, and her idea fused with all my new data, and I knew I had to write All the King's Men - The Beginning.

The prequel comes at a perfect time, because the world of AKM is about to shoot in different directions with two sister series in development, as well as a future series called Progeny. Long-held secrets will come to light and we'll see shifting alliances, as well as the emergence of two new paranormal landscapes. But it all begins with the prequel. What you learn here is key to understanding what is yet to come. I hope you enjoy the book.

 

Thank you,

Donya

 

 

The War

 

2647 BC

 

Rysk launched himself against the bolted door of his shadow-darkened chamber. The only light came from a single brazier in the far corner. Rysk ached. He ached so deeply…like a sickened human struck by fever and chills, only worse. Much worse. With bruised fists, Rysk beat against the solid wood of the door holding him prisoner. His skin split, but the door held strong, and he shrieked for his mate.

"ABRIAL!" The muscles and tendons in his neck corded as he threw back his head and roared her name.

He had to find a way to escape. To get to her. His
calling
was shredding his sanity, decimating his body, sending him into painful spasms. How could Father lock him away like this, when he knew Rysk's
calling
rent him from the inside out? When the only thing that mattered for him was to return to his mate and sow his seed within her womb. How could his father isolate him and prevent him from being with his beloved Abrial? Where was she now? Was she suffering as much as he was?

"Release me!" Rysk pounded his bloody fists against the thick, oak door, which was bolted from the outside. His throat was raw from shouting, from screeching Abrial's name, and from crying out as pain sliced down his spine and through his limbs. As before, no one answered his cries for help. No one came to free him. The door remained locked.

The room held no windows, as was customary for the daytime chambers of the royal palace. Sunlight was to be avoided at all costs for those like Rysk and his family. Humans had a name for them.
Upir
. Those who avoided the sun, drank blood, and moved like wind.

The
upir
appeared human but weren't. With greater strength and the ability to manipulate human minds, the
upir
were almost godlike to their human counterparts, a race sent to Earth from the stars, to explore and inhabit, according to the ancients who guarded the scrolls in the mountains of faraway lands.

Sunlight scorched
upir
skin. Even the barest exposure caused extreme pain and blistering…even death. Most
upir
were so fearful of the sun that they lived in underground caverns or carved-out caves, but as the son of the race's most affluent family, descended from the first who arrived here long ago, Rysk lived above ground with his parents, older brother, and younger sister.

In his tormented state, Rysk would brave even the sun's light to escape and be with his beloved. He wouldn't get far, but death would be worth the risk if it meant an end to the agony he experienced by being sequestered away from Abrial's touch.

Even now, the brutal, violent spasms were beginning again. Rysk fell to his knees, his body hard, his male flesh throbbing for release within the depths of Abrial's supple warmth, as was his mated right. Why was he being withheld from her? What evil worked against him to keep him from claiming Abrial as his? And she
was
his. She belonged to him. A mated
upir's
rights on such matters were strictly enforced. Then again, no
upir
had ever mated a dreck before. Was that the problem? Was that why he wasn't allowed to see her? Surely, even the drecks—the
upir's
allies, their friends, the ones who helped the
upir
defeat the cruel Dacians—would acknowledge Rysk's right to claim Abrial. They wouldn't deny him, would they? Despite the interracial bond, Premier Argon must have acknowledged the importance of not interfering with his mated rights.

Grimacing through the wracking pain, Rysk's breath came in bursts as every muscle drew tight, pulled taut as if an outside force wished to torture him. His
calling
beseeched him to answer yet again. He looked down at his tunic, which jutted out where his male flesh lifted the fabric away from his body. Just the simple brush of material was enough to bring tears to his eyes as he lifted his tunic away. His member was fully engorged, so red it was almost purple. He knew what he needed to sate this demon, but Abrial wasn't there.

Cringing, he panted as sweat trickled down his face and neck, and he slowly lifted his hand. He ached, but it was such a pleasurable ache. Both arousing and painful.

As soon as his fingers curled around his shaft, both the pleasure and pain ignited, just as he knew it would. His
calling
had already forced itself upon him repeatedly. These episodes had gone on for half a day, and his intermittent deposits dotted the stone floor in dried, clear patches around the room. He hissed, threw his head back, and cried out as yet another powerful release shot out like a mixture of fire and ice to splatter the floor in front of him. He burned for his mate. He needed his Abrial. Now. Before the agony killed him.

* * *

King Cato's gaze darted to the arched doorway of the Great Hall as another cry came from his son's solar chamber. Cato was running out of time. If he couldn't convince Premier Argon—his dreck equivalent and Abrial's father—that Rysk must be allowed to mate Abrial, he would lose Rysk to mated
suffering
, an insanity that would eventually kill Rysk.

Braziers lit throughout the room cast the only light.

"I'm sorry, old friend," Argon said. "But
upir
laws don't apply to us, and Abrial has already been promised to Teo." He held his hands out, palms up, as if there was nothing else he could do.

Cato had to try. Had to
continue
trying. For the sake of his son, he couldn't give up. "Argon, please. My son is dying. If he is not allowed to mate Abrial, I will lose him. Talk to Teo again. I beg you."

A pained, conflicted expression fell over Argon's face as he slumped in the chair across from Cato. "My friend, I've tried. I have spoken to Teo. Several times in fact. He is adamant. His heart is set on having my daughter against any protest or assertion I make." Argon sighed heavily. "This is
our
law, Cato. I promised her to him. I stood before his family and mine, in front of our council, and I vowed Abrial's hand to his. If I could undo that, I would, but the vow cannot be undone. Once made, the only one who can break it is Teo, and he refuses to do so. My hands are tied." The last Argon spoke slowly, drawing out each word on a wave of sorrow and apology.

BOOK: All the King's Men: The Beginning
3.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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