Authors: Teri Gilbert
Tags: #Romance, #ebook
LEGACY OF OLYMPUS
SOUL MATE PUBLISHING
LEGACY OF OLYMPUS
Cover Design by Rae Monet, Inc.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Published in the United States of America by
Soul Mate Publishing
P.O. Box 24
Macedon, New York, 14502
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my best friend, husband, and soul mate,
whose unwavering support has made
my dreams come true
To Lori Polito, for reading every book I’ve ever written and always remaining positive.
To Patti Bennett, for supporting my pursuits, no matter how outlandish.
To authors Dawn Ireland and Karin Shah, my critique partners and great friends, for the countless hours of critiquing.
To the wonderful members of CNYRW, who are the epitome of professionalism and friendship.
Clamping a hand over his mouth and nose, Alec Andrews fought the urge to be sick.
The rank stench permeating Amalgamated Associates reminded Alec of the time he and his brother, Nick, double-dared each other to enter the Jenson’s slaughterhouse on a hot summer day. The putrid stench, the screaming of who-knew-what-animal, and the sight of the blood-soaked butcher had driven them to their knees, puking their guts out.
Alec glanced at Eleni, who stared at him from a few feet away with wide blue eyes. Her normally tanned skin had gone pale, and her white cocktail dress shifted around her slender calves as she stepped toward him. Something was seriously wrong here.
The office of Amalgamated Associates was quiet. Too quiet. No hum of voices, no tapping on keyboards, no sound of any kind. He rapidly swallowed the bile burning the back of his throat, beginning to regret the prime rib he’d had for dinner. Some first date.
“Alec?” Eleni’s soft question brought him back to the present.
“Why don’t you just wait outside,” he said, motioning toward the glass office doors behind them.
Placing a trembling hand over her mouth and nose, she shook her head, sending her wavy blond hair bobbing around her shoulders. “No. These people are the only family I have,” she said as she darted past him.
Dammit. He whipped around the corner after her, following the rust-colored trail that disappeared behind the receptionist’s plush room-divider. At Eleni’s anguished cry, the fine hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.
Time slowed as he entered Amalgamated’s main office area, and the room tilted as his brain tried to make sense of the images in front of him.
Blood spattered the fronts of computer monitors, streaked across walls, and pooled beneath the bodies on the floor.
Eleni’s low moan sent a shockwave through him. This was real.
All these people were dead.
He took several deep breaths to settle himself, only to inhale the foul, nauseating stink.
When he was sure he wasn’t going to throw up, he grabbed a cell phone on a nearby desk, dialed 911, and was promptly put on hold. Dammit. He headed for the closest victim, a woman slumped backward in her computer chair. As he neared, he saw he was too late. He couldn’t tell which of the bloody gashes crisscrossing her abdomen had ended her life, but it was over.
“Please state the nature of your emergency.” The feminine, almost mechanical, voice penetrated his hazy, numb brain.
“At least eight people dead.” Alec spoke between quick, shallow breaths. “Eight-seventeen Summerville, third floor.” So much blood. “Send an ambulance.” So many bodies. From their gray color and lifeless eyes, it was too late for any of them. These people needed a coroner.
At Eleni’s low whimper, he threw the phone back on the desk and headed toward her. His heart tightened as he watched Eleni race from body to body, her face etched with agony and disbelief. “No” became a litany as she backed away from each corpse, her eyes filled with horror.
Fighting a fresh wave of nausea, he picked his way around several bodies on the floor, then past two more women, obviously caught off guard while working on their computers. One had a jagged hole in the center of her forehead, the other a series of bloody patches on the front of her blouse.
His skin crawled, and a cold ball settled in the pit of his stomach. What the hell had happened here?
By the time he reached Eleni, she was kneeling at the side of an olive-skinned man, sobs racking her shoulders and back. Every part of her seemed to be quaking. “No, oh, no, please, please don’t die. You can’t leave me.”
A lump tightened Alec’s throat. He hadn’t known Eleni long, but he’d felt a strong link to her from the day she’d started working for Channel 7 News. He hated seeing her hurt like this.
He scanned the man whose hand she held, realizing at once that he wasn’t going to make it. The man was alive, but growing weaker by the second, with brackish blood leaking from the corner of his mouth.
Eleni met his gaze, tears streaming down her face. “Stephanos. I–I–I...”
Alec dropped to one knee beside her and pressed his fingers along the base of the man’s cool throat. No pulse. Another one dead. He was about to remove his hand when a wave of heat surged through him, rising from the pit of his stomach, racing through his chest, then down his arm. White light shot from his fingertips into the dead man, then hovered in a nebulous cloud over the body for a second or two. He snatched his hand away in shock, then turned it back and forth, studying each finger.
His hand appeared normal and undamaged. What the hell?
He glanced at Eleni, who was trying to staunch the blood oozing from Stephanos’s chest.
Alec curled and straightened his fingers several times. Odd. Must have been some sort of static electricity. As a weatherman, he’d come across many types of natural phenomena, but this...? He wiped his hand on his slacks and stood.
“Stephanos is dead, isn’t he?” Eleni’s teary blue eyes gazed up at him. “Just like everyone else.”
“Yes.” His voice sounded hollow.
She rose unsteadily to her feet, then turned and clutched his dress shirt. “We have to get out of here.”
He could feel her slender form trembling through the silky fabric. “No. We have to stay. I called 911.”
“You what? You don’t understand. They must have found out what we planned.” She gestured for him to follow her out the glass doors, then pointed at the security camera mounted on the ceiling. “I doubt they left this tape behind, but I’m sure the one showing us entering the building is there. If we stay, the police will pull us in for questioning, then they’ll know where we are.”
Alec grabbed her arms. “Who, Eleni? Who will come after us?” She was clearly more afraid of the people who’d killed her friends than being caught by the police.
“There’s no time to explain. But I will. I promise. The proof is at my apartment. We have to get out of here. Now. Please, Alec.”
Whatever it was, her crazy allegations, her heart-wrenching expression, her soft plea, or a combination of all three, she’d convinced him of one thing-–she was involved in whatever this was, and she believed they were in danger.
What was it his brother always said?
When in doubt, go with the people you know.
He followed Eleni out the door, gaining a sudden, unwelcome, appreciation for how Nick must feel when embarking on his top-secret missions.
“Dead.” Grief assailed Eleni as she and Alec stepped into the elevator heading for her apartment. She placed a steadying hand on the elevator’s cool, steel wall, not daring to look at Alec. “They’re all dead.” Bowing her head, she cradled her cheek in the crook of her arm, taking several rapid, shallow breaths. “Myles can’t be dead.” She closed her eyes, saw the bloodless hole in the center of her friend’s forehead, and fought the urge to be sick. “He always treated me like a kid sister rather than a co-worker. Lydia and Tad, the couple next to each other on the floor, were married just a few months ago. I was a bridesmaid.”
Alec’s hands rested on her shoulders, and she didn’t stop him when he patted her back and stroked her hair. “If we’d gotten there earlier, we might be dead, too.”