The Relentless Warrior Chapter One

So I said if I got to 200 Follower I would post the first chapter of The Relentless Warrior and it took you guys all of three minutes.

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I hope you guys get excited for The Relentless Warrior! I cannot wait to tell Jericho's story. I have wanted that boy to find love since. Well... Since I introduced him in Reckless. He is one of my most favorite characters ever written!!

And of course, I couldn't give him just any girl. He needs someone as challenging, headstrong and independent as Eden. Only someone more perfect for him, someone made for him.

Sooo without further ado. Here is Chapter One from The Relentless Warrior.

Chapter One

Stop knocking.

Stop it.

That’s the only thing that ran through my head as I flipped over onto my back. I squinted at the clock, trying to make out the time: 3:28am. A string of curses flew out of my mouth in a raspy, tired grumble.

I had been asleep for all of an hour and a half. This just wasn’t fair.

“Jericho, mate, open up!” Sebastian shouted out from the other side of the door.

More cursing from deep in my chest. Why me?

“Give me a minute,” I yelled back, the duty side of my brain winning out over the self-preserving, sleepy side.

I sat up slowly and peered through the darkness for my pants. I had stumbled in here, utterly and completely bone-tired after another excruciating and exhausting day. I had started stripping before the door even closed and lost clothes along the way before collapsing face first onto my claimed guest bed. Since this was my routine for the last however many days, my floor was an intricate maze of trails of discarded clothing.

“O’s thrashing about again, Jericho,” Sebastian explained impatiently through the heavy wooden door. His voice was all refined British gentleman that belied his mixture of human culture and Immortal. “It looks like another seizure. Olivia is screaming for you. She’s out of control.”

O. Ophelia. One of the human girls we rescued from Macchu Pichu. She hadn’t once been conscious since we brought her back to the Citadel, but at least she stayed alive.

So far.

A week ago she started having these violent seizures that bruised and battered her body. They lasted anywhere from full hours to sometimes only for a few seconds. I hoped this was one of her shorter episodes, because they completely freaked her older sister out. Not that they weren’t scary, even I could admit they were awful to watch and did not bode well for her condition. But with each new symptom that decreased Ophelia’s health, her sister became that much more impossible to handle.


A flood of unpleasant feelings rushed and tumbled my insides. Frustration. Irritation. Disbelief…. Attraction.

That girl knew exactly how to get under my skin. And it was like she loved to live there. Right under it, making me feel itchy and irritable and…. off-centered. She was relentless with her demands and issues, constantly nagging whoever was in charge of watching over Ophelia. And then she brought all her problems and complaints to me! Like I could be the one to heal her sister…. Or like it was my fault they were here to begin with. Like I was responsible for all her suffering, for everything they’d been through.

I found some athletic shorts buried underneath yesterday’s leftover dinner and socks that I was sure were rotting and gave them a long sniff to make sure they didn’t smell as awful as the socks. I needed to send my clothes to be washed, but I hated being a guest in the Citadel, let alone using the servants to carry out my bidding. Even though, technically Avalon was paying them now and servants were now considered employees, being here brought back all the memories of the evil Monarchy I fought against for so many years.

And worse, it brought back every repressed and buried recollection of Eden.

Well, almost all of them.

With a shaky breath and steely determination I pulled on a t-shirt from a different dirty clothes pile and slipped into some running shoes, not bothering with searching out socks in this mess. I didn’t bother looking in the mirror either while I rinsed my mouth out with mouthwash, and then gave myself the mental pep talk I knew I would need to deal with Olivia for the next…. however long this would take.

I left my bedroom with all the willpower and fortitude I hoped I was capable of to be patient and understanding and then locked the door to my room behind me. I wasn’t worried so much about somebody stealing something from me, more embarrassed of the volcano of destruction I had turned the elegant room into. I should really use the maid service at this point, but my hesitation had more to do with embarrassment over the filth I was capable of than resistance to change. Plus, I was never in there for more than a few hours at a time anyway. Either Olivia needed to yell at me, Ophelia’s situation was deteriorating or Avalon was on the phone demanding that I carry out his bidding.

This Terletov situation had turned into a nightmare. And with Lilly and Silas still missing, the Kingdom was dissolving into utter chaos seemingly overnight. Avalon and Amelia were currently campaigning across the globe, hoping to bring peace and confidence back to our people while Talbott and Gabriel hunted frantically for our kidnapped loved ones. All the while I was stuck here, in a claustrophobic, haunted-with-ugly-memories-castle, with an ex-girlfriend and an angry, bitter human girl that hated me.

“How bad is it?” I asked Sebastian when I realized he waited for me.

“Not as bad as it has been,” he remarked tiredly, pushing off from the stone castle wall and falling into step with me. “Well at least she wasn’t that bad when I left her. I wouldn’t have woken you, except….”

“Except Olivia enjoys making me miserable,” I finished for him when he trailed off. I rubbed my hands over my face in an attempt to wake myself up, a job my magic was failing at.

“I think she enjoys more than that,” Sebastian intoned suggestively. I would have hit him if I could have found the energy. Instead I made a disbelieving grunting noise.

“I need sleep!” I groaned, running rough hands through my hair and tugging at the roots.

“That you do,” Sebastian agreed as we ambled down the staircase and through dark corridors to the opposite side of the castle.

After we found the humans on Machu Picchu, Sebastian and I set up a sick ward in the south tower as soon as we returned to the Citadel so that Gabriel’s nuns, Olivia and Ophelia could recuperate. The nuns were under the least amount of strain of the humans, so they didn’t take long for them to heal and get back to their work in Peru. Olivia also healed quickly, or so she said, although there were moments when we were together that she was completely freaked out, like something was still wrong with her. It was clear whatever was left haunting her, whether painful memories of her time in captivity or injuries from her torture, the feelings were completely separate from her sister. Whatever happened with Ophelia left her vocal and angry. Whatever was going on inside of her, she kept private and quiet. Her reserve had inched deep inside my curiosity so that I was almost desperate to find out what was bothering her. As obnoxious as she could be, I felt responsible for her pain and suffering. It was my people that did this to her, and it was my failure that kept her sister from getting better.

Damn it all to hell.

Sebastian and I climbed the south stairwell in silence, lost to our own thoughts. We were put in charge of the Citadel until Kiran and Eden came back, at which time we were supposed to be relieved of our duties. But now with Lilly and Silas gone, and Eden pregnant, we were left in a sort of limbo. Eden and Kiran were back, but not really back at the same time. Somehow, without anyone ever really making it final, Sebastian and I were put in charge of this sick ward that now consisted only of Ophelia but was left maintained and stocked for the unsaid but expected future patients.

Everyone knew without a shadow of a doubt there would be more patients; it was only a matter of time. My prayers at night were pleading and desperate that whoever would come through these doors wouldn’t be my friends, my loved ones. I knew my silent petitions were the worst kind of selfish, but after watching Olivia grieve her sister, I couldn’t help but beg to God that wouldn’t be me on my knees, brokering promises with higher deities next to the bed of someone I cared about.

I had lost too much already to Lucan.

And to Kiran.

“Go easy on her,” Sebastian practically whispered as we neared the top of the staircase. “She’s exhausted, and she’s been through hell. She’s just worried about her sister.”

“I know,” I growled in response. As if Sebastian was Mr. Sensitivity. Plus, where did he get off telling me how to behave? I had been practically attached to Olivia for two weeks trying to get her through this. “What else do I need to know?”

“Eden’s in there,” Sebastian said somberly before slipping into the bedroom where I could hear the bed creaking under Ophelia’s seizing.

My heart stopped.

Damn it, Eden.

I placed a hand against the doorframe to steady myself, and sucked in a sharp breath. I was over 
Eden. Completely over her. It had been years since we were together, and I was the one that ended things between us.

So my heart shouldn’t hurt when I was in the same room with her, and my breath shouldn’t quicken whenever she was around. She was a married woman that was now pregnant. There was nothing left between us, not even echoes of a love we shared or kisses we stole.

Still, she was this ethereal creature that occasionally haunted my dreams and left ragged scars on my wounded heart. I knew she chose the better man for her. Kiran and Eden were created for each other out of the same mold, destined for each other since the beginning of time or whatever soul-mates crap was left to spew in this world. Even Amory had acknowledged the undeniable fate they shared.
I was just the speed bump along their road to eternal happiness.

Well me and a shitload of other problems.

It was less about still being in love with her and more about wondering if I would ever recover from the heart lobotomy she performed on me after just a few short months together. Eden was the kind of supernatural creature legends were told about, the unearthly being that haunted dreams and drove men to insanity. When my life was lost and all hope dead and buried, she was the North Star that pointed me home, the lone light in utter darkness.

And her heart had always, always belonged to another.

I had been a fool to fall for her. And I was still a fool for letting her affect me.

I finally found the determination to enter the sprawling room that was usually reserved for regents and cabinet members. Ophelia’s frail frame flopped stiltedly on her large rumpled bed while a few of Avalon’s Titan Guard tried to restrain her without hurting her or causing more bruises. She bruised so easily. They weren’t very successful, but I knew they were as afraid of Olivia’s wrath as I was if anything happened to her beloved sister.

Olivia was there, sitting on the side of the bed, her deep blue eyes tired and tear-filled, her hands gripping the sheets so tightly her knuckles turned white. Her dark blonde hair was pulled up tonight, sitting on top of her head in a very messy ponytail; not the kind that girls tried to style artfully, but the kind that made me think she hadn’t touched her hair in at least twenty-four hours, the kind that was actually messed up. She lifted her eyes when I entered the room and her sharp gaze caught mine from across the room and held it.

My lungs lurched in despair after taking her in, my chest contracted empathetically from her obvious agony. I hated that this human girl was suffering, that her sister was suffering.  She didn’t deserve this…. hell, nobody deserved this. And even though I had nothing to do with her initial pain, or how she got involved in this whole mess to begin with, I couldn’t help but feel the stinging bite of responsibility. Whether I wanted her or not, I made her my issue and I wouldn’t rest until her and her sister were tucked safely back home, completely free of my people and what they did to her.

I tilted my chin, beckoning her closer. She stared me down for a moment longer with those intense, unnerving blue eyes before fleeing from the bed and crashing against my chest. The solid thud of our bodies colliding reverberated through the room above the struggling of her sister. I wrapped my arms around her instantaneously, even before she was fully pressed against my body and then held her as tightly to me as I could without crushing her. I knew, from many nights before, that she needed to feel my heart beat against hers to remind her that there was still hope, that she needed the warmth of my body to heal her open wounds and that she needed my strong arms wrapped around her, caging her in and offering her protection.

She needed me. Nothing else mattered. Not lack of sleep, or keeping a job that I wasn’t qualified to oversee, not dealing with her outrageous demands or denying the overwhelming instinct to hunt down this evil for righteous vengeance that swelled up inside my blood. Even while it shouted and screamed at me to find my missing friends and extract retribution for all the wrongs recently done. 


“What took you so long?” she sniffed with a muffled voice since her face was smashed against my chest.

“I was sleeping,” I whispered in her ear, using my most soothing voice. My hackles rose and inside my head I was eager to defend myself. But I kept my irritation where it originated and stayed quiet. She needed me and I wasn’t here, that was the only thing she could understand right now. So I wrapped her up in my embrace, even closer than before and did my best to make up for my absence. 

“She’ll be alright, Liv. You know she will be.”

“I don’t know that,” she sniffled, burying her face deeper into my chest. She was tiny against me. At least eight inches shorter than me, she fit perfectly molded to me; her body bent to mine naturally. Her hair tickled my jawline as I bent to press a comforting kiss on the top of her head. We were a bizarre pair, most of the time we stayed at each other’s throats, spurring the other on to make this situation better by shouting at each other and barely restraining the urge to rip each other apart. But there were a few times, like right now, when I knew she needed me more than breath, when my friendship was all that mattered in the world, in these moments we became the closest of allies.

“Yes, you do,” I reminded her gently. “She was much worse last night and she came through it. It’s scary, but she’s strong Liv. And she has you. You won’t let anything happen to her.”
She shook her head to let me know she agreed with me and snuggled in deeper. I leaned against the wall to support the force of her. For such a little thing, she was so strong and not just physically. She was a fighter and even I could be scared of her at times.

I lifted my gaze to the room, but kept my cheek resting on the top of her head, because I knew she wanted as much physical contact as possible. She just needed to be comforted and that nearly broke me. Especially while her family, her real family and the people that actually cared about her, were still off in America completely ignorant of their daughter’s struggle for survival or the hell their children had lived through.

My eyes scanned over Ophelia as her seizing receded and she let out a strangled whimper before falling still on the bed. The Witch, who had been the only other constant staple to this room walked over to check her vitals, his billowing ivory robes flapping behind him. I watched him for only a moment, familiar with the routine before I scanned the rest of the crowd for Sylvia. She had been an important addition to the castle recently and not just for Eden and her well-being but also for Ophelia. Even though it was an Immortal issue, she understood the human body better than any of us.

My searching stopped when my gaze met Eden’s across the room. Her thick, insane mess of black hair tumbled over her shoulders and her onyx eyes glittered with concern. She was breathtaking. And I was afraid she would always be breathtaking…. that she would literally always steal my breath when she was near, that I would never recover from her.

A small, curious smile pulled at her full lips and I watched as her gaze dipped to Olivia’s head in question. I shook my head as if to assure her it was nothing like that, but she didn’t look convinced, which I found obnoxious. I had the absurd urge to take Eden aside and assure her there had been plenty of girls between her and now and that if I wanted Olivia I could have her. But I didn’t because she was going through something horrible and that would be insensitive. But obviously, that was irrational. I would sound contrite and bitter, like I was using those girls to get over her, the Queen.

And what would hurt the most would be that it would sound like the truth…. That I was just trying to get over her, trying to find someone, anyone that would replace the dynamite-sized hole in my heart our breakup had created. For just a minute, or an hour, or however the feeling would last before reality set back in.

But I still had my pride.

And Olivia. I would never do that to Olivia. Never. There wasn’t anything physical between us other than the determination to make her sister better and get her home. For some, unexplainable reason she latched on to me through this whole ordeal and I would never take that away from her. How could I when everything else had been ripped out of her arms?

“Who’s that?” Olivia whispered against my chest. I looked down at her and followed her gaze across the room only to realize she was talking about Eden.
Eden and Kiran had been back to the Citadel briefly after they were attacked, but Olivia was still unconscious at that point. They left almost immediately to escort the nuns back to Peru and have a visit with Gabriel before he took off to find Silas. From there they spent time with Kiran’s mother before returning to Romania. Analisa was shut off from the world, recovering from years of trauma with an abusive, crazy bastard for a husband and hadn’t heard about Terletov or the new baby.

The golden couple only recently returned to the castle, and apparently introductions had yet to be made. I looked down at Olivia to answer her question and almost laughed out loud at the extreme distrust I registered in her expression.

“That’s the Queen,” I whispered against her disheveled head of matted hair. “I’m sure she’s here to help.”

Olivia snorted sarcastically and I wasn’t sure if it was because she didn’t believe there was help for her sister or because she didn’t think Eden could help. Either way I found her amusing, she was such a firecracker.

“She’s pretty, isn’t she?” Olivia asked, but it didn’t sound like a compliment.

I made a noncommittal noise and then put some space between us, suddenly not comfortable with how wrapped up in each other we were with a room full of people watching us. “Tell me what happened tonight, and how her seizure started.”

“Only if you promise not to leave again tonight,” she demanded fiercely. I looked down at her, taking in her steely expression and the way she pressed her lips together in determination. She was a gorgeous girl, with perfect skin that heated to a pretty pink when she was angry, pouty lips that she was constantly mashing together making them bright red and stand out even further against her softly tanned skin and if it wasn’t for her huge, deep blue eyes I would have believed that she was completely full of herself. But it was in those depthless eyes that I saw the myriad of emotions that defined her and right now she was flooded with fear. Of course I would stay, I was her friend, or at least her friend during this terrible time in her life. If she needed me to stay, I would stay.

“I won’t leave you again tonight,” I promised and the terror that was there before dissipated into the briefest expression of relief.

I was tired and grumpy and completely overwhelmed, but that little bit of relief, the little bit of stress I just removed from the overwhelming weight piled on Olivia’s shoulders made certain that sleep was not important.

Olivia needed me.


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  1. So excited for more of Jericho's POV!!

  2. So excited for this book!! Great start!! :-D

  3. So excited for this book and the continuation of this series. I love everything I've read from you so far and have been telling all my fellow reader friends about you.

  4. Awesome as usual Rachel!! Jericho so needed his voice to be heard...cant wait for the rest :) keep up the FANTASTIC work <3

  5. Jericho has been one of my favs from the moment he entered the story. Loved the chapter and can hardly wait for the rest! Please hurry! =)

  6. Loved it Rach. Thanks for posting it on your blog! Now I can't wait for the book! You rock my world!!!

  7. I just found these books and have already read them all!! I am so excited to read about Jericho! I have loved him from the beginning.

  8. I have read this series several time & will read them again!!!!!!! I LOVE THEM !!! When does this book come out?