Prologue

1202

"There must be some way to defeat their forces. They're cowards from frigging Prydyn. I don't understand how they could defeat our vast numbers of skilled Saxons." Berrin slammed his fist on the table, and his war generals jumped from their seats.

Berrin was a man who demanded obedience and that was what he got. Tall, fair and violent like most of his people, he was accepted by all the tribe chieftains as their King.

"My lord –" One of his generals began.

"Speak only if you have a solution or sacrifice your tongue." Berrin paced up and down, the greatest minds of his tribe were silent in the face of his anger. That no answer arrived only seemed to aggravate him further. Was there no single mind between his seven generals?

The sound of a battle erupted outside his tent, as the metallic smell of blood wafted through the air. Berrin strode outside, aware that every eye was on him. He didn't particularly care. Something was calling him to leave.

The sight he was met with overwhelmed him. All four of his guard were battling against each other, their steel biting into flesh as they butchered each other. Berrin couldn't believe what he was seeing.

He noticed the dark eyed wench, with hair that shone like copper who watched with amusement as his men fell at her feet. She wasn't what Berrin would call beautiful but she radiated a power that left him speechless.

"You are Berrin, Chief of the Saxons are you not?" She asked mockingly, as if finding him lacking in some way. She studied him a while.

"Who wishes to know?" He retorted, he wouldn't take this, not from a woman.

"I am simply known as Morrigan. Your people have given me many names but I favour demon and I am here to bring you the victory you so richly deserve." Berrin shivered at the way Morrigan had said victory. All was not as it seemed.

"At what cost, demon?"

Suddenly she was at his side, his knife in her hand. She spun the blade through her nimble fingers as if thinking on it. Morrigan placed the knife back into its sheath, leaning into him.

"Nothing." Morrigan murmured into Berrin's ear.

"Nothing is free. Tell me your price, fiend."

"I am not a whore for you to buy, Berrin. I have planned this for a long time, longer than you could ever imagine. All I want is Chaos and your victory will cause enough for my purposes." Berrin did not like the look of the wench but if Morrigan prophesised victory then there was nothing for it.

"How is this victory to be won?"

"Have you heard of the warrior, Adrian of Gwenydd?" Morrigan challenged.

"Heard of him! He's the only squire to be knighted without passing The Test. He's a legend even within my army. I've even had to misfortune to fight the boy. His sword is something to be reckoned with." Berrin exclaimed, vaguely rubbing his ribs.

"If we were to dispose of him, their army would topple. Adrian will venture alone tomorrow night, we will strike then and only then." An image appeared in the air, of a tall dark figure sneaking out a camp. As the moon light hit his face, Berrin could see the boy's concern and sadness.

"Are you telling me, that a mere boy will cause the downfall of the Britons?" Berrin laughed at the thought, he knew the boy was good but he wasn't that good.

"It is not the boy that truly matters, it's his heritage. I will warn you, he cannot be slain by mortal means and I cannot defeat him by any means at all." Berrin sobered and nodded at Morrigan. The demon seemed serious, and Berrin was not one to foolishly anger a woman, demon or not.

"Tomorrow it is then. I will send my most skilled sorcerer to dispose of him." Berrin swore.

"Make it so, Berrin because it will be your life to pay. A thousand years is a very long time." Morrigan vanished, and Berrin had the strangest feeling that victory was to be theirs at the cost of something much larger.


2012

He stared at her across the moonlit floor and everyone else melted into the walls.

There was nothing and nobody except her.

She was what he had been looking for all his life, the one thing that tied him to this world. Her golden hair fell in soft waves to the small of her back. Her shapely body was sheathed in red silk.

Her cornflower blue eyes sparkled with mischief behind her elaborate mask. He strode to her, his long legs bringing him to her in mere seconds.

"You're late." He whispered into her ear, grabbing her hand and promising himself he would never let go. Her porcelain skin beckoned his touch and he would never deny her anything, he carefully caressed the skin that was revealed by her dress.

She shuddered at his touch and he grinned.

"I hope I haven't kept you waiting too long." She breathed, placing her hand on his broad shoulders and enjoying the feel of the muscles that tensed beneath his thin clothes. She liked the look of his hazel eyes that burned with something entirely scandalous.

"Not long at all, just the last twenty-five years." He replied as he stared deep into her eyes. He placed his hand on her waist and could feel her soft curves through her dress. He leaned in to...

"Hello? Tamsyn Kimberlee Hawkins! Sin, did you hear a word I just said?" A voice demanded irately.

I woke up to the world around me. The spiralling bodies dressed in beautiful gowns and doublets disappeared like a puff of smoke, the lovers never allowed to express their unbound passion. Gone was the magnificent ballroom, the elegant music. I was back in the library with my best friend.

Jasmine's steel-grey eyes went cold. The glare she sent me was murderous.

I sighed and closed the cover, careful not to show Jasmine exactly what I had been reading. What I read was my own business and just because Jasmine believed that such books were practically illegal, didn't mean I had to stop reading them.

"Um... HSC is one uselessly hard test?" I replied slowly, as I cringed. I really didn't want to be lectured by Jasmine. I was getting enough of that from dad.

"Great guess, Sin. What were you reading anyways? And please, pretty please don't tell me it was one of your sleazy historical sex novels." Jasmine pleaded, as she grabbed the book that I was desperately trying to hide behind my bag.

Jasmine was the tanned blonde cheerleader type without the cheerleader bit. Don't get me wrong, I love her for who she is but sometimes being the subject of so much perky criticism was kind of... well annoying.

"It's not what you think!" I flailed as I attempted to get the little green book back, but Jasmine was already glaring at the cover.

"It's a historical romance novel." I mumbled under my breath with a sigh.

"Sin, I can't believe you still read this crap. Seriously, love isn't real and these novels aren't even a good example of it. It demeans women. Where's the cheating? Where's the divorce? Where's the teen pregnancy? These books are total bullshit. C'mon Sin, why do you even torture yourself by reading this?" Jasmine lectured, but I had already tuned out.

Contrary to what Jasmine might believe, I knew that chivalry was dead. I knew that guys were never going to fight a duel over my honour, write me terrible yet sweet poetry, conquer the world in my name, or pick me flowers even though it'd make him a total joke to his friends.

But despite all that, it didn't stop me dreaming, that maybe one day some guy would sweep me off my feet and we'd run away from everything on his white stallion.

Heck! I just wished a guy would open the door for me and not laugh about it with his friends afterwards but that had as much chance of happening as my knight appearing.

"Look, Sin. I just want what's best for you. I don't want you to get your hopes up about love and end up being disappointed." Jasmine packed up her stuff and got up. She gave me a big hug before disappearing out the door and into the rain.

"Like you were." I mumbled to her back. She wasn't the easiest person to get along with but Jasmine was someone who had always been there, through the big, the bad and the ugly.

"I thought you would be here, Sin. Are you all dressed up for me?" The last person I wanted to see appeared from behind a bookcase.

Zane Carter smiled with his perfectly straight white teeth, he aimed to stun. He ran a hand over his perfectly spiked chestnut hair.

He was one of those fatally pretty boys, who made you want to beat the arrogance out of them, once you got to know them. Zane was all gym-made muscles and white muscle shirts. He also happened to annoy the shit out of me.

I looked down self-consciously at my khaki singlet and black skinny jeans, and hoped to God that I didn't look too showy.

"Obviously. That's all I do in my free time, I pray with all my heart that you, Zane Carter will find me and see me 'all dressed up' and fall madly in love with me." I rolled my eyes, I knew I was spreading the sarcasm a tad too thick but he annoyed me simply by being near me.

I started packing my stuff up, wishing Zane would get the message and just leave me the heck alone. I tied my wavy raven black hair into a messy knot and pushed a pencil through it.

"That's half the job, you know." Zane chuckled.

"No, I don't know. You are the most complicated, idiotic human being I know." I gritted out, looking around for the librarian so that I could make a run for it.

I glared at him, in the way that would make lesser men crawl under a table and never return again. The way I had been practising since I was child, putting my witch-fire green eyes to good use.

"Seduction, of course. We're halfway there, you and I. You think of me all your waking hours and I think of you all my troublesome nights. Sin, we're a match made in Heaven." Zane said seriously, trying to look deeply into my eyes and I was never going to let him do that.

"Not that this wasn't fun... Actually no, this wasn't any fun at all. Thanks for ruining my day, Zane." I tried to walk away, but he grabbed my arm and I was forced to face him as his probing brown eyes.

"Why do you hate me so much, Sin?" I searched for an answer but there was nothing. I didn't know why I hated him.

Because I don't. A rebellious part of my mind screamed.

I struggled to get out of his grip, but he was just too strong for me. Zane's grip actually started to hurt.

"Zane...Zane you're hurting me let go!" I whispered, shocked. I looked back to his dark eyes and I saw something was different in them. It was like... It was like he wasn't really Zane.

Zane-who-wasn't-really-Zane smiled, and I felt a cold chill run down my spine. I tried to jerk my arm free, but Zane's nails burrowed into my flesh. I resisted from screaming, trying to believe at any moment now, Zane would stop and laugh it off.

"Keep still, Romany child. I only need you long enough to steal time for my master to close the portal." Zane hissed into my ears. The voice that came from Zane sounded scratchy and completely lifeless as if Zane was only a puppet.

"Release the maiden or forfeit your life, demon." A guy shouted from down the aisle. Authority rang through his voice and there was something about it that made me weak at the knees.

I shook myself, what was I thinking? Zane was having some kind of mental meltdown I was thinking about how delicious some guy's voice sounded. Maybe, Zane wasn't the only one having a meltdown.

"Gallant young Nephilim, here to save the beauty in distress. I wonder if this was one damsel too many." Zane smirked as he looked at something past my head.

"Release her!" The guy shouted, but I couldn't keep my eyes off of Zane. His face had transformed there was something wrong with it, it was exactly the same yet I found it completely different.

"It is too late now, Nephilim. Adieu until we meet again." Zane seemed to fade for a second, his body translucent. But he let me go, only to tug me by the waist and kiss me hard on the lips.

Zane looked up at something above my head and smirked in a way that made me want to wash myself. He dropped me on the floor and sprinted for door.

"Zane, no. Please, there's something wrong with you." I begged, but he was gone.

"Are you crazy? Something happened to him just then, and you scared him off. I could've handled myself just fine thank you very much." I turned around to face one of the most gorgeous guys I've ever met.

His blue-black hair flopped across his face and he had electric blue eyes that seemed to see right through me. He was tall. At least five foot ten and had the muscle of someone who actually used them. There was no doubt that he was out of my league.

"You're welcome." He answered earnestly, looking down at me. It was only then that I noticed what he was wearing. Chain mail and the weirdest looking shoes I've ever seen.

"Did you just come from a Renaissance fair or something?" I asked, tapping the mail.

It felt real, it must've weighed a ton.

"Renaissance? I have heard of no such thing. My lady, pray tell me where to find Gwenydd from here. I seem to have lost my way. And why are you wearing breeches?"

"Breeches? Oh you mean jeans? You're not at the fair anymore. You don't need to act like some Knight in Shining Armour or anything. Who are you anyway?" I must've sounded like a total loser. I wished I could just shut up when I was talking to cute guys.

He bowed deeply in front of me with a grace that I couldn't help envying. "I am Sir Adrian of Gwenydd, I was on my way to Gwenydd when a sorcerer cast a spell on me. I must find Gwenydd and warn my king."

I couldn't believe it. He really believed he was from the middle ages or maybe a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Why did all the cute ones have to be crazy? I pulled a hand through my hair. I couldn't leave him here alone and I couldn't bring him home with me. That would be completely insane.

"My lady. I seem to have distressed you. I shall leave you to your leisure. I apologise for my unworthy self." He bowed again and moved to leave

"Hey Adrian! Follow me." I called. . I swore at myself but I couldn't let him just wonder off, being the daughter of a police officer really rubbed off on you. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew that he had to be protected, especially from himself. Maybe mum could call some of her contacts and find whoever, wherever or whenever this guy belonged to.