Book 2 of the Sons of Herne series
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Eradimus must awaken a goddess before time runs out…
The realms are in jeopardy. Violent storms erupt as the earth prepares to shake off its inhabitants, a fate that can only be avoided by the return of the woman Eradimus has loved for millennia. Brighid was destined to be in his arms only once each generation, a cruel enough fate before she failed to return at all. Now the world mourns her loss—and Eradimus’s father, along with the Counsel of Sabbats, insists that he take another lover for an Imbolc ritual that will hopefully avert disaster.
Brighid is not having the greatest vacation. A sudden storm hits, almost taking her over the edge of a cliff along with her rental bike. Lost and alone, she makes her way to the nearest shelter—a barn that seems to have been oddly readied for a visitor—to wait out the weather. When a strange, but gorgeous man shows up and claims to know her, she is infected by his sensual presence and very much wishes she could be the Brighid he so desperately seeks.
Is she the goddess Eradimus longs for? He must find a way to restore her true identity and join with her before all of humanity is lost.
Eradimus turned to see a young acolyte racing forward, his sandals slapping the marble as he ran.
“Well, what is it?” Herne boomed. “Now that you’ve interrupted a vital discussion and startled us all.”
The young man slid to a stop and gave a hasty bow. “This was just brought back through the Chamber of Portals.”
His brown eyes wide with excitement, he held up a flower that quivered between his fingers.
Eradimus’s heart gave a sputter. “Snowdrops,” he whispered.
“It is a sign,” Jarvil said, pointing at the blossom. “The snowdrops bloom again. She is returning!”
Eradimus grabbed the lad by the front of his tunic. “Where?” he demanded. “Where was the sighting?”
The bloom fell to the floor, and the young man pulled away to retrieve it. “In the Green Isle,” he said. “In the field not far from where the fires burn in her honor.”
“Then I know where she will appear,” Eradimus said, shooting his father a look. He took the snowdrop from the lad, feeling the longing burn inside him. Hope of pulling her into his embrace again scorched him from the inside. “At least, I know of the general region. There could be a few places within the area.”
“Can he not just focus on her presence, as do many of the other sabbat gods when they cross over to seek their females?” he heard Jarvil ask.
“It does not work that way for him,” Sandovar answered. “You should have learned in your studies how the Imbolc ritual differs from all others. As she who joins with the sabbat god is born anew each generation, Eradimus does not know precisely whom to focus upon. He has only the location where the signs have appeared to guide him.”
“I know he only performs the full joining every second decade, and always with the same female. But I do not know why.”
“It is speculated that the earth needs to see the magic born of a true love between mortal and immortal once each generation for it to relent in its despair and grant humanity another cycle of life.”
A hiss in response turned out to be Herne’s. “True love. If that were the case, why then did the earth not respond when Dominus claimed the Yule mother? He, too, thought himself possessed of true love, yet storms blanket the realm all the same. So if you are quite finished giving your firstborn lessons in idle conjecture?”
Heads bowed. “Apologies, my lord and my god,” said Sandover.
“Perhaps it is not the love between beings on opposite sides of the veil that the earth saw,” Eradimus said, no longer able to bite down on the words that had resonated in him for centuries. “Perhaps my immortal power unlocked a magic within her, solely and exclusively in Brighid, that gave the world cause to spare the human race.”
“Ridiculous,” Herne said, although counsel members were exchanging looks. Eradimus was already headed for the artifact pedestal when his father continued. “But if you feel she is so vital, delay no more,” Herne said. “Go forth and seek the place of her return. Do your duty, god of Imbolc. We will discuss matters when you have succeeded in your task.”
Eradimus paused in front of the pedestal that was carved from the finest crystal and lit from within by its own energies. The garnet statue stood on top, and his eyes took in the lines of the exquisite carving. The bowed head, the delicate fall of wavy red hair, the cloak that fell in folds to her bare feet caught her essence, poise and beauty.
“I knew you would not fail me,” he whispered. “I knew you would not wait another generation to return.”
He reached for the figure, his fingers shaking while he reached for the wand cradled in her arms.