Authors: M.W. Muse
Table of Contents
Copyright © April 2013, M.W. Muse
Cover art by JTLW Design © April 2013
Stock Photography from Fotolia
Penning Princess Publishing
Maumelle, AR 72113
No part of this e-book may be reproduced or shared by any electronic or mechanical means, including but not limited to printing, file sharing, and e-mail, without prior written permission from Penning Princess Publishing or M.W. Muse.
For my son. You will always be my baby no matter how old you are.
Legacy stared at the tornado in front of her. She didn’t care that her anger had created it because she was too furious to freaking be bothered with what her emotions were doing.
The nightmare she’d just had was enough to ignite the fury that was buried deep within her. Rage burned through Legacy from her core. Rage caused by her so-called best friend.
River. That slimy bastard! Just thinking his name made her blood boil. He was going to pay and pay dearly for causing her this heartache, turmoil, and confusion that skewed her change.
It was River all along! She didn’t know how far back his treachery went, but she could only assume he’d been playing her from the first day they’d met.
His strange expression on that fateful summer Saturday forged new meanings for her now. She’d been so worried about Medusa—his damn mother—all this time, and she should have been focused on him just as much. What fueled her distaste was realizing River had tried warning her all along. He’d told her he felt as if he was turning into a monster, and he even blamed some of his ill decisions on his monster heritage.
Adin was right again. River
a monster. She was the one who didn’t want to see it. River took advantage of her kindness, and he played her for a fool. A
She couldn’t believe it took a dream to show her the light. Oh, River hadn’t come out and confessed in her dream. But she knew. Boy, did she ever.
If she’d learned one thing from her dreams, it was the fact that they helped her discover what was going on in her life, and what her dream last night revealed was that River was behind Venus showing up in Adin’s life…in Legacy’s life—not Medusa.
This type of betrayal was monumental. River may already be a god, but he was about to feel
As Legacy thought about the hurt his lies caused, the tornado intensified.
“Legacy!” Lissa yelled as she ran into her room and grabbed her arm. “What’s going on?”
“River is a liar!” she screamed.
“You have to get control of yourself! This tornado can destroy every home on the block. Do you want to kill someone?” she yelled.
She could kill someone right now, but death would be too easy for River.
“Fine,” she said through gritted teeth, and snapped her head toward the tornado. “Stop!” she screamed while she glared at it.
The tornado instantly disappeared, and Lissa gasped. “How…how did you do that?” she asked incredulously.
“River showed me how to do that. Hasn’t he been such a helpful friend? I’m so happy I have him in my life,” she said with heavy sarcasm.
“What happened with River?”
“Oh, nothing…yet. But something is going to happen. Very soon,” she said, stepping away from Lissa.
“Legacy, what’s going on?”
She ignored her as she paced, trying to think of a way to tell River she knew everything. She couldn’t decide if she was going to go straight to his house and inform him, at the top of her lungs, she was privy to his lies, or if she should bite her tongue and make him confess.
“Legacy?” Lissa said, her tone reproachful.
“I had an enlightening dream last night. Medusa wasn’t the one behind Venus showing up at Adin’s school. It was River.”
“Oh,” Lissa said slowly as she sat on the edge of her bed.
Legacy’s gaze flashed to her guardian. “Oh? Is that all you have to say about it? River has been playing me, Lissa!”
“Legacy, I told you that River’s and Adin’s feelings for you were strong. You’ve practically been with Adin ever since you met River. Maybe this is how River was able to deal with your relationship with Adin.”
him?” she yelled.
“Of course not. I’m just saying River is a teenage boy who is in love with a girl he can’t have. His hormones are raging. He can’t help that part.”
“I don’t want to hear excuses for him! He’s been working me from the get-go! River wanted me so badly that the orchestrated Venus’s arrival. Hell, he even said he thought Adin would break up with me and not the other way around when I told him we’d broken up. He said he thought Adin wouldn’t be able to ignore his bond with Venus. River obviously didn’t just think this—he was banking on it!”
“Legacy, I know you’re mad,” Lissa said in a pacifying tone, “but you need to think this through logically.”
“Hmm…think this through. Okay. How’s this? River was eager to show me his abilities both before and after he ascended, but he conveniently left out his ability to produce snakes. Now, why do
think that is?”
Lissa shook her head. “I-I, er …”
“That’s okay,” Legacy said, waving her hand. “I’ll explain my theory. See, River knew he was going to use that to his advantage. He had to have been the one to manifest the snakes that night I was here alone, hoping I’d return to Calli’s house—probably so he’d see me as soon as he returned from his trip. He also was the one behind the snakes during Adin’s accident. I have to admit putting the snakes in that car was a little sloppy on his part. I mean, I was the one to cause the accident. If River knew then that I’d be the one to kill Adin, he wouldn’t have even needed to bother trying to hurt him. Oh, and during the summer when I stayed at Calli’s that night when Spike got out and River followed me, there was a snake in the woods. I bet he made it appear just so he’d have an opportunity to protect me. What a jerk!”
“Legacy, look, I know you’re really angry right now, but you have to remember Medusa wants you dead. The snakes could have been her doing.”
“Fine, but bringing Venus here threw off my change to the point I was so unruly I’d kill the man I love.
was River’s doing!”
“You have every right to be mad at River for bringing Venus into Adin’s life, but you can’t just assume he has been behind everything.”
Legacy took a deep breath and looked away from her. “Maybe you’re right,” she said, but she lied. She knew River was behind everything. It was just too convenient for it not to have been him. Sure, Medusa wanted her dead, so the wretched hag could secure her abilities, keep her from being with River, and seek revenge against Poseidon, but River had a much bigger objective. He wanted to be with Legacy, and now it was apparent he’d stop at nothing to ensure the future he’d dreamed about.
“So what are you going to do now?” Lissa asked timidly.
“I don’t know. I need to think about everything. Maybe I should go talk to Calli.”
Calli was her real best friend. Not some person who’d played her for personal gain. She couldn’t believe she’d considered River her best friend. Friends didn’t betray each other like this. Friends looked out for one another. And best friends, those were the kinds of friends who did everything for each other, thinking about the other’s needs before his or her own. River wasn’t a best friend. He didn’t do things for her because they benefited her. He did things for himself.
He wasn’t a kind, caring man. He was a selfish asshole.
“I think that’s a good idea. Maybe Calli can help you sort out everything,” she said softly.
“Yeah, I’m going to change and go over here.”
She got dressed after Lissa left her room and drove to Calli’s house. Just pulling into her BFF’s estate and seeing River’s house made her stomach turn. It took everything in her not to storm over there and give him a piece of her mind. She tore her gaze off his house and made her way to Calli’s door. She was already waiting.
“What’s going on? You sounded mad on the—”
“It’s a long story,” Legacy said as she walked past Calli and headed to the kitchen.
She grabbed a drink, slammed the fridge shut, and sat down with a huff. Calli got a drink and sat next to her before she regurgitated every despicable detail through gritted teeth. Calli stared at her in utter disbelief.
“No way. No
way,” she whispered.
“I-I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do, Calli. River has ruined my life!”
“Legacy, River is in love with you. You should have seen the way he looked when I told him you were sick after you broke up with Adin.”
was his fault!”
“Maybe it was, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about how he reacted to you being sick. Whenever you’ve been sick or depressed or scared, he gets this look that shows how protective he is of you. I just don’t see him going out of his way to purposely cause you any harm.”
“He knew I’d be upset about breaking up with Adin. That was just a small price to pay for me to get away from him and open River’s door of opportunity.”
Calli shook her head. “River has done everything you’ve ever asked of him, Legacy. He backed off when you were worried about him treating you as more than a friend. Heck, he took me to the homecoming dance just because you asked him, even though he really didn’t want to go and be around you and Adin like that. Maybe he
do all the things you said, but I know he’d never hurt you on purpose. He’s a man in love. It sounds like he’s doing whatever it takes to make sure you’ll be his without thinking of all the consequences of his actions.”
“Well, you’re at least partly right.” Legacy felt disgusted remembering what had happened, what she needed to tell Calli. “He kissed me.”
“What?” Calli screeched.
“Yeah, I actually felt sorry for him at the time because he tried not to, but now I think it was just an act. If he’s been playing me all along, why not work his monster magic to get me to drop my guard when he made his move?”
“What do you mean?” Calli asked, her expression unfathomable. At least until Legacy told her about the kiss and then it morphed into disbelief as the story continued. “I was too shocked to do anything in that moment, but I figured I could allow that one kiss.” She sighed, looking at Calli. “Oh, but it gets better.”
“What?” Calli gaped at her, seeming too shocked to process it all, and Legacy couldn’t blame her one bit.
“I could feel him trembling as he kissed me. When I kissed him back, he got a little too into it, so I started to push against his chest to make him stop. Instead of pushing him away, though, I, umm, pulled him against me.”
Legacy shook her head. “Yeah, I didn’t understand my reaction either, other than I’m just a ho-bag, but me doing that got him all hot. He kissed me, hard, and then I started crying, so he pulled away, apologizing.”
Calli just stared at her, so Legacy also told her the things he’d said about everything happening for a reason and that there were no coincidences.
“Wow. I really don’t know what to say,” Calli said in a daze.
“He said he understood it was too soon for me to think about this now, but that he’d always protect me and love me.”
“First off, you’re not a ho-bag. Laurel Kavanaugh is the only dirty whore I know, and she makes biker gangs look like choir boys. Second, there’s no doubt in my mind that River loves you. He’s just not thinking logically. He’s a man. Men usually think with the wrong head when it comes to the women they love.”
“Are you saying I should forgive him just because he’s hurt that I’m, I mean, I
“Oh no. Of course you should be furious with him. I’m just trying to remind you that, even though River has made mistakes, those mistakes do not define who he is. Your mom told you River and Adin would be here to protect you. If River was such a danger, I think your mom would’ve warned you about him when she was warning you about Hades.”
“River may not be a physical danger, but he’s an emotional one.”
“Legacy, I just think—”
The doorbell rang, cutting off her thought, and then they both sat up straighter in their chairs.