After a grueling battle in ancient Greece, lovers Dexios and Lykon committed their lives to each other in the name of Goddess Cythera. After the war, fearing the strength of his love for Dexios, Lykon abandoned his vow and returned home. Heartbroken, Dexios called on Cythera, who changed him into four unfinished statues. In that form he would wait for his fickle lover to return, break the curse, and make him whole.
Thousands of years have passed when Galen Kanellis finds the disassembled pieces in the storeroom of a Seattle museum and makes them the focus of his new exhibit. Needing information, he contacts his ex-lover Nick Charisteas. Nick has a lifelong dream of finding the Dexios Collection, and the last thing he expected was for it to wind up in the hands of the man who broke his heart. As both men search for answers about the statues, worries of abandonment and fear of loss test their renewed relationship, threatening to separate them again—this time permanently.
I lucked out when Melissa Gay made me that absolutely beautiful cover for the story. Actually, she had drafted more than one picture for me to chose from and she has graciously given me permission to post the other one as well. It's too awesome to not share. It is almost exactly what the first statue would look like if it were completed. So I thought, in honor of Dexios and Lykon, that I'd share one of their little bits.
“The end of the war does not mean we have to part.” He stared down at Lykon, hovering over him. “I would rather stay by your side.”
Lykon frowned, slid his arm around Dexios’s waist, and pulled his weight down on him. “You do not speak sense. They will expect us back at home. We have duties awaiting us that have been long ignored.”
“Duties that others have taken up while we fought to keep them safe.” Dexios could not deny the want inside of him anymore. Not after the fierce fighting earlier today. Not after seeing Lykon fall and thinking the worst. The vivid memory still chilled him, the image etched behind his eyes of the enemy standing over his lover, spear poised to take his life. Somehow Dexios had found the divine strength to get to him, to stop the blow.
He slid his arms under Lykon, held him close and reassured himself with the heat of his body. Why was Lykon not bothered by the same memories? Mere moments after his own close encounter with death, Lykon had saved him in return by shoving him out of the way and blocking a lethal strike to Dexios’s unguarded back.
They had both almost died this day. For what, so they could part after their friendship had changed into a relationship far more profound? He loved Lykon. Dexios had not believed himself capable of such deep emotion until he had found Lykon. The fate he wanted for them did not include living apart and never seeing one another.“What is it you are trying to say?” Lykon pushed him aside and sat up, bracing his hands behind him as he looked at Dexios with his brows drawn together and a slight grimace twisting his lips. “Speak your thoughts plainly. Do you wish for us to join a mercenary unit to find another battle? I have no desire for more bloodshed. We have been fighting for years now. We’ve done what we set out to do. Our families and lands are safe.”
“No more fighting.” Dexios was done with seeing Lykon in danger, of tending to his wounds, and having his own wounds stitched closed by Lykon. “If we both go home we will not see each other again. At least not often enough for what I want.”
Dexios knelt up in front of Lykon. His heart pounded, his chest tightened. “You know what is in my heart, Lykon, how I feel about you. You have said that you feel the same. Is it true?”
Lykon stretched out his hand and cupped Dexios’s jaw. “I do. Don’t doubt that. I do not wish to think of what may happen on the morrow or the day after. You worry too much about the past and the future. Only the here and now matters. Love me here and let me love you in return.”