Rogue Descendant (Nikki Glass) - By Jenna Black

The Liberi Deorum

A long time ago, when the ancient gods were still around, they sired children with mortals. Before the gods left Earth, they gave each of their children a seed from the Tree of Life. This seed made them immortal, and the Liberi thought they were gods themselves as a result. The only limitation they had—as far as they knew—was that they couldn’t make their own children immortal, because the gods took the Tree of Life with them when they left. What the first Liberi didn’t know until too late was that anyone with even a drop of divine blood—in other words, all of their children and descendants—could steal their immortality by killing them.


“It’s time, Nikki,” Anderson said.

I made a very undignified squealing sound and almost dropped my towel.

“Goddammit, Anderson!” I snapped, my heart pounding. The sun hadn’t risen yet, and I was still bleary-eyed even after my shower. I certainly had not been expecting to find anyone waiting for me in my bedroom at this hour, especially when I was pretty certain I’d locked the door to my suite. The adrenaline coursing through my veins did more to wake me up than ten cups of coffee.

“Sorry to startle you,” he said with an unrepentant smile.

“Like hell you are,” I grumbled, clutching my towel a little more securely around me. I knew Anderson well enough by now to know a deliberate intimidation attempt when I saw one. He was at his rumpled, harmless-looking best, in a wrinkled shirt, wash-faded cords, and tattered sneakers, but he was anything but harmless. He was a real, bona fide god, the son of Thanatos, the Greek god of death, and Alecto, one of the Furies.

“If you hadn’t been so determined to play hard to get,” Anderson said mildly, “we could have done this differently.”

I’d have preferred not to do this at all, which was why I’d spent the last two weeks making myself scarce, finding any excuse I could to avoid the confrontation I knew was coming. Gods are notoriously bad at taking no for an answer, but it was the only answer I could give to the request he was going to make.

“This wasn’t going to go well no matter how we did it,” I said. He had to know what my avoidance strategy meant, and I knew he’d come prepared for a fight despite his so-far mild manner.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” he replied, a slight edge creeping into his voice. “I would have thought you’d be eager to rid the world of a predator like Konstantin.”

Ridding the world of Konstantin, the deposed leader of the Olympians, sounded like a great idea, in theory. He was vulnerable now that he no longer had the might of the Olympians behind him, and with my skills as a descendant of Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, I was the perfect candidate to find him in whatever hole he was hiding in. It was what would happen when I found him that gave me problems.

“This isn’t something I want to talk about while wearing a towel,” I said.

Anderson’s eyes strayed downward as he took a visual tour of my body. I wasn’t much to look at with my knobby knees and winter-white skin, but guys don’t seem to care about aesthetics much when a woman is wearing nothing but a towel. I gritted my teeth and kept my mouth shut, knowing he was only looking at me like that to unsettle me. I wasn’t about to let him do it. At least, that’s what I told myself.

“Why don’t you go wait in the sitting room while I get some clothes on,” I suggested. “Then we can talk.”

“All right,” he agreed. “You aren’t going to try climbing out the window to avoid me, are you?”

I might have been tempted if my rooms weren’t on the third floor of the mansion that was home base for all of Anderson’s Liberi. “I’m not in the mood for a broken leg, so no.” Of course, breaking a leg might be more fun than whatever was going to come next.

“Don’t take too long,” Anderson ordered. He strode out my bedroom door and didn’t even bother to close it all the way behind him.

I gave the door the kind of glare I really wanted to give to Anderson himself, then stalked to my closet to get some clothes. I didn’t want to do this ever, much less at the literal crack of dawn and with no coffee in my system.