Huemac, a half-breed, covets ultimate power, but he needs two things—access to the royal family and an ancient artifact. He attains the former by seducing the Emperor’s sister, and then steals the latter.
Moctezuma, the newly crowned Emperor, comes from a long line of powerful gods known as Sin-Eaters. He desires peace among his people, but an ancient prophecy warns of war.
Huemac discovers the incantation to activate the fabled Athame of Souls, a mythical weapon capable of entrapping souls. His quest to rule is within his grasp. Only one thing stands in his way—Moctezuma.
He leaned against the sill, peering into the distant water surrounding the island. Too bad he couldn’t smite them for their insolence.
Dust rose from his grip as he leaned farther out the window. The impudent fools would rue the day they ever passed him over for their leader. Already preparations were being made to crown the rightful heir to the throne—a throne that would be his, if he bided his time.
“Huemac”—the soft, husky tone broke his reverie—“you seem so tense.”
He hid a smirk as he turned. This goddess was his way in. For months he'd bedded her just to get close to her family—the ruling family. Her blood, her very sacrifice, would secure his position as ruler for centuries to come.
“Keeping our relationship from your family continues to give me trouble.” He prevaricated as he glided toward the bed where Metztli lie.
She giggled, a musical sound that grated his nerves. “’Tis only until the feast of coronation has concluded. Once that’s over, I will introduce you with all the fanfare due your position.”
Truth rang in her words. What was the emotion pricking his conscience? It almost felt like guilt. He brushed it aside. He learned at an early age about naiveté. Metztli embodied that. As princess, she was shielded from the harshness of what her people really were. She was oblivious to how she was being played with just a hot time in bed and the false promises of love.
He sat on the edge of the bed. His weight shifted her toward him and he brushed a lock of her sandy-brown hair back from her face.
She stared up at him expectantly, her light brown eyes alive with light.
“Not a moment later.” He acceded to her plea with a wry smile as he gazed into her eyes. For a moment he was falling forward into the caramel depths. With a jerk, he snapped back, then blinked to clear his head.
Metztli rubbed his thigh as if nothing had happened. “You are everything I’ve wanted,” she murmured.
He traced the distinctive Sin Eaters’ tattoo of an eagle perched on a cactus on the inside of her wrist before trailing ....