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Teaser Edit

Immortal warrior Gideon Roarke made an oath five hundred years ago to the woman who died for him. The ancient Calydon is ruthless in his quest to honor that promise, even if it means risking everything by teaming up with the one woman who will either destroy him, or finally bring redemption to his blackened, hardened soul.

After escaping from a two-year imprisonment at the hands of a madman, the only thing Lily Davenport wants is to go home and reclaim her life. Unfortunately for Lily, standing between her and that goal is a sensual, demanding protector whose dangerous seduction threatens to claim her life...and her soul.

 
— Stephanie Rowe, Darkness Seduced

Plot Edit

At the end of Darkness Awakened, rogue Calydon Nate Tipton is dead and his former captive Ana Matthews sends Gideon Roarke to rescue his other prisoner. Lily Davenport is trapped and starving in Nate's house until Gideon arrives with his Order of the Blade teammate Ian Fitzgerald at the same time as some other Calydons that Nate's partner Frank Tully had sent to retrieve Lily. The ensuing battle allows Lily to escape in a Hummer, which she crashes a few miles down the road. Gideon and Ian catch up to her, but the other Calydons are in pursuit. While they are fleeing, Gideon and Lily jump out of the car, over a bridge, and into a river to throw the pursuers off their trail.

The next morning, Gideon taps into Lily's Satinka magic for the first time. It gives him the strength and speed to defeat a large group of Calydons who attack them, but he takes so much power that he nearly drains Lily. Kane shows up to teleport them back to Dante's mansion and has to knock Gideon unconscious to stop him from killing her. When she wakes up, she meets Ana's sister Grace, who lends Lily a phone to call her parents. The family rejoices that Lily has finally been found, but she declines to return home, claiming she needs to help the police apprehend her abductor, when in actuality she will be assisting the Order.

When she sees Gideon again, he shows her that the outline of his weapon has begun to appear on her arm, proving that she is his sheva. This is significant for a number of reasons. First, Lily has had such terrible experiences with Calydons in her past that she has always dreaded being tied to one. Second, Gideon had already met his sheva 500 years ago, so it now appears possible that a Calydon can have more than one sheva in his lifetime. Third, Gideon is Lily's mate in the Satinka tradition, so the attraction between them is even stronger than usual; thus it would be extremely unlikely that they could complete the bonding without his going insane or killing her. Finally, the Order's policy is to kill members' shevas on sight, but they need Lily's expertise in Calydon studies to help them decipher the engraving on a knife that is the key to containing Ezekiel, the evil forebearer of their race. Knowing that the Order will likely separate the pair to preclude their further bonding, Gideon tricks Lily into a blood exchange so that he can track her anytime. Once again, Gideon is overcome by the high of Lily's magic; this time it's Quinn Masters who knocks him out.

After they both recover, Lily meets the rest of the Order. They show her the knife and she is able to translate part of it. Unfortunately, the text on the knife reveals that Ezekiel's prison was constructed using Satinka magic, so the same can destroy it. Some team members immediately argue that the best way to prevent the release of Ezekiel is to kill Lily. Gideon insists that they need Lily to gather more information about Frank's plans to free Ezekiel and also to lure Frank to them. A fight breaks out, but Kane transports Gideon and Lily out of the mansion just before Quinn attacks her. In the middle of the chaos, Ana steals the knife and delivers it to Frank, who had earlier approached her secretly. Even though she knows how dangerous he is, a vague instinct drives her to leave with him.

Frank takes Ana to an ancient arena where Illusionists were trained to torture others thousands of years ago. He tells Ana that she can practice her illusions there until she recovers from Nate's abuse, which left her unable to create happy illusions. After Ana tries for hours to stop creating gruesome illusions, Frank reveals to Ana that his true purpose is to awaken Ezekiel and use her illusions to control the ancient warrior. He also admits that he is the one who killed her parents after they refused to go along with his plans.

Meanwhile, Gideon and Lily go to her office so she can research the circumstances of Ezekiel's confinement. Her parents arrive at the office looking for her, but they are trailed by a large group of Calydons. Gideon helps the family escape and is able to rout the Calydons when three of his team members show up. The Calydons recapture Lily while she is fleeing and Gideon is battling the others. She fights her way free and Gideon catches up to her, but he is overwhelmed with grief from not being able to protect her and from endangering her with the sheva bond. He tries to leave her behind, but she convinces him to take her to Nate's house to search for information. There they discover a tablet inscribed with information about the ritual to liberate Ezekiel. It indicates that the location for the ritual is the arena where Frank and Ana are.

The entrance to the arena is heavily guarded by illusions that make Gideon think he is being attacked. Lily throws herself in front of his axe to prevent him from hurting himself with it. He pulls it back in time, but Lily's sacrifice completes the bonding stages. In the tunnels underneath the arena, they encounter Order of the Blade member Elijah, who is crazed from Ana's illusions. Elijah assaults Gideon and the two men fight until they knock each other out. Then Frank and his Calydons seize Lily and the men.

Frank sets up the ritual in the arena with Lily and a young Calydon named Drew Cartland, who is a direct descendant of the warriors who originally imprisoned Ezekiel. Lily is supposed to call her magic, but it doesn't work without Gideon now that they're bonded, so Frank has to put Gideon in the ring with Lily and Drew. She is then able to call her magic and recite the words of the ritual. The magic awakens Gideon, but it also flows into Drew before Gideon can free himself from his restraints. When Gideon gets loose, he kills Frank and his Calydons but it is too late to stop Ezekiel from possessing Drew's body. Gideon and the other members of the Order are no match for his strength and speed. Drew runs away and the others have to evacuate the arena quickly because the fight damaged the structure and it is about to collapse. On the way out, they find Ana, who insists that Elijah is still alive and trapped under the rubble.

Since the Order has to wait for the debris to settle before they can search the ruins for Elijah, Gideon and Lily take the time to visit her parents. They forgive and accept him, despite his role in Lily's grandmother's death.

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