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Their Mate (Daughters of Olympus #2)
Author:Charlie Hart & Anastasia James

Their Mate (Daughters of Olympus #2)

Charlie Hart & Anastasia James





BEFORE





Life unfolded in a way that broke me, crushing my dreams in one fell swoop.

The dreams had been so sweet, so true—born from love that was pure.

But that love was destroyed, turned to something ruinous.

Are you, daughter, ruined too?

All my girls have been dealt a hand no mother would ever choose.

But you may have been given the harshest blow.


Your veins run with blood forged with fury.

Your heart beats for revenge before it beats for mercy.

When this battle begins I fear for you.

Your bones and marrow hum a song that only vengeance sings.

But you, daughter of Olympus, can learn another tune.

The song of my heart.

Do you hear it?





Chapter 1





Remedy





The bakery owner is on my ass and not in a sexy way. It’s a run-for-my-life-so-I-don’t-get-caught-stealing kinda way. Pretty much worst-case scenario, which is saying something considering I’ve been living on the streets for the last year.

“Stop,” he calls after me as I book it up a steep Seattle hill. Why I ever decided to try to make a go of it here in this rained-out, gray city is beyond me. If it weren’t for my steel-toed combat boots my feet would be waterlogged 24/7. “I’ll call the cops!”

I snort through my gritted teeth. Like hell am I gonna stop now. Pulling my backpack straps tighter, I keep pushing through, side ache and all. I knew I was playing with fire, camping out in the back room of a bakery I had no business being in, but I was desperate. There was a wild storm last night and I needed cover.

Looking over my shoulder, I see I’ve lost the poor guy. I’ve always been good at running, and it’s come in handy more often than I like. Muttering suck it under my breath, I dodge down an alley, leaning against a brick building as I catch my breath.

I come from the school of hard knocks, and know a thing or three about pulling up my bootstraps—but I am eerily close to rock bottom, I feel it in my bones. Reaching into my backpack, I pull out the still-warm baguette I grabbed as I fled the scene. I cradle the freshly baked bread in my arms like it’s a freaking baby. I mean, this loaf is just as precious as a child, considering I haven’t had a proper meal in a helluva long time.

The shelter downtown doesn’t exactly let me come around anymore.

Taking a bite of breakfast, I roll my eyes at the memory of that freaking place. I had every right to call them out on their bullshit. They turned a kid away because he’d already gotten his one hot meal for the day and tried to get another. What was the kid supposed to do? He must have been fourteen. I felt for him, mostly because I’ve been in survival mode for a long-ass time—I knew where that kid was coming from. When I gave him my bowl of chili and made a huge scene, using a few R-rated words, I was shown the door.

Fuck You Fucking Gatekeepers.

Okay, so I don’t have what you’d call a tame tongue or a great handle on how to please people, but why would I?

I finish the bread as I walk toward the Seattle Public Library. It’s warm, has free wi-fi, and a bathroom that doesn’t smell like urine. As I head down Pine, construction workers whistle, giving me catcalls.. I flip the middle finger and keep walking, knowing they’re staring at my ass as I move. It isn’t flattering—it’s just fucking gross. A block later a guy in a business suit looks me up and down, as if memorizing my curves, and I scoff as I pass him. I may be at the end of my rope in a lot of ways, but my body is mine—no one else’s. And I’m not sharing any of it unless the man in question is someone I actually want.

Finally, I see the massive glass structure of the library and I exhale a sigh of relief. No matter how shitty the world at large may be, inside these walls I am safe. Pushing through the doors of the library, I wave at the clerk working the front desk.

“Morning, Remedy,” Diana says, giving me a tight smile and handing me a slip of paper with today’s wi-fi password on it. “Let’s make sure we remember library policy today, okay?”

I raise my brows and give her a smirk, which is really the best I can manage. It may be nine a.m., but I was on edge all night, scared I’d get caught for breaking and entering. A steaming cup of coffee would perk me right up, but that’s a luxury I gave up a long time ago.

I head straight for the bathroom, and then pull out my toothbrush and comb, and set to cleaning myself up before some creeper comes in here and starts harassing me. This may be a library, but it attracts a lot of people like me, people who are really fucking screwed. I run the comb through my long red hair, then lock the stall door and change my clothes. I shimmy out of yesterday’s jeans and tug off the tank top I’ve been wearing for a few days. My breasts strain against the sweater I pull on and my hips push against the denim of my clean(ish) jeans. My boobs are barely contained in the sports bra I’m rocking, but I try to play down my curves, which isn’t easy for a newly minted twenty-one-year-old. And though my body may get the attention of men more than I like, I’m grateful to be healthy.

In the last row of the computers, I slide into a cold metal chair and shove my backpack under my feet. I log in and exhale. I may not have my shit together, but I am actively looking for something more than what I currently have. I can only blame my situation on growing up in foster care for so long. I am considering community college, but I am totally unprepared for the workload. I’ve been doing this Khan Academy bullshit to try and remind myself how to, like, do long division. I know. I could have tried harder in high school or whatever, but back then I was just trying to survive. It’s been my mode of operation my whole damn life.

And honestly, I am tired of being on the run. Looking for somewhere to land when the truth is, I have exactly no one. Never really have. If I just had one friend, one family member—anyone—then maybe things wouldn’t be so hard.

Before I log in to work on my ABCs, I check email. When I see a new message—something other than spam for Viagra or refinancing the house I’ll never own. It’s from Sadie.

My hands get sweaty—which, I know, super sexy.

To: [email protected]… clever, right? But I made this email account when I was eleven, okay? Guess I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder.

Remedy,

Not sure if this is your email anymore. It’s been so long. Call me if you get this. I’ve been going through some old stuff and found a box of yours that I’ve saved all this time. Hope you’re doing okay.

Love you like always, Sadie

She leaves her number after her name and I immediately write it down. What was I literally just saying I needed? A freaking lifeline.

I log off and grab my bag, the piece of paper in my hand. At the front desk, I ask the clerk, with as much sweetness as I can muster, to use the phone.