Massive and intimidating, the guard at the Temple of Pleasure unnerved Raina with his ice blue eyes ... but she was just as intrigued.
When Raina's sister entered the Temple of Chloe, she vanished. Raina is prepared to risk everything to find out why--even when the stone-faced guard at the entrance tries to turn her away. She is certainly intimidated, but she is also intrigued--possibly enough to get her killed. Because the guards are forbidden to touch--even to look at the Priestesses.
And Dysseus desperately wants to do a lot more than touch.
Priestess of Pleasure
It was cooler in the deep shade the towering Temple of Joy cast over the loamy soil at its feet, but it was not that that sent a shiver along Raina’s spine as she looked up at the brooding edifice. Erected from cold, black stones, windowless, it appeared just as it was, not as it was touted to be, a place of dark, dangerous secrets, not of light and joy, and uneasiness traced a cold finger along Raina’s spine. She knew that once she stepped within those walls she could well vanish as so many others had, never to be seen or heard from again.
It had been erected in the name of Chloe, goddess of fertility and pleasure. The name alone seemed to indicate that it would be a place of light and goodness, of giving. And yet she had known even before she came, before she first beheld the cold, secretive face of the temple, that it was certainly not that.
Lana, her elder sister, had gone into the Temple five years before to offer up herself in worship of the goddess Chloe and had not been seen or heard from since.
Raina had long since given up hope that her sister would be returned to her, hope that her sister still lived, but she could not rest until she knew what had become of her, until she had done all that she could to find peace for herself and vengeance for Lana if at all possible.
Dragging in a sustaining breath to bolster her courage, she set one foot on the stone stairs that led upward some three stories from the ground to the entrance at the top of the temple where one of the hulking temple guards waited, his stance rigid, his legs braced slightly apart.
The climb was a steep one, but it was not the exertion that set Raina’s heart to racing a little faster and a little faster with each step she took that carried her closer to the entrance that opened like a dark mouth ready to swallow her. She didn’t realize until she was halfway up, however, that it was not altogether her fear of the unknown evil that awaited her inside the temple.
She could feel the watchful gaze of the guard at the top climbing over her like a touch the nearer she drew to him until she began to wonder if he was gifted with magic as the high priestess was rumored to be.
It was his eyes, she decided when she had risked a quick glimpse at him before she returned her attention to placing her feet carefully on each step. They were an uncanny shade of blue. Cold, they seemed to slice right through her, as if he could peer into her mind and see that she was no honest petitioner.
Priestess of Pleasure
Published: March 2022
Word Count: 18,314
Available formats: Epub, PDF, RTF, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
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