for the 4000th time, but who's counting????? argh.
ATLANTIS UNLEASHED, copyright Alesia Holliday/Alyssa Day
Four months ago: A cave deep underneath Mt. Rainier, Cascade Range, Washington, United States
Justice took inventory of his condition, his weapons, and his chances, as he’d done so many times before in his centuries as a warrior and came up with:
2) worse, and
3) odds-on favorite to be a dead man in the next five minutes.
Condition, physical: Currently lying flat on his belly with his face smashed down on the side of a wet and soon to be seriously enraged tiger. Peacock-sized egg on the back of his head from rough handling by the vamp and wolf shifters who’d carried him down the long tunnel from the surface. Possible cracked rib or two. The ketamine they’d darted him with was mostly worn off, due to the nature of the Atlantean immune system, but he wouldn’t bet any gemstones on his ability to transform into mist.
Condition, mental: Fury bordering on homicidal rage. In other words, standard operating procedure. Ha. SOP. Poseidon picked his warriors carefully, or so he’d always heard.
The sea god must have been multi-tasking the day he decided to add Justice’s name to the list.
Weapons: None. The sword he’d worn for hundreds of years--indeed since the king of Atlantis had given it to him with not a single word of explanation but only a look steeped in contempt—gone. The slightly less-dumb of the two shape-shifters standing guard over Justice and his furry friend Jack stood off toward the mouth of the cave, fondling Justice’s sword like he couldn’t believe his luck.
The shifter wouldn’t have his sword for long. That was a vow.
Justice would have smiled if he wouldn’t have ended up with a mouthful of wet tiger fur.
They’d taken his daggers, too. The better to kill them with.
The drugs were probably still interfering with his access to Atlantean water and energy powers, too. He’d assume he was powerless; didn’t want to rely on the unreliable when he was otherwise weaponless against two wolves and a tiger.
Chances: He’d bet his Atlantean powers against most shape-shifters, even in close quarters like this, but five hundred pounds of tiger? Even one who was sort of a friend when he walked on two legs and called himself Jack?
He’d have to call it even odds. And that was before he ever got to the two wolves.
But Justice knew one critical fact: he’d rather spend eternity roasting in the lowest of the nine hells than spend one more minute with his face pressed into the side of a wet tiger.