Cupid’s Revenge by Michelle M Pillow
Naughty Cupid Series Book 2
Paranormal Historical Romance
Cupid’s livid. It’s bad enough he made two people fall in love, but now thanks to King Larus, the whole Immortal Realm knows about it. There’s only one thing a troll can do. Get Revenge.
Lady Mina and her sister, Sophia, are impoverished, starving and their castle is crumbling around there feet. Their father is dead, the servants are gone and it’s the dead of winter. Could things really get much worse?
After Cupid caused a great disruption amongst his lycans by bringing a human to their world, Larus has had to meet with the Council of Elders. He’s made sure it will never happen again. Or so he thought. Hearing two women scream-one whose enchanted to be madly in love with him and one who wants nothing more than to claw his eyes out-he’s quickly learning not to underestimate a troll bent on revenge.
Rating: Contains graphic sexual content, adult language, and violence.
Damn the lycans anyway! Cupid’s little black eyes flashed with an inner fire. And damn the council of immortal elders! So what if he took his vengeance out on Ilar by entrancing the whole Lycan Guard at Lycaon to one mortal woman? It’s not like anyone had gotten hurt. Besides, Ilar, Commander of the Guard, deserved it for making fun of him–just as he deserved being forced to lifemate to an ugly human woman.
Cupid shivered in disgust to think of how his plan had backfired. Ilar had fallen in love with the hideous mortal and they were living their fairy tale, happily ever after. It was disgustingly romantic. It was hideously repulsive. It was unbearable to think about.
Now he had to listen to the other trolls tease each time he saw them. They called him a cherub, a matchmaker, a rosy-faced babe who spread love and goodness throughout the world. If he had another basket of love darts left outside his cave door, he’d scream so loud the whole realm of magic would collapse in on itself.
Bah! Bah! Double bah!
Cupid hated the elders. He hated goodness and happiness. He hated Ilar and Rhiannon, his ugly human lifemate. He hated the council. He hated the realm of magic and the realm of mortals. He hated everyone and everything.
And, above all things, he hated love!
His humiliation wouldn’t have been so widely known if the council of immortal elders hadn’t been called forth. He blamed Larus, the elected king of the lycans, for that one. It was Larus’ court at Lycaon that had been affected by his small enchantment prank. He merely made the mortal woman irresistible to the lycan kind and brought the whole court howling to their knees with lust.
But, could the lycan king let it go? No! He had to draw attention to the fact that Cupid had found love for Lord Ilar and Lady Rhiannon. He had to tell everyone who would listen to him that Cupid was personally responsible for Ilar’s eternal happiness.
Now he’d never live his reputation down. First, he accidentally hit a man instead of a goat with a love dart, causing one couple to fall in love four hundred years ago, and now this. He was going to be branded for his immortal life as a matchmaker. It was beyond torture, beyond fair and right, beyond tolerable.
And, as far as Cupid could see, it was King Larus who needed to pay for that!
Lycaon Castle, Realm of Magic
King Larus watched Lady Rhiannon with her lifemate, Lord Ilar. They seemed really happy together and he was happy for them. Ilar was his best soldier, a great leader, and a true friend. He deserved happiness. But the fact that Rhiannon was human still made him uneasy.
Even though he liked Rhiannon, Larus hoped she would be the last human he ever saw in his eternity of living. Humans had killed his family–his parents, his brothers and sisters and cousins, until all he had left was his duty to his people. He did his duty with pride and dedication. For nearly a hundred and fifty years he’d been their ruler and, so long as they willed it, he would remain their elected king.
“Did the elders decide what to do with Cupid?” Ilar asked, coming near the head table of the empty council hall. “Will he be punished for opening a portal?”
King Larus looked up, gazing past the giant circular pit of flames that lit the room. He sat atop a long stone table, scratching thoughtfully at the back of his head. Slowly, he lowered his arms to lie on top of his crossed legs. He came to the hall often, especially when he needed to be alone and think. When it was empty, the room was complete silence, aside from the soft rustling of the fire pit.
“Naturally, they aren’t happy with him,” Larus stated after a time.
Cupid was a squat little troll and like all of his kind he had a horrible temper backed by extreme power. Trolls had no real allegiance to anyone, let alone mortals, and only used their magic for self-gain or mischief. They wouldn’t open the portals to humankind just so the mortals could flood into their world. No, they’d only open them for their own selfish reasons. Their stupid, narcissistic ways could end up being the downfall of the entire realm of immortals.
Larus had been outraged to discover Cupid had opened up the portal between the Mortal Realm and the Magic Realm. He didn’t want to relive the wars between the mortal and immortal. They’d fought once, long ago, and there’d been much death on both sides. In the end, it was decided the realms should be forever separated. That was why the portals had been sealed. That was why they had to remain sealed.
Only a few natural portals remained, as they couldn’t be destroyed. The doors on the mortal side were locked with the strong magic and charms of all immortal races. The only way the portals could be opened was from their side. But once opened, the realms could merge freely.
Cupid had broken the pact of the covenants that protected the Magic Realm from human greed for the last three hundred years. The risk of humans wandering back through was too great. It was a risk none of the elders were willing to take.
The lycans weren’t the only ones to leave the world of mortal men. The vampires, who were also hunted because of their ‘unnatural’ ways, had come with them. As did all things of magic–elves, fairies, even the goblins and dwarfs. They left the humans, tired of being trapped and forced to use magic for mankind’s gain. Then it was believed that humans would kill themselves off. It wasn’t to be so. To everyone’s amazement, the humans thrived. And, until Cupid’s little play of revenge against Lord Ilar, the realms had remained separated.
Larus glanced at Lady Rhiannon and smiled faintly. They were the only three in the hall and he knew, since she was lifemated to Ilar, he could speak freely before her. “Though, the outcome is good, what could’ve been is beyond forgiveness. Cupid risked too much over a petty insult.”
Lord Ilar had drunkenly offended Cupid one night by calling him a rosy-faced cherub. That in and of itself was comical, as Cupid’s wrinkled face was anything but rosy and, with the horrible smell he emitted from his foul, unwashed body, he didn’t come close to reminding them of a cherub.
Cupid, however, obviously didn’t see the humor in the jests. Just to get even, the troll had gone to the realm of the mortals, doused Lady Rhiannon in lycan pheromone to magically enchant her, and brought her to their world. The mere smell of her had sent the entire unmated population into a desperate, lustful frenzy.
The males of the Lycaon court had fought like madmen to possess Rhiannon and the women had fought to kill her. Because of the raging emotions, their telepathic mindlink had been blocked. The mindlink was the only way the lycan could communicate in their shifted form and they used it often to warn of attacks. Without it, their defenses were left weakened. Both Ilar and Larus had feared they were under magical assault until they discovered the real reason.
Knowing it was only a troll’s petty revenge that opened the portals and caused the disruption in his guards, Larus frowned. Cupid risked too much, but then trolls weren’t known for their consideration of consequences. As king, he’d been honor bound to report Cupid’s actions to the council. The troll was in some serious trouble.
“Death seems too harsh of a punishment and yet I feel, with Cupid, anything less would fail to make an impact on his troll brain,” Ilar said.
“Well,” Rhiannon offered softly, pushing her long, curly blonde hair over her shoulder. She looked more lycan than human as she wore the comfortable gown of their people–a large square piece of cloth that was wrapped around the body and secured with a brooch at the shoulder. Though, instead of leaving her body bare beneath, she wore an undergarment with long sleeves. Being human, the slight modification allowed her extra protection against the elements. Her wide blue eyes looked first to her husband and then back to Larus. “At least he won’t be opening the portal again, will he?”
“The council has ordered him not to bring back any more enchanted humans,” Larus said. “Although, they’re unsure what to do with him otherwise. Because no troll sits on the council, we can only do so much.”
“Then, he’s agreed not to enchant any more humans?” Ilar asked, his dark eyes steady.
“Yes, he’s agreed,” Larus answered. “I believe him. I think Lady Rhiannon’s and your happiness is punishment enough. By the time I got done telling the council, and everyone else who would listen, about his ‘good’ deed, he was thoroughly mortified. Word of your love has even leaked to the trolls. If I know that race, they will persecute him enough to ensure he never does anything so foolish again.”
© copyright September 2005, Michelle M. Pillow
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.