Home > Mayhem for Suckers

Mayhem for Suckers
Author: Lacey Carter Andersen

Chapter One





Life is fragile. So very fragile. I stand on the balcony of the old castle looking out over the crashing waves. In the distance, a lone boat struggles against the storm, and I watch it with far too much interest. On a vessel that size, there must be at least five or six people.

Someone probably loves those men and women. Someone will probably miss them if they don’t come home.

Lucky for them.

I feel the smile that twists my lips. No one has ever truly cared about me. Yes, I had to live. I had to survive, but only so I could be the vessel of the powerful goddess that screams inside of me. But now that I’ve become what I was always meant to be, I can feel myself changing. That darkness that’s always lived inside of me finally has the power to do what it’s always wanted. And I can’t seem to tell myself no about anything.

If I want something, I take it.

Lifting a hand, I stretch it out toward the sea. I feel the power coursing through me. It calls to the waves and the wild waters. Below me, the ocean grows more violent. My hand trembles, but I grit my teeth and watch as the sea goes mad. The waves that only before crashed against the rocks grow so powerful and large that they cloak the rocks and smash against the cliff that this castle rests upon, growing higher and higher.

The boat nearly capsizes, but by some miracle manages to stay afloat. My smile falters, and I point toward the boat. I can practically feel the exhaustion of the crew, but I can feel their fear. I can even feel the moment when they realize that the ocean is a powerful mistress and that they were fools to forget that.

As I curl my hand into a fist, my power ripples out. A massive wave crashes over the ship, and the vessel disappears. I drop my hand and watch as the ocean calms, but it’s a while before I see what must be the bottom of the boat.

There will be no survivors from such a storm.

Within me, Rán, the goddess of the sea, thrashes, and my smile returns. She loved to pick and choose who lived and died on her waters when she was in control, but now that she watches me at work, it angers her. She pretends that I don’t have the right to make such choices, but we both know it’s jealousy that fuels her emotions, not any real sense of right and wrong.

Behind me, I’m aware of him only seconds before his arms come around me and the smell of the salty ocean fills my nostrils. I sigh and lean back against his strong chest, coming alive beneath his touch. Even though I can’t see his face, I know his eyes are closed, concealing the ocean-green color of his pupils, and that he breathes deeply of my own scent.

“Everyone was starting to worry,” he whispers.

It takes me a long minute before I can find my voice. “I just needed a minute before I faced them.”

His arms tense. “You failed?”

I pull away from him and whirl around. “I didn’t fail. Those fucking godslayers did.”

His strong jaw moves, and I can see the muscles moving. “Your father won’t see it that way.”

“Fuck him,” I say, my words almost a hiss of anger. “I’ve done everything he’s asked of me, and still it’s not enough. It’ll never be enough.”

I think of my sister standing in front of me, facing off with those men, and something churns in my gut. Would she be so critical of me? Would she see nothing but my flaws?

“I’m not trying to anger you, my angel, just to prepare you.”

I turn away from him and look back at the sea, curling my fingers into the stone railing. “Next time we face them, it’ll be together, and the battle will be done. Then, no one will stand in our way. We will rule this world and everyone in it.”

He runs a hand down my spine, and I shiver. I don’t have to look at him to know his gaze is glued on the ocean. Already the god within him whispers for him to return to the waters, but I hope he fights Aegir. Every time he shifts and disappears beneath the waves, he’s gone longer than the time before. I’m afraid that one day he might just not come back. And I can’t do this without him.

I don’t want to do this without him.

“Did you see her?”

My gut turns again. “Yes.”

“What was she like?”

And I say the words that I’ll never say to the others. “She looked…so much like me. This Izzy. There was a second I didn’t want to kill her, because it was like killing myself. I could feel the god inside of her, and inside of the others, and I wondered if…if this was necessary. If she and the others might be able to rule with us. In a lesser way. But I wondered if we really needed to kill them.”

Barret runs his hands down my arms. “When your father stole me from my family’s home, I hated him. For years, I hated him with every ounce of my being. He took the five us and he gave no love or affection. Just tore our backs to shreds whenever we failed to live up to his expectations. But slowly, his words began to ring true within me. He did everything because one day we would be gods. Because one day we would rule this world.”

I wait, holding my breath.

“And now that the power courses inside of me, I know I could never share it. Not with your sister and the strange gods. I don’t even know if I can share it with the others. If I had it my way, you and I would rule alone.”

“So they need to be destroyed?” I say, even though I already know the answer.

His hands stroke my skin again. “It’s us or them.”

I understand that sentiment deep in my core. This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve had to make such a choice. But it rattles me that it’s my sister. Why can’t it have been anyone else?

“And you know…” His voice is barely softer than the wind. “When they learn to control their powers, they’ll be stronger than we are, and any chance at destroying them will be gone.”

I look back at him in surprise. “No, we were supposed to be gods. It was accidental that she got the powers too. I was chosen for this, not her.”

His eyes are cold. “Then why are they Loki, Thor, Tyr, Hel, and Odin? Why are they the fiercest of the gods?”

I open my mouth, but nothing comes out.

His smile sends a strike of fear through me. “Your father is the best liar I’ve ever seen. And I think his greatest lie was that you were the one chosen for this. Because if I believe the facts over his words, us becoming gods along with your sister was the mistake.”

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