Heroes aren’t meant to act like their villains—or fall in love with them.
The elements touch everyone on Earth—Fire, Water, even Light—but every so often someone becomes more attuned to their elemental leaning and develops true power. When an evil Elemental known as Thanatos arrived in Olympus City, it saw the rise of its first hero—Zeus. But the death toll caused by defeating Thanatos changed Zeus, who by day is young detective Danny Grant.
It’s been six months since Thanatos terrorized the city at the start of Lovesick Gods. Danny should be used to his duty behind the mask, but the recent past haunts him. His girlfriend left him, he snaps at the barest provocation, his life feels empty—he needs an outlet, any outlet to pull him out of his depression.
Enter notorious thief Malcolm Cho, the Ice Elemental Prometheus. There was a time when Danny welcomed a fight with Cho, filled with colorful banter and casual flirtations that were a relief compared to Thanatos. Even as a criminal, Cho had recognized the threat Thanatos posed and promised to help Danny stop him, but the day Danny needed Cho, he never showed. Cho was the reason so many people died that day—including Danny’s mother.
Danny decides to teach the man a lesson and fan the fire of their attraction into something more. At worst, he’ll get some no-strings-attached sex out of the deal and finally blow off steam; at best, he’ll get Cho to fall in love with him and then break his heart to spite him.
Danny doesn’t expect to fall for Cho in the process, and he certainly can’t predict the much darker threat on the horizon.
The sound of the bar door caught Mal’s attention. It was late for the lunch rush, so a new patron was curious. Craning his ears, he realized he recognized the approaching gait, the particular pattern of breathing. He gave credit to his element for his ability to observe his surroundings without a single ripple of unease to disturb his calm, but when the person breached the corner of the booth and slid in across from him, Mal couldn’t place why he should know the man so well.
He made a point of knowing most of the cops in the city who might give him trouble, so he recognized the clean-shaven face and sunset colored hair. The man was one of two detectives who’d run the Elemental Task Force when it formed after Thanatos’s arrival, but Mal had never met him.
“Detective Grant,” Mal nodded, not bothering to pause in devouring a French fry even as his free hand slid beneath the table and started to frost over in case Grant tried anything foolish.
“Quite the dive you got here, Ice Man,” the detective said.
Mal sat up straighter. Only one man dared greet him with that nickname, especially with such a familiar voice.
“Sparky?” he drawled with a slow grin, letting his powers dwindle as he returned his hand to the table. “My, my, so this is what Zeus looks like under that mask.” After more than half a year sparring on the streets, he thought he knew his nemesis well, but he’d expected someone older. Although, he had a feeling this kid wasn’t quite as young as his boyish looks implied. “Playing vigilante by night, Detective? What is the world coming to?”
“It’s Danny,” he said with a shift of his eyes around the mostly empty bar, which admittedly wasn’t the best place to be throwing around words like ‘detective’ or ‘Zeus’, “and I didn’t come here for banter.”
Mal downed another fry, more at ease now that he knew his nemesis sat across from him instead of some badge. Zeus made the game so much more fun. He wasn’t hard on the eyes either. “Pity. We’ve gotten so good at our banter. So…” Mal trailed a fresh French fry into his ketchup, “why are you here? Hoping I’d treat you to lunch to make up for that last bank heist?”
Danny folded his hands on top of the table, a serious expression filling his lightning-yellow eyes. “I want to make a deal.”
Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).