Eternal Temptation

Eternal Temptation

Status: Finished

Genre: Erotica

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Erotica

Summary

Narayan has been a highly disciplined, celibate monk for over 500 years. That is until his best friend, Paige is forced to drink an elixir incompatible with her Lycan genetics. He is forced to abandon his celibacy to ease her suffering until they can find a cure. But lowering his self imposed barriers unlocks something inside him he has no ability to control which threatens the foundations of his tightly controlled life. (Book 4)

Summary

Narayan has been a highly disciplined, celibate monk for over 500 years. That is until his best friend, Paige is forced to drink an elixir incompatible with her Lycan genetics. He is forced to abandon his celibacy to ease her suffering until they can find a cure. But lowering his self imposed barriers unlocks something inside him he has no ability to control which threatens the foundations of his tightly controlled life. (Book 4)

Chapter1 (v.1) - Eternal Temptation

Author Chapter Note

Narayan has been a highly disciplined, celibate monk for over 500 years. That is until his best friend, Paige is forced to drink an elixir incompatible with her Lycan genetics. He is forced to abandon his celibacy to ease her suffering until they can find a cure. But lowering his self imposed barriers unlocks something inside him he has no ability to control which threatens the foundations of his tightly controlled life. (Book 4)

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 25, 2014

Reads: 14972

Comments: 6

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 25, 2014

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Chapter 1

Narayan moved through the marketplace at a deliberately sedate pace, doing his best not to stand out, an almost impossible achievement since he was sure he was the only man in the whole of Fey whose scalp gleamed in the sunlight.  His combat fatigues still covered in splotches from hell hound blood, might have looked a little out of place too but he hadn't thought to bring a change of clothes since he hadn’t expected to be staying so long in the city.  Still, he had to minimise the amount of attention he drew to himself, stopping every few stalls to examine the wares before turning yet another corner casually, all the while keeping a look out for his contact.  He continued past a row of tailors, milliners, cobblers and sellers of garments and accessories, endeavouring to avoid any inadvertent outward capricious behaviour, also not an easy task considering his inner emotional state felt uncommonly unstable.

The hot, dusty, narrow streets with their hustle and bustle in the Lemurian market took him back many years in his memories, back to a time when he was a young boy.

He only vaguely remembered his parents now, his memory of their faces was a little hazy but their encouraging smiles and loving hugs were deeply ingrained.  A feeling of their unconditional love came back in a rush of recollection, after so many years it seemed foreign to him now but it also felt vaguely familiar.

His parents had owned a market stall in a small village near Hotan in Tibet.  The village survived purely on the trade along the Silk Road which traversed a route from China, through India and across the Middle Eastern countries, all the way to the Mediterranean Ocean and then finally, Europe.  Not that he knew anything about Europe back then.  His world of knowledge was limited to his family’s stall, a small shop selling woven baskets and beaded trinkets.  Looking back now, it was a meagre shop when compared to what he was used to today, but as a ten year old boy it had seemed huge.  He had been content with his life like most of the boys were in his village at his age, but unlike most of those boys he was not destined to follow in his parent’s footsteps.

He understood why his loving parents had sent him to the Monastery to become a Buddhist monk and had accepted it without fuss or complaint.  It was not only a great honour for his family that he be accepted into the Dalai Lama’s temple, but for his struggling parents it also meant one less mouth to feed. 

And so it was that he grew up wearing the same orange and crimson robes day in and day out, his dark hair shaved clean to his scalp, a routine of prayer, chores and a full belly of food each day.  Life was good, although he only saw his family one more time, sixteen years after joining the temple. 

He was twenty six years old when he received a message from his mother expressly requesting he return to see his gravely ill father.  The trip had taken many days through the Tibetan mountains, made all the more difficult by ice and snow of the regions long winter, but the universe had smiled upon him and he reached his family’s home in time to be with his father in his final hours.  He would never forget the look of happiness and pride in his father’s eyes, knowing he had brought him so much joy just by being faithful to their Buddhist traditions.  He vowed to his father that day on his death bed, that he would always remain true to his vows and in keeping that promise, maintain his father’s honour.  His father died soon after, content in the knowledge that his son would keep his word.  It never occurred to either of them that his promise would be kept for many lifetimes, not for just the one mortal life he had committed himself to, or just how difficult it would be.

On his return trip, the travelling was equally as difficult and slow.  In his grief he failed to notice signs that he was being followed along his path, not by would-be thieves, but by something far more dangerous.  A she wolf and her hungry cubs.

Driven by starvation from the long, cold winter, the she wolf stalked her prey.

A sharp whistle from a vendor broke his nostalgic thoughts. For an instant his instincts took over, angling his body into a fighting stance, his eyes darting with fluid speed locating and locking onto the slightly rounded, middle aged male rushing to hand an older lady her forgotten goods.  Narayan shook his head at himself at the reminder of how different his life had become from his early childhood expectations.  As a Buddhist monk he was expected to live in harmony with all things, resolve differences peacefully and be a role model for achieving enlightenment for each successive generation.  But for him his duties as a monk changed soon after his visit to his parents.

Once again his thoughts flicked back to his memories.

Narayan stopped to rest and meditate in the mountain pass where the wolves attacked, starved beyond their natural instinct to avoid humans, they tore at his body with brutal savagery, their powerful jaws not only rending flesh from bones, but also breaking those bones in their crushing bite.  He barely recalled the attack itself but he clearly remembered the agony of his injuries as he lay in a craggy knoll, the bitterly cold wind howling about him with equal ferocity, slowing his heart rate and constricting blood flow in his semi frozen limbs,…what was left of them, as he slowly bled out onto the frozen ground.

He didn’t know how long he’d lain there, minutes, maybe hours, before two men found him.The iron rich scent of blood had attracted their attention as they travelled the same treacherous path though the mountains toward the Dalai Lama’s temple. Bloodied and torn, his body was mutilated beyond its ability to heal and was nearing his last breaths.

Vaguely he remembered hearing the men debate what they should do with him.  After what seemed like long minutes they gave him a choice, to live or to die.  He chose life, even though at the time he believed he would live out the remainder of his life crippled and disfigured from his injuries, he clung to his belief that he could still contribute to his temple in a meaningful way despite his disabilities. 

Little did he realise the incredible gift that was really being offered to him.

The largest of the men, the one built like a Roman gladiator with pale blonde, shoulder length hair, who towered above him at an impressive height of six and a half feet tall, bit into his wrist and offered him the oozing crimson liquid from his vein.  It seemed like an odd gesture to offer a dying man but he assumed these foreign men knew more than he about healing mortal wounds such as his, and drank what he could, sipping wearily through frozen lips that refused to work properly.

The help came too late, he thought disappointedly, as shortly afterward the world around him went dark as he left his mortal life.  Death wasn’t painful or even frightening.  It was peaceful, like his body relaxing into sleep.  He could feel his heart beat slowing, faltering.  His last breath eased from his lungs as he felt the final thump in his chest and thought not about the past or even the future he would no longer have, instead he listened to a voice that spoke to him, a soft, feminine voice which filled his mind.

“Be not afraid of your destiny.  Accept the challenges of your new life and stay true to yourself.  A time will come when you will be asked to stand with your family to defend this world.  Do you accept your calling?” the voice asked him.

The cryptic words she spoke held hollow meaning to him but the feeling of overwhelming love and sense of ‘home’ which her presence instilled in him, compelled him to answer.  “Yes.”

“Your answer makes us very pleased.  We will meet again, Narayan.”

He awoke sometime later to find he was being sheltered in a cave with the same two men watching over him. 

At first he moved slowly, tentatively considering the wounds he had suffered, expecting to feel the pain of phantom limbs, broken bones and the multitude of deep cuts from his savage attack, but to his surprise, he felt great.  He felt better than great.  He felt amazing.  He was stronger than he had been before.  Faster.  His senses were immeasurably more sensitive.  But the biggest surprise, the one he couldn’t have prepared himself for, was his mauled limbs which had regenerated.

With their manifestation came the realisation that he was no longer entirely human.

The blonde’s grin was almost as broad as his own.  “We didn’t have a chance to formally meet earlier.  I’m Sammael, and for all intents and purposes, I’m your new father.  This man with me is my only other living progeny and your new brother, Saladin.  Like us, you’re now a Vampire.  Welcome to our family,” he told him as he clasped his forearm and pulled him in for a welcoming hug which he numbly reciprocated.

He was a Vampire? 

That thought was abruptly shoved into the background as another more poignant one invaded.

Family?  Did he say family?  The words of that feminine voice echoed through his thoughts.  He would have dismissed the conversation as pure imagination from a near death experience if he’d woken and still been human, but clearly he wasn’t, and it seemed he had inadvertently been adopted into a new ‘family’.  Was this the family the voice informed him of?

“I’ll give that to you for six coppers.”

“Sorry, what did you say?” Narayan asked, once again jolted out of his reminiscent thoughts.  Lifting his head toward the woman who spoke, he took a step back and tilted his chin a little higher until their eyes met.  The Lemurian woman was tall, even for a Wyvern female, almost as tall as their males, reaching just shy of seven feet tall.  Narayan wasn’t a short man, standing an inch below six feet, but he had to admit the towering woman was a little intimidating, even for him.

“I said, I’ll give you that necklace for six coppers.  Do you want it as a gift for your wife, or maybe your mistress?” she probed.

“No.  Thank you.  I have neither.”

“Perhaps you would prefer it for yourself, if that’s your inclination,” she chuckled, the mirthful lines in her sun kissed skin increasing around her eyes and mouth.  It was hard to tell her age, he didn’t think she was quite middled aged but she still might have been upward of a thousand years old.  It was hard to tell.  The native folk in Fey, both the Wyvern and Nephilim aged so differently from humans on Earth, living for two and a half to three thousand years, although reaching three thousand was a rarity much like a human reaching one hundred.  He only knew of one Wyvern currently living who was three millennia old.

The Lemurian High Lord, Bordan.

Just thinking of that man upset his Chi, not because of who he was, but because of what he has done.  He was holding his best friend, Paige, in his palace as his ‘guest’, against her explicit instructions that she be allowed to leave when her family came to collect her.  That was two days ago.  As yet they still hadn’t heard any word from Bordan or his son Vaughn, other than to tell him that she was sleeping.  Again, that was two days ago.

Frustration and concern made Narayan feel out of sorts.  He couldn’t focus his thoughts for any longer than what seemed like a minute, not even to meditate, and his perfect impulse control which he’d once prided himself on, a flaw for a Buddhist monk but one that was admissible considering his circumstances, had him behaving irrationally and impulsively he noted, as he handed over six coppers for the necklace without so much as single haggle.

Logically, he knew his sullen mood was an over reaction.  There was no evidence, so far, a little voice in his mind piped up, to indicate she was being mistreated.  However, this was Paige, his best friend, the only person who truly knew him and understood him.  Not even Alaric or Saladin truly knew him like Paige did.

When he’d transitioned into the world of regular men after more than five centuries of living as a monk in a monastery, she had been there with him through his good days and his bad. Now it was his turn to step-up and be there to help her.

Narayan examined his purchase more thoroughly.  The simple metal chain felt warm against his cool skin.  The even, hand made links didn’t gleam like the polished metal of the commercially made jewellery on Earth, but the ornate clasp and the vibrant blue lapis lazuli in the decorative crescent moon pendant that hang from it, held his wistful attention.  He had no use for the trinket but he had been loathe to return it to the vendor’s table as it reminded him of Paige, and in a small way it made him feel closer to her.  He’d always called Paige, Dalha, a Tibetan endearment meaning Moon Goddess, and that term seemed especially apt now since they’d only just discovered that Paige and her sisters were not the daughters of a human male as they’d always believed, but of Gustav, a Lycan, which by genetic dictation made Paige a Lycan too.

With a deep sigh, he wrapped the chain neatly around the pendant and placed it in a deep pocket of his khaki Army fatigue pants before continuing his paced stroll through the market.

While he couldn’t explain exactly why it grated on his nerves that she was under Bordan’s roof, he suspected it was probably a twinge of jealousy for his son, Vaughn.  For the previous week all Paige had talked about was Vaughn, how handsome he is and how charming he is.  She was smitten with him.  He didn’t have a problem with her having lovers, she had the odd one here and there back on Earth, but if she and Vaughn got together, he would have to accept that he might lose his best friend.  She would have to live here in Fey like her sister Kaitlyn since Wyvern weren’t permitted to live on Earth, while he would have to return home, meaning they would quite literally be living a whole world apart.

The loss would be a devastating blow, but it wouldn’t be the first time he’d had to learn to re-program his thinking to create new methods for coping with the changes in his life.  It just wasn’t something he wanted to contemplate right now.

Finally, he came to a halt in the shadow of the towering citadel above, directly below a window from which the subtle scent of honeysuckle permeated the warm humid air, compelling him to press his back against the smooth rock wall, he laid his flat palms against the cool stone connecting him not to the immense structure, but to the female far above whose scent filled his lungs.  Narayan closed his eyes tipping his head back to rest it too against the wall and drew in yet another long, deep breath.

Paige.

Standing in the semi shade Narayan raised a hand and laid it over his heart just to feel its steady beat.

Soon, he told himself.  She will be awake soon and he could take her home,…or at least reassure himself that she is okay if she decides to stay.  That tiny voice in the back on his mind continued to plague him with pessimism.  These unfamiliar thoughts were disturbing and uncomfortable, ruffling his normally positive mindfulness.

“Excuse me, is there something wrong with that wall?”

For a Vampire with heightened senses of smell, hearing and sight, he couldn’t believe how easily people were escaping his notice today.  Clearly he needed to get his head into gear, or out of his arse.

“I’m sorry,” she chuckled at his confusion.  “The way you were pressed against the wall, it looked like you thought it was about to collapse and you were trying to hold it up.”

“I believe I was just lost in thought,” he answered with a congenial smile, quickly assessing the young woman before him.  She looked vaguely familiar but he couldn’t quite place where he’d seen her before.  Her long, plaited hair, as pale as ivory, hung over one shoulder reaching her waist with small white flowers woven through the braid and exposing her slightly pointed ears.  She was much shorter than most of the woman he’d seen in this land, reaching just past his shoulder and she had the most fascinating eyes, which seemed to be the only interesting thing about her, spokes of blue surrounded by caramel brown, and there was an air of wildness about her.  Laced up sandals covered her feet and a light green toga-like dress was draped over her body, exposing one shoulder and both her legs below mid thigh.  She had a shapely figure, he supposed, but there was nothing very memorable her.

“I hope they were good thoughts.”

Narayan chose to dismiss the idle chit chat.  “I assume you’re the person Gwynn ap Nudd has sent to help me.”

“At your service,” she answered with a jovial smile.

“Thank you for meeting me,” Narayan said with a respectful bow.

Amused once again, this time by his formality, something she wasn’t used to as she spent most of her time in the company of whatever animals crossed her path in the rainforests both here in Lemuria or in her homeland of Dunn Turidd or street urchins, thieves in the back streets of Bordan’s Lemurian city.  To them, formality was melodramatic and best left for the high born.  Its use gained them nothing of value, it certainly didn’t put food on their table or clothe their children.  Bordan’s heavy taxes and neglect of the cropping fields had reduced a large portion of the population to poverty.  And to her, formality was just something she tried to avoid whenever possible these days.  But, going along with his courteous etiquette she extended her hand.  “We haven’t been properly introduced, I’m Layla, daughter of Sefra, niece of Gwynn ap Nudd, High Lord of the Nephilim.”

“I’m Narayan,” he answered, shaking her smaller hand.

“I know,” she smiled, quickly removing her hand from his.  His skin felt odd to touch, it was cool even in this humid heat, it was nothing like what she expected, not that she knew what to expect, she’d only seen Vampires for the first time two days ago and Narayan was the first one she’d actually talked to or touched.

“Have we met?  You look vaguely familiar,” Narayan asked, his brow crinkling as he concentrated on recalling where he might have seen her.

Layla chuckled again, a light, carefree sound that chimed in the air with the crystal clarity of a bell.  “I escorted you and your party with Gwynn to the Rephaim border of the Valley of Vardin to rescue the female from Morganna,” she told him, despite her sparkling laughter her eyes dimmed, betraying a hidden sadness.

“I didn’t recognise you.  I’m very sorry.  I could justify my lack of attention but it would only be a poor excuse.  Thank you again for taking the time to help me.”

“Don’t worry about it.  I’m very forgettable, it’s part of my charm.

Layla released a heavy sigh at his blank stare.  She debated with herself for a moment, weighing the risks.He was obviously a friend of her uncle, Gwynn, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to elaborate…a little.  “I’m forgettable because of a protection enchantment my grandmother placed on me when I was a little girl.”

“I see.”

“Actually you don’t,” she mumbled to herself disgruntled.  She was tired of being forgettable, never truly being seen, although it did have its up side.  She could get into parts of Bordan’s citadel and gather information without raising any suspicions.  Without the intel she had been gathering, the city would be in greater trouble than it currently was.

“Should we go somewhere more private to talk?” Narayan asked with a hushed voice.

“I asked to meet you here in the marketplace for a reason, this is where everyone comes to trade and discuss business.  Anything we say will go as unnoticed as me.”  Narayan raised a questioning brow, wrinkling his otherwise smooth brow and distracting Layla’s attention for a moment.  “If you’re a Vampire, how come you’re out during the day, I thought the sun harmed your kind?” she asked.

“I’m…different,” he answered.

“So, you’re one of the immortals then?” she probed.

Narayan cleared his throat uncomfortably.  “Something like that, yes.”

“That’s good to know.  I don’t need to worry about you accidentally getting killed by Bordan’s guards.”

“Is there a risk of conflict?”  Narayan had no concern for himself, obviously, but he wasn’t prepared to take any risk with Paige.

“This is Lemuria, there’s always a risk of conflict.  This city isn’t what it used to be.  The people fear Bordan for a reason.”

“I don’t understand.  I thought he was supposed to be good leader, if not a little backward thinking from what I’ve heard, but he’s one of the Council members on the High Lord’s Council.  He’s sworn to protect his people and this land.  Why do his people fear him?”

“Some of the folk who have spoken out against his behaviour in recent years have suddenly disappeared, others have had their homes and land confiscated and been forced to live on the streets, begging for food.  People are afraid to speak aloud but they whisper that he has gone mad in his old age.”

“Does the High Lord’s Council know about what’s going on here?” he asked, “What about Paige.  If he can do this to his own people, what is he likely do to Paige?”

“The more important question is, what does he want with Paige?” she corrected him.  “And, no.  The Council doesn’t know,…yet.  I haven’t been here long enough to get enough evidence to present to my uncle, and when he asked me to help you get your friend back, I figured I could kill two birds with one stone.”

Narayan’s stomach twisted into knots, the rising bile leaving a bitter taste in his mouth.  Layla eyed him with concern as he gripped the wall behind him once again but pressed on with their conversation, not willing to push her luck by lingering for too long.

“So, here’s what I’ve learned so far,” she told him.  “Apparently, Bordan had fully intended to let Paige leave, asleep or not, as soon as you returned from the Valley.  But, when he saw Paige’s sister, Kaitlyn, something about her changed his mind.”

The stomach acid churned in his stomach like rising lava.

“Kaitlyn was in mating heat.  We thought it had been masked adequately but we also suspected Bordan had detected traces of it when he approached her.  But, why would that make him decide to keep Paige?”

“I have no idea,” she told him honestly.  “But I suspect if he truly is losing his mind, whatever reason he has may not make sense to anyone but himself.”

“That’s not very comforting, Layla.”

“It wasn’t meant to be.  Take my advice, you need to stay out of sight.  I have friends who have agreed to take you in for a few days.  Go to Sears Tavern on the high side of the marketplace and ask for Einan.  I’ll contact you as soon as I hear anything.”

“A few days?”

“Hopefully it will only be a few days.  If Bordan has decided to keep your friend, I suspect it won’t be all that easy to convince him otherwise.  As soon as she’s awake, we’ll request a formal meeting with Bordan.  If I were you, make a very thorough and convincing list of reasons why Paige should return home,” Layla told him as she slipped between passersby and disappeared into the crowd.

Narayan sagged back against the cool stone wall and closed his eyes, his fingers subconsciously wrapping around the small necklace he’d brought earlier as he draw in a deep breath of Paige’s faint honeysuckle scent as it wafted down from the high window above, just to reassure himself that for now at least, she was fine.

He’d had high hopes of leaving Fey in the next twenty four hours, but things really didn’t seem to be going to plan.  At least, not his plan.


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