Viktor:Heart of Her King

By: Julia Mills
Kings of the Blood ~ Book 1



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Edited by Lisa Miller, Angel Editing Services

Proofread by Charlene Bauer with Wickedly Bold

Cover Designed by Linda Boulanger with Tell Tale Book Covers

Cover Model Tommy Barresi

Photographer Eric David Battershell with Eric Battershell Photography

Formatted by Charlene Bauer with Wickedly Bold





DEDICATION


Dare to Dream! Find the Strength to Act! Never Look Back!

Thank you, God.

To my girls, Liz and Em, I Love You. Every day, every way, always.

To Charlene, Your support is just amazing! This one’s for you!



Index of Latin


as spoken by the Kings of the Blood

Custos Animae..........Keeper of My Heart

Te Amo..........I Love You

Saecula..........Forever

Amicus..........Friend

Amicorum..........Friends

Hodie Ipse Et In Saecula..........Today and Forever

Amica Mea..........My Love

Rex..........King

Deliciae Meae..........Darling

Dilectum Meum..........My Beloved

Cor Meum..........My Heart

Saietas..........Feeder

Ita Vero..........Yes

Imperator..........Commander

Vale..........Goodbye

Tuus sum..........I Am Yours

Tranquillitas..........Calm

Sum Rex Ab Eo..........My King

Sanguinem..........Blood





Prologue


The warrior known as Viktoras lay atop the highest mountain, the point of the village closest to the gods, as the sun scorched his bare skin. He waited, spread eagle, wrists and ankles bound to the stakes that had been driven into the dry, brittle earth by his comrades. Those he’d fought beside, bled beside, and swung his sword to defend. This brave soldier had been sentenced to the foulest punishment of their kind. Left to wither away, a slave to the elements, a feast for the vermin.

He thought about the years of his life, the thrill of the victories and the pain of the defeats, all only memories to take to his grave as he felt blisters form upon his searing flesh. He relived every moment of his trial; a farce set upon him by his enemies, led by the weak-minded commander of their sister clan, Bjorn. Such a big name for such a small man. The same coward who’d left his men to die while he ran in fear when faced with their most bloodthirsty adversary.

Bjorn had come to the trial prepared. The traitor had called upon his goddess, Eris – the ruler of chaos, strife and discord, who lent him the power to stand before their Council of Ancestors and provide false testimony against Viktoras. The turncoat assured a conviction against the mighty warrior with a glint in his eye and a snarl upon his lips. Viktoras’ men shouted from the gallery, screaming at the injustice before them, telling and retelling the true story of the battle they’d just survived. Their Supreme Commander, however, stood stoic, unwilling to lower himself to be a party to the charade playing out before him.

The only defense Viktoras waged for himself was to the gods. Praying to the goddess of war and wisdom continually from the first day of his incarceration, begging for her guidance. Every unanswered plea was an arrow to his heart. He’d been left to suffer in silence...alone...a doomed man. Sure that his appeals for justice had fallen upon the deaf ears of the goddess Athena, the warrior began praying directly to Zeus. He asked the Father of the Gods to shine light and honesty on the travesty before him, while hour after hour he listened to tainted testimony planted by his enemies.

Finally, the time came for his generals to take the stand. Roman, his second-in-command and friend since childhood, spoke of Viktoras’ bravery and valor. The general explained how Viktoras had led the charge against their enemies, never asking even the lowliest of their ranks to do anything he himself, had not already accomplished. Achilles, a brigadier general and named for his father, spoke of the many wounded their supreme commander and friend carried to the medics while continuing to fight the thundering hordes descending upon them from all sides. The last allowed to speak was Bain, the eldest of the Michaelidis family and a newly promoted general. He focused on the man beyond the battlefield, explaining in excruciating detail the special care Viktoras took of the women and children left without a man of the family due to their country’s constant conflicts.

The commander watched the faces of each member of the council as his friends and comrades gave testimony. The corrupt lawgivers showed no emotion, gave no indication they were even listening, only looked over the crowd as if taking attendance. When they left to deliberate, Viktoras knew the outcome was a forgone conclusion. His fate had been decided the moment the cold steel shackles were clamped tightly upon his wrists and ankles. The trial was only a formality, a way for his enemies to justify his murder. They wanted to avoid an uprising from those who would remain loyal to the great Supreme Commander, Viktoras.

No matter his belief in the doom he faced, Viktoras still prayed to the almighty Zeus, knowing if a miracle was to be bestowed upon him, it would be by the King of the Gods. Long after the fateful verdict had been delivered, while the mighty warrior sat waiting for the executioner, a light shown from above and a voice unlike any Viktoras had ever heard reverberated off the stone walls of his cell.

“You have remained loyal, my child, even unto the end. A fate worse than most has befallen you and it is true that life as you know it will soon be forfeit, but this is not the end, great warrior. You are destined for far greater things.

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