The plan was to write the whole of Sumeria’s Sons in Tristan’s POV but after Songs of the Earth was finished I realized that the story needed more. That was the reason I started the Sumeria’s Sons Interludes. There were things that went on that Tristan didn’t see and if he wasn’t there how could he tell us?
After Surrounded by Crimson was originally published, the problems with the publishing company was getting worse. Even though I had started Dragon’s Eye, I had to set it aside to work on getting my rights back to the first four books in the series. A year later, I had the rights back and I approached LT3 Press to see if they would be interested in the series. They were interested, for which I was forever be grateful, and I returned to Dragon’s Eye.
I had 17k of the story waiting and when I read it, it didn’t fit anymore. Things had changed. I had changed. That year gave me a time to flesh out the rest of the story and in my opinion, it was much better than it would have been. After reading some reviews, I noted that many people wanted Ushna’s POV. Who knew the broody guy would have such a following? The problem was if I gave Ushna a POV, then there had to be a balance and I would need Brian’s POV. Poor Brian. More than one person said they didn’t care, but the story was about balance, was it not?
In the meantime, I had 17k and two-thirds of it I couldn’t use. None of it stayed the same. How Tristan came back. What he remembered, all of it changed and went in a completely different direction. I liked it much better but it was still fun to look back at what could’ve been.
I hope you enjoy this deleted scene. ^_^
I had awakened a couple of days ago within the earth to the sound of shovels striking soil, a warm hand grasping mine as I had been unburied. Lonnie Fucking-Fowler, my sister Nessie’s fiancé, had been the one to pull me from Tiamat’s embrace. I remembered being drawn to Ushna’s beacon, his light called to me and when I had reached out to answer the him I had recalled the threat of Daniel Sullivan and Ushna’s cries of anguish. Unwilling to put my consort and children in more danger, I searched for another with whom my enemy wouldn’t expect me to turn to.
Lonnie had answered my call as he dug down to me and grasped my exposed hand, the Earth had pushed me up, my head breaching the ground, the cool air brushed over my face as I took in huge gulps of fresh air.
“Just don’t stand there! Someone grab him on the other side and help me pull him out. Don’t open your eyes yet, Tristan.” That voice, I knew that annoying voice.
Hands braced my neck, grabbed my arms and side, and lifted me out of the ground and placed me on something hard and flat.
“Pull the van as far back as possible. I don’t want anyone to see him.”
Blinking rapidly, I pushed the memory aside and crawled to my knees. I wasn’t sure exactly how long it had been since Lonnie drew me from the earth, a couple of days at least, but I couldn’t be sure because shortly afterwards I had been swallowed by the memories. This was the first day I had been coherent for any period of time. Every time I woke I had asked Lonnie for Ushna. I wanted my consort; I needed his touch, for him to hold me. Every time Lonnie swore he was working on it, that getting a message to Ushna and getting him out of Nathan’s without notice wasn’t easy. Soon—Ushna would be with us soon.
Using the sink counter, I pulled myself to my feet. I leaned heavily there, head bowed because I didn’t want to look at my reflection. The brief glimpse I had on the way in had made my stomach roll. I trembled from the exertion and for a split second memories flashed in front of my eyes again, then stopped as suddenly as they had started, when I woke a couple of hours ago, I wasn’t sure who I was. Lonnie leaned over me, his face flushed with relief even as he cussed at me. He reminded me who I was, well, who I’d been. I wasn’t the same Tristan that I used to be.
Leaning on the chilly countertop, I felt for my predator and sighed noisily when I felt him respond. He, too, seemed to be changed but I wasn’t sure how. I still felt Lycan but not. Had I dreamed of meeting, speaking to the Goddess Tiamat? Legends claimed she was dead but could one really destroy a God? Even another God?
I could feel his kisses ghost across my skin. Where was he now? Could sense him like I did Ushna? I gripped the counter and searched within me for the line, the string that connected me to Nikita. Had he already come from the earth? Was he lost in the memories with no one to care for and protect him while he was vulnerable? I search and found the connection, pulsing bright and strong and followed it to Nikita. A ragged breath released when I discovered him still within the Earth unharmed, not yet ready to come forth.
He and I were bound together, a different binding than that of a Twin Flame. No, we were bound together by dragon’s blood—Tiamat’s blood. As my senses were cast out, I felt Ushna not far away, a beacon that called to me and my predator perked up as he too felt the pull of our consort. But we couldn’t go to him, not yet. There was the danger of discovery by my enemies and I was too weak to protect my family. I pulled away from the beacon.
I tested my connection to Nikita, wanted to be aware when he would be surfacing. I had to be there when he surfaced. Anger rose within me as I gauged the time I would have before he would be close enough to be awakened. He would not be reborn alone.
Before that could happened, I had to put myself back together, and contact Ushna without drawing attention to myself. My enemies believed me to be dead, and from what Fowler had told me, I needed people to continue to believe it while I built the defenses necessary to keep my family safe.
I heard the door to the hotel room open. I tensed until the familiar annoying voice started cussing.
“Dammit, Tristan!” I didn’t have the energy to flinch at the tone of voice. Lonnie Fucking-Fowler pushed the bathroom door open, his eyes wild until they settle on me. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Taking a piss,” I replied in a croaking whisper.
“And you couldn’t wait for me to return?” The snarky words didn’t match the soft worried voice. Lonnie was supposed to devise ways to piss me off, no gently pull my hair back into a ponytail.
“Because I don’t need you to hold my dick while I pee,” I snapped. Lonnie snorted fondly at me and I frowned back at him.
He put a shoulder under my arm and led me back to the floral covered bed. He fussed at me like an old woman when I insisted on sitting against the headboard instead of laying down.
“Put something over the mirror,” I grumbled, indicating the looking glass over the dresser.
“I will not cover the mirror because there is nothing wrong with your appearance, jackass.” Lonnie pulled a hand through his mussed blond hair. Gone was the expensive suits he typically wore, even when he had stayed on the ranch. He be dressed in black leather pants with a button-up dark gray cotton shirt.
A smile ghosted across my lips at his term of endearment. “What’s up with the leather’s?”
“I’ve been using my motorcycle,” he replied
I was duly impressed. Fowler had a motorcycle. Who knew he could be that cool?
“I felt message this morning again. The devise that Jory gave me told me the line was tapped so I was vague again. We should just call Ushna directly. I can’t get onto the estate and I would rather not be detained. If you can’t come up with a way to contact Ushna without being detected then I’ll call him directly, regardless of how you beg me not to, tapped lines be damned. I’ll go back to giving you hell when you’re better. Now open your mouth and say, ‘ah’.”
Lonnie fucking-Fowler held a cup of hot beef broth, by the smell of it, to my lips. My hands shook too much when I tried to place them over his. The warmth soothed my raw throat but the gnawing in stomach demanded more.
Taking a cool washcloth, Lonnie wiped my chin. “Let me call Ushna.”
“No!” I rasped, coughed.
“Why? You need him and he needs you. You don’t know what these last months have been like for him.”
I closed my eyes, remembering clearly his fight against Ashur as I have been place in the ground. The way he screamed my name stabbed me with guilt. I also remembered touching his mind and having him with me when I claimed Nikita. My predator growled, displeased with my resistance.
“The assassins believe I’m dead,” I rasped tonelessly. “Daniel Sullivan would have made sure they knew. The children are in danger and all our resources are needed to protect them. If you call him, they will know I’m alive and make an attempt to snatch them.”
Lonnie gave me a probing stare. “And these critic messages that I’ve been leaving aren’t getting anywhere. Do you think that Ushna would act an differently once he figures out the messages? I think you’re wrong and that’s a bullshit answer isn’t going to cut it with Ushna. I will have a front row seat when he kicks your ass.”
Had I thought he was going soft earlier? “Ushna will act responsibly by make sure the children are secure and safe before he comes to me, no matter how he’s told. The idea is to keep the assassins from—to keep Daniel—from finding out.” I held up my hand with the scaly fingers. “Fowler…Lonnie…the delay just gives me time to adjust to the changes. Besides Neesie doesn’t know where you are does she? She’ll have your ass, if I know my sister.”
“That’s juvenile—oh hell, look at whom I’m talking to. Do you know how many pairs of shoes you ruined by pissing on them? Just because you were in wolf form doesn’t mean I couldn’t smell you.” Lonnie’s lips pursed sourly.
I smile broadly. This was the Lonnie Fowler I knew, not the man who thought he was hiding the pity when he looked at me. “Why, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Lonnie threw his hands into the air and I marked off a point for me. “Alright, I’ll wait for the four days, no more for this stupid warrior secret messaging system to work. Then I will just call him.”
A huge thank you for allowing me to be a guest on the blog today! Throughout the blog tour for Dragon’s Eye, I hope you enjoy the behind the scenes look at the gods and mythos, and how they play a part in Sumeria’s Sons. For a visual representation, please visit my Pinterest page. (https://www.pinterest.com/lexiander1/sumeria-sons-inspirations/) During the tour I discuss the Sumerian pantheon, about who and what the Gods/Goddess are, and how I use them. Make sure you stop by the other blogs to get a complete look at the Gods and Goddess the Lycan’s follow.
Also, Less Than Three Press is running a special sale on Sumeria’s Sons from September 23rd through October 7th (dates inclusive).
Twin Flames is $0.99.
25% off Songs of the Earth
25% off Dreams of the Forgotten
25% off Surrounded by Crimson
Thank you for stopping by and reading!
In the wake of birth and betrayal, Ushna takes the God Ashur to Tristan in a last desperate bid to save Tristan’s life—and is helpless to do anything but watch as Ashur instead buries him in a grave. Though he has no desire to go on living, having now lost Brian and Tristan, Ushna has no choice. Not only do their children need him, the mysterious Simurgh has come out of hiding and forces him to continue on—for there is much to do and little time to do it, especially with treachery and danger closing in on them from every side.
Pages or Words: 98,000 words
Categories: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
The God Ashur followed behind me carrying Tristan, whose body was battered and broken. The cry of our newborn pups preceded me. Their birth was supposed to be a wondrous occasion, but through treachery and lies, that was stolen from us. Instead of enjoying the happy moment, I feared Tristan was dying.
There was so much blood. The damage to his body overwhelmed my senses. I was afraid if I didn’t keep my eyes on him, if I turned my back for a second too long, his Flame would slip away. We ran through the cursed caverns that wouldn’t allow me to touch my wolf or feel the song of the earth. Ashur’s harsh commands to hurry spurred me on faster but I had to look behind me, I had to see with my own eyes that Tristan was still with us, still fighting.
The scars… I couldn’t care less but Tristan might. I vowed I would spend the rest of my life showing him how beautiful he was to me—but first we had to get him out into the open.
I glanced back. “Hurry, Ashur.”
The corridor seemed much longer than when we’d come in. Glancing over my shoulder again to ensure Ashur followed closely, my impatience caused a snarl to rumble in my throat. Tristan’s skin was a gray-blue, stark and sickly against Ashur’s rich mahogany tone. With every passing moment, we were losing him.
“Please.” I don’t know if I begged Ashur to go faster or if it was a plea to the Gods to spare Tristan’s life.
When we entered the darkened corridor carved from the bedrock, I heard Tristan sigh. For months, he’d been teaching me how to listen to the Earth and I could practically feel her rush to him. I climbed the stairs, my foot slipping on the wet step in my hurry to get outside.
The open air had never smelled so good, filling my lungs with the scents of life. My wolf stirred, frantic for our mate. I reached to take Tristan from Ashur, but he dodged my grasp, moving off to the side. His low voice had a musical tone as he chanted in a language I didn’t recognize and next to him, a hole formed in the ground.
“What are you doing? You said all we had to do was get him outside!” Why was Ashur not singing the song for healing? I reached again to take Tristan from Ashur’s arms. Tristan was teaching me the complex chant, but Ashur was Tristan’s tutelary. He knew what to ask the Earth for and how. Why was he not begging her to save Tristan’s life? She wouldn’t say no. She’d never say no to Tristan because she adored him.
It took a moment for the haze of my frantic thoughts to subside enough to realize Ashur was talking and then another for me to process the meaning of his words. What did he mean he couldn’t restore Tristan’s health?
With rising alarm, I said, “You’ve been teaching him how to sing to the Earth. Why can’t you do that now?”
Ashur dodged me, laying Tristan in the hole atop the dark loamy soil. Something eased in me seeing Tristan in contact with the ground, although the Earth didn’t rush up to him as I’d expected. She never missed an opportunity to touch him… until now. Instead, I felt power build until my bones ached and the snakes on my chest writhed in discomfort.
Staring down, I searched for the source of the energy, sure that at any moment, whatever it was would show itself. My gaze continued to return to Tristan with his ruined eyed, his torso ravaged and gaping. Never had I seen him so vulnerable, so small, the very sight calling to the caretaker within me.
Tearing my gaze away, I confronted Ashur who was pleading with me. “I teach him the songs but She doesn’t respond to me.”
An ancient sadness shone in Ashur’s visage but I didn’t care. I had trusted him to save Tristan. Never before had I been filled with such useless rage. I didn’t understand what Ashur was saying. Who was he talking about? The Earth? He was the king’s tutelary, so why wouldn’t the Earth answer his call?
Desperation rose up and I barked, “Why the fuck not?”
“Because I took the wrong side in a war, now I’m forever separated from Her.”
What did that have to do with the here and now? What did it matter he’d lost something or someone? My Tristan was dying and all he could do was talk. Ashur’s pleading gaze held mine and I suddenly understood. I glanced back down at Tristan, lying in a bed of fresh dark soil.
“No! You cannot mean to do this. He’s not dead!” I jumped into the hole; Tristan’s single eye stared at me with clarity, despite the state of his body. His chest rose and fell with each labored breath. There was still time. I could save him.
With the strength of the God he was, Ashur wound his arms around my waist and easily hauled me away from Tristan.
I went mad.
I fought, screamed and begged. First Brian and now Tristan. How was I to stay behind? I pleaded with Ashur to allow me to go with Tristan. We’d travelled through the Earth together before, we could do it again. I could sing to the Earth and beg for Her help.
It wasn’t too late.
Then Ashur chanted and the soil covered Tristan, taking him from my sight. I roared with fury, thrashing and clawing at Ashur’s hands. I vowed vengeance for this act of betrayal. Silently, Ashur held me as I beat and wailed upon him, trying to free myself from his steely grasp. He whispered continuously, “I am sorry but this had to be done,” in my ear. Tears of grief stained my cheeks and I hated him all the more because it didn’t have to be like this. He had no right to take Tristan from me.
Torn between following my pups and the need to stay with Tristan, I stood there. Jory veered away from the group, one of the newborns swaddled in his jacket. Without hesitating, he thrust the babe at me. Instinctually I took the boy from him, afraid Jory would drop him. Peering into the folds, my breath was stolen away with one look at the child Tristan and I created.
Gently grasping my elbow, Jory led me down the pathway. Vaguely I realized Juan and Michael had joined me within the protective circle of warriors; I was too enthralled with my first real look at my pup. Sure, I’d been there when they were born, but my attention had been for Tristan. My heart twisted with a new pain. In any other circumstance, I would’ve memorized every single moment of their birth.
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.
Web site: http://www.lexiander.com
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander
Publisher: LT3 Press – http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/
Cover Artist: London Burden
30-Sep The Jena Wade