Jun 25 2013 11:00am
Just when you thought doomsday was over . . .
Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.
As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.
The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now.
She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her. But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer.
Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it's your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?
Get a sneak peek of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Styxx (available September 3, 2013) with an excerpt of a specially selected scene. For more of Styxx's story, read an excerpt of another exclusive scene. Don't forget to pre-order the premiere collectible edition for a signed hardcover of Styxx.
Hours later, Styxx lay in bed, trying his best not to move or breathe. Suddenly, he felt a gentle hand in his hair. He knew instantly who it was. Only one person was that kind or caring where he was concerned.
“Acheron?” he whispered.
Without answering, his brother crawled into bed behind him. “Is your head any better?”
“Not really. Yours?”
“It hurts but not as much as yours, I think. I can still function with mine.” Acheron touched the fresh bruises on Styxx’s bare back that throbbed even more than his head did. “Why were you punished?”
“I left the court sessions early. Like Ryssa, Father didn’t believe my head hurts. He thought I was trying to avoid my responsibilities.” Something their father had absolutely no tolerance for.
Acheron put his arms around him and held him close. “I’m sorry, Styxx.”
“Thank you.” Styxx didn’t speak for several minutes as the voices in his head finally grew fainter and the cranial ache lessened enough that he could almost breathe normally again. “Acheron? Why do you think I can feel your pain, but you don’t feel mine?”
“Ryssa would say it’s the will of the gods.”
But why? Styxx suspected that he must not be as important to the gods as Acheron. Why else would he feel his brother’s wounds while Acheron was impervious to his pain? It was as if the gods wanted to ensure that Styxx protected his brother from all harm. As if he was Acheron’s divinely chosen whipping boy...
“What do you believe, Acheron?”
“I don’t know. Any more than I understand why the gods have abandoned us to such awful people while they speak so loudly in our heads. It doesn’t make sense, does it?” Acheron turned over and pressed his back to Styxx’s then his feet. As they lay quietly in the darkness of Styxx’s room, Acheron reached to take Styxx’s hand into his. “I’m sorry Ryssa is so mean to you. She just thinks that you’re doted on and spoiled while they treat me badly.”
“What do you think?”
“I see the truth. Our parents are suspicious of you, too. And while they are nice to you at times, they’re also very, very mean.”
Yes, they were. And unlike Acheron, he couldn’t complain about it. No one believed him when he did so. They accused him of being spoiled and then disregarded his pain as insignificant, or worse, they took perverse pleasure in his suffering as if he deserved it because he was a prince while they were not. Sometimes he thought it would be better to be Acheron. At least his brother knew what reception he’d receive whenever their parents were around. Styxx never knew until it was too late.
Sometimes his father was loving, and then at others...
He lashed out as if he hated Styxx even more than he hated Acheron. It made no sense and was terribly confusing to his young mind. For that reason, he didn’t want to be around either of his parents or his sister.
It was best to avoid them and the confusion they caused.
Sighing, he squeezed Acheron’s hand and let that touch silence the voices that urged him to kill himself. They were merciless in their taunts.
You are poison. So long as you live, you will suffer!
But if he died, Acheron died, too. The wise woman had proclaimed it so when they were born. Their lives had been joined together by the gods themselves and there was no way to undo it.
Maybe that is why you suffer.
The gods were trying to make him kill Acheron. To hate his brother so that Styxx would murder them both. It made sense in a way. Maybe they thought that if they tortured Styxx enough, he’d grow so tired of it that he’d be desperate enough to kill Acheron to end his own agony. Was that why their eyes were different? So that if he killed his brother, he wouldn’t be looking into his own blue eyes when he did it?
Yet he couldn’t make himself hate the only person who loved him. The only person who could comfort him and quiet the evil in his head.
Gods or no gods, misery or happiness, Acheron was his brother. Forever and always. He was the only real family Styxx had.
And the one thing he’d learned in his short life was that he couldn’t trust anyone. Not even the gods. People lied all around him. Constantly. Even about the little things. Only Acheron was trustworthy and honest. Only his brother didn’t try to harm him or seek to betray him to his father. So how could he hurt the only person in his life who treated him as something more than an object to be despised? The one person who didn’t smirk in silent satisfaction whenever he was harmed?
“I love you, Acheron.”
“I love you, too, brother.”
Styxx leaned his head back until it rested against Acheron’s and finally let the tears fall that had been misting his eyes all day. He could show them to Acheron. His brother understood and would never mock him for them. “Do you think we’ll ever be able to leave this place and find peace?”
“No. I think we were born to suffer.”
The saddest part? So did he. “At least we have each other.
Acheron nodded. “Brothers—always and forever. They’ll never be able to take that away from us.”
Copyright © 2013 by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Find out more about the history of the two brothers in Lucy Dosch's post, Bad Bromance: The History of Styxx and Acheron.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon before its September 3 release:
New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular in the #1 spot. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre in which she writes. With more than 30 million copies of her books in print in more than one hundred countries, her current series include The Dark-Hunters, The League, and Chronicles of Nick. Her Chronicles of Nick series is soon to be a major motion picture. And the Dark-Hunters will soon be gracing both the big and little screens.