Home > Savage Impulses (Kings of Olympus U #1)

Savage Impulses (Kings of Olympus U #1)
Author: Michelle Hercules

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

HADES

 

 

ELEVEN YEARS AGO

 

Flattening my back against the wall, I stick my head out to check if the coast is clear. The scrawny puppy in my arms whimpers, but he’s too malnourished to do anything else.

“It’s okay, little buddy. We’re almost there.”

The staff finally leave the kitchen, carrying their trays to serve breakfast to my father. This is my chance. Ignoring the delicious smell of cinnamon rolls, I dash through the kitchen, heading to the service stairs; I can’t risk using the main set. No one will be on the second floor right now. They won’t start cleaning until my father is gone and I’m on my way to school.

Once I reach the hallway, I make a beeline for the stairs leading to the attic. The door is always locked, and the staff have been instructed to stay away from it. I don’t know why my father doesn’t want anyone snooping around—he never comes here, and there aren’t any juicy secrets stored up there either. It works for me, though. Last year, I borrowed his key and made a copy. I needed a space for my project.

The hinges creak loudly when I push the door open. Once inside, it takes my eyes a while to get used to the darkness. I lock the door again and head up the old stairs. The boards groan as I put my weight on them. My nose itches thanks to the dust, but I try to hold the sneeze in. I lose the fight once I reach the landing. My succession of sneezes seems to frighten the puppy, who squirms in my arms, trying to break free for the first time since I picked him up.

The noise alerts the other dogs of my presence, and they bark excitedly from their crates. I don’t like to keep them locked up, but there’s no other option. The attic is filled with old furniture and objects, so letting them loose here when I’m not around would be dangerous. They could bump into something and get hurt.

“Hi, guys. I brought you a new friend.”

I open the first crate, letting Bruno free. He was the first stray dog I saved from the mean streets of Olympus Bay. He’s an old, mangy gray mutt who’s missing an eye. Wagging his tail, he jumps to greet me. I drop down, crouching at first, so he can say hello to the little fella in my hand.

“That’s right, say hello to Patricio.”

The attic door opens with a bang, making me jump to my feet. Bruno and the other dogs bark as the heavy steps come up the stairs. I clutch Patricio tighter against my chest as my eyes widen. My father is standing there, glowering at me.

“What’s the meaning of this?” he thunders.

“They had nowhere to go!”

Hercules and two other minions step from behind my father, who orders, “Take them all.”

“No! Please, Dad. Don’t take them away. I’ve been taking good care of them.”

“Good care? This place reeks of shit and piss.”

Hercules doesn’t meet my pleading gaze as he pushes Bruno back into his crate. The other bullies are already busy moving the other dogs down the stairs. I’m too small to stop them. My heart is shattered.

I glance at my father again, not bothering to hide the tears in my eyes. He hates when I cry, but I can’t hide my emotions right now. “What are you going to do with them?”

He sneers and then turns to Hercules. “Get rid of them. Permanently.”

“No!” I launch myself at Hercules, trying to make him drop Bruno’s crate. But the man is a giant, stronger than anyone I’ve ever met.

“I’m sorry, kid,” he says.

I’m yanked off him by the back of my shirt and tossed to the floor.

“Stop with this spectacle at once!” my father yells, and then he takes Patricio from me. “Give me that.”

The dog whimpers.

“Please don’t hurt him.”

Before I can stop him, he twists the puppy’s neck, breaking it with a loud crack.

Fury courses through my veins. I jump to my feet and then try to hit my father, but I only land one blow before his fist connects with the side of my face. The force sends me back to the floor. Blood fills my mouth, and the pain makes me dizzy.

“Don’t you dare raise your hand at me again. Do you understand me?” he asks in a voice that’s deadly calm. I know better than to talk back.

I nod, helpless, and then turn to Hercules, who’s standing still as a statue. It’s almost like he wants to tell me something, but then my father barks at him, and he disappears down the stairs.

“Get up,” my father orders.

I do as he says, and I can’t help but stare at him with my chin raised in defiance. The right side of my face throbs; it will probably turn purple. He narrows his eyes, maybe noticing my attitude, and then throws another punch at my jaw this time. I stagger back, managing to stay on my feet.

“You’re a disgrace to the Godaire name. I should have drowned you when I had the chance.”

He turns around and heads down the stairs. It’s only when I no longer hear the sound of his footsteps that I sit down and hug my legs. My face is on fire, but I don’t cry. I’m too angry for that.

A moment later, someone comes up.

“What are you doing sitting there?” Zeus, my older brother, asks.

“Leave me alone.” I let my head hang between my shoulders.

He crouches in front of me and forces my chin up. There isn’t any sympathy in his cold blue eyes. “Your dogs are dead.”

I flinch, trying to look away, but he roughly holds my face in place.

“How does that make you feel, little brother?”

“Sad.”

He digs his fingers in my skin, inflicting more pain. “Wrong answer. Try again.”

“Fucking angry, okay?”

His lips twist into a cruel grin. “Good. It’s high time we get rid of the old man.”

I frown. “What do you mean, get rid of him?”

Zeus unfurls from his crouch, standing tall in front of me. “You’re old enough to guess.”

As much as I hate our father, I’d never considered that possibility. Now that I hear Zeus’s insinuation, I reject it.

“I’m not going to help you commit patricide.”

He raises an eyebrow. “I can’t believe you know that word.”

“I’m ten, not a moron.”

He watches me through narrowed eyes. “I’m only going to give you one chance, Hades. You’re either with me or against me. I suggest you choose wisely.”

“What about Poseidon?”

He chuckles. “What do you think, brat? Naturally, he’s with me.”

Zeus and Poseidon are much older than me; both were in their twenties when I was born. They’ve never made it any secret that they hate that our father acquired a third heir to split his empire. If I choose them, there’s no guarantee that I’m not next to die.

But in the end, the decision is easy. Stick with the devil I know.

“Well, I’m not.”

His eyes flash with rage. “Big mistake, little bro.” He takes a step forward. “You say one word about this conversation to Dad, and you’ll meet the same fate as your mutts.”

I stay frozen, sprawled on the floor as I watch him leave. I barely feel the sting of my father’s punches anymore. The agony swirling in my chest is greater. Mom died when I was a baby, and my father never cared about me. The strays I rescued were the closest thing to a family I had, and now they’re gone.

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