Read Bound By Fate: A Novel of the Strong Online

Authors: Amy Knickerbocker

Tags: #Erotic Fantasy Romance

Bound By Fate: A Novel of the Strong




Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Chapter Sixty

Chapter Sixty-One


Thank you

“If you do not create your destiny, you will have your fate inflicted upon you.”

William Irvin Thompson

Caisteal Vimora

Venn Dom, Ancient Realm of the Strong

“My lord, we have found the faine.”

The words crashed through the mind of Toran the Tenn, the heir to the throne of the Vimor daemons.

His heart began to thunder with such force that he feared the sound would fracture the thick stone walls of the ancient castle he called home. Taking in a calming breath, he willed his face expressionless to mask the turmoil raging inside. The only outward sign of his distress was the faintest sheen of venna shimmering just above his skin.

At last.

Turning sharply towards the fire, Toran allowed himself a moment to breathe in this new reality. The red flames flickered in his ebony eyes as he contemplated nearly six hundred years of waiting, six hundred years of aching futility. All was behind him now that the faine––the last remaining pureblood in existence––had finally been found.

Toran turned to face the daemon warriors who had gathered in his chamber to deliver the momentous news. “Where?” he demanded, his rough voice matching the intensity of his feelings.

Two of the three battle-hardened males shifted in their boots. The third, his cousin and trusted second-in-command, stepped forward, unfazed, to answer.

“We found her on one of the human parallels.”

“You disobeyed my wishes?”

Thorny silence filled the air.

“Your wishes, Tor?” Merus bit out as an age-old disagreement threatened to erupt once more between them. “What? Are your wishes now commands?” he said. “You know our soldiers face no trouble on the mortal ‘els.”

Unlike me

Toran’s venna hissed with bitterness.

“Besides, we have searched the entirety of the Mythos for centuries. She is not among the Strong,” his cousin added, his blond brow arched in perfect punctuation.

Toran screwed his eyes shut, his hands balling at his sides. He knew there was no room for his petty anger––especially on the night his fated faine would be returned to him. She was, after all, the only creature alive strong enough to bring his long-poisoned life force to heel.

With unaccustomed optimism, Toran shrugged aside the sting of his venna. He stepped forward to shake the daemons’ hands. “I apologize, brothers. It is because of your efforts––on this parallel and others––the faine has been found. I owe each of you much.”

Toran thanked Merus last. He clasped his oldest friend’s hand, his dark eyes meeting the other male’s lighter ones with purpose. “This has been a long time coming, cousin.”

Merus held his gaze. “It has indeed. We will bring her to you.”

“No.” Toran nodded, his voice steady and determined. “I’ll bring her home myself.”


Mandalay Bay Resort Event Center

Las Vegas, Nevada

Gods’ sakes alive, her best friend’s creativity fed from a bottomless pit of inanity. The crazy witch was always cooking up some hair-brained scheme designed to “charge Liv up,” often in the most mortifying ways imaginable.

This little stunt certainly took the cake.

Somehow, someway, Mandy had talked her into being an octagon girl.

“Girl, with your hair and your body. Jesus, just look at you,” she’d said. “You’ll nail it. Just like me.”

Liv shuddered to think who or what exactly Mandy would be nailing later that evening. The arena teemed with potential candidates. As Liv would not be partaking in any horizontal activities as usual, she focused on the task at hand. And, given walking around half naked wasn’t exactly going into battle, Liv figured she could brave it––even if it had taken a couple of years to muster up the courage.

Though once she caved to Mandy’s cajoling to “try something new,” it turned out her night outside the octagon could not have come soon enough.

As much as it worried her to admit it, she had lately been running on fumes.

Since her exile from her homeland almost six centuries before, Liv had floated through life the best she could. There were times when she lived breath-to-breath, touch-to-touch, barely hanging onto the faintest sense of her corporeal self, completely benumbed to all tactile sensation.

The last few months had been one of those times.

She would have been much better off if she could have fed from those of Mythos blood. Daemons, vampires, and the odd assortment of this and that were scarce, though, outside the otherworldly planes. Constantly devoid of a truly nutritious life force, Liv just didn’t have the energy to survive a shift over to a better parallel.

She remained solidly stuck amongst the mortals.

Mandy was good for an innocent suck or two when Liv really needed a boost. The problem was her friend was an
actual witch
. Feeding from Mandy’s marvelously fun and funky spirit gave Liv a wicked hangover, oftentimes leaving her far off worse than before.

Over time, improvements in travel on the human ‘el had made her life a bit easier, which is how she and Mandy had landed in Vegas.

It was a sad place. Truth was, it depressed the hell out of her. But there was no shortage of human emotion from which to feed.





Definitely greed.

But regardless of her lot in life, Liv was happy to make the most of it. Whether she was breathing in the bustling docks of eighteenth century England or was stuck in the seedy underbelly of a western desert, she was grateful for the give and take.

And, tonight, there was no question she was going to take as much as she could.

Glancing down at her body, though, Liv stifled a groan. A tiny official UFC uniform graced her equally tiny frame. Just a scant couple of inches over five feet tall in her white athletic shoes, she wasn’t exactly statuesque. But height wasn’t everything. Despite her reservations regarding her current lack of clothing, Liv knew her willowy body looked smokin’ hot tonight. Her ample C-cups were high and perky, and her black sports bra showed just the right amount of cleavage. Skintight boy shorts molded her buttocks so tight, Liv swore she felt a breeze on her barely covered behind.

Her face flamed red.

But that wisp of wind caressing her skin was the point of all this, right? Standing near naked in front of the gods and everybody, it was obvious Liv was desperate enough to do just about anything to experience the tiniest tingle of sensation.

The energy in the arena was exhilarating, unwittingly trying its best to slake her unquenchable need to feed. Each surge of the crowd sparked the faintest pinprick of warmth against her skin. The aggression dripping from the fighters stoked her senses. The heady blend of emotions gave rise to the tangible colors of life she craved… if just for the briefest moment in time.

Soon enough, her senses would once again fade away to numbness.

They always did.

But right now, breathing in the arena’s delicious energy, Liv thought,
That little witch was right

This was
worth it.

Lifting her face to the heat of the lights, Liv welcomed the announcer’s exuberant cry blasting over the PA.

“Ladies and gentlemen…

“It’s time.”

Liv hoisted the cardboard placard high above her head. Swishing her hips, she sauntered around the perimeter of the octagon, a cameraman hot upon her heels. Tossing her long honey-brown hair behind her shoulders, she opened her pores to accept the crowd’s adoring energy. The frenzy of their emotions broke through her numbness, her body sparking to life more than she could ever remember.

Aw gods,
she thought,
this is heaven.


Hidden high up in the rafters, Toran did not immediately sense his faine. Quickly cycling through the information his cousin had given, Toran knew he was in the right place. Merus was an expert tracker. If he said the faine would be here, this was where Toran would find her.

He settled in to wait.

His attention soon drifted to the action playing out on the arena floor below. Two near-naked warriors were locked in hand-to-hand combat. For mortals, they weren’t half bad––even if, to Toran, they looked a bit ridiculous. Though most Vimora his age had long adopted the casual dress of the more advanced parallels, Toran and his men dressed in full battle gear when they faced an enemy. Even now, he wore mystical armor and boots with thick leather soles to ground his venna, the mercurially electric life force unique to the Vimor race.

That was proper attire for waging war.

These humans fought for sport.

Not for kingdom, not for destiny.

At the thought, Toran huffed out a snort.

When was the last time he’d fought for anything that mattered?

It wasn’t that he was a coward, not in the strictest sense of the word. Outside his own realm, Toran made a killing, literally and figuratively, waging wicked, unrepentant war on behalf of the highest bidder. He was the strongest of the Strong, a legendary mercenary renowned across the Mythos for his crushing control, his cold dispassion, his calculated brutality.

At home, not so much.

In Venn Dom, he was nothing. This, despite the fact that there was no disputing that he was the Tenn. He had been decreed so at birth by the sheer volume and force of his venna, just as his father, and grandfather before him, had been.

He was born to rule the mighty Vimora.

Yet, despite his impeccable bloodline and legal claim to the throne, the fates had conspired against him. Toran’s future had been pissed away by his father, a weak and selfish daemon who cared more for wanton pleasure than his own family… or his own people. Defying all propriety––and rule of law––the king had spurned his queen and mother of his only heir… to bed his faine.

In the face of such heresy, the daemons of Venn Dom had lashed out, choosing almost assured self-destruction in their furor to hunt down and destroy every living faine.

Instigated and fueled by the righteous revenge of Toran’s mother, the Great Cleansing had lasted for nearly a century, culminating in the near annihilation of an entire race of beings. Only a handful of half-breed faine were spared. His mother’s end had come soon after. She had been murdered in her bed by an assailant unknown.

And his father? Well, like the traitorous bastard he was, he had committed one last act of defiance. He had jeopardized his kingdom’s safety to choose death––the act of which had ripped apart Venn Dom’s defenses as his blood and venna bled out beside his faine.

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