The Four Horsemen 4 - Death

BOOK: The Four Horsemen 4 - Death
11.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

ISBN # 978-0-85715-940-3
©Copyright T. A. Chase 2012
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright April 2012
Edited by Penny Chapman
Total-E-Bound Publishing

This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.

Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.

The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.

Published in 2012 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
heat rating
and a


This story contains 137 pages, additionally there is also a
free excerpt
at the end of the book containing 5 pages.
The Four Horsemen
T. A. Chase
Book four in the Four Horsemen series
Death, the Pale Rider and the most feared member of the Four Horsemen, has been searching through the centuries for a soul to save him from his solitary life.

In the 1700s, Gatian Almasia was rich and a sought-after member of Parisian society. No one realised he’d lost his reason for living three years earlier. When his sister accuses another nobleman of raping her, Gatian does what any older brother would do. He challenges the man to a duel, and kills him. Later that night, the dead man’s family takes their revenge on Gatian.

Gatian’s death is just the beginning of the journey he must take as Death, the Pale Horseman of Apocalyptic fame. While he doesn’t regret taking the nobleman’s life, the guilt of not being there when his lover died builds a wall around his heart, and until he accepts forgiveness, he must always be Death.

Pierre Fortsecue is a spoilt rich young man whose heart is broken by the man he thinks he loves. Finding himself alone in Paris, Pierre sinks into a haze of heroin. He gets a tainted baggie of the drug, and almost dies from it. Death arrives to take his soul, and something about Pierre touches the Pale Horseman, who steals him away to help him heal.

As Pierre heals and Death begins to feel again, they begin to wonder if love really is the only emotion needed to overcome desolation and destruction.

Thank you to all the readers who took this journey with The Four Horsemen and me. I appreciate the wonderful words of encouragement, and hope I do Death’s story justice. Thanks to my marvellous editor and everyone who had something to do with this story.

Trademarks Acknowledgement
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

Rolls Royce: Rolls-Royce plc Armani: Giorgio Armani S.P.A GQ: Conde Naste


The crack of gunfire ripped through the lingering fog of the park. It was early enough in the morning no one noticed the noise, except for the four men standing in a clearing. A fifth man lay on the ground, blood staining the white shirt he wore. Two of the four crouched next to the injured man. The other two glanced at each other before the shorter blond man moved towards the threesome. Gatian Almasia turned his back on the others and strolled to where a street urchin held two horses.


He flipped the urchin a coin and took taking the reins of the chestnut stallion. After mounting, he settled into the saddle and stared out over the emerging city streets. The fog covering them burned off, revealing early morning travellers, mostly heading to their jobs in Paris’ shops. The man waited for the blond to join him.

“St Lucian will be dead before the day is over,” Du Luac said softly as he swung astride his own horse.
Gatian sounded neither pleased nor saddened by the news. He studied the people moving past him dispassionately. None of them mattered, and they wouldn’t, even if he had known their stories.
“Do you think what you did would help your sister? Is anything going to make her forget what happened to her?” Du Luac asked
“This is not for her.” Gatian waved his hand behind him at the tableau of the two men carrying the other to a waiting carriage.
“Then why do it?”
“Because, Du Luac, it makes me feel better. That slime will never do to another girl what he did to my sister.”
Du Luac looked at his friend. “Gatian, you could be arrested or exiled for shooting the son of a marquis.”
Gatian shrugged, showing no emotion. “It does not matter what they choose to do with me. I have avenged the wrong caused to my sister. Let us go back to my house. I ordered the cook to have a breakfast laid out for us when we arrive.”
“Breakfast? How can you think about eating at a time like this? You just took a man’s life.” Du Luac looked horrified at Gatian’s calm reaction to the duel.
Gatian twisted in his saddle and grabbed a hold of Du Luac’s jacket, yanking the man forward. Gatian curled his upper lip in disgust.
“Do you think I give a whit about St Lucian? He raped my sister, and that is one thing I will not overlook.”
Du Luac froze under Gatian’s cold gaze, yet he couldn’t seem to help himself.
“You know your sister was not a maiden when St Lucian had her,” he pointed out, taking his life in his hands by suggesting it.
Gatian shoved him away so hard, Du Lauc almost fell off his horse. After facing forward, Gatian tossed another coin to the urchin.
“Run ahead to Almasia House. Tell the butler his master will be following behind you, and he expects hot food and warm drink to be waiting.”
“Aye, milord.” The boy tucked the coin somewhere safe before sprinting away.
Monsieur Gatian Almasia had no title, and no noble blood running through his veins. Yet he had the one thing people responded to, and that was money. No one knew how Gatian had made his fortune, and he never said a word about how it happened.
To others it may have seemed he had no interest in currying favours from the nobles or other rich members of society. As far as he was aware no one knew anything about the Almasia family. They had simply appeared one day on the second best street in Paris. He’d heard tell none of the gossips could find out when they’d arrived or where they’d come from, but once the money started flashing about, the rich people had possibly decided he must be from some obscure noble family. Yet it quickly became known if you hurt one of the Almasia family, you hurt them both, and the vengeance was swift, and vicious.
Gatian’s half-sister, Emilia Almasia, was a beautiful young woman and quite popular with the men. One odd thing about Emilia, as beautiful as she was, she came across as a nice person, and she was older than most of the girls being introduced to society. Where her brother struck people as cold and distant, Emilia treated everyone well. The girls who were less popular or less beautiful spread rumours about the girl, yet the ones about her being rather free with her favours seemed to be true.
“I have never held Emilia to the unrealistic standards of society. She may give her favours to whomever she chooses.” Gatian shot Du Lauc a piercing glare. “
is the important word. No man may force her and expect to live.”
“If she were to say anything to anyone, no one would believe her,” Du Lauc commented when they started down the street.
Gatian grunted but said nothing while they rode along. He was not interested in what anyone else would believe. Emilia had told him St Lucian had raped her, and she’d never lied to him. Why would she, when he allowed her far more freedom than most older brothers or fathers?
St Lucian’s death meant nothing to Gatian. It wasn’t like he knew the man or even cared to know him. Other than Emilia, there was no one Gatian cared about anymore, not since that night three years ago when his entire world died.
Shaking his head, Gatian refused to think about that night. Guilt ate at him like a sore eating away at his soul. So many things he’d done wrong, and only one person had paid the price for Gatian’s arrogance. It wasn’t the time to think about it. Gatian managed to blank his mind most of the day. Only during the darkest part of night did the memories and sorrow cut through him.
“Are you joining me for breakfast, Du Lauc?”
His closest associate hemmed and hawed for a minute or two. Gatian didn’t care one way or the other whether Du Lauc joined him. He was asking merely to be polite, or to seem polite. Honestly, he would rather spend the morning alone or with Emilia, not listening to the mindless chatter of the man next to him.
“I will have to say no, Gatian. My father has demanded my presence at the family house today. Rich cousins or something coming into the city for the season.” Du Lauc snorted in unhappiness.
“Sorry to hear that. I suspect I will see you tonight at Count Ramassium’s ball?”
Again, Gatian didn’t care, but he understood he had to ask.
“Yes, I think we will be arriving later in the evening,” Du Lauc informed him.
“I am escorting Emilia tonight, so I am sure we will be arriving early. If we do not meet up there, I will see you at the club later on.”
Gatian didn’t wait for Du Lauc to answer him. He lifted a hand and steered his horse down the street towards his house. When he stopped in front of the large, rather obnoxiously built building, a groom rushed from around the side of the house to take a hold of the reins. Gatian dismounted and nodded at the groom before walking up the front steps. The door opened, and his butler stood there, head bowed, while Gatian walked past.
“Breakfast has been laid out in the back dining room, sir. Lady Emilia has not rung for a tray yet.”
“Leave her be until she does. Have the footmen take some hot water up to my room while I am eating. I would like to bathe before I go out again.”
“Yes, sir.”
Gatian tugged off his gloves and stuffed them in the hat before handing it to one of the servants. He ran a hand through his hair while he strolled down the hallway to the back dining room. After sitting down, he leant back slightly, giving the footman with the plate of food room to place it in front of him. A pot of tea was set to one side by his plate, and he nodded when another poured a cup out for him.
He didn’t move until after they left the room. Once the door shut behind them, he picked up the cup and sipped at it. Drinking tea was an odd habit for a Frenchman, but Gatian had learned many strange routines since leaving home at the age of fourteen. The tea he ordered to be brewed for him every morning was a special blend he imported from India, brought to him on one of his many ships.
After the tea, he began eating, ignoring the pile of envelopes and newspapers to his left. Gatian had no interest in invitations and announcements of weddings that seemed to abound during the season of meat markets. Most of the ladies wanted him as their next conquest or as a husband. Little did any of them know he wasn’t interested in women, and the only one he liked was Emilia.
“Did you do it, Gatian?”
Gatian looked up to see his sister standing just inside the room, her dressing gown thrown carelessly over her shoulders. Her blonde hair, so unlike his own black, cascaded in curls down her back. Emilia’s blue eyes glistened with tears, yet he could see the bruising on her cheek from St Lucian’s fist.
“Yes. You knew I would when I made you tell me what had happened to you.” He took a bite of eggs. After chewing, he gestured to the table. “Please, sit and eat something. I know you have not eaten in a day or two. It’s over and done with, Emilia. We must look forward.”
“It was not you he hit and hurt, Gatian. You were not the one helpless against his superior strength.”
Gatian heaved a mental sigh. As much as he loved Emilia, she tended towards the dramatic, and he found it annoying at times. He stood and moved over to where his sister was. After putting his arm gently around her shoulders, he motioned to the table.
“You are right, Emilia dear. I’m an arse. I do not know what it is like to be helpless. Please eat. Remember, though, I did tell you we would practice some things you can do to keep yourself safe. Things men would not think a lady would know.”
He pulled out a chair and had her sit. Gatian filled a plate with all her favourites, poured her a cup of tea, and placed it all in front of her. He returned to his place and lifted his fork. His hand shook, and because he didn’t want her to notice, he set his fork back down.
Emilia had no idea Gatian had lied to her. He did know what it was like to be helpless. To see something done and know there was nothing he could do to stop it. Yet that wasn’t true. If he had been there, he could have prevented the death of the only person he’d truly loved. He’d stood there, knowing he was too late, the guilt rising in him until he wanted to crouch and scream.
He clenched his hands into fists, tamping down on the rage and sorrow. Gatian had spent many years fighting the depression from swallowing him whole. Winning the battle ensured he had no feeling for anything else. He’d lost interest in other people and how they were getting on in the world.
Only Emilia still held a place in his heart, and he wished she would find a man to marry so he could dower her with most of his wealth. Gatian wanted to disappear and spend the rest of his life wandering the world without having to worry about his sister.
“Du Lauc told me St Lucian would be dead by the end of the day,” he informed Emilia.
She nodded, giving no sign of distress or disgust. Emilia never questioned him as to how he would handle the problem, because she knew what he would do.
“Are you not afraid his family will retaliate against you?”
Gatian snorted. “What can they do to me? Shun me? Make me
persona non-gratis
amongst society? I am not afraid of them.”
“What if I am? Do you know how hard it is going to be to find a husband if we are shunned by the important people in Paris?” Emilia pushed some of her food around her plate.
“I do not care. They are only people. None of them are important.” Gatian took another sip, secretly wishing he could add spirits to his tea.
Emilia threw her silverware onto the table and stood up with a scream. “I know you do not care about them or apparently about me. You have no idea how I try to ingratiate myself with those awful harridans.”
He shoved his chair back and stood as it hit the floor. Gatian braced his hands on the table and leaned towards his sister. He spoke to her with ice freezing his words.
“Do not ever tell me I do not care for you. I injured a man for you this morning. I shot a bullet into his chest and stood there, watching him bleed because he raped you. I did not do it to save your reputation. I did not do it because I hated the man. I did it for you, Emilia, and you never get to question my love for you again.”
Emilia took a step back, her hand pressed to her chest and fear in her eyes. Gatian would never have hurt her, but he had never shown her anything about his true nature. What she saw at that moment wasn’t the usual façade he showed the rest of the world.
“You care for me like you cared for Oliver?”
Gatian pulled himself up straight, and Emilia must have sensed she’d asked the wrong question. She whirled and raced from the room, scampering away like the hounds of hell followed her. He didn’t leave his spot in the room. Gatian was frozen while his heart beat so fast it could possibly explode.
No one had spoken Oliver’s name to him since he’d died three years ago. Gatian growled low in his throat and swiped his arm over the table, shoving everything to the floor.
He stalked from the room, ignoring the concerned questions from his butler. He would go and wash up before leaving for the day. He didn’t want to lay eyes on anyone, especially his sister.
Gatian strolled down the sidewalk, weaving slightly as he walked. He twirled his cane and ignored the startled exclamations of the people he bumped into. What did he care if they didn’t like him taking up the sidewalk? It wasn’t like he knew them or even would see them in his normal day-to-day life.
He took another swig from his flask before tucking it back into his coat pocket. Gatian paused for a second to lean against a streetlamp and stare at the sky. He couldn’t see any stars, not like when he’d lived in India several years ago. He found himself missing the openness of the country, though he had been a city boy most of his life.
“Want to have some fun, mister?”
Turning, Gatian spied a skinny girl with lanky, greasy hair standing just outside the light from the lamp. Her clothes were ripped, and he wouldn’t doubt they were dirty. He shuddered. Even if he’d been inclined to sleep with women, she wouldn’t have been his first choice.
“No thank you, miss. I’m on my way home tonight.” He bowed and moved off.
Gatian continued on but slowly became aware of footsteps following him. He didn’t change his stance or in any way act like he knew someone was there. Was it the whore who had propositioned him? Had she decided to rob him instead?
Gripping the head of his cane, he twisted it slightly, getting the blade inside ready to be pulled out. If someone was going to try and attack him, he would make him or her rue the day they’d ever thought he’d be an easy mark.
Gatian glanced ahead and spied a back alley opening approaching on his left. They would rush him as he came abreast of it. Gatian understood that, because he would have done the same thing to a man he intended to attacked. He tensed as he came upon the alley, and the flurry of footsteps came up behind him like he thought they would.
He whirled, swinging his cane sword as he went. The shock of the blade slicing through fabric and flesh raced up his arm. Gatian didn’t let it stop him as he whipped around, trying to keep his balance while pushing the ruffians away.
“I am not giving you anything of mine,” he shouted.
The men kept quiet, and their very silence alerted him this might not be a simple robbery. Gatian fought savagely, pulling every trick from his bag, yet there were too many of them. He found himself herded into the alley and was surrounded. Gatian gritted his teeth, wishing he hadn’t drunk so much at the club. The liquor slowed his reflexes, and the men got in several hits before they simply overwhelmed him.
Gatian slipped on something wet and went to the ground. There was no way he could protect himself from their boots and pieces of wood they used like extensions of their arms. Even wrapping his arms around his head didn’t help. His ribs cracked and caved under the fierce blows. His bones broke, and something tore inside him.

BOOK: The Four Horsemen 4 - Death
11.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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