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Authors: S.T. Bende

Tags: #The Elsker Saga

Tro (Elsker Saga Book 3)

BOOK: Tro (Elsker Saga Book 3)
8.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub







ST Bende


The Elsker Saga


Copyright © 2013, ST Bende

Edited by: Lauren McKellar and Eden Plantz

Interior Snowflakes by: Eden Plantz

Cover Art by: Rebecca K. Sterling, Sterling Design Studios


All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.


This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage system without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


First publication: 2013, ST Bende


This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Table of Contents


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









Sometimes you just have to believe.


Finding her destiny nearly cost her everything. Kristia knows she can handle whatever The Fates throw at her next—including her long-awaited honeymoon with the God of Winter. But as things heat up between Kristia and Ull, a frost settles over Asgard. An unexpected death marks the beginning of the end, much earlier than anyone expected. Kristia’s barely begun to understand what she’s capable of, and controlling her powers seems completely out of her grasp. With her new family fighting for their lives, and Ull fighting for their future, Kristia has to make a devastating choice: preserve the life she loves, or protect the god she can’t live without?







To my biggest little blessings: may your faith in your dreams be every bit as strong as my faith in you.

To the man who has blessed my life with faith, hope, and love.

And to everyone who fell for a Norse god—this one’s for you.







To the cutie-pie who gives me the world every single day.
Jeg elsker deg
. Forever.


To my little gentlemen—for teaching me to live fully within each moment and for filling my heart with more love than I ever thought possible. You are the pinnacle of
. I’m so grateful God gave me you.


To Lauren McKellar and Eden Plantz, two of the finest editors in all the realms; to Rebecca K. Sterling, whose covers brought our gods to life; and to Stacey Nash, the voice of reason and happiness. Thank you for making these little journal stories shine.


To Ull’s Valkyries and the RagnaRockstars, whose tireless enthusiasm and willingness to #Drool4Ull transformed a cranky Norse god into a bona-fide book-boyfriend.
for every tweet, post, share and meme, and
for believing in our boys. Y’all rock. And I owe you #ChurchWaffles…with extra jam.


To Stacey Nash, Jacqueline Gardner, Bianca Janakievski, Brittany Ferrell, Aly Martinez, Bianca Smith, Adriana Pacheco, Stacey Mosteller, Melinda Dozier, Stephanie Wardrop, JC Emery, Jessica L. Brooks, Rebecca Moree, Dylan Quinn, Amalia Dillin, Kristie Cook, Chrissi Jackson, Inga Kupp-Silberg, Julie Bromley, Stacey Nixon, Laura Howard, and the friends who gave the thousand-and-one pep talks.
Tusen takk
. For all the things.


To the readers who embraced these reimagined myths from the beginning—I’m humbled and thankful that you choose to spend your time with my imaginary friends.
Mange takk
for taking these crazy journeys with me.


To Imagine Dragons, Peet’s Coffee, Alexander Skarsgard, the makers of McVitie’s Caramel Digestives, and Gunnar’s mom. Because, reasons.


And to MorMorMa. Always.




Chapter One



“Down you fall, into a sleep;

Monsters all, with you, shall creep.

Demons joyful, spirits fly,

For the gods, at last, shall die.

Goodnight little ones.”


finished the macabre lullaby on a sharp note, her scratchy voice reverberating through the otherwise quiet nursery. She clutched three bundles as she stood. Her silhouette easily stood twenty feet in height; she made an imposing figure against the arched window. She crossed the room with awkward strides to deposit each bundle in a crib. With the babies safely distributed, she moved to the rocking chair and touched one gnarled finger to a piece of paper. Her eyes were hooded, but even in the semi-darkness, I could see the joy behind them. Her mouth curved into a menacing smile, yellow teeth poking at sharp angles against purple lips.

“Sleep well, my little darlings,” she croaked. “Your prophecy is a thing of beauty. The Fates expect great things of you.” She dropped the paper onto the chair and walked out of the room, directing an eerie smile at each crib as she left. Then she closed the door tightly behind her.

I crept toward the note on silent feet, careful not to disturb anything more than the air. It was a cavernous room with forty-foot ceilings, and heavy tapestries that lined the walls. Three cribs sat beneath an imposing chandelier. The three bundles slept peacefully, their hushed breathing the room’s only sound. But the bundles weren’t making the kinds of cooing sleep sounds I’d expect of newborns.

Now they were stirring, the movement loosening the bindings on their swaddles. Their faces were still obscured in shadow, but I was struck by the unnerving realization that these babies were nothing like human babies. One let out a guttural hiss; the other a soft growl. And the third made a noise so animalistic, it sounded like a wail…or a war cry.

As the cacophony in the nursery reached a fevered pitch, I darted for the rocking chair. Without thinking I grabbed the note and stuffed it in my pocket, then I made a dash for the door. Whatever those babies were, I didn’t want to be around them any longer.

My hand burned as I turned the knob. I jumped back, cradling my fingers. The skin pulled across my bone; large blisters had already begun to form. Someone, or something had turned the metal molten. Maybe it was a defensive spell, something to protect the children. With any luck, I’d never know. I pushed through the pain and gripped the doorknob again, wrenching it open and bolting down the hallway. I ignored the searing ache in my palms as I pumped my arms, willing myself to reach the exit faster.

Heavy footsteps thudded behind me. They were slow but determined, each step closing the distance between my pursuer and me. I didn’t have to turn around to know an angry giantess was bearing down, and I didn’t want to think about what she’d do if she caught up.

Ducking my head, I tore around a corner and bolted for the doorway. It was close, only ten yards away. When I was halfway there, two heavily armed guards stepped into my path. They were easily thirty-feet tall, each with an array of weapons attached to a thick belt. One held a spear in his hand, while the other wielded a broad sword. Both locked me in their sights and charged. My head whipped back and forth—the angry mother closed in on me from behind. The guards were fast approaching from ahead. My only option was to hide.

I turned on my heel and bolted through the closest doorway. Now I was in some kind of recreation room with large chairs, a blazing fireplace, and, thankfully, high windows, flanked by thick curtains. My legs burned as I dove behind one, curling into a ball and willing my breath to come in quiet gasps. It might have bought me a minute, tops, but a minute was all I would need.

Thundering footsteps announced the giants’ entry. They crossed the room with angry shouts. The language was foreign but the sentiment translated easily enough. A few more seconds, and I would be deader than a doornail.

My blistered palm wrapped around my grandmother’s necklace as I squeezed my eyes shut. I drew on my happiest memory of my sinfully gorgeous husband, Ull. Just that morning he’d stood at the altar of the little church in Cardiff. He’d been the most beautiful creature I’d ever laid eyes on, watching me walk up the aisle with near-worshipful eyes. The smile playing on his lips and the gratitude in his gaze were images I’d remember for the rest of my existence—no matter how short it might be. The footsteps stopped just beyond my reach, and I knew the guards had found me. It was only a matter of time before they ripped down the curtains and eliminated the threat.

Hopefully, it would be over quickly. Pain had always been my undoing.

The silver replica of Thor’s hammer began to warm in my hand, and I opened my eyes. Beams of light radiated from between my fingers in bright flashes. They were sure to give away my location, but I didn’t care. I knew exactly what was happening.

It was taking me home.

I squeezed my necklace as the guards tore down the curtains. The beams increased in intensity, striking the guards in the chest and throwing them back. The angry giantess stormed across the room, hands outstretched and ready to strike. Before she could reach me, I was sucked into the air, my insides churning under the unbearable pressure as I hurtled through darkness. My bones felt like they might rip clear out of my body, and the pounding in my head was so insistent I danced precariously along the edge of consciousness. Just before I could pass out, I remembered the note. I tore it from my pocket as I hurtled through space, determined to see its contents before I woke up from this bizarre vision. My gut told me the scene I was in was old; I was intruding on a nightmare from a long ago past. And I had a feeling I’d need to know what that note said in order to protect our future.

The paper shook in my hands as I strained to make out the words. This prophecy would spell the fate of the three babies. It would explain why their giantess mother was overjoyed at its news; and why my very presence had driven her to a rage. Whatever it was, whatever their fates, my gut told me the prophecy and those children had deep ties to my new family.

I unfolded the note. Hastily scrawled letters told the future of the three newborns from the nursery. The prophecy marked a new beginning that necessitated a violent end. It contained only two words.

End Asgard.

I closed my eyes as the bile rose thick in my throat. And then I was consumed by darkness.



“Sweetheart. Wake up.” The voice in my ear was soft yet commanding; the words managed to be both a plea and an order. My eyelids fluttered, and I buried my face against the warmth beside me. It smelled of earth, and pine.

It smelled like home.

BOOK: Tro (Elsker Saga Book 3)
8.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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