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K.J. Jackson

Heathens in the Shadows, A Creatures of Sin & Savagery Book 3, (EBOOK)

Heathens in the Shadows, A Creatures of Sin & Savagery Book 3, (EBOOK)

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Book three in the Creatures of Sins & Savagery series

Lost Past. New Powers. Time to fall in love.

Destiny isn’t for the weak.
There’s only one way to save Charlotte, and I’m it.

But if I managed to do it, what will that mean for Triaten and my sister? I’m torn, and not in a good way.

For if there’s one thing I’m starting to recognize, it’s destiny.

And Triaten and Charlotte? They are destiny in the making.

Heathens in the Shadows is a reimaging mashup of mythology and demigods in a fantasy romance with forbidden love, multiple POV, myths and legends, fated mates, amazing powers, morally-grey choices, twists, cliffhangers, spice, two kick-butt heroines and two tear-the-world-down-for-her heroes. Plus, let’s not forget the delicious, sexy angst.

The ebook of Heathens in the Shadows is also available on: Amazon ~ Apple ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ Google


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{ Chapter 1 }

~ Skye ~

A gargle of air popped through Charlotte’s mouth. Her last breath.

“For fuck’s sake, Skye, just do it, dammit!” Anguish cut through Triaten’s words.

“She needs it quiet.” Aiden’s voice, small, not booming, floated away from me.
I pulled tighter into the ball I’d wrapped myself in, blocking out the red haze surrounding me, the fury, the words floating about like smoky wisps in the air.

“What the fuck, Aiden? Charlotte’s dying and Skye needs it quiet?” Triaten screamed, sounding so far away.

“She can do it, Tri, just shut the hell up. Do it now, Skye. Charlotte is dying. You can do it. Just send it back.” Aiden’s demanding whisper faded to silence.

A long breath, almost of relief slipped through Charlotte’s lips. I could hear it so clearly.


Her breath gone. Her body done.

Spinning, my body coiled as my arm flew through the air, my fist aimed at Triaten’s jaw.
Yanking back on the furious momentum in my arm, muscles ripping, I stopped the punch a hair away from his face.


Both of us.

Both of us standing in the study at the ranch, we stared at each other.

It was the day Aiden and I had come back from Mustique, and I was smack dab in the middle of decking Triaten for sleeping with my sister.

The exact moment in time I was aiming for.

Neither of us could look away from the other, the enormity of what I’d just done sinking in.

I’d erased the massacres.

Triaten orientated himself to the time shift faster than I did and he jumped at me, wrapping his arms around me and crushing me to him as he yanked me off the ground.

“You did it. Thank the saints. You did it.” The relief in his words shook, vibrating against me as he smothered me. “Thank you. Thank you.”

“Skye.” Aiden yanked open the study door and charged in.

Triaten reluctantly released me, only to pass the manhandling to Aiden. Aiden grabbed my shoulders and spun me toward him.

He bent over so he was eye level with me, searching my face. Concern angled his brows inward. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” I rubbed my forehead, my brain having a hard time catching up with the here and now—with the shift back in time.

I was the one that actually had control over the time shifts, but they were disconcerting to me. How Triaten and Aiden took a time flip so in stride, I didn’t know.

When the reality of the present moment actually manifested in my mind, I exhaled a pitiful breath. “Oh hell, Shiv.”

“Shiv? She’s fine. I just left her in the kitchen,” Aiden said.

“No. It’s that I didn’t know when exactly to go back to, and this was the only moment that popped into my mind—when I punched Triaten.”

I looked over my shoulder at him with an apologetic half-smile, then turned back to Aiden. “But I erased everything with Shiv. All the repair, Aiden. She forgave me, and I threw it away.” My hand clasped onto my forehead. How could I be so stupid? “I threw it away.”

“So you’ll talk to her again,” he said. “You’ll get back to where you need to be. You’ll find a way—I know you will.”

Aiden looked to Triaten over my head. The smallest squint flickered in his dark blue eyes and his look shifted down to me. “But not now. We need to get back down to Charlotte in Africa. We have to be there before the malefics attack again.”

“Shit.” My lips drew tight with resigned acceptance. “I know.”

The phone rang. Triaten leapt across the room to the phone in the study and answered it before the first ring ended. “Charlotte?”

Relief flashed across his face. “We’re on our way. I’m not letting anyone take you away from me.

{ Chapter 2 }

~ Skye ~

Within an hour, we were on the plane again.

Triaten and Aiden spent the next three hours in the air juggling a multitude of cell lines in order to coordinate panthenites from around the world to converge and protect as many of the attacked camps and villages as they could. Phones, two laptops, papers, and maps were strewn about the table between them—both of them jotting notes to each other or pointing to things on maps as they spoke to others on the phones.

They’d clearly done this before—they worked in sync, decisions and knowledge passing between them with only the slightest nods and shakes of their heads.

Not knowing whether the malefics would attack again after the time shift was a gamble. But if they could stop the mass murders, they would.

I mostly ignored the two of them. Instead, my mind kept running over how we had left Shiv. The three of us had clipped through the house, going through the kitchen. Shiv still sat at the table, playing absent-mindedly with the beans and almonds on her plate.

Triaten had stiffly grabbed Shiv’s shoulder and told her we had to leave unexpectedly.

“All of you?” Shiv had asked, confused and looking around at the three of us. Her look ended on me and stuck.


I’d offered up an awkward smile. “We’ll be back within a couple of days, I promise.”

Triaten had squeezed Shiv’s shoulder and then walked across the kitchen, grabbed his keys from the wall, and went out the kitchen door. Aiden followed.

I was left standing across from Shiv, watching her. Her eyes were trained on the empty open door. She’d looked…abandoned.

It broke my damn heart to see the look, for I recognized it as the same from years ago when the police had taken me away from her.

She’d shifted her eyes to me. “No need to stay on my account.” She waved her fork in the air, dismissing me with a twinge of bitterness.

Saving thousands was more important than my sister’s hurt feelings. It was. But I couldn’t help the selfish thought from filling my head—I wished I hadn’t gone back in time. Hadn’t erased all that I’d gained with Shiv.

My gut like a rock, I’d given Shiv a weak smile. “See you in a couple days.”

And I’d walked out the door.

Shutting off his last call with his thumb, Aiden stood from the swivel chair and walked across the airplane’s cabin to plop down next to me on the couch. His hand went to the back of my neck, his thumb and forefinger gently manipulating my tight tendons.

“You did good, my heart. There hasn’t been a spare second to really tell you that, but you did.” He bent over and kissed my forehead.

I leaned into his chest, pulling my feet off the floor and tucking them in along the couch. “Why does it not feel like that?”

“Worried about Shiv?”

I nodded, my head rubbing against his chest. He played with my hair, the strands hanging loose around my shoulders since I’d pulled my hair out of its ponytail once we got on the plane.

“And I’m worried about Charlotte.” His voice notched down into whisper.

I craned my neck to look up at him. “Charlotte? Why?”

“Did you not see what was happening between Charlotte and Triaten when we found her? I suppose not. You were working on sending time back.”

My brow furrowed. “What was going on?”

“Let’s just say I have some questions for Triaten.”

At that moment Triaten finished his last call. Standing, he stretched his arms up toward the ceiling of the plane and then glanced down at us on the couch. “I think that’s it. We’ve pulled in as many panthenites as we have available at the moment, and they’re all en route. I just hope it’ll be enough.”

“Did the elders learn anything more?” Aiden asked.

“No.” Triaten shook his head, perplexed. “They didn’t see the massacres coming the first time around, and all they have to go on are the reports from the sites that were attacked.”

Aiden’s stare locked onto Triaten as he sat back down across the cabin. Triaten picked up a pen, tapping it on the arm of the seat as he studied the map of Africa spread out on the table next to him. He glanced up a few times at the computer closest to him that had a variety of satellite imagery pulled up.

“Triaten, about Charlotte.” Aiden started, and waited for Triaten to look over at him. He continued once he had Triaten’s attention. “What’s going on with you two?”

Triaten looked back down at the map. The pen tapping got faster. “Nothing. What do you mean?”
“I mean—Charlotte leaves the mountain unexpectedly and without a word. She’s gone for months without contact. We find her, and then you, well, you were holding onto her like you were losing your soul.”

Triaten glanced sharply up at Aiden.

What was he talking about? I pulled away from Aiden’s chest, sitting up straight next to him. I looked back and forth from Aiden to Triaten as the understanding of the insinuation Aiden made sank into my mind.

Was I really that slow at reading signals?

Aiden continued. “So, do you need to tell us something?”

Triaten didn’t break Aiden’s gaze. “It’s private.”

“It’s not private if it puts Charlotte in danger,” Aiden countered. “Do you have something to tell us?”

The tapping of the pen froze, and Triaten’s jaw flexed. “Do you remember the night before the flame moon? It was before Skye sent time back, and you were on your rampage, and Charlotte and I were just trying to keep you alive?”

Aiden nodded.

“At that motel. Charlotte was in a bad way. And things…things just went too far.”

Aiden’s lips tightened. “You slept with her?”

“Yes, I did.” To his credit, Triaten didn’t flinch. “But it didn’t matter as she wasn’t with me.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Aiden’s voice had gone hard and I could feel all of his muscles tense up next to me.

Triaten heaved a sigh, resigning himself to tell us the full story. “In her mind she was with Thomas.”

“Ouch.” Aiden and I both cringed in unison.

“And then the night of the flame moon happened.” Triaten’s shoulders lifted high. “The moon threw her—threw her hard out of whack. I brought her home and it was almost a repeat of the night at the motel, but I stopped what we were about to do before it could go there again. I thought maybe the first time we had sex I was misreading it. Misreading who she was imagining I was. But I wasn’t. She was imagining she was with Thomas. So I stopped it. And then the next morning she left.” He nodded toward me. “Right before your wedding.”

“She was in that bad of a state-of-mind and you just let her leave?” Aiden asked.

“No—hell no. I wanted her to stay. I tried to stop her. Tried to get her to stay. I offered up everything. Everything.” Triaten’s hand tightened into a fist around the pen before he forcefully relaxed it. “She didn’t want it. Didn’t want me. And she left.”

The low buzz of the plane’s air system was the only sound in the silence that followed Triaten’s words.
I stared at him, my breath becoming shallow, rage starting to build in the bottom of my gut. My face contorted in anger. “You’re in love with Charlotte, aren’t you?”

Triaten looked at me, but didn’t answer.

Full realization sank in and I stood up, my height allowing me to only slightly tower above him. “Holy shit, Triaten. You’re in love with Charlotte and you’re fucking my sister. What the hell are you thinking?”

He glared up at me, defiant. “Your sister is her own person, Skye, in case you hadn’t noticed. A grown woman. And it was her idea. And her idea to keep it casual.”

I didn’t let him continue. “Casual? Don’t even start on that. It’s not casual, and you damn well know it. And now you’re fucking going to break Shiv’s heart—”

“You’re forgetting Charlotte doesn’t want me, Skye,” he snapped. “She made that perfectly clear.”

Aiden stood up next to me. “Did she, Tri? Because when she was half-dead and mumbling, it was pretty clear she was choosing you over Thomas.”

His glare shot between me and Aiden. “And that right here is why this is none of your business.”

“Don’t tell me this is none of my business,” I spat out. “This is my sister.”

“And this is Charlotte,” Aiden echoed.

Triaten didn’t answer, just scowled up at us. Scowls we reflected tenfold back down at him.

Triaten broke. “Before you two stick me on a spit, can we please just concentrate on getting Charlotte back to the mountain—alive?”

I crossed my arms over my chest, my deep glower making my cheek twitch. But I bit my tongue.

Instead of screaming at him, which I was seconds away from doing, I spun away and walked toward the back of the plane, disappearing behind the wall that separated the sleeping area from the main cabin.
My feet stopped, my ear turning back to them when I heard Aiden seethe out a few words. “Why in the hell didn’t you tell me?”

“There wasn’t anything to tell, Aiden.” Triaten audibly sighed. “It was over before it began. There was no need.”

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