Atlantean’s Quest 1: The Arrival
Digital • July 2002
Atlantean’s Quest 1
ISBN-13: 9780983302933 (ebook)
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-942237051
OUT OF PRINT• Feb. 29, 2008
Linguistic specialist, Dr. Rachel Evans would do anything to get a promotion. To prove it, she’s willing to traipse through an uncharted jungle with the man she hates more than any human on the planet–her boss. Bring on the snakes, bugs, and caimans. When her boss’s ambition overrides his reason, Rachel finds herself on the wrong end of a sacrifice. Lucky for her, a Tarzan-like sex god named Eros comes to her rescue. He’d be perfect if he didn’t believe he was the King of the Atlanteans.
The only thing keeping King Eros going is the prophecy foretelling the Arrival of his destined mate. Now that he’s found Rachel, he intends to keep her.
Rachel isn’t anyone’s Queen and she’s certainly not a savior, but a few sultry nights spent in Eros’s strong arms just might change her mind.
AVAILABLE IN PRINT AND EBOOK!
EXODUS (Atlantean’s Quest 2) | REDEMPTION (Atlantean’s Quest 3)
| ATLANTEAN HEAT (Atlantean’s Quest 3.5)| THE RETURN (Atlantean’s Quest 4) | THE DARK KING (Atlantean’s Quest 5/Phantom Warriors 7)
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 2002, THIS E-BOOK HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDED AND PROOFED FOR RE-RELEASE IN 2014.
The Atlantean’s Quest series came about because I wanted to write a story about Atlantis and the Bermuda Triangle. I kept thinking about the way the Bermuda Triangle used to mess with radio signals and instruments when boats and planes passed through it. As a kid, the Bermuda Triangle used to scare the daylights out of me because people disappeared. I decided to combine the two places for my story. I asked myself what would cause a similar disruption on the island of Atlantis and came up with the idea of malfunctioning transport crystals. I made them the reason behind the destruction of Atlantis.
At this stage, I knew my Atlanteans weren’t going to be on an island or near an ocean since that setting had already been used multiple times. So I stuck my characters in a jungle-thanks to the malfunctioning crystals-and made them a mythical tribe that frightened the local natives. I decided that they lived primitively, but had great powers due to their lineage and advanced civilization. I didn’t realize they were an alien race until I finished the first book, THE ARRIVAL. Even planned books have surprises pop up.
WOW! What a book! “Atlantean’s Quest: The Arrival” is a wonderful read. Eagerly I turned the pages to consume the adventures of Eros and Rachel. Eros is strong, yet gentle. Rachel is vulnerable yet able to overcome her fears. Rumsinger is despicable; I was hoping an anaconda would devour him. This is the first of a series. I can hardly wait to read the next installment. Jordan Summers is a very talented writer. I highly recommend this book to those that enjoy erotic romance.–READER VIEWS
Atlantean’s Quest: The Arrival is a sexy romp through the South American rain forest. Rachel is a woman finally learning how to go for what she wants. Eros is a hero who definitely fits his name and could easily be a sex god. Together, these two characters steam up the already steamy jungle setting. This is a fun paranormal adventure story with a touch of mystery giving it a singular flavor. The Atlantean culture created by Ms. Summers is wonderfully sexy and full of many interesting and unique traditions. I await with eager anticipation the next book in this series.–TIMELESS TALES
Read an Excerpt
Note for Readers: This excerpt contains adult content intended for individuals 18 years of age or older.
Rachel Evans, Jaclyn Ward, and Brigit Taylor sat huddled in a corner, their chairs turned away from the throng, successfully closing out the masses.
“Are you sure you want to go through with this?” Jaclyn asked, her voice deceptively cool.
“Absolutely.” Rachel took another bite of salad, chewing the crisp greens. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Jaclyn picked up a pickle from her plate. Making a face close to revulsion, she placed the spear on Rachel’s plate. Rachel laughed and lifted it up in front of her, like a conductor holding a baton. She stared at the pickle for a second. The veggie was firm and stiff, dripping with juices.
Visions of her dream man’s massive cock flooded her mind. She bit down on her tongue to keep from moaning aloud. Her nipples tightened beneath her cotton shirt, making each scrape of the material exquisite torture. She took a bite of the pickle, sending its tart juices squirting into her mouth. Closing her eyes for a second in ecstasy, she murmured, “Mmm—I love dill pickles.”
“Pickles. Riiight…” Jaclyn laughed, throwing her blonde head back. “You could have fooled me. That face you’re making looks more like a woman having an orgasm than eating lunch.”
Jaclyn pursed her lips in thought and toyed with the potato salad on her plate. “I think you need a good stiff dick inside you—the larger the better—instead of traipsing into the jungle. Say the word and I’ll open my little black book and make a call.”
Rachel’s eyes widened as Jac pulled out her smart phone and started scanning. Jac methodically went down her address list, throwing out names. “Brett—now there’s a cock a woman can sink onto—mmm…mmm…eight inches of pure male pleasure.” She growled in remembrance, before glancing at the pickle in Rachel’s hand and making a sour face. “I can’t believe you can eat that.”
Rachel grinned and sucked on the dill spear. “I am in ecstasy over my pickle. Just the pickle.” She looked around to make sure no one listened, before leaning in to add, “And contrary to what you believe, a big penis does not solve all life’s problems.”
Jac gazed at Rachel as if she’d just blown tea out of her nose.
Rachel shifted under the scrutiny. “Jac, you’ve watched True Blood and Sex in the City one too many times. Besides, I’m not sure Brett would appreciate the assessment, pimp woman.”
An image of her dream man flashed through Rachel’s mind. She saw him above her, on the verge of thrusting inside her aching channel. His perfect ten-inch phallus poised, dripping with dew. Rachel felt herself grow wet.
Brigit laughed and snapped her fingers in front of Rachel’s face. “You still with us?”
Right on cue, the telltale warmth of embarrassment spread across her face, until it felt as if her ears would burn off. Rachel sputtered. “I—of course.”
Jac leveled her gaze on Rachel, challenge echoing in her voice. “When was the last time you had a good lay? Six months? A year? Never—if you’re thinking about Stan, that lame excuse of a fiancé you dumped a while back.”
Rachel flushed anew and shot Jac a pointed look, taking in her friend’s fierce expression. How long had it been since she’d had sex? A year? Two? Yikes, the last time was with Stan and that was ages ago.
Last night, the little voice in her head whispered.
Rachel rolled her eyes. She was losing her mind if she was actually considering dream sex real. The fact that it was better than anything she’d ever had spoke volumes about her love life.
She missed sex. Maybe the time had come to consider ending her self-imposed abstinence. And she would, just as soon as she got back from the expedition.
“You better enjoy that pickle now, because you’re not going to be able to get those, or good cock in that god forsaken jungle.” Jac’s gaze narrowed into icy slits and her voice lowered to her corporate attorney “this is serious” tone.
Rachel released a heavy breath. Jac had been trying furiously to dissuade her from going on this expedition, since she’d mentioned it to her on the phone earlier this morning.
Brigit took that moment to shove a horoscope in front of Rachel’s face. Brigit’s mop of red hair hung in arranged disarray. The afternoon sun caught the color, turning it into living flame. Freckles dotted her rosy cheeks and wire-rimmed glasses slipped down her slender nose, giving her a disgruntled funky schoolmarm vibe. “Jac’s right.” Brigit poked the paper for emphasis. “The signs are bad. It’s all here in black and white. If you go to that jungle you’ll be in grave danger.”
Rachel shook her head at Brigit’s fanaticism for astrology.
Her friend was dressed in a day-glow green skirt, with a matching striped shirt. The color set off her cat-like eyes, making Brigit shine in the ensemble. Anyone else wearing that outfit would have looked like a deformed caterpillar.
“I’m serious,” Brigit insisted.
Rachel snorted and Jac snickered. She knew Jac didn’t believe in those kinds of things any more than she did, but Rachel picked up the newspaper clipping and glanced at it before tucking the horoscope into her purse, so that she didn’t hurt Brigit’s feelings.
“Well?” Brigit glared.
“Thanks, girlfriend. I’ll take the fact I’m going to meet a handsome man from a far away land into consideration.” Rachel glanced at Jac, who seemed to be trying desperately not to crack a smile.
“Did you read the bottom?”
Rachel sighed and met Brigit’s gaze. “I read that ‘trouble may come if I choose to travel’, but it’s not going to stop me from going. If I used my horoscope to determine my movements, I wouldn’t leave the house.”
Brigit shook her head and sighed. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” She took a big sip of tea, and the loud sucking sound caused people at nearby tables to turn and stare.
Brigit cocked her head and glared at the strangers’ faces until they turned away. When her attention came back to the table, she changed the subject. “What hotel are you staying at?”
Rachel giggled behind her napkin at her friend’s question. “There are no hotels where I’m going.”
Brigit’s jaw dropped. “Then where are you going to sleep? A cottage or something?”
“Nope. A tent.”
“A tent!” rang out in unison as her friends’ voices converged.
“You’ve never been camping a day in your life!” The color drained from Jac’s usual creamy features. “I thought you’d be staying in a village hut or something.”
Brigit was aghast. “B-But there are bugs in the jungle and snakes and goodness knows what all.”
“You guys.” Rachel held up her hand to silence their verbal assault. “I realize that I may not have much experience in the field…”
Jac’s brow arched. “Did you take an extension course that we don’t know about?”
“Okay, no field experience.” Rachel glanced at Jac and then down at her salad. “But I have waited my whole life for an opportunity like this, and I’m not about to let it pass me by. You know that if I can make a discovery of any kind while I’m there, then Dr. Rumsinger won’t be able to block my promotion.”
“That bastard is just stringing you along,” Jac muttered. “There’s no way he’s going to sign off on your promotion no matter what you find.”
Rachel’s chin shot up in determination. “That’s why I’m going down there.” She clenched her fork to shore up her courage. “The last thing Rumsinger wants is to draw the attention of the board of directors. If I find something, I’ll take it directly to the board if I have to. This is my chance to outmaneuver the slippery bastard.”
“I don’t know, Rachel.” Jac shook her head. “It seems like an awfully big risk for the possibility of no returns. We don’t want to see you get hurt.” She looked to Brigit, who nodded her head in agreement.
Rachel was Jac’s pet project. She’d taken Rachel under her wing and had shown her the ropes of socializing and corporate climbing in New York. Rachel hadn’t excelled at either, but Jac still remained her staunchest supporter and fiercest protector.
From the outside, Jac had it all. The fact that she was a five-foot eleven, ice blond with riveting blue eyes just made her an even more intimidating corporate attorney. Rachel was five-foot four in heels and had a few too many curves for today’s fashion conscious society. If Jac was Vogue magazine, then Rachel, with her curly brown hair and her hazel eyes, was Home and Garden. Jac ate men for breakfast, lunch and dinner in her personal life and professionally. She had enough guts to take on an army and win, but Rachel didn’t. To Jac, men were toys to be fucked and forgotten, unless they amused her, in which case they normally lasted a week or two. Her heart lay behind well-protected barricades. Rachel wasn’t a doormat, but she couldn’t intimidate a fly. That’s why it had taken her months to break up with Brad. Months of heartache she could’ve done without. Like Brad, her boss, Dr. Rumsinger had been giving her the runaround about her promotion. He put her off repeatedly, telling her that he was working on it, when in fact he’d done nothing. Rachel knew the only way to change things was to go on this expedition.
“Reconsider,” Jac said. “There has to be another way, a better way to get around Rumsinger.”
“There isn’t,” Rachel said. “Believe me, I’ve tried everything. This is my best shot, my only shot if I want that promotion. And you guys know how desperately I want that promotion. I’ve earned it.”
“I could draw up a discrimination lawsuit,” Jac said.
“No!” Rachel said. “I’d lose my promotion for good and most likely my job. It and you guys are the only reasons I have to stay in the city. It’s not like I’ve got family holding me here. I love what I do. I’d like to continue doing it.”
Most people could never understand why they’d remained friends, but Rachel knew the real Jac. The Jaclyn Patricia Ward who showed up with chicken soup and a good chick flick when Rachel was sick. The one who sent Rachel flowers if she had a stinker of a date, which wasn’t often since she’d sworn off dating a couple years ago. The one who admitted deep down that she was just as lonely as Rachel. Rachel loved Jac like the sister she never had. It was that love that made her take a different tack. “Brigit, remember when everyone told you that you couldn’t break into clothing design without a degree? Who encouraged you to go for it?”
Her delicate features pinched, Brigit stared for what felt like forever, before nodding begrudgingly. “You did.”
Rachel released the breath she’d been holding and turned to Jac’s cool gaze. “When you thought you were unprepared to take on the Hiro Corporation as head negotiator in the merger, what did I tell you, Jac?”
“That I’m the ballsiest broad you know and that I could negotiate a boat from a drowning man.” Jac ran a trembling hand through her cropped blond locks. Her hair fell back in place.
“And you did.” Rachel paused and looked from Jac’s blue eyes to Brigit’s green. “You both did. Now it’s my turn.” Her voice pleaded for understanding.
Jac sighed, a wistful sound that seemed unnatural coming from her. “I’m sorry. You’re right. We should be more understanding, but I just don’t get why they need you.” She took a sip of tea, then patted the side of her mouth with a linen napkin without mussing her blood red lipstick.
With a shrug, Rachel replied, “You know I specialize in ancient languages, among other things. The point of this expedition is to try to locate a mysterious ‘lost tribe’ that the natives in the area fear. If we succeed, then it wouldn’t hurt to have someone along who might be able to communicate with them. That’s where I come in.” She waved her hand dismissively. “Personally, I think the stories about the ‘lost tribe’ are nonsense. No one from the outside has ever encountered them or seen signs that they exist. I suspect it’s just superstition that has been passed down from generation to generation.”
“So if you don’t believe that they’re real, then why go?” Brigit asked.
“I’m hoping to discover a new species while I’m down there or stumble across an artifact.” Rachel took a sip of tea and giggled before adding, “I’m sure it pissed Donald off big time to have the board of directors order him to take me along, seeing as this is his pet project.”
Jac snorted. “Why did they agree?”
“Because I bugged them until they said yes,” Rachel said. “I learned that from you, Jac.”
Jac’s lips twitched in amusement.
Brigit’s head bobbed in approval. “So you’re like ‘DATA’ or ‘C3PO’?” She picked up her sandwich, turning it around and around, examining every angle as if to decide which spot was best to bite.
Rachel laughed. “Leave it to a sci-fi junkie to make that warped analogy.”
“What about safety precautions? What if you get hurt?” Brigit’s eyes rounded, concern showing in their green depths. “If I understand you correctly the area you’re going into hasn’t been well explored.”
Rachel nodded. “It is definitely remote, but we’ll have several armed guides with us. And the surrounding areas have been mapped and cataloged. Most of them anyway.” She pulled out her guidebook to show them.
Jac snatched it from her hands and thumbed through the pages. “This only talks about the animals and plants indigenous to the area.” Her gaze bored holes in Rachel. “Are you going to carry a gun?”
Rachel nodded. “I’ve been told it is mandatory, due to unknown factors.”
“What unknown factors?” Brigit’s brow furrowed. She put her egg salad sandwich back down on the plate. “A minute ago, you implied it was safe.”
“It is safe. Well, as safe as any jungle can be.” Rachel couldn’t hold back the sarcasm. “As for the unknown factors, if I knew, then they wouldn’t be unknown, now would they?”
“Hey don’t take that tone with me,” Brigit snapped, her voice rising with each word. “You’re the one who’s decided to go gallivanting off into the jungle unprepared.”
Rachel blew out a breath in frustration. “I won’t be unprepared. We’ll have first-aid kits and radios, in case we need to call for help.” She didn’t bother telling them that radios seemed to pick up weird interference when near the area, which made broadcasting spotty at best. “I’m even going to bring my new satellite cellphone with built in GPS. Hopefully it’ll work.”
“What do you mean by ‘hopefully’?” Jac asked.
Rachel shifted in her seat. “Nothing, really.”
“Rachel,” Brigit said, drawing out her name.
She rolled her shoulders. “The electronic readings in the area are a little odd.”
“Define odd.” Jac’s voice pinched with pent up tension.
Rachel rubbed her neck. “It’s almost as if the area is a giant vortex. Kind of like the Bermuda Triangle, but on land.” She paused, her mind churning with possibilities. “Cool, huh?”
Jac and Brigit frowned. A waiter appeared and refilled their glasses.
Rachel waited for him to leave before she continued. “To be honest, the readings have been off the charts. It’s possible there is an untapped energy source that exists in the heart of the rainforest. It would be the discovery of a lifetime if I could locate its source.”
Brigit stared at her. “I thought you were looking to discover a new species or the lost tribe.”
Rachel sighed. “I’ll take any of them at this point.”
“What about the terrain?” Jac asked.
“There are mountains on one side, sheer cliffs on the other, plus a treacherous river that snakes through the area, effectively cutting off the only traversable entrance.” Rachel grinned as she imagined what the area would look like once she arrived. The photos only gave a minimal idea of the vast expanse. “Oh, and let’s not forget the jungle. We really don’t know what we’ll find until we get there. Heck, it’ll take three days just to hike in.”
Brigit’s face lost all color. “You’re going to hike?”
“I realize I’m not a tri-athlete like Jac, but I’m not in too bad of shape.” Rachel shrugged. “Besides you’re one to talk, Brigit. Your idea of a walk is the distance it takes to cross the sidewalk to get to the cab door.”
Both women stared at her as if she had a third eye in the center of her forehead. Rachel had meant to lose those last ten pounds months ago, but excuses and Ben and Jerry’s got in the way. The friends ate the rest of their lunch in silence, each left to her own thoughts. Rachel knew she was doing what was right for her. She’d thought by having this lunch that she’d be able to ease her friends’ minds and garner their support. Instead, it had backfired. They were now more worried than ever. Not that she blamed them. If things were reversed, she’d be just as concerned for their welfare.
“If we’d have known we could have gotten you a going away present.” Jac grumbled, glancing at Brigit, who nodded.
Expelling a long breath, Rachel pulled out a couple of scraps of paper and a pen from her purse, scrawling while she spoke. “Listen, guys. I want you both to have this number—it’s my new cell. Don’t worry. I’ll be back in three weeks tops. I promise I’ll call when I get there. If you like I’ll check in every week.” She grabbed both their hands, shoving the paper in their palms while giving them a quick squeeze. “So, if you don’t hear from me in a week, send in the marines.” Rachel laughed at her own joke. “Or you could come, Jac,” she continued. “You had that SEAL training from your dad. I wish I’d—”
Jac frowned, her blue eyes clouding with pain from long ago memories.
Crap, why did I say that? Rachel thought. “I’m sorry…you know I didn’t mean—”
“Forget about it. I already have.” Jac’s face resumed its normal flawless mask.
Rachel rubbed her temple, attempting to ease the tension that had taken up residence there. She could just kick herself for being so insensitive. Even after all these years, Jac still had a difficult time dealing with her father’s death.
The women were silent as they tucked the papers into their purses. Rachel hated upsetting her friends; they were the closest thing to family she had. If it wasn’t for Brigit and Jac, she’d have nothing to return to once the expedition ended.
A cold feeling brushed along Rachel’s spine and over her shoulders, as if someone had just walked over her grave. She shivered and rubbed her arms, deciding it was better to keep that little sensation to herself.