Her mother dying in a poisonous plot of power.
An instrument of peace threatening destruction.
A warrior determined to uncover her secrets.
Piper Akins has lived her entire life in the clutches of an evil cult and yearns to run away. But with her mother’s life at stake, she is forced to follow the leaders’ demands to search for the supposed magical trumpet of King Tut—knowing the power it will give them once it is in their possession.
Math might be the smartest warrior in the force, but the only way to prove himself is to work with Piper to find the missing trumpet of peace and defeat the evil cult before they can destroy the world. However, Piper has secrets, and the fulfillment of her quest means the failure of his.
While she and Math circle around each other, pretending one thing, believing another, Piper finds herself falling for the brave warrior. But her mother will die if Piper doesn’t betray him. And Math must offer more than muscles and brains to win Piper over. He must offer his heart.
Can both learn to trust each other in time to stop mankind’s annihilation?
“The characters are fun, flirty and mysterious. The storyline is engaging and wonderfully paced. Oh yes, I am digging these Warriors and their history. 5 Magical Stars!”—I Read Indie Review (Originally published as Peace Piper)
Other books in the series: Warrior’s Destiny, Warrior’s Chaos, Warrior’s Curse
Math was not short for Matthew. It was a name the other Warriors had given him because of his unusual understanding of math and science. He hated the name, wanted to be recognized as a strong Warrior, not just a brainiac. Retrieving Tut’s silver trumpet was his first assignment as a Warrior fighting for goodness and light and love.
The other Warriors had teased him about getting an easy assignment, making him feel unworthy of the Warrior title. How dangerous could a trumpet of peace be? Falcon had come with him to retrieve the trumpet the first time. If he could bring in the silver trumpet on his own and using his brawn, he’d be given other assignments, more dangerous and physically demanding missions. Except he’d already missed two opportunities to recover the trumpet. He had to make sure the third time was a success.
Piper slipped into the booth opposite him. She wore all black. Her shoulder-length hair appeared to have been hacked by a knife and the maroon-colored dye clashed with her dusty-colored skin.
Yet, something drew him to her. He couldn’t name it—another unusual thing about her.
“Where’s the other guy?” Her question shot him with a jealousy arrow. Obviously, she was more interested in Falcon.
The arrow splintered into resentment, hardening Math’s heart. “Falcon’s busy following another lead.”
“On the silver trumpet?” Her dark eyebrows—not dyed—rose, the right one hiding beneath the side bangs.
The skin on her arms and face were smooth. The jolt of healing power Math had sent into her skin yesterday had helped. He didn’t buy the broken mirror story, something more sinister had happened. Her finger appeared straight and not swollen. His protective instincts rose and so did his surprise. He wanted to fight her battles. The internal admission caused his pulse to race.
He couldn’t fight anything for her. He had his own quest.
“No. Something else.” He planned to tell her little. This wasn’t going to be a partnership like she’d suggested on the phone. He needed to know what she knew, and then end their alliance.
They both ordered sodas from the waitress. While waiting, Piper fiddled with the small jukebox sitting on the table. The old-fashioned music machine actually held the latest songs.
“There.” She punched one of the buttons and music streamed around their table, making the scene more intimate. “My favorite song.”
The fact her favorite was an upbeat pop song confounded him. It didn’t go along with her sharp hair and sharper attitude. As if all her edges, inside and out, were carved to a point. He examined the music machine, taking in the song selection, buttons, and coin drop. Formulas formed in his head about how the machine worked and what she’d done didn’t compute.
His brain whirred. Curiosity a constant companion. “Doesn’t the machine need money?”
Her bow-shaped mouth teased into a mischievous grin, and her deep-brown eyes lit with a secret.
The waitress set two sodas on the table.
Piper took a sip and set down the cup. “Let’s get started.”
She wasn’t going to answer his question. He’d have to research these music machines and figure out how she got it to work without a coin. That wasn’t important now. It wasn’t why he was here.
“Tell me everything you know. How did your uncle come into possession of the trumpet? Who was he supposed to give or sell it to? Did you recognize the men who stole the instrument?” His curiosity and impatience showed in his list of questions. He wanted to get on with his quest because sitting in a coffee shop wouldn’t prove anything to his brothers.
She leaned back in the booth. Her expressive eyebrows flew up again. “How did you know the trumpet was stolen?”
Super sarcophagus. He wasn’t supposed to know the trumpet was stolen. Something about Piper scattered his brains. He needed to get the information and get away from her chocolatey-brown eyes and sensual smile. How should he play this?
“It was obvious from your uncle’s messy office. The papers on the floor, the smashed items.” Good thing he had a photographic memory.
She nodded her head slowly, indicating her thought processes were at work. “Two men stole the trumpet. They were in the office when I arrived. I have a video on my phone.”
Her head jerked, and she stared at him as if he was from another planet, not just another century.
Wrong decade, Math.
Shrugging, he waved a hand around. “This coffee shop is soooo nineteen-seventies.” And now he sounded like he was from the nineteen-eighties. He really needed to watch more current television shows.
Her narrow gaze stayed glued to him. He tried not to fidget or shift or look uncomfortable while she judged, even though sweat poured from his pits. He wasn’t an actor and he hated lying. He’d researched her and her uncle’s background. Low-life Uncle Louie had a rap sheet as long as a rolled parchment. A San Francisco police officer and friend of the Warriors had given him the information.
Information about Piper was harder to find. She didn’t attend any local schools. There was no birth record or doctor or hospital visits recorded. Either she’d been the healthiest kid in the world, or everything had been done under the table. She didn’t even have an official address. Math assumed she lived with her uncle.
He could handle calculated guesses or theories based on fact. He hated assumptions. She became a larger curiosity than the music machine. A puzzle he couldn’t take the time to figure out.