The Apprentice, Volume 1
Where duty and passion collide—The Twelve Systems Chronicles.
In a society where honor is revered and love is a luxury, a woman in peril and ruthless warrior enter into a dangerous contract. To survive, Lilian vows to give Lucius her complete obedience. To achieve his ambitions, Lucius vows to keep Lilian alive. Keeping those vows will prove more difficult than either of them could have imagined.
Lilian is twenty-four, well-educated, disgraced, destitute and desperate. Raised to wealth and power, her expectations of a bright future were destroyed when her father was executed for foul crimes. Her family name is erased, their cartouche melted, their property forfeit. Determined to survive and protect what remains of her family, Lilian becomes the apprentice of a powerful warrior. For three years, he will train her for a position in the Cartels. In return, Lilian will yield him absolute control of her mind and body.
Lucius Mercio is the preeminent warrior of his Cartouche, and the Cartel it dominates; the Serengeti Group. Ruthless, clever and ambitious, Lucius’ wealth, influence, and power are exceeded by few within the Twelve Systems. It is not sufficient. Lucius intends to take his Cartel to unimaginable heights with the aid of Lilian’s brilliance. He faces only one obstacle. Lucius must keep Lilian alive.