Alex Sheridan has no memories of life before the age of 7, when he emerged from the sea on the coast of modern Greece. Scarred and scared, Alex was adopted by an American family but knew he was very different from others when he discovered that he not only had unusual powers, but he also had powerful dreams; visions that were not his own, yet were somehow a part of him.
Alex is an illustrated man. The scars on his body, which he’s had styled into intricate tattoos, tell an ancient story and reveal a past life that ended in sacrifice, murder, and betrayal. It is a story that belongs to another, a boy who’d died many centuries earlier in Ancient Greece at Apollo’s temple at Delphi. The boy is sacrificed in the name of greed by a priest who lusts for the power of the Oracle, but he’s spared by Apollo and ascends with the gods to live under their protection for fifty lifetimes before returning to fulfill his destiny.
A directive given by Alex’s murdered lover just before he dies, sends Alex to Greece where he begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding himself and his past – a past that may only be able to be deciphered by one man, Luke MacKinnon, an American professor who is an expert in the history and language of Ancient Greece, and a man whom Alex had met only very briefly a short time before.
Luke is a self professed daydreamer whose life is “anything but normal.” He is dedicated to a field of work that sometimes removes him from his own world and leads him into an ancient past that leaves him little time to connect with anyone but his students. When he’s contacted by the US military to assist them in finding a powerful weapon that was prophesied to exist, Luke finds that the key to its discovery lies in decoding the mystery of “the painted man.” When he discovers that he is a part of that ancient prophesy, his connection to Alex becomes an unbreakable bond that propels them both into danger.