Authors: Tigris Eden
Tags: #V Vices Book 1
Diamond: Beyond the Red Door
V Vices Series
Table of Contents
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, email the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the work of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or even events is entirely coincidental.
Kats Kreative Ideas
Cover: Jenn Howard Gun Powder Designs
Edited by: Chelle Olson of Literally Addicted to Detail
“The Shadow Unit Series is an edge of your seat thrill ride full of steamy romance, conspiracy and best of all, hot shifters. A great series for any lover of the genre.” -
Author S. Cu’Anam Policar.
“This was one of the best 2nd in a series books I think I have ever read. I have been waiting to see what happened with Jes and Draven, the hotness that is Royce and Ronin. Great Follow up. Great writing, can’t wait till the others come out!” –
“Just when you think happily ever after there is another twist in the story that keeps you turning the page.” –
“The Shadow Unit Series is intense, gritty and HOT HOT HOT!!!” –
“Intrigue, love and action make an irresistible read.” –
“Once you start reading them you can’t put them down until you’re finished. Then you are anxiously waiting for the next.” –
“Shadow Unit Series is an emotional, raw, sexy, action packed paranormal fabulousness that sucks you in from page one. You will cry, laugh, and blush throughout the series and burn for more.” –
Indy Book Fairy
“Hunky men, steamy scenes, romance and a touch of the paranormal. What more can you ask for? It’s all here in the Shadow Unit.”
“The Shadow Unit series is an edge of your seat mix of adventure and romance that will leave the readers wanting more!”
–Ty Langston, Author of Decadent Dreams
Praise for Arctic Bound
“Arctic Bound is meltingly passionate and explosively sexy! Ms. Eden brings us an amazing story. Arctic Bound kept me guessing! Doesn’t happen often but I was stunned speechless a few times with plot twists I never saw coming.” –
Bitten by Love
“I enjoyed Arctic Bound because of the heroine, she was no one’s push over. She was a fighter. There was passion, mystery and all kinds of paranormal creatures.” –
“Do you want dark and brooding? Check. Do you want a heroine with a troubled past? Check. Do you want the leads to not be physically perfect? Partial check. Do you want your paranormal favorites in one place? Huge Check!” –
“I love Tigris Eden as an author and here’s why, she puts everything I want in a book without it being too much. I am a huge fan of adding diversity into books and Tigris delivers.” –
Reese’s Book reviews
“The well-orchestrated events of this romance keep readers on the edge of their seats and ensure that the readers want to know everything. I was completely bewitched by the Arctic Wolves and their fascinating world and I can’t wait to read the next one.”–
There is only one person I’d like to dedicate Diamond to. Michelle (Chelle) Olson. To say that she’s a phenomenal person is an understatement. I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure there were times, and she knows what I’m talking about, when she wondered what planet I was born on, or why I would even think to add such a thing to the story. Well, according to one reviewer at PW, (not quoting verbatim) I write such things with relish and glee. I think we both put more than our blood, sweat, and tears into this story. My entire heart went into this adventure, and I truly think Chelle’s did too. You asked all the right questions, and pushed me farther than most would, and I am truly grateful. I want to point out, that during the course of this Diamond in the rough, I may have watched the
Never Ending Story
, just so I could scream at the end…”MOON CHILD!” Or “The Nothing.”
You are my Peacock, Chelle, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to many more moments of craziness from me.
I’d like to say a big thank you to my amazing street team over at Eden’s Den for all the promo you did leading up to the release of Diamond. Special shout outs go to Dianne Donovan, Tina Becker, JoAnna Becker, Alexandra Baginsky, Sharrice Aleshire, and of course Jennilinh Dinh my amazing admin for coming up with great ways to get me out there! You foxy women are the best!
This book truly is a first for me. I’ve always enjoyed reading the dystopian, post-apocalyptic genre, and when I first started out, I wanted this to be a romance. But I quickly realized, who truly has time to foster the type of romance I had envisioned for my hero/heroine? Then my characters flipped the script on me, and decided they were going to the left, when I wanted them to go right. I’d like to point out to all my new and seasoned readers—this is nothing like anything I’ve written in the past. This is fresh, it’s new, totally not your everyday read. Strap on your seatbelts. I hope the ride is enjoyable! I’d now like to introduce you all to the one, the only, Lavarious Diamond.
“I’m going to use everything you got, to get everything I need,
and give you the leftovers I don’t want.”
I’ve always been good at killing. I don’t want to kill today, but I don’t see any other option. Things are different now that I know the truth.
My grandmother, Esa, told me there was a time when you could drive up to a building and order food. It was called a drive-thru. I’m lucky if I can trap and kill my food these days. Living in the wastelands is harsh. The Outer Rim isn’t any better, but it’s too close to those who dwell inside the Mainland borders. Some of the Clans took to the Rager way of life and became cannibalistic. Eating the old or infirmed. But to drive up and ask for food and just have it given to you... A luxury some would dream of. If I told anyone what Esa said, no one would believe me. Not now. I don’t remember drive-thrus. According to my grandmother, it’s because I was too young to remember. But I think it has more to do with the fact that I’m four thousand, one hundred, and forty synodic months old. That’s in Lunar months; we don’t keep track of days, but rather the moon’s cycle. Though that would be about three hundred forty-five years. But I don’t look a day over four hundred and eighteen synods. Okay, I could pass for three hundred and forty-eight. And a half. Hell, I think that’s when I stopped aging anyway.
Esa is my
. She’s also my
, my teacher. Today is the day of the great migration, only, I’m not going. I’ll be leaving our camp, but I’m heading in the opposite direction. My people have been on Earth for some time. My
Clan came by way of Biel, a comet passing close to Earth’s atmosphere. Traveling by comet until we come upon a place that’s habitable is the way of my mother’s people. Cultivating the land and living among the planet’s inhabitants in peace. A very short-lived peace. There are Clans who saw Earth’s downfall as a way to rise up and take control.
I was born after the fall of modern civilization and I’ve watched as the people of Earth adapted. Overcoming the darkness, famine. Side by side, we’ve restored, reclaimed, and reproduced. Technology is hoarded. Water, in its purest form, has become a luxury and is now called Wave. Everyone and everything is for sale. There are flesh markets, but there’s only one place to go if you want good quality, and that’s the Quarry.
My mother’s people are called Travelers. And as my father is of Earth, I’m in between. We are extremely long-lived as long as we take care of our bodies. Females born to a Traveler inherit their mother’s lifespan. The day I was born, my mother, Senna, departed. Males who are born to a Traveler and a male of Earth inherit their father’s likeness and are short-lived. The female Traveler who gives birth does not leave and is able to care for her son. Those family units are the happiest. Mine never was.
I was given to Esa because my father couldn’t bear to look at me. Like my mother, I am a Traveler. I look human, have human emotions, exhibit all the traits one would deem human nature, but that’s the extent of my humanity. I’m more agile, faster, my senses are heightened. I can breathe under water, and my body naturally filters out anything considered harmful to my anatomy. I can go weeks without eating. I’m resilient. Have to be, it’s the only reason I’ve survived for so long. But Esa, my
, likes to remind me of the one thing I do not possess. The Locking
Travelers are able to Lock away their emotions. Disable them if they choose not to feel. It’s a defense mechanism. I’ve heard some of the men at camp speaking about women who Lock down until they find their mate. Because my senses are heightened, I feel everything in exaggeration. I’ve learned to control it, but barely. There are times when I get so overwhelmed I pass out from exhaustion.
“When are you leaving? The Clan is packed and ready to go.”
Esa puts a hand to my face, a show of comfort. A false comfort. She’s been Locked and turned off for as long as I can remember. Any show of affection is merely out of forced habit.
“I’ll be gone shortly,
.” As my Clan prepares for their journey, I’m getting ready to seek entrance beyond the Red Door. It’s a place we’ve all avoided thus far. There is talk of those who know of our existence and look to exploit us. The Five Towers beyond the Red Door are notorious for their over-indulgence of drugs, flesh, and any other item they deem profitable or pleasurable.
Esa looks up at me, her pale grey eyes clear and focused. People would think we’re sisters. But she’s far older than I am. Almost twelve thousand, five hundred, and four. Her long, black hair is braided and falls just past her hips. She’s dressed in a brown leather duster with black stitching. The collar is stiff and protects her head. There is a hole in the back to allow her braid to hang loosely outside her jacket. She’s wearing a skintight, double-plated, mesh metal top and pants made from the hide of one of the giant bats we find nesting in the nearby caves that fit like a second skin. Her blades are strapped to the sides of her thighs, and her cannon gun is tethered to her back. She wears the markings of a
. Red and silver paint covers the bridge of her nose and eyelids. There is a red line painted in the middle of her lips. Everyone in the Clan is painted in similar fashion.