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Authors: J. R. Rain,Aiden James

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Thriller & Suspense, #Romance, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Suspense, #Thriller

Pyramid of the Gods

BOOK: Pyramid of the Gods
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PYRAMID OF THE GODS

 

Nick Caine #3

 

by

 

J.R. RAIN

&

AIDEN JAMES

 

 

Acclaim for J.R. Rain and Aiden James:

 

“Gripping, adventurous, and romantic—J.R. Rain’s
The Lost Ark
is a breakneck thriller that traces the thread of history from Biblical stories to current-day headlines. Be prepared to lose sleep!”


James Rollins
, international bestselling author of
Bloodline

 

“Aiden James has written a deeply psychological, gripping tale that keeps the readers hooked from page one.”


Bookfinds
on
The Forgotten Eden

 


J.R. Rain delivers a blend of action and wit that always entertains. Quick with the one-liners, but his characters are fully fleshed out (even the undead ones) and you’ll come back again and again.


Scott Nicholson
, bestselling author of
After: The Shock

 

“The intense writing style of Aiden James kept my eyes glued to the story and the pages seemed to fly by at warp speed. Twists, turns, and surprises pop up at random times to keep the reader off balance. It all blends together to create one of the best stories I have read all year.”


Huntress Reviews
for The Devil’s Paradise

 

 

Other Books by J.R. Rain

 

STANDALONE NOVELS

The Lost Ark

The Body Departed

Elvis Has
Not
Left the Building

Silent Echo

Bound By Blood

Judas Silver: An Adventure Novel

Lost Eden: An Adventure Novel

 

VAMPIRE FOR HIRE

Moon Dance

Vampire Moon

American Vampire

Moon Child

Christmas Moon

Vampire Dawn

Vampire Games

Moon Island

Moon River

Vampire Sun

 

SAMANTHA MOON

SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS

Teeth

Vampire Nights

Vampires Blues

Vampire Dreams

Halloween Moon

Vampire Gold

Blue Moon

Vampire Requiem

 

THE WITCHES SERIES

The Witch and the Gentleman

The Witch and the Angel

 

JIM KNIGHTHORSE

Dark Horse

The Mummy Case

Hail Mary

Clean Slate

 

NICK CAINE

with Aiden James

Temple of the Jaguar

Treasure of the Deep

Pyramid of the Gods

Curse of the Druids

 

THE SPINOZA TRILOGY

The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo

The Vampire Who Played Dead

The Vampire in the Iron Mask

 

THE GRAIL QUEST TRILOGY

Arthur

Merlin

Lancelot

 

THE ALADDIN TRILOGY

with Piers Anthony

Aladdin Relighted

Aladdin Sins Bad

Aladdin and the Flying Dutchman

 

THE WALKING PLAGUE TRILOGY

with Elizabeth Basque

Zombie Patrol

Zombie Rage

Zombie Mountain

 

THE SPIDER TRILOGY

with Scott Nicholson and H.T. Night

Bad Blood

Spider Web

Spider Bite

 

COLLABORATIONS

Cursed (with Scott Nicholson)

The Vampire Club (with Scott Nicholson)

Ghost College (with Scott Nicholson)

Dragon Assassin (with Piers Anthony)

Dolfin Tayle (with Piers Anthony)

Daughters of Eve (with P.J. Day)

Zombie Party: Stories (with P.J. Day)

Hear No Evil (with A.K. Alexander)

 

 

Other Books by Aiden James

 

The Actuator (with James Wymore)

The Serendipitous Curse (with Lisa Collicut)

 

JUDAS CHRONICLES

Plague of Coins

Reign of Coins

Destiny of Coins

The Dragon Coin

 

DYING OF THE DARK SERIES

The Vampires’ Last Lover

The Vampires’ Birthright

Blood Princesses of the Vampires

Scarlet Legacy of the Vampires

 

NICK CAINE SERIES

with J.R. Rain

Temple of the Jaguar

Treasure of the Deep

Pyramid of the Gods

Curse of the Druids

 

TALISMAN CHRONICLES

The Forgotten Eden

The Devil’s Paradise

Hurakan’s Chalice

 

CADES COVE SERIES

Cades Cove

The Raven Mocker

 

GHOSTHUNTERS 101 SERIES

Deadly Night

The Ungrateful Dead

 

JUDAS REFLECTIONS SERIES

with Michelle Wright

The Whitechapel Murders

Curse of Stigmata

 

 

Pyramid of the Gods

Copyright © 2012 by J.R. Rain and Aiden James

All rights reserved.

 

Ebook Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

Pyramid of the Gods

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

The Great Sand Sea in Egypt,

Near the Sudan border

Present Day

 

Moonlight bathed the forgotten landscape, and I surveyed the vast ocean of sand before me. We would hopefully reach our general destination in the morning. I say ‘general’ for a reason. A damned good reason.

I’ve got a map, handed down through several generations of my buddy Mario Thomas’s family. The Romanian side of the family, that is. For those following my story, you might recall that I mentioned how Mario and I attended UCLA together, and we often talked about the map. Shortly after graduation, we journeyed to Egypt with dreams of claiming the infinite gold hidden beneath these very sands.

We never made it. Well, that’s not exactly true. We made it to the general area, and as we began our excavation of what we thought was the most logical spot for the legendary Hittite tunnels buried for centuries, a heartless villain named Leo Da Vinci showed up with his henchmen. Both Mario and I were still wet behind the ears, in terms of understanding what a map worth millions of dollars in gold pieces could mean to such a man.

Mario died wearing a nervous smile, scarcely believing this man named after the greatest thinker in history was a cold-blooded killer. After all, the two of them had shared a jovial conversation outside the ministry’s office in Cairo. When Mario revealed our plans to stake a claim near the eastern edge of Libya’s sprawling desert, he unknowingly sealed his fate.
Our
fate. A single bullet shredded my buddy’s brain, and I was forced to bury his corpse in the sand at gunpoint.

I thought I’d die, too, and something inside did die. The small part of me believing in the inherent decency of mankind—despite witnessing my parents’ brutal murder as a child in Sudan, two hundred miles south of where I presently stood—shriveled up for good that day.

Not that I don’t carry compassion for others, as many of you know. Entrusting my heart to the care of others, however, is another matter entirely.


It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” said Marie.

Yes, another Da Vinci, though completely unlike her reviled uncle. Her deep blue eyes, rounded like a doe’s, glistened in the firelight from the nearby camp. The small gold flecks in her irises seemed to capture and hold the fire’s heat. She slipped a hand inside my right one, since my left hand remained occupied with my last cigarette of the night. We would be retiring soon, with another day’s travel deeper into the desert set to commence at dawn.

“It’s all right, I guess.”


What are you thinking about, hon?” She snuggled closer, peering into my face. Perhaps Marie glimpsed my inner war sparked by the minister of foreign affairs giving clearances with nary a question about our dig’s ramifications. It was too clean, too sterile, and too damned easy. “Can you imagine what this place was like when rivers flowed through it four thousand years ago?”

I smiled in response. It was more like thirty-two hundred years ago. But, why quibble over a difference in scientific interpretation of scattered ruins throughout the region?

“I wish it’s what I’ve been thinking about,” I said, finding it hard to resist those eyes...or her natural pouting lips. The promise of passion lay on the horizon. “What if we can’t find it?”


The site you and Mario uncovered?”


And, shortly thereafter, the site your dear Uncle Leo exploited in our absence.”
Ouch.
It’s not what I wanted to say. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so harsh.”


It’s okay.” Her voice revealed the wound I just inflicted. “If your uncle tried to kill me twice, I might think the same thing. Don’t forget Uncle Leo intended to murder me, too, and he is my father’s killer.”

She literally shuddered. Damn, we all had some serious issues.

“May he find a phalanx of horny demon bubbas in Hell, with a fondness for sharp objects.” I pulled her closer, hating the fact our shared hurts were part of the glue that held us together as a...couple? No, too early for that. An ‘item’, perhaps, wrapped in shared personality deficiencies. Two screwed up people hoping to make a dysfunctional romance last. “I suppose Ishi and Akiiki are trying to get some sleep.”


Early start.” She motioned to their darkened tent across from ours. “Akiiki seems the most anxious to get on with it.”


We’ll see about that. Say, did you try any of his honey liquor?”


What, that mead shit he brought with him?”


I guess you didn’t care for it either, huh?”


No. But he and Ishi seem to like it.”

We shared a good laugh, and she tugged my arm to come join her in our tent. The promise of intimacy was there...but the only intimacy I desired was with my thoughts. My tortured memories from my last visit. I didn’t expect them to be this strong. Nor did I anticipate the weight of my buddy’s ghost weighing heavily on my heart.

I told Marie I’d join her in a moment. She seemed to understand my immediate need for solitude, and her serene smile as she stepped into the tent told me forgiveness for my brush off was readily available, provided I didn’t linger outside too long.

I returned my attention to the desert’s vast, sand-filled emptiness, glowing softly beneath a full moon. Somewhere, in a ten-mile radius, the treasure I’d dreamed of most for the past decade lay camouflaged by drifting sand. The gold of the Hittites, to whom legends asserted had taken it from the vaults of a temple—one belonging to Sekhmet. Some of the stories told of how the gold carried a curse, and was eventually returned to the plundered realm of the lioness goddess, as shattered men sought forgiveness and her mercy.

Thomas used to joke about a legend concerning the thieves, as apparently very few who made it to the deepest sanctum of the temple lived to talk about it. The same legend said Sekhmet killed them. “What a bunch of dumbasses!” he’d say. I missed the way he laughed, so carefree and holding the confidence of a guy who had never lost at anything: sports, women, and even wagers at the local pool hall.

My take on the legend? The greedy dumbasses never took the time to check for booby traps and other hazards. Looting is an art...perhaps even a lost one. My only regret in this profession is the loss of those closest to me.

Maybe my melancholy had much less to do with losing Thomas, and more to do with people still among the living, whom I cared about. People I cherished deeply...like Marie and Ishi. What would happen if I couldn’t protect them?


Protect them from what?” I whispered.

A soft breeze from the west embraced me. Expecting the region’s summer warmth, I was surprised by the coolness caressing my bare skin.

I shivered.

Whether harmless or a warning, I finished my cigarette and flicked the butt into the drift nearest to me. The sand would claim the fag’s glowing tip before I made it to the tent and Marie’s warm embrace.

 

 

BOOK: Pyramid of the Gods
3.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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