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Authors: Jean Murray

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BOOK: Soul Awakened
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She shifted her gaze to Ari. His intense black eyes watched her silently. She waved her finger. “There are no coincidences in the world of gods, though. Is there, Ari?”

“No, Madame. If a god wills it, it is done.”

“So there wouldn’t be any coincidence that I am expert in Egyptian Mythology? My mother, the Mother of the Gods, made me for this very task.”


“Then why the heck can’t I open this thing?” She groaned and slapped her open palm on the sarcophagus. A loud clap bounced off the walls and vibrated through the tomb. She cringed. “Sorry.”

Frustrated, she sat hard on a stack of books. She rested her elbows on her knees and perched her chin on her palms. “Kepi had to have read the incantation for four days, sealing his crypt with blood. Blood of a male ass to be specific.”

She had carefully laid out the ingredients for the awakening spell on the floor in front of her. Reversal spells were tricky. They required ingredients that were in opposition to those used to bind it in the first place. Asar had obtained the blood of a female mule. She didn’t ask where or how, because she didn’t want to know. Never a fan of it, she passed out every time it was medically required to be drawn. Looking into the cup containing the congealed dark red matter, she swallowed back the bile that crawled up the back of her throat. 

She had everything she needed, or did she?

Kendra raised her two fingers on her right hand with her thumb across her palm. She recited the Catalepsy incantation from memory, “I invoke thee who art in the void air, terrible, invisible, almighty, god of gods dealing destruction and making desolate. He that destroyeth all and is unconquered. I perform thy ceremonies of divination, for I invoke thee by thy powerful name in which thou canst not refuse to hear entirely come to me and approach and strike down him with frost and fire.”

She held her breath and waited for the lid to release, but yet again the crypt lay silent. Irritated, she huffed. “Kepi had to of modified the spell, that is the only explanation.” She jerked up too quickly. Her slipper hooked on the edge of the stack of books.
Not again.
She threw her hands out and crashed into the gold chalice. The gelatinous mule blood spilled across the stone floor.

“Shoot.” Could this day get any worse? She sat back on her heels and stared at the red serum that dripped from her fingertips. The blood glistened against her palms.

“Oh, my God!”

“Are you okay, Madame?”

Startled, she looked up into Ari’s eyes. “Kepi didn’t use animal blood. She used her own.” Why hadn’t she thought of it sooner? Kendra
the key. Special. The complete opposite of the evil goddess.

Kendra wiped her hands against the soft terry cloth. Taking a hard swallow, she reached her hand out to the warrior. “Give me your blade.”

Chapter Nine

In the beginning, it was the pain that kept Bakari hoping.

Now, the taste for blood consumed him.

Fresh on his tongue, Bakari leaned over a large male. Yes, the energy fed the dark chasm, but he searched for something much sweeter. He licked his lips. Sweeter than nectar. The enticing fragrance floated so close. Sniffing the air he followed the trail of his desire.

His bare skin burned with the exposure to the air. Despite the shallow casts of the wall torches, the light seared his eyes. None of that would stop him from sating the hunger raging in his chest. He stumbled erratically and knocked into the stone wall.

A small gasp shot his gaze wildly around the room. He wasn’t alone. Movement to his lower left stopped his progress. He squinted his eyes to focus on the blurred outline. A female—a very unlucky female.

Bakari sneered. In uneven and staggered strides, he seized his prize. Sweet nectar and a soft familiar energy soaked into his skin. The thumping of the human’s heart clashed like harsh brass cymbals in his ears.

He leaned, so he was at eyelevel with his prey. A pair of wide brown eyes stared at him. His mouth watered with the thought of consuming something so innocent.

“I did it.” The woman’s voice resonated a significant amount of astonishment and surprise, followed by a nervous giggle. “I really did it.”

Bakari shook his head. This woman was foolishly unafraid at the moment, when her life was about to be sucked from her soul. Her tiny fingers wrapped around his hand that was clenched on her shoulder. The scent of nectar overwhelmed him. He zeroed in on her palm with a large laceration into the delicate flesh. Fresh blood trickled from her wrist to her elbow. The source of his siren scent.

“Your hair and eyes?” Her small hand reached out and caressed a long strand of white hair. Her eyes narrowed. “You have a small resemblance to your father.”

Bakari scoured a palm over his face. His memories were muddled and wrapped in a fog. Nothing made sense. He surveyed the room under the strong glare of light.

His tomb. Blood on the floor. Books strewn in every corner of the cell. The guards he had taken out several seconds after his awakening. The large iron bars were unmistakable. He may have escaped his sarcophagus but Kepi still had him. Even more perplexing, the young human with ringlets of reddish brown hair.

He grabbed the slender curve of her shoulders. “Who are you?”

“Kendra,” she whispered.

Her words brought his focus to her plump pink lips. The drum of her heart kicked up to a gallop. The fine tremor in her body reverberated through his grip. His blood hunger burned through his chest. It had been an eternity since the goddess had last fed him. The fact that his hair was white told him it had been an inferably long time. His eyes would be colorless as well. His skin cracked and bleeding.

He must look like the beast—hungry and seething.

Bakari fixated on her slender throat and the soft movement when she swallowed. He leaned into her neck and inhaled along the line of her pulsing artery. “Kendra, you are going to tell me everything I want to know.”

Her breath hitched and her eyes darted to meet his. “Sure, anything.” The fine quiver to her voice made his predatory urges thunder through his body. His head swam with dizziness.

Despite the threat that he posed to her, she grabbed his arm to steady him. Angered by his weakness and so much more he pushed off her assistance and snatched the back of her neck.

His mouth and throat burned to taste the floral sweetness of her blood that had teased his tongue not ten minutes prior before he awoke in the cell. Mere inches separated him from extinguishing the unbearable pain of starvation.

Her breathing accelerated to the point of hyperventilation. Her whole body began to quiver in his clutches. “Oh, God. Please don’t hurt me.” 

Bakari exhaled a hiss through clenched teeth. His victims, twenty in all, had echoed the same pleading words before they took their last breath of life. He had descended further into darkness that day, striped of all his worth and ethos. But that was Kepi’s point, was it not? She wanted to destroy him from the inside out. Make him into the killing machine she envisioned for her plot.

Kepi might have succeeded, considering the murderous actions he had taken upon wakening. Three guards dead. Even the ones outside the cell. Same as now, his instinct for survival overrode any morality he may have had left, and yet he hung uncommitted in taking Kendra’s life. Her words paralyzed him.

It now seemed too easy. The biggest tip off for his internal sensors was this human. She did not seem held against her will until now.

Warmth, like rays of sunshine, ebbed in and around her. The powerful but gentle energy he sensed certainly could not be coming from such a small creature. No human could ever generate that level of living power. The small amount of absorbed life kept him from ripping her slender neck open with his teeth. “Impossible,” he said aghast at the revelation. “You?”

Taking a step back he scanned her. A thick white robe draped her body and obscured the thin lace gown that hugged her body. Crimson streaks of blood covered the front.

“What’s impossible?”

He grasped his pounding head. Nothing made any sense. Based on the books, blood, candles, and other spell conjuring ingredients, there was no other conclusion. Kendra had found a way to break him out of his entombment.
She will set you free
echoed a past memory.

“You did this?”

Kendra pulled her lower lip in between her teeth. Her chin quivered as she nodded.

He stared upon his imposed prison for over gods knows how many years. Bitter rage boiled in his veins. “How long?” Grabbing a hand full of cloth he pushed her up against the large stone wall. “Tell me how long I have been in there.”

A small tear slipped out of the corner of her eye and followed the curve of her creamy, freckle dotted cheek. “Five years.”

The answer hit him like a knife to the chest. His agony ripped through him with renewed fury. He staggered and dragged the petrified female with him. He crashed into the side of the sarcophagus, knocked it off its pillars and onto the floor.

His back slammed into the stone floor. Kendra tumbled face first into his bare chest. A bellow of anguish burst from his throat. The echo of his despair bounced off the hardened surfaces of the dungeon and carried out through the spaces of hell.

Chapter Ten

Kendra came face to face with Ari’s lifeless body, which had been hidden by the sarcophagus. The guardian’s eyes stared at her with a cloudy haze. The murderer had a tight hold of her. Bakari’s body vibrated with an unadulterated rage. The torches on the walls dimmed. The air in the room thinned to the point she couldn’t draw a breath.

She gasped and reached for the unseen strangle hold, but found no fingers to peel away, only an unrelenting pressure pulling at her body. She slumped against his chest, the darkness consuming her completely.

A light feather tickled the tip of her nose, as she rested somewhere between life and death. She raised a slow uncontrolled hand to slap it away. Her chest burned on the inside with each breath of fresh air. She inhaled deeper welcoming the sweet breath into her body. The feather seemed to return, a soft brush against her lips and cheek. With a third breath, Kendra struggled to open her heavy eyelids.

Her entire body floated, bathed in numbness. She blinked away the fog and focused on the hardened, gaunt face looming over her. The death god sat naked on his haunches in the dark corner, and apparently had pulled her back in his modified cave. The cold press of stone at her back reminded her of the where and how of her predicament.

The dampness of the cell seeped through her skin. Alarmed, she ran her fluttering hands down the front of herself to ensure she wasn’t naked. Blowing out a long breath, she pulled the thin cotton fabric over her panties. Her head rested on the ball of cloth that turned out to be her terry cloth robe.

Her head throbbed with each bound of her racing heart. She breathed deeply to ensure the sense of strangulation had dissipated completely. She should be dead, that she was certain. Ari and the guardians surely had perished in the same way. Summoning her strength, she shifted her gaze to the shadows where Bakari hid.   

His silver predatory eyes were locked on her face and then slowly drifted down her torso. The depths of his pupils were vacant and hallow. His once all white hair was now streaked with long black locks. She lifted her hands to inspect them. No wrinkled skin or age spots.
Thank, God.
He had siphoned enough life off her soul that it altered his hair. So far as she could tell, she didn’t morph into a withered old woman.

His perfect skin bunched between his furrowed brows. Kendra scanned his body. Several thick silver scars marred his chest and arms. There was no modesty in his position either. She jerked her gaze away, but not before the sight of his proportions burned into her brain.
God, she had groped him in all the inappropriate places.

Looking to see if her assessment angered him, she only met apathy. Behind the dullness, a blackness shimmered behind the facade of control. His jaw and fists were tensely clenched. His thin muscles bulged and fasciculated. Control was definitely a loose term. One wrong move on her part and it would all unravel.

BOOK: Soul Awakened
4.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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