Authors: Kiel Nichols
Tribes of Man
Tribes of Man: The Beginning
Thousands of years ago, there were four tribes of man—Air, Earth, Water, and Fire. Each tribe had power, and they worked together to thrive as a nation. They lived in peace until Adder, the immortal wizard, stoked the fires of jealousy and anger among the tribes. When war broke out, the gods disbanded the tribes and scattered their members across the earth. They prophesied that someday the four tribes' keepers would find each other, and when they did, they would restore the powers to the tribes of man.
When Raina Kallan and Gideon McConnell find each other, they begin to fulfill the prophecy. In order to restore the powers to the tribes of man, they must find the other keepers and perform the ritual, a ritual that Adder will do anything to stop. Will Raina and Gideon find the other keepers and change the world, or will Adder succeed in destroying it?
Contemporary, Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves
Tribes of Man
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
TRIBES OF MAN: THE BEGINNING
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62241-512-0
First E-book Publication: October 2012
Cover design by Christine Kirchoff
All cover art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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Tribe of Man: The Beginning
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TRIBES OF MAN:
Tribes of Man
Copyright © 2012
The last thing Raina Kallan ever saw was blood.
When she left the house that morning, she didn’t expect to be home before suppertime, but a forgotten book put the kibosh on her precious hour of research time in the library. To add to her aggravation, her car started to sputter a block from home.
Raina whipped into the driveway, hoping her car wasn’t breaking down again, and sprinted up the daffodil-lined steps. She hissed in exasperation when she noticed that the door was ajar. Forgetting to set the alarm was one thing, but Michelle should at least close the front door. They might not have a lot of valuables, but they were two women living alone and had to be careful.
The first thing Raina noticed as she walked down the long hallway toward the kitchen was the smell. As she pushed the swinging kitchen door open, a coppery smell joined the smell of raw sewage, making Raina nearly gag. It took a moment for her brain to assimilate what she was seeing.
The kitchen was splattered with what looked like red paint, or ketchup, or...or blood. Turning her head frantically around, she found Michelle slumped kneeling on the kitchen floor in her own waste, her wrists handcuffed to a cabinet pull. Michelle was naked and had wounds all over her body. Some looked like slashes, others like burns. Her head was tilted back, her eyes staring unseeing at the ceiling, her mouth open as if in a scream.
Raina instinctively went toward her, wanting to help. When she heard something thump against the wall in the hallway, she veered instead toward the back door. Looking over her shoulder, she saw a stocky man dressed in a brown uniform. He reached her just as she opened the door. Before Raina could try to pull away and make a run for it, the man pressed a small black box against her neck. She had the momentary, nonsensical thought it looked like a weapon from a space movie just as the alarm gave off a loud shriek. The man jerked, and Raina felt a sharp pain in her head. The last thing she saw before blackness claimed her was Michelle’s dead, tortured body.
And the pool of blood on the floor.
“Gideon, your brother’s on line one.” Joanie’s disembodied voice came over the office intercom, making Gideon jump. They had just gotten the thing installed, and he still wasn’t used to it. The old system of shouting from the outer office seemed fine to him. He didn’t know why Joanie was always changing things. She called it upgrading. He called it a pain in the ass. First it was the filing system, and then it was the waiting-room furniture, and then the damn phones.
“Thanks, Joanie,” he shouted back rather than using the accursed intercom.
He jumped again when her “you’re welcome” came loudly out of the box next to the phone on his desk. He picked up the receiver, hit the button next to the blinking line, and ran his hand around the intercom box to try to find the volume button. “Hey, bro. What’s up?”
“Hey, Gid. Listen, I need your help.” Bryce’s worried voice came over the line.
“Sure, anything. You know that.” It was unusual enough for his younger brother to sound worried. He was normally cheerful to the point of nauseating, but it was completely unheard of for him to ask for Gideon’s help. “What’s going on?”
“I have this friend.” He paused, as though unsure of how to continue.
“Shit, Bryce, you didn’t get a girl in trouble, did you?” That was one of Gideon’s biggest fears. He’d always figured that Bryce’s carefree and frequent dips into the pool of love would get him into trouble.
“No, nothing like that.” Bryce hesitated again, raising all of Gideon’s instincts for trouble. “My friend was assaulted in her home about a month ago. Her roommate was killed, and Raina lost her eyesight. It was difficult for her at first, but she’s moved back into her house because it’s been in her family for generations. The cops have no idea who did it. She’s only been home a few days, but she’s worried that whoever broke into her house might come back.”
Gideon automatically started taking notes on the yellow legal pad sitting on his desk. “They have no idea, or they just haven’t made an arrest yet? Do you know?”
“As far as I know, they have no idea. Raina said that there are no suspects and that there was no evidence.”
Gideon grunted. If they had no solid leads by now, they weren’t likely to get any.
“And…” Bryce began but hesitated.
“Yes?” Gideon asked, his gut tightening.
“She feels like she’s being watched,” Bryce said in a rush. “She said that because she can’t see, her other senses are sharpening, and she can sense someone watching her.” There was doubt in Bryce’s voice.
“Has she reported it to the police?” Gideon paused, hand poised to write his answer. It didn’t come. He sat back. “OK, Bryce, what aren’t you telling me?”
“She went to the police, OK? They didn’t believe her.” His voice was defensive.
“Why wouldn’t they believe her?”
Bryce let out a long sigh. “For a few reasons, I guess. First of all, she has no proof. The camera at her house hasn’t picked up anything.” There was a long hesitation before he continued. “The other problem is that her blindness doesn’t seem to have a medical cause.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Gideon asked sharply, leaning forward to place his elbows on his desk again. “Are you saying that she’s faking?”
“No,” Bryce answered quickly. “She has what’s called ‘hysterical blindness.’ The doctors think it’s caused by trauma. She found her roommate’s body. She had been badly tortured before she died.”
Gideon winced in sympathy. When he was on the force, he’d once gotten a case of a hooker who had been tortured. It was a tough sight even for a seasoned cop, much less a civilian. “Did they find any ties to organized crime? That’s usually what torture killings are about. That or serial killers.”
“They didn’t find a connection to either. Right now, they have no idea who did it. Neither the roommate nor Raina seemed to have any habits that would bring something like that down on them. I guess they were pretty stumped.”
Gideon just grunted. He’d had a few unsolved cases in his time, and he hated them. Each one felt like a personal failure. “So, they don’t believe her because her blindness has no medical cause, is that right?” He started doodling on the pad, trying to think his way through the quagmire. “And why do you believe her?”
Bryce let out a long sigh. It was the sound of a lovesick puppy. “I knew her a little before this all happened, and she was like a ray of sunshine. She was always sweet and happy. You would think that this experience would have changed her personality, and I guess it did a bit, because she’s jumpier now, but she’s still basically the same positive person she always was. She’s one of those people who goes out of their way to make you feel welcome, ya know?” He sighed again.
Gideon decided right there that he’d meet her, even if he couldn’t help with her problem. He’d never heard his brother so gone over a woman before.
“She’s a little older than me,” Bryce continued. “She’s a PhD candidate. She was helping me with my master’s thesis when this happened. She’s brilliant with ancient languages and classical studies. If it hadn’t been for her, I never would have found the texts to support my paper. She knew of this book written in ancient Latin”—Bryce cut himself off—“never mind. That’s not the point.”