Authors: Jaymin Eve
|A Walker Saga |
|CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)|
A young adult paranormal romance series.
An epic journey.
If the Seventine are released, will anyone survive?
The possession of Abigail’s mate has left their melding bond in tatters.
But she has no time to grieve, the deadline still looms to collect the half-Walkers.
Together with her friends she ventures to Crais, the red land of the two suns. From the moment they step into the scorching heat, they’re surrounded by rock and death. And with limited time and oxygen they will have no second chances to figure out the secret to this planets survival.
And then, when she thinks all hope is lost, the Seventine make her an offer she can’t resist.
But will her chance to save Brace be the catalyst that destroys the worlds?
Copyright © Jaymin Eve 2014
All rights reserved
First published in 2014
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. All characters in this publication other than those clearly in the public domain are fictitious, and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
, my second perfect blessing
Fury crouched beside the rock face, the familiar heat beating down on her. She couldn’t help the sigh which escaped. She stood in an area that was completely shaded and it was still almost unbearable. For two sun cycles a day, Crais experienced an eclipse. This was the only time the tribes could leave the caves.
Fury was weaker
than they were for some reason, and could only be above ground for one cycle. This rendered her almost useless during the search for food, but still she persisted, hoping the forced exposure would increase her ability to withstand the heat. Plus she went insane being stuck underground all the time.
As she scanned the ground
, her eyes squinting against the red glow reflecting off the dead surfaces, she couldn’t see any animals close by. She shifted her stance so her back was against the black rock, but she misjudged the sunlight and her arm grazed the edge.
was her first indication of a burn, followed by a sharp sting. The pain started quickly, but faded away as she healed. She’d always been a fast healer – luckily – since she burnt at first touch of the scorching Crais suns’ light, even during the eclipse. She took a deep breath, though she didn’t know why she bothered – there was about five percent oxygen above ground – most of the air was carbon monoxide vapors. The inhabitants had adapted to survive, but it wasn’t pleasant. Fury thought it tasted a lot like ash.
Following the shaded rock face
, Fury ducked from one overhanging crevice to the next. The land surrounding her was barren. Red cracked rock spanned as far as the eye could see. On the surface Crais was a dead planet. Its two suns beat down with an intense heat that very few could survive. Except for two cycles a day when the larger, but weaker sun, Draini, would eclipse the smaller, Jarune. These cycles allowed her people to walk on the surface to hunt larger game. Otherwise they existed only on the animals and vegetation that survived in their underground cavern of tunnels and chambers.
loud screech echoed directly above her. Fury dropped as adrenalin flooded her system. Oh, hell! She was in big trouble now; that sounded like a dragoona. The large scaled creatures were the rulers of this land and, unlike the tribes, had evolved to withstand the heat. Their food was directly linked to the suns’ rays, so the lack of water and green nourishment did not weaken them. It took a large group of Crais hunters to kill a dragoona and on these rare occasions the tribes ate well for months.
ut Fury didn’t have a hope.
They not only
had the strength of a hundred men, but were well armored with large spiny-tipped scales. They could breathe fire and fly. She, on the other hand, could do none of those things, and could not even step out from her shady prison. If the dragoona noticed her, her best hope was that it left her alone and didn’t decide she was worth pursuing for trespassing on its territory.
She shifted again, dispelling
the small stones that were littered around her feet. Today was one of those days she should have just stayed underground with the other females.
Another screech sounded
. It was closer than before and Fury knew her luck was about to run out. The first indication that she’d been spotted was the large gusts of hot, dry wind blowing her white hair off her face. There was no breeze on Crais, so that could only be from the thrusts of powerful wings.
dragoona dropped over the cliff face and, with its four taloned legs extended, it descended toward Fury. She hit the scorching dirt, her arm and bare shoulder brushing the sunlight again with another painful hiss, but she had no time to worry about that right now. Dragging herself backwards, she headed for the tiny fissure that was about ten feet from her current position.
’d moved just in time.
he dragoona’s heavy body thumped into the spot she’d just vacated, ripping out large chunks of the solid rock in its attempt to grab her. Regrouping, it was now circling around to come in for another attack. Fury continued her scurry along the scorching cliff edge before finally reaching the crevice.
dragoona would still know she was there, but it was too large to fit its talons inside. She hoped it didn’t think to use fire power, because then she was a goner.
It descended again
, fast and missile-like, its screech almost deafening. Powerful legs tipped with large talons clawed at the rocks around her. This dragoona had an almost iridescent green sheen to its scales and she was mesmerized by the unusual color, forgetting for a moment that the beauty she beheld was trying to kill her.
But colors were so rare.
On Crais’ surface everything was the shade of burning and death: red and black. The other main shade was the white hair of the nomad tribes, from where Fury’s mother was born.
dragoona had not given up. It continued to gouge away at the wall surrounding her, as if it knew that was the only barrier keeping her safe. One thing was certain: there were definite gleams of intelligence in its large yellow eyes. She could feel hot gusts of breath and smoke on her face as the creature labored away.
n top of that, the burning heat surrounding her seemed to rise a few more degrees as she stood there, and Fury knew she was running out of time.
She had maybe twenty more
beats before the sun eclipse ended and, even standing in the shade, she’d become a desiccated husk. It took mere moments for the intense heat to dry flesh and bones, until they flaked away and were no more. Having seen this process on men who hadn’t made it back to the tunnels in time, her panic rose.
“Latierna ... cease.” The words echoed around her.
She closed her eyes as unfamiliar sensations rocked her body. She recognized the words and accent from their visits below and it looked like today she was about to see not only her first live dragoona, but also a nomad wanderer. Curiosity and fear warred within her but eventually she couldn’t resist and opened her eyes.
The beast had
moved back a few strides and was settled on its haunches, jagged talons resting between its rear legs. The nomad stood beside it, both of them in the direct sunlight.
“What are you doing out of the caves?” The words were in the same language as her own, but spoken stiltedly.
Fury straightened and
without thought devoured the nomad before her. Well, devoured him with her eyes at least. In twenty life years she had never had an ounce of attraction to the Crais men she shared a home with. But this nomad was beyond her wildest dreams.
Unlike the dark, almost iridescent black skin of
the tribe she resided with, his flesh was a burnt red, and there was an incredible white sheen covering it, giving him a glow. And like her he had pure white hair. Short, though, which was unusual. He was taller than she was by a few inches and his face was all broad planes and solid features. A large, defined nose settled into heavily browed eyes. He painted the most devastatingly attractive picture. His gray eyes were locked on her. And he stood in the sun without discomfort or burning.
“You must return, Fury. You do not have much more time.”
She swallowed loudly, and knew he was right. The eclipse was almost over; she had to get back to the caves. But still she didn’t move, instead calling out to him as he turned to leave.
He paused, the
dragoona that had started to follow him also slowing, but he didn’t turn back.
“Who are you?”
He knew her name, but that wasn’t what intrigued her. Her mother had been a famous nomad. No, what she needed to know was why ... why she was so drawn to him?
“I am Dune
,” he said.
ith a crouch he leaped onto the back of the dragoona, and with a few powerful flaps of its wings they were gone.
Fury pressed a hand to her rapidly beating heart. She
’d had to physically stop herself from racing out to her death in the sunlight. The heat increased again, and she almost dropped from the sudden rushing of fluid through her system. The sun was draining her; she had to get back to the caves.
She had only minutes.
Crawling, because that was all the strength she had left, she pulled herself closer to the crevice which concealed the start of the tunnels. Luckily she hadn’t walked far that day. It would be close, but she should make it into the caves in time. The pain of each movement increased, but finally she tumbled into the opening. It was still hot near the entrance, but the immediate decrease in heat gave her a brief respite.
She dragged herself to the first of the markers, allowing the water that dripped along the rocks to coat her and replenish her lost fluid. Finally she could stand
and she started the long descent down to her tribe.
The next eclipse Fury stood in the same position. She was trying to convince herself that she was out there to find food, that today was the day she would contribute to the underground tribes. Of course that would require an animal to just wander into her small patch of shade, since she couldn’t step into the sun.
She shook her head
. Who was she kidding? She was waiting for him. The insatiable need she’d had to find him had kept her pacing the dark halls of her small chamber during day-rest. Not that she ever needed much sleep.
“He will come.” She spoke out loud. “He must have felt the same draw.”
But as her time ticked away and the two suns moved across each other, slowly increasing the heat, there was no gorgeous nomad in sight. When her time was almost up, she had no choice but to work her way back along the shaded rock. Reaching the crevice, she turned for one last look and her heart stopped. He was standing on a rocky crevice many leagues from her. Alone. The sun surrounding him like the red halo of death.
Had he been there all along and she
’d not noticed?
Fury jumped at the sizzling sound of
her eyes leaking and the droplets hitting the ground. They dissolved before they could mark the red dirt with a wet patch. She couldn’t afford to lose fluid while above ground, so she stepped backwards, never tearing her eyes from Dune. Finally the shade encased her and the rocky outside disappeared from view. The flow of eye-water eventually stopped, although she stayed near the water wall, letting her body be replenished.
She was the only one on Crais to ever have the eye droplets
. It was very inconvenient that they appeared when she was at her most emotional; it was hard to pretend she was okay.
“You must stop looking for me.”
Fury spun at his words. And before she could stop her feet she’d launched herself straight into his arms. He was hot to touch, not like he would burn her, but like a warm water spring. And he smelt delicious, like woodsy smoke. Which was impossible; there were no trees above ground to burn. She had taken him by surprise but he didn’t drop her. Instead he drew her toward him, and encased her bodily in a full embrace.
“Please don’t leave me again.” The begging words fell from her mouth and
, although she meant every one, she was a little mortified.
The nomads want you, tresorina. You must not let them know where you are. I have protected your mother’s secret for twenty sun years. I will not let them have you now.” Dune spoke into her shoulder, where he’d buried his head.
set her down and stepped away.
it was always hot on Crais, Fury felt a chill from his absence.
“I don’t understand.” Sh
e didn’t step toward him again, but it took all her will-power. “You knew my mother?”
“She asked me to hide you away. And I have made sure that her last wish was fulfilled.”
“Why do the nomads want me?”
Were there enough of them left to pose a threat?
“Just stay in the caves, Fury. You will be safe. And do not use your powers. The fire is a beacon for our kind
,” Dune said, his voice low.
And then with one last look he turned and was gone from the caves, from her life, and there was nothing she could do to stop him.
Later that day an exasperated
exclamation drew her from a daydream. She was sitting at the long stone bench which served her small tribe as a dining table, the remains of dinner scattered around. Small whole cooked lizards were the first to be eaten; all that was left were their tiny frail bones. But she’d barely touched the second course, leafy stew.
“Can I finish your greens?” Her
closest friend Luiz asked.
He was one of those people who just never seemed to be
full. And he particularly loved the green stew made from the plant life in the underground grotto. The nutrients were so important for their health. And since there was a strict no-wasting rule, and all foods were tightly rationed, Luiz lived for the days when Fury wasn’t hungry.