Today I’m pimpin’ the fabulous author, S.K. Whiteside. I love this woman. She’s supported me from the very beginning of my writing career. She has a phenomenal personality and she writes amazing books. 😉
Check out her new release, Inheritance (The World of the Guardians) *Mythic Fiction: Contemporary Urban and Historical Fantasy*
Sekhmet’s life was pretty good; you know for a goddess. Her job was simple – kill those that sought to go against the creator. It was a job she was good at but unfortunately got a little too carried away with when she almost single handedly wiped out mankind. For her penance she has spent the last thousand years serving as one of the Guardians; a group of immortals that protect mankind and led by the Goddess Isis – who kind of had her own anger issues.
The Azura, a league of immortal bad asses, are literally trying to bring hell on earth and with it, Set – the banished God and ruler of the Makhaut. For the first time in history and with the help of the Makhaut, they may actually pull it off. Even the Guardians are at a loss.
In the Hail Mary of all attempts to save the world Isis, now going by Isira, sends Sekhmet to New Orleans, to find and protect the “Key” but when it is determined that a traitor lies among the Guardians, Sekhmet, now going by the name of Syn, is forced to seek help in the most unlikely of places…her least favorite person and fellow Guardian…Malachi.
What’s a former Goddess to do?
Oh yeah, kick butt and take names.
The council chamber was a dark marbled room deep below the grounds of the Yorkshire estate. Black, Gray, and White Marble covered the chamber from floor to ceiling just as it had the elevator. Embedded in the center of the marble floor was an intricate and gold Crook and Flail symbol. It laid center of a sun also carved in the black marble flooring. The Sun was the symbol of the creator as was the Crook and Flail. Her presence being called forth in this manner was all too familiar. Bits and pieces of her past flashed in and out of her head.
At the back of the room sat a marble throne where the consulate and her council sat. Raised at least three feet off the ground it was placed behind a long marble sculpted table. In the center of that table sat Isira the Consulate. Only one word could describe her… beautiful. Tall, lean, Isira defined the word elegant. Caramel colored skin, high cheekbones and almond shaped brown eyes hid behind long luxurious eyelashes. Her hair was black as night and extended down to the floor. She could strike envy in the most beautiful of supermodels.
Her hair must be hell to wash, Syn thought. Today that long hair was kept braided and wrapped into a tight crown atop her head. She wore a gold colored one piece dress reminiscent the style of Greek mythology but the material, color, and flow signified Ancient Egyptian royalty. An intricate gold belt with a sun buckle wrapped around just below her chest and a gold locket bearing the same sun symbol set in obsidian, hung low around her neck and rested in her moderately endowed cleavage. On anyone else the dress would have appeared “simple” but she made it look regal.
Unfortunately, Isira was the only true beauty on the council. The rest of the council was filled with old frail immortals that didn’t hold a candle to her features. Some say that was how Isira liked it but Syn knew better. Vanity aside, Isira was not just another pretty face. She could quite possibly be one of the most dangerous beings that walked the face of the earth. What Syn didn’t understand is why she chose to hide in the shadows of solitude instead of reigning in the open.
When she reached the insignia in the middle of the room Syn knelt down on one knee and bowed her head.
“You wished to speak with me?”
The beauty that was Isira slowly rose and advanced around her throne to stand before Syn. Her walk was so regal – so graceful, that she appeared to float or glide rather than burden her soles with something as trivial as gravity. Reaching out, Isira pulled the two hair sticks out from atop Syn’s head allowing her long dark hair to fall in loose waves down her back. Isira then tilted Syn’s face upward so that they made eye contact.
“Rise my child, for what I need to tell you is difficult. It is with the utmost importance that what we discuss here does not reach beyond your ears.”
Never breaking the eye contact, Syn stood. The implied and foreboding urgency echoed through her mind.
“I understand and I am at your disposal.”
After a brief hesitation, Isira nodded and looked away. She appeared to be choosing her words carefully and a few brief moments passed before she spoke next.
“I fear…” she began but pausing to look Syn in the face. She wanted to make sure she was paying attention to what she was about to say.
“I fear that we have a traitor among us.” Isira watched Syn for a reaction which of course she did not get. It wasn’t for lack of emotion; Syn was just too busy running the logic of the theory through her mind. It didn’t take her long before finally admitting to herself that she could see the possibility. But it was just that…a possibility.
“Excuse me Consulate. If I may ask, how can you be sure?”
Isira shrugged casually and turned to slowly walk back to the marbled table.
“I have had my suspicions for some time now but it is this latest development that only confirms my suspicions.” She let out a deep breath. It was a sign of her growing distress. “I am sure you know by now that Nefi has been killed.”
“My concern lay not only with that outcome but that someone knew where to find Nefi and was able to get close enough to carry out the task.”
Syn had to admit the Consulates reasoning did make sense. It wasn’t easy killing a Guardian, no matter what supernatural race you belonged to. Despite what you have read in comic books or seen in the movies, wooden steaks through the heart do not kill all vampires. That only works on the soulless. For Immortals like Syn, all that will merely do is incapacitate them for a bit and quite frankly, piss them off.
Holy Water and Crucifixes really don’t work either. Immortal Vampires that serve as Guardians actually work for the creator so it would be kind of dumb to assume they couldn’t touch a cross. In fact, many supernaturals – including Vamps still attended regular religious services to the creator in some form or fashion. It’s only those that have turned their back on the creator and given their souls in allegiance to another that appear to really have a problem with it. It is one of the reasons they are expectantly called “Soulless”. As for silver, well silver can be a bit more problematic, especially when yielded to cut off a Vampire’s head (sans soul or not). But let’s be honest…human or vampire if your head is cut off it is a pretty done deal that you won’t be making it into work the next day.
The good news…only pure silver is really dangerous and it’s not as common today as it was say 100 or more years ago. This brings it around back to the Consulates point. In a time of war, the Consulate guarded her secrets and plans very carefully. Nefi was one of the Guardians best warriors. She was sent out long ago to an undisclosed location to protect William and Kate. The fact that someone not only found her but was able to get close enough to kill her could only mean that there was a traitor among the Guardians. A guardian hadn’t been killed since…
Syn’s head snapped up at the thought as a number of memories flashed through her mind.
When her eyes found the Consulate, she was staring at her, stoic in expression. Those knowing eyes watching her – clearly understanding what she was thinking about.
“Syn, you are the only one I can trust,” she spoke. Her tone held hints of foreboding and a finality that made the hairs on Syn’s arms stand straight up. “I know you held feelings for William,” Syn opened her mouth to deny it but Isira raised her hand to silence her before continuing, “Whichever way you try to deny it,” she finished; cutting her off ceasing her from the interruption. “It is for this reason – your sense of duty and loyalties that the creator placed so deep within you, that I trust you with this task and know you are not the traitor.”
Humbled to speechlessness, Syn graciously gave a slight nod of her head. The compassionate moment was short lived. Breaking the awkward silence, Isira got right back to business.
“You are to travel to New Orleans with Malachi immediately.”
Dangerous immortal goddess bitch say what?
It wasn’t exactly what Syn expected or wanted to hear.