The Kala Trilogy: An Urban Fantasy Box Set, страница 1
THE KALA TRILOGY©
The right of Teagan Kearney to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchases.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
The Kala Trilogy was previously released under the title, Samsara.
Book One was book was previously released under the titles Tatya’s Return and Power Rising, and Book Two under the title, Vampire Sacrifice.
Photo Copyright: Shutterstock
Grateful thanks to my editors, Teresa Kennedy (Healer’s Magic) and Sarah Watts (Vampire’s Bane and Demon’s Nemesis).
To Tim, for your loving support and help—where would I be without you?
And last, but definitely by no means least, to every one of my readers—a great big thank you!
Sign up for the author’s mailing list to receive a FREE copy of Hekate’s Chalice, Book One in the Adept Solutions Series, and information about new releases, discounts, and advanced reading copies: http://tinyurl.com/hk39yun
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Vanse
Chapter Two: A Visitation
Chapter Three: Crisis
Chapter Four: The First Strike
Chapter Five: Metamorphosis
Chapter Six: The Northern Isles, 2800 BC
Chapter Seven: Changing Sky
Chapter Eight: The First Stirrings
Chapter Nine: Calling Back the Dead
Chapter Ten: Yfêlynys, Cymru, 60 AD
Chapter Eleven: Taken
Chapter Twelve: Recovery
Chapter Thirteen: Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, 1145 AD
Chapter Fourteen: Damage Control
Chapter Fifteen: Unusual Bedfellows
Chapter Sixteen: The Lair
Chapter Seventeen: Antisuyu, High Andes, 1500, AD
Chapter Eighteen: Unforeseen
Chapter Nineteen: Sean
Chapter Twenty: Hiatus
Chapter Twenty-One: Preparation
Chapter Twenty-Two: Trojan Horses
Chapter Twenty-Three: Sacrifice
Chapter Twenty-Four: In the Face of Adversity
Chapter Twenty-Five: When One Door Closes
Chapter One: Starting Over
Chapter Two: Reunions
Chapter Three: First Signs
Chapter Four: Attraction
Chapter Five: New Acquaintances
Chapter Six: The Northern Isles, 2800 BC
Chapter Seven: The Devil’s Own
Chapter Eight: Warnings
Chapter Nine: Friends and Allies
Chapter Ten: Suspicions
Chapter Eleven: Carinthia, 740 AD
Chapter Twelve: Infection
Chapter Thirteen: Changing Sky
Chapter Fourteen: Building Bridges
Chapter Fifteen: The Pack
Chapter Sixteen: Anatolia, 1265 AD
Chapter Seventeen: Persecution
Chapter Eighteen: Departure
Chapter Nineteen: Farewell
Chapter Twenty: Sardarabad, 1918 AD
Chapter Twenty-One: Complications
Chapter Twenty-Two: Panic
Chapter Twenty-Three: The Search
Chapter Twenty-Four: Contact
Chapter Twenty-Five: Desperate Measures
Chapter Twenty-Six: Possibilities
Chapter Twenty-Seven: Sacrifice
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Conclusion
Chapter One: Unwelcome News
Chapter Two: An Omen
Chapter Three: Serkan
Chapter Four: Night Hustle
Chapter Five: The Fall, Time Unknown
Chapter Six: A Turn for the Worse
Chapter Seven: Restoration
Chapter Eight: Attacked
Chapter Nine: Respite
Chapter Ten: Himalayas, 5000 BC
Chapter Eleven: Aid
Chapter Twelve: Darkness
Chapter Thirteen: Tragedy
Chapter Fourteen: Respite
Chapter Fifteen: Sutalaloka, 4000 BC
Chapter Sixteen: Resurrection
Chapter Seventeen: Hope
Chapter Eighteen: Revenge—Part One
Chapter Nineteen: Flight
Chapter Twenty: Revenge—Part Two
Chapter Twenty-One: Euskadi, Western Europe, 2800 BC
Chapter Twenty-Two: Returning the Favor
Chapter Twenty-Three: A Close Encounter
Chapter Twenty-Four: Reunion
Chapter Twenty-Five: In Search of Nepta
Chapter Twenty-Six: The Land of Naraka
Chapter Twenty-Seven: A Close Encounter
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Difficult Decisions
Chapter Twenty-Nine: In Pursuit
Chapter Thirty: Confrontation
Chapter Thirty-One: Life and Death
Chapter Thirty-Two: Demon’s Nemesis
Chapter Thirty-Three: Epilogue
FROM THE AUTHOR
The following is a timeline of recent developments between the human race and various paranormal species.
1920: After World War I, the help received from the vampire, werewolf, and fae nations was acknowledged by the world governments in The Revelation Treaty, signed in Basel, Switzerland on the 21st of December, 1920. The agreement between human and paranormal races ended centuries of suspicion and hostility. Most humans had been aware of supernaturals, and the pact didn't shake the world, nor did it—as some had feared—rend the veil between the visible and invisible worlds in such a way as to allow the banished demon race to return. The understanding was that as long as none of the newly recognized species contravened the Treaty on a massive scale, life would continue on its designated path, with humans remaining dominant.
The Treaty was broken many times in the decades following the emergence of paranormals into the public arena, but eventually, all species figured out how to co-exist.
1945: At the end of WWII, the Medal of Honor was awarded to two supernaturals (a vampire and a werewolf respectively) for their outstanding contributions above and beyond the call of duty during the war.
All species benefited from industrial and technological progress, despite the resentment and protests by humans that, as they had made these discoveries, paranormal access should be restricted. It was a limitation impossible to put into practice, given that some paranormals lived as humans part of the time as was intrinsic to their natures.
However, the Treaty didn't change human or paranormal aggression; internal wars were still fought, and allies solicited from both humans and supernaturals. Each species had their own method of governance and policing, and as long as each species stayed within the parameters laid down by their own authorities, the accord stated that each would be protected from external interference.
1949: Professor Gordon Naysmith was awarded the Nobel Prize for Paranormal Research for his investigation into the nature of ghosts.
1989: A law banning the practice of contacting the recently departed was approved, making the practice illegal. Paranormal groups had persistently lobbied the UN hard, declaring the reluctance of humans to let the dead depart was disturbing the balance of their world.
2014: Due to a rise in demonic possessions, the Pope approved the revival of exorcism.
Chapter One: Vanse
Tatya squeezed the box of donuts so hard, the damp sides bent inward. She blew out a breath. Aunt Lil was going to be fine, she told herself for the umpteenth time. She resisted the urge to bite her fingernails, an old childhood habit, keeping a tight lock on her empathetic abilities. She only looked up when a grimy, unshaven man, water dripping off him, boarded the bus and staggered down the aisle.
As one, the passengers avoided his gaze, staring fixedly out of the windows, as though the downpour outside held an immense fascination. If they didn't see him, maybe he wouldn't see them. He was about to park himself next to Tatya when she flicked a repulsion spell at him. A look of momentary confusion crossed the man's face as he gazed at the empty seat before moving on.
Today, she was taking the bus as her tenth-hand Ford truck was in the auto repair shop. With business slowing to a standstill since Sean's illness, money was tight.
Despite her ongoing anxieties from these problems, she had more urgent issues on her mind as she headed for St. Raphael’s Hospital in the pouring rain. Aunt Lil was her one living relative, and been her shelter in the devastation of her life after her parents had died fifteen years before in a train accident.
A week ago, Tatya had left for the annual Midwest Organic Farmers’ conference, stopping for gas after twenty minutes, then racing back to the house because she realized she'd forgotten her laptop. She had found her aunt unconscious on the floor of the kitchen, as black smoke from the burnt lasagna oozed out of the oven. It was nothing short of a miracle Tatya came back when she did, before the house burned down with her aunt inside. She’d cancelled the trip, and was hoping the results of the latest tests would give some indication of her aunt’s ailment.
Unless she had a terminally ill client, Tatya tried to avoid such hot spots of bad karma as hospitals. Her psychic talent of seeing auras went into overload in such places, resulting in severe migraines if she didn’t take care. Her green eyes flashed, and her hands tingled as power sparked from her fingertips. Worry about her aunt's condition left her tense. The possibility of losing her aunt shattered her stability, leaving her emotions all over the place, and command of her powers erratic.
Tatya was descended, on her mother’s side, from a long line of healers and hedge witches. At the age of four, and without any guidance, she had found and healed a bird’s broken wing. Her parents had realized at once she possessed more ability and talent than had been seen in the family for generations.
Centering her thoughts on the protective amulet at her neck, she soothed away the negativity. But Aunt Lil's illness wasn't the only difficulty waiting at the hospital.
Hospitals were one of the major loci for vampires, as they provided easy access to their legalized blood bank allowance. St. Raphael’s, the main hospital for Orleton and the surrounding counties, was the headquarters of supernatural head honcho, Vanse. The possibility of seeing him increased her nervousness.
She used to call him Vanse the vamp. Once, the name had made her giggle—it was straight out of an old B movie. Not anymore. Not since he'd turned Sean, her best friend since high school, and recent business partner, into one of the undead.
Over the past couple of years, after starting from scratch, she and Sean had built up a moderately successful herb business with Tatya's healing practice on the side. They'd worked together on everything from planting seeds to supplying local herbalists and private customers with their special curative teas. Sean’s latest project, setting up a website for online marketing, had been almost ready to launch when his health began to go downhill.
Sean's diagnosis of full blown AIDs, the 20th century plague, had changed everything. He had caught it from a former girlfriend who dated an ex-junkie for a while. Tatya had visited him every day, watching him become more emaciated as the disease ravaged his body.
Every time she visited, Sean tried to talk to her, but with Vanse always looming in the background, she avoided any private conversation. Now, she clenched her hands, ignoring the stray thought of what a thrill it would be to use her power for revenge—just for once.
She still couldn’t get her head around the fact that Vanse had turned Sean. Her friend would never have asked to become one of the undead. Sean didn't possess the qualities she envisioned being desirable in a vampire. Generous and kind, he was a green-fingered earth magician who celebrated the growing of life. Dark, rich crumbly compost running through his fingers sent him into raptures; he was a poet who wrote haiku. He'd make a lousy vampire. Well, Vanse and eternity would provide plenty of time to develop other traits, and Sean would turn from someone who loved life to someone who could take it. This was all Vanse's fault. She swallowed the lump of resentment swelling in her throat, and mentally stuck a large, fat, white-oak stake into his heart.
The bus jerked to a halt at the hospital stop. Small towns didn't always offer the most efficient service—this one to the hospital being an exception. Tatya, along with most of the passengers, trailed off the bus, hitching her jacket hood up to keep off the driving rain. She splashed along behind the straggle of hunched shoulders and pinched faces under the bobbing umbrellas toward the beckoning shelter of the hospital.
Inside, Tatya pushed her jacket hood back off her head. Her thick, copper-brown hair escaping as usual from the clip she'd stuck in it in an attempt to appear presentable. She ignored the familiar clinical smell of the hospital disinfectant as she walked over to the elevator. She stood with the crush of people, the donut box under her arm, heading for the women's ward on the second floor. Maybe this time, she'd hear good news. Maybe she'd be able to bring her aunt home.
Aunt Lil was sitting up in bed, her pillows plumped behind her. She'd lost weight and her normally ruddy cheeks were pale, but her face lit up with a broad grin as her niece entered the ward.
"Tatya! My darling!"
Tatya hugged her aunt in a fierce embrace. Intimately attuned to Aunt Lil's energy, she opened her awareness a fraction, sensing her aunt was stronger than yesterday. Her aunt's inner aura was resuming its usual brightness, and the grubby gray smears of the previous days were fading.
"There, there...." Aunt Lil wiped the tears from Tatya's face. "I'm fine."
"Here. All your favorites." Tatya put the box on the bedside table, making herself comfortable on the visitor's chair, shuffling it closer to the bed. She glanced around at the other four women in the ward, three of whom chatted with family and friends. The fourth and most elderly patient lay thin and frail, with her eyes closed, on the farthest bed. Tatya had never seen anyone visit Alice Franklin. "I'll check on Alice in a while."
"You have a soft heart for those who need it."
"Tell me, any test results yet?"
"That reminds me, that nice young doctor said to tell you he wants to have a word with you."
Tatya rolled her eyes. Aunt Lil was always trying to pair her up with someone. Generally not someone Tatya had ever taken a liking to, at least not so far.
"Perhaps he'll ask me out," she joked, pushing her unruly hair out of her eyes, and striking a provocative pose before having a fit of giggles.
"Oh, and your friend sends his regards."
Tatya stiffened. "Sean?"
"No, dear, the other one. The tall, dark, and handsome one!"
Who in the world was Aunt Lil talking about?
"Him. That's the one I mean." She pointed behind Tatya who turned around, her breath catching as she saw wh
Yes, as Aunt Lil said, Vanse was tall, dark and handsome—that is, if your tastes ran to the undead. She'd swear he had a radar system that pinged an alert the instant she entered the building. He leaned against the doorway, arms crossed, eyes mournful.
"Come in, Vanse," Aunt Lil beckoned him over.
Tatya shivered as he eyed her before coming to stand by her side. The fact he had no aura to read was unsettling. Trying not to fall off the chair, she inched as far away from him as possible. She was much too aware of him, and the effect he had on her. The pull he exerted was almost overpowering as the faint scent of sandalwood tickled her nose. Studying her aunt's white bed sheet, she did her best to ignore his presence, in the faint hope he'd take the hint and leave. No such luck. Vamps weren't known for their subtlety.
"This is my niece, Tatya. Tatya, this is Vanse."
"Yes, Aunt Lil. We've met." Not bothering to hide her aversion, she glared up at him. "How's Sean?" She laced her voice with the bitterness she wanted him to hear.
Tatya froze as his voice stroked every sense in her body. She touched the small locket hanging on a silver chain resting at her throat. A gift from a close friend, it contained the image of Lord Narasimha, a protective deity she'd adopted as her own.
"If you wish to speak with him, I will summon him. Yes, it's difficult for you to accept the change, but it may well help him."
Help him! How dare he? Didn't he understand how hard it was for her to see Sean as a vampire? Despite the number of times she’d spotted her friend when visiting Aunt Lil, they had talked only once since his change. One of the benefits of becoming a vampire was enhanced physical perfection. Sean's light brown dreadlocks had transformed into a smooth, rich chestnut mane; his slight, wiry physique stretched and morphed to conform to the standard vamp body with its perfect height and musculature. He was now Michelangelo's David, hardly recognizable as the friend she'd once known. As far as Tatya was concerned, it was too high a price for your soul. From what she'd gathered when she touched on the subject with Aunt Lil, Vanse had never asked Sean—just turned him. She narrowed her eyes, feeling the familiar tingle of power begin to build in her fingers.