Authors: Jill Campbell
World Castle Publishing
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
World Castle Publishing
Copyright © Jill Campbell 2011
Library of Congress Catalogue Number 2011930721
First Edition Publish America 2011
Second Edition World Castle Publishing September 15, 2011
Third Edition World Castle Publishing March 20, 2012
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews.
Cover: Karen Fuller
Editor: Maxine Bringenberg
This book is dedicated to my grandparents, J.R. and Joye,
who raised and guided me through this life;
to my mother, Debbie, who has always
supported me; and to my son, Brian who
is my wonderful gift from God.
Several people supported me during the writing process of this book. The story may have originated in my head but there were others who helped me in different ways; Diana Allen who inspired me to write again and who read through the manuscript and helped me find errors; Troy (T.J.) Dennis who acted out scenes for me and initially inspired me to write; Josh Johnson (The Muse) who helped me through my writers block and brought the story to life in his own way; my aunt, Dana (Deanie) Dennis, for her support and help with contracts and decision making; my facebook friends, Tonya, Carol, Kenneth, Jimi, Johnnie, Natawsha, Megan D., Megan N., Jeff, Sharon, Tandra, Stephanie, Jenifer, Tavis, and Lisa, who took my survey and helped me decide on a new title; Tylie Hoffman, my biggest fan before I was published; Kala Benson for being an inspiration; La’Cretia Cagle who helped me have an idea of what I wanted for the cover; Eric Foraker who bled my manuscript, analyzing every sentence and who begged me to put Jedi’s in my book, upon which I beat him over the head with his light saber...just kidding; and all my family, church family, friends, and acquaintances who pushed me, supported me, & helped me along the way.
A big special thanks to Jasmine Denton and Maxine Bringenberg, my wonderful editors, for helping to make my book the best that it can be; Karen Fuller, my publisher, for helping me out of a rotten situation and giving me a chance; Lea-Ellen Borg for all her wonderful information and support, Clarrissa Lee Moon for her friendship and for her strength and defense in my honor, and all the authors, editors, and readers from my Amazon groups for all their support and encouragement. Love, Hugs, and HAMMS to all of you.
Author’s Note to Readers
The people and places in the book are figments of the author’s imagination. The author made up a city in Egypt. In this city only the author’s laws apply.
Ocean waves slapped against the side of the ship and the rigging creaked, gliding along the water like an ice skater on a frozen lake. Torches were hung all around, illuminating the whole ship.
Another ship pulled up alongside the first and docked. A ramp was placed from one to the other, and a group of armed soldiers marched down the ramp. Following behind the soldiers were the prince of Scotland and the head of his guard. The prince of Ireland stood at the bottom waiting. It was a meeting to negotiate a treaty of peace between the lands, but something was wrong. There was a sense of betrayal in the air; something horrible was about to happen.
The princess of Ireland was up by the helm. She grabbed a rope and swung down behind the Scottish prince, grabbing him around the neck, then drew her sword and placed it against his throat. The prince looked at the princess but his hood filled with blinding light, and there was the distant sound of a beating heart that grew louder and faster with every breath.
Kallisto’s eyes shot open as she rolled to turn down the volume on her alarm radio. White light was shining in her eyes from the sun, now positioned perfectly to shine right in her face. The loud bass from the song playing rhythmically in the background boomed like a heartbeat as she got up and stretched for the new day. Gathering clothes along the way, she headed for the shower.
Kallisto had been the princess in the dream, and her twin brother, Kalan, had been the prince of Ireland; she thought it was very strange. She undressed for her shower, but thinking of Kalan made her think of something else, and she lifted her arm to stare at the double headed rose tattoo on her lower right arm on the inside. Holding her hands down to her sides the tattoo was, for the most part, unnoticeable with the exception of part of the stem that trailed around her arm. The design was unusual, almost as though it was left incomplete, because one head was completed with red coloring, but the other head was just the outline. Kallisto thought maybe she had screamed too much for the artist to finish. Her mother, Hope, had told her that her father decided to put the tattoos on her and Kalan when they were young to identify them if they were ever kidnapped or lost for an extended period of time. Kallisto thought he must have been extremely paranoid. Kalan’s tattoo was a Celtic cross done in black ink as well instead of the traditional green that is so common, but Kalan’s was not filled with color as Kallisto’s was partially; she figured hers was done first and her parents had learned from their mistake.
Kallisto had always hated her tattoo and covered it up anytime she ventured out, even on the hottest of days. She wished she could smack her father for putting it on her. Kalan never had a problem with his but Kallisto would get comments or sneers for hers. She didn’t have many friends because of it; parents always thought she was a bad influence on their children. It had been discovered, though, that her best friend, Ramina, had a tattoo on the back of her neck of a black skeleton key. That fact seemed to have a bonding effect on them, and was why they had become so close. Kallisto thought Ramina’s parents had been just as paranoid as hers, but they hid Ramina’s ink a bit better than Kallisto’s parents had.
Kallisto shoved away all thoughts of the tattoos and finally jumped in the shower, but the dream plagued her as she washed herself. She had never dreamed anything like it before. It seemed so real to her, but it was frustrating because it didn’t give her any details; it was like watching part of a movie, or just the trailer, and trying to make sense of the whole thing. She also couldn’t figure out why there was betrayal in the air. It seemed like she was the one betraying everyone, but she wanted to know why. She couldn’t fathom a reason for it.
Kallisto got out of the shower and dressed, then peered at her reflection in the mirror. Her raven hair hung straight and long, down to her hips. Her thick brows complemented her face. As she looked, she noticed a difference in her usually dark eyes. There was a ring of emerald green color around the outside of the iris. Her eyes, nearly as black as her pupils, had lightened to a light brown to accommodate the green. She blinked at the image, willing it to be a mirage, but as she peered closer it was definitely there. She felt slightly panicked; her heart started pounding, but she had no idea why she would react so strongly.
Closing her eyes, she took a few deep breaths and calmed herself. When she finally opened her eyes again it was the same; it definitely wasn’t a hallucination. She reasoned that it must be because she was getting older, but for it to happen overnight was really strange. She had just looked at her eyes the night before and they weren’t like that.
As she made her way to the kitchen she could smell bacon; Hope was already up and about, making breakfast. Kallisto came around the counter and sat down on the bar stool near the stove. Hope looked up and smiled for a moment, then her brow creased with worry.
“Are you feeling alright Kallisto? You’re paler than normal…are you getting sick?” She put the spatula down and came over to feel Kallisto’s forehead.
“I’m fine, Mom, just had a weird dream and woke up to a bit of a shock this morning,” Kallisto said with a small grin.
Hope looked at Kallisto in confusion. “Tell me about this dream. Maybe we can make sense of it. Your subconscious is probably trying to tell you something.” She smiled and went back to cooking while Kallisto told her about the dream. The more of the dream she told the more concerned Hope looked. She looked up from the bacon and stared at Kallisto with wide eyes that grew even wider the longer she looked, especially when Kallisto told her about her eyes. The smoke alarm went off before either of them realized the bacon was burning–it made them jump. Kallisto grabbed a towel and waved it in front of the alarm while Hope took the skillet from the fire. Once the crisis was averted Hope walked up to Kallisto and stared in her eyes. Her own eyes widened once again, then she cleared her throat and walked back to the stove.
“I think maybe you’d better go visit your brother. Dreaming about him must mean that you miss him a lot,” Hope said as she scraped the bacon into the trash. Kallisto was baffled by her reaction to her eyes, but she sounded calm as she spoke, which confused Kallisto further.
“Kalan will be coming back for spring break soon–I can see him then. It’ll be fine for a bit longer.”
“No, you’re going to see him, and I won’t hear another word about it!” Hope said roughly, but then she smiled. “You should ask Ramina to go with you. I bet she’d like that.”
Kallisto gaped at Hope then; Hope didn’t really like Ramina. She tolerated her since she was Kallisto’s only real friend, but there was definitely no love lost in that relationship. Kallisto knew at that point that she was serious.
They ate in silence. When Kallisto was finished she went to go get her over shirt. Hope came to her doorway, looking concerned, and Kallisto froze with one arm in the shirt. “What’s wrong, Mom?”
“I really want you to go see your brother. These dreams worry me. I want to be sure that he’s alright,” Hope said, wringing her hands. Kallisto finished putting on the shirt.
“If that’s what you want, I’ll go. I’ll call Ramina on the way to work,” Kallisto said, walking to the door. Kallisto was only about 5’6” tall, but Hope only came to her chin. Kallisto kissed her forehead on the way out, but Hope grabbed her and hugged her tight before she could get too far away.
“I love you, Kallisto.” Hope said, holding on tightly. Kallisto turned to get a better hold and hugged her tightly.
“I love you too, Mom.” Kallisto kissed her again and walked on toward the door. She was going to be late for work, but she really wanted to stay. Hope’s demeanor was worrying her.
As she made her way to work she thought about the trip to Arizona. Kallisto was still surprised that her mother wanted her to take Ramina since she despised her so openly. Kalan was fond of her though. Thinking about Kalan and Ramina brought back the memory of how they’d found Ramina’s tattoo in the first place. Kalan had turned Ramina on her head during one of their many bouts of wrestling; it made Kallisto giggle. Kalan would still turn Ramina on her head even though she was nearly six feet tall with a strong muscular build. Ramina had long black hair like Kallisto’s, only Ramina’s was nearly to her ankles in length. She had a dark complexion, which came from her Korean side apparently, considering her father was a six-foot-tall American country boy. The mixture made Ramina look more like an Indian, like an Amazon woman.
Kalan was no slouch though; he was six feet tall himself, with a muscular build and black hair like Kallisto’s. He definitely fell into the category of tall, dark, and handsome. Kallisto snorted as she thought of how he got all the good genes in the family–smart, good-looking, popular, he was a regular Don Juan with the ladies–although more of a gentleman than the usual Don Juan, which made him all the more irresistible to the ladies because he was sweet too. He definitely wasn’t one to love them and leave them.