Authors: Teresa D'Amario
Tags: #Freya's Bower Paranormal Erotic Romance
Visions of Fire & Ice
Freya’s Bower.com copyright 2013
Culver City, CA
Visions of Fire and Ice: A Petiri Novel Copyright copyright 2013 by Teresa D’Amario, pseudonym
For information on the cover illustration and design, contact Tara Reed.
Cover art Freya’s Bower copyright 2013
Editor: Marci Baun
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
This book may contain graphic sexual material and/or profanity and is not meant to be read by any person under the age of 18.
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Thousands of Years Past
For more than eighty earth years, the throne of Osiris remained empty. The constant bickering for control between the gods Set and Horus had exhausted the Egyptian Pantheon, and, at last, everyone agreed. It was time for the fighting to end.
This last challenge would finally determine who would rule.
For the last three months, both gods had spent their days and nights beneath the waters of the Nile in a winner takes the crown competition.
Set, God of Chaos, smiled inwardly. Only one week of the challenge remained, and then the crown would be his. That was, if Isis, Mother Goddess of Hekau, or magick, would let her son, Horus, fight his own battles.
She was a control freak. Angry over her husband’s death, she used everything in her power to control her son’s future. If she interfered, enthroning her son, she would have the ultimate revenge for Osiris’s death and Set’s subsequent banishment to the underworld.
Horus, God of the Sky, was nothing more than a child, and children had no business ruling this world.
Subtle movement disturbed the river bottom, shifting iron red silt through his field of vision. Set pulled his tired, aching body to his knees and peered thru the murky waters of the River Nile.
A large shape drew close, inducing a swirl in the water.
Horus was charging.
. Proof the devilkin didn’t have the patience needed to rule the Egyptian Pantheon. Set scrabbled through the soft red silt searching for his dagger. Clouds of red sand blurred his vision. At last, he found it, and his fingers closed on the carved ivory handle. He readied himself for the attack.
The word whispered through his mind. He could change to the Red Hippopotamus, one of his most powerful and deadly sacred shapes.
. Today Set would teach the boy a lesson he would never forget, without magick. Set flexed his shoulders, waiting.
A glint of copper flashed through the sunlit water, blinding Set for an instant. The glare was the only warning he received before Horus catapulted a spear in his direction. Set turned, quick as an eel, surging to the side.
The spear struck. White hot agony ripped through his heart. The
ceased pounding, twitching beneath the sharp, pointed blade. His life’s blood boiled, burning inside him while the copper worked on his nonhuman fluid like acid. The syrupy waters of the Nile swallowed his scream, stealing the last of his voice and the last of his breath. No longer did red minerals float in his vision. Instead, he saw his own rich blood, crimson and thick. Black spots dotted before his eyes, growing. Encompassing everything.
* * * *
Light pierced his lids, and, at last, Set opened his eyes. He sat on the banks of the Nile. The sand of the riverside was broken by reeds and papyrus plants, the surface of the water sparkling in the bright noonday sun. He dragged himself to his feet. The entire pantheon of gods stood in a half moon around the beach. Watching. Judging.
His gaze trailed past them. Isis.
, beautiful woman, beautiful sister, wife of his brother. He took a moment to admire the graceful sway of her back, the curtain of ebony hair draping heavily past her shoulders, and the curve of her wide, voluptuous hips. Her gown accented firm round buttocks, the cloth clung, displaying shapely thighs. There was no goddess more beautiful. The envy of every woman, the desire of every man.
Isis turned to face him. A sigh escaped his lips. No matter how many times he saw her, her beauty stole his breath. Her beautiful round breasts begged for a man’s hand, and he itched to touch her. His gaze crept up that gorgeous body, till their eyes met.
No desire flickered in her eyes. Only anger.
He scanned the area. A body lay on the banks of the River Nile.
A slash of crimson revealed a long gash on his chest. No blood flowed; no living heart pumped the vital liquid. A wave of dizziness hit, and he struggled to stay on his feet.
This wasn’t possible
Horus stood next to his mother, a mocking smile upon his lips.
Fury raged. The little bastard. How dare he ridicule a god of his stature? He charged. Set’s body, a mere ghost of itself, passed through the boy. The upstart’s derisive grin turned to laughter. Set stumbled then righted himself. Unease rippled through him, and he examined his body, or lack thereof. His
floated free, a powerless shadow of his former self. A spirit without a home.
“Can’t you tell you are dead, Uncle?”
Set snarled at his nephew. “Not for long.” He whipped around and stormed to his body, only to be propelled backward. He stumbled to the sand, humiliated and furious. Jerking to his feet, he sent a blast of his own
toward the slaves preparing to service his remains. Nothing happened.
Laughter echoed in his ears again, and he turned to Horus.
“You shall pay for this.”
“Tell that to my mother.” The young god smirked.
Set turned his attention to his sister, currently giving instruction to the slaves. “What are you doing, Isis?”
“Ending this.” Her cold and brittle voice cut through him like a knife.
“How?” he asked incredulously.
“It’s over.” She glanced to her son, who tried unsuccessfully to hide his taunting grin.
Set held his temper, and a trickle of fear wavered through him as understanding dawned.
“Isis, please! Don’t do this!” He rushed to her side, grabbing at her arm, but his hand passed through her.
He had to find a way to stop her.
Panicked, he struggled for an answer. Only one last weapon remained in his arsenal. Begging. Oh, yes, Horus would pay for this mess. Dismembering him like his father would be much too good for the upstart.
Set dropped to one knee. “I’m your brother. Please, you can’t destroy your own brother!”
“Enough.” Her voice reverberated through the desert, the sound echoing with thousands of voices through the vast sands of the desert. Her hands were fisted at her sides. “You should have thought of that before you killed my husband.”
“You know I didn’t kill him. Osiris is my own dear brother, from birth. I would never kill him. Besides, there’s no proof.”
“Silence!” The command rolled like thunder. She stood, haughty and proud, beautiful even in her fury. “You went to war with my own son! By right of birth, the throne belongs to Horus. Unless you renounce your claim, you will suffer an eternity for your crimes.”
“You shall reap your reward, brother.” She nodded, and the slaves dismembered his body, their knives quick and efficient. They sliced through sinew and tissue, removing organs and separating his limbs from his body. Only his
remained, his own spiritual essence.
Fear graduated to rage, his image wavering. His gaze swung to the pantheon of gods and goddesses, who turned their backs on him.
Something dark and twisted snapped deep inside him. How dare they betray him! “How dare you,” he roared in fury.
Isis ignored his impotent anger. She turned her back, raised her hands to the sky, and began an incantation. With arms stretched wide, her voice reverberated. Power crackled in the air. The words she spoke were an ancient language, older than the earth. Older than time itself. Storm clouds roiled above; lightning rocketed across the sky like long electric fingers reaching for his soul.
Wind whistled across the desert and lifted the sand, rolling it toward him. No, this couldn’t be happening. The desert belonged to him, not to her. It obeyed
! Unbelievably, the dust continued to whirl toward him, spinning and twisting dangerously closer and closer.
“Stop this, Isis!” Desperation tinged his command, but it fell on deaf ears.
Her voice wailed, mixed with the wind, carrying it to the deepest recesses of the desert, calling to her dead husband. The sound of a woman in mourning. Her grief fed the spell, building it, strengthening it. She pivoted toward him. Her dark glittering eyes met his. When she spoke, her voice was a soft whisper. “It is time, Set. Time for you to go. Your
shall be locked for all eternity in the tomb of my husband. Your body shall be given to the insects and worms.”
Ignoring his continued begging, she turned to the east, her voice crisp and clear.
“Aker, Amaunet and Baal – hear my cry.”
Then she turned west.
“Meretseger, Sihkar and Qebehsenuef…”
She tipped her face to the sky, the sun kissing her cheek. The wind whipped her dark hair across her face, drying her tears, wrapping her in a cocoon of safety.
“Daumutef, Maat, and Sokar…”
She spread her arms wide and gathered the power she called from her brother and sister deities. Then her voice softened, tears flowed from her eyes. “Osiris, feel my pain, lend me your strength, send me your power from the Netherworld.”
The music of her voice merged with the wind. Set could no longer separate her words from the vicious moans and screams of the storm whirling around him. Shrieks tore from him, rumbled through him, a deafening roar to his soul.
“I shall return. I’ll take another body! You will not stop me!”
Fingers of darkness clawed at his consciousness. He had miscalculated. Fear clutched him. By the gods, she was serious! Pain ripped through him, shearing his
from his body for an eternity. His soul rent in two, swirling in the midst of the wind. His dark essence whirled into the canopic jar waiting at her feet. A silent scream shattered his mind.
Ramose ducked and twisted his body, avoiding the flailing fist surging forward to contact with his jaw. With one quick upper cut, he cracked his opponent beneath his chin. The man’s head jerked back, blood spurting from a bitten lip.
“Had enough yet?” asked Ramose.
Darius spat, his bloody spittle spattering the blue floor mat. “I had enough a long time ago. But, then again, you need to have your ass kicked lately.”
Ramose grinned. “Let’s see you try,” he said, snatching a pair of swords from the rack on the wall and tossing one to Darius. He was the Master of Defense for his people. He was responsible for teaching them the in’s and out’s of self-defense. It was what kept them alert and safe.
At least, he liked to think it was what kept them safe. It was probably more luck than anything. Unlike their arrival on this planet more than three thousand five hundred years ago.