Jewel of Niveka, now available for preorder on Amazon
Bastet plays matchmaker to Sahrametatiri as a reward for her eternal service. But Sahra doesn’t think she’s ready for love or trust. It isn’t the powerful Queen of Niveka Ben Solomon wants–it’s the desirable woman he made love to in one night of sizzling sexual desire.
“Wake up, Ben Solomon. Wake up.”
He heard the velvet, accented voice through a fog of dreams. Had he been asleep longer than he thought? Was it morning already?
“Who’s there?” he mumbled as he righted himself in the chair. Damn, he must have been exhausted because he’d been deep into la-la land. Then he saw the vision in front of him. “What the hell?” He rubbed his eyes, but the image didn’t fade. “This can’t be right. I must still be asleep.” The statue of Bast that had been resting on his desk now apparently stood before him, full of life.
“No, Ben, you aren’t asleep. I have come to give you a message.”
He straightened in his chair, wary of what he was seeing, knowing that he must still be asleep. There couldn’t be any other explanation.
“I am Bastet and I know you recognize me. I have come with a message. Zyphirasesammon is sending you a gift. It is the jewel of Niveka that he places into your keeping.”
“What are you talking about? What jewel?”
“This jewel is very precious to him. He has determined that you are the one man to understand its value and to treasure it as it deserves. You will understand how to handle it.” She held up a length of delicate gold chain. “To aid you, he sends this necklace which will bind the jewel to the earth. Only the person who places it on the jewel is able to remove it.” She laid the glittering necklace on the desk. “It will halt her shapeshifting abilities. Use it wisely, Ben Solomon, and care for this jewel well.”
Ben looked down at the chain and then back at Bastet. “Why me?”
“You have been chosen by the gods of Egypt. You alone can satisfy the need that lies in the heart of the jewel. You alone will make the jewel shine brightly once again.”
She began to shimmer and Ben jumped to his feet. “No. Wait. You can’t leave yet. Where is the jewel? How will I recognize it?” Was he nuts? The goddess wasn’t real. It was just a dream.
“You will know her. She is the crown jewel of Niveka who has walked through eternity alone. Her gift is love and only you can free her to shine brightly. Use this time well. Zyphir, the god-king, has spoken.”
And then she was gone. He blinked, rubbed his eyes, and then walked around the desk to where she had stood. He leaned down and picked up some sort of gritty, glittering substance. It looked like gold sand. He then walked over to the window and opened the blind to find the beginnings of a foggy morning about to emerge. He turned back to look at the desk and the chain was still there. What the hell had just happened?
* * *
Sahra sauntered into the room toward the dais where Bast waited.
“What is it this time?” she asked. “Another tomb to unearth? Who is it now?”
Bast studied her with her usual haughty I-am-Goddess look. It was one Sahra had practiced herself when she had been young, so she was untouched by its use now.
“The artifacts from your tomb will be on exhibition at the Solomon Museum in the United States. You will go there to watch over them.”
Sahra huffed. “Why me? That sounds like an extremely boring assignment. Isn’t there anyone else to handle it?”
“You are the one to accomplish this task. Only you are…intimately…familiar with the contents of the exhibition. It must remain intact. There are many who would try to steal from your past.”
“Isn’t there someone at the museum to take care of this?” A look of impatience crossed Bast’s face and her whiskers twitched. “All right, all right, I’ll handle it. When do I have to be there?”
“The exhibition will arrive in two days.”
“Well, at least that gives me some time for myself. I can get an idea of what’s available to keep me entertained.”
“Don’t get into trouble,” Bast admonished her.
Sahra opened her eyes wide and batted her long lashes. “Who? Me? I’m here to serve, aren’t I? I do what you tell me.”
Bast nodded regally. “Just accomplish the task.”
Sahra bowed and backed away. “As you wish, Goddess.” She then pivoted and, turning around, and leisurely walked out of the temple audience room.
There had to be something more to this immortality than what she had experienced over the last millennia. It had come to a point where there seemed no purpose to what she did. Of course, that one task when she’d had Khafeel to watch while he contacted Cassandra Linsey wasn’t bad. That was sort of interesting, especially when it was her own tomb that was to be discovered. Finally, these mortals would know about Niveka and its people.
There were times when she simply felt invisible. Well, actually she was for the most part. Why had she ever accepted this immortality stuff anyway?
Because she thought she might have a chance at finding out what this emotion called love was all about. But after all this time she still didn’t have a clue. Oh, she’d had her share of men, but not a one that she’d wanted to keep. There were times when she felt like the cat she shapeshifted into, always on the prowl and never satisfied. But the human side of her wanted something she wasn’t sure she was meant to find or to ever have.
Another task, another city. She truly was becoming weary of it all. Khafeel had managed to find the love of his life, why couldn’t she?
Preorder Jewel of Niveka on Amazon, releasing December 12th.