Happy Valentines Day! Here's a sneak peek at the upcoming sequel to The Blood of Cain.
The Marriott Marquis – Atlanta, GA
Cain paced in front of the large glass window of his hotel room, looking out over the city silhouette. A single strand of his dark curly hair fell over his brow, resting at the corner of his right eye. Out of the periphery of his left he saw a shadow move and quickly whipped his head around. Nothing else moved. The room buzzed with the hum of the muted television and the occasional, almost silent, bend of steel as the skyscraper swayed with the wind. The familiar sounds of honking horns and distant sirens bounced off the walls. He closed his eyes and slowed the rhythm of his heart, meditating on the intake and outflow of his breath. Tension left his massive muscles as he relaxed. When he opened his eyes, the silhouette of a man sat in one of the patio chairs on the balcony.
The stranger turned his head and smiled at Cain. “It’s been a while, my friend. What’s made you bring me back this time?”
“Chloe,” Cain whispered.
The two ancient friends sat in silence for a long moment.
Abital finally stirred. He got to his feet and laid his hand on his friend’s back. “You did what you thought you had to do.”
“But was it the right choice?” Cain said between gritted teeth.
“You can’t go there, Cain. You know nothing good comes from living in the land of What If and Second Guesses. Their only purpose is to torment and confuse the mind.”
Abital walked over to the balcony’s ledge and looked down at the busy streets below. “You and your guilt have been closer than brothers. When are you going to learn he’s a shitty friend?”
Shaking his head, Cain answered, “You speak as if it’s a person.”
Spinning around, Abital winked at Cain. “He’s as real as I am. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you’ll get on with your life.”
Cain chuckled. “Get on with my life? What do you think I’ve been doing these past eight thousand years? If I’ve done anything in this world, it’s get on with my life.” He ran his calloused fingers through his long hair and leaned back in the chair, looking up at Abital. “I’d like to come to the end of it.”
Dressed in a pair of dark brown corduroy pants, a thin striped tee-shirt and a long scarf, Abital shoved his hands into his pockets as a cool breeze blew his wildly-cropped blond hair. He looked like he stepped right out of a late 70’s David Bowie poster. “So, you’re on another suicide mission?”
Cain sat silently for a while and then answered, “No, this is much worse. I’ve come full circle… I’m back to murder.”
“What you did in Jackson Hole was not murder.” Abital crossed his legs and leaned back against the balcony, resting his elbow on the ledge. “What you’re going to have to do when you find Barty won’t be murder either. There’s no malice in your intent, they’re both a necessary…”
“Evil?” Cain interrupted.
“No, I was going to say… a necessary burden. But in your case I think it would fit better if I said they are necessary resolutions.”
Cain scrunched his brows together. “Resolutions to what?”
Abital let out a laugh and cocked his eyebrows. “That, my friend, is for you to discover on your own.”
Standing to his feet, Cain rubbed the back of his neck. He could feel all the tension and stress of the past few weeks knot themselves in the muscles along his shoulder blades.
“If you don’t have any simple answers for me, what are you doing here?”
Abital winked at Cain and then looked out over the night lights of the city. “Only you can answer that question. I have one for you.”
“Really?” Cain chuckled. “Why doesn’t that surprise me?”
Abital spun back around and faced Cain, his bright blue eyes staring right at him. “Why haven’t you told them about me?”