Authors: Sharon Sala
The Prophecy Trilogy
THE DOVE Copyright 2014 by Sharon Sala
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or if real, used fictitiously. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any electronic of mechanical means, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system without the express written permission of the author or publisher, except where permitted by law.
All Rights Reserved.
Book Cover: Kim Killion of HotDAMN Designs
Editing and interior formatting and design by Amy Eye
The cover of this book and the cover I had redone for the WINDWALKER, which was book one of the Prophecy Series, is the culmination of a twenty-three-year dream I’ve had to have Native American models on the cover of my many Native American romances.
It is no accident that I had to publish the books myself to make it happen, but I sincerely hope it triggers an awakening within the publishing world that the models are there and their stunning faces portray the beauty of their race.
I have Kim Killion to thank for helping me make this dream come true.
I have Rick Mora, actor/model, to thank for a positive response to the request.
And, I have my own granddaughter, Logan Sala, to thank for helping make her grandmother’s dream a reality.
These beautiful cover models represent the Yaqui/Apache and Muscogee Nations and I am forever grateful to both of them for putting the proper faces on this trilogy and making my dream come true.
To the dream-makers, this book is for you.
They came when the sky had no moon, moving through the jungle toward Naaki Chava like the night crawlers they were, on a mission to steal the girl called Tyhen.
The torches the warriors carried cast demonic shadows in the red paint on their faces, and the long, black feathers in their hair bounced like the tails of the paradise birds as they ran.
Both the thunder of their footsteps and the fire they carried sent natural predators into hiding, leaving their path undeterred into the great city where Chief Cayetano ruled.
A jaguar crouching on a tree limb above them hissed when it saw them coming, then hunkered motionless, watching with yellow eyes as the warriors passed below.
The young man leading them was a zealot—a dark priest named Coyopa. But for a small wrap worn around his hips, he was naked to the world. His body was hairless, an affliction that he had turned to his advantage, claiming he was this way so that nothing stood between him and the Gods, but his soul was as black as the night in which they ran.
He had seen the girl they were after in a vision and was both awed and envious of what she was. Although she was still young, her untapped powers would increase as she grew up. He wanted her and that power for himself.
The plan was to put a spell on the guards and sweep through the palace, killing all who stood between him and the girl. It was easier to turn captives to his ways when they knew there was nothing to go back to.
The faint scent of smoke from the palace in Naaki Chava came from torches at the end of the maze of hallways where palace guards stood watch at every entrance. On this night, while danger came at them in the dark, Cayetano and his family slept unaware.
Yuma and his adopted brothers, Adam and Evan, shared a room in the palace at one end of a long hallway. The chief and his wife, Singing Bird, slept at the other end, while their fifteen-year-old daughter, Tyhen, and her servant, Acat, slept in the room between.
In the years since Singing Bird had returned from the future with what was left of the Native race, Naaki Chava had not only grown, but thrived. But it was the baby she brought in her belly, and Yuma, the eight-year-old boy whose life she saved who had become pivotal to the future of their race.
Even at the tender age of eight, Yuma had known without being told that the baby she carried would one day belong to him, that he would protect her with his life, and she would love him forever.
What he hadn’t known was that the night he made his first kill, he would not only be saving the life of Singing Bird and her unborn child, but that it would break a thousand-year-old curse and set their race of people on a path to changing and saving the future of the human race.
As Yuma grew older, his feelings for Tyhen deepened. She was no longer a child who shadowed his every step. She was a beautiful young woman who’d grown taller than everyone in the palace except for him and the twins.
Adam and Evan had also come from the future with secrets and psychic powers few knew they possessed. They had grown into men more knowledgeable and powerful than the lone shaman who dwelled in the temple, and they had long ago pledged their loyalty and lives to Cayetano and his family.
And so they all slept, peaceful and unaware of the impending danger.
Tyhen slept on her back with one arm flung over her head, the other lying across her flat belly. Her once reed-thin body had filled out into willowy curves and her legs had grown so long during the past year her bed was now too short. Sometime during the night, she’d pushed her hair away from her neck, and now it spilled out onto the sleeping mat pillowed beneath her head. Even in repose, her features were stunning, but how could they be any less? She was the daughter of a god and a woman who was a red feather warrior.
She knew her truth, that the man who put her in her mother’s belly had been a Windwalker, an ancient and powerful spirit. She had known her destiny before she’d drawn her first breath, just like she knew that Yuma was her soul mate and that she would love him above all men.
Like everyone else in Naaki Chava this night, she’d gone to sleep without concern until she began to dream. As the dream progressed, she began to toss and turn, rolling from her back to her belly, and then back again.
Acat, her servant, heard her distress and got up to make sure she was not ill. Once she was satisfied Tyhen’s skin was warm only from the lack of moving air and not a fever, she crawled back onto her sleeping mat and drifted off to sleep.
Unaware of her nurse’s concern, Tyhen continued to dream until a sudden vision of fire and feathers and the men who carried them brought her to her feet. Her first thought to warn the others, and then she heard the twins’ voices in her head.
We saw them, too. Tell Cayetano. Yuma is already alerting the guards.
Her heart was pounding as she ran out of her room and then down the darkened hallway, calling Cayetano’s name.
As deeply asleep as he was, the second he heard Tyhen’s voice he was awake and shaking Singing Bird, who was still asleep in his arms.
“Singing Bird, something is wrong!” he cried and leaped to his feet.
Singing Bird heard her daughter’s voice before she opened her eyes. Her heart pounded as she grabbed a wrap and ran out of the room behind him.
They entered the hall just as Tyhen came out of the shadows, her long, dark hair flying out behind her.
In that moment, Singing Bird didn’t see her child; she saw Niyol, her Windwalker, running toward her in the canyon. All the emotions of loving and losing him swept through her so fast it left her momentarily speechless, leaving Cayetano to take control.
“What’s wrong?” he cried as Tyhen leapt into his arms.
Tyhen was trembling, her arms locked so tight around Cayetano’s neck he could not see her face, but he could feel her heartbeat and her fear. He also knew she had the gift of sight and guessed it was more than a bad dream that brought her running.
“What is it, my little whirlwind? What do you see?” he asked.
Tyhen’s voice was trembling. “There are warriors in the jungle running with fire. They come for me!”
Before he could comment, he heard the clank of spears and shields and the sounds of running feet. It was Yuma and the twins followed by a large number of the palace guards carrying torches.
Cayetano’s eyes narrowed angrily. “No one will hurt my daughter.”
But Tyhen was still locked into the vision of the men in the jungle and desperate that they understand the urgency.
“Yes, yes, they will. A bad man leads them to the swinging bridge. You have to stop them there or it will be too late.”
“Heed her words and give her to me,” Singing Bird said and took her daughter’s hand.
The twins’ gift of sight had given them instant access into her dream, and now they shared her vision. They not only saw the warriors, but the face of the priest who led them, and even though they were familiar with the world of the occult, they suddenly shuddered.
“The priest’s name is Coyopa. He prays to the dark ones,” Adam said.
“She’s right,” Evan added. “Stop them at the swinging bridge or not at all.”
Cayetano turned to his guards. “Gather my warriors. We will fight them.”
They rushed off to do his bidding while Adam continued to argue his brother’s advice.
“You cannot fight his magic. Wait until they’re on the bridge then cut it. Gravity is stronger than his evil,” Adam said.
Yuma was silent, though seeing Tyhen shaking with fear filled him with rage. All he could think about was keeping her safe, and when he heard the twins warning, it gave him the answer.
“I’ll do it,” he said, then turned and ran to get his machete.
“Wait, Yuma, wait!” Cayetano yelled, but he was already gone. “We go!” Cayetano said.
Yuma was the beginning and end of Tyhen’s world, and what she’d said had sent him headlong into danger. She was on the verge of new tears when her mother took her by the hand.
“Come with me,” Singing Bird said and then motioned for the twins and Acat to follow as they returned to Singing Bird’s quarters. As they did, a dozen palace guards immediately stationed themselves outside the door.
Singing Bird settled Tyhen on her bed and the others around them, then sat cross-legged in their midst and began demanding answers. She turned first to the twins. Over the years they had grown tremendously in body and stature. Their pretty faces had matured into handsome ones, framed by black, wavy hair that hung past their shoulders. After all this time, she still couldn’t tell them apart.
“Adam, Evan, tell me what you see.”
The brothers closed their eyes.
“Forty warriors with red paint on their faces and black feathers in their hair,” Adam said.
“Led by a priest who calls on dark spirits,” Evan added.
Singing Bird’s hands curled into fists as she stifled a new wave of fear. This felt like before when she was still on earth, trying to bring their people back in time. Only then, the magic and the spirit were on her side; this time it was not.
“How do you fight against such a man?” she asked.
Tyhen sat cross-legged on the mat beside her mother, rocking back and forth with her eyes nearly closed. She, too, was watching, but it was Yuma she saw, moving swiftly through the jungle with a torch in one hand, a machete in the other.
“Fight evil with good,” she mumbled, still locked into the heartbeat of the man who loved her.
Yuma ran without caution, desperate to get to the swinging bridge first. Being in the jungle at night was dangerous, but knowing they were coming for Tyhen scared him more. He knew Cayetano and his warriors trailed him, but he didn’t know how far behind him they were and couldn’t let it matter.
He wished for a moon and someone who had his back. His pulse leaped when he heard the squall of a jaguar on the hunt, but it quickly settled, knowing the fire in his torch would keep the big cat at bay. The deeper he got into the jungle, the quieter it became. This made him anxious. Animals knew when men were about. Was he too late? Had the war party already crossed the swinging bridge?