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Authors: A D Seeley

The Mark of Cain

BOOK: The Mark of Cain
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The Mark of Cain
Cain Chronicles [1]
A D Seeley
(2012)

History as we know it is a lie. An intricate web of half-truths and falsifications spun by the most infamous murderer in history: the immortal, Cain, son of Adam and Eve. All so the truth of him and his power can stay in the shadows, with every oblivious mortal his pawn. The Mark of Cain reveals the truth.

After murdering his brother, Abel, Cain was unjustly cursed by God. When the curse becomes too unbearable for him and he faces immortality alone, Cain puts his energy into claiming the Earth as his own. Now, after thousands of years living his life as some of history’s greatest conquerors, the ruthless first son of Adam finally has a controlling interest in the world with the strongest governments secretly answering to him.

Tired of the bloodshed and manipulation that has brought him to this point, Cain is ready to relax. But God has sent someone to challenge his interests: a young woman named Hara, whose very life was foretold centuries ago.

To keep God from victory, Cain sets out to woo and corrupt Hara, planning to kill her once she is no longer God’s Chosen One. At first, as she edges off the path leading toward the fulfillment of the prophecy, Cain can’t help but feel smug. However, the closer he gets to her, the more he finds that Hara’s charitable presence causes him to feel shame for the first time in his long life, and soon he finds that he no longer wishes her harm. But the prophecy is clear on this; she has to die for him to win. When it comes to her end, will he be as selfish as he has always been, or will he sacrifice himself for the love of his very long life?

The Mark of Cain

The Cain Chronicles: Book One

 

By A.D. Seeley

Text copyright ©2012 A.D. Seeley

All Rights Reserved

For
Greg, a modern saint.

 You are sorely missed by all who knew
you.

Prologue

***

New Year’s Day

 

 

Cain looked down at his crimson saturated hands.
They looked so much like they had the first time he’d taken a life that, for a
moment, it took his breath away. All this blood…too much blood. He should be
used to it after all these years, thousands of years worth equaling oceans of
the sticky fluid from all of the battles he’d fought in all that time. But this
was different. This was
wrong
. And it was all his fault….

Cain looked into the beautiful dying woman’s
lavender eyes, usually so bright and childlike, which were now becoming dimmer
with every moment. Soon the glimmer of her essence would be gone. Cain knew
this as surely as he knew anything. When a person has seen as much death as he
had, especially from violent means, they can smell it in the air. And right
now, the stinging copper smell was permeating everything, so thick that he
almost couldn’t breathe. He had enjoyed the smell before—it had thrilled him
even to the point where, though vampirism was a stretch, his ruthless actions
had spawned the far-fetched legend of Dracula—but that had been many years
ago….

Pink froth bubbled from her mouth, telling him that
at least one of the bullets had penetrated a lung.

“Hara…I’m…I’m so sorry. I’m sorry…” he said as he
cradled her slender form close into his body.

Even though her creamy face was losing its natural
blush at an alarming rate, she gave him a small smile.

“I forgive you,” she whispered with some difficulty,
the dim light from a streetlamp above making a slight tremor in her muscles
visible that would otherwise be lost in all the gloom that surrounded them.

“Shh. Don’t speak, Hara. You’ll be fine. Don’t
worry. I won’t let anything happen to you,” he lied.

“I love you…” the dying angel managed to whisper
despite the divine blood that was pumping out of her. Blood that was spreading
across the asphalt like glorious, gory wings. Blood that was falling into her
beautiful hair of silvers mixed with golds, vivid against the paleness of it.

Cain’s world crashed, as though the very Earth he’d
walked upon for millennia had shattered into trillions of pieces, falling out
from under him until he found himself floating in a dark place full of only
heartbreak and agony. He knew, in this moment, from the way those words warmed
him, at the same time that they broke his heart, that he loved her too. All of
these years, with all of the beautiful women who had belonged to him in them,
he had never before felt this way. Despite that, there was no doubt in his mind
that that’s what he felt. Why had it taken him until now to realize that?
Another
cruel twist….

He bent and kissed her softly, ignoring the coppery
taste of her lips that had once intoxicated him like a perfectly aged wine.

“Hara…I love you, too,” he told her. “For real. I’m
not pretending.”

She lifted a hand to his cheek above the beard he’d
grown in the past month of depression he’d been absorbed in, causing his
hygiene to be like that of the Middle Ages, and lightly caressed it. As she
did, he closed his eyes to take the sensation deep into his soul.

“Don’t cry…” she managed as she weakly stroked his
cheek, leaving a warm smear along it. His chest constricted with the knowledge
that her blood was now on his face. Would its warmth stay there forever to
taunt him? Much like he could still feel his brother’s blood on his skin?

But he wasn’t one to cry. He hadn’t cried since he
had been a boy so long ago. However, sure enough, when her hand fell away, he
saw a drop of water on her long, slim pointer finger. Although he’d mastered
his emotions, she was right. He was crying now. Crying for her pain, and for
the fact that he was going to lose her the very same moment in which he had
discovered how he felt about her.

Her heart was slowing. He’d taken her wrist in his
hand to look at the tear on her finger and could feel it beating under the
delicate, creamy skin. Wanting to comfort her in her last moments, he put what
he hoped was a soothing hand to her cheek, mustering up the courage to tell her
what he needed to before she left him forever….

“About your family…” he said.

Her head moved minutely as she attempted to shake
it. “Forgive and forget.” A hacking cough took over her breakable form then, so
he cradled her tighter despite the fact that he knew doing so most likely only
suffocated her more. When she was finished, her breathing had taken on the
death rattle. She wouldn’t last more than another minute at this rate.

“Pro…omise…me?” she said between gasping breaths.

“What? I’ll promise anything,” he said as he stroked
her face with his bloody fingers, marring her perfect face with her own blood,
which looked to be a deeper scarlet against her alabaster skin.

“No…more…bad,” she managed. “O…only…good.”

He took a deep gulp, trying not to let the sob
escape that was making its way up from the darkest recesses of his soul.

“I promise, Hara. I’ll only do good. And I’ll atone
for everything I’ve done wrong.”

She smiled as her eyes began to lose their luster,
distancing her from the mortal realm. “Then my death is wor…orth—”

“No!” he interrupted, slightly shaking her. “Your
death won’t ever be worth it. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. It should be me.”

“No,” she said in a gentle tone that had never been
directed at him before he’d met her—his own mother had never been anything but
stern with him. “Just use…immor…ortality…for good…do good….” She coughed a few
more times, gasping between them. He knew her death was here. He could smell it
as it saturated the air around him like filthy metallic water in a sponge.
That, and the beautiful light that usually danced in her eyes was no longer present.
But soon she’d be out of pain. Right now she sounded like she was drowning in
her own blood. And that hurt. He should know….

“I’ll be a saint,” he promised as he played with her
hair in the way that she had always loved.

She smiled again, though he could barely detect it.
“Remember?”

“What?” he asked when she didn’t go on. “What do you
want me to remember?”

“I love….” But she didn’t finish. Her breathing
spluttered for a moment before it stopped and he watched the last glimmer of
her leave. Soon her eyes were staring blankly up at him, drying up like water
in a desert, her heart and breathing no more. She was dead.

“Hara?” he cried, not wanting to accept what he knew
to be true. “Hara?”

When she didn’t answer, Cain let out a wail so
intense it scared even him. But he couldn’t control it.

“Why God? I know that I’ve made myself Your greatest
enemy, but
why
? This isn’t fair. I’m sorry. I’m…I’m so sorry. She didn’t
deserve this. Not Hara…. Not when it’s only because of
my
manipulations
that she’s no longer Your Chosen One. Please? I’ll do anything; I’ll give You
anything
.
Take my life,
my
immortality, and give it to her. Let me die and give
her my life. Please God?” he sobbed to the very person he hadn’t gone to in
this way for many years. He spoke to Him all the time, that was for sure, but
it was always curses full of anger and hatred for His abandonment and the
misery that He had wrought upon Cain.

“Please God. Take me. Take me instead. Even if it’s
only to send me to Hell. Just take me instead of her. Please?” he cried.

“Please…” was all he could soon manage as he rocked
Hara’s lifeless body back and forth, his wails slowly becoming hysterical. He
didn’t care about anything in this moment other than her, the love of his life.
Was there nothing he could do? Nothing to bring her back? He was willing to do
anything—sacrifice
anything
—if only He would answer his mournful cries….

But Cain already knew that He wouldn’t. Not after
everything he’d done to Him. Not after years of shunning Him and doing whatever
he could to ruin His plans for peace on Earth. He had pretty much been His own
personal “Anti-Christ” since the beginning of time.

Also, He wouldn’t help Cain now after he’d spent the
last five hundred years waiting for this very moment to take place. Since before
Hara had even been born, Cain had been obsessed with this very end. It was the
only way for him to win. The prophecy about her was only too clear on this. She
had to die. Besides, this day had supposedly taken place twenty years ago when
she was only a toddler. He should be
happy
to finally have what he’d
wanted for so long. He should be taunting God with his victory.

But now that everything had ended this way, he could
only ask himself two questions. Would he have chosen differently twenty years
ago if he’d known this would be the outcome? Or would he still have killed
everyone dear to her…?

Chapter One

***

Approximately Five Months Earlier

 

 

Sipping a glass of dark garnet wine, Cain looked out
the floor-to-ceiling windows of his contemporary penthouse apartment at all of
the twinkling lights deep within the most sought after real estate in downtown
Los Angeles. Far below him people scuttled about like ants, as clueless about
the reality of the world as the insects themselves were.

That naïveté was something he himself would never
have, and he was glad of it. Not even millennia worth of life, and the evils
therein, could make him wish for even a moment that he could be as oblivious as
they were. He very much enjoyed the superiority that came with being the only
person alive to know the truth of God and the history of the world. In fact,
with his omniscient view of the city, he liked to consider
himself
a
god. He certainly enjoyed playing with humans as much as the ancient gods of
Greece and Rome had. But could he really be blamed? When you’re the only
immortal being on the planet, you had to find things to amuse yourself with to
pass the time.

He took another sip of the heady wine into his mouth
and rolled it around his taste buds, attempting to discern every note within
it. Smelling its luxurious bouquet of mint-eucalyptus-butter-soy-coffee-pine
scent was one thing, but its other flavors exploded over his tongue like
bubbles of velvety essence. When he rolled the liquid to one side he tasted the
cherries, plums, cassis, and other berries. Then he rolled it the other way,
and suddenly wood, cigar, and leather. This way and his taste buds would catch
truffles, and that way, calla lily. Really, he could do this all night until he
had discovered and determined each and every undercurrent the wine had. As he
swallowed its smoothness, he closed his eyes to get every silky flavor at the
forefront so he could truly enjoy it before it dissipated.

BOOK: The Mark of Cain
9.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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