The Ninth Taghairm: Redemption
Book One of the Taghairm Chronicles
There are far worse fates than death, but that is a truth Gadin Wilde knows all too well. He had to come to terms with his immortality from a sire that relished in the kill. He had eventually grown to accept the fact he was one of the damned; a vampire, an irredeemable beast driven by blood and blood alone. That was until he met the very complicated and alluring Talula Delphina and was shown another way of existing. In a blink of an eye, his whole world changed.
Cursed with a fate worse than death, Talula is destined to watch the world die. Punished with the cruelest form of immortality, she knows all about the devastation of death and the agonizing pain of rebirth. For almost thirteen hundred years, she has relived its vicious cycle time and time again. For a crime of retribution, her soul bares the mark of immortality, but suffers it in a mortal shell.
So when the dark and sensual, Gadin began hunting her, she welcomed the prospect of being his prey. After all, there are far worse ways to die. But nothing could have prepared her for the fire he lit within her.
And as their passions grow more intense, powerful forces fight to keep them apart. Will their love be enough to overcome their fated paths? Or will the secret crime Talula committed centuries ago, be so damning that Gadin won't be able to forgive her?
-So what’s it like seeing the future? Does anything ever catch you off guard?
The best way for me to describe it to someone who isn’t a soothsayer is like constantly changing the channels on a TV. Things go in and out, the challenge is to pay attention to the important stuff and ignore the commercials. It took me years of having the Sight to master it effectively. As for anything getting past my radar, there has only been a handful of times where that has happened, mostly involving Talula Delphina and her vaimpíre lover.
-Out of your sisters, who are you the closest with?
*smiling ruefully* Must I choose? My deepest connection is with one of my sisters I rarely see, Libitina Siobhán. She loves to disappear for years at a time in remote parts of Papa New Guinea or other insanely unpopulated jungles. She is wild and fierce and she loves with her whole heart. I adore her even if I don’t get to see her that often.
-You were able to bond with Talula’s mate, Gadin fairly quickly. What was it about him that you felt you could trust him with your sister?
Ah Gadin. It is blatantly obvious that he worships my sister. Aside from being delightfully charming and loyal, Gadin is just one of those rare beings who actually deserves your trust. There is no doubt about his good intentions.
-What is a Taghairm and why do we need them?
Very good question. The loose translate of Taghairm is a spiritual echo or a reflecting mirror for the dead. There are three realms: Physical, Spiritual and Time. There are three Taghairms for each realm to balance out of worlds. Our main purpose is to ferry the dead to the appropriate dimension, keep the uninterrupted timeline flowing seamlessly, and to keep track of that timeline. Without us, the barriers between the worlds would snap causing utter chaos and war. Nothing would be left of your world if the barrier came crumbling down. We are the glue that holds the worlds together.
-I have noticed that Taghairms tend to like the drink. Any reason why that is and what is your favorite indulgence?
*laughing loudly* We are total lushes. Being immortal, the effects of alcohol rarely affects us like it does mortals. We just like the taste. *smiling* As far as my favorite? A Single Malt Scotch Whiskey called Saint Magdalene 19yo 1979/1998. Light, woody goodness. And bubblegum. I love me some cotton candy flavored bubblegum.
Band? Feist. Her voice is so ethereal.
Food? In theory, we don’t need to eat but we do still enjoy food from time to time. At this moment, I am quite addicted to dark chocolate.
Season? Winter. I adore the snow.
Place? Kitaa, Greenland.
Book? Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. His satirical sense of humor was unlike anything in our time. He was clever and wise beyond his years.
Language? I know I am supposed to say Gaelic but my favorite has to be Russian. Something fiercely romantic about the Russians.
He sighed and started to pace. I watched him intently, this beautiful, amazing creature in my living room. He awakened things in me that I thought I wasn’t allowed to feel with my cursed soul. A vicious yearning rumbled deep in my chest as I watched him wear a path in my hardwood floors. And suddenly he stopped to face me, eyes aglow, as a smile lit his flawless face.
“Yes?” I asked amused at how impossible this all was. The yearning, the unmistakable burn I haven’t felt since Aeron. And that need was growing stronger by the minute as I held his gaze. I quickly turned away, afraid my face would give me away instantly. Looking down at my arms, I could see my blush slowly spread over my whole body.
“How did you do it?” He asked, fangs growing slightly in anticipation. Confusion washed over me, tapering the lust back slightly.
“Do what?” I asked, downing my wine and setting the empty glass on the bar.
“Kill this monster . . .” His voice quiet; his dark eyes now focused on me. My face had to be the color of my wine by now. I was dizzy suddenly not understanding why he would want that knowledge.
“Does it really matter? I killed him in a matter in which he deserved,” I answered shrugging, but I could see my answer wasn’t what he was after.
Pouring the last of the wine in my glass, I made my way back to the couch. We sat in silence as he gathered his thoughts. My thoughts were only of him though. Finally he broke the silence.
“I ask you because if I could find some common sin between us, then maybe I could finally . . .” His voice trailed off, as he knelt at my feet. I now understood why he needed to know my darkness.
“Feel less of a monster?” I finished for him as tears pooled in his eyes. I gently wiped them away.
“Gadin, all souls sin. Without those mistakes life would be unbearably boring, huh?” I smiled lovingly and he returned the gesture. And suddenly his lips were on mine. The passion I felt earlier returned and spread like a wild fire all over my body. Gasping between kisses, we tumbled to the floor in a tangled mess. Pushing and pulling together clumsily, desperate to get closer to one another. He scooped me up to move to the couch but in the process of his eagerness, he knocked my wine glass to the floor. The sudden sound of glass breaking brought us both back to earth. We stared at the shattered glass as if we were seeing it for the first time.
“This is wrong, Talula,” He whispered as he pulled away from me.
My heart was pounding, still running on that delicious wave of warmth.
“Gadin, this is so far from wrong,” I begged, my voice shaky. The tears were already filling my eyes in mourning of our broken embrace. This can’t be the end of that wonderful sensation of heat. The one sense this body lacked. This can’t be the end of something that hadn’t even had a chance to begin. I looked over to see his beautiful face mirroring my conflicting emotions. I knew the want was still there but he had reined it in. I sighed loudly in exasperated disappointment.
“I haven’t felt anything like this in a very long time. I didn’t think I was capable of it in this body. But when you touch me . . . it’s like a jolt of electricity shocking me awake from a long slumber. It’s like someone has lit a match underneath my skin, all heat and absolutely no pain. I can’t explain it, but all I know is that I want it. No, I need it, Gadin,” I pleaded with him, desperate to drown in this overwhelming sensory overload. He sat there on the other end of the couch silently. Maybe I imagined the need in his eyes; maybe I just wished it so. I sighed suddenly feeling drained and wounded. I got up and started to clean the broken mess on the floor, tears blurring my vision.
“I’m sorr-Shit!” I had started but sliced my hand wide open on the broken glass, blood pooling in the mix of spilt wine and pieces of glass. Everything stilled as Gadin caught my scent and a low growl escaped from his lips. Any self-control he had exhibited before was now gone. I got my wish. I was now the prey.
Pyxi Rose is a single mom, writer, and lover of all things literary. She lives in the PA Mountains but her heart and soul will always be in North Carolina. She also enjoys reviewing books for other indie authors in her spare time. When she is not doing that, she is chasing after her wonderfully weird little boy, Wander Stone. Her debut novel, Redemption, will be the first book of nine in a darker paranormal series about Scottish Oracles. You can find more about her work on her blog at http://thetaghairmchronicles.blogspot.com.
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