Curse of the First Born Cain is the introduction to the Kayne Legacy series. The characters presented in this one will have their stories told in future books, but this novelette belongs to Cain. The legacy starts and ends with him so it’s only fitting he is able to tell his story first. From his infamous fight with his brother Abel to the Blessing and Curse that hang over his family to this day to this day—all are touched upon. The story we thought we knew turns out to be nothing but a lie to cover the truth and the battle between good and evil.
In the first book of the Kayne Legacy series, we meet reporter Abigail Matthews after she is awarded the interview of a lifetime. She’d been granted no holds barred access to everyone associated with one of the most powerful foundations in the world, including the current CEO Michael Kayne. Sparks fly between them the moment they meet but nothing compared to the jolt she receives when she comes face to face with Michael’s grandfather—the biblical legend Cain.
In hopes she’d accept her destiny as his grandson’s chosen mate, Cain opens up and shares his heartbreaking tale— everything from the tragic fight with his brother Abel to his journey to find Lilith and make her his wife. Together they were to create a family of immortals sworn to protect the Essence of the Tree of Life from the one hell bent on destroying it.
Thousands of Years Ago, Somewhere in the Middle East
Cain secured the last stone into place and stood back to survey his work. He stretched his legs and rubbed the kink out of his lower back as he circled the altar. He’d spend hours in his gardens and the surrounding forests in search of the perfect pieces for his offering to The Three. Each stone, piece of wood and plant held special meaning to him and as such had to be included.
In addition to the first fruits of his garden, he’d included the largest of the fish he’d caught in his nets that morning as well as six of the freshest eggs from the nests of the waterfowl inhabiting the nearby marsh. He’d asked the animals permission as he’d gathered and thanked them for blessing him with a beautiful bounty to share with the gods.
The serenity he’d enjoyed on his venture came to an abrupt end as his brother made his presence known.
“Those won’t appeal to them you know. They want a blood sacrifice and they’ll accept no less. You should know that by now.”
Cain rolled his eyes and sighed. Why can’t he mind his own affairs and leave me to worship in peace?
“It’s none of your concern, brother. How I present my gifts to Them is no reflection on you or how you choose to worship.”
Abel snorted. “Do you really think your paltry offering will help you win Jezebel’s heart and hand once more? The decision has been made. I’ll make her my mate before the next full moon.”
“I won’t argue with you about this anymore. Father feels you would be the better match for our sister. I have no choice but to accept it and move on. Jezebel has made it clear she’ll not go against the wishes of our parents either. You’ve won, yet again.”
Cain reached for his gathering bag and attempted to walk away rather than continue their fight one more day. Unfortunately, Abel had no intention of leaving.
“I’m not through with you yet. Jezebel has asked to wear a jade pendant during our ceremony. She mentioned you found one large enough for me to carve into the shape she desires.”
Cain glared. “No. It’s part of my offering. I have others for you to choose from to use for her necklace. This one belongs to the Goddess Fate.”
“What does it matter? They’ll not accept your offering whether the stone is included in it or not. Why should it go to waste when I can make better use of it?”
Cain stood his ground. “I’m the elder brother and you’ll show respect to me in front of The Three. I’ll not allow you to treat me this way, not today.”
Abel’s laughter cut Cain deeper than any sharp rock. “What makes today different from any other? You may’ve been born before me, but you mean nothing to our parents. In fact, it would be much easier on all of us if you would never have been born.”
He leaned against a nearby tree and sneered. “Why do you think no one remembered today would be special to you? If they cared at all, we would have dedicated the entire day to celebrate the moment you were born. Instead, our family chose to forget and live their lives as if you never existed.”
Cain’s stomach clenched. “Leave me, before we both say and do things we’ll regret later.”
“You have something I want and I’ll not leave until I have it. You can give it to me freely or I’ll take it from you like I’ve taken everything you’ve held dear. Good thing father came to his senses. I’d hate to see what kind of life you would be able to provide for our beautiful sister.”
“I would’ve cared for her and our children until the day I died. They would’ve wanted for nothing.”
Abel doubled over with laughter that echoed throughout the forest. “With you they would have nothing. Why on earth would she ever want to marry a man the gods themselves have ignored?”
“You interrupted me before I finished my preparations. My offering isn’t complete—”
“Oh, so now you must give your heartfelt plea for Them to accept your shortcomings as one of Their creations? You insult the gods and bring shame to our family.”
“Shame? I’ve done nothing to you to warrant your insolent behavior toward me. Leave me if you’re so shamed by my mere existence.”
“Not until I have that jade.”
As Abel took another step toward him, Cain snatched the gemstone from the altar and stuffed it into his gathering bag. “You’re still welcome to any of the other stones I’ve gathered but this one is spoken for and not to be touched.”
Abel grabbed the bag and yanked. “Give it to me now!”
Cain leaned back with all of his weight and held fast. The handle of the bag slid out of Abel’s grasp and burned his palms.
“You would mark me so before my wedding?” He stared at his bloodied hands in disbelief.
“You brought this upon yourself. If you would’ve left me alone as I’d asked, this wouldn’t have happened. When will you learn you can’t force people to bend to your will? Your cruelty will catch up to you in time and your life will be as black as your heart.”
Abel didn’t appear to hear one word Cain had said. “When father sees what you’ve done to me—“
“Go ahead. Make up another wild tale about how I’ve mistreated you. What does it matter now? As you’ve pointed out, you have everything that had been promised to me. All I ask now is to be left alone.” Once again Cain attempted to walk away.
Abel latched onto both of Cain’s upper arms and dug his fingers into the skin and muscle. “You’re not going anywhere until you pay for this.”
Cain narrowed his eyes. His body temperature rose and his cheeks burned. No more of this. I’ve had it with his antics. He planted both palms against Abel’s chest and pushed with all his strength. “Leave. Me. Alone!”
Abel’s eyes flew open and he appeared stunned by Cain’s sudden outburst. He frantically swung his arms around in an attempt to regain his balance, but to no avail. He toppled backward and crashed into the wood and stone altar.
An unmistakable pop sounded as his head connected with the corner stone. Blood pooled and then covered the surface.
Cain rushed to his brother’s now still body and lifted him into his arms. The back of Abel’s head gave way at his touch. His life force continued to flow from the gash and covered Cain’s hands and chest as rocked back and forth. “What have I done? Abel! Wake up. Please, wake up.”
Abel’s eyes glazed over as his spirit left his body.
Cain stood and ran through the forest to Abel’s altar. He placed his brother’s body on the center and then raised his bloodied hands to heaven. “Please. I beg of you. Bring him back. Take me instead.”
Screams and wails erupted behind him and brought him out of his own grief. He spun around to find his mother, sisters and brother Malachi with their eyes wide with shock. Eve dropped to the ground in a heap at the base of the altar. “My son! My beautiful boy!”
Malachi stepped forward, removed Abel’s lifeless body for the stone slab and placed it on the ground. “What have you done, brother? How could you do this?”
Cain shook his head. “He fell against my altar—“
“You mean you killed him upon your altar!”
“You wanted him gone so you could have Jezebel’s hand again.”
“No!” Why will he not believe me?
Cain knelt beside Eve. “Mother? Please hear me.”
She turned from him and ignored his plea. She raised her hands to the sky. “Why have you allowed this to happen to your favored son? His innocent blood cries out for justice…”
The women cried louder as their mother collapsed over Abel’s body and became inconsolable.
Cain’s other brothers arrived and shouted at him. They, too, demanded he be brought to justice. Malachi’s voice rang out over all the others. As they circled him, intending to do him harm, the sky rumbled and then exploded with flashes of lightening.
There in front of them stood Lucius in his black flowing robes. His amber colored eyes blazed with the intensity of the sun. He lifted his staff and shield to protect Cain. “Step away from your brother. No one is to lay another hand on him.”
“But he killed Abel. Surely you’ve heard our mother’s cries for justice. Let us punish him for this heinous crime against our family and The Three.”
Lucius raised one dark eyebrow and he clenched his jaw. “Not one of you here are without sin. Why would We allow any of you to speak for Us?
Malachi stepped forward. He alone appeared unafraid of the god. “He took Abel’s life in anger.”
“And how do you know this?” Lucius tilted his head and waited for an answer.
“He said as much when we found him here with Abel’s body.”
“Really? That’s not what We saw take place. Do not dare to speak of something you didn’t witness with your own eyes. Abel is as much to blame as Cain—if not more.”
Eve shrieked. “Abel! Abel! Bring back my son.”
Lucius turned toward the copse of trees behind the altar. “Adam, stop hiding and remove your mate from my presence. It’s time you grieve for your sons together for you are also at fault here for allowing this behavior to continue. Go now. Prepare him for burial. The rest of you will stay.”
“Why do you punish them? They’ve done nothing to deserve this.” Malachi appeared to shake in anger.
“That’s right. They’ve done nothing to stop Abel from putting himself before all of you and your needs. Their inability to rein him in and teach him humility led to this sad day.”
“Then they’ve paid the ultimate price with the loss of his life. Now Cain should have to do the same.” Malachi lunged but was met in midair by a protective force field and his body slammed to the ground.
“Once again your true self emerges, Malachi. You’re no different than Abel with your defiance. Do not test my patience any further or you’ll pay the consequences. Fate won’t intervene on your behalf. My decision here today will be final. Yeshua has granted me full authority to do as I see fit.”
Seth helped Malachi to his feet and then turned toward the god with his head lowered in deference. “Please, Lucius. Tell us why you’ve allowed this to happen? Abel was the best of us. Now we are lost.”
Jezebel fell to her knees before Cain and clutched at his chest. “If you’ve ever loved me, kill me now so I may join my betrothed.”
Cain’s heart shattered. Even Jezebel believes I did this on purpose. “I could never do what you ask of me.”
Jezebel collapsed against his chest and sobbed.
Cain tried to hold her but Malachi ripped her from his arms. “You can’t harm her but you could smash Abel’s head against the corner of your altar?”
“I didn’t do it.”
“You lie! Go ahead and compound your crime before the gods. You’ll not get away with this.”
Lightening flashed across the sky and the earth shook. “You will say no more, Malachi. The decision has already been made.”
“If it doesn’t include wiping Cain off the face of the earth, then I’ll not listen to another word from you.”
Cain closed his eyes and braced himself for what he was sure would be the last time he would hear Malachi’s voice ever again.
©Tammy Dennings Maggy 2011 All rights reserved. No one can use all or part of this excerpt without written permission from the author.
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