Riley is twenty-five years old. She has a doctorate in linguistics and taught at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a descendant of the Cloud People and the Incas. She is a child of the cloud forest and has an affinity for the earth. All the women of her family are part of an ancient lineage with a duty that has passed from mother to daughter for centuries. They must perform a ritual on a mountain in the Andes every five years to contain the vampire that is trapped inside. Unbeknownst to her, Riley's lifemate, Dax, is also trapped there. On her way up the mountain for the ritual, her mother, who would have normally done the ritual to keep Mitro and Dax locked away in the mountains, die and passed the abilities she had to Riley.