The reeling thoughts of the young witch floated into my head during our morning run. I stumbled several times as she hurled hate in my direction. CJ had asked her to run with us but she refused and bolted far ahead, after branding me with a scorching evil eye. Her anger rose from livid to uber pissed since her dad forced her to remain in New Orleans. “It’s only until the immediate threat passes,” he told her. You would have thought that he said it was for all eternity.
Of all the family members who were bothered by my presence, Amelia’s negativity bothered me the most. I had caused enough strife in her life in recent months and I did not want to add to it.
I insisted that I relocate. I could go to Claude’s or . . . or . . . Claude’s. It pained me that I didn’t have very many places that I could go. Alcide was an option but he would think I was ready to play house. Sam and Tara would take me in but the vamps are most likely scouting those places out. Besides, I didn’t want to put anyone else in danger.
The testosterone laden household shot my girlie chicken idea of fleeing down with the unified “Viva la Resistance!” vigor of their Louisianan forefathers. The men were all spoiling for battle and I was just an excuse to have one. Knowing the vampires, they were probably sharpening their fangs, too.
Reasoning with Amelia was a no go. She stayed to herself and refused to talk too much to anyone. Most of the time she and T2 stayed locked in her room, especially in the evenings. The final straw for me was when she slammed her bedroom door right in my face. The venom behind her actions made me lose a handle on the tray of goodies that I had scavenged from the pantry for her. It included her favorite tea and an assortment of fresh baked goodies that Pierre told me she had liked since she was a child. I even cut some fresh flowers from the garden and put them in a small vase like she used to do. Black strap molasses cookies and Earl Grey tea colored the floor and walls of the hallway now and she was screaming obscenities at me.
My feelings on my sleeve, I told her she could just “Go and fly a kite, Amelia Broadway!” I was done trying to beg forgiveness from the likes of her. My voice broke with my final salutation of “Screw you!”
“And the horse you rode in on!” Dyxie squeaked, as we walked off.
“You’d better shut up before she turns you into a cat or worse,” I said to the fluttering pixie. I swatted at her as she crossed my path. Amelia’s screams went silent at the statement that I really had not planned for her to hear. It was a sore spot for Amelia and proof of her failure as a witch. She had turned her lover into a cat by accident when we were in New Orleans. She feared what her mentors would do to her and ran away. She had been living in my home every since. That crisis had been long over but she decided to make her home in Bon Temps when she had the resources to live anywhere she wanted.
“Ungrateful little WITCH!” Dyxie said, bitterly. “That sister makes you wanna come at her with razor blades and lemon juice.”
“This is my fight, Dyxie.” Not that I wanted to fight.
“I don’t like her. I aint never liked her.”
“You don’t even know her.” I can talk about my friend but no one else better.
“I see that mooch all the time back home.” Dyxie rolled her eyes. “Now she is trying to act all uppity.” I hushed the fairy and shooed her into the bedroom.
“Amelia was in Faery?” I whispered.
“I don’t live in Faery, silly goose.” She walked across night stand, leaving a trail of tiny green footprints behind her. “I live in the bottom of your garden. Try to keep up with the story, Sook; FAIRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GARDEN!” She mimicked the tune that my grandmother used to sing all the time, while shaking her hands in front of her little body and making googly eyes. I stared at the little green face trying to glean some recognition.
“I’ve never seen you in my garden before.”
“That means everything is in working order,” she said proudly. She climbed atop my jeweled box, stood up and clapped her hands above her head. Pixie dust exploded in a glittery cloud and I watched her body become translucent. I gasped and sat on the bed, turning the box to and fro in amazement. “I told you, gurl, I gots skillz.”
Gracefully, she leaned over and touched her finger to mine as it held on to the box. My finger blended into the colors like a chameleon. “Cool!” I snatched my hand back and it returned to normal. I repeated the action back and forth. I touched other body parts to her and every object that I could lift. This might rival CJ’s levitation tricks for amusing things to do when you’re on lock down in New Orleans. She shook her body and it returned to the lime green that she had always been.
“You are too easy,” she teased. She sat Indian style resting her head in her hands. “Okay, hit me.” She could see the questions dancing in my eyes and was ready to answer. My mouth moved like a fish out of water. I had no idea of where to begin.
“Yeah-huh!” she said “How bout you get back to me on that.” Iridescent, gossamer wings carried her over to me. She kissed me on top of the head with a loud “Muah!” and slipped out under the door squeaking “Holla!” on the way.
Training was a cinch we quickly discovered, once CJ and I combined our gifts. If someone, say, Melody, thought of a simple chant, I could reach into her mind with my telepathy and isolate all corresponding information like a search engine on a computer. CJ’s telekinesis would, in turn, harvest said knowledge and deposit into my head with the ease of slipping a micro chip into a computer. It was following the KISS Rule at a rudimentary level. We were not sure of how much could over load my circuit and fry my brain so we took it slow.
My recent upgrade included a detailed catalog of every weapon known to man. Thanks, Marley. Why were there so many ways to kill, maim and destroy? My mind also housed countless chants and symbols that Melody provided. Copley even agreed to download his Supe library into my head. He hated knowing that I was in his thoughts. Not only did CJ share his knowledge of Supernatural gifts, he also added his extensive knowledge of Martial arts which included relaxation, as well as, fighting techniques. I was now fluent in 14 different languages, as well. That would help with many of the chants and spells which were in ancient tongues.
“Consider that Princess, Empowered!” Melody exclaimed, giving me a high five when I listed the ingredients of numerous potions and recited a simple healing chant in qhy-ease. It was an Aramaic dialect, extinct for centuries and loaded with charm. CJ beamed with pride at his star pupil. I had total recall on each of the subjects but I knew that practice was paramount to success and practice, I did.
I convinced CJ to get us both out of the house. He was in a funk about Amelia and was content with brooding in between training sessions. I had cabin fever and was about to go nutty.
Compared to the last time I had been in the Big Easy, New Orleans seemed pretty deserted. There were a few scattered groups here and there but a hustling bustling city it was not. I was excited to see some the sights but most of all, I was happy to be out of the house. The weather was warm and the sun was shining on me.
My entourage consisted of me, CJ and my trusty sidekick, Dyxie with a Y. I agreed that a large crowd of guards would draw interest to us.
Dyxie was at attention, perched behind my ear. I was not sure of all she could do but considering Niall’s age, she must be efficient. CJ was at my elbow, ready to sift us out of danger at a seconds notice. He changed my hair to curly and brunette with a graze of his hand over my long blonde locks.
“CJ likes,” he dragged the words out with a nod of approval. His appraising eyes wandered downward and lingered for a few moments, appreciating my voluptuous lady parts, as if in a daze. He even licked his lips before he snapped out of it. My Wonder Bra did display the girls quite nicely, I must say. The flirty turquoise top with the plunging neck line did not detract. The grueling workouts were paying off and my jeggings (which were jeans that looked like leggings) accentuated the newly formed muscles on my thighs and calves, too.
CJ usually treated me like one of the guys. The only time he got close was to bespell me. He never actually said that he thought I was pretty. He could not get past me being tainted or “imbrued” (as he calls it) by the undead. I didn’t realize how much I missed seeing true desire in a man’s eye. I was ready to chalk the heated look up to my over active imagination and libido but Dyxie was not about to let that happen.
“Muy Caliente!” her voice dropped an octave, her accent, rumbling like Salma Hayek. “That scorching gaze just reached maximum hottitude!” Her wings fluttered uncontrollably when she got excited. The action tickled my ear. “You see that? He was looking right at me girl!” she gushed. Dream on, Tinkerbell. I thought to myself. Dream on.
I did a few double takes in shop windows before I recognized myself in them. I got a little pang when we passed the shop where Claudine dressed me up to meet Queen Sophie Ann LeClerq for the first time. She was the vampire Queen of Louisiana. They are both dead now, I thought, tracing my hand along the display window and staring at the mannequin as if it were my Fairy Godmother.
CJ led us in the store assuming that I liked what I saw on the display. The truth was, I had no idea what the model wore. He was not the type to ask me if I wanted an item. He would communicate with the store representative with a series of infinitesimal yea and nay gestures. The new garments would be incorporated into my wardrobe at the house as if they were always there. I was telling him that I didn’t want anything as we entered the plush surroundings.
“Diantha?” I recognized those jerky inhuman movements and spiky red hair at once. CJ tensed at the sight of her. She was darting back and forth through the clothing and paused at the sound of her name.
“Soo . . .” she started to say my name but then paused. CJ chanted quickly and silently to my mind. Her eyes started to shift back and forth. She knew something was amiss but couldn’t put her finger on it. “Uncle-says-I-need-new-clothes.” I was able to decipher by playing the phrase back slowly in my head. Diantha talked really fast. She was also distracted by CJ who was messing with her head. He was really convinced that I was the devil now.
“She can’t see you?” I mumbled to him.
“I have willed it so.” The look of distaste on his face said he wanted to do a lot more than that. “A demon?” He said in disbelief. The fact that she chose that very moment to reveal her dagger-like teeth did not put him at ease. The pixie was losing it too, buzzing in my ear like an angry bumble bee. She kept saying something about holy water.
“Diantha is only a fourth demon,” I said smiling nervously as she darted off again. He was acting like we had just come face to face with the devil. Jeez louise, I thought. Everybody just needs to chil-lax. “Now that” I pointed to Mr. Cataliades who was nearby “is a demon.” Technically he was only half demon. CJ actually hissed. He tossed a ball in the air and caught it in his hand. I slapped my hand into his, extinguishing the fire. I was going to feel that later but he was about to jack the demon up.
I swatted Dyxie, who was flinging pixie dust all over the place. “I must exorcise the Demon,” she squeaked. I held my hand up for them to just wait a doggone minute.
“I got this,” I said, calmly.
CJ waited for a long while before he took a half of a step back. It was only after I convinced him that sending the spawn of Satan back to Hades in a ball of fire would draw a little too much attention to those of us who were trying to be inconspicuous.
Dyxie posed on his shoulder with her arms folded. She pinned me with a stare, waiting to get my full attention and pointed two fingers at her eyes, swung them around and jabbed them toward Mr. Cataliades.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I mumbled. “I know. You got your eyes on him.”
The demon lawyer was sitting down and surrounded by a sea of shopping bags. He was completely oblivious to the fact that he was about to be burned to a crisp. I ignored the stares behind me and greeted my old friend cheerfully. “Mr. Cataliades.”
“Dyx,” CJ said, quietly
“On it!” the pixie squeaked. My out stretched hand that was about to shake with the demon lawyer became translucent as it was lightly dusted by the ghosting pixie. The three of us argued about who I could and could not communicate with while the demon scratched his head in wonderment. To him, it looked like I was talking to myself and missing a hand. “Talk, no touch!” was our happy medium.
“It’s great to see you guys,” I said when I was solid again. They both looked around suspiciously, sensing my party’s otherness. Mr. Cataliades was the former lawyer of Queen Sophie Ann. He had represented many Supes in legal proceedings. He was the attorney who handled the affairs of my cousin Hadley when she died. She had left her belongings to me.
“What a suprise! Diantha has been trying to find you ever since that crazy storm hit your town.” His thick, speckled gray, caterpillar brows moved back and forth as if they had a life of their own. He was truly concerned for me and put off by my new hair. “Are you alright? and What in the world are you doing in my neck of the woods?”
“I’m good.” I lied with a straight face. “I'm staying with Amel-” Holy Crap! I paused before I could finish exposing my hide-out. “Um, A, um Aaa-eeemilio, my friend.” I put on my nervous smile and looked over to my friend, who didn't realize that he'd had a name change from CJ but he was still not visible to anyone but me. Mr. “C” gave me a long and suspicious look but tried to remain cordial. “So, what’s up? Why were you looking for me?” I got a little scared for a moment. He could have been looking for me at the behest of the king. His next words sold me on a different school of thought.
“One of my former clients appointed you as executor of her estate, a Miss Claudine Crane.” My eyes misted for a split second. Then CJ and Dyx decided to express their distrust in the matter.
“Read his mind,” CJ commanded through clenched teeth. CJ knew that I had trouble reading Supe minds. Plus, I didn’t want to go in his head. He touched his hand to mine and the tingle of magic I felt piloted me forward into the demon’s head. The red snarls of his mind parted for me like a hot knife through butter. I was snatched out of his head before I could get excited about the conquest. “Is he truthful?”
“Yes,” I said, annoyed now. The demon mind, as I thought, is a nasty one and I would not be venturing into that place again. The problem with telepathy is that you usually get much more than you bargain for. He was telling the truth about my Fairy Godmother and that made me happy but the additional info that I got out of his mind broke my heart. With his extensive list of ruthless clients, I should have known that he had to do some bad things.
I sat down while he told me how to proceed with Claudine’s affairs. My legs just died and CJ slid a chair underneath me. I looked to CJ who was mentally poking at my mind trying to jostle some understanding of the dazed and confused look on my face. Mr. Cataliades gave me his card and I agreed to contact him at my earliest convenience.
I made quick work of helping Diantha chose a colorful short dress with ruffled edges. It flattered her thin frame. She was going to a fancy affair and her uncle demanded that she get something other than the striped stockings, high heeled black boots, tattered shorts and orange tank top that represented her taste in clothing.
“Why do you keep poking my brain?” I demanded when we were a few blocks away. CJ looked guilty for a moment and cast his hazels on everything but me.
“That’s really funny coming from a telepath,” he said.
“Can you read my mind CJ?” My voice grew cold. It was a tone that I had never taken with him.
“No!” He silently pushed the word into my mind with such force that it almost tickled. I shook it off. I wasn’t in the mood for tickling and I stormed off in a huff. He knew I needed to simmer down. He didn’t quite know why but he gave me some room anyway. With my disguise and the pixie I should be okay. Plus, it was day time so chances of anyone getting to me were slim.
I felt bad but I had to push him away. I could not let him see what I just saw in the demon lawyer’s head. The fact that I had been duped again by the undead was just embarrassing. I officially graduated from naïve and gullible to just plain stupid. I aimlessly drifted in and out of stores. My mind reeling at the thought of telling my friend the worst news.
I was deep in thought about my newest dilemma when the next one blind sided me. The video Billboard was larger than life and towered over the down town area. The NVL displayed Eric Northman in all his glory. His golden hair fell in a cascade over the broad shoulders of his dark suit. Blue eyes, clear as crystal stared as if looking right at me and inviting me in. He held up a single red rose between his pale fingers. Felipe stood behind him with a paternal arm over Eric’s shoulder. Felipe’s angelic face was almost hypnotic. He had on a light suit which contrasted beautifully on his dark skin.
The ad looked like a true work of art. Every hair on their heads was sculpted to perfection. Every blemish airbrushed away. There were twenty or so smaller photos at the bottom of the ad. The caption had me seeking out a spot to hurl. “The Bachelor: Vamp Style.”
“I Nothing You Eric Northman!” I spat snatching paper towels from the dispenser. Felipe was taunting me now, I knew. The wards prevented the vampires from calling out to me or finding me via the blood so Felipe was trying to draw me out in a different way. Eric was just playing along to appease him. It still hurt me to the quick.
“You're too good for him gurl,” Dyxie tinked. She had been so quiet that I almost forgot she was there. We were in the ladies room of a department store. She turned on the water, folded a paper towel and wet it for me. The big gesture took me by surprise and I managed to smile through my tears. She wouldn’t know it though. I was crying the ugly cry and couldn’t bear to show my face. “I bet he had a cold dingy anyway.” She laughed but my crying got louder.
I was trying to tell her that Eric was not an eligible bachelor, he was my fiancé. It came out like “Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!” He was my Big Pappa. I couldn’t stand to think of all of those women with their grimy hands on him, touching my vampire, getting up close and personal with . . . “The Gracious Plenty.”
“Felipe de Castro, this means war!” I said resolutely. Before the words left my lips I thought of the unthinkable. “Can you take out the king?” I said to my bodyguard.
“I sure can.” She sat on my shoulder and parted the dense curls so she could speak directly in my ear. “Right after you STOP sleeping with the SORCERER!”
“CJ?” I snorted. “I am not sleeping with CJ!” Well, technically I was but that was neither here nor there. I had already made up in my mind that I was going to request a new room before nightfall anyway. I wanted to look her in the eye so that she would know that I was being truthful. My tears would not let me focus. “We have a strictly platonic relationship. No hanky of the panky!”
She looked at me for a moment, her eyes bugged out like my head had just popped off. “Now that’s a reason to cry.” We both laughed at that. “I would have had to hit that on the first night! Ya know what um sayin.” This time I laughed until my side ached. I thanked the little fairy for helping me keep it together. She glided over and kissed me on the cheek.
“The way I figure it” she landed on top of my head, grabbed two hands full hair right in the front of my head and pulled up. “the vampires out there are the least of your worries, girlfriend.” The person formerly known as Sookie Stackhouse reflected back to me in the mirror. Her face, streaked with dark, crimson tears.
“Echolocation.” CJ's unexpected voice outside of the restroom startled us and we both jumped. “It’s why I poke at your brain,” he confessed. He sounded like he was sitting right outside the door. Inside we were in full panic mode. Blood was everywhere. I didn’t want him to see me like this and Dyxie was with that plan.
“It helps me find you,” he told me. His voice sounded somber. He must have been thinking about this since I left him on the side walk. “I push at the minds around me, yours is the only one that pushes back.” His voice was a little louder now, like his face was buried in the frame of the door.
Dyxie stuffed towels down my top and blotted stains from the other side while I worked on my face. My eyes had a leaky valve and I held wet towels over them while CJ continued to talk.
“It answers me, Sookie. Your mind . . . it knows me. It calls me.” I didn’t know if he was happy about that or horrified. The stains on my shirt were a nightmare. The smell of blood was all over it. I snatched if off, nearly whacking the fairy in the process. She was fast though and shot over to the sink and turned on the cold water. My heart pounded loud and hard. The thumping vibrated through my whole body.
“You never had that happen before?” I questioned, suddenly curious at his need to share. I had been having that issue since I first ventured into his head. He didn’t answer for a long time. I turned off the water and stopped moving to hear him.
“You are the first.” I started to smile at that. The way he said it warmed my heart. It was something that he honored and cherished. More tears flowed but this time I didn’t block them.
“Sometimes, when you are deep in thought or just very quiet, if I push at the right angle, with just the right amount of pressure, I am rewarded in waves of Sookie energy.” He was quiet and thoughtful for a moment. “A few times I could actually sense your thoughts,” his voice remained low but he was excited about that. “Most of the time” he whispered “like now, I just feel your emotions. It’s an intimacy I have never known.”
I slid down to the floor. Dyxie opened her mouth, pointed down her throat and pretended to gag. I gave up on the clean up. I heard the lock disengage. “Dust her Dyx.” he ordered. I looked up at her with curiosity.
“Boo-yah!” her babyish voice said in a giggle as she exploded pixie dust in my face. The upper part of me became translucent. Just when I was thinking about how glad I was that I had worn clean and pretty undergarments. He was protecting my virtue. How sweet.
“Can I make it better, Sookie?” That offer seemed loaded with innuendo, especially seeing Dyxie’s raised brow reaction.
A most beautiful melody floated into the room before he did. From my recent matriculation, I know the words to be Gaelic. Loosely translated, it said: Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill my heart, my world, my universe. Peace ~ Peace ~ Peace. The prayer of peace was simple really. The power was in the inflection, filling me like an empty vessel.
The pixie halted her frenzy in the sink and rested her chin on her hands on the rim. She stared back and forth between us. Her face filled with awe.
He moved too fast to track and was shadowing over me and then kneeling down to look in my translucent face. His eyes were smoldering, trying to hold back the magic that longed to incinerate anything that came to harm me. I didn’t dare look up but I could feel the heat.
“I got you,” he sang like a lullaby. He pulled me to him and we were gone.
The bath was running when we appeared in the bathroom. CJ took a moment to straighten out the pixie who had been crumpled in his hand. She floated by me in the tub on a bar of soap looking as exhausted as I felt. We spent a long time there in recovery mode.
“Help!” Dyxie yelled in her soft voice. I saw her intentionally roll off the soap and begin bobbing up a down in the water. I didn’t move. “I need mouth to mouth, quick!” The pixie began her dramatic presentation as soon as CJ came into view. “Please,” she pleaded in and Oscar worthy performance.
I shook my head and resumed my relaxing. One of those blue gel masks covered my eyes. It was supposed to help with the puffiness that all my crying had caused. Through the eye holes I could see CJ scoop her up with care and place her on a plush towel.
“Sookie!” CJ said. “Help!”
“Not a chance buddy.” I said, lazily holding my post. “I fell for it the first time when she did it to Jason this morning.” My brother would try anything once and was actually turned on by what he called the feisty lil’ thing. The flailing Dyxie stilled and sat up as I ratted her out. “Melody nearly ripped her wings off for locking lips with Marley.”
“Big Sexy was having trouble breathing,” she said, innocently. “He nearly passed out.” She leaned back and crossed her legs while batting her lashes at CJ.
I threw a wash cloth at her as she shimmied one side of her dress up a little and smiled at CJ. “He wasn’t passing out,” I said “He blinked and then you were on him like a wild cat!”
“Don’t be hating ‘cause he couldn’t keep his hand off of all this.” She stomped through the air like she was walking on a hard surface. She stopped in front of me, posed and ran her hands down her little green body flicking pixie dust along the way.
I grabbed CJ’s hand and reached out for my jewel encrusted gift box without moving a muscle. The box was how Dyxie arrived and she hated being in it. I used his telekinesis to lift the box and capture her in a quick swoop.
“Okay,” she chimed. “Can’t we all just get along?”
“Thank you,” I said quietly when he rolled me up in my cocoon for the night. I was eternally gratefully for the care he had shown to the monstrous side of me that he was forced to encounter. I knew that it was something he detested yet he pulled me into his bosom and comforted me. That had to take a great effort and even greater restraint. I would ask him to change my room tomorrow, I thought to myself or maybe next week.
“Thank you for receiving it.” I parted lids that were heavy from the sleep spell that he had just chanted over me. “Your life or death is in the power of your tongue now.” I didn't know what that meant but it didn't matter because sleep was pulling me down. He brushed his hands over my face and I felt myself floating away on a sea of serenity.
The breeze from the open door halted my progress to complete oblivion. I heard a deep voice but my mind was clouded with charms and I could not decipher. Marley, I thought. The voice was Marley. CJ had to go with him, I sensed. He had some reservations but didn’t speak on it. He knew he had to and it pained him so strongly that I forced opened my eyes through the magic that held them closed.
I saw CJ walking out of the room and down the long corridor. Marley and another being of equal stature flanked him. I had never seen this being before. They all moved in unison, hesitant yet surefooted with each step. I stumbled out of bed when my view was hindered by the door frame. Where were they taking him? I had to know and why didn’t he want to go?
They reached the end of the hall and paused at a mirror that was taller than the men by a few feet and extended to the floor. It looked like an antique by its ornate frame and was wider than the three men combined. I could see their reflections. CJ’s beautiful face was sad. He stood tall and proud, bravely ready to face whatever he had to. His pretty mouth that I longed to see quirk up in that trademark smile held in a tense firm line. The muscles in his sharp jaw line worked underneath his taunt bronze skin. His hazel eyes blazed with magic. Marley was just as intense. He also looked sick at the stomach. The other being had no discernible features. As a matter of fact, he had no features at all. No eyes, no nose no mouth. It was a great form of energy in the shape of a man. Ca-re-e-py!
CJ reached a hand up and toward the top right corner of the mirror. The glass smoked in a swirl and darkened to complete blackness. The vortex of energy was so powerful that it caused a great pull as air rushed into the abyss. The force of energy actually pulled me forward and I stood in the hall trembling. The three remained rooted, waiting for CJ who hesitated at the gate for a long while.
It was a portal, I knew at once. That was something that I had learned, as well. CJ had the gift of the Magi. In the world of magic, they are known as Mages. The most powerful of them can open portals, teleport and wield the elements such as fire and frost.
I could feel his regret so strongly and I called out in a whisper. He turned not expecting to see me and forced a comforting smile to brighten his face. The few strides that he made toward me were silently halted by strong hands on either shoulder. He whispered something under his breath and their arms fell away as he stalked toward me. His long legs ate up the distance in seconds.
“CJ!” was all I got out. Warm fingers touched the underside of my chin and lifted my head. My body followed rising up off the floor until we were eye to eye. He wanted to look at me but his eyes shone like high beams. They were so full of magic that he closed them for a moment trying to gain control. Our bodies connected like strong magnets.
A gentle graze of his thumb wiped away a tear from my eye. “All better,” he said quietly. He held up the hand with the grace of a magician to show me that I no longer cried blood. The voice that came out of him sounded foreign. His smile changed from child-like to a little mischievous, almost predatory. I tried to read him but the magic was so high that it surrounded him like an impenetrable barrier.
I could not read him but they could. The Boogey Man held steady but his fists kept clenching and releasing over and over again. Marley barked CJ’s name through gritted teeth in warning. I could feel every muscle in his body flex with eagerness. Our hearts pounded in synchronized rhythmic thumping. He was drunk with the smell of me and I him. His breath panted warmly on my face, his voice tickling “Sleep. Please,” he said nearly begging.
I shook my head. I was not going down. The command was hard to fight for me. His desires, of which I was presently made aware of, were very, very hard for him to fight. I felt this sense of doom like if he walked through that portal, I would never see him again.
“CJ no!” Marley barked with more urgency than the first time. He started to move toward us. I think CJ was hindering his advance with magic. He was running and not gaining any ground. CJ tilted his head, his lips hovering over mine. My mouth parted at his will. Marley began to chant, as well, combating whatever his cousin was doing. CJ paused and looked at me longingly.
I leaned forward and grazed his cheek with my lips. His skin was soft and supple. “Je n’ose pas vous embrasser à nouveau car je n’ai qu’un seul cœur,” I sang in a whisper. Singing was not one of my newly acquired skills. His pretty mouth quirked up in a knowing smile and I was convinced that it did not matter in the least to him. He was remembering the song as he sang it to me on the night that I ventured into his head for the first time. He hummed the melody as I repeated the words in English “I dare not kiss you again, for I have but one heart.” I kissed his forehead and then I moved my lips so very close to his. “I have only but one heart and I cannot lose it.” My mouth was almost on his as I spoke in time with the melody. I closed my eyes and held on to him.
“You will never have to.” He bit the words off. CJ chose that moment, God bless him, to close that pretty mouth over mine and grant me one . . . two . . . three velvety strokes of his hot tongue across my own evoking a flood of emotions so strong that tears flowed freely from my closed eyes.
Then the sorcerer got in the driver’s seat. He was in full control now, pulling me into his mind fast and hard. I really didn’t want to go into his mind this time. I was just trying to get my freak on. His shields obliterated as billowing satin ushered me forward, preventing my retreat. The moment he opened his eyes, heat washed over me from the beams.
His thoughts poured into mine and intertwined. The tats on my arms glowed like neon hieroglyphics. My body stiffened in mid-air as the surging energy penetrated into the depths of my soul. We became primitive insatiable beast, demanding and devouring.
“What the . . . !” I heard as Marley’s large body pounded close. My eyelids became heavier and heavier. Sookie Owt!