It’s Friday! Time for chapter 36 of In The Flesh, in which Michael, Alonso, Magda and all the rest must learn to live with Susan’s permanent house guest.
There are only a two more episodes of In The Flesh left, so be sure to mark Fridays on your calendar, and don’t miss out!
In the Flesh is very dark paranormal erotica. When Susan Innes comes to visit her friend, Annie Rivers, in Chapel House, the deconsecrated church that Annie is renovating into a home, she discovers her outgoing friend changed, reclusive, secretive, and completely enthralled by a mysterious lover, whose presence is always felt, but never seen, a lover whom she claims is god. As her holiday turns into a nightmare, Susan must come to grips with the fact that her friend’s lover is neither imaginary nor is he human, and even worse, he’s turned his wandering eye on Susan, and he won’t be denied his prize. If Susan is to fight an inhuman stalker intent on having her as his own, she’ll need a little inhuman help.
Missed Out on Any of the story? Follow these links to IN THE FLESH so far:
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25 Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35.
You can also read In The Flesh on Wattpad.
In the Flesh Chapter 36
“What the hell are you doing?” We both yelled at the same time.
“Are you crazy? Get off me!”
To which he responded, “are you out of your fucking mind?” In spite of my efforts to buck him off, he held me tightly beneath his body, smothered head to toe in the duvet.
“What’s going on? You two are supposed to be in the basement?” I heard the door crash against the back wall as it flew open and Reese burst in with Talia right on his heals, both talking at the same time.
Then I was airborne, hefted over Michael’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes, with Talia shouting, “Get her out of here! Get her out of her! Get her down to the basement, goddamn it! What the hell were you thinking?”
“I woke up and she was opening the shutters, standing right there in the sunlight. I’m serious.” Michael gave the door an angry kick shut that rattled my teeth.
“What the hell do you mean, she was standing in the sunlight,” Reese was saying. “She can’t stand in the sunlight. She’s a fucking vampire.”
“Put me down, damn it! Michael put me down.” No matter how much I shouted and wriggled they all ignored me.
“I swear it’s the truth.” Michael said.
“Put her down,” there was sudden silence in response to Magda’s voice that rose above the din, and I found myself unceremoniously deposited on the hard stone floor, wriggling frantically to get out from under the duvet. When I popped my head out, remembering I was naked and quickly snatching the fabric to my breasts, I found myself in the heavy stone corridor, the only light being from the electric sconces on the walls. I was surrounded by Reese, Talia, Magda and a very naked Michael, who knelt next to me and grabbed my face in his hand, turning it from side to side before I slapped him away.
“What the hell?” I said in response to all eyes on me.
“You were standing in the sunlight,” Michael responded, his voice trembled slightly and he swallowed hard, and for the first time, I realized how frightened he was. Then it all came rushing back to me, and I felt faint.
“It was him.” I managed, my voice none too steady. “It was the Guardian.” Suddenly everyone was silent and the air around me smelled of nervous adrenaline and more than a little bit of fear. “I was dreaming of sunlight and when I woke up the room was hot. I didn’t even think when I opened the shutters, not until he said that while he might be my prisoner, he refused to live in darkness.”
No one was willing to take my word for my immunity to sunlight, so Talia brought our clothes out of the
room for us – Michael not being willing to leave my side, and once we were dressed we all traipsed to the basement to where Alonso paced his study like a big cat in a cage. When he saw me, he pulled me into his arms, and both Michael and Reese bristled. Ignoring them completely, he stepped away just enough to take my face in his hand, turning it from side to side. “No damage?”
I shook my head, or at least tried to, but he held me firmly.
“You didn’t feel anything at all? No burning, no rash, no unusual heat?”
“I only felt what I would have felt before you changed me – the warmth of the sun on my face. Honestly, I didn’t even think about what I was doing until I heard the Guardian’s voice in my head and felt him move inside me as though he were trying to get comfortable.”
“And you think this was his doing?” Alonso asked.
“Oh for fuck sake, darling girl.” The Guardian spoke inside my head mocking Alonso. “Who else does he think it could possibly be? Are all vampires so dense?”
“It’s him. I’m certain,” I said, gladly taking the chair that Magda pushed under my arse just in time. “What did you do?” I asked the Guardian? “How did you protect me from the sun?” Everyone leaned close as though they expected a Regan moment straight from The Exorcist.
“First of all, you don’t have to speak out loud for me to hear you. I’m inside you, remember? Secondly, I’m indestructible, as far as I know. Therefore it only makes sense that my prison is protected by my presence.” He chuckled softly. “Believe me, my dear little Scribe, the irony of that is not lost on me.”
“Is he talking to you? What the hell is he saying?” Michael said.
I opened my mouth to respond, and in my head, I heard — almost felt — the clearing of the Guardian’s throat. “If you’ll allow it, little one, I can use your voice and save the tedious translation.” With the sense of my reluctance, he gave a little huff of indignation. “I am your prisoner, Susan, not the other way around. I can do nothing without your permission other than protect you, for to protect you is to protect myself. You may banish me to the silent depths of your unconscious mind for all of eternity and there I would be forced to remain, for you control the vessel that is my prison. You may silence me or seek me out at your will, but I would advise seeking me often and silencing me seldom, for I promise you that with the plans that bitch of a Gorgon has in mind for you, you may well find my help most useful, indeed.”
With a sense that I was somehow mentally laying a hand on the Guardian’s shoulder just to silence him for a second, I spoke to those around me. “He’ll use my voice, and he’ll answer any questions you ask.” The second part was a definite command, and I had a definite sense that, though he bristled slightly, the Guardian took me at my word.
“How do we know he’s telling the truth?” Michael asked.
“Oh my darling, angel, it cuts me to the quick that you could doubt my veracity when I have pleasured your body and seen your innermost workings.”
Michael jumped back at the sound of my voice, only slightly changed, and yet unmistakably not mine. He nearly fell over Talia who, for once, wasn’t seeing the humour in the situation as she placed a hand on his arm to steady him. The Guardian smiled at the incident, a smile that no one but I could see, a smile that told me well he would make the best of his situation if I allowed it. When I gave him a silent warning, he offered the equivalent of a shrug, and then he continued. “I swear to you, I can tell no lies before my jailor. For you see, in truth I have at last achieved what I most longed for, flesh to house my intellect, my desires, a body to give me boundaries through which I may experience the world. Granted I did not expect that when I found a worthy vessel it would belong to a vampire, but then one must be careful what one wishes for, mustn’t one?”
“What do you want?” Alonso asked.
“What I want is to be free, but as far as prisons go, this one is by far better than the last, and I think the scribe shall find me a model prisoner.”
“Can you harm her in any way?” Michael asked, then he quickly added, “can you harm anyone?”
“I can do nothing of my own accord, and I assure you I am completely at the mercy of my jailor and the vessel in which I now reside. I can neither possess her or use her in any way, though I am at her beck and call, and she may use me as she sees fit.”
“So we’re supposed to believe that suddenly you’ll completely bend to Susan’s will in every way?” Magda asked.
A chuckle escaped my lips, and I felt almost like I’d suddenly belched rudely in public, to have laughed at Magda Gardener. “My options are to do absolutely nothing, to basically not interact at all with my jailor and the outside world she commands through the body which she inhabits, or to do as she asks and play as much of an active role in her existence as she will allow. I would think that would please you greatly, Gorgon, knowing your plans for her.”
“You don’t know my plans for her,” Magda answered as calmly as though the two were chatting over coffee.
“I can refuse to aid her, it is true. I am her prisoner, not her slave, but it would benefit me little to sulk when I was beaten fair and square by minds far less capable than my own.”
“Then the conditions of your imprisonment are mine to establish,” I said.
Fuck! It was like talking to myself. “Of course,” came the reply. “I would imagine we shall both take some getting used to, and you most certainly will be very preoccupied while your vampire teaches you how to exist as you now are.”
“Why didn’t we hear from you sooner? Why were you quiet?” Michael asked.
“I was, I suppose you could say, sulking. Also, I had neither been summoned nor was there any need for me to interact until an explanation became necessary for our little vampire’s astonishing tolerance for sunlight.”
Just then Cook arrived pushing a trolley laden with breakfast treats, and without thinking, I tore into a fresh croissant and had it half devoured before I realized everyone was staring at me. My response was his, over a shower of crumbs. “Oh of course she can eat food! She can eat it, and it will not harm her. She may even enjoy it if she chooses. How else shall she be able to interact believably with mortals? That is what you need, isn’t it, Gorgon?” Magda bristled but before she could respond, he continued. “However the food she eats will not nourish her. Nourishment, she can only get from blood, but since I am here for the long term, I would prefer to enjoy the taste of something other than … body fluids.”
“So she has the best of both worlds then?” Talia said.
“She has the body of a vampire with all that entails. She has the enhancements that one such as myself can give her – an attempt to decorate my cell, to make myself more comfortable, if you will. And of course, she still retains her own creative powers as a Scribe. Goodness me, our little Susan is very nearly the perfect being.”
Both Michael and Alonso growled, and this time there was an internal clucking of the tongue. “They are a possessive pair, your men, are they not, Scribe?”
That was for my ears only and I responded with an internal, “you have no idea!”
“I shall leave you all to your breakfast,” he said, once again using my voice. “Susan has only to summon me.”
“And will you be eavesdropping?” Michael asked.
“My dear angel, I am where I am. As I have said we will all have to get used to each other, and before you growl at me, I would remind you that this was the Scribe’s choice, her plan, and in all things there are consequences. She knew that and willingly took the risk. That being said, may I also remind you that you live and breathe because of her choice?” And just like that, he was gone. I had the feeling one has when one wakes up with a jerk in the middle of a dream of falling. For an instant everything went slightly out of focus, and when it came back, all eyes were still on me, and both Michael and Alonso were kneeling in
front of me.
“Is this what you were expecting to happen, Susan?” Alonso’s voice was now inside my head.
“I don’t know what I expected,” I replied.
“Speak out loud so we can all hear, Vampire, or shut the fuck up,” Michael said. When Alonso looked at him with a raise eyebrow, he shrugged. “You’re not the only one connected to her.” He gently laid his hand above my left breast where, not only had he fed from me, but his mark thrummed stronger than ever against my heart, and I knew my mark on his chest did the same.
“I do apologise,” Alonso said, coming to his feet and moving back to stand by Reese. “It is often my custom to communicate non-verbally with those who belong to me.” Michael growled at that remark and Alonso smiled an internal smile that only I could see. Then he added in his best conciliatory tone. “But you are right. Now is not the time for secrets. I only wish to ascertain if our Scribe is unharmed.”
Before the testosterone pissing could start in again, I spoke up. “I’m fine. I’m just … well it’s a lot to take in, that’s all.”