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NEW STORY! The Psychology of Dreams 101

I’m certainly empty nesting now that In The Flesh has come to an end. I had planned a few weeks off Sleeping woman reading181340322466666994_IswNAb85_bwith just stories and snippets from the archives posted before I began anything major, but my Muse clearly had other ideas.

No, I didn’t dream it, but it bubbled up from somewhere last night about an hour before bedtime, so today I have the first episode of a new serial, literally just finished minutes ago. The Psychology of Dreams 101, is a romp into the sexy unconscious as Leah Kent takes a Psychology of Dreams adult education class, only to discover that the required Dream Journal leads to some seriously kinky night journeys.

I have no idea how long this little ditty will be, nor where it will lead, but I’m willing if you are. Please, read and enjoy The Psychology of Dreams 101.

 

 

The Psychology of Dreams 101 Chapter 1

 

You look beautiful when you dream.

 

That was the first sentence; that was how it all started. Leah thought it might be some sort of lucid dreaming when she saw the words scrawled across the page of her open journal on the nightstand. She’d had every intention of asking her instructor about it, but then she couldn’t really tell him the dream that had brought it on, could she? It sounded like the sort of thing the unconscious of a pathetically shy introvert would write to herself from the dream world because no one in the waking world would and, while that might be true – the pathetic introvert part, she didn’t want to make it more obvious to her instructor than it probably already was – especially when she had half a crush on him. Besides, it also sounded like the sort of thing a sex-crazed slut might write to herself when her vibe batteries ran down. That made her sound even more pathetic – the vibe and the batteries part, not the slut part.

Dreams image 2IMG_0351She had just started a course on the psychology of dreams. She tried to take advantage of the adult education classes whenever possible. It got her out of the house and forced her to interact with other people – real flesh and blood people. With her job, online shopping, online banking, direct debit, grocery delivery, she never had to leave the house really, and that suited her just fine, but she knew it shouldn’t. She knew it wasn’t healthy. Sometimes going to the classes was more of an ordeal than a pleasure, but that was not the case for the psychology of dreams class.

She had to admit, she’d taken that course because she’d overheard several women giggling and talking about how hot the instructor was and how their dreams had become very sexy since they’d started his class. A part of the class work was to keep a dream journal. The women had been sitting at the table next to her in the coffee shop pouring over their journals together and laughing about how they thought Al — Al Foster was the instructor – would respond when he read their dreams. She’d been taking a photography course then, and it had been one of the few times Leah had actually forced herself to initiate conversation, asking the women about the class. They were only too happy to share, and soon she was laughing and blushing and joking right along with them as they told her all about the psychology of dreams course and how it had truly stimulated their dream life. The next term, she signed right up.

A dream journal — that had sounded simple enough when Al – he’d insisted they all call him Al – had explained what it was. All she had to do was write down her dreams every morning when she woke up. But by the time she sat down at the breakfast table with her bowl of cereal and her coffee, dream journal and pen at the ready, she could remember nothing but bits of broken images — nothing dramatic, nothing with hidden psychological meaning – certainly nothing sexy. After a week of drawing blanks from the dream world, Al had helpfully suggested that she keep the journal open by her bed, and that she set an alarm for every two hours. When the alarm went off, she was then to write, just in a few key words of what she remembered, words that would jog her memory in the morning.

The first time the alarm went off, she woke disoriented and confused. By the time she remembered why she’d set the alarm, she also remembered she’d forgot to set the trash out for pick-up. She remembered that she needed to order some more vitamins online. She remembered that she needed to put the clothes in the dryer, but what she didn’t remember was her dreams. The second alarm, she must have unconsciously shut off before she got fully awake, but on the third, she managed a little dream snippet about chasing a big dog through the local McDonalds, a dog who had shamelessly stolen her Big Mac right out of her hand. She hated Big Macs, and big dogs made her nervous. Well that was at least something to analyze, wasn’t it? Though Freud had insisted that sometimes a cigar was just a cigar, surely that didn’t hold true for Big Macs, which she didn’t like, and big dogs, which she didn’t trust. Al would be pleased.

The second night there was a dream about a leather jacket with a huge snake for a collar, a snake that 7401867966b49d9e25e799def0c09daetalked — kind of like a parrot. There was a dream in which she’d gone to the supermarket and ended up in a maze unable to find her way out. There was a dream of planting begonias in front of the convenience store around the corner. For the rest of the week, she was excited to see that the setting of the alarms was working. Her key words helped her to remember details, and the rest was easy.

Saturday night she’d stayed up late watching a romcom marathon. She’d had popcorn, polished off the best part of a bottle of wine and there had been plenty of chocolate while she watched The Ugly Truth, Sabrina, Friends with Benefits, and When Harry Met Sally. She loved romcoms. They made her feel like there was someone for everyone, and though she wasn’t unhappy being alone, she liked the thought that somewhere out there, her counterpart was thinking the same thing.

She fell asleep halfway through Sleepless in Seattle, and when she woke up and stumbled off to bed, she’d forgot to set her dream alarms, though in truth she was beginning to remember her dreams more easily now, just as Al had said she would.

Perhaps it was OD-ing on romcoms that caused her to have sexy dream about Al. In truth they were mostly just images, disjointed, arousing, sometimes shameful images – images of walking into his office and finding him masturbating, images of somehow ending up in the men’s locker room at the gym and finding him in the shower, steamy water pulsing over strong arms and a tight ass as he hunched over himself paying particular attention to the soaping of his junk. There was one dream, however, that she remembered vividly. Al sat behind his desk in the empty classroom, clad in his usual polo shirt and jeans. He had asked her to stay after. “I’m not happy with your dream journal, Leah,” he said, looking her up and down. She suddenly felt naked, embarrassed, and dreams being what they were, well she had good reason. She wore only red lace underwear that was nearly transparent; certainly they did nothing to disguise her heavy nipples. “When are you going to learn that all you have to do is just relax and let it happen?”

“I try, Al, really I do, but I just can’t seem to dream about you.”

“Then perhaps you need a little encouragement.” He stood and pulled his belt from its loops around his waist all the while raking her with a critical gaze. “If I lay a few bright pink welts across your nice round ass, do you think maybe when you lie down in bed tonight, when your poor tender bottom touches those clean rough sheets, you might manage to remember me in your dreams?”

“Yes. Yes, I think that might help,” she said. Fuck! What was she thinking? How could she agree to such a thing? And yet, she did, most heartily she did.

Before she could say more, or rethink the arrangement, he yanked her around the desk, dropped back into the chair and pulled her over his knees. He all but tore her panties off her and she woke screaming and begging just as the first lash fell. For a moment she lay in the darkness gasping for breath, struggling with the strange mix of emotions that came from wanting the man to spank her and yet not, but certainly wishing she could go back to sleep and finish the dream. She was wet with sweat and, was she imagining it, or did her bottom actually hurt? She was definitely not imaging her state of arousal. There would be no returning to the dream world until she could make herself a little more comfortable, and that meant fantasizing about just what Al would do after he’d finished spanking her. It didn’t take her long to bring herself over the edge, and then she fell almost instantly back to sleep.

It was the morning sun streaming through the curtains she forgot to close that woke her, disappointed that Al Foster had not returned to her dreamscape, though he had, nonetheless, provided her with a good orgasm. Certainly she couldn’t’ write any of those dreams in her journal. She might have to start a private journal just for sexy dreams – assuming this wasn’t a one-off. God, she hoped this wasn’t a one-off.

As she sat up on the edge of her bed and stretched, she noticed the dream journal open with the pen america-artist-art-paintings-prints-note-cards-by-howard-chandler-christy-nude-women-reading-approximate-original-size-18x16lying across the page, which read:

You look beautiful when you dream. It was a good dream, the kind you don’t want to wake up from. At last, Leah, you’re doing it right! You can always tell when you do it right by the way your nipples bead beneath the sheet, by the way your lips turned up at the corners, slightly parted as though waiting to be kissed. And, take a sniff, Leah. Your scent is the scent of dreams well dreamed, luscious and ripe. Well done, Leah! Well done!

There was no doubt the writing was her own, though way neater than most of the scrawl she’d written at speed. The thing was, she had no memory of writing it.

 

In The Flesh Epilogue: Dark Paranormal Romance. Enjoy!

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_nIt’s Friday, and the end is upon us! Time for the final episode of In The Flesh, in which Magda takes control once again. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this novel as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. I’ll fee a bit bereft for the next few weeks when Friday rolls around. Please share it with your friends and enjoy! And thanks so much for taking this wild journey with me!

 

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.

 

 

To read the story in its entirety up to this point, follow these links to

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4 Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12Part 13Part 14Part 15Part 16, Part 17Part 18Part 19Part 20Part 21Part 22Part 23Part 24Part 25 Part 26Part 27Part 28Part 29, Part 30Part 31Part 32Part 33, Part 34. 

 

 

You can also read In The Flesh on Wattpad.  

 

 

In The Flesh Epilogue

“Is everything all right, Alonso?” Magda knew that it wasn’t. She’d heard the little altercation between the vampire and his lover, and even had she not eavesdropped, she would have known what it was about. Everyone at High View knew what it was about. It didn’t take a great deal of intuition to figure it out.

“Fine. Everything is fine.” He made no effort to sound convincing. He knew she would know it wasn’t, and the look on his face told her he was resigned to her poking her nose in where he wished she wouldn’t.

“You’ll have to send her away, you know that, and the sooner the better. If you love Reese.”431px-Medusa_Mascaron_(New_York,_NY)

“If I love Reese?” He spun around to face her with such speed that one with human vision might have thought it magic. However one would have to be blind not to see the anguish on his face. “Dear God, Magda, you know how much I love Reese. There is no ‘if.’ Besides, against my wishes, Susan is with the angel tonight.” The word angel was tinged with bitterness, the bitterness of jealousy. Then he added with a forced smile. “There, you see, the fledgling has left the nest of her own accord.” Then he added, “does that please you?”

“Michael’s place is just down the road. Do you think that’s far enough to keep you away from the child of your heart’s blood?”

He ran a hand through his hair and paced in front of the open French doors that looked out onto the night garden below, which Reese had built for him, to which the man had fled in his anger only minutes before. “Of course it won’t be enough. There’s no place in Cumbria, not likely any place in Britain, where she’d be far enough away from me that I wouldn’t go to her. She’s like my own soul. I never would have imagined it could be thus, since my maker didn’t take the time to bond with me or aid me in any way, I didn’t know.” He turned to face Magda, the desperation etched deeply on his beautiful face. “I didn’t know.”

“Even if you had known, the bloody demon left us with little choice. We all did what we had to, and you and Susan bore the brunt of the horrific choices we had to make. And now, now that we know he’ll be taking an active role in protecting and watching over her, I’m not sure if I feel better or worse. It behooves him to take care of her, to cherish her, and I know he can’t escape her, and yet still it makes me nervous. There are so many variables.”

“That’s what I have told Reese ad nauseum; that’s why I can’t send Susan away, not until she’s ready.” He nodded out to the garden again, to the place where Reese paced on the slate pavement. “He wants me to bring him over, and I keep telling him that I will as soon as Susan is able to fend for herself and do no harm. I can’t make him understand that I am not capable of giving two fledglings what they would need of me. There are times when I’m not sure I can even care for one as I ought. That is pretty evident, I suppose. But I can’t make Reese understand, in fact I fear that even his desire for me to bring him over is only because he fears losing me to Susan, and how could I bear it if I brought him over and it was not truly what he wanted? We must think this choice through carefully. It can’t be made in a jealous heat, in an act of desperation. He sees it as though I am choosing her over him, and the damned angel’s jealousy only makes matters worse.”

She dropped the bomb, figuring now was as good a time as any, and Alonso would take it better than Michael would, of that she was certain. “I’ve decided to take matters out of your hands. I’m sending her to New York City.”

“What!” He was at her side in what would have seemed like an instant to anyone with human eyes, but Magda’s eyes had been far from human for more centuries than she cared to count. Before he could reach for her, before he could lay distressed hands on her, she stepped aside, and he caught himself with all the dignity, all the grace for which vampires are known, straightened his jacket and took a deep breath she knew he didn’t need. “You can’t take her from me. She’s not ready.”

“I can, and I will. In case you’ve forgotten, Alonso, she’s mine to do with as I see fit. She belongs to the 2015-06-30 11.27.42Consortium now. She came at a very high price, and there’s no overestimating her value, especially now that she’s a vampire who can walk in daylight, now with the Guardian inside her. You may be her maker, but that doesn’t mean you know what’s best for her, and neither does Michael.”

“She’s not ready,” he repeated fervently.

“I know she’s not ready, and I’d never send her out into the world unprepared. You know that. But here is not the place for her training, not under the circumstances. I’ve been in touch with Desiree. She owes me, and she’s agreed to complete Susan’s training in all that pertains to vampires living amongst humans.”

He made a derisive sound in his throat at the mention of Desiree. “For what price?”

She shrugged. “Everything has a price, and it was one I was happy to pay, one that will benefit Susan in the end. I’ve heard rumours of a siren living in New York City.” She waved a dismissive hand. “Oh I know that the chances of such a glorious creature still existing are very slim at best, but the rumours have been consistent and … well let’s just say I feel that they should be checked out. It won’t be a difficult assignment for Susan, but it will be intriguing and satisfying — that along with what Desiree has in mind for her, should ease her into her new roll with the Consortium while she gets her feet under her as a vampire – so to speak. Here, she’s disruptive, at least at the moment.” She nodded to Reese in the garden. “In New York, she’ll be a benefit to both me and to Desiree, and she’ll learn what she needs to without the twin distractions of you and Michael. She wants you as badly as you want her, Alonso, and you know you’re both just a breath away from doing something you’ll both regret, something from which there’ll be no turning back. She may want you, but she loves Michael, just as you love Reese. She needs to be away from both of you, from all of you for a little while. The feelings you have for each other are a normal part of the sire and fledgling relationship, but that’s assuming that neither is in a pervious relationship or that if they are they’re not monogamous. Between you and Michael and Reese, there’s enough jealous testosterone in this house to make me dizzy. I can’t have that for Susan. I need her focused if she’s to realize her potential, and she’ll never be focused here, at least not without a little space away from both you and Michael. You know this, Alonso. You know it well. It’s only for a couple of months, just long enough for her to come to terms with what she is and what she’s capable of doing. Then she can come back without needing you or Michael. She can come back on equal footing.”

“She has never needed us. She has always stood quite well on her own. If anything we’ve needed her.”

“And yet here you and Michael are, behaving like two stags in rut.”

For a long time they stood next to each other in silence. A light breeze lifted the curtains on the French doors, and Reese now knelt next to one of the stone benches tending to some little detail in the garden – perhaps a stray patch of weed, perhaps a slate chip in the wrong place. At last Alonso spoke. “Have you told them?”

“Not yet. I will in the morning when they return to High View.”

“Does this have anything to do with the Guardian’s use of the angel’s mark on Susan? Are you dark moon image_xl_6338206afraid he might try to take over his body again?”

“It’s a precaution, nothing more,” she said, careful to keep her voice neutral. No one had any idea just how neurotic she was for her people, and what had happened between Michael and the Guardian had thoroughly unnerved her, even more so when she feared she’d have no choice but to take the life of her beloved angel. Everyone else within the Consortium was allowed their neuroses and foibles and public displays of bad behavior – what could one expect from a loose affiliation of monsters, mutants, and renegade gods? It took one to know one, she thought. But they didn’t have to know that, did they? They only had to trust that she had their best interest at heart. And her own, of course.

“When will you take her?” It was the deep sadness in Alonso’s voice that brought her attention back to the present.

“I’ve been on the phone with Desiree, and my pilot is making arrangements. He’ll fly from Manchester on Wednesday. Desiree will meet her at JFK.”

“That’s only three days.” Alonso made no effort to hide the disappointment in his voice. “They won’t be happy.”

“They’ll get over it. The truth is that it’s three days too many. Every day she lingers in this volatile complicated situation, the risk rises of something going terribly wrong. Emotions are running high in a group of very dangerous predators. I will not have the bear kill the lion, nor the tiger kill the eagle. I’ll tell them in the morning and then I’ll be keeping a very close eye on her, on all of you, until she’s safely on board the plane.”

There was another stretch of silence. Reese now sat on the bench looking out over the beck below, unaware that he was being watched by monsters, though Magda figured he’d grown dangerously used to that by now. At last she pulled a long breath and stretched her aching back. “Go to Reese. Make it right. He’s waiting for you. Surely you can see that. I’ve never minded members of the Consortium having relationships, and even I’m enough of a romantic to know that when it’s right, it’s worth preserving. Trust me, in three months, when Susan returns, you and Michael will both see more clearly; Michael will hold her more dearly and you will hold her more loosely, as it should be. In three months all that’s passed between you and him, all the strife between you and Reese, will be seen from the proper perspective that time lends to all things.”

Alonso said no more, nor did he gesture his leave-taking. He simply turned and moved through In The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_nthe French doors. Halfway down the path, his pace slowed to a more human pace, a pace that would not startle Reese. When Reese made no response to his approach, Alonso came to stand behind him and rested his hands on the man’s shoulders before bending to speak in his ear. Whatever it was Alonso said, it had Reese reaching over his shoulder to pull the vampire into a kiss. Magda realized she was smiling. God, would she never outgrow the romantic streak that softened her heart ever so slightly? But then it was good to see such devotion, good to cultivate it in others whenever she could. She had long known that was as close to the high walls around her heart as love would ever get. None of them had any idea how tenuous the thread that tethered her to humanity was at times, and a little romance in the Consortium helped her strengthen that bond. They all feared her, as well they should. But she knew as none of them would ever know, that she was by far the most dangerous of all of them, the most dead, in many ways, and what she had built, what she had created, her Consortium of wayward monsters had been the family she’d never had. They did what she wanted. She was the tyrant who ruled them, and yet their happiness was not something she could be jealous of when it was one of the few things that touched her heart. She would have Reese and Alonso happy. And in time, Alonso would bring Reese over, but not because Reese felt threatened by Alonso’s attention to another. In time, Michael and Susan would be together. Oh not in Michael’s little house. She had other plans for them, plans that demanded they be together. Her plans were always way more wide-reaching and far-viewing than any of them knew. That was how she had kept herself safe all of these centuries. That was how she made sure no one could take what belonged to her. But, where Michael and Susan were concerned, well she hardly had to force the love of eternity, did she? All she had to do was cultivate the right circumstances, the right conditions. That’s all she ever had to do, actually. And it had never been that difficult with her intuition and the fact that she was the scariest bitch any of her monsters had ever dealt with.

In the meantime, there might just possibly be a siren seducing the Big Apple with magical songs. Now that would definitely keep Susan occupied for a couple of months. She turned to the credenza and poured herself a glass of Glen Morangie, which Alonso kept on hand especially for her. She drank it back and poured another. Soon Susan would learn, as they all had, that – for good or ill — time was irrelevant in the gaping jaws of eternity and it was the monsters with which one surrounded oneself that staved off the emptiness and made that dark endless throat of time a little more bearable.

“To the Consortium.” She raised her glass in salute, watching Alonso and Reese, side by side on the bench, heads together, no doubt talking quietly which, knowing them as she did, was, no doubt, foreplay for a night of passion. “To the Consortium.” She said again, then she drank back the whisky and turned to go home.

 

The End?

BLIND-SIDED:

Susan and Michael’s story continues, along with the rest of Magda’s Consortium in

Book 2 of the Medusa Chronicles

 

 
2015-07-19 20.19.25In New York City away from those she loves, living with the enigmatic vampire, Desiree Fielding, Susan Innes struggles to come to terms with life as a vampire whose body serves as the prison for a powerful demon. When prophetic dreams of blood in the snow and three men in a deep cavern become harrowing nightmares, Susan begins to question her sanity until Reese Chambers arrives from England, desperate for her help. Alonso Darlington, his lover and her maker, has been taken captive and Reese has been warned to tell no one, but Susan, who he is to bring back with him. They’ve barely returned to the British Isles before Susan receives her own message from a man calling himself only Cyrus. He not only holds her maker prisoner, but also her lover, the angel Michael, and if she wishes to see either of them alive, she’ll come to him and not tell Magda Gardener, the woman they all work for and fear. With no help coming from Magda, she and Reese must turn to the Guardian – the terrifying demon now imprisoned in her body. He alone can help them, but how can she possibly trust him after all he’s done?

 

In The Flesh Ch 37: Dark Paranormal Romance in Progress. Enjoy!

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_nIt’s Friday! Time for chapter 37 of In The Flesh, in which Michael gives Susan a break.

There’s only one more episode of In The Flesh left, so be sure to mark next Friday on your calendar for the big finish!

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 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12Part 13Part 14Part 15Part 16, Part 17Part 18Part 19Part 20Part 21Part 22Part 23Part 24Part 25 Part 26Part 27Part 28Part 29, Part 30Part 31Part 32Part 33Part 34, Part 35, Part 36. 

 

You can also read In The Flesh on Wattpad.  

 

In The Flesh Chapter 37

“Talia said this is where you’d be.” Michael sat down next to me on a rock in the last of the afternoon sunlight. “She also said Alonso doesn’t know you’re here.”

“I got tired of everyone watching me like I might explode or my head might start spinning in circles. I had to get out of there.” I nodded to the cavern behind me. Alonso’s still worried about my tolerance of sunlight. That’s why I’m here in the mouth of the cave. If I suddenly smell burning flesh, I’ll make a dive for it. Where were you?” I asked, hoping I didn’t sound as pouty as I felt. “You left in a hurry.”

“I’ve been home making a few arrangements.”

“I see,” I said, but I didn’t. I didn’t see at all. I thought after last night we’d reconnected and made everything right, that after last night we’d stopped pushing each other away, and yet it felt like Michael couldn’t get away from High View fast enough after the Guardian revealed himself. I suppose I couldn’t really blame him. It was bad enough to watch your girlfriend become a vampire, but a vampire with a resident demon was surely a bridge too far – even for an angel.

“I had an important delivery,” he said. “And I had workers coming to help install the blackout blinds. I 2015-09-04 16.16.05 HDRdidn’t want to put it off any longer.” Before I could do more than offer a surprised glance, he continued. “I was trying to make the house more vampire-friendly back before I knew you could tolerate sunlight.” He shrugged and looked down at his hands folded in his lap. “I had to do something constructive or go crazy when you … when you wouldn’t let me near you. Anyway, I suppose all that’s irrelevant now, but the blinds had already been paid for and they seemed like a good idea – you know, just in case you do suddenly smell burning flesh.” He stood and offered me his hand pulling me to my feet. “Come with me, Susan. Come back to my place with me. I want you to see what I’ve done, but mostly I just want you to myself. Oh I know you’ve got to spend time with Alonso, and I’ll make sure you’re back first thing in the morning. It kills me that there are things the vampire can do for you that I can’t, but at the end of the day when he’s finished your lessons, I want you in my house. I want you in my bed, in my arms, and I don’t want to wake up with half the vampire menagerie and a gorgon poking their noses in the door to see what we’ve got up to during the night.”

“Alonso won’t like it and neither will Magda,” I said.

“I don’t care. Do you?’

I squared my shoulders and huffed out an exaggerated breath. “Nope! I’m sick of caring what everyone thinks is best for me. I’m not a child, and I’m tired of being treated like one. Let’s go.” When I tugged him back toward the cave, he shook his head. “I know a short cut to the Jeep. I parked it off the property so we could sneak away. They won’t even miss us.”

“Of course they’ll miss us,” I said. “We can’t even sneeze without someone knowing.”

“Well then they’ll surely appreciate a few less sneezes around High View.”

It was just a walk across the meadow and then we were heading down Honister Pass, and I was away from High View for the first time since my new life had begun. We didn’t talk much. There seemed less need to now that we bore each other’s mark. That he wanted me to be with him, that he’d planned and prepared, even hoped when things weren’t looking very promising, that was enough for now.

At his house, there had been several changes, but the most obvious was the Las Vegas-style blackout blinds in Michael’s bedroom, just inside and above its lovely French doors. “I guarantee no sunlight will touch your alabaster skin through those monsters,” he said stroking my cheek with the back of his hand. “I know it’s not an issue under the circumstances, but just in case. And the basement, well I can have it made up any way you like if you’d feel safer there – you know a study for you to write in, a library. I’ve even drawn up plans to have the basement loo turned into a nice bathroom with a spa tub. We can even move the bedroom down there if you want — just to be sure.”

P1020199“Alonso’s the worry wart, not me. I believe the Guardian won’t let anything happen to him and therefore he won’t let anything happen to me either.”

“Yeah, well I didn’t know that before this morning, did I? So that really didn’t figure into my plan.”

“Your plan.” I sat down on the edge of the mattress, feeling weak kneed all of a sudden. “Michael, are asking me to move in with you?”

He sat down next to me and folded my hand in his. “You can’t go back to your old life, Susan. You’ve burned all the bridges in a major way.”

“Writing and being a vampire aren’t mutually exclusive,” I said. “In fact, under the circumstances, no one would know the difference even if I worked side by side with them — not unless I got hungry and decided to have a little sip from one of my colleagues.” Then I thought about my tiny closet of a flat in Brixton that took the lion’s share, and then some, of my income just so I could live alone, and –technically live in London. The truth was, I didn’t want to go back. The truth was I couldn’t help feeling excited about the life ahead of me now, even as the thought terrified me.

“That’s not the point.” He gave my hand a squeeze. “You belong to the Consortium now, and Magda will want to keep an eye on you. I reckon she’s already making arrangements to have your flat lease terminated. She’ll want you to stay with the vampire until he teaches you the ropes, though what that means is up for question now that you’ve become prison warden for the Guardian.”

“That doesn’t answer my question. Are you asking me to move in with you?”

“Oh Magda will find you a fantastic place, I have no doubt. She always does, and I know the vampire would keep you there as long as he could, but …”

“Michael, I’m not a charity case. I can bargain and negotiate for myself. I want to hear it from you. Do you want me here, or do you feel obligated because … well because Magda sent you to steal me.” I made quote marks around the word ‘steal’ with my fingers. “If you’re doing this out of — ”

Michael stopped my words with a kiss that felt as hungry and as voracious as I felt when I fed, pulling meBernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500 tightly to his chest, to the pounding of his heart, quite literally pulling me onto his lap. And for a moment, I forgot what the question had been. I forgot what planet we were on as his hands skimmed my back and then moved up to cup my head, stroke my hair and hold me close. When he pulled away breathless, he shook me slightly, as though he were trying to wake me up. “How can you even ask such a question, when having you with me is the one thing I’ve wanted for more lifetimes that you can imagine? Of course I want you here! I want you in my arms when I fall asleep; I want you in my arms when I wake up; I want you like the air I breathe, all the time, Susan! All the bloody time! If you don’t want to live here, if you want a place in which you’ve had a little more input in the choice and the decoration, that’s fine. Anywhere you like. Just say the word. I just want you, that’s all. I just want you.”

I stopped any further conversation with a single word of my own, a word which I breathed into his mouth and pressed deep onto his hard palette with my tongue. “Yes! Yes,” I repeated again and then again, as I pushed him back onto the bed and straddled him. After that it was a long time, a very long time, before either of us spoke again.

Long toward midnight we dozed in each other’s arms, and I dreamed. I dreamed of following a trail of blood, sparkling like a path of rubies on the snow. I followed the drip, drip, drip like a trail of breadcrumbs over the fells and into a deep tangle of woods. I followed it to the entrance of a cave, I followed it deep underground to a candlelit chamber where shadows danced like phantasms against the stone. There it ended in a stain on the cave floor that looked inky black beneath the pale body of a man curled on his side, face toward the wall. Before I could see who he was and if he still lived, there was a groan deeper in the cave beyond the play of candle flame. When my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I saw another man chained to the wall — arms spread wide, shoulders slumped, bare back sheened in sweat. It wasn’t until then that I saw the third man, only a silhouette that, try though I might, my dream vision could not resolve. “I’ve been waiting for you, scribe,” he said softly, and his voice crawled over my skin like I’d walked through a heavy spider’s web.

St Martha's Hill 3I woke with a jerk to find Michael raised on one elbow watching with concern. “Bad dreams?”

“Strange dreams.” I moved to lay my head on his chest and told him in as much detail as I could remember, unable to shake the feel of spider webs over my skin.

When I finished, he kissed the top of my ear and let out a slow even breath. “Do you think it was because of him – the Guardian?”

“I don’t know. Possibly. I mean there was a man chained in a deep cave, but nothing was very obvious, if it was about the Guardian. And why would there be three men?” I shrugged. “It probably should have been a nightmare, but even though I was in it, I watched it all from a distance. It didn’t feel like a nightmare. I don’t know what it felt like. Yes I do. It felt … almost prophetic. But then again, it was just a dream,” I added quickly, embarrassed at such a ludicrous idea.

“Have you talked to the Guardian since your first surprise visit?” he asked, his hand moving down to stroke my back.

“No, but I will. I mean I have to. He lives inside me, and that’s a real head job – even though I was prepared for it, or as prepared as I could possibly be. He’s right; the situation will take some getting used to for both of us. I can’t help but feel there are things he could tell me, things he could teach me. Whether he will or not, I don’t know, but the one thing I do know is that he’s intrigued by our situation. Very intrigued.” I decided not to add that I was too.

Michael lifted my chin so that our eyes met in the darkness. “Susan, it’s dangerous to trust him. You know that.”

“He’s with me twenty-four-seven now, Michael. I can’t ignore him. There are just things I need to know. I would feel better about our situation if I could discuss a few ground rules and ask a few questions. I just can’t believe that if I say nothing, ignore him, as he’s said I could, for the next however many years I have ahead of me, that he’ll be blissfully quiet. Clearly he doesn’t trust Magda. Not that he would have any reason to. I get that,” I gave a dismissive shrug. ‘But if I now belong to her, as it appears I do, if she wants me to do some nebulous work for her that has something to do with my abilities as a scribe – whatever the hell that means, well, I can’t think it’ll be a waltz in the park. I have … options – way more options than I had when I first came to Manchester to see Annie. And because of the Guardian, I have even more options than I would if I were just a vampire. I also have a whole new life – a double life — that I haven’t begun to understand yet, and like it or not, the Guardian is a permanent part of it.”

He pulled me on top of him and hugged me until I groaned. “All right, whatever it takes, whatever you feel you have to do, I’ll be here. You gave me back my life, Susan. You gave me the chance to share it with you, a chance I thought I’d lost forever. I’ll take that on whatever conditions I have to – vampire, demon and all. All I ask is that you don’t try to bear it all alone – what’s ahead of you, what the future holds. I know Magda, and I can help you deal with her. I know the Guardian probably better than anyone. Certainly I’m the only one who’s lived to tell the tale except for Annie, of course, who was just his pawn. And I know Alonso and his familiars. Everyone is quirky. Everyone has an agenda of some kind. I’m no different. But I know that all of us, everyone associated with the Consortium, we all want what’s best for you.” He curled a finger under my chin. “But I’m the one who loves you, Susan. I’ve loved you forever, and that’ll never change, no matter your choices. I want to be a part of your life. I want to be there to help you deal with whatever comes next. But mostly I hope that I can be there just because you want me by your side.”

I pulled him close and buried my face in his shoulder, next to the thudding of his pulse, resisting the urgeIn The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_n to lick him there possessively. “Of course I want you by my side or I wouldn’t be here in your bed right now. Maybe I haven’t loved you forever, but I promise you, I got around to it as soon as I possibly could
under some pretty trying circumstances, and like you, I’m not planning on going away. Will that do?”

He kissed me fervently and offered a smile that warmed me to the core, which always felt slightly chilled now that I was a vampire. “That’ll do, Susan. That’ll do just fine.” With that, he slid up into a sitting position, bare back pressed against the headboard. With what had become a rather expert flick of his nail, he opened the flow of his heart’s blood to me and pulled me close. As I fed next to the steady beat, beat, beat, even knowing how uncertain the future was, I felt happier than I could ever remember feeling. If Michael was with me, if we were together, then it would be all right. Deep in my chest in some nebulous place, I sensed the Guardian waiting, waiting to see what his future would be. Our uneasy truce, our sudden change of circumstances reminded me again that my uncertain future might be a lot of things, but it would most definitely not be boring.

 

In The Flesh: Ch 36: Dark Paranormal Romance in Progress. Enjoy!

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_nIt’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 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12Part 13Part 14Part 15Part 16, Part 17Part 18Part 19Part 20Part 21Part 22Part 23Part 24Part 25 Part 26Part 27Part 28Part 29, Part 30Part 31Part 32Part 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.rose images

“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 dark moon image_xl_6338206

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 2015-06-30 11.27.42for 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.”

2015-07-19 20.19.25“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.In The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_n

“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.”

 

In The Flesh Part 34: Dark Paranormal Romance in Progress. Enjoy!

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_n

It’s Friday! Time for chapter 34 of In The Flesh, in which Susan learns startling things about angels.

There are only a few more episodes of In The Flesh left, so be sure to mark Fridays on your calendar, and hold on to your hats because things are getting wild.

 

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.

 

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4 Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12Part 13Part 14Part 15Part 16, Part 17Part 18Part 19Part 20Part 21Part 22Part 23Part 24Part 25 Part 26Part 27Part 28Part 29, Part 30Part 31Part 32, Part 33. 

 

You can also read In The Flesh on Wattpad.  

 

In The Flesh Chapter 34

“Talia said there was no indication of the Guardian being present when Susan fed from her, and she should be able to sense him if anyone could,” Magda said. “Even Alonso hasn’t been able to discover if he’s there. Certainly no one else who’s fed her felt anything unusual – aside from the obvious bloodletting, that is.”

I stepped back around the corner at the sound of Magda and Michael’s hushed conversation. I knew they were nervous about the fact that we’d had no clear evidence that the plan had worked, that the Guardian had been trapped inside me when I was changed. Since everyone had assured me that he couldn’t be killed, then the only possibility was that he was trapped or that he’d escaped — a possibility that we all feared more and more as each day past without any definite knowledge of his whereabouts. But then again, the truth was that none of us really knew what to expect. I listened in silence as only the dead could, knowing that if it had been Alonso and Talia talking, or even Reese, they would have known I was eavesdropping. Sadly the connection with Michael through his mark seemed not to work any longer. I assumed that was due to my change. Though in all fairness I’d been avoiding him like the plague, and the fear of a repeat of what that linked had allowed last time had prevented either of us from trying to connect, so I listened undetected.

“Is it possible he got away and is laying low until we least expect it?” Michael asked in a whisper I could Bernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500have never heard when I was mortal.

“I don’t see how he could have,” Magda replied. “If anything, Susan and Alonso’s plan was much better than ours. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it.”

Michael used some very colourful language in response to that. “Do you think that’s why she won’t see me, for fear the Guardian might still use the link between us?” Even in the quiet whisper, I heard the pain in his voice, pain that I knew I’d caused, pain that made me feel like my own heart had been ripped from my chest.

“She won’t see you because you were a fool last time she did. She doesn’t want to hurt you.”

More cursing. “She won’t! She won’t hurt me, but between the damn vampire and his people and you and yours, I can’t get close enough to tell her. I can’t get close enough to apologise.”

“Sorry, but that’s what she wanted. Besides, you know there are way more variables involved now that she’s a vampire, now that there’s been no evidence of the Guardian in over a week. Everyone is playing it safe. You’re at risk too, you know, after what he did to you through your link with her.”

He gave a bitter laugh. “Maybe there is no link, not any more. Not now that she’s …”

“Now that she’s dead?”

I don’t know if Michael flinched at Magda’s choice of terminology, but I did. I still couldn’t quite get used to the fact that while my heart most definitely beat, albeit much slower, I didn’t need to breathe. Alonso was teaching me, however, that the living were not comfortable when one did not respire, as he put it. Superfluous respiration was essential in order for a vampire to blend in with the living, so I respired, or at least when I remembered to, I respired. Respiration was only one of a million things I had to learn, unlearn, or relearn. I had to learn to slow my every movement so that it didn’t startle the living, so that I didn’t crash into things, break things, frighten the hell out of people, or seriously injure someone. I had to learn to hold objects gently in order not to crush them. I had to learn to touch things tentatively. I had to learn to move much more awkwardly than I was now actually capable of in order to blend in and not frighten mortals. I had to learn to live in the night and protect myself from the sunlight, and, most terrifying of all, I had to learn to manage the hunger so that I could feed without killing, even if I had to hunt to do it.

It was the learning to be gentle and handle things carefully that tripped me up in my attempt at eavesdropping. As I stepped back into the corner further out of their sight, I accidentally knocked over a small ceramic figurine setting on the edge of one of the many full bookshelves Alonso had liberally located around his home. In High View, one was never more than a few feet from a good selection of books. My reactions had improved to the point that catching the figurine before it hit the floor was no problem. The problem was holding the delicate figure of a horse and rider without crushing it. This I was learning to do, but it didn’t come automatically, and the thing shattered in my hand emitting a loud crack overshadowed by my hissed ‘son of a bitch’ as the shards bit into the flesh of my hand. Both Michael and Magda were on me instantly, reminding me with their own preternatural speed, that they were no more human than I was.

“Jesus! You’re bleeding!” Michael said taking my hand in his.

Try though I might, the fact that Michael was touching me, the fact that his touch was as wonderful as I had remembered, as I had ached for it to be again, I couldn’t take my eyes off the racing of his pulse in the vein of his neck. “Leave it.” I jerked away. “It’s nothing. I’m fine. I have to go.” Magda, who never missed anything, already had her mobile out calling Alonso as I turned to flee. But as fast as I was, to my surprise, Michael was faster. He grabbed me by the arm in an effort to pull me back, ignoring Magda’s command to let me go.

“You’re not fine, Susan. It’s a bad cut. It needs tending.”

2015-09-04 16.17.13“I heal fast.” Or at least I hoped I did. “Now let me go.” Truth was the sight of my own blood and Michael’s attention to it both frightened me and aroused the hunger in me, a situation Alonso had warned me to be very careful in. And the crazy thing was I wanted to fuck Michael senseless almost as badly as I wanted to drink his sweet rich Angel blood down in thirsty gulps, almost as badly as I wanted to open the vein above the swell of my breast and fed him from my blood, make him drunk from my blood, drunk with lust for me. My nipples hardened to agonizing points pressing against the cotton of my blouse, and I wanted Michael with an ache that was physical. I wondered if Alonso knew that women could be every bit as possessive and protective of what belonged to us as men could. But we could be a hundred times more vicious if need be.

I shoved him away with such force that he landed with a hard wump up against the stone wall, and the oxygen left his lungs along with more colourful language. Then I turned to run. I barely made it to the stairs before he was on me, grabbing my arm and pulling me back to him with surprising strength. “You’re not going anywhere until we talk.”

I could smell his blood hot and earthy and summer berry sweet racing through his veins; I could smell my own blood already drying from the wound on my hand, now healed, and hunger — both physical and sexual nearly drove me to my knees. I mumbled something about me not being safe, as I elbowed him hard in the ribs, then turned and tore up the stairs with dangerous untested speed, Michael only a hair’s breadth behind me. Over our struggle I could hear Alonso on the phone arguing with Magda. Fucking hell if the man didn’t tell her to leave us alone, to let us sort it out! Dear God, was he out of his mind? How could he tell her that when he knew what it was like, when he’d been where I was and knew the worst?

At the top of the stairs, I shoved my way into the bedroom where I’d stayed before Alonso moved me underground for protection from the sunlight. It was a place I still liked to go after dark, to enjoy its exquisite view of the night sky. “Go away, Michael,” I yelled, slamming the door behind me. “You don’t know what I’m capable of. I nearly killed — ” My words died in my throat with a little yelp as I turned to find him already standing by the bed, hands fisted at his side, chest heaving, eyes blazing.

“And you don’t know what I’m capable of,” he replied, moving toward me so fast that even my preternatural vision couldn’t register his motion. He had me in his arms before I could even blink. “You think you’re the only one who struggles with power?” He pushed me against the wall and held me with one arm across my chest while he quite literally ripped his shirt off with the other hand. “I’m an angel, for fuck sake! And mortal or not, I’m still more than a match for any damn vampire. Didn’t your maker tell you that? Or was he just wanting to keep you all to himself?”

“Don’t you blame Alonso for this. The choice was mine to make. He didn’t want to, and you know damn good and well I nearly killed you – would have killed you if …” With a flick of his thumbnail, he opened the wound above his left nipple — with ease this time and, as the blood welled, I completely lost my train of thought as the ripe fruit scent of it overwhelmed my senses. I cried out and fumbled for the doorknob in a desperate attempt to get away, even as he held me firmly.

“You think I can’t handle you? You think you’re too much for me?” He curled his fingers in my hair at the base of my neck and reeled me into a kiss that would have been fatal if I hadn’t already been dead, then he pulled away breathing like he’d been running. “That’s the trouble with you damn vampires, you’re so fucking arrogant.”

I shoved him with enough force to send him careening backwards over the bed and on to the floor behind. “Oh, and you goddamned angel’s are so full of humility!”

“I didn’t say anything about humility.” With terrifying strength, he grabbed the heavy wooden bedframe, an antique that must have weighed as much as a small lorry, and turned it upside down with a loud crash. “Did you ever hear me say anything about humility?”

When I made another run for the door, he tackled me, pinned me on my stomach with my arm up behind my back, me screaming and fighting and bucking until I unseated him just long enough to roll over and crabwalk back toward the door, but before I could gain my footing, he was on me again. He In The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_nstraddled me, wrapped his legs around mine and spread me into Judo hold from which it was no trouble at all to feel his full erection. If that didn’t have my vampire heart racing, the blood running down his bare chest did, and just before he could get a solid judo hold on me, I bucked him off, shoved him back, his head hitting the edge of the upturned bed hard enough to cause a hissed stream of expletives before I straddled him with him cursing and roaring like an angry bear. The instincts of the predator took over even as the scent of our lust nearly overpowered the scent of blood. I ran the flat of my tongue up from the waistband of his jeans following the trail of fresh blood, careful not to miss a single drop as I lapped my way up to the wound. It was a shallow wound, enough to trickle freely without the danger of him bleeding out, enough to make me work for my snack, and it was a surprise to discover that it was just a snack, a very tasty snack, albeit. This was about play. This wasn’t about life and death. Even predators played, didn’t they? With a shock I realized, this was about sex, this was about possession. This was about the balance of power we had to find before we destroyed each other in ways that were far worse than the physical damage we could cause.

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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