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In The Flesh Ch 30: Dark Paranormal Romance in Progress. Enjoy!

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_nIt’s Friday and time for episode 30 of In The flesh, in which Michael and Magda discover the sheer audacity of Susan’s plan.

Be sure to mark Fridays on your calendar for  In The Flesh. The next episode will be Christmas day, so grab some mulled wine — maybe something a little stronger, and hold on to your hats because things are about to get 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.



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

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 28, Part 29.



In The Flesh Chapter 30

Michael eased open the kitchen door of Chapel House, still miffed at Susan, who had shoved her way out of the Land Rover before he could find a parking place. The woman had no sense of self-preservation, he thought. As he shut the door behind him, he was instantly drawn by the sounds and scent of sex both, amplified by the Guardian like a homing beacon pulling Michael to Him as surely as if He had thrown a rope around his neck and tugged him down the hall toward the make-shift guestroom where Susan had slept. In spite of himself, in spite of the promise he had made not to feel anything, the sight of her naked and writhing on the mattress, the knowing exactly what was happening to her, how the Guardian was making her feel, stiffened Michael. The more ashamed he was that he could respond so inappropriately under such dire circumstances, the more aroused he became.

But there was little time for thoughts of his shame. It was as though a very large dog, wild with pleasure at the sight of him, suddenly overwhelmed him, nearly knocking him off his feet before wriggling and shifting and twisting until it had worked its way up inside him, right into the very centre of his heart. And then, just when he felt as though his chest would burst, just when breathing became impossible, and he was on the verge of panic, the feeling spread throughout his body like a wave washing up on a beach. He was taken aback by how pleasant the experience was, though he had once known that sensation well. In fact, he had once anticipated his joinings with the Guardian more than he did his next breath.

“Michael, my darling angel, welcome home! I knew in time you would back to me, and indeed, the time could not be more perfect,” came the voice inside his head. “If one of us can pleasure our lovely little scribe well, how much better can we two together please her? Oh, the thought of the three of us together so delights me, my darling! I am filled with such anticipation.”

Yes, Michael thought. Yes, it delighted him too. And it made so much sense now that he thought about it,
now that he could see the logic of it. How much better could they pleasure Susan together? His cock jerked against the fly of his jeans in anticipation. Almost before he knew what he was doing, his hands were on his zipper, and then awkwardly groping his cock with delight. The fact that his hand seldom left his cock when the Guardian was in residence had been one of the ways Michael could tell He was present when their relationship had gone tits-up and the Guardian had resorted to sneaking inside him while Michael slept. Though Michael could not imagine now how their relationship could have been anything but exquisite. Surely the fault must have all been his. Or perhaps it had all been Magda Gardener’s fault. Perhaps she had lied to him about the Guardian, planted seeds of doubt in his head about the Guardian’s love for him.

“Oh how I have missed the feel of your manhood, lovely boy, and the many fine uses we put it to Bernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500together. But back then, we had not our lovely little scribe. I can hardly contain myself with thoughts of the heights of ecstasy we three shall reach together.”

Michael shared his anticipation with a pounding pulse and a weight in his balls that was almost unbearable. It was Susan they both wanted, Susan they both loved, Susan they would pleasure together, and he smiled at the thought of just how she would come, just how she would writhe and moan as they serviced her.

“I want you inside me, I want you inside me, I want you inside me,” came Susan’s breathless mantra from the mattress, and he was only too willing. Perhaps this decision was the wise one after all. Perhaps the three of them could be happy together. He found himself wondering how he ever could have doubted. Perhaps he would just tell the Guardian about Magda’s plan. Though the Guardian couldn’t defeat her, surely he could thwart her, surely he could find a way to keep them safe from her so that they could be together as the Guardian had always intended.

This was his chance to make Susan happy again. Certainly she had not been happy before when they’d left High View, and neither had he. After the interminable ride together from the vampire’s lair with her too angry to even speak to him, ripping his heart out every mile of the journey, after she had shoved open the door and pushed on ahead of him as soon as they’d arrived at Chapel House, it was balm to his soul to see her writhing for him, aching for him, as he was for her.

“How shall we take her, my angel?” the Guardian asked, still fondling his cock with Michael’s hand. “What shall we do to her? Shall we pleasure her first or punish her for leaving us, for making us suffer, for leaving us alone. She must be punished, you know.” With borrowed eyes, He glanced down at the hand on Michael’s cock, then pulled it away and wriggled his fingers as though needing to understand how they worked. “I have never had flesh with which to punish my lovers before, with which to cause harm for betrayal. How delightful this shall be. I think that before we give her what she so longs for, before we pleasure her into unconsciousness, we should punish her the same.”

And, to his horror, Michael found himself dragging his belt from its loops with spastic jerks. When it was at last free in his hand, almost before he knew what he was doing, he had lit a candle that set in a saucer on the chair which served as a makeshift nightstand. The he held the oblong buckle of the belt over the flame until the room smelled of hot metal, while on the bed, Susan only mewled and writhed gasping over and over for him to put it in her. “I have never marred human flesh,” the Guardian said inside Michael’s head. “My lovers have always been only too happy to inflict the punishments on themselves at my demand. Oh what a treat this shall be! Besides, if she wears our mark, then she won’t soon forget what happens to those who disobey us, will she Michael?”

To his utter horror, he found himself kneeling on the bed next to Susan, leaning forward to press the hot metal of the buckle into her bare breast, and even as he drew nearer, she ignored the danger as though the pain of the burn meant nothing compared to the desperation of her need as she begged him again and again to mount her. To his horror, he found that the hand not holding hot metal opened her legs just for that purpose as if the pain of one would in no way diminish the other. Even as he cried out and tried to pull away, his body did the Guardian’s bidding, just as it had always done, even as he screamed and begged for Him to stop.


“Oh God! Oh Christ! No! Please no! Please, Magda! Do it now! Please do it now, only don’t let me hurt her. Dear god, please don’t let me hurt her.”

He fought his way up from under a wool blanket, in the back of a stripped out van drenched in icy sweat
still yelling, “Magda do it now! Please, don’t let me hurt her!” at the top of his lungs before a hard hand clamped over his mouth and he found himself staring up into Reese Chambers’ sun-freckled face.

“Shut up,” the man said without preamble. He looked tired and worried.

But before Michael could ask what the hell was going on, Talia climbed into the van looking nearly as tired as Reese did. As she slid the side door shut, he noticed the steeple of Chapel House looming over the row of bungalows they were parked in front of. “Oh good, you’re both awake now,” the succubus said. “That makes my job easier. And frankly it was getting pretty tiring keeping you both dreaming. I’m good, but even I have my limits. Give her back her glasses,” she said to Reese. It was then that Michael noticed Magda sitting on the floor next to him, looking slightly worse for the wear, hands bound behind her Graveyard angel 2da8f31cc622c5a47d15ff0c4f1e114abback, eyes covered in a thick blindfold.

“What the fuck’s going on?” Michael exploded up from the floor, knocked Reese on his arse, and was surprised to find himself the victim of a well-executed leg sweep landing him practically in Magda’s lap. Before he could even blink, Reese had him in a chokehold, and he was seeing black spots on the edge of passing out.

“I suggest you calm down and listen before you make Talia angry,” Reese said, barely breathing hard. “She can be rather foul tempered when she’s tired.”

Michael tapped the floor as he’d seen wrestlers do to signify their submission, and Reese loosened his grip, but just enough so that Michael wouldn’t pass out, just enough to be sure that he would keep his word. “Where’s Susan? What the hell’s going on?”

“Susan’s with the Guardian,” Magda said, taking her glasses from Talia. She waited while the succubus slipped the knot on the blindfold, then she popped them on. “It appears we’ve been sabotaged,” she nodded to Talia and shrugged. “Everything you’ve experienced up until now has only been a dream. Our resident succubus has been a busy little bee.”

“Jesus! Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Michael had to use all of his restraint to keep from throttling the succubus, though he figured if anything, she’d be more dangerous to tackle than even Reese was.

“We’ve given her a say in the matter,” Talia said. “And if you two would have trusted her enough to do the same, you might have remembered, she’s a fucking Scribe.”

“She’s untrained,” Magda added.

“Untrained my arse. What the hell do you think she’s been doing all these years, writing stories, getting paid for a craft she was born to. All she needed was to understand what was required of her, and you two were too full of yourselves to give her that chance. If anyone could come up with an alternative to your train wreck of a plan, it would be her.”

“And your solution is to turn her over to the Guardian alone?” Michael shoved his way to his feet again. He had to get to her. He had to go to Susan. Maybe it wasn’t too late.

This time it was Magda’s hand on his arm that stayed him from opening the van door and heading straight for Chapel House. “She’s not alone.”

He froze.

“Alonso’s with her,” Talia said.

“Alonso?” He felt the burn of jealousy low in his belly. “Why?”

“Because the Guardian won’t be expecting someone who’s not … living,” Reese said. “He won’t detect Alonso’s presence unless Alonso wants to be detected.”

“And by the time Alonso reveals himself,” Talia said, “it’ll be too late.”

“And Alonso should be announcing his presence any time now,” Reese glanced down at his watch, then back up at Talia expectantly.

“That means we’ll be needing your help.” Talia nodded to Magda and Michael.

“Then perhaps you should tell us exactly what your plan is so we’ll know what to do.” Magda lifted her still bound arms slightly and winced. “I’m a captive audience.”

“I swear, if any harm comes to Susan because of what you lot have pulled, I’ll snap both you necks and stake the vampire.”

Talia offered him a bland shrug. “You’re welcome to try.” Then she cut through Magda’s bonds with an efficient upward slice of her Vitronox.

“No harm is coming to anyone,” Reese said. “The plan’s a good one.” But Michael could see that Reese had his doubts too.

“Tell us, then.”

While the succubus shared the plan, Reese filled Styrofoam cups with tea from a flask and Michael listened in horror as the plan unfolded unaware that he had crushed the cup in his fist until Reese knelt in front of him and sopped up the spilled tea with an old towel.

“I can’t believe the goddamned vampire would drag her into something so insane. Magda, we can’t let her do this. It’s not too late. I know the Guardian will still be expecting me. We can still make this work. We’re not letting her do this. We’re not letting a vampire call the shots.”

“It was her plan,” Reese said between clenched teeth.

“Oh right, like I’m going to believe that she –”

“What?” Talia cut in. “That your little pet could actually think for herself. Did it ever occur to you that
she turned to Alonso, to us, because you two shut her out, because you two wouldn’t talk to her or listen to her?”

“Lest we forget that it was your fucking big mouth that got her into this mess in the first place. I trusted you. I fucking trusted you!”

“But you didn’t fucking trust her, did you?”

“Shut up, both of you! All of you.” This time it was Magda who spoke barely above a whisper, and the vanIn The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_n
was suddenly silent. She waited until all eyes were on her, and then she turned her attention to Talia. “Now, what do you need us to do?”

“Magda you can’t mean that,” Michaels said. “Dear god, you can’t really mean that.”

“The succubus is right, Michael. We should have trusted Susan. It’s a good plan. Solid.” She gave a lopsided shrug and shoved her glasses up tight against the bridge of her nose with an index finger. “It makes more sense than sacrificing you.” Before he could argue, she raised a hand, her gaze locked on him, and he felt the chill of it down his spine. “Michael, she’ll need you more than ever once this is over, but if you can’t see that, if you can’t see this plan through, then we’ll just leave you in the damn van.” She nodded to the zip ties that had bound her. “You may be strong, but you’re not that strong.”

Just then Talia’s phone buzzed an incoming text. She peeked at it and stuffed the device back in her jacket pocket. “He’s going in. We’ve got five minutes. Are you two in or out?”


In The Flesh Part 29: Dark Paranormal Romance in Progress. Enjoy!

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_nIt’s Friday and time for episode 29 of In The flesh. Susan returns to Chapel House to face the Guardian, but will even the best made plan be enough to keep her and her friends safe?

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 about to get 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.


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

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 27, Part 28.


In the Flesh Chapter 29

It took an eternity for us to get to Chapel House and, at the same time, we arrived far too soon. I wasn’t ready, but then I knew there was no being ready, not really. How could I ever be ready for what was to come, but now that my mind was made up, more than anything I just wanted to get on with it. For a moment, I hated Michael for taking the choice from me. I hated Magda for agreeing to his demands, and I hated them both for keeping it all from me. Beyond that, I felt Michael’s withdrawal from me, his absence with a pain that nearly brought me to my knees. But there was nothing for it. I squared my shoulders and took a deep breath. Focusing on the task at hand was the only way to deal with the pain right now. Michael would live. That’s what mattered most.

I left the Land Rover without giving myself time to think. There was no comfort to be had by lingering, nothing that could be done to make what I had to do any less a solitary act and, while both Alonso and Talia assured me that the plan would work, I knew only too well there were variables none of us could foresee. I knew only too well how crucial timing was. From the back of Chapel House, I entered through the wrought-iron gate and into the garden, concentrating on the thump, thump of Magda’s stone heart talisman against my breastbone, the weight of it heavier and heavier with each step I took. It was the feel of it against my skin that centred me, kept me focused, in spite of my anger at the woman. Very soon, none of that would matter. The tangle of the overgrown garden that had been an impenetrable maze when I was last here now was only a slight distraction. I wasn’t trying to escape. I wasn’t trying to steal anyone away. The Guardian would not hinder me from my returned to Him. I was only halfway to the kitchen door when I was all but overwhelmed by heavy scent of roses. I was really beginning to hate the fucking scent of roses. My stomach clenched fist tight, and for a moment I thought I would vomit. But I knew things now, things that even the Guardian didn’t. They might not make a difference in the end, but they did to me. I closed my eyes and thought of Michael sleeping in his bed in his lovely home with the sun coming up over the fells. I thought of crawling into bed next to him and breathing his clean, outdoorsy scent rather than the cloying, funerary scent of roses; I thought of being folded in his arms next to the strong steady beat of his heart. Which would continue to beat when I was finished here. I thought of Michael alive and sleeping peacefully, and I found my voice. “I’m here. I’ve come back. Just like you knew I would.”

2015-09-04 16.16.05 HDRAnd instantly I was embraced from behind, with such force and with such bodily presence that I had to glance over my shoulder to be certain there was no physical flesh. “I knew you would return to me, my little scribe.” The voice was like velvet against my ear, and I was reminded with the sudden tightening of my nipples beneath an invisible caress and the catch of my breath as my heart began to race, that no matter what magic Magda Gardener had woven around me, no matter what I had schemed and written on my Mac before I left High View, I was still horribly vulnerable, and I still wanted Him more than I ever wanted anything in my life. When He touched me, I could barely remember my own name, let alone what I was supposed to do when the time came. I found myself wondering if maybe Magda and Michael were right to give me no more of a task than to lie down and spread my legs. That — I could just about manage. That – more than likely I would have no choice in anyway at the end of the day. I took another deep, steadying breath, as invisible lips kissed my ear and the nape of my neck, as a splayed hand rested low against my belly pulling me back against an erection that felt flesh and blood real.

“I had to,” I whispered. “I had to come back to plead for Annie’s safety, for that of my friends. Surely you knew that I would.”

“Of course I knew that, my darling.” Somewhere in the back of my mind I was aware that my jeans were open, and I leaned heavily against the broad chest at my back, shifting my hips to ease the path of His hand as He wriggled warm fingers down inside the waistband of my panties.

“If you love me, as you say you do, then surely you can give me that. I’ve returned to you of my own free will, as you asked. Surly you can grant me that one simple request, the safety of those I love. Consider it a gift for your beloved. They’re nothing to you, after all. It’s only a little thing I ask.”

The air moved around me in a sudden rush of wind, hot and rancid with the smell of burning garbage.

“You understand, of course,” He said, “that you would have saved those you love a lot of suffering if you had stayed with me to begin with.” The shrug of His body felt almost like a thrust. “Oh, I realise that you had no choice in the matter when you were abducted by that bitch, Magda Gardener and the angel, but even that doesn’t fool me, my darling. I know well that you left willingly.

“That you came back willingly is also a lie. You came back because of my threats to those you love.”rose images

“But I came back,” I said. “The vampire didn’t want me there any more than you did.”

“The vampire, yes. He may be long dead, but his familiars all live and draw breath. He was wise to return you to me. Still,” there was another shrug of a thrust, and I realised to my horror that I was all but riding His hand as He slid it deep into my panties. “Still, all I would have had to do, dear little scribe, was wait. In time you would have returned to me in desperation, just as all of those who love me do. In time there would have been nothing Magda Gardener, the angel, nor the vampire and all his minions could have done to thwart your efforts to get back to me. In time, there would have been nothing short of your death that would have kept you from me. And that, I would have never allowed. So you see, you have nothing to bargain with.” A simple twitch of His fingers and I orgasmed, the heat of shame rising up my neck and burning my face even as I waited breathlessly for Him to bring me again.

“That I was impatient to have you back in my arms, that I was impatient to pleasure your body and have you pleasure mine – now that through my angel, I may have a body for you to pleasure — well, that is all that kept me from waiting for you until you came back to me of your own accord and threw yourself at my feet.”

I don’t know how He managed it or how I missed it, but I found myself on the mattress in the windowless space Annie had prepared for me as a guestroom. “I would have you on the altar to celebrate your return, my love, as is fitting for my consort, but it is tainted with your friend’s lust for me. I would have it cleansed and purified before I have you there. For now, I shall ravish you here. I shall punish you and hurt you for playing the whore with the angel, who belongs to me as surely as you do. I shall make you suffer even as I love you, even as you beg me for more.” Invisible hands eased me down on the bed, and I braced myself, concentrating with what little of my wits was left to me on the weight of the stone between my breasts. “This shall be the place of your punishment, the place of your purification, and only when you are repentant and once again pure, shall I enter you on the high altar.”

He pulled away suddenly and, for a second, I thought he had left me. “Where is the angel?” He asked.

“Oh he’ll be here soon enough,” I said, lying back on the pillow, cupping my breasts and thumbing my nipples, knowing if He were anything like most men, that would focus His attention quickly enough. “I wanted some time alone with you before he got here.” I ran my hand down to cup myself between my legs, absently stroking. The scent in the air was suddenly spicy, like Christmas evergreen laced with sandalwood and cloves. “You’ve been inside him. You’ve possessed him, used his body.”

“And I shall again. Do not try to deceive me, little one. He will come to me, and when he does, I promise once I’ve been inside him, possessed his body, there will be nothing you can do to persuade him to help your pathetic friends.”

dark moon image_xl_6338206“Oh, I know he’ll come,” I said, nibbling on my lip and catching my breath as I played with myself. Even scared shitless as I was, it wasn’t hard to masturbate, even to bring myself to orgasm, when just being in His presence kept me only a hairs breadth away. “It’s just that I want to know what it feels like too. You’ve never inhabited a woman’s flesh, have you? Or perhaps you can’t. Perhaps you can only inhabit men, maybe only angels. Have you ever possessed anyone other than Michael?”

The scent of him became more strongly cloves and nutmeg. “Of course I may possess who I will, though most vessels are not strong enough to contain me for very long, and I am loath to use up a good lover too quickly.”

“I’m not just any vessel. I’m a Scribe, and you promised me when I freed you, you promised me what every scribe desires. Don’t you remember, you said you could give me the mind of god.” My breath hitched and I made a show of nibbling my lip, of moaning softly. Though in truth, it was hardly a show. It was just doing what I had to do to keep from begging Him to fuck me.

“As you so rudely reminded me, I am not a god.” There was just a tiny whiff of garbage among the fragrance of holiday spices.

“You’re right. I was rude. I apologise.” And then, perhaps I drifted off for a few seconds, caught up in my own lust. I think it might have been the thump of the stone heart against my breast bone that brought me back to myself with my thighs spread wide, knees bent, feet flat on the mattress. The air was rank with the scent of male heat, and I had the sense of Him on the bed with me, face between my thighs watching, with deep fascination, the dance and dart of my fingers.

“It feels good.” He spoke and the cloves and nutmeg scent peaked.

“You have no idea,” I gasped, swallowing back the words in a little whimper and writhing against the mattress.

“I hear that for women it is different, for women there are no limits to the number of times they may take their release … well for women who are with mortal men, that is.”

I nodded with another little whimper. In truth, if it weren’t for the thump, thump of Magda’s talisman constantly reminding me why I was here, I would have been lost in my own lust, groveling for him to take me.

“Please,” I begged. “I know you can do whatever you want, but you told me, that very first night when I released you from your prison, that you could show me the mind of god. Surely that had to mean the you would possess me, take my body as your own, fill me with you, with your mind, let me know what it is you feel, what you think, how you see the world, even if it’s just for a few minutes, even if it’s the last thing that will ever matter to me as myself before you take me over completely and I stop caring about anything but you. I’m not stupid. I know that’s what awaits me no matter what you say. And, after all, I did release you.”

“It is true, my little scribe, you did set me free — truly a feat no one else in a thousand years could accomplish. Therefore, what I have promised, I will perform. ” I felt His palms move to the insides of my thighs and the intimate muscles of my body convulsed with anticipation. “It is but a small thing for me,” He said, running a tongue I couldn’t see over my flesh and parting me with slow wet kisses, “And I am most curious. Therefore, I shall do as you ask, and I shall give you the mind of god.”

I think I might have screamed, as His presence moved into me, as my body stretched and spread and In The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_nexpanded outward like the beginning of the universe, and just when I was certain I would fly apart into nothingness, the world righted itself, and my body was filled completely with Him. Before I could adjust
to the sensation, He spoke.

“I shall enjoy wearing the flesh of a woman.” As though it were no longer mine, my hand caressed my breasts with the awkwardness of a teenage boy, while He slowed my efforts between my legs so that he could explore the flesh He now possessed. I felt both split in two and at the same time, for the first time in my life I felt whole, feeling the rhythm of my heart beat, beat, beat, against the solid stone of Magda’s talisman. “Oh yes, it shall be a pleasure for both of us, my little scribe, but only until the angel gets here,” He added quickly. “For without the angel’s body, I will never be to you more than a touch you cannot see, a caress you cannot return. I will have his flesh, possess it as my own, and then, my lovely, I may service you as you deserve.”


In The Flesh Part 28: Dark Paranormal Romance in Progress. Enjoy!

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_n


It’s Friday and time for episode 28 of In The flesh. When Susan can’t accept the plan that Magda and Michael have come up with to recapture the Guardian, she comes up with a plan of her own, but as time runs out, and the Guardian thwarts their every move, can any plan actually work?

There are only four more episodes of In The Flesh left, so be sure to mark your calendars for the next four Fridays, and hold on to your hats because things are about to get 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.



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

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 26, Part 27.



In The Flesh Chapter 28


Bernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500“She’s going to turn him to stone. She’s going to trap the Guardian inside him. Isn’t she? Isn’t that what she’s going to do?”

No answer was necessary, I knew the truth of the plan, and Talia didn’t bother to respond.

“I have to stop her! I have to stop her from murdering Michael!”

I didn’t make it to my feet before she pulled me down hard enough to jar the breath out of me and held my arm in a vice grip I was sure would leave bruises. “Sit down, stupid woman! Didn’t you hear anything she said? She doesn’t want to do this. Do you think she would ever, ever consider such a thing if there were another alternative?”

“But she’s Medusa! She’s fucking Medusa!”

“I fucking know who she is,” Talia said. “And so does everyone else in this household. “She’s the woman who saved us all from our worst nightmares. She’s the woman who does what she has to in order to protect her own, and sometimes that calls for sacrifice.”

“But it’s not her sacrifice, is it?” I said. “It’s Michael’s sacrifice.”

“Don’t you think she would gladly give herself in his place if she could? She’d do anything for Michael. They’ve been together for a long time, longer than either of us has been alive, but the Guardian has left her no choice and even if she were to refuse it, Michael won’t. For your sake, Michael won’t.”

“Then let it be me! Let me be the sacrifice. Surely a stupid Scribe can’t possibly worth the value of an angel, and it’s my fault. This is all my fault!”

“It can’t be you, little girl.” She released my arm and let me get up this time. “You can’t hold him long enough to let Magda do what she has to. You can’t hold him long enough to distract him.”

“How do you know?” I paced the carpet, eyeing the door wondering if I could make a break for it, though not at all sure how to get to Magda’s bothy if I did.

“I don’t know,” Talia said. “But as for your value, yes a Scribe is worth more than an angel. Much more. Haven’t you read there are myriad angels? They’re three for a pound at Sainsbury.”

When I glared at her she backpedalled. “All right, the ones who leave heaven are few and far between, but that still doesn’t matter. A Scribe is rarer by far, and a real one, one that could do what you did, is a precious thing. None of us has ever met one before, and neither has Magda.” She raised a hand before I could interrupt. “But even that wouldn’t matter to her if there was another way. Michael has been her friend and companion for a very long time. She does this for two reasons. Michael will have it no other way, first of all. And secondly, there is no other way, and your Annie’s life is not the only life at stake.”

431px-Medusa_Mascaron_(New_York,_NY)“I don’t care! I won’t accept it! I can’t. If I’m a Scribe then maybe I can hold him just like Michael can. Maybe I can distract him.”

Talia folded her arms across her chest and looked me up and down. “Possibly, but Michael would never allow you to make that sacrifice. Besides such a thing is a waste of a Scribe’s powers really.”

“I don’t understand.”

She stood and moved in front of me, blocking my path and, for a second, I thought she was going to kiss me again. Instead she held me in a hard blue gaze. “You’re a Scribe. You wrote him free. You wrote the Guardian free. Oh it’s true that he deceived you into doing it, but at the end of the day you were the one who wrote the script, Susan.” The proof is downstairs on your computer.” She nodded toward the door.
I stepped back and nearly fell onto the bed. Suddenly there didn’t seem to be enough oxygen in the room. My heart felt as though it had gone into free fall. “Wait a minute,” my words came out thin and raspy.

“Are you trying to tell me that I really could … write him back into his prison?”

Before she could answer, there was a soft knock on the door, and we both jumped. Alonso stuck his head in looking like someone had just run over his dog. We stepped apart and turned to face him, but vampires don’t miss much or at least this one didn’t. He glanced at me and then at Talia and simply said, “You told her.”

“She needed to know,” Talia replied holding his gaze defiantly.

“Yes, she did,” came the unexpected response. “I was coming to tell her myself, and then …” His voice drifted off and his gaze moved toward the window behind me where the shutters were still tightly drawn from his last little run-in with daylight. He forced his gaze back to his familiar. “It’s just as well you did.”

“You’re going to Magda.” Talia said as though she were already certain of what Alonso would do. But then, she was his familiar and his friend and they’d been together long enough that they probably both read each other pretty well.

“I am, yes. I’ll try and present an alternative plan.”

“Do you have one?” But even I could see by his expression that he didn’t.

“I am known for, what is the saying, pulling things out of my arse at the last minute. We shall hope that my arse will provide. Otherwise …” His voice drifted off for a second time, and then he forced a smile. “Otherwise I shall petition for a little more time, then perhaps we can find another solution, though I’m not hopeful.”

“Does anyone ever call her Medusa anymore?” I asked fighting a rise of bitterness in my throat at the thought of what was about to happen.

“Not in a very long time,” Alonso said, “and such a pity that the stories and lies about her have tainted such a noble name. Her name means to protect, to rule over. . Did you know that, my darling girl?”

“I … didn’t. No.”

“And she is truly worthy of that name,” he said stepping in so close to me that I could feel the breath he In The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_ndidn’t need against my cheek. “She paid a terrible price to be free of that past, and it’s no hardship for those of us who know her story to honour her with whatever name she chooses for herself. In truth, our parents give us names they choose, names that suit them, but only we can know our real identities.”

For a moment, we all stood in silence and then he squared his shoulders to the task at hand. “I’ll leave you in charge of our little Scribe, Talia. I have asked that her laptop be brought up for her in case she should choose to chronicle the events.” Then he leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. “Don’t borrow trouble, my darling girl. The day is not yet lost and we must stay in the moment allotted to us.” He brushed my hair away from my cheek, then turned and left just as the maid arrived with my Mac.

Talia took it from her and placed it on the makeshift desk, then she settled in the middle of the bed cross-legged, almost as though she were about to meditate. For a long moment, we both looked at the laptop as though it were about to explode, then I moved cautiously and sat down in front of it. Then I stood up and paced. “I don’t know how to do this, Talia. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

“Well I sure as hell don’t know,” came the reply that was only just this side of indifferent, though I’d learned never to take Talia at face value. “Shall I have cook bring some coffee? Tea? Whisky?”

I shook my head and kept pacing, and she kept watching from the bed. “What you did to me,” I nodded to the carpet on which she had pulled me down. “I was there. It was me, at first with Michael and then watching him and Magda together after. I was there. It was so real I could reach out and touch what was around me.”

“It’s my little specialty,” she said, looking down at her nails, which I noticed were short, but well manicured. “One of my specialties.”

“It was real. Completely real.”

“Of course it was real,” she said. “You were seeing that I wanted you to see, exactly what I wanted you to see.” She shrugged. “Michael I like. I respect the angel, I always have. What he asked of me, I wouldn’t have done for most people. It’s …” I was surprised to see a blush crawl up her cheeks. “Well for me and for the person I’m with it’s very sexual, but if he had been someone I hated, or simply someone I wished to feed upon, I could have just as easily turned it all back on him. I could have just as easily given him night terrors, made him think that he had actually killed Annie on the roof, or even made him think that he wasn’t even on the premises when it happened, that he was in Manchester with a chick he’d picked up at a club fucking her brains out.”

blue moon 2I shivered and reached for the hoodie Michael had given me. “And you get off on that kind of thing.”

She shrugged. “I’m a succubus. I don’t expect you to understand what drives me anymore than I understand what draws you to that laptop to play with words for hours at a time. But there are some things that exhaust me, some things that drain me rather than energize me, and being a messenger for someone else is one of those things. That’s why I try to avoid it if possible.”

“So you were exhausted after giving me Michael’s message.”

“Not so much. His was a message of love. Those are easier, and the other, what I saw, well it was mine to give.”

I paced a little more and like clockwork, Cook, or this time one of Cook’s assistants — I figure Cook was taking a little break after feeding Alonso — brought a tray with sandwiches and fruit and a pot of tea. The succubus poured, I sipped, had a bite of a smoked salmon and cucumber sandwich and then settled into the chair in front of the laptop. I was barely aware that I’d been writing, that there were words appearing in the open document until Talia leaned over my shoulder.

“Bloody hell,” she whispered. “You do know what you just wrote?” I nodded and waved her away with a shrug of my shoulder. I knew exactly what I wrote and the goose bumps riding up my spine were evidence. She paced and I wrote. By the time she’d come back to read over my shoulder the third time, I had begun to notice a strange buzzing in my head, not unpleasant, like the sounds insects make on a hot summer day and, a little more unpleasant, was the feeling that I had slipped slightly out of sync with the world around me, that wherever I was, no one else could go. With a little start, I realized that I’d had that same feeling the night I’d written about the Guardian in the study at Annie’s flat.

“Your insane,” Talia said. She had stopped pacing and I had no idea how long she’d stood behind me, reading over my shoulder as I wrote.

“Takes one to know one,” I said and kept writing as fast as I could, breathing as though the speed of my writing was such that I had gone into oxygen deficit, while my heart raced with each word.

She didn’t bother replying, but now she was reading out loud. “Shut up,” I said. “I need quiet.”

She did for a few minutes, and then she cursed loud enough in my ear that I glared at her through the reflection of the computer.

“You’re out of your bloody mind,” she said. Her voice was almost as breathless as mine. “He won’t. He Writing pen and birds 1_xl_20156020wouldn’t. Would he?” Then she nodded. “That might work, but, fucking hell, Scribe, are you sure?”

“That’s about the stupidest question ever,” I replied and kept writing.

“She would never let you, Magda, and certainly Michael wouldn’t.”

“In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not asking their permission.” I kept writing, still faster, and she leaned over me so closely that I had to elbow her away to keep her from fogging the monitor with her breath, and still I wrote on. I wrote on to the end. I couldn’t stop. The words kept coming from some wellspring I didn’t know existed and yet I knew it had always been there. I wrote until I forgot to breathe. I wrote until I believe my heart forgot how to beat. I wrote until my mind saw pictures of what I wrote, and not words, as though it were already happening this very second right in front of me, and I felt it all unfold in the space just behind my breastbone, even as it terrified me, even as it refused to be unwritten.
By the time I was finished the buzzing in my head sounded like a swarm of angry hornets, and everything beyond the words on the monitor had become nothing more than an unfocused blur of light and color. My whole body ached as though the feat had been a physical one, as though I had endured a beating for every word I wrote.

Even Talia’s voice had become nothing more than a series of disjointed sounds with no meaning. “You need to stop. You need to stop now. Susan, you have to stop!”

It was Alonso’s hand on my shoulder firm and solid, the reflection of his face in the monitor that brought me back with a gasp. My hands fell away from the keyboard, and I would have toppled off the chair if Alonso hadn’t caught me and carried me to the bed. He held a water glass to my lips and forced a few bites of chicken salad sandwich between my lips before the world around me came fully back into focus.
I was surprised to find both the vampire and his succubus leaning over me, her hand resting on his shoulder. “Are you all right my darling girl?” he asked. His eyes were dark, his pupils dilated.

I ignored the question. “They wouldn’t listen, would they?”

He shook his head. “Sadly there was nothing to listen to, and the truth is the longer they put off the inevitable the more we risk the Guardian invading again, and who knows what havoc he might wreak the second time around. I am truly sorry, my dear little Scribe.”

2015-07-19 20.19.25“Thank you for trying,” I squeezed his hand. I was about to tell him that I thought there might be an alternative when Talia said it for me.

“You need to see this,” she spoke quietly next to his ear and nodded at the Mac still open to the document I’d been working on. “The Scribe’s been busy.”

Alonso leaned in and kissed my forehead. “I shall look, Talia, but you must see that she eats and has something to drink. Whatever she has done has clearly been taxing upon her person.”

Alonso settled in at the computer and scrolled back up to the beginning of the document. I was halfway through my second sandwich when I heard him catch his breath, and he shot a glance around at me and then at Talia. She only gave him a raised eyebrow and handed me a cup of tepid tea, which I took gratefully.

For the next few moments I had little time to spare as Talia all but force-fed me everything that was left on the tray Cook’s assistant had delivered and I ravenously did my best to accommodate, like she was a mother bird and I her nestling. But I couldn’t keep from noticing the way Alonso sat on the edge of the chair, the way he leaned forward, the way the tension had risen in his shoulders.

When I could stand it no longer, and really there was nothing left for Talia to shove in my gob, I pushed up off the bed and moved to his side. “Well?” Clearly he was done reading, but he only sat now staring at the monitor, at the words, and I knew exactly what he was looking at. “It can work, Alonso. Don’t you think it can work?”

For a long moment, he didn’t speak. Then he took a deep breath and looked up at me. “There’ll be … consequences, consequences you can’t possibly foresee.”

“I know that. I’m willing to take that chance.”

He looked at Talia, and whatever it was that passed between them was way more than a conversation, though I could neither see nor hear. She only gave him a slight nod of her head. Then he stood so quickly that the chair went over backward and I yelped, for a brief moment reminded again that the man I had come to respect, the man who had given me shelter was, after all, a vampire. Once again my skin was pocked with goose bumps, and my heart raced as though it were being chased by something deadly. In truth, it was being held by something deadly, or I was, at least, as he grabbed me to keep me from falling, and settled me on the trunk at the foot of the bed, where he knelt in front of me looking up into my eyes, my hands, now nearly as cold as his, held tightly next to his chest. “It can work, this plan of yours, my darling girl, as you know very well it can. Though there are always variables one can’t know until the
Graveyard angel 2da8f31cc622c5a47d15ff0c4f1e114abmoment of execution, but it can work.”

“Then you’ll help me, both of you?” I already knew that Talia would. In spite of her constant attestations to my lack of sanity, I could feel her excitement as she lingered over my and read.

“If I help you,” he said, holding my hands against the place where his heart would have beat if he lived, “if we do this, then you must know, there’ll be no turning back.”

“I know.” I braced my feet hard against the floor to keep my knees from shaking. Christ, I really would like at least a little bit of dignity at moments like this, but I found myself fighting back tears, as he pulled me into his arms and held me to stop the shaking. There had been no turning back for a very long time now, I thought, as I bury my face in his shoulder and clenching my eyes shut so tightly that I saw sparks of light. It had just taken me this damn long to figure it out.


In The Flesh Part 27: Dark Paranormal Romance in Progress. Enjoy

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_nIt’s Friday and time for episode 27 of In The flesh. As the situation becomes dire, Magda Gardener has a plan, but is that plan worth the cost? And can she do it without revealing her own secrets?


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:

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 26.


In The Flesh Chapter 27

It was the first time since I’d seen Magda Gardener looking anything but calm and relaxed and only just slightly this side of laughing at a good joke. She looked tired. She didn’t just look tired, she looked downright worried, and that scared me. Clearly it scared everyone in the room, although after what had happened on the battlement, Magda Gardener’s countenance was probably just the icing on the shit-storm cake we were all facing. That sucked, but it was Michael sitting across the room doing his best to avoid my gaze that shredded me. Alonso offered me his hand and gently guided me to the loveseat to sit next to him, the battered copy of Marcus Aralias falling to the floor with a muted thump.

Everyone settled, and then everyone waited expectantly, all eyes on Magda Gardener – all eyes but Michael’s. He only stared at the floor, looking pale and drawn. There were dark circles under his eyes that hadn’t been there before we’d all made our mad race to the battlement to save Annie. With an icy shiver I realized he was showing the same symptoms Annie showed, the result of the Guardian’s attentions. But before I could dwell on Michael’s situation, Magda spoke. “I’ve done what I can to protect Michael from another invasion, but with magic there are never any guarantees, especially not in dealing with the Guardian.”

“I don’t see that you have much choice but to return me to Chapel House,” I said, and I was surprised to find that I had no ulterior motive this time other than wanting Michael and Annie free from this horror and everyone else safe.”

“You’re right. There is no other choice,” I was surprised to find that it was Michael who replied. He 2015-09-04 16.16.05 HDRlifted his gaze to me. “You’ll be returned to Chapel House and me along with you.” Before I could protest Magda cut in.

“He wants you both. Having you both is his way of proving he can do whatever he wants and we can’t stop him.” She ran a hand through her windblown hair, which settled around her like a writhing halo. “It’s a good bet that once you’ve both been returned to him he’ll see to the death of your friend and then begin working away on Alonso’s people as well It’s his way to punish us for thinking we can best him, to punish me for having done so before.”

“Jesus! You can’t let that happe — ”

“Shut up, Susan,” she cut me off. “The time for negotiation is over. I’m telling you exactly what he’ll do because he doesn’t negotiate, he has no feeling of human emotion, he has no understanding of compassion or empathy.”

“I won’t give up people under my protection, Magda. You know this,” Alonso said.

“I know you’re a fool, Alonso, driven by your heart to the bitter end, and that’s why you’ll do exactly as I say. That’s why you’ll all do exactly as I say, because your humanity is your strength. It’s the one thing he doesn’t understand. We can us that against him.”

“You have a plan then,” Talia asked.

“I do.” Magda bit her lip and squared her shoulders taking in everyone in the room with a gaze that was made all the more impressive by the dark glasses she always wore. “And if you all do exactly as I say, exactly as I say.” She emphasized the words as though our lives depended upon them, which was more than likely the truth. “Then I’ll have the Guardian safely back in his stone prison by this time tomorrow.” She raised a hand when Alonso started to speak. “There will be no negotiation, no second guessing, no questioning.” Is that clear? Susan?” I felt as though her gaze beneath the glasses was turning me to ice. I nodded mechanically. “I mean it. I’m the only one who knows how to deal with this bastard and I’ll tolerate no interference.”

“So what’s your plan then,” Reese asked, moving to sit on the arm of the loveseat next to Alonso.

“Tonight, Michael and Susan will steal a vehicle and slip away, back to Chapel House, where they’ll fervently negotiate with the Guardian to release Annie and everyone else in exchange for them.”

“Why a night escape? In case you’ve forgotten, this is a vampire lair,” Talia said. “The place will be far less vulnerable when the vampire is able to move about freely.”

“I’ve forgotten nothing,” Magda replied. “Didn’t you just hear Alonso say that he would do whatever it took to protect his own.” She nodded to Michael and me. “They’re not his own. They bring danger into his house. The Guardian will have no trouble believing that Alonso will turn a blind eye, even possibly leave the keys in the getaway car. Remember he has no concept of loyalty or compassion. He’ll believe it, trust me.”

“And then what,” I said. I hadn’t realized that I was trembling until Alonso slipped a comforting arm around me, and the look that crossed Michael’s face as he watched was raw anguish.

“And then, I invite him in,” Michael said. “That’s what he wants more than anything, to experience the sensations of being in the flesh. That’s what I can give him. He wants to experience taking you with my body.” The muscles along his jaw twitched, his lips thinned to a grim line and I could see the pulse in his temple hammering a rapid staccato. For a second, he struggled, as though the power of speech had suddenly left him, then he drew himself up to his full height and his eyes locked on mine. “I … I have to let him if we’re ever to end this.”

I nodded, for a second losing my own ability to speak, as my throat constricted and I felt as though the room were tilting around me. “I understand,” I managed. I didn’t. I never would, but I certainly had no idea how to fight this bastard, especially not when most of the time what I wanted on a visceral level was for Him to fuck my brains out. “And then what,” I finally managed.

“Once he’s in Michael, he’s vulnerable,” Madga said. “It’ll be your job to hold his attention, which S6302008shouldn’t be too difficult since you’re the object of his lust and he’ll be enjoying you physically, something he won’t be able to resist. You just need to hold his attention until I give the word.” The room was deadly silent. I would wager everyone was holding their breath. I certainly was. “And this is very important, Susan.” She turned her full attention on me again. “When I give the word, you close your eyes, you close them as tightly as you can, and you don’t open them for anything. Not for anything until I say it’s okay.”

“I don’t understand. How’s that supposed to help me or Michael? If I’m lying there helpless with my eyes closed and — ”

“Michael knows what to do,” she interrupted again, “and everything hinges on you keeping your eyes closed. I don’t care if you understand or not. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do exactly as I say, that you close your eyes and keep them closed until it’s over.”

“Susan,” Alonso gently squeezed my hand. “Please don’t argue. Do as she says. Magda knows what she’s doing, and if you do as she says, you’ll come back to us safely.”

Michael, who still held me in his laser gaze nodded his agreement with Alonso and Magda. “The plan will work, Susan. It’s the only plan that will work, and you have to trust Magda. You have to trust me.”

I nodded. But I didn’t. I didn’t trust either of them, not really. I didn’t trust anyone against the Guardian. He didn’t think like a person would, and while He might not understand human emotions, He was incredibly intuitive, and He did understand human actions. It wasn’t just that, it was the way Magda and Michael were behaving, the furtive glances, the stiff upper lips. Something wasn’t right. I wasn’t being told what would actually happen. I was being told to trust in a place where I had not seen any reason to trust – not because people didn’t have my best interest at heart, but because we were all dealing with insurmountable odds and I was being asked to go in blind. But still I nodded my agreement; I nodded my consent and the trust I didn’t feel. There was nothing else I could do at the moment.

That seemed to be enough for Magda though. She gave a decisive nod and stood. “Good, then I suggest at the moment, you get some rest. Michael will stay with me for safety sake and Alonso, if you would see to Susan’s safety, I’d appreciate it.” When the time comes, when it’s fully dark, you’ll escort Susan and Michael out in what will be seen as your effort to keep your own people safe. I’ll find my own way to Chapel House, and by the time they arrive I’ll be waiting there. Oh don’t worry,” she waved a dismissive hand at me, “I promise the Guardian will have no clue that I’m there. I’m good at hiding, and I’ve hidden from way scarier bastards than him.”

As everyone stood to leave, Michael left without so much as a backward glance, and I felt the lack of him as though someone had ripped my heart out. It was Alonso who supported me, whispering softly against my ear. “Let him go, my darling girl. Let him do what he must for Annie, for you.”

We stood while everyone filed out of the room except Talia, who came to Alonso’s side. “Cook’s waiting in your room. It’s his turn, and you need to feed.” Before he could protest, she said. “Now’s not a good time for you to be weakened Alonso, now go and feed. I’ll take care of this one,” she offered me half a smile, “and when you’re done, we’ll be in her room.”

Alonso dropped a cool kiss on my forehead and left the room with a quick backward glance.

Feeling like I’d been gutted with a spoon, I followed Talia up the stairs to my room. Neither of us spoke, and though I was completely strung out, I knew I couldn’t sleep. As she opened the door and stepped aside for me, I was just about to ask if we could go back for my computer when she shut the door and locked it. Before I knew what was happening, she took me into her arms taking my mouth with a deep, probing kiss. I gasped and tried to push her away as her power overwhelmed me. My knees gave from under me, and we half settled half fell onto the aubusson carpet.

“Listen to me, Susan Innes,” she spoke against my mouth in between urgent kisses. “We don’t have much time. Michael asked me to give something to you after everything was all over.” She covered my mouth with her hand when I tried to question. “But I made an executive decision not to wait. I don’t believe in subterfuge, and I don’t believe in keeping vital information from people. It causes more damage than it does good, and you’re the Scribe, not some silly helpless little girl. Now hold still, be quiet and let me give you what he wants you to have.”

She kissed me again, and this time I wrapped my arms around her neck and kissed her back as the Bernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500floor gave way beneath me. The whole world gave way. I knew that Talia was more than just a succubus, though that would have been frightening enough, but her powers were far more formidable. Michael had called her a living flash drive, and I understood why as she took my mouth in what was so much more than just a kiss, and suddenly it was Michael I was kissing, suddenly we stood together in the hallway by the stairs, him pressing my tightly against the wall, him caressing me, him holding me. But he slapped my hands away when I tried to undo his jeans. “There’s no time for that now,” he said, “I need you to listen to me Susan, just listen. I love you. I’ve loved you since long before I ever met you. Angels have eternity stretched out before them. They can see all time is it plays out, no beginning, no end. It’s a terrifying thing to face time with no end. In order to stay sane, we choose a moment, an experience, a person, and we focus on them. They are our true north. You were mine long before my fall from grace. You were my reason for holding on and my reason for fighting my way back from the Guardian.

“Perhaps this is the reason for my whole existence, and now that I’m human, now that I am mortal, I can give it all up and let it go knowing that you’re safe, knowing that you’ll go on to become the Scribe you were intended to be. Listen to Magda. She’ll teach you. She’ll guide you, and she’ll comfort you when you feel you can’t go on. Only listen to her, and never forget that I love you. If anything of a person lives on, then let it be that, let it be my love for you.”

And once again I was lying on the floor wrapped in Talia’s arms struggling hard to get away. “He’s going to sacrifice himself. I can’t let that happen! Let me up, damn it! Get off me, Talia.”

But she didn’t. Instead she straddled me and pushed me down hard to the floor, trapping my wrists in her hands. “What I gave you,” she managed, breathing hard, “that was from Michael. What I give you now is from me, what I’ve discovered, because you need to know. You need to know what’s happening.”

This time the kiss was little more than a breath at first, and then it was as though I were standing once again on the battlement in the storm, and I was the one falling, endlessly falling from the tower. But all that disappeared with a jerk and a tremor, and I found myself standing in front of Magda Gardener’s little bothy, safely hidden behind a hawthorn thicket. Oh it wasn’t me, of course. It was Talia, but I saw it all through her eyes. I knew I shouldn’t be there, but I had to know what was going on. Someone needed to know what Magda was up to, so I hid and watched and listened as she spoke with Michael.

“You know there’s no other choice now,” Michael said. “If you turn me while the Guardian’s inside me, then he won’t be able to escape. He’ll be trapped.” His laugh was tinged with bitterness. “The bastard has inadvertently given us a way to trap him, and what church yard doesn’t benefit from one more stone angel?”

“I can’t do that, Michael. You can’t ask that of me. You can’t.” The anguish in the woman’s voice vibrated through the whole room, even through the rocks of the foundation and the menagerie of sculptures around it.

“Magda, Magda, listen to me.” He knelt in front her and took her face in his hands, careful not to disturb the glasses. “You have no choice and you know it as well as I do. He’s gotten into me. He won’t go away, and he won’t stop until he has Susan and Annie is dead and then, you’ve already said it, he’ll come after all of Alonso’s people starting with Reese just for revenge sake. And once that happens, there’ll be no one standing in his way. Magda, you know I speak the truth.”

“Not you, Michael. Not you! You don’t deserve this.” The woman was actually crying. “No one deserves this.”

“That’s right, no one does, but that’s not important, that doesn’t matter, Annie and Susan, keep them safe. That’s what matters. Susan, she is a Scribe, a true Scribe, she writes the truth of what happens, she writes the possibilities. You have to keep her safe. And besides,” he said, settling back onto a rough wooden bench, “I lover her. You know I love her.”

I could hear the soft patter of something hard and tiny like seed pearls hitting stone, but I ignored the sound as Michael continued. “Don’t you see, once he’s inside me, he’s vulnerable. We can trap him forever and it’ll all be over. Finally it’ll all be over.”

Magda Gardener laid her glasses aside and buried her face in her hands. For a long moment Michael sat silently next to her, then he reached out and took her into his arms. When she straightened, he turned and looked away while she reached for her glasses. And then she wiped her eyes with her fingers and the sound of seed pearls broke the silence. It was then that I saw it, the tears on Magda’s cheeks were wet only for a moment. I blinked and blinked again. Surely I was imagining it, but the tears were transformed to tiny stones, not much bigger than grains of sand as they slid off her cheeks and into her lap and fell onto the floor.

“Do you understand?” The voice came from a long way off. “Do you understand now, Susan?”

I glanced around me at the stone menagerie every animal, no matter how small, perfectly carved in incredible, impossible detail. Another stone angel, Michael had said. When you change me, he had 431px-Medusa_Mascaron_(New_York,_NY)said. It can’t be. It couldn’t be. ‘When I give the word,’ Magda had said, ‘you close your eyes, you close them as tightly as you can, and you don’t open them for anything. Not for anything until I say it’s okay.’ That’s what she’d said. That’s what she’d repeated. That’s what she’d stressed. She always wore the dark
glasses. She wouldn’t let me look at her when she came to me in the crypt. It all made sense now, and yet it was impossible, so totally impossible.

“It can’t be. It just can’t be. It can’t,” I came back to myself sitting on the floor leaning against the bed, my head resting on Talia’s shoulders repeating over and over again, “It can’t be. It’s impossible. It can’t be” But I knew the truth at last, in my gut I knew the truth. “Magda Gardener – she’s … She’s Medusa.”

Talia held me in her bright blue gaze. “Now you understand,” she said. “And you needed to understand because you’re the Scribe and you write the story.”


In The Flesh Part 26: Dark Paranormal Romance in Progress. Enjoy!

In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_n



Not only is it Friday, but it’s Friday the 13th and time for Episode 26 of In The Flesh, in which Susan has tea with a vampire, while Magda and Michael plan.


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 24, Part 25.



In the Flesh Chapter 26

“Annie, no! Annie don’t do it! Annie, please! Annie!” I screamed her name to be heard above the howl of
the wind. The fine hairs on the back of my neck prickled with terror that Michael’s invaded body would reach out and grab me and pull me back, or worse yet, race ahead of me and take the decision completely out of Annie’s fragile hands. It was only a few steps to get to her. I should have been able to reach her in three quick strides, but it might as well have been a million miles. I swear, the distance between us stretched and elongated to an impossible space. It was Him. He was doing it! I knew He was. Even as it was happening, I knew it wasn’t real, but no matter how hard I struggled to reach her, it was like being caught in a nightmare, one of those in which the harder you run, the slower you move and the farther you have to go. It was as though everything had switched into slow motion, my begging and screaming being blown back in my face, a mindless cacophony of desperate sound. And the agonizing moment she stood in the wind teetering on the edge of the battlement stretched and elongated with my tortured efforts to reach her. And then for the briefest of seconds, the wind died down, just a tiny bit, and she turned and looked at me and in her eyes, for a tiny moment, I saw my friend still there, still inside the ravaged body. I saw recognition in her eyes. “Annie! Dear god, Annie, hang on!”

But then the wind rose again and swirled around us like an evil thing intent on tormenting us, which was dark moon image_xl_6338206a very real possibility. “Susan?” I heard nothing, but saw her lips mouth my name as she reached out her hand toward me, and it was the very effort to save herself, that off-balanced her.” She screamed and teetered on the edge. We both screamed and I dived toward her with both arms flung outward, reaching, stretching as far as I could and beyond, her fingertips just brushing mine, with me raging into the wind, “no! You bring her back! She’s not yours! You fucking bring her back!” But I wasn’t fast enough. How could I not have been fast enough?” For a thousand years, no! For a million years I watched her topple slowly, endlessly off the battlement as though that instant, that instant of my own helplessness, of my own horrible guilt, that instant lived and breathed in a suspension of eternity, all of which I had to dwell on what might have been if I were only just an instant, just a fraction of an instant faster.

Then suddenly, the breath was knocked out of my lungs by a force like a freight train that hit me from behind, and I was pushed back hard toward the open door as a blur flew past me and disappeared over the battlement. I tumbled backward and hit my head against the stones hard enough to rattle my teeth and jar my brain. For a second I lay stunned, pinpoints of light flashing behind my eyes, hearing nothing but a loud ringing in my ears, and then I heard people scrambling up the stairs. Magda was at my side one minute, then at the battlement the next, Reese moved with her. At first I could make no sense of what was happening, and then a large hand reached over the stones and caught hold of Reese’s wrist and suddenly both Reese and Magda were pulling and straining and leaning so far over the battlement that I feared they’d go over too. Still half-stunned, I looked around for Michael, who was nowhere to be found. It was Talia, who offered me a hand and helped me to my feet, but her attention was on what was happening at the battlement. “Did you get her?” she called into the wind.

psyche_et_lamour_327x567And then Reese, grunting and straining, reaching so far over the battlement that my heart stopped. Then it started again, it started to race like a wild thing the instant I realized it was Michael who he heaved up onto the battlement Michael holding on for dear life with one arm while, with the other he handed the sobbing, trembling Annie into Reese’s care. “Take her, and get her out of her,” Michael’s voice carried on the wind. “I’m not safe.”

Reese hefted my friend into his arms and gave me a reassuring smile before he hurried toward the open door as Michael collapsed on the wet stone, drenched and shaking and gasping for air.

“Jesus, Michael what did you do?” I said, rushing to his side. “When I didn’t see you. I thought you’d jumped too.”

Before I could throw my arms around him, he stopped me with a raised palm. “I should have. I would have if it hadn’t been for Annie. Stay back. I told you, I’m not safe.” Then he turned to Magda. “Get her away from me. Now.”

“Michael, what are you doing? We’ll figure this out. It’ll be okay. He’s not in you now. I can feel He’s not,” I tried to fight Magda, but her grip on my arms was like iron as she turned me toward the door. “Michael,” I called over my shoulder, straining against her hold, “Don’t push me away. Michael, I can help.”

He pulled himself to his feet with an effort that looked as though it hurt him and, for a moment rose imagesthat was all too brief his gaze locked on me. “I’m sorry, Susan. I’m so, so sorry.” Then he turned his back and hunched against the battlement, shoulders rising and falling as though each breath were a desperate effort.

“What’s he going to do? What the hell is he going to do?” I fought for all I was worth, but Talia flanked me on the other side and the two women maneuvered me to the stairs. “It’ll be all right,” Talia said, but there was very little conviction in her voice. Inside she slammed the stair door behind us effectively shutting Michael on the roof. Alonso was waiting just beyond the daylight. He took me in his arms and bodily carried me, kicking and screaming down the stairs as Magda turned back to the battlement.

At the bottom of the stairs, Alonso pushed me up against the wall, pressing one forearm across my shoulders just above my breasts so I couldn’t move. With the other he took my chin in his hands and forced me to meet his gaze. “Susan, he’s not going to jump. Magda would never let him do that, and it’s hardly his way. Calm down.” The sheer force of him, prickled over my skin like electricity, and I relaxed. When he was sure I was calm enough to hear what he had to say, he smoothed the rain soaked hair out of my face and spoke. “Michael’s right. He’s not safe, as you just saw, as we all just saw, it isn’t safe for you to be with him right now, not until Magda figures out what to do.” He gave the succubus a nod and she disappeared down the hall. “Talia will bring you some dry clothes, and then she’ll stay with you until Magda can sort things out.”

“I’m not any safer than he is,” I said, fighting back a sob.

He wiped an escaped tear with the tip of a cool thumb. “Then I shall stay with you. Not that I’m exactly safe either, but I’m probably your best bet at the moment.”

Once I had changed into a dry, if rather oversized, track suit, Talia informed me that Annie was safely back in her bed, this time with stronger magic to protect her. Though I had little confidence in any form of magic after all that had happened, I still held he stone heart that Magda had made for me in a suicide grip every second that I was alone. Alonso dismissed the succubus and led me back to his study. There, he pointed me to a roll-top desk in one corner where my Mac sat. “My good sister was a writer, and a fine one, indeed.” He chuckled softly, “Of course that was long before the days of computers, but I know a writer’s mind. I know that sometimes the only way to make sense out of the chaos is to write it down, and if you are a Scribe, as Magda says, then it’s even more true for you.”

“Thank you,” I managed, as he pulled out the chair for me and settled me at the desk.

“Not at all, my darling girl. We all work out our demons in different ways.”

Right on time, Cook delivered tea and homemade shortbread.

“Allow me,” Alonso said, pouring the tea into a porcelain cup from a matching tea service that I 2015-09-04 16.16.05 HDRsuspected would have brought a fortune on Antique Road Show. As he did so, he inhaling deeply. “Though I can no longer enjoy a good cup of freshly brewed tea myself, I may still take pleasure in the scent, in the warmth and in the sharing of the experience with those who can enjoy.” He offered me a steaming cup.

I sipped and felt the heat curl down deep in my belly, where everything had turned to ice from the incident on the battlement. “What about your demons, Alonso?” I asked, as he settled onto the sofa with a battered copy of Marcus Aralias’s Meditations. “I’m sorry, I know it’s none of my business. I guess I just needed to know that I’m not the only one doing battle, though clearly you haven’t failed so miserably in you efforts as I have.”

“Oh I’ve done more than my share of failing miserably, darling girl.” He laid down the book and stroked his chin. “In the old days, anything that stood between me and what I wanted, I simply drank its blood, then killed it.” He offered a little chuckle when I shuddered. “That obviously didn’t work too well in the end, and I had to find a way to live with who I am, what I’ve done, and what I must do to survive. Talia has been a friend and companion to me for a very long time, and her help in sorting my dreams, in offering me solace has been invaluable. Of course now Reese is the delight of my heart, and wise far beyond his years. But in truth,” he shifted on the sofa and held me in a dark gaze, “it was Magda Gardener who saved me from my worst demon, and that was none other than me and my own self loathing.”

“But not without a price,” I said, tasting bitterness at the back of my throat.

He shrugged. “Everything has a price, my darling girl. It’s up to each of us to decide if it’s a price worth paying and, in my case, it’s not a price that I have ever regretted.” His chuckle was almost a purr. “Of course the woman can be a bloody nuisance at times, but I can overlook that. If she needs me, I’ll be there, and she knows it and she’s quick to return the favor.”

We sat in silence for a moment, both lost in our thoughts, me wondering how it was that, though everyone feared Magda Gardener and no one was ever particularly happy when she showed up on their doorstep, everyone always willing did for her whatever she asked of them, and they seemed to do it out of respect for her rather than fear. “May I ask you a question?” My voice sounded overly loud in the quiet room.Bernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500

“Of course.”

“Magda says it’s because you’re a vampire that the Guardian can’t get to you?”

He nodded. “He must feed on the living just as I must, so I am of no use to him.”

“And what about Reese, why haven’t you turned him into a vampire? Aren’t you afraid the Guardian might take him?”

“Oh I’ll bring Reese over if he wishes it one day. But only if I’m certain that he wishes it. There’s no undoing the deed once it’s done, and the price is a very high one, indeed, never to see the light of day, never to taste the pleasure of a good cup of tea, always to feel the insatiable hunger for blood. Always to live in fear that you might be found out, and worst of all the fear that you might hurt or even destroy the ones you love. It isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, and Reese knows this well. But you see, Reese sups regularly from my heart’s blood, and he is the lover of a vampire, my familiar. He is … polluted, if you will. Oh the Guardian could still take him, but only as a last resort.”

“And Talia? She drinks from you.”

“She’s also less vulnerable because she’s under my protection. Everyone who works in my household is … I suppose you could say … tainted by my blood. The Guardian would find that very distasteful, and of no interest as long as he has his mind set on you. Nonetheless Magda is wise to do all she can to protect what’s mine. You see, what’s mine is also hers.”St Martha's Hill 3

“So in a way you’re her familiar.”

At this, he laughed out loud, “I suppose you could say that. Though I’ve never quite though of it that way, and I’m sure she would no more approve of that parallel than would your angel.

The mention of Michael made my throat tight and the room blurred as my eyes misted. “Michael! Dear god, what he’s been through.” I laid my hand against his mark, which still stung as though I had abraded the skin somehow. “How can this be happening to him again?”

Alonso was instantly at my side offering a pristine handkerchief from his pocket. “I don’t know, my darling girl, but I do know that Magda defeated the Guardian before and brought Michael safely away from him.”

“And I released the bastard to torture him again.”

Alonso knelt in front of me and lifted my chin so I was forced to look into his bright eyes, which instantly made the world seem slightly askew before it righted itself again. “Do not you think for one moment that this is your fault. You were deceived. You were deceived!” He took my face in his hand so I couldn’t look away. “You know your heart, Susan. You must trust what you know. You’re a Scribe, for God sake! You know your own soul better than any mortal can, and I’ve been around long enough to be a very good judge of character. It’s in the nature of the Guardian to deceive. It’s what he does, and it’s in the nature of a Scribe to reveal the hidden and release it into the world, to unlock secrets. He knew that as you never could, and he took advantage. The laying of blame is always easier than facing the truth, my darling girl, and there are times when one needs an unbiased eye to lay the blame where it properly belongs. I shall be that for you, Susan Innes, if you’ll allow me the honor. I shall tell you without bias that you are not to blame for the release of the Guardian into the world. The blame for all that he’s done, all that he has ever done lays squarely at his miserable feet, and no one else’s. You must believe me in this if you or any of those you love, are to survive, and if there is to be any chance of returning this monster to his prison.”

Before I could respond, the door to the study swung open and Talia came in followed by Reese,In The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_n

and not far behind him Magda. Michael brought up the rear.

“Michael! Thank God! Are you all right?” When I tried to go to him, he glanced at Alonso and shook his
head. Alonso nodded his understanding and gently but firmly settled me back at the desk.

For a second Michael stood as though he wasn’t certain what to do next. Whatever it was that crossed his face in the split second before he regained control of his emotions both terrified me and broke my heart. Feeling me tense, the vampire’s grip tightened gently around my wrist. For a second longer, Michaels stood at the door. Then he squared his shoulders took a deep breath and pulled it shut behind him moving to take a chair on the far side of the room carefully avoiding my gaze.

“We need to talk,” Magda settled in the big wing backed chair near the fireplace. “Clearly the Guardian has forced our hand, and it’s time to end this before more damage can be done.”

© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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