Aeryn and I talked late into the night, sharing stories. We ended up laying on the carpeted floor, which proved more comfortable than the chairs. She was brilliant and had me laughing harder than I ever had. She was a year younger than me but had been through so much. Finally a knock sounded and drew us out of our revelry. “Come in,” I called.
Riel opened the door, running a hand through his bleach blond hair as he took in the sight of us sprawled out on the floor. “Aren’t you adorable,” he cooed at us. “It’s time we got back. You promised me a go,” he reminded her.
“Damnit. I was hoping to escape. Why do you think I grabbed Jesse instead today?” she responded in a light tone.
Riel bent down over her, lifting her up and over his shoulder. “Oh, I quite enjoyed it. It only made me want you more. You won’t get away so easily,” he teased her.
I cracked up at their banter. He may be an intense lover but he was also one man she could place complete trust in. He was the most well-balanced of her inner circle as far as males went. Aeryn beat him on the back, squirming to get down. “I’ll cut you into pieces, mister. I refuse to go to your bed tonight!” she swore.
“Who said anything about a bed?” Riel scoffed, turning around to carry her out. “Thanks for a lovely evening, Ani. We probably won’t see you tomorrow. You guys will want to avoid the trail. Aeryn and I will be outside under the stars like the good Lord intended,” he informed me.
“Wait, do you mean tonight or tomorrow?” I inquired.
“Both. Tomorrow night as well. Should be done by then. Next time I see you I’ll explain what a Sex God is.” He winked at me and shut my door behind him.
I was a bit terrified of trying to piece that one together. I flipped on a movie to take my mind off of it and climbed under my covers. What an interesting day, I thought. We all woke up late the next morning and decided to stay in. Davis and I worked a little on our list of the realms and he marked off the ones he’d visited. We plotted out which ones we’d like to visit first. He handed me a book of spells to study and then went to grab his guitar. He wrote his own music but I hadn’t gotten to see him play yet. I hoped I would be able to soon. Funnily enough, he seemed to be a bit shy about performing. Stan, Areillo, and Cal were playing poker. Ashley was painting her nails and looking over her data on DNA and rNA. Jack and Jesse sat in the living room with me, watching a movie as I read. After I noticed I had read the same sentence four times in a row I closed the book and curled into Jack’s side. He put his arm around me and rubbed my arm. Nice and warm. I almost purred. “Feeling better than yesterday?” I asked.
“Much better,” he replied happily. “And Jesse told me your idea. I think it’s great.”
“Cool. I’d like to see you that blazed again but I’d like it to be directed at me.”
“Not a problem, little ma’am,” he whispered. “I’m already a bit hot over you right now.”
“Hey now. Don’t get started yet,” Jesse fake-scolded us.
“You’re not in charge, Jesse.” I stuck my tongue out at him.
He leaned over and kissed the inside of my palm. “What about now?” he pleaded.
“What does that mean? I swear Riel and Aeryn were talking without saying a word or reading each other’s minds yesterday.”
“Aeryn taught me a little. Touch is a whole other language to vampires. Each brush, caress, kiss, and even kick or punch has meaning engraved in it. And there’s no debate about definitions, like it is among the rest of us. Even the way their lips move or the amount of pressure they apply is full of messages. Most of them surrounding domination, obeisance, and even sexual acts. A kiss on the back of the hand is a greeting or a flirt. A kiss on the wrist shows deference or remorse. It’s basically them begging for mercy. The further up your arm they go, the closer they want to be to you.” He demonstrated as he talked, laying kisses up my arm. I had a feeling this was how Aeryn had taught it to him. When he reached my shoulder he breathed into my neck. “And of course kisses on the neck demonstrate the desire to drink. But the naughtier kinds of kisses…” He lifted my arm and kissed the inside of my elbow. “That means I want to be inside you. More pressure means rough, gentle pressure means making love, tongue means kinky. Which kink will have to be agreed upon, naturally. There are, like, thousands of kinks. Anyway, but this kiss,” he gently kissed my palm once more, “stands for a very specific act. This isn’t even getting into what a vampire does with their hands, mind you. I’ll get to that momentarily. The kiss on the palm…” He slipped his hand into my lap and over my crotch.
I jerked back into Jack, who was beginning to breathe harder as his brother and I grew excited. “Jesse,” I breathed.
“It means fingers, or even hand, inside-depending on the pressure. Remember, the lick Riel added before the kiss? That means…” Jesse’s head began to lower into my lap.
I jumped onto Jack, heart racing like a rabbit’s. “I think I can guess,” I said sharply.
Jesse and Jack chuckled identically. “I’m not finished yet, Ani,” Jesse continued. “A finger down the back either means they want to see it or they want you on top. It’s a matter of pressure with that. And the chest; now that’s where it can get really interesting. There are all sorts of shapes and letters and gestures they can draw or combine to let you know, in detail, what they want to do to you or what they’d like you to do for them. It’s primarily a scaroth thing but all vamps do it to some extent.” Jesse’s fingers danced up and down my back and I squirmed some. “There’s a lot more to learn. I’d very much enjoy teaching you as she teaches me.”
“I bet,” I sucked in a breath. “Blubbering balloons, you get me going. Go splash water on your face. I swear you’re going to get it later,” I berated him, feeling Jack’s tip prodding me. I could safely assume he also liked the idea of tactile communication on sexual matters, especially with me.
Jesse shot me an evil smile, kissed my forehead, and did as I instructed. Jack took a few deep breaths and set me back down on the couch. “That brother of mine… Don’t worry, we’ll get him back good,” he promised.
“We’d better. I hope Davis has practice with ropes,” I mumbled.
“You are so evil,” Jack declared.
“You crazy boys bring it out in me,” I reasoned.
“What did I miss?” Evin pouted, appearing in back of the couch.
“Nothing,” both Jack and I feigned innocence.
“I’m not entirely sure I believe you.” He eyed us with suspicion before sitting on my other side.
“So don’t. But I’m not telling.”
“Yeah. You’ll find out later,” Jack jumped on the bandwagon.
Evin pretended to grumble a bit but settled down for the remainder of the film. Jesse returned, appearing rather refreshed. After the movie the lot of us moved to the kitchen to whip up dinner. Everyone gathered to eat. Most of the conversation centered around Aeryn and Riel. I think all of us were quite taken with them. “I’m so very glad to know your family. Your lives are about to become so much richer,” Areillo told us.
“Stick around and you’re definitely welcome to be part of it,” I mentioned.
“As long as Stan will have me,” he agreed, lifting his cup in a toast.
We all returned it and took up various after-dinner activities. I did some floor exercises and gymnastics routines on my floor. I didn’t want to get rusty. Evin sat cross-legged on my bed applauding and cheering me on. “You’re so flexible, Ani,” he praised me with a glint in his blue eyes.
“Yeah, yeah. Don’t even start,” I shushed him.
He disappeared and reappeared right in front of me. “Why not? It’s fantastic. Come; lay down with me. Let me hold you.” He pulled me into him and fell back on the mattress. “This will have to be enough,” he sighed.
“One day, Evin. I swear it. Uh, but there are still some things we can do,” I pointed out, wrapping my arms around him.
“Quoi?” he inquired. “Mm, what did you have in mind?” He lifted me over his face and kissed my belly.
“I didn’t mean right this moment, Evin!” I scolded. “I just mean in general. There are many things we can do together besides, ah, penetration.”
“Mm, I believe there are quite a few things I can penetrate you with, cherie.” That devilish smile came through more clearly.
“I kind of walked into that one so I won’t kick your ass,” I said grudgingly.
His blue eyes twinkled. “Whenever you’re ready let me know. I look forward to it. But I’d like to search the archives again in search of more information on this matter. There aren’t many ghosts as corporeally-capable as I am so it’s rare to find tales or spells on us.” He grew a little sad at the idea.
“Maybe try referencing incubi and succubi. I know you’re not one but there are all sorts of sexually-based demons out there, yeah? Perhaps there’s some crossover. Every culture has its spirits,” I suggested.
“You callin’ me an incubus or a demon?” he wondered, amused.
“No, silly. But you may have more in common with phantoms or other kinds of spirits than plain old ghosts. At the very least you can take your lead from them. Um, but in a non-forceful way,” I laughed in an embarrassed manner. “Obviously, what we’re doing is consensual so I don’t really need to tell you not to be stupid.”
“Silence, Aniella. I hear you loud and clear. I’ll see what I can find. Thank you for the suggestions.” He perked up.
“It’s what I’m here for. I want to make your undead life grand and comfy.” I kissed his eyebrows and he closed his eyes for a few seconds. “Good luck, Evin.”
“Good night. I’ll probably see you in the morning.” He set me down before vanishing.
I leaned over to set my alarm bird (which was of a much better temperament than my crazy one back at home) when I noticed my pager flashing with a World News update. I gulped. With trembling hands I activated the recorded video. World News updates were never good. The video played. There was no talking; there was only music and text. A series of numbers flashed by; a tally. My vision blurred as tears burst forth. One million. Dropping my pager, I furiously wiped my tears away as I tried to get dressed. Stumbling into the hallway, I made my way clumsily to the stairs. Ashley and Cal were already on the next landing. Davis, Jesse, and Jack came up behind me. Jack stopped me and Jesse knelt down in front of me. I fell forward onto his back and he lifted me. Davis caught up to Ashley and Cal to extend an arm around his sister. In silence we all descended to the bottom floor where Areillo and Stan were waiting. We all huddled together in the living room, sitting in a circle on the floor. We all joined hands and bowed our heads.
We sat like that for about twenty minutes and then Davis began to sing. It was a song of sorrow and longing. One by one the rest of us joined in. We sang louder and louder, eventually getting to our feet and practically screaming it to the rafters. When we finished the song nearly everyone sat back down. “The Hunters are back. How did they get so many supporters behind them?” Davis spoke first, with so much sorrow. “That was the last Djinn colony left.”
“It may be that the Hunters realized the vampires are about to strike back,” Ashley brainstormed.
“They’re more monstrous than any creature I’ve ever heard of,” Cal stated darkly.
“Has anyone called Nathan, Jonas, and Paul?” Areillo wondered.
“I’ll do that now. Maybe we should all stay in one cabin,” Jack figured.
“What about Aeryn and Riel? They don’t have pagers,” Jesse brought up.
“I know where they are. I’ll find them,” I offered.
“Alone?” Stan asked.
“I’ll be okay. I’ve got powers, remember? And I doubt anyone will be concerned about this rural place. Besides, I could use some fresh air. Whip up some tea, eh, brother?” I pleaded.
“Be careful. Davis, you keep a mental link going with her while the rest of us contact family and friends,” Stan laid out.
I bundled up, slipped my pager into my pocket, and headed out into the woods. I glanced up at the sky every few minutes, wishing that the world was better. I sniffled every now and then, wiping away stray tears. I had to focus. I set my eyes to zoom in, unmuted my ears, and listened with my mind for signs of Aeryn and Riel. That’s all that mattered right now. I tuned everything else out. I heard the telltale moans of copulation some miles out. My feet changed direction and I made my way over. I came upon them in a clearing. Their bodies were sparkling in the moonlight. Luminous. They glowed. I stopped short, lost in the beautiful sight of their dance under the stars. Riel hadn’t been lying. They had a cooler filled with enough blood to last them two or three days. I’m sure they could feed on each other as well but if he’d really kept her going nonstop for two days she’d needed another energy source. She was sort of crawling away from him and he was chasing her. His limbs were much longer than hers so he caught her easily. His hands would run over her and he’d kiss her back and tug her body back into his own and start pumping away. They did this a number of times before she complained verbally. “It’s been almost 30 hours, Riel. Are we almost done?” she sighed, rolling over and putting her arms around his neck. Even though she was complaining she was tugging him closer.
Her body rolled as his fingers trailed down her back. She was magnificent. They both were. She was sensuous and voluptuous and he was toned and lean. And the way they moved. It was as if every molecule was completely in accord between them and the space around them. The moonlight seemed to bend around them like a blanket. They were creating love and passion and beauty and it was overwhelming and uplifting. I found myself seated by a tree simply watching those perfect forms combine intricately and delicately. My fingers tingled and I dug them into the earth to ground myself. As Riel kissed down her neck and bit her, Aeryn’s head fell back and she gazed at me. I didn’t feel nervous or ashamed to be caught being a voyeur. They’d prob’ly sensed me long before I’d seen them. But they weren’t bothered by my presence and I wasn’t bothered by their amorous display. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Aeryn’s hand extended gracefully behind her. I went forward and held it. Riel glanced up at me as he drank, those green eyes full of devious intent.
“Nice of you to join us,” he pulled back to say. One of his long arms wrapped around me and he pulled me against him. “Did you want to-”
“Riel, stop teasing. She has something important to tell us,” Aeryn tsked.
I loved being so close to them, feeling and smelling their skin. I was in the middle of a glorious sandwich and I was a bit surprised that their nudity didn’t bother me. Aeryn’s lack of bashfulness fed my own confidence. If she could be fearlessly free then so could I. But I had to remember why I was here. Aeryn was right; this was no time to play. “Aeryn, Riel, there’s been an attack. I suggest you stay in the cabin with us for the remainder of your trip. One million people are dead or missing in action,” I shared, my heart breaking all over again.
I felt Aeryn’s anger growing. “Who? And where?”
“Davis believes it was the Hunters. The media says only humans were harmed but that’s because they don’t know about Others. Aeryn, I think all of the Djinn are dead. Davis said they had a colony in Australia. The woman Evin loved…she was Djinn. There were no survivors.”