Who Do You Know-Mark
She met everyone in turn over the next few days. She appeared highly tickled by and reverent of Ariel, who soaked up her admiration with grace and glee. Micala and Aeryn traded barbs like old friends. Lombardi remained wary, perhaps with good reason. She knew the story so she knew what he’d done. And he was disconcerted to meet yet another look-alike of his beloved Saje. Many of the others were fairly nervous. She kind of followed Josh around since he was a werewolf. “You remind me of Marie,” she’d told him. Mitchell had calmed down after their last talk and now slouched around in ease as we all gathered together. But there was a big problem and everyone felt it as soon as Michón came into the room flanked by Karia.
“You’re the one.” Aeryn narrowed her eyes at Karia, refusing to acknowledge the Author at all yet.
His eyes glittered as he regarded her. “Come again?” he said blandly, seating himself on a couch.
With her arms crossed she moseyed over until she stood directly in front of him. “Karia,” her voice dripped his name. “The plague.”
“I’m a virus,” he corrected without malice. His hand rose to signal Michón. Obligingly, she went to sit in his lap.
Aeryn recoiled at the sight and his response. “The universe’s only ten-stage virus. Tell me what that means. I need to fully grasp what you did to Earth,” she directed calmly despite her rage.
“I was commissioned by the god of gods, Marduk. The scientist Mik designed me. I am the only sentient virus in existence. I can adapt to any immune system, mimic any cell, and break down any body’s defenses. I can take the form of a snake, my homage to the former god of gods, Marduk. And I replicate like a motherfucker.” His smile creeped even me out. Not as if I’d ever really liked the guy, though. “I can destroy a planet in weeks, sometimes only days.”
“Why are you a vampire?” Aeryn pressed after she digested the first bit of information. I only wanted to strangle the guy. She definitely had more restraint than I did.
“What more suiting form? It is my original form. Only a vampire’s physiology and immortality could handle the complexity Mik built. He made me as a vampire so I could withstand and contain any virulent makeup. No one can drink from me without dying. I really don’t think any of you can begin to understand just what Mik has done in me. Trevor might have. But he’s no longer here.” His voice remained level but the weight in his words grew as he talked. It was true none of us had the slightest idea how he worked or even fully understood what he was. I’d seen him at work and it was frightening how efficient he was. Most of us hadn’t deeply considered the implications of what he truly represented. He wasn’t an Other, he wasn’t a god, he wasn’t even a Faerie. He was entirely new, completely unique.
“Maybe Amada can pry your secrets loose,” I was shocked to hear Aeryn suggest. My head whipped around and I stared at her. The others all looked just as alarmed. Aeryn extended her hand. “I know a little something about programming. If you’ll join me for dinner sometime I’d like to know in detail what you did to Earth’s population and why.”
He took her hand and shook it but his green eyes flashed. Deciding better of it, he turned her wrist to face upwards and laid a kiss on it. “You are the first. If I’d had a choice I’d have chosen you.”
“Chosen her for what?” Archie sputtered, unable to stay silent.
“As my master,” Karia divulged.
“I may yet be,” she said soberly.
“Oh, great. Aeryn comes to fuck up everything,” Michón mumbled.
“Author. Are you supposed to be our god? How precisely does that work?” Derision crept into Lilith’s voice.
“No,” Michón shook her head firmly. “Each universe has its own gods and demigods. I merely relay the story.”
“Why are you here? Isn’t that what everyone wants to know? You never answer.” Aeryn stared down at her fiercely.
“It’s none of your concern,” our Author drew back, weary.
“The story is beginning to focus on you, though. Is that why you let Mikassa kill the crew? All the children, too?”
“What the fuck do you know? You’ve murdered more people than I ever can. You overly ambitious-” Michón began to shake.
“Aren’t you controlling us? These are all your words, aren’t they? What kind of sick, twisted-” Aeryn interrupted.
“Do not go there. Ethics and metaphysics aren’t your strong suit, honey,” Michón’s tone was biting.
My hearts fell to my feet faster than a neutrino through matter. Everyone drew back to the corners of the room. This was not good. Aeryn bared her teeth, enraged that in her search for answers she’d finally hit a wall. Not knowing was anathema to the Unveiler. In fact, she could only fulfill her function when she received the knowledge she required. It stung me because I knew both of them but could help neither at the moment. Lilith needed info. Michón needed time. Fuck if I wouldn’t now be stuck in the damn middle! Karia tugged Michón back from Aeryn, wrenching her face toward his own. “Mica,” he urged her, “not this. Not now. We all have a common enemy. Do I need to take you away?”
“But-” she started.
He gripped her arm, not enough pressure to hurt but enough to get her full attention. “If we have to keep you separate we will. Bicker on your own time,” he said sternly.
Michón glanced at me and I nodded. “She’ll have enough problems with Mikassa. Please don’t make it worse,” I begged quietly.
She sighed, glowering at Aeryn. “You’re everything I never wanted to be,” she couldn’t resist adding.
“You will never grow if you stay so closed, “Aeryn warned, walking away for the sake of the rest of us. “Archie,” she nodded at him in surprise. “I thought you were a vampire.”
“Ah, yeah, see, er, well, I actually was sent to spy on you,” he admitted nervously.
She grinned wryly. “Relax, I won’t kill you or anything. You made me laugh,” she reasoned.
Shyly, he returned the grin. “Well, since there are no executions scheduled today what say we take advantage of Mik being cooped up and party? It’s been a long time since that great Christmas but this time we can have everyone come,” he suggested.
“I’ll get Aerick and Jerry,” I offered. Tentatively, everyone cleared space and started music playing as if Mikassa would appear at any moment and brutally murder us all. After I assured them I could sense where he was they relaxed somewhat. Lombardi pulled out his trunk full of wine and then everyone really relaxed. Jerry mostly gorged himself on food, poor guy. Aerick sat comfortably chatting with Archie. Lombardi and Josh remained pretty far away from Aeryn (who was known for punishing those who hurt others, especially if they were men). I’d been there when she’d punished Sam for his sexual crime against her. Luckily, Josh couldn’t suffer the same fate of being held tortured and bloodless for months on end but I think Lombardi could. Hell, even Stuart had strayed into dangerous territory, nearly breaking the Promise when he’d pursued Ariel on Acales (the second time we were there). Would Aeryn judge all of us, take us to task for all the ways we’d broken the Promise she’d first taken? If it weren’t for her most of us wouldn’t enjoy the immortality or longevity of demigods. True, some of us were gods in our own right yet we’d been able to corporealize in other forms instead of merely human or humanoid forms because of that Promise. My eyes met my double’s across the room and I knew we’d next talk about Earth and the first human. He must have a lot to tell me, I thought.
I noticed that the others were all staring at something and peeked around Disami. Lilith was dancing. If we’d thought watching Saje was mesmerizing we absolutely and totally weren’t prepared for Aeryn’s moves. It wasn’t merely arousing; it took over your brain and shut all your senses down. There was nothing but Lilith. I’d never been so unaware of anything else and never so completely focused as I was right then. Her eyes closed as she gyrated and flowed in expansive yet perfectly controlled arcs. Every move was masterful. And her hips…the world rode on those hips. Gravity suddenly made sense to me in a wholly new way as I watched her. In fact I could actually see particles beginning to orbit around her, forming satellites and rings. What magic is this? I wondered in shock. Her neck seemed fluid, rolling and turning at the guided signals from her center, her core. This lady surely had a golden uterus and I so badly wanted to find out if my penis could reach it, even just her cervix. She may have been barren and she may have been the mother of logmin but she was incredibly alive. Her womb was the fruit of life. The Tree of Life had reached as deeply into her as she had drank of it.
I grew dizzy as her motions became ever more intricate and complex. Eventually I had to shut my eyes for my own sense of sanity. My hearts were beating extremely fast. It dawned on me suddenly that I was lying on the floor with no idea how I’d gotten there. Didn’t matter. About ten mindigs later I could finally open my eyes. Glancing around, I saw that nearly everyone else had had fits of some type as well. Archie’s entire body was green now and he seemed to be shivering. Jerry had had a seizure. Karia appeared to be in some kind of trance. The funniest thing, though, was Razi’s reaction. She was bending Aeryn back, dipping her, and had slipped her fingers into her jeans as she licked between her breasts. Mark Ulf thankfully came to the rescue and separated them. I groaned and sat up. Aeryn, the sexy bitch, was laughing raucously at the stupid lot of us. Even Michón was shifting uncomfortably in her seat. She mumbled something then jetted from the room. From the few thoughts I managed to pick up before she left I could safely assume she was going off to masturbate in peace.
However, I wasn’t nearly as delighted when Karia followed her out. Why the fuck was he around her so much lately? I knew I had to give the others at least marginal time with her but Karia was pushing it these past few days. I was gearing up to put a stop to it when Damon grabbed my hand. “Hey, I know how much you still hate his guts, but please don’t. You’ve already irritated her enough already, don’t you think? If you cling too hard she’ll resent you,” he warned.
“It’s really fuckin hard,” I grit my teeth.
“What’s happened to you? I know you’re not normally possessive and jealous but you’re acting like a total jackass right now. It’s not fair, it’s not natural for you, and you know she fuckin hates it,” he spoke calmly but there was a flash of anger in his eyes.
“Damon…” Mentally, I reached out to him, having no defense. I’d never stopped loving him. How much time have I lost with him chasing after Stuart? How angry was he about having to raise our son on his own? I couldn’t argue with him. I was being unfair, especially to him. I gulped and made a decision. I’d give her space. For now. “Later. Not now,” I promised him, not yet ready to get into the specifics of why I’d changed.
Still, he picked up on my thoughts meant only for him. The smile on his face was sad but he nodded anyway, understanding what I intended to do. He sighed. “When’s the last time we made love?” he changed subjects.
“When Mik ordered us to,” I snorted.
“Let me grab you a drink,” he decided, back to his gay little self.
God, I love that man, I sneered, eagerly waiting for him to come back. It had been way too long.
*Karia’s point of view
“We must talk while the others are distracted,” I told Michón, following her to Mikassa’s quarters.
“Can’t you give me a damn moment first? God, I can’t remember the last time I was with a woman, what with Razi being unavailable recently. She was working on getting Aeryn here and with all the excitement she hasn’t had the time,” she gushed, shivering.
My eyes lowered to her hips, which were swaying now in her heat. I forced my eyes as far up as her back and bit my fist. Clearing my throat, I made another attempt to clear her mind. “Michón, this is important. It threatens you, me, and Mikassa. I cannot hide from Aeryn. We’re having dinner later this week.”
“Why should I care? Now that she’s here my world will crumble, anyway,” she shrugged, flashing me a withering look.
I grabbed her hand and swung her body into mine. I locked my arms around her and lifted her. “Listen to me,” I growled. “I’m serious. We have to consider the repercussions. I’ve chosen her as my master but my first loyalty is to you. You know why.”
She looked up at me, curious. “If I didn’t know any better I’d think you cared about me,” she replied, a bit suspicious. I simply glared back at her, waiting for a sign. Then I regretted picking her up as I felt her desires work through me.
Most vampires can read energy levels relating to sex and desire in order to better please their partners. Reading the other person’s interest allowed a vampire to never cross that line by doing something they didn’t want. The reason for that should be obvious but if you’re a bit slow then here it is: usually in exciting, sensual, or sexual situations people became less than articulate. Even if everything had been discussed beforehand (which sometimes failed to occur for whatever reason) when it came time for the actual moment things could change. The skill didn’t replace other forms of communication but it did help in hot and heavy situations. Being able to know exactly what the other person wanted you to do was highly useful when dealing with less articulate or shy people. But there was a downside. Like an Evanalca, a vampire found it hard to say no to physically pleasing someone who wanted it. If any part of us desired them we were almost compelled to follow through with it, no matter how inconvenient it may prove to be.
So why the hell am I explaining all this to you?
Michón’s body was crawling with sexual energy, enveloping me in her desires. And since I already wanted her I grew powerless against the tide of her need. I wouldn’t be able to tell her what my discovery was until I’d satisfied her. At the moment that was perfectly fine with me. I slid my hands down her arms and lifted her legs over my shoulders. “Whoa!” she breathed as I lifted her skirt and tore away her underwear. Balancing her weight so she didn’t fall I devoured her thighs, working my way to her core. She writhed, trying to find some way to get down but there was no escape. “We’re right in the middle of the, oh, god,” her protest turned into a moan. She began to dance into my mouth, cursing me with delicious dirty talk. “Damn you, Karia. You fuckin prick. They’ll prob’ly hear, you damn dick,” and other vitriol spilled from her as she grinded on my face.
“Oh, yes, little bitch. Let your song echo. Let Mark hear how much you enjoy my tongue,” I pulled back slightly to say.
“Fuckin jerk,” she kept on until I sucked on her clit and then her head lolled back. Powerless, I thought. I conquered her, just as I had done during every previous encounter. My higher functions slept as my senses awoke. I tortured her, making her pop no less than five times before I lowered her onto my dick to punish her some more. Stubborn girl with her one-track desires. Could she really not have waited another half hour? Placing one hand against the wall, I used my other and my hips to push deeper into her. She was screaming now despite herself, a signal for those nearby to join in the fun. Yet they wouldn’t dare. Not if I had any say. I let out an angry roar in reply, hating her for having taken advantage of one of my weaknesses. She hadn’t even had to draw images on my chest of what she wanted to do. No, she’d simply felt it so hard I’d had no choice. She got to all of us eventually, I mused. All of us fell to our knees under her gaze whenever she chose to wield it. Author’s Wiles. We all hopelessly wanted her.
And she belonged to no one.
Still, we could always pretend. I fucked her thoroughly and even though I didn’t have the body parts she liked best I managed to sate her. For the moment, I smirked, carrying her into Mik’s quarters. He was finishing up pleasuring himself and gestured to his enormous bed, meaning for me to lay her there. I set her down and went to grab a blood drink while we waited for her to recover. “She was feverish today, eh?” Mik’s purple eyes glinted with delight as he addressed me, cleaning himself off.
I sat on the floor with my legs stretched out. “I should have just poured water on her,” I shook my head, still blissing out from the feel of her on me.
He snorted and laughed. “Perhaps. It wouldn’t have been nearly as wonderful to hear,” he pointed out. “I’m sure the others will have started an orgy by now. I understand you have news.”
“Yes. That’s what I was trying to let Michón know before she decided an orgasm-or a few-were more important,” I stated dryly.
“Are you alive yet?” Mik rested his chin on two fingers and gazed at her with amusement.
“Go on. You’re going to decide what to do without me, anyway,” she huffed, pointing at my cup. It flew out of my hand and into hers. She gulped it down.
I sighed and went to make another. “Aeryn knows about the two of you. An elf named Lucian showed her the bola of your ceremony,” I informed them.
“So what?” Michón dismissed it.
“She’s right,” Mik agreed. “Aeryn can’t fully understand the consequences of naming it for all to hear. She has no idea what she’s dealing with. How much did the bola capture?”
“Not enough. It was only a glimpse of the ceremony,” I replied.
“Good. Then it means her knowledge of the event is incomplete. We’ll be fine as long as you keep your mouth shut, Karia,” he said sternly.
“I’ll do my best. I did pledge myself to her, you know.”
“I know. I don’t blame you. But fear not, my little virus. I have something in mind for them. I think it’s time they see the extent of my influence,” Mikassa’s grin was darker than Mark’s sneer.
“You’re taking them to Production?” I questioned in shock. Even I’d never been inside Production.
“I think it’ll put things in perspective. And after, I’ll
show the bitch exactly why I destroyed her precious Earth.” If anything, Mik
looked even creepier than before.