Mask of the Master
Home sounded really good to her and as she shifted place to inside her house in San Francisco she found herself standing face to face with Nomadi. Casually he stated.
“I felt you coming and wanted to welcome you home. Welcome home.” Not a second went by before she said.
“No you didn’t. You just wanted to get a look around and I’d bet real money you’ve already been in my panty drawer.” Smiling, he took a step towards her, she stepped back. He stepped forward. Their close proximity made it awkward and she felt like she was going to stumble backwards. He reached to slide his arm around her waist, the palm of his hand stopped at the small of her back as he braced her, or maybe to keep her from getting away.
He was smiling his ‘sweet danger’ smile. It wasn’t enough… she didn’t like surprises… especially this one.
Still grinning his ‘look at me I’m cute’ grin, he asked. “You have a whole drawer for your panties. I’d like to see that.” She shoved at his chest. He went nowhere.
“What are you doing in my home? And get your hands off me and back the hell up.”
“I’ve missed you. We had a date, you stood me up.” He moved in to kiss her, she ducked it.
“Stop it and I said get off me.” She was reaching for the blade in her boot but when her hand arrived at where it was held… it was gone. Nomadi held it up.
“Looking for this? You didn’t think to hurt me did you Kess? You would never hurt me Kess.”
The last of his words were spoken in a whispered haze. She felt the words wash over her as her eyes suddenly felt sleepy, her body pliable. What he was doing didn’t get past her. Engaging a trick her mother had taught her, she willed her fingernail to grow, they obeyed. She smiled at him right before she shoved them under his rib cage.
“Baby I live to hurt you. Now get off me before I make you bar-b-que.” With a pained smile he let go, his arms in the position of Dai-am-prue… ‘Truce…I come in peace…No harm intended.’ He began to move back carefully off her fingernails that were now about three inches long and tucked neatly under his ribs. Ouch! Pouting he said.
“It would have been a bit more hospitable if you have just rearranged your words. I would have been happy to comply.” She thought about for a second. ‘Get off me…’
Oh yeah, right. Like that’s going to happen. Still she didn’t dare look him in the eyes because she already knew the affect he could have on her. These guys… the Diabolicon, they were all sexy poison, and certainly more addictive than any Sulkar.
“Don’t flatter yourself. You will never get that lucky.” He knew better. She had gotten a good whiff of his Diabolicon pheromones and he already knew she wanted him…bad. But the chase was so much more fun. Smiling, he decided to bait her, so he asked.
“How could you have forgotten our night together? If I remember correctly I got you off several times. And why did you abandon me? We had plans for today. I was going to take you to my secret hide-away. You promised me you would show me your panties again.” He had to bite his lip to keep from roaring with laughter. For a fraction of a second a moment in time flashed through her mind. A moment of passion as she had clung to him as he had gone wild on her body in a way she had never experienced and then… the image was gone. She knew these guys were capable of casting illusion and more. She had to rely on what she had known once the Witching Moon had been over… they had danced… that was all. Nothing more. Sticking with her memory of what had really taken place, she said.
“I never promised you any such thing. We never slept together and you are only saying that to distract me from the fact that you are in my house … Uninvited! Not to mention that you weaved a trance spell around me and kept me dancing for two days and away from my date, with whom I wanted to spend that time.” Oh well, he had to try. Shrugging it off he said. “He is no good. I saw his plan to steal you. It wasn’t pretty. He had planned to drug and rape you, as well, to keep you prisoner to hurt your father. This is criminal and disrespectful, not to mention just plain rude.” He tried to look serious but was having a hard time keeping from smiling. She took the bait each time.
Glancing to his shirt she saw the blood. Damn. Now she felt bad. He was right; Fallon might have gone through with his plan if Nomadi hadn’t snagged her away from the situation at hand. Things might have unfolded very differently. And with all her heart she hated to admit it, she did like this mischievous, sneaky little bastard… ok, not so little. She felt herself almost swoon when she remembered how they had danced together and how he had kept pulling her tight to him and against his erection which was hard and large and absolutely glorious. Wow… it had been a while since she had had sex and it was starting to wear on her. And to make matters worse she had two deadly gorgeous guys that she would not mind at all tumbling but for reasons of politics or diplomacy she hadn’t slept with either. Well… she had almost slept with Fallon but he was the one that had pulled back. Guilt no doubt.
“Nomadi, just tell me why you are here. What do you really want with me? Do you want to know what my father has planned regarding your people? Because if that is it, I can honestly tell you that I do not know. And it is my brother Meisha you should be asking because he the one that has jurisdiction over Earth.”
She moved to walk away. He followed, repeating as he walked behind her. “Jurisdiction over Earth. Jurisdiction over Earth… Humm, that is a big task, who in their right mind would want this job? It is not the way I would wish to live my life.” She arrived at the bathroom where she pulled out a washcloth, some hydrogen peroxide and a box of extra-large Band-Aids. Perfunctorily she said. “Open.” His hand made a pass over his chest and his shirt fell open. Kess looked to see that the wound had already healed. Shaking her head she said.
“Of course. It’s been a long week. I need a drink.” She should have known that demons of this level would be self-healing, just like her bloodline. Walking to the kitchen she pulled out the Absinthe… the really good stuff, French in origin. Pouring herself a drink she heard him ask.
“Is that spirits? Are you going to ask me to join you?” Remembering how much fun she had had with him at the Celebration of the Witching Moon she actually wanted him to stay. She could use a little levity right now. Pouring him an extra-large, her fingertips pushed it over to him. Picking it up he took a small sip and rolled it around in his mouth.
“This is too sweet to go well with a Cohiba. Would you like to share one with me anyway?” Picking up her drink she began to make her way to the stairway, she said. “If you’ve got it, light it.” When she entered her bedroom she sat for just a moment to pull off her boots and her pants. She decided to torture him and change her underwear. Keeping her back to him she could feel his eyes on her backside as she slipped into fresh panties, leaving her once again in panties and a tee top. Her favorite choice of underwear was a simple white cotton panty that dipped just below her belly button and fit tightly, no frills, no seductive contrivance of lace or ruffles and definitely no thongs. Her favorite tee shirt… short sleeves, scoop neck.
Opening the balcony doors, she moved immediately to the lounge chair to plop down. She didn’t even have to look to know that he had followed her. Slowly she savored the taste of sweet licorice and wormwood. Keeping her eyes closed for just a moment she thought about the past few days and what was happening on Renaj. Geez, she hated Renaj. It was so oppressive and ugly. It was no wonder that Fallon was so on edge all the time. She felt sorry for him… bad for him.
What had happened with Boo was a stunner. To shift into a place and see a little girl sitting on top a giant of a man as she sliced deeper and deeper into the neck of his already dead and ruined body, but only after she had torn out his jugular vein with her teeth and stabbed his thirty sum odd times was the freak show of the decade. It was no wonder Fallon was so protective of her. If she were released here on earth in her state of mind she would be the mother of all serial killers. Scary.
She heard Nomadi say. “Whoa… who is that? It looks like she didn’t like him very much? Doesn’t she know that once you kill someone you walk away? What is with all the macabre? And you call me a demon.” He sounded almost indignant as he took the seat beside her. Nomadi handed her the cigar. She took it and spoke bluntly. “A Nimm caught in the illusion.”
“This seldom happened in my time as Ohmsu-quion. It was not allowed to terrorize the queen’s own people. The king loved to do this but the queens’ punishment for it was so harsh that it just wasn’t worth the bother. Why doesn’t someone just walk her back out?” Kess was blocking her mind to him… at least she hoped she was blocking her mind to him.
He had just suggested that there was a cure for the illusion. Nomadi’s eyes were drawn to Kess as she sucked the smoke into her mouth and now her head was tipped back, her mouth open as the smoke lingered in the wet dark place he wished to taste. He watched as her tongue caressed it, tasting it. He felt himself getting hard and thought about how that sexy pink tongue would feel on him…on his…
Hungry eyes roamed her scantily clad body. Glancing to see, blowing away the smoke she said. “Pretend it’s a bathing suit.” Then casually asked.
“Walk her back out. How do you do that? Is that an old wives cure.” She threw in the last comment so that he would be occupied with defending his method and not bargaining for it.
“I would be happy to do this for you. It will be my gift to you.” Damn. She was hoping that he would elaborate.
“Trust me when I tell you, you don’t want to go to this place. It is not the kind of place you want to spend any time in.” Nomadi had walked to the balcony railing to look out over her view of Telegraph Hill.
“I didn’t want to spend a million years in battle or in darkness freezing my ass off while starving either. So yes, I do know what you mean.” This too was a subject of interest to her.
“Yeah, what was that about? How’d that happen or why did that happen. Did you piss someone off?”
“Not me. I was just standing there. My brother was the one that pissed off the king. He never did play well with others.” Nomadi chuckled. Kess noticed that he was picking up on modern day vernacular very well. He had turned and was watching her again. Her long dark brown hair fell to the seat of the lounge chair, her lithe tanned body teasing his sensibilities. He asked.
“Do I get to be in my underwear as well?” Her first instinct was to be sarcastic while reminding him that he had never even been invited but she wanted the company and she could use a little of his light hearted playfulness. Not to mention that she like the playful verbal sparring. She said.
“Instead of underwear, plaid Bermuda shorts.” With a casual gesture of his hand he stood in what she had required. Recognizing immediately that she had made a mistake she added. “And a parka.”
The last thing she needed was to be more turned on than she already was with no relief in sight. Even with all of her subtle and not so subtle efforts she hadn’t been able to get Fallon to make love to her which came as a real stunner and now she was with this Super Nova hot demon and she couldn’t get in bed with him or her soul would be damned forever and she knew it. He eyed her curiously before saying.
“I would never take your soul Kess. You are unique from any woman that I have ever met and I wish to experience this. But I am not putting on a parka.” Sitting down in the lounge chair next to her he began.
“To help your friend from the illusion she must be put back in this situation that made her and she must take the brave and appropriate steps to finish what brought her to it. It must be real. Whatever traumatized her must present itself once again… not as an illusion but in real and tangible life. And she must finish it.” This, Kess could understand. It was, put simply, facing her demons. She was nodding, hogging the cigar.
Nomadi finish the drink she had poured him and had reached into the ethers and had withdrawn another bottle. The liquid was amber in color. He poured himself a drink from it and held it out to her… an offering, and then sat it on the ground between them… no pressure. He asked.
“Now answer one for me. Why do you want Lord Fallon? What does he have that I do not?”
“Well, for one, he is my harmonic frequency which means that we are mega compatible not to mention I really like him. He is selfless and has worked long and hard to save an entire world. He needs me and he is sexy as hell.” Nomadi responded with a quick smile.
“I too am sexy as hell.”
“Yes… Hell being the operative word here.” He swung his long legs over and moved to sit on the side of the lounge chair. Leaning forward he asked.
“What is it that you think that you know about us Kess?” Her eyes wondered over his body as she momentarily indulged in some wishful lusty imagery. She didn’t care if he saw because he already knew. She said.
“I wasn’t the one that did the research. It was Jazadeem, our Chief Justice. The ancient texts said you were the demon horde of the Dark King of the Siddhe Court. He was a diabolical ruler and enjoyed inflicting pain and suffering on people for fun. It said that he was evil and twisted and you were the ones to carry out his evil deeds. There was more. There was a story about you being trapped by the witches of the Necron inside the Temporal Rift because you killed the queen of the court of light but it didn’t say what happened to the king. Do you know?”
“We had already been swallowed by the rift. We never knew what became of him. We have heard this story as well but we were the monsters your legends made us out to be. But there is more to this story. Maybe someday I will speak it to you.” Kess really wanted to hear this but by asking to hear it he might just put a price on it, so she casually stated.
“Well, I’m exhausted and not going anywhere so this is your chance. You have a captive audience.” She reached to the ground to pick up whatever it was he had pulled from the ether and poured herself a glass. A show of good faith. He held his glass out so that she could top it off. After taking a large swallow, he began.
“Eden was our world and she was beautiful, even more beautiful than she is today. The supernatural lived all around us and was seen by everyone. Many, of both human kind and of strange kind visited our world to trade with us. They came from far away OtherWorlds brought here by the portals and the Wyrdings in space.
The aqua-mere swam the oceans and lakes and dragons of sweet and of ferocious natures lived among us. To ride the dragons was to be free of the bonds of reality, so high as to make one dizzy.” Kess watched his face covertly as he spoke. His eyes looked as if he were actually seeing the things that he spoke of. He continued.
“The forests were unlike anything you have today, their abundance so much more and strange. I loved human kind. Sex was better with them than any other. We were able to feel through them, feel their emotions and their reactions.” His smile was melancholy as he continued.
“Our queen was beautiful. Just to look upon her was to fall in love with her. Her people adored her because she worked very diligently to keep them safe from the king. He had made his evil deeds into a game. If she won, the people or person was safe from his plague, but if she lost, he would have his way.
He loved to exert his power over people by making them fearful. Cat and mouse games were what he enjoyed most. Twisting people’s lives and watching to see how they would react, how they would handle themselves and what they would do was also enjoyed by him. He enjoyed watching people, studying them, creating situations that tested people. But he always had ulterior motives. He wished for people to behave as he predicted. When they didn’t, he would twist their lives. He enjoyed watching cruelty, mayhem… things of a dark nature. It was as if he were studying it. We too were his puppets.” He reached to take the Cohiba from Kess and for a moment savored the taste on his palette. Holding it out, looking to it he said.
“We did not have this in my time here on Eden. We smoked from glass with water to make the smoke settle into our tongues more easily.” She glanced to look at him. Long strong tan legs wore plaid Bermuda shorts with style. He had cut his hair to a short cropped doo. It suited him and actually, she liked it better than the long fall of hair. Bare chested, his muscled pecs teased her sensibilities. She wondered just what kind of atrocities he had committed. Were they forgivable? It was just so very long ago. Had he changed? Had they changed? She casually commented. “We call them bongs, they‘re still around.” He handed the cigar back to her and asked.
“Are you hungry? I am starved. Would you like to eat in or out?” It didn’t pass her by that he had extended their time together with the assumption that they would be eating dinner together. Allowing it to slip by in hopes he would continue his story she said.
“In.” Adding quickly.
“I can call for Pizza. Don’t reach into the netherworlds and grab something. What is that by the way? Where does that lead and how do you do it?” Smiling at her, he thought that if she kept asking questions he just might be there all night. Wouldn’t that be nice? He stood to walk back in to her bedroom and grabbed the phone. As he handed it to her he said. “Don’t forget dessert.”
“Ah, a man with a sweet tooth.” …she had no idea. Smiling at her as he waited for her to place their order he turned the lounge chair to sit facing her and pulled it up next to her before sitting back down. She wanted to keep him talking. The more information the better. She said. “Okay. Done. So… you were saying.” Now sitting close and facing her, he continued.
“The king sent us to the outlands to do his worst. This way it would take a while to get back to the queen. He divided us, we, the Diabolicon so that the people would believe that evil tormented them and then he would send us after ourselves to drive away the evil thereby making a good show of it. People believed that he was protecting them when really he had been the perpetrator. Still, many knew his heart and what evil he was capable of. Much of what he did was for show. Many of the people saw him as strong but unforgiving and were afraid of him. He made a habit of making examples of people to instill fear and force allegiance.
Then, for a while, he would let the good times roll and when everyone was happy and believing that they were safe and prospering he would rip apart their illusion, much like your governments of today, only he was partial to complete upheaval and he would never think to share his rule with another. He viewed the queen as simply lucky in her endeavors to undo his evil deeds.” He stopped to take a puff on the Cohiba and a swallow of the liquor before saying.
“I like you Kess. Things changed for us and I am hoping that it makes a difference to you. I will not pretend that I was just a pawn of my king or a solider in his army. We were evil. There is no question about this… no doubt about this. I have committed the worst of atrocities and I have laughed at it as if it were nothing. Our bloodline was conjured from the very depths of hell. There was nothing more evil. But as I said, things changed for us.” He paused to look up into the sky and watched it for several long moments as if remembering. Then he began again.
“The king gave forty-eight of us to the queen as a gift. He said that we were to keep her safe from anyone or anything that wished to harm her. Forty-eight of his best warriors, all from the House of the Ohmsu-quion, were sent to spy on her and to see to it that she would interfere no more with his plans.
But the queen knew what he was doing and decided to use us as her force for good. But first she had to change us. It was in our nature to be evil, but she had a weapon against us. One in which there was no returning from. She was the highest of light of Seelie Fae and her touch was like poison to us. When she would touch us we would feel every evil we had inflicted. We would feel the agony, the pain and suffering as if it were our own, which it became. Every slice of our blades, every taking of a husband or child… Mother, father or woman became the fabric from which we were remade.
She taught us that might of sword and of magic used unfairly on those with no defense against it was cowardly and that the real test of strength was…” The doorbell rang. It caused Kess to jerk, startling her back into reality. She had been inside his head as he had told his story and she had seen and felt both his evil and his resurrection and it had affected her. Moving quickly to stand she said.
“I’ll get it. I’ll be right back.” She shifted to the front hall and collected the pizza. For a moment she was glad that the delivery man had broken the spell that had been woven around her with the telling of his story. It was heavy and it hurt. But it was imperative she hear it all.
She knew it was one of two things; this was the story that the Diabolicon wanted them to believe or this was the true story, but either way, it was insight. Taking a moment to lean against the wall and steady her legs, she had been total consumed by what he had been recounting and he hadn’t even gotten to the good part, what she had heard was a prelude to something. In the moment of his prologue to the life of the Diabolicon she could have sworn that she was witnessing it as it happened. Taking a deep breath she shifted back to the balcony where he waited.
She paused momentarily at what she saw. He had moved back the lounge chairs and had set the table with a linen tablecloth and napkins, china and candles. Little Christmas lights were strung like a canopy over her entire deck and he had lit the firewell. There were several plants sitting around in pots that weren’t there before. A sweet smelling grass cloth area rug adorned the better part of the deck. All in all she loved it. It was the way she saw it in her head when she had first bought the place but just hadn’t gotten around to fixing it up. He had changed his clothes to a fashion that looked to her Pakistani in fashion only the cloth was lighter and dark blue in color. She suddenly felt underdressed. Slowly she said.
“Okay. This goes well with pizza.” As she had spoken he had poured them each a glass of red wine. She didn’t need two guesses as to where he got all this stuff.
Handing him the boxes she ducked back into her bedroom where she pulled a short retro shift dress out of her closet and changed quickly. Before stepping back out onto the deck she put on lip gloss and a dab of her favorite scented body oil. It felt awkward. It felt like a date and she really didn’t want to go there… but she did… go there.
When she stepped out onto the deck he was holding the chair out for her. A strange electric chill ran through her body and when they accidentally brushed hands, it sparked. She pretended not to notice, he pretended not to smile. He also pretended not to notice she had adorned her lips and scented her body… a signal she was interested in him. But of course he was Diabolicon, who wouldn’t be?
Once sitting down, everything suddenly felt good. She also noticed that the deck had been wet down before the grass cloth carpet was laid cooling things off and bringing out the scent of the wisteria that wound its way up to the deck from the downstairs yard. The sun was just a half hour from setting and dusk had begun to overtake the day.
For just the briefest of moments her mind wondered to her father and how the drone war was going, how Fallon was dealing with little sister and how everything was about to change on Renaj. She wondered what would happen with the Physician and of course, the League. Without conscience thought she had already taken a large gulp of the red wine, which was delicious by the way, before she noticed that he had been waiting for her mind to return to the moment. Smiling, he held up his glass to make a toast. He said.
“To new beginnings. May they lead us to the light.” He clinked her glass and took a swallow, then said.
“This wine is glorious and the pizza smells wonderful.” He paused for a moment to assess her then said.
“And I could ask for no better company, a beautiful woman of grace, beauty and intelligence.” Eyeing him suspiciously, it was hard to keep from smiling back. He really knew how to play the game. She asked.
“Are you going to finish your story?
“To make a long story short, my brother fell in love with our queen and she fell in love with him. He had just discovered that she was with child, his child, and was overjoyed and deeply concern about how the king would retaliate.
He retaliated by killing the queen and blaming it on my brother. It began a vicious bloody war and needless to say that at the height of this war, the temporal rift was sent to swallow us for all time.”
“So you were locked inside the temporal rift for a million years. Did you resolve the war? Did you know what had happened to you… that you were inside the rift?”
“No. We knew nothing. The king had cursed us to re-live the same day over and over until the end of time. It wasn’t enough to kill our queen, he wanted my brother to live her death every day of his immortal life. I cannot image what it is to hold the woman you love in your arms and watch her die. It was the cruelest of punishments for something that could not have been stopped.
The king had cast a memory spell to make certain that it happened the way he wished it. He also cursed us to be forever cold, forever hungry and to be drinkers of blood. A little over four hundred years ago the memory spell began to fade and only then did we realize what had happened. At that time we simply stopped showing up for the game. It took another short while for us to discover we were inside a rift. When we discovered this we began to look for a way out.” Kess asked.
“I wasn’t there when you were released but my father said that your escape was aided by a witch.”
“Yes a witch assisted us, a Sula-elu… it meanings, Seelie High-Fae, born of the Dragon. We owe her our lives.”
“According to my brother, who was also there, she is really very good at her craft.”
She was hoping that he would elaborate. He did not. She probed another question.
“You said the king gave the queen forty-eight of you guys….how many are there? How many Diabolicon?”
“There were 200 in the army of the fallen… The Diabolicon. So we still have 152 to deal with should they ever find their way out. They are not reborn, they are the real thing. All horror and gore. We are tired of fighting. We need to find a way to close the rift, soon. Other things have been leaking out but this is really just a pest problem. The real ugliness has not found its way here yet. However, there were many that were innocent that were swallowed by the rift that do not belong in this madness. It would be nice if we could help a few of the ones that have kept with the ways of their queen to escape this place. ”
“Was time stopped for them as well? Did they live in this feedback loop or did they progress as generational?”
“They are incarnates. The feedback loop, as you put it, only affected us. When the others grow old and passed away there was nowhere for their souls to go. They could not move on to new life circumstance. So they were reborn over and over inside the rift. Many understand fully what has happened to them. Still this is an ugly place and surely there must be a way to help a few of them.”
“Do you think that you might be able to persuade that witch to help you?” Cleaver. Kess wanted all the names of the usual suspects. He wasn’t going to oblige her. Ithaca liked her privacy and had managed to keep her life private for almost three hundred years.
“Possibly, if we are able to locate her. She came and went but if we find her maybe we will find her price.”
“What was her price to help you get out of the rift??”
“My brother had a book in his possession, given to him by the queen to keep safe. The witch wished to have it. It belonged to her people so my brother was happy to oblige as this was the queens intention for it. It worked out for both of us. The Seelie were able to get their Quinone-axiom back and we got our freedom. The Quinone-axiom is like a book of shadows, a Grimoire. It was the queens’ personal accounts. In the royal line of Seelie Fae these treasures are passed down from Sula-elu to Sula-elu.” Nomadi reached to pour them both another glass of wine.
“We were warned by the witch not to go back to the rift for any reason. She spoke that we may have created ghosts that could try to inhabit us. I am tired of fighting and I like the light. I do not wish to go back to this place. I like food as well.” He smiled right before he took another bite of the pizza.
“So the curse to drink blood to survive was broken when you got out of the rift?”
“Among other things. But to drink blood is a personal choice. The witch that helped us told us that the king betrayed the witches of the necron. He tried to double cross them. It was written that the witches stripped him of all of his powers and that he was banished to walk for eternity in the shadow world. This made us quite happy.” He reached to take her hand. She stiffening slightly and he knew that she was on guard, preparing herself for whatever he might do. Leaning forward to place a small quick kiss on her hand he said.
“Thank you for tonight and dinner. It has been a while since I sat in simple conversation with anyone but my brothers and cousins.” He released her hand before continuing.
“Another problem is about to arise. When the temporal rift was created the witches brought with it a dimensional veil. It separated Fae kind from human kind. With the opening of the temporal rift, the dimensional veil has started to fail.” Kess knew what that meant. Trouble. The Fae wielded magic. She asked.
“Do you know how this failing will happen or how it will affect us, earth, our society. Do you know when this will happen?” The fact that she had said ‘our society’ made him chuckle. That she considered herself as human on earth as it existed today was indeed humorous. But instead of calling attention to tit he said.
“My brothers Asia, Hailey, Ashleigh, Jayne have been assigned to look into it. We have seen this distortion, this void, in a few places but it hasn’t seemed to hold. It fluctuates open and then closes. Although the Temporal Rift cannot be seen by human eyes, we are not certain that this holds true with the fluctuations in the veil.” Kess was smiling as she chuckled under her breathe. As he considered this a serious subject he had to stop and ask.
“What is it that you find humorous?” Taking a sip of wine before answering she said.
“I don’t know what it was like in your time but today, Hailey, Ashleigh, Jayne are names for girls.” His eyes twinkled with laughter of his own before he said.
“Well, as you know, all things change. We are back and we are men. Never doubt this Kess.” The wine had begun to warm her, her muscles had begun to relax and ‘dear lord help me’… she was really enjoying his company. She had made a mental list of all the things he had told her that she needed to tell her brother Meisha. If he didn’t already know these things, this was going to make him very unhappy.
Nomadi had been with her for a couple of hours already. He had conducted himself like an absolutely normal person, had shared information and had asked for her help. He hadn’t tried to put her in a trance or use his glamour to seduce her. She really wanted to believe that he had changed and was no longer the demon the ancient texts had made him out to be. She said.
“Nomadi, I am a watcher… a simple soldier that has been assigned to hunt down the spew the rift has released on earth. Until tonight, I believed that this included the Diabolicon. If everything that you are saying is the truth then you need to speak with Meisha. He organizes the watchers council, trains those that join us and makes all of the critical decisions. It is his help that you need. If he believes you, he will help you.” For a moment she watched him, she tried to look into his mind but only saw her reflection. He liked her and he wanted her. She just hoped that all the making nice wasn’t just a ploy. She asked.
“What order of importance do you put on everything that you have just told me?”
“First I would try to save those few from the rift that do not deserve to be there. Then I would close the rift and contain the evil, those that have mutated into scavengers and predators and the other of the Diabolicon. This is a difficult thing for me to say. Always I hope for redemption because these men are family to me. We share a bloodline, but we do not share morals or ideals. Those of us that were touched by the queen wish only peace. We are sick of war and suffering. We have had our fill and are done. But the others are still ruled by the mind of their king. They are dark and evil beyond definition. And even though I once follied with these men and called them friend, family and compatriot, I will never do so again.
It is my belief that once the rift is closed, the breech in the veil will close along with it. I would wait and observe to see if this is so. If anyone from behind the veil were to make their way into this world, my brothers and I can deal with them. We wield magic and they are no match for us.” Something was bothering her and she needed to ask. “Did you talk this meeting over with your brothers before coming here?” He knew that wasn’t the real question.
“My brothers and I have discussed this dilemma many times. But as to the real question… did they send me here to try and enlist you, the answer is no. No one sent me here Kess. I told you before that I like you. I wished to see what had become of your boy. I knew that you had gone with him and wished to know if you had made your bond to him or if…” His words fell off. She knew what he was asking.
“I’m not in any hurry to decide anything or commit to anything other than my mission. Taking a bond with someone is a huge commitment and it is for life and when you are an immortal that can be a very long time. I’m just too young and I like my freedom. Many times I have watched women rush to marriage and I’m just not one of them. I can’t even picture it in my mind. There are so many places to go and things to do and…” Pausing for a moment before looking back to him, there was a moment of silence before he said.
“I am old… one million, six thousand and eighty something. While in the army of the Diabolicon we cavorted shamelessly with women engaging in all sorts of perversions. It was encouraged by our king. He knew the effect we had on women, we created turmoil in them. Our king loved to watch these things play out. Only when we went to live with our queen did we sit and speak of other things. Only with our queen had we ever had a real conversation of substance and value. I found it pleasant and wish for more of it. Like tonight, it has been pleasant to just sit and speak … over pizza and wine.” He chuckled before saying.
“You should let me take you for a real meal sometimes. I have found a few delightful places that serve the most delicious cuisine.” He held his glass up for another toast. She joined in and raised her glass. He said. “To trust… to life well lived. Let us begin.” He clinked her glass before finishing off his wine. Picking up the empty wine bottle he asked.
“Would you like more or would you like our evening to come to an end… for tonight?” Sitting back in her chair looking up to the night sky littered with shinning jewels she thought about everything that he had told her. She was enjoying his company and really didn’t want him to leave, not to mention he had been a treasure trove of information that they urgently needed. She wanted to believe that he could be trusted but that would be up to Meisha. Also, she was just having trouble giving him up, even for the rest of the night. She wanted to take him to bed for about a week and just lay waist to him. Fallon didn’t factor into the ‘should i… shouldn’t I’ equation. They weren’t bonded and she had made no declaration of fidelity to him nor did she intend to, at least for now. Nomadi leaned forward to say.
“I intend to kiss you before the night is over so please do what you must to prepare yourself for this. Now, how about that wine, or would you like to go out for a while?” Absent mindedly she was nodding her head just slightly and she found herself saying. “I would like both of those things. It sounds good to get out for a while. Can you show me one of those voids? I would like to see one.”
Very pleased by her answer he said. “Yes, I think that I can. As well, I would like to take you to meet a Danu. One fled the rift in the backlash of our escape. Would you like to change first?” He read her mind. Smiling, she stood and moved back into her bedroom, he did not follow. Odd how we sometimes become so attached to things so quickly. She liked his voice, his banter and playfulness that she had witnessed at the Celebration of the Witching Moon, not to mention he was a feast for the eyes. Fallon was spectacular but this man had ‘glamour’. He was both ruggedly handsome and pretty. She laughed at herself and her conjecture as she changed into blue jeans, boots and a black tee. Placing her blades in their scabbards she reached for her leather bomber jacket just as he stepped inside her bedroom. He asked.
“Can I just take us there or are we bound by normality? Do we take your vehicle?”
“Do you have a car…or truck?”
“No. It is time consuming and needs fuel.”
“Nomadi, rather you believe it or not you have to assume at all times that you are being watched by a hostile, ignorant government that will stop at nothing to capture you or kill you if they were to ever discover your secrets. We work very hard to keep them ignorant of the things that are really happening on this world.
Every once in a while something happens and we have to openly use our abilities but we try to cover each other’s backs because there is surveillance everywhere and it is really hard to glamour a camera. And I know you think you can just zap it and it will be dead or broken but many times there are people at the other end of that live feed and anything strange or criminal is shunted to another device for review and storage. You can shift on occasion but you have to use the utmost caution. You need to live this as law because like it or not… believe it or not… it is truth. Get a car and use it. Don’t teleport in front of anyone and if you absolutely need to use magic, make it rudimentary and explainable and when people throw money at you and clap, bow and pick it up. Then say… ‘thank you… thank you very much’.” After her perfect Elvis imitation, smiling at him she then took a bow and said.
“You ready? Let’s go.”