What is this feeling that dwells deep within me? Could this be love?
Surely not, but I must admit that whatever it is, it has my stomach turning in knots. A man that I bearly know and just met wraps my in his arms and melts the fears of the world away from me. I breathe in deep to his scent of citrus and wood and feel a wave of warmth take hold of me. His wings also wrap around us and create a little bubble of the world that is just us, and it is easy to get lost in.
My hands glide over his muscular arms; I’ve never been so close to a man so dangerous before. Even though I had seen his ferocity in battle, he was so gentle. The firmness of his body, coupled with the care of his arms that I was in between, gave me more emotions than I knew what to do with. I find myself wanting to look into his face so that I could burn the image of it in my mind. I carefully turn around as I do not wish to wake him.
He quickly readjusts as I move, ensuring that I was securely in his arms, but then nuzzles back close to me. Not sure where to place my hands, I rest them on this stomach and feel the hardness of his warrior’s body- a different warmth floods me. I trail up, and every inch of him is solid muscle. By the Gods, why must he feel so good? My hands finally land on his neck and my other on his face.
His face was far more gentle than the rest of him. His skin was soft and tended here. His strong jaw leads to his heavy lips. They were not quite full, but they were not thin. The dip in his top lip was deep, almost giving it a heart-shaped appearance. I want so badly to touch it. I want to know how soft they are.
I push my urges to the back of my mind and glance over the rest of his face. His nose was more prolonged and broader than mine, but he was a Tagil. I could tell that his parents were Angel and Vampire. His accent was a dead giveaway, but studying his face now, I could see that more clearly.
My eyes etch a very clear picture of his face in my mind. From his brow to his chin, I want to remember all of it, just in case this is the last time I am to see him. I do not want my dreams to lessen his beauty. Once my mind had given the mental note that it had taken its notes, I moved to turn back around.
His arm wraps around my waist and pulls me in closer. Not yet moving my hand, I jerk, and his face is but an…
Mother of light, forgive me. His lips move to mine, and kiss me. There has never been a jolt of electricity like this that the world has ever known. Wait, he’s not stopping at one. His lips pull to kiss me again, and I will part them for him. Our tongues meet, or it would be more accurate to say mine surrenders to his. His hands pull me in with passion, grasping at my waist, caressing me, and pulling me near his stiffness. His body overwhelms me. My hands find their way back to his exposed chest. My other hand combs through his deep brown hair. His body presses into mine, and I can’t breathe, but I must be if I have not died yet. Maybe I have. Indeed this is what bliss awaits in the other realm.
His hands continue to pull me in and grab at my body, and I am happily his prisoner.
His eyes open, and when those green eyes look over me, he nearly jumps out of his skin. After a pause, he starts to say something, but for some reason, he doesn’t. His eyes look over me hungrily, and undoubtedly he can see my desires. He moves his hand up my side, and I close my eyes and guide his hand to my neck. If he kept this up, I would evoke all the gods’ names. His grip tightens on my neck and pulls me into him.
The alarm of the hotel screeches and brings me from the realms of my dreams. I roll over and smack the damned thing and pull my pillow to my mouth and scream. Looking at the ceiling, I am slightly thankful for the alarm. Feeling my heart nearly escape it’s resting place, maybe I needed to be awakened from my slumber. I touch my lips in remembrance of Thierry. My lips smile in approval of his memory, but my heart is not ready to put it to rest. Neither is the rest of my body. Feeling at my chest, my heart is slowly starting to calm itself, but I am compelled to travel lower and feel the warmth left between my thighs.
How had this man done so much to me? I did not know him? And I’m not even entirely sure if my memories are real or a dream. My body hums to protest; it knows it was real, but my mind can’t be so sure. Would my body produce such warmth and … by the Gods, slickness if it weren’t real? I don’t know. One thing is for sure, I have to get him off my mind and cleanse myself of his thoughts in more ways than one.
I pull myself out of bed and enjoy the feeling of my skin being free. If there were any good that has come from the recent events, I now have a bit of privacy and no longer have to worry about leaving my bed indecent. My feet enjoy the cool of the carpet as I move to the bathroom. The cold is refreshing as my house is usually too hot and humid in the morning. One more positive. Stepping into the bathroom, the reflection shows my body. The body that Thierry looked on. My bronze skin, black hair, brown eyes, and just average body. I try to see what he could see in me, why my body conjured such a reaching out of him. Why only my touch seemed to summon his stiffness, but I can’t see it. I’m just a normal Human girl.
Sure my muscles are a little more defined from the years of dance, but I am no warrior, nor do I possess the body of a model.
Maybe the thoughts he had were of another, but when he realized that I would take his passion, he continued. Or what if he simply didn’t want to hurt my feelings? Oh Kari, what if I’m overthinking this entire thing. What if it isn’t even real.
My eye catches sight of a little gift basket that sitting just to the right of the sink. This gift basket was given to me by Thierry, which I know is real. My thumb rubs over the print once more as I read it before I went to bed.
To Karishama Naidu.
This will not replace what you lost, but hopefully it helps.
- Thierry Dulac
I had stared at the basket all night but ended up using the hotel’s soaps and shampoos instead. Fearful of tarnishing such a beautiful gift. But now I feel compelled to use it. I feel drawn to his memory more this morning than last night. And what shame would it be if I just let these products go to waste? Gently pulling the bow, I pull the plastic wrapping from all around it. Carefully extracting each item as if it were a long lost relic. I grabbed the necessary tools for a proper shower then I prep the water. Once I was satisfied with the heat, I jump in and feel it’s warmth cover me.
One more positive. The heat and pressure of the shower is an absolute joy compared to what I had back home. The heat pools around me as the water pours freely on me. As I feel it slide down my skin, all I can do is compare it to how Thierry held me and his hands glided across my body. Surely I must get this man off of my mind. I lather and take my time to completely pamper myself with the rich smells and feeling left by the showering tools given to me—the ease of the shampoo and conditioner in my hair. The face wash scrubbing away at the smoke and ash that still lingered, the body wash invigorating me as I wash.
Now cleaned, I dawdle in the shower a few moments longer. It feels too good to be cleaned from the destruction of yesterday. Though Thierry brought me much comfort, I still held the sorrow from the events that lead up to it. Especially the loss of Baba.
Remembering how he had died, murdered by those monsters, called upon the dark memories that Thierry had suppressed. He must have used some form of magic because I can not see how he kept these horrors from my mind. Here in his absence, it was as if I was there all over again. The smell of burning, both flesh and wood, come back to my memory. Looks of horror upon the faces of the people I’ve known my entire life were slaughtered in the streets like animals. The chaos that consumed my home town.
The taste of salt comes to me. My dear, my tears are flowing nearly as much as the water. I wipe them away and turn off the water. Pulling myself from the shower, I grab my towels and wrap both me and my hair.
Making my way back to the basket, I find that there is a hairdryer in there. Surely this will be better than rubbing the hotel towel through my hair vigorously. I remove it from the basket, unwrap the cord, and start it up.
It’s merely just a luxurious distraction from the pain that I feel—a noise to drown out my thoughts. My thoughts were as tangled as my hair, but surprisingly it untangled much easier than at home. My hair, not my worries. If only my concerns could follow suit and be combed away by the heat and air that blew through. But it wouldn’t be that easy.
My hair now straightened and untangled, I set the hairdryer back in its place and start to move the towel around to dry my skin. The coolness of the bathroom was no longer comfortable after being warmed by the shower, so I moved back to the bedroom where I could find comfort in the thick carpet.
Taking the towel near all around me and getting my skin as dry as I could, I toss it to the corner of the room and turn…
“By the Gods!” I scream. The Goddess Thenosan was sitting on my bed.
She sat, legs crossed with her pure-diamond hair in a neat bun. Her golden eyes shining perfectly into my mine. That flawless skin that the gods were known for and her dress too white to be real. The dress had ruffled sleeves, elegant lace patters, and a plunging v-neckline that showed off her Godly body. Her hands in her lap until she held her hand up to me, calming me.
After a deep breath, or two, I was able to bow to her and address her.
“Dearest Holy Mother, I am honored by your presence.”
“Dear child, your praise is well received. Be at peace, my child.” Her voice rings out. Just as her words pour from her lips, I feel a calm wash over me, and I go to a knee.
“Yes, Holy Mother.”
“You have questions, my child?” she asks, but it sounds more like a statement. I will answer her. Best not to keep a God waiting.
“What fortune grants me your presence?”
“Dear child, that is not what you truly wish to ask.”
“I would not dare question the plans of the Gods,” I say, and she smiles.
“You are truly wise. Arise, my child, I have told you, be at peace.” She says, then gets up from the bed and walks over to me.
“As you wish,” I say and stand. Once she is face to face with me, she looks me over.
“You wonder what makes you special, do you not?”
“Of course, Holy Mother.”
“Then why not ask?”
“I am but a mortal. Who am I to question?”
“Very well, but know that you are special, indeed, Karishama. If only you knew how special you are.”
“I mean no offense, but are you sure, Holy Mother? I am no warrior, cleric, or magician.”
“Do you believe that this is the only way to be special? What of your Baba? Was he a warrior, cleric, or magician?” She has a point.
“No, you are right as always, Holy Mother.
“If you will not ask, then I shall not tell, but know that you are important to my plans. Have faith and trust that I know what is best for my children.”
“Yes, Holy Mother…” I start to speak but decide against it.
“Your heart child.”
“Excuse me? I do not understand.”
“You have an exceptional heart. That will present itself to you in the near future. Your heart will be the decider of the fate of many lives.” She says and places her hand on my shoulder. Though I am not attuned with power, magic, or divine energy, I can feel her power from a single touch.
“As you say, Holy Mother.” I nod my head to her.
“Remember this. One day soon, you will have to follow your heart. In doing so, you will save the lives of many. Now go, and be at peace,” She says, and in the blink of an eye. She’s gone.
Follow my heart? What could that mean? Blessed are the Gods that keep us safe, but couldn’t their messages be a little clearer? I guess not. Lord Ryziell Rouse, the God of death, had taken power of the council of the Gods and prohibited them from interacting with the lives of mortals. If he is anywhere near as powerful as the legends say, it’s no wonder The Holy Mother was not more direct with me.
I ponder on her words as I go to the closet and pick up a dress. A pink flowery dress that had a trail of different floral patterns in a path across it. I had liked the belt that it had as it would give me some type of shape. Pulling it free from the closet, I lay it across the bed then go to the sink to put my face on.
I hadn’t really thought about it too much, but I had let Thierry buy many things for me last night. Sure, I had nothing and would need something, but even the things he bought wasn’t the cheap stuff. He had made sure that I had the right brands of everything. I did protest, but he insisted on me having all the things that I used.
Sure there were other people that he did the same for, but many of them were really just happy to have anything that he could offer. But he took his time getting me what I wanted. Did he feel the same way I did? Oh, calm down, Kari. He was just thanking you for your company and conversation.
The conflicting thought battle in my mind as I apply the last of my make up and make sure that I look as presentable as I could. Was this what I was to do to follow my heart? Was I destined for Thierry? By the Gods, he has been on my mind nearly all morning, and I do long to see him. Just to make sure he’s okay. He was in the battle yesterday—no need to flood my mind with silly thought such as those.
Giving myself one more look over and then getting dressed, reach for the door but hear a knock first. Pulling the handle, I open the door to see Amir’s face.
Amir looked nice tucked away in his brown suit. His boyish face smiles at me, accompanied by his brown eyes and short slicked hair. The suit did well to show off his athletic body, but Amir looks nice in nearly anything that he wears
“Kari, you’re awake and dressed? How could this be? It’s only seven o’clock. Ouch!” He says, after feeling the fury of my pinch on his side.
“Are you calling me lazy?”
“No, Kari, just not a morning person. I’m not used to seeing your beautiful face so early in the morning.”
“I’ve trained you well, I see,” I giggle. I check to make sure I have my key, then take his arm and talk with him.
“Kari, is that the makeup that the Talon man got you?”
“His name is Thierry, and yes.”
“Do you think it is wise to wear it?”
“Why would it not be?”
“I don’t know, Kari, there are so many reasons why not: his people killed our people, he may expect things from you, you shouldn’t accept gifts from men you don’t know.”
“Really, Amir?” I say, my face shows my frustration in his suggestions. We huddle by the elevator with a few others from last night. “He saved us, Amir. Clearly, he is not like his people. Not all men expect things from women just because they buy them something, and I spent a great deal of time getting to know him last night.” No need to tell him how well. Still not sure if it was a dream or reality. Not to mention that Amir is a very overprotective best friend.
“I’m just saying, don’t be so easy to trust Kari,” He says, then turns to the elevator when hearing the ding. “Men are tricky. Especially foreign men. What if he only saved us as a plot to overthrow his own leader?”
“Amir, you watch too many movies.”
“Where do you think they get the ideas for these movies, Kari?” He says as we move to squeeze into the elevator.
“Amir, it’s nonsense. The Holy Mother sent him to save us, and you should be grateful that he was.
“Wait, are you questioning the man that gave from his own pocket to help us, Amir?” one of the other passengers chimed.
“No, it’s not that. I just don’t want Kari to trust him too quickly.”
“Not to trust him? Why would she not do that? The man fought his own to save us.” Other chimes in.
“He protected us all night,” another.
“He’s downstairs healing our weak,” another says, and my heart stops. By the Gods, he’s still here.
“I just don’t want Kari to fall for a man as dangerous as him.” Amir fights back
“Who said anything about her falling for him?” a person says through the dings of the elevator.
“Now that you mention it, she was talking to him late last night.” One says.
“They were cuddled at the back of the truck.” The first starts back up.
“What did happen with you two last night?” a woman in the elevator sounds a little more curious than the rest. I get short of breath and frantically reply
“Nothing happened. We just talked.” Before they could ask any questions, the doors of the elevator open, and there in the lobby, he stands. He turns and looks directly at me. The heat from this morning returns to both my face and body.
I feel the tug from Amir, but I cannot move. He’s really here.