Meta:Between the Books: Volume Nine

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Volume Nine
Character(s) Marlene
Date August 2005
After Volume Eight
Before Volume Ten
Between the Books Navigation
Volume Eight
Volume Ten

Marlene moved toward the kitchen sink with methodical calm. A knowing smile remained on her face as she let out the cold slurry of dishwater Mike had left and replaced it with hot, clean suds. Her hands worked by rote; her eyes remained fixed on the window above the curtains, studying the moon deep in thought.

The tension-filled charge that had been in the cold water washed over her. She simply shook her head. But she understood. Just like Inez and Mike getting together was inevitable before it was time, everything else in the house was headed toward a destination that revealed itself within her mind’s eye. It was like watching a slow-moving train wreck with no power to stop it. Human nature would prevail. No one was perfect, least of all her.

Each person’s need for touch, comfort, any respite from the pressures they all faced was too great. With every passing day a fissure yawned wider within each Guardian’s psyche, especially those that had been on the battle lines longest. She was not exempt.

Panic was also driving the younger members of the team to seek shelter in laughter, a smile, a private stolen moment. For the old guard, it like was sutures that held together gaping internal wounds. The complex simplicity of the emotion, love, was cherished and people clung to it to help make them forget all the tragedy around them. Discipline was gone. No stones were being cast; it just was what it was.

She sighed as Rider came into her consciousness. He was bleeding, as was Jose. Dan would be next.

With care, Marlene lifted each dish from the water, cleaning off the soggy dinner remains that had soiled it, and then rinsed it with clear water before setting it aside to be dried and used again later. If only the human experience of pain could be so easily dealt with…

Perhaps that, indeed, is what the Creator did, washed everyone’s plate clean. Yet, it was in the nature of people to struggle with the process and try to avoid it, much in the way that no one in the house wanted to do the dishes—but everyone wanted to eat from clean plates. Just like no one wanted to do laundry detail, but wanted to wear clean clothes, and everyone hated to go food shopping but wanted to feast. Marlene stared at the dish in her hand for a moment before quietly setting it down with a weary sigh.

She focused her mind back on the newest Guardians. Although she felt Mike’s pain, he had to understand that Inez was displaying signs of being a seer. But the new Guardian’s gift seemed to manifest in being able to detect current danger or to see energy traces like she had at the church in New York.

Marlene became still and then nodded silently to herself. Yes. Inez’s gift wasn’t direct precognition or dreams, which was why she had tried to get Big Mike to give the chile breathing room—Inez needed development space to see what else might evolve from her. But the big guy was past his endurance. So was Inez.

An annoyed smile crept across Marlene’s face until she had to chuckle. She set aside another plate. Fine. She didn’t have the energy to fight the tide. She’d simply have to accept the hand that was dealt and work with what the young woman had displayed thus far. In truth, being able to see energy tracers was an invaluable skill. Mike had to back up, though, so the gift could be refined and Inez could see with instant reflex. In a battle, there wouldn’t be time in the dark for her to have to hone in on it, coax it to the fore, and whatnot. Mike knew better than that!

Marlene allowed her hands to become one with the water as she thought about Juanita. Now that one had dream-time skill. Plus Juanita’s vision could pierce the veil between the living and the dead, even if the girl couldn’t have picked up an energy tracer if her life depended upon it, and it did. The tricky part was getting Inez and Juanita to relax enough around each other to tap into the same catalyst, Damali.

“You are really testing me, Lord,” Marlene whispered and briefly closed her eyes. How was she supposed to align that combination, when lines had been drawn in the sand between Inez and her best friend, Damali, versus Juanita? She would have to talk to her female Neteru to get her to be the adult in all of this. Marlene chuckled. Yeah right.

Her mind did an instant roll call: Dan was developing nicely as a tactical, but it would be his undoing. Every time Krissy moved, the boy’s pupil’s dilated. But poor J.L. Again, Marlene shut her eyes and leaned her weight on her hands. The man literally stopped breathing when Krissy entered a room. If the girl laughed or squealed about anything, his knees almost buckled and he had to leave her presence.

“Too many warriors under one roof, under too much pressure,” Marlene whispered in warning to the ancestors.

All of them were locked in on high-frequency vibrations that naturally attract another on the same wavelength. Add in a cup of danger, a pound of limited options, a teaspoon of curiosity, a heap camaraderie, a healthy dose of respect and friendship, and the recipe is outrageous passion, otherwise known as disaster.

“And, what, pray tell, am I supposed to do with that?” she murmured absently.

The Berkfield kids, just like Marjorie, oddly hadn’t developed any sensing capacity. Marlene stopped washing the dishes and turned her palms up to the cosmos.

Her hands had become pruny in the water and she studied them with care, wondering. The three Berkfields hadn’t shown signs of picking up—receiving, but they set off all sorts of magnetic buttons within each Guardian sensor. Transmitters? Deep. She needed to further study the phenomenon, especially given that the kids’ Aunt Gabrielle was clearly in the craft.

It suddenly dawned on her that, the whole while she’d been washing dishes, not once had she worried about Damali or Carlos. Marlene chuckled softly. “Now I know things must be bad, if I’m not worrying about those two.” She shook her head again, making her ponytail of silver locks sway against her back. “I’ll ask you one more time,” she said, looking up at the moon, “what in carnation do you want me to do with all of this?”

“Come talk to me,” a deep male voice responded within her mind.

Marlene stood very, very still. “I can’t,” she whispered, then hurried to finish the dishes.

“On the astral plane, it’s not a physical affair. It’s… fantasy. You’ve been mine for a long time.”

She pursed her lips, refusing to answer the seductive invitation as she worked harder at the kitchen chore.

“The charge was in the water—thick. Your hands ignited it, made it worse, and carried it into the air on a full moon night. What was I to do?”

That truth she couldn’t argue. Sexual tension in the kitchen had been thick enough to lodge a butcher knife in it. Yeah, true, it had run through the water and washed over her, however she’d been focused on the household and not her own needs when that had happened.

“Serves you right,” she finally said in a quiet voice with a smile. “How many times have I asked you to go home since Philly?”

A low, rumbling chuckle filled her inner ear. “Too many… but the full moon caught me still here, near you. Then, the charge…”

“Stop,” she whispered, her voice coming out in a strangled plea. “I can’t—”

“Just lock wit me, Mar. Send your spirit out de window to meet me.”


“Why not?”

“Because it ain’t right!” She glanced around and monitored the level of her voice. “Go home.”

There was a hard expulsion of air that kissed her cheek.

“All right, Marlene. I admit it ain’t so-called right, but it is a practical compromise, since you’re still adamant ‘bout allowing him exclusive access to you in the flesh. At least come out to play in the fantasy realms with—”

“No,” she said firmly, warming to the concept and then quickly banishing the idea.

“Why not?”

“Because on thing can lead to another. You know things begin in the consciousness first,” she mentally whispered. “So stop trying to get me to go there.”

“You’ve fantasized about being with me like that before and even touched yourself while—”

“Number one,” she said, growing peevish and cutting off his mental barrage. “That’s my business. Number two; I was alone and not knowingly linked to you on a sensory level. A dream or fantasy is—”

“Innocent enough, and you need to be honest. You and I are always linked, will always be like dat.” His voice had spilled against her mind in a low, mellow tone with a chuckle embedded in it. “We’ve both been innocent for a long, long time. Every full moon, girl… it come up on me like a—”

“Kamal, stop,” she said through her teeth.

“Marlene, you stop. Tonight, stop this charade!” he said with a firm warning. “I don’t have as much will-power as I used to. Not after tasting your mouth in da heat of battle. What you want me to do? Come in da house, challenge him direct in shifted form? You want me to lope through de damned window and drag you outta da house so you can say it wasn’t your fault? Just tell me, because I can do whatever will make it all right in your mind, but stop the charade.”

“It’s not a charade, and don’t you dare come in here like that,” she whispered, her tone gentle. “I love Shabazz.”

“That’s not the charade I’m talking ‘bout, nor the subject of this debate,” Kamal said quietly. “I know and respect that. The charade is that you also love me and haven’t tol’ him or come to terms with it.”

She closed her eyes. “Why are you doing this?”

“Because I want you right now more than I want my next breath.”

A desire-laced tremor ran through her. A thick, muscular back—sinew working, entered her third eye and then coated her with gooseflesh. The mental hands of a tactical Guardian charged with passion sent desire into her bones. Yes… she remembered. A fellow seer locked on the same climax drew her breath up short. His dreadlocks tangled in hers, his fingers in her hair sending waves of pleasure-static charge into each strand, and then into every hair on the surface of her skin before it leaked into her pores. Sweat commingling like tongues, voices grunting ancient syncopated chants. Green flora and damp mosses cushioning knees, thighs, clenching buttocks… The earthen scent of the jungle and him filled her nose and stung her mind with more primal memories.

Marlene weaved and held onto the edge of the sink. “Oh, God…” she whispered. “Stop.”

“I see you remember very well, too,” Kamal murmured, breathing hard. “You must come see me tonight. Slip out of the window. Lock wit me, Mar. Baby…” His voice dissolved into a low, rumbling jaguar purr. “Essence of my soul, don’ leave me hanging like this.”

Her spirit fled her body through the top of her head as though it were being chased. It passed through window panes in a blur to fill his arms, eliciting his agonized groan.

“Shabazz is a good man,” she whispered against Kamal’s neck as his hands slid across her naked skin.

“I know,” he purred, his eyes glowing coppery-gold in the moonlight. “But so am I… in fact, better.”

“Don’t say that,” she whispered tensely, her eyes shut tight as he nuzzled her neck and his palms flattened against her back.

“It’s the truth. Let me show you,” he whispered, his voice becoming an impassioned growl.

“I’m serious,” she whispered sadly. “I shouldn’t have even—”

He captured her mouth, his fingers tangling in her locks, his tongue a hot duel with hers, his body a searing press of skin against skin.

“You’re here with me, naked, under a full moon. Trust that tonight I’m deadly serious, too.” Her kissed her again harder then broke to kiss a wet path down her neck to her shoulder.

“He cannot understand this,” she said through a shudder, her hands glorying in the velvety feel of his dark skin.

“That’s one of the reasons I’m better,” he said through a pant, the frenzy of his kisses across her shoulder intensifying as his hands tried to touch all of her at once. “I accept my role in your life, know of his existence, and have willingly shared you with him. He hasn’t.”

“He’s a traditionalist,” she defended as her hands swept Kamal’s agile spine.

Kamal pulled back and stared at her for a moment, eyes blazing with unspent passion. “That’s because he lacks vision, isn’t a seer. The man is blind. You and I, gurl, are on the same plane and on another entire dimension of perception than him.” He took her mouth hard, then threw his head back to breathe as his gums ripped to allow upper and lower canines to present. “Oh, shit,” he whispered thickly. “I want you so much I can’t even love you in my head without half-shifting.”

His stomach contracted against hers, his massive erection pressed tightly between them. “He doesn’t understand, because he’s never been were-nicked, never dealt with this type of burn between seasoned lovers with this much history. Tell me I’m lying,” he said urgently through his teeth and then knocked her head back to graze her windpipe, holding her still with her throat in his jaws.

Pure want riddled her as his hands charged with an intense, blue-white hot current, lifting their locks in a static-laden twine. Pleasure soaked her skin, coursing over every surface that touched his as their pelvises locked. Her hands traced his pulsing hips then slowly lowered to cover his muscular buttocks.

“He’ll never forgive me if he finds out that—”

“Then fuck ‘im,” Kamal growled, unable to take her mouth hard with his fangs distended.

His eyes shimmered with agony as he turned her, covered her breast with his palms until she moaned, and then forced them both to their knees on the ground. One strong male hand plastered against her stomach, the other bracing against the earth, a hot lick of pleasure danced across her shoulder blades, and a swift entry followed so hard that their cry rent the air in unison. Her nails dug into the dry earth as her ankles hooked his tight calves. Hot sweat dripped against her skin and sizzled in the electric charge where it landed, making her throw her head back just to breathe. Every thrust took her back to every other time he’d been with her, connecting the memories, the pleasure all running together in one blue-white hot current of imploding releases.

She could see it, she could feel it, the old nick bled rivulets of ecstasy and put molten lava between her legs. She was crying; he was delivering hard lunges that challenged lightening. Each punishing stroke and sent shards of pleasure-heat inside her that lacerated her womb with climatic bursts till she wept.

His voice was a breathless, unrelenting, deep baritone chant singed with a growl. “Oh, Marlene… oh, Marlene, shit… don’t do this to me no more!”

She could make no promises; she could barely speak as she felt him approaching the edge, battling not to fully shift from human form on her. Both of his arms were now wrapped around her waist; his face burned against her shoulders, his tears mixing with sweat as the first of his convulsions claimed him and spent his voice with an elongated roar.

* * *

She returned to her body exhausted, subdued… mellow, and very introspective. The orgasms Kamal had produced had been so intense that she still had a mild headache from his charge. Now, she had a real problem.

Her hands began moving beneath the suds again, and she started when a pair of warm, familiar male hands gently rested on her shoulders.

“A million miles away in thought again, baby?” Shabazz said in her ear and then kissed her neck.

She fought herself not to tense and simply nodded, closed her eyes, and let her breath out slowly. Guilt stabbed her conscience. “Yeah. Everything is at the breaking point,” she said quietly.

He nodded and swept a slow, sensual kiss across her exposed shoulder, unsettling her unbleached cotton sundress. “I know, and I’m not exempt.” His hands slid down her arms. “What the hell was going on in this kitchen?” He kissed the side of her neck more aggressively as he fit himself snugly against her backside. “Damn, Mar,” he whispered. “Got my locks standing on end.”

She fought back the tears. “It got intense in here.”

“Tell me about it,” he murmured, his hands caressing her arms. “Want me to finish those dishes for you in the morning?”

“That’s okay,” she whispered. “They’re almost done.”

He kissed her ear, then her neck, and shoulder. “Baby, I’ll do ‘em in the morning.”

“Everybody is still awake and moving around in the house. Besides, the young tacticals won’t be able to tolerate it, if we go there, and Mike is in no condition to hear bedsprings.”

“Then let’s go take a walk,” Shabazz breathed against her temple.

“It’s dark outside, honey.”

His hands covered her breasts and a low groan filled his throat when he felt that her nipples were hard. “You are sooo wet,” he whispered and then sucked in a deep inhale. “The charge coming off of you, Mar… damn, girl. I haven’t felt you lit up like this in months. Not since we first got back from the Philadelphia job.”

She bit her lip and nodded. “I know. Maybe later, when folks finally crash, and—”

“This can’t wait,” he murmured, sucking her earlobe.

“But it’s dangerous out at night and—”

“Baby,” he said quietly, turning her around to look at him. He touched her face with the pads of his thumbs his gaze tenderly searching hers. “It’s so bad you’ve got tears in your eyes, Mar. So, the way I see it, right now,” he murmured, kissing her briefly, “it’s more dangerous for anything that rolls up on me and you tonight, feeling like this. I can’t leave my baby hanging.” He nudged her with his shoulder holster. “That’s why I came back here with a weapon.” He smiled and kissed her harder. “Me, you, and Sleeping Beauty,” he added with a sexy chuckle. “Ménage a trois in the shed.”

She smiled through the tears and nodded, then dried her hands slowly on the dishtowel that was over her shoulder. “You know I love you, right?”

He kissed her again and nodded. “No matter what, I’ve always known that.”

See Also[edit | edit source]

Novels 1 - 9 Minion • The Awakening • The Hunted • The Bitten • The Forbidden • The Damned • The Forsaken • The Wicked • The Cursed
Armageddon Finale
(10 -12)
The Darkness • The Shadows • The Thirteenth
Anthologies Make it Last Forever in Stroke of Midnight • Ride the Night Wind in Love at First Bite
Dawn and Darkness (Comics) Individual Comics Book One: Ashes to Ashes • Book Two: Dust to Dust  • Book Three: Bygones to Blood • Book Four: Ride or Die
Graphic Novel Graphic Novel (Parts 1 - 4)
Neteru Academy Novels Shadow Walker • Shadow Seekers (Unreleased) • Shadow Slayers (Unreleased)
Between the Books (Official Website Stories) Vol. 1 • Vol. 2 • Vol. 3 • Vol. 4 • Vol. 5 • Vol. 6 • Vol. 7 • Vol. 8 • Vol. 9 • Vol. 10 • Vol. 11 • Vol. 12 • Vol. 13 • Vol. 14 • Vol. 15 - The Ripple Effect • Vol. 16 - Damali's Dilemma • Vol. 17 - Carlos' Dilemma • Vol. 18 - Damali's Dilemma Part II • Vol. 19 - Training Day • Vol. 20 - Training Day Part II • Vol. 21 - A Neteru Apex • Vol. 22 - New Mansion Compound: • Vol. 23 - New Mansion Compound: • Vol. 24 - New Mansion Compound: • Vol. 25 - "Truth Between Brothers" • Vol. 26 - Shabazz: THE FALL OUT • Vol. 27 • Vol. 28 • Vol. 29 • Vol. 30 - "Submerge"
Other Nothing Like the First Time (Prequel) • That First Kiss • Between Man and Wife • Atlantis Rising
Damali's Journal Volume One • Volume Two • Volume Three • Volume Four • Damali's Journal: Special Volume
Carlos' Black Box Volume One • Volume Two
Inside the Mind of a Vampire Volume One • Volume Two • Volume Three • Volume Four • Volume Five • Volume Six
Additional Content & Short Stories Promotional Media Secret Desires • Exotic Contraband: LA Banks' Vampire Huntress Legend Concept Art Book • Vampire Huntress Legend Sampler • Atlantis Rising • VHL Teacher's Curriculum Guide
Vampire Huntress Legend Sampler Nothing Like the First Time • Damali's Journal: Special Volume • The Power Players: A tour by Master Vampire Carlos Rivera • Character Dossiers
Unreleased Vampire Huntress Legend Series Movie (Unreleased) • Vampire Huntress Legend Series Manga (Unreleased)

References[edit | edit source]

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