Thursday, April 27, 2006

Excerpt from LOVE & MAGIC: Grave Awakening

This one is 18 and over Shara Lanel

Diera has just arrived at her aunt's house, which used to be her home, and she expects her bedroom to be exactly the same as when she left.

Diera hugged her aunt once again, following her outside. Once she’d driven off in her late-model sedan, Diera heaved her suitcase from her trunk. She stood on the street and stared at the luggage as if it could talk to her. Was this the right thing to do? She’d be freer to investigate without someone noting her comings and goings, but it wouldn’t even have been a question if she hadn’t seen the Wiccan circle last night. Finally she shrugged. She’d stay for a night or two at least.

Though it was a fairly small overnight bag, dragging it up the stairs to the third floor--her old bedroom--wore her out and reminded her that she needed to get back in the gym before flab set in. Still huffing, she leaned against the wide sill at the top of the landing and stared out the wavy glass. Why was old glass wavy? She really hadn’t a clue, but she could tell the replacement windows in this house easily, and this was one of the originals: thick, ripply, with tiny bubbles and a greenish tint. From here she could see glimpses of Hollywood through the tree limbs. In daylight it looked peaceful, sprinkled with tourists or mourners taking grave rubbings or photographs or laying flowers. Diera had not set foot through those gates since her mother’s funeral. She hadn’t wanted to then, but her grandpa had insisted on pain of disinheritance, not that she cared about any non-existent inheritance. She’d only done it to keep peace in the family and to show all the gossiping cousins that she was just fine, not visibly marked by the Devil, no “666” floating above her head.

Diera whirled away from the window. They were vicious memories, and the reason she didn’t visit Maeve as much as she should. When she was away from here, she was a normal computer programmer, her geekiness hidden under soft femininity. Well, normal except for her photography and her knack for finding people, which had to do with taking pictures of things she wasn’t supposed to see and sticking her nose where it wasn’t wanted.

She climbed the last five steps from the landing to the third floor and dragged her bag down the hall to the first door on the left.

* * * *

Holt always performed his rituals skyclad--naked in other words--and Maeve respected his privacy. Her bedroom was on the second floor, but she spent most of her time in the kitchen or the garden or her crafts room on the ground floor. She never bothered him on the third floor since he’d started renting from her two months ago.

He was once again seeking clarity and insight into his coffin dreams and the mysterious woman in them. He hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind all day at work.

It really sucked that the rest of Richmond got Sunday as their day of rest or of church at least, but his slave driver boss, Al Graves, had ordered his three graphic artists to get their butts into the office early and show him some stellar ideas for their current client, Privates by LeClaire, an underwear line for men and women. So Holt had left before having a chance to talk to Maeve about Diera’s appearance in Richmond last night. Unfortunately, none of the designers’ ideas had satisfied the boss. Memories of his tirade were making it hard for Holt to concentrate on his ritual as he poured salt onto the hardwood floor in the shape of a circle, lit a single candle, and settled into a meditation pose.

His room was sparsely furnished, leaving him plenty of space to perform rituals in the center. He lit a sage wand to cleanse the air and murmured the words to summon the Watchtowers. Once the cleansing was complete, Holt closed his eyes, inhaled deeply ... and swore. Not out loud. He didn’t want to invoke any negative magick inadvertently, but his thoughts whirled around possible underwear ads and how he might conserve oxygen if he were indeed buried alive. This sucked. He wasn’t going to accomplish a thing if he didn’t relax, so he resorted to one surefire method of calming his mind.

He opened his eyes, focused on the candle flame for a few moments, and took another deep breath. He closed his eyes again and placed his left hand on his left knee. With his right hand, he reached between his legs and cupped his balls, gently massaging. The goal was not arousal, which was sometimes used in sex magick, but simply relaxation.

The tips of his fingers stroked just behind his balls, then rolled higher to the base of his cock. Thumb and forefinger circled the shaft and pulled upward with light squeezes to the head. As he stroked, blood flowed to the organ and it gradually stiffened. He found himself picturing Diera’s face lit by the parking lot lights at Byrd Park, gold tinting her red locks, eyes shadowed, lips glistening. He increased the pressure and speed of his strokes, though still keeping them unhurried. This wasn’t about an end result. This was about clarity, seeing her, learning more about her. How was she meant to affect his life?

He knew one effect she was having on him already, as a tiny drop of pre-cum soaked his finger. He slowed his touches and focused on inhaling and exhaling, thinking about his breath and the air around him, picturing the candle flame. A new image entered his consciousness. Diera’s body skyclad except for a sheer robe hemmed with red velvet, dancing about an altar under the light of the full moon. She was beautiful, peaceful, and power emanated from her pores, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She was a goddess, beautiful, seductive, ancient.

But that image faded into the mist before he could decipher its meaning, replaced by a far more erotic one. Diera still danced, but this time completely nude and not outside. She was in this bedroom, lit by candles, surrounded by a red aura, and her eyes were smoky, focused on someone ... him. Her petite fingers embraced one luscious breast, exploring both the feel and the feelings it created as she pinched her own erect nipple while he watched. With her other hand, she stroked lower, past tight red curls, into the V between her thighs. Trails of liquid glistened against her skin, tangible evidence of her arousal. One fingertip parted her labia, revealing a hot pink nub awaiting her tentative touch. Holt’s body burned and he ached to touch her, but all he could do was watch as her fingers stroked and she moaned.


The door opened and smoke circled into Diera’s nostrils. It was from a white candle lit in the center of the room and a charcoaled bunch of herbs sitting on a clay trivet next to the candle. Beyond the candle ... Diera’s mouth dropped open. Holy shit! It was a naked man--in her bedroom! Why was there a naked man in her bedroom?

She registered dark wavy hair, heavy eyelids, slightly opened mouth, strong cheekbones ... Oh, my God, it was Holt, the witch from last night. What the hell was he doing in her bedroom?

But, boy, he was a masterpiece! Sun-darkened skin covered Michelangelo shoulders and scrumptious pecs. He was sitting Indian-style inside a circle that seemed to be made out of salt, white and crunchy. Her eyes drew naturally lower, following the sparse curls of his chest hair to his divine abs, and lower still to...




Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Sounds good

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kinda like finding a naked man in my bedroom...of course, it is my husband.

Little Lamb Lost

8:42 PM  
Blogger LISA WILLIAMS said...

definitely enjoy this excerpt.

8:59 PM  

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