KISS OF STONE
J D CLANDICE
He had to be male.
The eyes were not unlike the gray-blue ones of a wolf. He seemed…vampiric.
He walked up to Samosa with a seductive smile on his face. Long, black curly hair bounced against his pale white skin and was clad in tight black leather pants and jacket. Up close, Samosa could see there were some male features: a strong jaw and all male rippling abs that stretched days down to his lower region.
“I’m Lex,” he said.
He pierced his tongue, a very long tongue- much like a snake’s and took Samosa’s face in his hands.
“What do you think I am?” He asked.
“I thought you were a girl for a minute there.”
He threw back his head and laughed, revealing a prominent Adam’s Apple. “I can take you to a room and prove to you I am far from a girl. And more than a man.”
“N-no thanks. I believe you.” Samosa smiled and Lex not only placed his tongue on hers; he did what the others did not do. He sealed their lips together in a most passionate way, holding their kiss and bringing her toes to a curl.
The buzz that began earlier took her on flight with that last kiss.
She finally felt weightless.
Kiss of Stone
Published by Shakespir
Copyright 2017 J D Clandice
All rights reserved
Cover Design by Erica Jean Smith using Canva
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
First, thanks and praises go to my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus. Secondly, heartfelt thanks to my readers who have downloaded the short book, Book 1: Mark of Fortune when it was available.
You are the reason for my zeal to write.
Part 1: Falling for a Genie
Her gaze penetrated the lecturer. She wrote only what she thought she needed to and would prick the side of her full lips with the end of her yellow #2 pencil. She would sigh and write more down on her notepad while the rest of the students used e-tablets and net books. Stone licked his lips and looked at the clock: 2:15. The group of community college students rose in unison, talking and whipping out their car keys. Time to go.
He went over to the woman who was still writing something down in her notebook. The pencil’s pointed lead pecked and twirled the paper hard, as if the woman was punching the paper with the writing utensil.
He said “excuse me” once. She continued her scribbles, hands the color of brown Earth, hair swept into a ponytail. “Excuse me,” he said for a second time, this time touching her shoulder.
“What.” Her throaty statement was hard and devoid of emotion.
“I’m your classmate, Stone.”
The woman let her pencil fall and for the first time let her eyes move from the poor stabbed notepaper to Stone’s face. He’d never seen her color eyes before. Like melting gold.
He must have stared too long because she raised a finely shaped eyebrow at him before snapping up her books and tucking her pencil in the upper fold of her right ear.
“Do I know you? Do you need something?” She looked at him warily. Normally a female would be swooning over him- happy he gave them some kind attention.
“I notice you, uh,” he fished for some kind of truth. “You leave later than most. You don’t drive?”
The woman made a pained look with her gold eyes before answering. “No. I don’t.” She moved around the small desk. Stone caught the scent of some floral scented lotion, like rose petals.
“I can take you home. I mean, if you don’t mind riding with a stranger.”
She raised an eyebrow again. I’m shooting in the dark here. If I can’t reach her then-
“The last time I rode with a stranger, I married him and he promptly dish ragged me in three years.” She gave a sarcastic smile. “I’m not a repeat offender.”
She left the classroom in a hurry. Stone gathered she would be at the nearest bus stop for college students to wait for their bus transfers.
He spotted her sitting on a graffiti stained wood bench beneath a canopy of trees. Her hips spread out like smooth butter-her blue jeans filled to bursting. Her red top was small however to fit her even smaller bosom.
“The buses will be very late,” Stone said.
“How do you know?” The woman moved so the elderly man next to her could sit. His cane had the head of a cobra on the end, it was bronze, and the sun glinted off of it, casting a shaded gold circle in the middle of the woman’s forehead.
If he told her all of his secrets now, she would call him psycho. “I overheard some students talking.”
She narrowed her eyes to slits, suspicious. “Well, I’ll go into the cafeteria to wait.”
“I don’t know your name.”
“I can give you mine” someone said. The woman and Stone both saw a brunette with long legs and sparkling pink eye shadow. Stone cast a fleeting glance at Pink Eye Shadow Girl before asking his classmate’s name again.
“You know my name.”
“Your real name. The professor calls you Sam.”
Stone felt his smile grow. “With a name like that, I can give you a lift and buy you a drink.”
Samosa looked to the left at what Stone assumed to be some Disney Channel castaway teen girl.
“I’m not sure.” She shook her head.
Stone stuck out his hand. “I’m on my way to Wire Wings.”
Samosa crinkled her face, but took his hand. Stone’s hands were the color of Egyptian sand.
“I have not been there in while.” She stood up. The Pink Eye Shadow Girl made no qualms about smacking her lips out loud.
Stone let her hand lay in his, he was careful not to curl his hand around hers. A woman with emotional scarring was dangerous water to tread. Samosa handed him her two books and purple notebook and let him walk her to his car. He was shocked she let it go this far….did she have something important to do at home? He held the door open for her. She smiled, said a barely audible “thank you” and slid inside.
If Stone could gaze forever into her eyes, he would. Instead, he settled for getting into his silver 2012 Elantra and turning on the AC, happy to have her close to him.
“ What’s your major?” He asked her as they pulled away from the school zone.
“Liberal Arts. I’m just not so sure what I’m going to do with it yet.”
“There’s time. Usually you wouldn’t know until after graduation or if you transfer to a university.”
“I let time slip away. I’m too old for time.”
Stone coughed. He had just sailed through a red light and quickly caught another one. He looked at her profile. Smooth skin, slightly chubby cheeks and eyes which lit with a fire he had not seen in years.
“You’re kidding. How old do you think you are?”
She laughed bitterly. “I feel eighty five, but I’m really only thirty.” She cut her eye at him. “Minus the flirty part.”
“You are beautifully young,” he smiled and floored the car through the next exit to Wire Wings. “Wire Wings- the only place to grab a laptop and wireless service while your fingers are wet with BBQ.”
“Now I remember the slogan: Catch the net, grab a chick. Wire Wings.” Samosa drummed her fingers on the side of his car. “Corny but I love chicken. As you can see I adore eating. Period.”
Stone surmised that Samosa might weigh at least 150 or 155 at the most. She was truly very wide in the hips-super curvy; but it gave her a spicy flair she obviously was not aware of.
“Here we are,” he announced once they arrived to the restaurant where a waving banner on top of the roof featured a large, scrumptious picture of red chicken and floating forks suspended from a laptop.
Samosa wrapped her arms around herself. “You really didn’t have to take me here. I don’t have any money.”
“It’s alright. We’re classmates, colleagues. You need a way home and I need to eat so let’s kill two birds with a…chicken.”
“Alright.” Samosa let him open the door for her.”Just don’t tell any more corny jokes.” She reminded him of a scared rabbit placed in a sea of dogs and foxes. Her eyes grew large.
She is really afraid of people. Stone opened the door for her and the blast of cool air chilled them both. It was dark inside, but each table was dimly lit with an oriental decorated lamp suspended from the ceilings.
They picked a booth by the window. There were no waiters here, only cashiers and cooks. “What would you like? I think the menus are tucked in here,” Stone plucked a glossy menu from behind the napkin dispenser. Samosa took it from him.
“I’ll take the wing basket with a salad on the side.” She put the menu back.
“Drink?” He offered.
Stone went up to the counter and told the red haired teen their orders. Stone really didn’t have to eat. It wasn’t a must, but to humor the society around him he would feast anyway. Bon Appetite.
When he got back to Samosa, he saw that she had taken off her jacket. She was lightly fingering the edge of the table.
“You never told me your major.” She said tapping the top of the table.
“Wow. I wouldn’t have pegged you as a future teacher.” Samosa surprised him by looking him directly in his eyes.
“Oh. I know lots of stuff. Might as well teach it.” He said. He knew too much.
“I wanted to be a teacher once,” Samosa spoke through his thoughts. Her voice was no longer hoarse and tainted with malice. She seemed…comfortable.
“What happened?” Stone was sorry he asked for she dipped her head back down again and he missed those eyes. Those lips.
“I had dreams once. Some of them I destroyed all my own. The rest was because of a poor choice tangled up with a guy who just-” She shook her head. A drop of water hit the table. Tears. Then another. Stone grabbed napkins and handed them to her.
“It’s okay. Don’t speak of that anymore.” He watched her dab at the corners of her eyes.
He heard their order number called and went up to grab the two baskets of wings and their large drinks tucked under both his arms.
A number of nearby college students began to pour in. The Pop/Rock station played funkier tunes that the younger crowd knew every word to. Samosa blinked at them as if she were an alien and landed on the exactly wrong planet.
“I take it pop music is not your cup of tea.” Stone said, setting the drinks down.
She pulled the meat off the chicken bone with her teeth. Chewed. Swallowed. “Nah. I like 90s music better. It holds a bit more meaning and memory for me.”
Stone liked that. “Meaning and memory huh? That’s what art does to me.”
Samosa sipped her drink. Her golden eyes wide with understanding. Stone knew then that they shared an “artsy” connection. “Right”
He ate his food, afraid she would notice he didn’t touch a thing. Watching this woman eat was amazing though. She massacred her chicken with gentle licking first, and then she would chomp down on all the edible parts. Spat out the bones.
She did this until her basket was done. When she reached for her drink, Stone was embarrassed his meal was still unfinished.
“You must be watching your figure.” She said.
“I guess the breakfast I had earlier was bigger than I thought.” He took up their baskets, dumped hers in the trash and got a doggie bag for his. “Want to sit and chill a minute?”
“I’m not sure that’s best. I really need to leave. And I appreciate your spending the money too. I’ll pay you back.”
“Why bother? I offered.”
“I understand that, but I have to do what is right.”
Stone touched her hand. He felt that sizzle, like touching something after rubbing your feet along the carpet too long. It was static. It pinged to his heart and other regions. She must have felt it too and pulled her hand away.
“You cannot do what is right without money, Samosa. Don’t worry about it. Let’s go.” Stone led her through the throng of people streaming internet over the wires and plugging in their millions of gadgets. He understood why Samosa decided to write in a notebook. You needed batteries or USB ports now just to do simple things.
“Why is your name Samosa?” He asked her once they were in the car and on the road again. She looked far away in thought, her arms hung by her sides. “My father’s name was Sam. Mom’s name is Rosa. Samosa.”
“Ah.” He asked her where she lived and she gave him the directions, naming something called Serenity Hope.
The afternoon sun waned and turned the sky a pinkish hue. Bugs began to chirp and sing and many of them caught their death against Stone’s windshield. Their bodies smacked hard against the glass.
He noticed that Samosa was still not as chatty, which was good because it meant she said something of substance to those she communicated with.
“You don’t look like you’re from here. Your accent isn’t American, French, or Spanish. In fact I never heard it before.”
Surprise number two. But he was prepared to give a semi honest answer.
“I lived all over,” he said. “Literally. Ever since I was a small child.” Stone winced when he thought of his painful past. Now it was his turn to clam up over bad memories. A million bad memories.
“If you don’t wish to talk about it, I totally understand.”
“Thank you.” Stone turned into the parking lot of what looked like a simple brick textured church with a white cross on top and a smaller brick building adjacent to it. She’s homeless. And she is in school.
“This is it. You can park by the bench over there. It’s my reading slash study spot.” Samosa had her hand on the handle, Stone pressed his hand over hers, stopping her movement of getting out.
“You have your things in there?” He pointed to the church where several people were lining up to get inside.
Samosa bit her bottom lip and looked down. “My things were stolen this morning. Math book and math folder, toothbrush. My whole bag.” She pushed herself out of the car.
This was the moment- the moment he could tell her the truth; the moment that he should tell her that since birth she had something so special marked on her that it would make all of her dreams come true.
He watched her solid form enter the long thread of people. Some wore tattered clothes. The others had on expensive looking attire- but maybe that was all they had. He could even smell well seasoned tomato soup and warm bread.
Stone got out of his car and leaned against the door. His eyes still trained on Samosa. Like a sniper with the red light beading on a potential victim. She was slightly shorter than most people and the only thing which stood out from her were those honey-gold eyes and those cleverly shaped hips of hers.
She was not a movie star darling, or airbrushed to look unreal. In fact, to most she was just a plain woman attending community college. A divorcee.
Stone didn’t know how long he stood there watching her. He knew it had to be well past four now. The sun was low, but it was a very warm Spring. He looked past the building and saw many trees lining the area to the far left of the shelter. There were office buildings off to the right. One thing he knew though: Those office buildings were occupied by those not leaving their jobs.
So the shelters stay packed.
“There’s no room.” Samosa came up alongside him. “I have nowhere else to go.”
“Come with me.” Stone offered to her. Trying to keep from smiling.
“It’s sort of your fault for keeping me out late.”
“You had a choice. Besides you think I’m going to feed you and leave you outside in the dark?” Stone waved his hand over the car. “Go on, get inside.”
Samosa eyed him in a strange way. The way she stared moved something inside of him. She shook her head and sighed. “Fine.”
“Did you need to get anything? Like an overnight bag, toothbrush, some pencils or something?” Stone was unsure as to all she would need.
“Why are you being so nice to me?” Samosa fired at him. The rage from earlier has returned.
“I will tell you why once we get you squared away.” Stone had to keep things going in his favor.
“Alright. If you can somehow purchase me a new math textbook and a three pronged folder,” she held out three fingers and pointed to each one with her left index finger. “Find me a new bag, and a whole bunch of other stuff that was taken from me today I will be nice.”
Samosa topped it all off with a smile that could have broken a storm for sunshine.
“Deal.” Stone drove down Coliseum Drive and made a left, keeping straight until the turnoff at Walmart. Samosa waited until he came around to open the door for her, she thanked him and they both went inside the supercenter.
She picked out a book bag with enough deep pockets to carry her soap and toothbrush and she picked up a few washcloths and some pearlescent peach colored lotion.
Next, Stone watched her gather some notepads, notebooks and pencils and pens. Finally he grabbed up some soup and bread.
When they got into the self checkout line, Stone pulled out his credit card, swiped and helped with her bags. He saw how she watched him through narrow eyes. Perhaps she was careful because nice guys could be murderers, rapists, con artists.
He was neither.
Although she should still be careful…
“Ready?” He carried all of their bags, not wanting her to strain herself at all.
Once he popped the trunk and put everything inside of it and closed it. Samosa tapped him on the shoulder.
“You are,” she began slowly shaking her head, eyes wide in disbelief. “The kindest person on the planet right now. I never-“He saw her eyes water up and she promptly went to the passenger side and got into the car.
Stone looked around him. People were everywhere. Shopping. Carrying babies. Playing with their siblings. It seemed that even though they had bad times, all Samosa would see are their good times.
Her time would come soon enough, if only she would let her guard down a little more. Stone got into his car and they drove in silence. Samosa’s thoughts were so loud he shivered. Not that he was a mind reader. He knew of one, but he could tell by her body language, her scent, the few words she did speak, that she would be a tough shell to crack and has been damaged beyond repair.
He knew her breath would be taken away after the hour drive, only to be standing in front of his massive home.
“You live here?” She asked very surprised.
“Yeah. It’s okay,” he smiled at her and took the bags from the trunk. He hit the car alarm from his keychain and did a quick intake of air through his nostrils. He had to do this for safety reasons. To scope out enemies.
They walked up the circular driveway which was neatly paved but well lighted. The garden smell of the ground was fresh, even the stairs had been cleaned.
“I don’t understand. What is it that you do to get a place like this? Why are you in college at all?” Samosa asked while he waved a hand over the bio-scan beside the door. It opened immediately and the fresh aroma of potpourri greeted them, along with his Golden Retriever Sugar Rocks.
The dog woofed, and pounced, landing his paws on the front of Samosa’s shirt. Stone was not surprised that she responded well, patting the dog gently on his head.
“What’s his name?” She said rubbing behind the dog’s ears.
Samosa blinked a few times. “Hey Sugar Rocks,” she cooed.
“This is my humble home. I’ll place your bags in one of my guestrooms and we can talk.”
Samosa let out the air she’s been holding onto ever since they pulled up to his palace. That’s right. A palace. She watched as Stone carried her bags effortlessly to another room, down a long hall. Sugar Rocks bounded off in another direction of the house. He barked once. Twice.
He is much too nice and much too handsome! Why in the world is he helping me at all? Samosa thought about the prissy girl at the bus stop with the thin figure and supermodel smile. Why am I here and not someone younger? More attractive?
Stone told her to make herself comfortable. He went down a long hall and made a left turn. Samosa, as curious as she was, could not sit down. She took to the winding, white stairs leading to the visible top landing where huge paintings depicting demons, angels, and warriors hung on the wall. They looked pretty authentic sitting in fancy gold frames. She took off her shoes so as not to ruin the plush, gray carpeting. Stone gray, she thought.
Two doors. One to her left, the other on her right. The one on the right was closed so she went left where the door was slightly opened. She pushed it farther aside and saw it was empty-just a small room with one window facing west.
She took a breath and walked out and to the door on the other end. She felt an odd, creepy sensation. Like her feet were filling up with electricity. When her hand touched the cool doorknob, it was a stimulating experience. She felt a vibration throughout her entire body.
She turned the knob. The door was not locked. Slowly pushed it in. The door swung back, nearly taking her body with it. Where the room on the left was bright inside, this room held darkness. It would swallow the light. She felt her body zing alive again and there was a curvy teapot looking lamp. Aladdin’s lamp? It gave off the only light in the room, softly glowing.
“Do you have any tattoos on your body? Anywhere?”
Samosa jumped when she heard him. She hoped he didn’t mind her little snooping problem. “Not really. No.”
“You must be lying. You have some kind of marking on that gorgeous body of yours.”
Samosa cringed but was excited too. She did have a mark but he couldn’t see it. Even her mother never knew what it was. It has always been there. How did he know?
“I have to know so you can see what I do.” He gently but smoothly guided her out of the room and back downstairs, where they sat in the main area filled with soft cushioned sofas.
“You remove strange birthmarks? In that case you can inspect it all you want.” Samosa joked sitting down.
When she observed that Stone was not laughing with her, she stopped abruptly and turned her back to him. She waited. Anticipated feeling those hands on her. What will he say?
She felt the ends of her shirt ride up. Each quarter of her back exposed to him. Amazingly he did not touch her at all. All she felt was the movement of her shirt.
“Hold it up for me.” He requested. She did. “My, oh my. I don’t believe it.”
Stone knew his mouth was hanging open too long. His throat began to itch and then dry. He wanted to touch her so badly. This heart symbol drawn to perfection over her entire back was an inky black mark.
The mark extended past her back, down her lower back to beginning of her hips and derriere. That’s when he reached out to touch it, with just one finger. He heard her quick intake of breath.
Her skin was very warm and satin soft. “You’ve had this since birth.” He whispered.
“Yes. My birth mom, Rosa thought I was strange when she saw it. That’s why she always had me wear long shirts even to the beach. Eventually the church got to her mind and told her to give me away. They also say that is why my real father is dead.”
Stone’s head and heart ached for Samosa right then. This was a woman with a broken soul.
“I have something to show you then,” He got up and watched her roll her shirt down quickly. He pushed up his t-shirt to reveal the exact same pattern over his chest. He saw her lick her lips and caught her blushing a few times but she looked astounded when she saw the symbol drawn over him.
“I don’t understand.” She said.
“We were meant to help one another.”
“Oh.” She said. Then shook her head again. He wanted to yank that red bow from her hair and let it swing free so he could twine of his fingers in those curls. “I still don’t get it.”
“What is it you want, Samosa. Right now? What do you want, right at this moment?”
She bristled and patted her shirt down in the front. “There is something I want more than anything, but with it I would want more and then I would be unable to keep it.”
Stone was not following the riddle, but if it made sense to her, and then it was her truth. She wanted something she thought she couldn’t obtain. That was fine. He has been there.
Maybe he should slowly weave her into his world. This could get nasty real fast.
“Do you believe in those things which you can’t see?”
“Right now the only thing I can believe and trust is myself. I see myself every day. I know my weaknesses and capabilities. Right now I don’t trust myself or you since we have the same mark.”
Stone wanted to tell her quickly why she bears his mark. Not now. She has endured enough all her life. Why explain it now to her?
“When a person is born, they are given special marks. No person can really decipher these marks and doctors quickly call them a birthmark.
“However, what you and I have are marks clearly and darkly imprinted since birth. It is a mark of fortune.”
Samosa blinked. “Can I have some water?” She scooted uncomfortably on the chair. Stone went into his massive chrome finish kitchen, filled a tall glass with purified water from tap and handed it to her. She commented how ice cold the water was.
“I have clean, cool water pumped throughout the house. The Jacuzzi upstairs clearly is untouched by the coolness.” He winked.
Samosa touched the glass to her lips and drank in a few sips. “I don’t think I’m fortunate. That theory is bunk.”
Stone was about to tell her the truth when his cell phone buzzed in his pocket. “Excuse me.” He walked into the foyer to answer it.
“I take it you found your mark, Stone of the Ice Rings.” The Grand Marid, head of their kind spoke eloquently into Stone’s ear. It scared him how diplomatic the Grand Marid sounded to people on the phone and yet he had the power to kill at the snap of his fingers.
“Yes, I think I found her.”
“Her.” A statement. Not a question.
Stone thought this one through. “I found her. In my class of all places. She was there all this time and today I picked up the psychic waves, her scent. She definitely bears the mark.”
“Good, good. So do what you have to until the next moon and I will hand over the rest of your powers and extend your life. This should be easy for you.” The Grand Marid paused. “If you want to move from a degenerate to almost as great as I.”
“I’ll do it. Just give me some ti-.”
“Are you demanding me?” The Grand Marid let out a hearty laugh that was a cross between nails scraping on the board and crashing waves against the rocks.
The Grand Marid hung up on that note. Stone hit the END button and came back to where Samosa sat sipping her water, looking lost.
He only had this moment, this time to get her to speak his language which was the most sensual of strokes to humans.
He pushed a few buttons on his touch screen phone and held it out to her.
“Can you pronounce these words?” The screen glowed, reflected in those beautiful eyes of hers.
She squinted. “Bring it closer.”
He did and he saw her silently pronouncing the long string of letters and words. Finally she pronounced the words aloud and the sound was like a sensual melody to him, played on a harp, tickled on a piano.
Her breathing become erratic, her chest moving up and down in waves, her face flushed a deep red and her hands ran down the length of her jeans.
“Wh-what just happened?” She shook as a leaf; he came over and put his hands on her shoulders.
“Do you trust me?” He asked. She shook her head no. He didn’t blame her, yet it didn’t prevent him from scooping her up in his arms and carrying her to the top floor where the bubbly hot tub and the dome which overlook the city and into the sky, lay waiting for them.
“What are you doing,” her words dragged, sounding drunk.
“You are about to receive everything you ever wanted.” He peeled off her sneakers and socks before he placed her on his bed. He had an idea. “Want to go change? I have some swimsuits in the bathroom.”
“No.” Samosa rubbed her temples. “Just tell me why I’m here.”
“I’m a jinni.”
“A what?” Samosa asked distracted by Stone rubbing the pad of her feet in a circular motion. Her feet were so soft- like wet baby skin.
“Sorry. Ever heard of genies? Well, it is what I am.” He slid his thumb firmly up the underside of her feet.
“I really think you’re on drugs.”
“It’s true. I know more about you than you think I know.” He moved to the other foot while Samosa looked ready to pass out. “All I have to do is touch you for a long period of time.”
“What a cheap way to try and bed me, Stone.”
He was prepared for that one. Pulling her head toward him and layingit on his shoulder, stroking her hair. He made sure his skin made contact with hers. Her cheek. His cheek.“Okay, how about this,” he kissed her forehead. “You stole Barbies from your best friend’s house one year. Then felt so guilty about it, you snuck them in your huge coat and brought them back the next year.”
“Oh yes you did. You may have been their friend but when you visit you took things from them when you thought no one was looking.”
Samosa’s mouth formed a perfect O as it began to dawn on her that Stone was not normal. “You’re a psychic.”
“I’m a jinni. And no, we do not pop out of a lamp when you stroke it. It is more complicated than that.”
“So why am I chosen? Why am I chosen by you? What did I do to deserve this?”
“You don’t have to do anything. A human is assigned an angel from birth, however sometimes crap still happens to you. I’m sure you agree.”
“So. Very long story short, jinn are different. We grant requests. Perfectly and immediately I am here for you. You bear the mark that so perfectly resembles mine for some odd reason- so whatever you want you can now have and I am at your service.”
“Just like that?” She sounded more awake this time.
“You’ve spoken the hidden words to unlock my power and now I have to obey,” Stone bowed low and kissed her big toe.
“Do you woo all your subjects like this?” Samosa shyly placed her feet behind her on the bed, away from Stone’s lips.
“Not really. I had a few people who were men- but they did not bear the mark. Only one bears the mark for everlasting fortune and not just three standard wishes.”
“It’s awkward because you feel this connection with them and it’s like a drug and the person is so drawn to you. It’s as if you are in love,” Stone smiled at her. “Nothing romantic comes of it though. I have a different preference…”
Samosa nodded. Stone realized she was beginning to understand.
The shiny glint in Stone’s eye when he talked about others he has granted wishes for, set her mind on a different plane. A higher plane. Were jinn for real? She had to know for herself. Any wish in the world? Just for her? After she wished, then what?
Stone asked her again to put on a bathing suit. She wasn’t a size two anymore she complained but went into the bathroom anyway and found the room beautiful and large. The tub was at least twenty feet away and there were two closets coated in ivory she pulled open.
The swimsuits hung in an assortment of rainbows and with tags still attached to them. Great. Her eyes went to a black swimsuit with a gold sarong attached.
After climbing out of her clothes, folding them up and neatly placing them on the white chest next to the closet and finally climbing into the stretchy suit, she found herself avoiding the life size mirror.
Samosa jumped. Stone came behind her and stood only a few inches from her. Her eyes caught his reflection in the mirror. He spoke like a snake.
“Thisss was made for you. Black as the night. The color of night means power.”
“I thought it was purple for royalty.” Samosa countered.
He chuckled and that’s when she felt the heat of his hands land on her hips. “In my world black is the color of those most powerful.”
When she thought about it, she wasn’t really that big anymore. After many walks to the bus stop, eating nothing but Ramen noodles and soups, her legs were not so large and her arms and chest were not big(her chest never was big).
“Thanks for the lesson,” she tried to move from the mirror. Stone held her waist fast.
“We’re not leaving until you say you are the most beautiful woman in the entire world. Say it.”
“I am the most beautiful woman in the world.”
She didn’t believe the words and so they never left the bathroom until she could yell she was the most beautiful woman in the world.
It took her five tries.
Stone pulled on every last one of Samosa’s words as she chatted away in the hot tub full of bubbles. She said it has been a while since she soaked in a tub and he was glad she liked it.
He took joy in seeing her more fully now. Jinn were carnal creatures and enjoyed the flesh and the spirit of a human. It was their food. Her body was slick and body flushed red, her brown skin was like a huge Kit Kat bar to him and her hair was finally let loose from the band allowing springy curls to bounce and dance around her heart shaped face.
Her husband should be smacked with the dumb stick. He left a beautiful, smart woman to play with another woman? Absurdity ruled men’s hearts these days which is why it was so easy to manipulate them, take their spouses and girlfriends and make them pay. Women were devious little cockroaches too, but Stone loved women more. Not girls. Women.
“What are some things people have wished for from you, Stone?”
“Why?” He relaxed his head against the cushion on the edge of the tub.
“I don’t want to wish for the same things. My wish should be unique.”
“You are unique,” Stone said now moving towards her. “You are extraordinarily unique.”
Samosa placed her arms behind her pushing against the edge of the Jacuzzi, trying to lean back away from him.
“Did they wish for money?”
“That’s the one I get all the time,” he said.
“Lord knows I need it.”
“Wish it then.” Stone thought she needed a bit more coercing, so he leaned in close to her sweet neck and lightly grazed his teeth along the length of it.
“Oh! Please don’t.”
“Ask then.” He said under her hesitation. Her hand went to his hair and she ran her short nails across his scalp causing his loins to fill with hot blood. Just from a simple touch like that set him on fire. Who was this woman?
“Should I ask for beauty?” She was half joking.
“Negative,” he said out of breath. “You have the beauty part down pat. Can’t you tell from my reaction?”
“I know what I want more than anything,.” Samosa looked into his eyes. Her golden eyes, lined in black had begun to twirl and twirl, like a whirlpool, her lashes wet with water and the sound of the jets could be heard beneath them.
“I wish for my cancer to disappear.”
He watched as she touched her head. Her hair moved in unison with her hand and with one pull the hair slid off revealing a smooth bald, brown head. Her eyes stood out catlike, but full of sorrow.
“Turn your back to me,” he said huskily. She did as he said; the water gently lapped between both their legs, her body fell snugly into his. He never told her to lean back but her faith in him was unwavering and true.
“You’ll feel something pierce you directly into your back, it will be my…tentacles filling in the small holes.”
He felt Samosa tense, her shoulders hunched up. He continued: “This is so once I insert them into you; we will be bonded. Mere words can’t ask for something to be done the right way every time.”
Samosa remained quiet, but he saw her cut her eyes at him. She wanted to see what monster he’ll become just to help her. He prepared himself by meditating on something beautiful. The process in growing these whip-like things was arduous to say the least and stupid if anyone asked. Plus, the only focus he ever had was an attractive person, not sunshine filled childhood.
Where he came from, there was always ash and smoke and red caverns with ox blood colored stalagmites; the smell of old death…
He concentrated on the curvy woman close to him; her marking pulsated, like a heartbeat. It shook and shimmied, turning clockwise first and then counterclockwise. He closed his eyes and concentrated. The hard part was almost over.
The best was yet to come.
Samosa did not know what tune Stone was humming but it was lulling her to a relaxed state she never experienced before, not even in sleep. Showing her baldness was a bold step. Maybe he would have then tossed her out to end this beautiful, mysterious dream.
Instead, he was offering something alien to her. She did not know what to expect, only that if a man or whatever he was could do half of what he promised her, she would no longer have to deal with the sickness or the influx of bills.
And so came the itching and burning sensation on her back. She hadn’t felt that sting in years! Her insides began to feel hot as if boiled in a witch’s cauldron. She grit her teeth. “What’s happening to me?”
Samosa turned her head and was shocked at Stone’s chest heaving up and down and thick, but small, pink fleshy tentacles burst forth in different spots from his mark. His voice was raspy.
Stone’s eyes were filled to a total black and his hands remained on her hips to steady her. She didn’t know whether to feel aroused or frightened. She felt him lean over her back and very close to her ear said,
“The next part is always exciting. Just relax.” He kissed the lobe of her ear and felt something poke her deep into her back. It didn’t hurt, just felt- different. Then several piercings all at once lodged deep into her back. She exhaled loudly and gave a sharp cry when she could feel them all moving inside her at once.
It was the most pleasurable thing in the world to feel. Then she felt Stone’s hands move up slowly from her hips to her ribcage. She couldn’t talk, just close her eyes and relish in this delicious, sensual stroke.
Just as quickly, there were images in her mind. The images were from her childhood but mixed with some of his. She knew the slender boy with the long, black ponytail, riding atop some black winged beast was Stone.
Anything you want, I can sense it. You want to be rid of the cancer in your breasts and your body? I can do that. Do you want this gift?
Samosa’s spirit said yes with all of its might. Her heart slammed hard behind its cage like a wild lion, then her neck, head, entire body felt so hot she thought she would either melt or explode!
What happened next was her lying in complete darkness. She didn’t care if she floated to the bottom of the pool. She would die happy.
The Grand Marid stepped inside the house; his eyes darting around like a cat in search of its prey. His walk was slow and methodical, his bare feet glided across the shiny floor.
To Stone he looked hungry. He stood before The Grand Marid and a second later, bowed to the ground, mere inches from kissing the Grand Marid’s feet.“Do you have what I came for Stone of the Ice Rings,” The Marid smiled, revealing two long canines, like snake fangs. His grey eyes were stern, the lids lined with kohl. He could pass for a handsome woman or very, very attractive thirty year old man. Although he was perhaps thousands years old.
“She’s sleeping. I took most of her essence-“
“Most!” The Grand Marid’s voice shook the entire mansion, Stone saw Sugar Rocks leap up the stairs as if fire was chasing him. “Do you want your powers back or not? The request was for a whole soul and you found her. A perfect match!”
Stone’s hopeful thoughts were dashed away. “She has suffered enough, Grand Marid. I took all of what I could possibly take.”
“You could die tonight. I suggest you think happy thoughts of your life and hers right now. With one word I can have her killed.”
“Wait!” Stone held out his hand, daring not to touch the Grand Marid for fear of that same hand being cut off. Literally. “I can get more from her. Tonight. I have a plan.”
“Ah. You wish to make a temporary pet of her.” He tapped his long, black talon along his cheek. Seconds ticked by. “Alright. All I can promise is that you may suffer. Just not at this hour.”
Stone thanked the Grand Marid for his “kindness” and watched as he simply floated through the window and beyond the trees. Those who saw it would think it were smoke from the chimney curling up into the sky and how wrong they’d be.
Samosa tried to lift her eyelids but they were so heavy, like invisible tape was binding them permanently to her cheeks. She tried squeezing her eyes them opening them back up. Her whole body felt more alive than it had in two years since her diagnosis, yet she felt she lost something too. What was it?
The memories from the night before flooded back to her and she covered her mouth in disbelief. Stone and her. Jacuzzi. Touching. Things growing from his chest…sex?
No. They did not engage in coitus. This was something so different, so alien. She could not put her finger on it. On top of all this confusion, her head felt hot and itchy.
Reaching upwards, she felt a downy soft, tuft of…hair! She hadn’t had her own hair in ages! She ran her fingers through the silky tresses and it came tumbling down her shoulders. Thick, black and full of curls. Her chest looked a bit more prominent, not small from her lack of eating properly and having two mastectomies. They were there.
It was so bittersweet. It was only sweet because she knew without a doubt she was healed, but what would she do from here?
“I see you’re up.” Stone came in with a plate of food and cup on a tray. It smelled like orange juice, eggs and sausage. An early breakfast.
“Thanks.” She yawned, stretched and leaned her head back on the headboard, then suddenly bounced from the bed hopping around the room even lifted up her shirt, not caring Stone was in the room. “I’m whole again!”
The scars, the bruising was gone. She stood before the full length mirror hanging on the door. Her body was smooth and toned and she still had those dangerous curves which won her many stares from the opposite sex.
“Now you must tell me,” she said going up to Stone and then kissing him fast on the lips. “What did I do to deserve this? Is this a dream? Did I get hit by a truck before I met you and landed in a coma?”
“Neither.” Stone put the tray down on the bed. “You wanted to be healed and so you got it.”
Samosa couldn’t help it, she kissed him again. “Thank you,” she said to him and grazed his lips again. Stone then kissed her passionately. His mouth moved hot against hers, sealing their lips together and then pressed a hand to her head to pull her closer, deepening the kiss.
Samosa was on fire. She wanted more. Her hands searched him everywhere. The breakfast tray crashed to the floor; she tugged at his shirt, unaware at how black her nails have become and how hungry she was for something edible: Him.
Maybe it was him she wanted to eat. She wanted him so bad she got a headache which rapidly reached a feverish pitch. That’s when he stopped her with both of his hands. “I didn’t think this would happen so very quickly.”
“What do you mean?” Samosa kept moving against him, flicking out her tongue each time to taste his lips, cheek, neck. “Don’t you like me?” She whined.
“I really do. More than you know, but there’s something I neglected to mention.”
Samosa felt a hum in the back of her mind. Canceling all rational thought she tried to have, zeroing in on just her desire for him, for his body.
“In order for the Bond to be complete, you must give me your entire soul. It’s like a manipulation system. To work the universe in your favor, I have to tweak your soul to receive what is fortune and it is housed here,” Stone pointed to his bare chest.
Samosa stepped away from him. “You. Took. My. Soul.”
Stone nodded. “Not your whole soul, I changed the essence of it though.” His head hung low now, Samosa stopped touching him, her eyes reverting back to shame and anger at the same time.
“No wonder I feel like some hungry void.” She cursed. “Even my nails are black.” What does that mean?”
“I needed to help you so I can help myself. I am in grave danger.”
Samosa shook her head in confusion.
Stone braced himself to tell her the truth. She wouldn’t like it but either way when the sun tops the sky and The Grand Marid comes, she will have to be dead, as in not living at all just so he could live. Samosa sat on the edge of the bed; chomping on her food he cooked again-sausages, eggs, and ham. For some reason humans craved anything red and fleshy after giving up their soul. He was prepared for this one.
He told her the entire truth. About how he has taken souls over the millennia and was fed in this way, but this also feeds his Master. It was always a win/win/lose situation because he would always benefit from the souls he can have and exchange for goods (like money), the human gets their fortune but eventually the human will lose. In some cases his kind would lose.
That was rare.
Samosa’s body trembled noticeably as he revealed what every human’s fate would be: Cursed to illness, suicidal tendencies, homicidal, cannibalistic, or just basically reduced to an animal, wanting flesh and to destroy. Then finally put into Limbo which is said to be housed in The Grand Marid’s astral body.
“I know this is confusing and I hate to come off as a liar in the beginning, but I need this from you.”
Samosa sat her food aside, daintily wiped her lips. She wore only his long shirt and nothing underneath and was barefoot. She padded over to his window which overlooked the lawn below and the stars above.
“I knew you were not from here,” she said gravely. “You were too giving. Too nice.” She let her forehead rest on the window’s glass. Stone couldn’t command his feet to stop reaching her. When he did, he slid his hands around her waist.
“There has to be another way.” Samosa sighed. “I may hate this world, but you’ve suddenly given me something that’s been missing.”
“No.” Samosa took one his hands and gave a feather-light kissed his on his knuckle. “Something to look forward to. My foster mom is a devout Christian. A woman who read her bible daily, she prays daily and gives to the poor. I wanted to be just like her. I thought if I prayed hard enough, long enough, I could be just as happy as she.”
Stone rested his head on her shoulder. “So you do believe in God.”
“Always have,” she answered truthfully, with conviction. “I had to, because then I can be angry at someone and not at a wall or the empty sky. That would be depressing.”
“I’m glad to provide proof of the other side. Now what about the problem at hand? I don’t want to kill you.”
“You can try,” he saw her flex her hands in the reflection of the mirror. “I feel stronger.”
“Not as strong as I am, love. I’d rather pick a less violent way.”
“This coming from a man called Stone?” Samosa faced him; he noticed how the thin bottom and top lids of her eyes became lined in black. A result of the Bond.
“My full name is Stone of the Ice Rings. I was born on the outskirts of Saturn’s rings.”
“Unbelievable,” Samosa pointed to the window, up where the night sky was glittered with stars. “You mean up there? The Saturn?”
“Exactly. So if we can get back to the pressing matter of your soul and The Grand Marid possibly ending my life, I’d like that.”
“Alright. So where does this Grand Marid live? Does he have any weak spots?” Samosa asked while moving past him and to the bathroom.
Stone heard water gushing from the sink. She was probably brushing her teeth.
“He doesn’t live on this plane of the world. He is very shifty and cunning and could be in this room this very minute.”
Stone didn’t hear Samosa respond. He heard the water still running. “Samosa?” He crossed his arms and called her name again.
Stone felt as if someone dumped ice on his chest. He grabbed the knob and turned.
Samosa was in The Grand Marid’s clutches, her chin held up with one of his long hands, her legs swung free, eyes were wild and feverish.
“I see why you wanted to risk your life,” The Grand Marid continued, grinning wickedly before running his long tongue across Samosa’s neck and cheek. “I really can be any place at any time.” Stone tightened his fists into a ball and like a cougar, leapt at The Grand Marid.
The Grand Marid quickly lifted Samosa in the air by her jaw,her soft neck exposed and two gentle seconds from snapping.
“I take the low road, Grand Marid.” Stone said defeated. “I ask that you strip me of my powers, of my will and I will become the cursed Nightwalker. Just let me have Samosa.”
The Marid blinked his pretty eyes and slowly lowered Samosa back down to the floor. Her eyes were feral and untamed and he never turned her loose. “To take the curse to save a woman,” The Grand Marid laughed. “Would you be able to live like that?”
The floor met Stone’s knees. He buried his head in his hands. “I know it is much to ask, Grand Marid. But I love her.”
“Heh,” The Marid huffed. “This spoken from someone who probably has children spread across the universe?”
Stone watched Samosa flinch from this bit of news. His trysts across the planet, the stars, and the galaxy were well known. Truthfully, he had lain with hundreds of questionable females through time. However, something was different about Samosa. He needed her.
“You can have her, Stone of the Ice Rings.” The Grand Marid watched Stone through laughing eyes. “But your punishment will be my glory!”
Stone felt as if rocks suddenly settled in his gut. He lifted his head and gave one look into Samosa’s heart shaped face. He knew then the Grand Marid had won.
The Grand Marid licked his pointed choppers while he caressed Samosa’s face. A single stroke which drove Stone crazy. Time ticked on as he held Samosa’s chin high up. He could snap her neck back any minute and Stone would not save her in time. He was fast but not blindingly fast as the monster that stood before him.
The Grand Marid inhaled deeply and blew a gust of frigid air right onto Stone. Stone felt his body shiver and then his arms flailed about. He could hear Samosa’s screams. His leg jerked and his entire body suddenly felt as if ice pokers were jabbing him in his ribcage. It was like a giant tickler that was meant to torture and his lungs felt squeezed.
His original powers were leaving him.
They sat entwined under the heavy moonlight. One caressing the other’s face. Another, with exploring hands; tongues dueling. Both bodies void of any clothing. The morning will come and she will no longer see her Stone.
He told her he never suffered a Curse such as this one before so it will be new to them both. They had a disagreement over her soul. She didn’t want all of it back because then her sickness would return and she enjoyed feeling healthy and in control.
Stone then explained he was part of a race who were not kind creatures- typically. Whatever they do is for their own benefit in the end. Samosa said maybe he was the last of his kind. He must have been cut from a different cloth.
That night, Stone made love to Samosa. First, slowly and passionately and then once she became used to him, they blended into one another, comfortably. Both starved for something and needing this Something terribly.
When the morning came, Samosa opened her eyes to the sunlight, used her hand to cover her eyes for the sun’s liquid light slipped through the blinds. Stone was hers and she will love him as he’ll love her forever. Marriage was foreign to him, he told her. It wasn’t for her either. All they had was now.
Rolling over she realized she was the only one in bed. The sheets were tangled from last night. The scent of lovemaking, a sweet perfume hung on the fabric of the pillows and mattress. “Stone?” She called softly.
Samosa squinted at the blinds. It sounded like he was standing there. “It’s part of my curse, love.”
It was like looking at a misty, digital form of him. “Oh Stone!” She cried and leaped from the bed to stand by him. She caught sight of his finger tracing her face, her hair and then down her neck.
“Can you live in this way? Can you step into a brighter room so I can see you?”
Stone was quiet for a minute before answering. “It doesn’t work that way. Day and night are not only predicated on sun and moon. Our bodies, even yours is programmed to come up with the sun. It’s a physiological thing. Even in a much lightened room I will be invisible. I am sorry, Samosa.”
Her tears bubbled then fell.
Sadly, she would have to get used to this.
Part 2: Elope With the Night
“But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” [James 1:14-15]
He was a genie in love with a human- for real this time.
Stone thought that becoming a Nightwalker would have just one disadvantage: being invisible in the daylight. But knowing how the Grand Marid operates, there was more to it than just that. As soon as Dawn pebbled the earth with her wicked beauty, Stone would feel his heart slow down and then the feeling of being sucked into some ice cold gelatin comes over him and the world becomes semi clear and he can no longer touch what belongs to him: his dog Sugar Rocks, his favorite chair, his books…
Nearly ten months ago he met Samosa Green at the local community college. Actually, he knew of her and watched her for a couple semesters before approaching her. He felt drawn to her. Of course he would. As a jinni, or genie as most contemporaries would call him, he felt drawn to his “would-be masters” because they are the ones whom the wish would be granted.
Samosa was not only attractive; she attracted him on a powerful level. She bore his mark on her back. An inky black tattoo with little raised bumps. Those bumps eventually open up like small pores and Stone’s penile tentacles would lodge inside to stain and transform her soul with each wish. It is a complicated process and delicate as well.
After a few moments, Samosa would feel the same vibrations- as if she were making love to someone and became overwhelmed. Jinni feel overwhelmed with the Bonding process as well and sometimes their subjects became their lovers.
Jinni did not have monogamous relationships and sometimes shared their partners with other jinni. There was no such thing as jealousy- at least not on a grand scale like humans. Jinni are essentially demons and so they persuade and use provocative means to get humans to do ruthless things to each other.
But here is where Stone’s problem came in: He was at least a thousand years old and has had lots of sexual conquests. He had every female or female- like creature since he was able to think. And each time he let her go easily. There was one he became attached to really badly but even she had to go.
Samosa will not be shared with anyone. That could be written in stone so to speak. Even now Stone craved her touch, her tongue on his lips, her taste on his and the way they made love should be put down in the books that should be Banned.
It was safe to say he loved Samosa. Very much. But the pains each day grew worse. He became was becoming morose. He looked forward to nights and the moon just so he could have contact with the world. This Curse was silly and needed to be lifted. Out at his garden, he glided past Sugar Rocks who could see him clearly, he supposed, but whined. Samosa was in her favorite room, fuming, upset at him because he suggested they have a “cool down” time from so much connecting, Bonding.
Apparently, she was changing too. And that change was killing her inside.
She headed downstairs and raided the cabinets. The frozen meats would take too long to thaw so she had to settle for a bologna and roast beef wrap. The rest of the roast beef she ate by itself. Her stomach still roared but not as loud.
Ever since Bonding with Stone and making love with him- Samosa’s nails remained a coal black and sharp- her appetite picked up tremendously. Already she began having dreams of eating small possums, mice and cats.
Stone in his invisible form was down in the garden house outside. He said he needed space. So Samosa ignored him. She ignored him for three nights. Ever since he told her they need to stay from each other. She was becoming sick or something like that. He slept in his room and she slept in one of the other opulent rooms in the house. She returned to the room she had painted yellow with a landscape scene of ducks in a sky blue pond right beneath the window. This room faced West where more sunlight seemed to spill on a good sunny day like today.
She hadn’t been in a sunny mood lately so this room cheered her up a bit. With its flat screen television hanging up over a washed white entertainment center and the sofa that turned into a bed when needed was perfect.
As soon as she sat down and turned on the television she felt him there.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“About what,” she turned to a channel. Then another. Another.
“I want you to be normal again. Us being together is damaging you.”
“I am fine, Stone.” She shut the TV off and folded her legs under her. Purposely(or not) revealing her smooth inner thigh and bare feet. She had the cutest, smallest feet in Stone’s opinion.
“There is no way I am going to have you suffer for me, Samosa. I won’t have it. I found a possible solution for us; because I haven’t been feeling well myself.”
Samosa’s face took on that of a concerned woman for her man. She didn’t know how this was hurting him too. She felt foolish. Selfish.
“How so? How are you feeling?”
“I’m nauseous most days and been feeling a bit depressed. I talked to an old friend of mine and we concurred that my jinni powers being stripped to almost nothing is probably making me weak.”
“What? Oh no.” Samosa wanted to touch him. He was close to her now. She felt the barest of touches, like a graceful wind on her cheek just then. “Did you know this would be a result of your curse?”
“No. I knew I would become a Nightwalker, but the sickness and depression I never guessed were part of the deal.”
“We need to do something then.”
“There is a solution and it is something that neither of us would agree to even under good circumstances.”
“Tell me,” Samosa looked where she thought he might be. She was kind of accurate though, facing the guest room door.
Marriage was the stupidest idea Korin could have come up with. Just because he was on this whole philosophical religious trip didn’t mean Stone had to be. When he met his old friend for drinks last night and told him about Samosa, he was expecting something different. Korin was definitely a thinker who was unique and the only jinni whose eyes could turn color with every mood, every weather. He was also as eye catching as Stone so they had their days of competing for the females.
However, the picture of Samosa on the cell phone showed Korin one thing: That Samosa was indeed Turning which is what happens when a human soul is tainted. It is kind of like a tug of war. Human souls are plugged into Something before they die and a genie can taint it all he wants but to possess it…that was different. The human psyche couldn’t handle that kind of warfare and so they become greedy little urchins who could not stop feeding. Worse case scenarios involved anything from cannibalisms and other homicides to suicides, or forever stuck in a mental prison.
Even then, those cases were rare. Stone highly regarded Korin’s expertise, especially now since Stone could not even report to the Grand Marid anymore. His powers to grant anyone else wishes besides Samosa were over and he was nauseously invisible in daylight.
Korin explained that marriage would seal the Bond and make their souls whole, united. This is because a whole new covenant would be formed and Stone will no longer be a slave to anyone. Possibly.
He didn’t mind being a slave to Samosa though. Even now she sat pouty with her large eyes looking at him strangely.
“Marriage?” She repeated.
“I don’t like the idea and am looking into other solutions. I just know we both can’t go on like this.”
“Demons and humans weren’t meant to unite.”
Stone took her icy hands. “I’m not that bad. I mean, I do care for you Sam.”
“But our love is literally killing us. I mean. I’m not sure I want to even walk down the aisle again.”
“And you know me,” he rubbed a thumb under her chin. “I just don’t do those things. Korin is another story though.”
“He’s a married jinni?”
“No. He’s kind of reformed. I think.”
“So, I guess we have a lot to talk about.”
“ But I don’t want to talk,” she said huskily and bit her bottom lip. Stone wanted to kiss her and fist her hair of unruly curls around his hand so bad- but couldn’t in this form. She was the only one for him. Made perfectly for him.
“Mom.” Samosa sat across from her adoptive mom Anna White. Samosa’s adoptive father, Henry White passed over a year ago. The drapes were still the same pale lavender and the place always smelled of fresh laundry. In fact, Samosa bought her mother the Febreeze with the scent of Gain recently. They sat at the kitchen table conversing over a steaming cup of Apple Cinnamon Spice tea.
“I said I’m engaged.” Samosa repeated. Anna brushed her hair back and tugged on her silver cross. Her lips were thin with soft Coral tint and the crows feet by her eyes were beginning to rest on her plain but smooth and honest face.
“I heard you the first time,” her mom’s voice sounded rough. She looked at Samosa and asked if she was tired or using drugs.
“ I’m happy and getting married. Didn’t you get the picture of Stone I sent?”
“I did. But where is he at a time such as this?”
“In the car.”
“Invite him in.”
Samosa cleared her throat. “You have to.”
Anna regarded her daughter with a keen perception- born of years as a mother and volunteer crisis counselor at a local grief center. So she knows when there is something wrong just by a tone of voice, the twitch in a brow or neck, the dilation of pupils. Little things like that.
“He abuses you?”
Not exactly, thought Samosa. Being tied to him is abusing my body. My soul.
“No. He’s awesome mom.” Samosa went out the door to wave at Stone, who slid out confidently from his seat just as another car pulled into the driveway.
Anna met Stone at the door. She pulled on her eye glasses and peered up at him. Stone’s body filled the doorway. His presence was enough for Anna to suck in her breath and back away from him.
“S-Stone is it?” Her mother stuttered. That was surprising.
“Yes ma’am.” His rich, foreign accent sounded seductive without meaning to be.
Her mother cleared her throat. “Where are you from? What do you do? Why Samosa? Will you make her happy?” Rapid fire questions were thrown at Samosa’s exotic lover.
New Mexico. Teaching. Unique for me. I am enchanted with her. His answers were simple lies- except for the enchanted part, but Samosa caught him sweating beads down his neck. His eyes stayed on her mother’s silver cross the entire time. Okay so that was why he sweated buckets of slick sweat.
“Are you religious, Stone?”
Shift. Scoot. “Depends.”
“Do you mean organized religion?”
Samosa interjected. “Mom is the Sunday school teacher at New Christian Church down the street. She is a devout believer.” She smiled reassuringly at her mother then said, “Stone is deeply spiritual.”
Anna nodded. “I see.”
At that moment, a knock pounded on the door. Not a loud pound, but more insistent. Samosa looked at her mother for clues, but Anna wore a blank expression as she rose to answer the door.
That familiar scent!
Irish Spring and Navy cologne.
Stone watched Samosa stand speechless. Who was this man?
The guy’s eyes moved from him to Anna, and finally rested- a bit long on Samosa. He gave a small smile and waved at her. Stone blocked Samosa’s view of this tall, dark skinned stallion that had the nerve to waltz in here throwing the testosterone level to hell.
“Mom…um, why is Lyle here?”
Anna closed the door and offered a seat to Lyle, who took it with a booming thank you. Stone realized Anna did not offer him a seat-oh well. Lyle’s entire aura was programmed to lure women. Stone knew this because he had methods far superior to Lyle’s to get them into his bed as well. But this couldn’t be the ex who dumped his Samosa. And he sat there grinning ear to ear like a Jack O-Lantern.
Samosa got from behind Stone and faced her ex. Stone’s hand was on the small of her back.
“You better explain yourself. You too mom. What’s going on?”
Anna sighed and looked piteously at Samosa. “Lyle heard you were dating.”
“How the hell-?” Stone’s inquiry was cut off when Lyle replied “Facebook”. Which Stone knew was a lie. For anyone to have known outside of his home meant either Samosa was lying to him which couldn’t be thought of right now, or someone was snooping around their home. His dog Sugar Rocks can’t talk so he wasn’t the snitch.
“You’re the new man, I see.” Lyle said.
“Her only.” Stone replied with venom.
“Look,” Lyle leaned against the arm of the paisley colored sofa. “I’m not here to start anything. I was concerned. She was close to leaving this world.”
“Funny how you left though. Why be so concerned now?” Stone thundered in return.
“I was concerned then.” Lyle said softly. Gazing at Samosa he said: “Maybe I couldn’t take the pressure of going to all those cancer treatments, Samosa losing her weight and hair, her vitality left the marriage. I’m human.”
Stone scoffed at the piece of louse called a human before him. Lyle Greywood and others like him proved that demons weren’t the only ones causing hell on Earth.
Stone refocused his attention on Samosa; very aware that Lyle was too. Not to say Lyle was competition, because he was NOT on a large scale. Yet he was a pretty boy and at one point Samosa fell for him and loved him.
Stone still had his sharp hearing and sense of smell, but his psychic abilities were fading away and he couldn’t peer close enough into Lyle’s psyche to see what he was really up to. If Korin was right, then marrying Samosa over to his side would need to be done quickly. The ceremony would need to be arranged by one of his jinn hosts.
There were just too many.
Thick, fat, crimson worms squiggled on their bellies and littered the red earth with their wet bodies. Death and decay abound and she saw them all being eaten by Something. She knew they were being eaten because she would hear the gnashing teeth and slurp and burp of whatever was eating them.
She had this dream before.
[_ When she’d try to run- she couldn’t. She’d see him. Stone. But he was not Stone. Not quite. This Stone sat with legs crossed, on a red hilly plain overlooking into a new pasture of green grass and sprouts of blue waterfalls- his hair cut short in the modern way men wear today. Not in a long braid anymore. He sat with his back straight in a meditative pose. _]
He was peaceful.
“Hey gorgeous,” he’d say without looking and pull her over to him with just the hook of his finger. She would look behind her at all of the chaos and death. She felt rumbles of earthquakes and tornadoes fox trot the earth in fast twirls taking up dead bodies and worms and spewing them back across the red plain with no mercy.
“Where are we?” She asks over the roar and chaos.
“Sit with me.” Stone took her hand. “Your hand is still so cold, but not icy as before.” He took his tongue and licked across her knuckles, turned her palm upward and pressed a warm kiss into it. “I like that world.” He indicated the green, fresh plains before him.
“It’s beautiful over there,” she pointed out. “But what’s going on behind us? Why so much death?”
“Oh. That.” Stone’s sexy lips kissed her hand once more. “We’re leaving that behind. Look at what’s before us. We can step into a new day, a new world. This one passes behind us. We step forward.” Then he stood and pulled her up to him.
“We can go there now?” She looked over the rim of the red hill and saw new flora and fauna sprouting before her very eyes. Little people. No… Babies, human babies were sprouting from slowly blooming flowers: their pink, brown, and reddish flesh unrolled from between the petals-littered the new world.
“Let’s go.” Stone said.
But before she could leap with him, she saw how beatific he’d look. How… Scrumptious.
How hungry she was.
The new world would never accept her.
She was way too hungry.
She leaned over to return a kiss to his hand.
Bit his hand clean off.
She munched, chewed and swallowed, smeared a bloody kiss on his paling screaming face.
Stone’s screams filled the air like a thousand alarms going off.
Samosa shot out of bed and landed on her rump. The incessant alarm kept buzzing and so while wiping her drool with one hand she shut the thing off and turned to where Stone was supposed to be.
“Your stomach growled all night.” He said.
She couldn’t see him.
It was morning, so of course his Curse kept him invisible in daylight.
“Yeah, I guess it was.” She rooted around for her slippers and once she found the white fuzzy things, put them on and her white, silk robe as well. “I’m always hungry. Where are you?”
“Here.” She felt his breath on her cheek. He was right on her.
“So. Who is it we’re seeing today?”
“Korin. An old pal of mine. He’s going to explain the ritual to you.”
“So, it’s not like a wedding wedding, but more like a ceremony.”
Stone didn’t answer for so long, Samosa stomped her feet like a bratty child. “Why are you so quiet? Which is it?”
“It’s a ceremony but Korin will have to explain that. I never went through one before.”
“Sorry I got mad, it’s just that”- Pause. “I have another wish.”
He was silent again.
“Well, actually I had a weird dream last night and it made me sad but ludicrous and…feeling deranged.” She walked out onto the balcony adjacent to the bedroom, smelled the crisp and cool November air. The trees’ limbs were stretched forth as if in praise of their Creator, some squirrels scurried around and around the tree. She saw Sugar Rocks barking at them.
“Your dreams are visions, Samosa.”
“Because of what I am? Whatever that is.”
“Yes. Messing with your soul each time you want a wish fulfilled or even making love to you, marks you and unlocks what door may have been closed to you as a mortal. Whatever you dreamed take it as a warning first and not a gift.”
“You don’t want to know about it.”
“I believe you.”
“I bit your hand off and felt good about it.”
“We need to see Korin,” Stone replied quickly. Closing the balcony door and going into the kitchen, Samosa threw together a tall order of cheesy scrambled eggs and carved a mountain of pineapple ham into ribbons that filled an entire 2 quart cooking pot. She ate alone. In silence. No longer feeling Stone’s presence, but knowing he was anxious for her to finish up so they could go to Korin’s place.
Stone was a terrific navigator. He told Samosa the exact roads to take to get to Korin’s home. Korin typically resided between realms. In the Multiverse or on whichever planet he wanted to at the time, but he did have a nice estate in a couple of places. The home they were heading to Korin recently purchased in Hampton, Virginia. A modest home painted in pale green and pearl white. A home with three bedrooms- nice and quaint for a family.
Samosa stepped out from the car. “This looks like a family home.” They were parked near a cul-de-sac where a few blond haired children whizzed by each other on bikes and fancy designed helmets. “Does Korin have a family?”
Stone got out of the car, still invisible. “We can’t have families. We are slaves with no way to produce our own. We don’t even have our own names. Stone is what I call myself but the Grand Marid scoffs at that because he knows it is not my given name.”
A couple of thin teen girls skated by watching Samosa talking to herself no doubt. The one with auburn hair falling down her shoulders hid her mouth behind a bony hand- snickers followed.
“A given name?”
“It’s how Korin explains it: He says we all, including humans, have a name established before birth but we call ourselves what others name us or what we come up with later. Don’t ask. I don’t get it either.”
“This is a nice home though,” Samosa admired the clean cut lawn with its huge black bags of leaves lined up on the curb and the green and white swing set in the foreground from the flowerpots in the background.
As soon as she reached the door, it opened, letting out a whoosh of fragrant apple pie and baked chicken.
A pair of kaleidoscope eyes and the most stylish and windswept blond streaked hair she ever did behold, greeted her.
“Samosa, this is Korin. He is a jinni like me but-“
“Highly unorthodox,” Korin finished with a broad smile on his face. He welcomed her holding her hands and gently pulled her into his home. He was so tall and beautiful, just like Stone. But he wore a long white robe- a cross between Karate Gi and clerics robe and had what looked like peace all over his face. If he were human, he would be described as a typical Californian surfer guy or a model but he was more than that. She could feel it.
“You were right, Brother. She is just heavenly to behold.” Korin said boldly. Samosa felt the air chill several degrees next to her.
“Don’t stand gawking at my woman; tell us what we need to know about the ceremony.” But Samosa saw how Korin’s eyes took time and pleasure to drink her all in. Every inch of her body was explored and handled with supreme approval. He didn’t care if Stone was there. It has been so long since she felt desired and now two inhuman beings took interest? In her?
“Forgive me. I guess he forgot to tell you we are purely sexual beings and although I am trying a humble, more sacred path in my life my old nature always finds its way home.”
“What he means is, he still likes beautiful women and sex.” Stone grunted.
Samosa didn’t know what to say. She liked how Korin’s eyes changed colors from one moment to the next and the honest way he spoke. Of course, no one can compare to Stone. It’s just that being in the presence of these two otherworldly men was turning on her hotbox and her loins pulsated like a beating heart.
“I agree with Stone,” she said quickly. “Let’s just get down to business.” Korin’s purple eyes returned to a calm blue.
“Yes.” He led them down the foyer and to his study. His home was simple enough and his study was like the small office of a CEO, a basic wood desk, some books in the back row of shelves. She saw several awards and degrees hanging up on his wall- just like Stone had on his wall. Three comfortable chairs were set out in front of the wide desk.
“Have a seat my dear,” Korin said eyeing her lips then shaking his head to remove whatever thought was on his mind.
Korin shuffled books and papers around. “As you know, Stone, I’ve been on a long hundred year journey to different lands and have been studying different philosophies, religions around the world.”
“Just saying. You and Samosa may not be the first to go through this type of ceremony. Have you discussed with her what you are asking for?”
“That’s why we’re here.” Samosa said.
“I know, Darlin’” Korin said in such Southern syrupy sweet tone, Stone wanted to knock him dead to the floor. “I think you must know that the ritual will be a sort of sacrifice.”
Stone saw Samosa snap her head in his direction. Good. He was invisible so she couldn’t see the nervousness on his face. Damn Korin!
“Sacrifice! I did not know that!”
“Samosa, with all due respect to you, demons like us do not marry traditionally. You have to know that. There is no marriage at all, really. It is simply a ritual to get you completely turned and perhaps cure Stone once the both of you have completed it. I found it in an ancient scroll near the Middle East.”
Stone watched Samosa’s face go from red to just tired. What was she thinking? Korin probably knew.
“I take it you are not okay with the arrangement?”
“Of course not! I mean. I love God, I believe in God. It sounds like devil worship” She watched Korin flinch at the name of God, but he tried to appear benign.
“But you knew what Stone was at the beginning, right?”
“In her defense, she didn’t exactly know.”
“But during the Bond she knew. And after, she still allowed you to stain her soul and she went to bed with you.” Korin said in a matter of fact tone.
“I did.” Samosa admitted. “But Stone is…different.”
“This is what will happen: A ritual will be performed by me and a few other jinn will be present. Personally, I do not wish for this ritual to happen. I am not fond of it.”
“Why not?” Samosa quizzed.
Korin looked at her and suddenly she felt an electric jolt in her belly and a vision so clear- passion and heat seized her. Korin’s lips were suddenly on her face, neck, hair and his hands moved all over and through her. His tongue danced from her neck, down her back-
“Stop man!” Stone’s shout broke the reverie. Samosa looked at herself, her legs were twitching. Did Korin just project something horny image onto her mind?
“Sorry.” He apologized. “I am trying to be good. Do good. I prefer not to sacrifice human souls anymore.”
“Hypocrite,” Stone spat. He was tired of Korin’s games today. “You are not Cursed as I am which means you are still the Grand Marid’s lap dog bringing souls back to him.”
“Negative. I’m hanging that up and have for the last fifty years.”
“You’re old like Stone too?” Samosa said still quivering from the fantasy of being with Korin. “I mean you look so young.”
“We never age hon’ ”
“Keep mesmerizing my girl and you won’t have to worry about aging at all.” Stone threatened.
“How soon do you need this to happen?” Korin went back to business. “By the looks of her and that loud rumbling stomach, she’s going to end up like Cyn in no time.”
Another bag opened that Korin couldn’t keep shut. Stone cursed.
“Who’s Cyn?” Samosa asked.
Korin excused himself. He said they could discuss while he prepared the buttered rolls, then he’ll call them in for an early dinner.
Samosa turned to where Stone was. “Who’s Cyn?” She asked again.
Cyn was a mistake. Stone could feel the vibration of confusion all around the room. Samosa’s presence was like an earthquake threatening to open and split the room. She asked if it was sin as in sinning against God or something.
“No. C-Y-N is how her name was spelled.”
“Her,” Samosa bit her bottom lip.
“This was more than five hundred earth years ago. She was with another jinni. He was her Changer and lover. Like how we are. But… I fell for her.” Stone really did not want to have this conversation now.
“There was a planet,” he continued. “Similar to this one that we lived on. Long story short, she and I had a long affair and I ignored the signs of her becoming something else. Something primal, even for a humanoid she was incredibly strong, incredibly dangerous because she was incredibly hungry-for meats and blood, yes. But she craved homicide. Dead bodies piled up daily. The land began to fill with the stench of death. She wanted more sex from me every minute it seemed. Even with my hardcore libido I couldn’t keep up with her.
“Humans have a hidden blackness inside of them that demons know they can attack and manipulate and she was horrible. Saying her name still gives me nightmares.”
The whole time Samosa was quiet. Then, “In my dream the land was red and there were worms everywhere. Carnage.”
That is what Stone feared.
“So accurate is your dream. The planet began to stink like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. We used our powers to get the lands back to the way they were to live among the humans- the jinn that did care for others and their land contributed. Jinn don’t really care for much outside of eating souls. But Cyn’s madness kind of brought us together to do good. Ironic”
“Humans were on that planet too? So, it’s not just us that exist in the galaxy?”
“In this particular galaxy, sure, what we would call human or mammal- yes. They were much taller than your species though. About our height and some taller than us. They had sharp eyesight, speed, and fast healing abilities. But Cyn…I’m not sure if she was even close to a homosapien-she seemed so different. Anyway, she destroyed half her own race. It was horrible. Korin and a few of us were there for a time and had to move on from there. Too many memories.”
Samosa wrapped her arms about herself either to warm herself up or hide the growling sounds clawing inside her intestines. She wanted to hear more about Cyn but Stone’s sudden quietness meant he was done talking about it.
“That’s why you want to go through with the sacrifice.”
“Precisely. I can’t lose you. I won’t.”
“I wanted to wish for Lyle’s death this morning. I changed my mind.”
“I can grant whatever you want, Samosa. You’ll be further damaged for it though.”
“Then why do it at all?”
“Because you are my master… Remember?”
“Oh. Right.” She crossed her legs. “The sacrificial ceremony will change that, right?”
Korin came in and clapped his hands together. “So you told her about the Destroyer on that planet We Shall Not Name?”
“Uh huh. Tell us what we must do.”
“Over an early dinner.” Korin winked at Samosa. “I knew a special someone would be hungry. Let’s go to the dining hall shall we?”
Samosa could feel the chilliness roll off Stone again. He was aggravated. What did this ceremony entail? What would her mother say? As a religious woman, she would say no to whatever dark ceremony Samosa will put herself through. Even now as she sat at the nicely decorated dinner table adorned with a three lotus flowers: one pink, the others on either side, blue. They floated in water in shallow ruby bowls. Samosa asked about the beautiful arrangement of the flowers and their significance. Korin, with those swirling eyes: now a sea green stared at her before answering.
“The pink one,” he pointed to the center, “Is grown in India. The blue ones grew along the East African Nile. They all have special meaning though.” Korin touched a lotus petal and it bobbed beneath his touch.
“Lotus flowers have a special meaning to each person and culture but the true meaning-” he zeroed in on Samosa’s lips and chin. “Is associated with the human soul and its purity and enlightenment.”
“Beautiful,” Samosa said and inhaled the scent of the flowers and the food. “The food looks good too.”
“I made the chicken based off a cooking channel I watched last night. It seemed beautiful to make. Try it and let me know what you think. Sorry Stone.” Korin said, sympathetic to the fact Stone couldn’t eat or imbibe in his condition.
Samosa dug her fork into the oh -so -tender chicken with the blueberries rolling off in steaming, succulent juices. She popped it into her mouth and immediately her tongue sang. She forked more into her mouth as well as the nice tasting mashed potatoes made with Marsala seasoning, Korin said? His cooking was on par with Stone’s.
“There will be shedding of blood from seven jinn transferred over to you and then finally Stone-
Samosa chocked on her green beans. “Say what? Blood? Seven? No. I can’t. Stone say something!”
“I think I heard of this ritual he speaks of,” Stone said solemnly. “You will not approve, Sam. And you know I don’t either. Seven males swapping tongue spit with you…absurd.”
“Of course it is absurd! How would that even work?”
Korin continued speaking as if he were giving the weather news. “You will enter into the Consuming Room and each jinni will pierce his tongue and place it upon yours, transferring their blood to you.”
“Uh, what?” Samosa said angry.
“You will be pricked on the tongue too. Never had a piercing, have you?” Korin raised his eyebrow, gave a knowing smile. “You really are a good one.”
“I never wanted piercings. But please, go on.”
“So, each one will “kiss”- Korin did the air quotes for kiss-“you and then after the final one, you will kiss Stone by placing your tongue upon his pierced tongue. There will be a pronouncement of your joining and hopefully Stone will be restored and you will no longer have these cravings.”
Something did not seem right.
“Earlier you said you were not fond of this ritual,” Samosa prodded. “Why?”
Korin sighed and sagged against his chair. Samosa realized again how beautiful he was with a chiseled face a Ken doll would envy.
“There is only a 60 percent chance you will be restored. Jinn are not in the business of restoration, initially. Stone however, may get his visible self back and there’s a small chance of that.”
“So failure would mean…?”
“Something bad or nothing at all”
She finished her food while Korin scooped extra helpings of the poultry onto her plate. She thanked him.
“I can set up the ceremony myself. Speak with some jinn and get the ball rolling.”
“No, I – I have to think about it a little.” Samosa said. Korin nodded his head.
When Samosa finished, they rose and Korin saw them to the door. She hadn’t realized how long they were inside the house until she saw part of Stone’s hand shimmer as glitter then become flesh against her hand, his body rapidly appeared as the sun’s orange stain left the sky and the silver moon, a gift of respite ascended.
It began with a foul odor as they played Scrabble. The stench was unbearable and Samosa began to choke. Where did it come from? Was there a terrible leak somewhere? Sugar Rocks came into the study, whining and woofing, his lips were curled back. Samosa looked to Stone whose eyes lit up immediately, a shine glittered from his iris and she wasn’t sure what he could do since his powers were stripped, but anything he could do would help.
“What is it Stone?”
“Something’s not right,” he leaned down to Sugar Rocks and stared into his eyes. “What is it boy?” The dog replied in a high pitch whine and Samosa felt her own body respond. It was different. Like a jolt of electricity has just been poured into her from an unseen socket. She looked down at her nails and they grew a couple of inches-stained black. Stone looked at her and nodded.
The lights flickered. The room’s window revealed that a sudden storm was approaching- it was gusty and windy outside but very dark and a cool air passed from the window through Samosa’s bones. She stood by Stone.
Then she heard a tick-ticking noise. Like nails walking across the floor upstairs. “What is that?” She whispered loudly. “Someone’s upstairs?”
“Look.” Stone said calmly. He pointed at the window. Samosa saw what looked like moths or Cicadas, flying into the window as if they couldn’t see. The lights finally went out with a whomph and a quick beep sound. Now she could see nothing but those bugs which seemed to be illuminated from inside their thorax. They were like glow bugs but the nails clicking upstairs and the bugs flying into the window were scaring the hell out of her.
“I smell death,” Stone reported backing away from her and Sugar Rocks. “Stay down here.”
“No. I’m going up there with you.”
“Sam. Stay here. I don’t like this,” he gritted from closed teeth. Sugar Rocks let out a low growl. This time the dog stayed near her. Apparently there was a threat greater than her in this house.
Stone flew up the stairs, ashamed he was even scared in the first place. He was a jinni, not a scared human. Lately that was what he felt like though- human. Frail, depressed, and hopeless.When he reached the last step upstairs and saw a shadow move in his bedroom from lamp to bed and to the balcony. He knew what and who it was.
Usually the scent was not as strong and usually more…enticing, but he knew that the large shadow that bobbed at the window as if drifting on an ocean was the Grand Marid. Just as quickly, the shadow burst into pieces and the hum of the insects from around the house ceased.
“What was that?” Samosa said Sugar Rocks right alongside her. Stone looked at both of them and the lights came on, revealing a large white envelope on the bed.
He picked it up, aware that Samosa had moved to his side.
Enjoy her while you can. The stench of death is upon your woman…GM.
“GM?” Samosa shook her head confused.
“It was the Grand Marid,” Stone’s face balled into fury. “He just paid us a visit tonight. Right at home again.”
“There must be something we can do.”
“Negative,” Stone balled up the envelope with the crisp cardstock letter and tossed it across the room. With a few words he caused the wad of paper to flame to a crisp- startling Samosa and Sugar Rocks.
“I promise, I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise.” He took her hand and stroked the back of it across his cheek. It felt so good to have her skin on his. His purring always excited her and he did so now, watching her cheeks flush.
“You haven’t told me something very important,” she murmured.
“What is that, Kitten?” Stone fixed his eyes on Samosa’s large, dark ones. They were no longer honey colored, or that shimmering melty gold he loved. But it was still her and that’s what mattered.
“The Grand Marid. What’s his story? Who is he exactly?”
Her hand forcefully slid from his and he rolled his eyes heavenward. “Will knowing that help you. Will it help us?”
“It just might.” Samosa slipped into bed and crossed her legs like a toddler awaiting story time except she was thirty and she was putting on a pout that turned him on.
“I can tell you what I have been told about him-rumors mostly, but the Grand Marid is as mysterious as they come.”
Samosa bobbed her head, ringlets of curls all over the place.
[_ “There was no creation story written about the Grand Marid. One is not even sure he was ever naturally born. Jinn are fashioned from smoke and fire- none of this explains their very human-like bodies however, but the Grand Marid has been around longer than any other “living” jinn. In fact, he could very have been here since what religious leaders call “The Fall of Humanity.” _]
So it goes that the Grand Marid was wandering a planet, maybe earth as a wisp of spirit, perhaps inhabiting the bodies of animals and whatever creature was on earth at the time and he lived quite normal taking part in every piece of nature.
Until one day, an old man named Solomon asked his Lord for something unselfish and justified. He asked for wisdom to lead his people. The Grand Marid had kept watch over this individual’s family line for some time. Maybe he found them interesting? Who knows, but Solomon began to have such insight, he was becoming very astute and perceiving things in the heavenly realms.
It was on one dark day that Solomon “caught” a spirit creeping by his window and he went to find out what it was. In those times, what you would call OT or B.C., the word evil actually could be termed ‘ra’ and belief in the afterlife was not adequately explained in most stories.
[_ What Solomon saw was Something from the other side- he could feel it. _]
He grabbed a lamp, prayed over it, blessed it and went out into the night. With the lamp he caught GM-could it have been the GM’s ancestor or him? Who knows-? He cast the Grand Marid into the sea.
For ages the GM remained in that sea until he was released. Who released him and how is a mystery.”
Stone took a deep breath and watched Samosa’s changing expression. “Solomon. Like Solomon from the bible? How can that be? I was never taught that in Sunday School. What in the world…”
Stone sat on the bed, pat her leg. “Stories, darling. Just stories I’ve heard passed around for centuries.”
“Do you think he’s human?” Samosa bit her bottom lip.
“I’m not sure. I’m not so sure what I am. I just know that I am here and that I exist.”
“I am grateful you exist, Stone. Maybe one day you can tell me the real truth of your upbringing.”
Stone cringed. Telling a tale about GM was okay since it seemed to be a tale anyway, but telling Samosa about his horrid existence before and after Cyn will have to wait. Sure when he met Samosa he shared some safe stuff with her about jinn in general. But his life was filled with unbridled sex, painful ongoing slavery, bloodshed and hate. Many jinn endure this in their lifetimes but he could not tell her. Not just yet. Maybe that was one of the reasons Korin was looking for a new faith and considering leaving the Brotherhood of jinn. He was tired of being someone’s slave.
The craving to return to Samosa’s body hit him hard: he took her arms and wrapped them about his neck and he leaned over her, towering over her. His hair fell across her chest like dark serpents sleeping there.
Her eyes widened then fell close to slits in lust as she pulled him down, nibbled his bottom lip. Then she kissed him fully on the mouth smoothing her arms down his long back, touching his chest, which began to grow tentacles.
“Tentacles already? I haven’t made a wish yet.”
“I know,” he whispered and licked her graceful neck. “I just like being with you. I get excited around you and cannot help myself.”
Samosa’s fingers tickled his penile tentacles, bursting slowly from his dark tattoo. They wiggled like worms and she squeezed one of them and plucked it into her mouth like a gummy bear and sucked on it.
Stone swam in a mixture of danger and delight and he was shocked to hear himself mewl. But then he pulled her head back. “This here is what’s changing you.”
“You started it, Romeo.” Samosa grabbed his head down. “And I’m finishing it.”
So she finished what he started.
Anna White prepared a small pound cake for her ex son in law. Even though he hurt her daughter badly, so badly in fact that Anna had to pray to God to forgive herself for hating him- she somehow found the will to forgive him.
It began a month ago when she received a phone call from Lyle. He was distraught and he was crying. She asked who it was and he told her, saying he was heartsick. What a liar, she thought. But that same night she had a vision of him smiling and holding Samosa’s hand. A small, brown baby swaddled in a yellow blanket. This meant Samosa will live. And surely she would be cancer free.
The other day, Anna taken a good look at her daughter. Her hair was shiny, smelled of shampoo and she had a vitality to her that was oddly different. She didn’t look one bit sick, although she seemed a bit skittish, jumpy and always had a Slim Jim or some beef jerky to chew on impolitely in front of her.
Then there was Stone.
In her late fifties, Anna did not know she could still swoon, but even as someone older and who knew better, Stone brought a palpable, sexual energy with him. It caused a wave, similar to a heat wave to reverb about the room. She had to back away from him. Something about him wasn’t right and she could tell he was deeply attached to Samosa. Lyle will have to watch out.
When the doorbell rang, Anna answered, saw how confident and happy Lyle was. “Did you like service today?” She asked him. Lyle was a new member of her church. Had been for almost two months.
“Wonderful Mrs. White. Just wonderful.”
“See any nice girls there. You still turn heads you know.” Anna fixed him a plate of Alfredo pasta and a side of roasted chicken breast. She was about to slice a pound cake for him.
“I couldn’t find anyone. They may be drawn to me, but you know who my heart belongs to.” Anna looked up at him, cake knife in midair.
“You still love my daughter?”
“I never stopped.”
“But you cheated on her. That’s one of the worst things anyone could do.”
“I know. Okay, so I satisfied my lust – I get that. I don’t love that other woman. Never did. I love Samosa.”
“That’s a terrible way of putting things, son. Women attach sex with love and emotion and all of those other special things. You messed up her world further.”
“I thought you were on my side.”
She pointed up. “I’m on my God’s side. I said I forgave you and I would like for you two to be together because that is what He, my God would want, I think but…I don’t know.”
“Stone.” Lyle said the name they were both thinking.
“He’s infatuated with my girl. I can clearly see that.” Anna watched as Lyle’s jaw ticked. He ate slowly, sipping up his noodles and cutting his chicken with murderous precision.
“Yep.” Anna sat down and sipped her tea then bit into her moist pound cake. “Deeply. I wonder about them two though. I don’t know where she lives and I see her sometimes, but not much anymore. Lucky to see her twice a month.”
“Why were they here last time then? What’s going on?”
Anna couldn’t form the words. Samosa wanted to marry that- that beast of a man. And as much as Lyle claimed to still love her, Samosa was attached to Stone on a deeper level. A level Anna could not peer into.
“They’re getting married.”
Lyle suddenly hacked his noodles back up, the rhythm he had going was breached by the news. He downed his juice before speaking. “Married? To him?”
“I suppose so.”
“You gave them your blessings?” Lyle’s voice rose to a high pitch as if someone kicked him in the groin just then.
“No. I don’t feel right about their union.”
He relaxed a little. “I still can’t believe it. I need to stop her.”
“Stay out of it, Lyle.”
Lyle put down his knife and fork and stared down the woman he once called mother. “I cannot do that.”
Korin brewed a special drink for his guests. They waited for him to speak. Some stirred with annoyance, others with utter patience as he was known as He Who Will Leave the Brotherhood. Firelight flicked in both his eyes causing them to blaze as he poured the drink into the last cup and handed it to the tallest of the jinn.
“Our Stone is going through with the ceremony.” He said with heaviness on his heart. Stone was like a real brother to him and this ceremony held so many dark secrets he wasn’t sure if it would be the best thing for him or Samosa.
Her skin was the color of cinnamon her spiral hair like dark ribbons and her scent infiltrated his dreams; and had him waking up in sweats and sometimes floating on a mist of his Smoke, hovering in his room and having a seductive dance with her.
She belonged to Stone. And so his heart would deflate and he would simmer down.
Way down to reality.
One of the jinn cleared his throat. It sounded like a motorcycle gearing up. Korin looked in his direction.
It was Gondlavin. The tallest of the jinn.
“This elixir will enhance our blood?”
“For certain.” Korin eyed the jinn suspiciously. He was very handsome, as most of the jinn were anyway-part of the lure for species needing a wish. “You’ve never done this before. None of you.” Korin addressed them all.
“Nope,” said the shortest, squarer shaped jinn. He looked conservative as if a briefcase would complete his look and he’ll just need a taxi and an office. His attraction had to be his square jaw and Sapphire eyes. He’s been in some trouble lately.
Seven jinn. All here in between the Multiverse, hovering in the space between earth and the Milky Way. They were able to look down on earth through a floor reflecting like a mirror. From here each jinn could see everything going on down there. Korin had to prepare them for what was to come and what a task it will be. It took hours of convincing just to get them here for a talk and to enhance their blood in preparation for the ceremony.
“This is stupid,” Gondlavin spat. “All for a human? What was Stone thinking? And-” He tasted the elixir and drank it with disgust on his face. “This stuff taste like bull’s balls!”
“I’m sure you know exactly how that tastes.” Korin said and grinned when he saw the pained look on Gondlavin’s handsome, dark face and heard the harsh chuckles from the other jinn.
Time to get down to business.
“Listen up. We are doing this for our brother because he has fallen for a human.” A couple of boos and woots followed. “But he is sick and if we don’t do this it is possible he could never walk the day or worse…die.”
“Or worse, The Grand Marid gets him,” said another smart mouth from the back. It sounded like “Jerry”. He just wanted to be called Jerry for what reason, who knew. Korin’s gaze however steadied on the one in the middle. The dazzling one with gorgeous black almost blue hair and blue eyes like none he’d ever seen before. His frame was small and he had the most androgynous look out of them all.
He was also the quietest, wearing a smirk on his lips. His name was Lex.
“The Grand Marid could show up at any time, this is true. But will you be there for him?” Korin pleaded.
They all raised their cups, drank the liquid down. Their eyes glowed a brilliant ruby. Korin drank his cup as well, keeping an eye on Lex.
He had not put the cup to his lips.
“Brother, you will not drink for Stone?”
Lex spoke with a voice smooth as honey. “I am not his brother. I don’t even like him.” He cocked his head to the side slightly.
Korin pinched the bridge of his nose, slightly stressed. “Try anyway. This must be done, Lex.”
Lex looked around at everyone else, shrugged his small shoulders and drank the liquid down, flicking out his tongue to lick the juice from his chin. His tongue was very long and he looked at Korin strangely, eyes brimming red suddenly then flickered out just as quickly.
Sometimes, Korin wondered if Lex was a jinn or something else.
“Alright then,” Korin announced then recited some words in their language. A “prayer” of sorts. He instructed the jinn they must drink the elixir every day for fourteen days. Keep a thermos of it if this is to work. They mumbled and some floated off, popping into brilliant pieces of light to fall back to earth.
Gondlavin stayed behind.
Gondlavin shook his head slowly, the heavenly stars shining bright on his short, dark hair. His hand cupped his chin. “Is she worth it, Korin?”
“I’ve met her and she is worth it. Strong and beautiful.”
“Sounds well but she is human. This crosses all kinds of rules we have.”
Gondlavin finally looked at Korin. “I hope she isn’t the death of us all. The Grand Marid will get wind of this and plan something horrible. Not just for Stone but for everyone involved.”
“Have faith, Gondlavin.”
“Faith?” Gondlavin spread his muscular arms. “In what? We have masters on all sides! We serve GM and humans.”
Korin placed a hand on Gondlavin’s shoulder. He was beginning to feel older than his years. And that was saying something since he was quite ancient. “Stone has found something he will fight for. He is fighting for something we all want deep down.”
Gondlavin’s eyes shone bright. “Which is?”
“Identity. He is fighting for his identity.”
Clearing the cache and removing the many photos and music clogging her workstation’s computer was driving Samosa crazy. Her eyes were getting droopy and feeling tight. She was so sleepy.
She chose work study at the Hampton Community College because, well- she still wanted some kind autonomy in her life rather than leaning on Stone for everything. She was not a user and would not start now. After the Recycle Bin was clear and she logged off, she smelled Jasmine scented perfume.
“Hey. How’s your day goin’ so far?” Samosa peered up into Kristine Blue’s brown eyes. She had a pinched face and wore her hair straight and to the side.
“I’m doing alright. Just cleaning up this computer and about to go on break.” She slid from her chair and picked up her bag.
Kristine rolled her eyes and puffed. “Okay, okay, me and my friends want to know who he is.”
Kristine stamped her nineteen year old feet. She was slender, the color of mocha and had the attention of many males including professors. “Him.”
“He puts a smile on your face and you look as if you’re glowing,” Kristine walked alongside Samosa. “I mean I see you eat like a horse but not gain an inch! I guess you been picking up an appetite-know what I mean?” She pat Samosa’s belly. “One wheat donut and I have to do at least one hundred crunches.”
Samosa smiled at the girl. So young. So carefree. Samosa was just…hungry.
They walked in the nearly empty Café Hall where just a dash of students sprinkled the floor with their hopeful, caffeine fed bodies. Ready to transfer to a four year college or go on to their trades.
“He must be doing something right to ya. No doubt..” Kristine said then pointed straight ahead of them. “Speak of the devil.”
“What?” Samosa followed Kristine’s French manicured nails and saw Stone leaning against the wall next to the Men’s restroom. His tall body draped against it lazily, his dark eyes zeroed in on her, his face a chiseled perfection not found among human men.
“Good gods.” Kristine licked her bottom lip. Samosa frowned at the girl. Could she be any more obvious?
But she had to admit. Ever since Lyle showed up at her mother’s house Stone showing up sporadically to the school was a breath of fresh air.
As if pulled by a magnet, Samosa smoothly went to him, forgetting if she ever even walked. Of course, Kristine came too and nudged Samosa in the rib.
“Hey babe.” Stone leaned down and kissed Samosa’s lips then slid his eyes to Kristine.
“Oh, this is Kristine. We both work in the HR office.”
“Hi!” Kristine stuck out her hand; Stone shook it and smiled a killer watt smile made especially for magazine ads. Kristine swooned. “You are so tall!” She batted her eyes.
Samosa saw Stone looking anxious about something, but quickly told Kristine it was nice to meet her. Once they slid into his car, Samosa wondered what was wrong.
“Are you alright?”
His jaw muscle ticked before answering. “I’m not happy.”
A thunderclap scared Samosa right out of her seat, a sprinkle of rain began to beat on the car. She had skipped buying her food from the cafeteria and so pulled out her bag a pack of jerky and her string cheese. Stone looked at her.
“I can wait till we get home. What do you mean unhappy? Don’t I make you happy?”
Three full seconds pass by.
“You make me happy, horny, hopeful…but it’s hurting me. Us.”
“A jinni’s purpose is solely to serve the human. Not mate with them.” He slid his hand over to Samosa’s- sensing her need of affirmation of his care. His love. Still, her hand remained cool and her eyes, which have lost their golden hue became shadowed. They hadn’t pulled out the lot yet.
“What are you saying?” Her voice became steely.
“I’m saying we need to go through the ceremony but I don’t have too much faith in it.”
“Korin seems to.”
“Korin is trying to be a holy man.”
“Then we should listen to him.”
“Don’t you get it?” Stone snatched his hand from hers and put the car in reverse to back out, then drive. “We are not men and we are not good!” He yelled, veins popped out in his temple while Samosa shrank back. The car suddenly filled with the scent of smoke and fire. She dared to look Stone’s way and saw that his eyes have gone completely black.
He never yelled at her before.
Rattled and confused, Samosa was quiet the rest of the ride home, chewing her jerky. Stone had apologized about twenty times on the way to the house but the way he looked, smelled- it was wrong.
It made her rethink what home really was and should be.
Home. Where she would be married to a normal man, with a baby and a decent life of church and going shopping and having Avon parties and all of that. Growing old together.
As they pulled to the curve around the house, she wiped her hands on her jeans to wipe off the jerky bits and slammed the car door.
“Hey wait.” Stone caught up to her, cupped her face with one hand. She felt no tears sting her eyes but her heart was crying. “I said I’m sorry. I’m just-“
“I know. Depressed. Upset.” Samosa tried looking away from Stone’s but his grip was stronger on her chin. He still smelled of ash, but at least the musky scent of him was quickly returning.
“Korin is taking his sweet time with this ceremony thing. You’re acting ugly more and more, Stone.”
He sighed and dropped his hand from her face. “There is a process to this. The other demo- I mean jinn have to drink the elixir for fourteen days.”
“Until then I have to put up with your PMS-ing?” Samosa shook her head and trudged up to the door and unlocked it. Sugar Rocks greeted her with a wet nose pushed into the palm of her hand and she entertained him by patting his head; thankful he was no longer afraid of her.
Maybe Sugar Rocks became afraid for her lately. Who knows what rolls around in that big lug’s head.
“I had to tell you the truth.” Stone closed the door and took her cool hand. “You are getting colder by the day and I feel my powers are slipping, besides making things levitate and puff in smoke.”
Samosa nod her head and went into the kitchen, pulling out fresh steaks that hadn’t frozen over yet. They were raw and bloody and cold. She could smell the meatiness and the sweet irony smell of them. She took the wrapped meat and touched it to her nose.
This was her life: sniffing blood, hanging with men from the underworld and ultimately getting whatever she needed.
Scratch that. Wanted.
Arms came around her waist as she tore open the steak and prepared to fry it. “What are you thinking, right now?” Arms switched to hands moving over her hips…
“You tell me. Can’t you read minds?”
“I can see futures and pasts, but my powers have waned.” His breath was warm against her cheek. Well, at least he didn’t see her thoughts about having a normal family. Those thoughts were long buried after Lyle cheated on her but Stone has rekindled them unfortunately.
“You’re not saying anything.” He gently turned her toward him.
“I have to fix the steak.”
He reached around her, drawing himself closer and she heard the squish of the meat as he took it and held it out to her. While the meat was in his hand, dripping its red ooze down his forearm, she saw tiny sparks skitter up the veins of his forearm and then pop into a small flame in his fingertips. It lasted about five seconds.
“Done.” He murmured and held it up to her lips. She bit into it greedily. One of his arms wrapped around her.
“I didn’t mean to hesitate in the car when you mentioned about making me happy. You make me more than that Samosa.” She finished the steak quickly but did not see Stone’s lips closing in on hers. Even though her lips were sticky with semi cooked meat and blood, he kissed her long and hard. Her heart drummed and the base of her spine tingled.
“You make me want to be free.” He finally said against her mouth.
Worms were EVERYWHERE.
In the kitchen sink.
On the kitchen floor.
Hanging from the curtains and chandeliers.
Dead fish, shiny with glistening pink guts flowing like tiny ribbons littered the floors of every room downstairs.
The funny thing was that this was not a dream. Samosa came home from work study and shopping only to find her and Stone’s place in ruins. In fact, she smelled the stink coming up the driveway.
“What in the…” Her bags fell to the floor and her nose begged for closure. It was just like her dream, except Stone wasn’t overlooking serene green pastures and she will not bite his hand. In fact, his hand materialized in hers just as the sun went back down. Daylight Savings has become a blessing for him. Spring went forward and now they fell back. Less sun.
Her black boots squished something and her nose turned up as she saw it was a slow writhing slug.
The house looked as if someone threw buckets of entrails at it. “This is bad.” Stone groaned.
“Tell me about it.” Samosa picked her bags up and stomped over the creatures. “The Grand Marid’s behind this. Isn’t he?”
“This seems a bit childish even for him. He already made his statement.”
“So someone else is behind this?”
“I’m assuming so. I need to call up Korin. This is unlike the GM. Even if he is wicked to the core.” Samosa nodded, suddenly tired and hungry. Her stomach howled and so did she.
“Are you okay?” Stone rushed over to her, put a hand to her shoulder.
Oh God, please don’t let me munch on his hand. I’m so hungry!
“You’re hungry again,” Stone’s face went hard before he went through the slimy cabinets looking for something.
He found a jumbo bag of beef jerky and tossed it to her. She caught it midair and ripped the pouch open. Her nails lengthening as she ate the Teriyaki flavored meal. Stone was staring at her.
“What?” She said, some jerky string dangled from the corner of her mouth. She was quite certain that by now he felt he lived with two dogs.
“I need to clean this up.” With a few words in his own language and a wave of his hand, the slugs and fish levitated and went up into the air, disappearing. The floors were shiny once again and Samosa could smell the fresh scent of lemons too.
“I see not all of your powers left you.”
“All I can do is burn things up or make them disappear and even that leaves me breathless.” He found another bag of jerky in a bottom cabinet and tossed it to her.
“You’re right,” Korin said that night while they sat in Stone’s library. “This does not appear to be the work of the Grand Marid. It’s a little less class…familiar also.”
“That’s right!” Stone sat up in his chair. “This is not his work. It sends a clear message but it’s vulgar.”
Korin ran a hand through his wavy hair. He picked up Samosa’s scent. It was wildly feminine and erotic. He wondered what she was up to now.
At that particular moment he saw shapely hips clad in beige leggings and a fitting black top enter the room. He and Stone both sniffed the air and smiled- Stone’s quickly became a scowl and Korin reminded himself to be respectful.
“Oh, I didn’t know you were here.” Samosa came over to Stone and a leaned to kiss his lips. Korin felt a twinge of jealousy. Just a twinge. He could have any woman he wanted but Stone had someone who totally loved him back and not just for what he could provide her either.
“I can materialize anywhere, My Dear.” She smiled at Korin’s true statement.
“I forget you are supernatural beings. Genies.” She stood facing them both.
“Korin believes that someone else is behind what happened here. I need to secure this place or- or we move.”
Korin saw Samosa’s face drop. “Move?”
“I need to protect you.” When he said that Sugar Rocks came in, his furry chin dark and slick-probably from drinking water out of his bowl.
“You’re thinking of your mother,” Stone said.
“I don’t want to be too far from her.”
“We have a way that you’ll always be able to see her. However, after the ceremony she may not want to see you. You will be joined with him according to the Dark Scrolls. You will taste demon blood and go through the ritual.”
“But we will be okay though, right?” Samosa pressed.
Korin could see his dear friend was hurting. In a deep funk of sorts and Samosa was fast becoming a bottomless pit that can eat and eat and eat. “As I said before, it depends on what ‘okay’ means to you. Stone may be transformed back to his natural state and your cravings may disappear completely, but you will have demon blood swimming in you.”
“I think we should leave,” Stone spoke up and gathered Samosa in his arms, ran his hands down her arms slowly. “Moving will not solve anything. The Grand Marid can find you anywhere. You know that. He can find the birthmark in the butt crack of a nine hundred pound man without even looking hard. So moving is asinine.”
“I’ll put up a prayer of protection over this place.”
“Jinn pray now?” Stone half joked.
“This one does,” he said and eyed Samosa’s silver cross over her heart. She was a Believer. Will her God protect her or will He ignore her? Only time will tell.
He was back in hell.
That’s where he was born anyway. The Grand Marid can lie all he wish to the other jinn but Stone knew that the intergalactic space where he was born- from that foul and bloody crafted Womb was hell in the skies.
Then he was somehow jettisoned to the outskirts of Saturn’s rings. Unfortunately, he remember the event well. He remembered landing there and remembered how cold it was. He sometimes wished the Womb hadn’t spat him out at all.
Now he was standing over Samosa’s sleeping body; imagining her soul deeply embedded inside of him. His old ways cherished these sleeping moments of humans or their drunk moments. He would take all of their soul lost in the grogginess as he begged them to keep wishing, and then he’ll feed from it hungrily, the GM was always so pleased. Stone’s attractiveness even wooed men and made them tell that last wish. They only got three wishes as was standard for those who did not bear the mark.
And here she was. Trusting him and daring to love.
The room became stifling for her. Curls of smoke twisted from all around him. His eyes felt hot. His face. His skin! The room glowed with power he thought he’d lost and as he leaned over Samosa, he heard her soft breath utter the words “baby” and her mouth formed a cute little O; shocked he staggered back. Surprised at what he was about to do.
He was going to drink her soul.
Samosa’s eyes cleared and she saw through their slits, Stone’s true aura sparkled around him. She knew it was his true aura because when she first met him, he seemed nice but otherworldy…evil. And now, whether he knew it or not she could really see him. He reminded her of a cougar waiting for a beat of a moment or some small movement to pounce.
And she was the meal.
Oh Good Lord. She mentally said a small prayer: Lord protect and watch over me.
Stone approached her slowly. Each step deliberate.
She mouthed his name, hoping he’d come out of his stupor- but with a confused look in his eyes, he drew a hot finger down her forehead.
“Show me your mark, woman.” His voice sounded like a million people all at once and it frightened her. Even with her newfound strength and keen senses she was no match for Stone.
“Wh-what will you do with me?” she slid further back onto the bed; his eyes went to her smooth knees and calves, exposed under the milk white quarter moon.
“Just do it.” Then he said something low in his own language. Samosa could hear it perfectly but she knew not what it meant.
“I can’t let you do this. You’re bewitched, Stone!” Her attempts to stop him were futile. His arms encircled her waist and he harshly turned her on her stomach. His hands were so hot she thought her skin would blister where his hands touched.
“I need this. We…need….this.” Stone murmured in her ear, and then he licked it before crooning the song she enjoyed. It was a song from his time, somewhere out there when he was a little boy. It was a cross between the Legion of voices and a child singing and it sounded so beautiful. It haunted her during their lovemaking the first time and each time after that he would sing something in her ear, filling her soul with beautiful lies that they can be together forever.
She tried scooting on her knees and reached behind her to grab him but he was way too strong. He pushed her to her stomach with his body. The tickling feeling of his tentacles grazed her back. Even they were burning her.
“I will seek your one true, wish! You will hand it over to me.”
Stone waited, making sure the raised bumps on her similar mark opened slightly before he slipped a few of the penile tentacles inside. Her body could not help but become aroused and the holes in her back spread open, willing. When Stone’s tentacles pierced her there the shock of it was purely delicious and she screamed her delight and terror all at once. He was going to seek some deep want and then-
He was going to drain her.
He seemed hypnotized and “forced”. But by whom?
Samosa struggled with the need to remain there and enjoy the tentacles playing in her body or sitting up and slapping sense into him.
When he pressed down harder, placing all of the tentacles into her back, she moaned and soon drifted into that place of mixed images and that part of her life as a young adult, then a teen..and those memories began to dissipate in bubbles. Noooo! Her mind screamed. He was seeking her essence.
Taking her memories.
Just then she felt a chilling breeze sink onto her skin and she welcomed it. Something was being sucked off her back.
But Stone wasn’t there.
Eyes the color of gemstones met her vision and Korin’s chiseled, perfect face loomed in view. He held Stone away from her. Stone was flailing wildly, his tentacles were a juicy crimson and dripped with fluid. His eyes feral. He was not himself. Or maybe he was?
“Korin?” She pulled the satin sheet up to her chin.
“It’s only been a few days. The jinn aren’t ready. You should leave, My Dear.” Korin held Stone fast.
“Give her to me!” He growled, a string of saliva leaving his mouth. Samosa shook, afraid.
“There has to be another way.”She cried but Korin shook his head quickly.
“What you see here,” Stone slapped Korin on the side of the face and Korin quickly punched him in the head, causing Stone to fall to the ground in a hump. “Is what we truly are. We feed from souls.”
Samosa bit her lip, tasted blood then fisted her sheets. Not wanting to expose herself to Korin’s changing eyes.
“I don’t want to leave him.” She eyed Stone’s body which began twitching in the corner. He was waking up.
Korin produced a small satchel in his hand, magically. It was a deep mauve color. “Take this.” He tossed it on the bed. “There is money and a change of clothes and a cell phone. Only my number is programmed in it. I will call you when the jinn are finished their elixir. Until then, you must go somewhere for the next two weeks.”
Samosa thought about her mom. Could she live there again? It was not like her life was bad there, but Lyle knew where her mother stayed and her mom would pry.
Korin raised an eyebrow. “I’ve supplied you with lots of cash. Find a hotel and lay low.”
Samosa slid from the bed cautious of Korin’s eyes on her and she pulled on some sweats and beige shirt quickly and plucked up the nice bag Korin “made” for her. She saw Stone rising to his feet.
Korin’s yell got her feet moving. She made a beeline downstairs and ran past Sugar Rocks who lifted his head from a night nap. Once outside she spotted the silver and black Fiat 500L and hopped inside. Looking through the windshield and peering up she saw the two bodies, shadows moving, dancing.
No. Not dancing.
Her tears fell.
The hotel clerk was an auburn haired girl with a few freckles on the bridge of her nose. She wore a name tag that read Heather in Sharpie black. Samosa was feeling so many different emotions that she wished she could just tell someone. Anyone about her problems.
Sadly, she had no one.
“Yes.” Samosa pulled out the cash and handed it to the girl. Their fingers touched and a tingle shot up Samosa’s arm. The girl’s brown eyes widened too. “What was that?”
“You have been Touched?”
“Excuse me?” Samosa adjusted the satchel on her shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” the chic waved her hand. “I’m Heather and I too have been blessed to receive my wish.”
Samosa’s mouth dropped. The girl showed her a tattoo of a simple dark sphere with a squiggly S dangling down the center.
“ I’m not truly marked but got the tattoo after a genie granted me three wishes.” She whispered looking around her. The place was a ghost town and located a few miles from Historic Williamsburg. The place was decadent and she paid up for a week.
“Oh. I’m not marked,” Samosa lied. “But I’ve had some granted.”
“I see!” The girl clapped gleefully. “Finally, someone like me.”
“Oh, oops, forgot to give you your room key.” The girl hummed a little tune and handed the swipe key card to Samosa. “The WIFI access code is located on the front.”
“Thank you.” Samosa turned to leave but the girl stepped from behind the counter. Her red shirt was fitting to her ample bosom and her pants were way too tight- she was curvaceous.
“If you ever want to chat about genies and stuff. I’m here.” The girl touched Samosa’s hand again. The electricity experienced before was magnified.
“Does this happen to all of us? Do more people know?”
Heather slowly shook her head. “Not really. I met one once a few months back but it was very sporadic.”
If I were you, I would have wished for a better job, Samosa thought.
“I took this job specifically for this moment,” the girl’s eyes brightened. “And to fill my days up.”
“To meet people like me?” Hope she isn’t psychic.
“Sure! What happened to me was so beautiful and unexpected and he was very, very handsome.” They both heard the door open and cold air moved in. Samosa looked back and saw that the night had grown darker already and it was not even five o’clock.
“We’ll chat later.” Heather waved goodbye and Samosa tipped her head once. Her stomach roiled in hunger.
Another woman who met a genie.
Which one did she meet though?
While in bed Samosa clicked from channel to channel. The crisp, fresh sheets were warm and fresh against her skin; the pillows were bright white and fluffy against her head. Nothing in particular was on, but her heart was the main channel she did focus on. What was really wrong with Stone? He seemed so different from other men and did not remind her of a demon. Until tonight of course.
She kept peeking at the phone Korin gave her. Forgetting again and again that Stone will not call her because her phone was left at home. Korin also made it clear that she was not to contact outside family members or friends or anyone from that cell. Only him.
This was getting too serious.
Suddenly the phone glowed and made a Womph womph sound. The entire phone lit up, how crazy. It was already a sleek black and platinum colored with a large display screen.
Korin’s face appeared. It scared her because she didn’t expect a picture, or rather a…
“Yes, my dear, it’s a video phone.” Korin said and smiled wanely. He looked tired but still picture perfect.
“Oh goodness! How’s Stone? Is he okay?”
“He’s subdued for the moment. I said a few prayers and covered him with a prayer cloth blessed with anointing oil. He’s been sleeping soundly for an hour now.”
“Oh thank God.” Samosa said. “When can I come back?” Already she missed home. Their home.
Korin’s face dipped down. That’s when she noticed her legs were bared to him via the screen and she smoothly placed them back under the covers.
“In a few days, or a week. That will cover the time for the other jinn to be prepped with the elixir and give some time for Stone to calm down.” He paused. “He was very…off. We fought but I still love him.”
Love. Korin used the L word.
How far along in his spiritual walk was he to use a word like that?
“The hotel clerk here says she has met a genie.”
Korin blinked once. Twice. Three times. “She has? She’s there now?”
“She works here. When we touched hands, I felt something and she did too.”
Korin’s eyes turned to slits. “Does she know you are marked?”
“No. She just knows I have met a genie and offered to tell me more.”
“Hold on.” Korin closed his eyes as if her were in an instant deep meditation. Samosa watched the clock next to the bed. She wanted to get his attention but it was as if he went on Sleep Mode like her laptop back at home.
“Sam. Get out of there. Get out now!”
“What?” Samosa leaped from her bed and jacked on her pants in less than three seconds. The phone was still lying on the bed; Korin’s eyes burned ruby red. “Tell me. What is it?”
“That girl is spy for the Grand Marid.”
“Shoot!” Samosa pulled on her top. Just as the door exploded.
She held her breath as a tall beast looking thing. Actually it had the head of a lizard. Half Godzilla half man. His skin was a leathery green color and he wore a brown monk robe with a thick rope tied at the waist for a belt. Samosa covered her mouth.
Heather. If that was her name, showed up next to him. “Sorry. I really do wish we could have been good friends.”
Samosa ignored her.
“Sam! Listen to my words!” Korin said. The lizard man advanced towards her and she shrank further back in the small room. Suddenly she heard chanting in a foreign language. Korin was reciting something.
“Nooooo!” Lizard man and Heather both screamed.
It was too late.
Samosa felt a surge of strength pour into her body, her nails curved into claws and the lizard man’s mouth was open exposing rows and rows of sharp teeth. Heather looked at him. “I didn’t know she was marked!” She pleaded. But the lizard man wrapped his massive hands around Heather’s slender neck and twisted it until Samosa could hear the loud pop of her bones.
Leaping over the bed Samosa stood before the beast. He was very smelly and very strong. His tongue- forked like a snake’s hissed at her, dripping white foam.
“One bite or scratch from me and you’ll die a slow painful death.” The thing’s voice sounded like nails dragging across a chalkboard.
Korin was still murmuring a magic incantation. Samosa felt strong as a lioness. She eyed the monster.
He swiped at her , nearly missing her neck and she dodged the second swipe to her belly by moving with the speed of a cheetah. The television crashed behind her sending shards of glass and electrical plugs sailing through the air.
She hopped again, took the coffee carafe and threw it hard at the beast’s head. He dodged it effortlessly.
But not the table it sat on.
Samosa lifted it swiftly; watched it sail through the air and land on top of his heavy body. He fell hard. She landed on top of him, straddled his torso and held her new ten inch claws high into the air.
“Who sent you?” She growled.
“I can’t…I can’t!” Foam dribbled from the sides of his mouth. Samosa put both her hands around his throat now. She knew without being told that she could snap his neck just like he did Heather’s.
“The Grand Marid sent you. Didn’t he?”
The beast looked confused, his yellow lizard eyes looked through her. “No. He did not send us.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“I don’t serve you.”
“You said us. Who is us?” Samosa squeezed his neck for encouragement.
“I cannot tell. I won’t tell.”
Samosa choked him harder feeling his slimy but leathery skin slip and slide in her hands.
“I can’t tell! I will be killed!”
“I don’t really care.” Samosa stood up.
“You’re not going to kill me?” The thing sat up heaving, rubbing his neck.
Samosa’s stomach rumbled.
“Nah.” She said, adrenaline coursing through her blood.
“Good. Good girl.”
“I’m going to eat you.”
The beast had no time move before Samosa leapt at him with claws extracted. She imagined she would be a sight to see: A short woman leaping at something like that and then digging her nails into his meat to eat him alive. No matter where he came from- his meat was so good.
When she came to, her face was caked with blood and her nails had chunks of meat in them. Korin carried her all the way from hotel’s back parking lot to an area she would be familiar. He left Stone at the house, shielding him from going outside- he warned that Samosa would be fine if he stay put. He had much work to do already preparing the jinn and now handling Samosa.
She was going to die if he hadn’t chanted that spell over her. She already has darkness inside her but she had so much light too. Which is why she was attracting so much attention.
Near Huntington Park, a few miles from her mother’s home, he lay her down in the grass. The moon had cast an unearthly shine on her face, paling her and making her seem ethereal.
So much like Cyn.
He took a mug of water and a soft cloth like material emerged from his hands and he ran the liquid over it, wiped her face clean and her neck.
He had an opportunity to suck her soul completely away. She was not his but he could very well take it if he had the gall to. Her aura held a blue light with feathery white static fringes and a very dark hole in the center .Colors of a good soul but with struggle.
All it would take is a few words and she will completely turn and he could be in the Grand Marid’s good graces and not worry about being good.
He leaned down so he could hear her
Then, a gurgling sound followed by a foul splash of liquid spewed from her lips landing on his chin and mouth.
He spat the stuff from his lips and quickly cleaned himself off with a spell. “What in hell?”
Samosa sat up groggily, leaves and twigs poking up from her hair. “Sorry. I ate something bad.” She hugged her belly and puked again in a nearby bush. Korin sighed and sat next to her, wiped her mouth.
“You’re a mess. You know that?”
“Yeah. Always have been.” She wiped her mouth with the cloth and plopped it on the ground. It was quiet save for a few owls hooting. They were near the CSX train rails on Huntington Avenue, about a mile from her mother’s home. Where she used to have picnics with them.
Except back then she wasn’t possessed and eating creatures and now she lay in the arms of a handsome blond guy whose eyes kept changing colors. Now they were a blood red.
“What does it mean when your eyes are red?” She asked.
Korin inclined his head, thought a moment, then looked back down and away from her. “Typically when I feel sexually excited or soul thirsty.”
“No different than when Stone looks at you I’m sure, but he’s a closed book. I’m the one who can’t hide my feelings.”
“You’ve taken many souls then. Served them up to the Grand Marid.” Samosa’s tone cut.
“Yep. Lots of them.” Korin picked himself up and held out a hand to Samosa. Her hands were soft, but chilled. “You must go to your mother’s. Stay there until its time.”
“So I won’t see Stone until then?”
“Think of it as the nights before your wedding. No peeking,” he wagged his finger at her. That’s when she looked down at his feet; they stood on an Oriental carpet with some Turkish influences and swirling thin shapes in the center.
“Is that a-?”
“Some tales are true. We ride skies and fly carpets.” She took Korin’s hand, astonished that Stone never took her on a magic carpet ride like in her favorite old Disney movie.
As if reading he mind(maybe he did) Korin said, “Stone tries too much to be human.”
You too. Samosa thought.
Samosa graciously took his hand, aware that he studied her very closely.
“I could have taken your soul back there but I didn’t. You are too fascinating.”
“Okay so a threat and a compliment in one sentence.” She opting to sit on the plush carpet while he stood.
A good, strong wind picked up suddenly and the carpet floated up, carrying them beyond the trees and up. Up. Up over the treetops and between the clouds. She would have felt the cold any other time but did not. The air felt clean. Good. Korin faced the front, “steering” them to her mother’s home.
She will have to nag Stone about this later.
If she ever saw him again.
Should she even bother? He was not himself. A depressed Nightwalker .
When they finally touched down in front of her mom’s door she started to dash from the carpet, but Korin’s warm hand led her to the ground. “Patience.”
“I know,” she replied honestly loving the blue of his eyes.
“Remember, stay here and contact no one from your mom’s phone. Don’t even answer it if it’s for you or not.”
She gave a short nod but didn’t move to ring the doorbell. The air around Korin was too potent-electrifying and he knew it, leaning down to her face he let his lips graze her ear as he whispered: “If only you were mine.”
Samosa sucked in a breath.
Then just like that-
He was gone.
Stone sat in front of the fireplace with legs crossed. To Korin and Gondlavin, he was too pale compared to his normally dusky olive complexion. His eyes looked dark and depraved. They told him as much and he only shrugged- bristled more like it.
Jinn spells and Korin’s foreign prayers formed a barrier across his home to keep him inside.
It kept him from Samosa.
It kept him from tasting her soul again. He scratched his chest, alleviating an annoying itch. She should be here with him. Why would she leave at Korin’s insistence? Because he was the Golden Boy and seemed so pure?
Stone growled at the fire and slammed his fist into the palm of his hand.
“Are the others being obedient and drinking their elixir?” Korin asked Gondlavin.
Gondlavin, one of the most trustful bowed his head slightly.
“Good.” Korin scratched his chin. What is the story on the pale one? The one with wolf eyes?”
Gondlavin chuckled for a few moments then sobered quickly; his large ebony body settled down in one of the white couches in Stone’s room. “I think Stone knows him better. That Lex is too quiet and he doesn’t play fair.”
“He’s quickly becoming the GM’s favorite.” Stone murmured from his spot. “He is ruthless, merciless, and he doesn’t know his place.”
“You’re one to talk,” Gondlavin interjected, serious. “We are drinking nasty concoctions from Chef Boy R. Jinni here all so you can form some sort of official bond with a woman?”. Gondlavin shook his head. “Lex, like the rest of us knows his place well. Better than most. Even though he is a prick.”
The way Gondlavin spat out woman cut Stone in small ways. Did all jinn think humans or any other species across the galaxy were just animals? Beneath them? They who were slaves to species all over the universe?
Gondlavin wasn’t through: “The women here are different…warm for sure. But you use them then toss them away. That’s what any of the human men do anyway.”
They all shivered at the thought. Some jinni had male genitals while others had none and gravitated naturally to what was polar opposite of them, but some jinn actually became mates with those of their same sex. It was heard of but not quite common. The only union is supposed to be one of “master” and slave. That was all that mattered. Or should.
Stone knew all of this since he first knew what he was. Since the beginning of the knowledge of what he was.
He knew this since the first day as a young genie with small holes in his chest and a small ink of a lamp branded onto where his heart was located. Right above his left pectoral.
He knew he was a slave when the Grand Marid branded him and told him he was “his for all eternity and he could end his puny life at any moment”. His mission: Collect the souls, send them up to the Grand Marid. He then eats those souls, causing him to be stronger, faster, and more powerful.
Some said he was the Devil.
Stone believes he is Satan.
Either way, Stone and the other jinn were horrible entities and this union he wished for him and Samosa to pursue was a pain to endure. But there seemed to be too many obstacles. GM, those minions, and Samosa’s ex which he knew still called her and tried to email her recently. Through Korin’s invisible third “sight” he could see the man dialing numbers from his cell at his condo, pleading into his cell for Samosa to return his love. Begging her to give him a second chance.
Is she with Lyle now? Would Korin know?
Better yet-would Korin tell him?
“You’ll never get it, Squirt.” Stone thought. He and Samosa had a deep connection no one could sever.
Although he did his best to keep an eye on Korin who may have a thing for Samosa.
“You have a lot on your mind, Brother.” Korin took the liberty to sit right next to Stone.
“You invading my thoughts?”
“Nope.” Korin popped into his mouth what looked like a Rolo caramel candy. “Samosa is safe. Don’t worry about anything else.”
“Who was behind her attack at the hotel then? All these tricks and games and you say it still doesn’t have GM’s stamp on it?”
“Maybe, maybe not.” Gondlavin rubbed his long nails against each other, making gentle clacking sounds. “Either way this is just one of the many consequences to trying to form human bonds.”
“I know. But I love her. Can’t help it.”
Korin pat Stone’s back once in affection. “I’m looking into it, but I tell you. The trail doesn’t smell like GM. It’s…something else. Someone else. I don’t trust Lex at all.”
“That man-child?” Gondlavin stood. “He’s like Napoleon with a girl’s demeanor.”
It was Stone’s turn to stand. “He ain’t Napoleon. He is one of us. And he ain’t no girl.” Stone hated that jinni. He was one who always competed with him. At least for the last twenty five years. He had to be newly created for no one really heard of him, but he and Stone competed for girls and souls on this planet.
“Either way, I need to get back to the one I’m working on.” Gondlavin’s eyes glowed like embers in the dark night of the woods. So did Korin’s.
“You have a soul to get?” Korin asked politely.
“Well, I will see you and the others at the end of the week.”
Gondlavin sighed and disappeared leaving sulfurous smoke behind. Korin allowed a temporary rip in the barrier he made for Gondlavin to exit. But not unstable Stone. How ironic was that? He laughed a little, then added a huge laugh. Then he doubled over, ruptured in laughter. He was Stone, but he couldn’t remain stable enough to keep Samosa. Steady as a rock, eh? Whatever.
Korin must have taken his laughter as hysterics for he began to silently chant and to Stone’s surprise, he opened an old worn brown bible.
Samosa’s bible; and began to read from it.
Sunlight spilled across her bed sheets and she smelled bacon, eggs, and something else sweet: Cinnamon rolls! It was officially Christmas and Samosa swiveled her legs from her bed like a little child, slipped into some pink bunny slippers and wearing nothing but her long pink nightgown, she swept down the stairs and found her adoptive mother, Anna for all intents and purposes- pulling huge cinnamon rolls from her large black oven.
A body stood next to her.
A bald headed, black business slacks polo shirt wearing buff body.
She groaned and turned around to head back upstairs but was suddenly caught around her waist and whirled in the air, then placed back on the floor.
“Merry Christmas!” Lyle said his eyes sparkling and his finger kept pointing up. Samosa didn’t get it until she saw the Mistletoe dangling over head by the front door.
Her mother walked in and saw them in that same state. “Good morning, Merry Christmas honey!” She went over and kissed Samosa’scheek, winked at Lyle and went back into the kitchen.
Samosa’s eyes froze on the Mistletoe. The green sprigs with the pine cone hanging off the side. Every year. Every single year, Lyle would visit her mother and would sweep Samosa off her feet while kissing her under the Mistletoe.
And for a second she was caught up in that moment. A time frozen here and now. A moment that has always been as natural to her as her own skin, as her own breath. This was normal- standing in Lyle’s possessive arms, looking into his handsome brown face and them singing silly Christmas tunes, both off key and her mom getting down in the kitchen with enough food to feed a football team.
But her life was entrenched in Stone and jinn now. Gorgeous beyond belief genies, beasts, a dark hunger.
“You gonna kiss me?” Lyle tried pulling her closer.
“Uh, what? No!” Samosa tried to pull from him but even with her newfound strength, nothing kept her locked as his eyes did at that moment. They were betraying a man who was starved, longing, a man who was so very, very sorry for all that he has done.
She gave up her struggle. Defeated. “Lyle, any other time I would give in to my feelings,” she began. But I’m- ”
“Shh,” Lyle ran a hand in her hair. His hands smoothed her hair down then the pad of his thumb traced her lips. He looked at her transfixed. “I love you. I know you’re with someone else but I still want you.”
“We can’t do this.”
“Don’t you forgive me?”
Did she? In a way, yeah she did. But not to go backwards.
“I forgave you already, I just don’t need to do this.”
“I’ll kiss your cheek then-like friends. We don’t have to do anything you’re uncomfortable with.” Lyle said it, but he didn’t mean it. She knew him all too well. And for the life of her, she wished she wore something less revealing than a thin slip of a nightgown. Pretty in pink and here she stands with the guy she fell in love with forever ago, the cocky guy with charm and intelligence with numbers.
He leaned and gave a quick peck on her cheek.
That’s when she heard the loud Whomp Whomp of Korin’s phone from all the way upstairs.
“I have to get that.” She wiggled from his grasp and headed upstairs. The red, green and gold ribbons twirling around the rails and the landing were shiny and slick and caught hints of light from the windows downstairs. A few loose ones stuck to her bunny slipper nose.
The phone glowed on the nightstand. She grabbed it up just as her door slammed close. Turning, she saw Lyle lean against the door with arms crossed, a smug look on his face. “So answer it.”
“I am, but get out.”
“If I am not that important in your life, you should be able to answer a phone with or without me present- hey! What kind of phone is-“
“Why no video chat this time, chica?” Korin teased.
“Huh? Oh, I was…busy and not, um, dressed.”
“Oh. Well, someone wishes to speak with you.” Samosa waited as Korin got off the phone and soon enough, replaced with her genie. Her mate. For life. Hopefully.
“Hey hon’.” Samosa could barely contain herself. Stone’s voice sound raw. “Are you… okay?”
In the background, Lyle(purposely) sighed aloud.
“What was that?” Stone asked.
Samosa forgot that his psychic sense may have been dulled but not his super sense of hearing.
“That’s Lyle. Mom must have invited him.” No sense lying.
“Why the- how- he get in the house?” Stone growled. “Korin! Why haven’t you blocked him from coming by? Do I have to kill him?”
“Babe, there’s no need for killing.” Samosa said, then Lyle’s hand grabbed her phone to say something, but in a flash, a blue light zapped out and shocked his finger causing him to yelp. Korin’s special phone held special powers. Yay.
“Sam, listen to me. Get him out of there.”
“It’s my mom’s house and you just have to trust me, Stone.”
“I know, I know,” Stone said annoyed. “I can’t wait for this to be over.”
“One more thing.” He said.
“What?” Samosa could barely hear him over Lyle’s moans. She could still hear Korin guffaw in the background.
“Merry Christmas and I…I love you.”
Samosa melted, imagining him there beside her holding her, kissing her. “I love you back.”
They hung up.
Lyle looked up from her bed with a scowl on his face.
Stone said Merry Christmas. A day of the Lord’s birth. He also said love- something demons or jinn don’t dare let roll off their tongue.
Stone peeked into the glass vase, Korin held up to him. Through it, they could see Samosa staring at her dinner while her mother prayed over the food. Christmas was very important to them. Korin said the birth of the Christ is the most important idea of all- gifts are a more commercialized version of the celebration.
Stone said he didn’t care. Everywhere he looked, he wanted to see her. The mirrors. The water. The glass vase Korin held up. Using Korin’s magic, they could keep a temporary eye on Samosa. Stone felt even more depressed when he saw her dressed in a deep dark green dress that hugged her curves in the right way and her black, leather boots with the spiky heels to go with it. Her hair was pinned up but with all that unruly hair, many fell out and round the sides of her face. She was so lovely.
“Soon, you two will be entwined and end this curse.” Korin sat the vase back on the window sill.
“Yeah-I’m counting down.” Stone continued to star at the vase sat against a world he could not creep out of. He still felt bouts of soul hunger but not as much. They just watched Samosa satisfy her physical hunger many times with plenty of second round plates and then apple pie to top it all off.
“Got word from Gondlavin that the Grand Marid hadn’t been on this side of the universe in weeks.”
“So he has henchmen doing his dirty work now.”
“Maybe,” Korin leaned against the counter, used his sharp nail to peel the skin off an orange. “I wouldn’t worry about him. Just keep up with the meditations I taught you. Read the Bible too.”
“There are other books to read besides bound scrolls.”
“True, but that’s the one Samosa believes in.”
Stone took his leather band from around his hair; and let his hair flow freely down past his shoulders. He took the book from one of the breakfast nook stools and picked it open, his hands turning the ever so thin, crisp white pages. The words were very small to regular eyes but he could “feel” them and those words bugged him. They hurt.
He slammed it closed and tossed it across the room. “Uh uh. I ain’t reading that.”
Korin chuckled softly. “Just be on your P’s and Q’s.” He disappeared after tossing back his white robe.
Who does he think he is?
Lyle came by for dinner late, a silly grin on his face. Samosa scowled not wanting to know why. Whenever he wore a grin like that it meant he met someone or was about to talk about some female: what she wore that day, what she smelled like and if Samosa can get her hair did just like so and so’s. Blah blah blah.
Anna brought out the Apple Spiced tea. “Why the big grin?” She asked him. Samosas wish she hadn’t. Whatever he had up his sleeve, she did not want to know. At all.
“I’m happy to be here with my two lovely ladies for Christmas. I bought gifts.” He said and reached into his coat pocket. Bringing out one long, rectangle box and a small square one for Samosa. He handed her mother the rectangle box.
“Thanks!” Her mother beamed.
“I didn’t ask for anything and I hadn’t bought anything…for you.” Samosa said. She just gave her mom a gift bag of trinkets, some gift cards and wads of cash moments before she ate.
“I want you to have this.” Lyle opened the jewelry bag and pulled out a gray suede box and Samosa rolled her eyes. Then felt a cold chain being placed about her neck.
She stood up, pushed Lyle out of the way. “I don’t want a gift, Lyle!”
“Honey,” Anne White stood between Samosa and the hall mirror. “Lyle go into the den please while I speak with my daughter.” Samosa’s eyes traveled to her neck in the oval by the patio door a platinum cross set in a ruby heart-lay on her collarbone. That had to be expensive.
“Even if it is over between you two- please. Be nice. Tell him gently you don’t want the chain.”
“I am not fifteen anymore. I am thirty! I don’t need this in my life.” Samosa pulled off the admittedly lovely necklace put it in her mom’s open hands. “Tell Lyle I am sorry but I belong to someone else. He can give that to whomever.”
Stone was dying for a chance to see Samosa. He would do anything. ANYTHING to kiss her, hold her tight and make love to her, but he couldn’t do that with Korin and those funky prayer spells all around him. Keeping him in and her- out.
There was only one way to get to her. She couldn’t wish him there or wish this monkey off his back for the life of him because once stripped of powers by the GM wishes for a jinni’s recuperation were zippo.
He spotted the clear vase on the table and other things that reflect images: a mirror in the hall. Windows. Some light spilled through. What was she doing now? He licked his lips at the thought of her in that tight green dress from Christmas. Lyle better stay away from her or I will kill him. Korin will just have to clean up his bones. Stone chuckled at the thought.
“Maybe I will devour his bones too. He’s a low life anyway.”
Picking himself up from the floor, he thought of the one thing he could do to break free of the invisible barrier closing him in. It was diabolical to say the least and so beneath him. Only one person can bypass a barrier of both evil and holy prayers.
He called upon the name of the unique human.
This name was a symbol but only Stone could pronounce it. It was a long story he’d rather forget, but as soon as he cleared his mind and spoke the name, there was a knock at the door.
When he answered, there stood a dark skinned bald boy appearing to be the age of no more than twelve with freakish green eyes. “Step on in.” Stone moved so the tiny young man could cross the threshold.
Which was something he could not do, but Green Eyes did very well. Anywhere.
“Ummm, this looks familiar. Why get in jam again?”Spoken in broken English, Green Eyes looked all round him, probably sensing the spells and prayers. His African accent coupled with his innocent face made him an cute enigma. But Stone knew his great power. The boy could see through barriers and can erase them easily.
Stone ran a hand through his now matted tresses. “I kind of flipped out and was about to kill…” He stopped himself and thought of the fear on Samosa’s face when Korin told her to run. He can control himself. Can’t he?
“Look, I just need this barrier to melt away and let me pass. Just for one day. I need to see her.”
Green Eyes held up a hand. “You don’t need to see her. I feel Korin wants you here for a good reason.”
The boy knew everything.
“I understand that. But I summoned you here to help me get out not to agree with him.”
A sly grin spread across the African boy’s features. His eyes shone with mischief. “Then what will you give me, Stone of the Ice Rings?”
Here we go.
“Look, I can give you a lot of money. Name your price.”
The young boy grabbed his stomach and bent over laughing hysterically. “Now what will I do with money?” He finally got his bearings and fixed his eyes on Stone with humor leaving his black face. “I have no need for money. I want something else.”
“Name it then.” Stone grew impatient with the little Witch Monster. Said Monster took small steps, looked at the clean whiteness of the house.
“Come to think of it. I want nothing from you. Not now anyway.” The boy leveled his gaze at Stone’s face. “You clearly have everything you want. Except you are depressed, disturbed.” He sighed. “I will help you but even my gift has been given a signature as of late.”
Stone was happy with the news and some part of him did not care about the “signature” tidbit. He asked anyway.
“Korin, the GM, they all smell my trail. So I make this quick.”
Stone nodded, shook his hair into a billowing black cloud of semi submission. Ready for his next step with Samosa.
The little boy shook his entire body as if in convulsion and Stone saw white flecks flee off the edges of his small body. With eyes lit like flaming gemstones, he blew a gust of air, similar to a miniature tornado and whirled 360 degrees, cooling the house until the temperature dropped several degrees.
Already Stone felt the barriers melting.
She showered with her new milk and roses scented gel and shampooed her hair all at once. Took the time to shave-even though it was too cold to bare skin. All in all, Samosa felt refreshed and ready to- to…to what?
She was in the middle of pulling on her shoes when she heard a gentle tapping on her bedroom window.
Raising the blinds she was shocked to see Stone in his solid form standing in the middle of the lawn, about to toss another gray rock. Her body began to sing in anticipation despite what he tried to do to her recently. Did she really think she could let him go just like that? What was she on? Drugs? Her tendency to want him in spite of what he was kept her adrenaline up and dopamine pumping her full.
She raced downstairs past the kitchen where her mom usually is but she was probably in her study.
When Samosa hit the threshold, strong arms pulled her up and whirled her around. She did not need a coat, hat, or scarf. Stone’s warmth and his scent was all she needed. She felt like they were in a real life story of Romeo Juliet, people keeping them apart because of their differences. Well, because of violence, but whatever. She hugged his hard body with tenderness. He gave back the warmth too.
Samosa was caught off guard when his hot mouth claimed hers in a most possessive way. His tongue snaked around her tongue and nearly tapped her throat. She squeezed in closer to him and tried matching him with her own kiss, absorbing him- all of him into her being.
He was first to break contact but only to lick the rim of her ear-her most sensitive spot. “Stone! How’d you break free? Does Korin know?”
His grip around her waist tightened. “No and I intend to keep it that way. You are mine. Mine! And no amount of spells and prayers can keep me from you, Samosa. I needed to see you to have you.”
She thrust out her hands to his chest, kept him at bay. “What about…you know? Are you still hungry for my soul?”
Stone took her hands in his and kissed each knuckle. “You are not like most women. You fail to make even simple wishes. The only time you dared was to try to wish me out of my hell hole. I live off of human greed, Samosa.”
“But I can’t lose you either. I want all of you but not in a way to claim your beautiful soul.”
She nodded. Such confliction! She was sure he saw her confusion for he grabbed her up in another hug. “Come with me. I have our entire day, er evening planned.” He winked at her.
Alright. She will go along this time, but he better behave or she will call Korin.
They stopped by the Dairy Queen in Hampton where there stood a small library and a tiny daycare center squished between a donut shop and hair salon. They sat outside under the red and white patio umbrellas, enjoying the sunshine beaming on them, causing Stone’s chocolate ice cream blizzard to melt fast. Samosa grinned and scooped more of the cookie dough cream onto her tall, plastic fork. Amazing how in Virginia it can be cold and blazing hot at the same time.
“I like you like this,” Stone admitted and reached out to brush a curl from her face.
“I like being with you.” She brushed her hand along the side of his cheek. His face was hard and soft at the same time. “I need to ask something. You’re a demon- right?”
Stone sighed heavily and tossed his remaining ice cream in the nearby trash can. “I guess.”
“Sorry. I am only asking because you are more than that. You are flesh and bone born of smoke and fire. You are not repelled by water. You don’t seem completely evil. I think there is more to your kind than I realized.”
Stone took what she said at face value and agreed. He lived for what seemed like eons but always questioned what he was. He and his “brothers” were not born from human mothers, yet they were made in the same hellfire cauldron. The Womb.
“That’s something we’ll need to figure out together, won’t we?”
“Uh huh. And how did you escape?”
Samosa was becoming an irritating worm but at least she looked good and smelled great.
“I asked a favor of a friend.”
She dropped her spoon to the hard table. “Who? Who is powerful enough to bypass a barrier like that?”
“You give Korin way too much credit. I’m jealous.” Stone pouted like a five year old and Samosa kicked his shin from beneath the table, enjoying the reddening of his face.
“You know I love only you. Now answer me- who set you free?”
“Someone whom I can’t name…for safety purposes. Only I have been given such a privilege. I will put it to you this way.” He came around and sat next to Samosa, their knees, hips, and arms touching. She shivered and not from the chilly wind.
“I should not have called upon him but my love for you made me do it. Maybe one day you will meet him. I don’t know.” He played in her arm, ran a finger up and down the limb. She felt the heat sizzle even though she wore a thin sweater.
“Ready to leave, my Queen?” Stone took her empty ice cream cup and dumped it in the receptacle, helped her to her feet.
For eternity they stared at each other. Samosa looked deep into Stone’s eyes and she was trapped in there with him. Suddenly she was falling hard into the past with him, she saw a little boy with a ebony braid being whipped with awful chains that snagged pieces of skin away like torn sheets of papyrus.
Jewels of ruby blood pricked the little boy’s back and his anguish became hers.
Stone’s eyes were large with concern. “Come with me. Are you okay?”
They walked back to his car. “I was just seeing things for a second there.”
“What things?” Stone buckled up and they drove at a smooth pace.
“Were you ever abused? Like, really bad?”
She watched Stone for a sign.
And she got one.
His hands tightened on the steering wheel and he drew his lips into a thin pale line.
“Korin warned me that you will have more of me in you each time we Bond. Forever tied. I guess some of my memories slipped into your mind. I hope you discard them,” he said softly.
Samosa reached out to stroke his lustrous hair. Hair had never been her attraction in a man before. Good hygiene and being somewhat cute, mattered. As well as brains but Stone’s shiny tresses were something to gawk at. That is why the cashier at DQ kept an eye on him and slipped him her number when she thought Samosa wasn’t watching. Stone threw the young chick’s number away though. He was loyal.
“I was abused a very long time ago. Although the word ‘abuse’ may not have been used. More like trained and enslaved.” He did air quotes.
“Abuse,” Samosa repeated anyway. “Oh God! Who did it to you?” She remembered the deep gray welts on his back when he would undress. To an untrained eye, it was not noticeable but Samosa’s new keen vision detected them and she would ask him where’d it come from and he would shrug and say, “War”. At least he opened up a little tonight.
When they pulled up into a small playground where lights and streamers still snaked around the swing poles, shiny and kind of sad because Christmas was over- Samosa inhaled and smelled…hot cocoa.
“They’re grilling over by the library.” They were back in Newport News near Mainport Library’s playground.
Her nose wrinkled at the scent of juicy grilled burgers and hotdogs. Someone had onion and shrimp pasta salad somewhere and there were ribs simmering by the entrance to the library. She barely realized they were not alone.
A gentle tug on her coat forced her to look down. A little girl with a cherubic face, rosy cheeks and startling blue eyes pointed at Samosa. “Where’s your child?” Her small voice tinkled like wind chimes.
“Um, I don’t have children hon’.”
The little girl’s face scrunched up. “Mommy said lots of kids would be here today.” She stamped her red shoed feet and Samosa laughed and pat the girl’s Shirley Temple curls. Stone tightened his hand around Samosa’s.
His jaw was clenched tight. “Your stomach’s growling. Want to try the ribs first?”
“Is something wrong?” Samosa asked while Stone pulled her to the sizzling red meat.
“I’m looking out for you. You looked…hungry- and that girl…”
He did not need to say more. But Samosa would never eat a human, let alone a child! She would let his words stew in her brain but the food was so delectable she put a sample of everything on her plate. The grill masters knew their stuff and looked like the typical beer gutted chef apron wearing guys and a tall, thin black woman took care of the salads and passed out bagged treats for the kids.
They settled in on a pair of swings and listened to someone’s digital player croon melodies from the eighties and nineties. When it was time for them to go it had grown even darker, it had to be well past nine. Stone had arrived at the first hint of evening, shimmering gold and blue and materializing on her mother’s porch.
As they made their way back to the car, Samosa wondered what he had planned next.
“Wouldn’t Korin find you?”
“Don’t care.” He put his arm around her shoulder and they got inside the car. “I want to spend as much time as I can with you and-” He pulled out a bag with a tiny white square box in it. Samosa took it from him tentatively.
Before she could pull the bag off and open the box, Stone kissed her full on the lips. She returned it and cracked open the box.
“Oh my God!” Samosa said, forgetting the hard flinch and admired the diamonds encrusted in a pink heart. The gold band was shining on her left ring finger. “How-why?” She sputtered and saw a grin spread like oil over his face.
“Even though I’m not a traditional man. You are a conservative woman and I know you’d still want the band. Like we’re getting married for real.”
Samosa pecked him on the lips, then hugged him squeezing her arms around his neck, languishing in the feel of his hands running along her ribcage and backside. “I am not that conservative, Mr. Genie.” She whispered.
“Let’s get a room.” He breathed. “I have to have you.”
Samosa felt goosebumps run along her arms, especially since Stone was looking at her as if he was salivating for his last prison meal.
On the way back from their luxury hotel, Stone opened the door for Samosa and walked her up the front steps of her mom’s house. Thought better of it and walked around back, just under her bedroom window.
She inhaled the scent of him and fisted the opening of his jacket and pulled him closer. She felt extreme hunger pains and wished she could wish them away. But it did not work like that. They were both under a curse that will take demon blood and ceremonies to clear up. Should she even go through with it?
“Yeah I am.” Samosa remained glued to him. “If you are a genie, I should be wishing many things right now and we can have the perfect life.”
His arms encircled her waist and rested his chin atop her head. “It does work like that. Since being with you, you’ve wished for many things that have come to pass by my powers and because of how much I love you, the Grand Marid is punishing me. He can do whatever he wants. Wishes are just one part of our job description anyway. Slave first.”
“I guess movies and cartoons really screwed us over huh?”
“One question I am dying to know though. I never thought to ask considering all the other, um, anatomical structures you have.”
Stone gave a half wicked smile, revealing his left fang. “Go on.” He encouraged.
“You are flesh and blood but spirit too. But if you are jinn and are wholly spirit, who gave you male parts? I mean are there male and female spirits?”
“Funny you should ask.” Stone pressed forward until her back was pressed against the house. Looming over her he said. “It takes a wish.”
“Many jinn don’t have anatomical parts and are thought of as male in terms of gender. But one of their masters must have wished sex parts for them.”
“Whoa.” Samosa rubbed her temples. “So if not for some horny girl-”
“Or guy wishing for you to have genitals, you would not have it?”
Stone gently caressed the side of her face with his hot hand. “Certainly. However, I suspect that one day, someone will wish for a girl.”
“A female genie.”
“But physiologically, and psychologically we are created male so that would be kind of odd. I also suspect the Grand Marid would have us all be males anyway so he would just eradicate any female part of us to begin with. I heard that it happened before and he obliterated the jinni.”
“Oh.” It was much for Samosa to take in. The GM wanted all male slaves? Why?
“You should go inside.” Stone kissed her hand as she unlocked the back entrance door. Her mother would be more than likely praying or sleeping. She leaned in and kissed Stone longer than she anticipated and saw the longing in his gorgeous black eyes.
Another week before their unholy nuptials.
The murderous wait was over. For the rest of the six days, she and Stone communicated by phone and now-she was boarding a flight to India.
Samosa barely had enough time to really sight see India. She’s never been there. In fact, she only knew about India from textbooks and pop culture. Otherwise, she felt totally out of place.
Once they landed however, Stone departed with Korin and Samosa was left with one of their “attendants”- a tall gorgeous blonde woman who explained to her about the Kashmir mountains of India.
“Tourism is heavy this year and we can ride the Gondola over there.” The blond, or Cassy showed Samosa the Gulmarg’s cable ride. Thick gray cable ropes held suspended ovalish off yellow cars.
“The mountains are beautiful.”
“Yes,” Cassy said as they moved along the throng of people. The air smelled sweet and like spice. Dark and tan faces and colorful dressing as well as suit wearers streamed passed Samosa
“We will be camped at a secluded base of Kashmir Mountain. Everything will take place there. It will be cut off from tourists today and tomorrow.”
Samosa yawned. Her bones were weary. They boarded the cable ride and when they passed over the mountain- Samosa held her breath. For a moment she was okay with sleeping, but the tall structures that crested the sky stole her breath. Below were green cliffs and pastures and for the first time Samosa was one hundred percent glad to be here.
Her room was within a specially created and decorated room at the base of the mountains. The colorful silk sheets and beautiful paintings of sun, moon, and stars hung from the ceiling leading to the single, Queen bed with black lacy lingerie on the edge of it. Korin told her that the ceremonial dress would be in her room already. He was getting ready himself in in another location, not far from her she was told.
“Hello?” A soft, feminine voice heavily accented came from outside her door.
Samosa opened it and saw a petite woman with long black hair and a beautiful smile holding a wooden brush. “I’m here to help.”
“Oh- yes.” Samosa still hadn’t peeled off her clothing. Too nervous. She had called her mother earlier just to hear her voice and Anna prattled on about being careful who she marry and was upset she was not allowed to come then went on to what the church sermon was about Sunday.
“You have to remove your clothes.”
“Oh. Sorry.” Samosa reached up to take off her shirt. It was hot in here.
“No need to be sorry.” The small woman bent down to pick up Samosa’s shirt. “How long have you known him?
“Almost ten months.” Samosa saw the black lingerie for the first time. It was just a thong, with a fancy lace that trailed behind it like a tail. “Do I wear a top?”
The small woman chuckled. She could be a teen or a woman in her thirties like Samosa. “Nope. I’ve helped with similar rituals before. You will have your hair down and crowned with feathers to cover your breasts, which is all.”
“You’re joking right?”
The woman smiled and ordered Samosa to toss off her top. When she did, the woman quick as lightning, threw on a feathery, black veil. Well, it was feathers alright. Ebony black ones with a tinge of gray on some. It came down to her bosoms and stopped just under it. She pulled on her thong too, which fit snugly but really was not her forte.
“You are a beautiful girl,” she said admiring Samosa.
“Thank you. Are you…are you one of them?”
“One of what?”
“Like Korin and Stone. Are you a jinni or, er, demon?” Samosa felt stupid asking. There were no female jinni.
“No. I just love decorating people. Come,” the smiling woman led her to a small chair and she began glossing up Samosa’s lips with cherry flavored clear tint and put on heavy mascara and liner under her eyes and finally she gave Samosa some beaded jewels. The bracelet held charms with winged creatures with missing heads.
Oh the horror of what she was doing.
And an upside down black cross was on the pretty little trinket.
“My God,” she muttered. The smiling woman stopped smoothing lotion over Samosa’s arm for a brief second then continued with long swipes of oil. Maybe they don’t believe in God here..or was it many gods? But what could she say? She was about to go through something demonic. Her adoptive father would turn in his grave right now.
“Whatever you’re thinking. Stop. You are beautiful and he is a handsome man. You will make many pretty babies together.” Her “beautician” sounded eerily confident all of a sudden. She may not be a demon, but she was working for them willingly.
I’m such a hypocrite.
Samosa sighed and took a long look at herself once finished. The revealing mirror held by the woman showed a woman ready to take on the night.
Or go to a strip joint.
They were lined up.
All seven of them.
Every shade and hue under the sun. They were simply the most beautiful, carnal creatures to inhabit this plane of Earth.
Samosa felt all fourteen pairs of eyes staring at her. Korin stepped into the room, which resembled a catholic church, with Stone on his left. Stone looked her way, handsome in an all black…loin cloth. Nothing else. Whoa he was hot. And she stood bared to everyone.
Korin told Stone to stand on her far right and he came over to Samosa, his eyes a blazing color of ruby now. He leered at her unabashedly. She guessed all bets were off here. Korin’s gaze spoke many volumes at once: lust, blood craze, business, confusion.
“Even though your soul is stained, there is still something that draws us to you, Samosa Green.” He called her by her maiden name. No one did in a long time. “Which is why we are all anxious to greet you.”
She looked behind him; some jinn were shuffling, moving around trying to look past Korin’s body to see her. Their eyes were blazing pinpoints of crimson. She felt nervous. Like beef on a platter. She heard Stone say gruffly, “Get on with it.”
“As you well know, we are attracted to a person’s spirit. Especially clean ones. They reel us in so deep,” he said this mesmerizing her with his baritone voice.
He reached into his dark robe, similar to Stone’s and pulled out a sharp, silver hook that gleamed under the soft candlelight.
He was going to pierce her.
The humming began at that precise moment. She did not know where the chorus came from. There were no words, only hums.
Korin took the pointy hook, flicked out his own tongue and poked the hook straight through.
What in the world?
Korin leaned into her. “Open your mouth.” He made the command sound so sexy she did as she was told with no hesitation.
His fingers reached in and gently tugged her tongue. “Wait.” She tried to say but it came out as “eight” and by time she said that, the hook sliced right into her tongue. A brief sting ensued on the tail of pressure, followed by Korin’s hot tongue meeting hers.
“Hmmm.” He groaned and took her face in his hands and licked her tongue again.
Samosa was without words. Her whole body began to tingle. Korin’s eyes went from ruby to purple, then ruby again. He pulled from her then gazed at her a few moments before saying “Damn. Stone is lucky. “Next!” He thundered before moving away. She did not look at Stone. She heard him yell and swear. He was probably madder than a wet cat by now.
The next jinni in line was a tall one with gold and black dreadlocks and skin the color of butter. His eyes were a deep, chocolate brown. He carried his own hook.
“Hi.” He said.
“Hi.” She said back. Then watched as he pierced his own tongue. She stepped back, afraid of him suddenly but he gently put his hands around her waist and thrust his tongue into her mouth. The tip of his tongue touched her broken one. The buzzing in her whole being began again spreading from her core. She was enticed, hot.
The next jinni followed. He looked like he could be a lawyer or professor. He wore a stern look on his square face. But he had his own hook too. Pierced his tongue, and then quickly rushed to her mouth. His kiss was brutal. Then he backed away from her with a smirk on his face.
Then the next one came.
And the next.
The lights began to flicker, then grow dim.
Her body felt lit on fire. There was still five more jinn to go and already her grip on reality was slipping. She was beginning to feel high and a bit woozy. They all had a distinct flavor of kiss and each one better than the last.
Then the last jinni stepped forward.
Was that a female? She wasn’t sure. The place was so dimly lit. But after putting up with Stone almost strangling the last four jinni and having to be put temporarily in bright red restraining handcuffs, maybe he wouldn’t worry over this one who was slightly smaller in stature, but with ab slabs that went on forever.
He had to be male.
The eyes were not unlike the gray-blue ones of a wolf. He seemed…vampiric.
He walked up to Samosa with a seductive smile on his face. Long, black curly hair bounced against his pale white skin and was clad in tight black leather pants and jacket. Up close, Samosa could see there were some male features: a strong jaw and all male rippling abs that stretched days down to his lower region.
“I’m Lex,” he said.
He pierced his tongue, a very long tongue- much like a snake’s and took Samosa’s face in his hands.
“What do you think I am?” He asked.
“I thought you were a girl for a minute there.”
He threw back his head and laughed, revealing a prominent Adam’s Apple. “I can take you to a room and prove to you I am far from a girl. And more than a man.”
“N-no thanks. I believe you.” Samosa smiled and Lex not only placed his tongue on hers; he did what the others did not do. He sealed their lips together in a most passionate way, holding their kiss and bringing her toes to a curl.
Howling could be heard from a distance and she assumed Korin will have to put tighter restraints on Stone. Once finished, Lex stood back and winked at Stone. “When you’re done with her body, allow me to teach her the real way of jinn”
“I’ll break your face you little pipqueak! Damn girl lookin’…”
Samosa heard nothing else.
She suddenly felt as if she were floating. Floating. Floating.
The buzz that began earlier took her on flight with that last kiss.
She finally felt weightless.
Something did not register well with Stone. After his rival Lex kissed Samosa, her body began to levitate, drifting upwards. Korin told him this was normal. But he saw a look of sickness on her face. It was like a pale green and a sheen sweat on her upper lip glistening. She wore a smile though. A creepy one.
Two jinn and the young woman who helped Samosa, got her to drift back down by reaching their arms up to press her back down gently.
“Bring her to me.” He told them. When they did, Samosa landed softly in Stone’s arms, her wide eyes gazing up at him.
“If you kiss her now,” Korin instructed. “She will be free and you will too. Pierce your tongue now, Brother.”
Stone settled Samosa down next to him, she lay against his shoulder. She was mumbling something. He pierced his tongue and leaned closer.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he
Leadeth me beside the still waters…”
“No no no! What is this!” Someone roared. Stone nearly dropped Samosa, recognizing at once she was whispering in worship of another God. Another deity. Why did she do it? His tongue dripped blood all over her face. He found himself constantly wiping the blood with his own hair. He looked to Korin for help but he stood by peacefully, watching Samosa closely.
She spoke louder: “HE RESTORETH MY SOUL: HE LEADETH ME IN THE PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!”
“Kiss her, Stone!” A few jinn yelled and had their ears covered as Samosa recited some words that must be holy for they pierced Stone’s soul. Didn’t she want to be cured? Did she not want him well again?
He leaned down and used his tongue to open her lips. Her lips were ruby red from so much kissing. He pulled back.
Samosa appeared queasy.
Then she vomited.
Cradled in his arms for hours, Samosa finally woke up in a very large bed. Stone’s eyes was the only orbs she could see. A bright spill of light came over his face in a slash. The sun. A vibrant truth that he was finally whole.
“We didn’t complete the ritual…not exactly. Korin is actually celebrating that.”
“Why?” Samosa sat up in his lap.
“He is changing. Or trying to. He has been pouring over books and films and speaking with people, dreading when the Grand Marid will call him to steal more souls for him.”
“How awful.” Samosa touched her forehead, suddenly feverish. “Sorry I vomited on your feet. That was so un-sexy.”
“So is it true?” Stone looked deep into her eyes. He wanted to know. Saying it would make it more real and more terrifying. “Are you…?
“Am I what?” She said. Stone touched her belly.
“Are you pregnant?”
“I can’t be. You said jinn can’t produce children.”
“But you are with child.” He kissed her belly. “Korin could tell. You are carrying a new scent along with mine all over you.”
Samosa shifted so she sat next to him, her feather hair spread revealing everything to Stone’s hot gaze. Smoothing her hand over her flat belly, she imagined having a child with Stone. But what would it look like? A boy with shining dark hair with Stone’s light sandy complexion? Or would it be a girl with Stone’s eyes and her brown skin tone?
Would it be inhuman? A hybrid?
Maybe she was sick with worry over nothing. She can’t be pregnant!
Either way, she was no longer hungry for food, and her man- her lover and friend was here wanting her, all of her.
A gift he was and a curse to her. From here, the possibilities were endless.
The Grand Marid, wherever he was, did not stop their union.
Maybe her prayers worked after all.
It was evening and the cool air stirred him awake. Samosa’s warm body was next to him. Her breathing was soft- each rise and fall of her chest matched the beat of his heart. His black heart. He reached out and pushed back a tendril of hair.
Her eyes snapped open.
Before Stone could say hi to his darling woman. The one whom he loved- she surprised him with a shrill scream and began thrashing against the comforter.
“Sam!” He yelled and tried restraining her. Her eyes had gone white, rolling up in her head and her upper lip had a sheen of sweat on it.
No no no, this was not supposed to happen.
Stone placed his palm over her forehead and said soothing words, calming words in his language to bring her back to normal.
The thrashing ceased, but her eyes were milk white. “What is happening?” He shook her and called her name out so many times that Korin floated in the room with worry lines over his face.
Stone slowly shook his head back and forth. He did not know. All he knew was that for the first time, the pinpricks beneath his eyelids tickled and he knew beyond a doubt he would do something he never thought a jinni was capable of.
He let the warm liquid spill from his lids as he cradled Samosa in his arms.
He was crying.
“She is not dead, but she might as well be.” Korin said.
“Shut your damn trap! She ain’t nowhere near dead!”
“Stone,” Korin said calmly. Stone squeezed his eyes shut. That way he did not have to see Samosa’s beautiful limp body and cream white eyes, and Korin’s honest face. His honesty will get him killed if he came any closer.
Korin stayed near the entrance. “Playing with demons and praying to God did not work in her favor.” He sighed. “One cannot serve two masters.”
“Who? Samosa? I served her. Not the other way around.”
“Brother…whether you know it or not, Samosa chose you. She was willing to sacrifice her own soul just to have you. That’s how much you own her.”
“No. That’s how much we love each other.”
Stone went back to rocking back and forth. Samosa’s hair was so sweet. So sweet…
“Her cravings went away and you have your powers restored, but the both of you should have known-”
“No- You!” Stone pointed an accusing finger at Korin. “This is all your fault. Everywhere I find you there is dung in my life.”
Korin hung his head down. “I never meant for this to happen. I took every precaution. You and Samosa I consider as my friends. My only real friends. You know I will never intentionally hurt you.”
Stone laughed sarcastically as he cradled Samosa in his arms.
“Please. Let me see her and try to help.”
“You come any closer and I will lop your head off Korin Striata. Try me.” Stone’s words were not minced and he could see fear in Korin. Smell it.
“Please. I owe you that much.”
Stone rocked Samosa a few more seconds before nodding once for Korin to come over. Korin looked into her face and he touched her ears, nose, and eyes. Her lovely eyes had just turned back gold last night and now…they were dead white.
“She can be restored but…” Korin laid a palm to her head and thirty seconds ticked by. Stone grew impatient. “She seems to be trapped in some other zone. Here and not here. She still has her vital organs working and she is breathing steadily.”
Suddenly, Samosa’s eyes rolled back to her normal gold colored pupils and Stone hugged her to his chest. She did not speak, just looked dazed.
“What did you do to wake her?”
“Nothing,” Korin said truthfully. “Nothing at all.” Take her to a doctor soon. I think she invited this as her life’s fate.”
Stone ordered Korin out as he lay with Samosa. Already he missed her voice and her easy smile and her attitude.
Some nights, since returning to the states- he would wake up and talk to her. He would wake and find her floating or walking around the room in some sort of trance.
Days flew into weeks and months and her lingerie grew tighter and tighter around her belly. Evidence he would be a father soon. The GM will not have it. Babies would place jinn on the level of a god.
But one day, while he lay in bed, Samosa spoke one word:
Her lips were pressed against Stone’s ear. She whispered it again-deep in his ear canal and the word traveled to his damaged heart.
Now Stone believed in miracles.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J D CLANDICE began writing at a very young age and discovered that while she enjoyed reading about mythological creatures, she wanted to write about them more. Even monsters have their stories, she believes.
When not writing, J D Clandice practices on the Bamboo flute, enjoy Pilates, and is currently learning to design personal web pages.
You can visit her online on her .
*If you have read this book, please place your honest review online.
Interested in the world of the jinn and how they fit in your world? Here are some handy names and places common to the series.
[*Stone of the Ice Rings or Stone]- a jinni born on the outer rings of Saturn thousands of years ago. He, like other jinn, was born of smoke and fire. His core power is producing fire with his fingers, some weak form of mind reading and of course, granting wishes.
[*Samosa Green]- a thirty year old community college student and divorcee, living a life of poverty.
[*Reptilian Battalion]- Cyn’s beasts which carries out her dirty work across the galaxy, and right now their sights and mission is to take out those who are marked for fortune on earth but there may be another agenda. The Reptilian Battalion resembles half lizard half men with very large teeth.
[*Cyn]- is a mystery. Stone’s ex from many, many years ago.
[*Hampton, Virginia]- small quaint city closely attached to Newport News yet some names of places have been changed for the sake of this fictional story.
[*The Multiverse]- is kind of complicated to describe. describes it as a “hypothetical set of infinite or possible finite universes”. For the sake of this fictional work, when someone is within the multiverse it is equivalent to walking on dark glass and being surrounded by windows, looking out and viewing the galaxy.
His name is Stone and he is a genie. Not like the funny cartoon genie, but a well built, sexy entity designed to grant wishes to anyone. There is a catch. His Marked One is out there somewhere and she is the only one who will receive unlimited wishes. When Samosa Green meets Stone, she is down on her luck and is suffering from an illness no one knows about. When she bonds with him, it is like nothing either has ever experienced before. It is undefined. Strange.Daring and incredibly hot.But their bonding has invited a horde of trouble and it will require a power neither have relied on in ages. Love. *This book has been republished under a different name, with a brand new cover and is Book 1 in the Mark of Fortune Series.