The warm cocoon of a warrior wrapped around my body wakes me with an assault of kisses along the back of my neck and shoulders. I smile at the feeling radiating through my body. Like a brand new strength relishing each breath I take. Today’s a new day in a world without my father. A world where the Devil himself is awaiting my death so he can claim my soul for eternal torment.
Another night to sling drinks at a bar owned by a daemon bent on killing me. Yet none of this is as important to me as knowing it’s also another morning I get to wake up in the arms of someone who really cares about me. My own warrior fallen angel. I turn to face him and I open my eyes trying desperately to convey my feelings to him.
He beams proudly before his lips claim mine. “Are you awake now?” He whispers as he breaks away from the kiss. I laugh lightly as I nod.
“I thought I was dreaming for a minute there, but I could never dream the perfection of you kiss.” I congratulate him and he beams at me as he hugs me tightly before letting go of me and jumping up out of the bed. Okay, not where I thought that kiss was leading.
“I’ve been waiting for you to wake up so I could leave.” He informs me pulling on pants. I raise my eyebrows in shock at him as he faces me looking chagrined. “That’s not what I meant.” He says apologetically. I glare at him indignantly as he crawls back onto the bed towards me. I fold my arms across my chest in playful protest as he begins a trail of kisses from my ankle up to my lips.
“Please forgive me. I only meant that I wanted to go and get you some lunch. I promised not to leave you for a moment while you slept or I would’ve picked it up already.” He continues to plant kisses everywhere but my lips. “Am I forgiven for my thoughtless words?” He begs. I shrug nonchalantly at him.
“That depends what you bring back for lunch.” I challenge him. He smiles a wickedly playful smile at me as he bounces back off the bed.
“I’ll be back before you know it.” He informs me as he dematerializes before my eyes into a shadowy figure that causes me to start a little before he disappears. I throw back the covers and run for the bathroom as I throw up at the memory of my nightmare from last night triggered by the smell of Sulphur. I rinse my mouth out in the sink before I reach over to turn on the shower.
Apparently the Sulphur smell happens when he takes that form. I’ll have to keep that in mind. I step into the shower letting the hot water wash away every negative feeling from my entire being. I focus on the positive feelings in my heart. I feel loved and watched over as my father promised. I feel safe because of the arms I woke up in. I smile as I remember every carnal action and careful caress that has left me feeling completely cherished.
I let the shampoo rinse from my hair as I massage my hands with the soap all over my body. Every touch feels like a prayer of worship. The water stream over my head blocks out all sound from the world around me. I open my eyes to see a pair of piercing blue ones staring back at me and I almost jump out of my skin with fright. He laughs softly pulling me out of the stream of water to lift me up against his naked body.
“Did you miss me?” He asks wickedly as he enters me and places us back underneath the water stream to muffle my cries of pleasure. I bite down on his shoulder hard to suppress my screams as I fall apart around him. He mimics the action biting down on my shoulder as well to muffle his own moans of pleasure. We try regulate our ragged breathing as I slide back down the front of his body to stand in the shower.
My knees are still weak so I have to lean against him slightly. He smirks proudly and I shake my head at him. “Why do you look so pleased with yourself?” I ask mockingly. He crooks an eyebrow up at me. I move away from him as I step out of the shower and pull a towel around my body. He looks over my body appreciatively. I smile seductively at him before I leave the bathroom.
I’m barely half way down the stairs before I feel his arms snake around me from behind. I laugh as I feel his towel drop to the floor at the bottom of the steps. I turn in his arms and throw mine up around his neck as I press myself against him. I smile wickedly at him before I feel his intentions press against me stomach. I smirk proudly at him.
“Why do you look so pleased with yourself?” He demands in a mocking tone. I shrug nonchalantly at him and release my hold of him completely as I take a step away from his embrace. He stands there completely unashamed in all his glory and stare at him expectantly. He smiles playfully as he ducks past me to go into the kitchen.
I take a seat on the bench seat in the bay window letting the sun soak the parts of my body not covered in a towel. I close my eyes letting it sink in before a caress of my thigh draws my attention. I laugh as I see the naked gladiator in front of me holding a Boudin’s Bakery bag. “You need to put a towel back on if you’re going to sit here.” I tell him laughing. He looks indifferent to my request.
“You do know it was man that invented shame, right?” He says gesturing towards his glorious naked body. I laugh as I try avert my eyes.
“And I have never felt that to be a great injustice until today.” I assure him and he beams proudly. “But you’ll give my neighbors a heart attack in they look up here and see you standing there in all your glory.” I explain teasingly. He shrugs indifferently but chuckles as I point towards the floor where his towel still lays abandoned.
When he’s finally covered he takes a seat opposite me in the bay window and I marvel at the sun rippling over his muscled chest. He tips his head at me and I blush after being caught so obviously checking him out. “I don’t understand why you insist I cover up when you so clearly enjoy the view?” He asks curiously. There is no trace of humor in his voice, he’s serious.
I look at him sympathetically as I try and remember that he’s not human, he wasn’t brought up to feel shame about his body. I reach into the bag and pull out a sandwich and hand it to him. He smiles gratefully. I take out my own sandwich as I try to think about how to word this.
“It’s not so much about shame with me.” I try to explain feebly. He takes a bite of his sandwich and crooks a curious eyebrow at me and it’s just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I try to suppress my chuckle as I continue explaining. “It’s just I think that some things are only to be shared with some people, not everyone.” He looks confused.
I huff in frustration as I try to word why this gorgeous being can’t just go wandering around completely butt ass naked. I chuckle as I think of the perfect explanation. “Okay.” I tell him finally. “How would you feel if the roles were reversed?” He shrugs.
“I think you have an amazing body. I don’t know why you insist on covering it so much.” He answers truthfully and I blush under his gaze as he keeps eating.
“And if I was to take this amazing body naked in all its glory out into the public’s view for anyone and everyone to look at and covet, you would perfectly fine with that?” I query doubtfully. He furrows his brow as he puts his sandwich down for a moment and gets up from the window seat. He walks towards the couch and returns with a blanket and throws it around my body and covers me completely as I nearly cry laughing.
“I see your point.” He declares seriously taking a seat opposite me again. I wipe away the tear of happiness from laughing so hard at his actions. He smiles crookedly at me and I wink at him playfully as I manage to get my laughing under control. We sit there and enjoy our lunch in comfortable silence as I feel his eyes never leave me for a moment.
I smile at him contently as I finish my sandwich. I practically inhaled it and he smiles knowingly as he reaches into the bag to pull out another one to hand to me. I beam proudly at him. “You’re forgiven.” I tell him seriously as I take the sandwich from him. He reaches across to plant a chaste kiss on my lips.
I feel a strange warmth bubble inside me again, then it turns into that more significant fire. I drop the remainder of my sandwich and dart away from the window box and Maximus. Max looks at me concerned as I hold my arms out towards him palms up signaling him to stay where he is as every cell in my body seems to be infiltrated by pure white fire. I scream as I drop to my knees.
Max is on his knees in front of me desperately pleading with his eyes. I grit my teeth and shake my head at him as tears of pain drip to the floorboards beneath my crumpled form. I scream out again as the fire is all but extinguished by a flamethrower through my very core. It felt like a flash burn inside my skin. I tremble as I see steam actually rising from my skin against the coolness of the house compared to my body.
“Oh my God what’s happening to me?” I plead hoarsely as I try to get back to my feet. “It’s getting worse.” I admit terrified. Max’s eyes plead with mine. I try to smile reassuringly at him but fail.
“Can I touch you yet?” He pleads urgently. I nod biting my lip as his strong arms gather me up into his chest. I let myself mold to his body desperate to be shielded by him from the world. I know he wants to fight whatever is causing this, but it’s something inside of me. My phone ringing breaks my concentration.
I shake my head trying to dissuade the crazy thoughts running through my mind about what’s happening to me. I dive for the couch cushions and I’m surprised to find it buried in them. I wipe my face as if the person on the other end will be able to see me. “Hey.” I answer sweetly as I see the caller I.D.
“Oh my fucking God Kenna I thought you were dead!” Nina’s hysterical voice exclaims.
“What are you talking about?” I ask her completely confused. Max crooks his eyebrow up at me. Nina huffs out in frustration as I take a seat on the couch.
“Hooker you left work three nights ago with a Daemon and I haven’t heard from you since.” She practically screams down the phone. I roll my eyes at her dramatics, however I would be screaming at her right now if our roles were reversed.
“I’m sorry Manishka. You know I love you right. So much has happened, I meant to call.” I choke out feebly. Her anger dies instantly.
“McKenna, what’s wrong?” She pleads softly. I purse my lips for a moment as I shake my head refusing to let my tears fall. Max looks at me ruefully before getting up to walk out of the room. I’m grateful for the space as I begin to pour my heart out to my best friend. I don’t elaborate on my relationship with Max.
I let her know about the funeral arrangements for my Papa and I can hear her crying on the phone and my own tears start to flow. “Your dad was the best man either of us will ever know.” She tells me in Russian. I cringe hearing my mother’s tongue as it reminds me I haven’t called her either.
“Manishka, my love. Can you please do me the biggest favor?” I beg weakly. Nina shushes me down the line. I don’t even need to tell her what I need right now. She’s my best friend, she just knows.
“I’ll call my mother, and she can tell yours.” She tells me assuredly. I thank her for always being there for me. “McKenna, you’re the one who is always there. I’m sorry I’m not a better friend. I can’t even remember the last time I went with you to visit your father.” She says apologetically. I reassure her that she is a good friend and I’ve always known that her gift is in living life to the full and encouraging me to do the same.