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By LUCINDA BETTS
APHRODISIA BOOKSCopyright © 2007 Lucinda Betts
All right reserved.
Chapter OneI needed the perfect man.
So, I prepared to cast the Rurutu spell, a spell lost and uncast for millennia. Maybe longer.
With a shrug of my shoulders, my thistle-colored robe fell to my feet, a puddle of silk. My nipples hardened in the room's cool air-and with anticipation. I became increasingly aware of my desire hormones coursing through my system.
The long feathers of my wand vibrated as power gathered and coalesced, and my stomach muscles contracted in the expectation of desire. The intricate hearts carved into the ebony floor began to shimmer with golden light as they channeled the earth's electromagnetic energy.
Now. Now I could begin the perfect spell.
Tracing the ancient Rurutu glyph in the air with my wand, the feathers, lavender and orchid, quivered and danced. All was ready. Carefully I stepped into my heart pentagrams, easing the arch of my foot into the proper golden groove. Standing for a moment, I allowed the pulsating energy to reset the rhythm of my heart.
My blood flow slowed, but pulsed with increased force. It inundated my smallest arteries, imbuing them with oxygen and nutritious glycogen. My fingertips, my clitoris, my lips, and the tips of my toes-every small, erogenous part of my being swelled with this thick, slow blood.
My blood carried power.
And the hormones of desire.
Secretions from glands in my cervix moistened and lubricated the walls of my vagina. I was hot. And I was wet.
And I was shocked by the power of this spell.
Under the spell's strength, my tingling feet tracing the heart's lines engraved on the floor, my mind focused on the paper at the center of the hearts. The paper's microfibrils. The shells of long-dead plant cells. These would carry my arcane spell.
Golden sparks falling from my wand made the flames from the beeswax candles flicker. Actively fighting the need to touch myself, to ease the burning desire, I concentrated, hunting specific complementary protein structures within my own chemistry. Deep within the spell casting, my big toe danced over the Hiva Oa groove in the small northeastern heart engraved in the floor.
The man I sought had to have particular testosterone distributions. His dopamines and serotonin needed to be just right. Endorphin triggers needed to be easily accessible. His tears and sweat and semen needed to be worth all the effort I'd expend in extracting them.
Deep in this unconventional spell, my toes danced over the heart pentagrams. Power from the etchings pulsed through the balls of my feet, up adrenaline-laden pathways in my calves and legs, through the core of my body and to my brain.
Slick with desire, I knew the time was nearly upon me-the spell's command was not to be ignored, not if I wanted to find the perfect man.
With the right assistant I could cure the anguish suffered by the victims of the most persistent serial rapist in living memory. Perhaps, with the help of the right assistant, we could actually find the rapist and bring him to justice. Bravery would be required, no doubt.
My perfect man also needed some magical abilities. Any little aptitude could flourish in the proper environment. I'd provide that environment.
Since he'd be living with me, it'd be nice if he cooked and cleaned.
In short, I needed a hero, one worthy of the Star Goddess herself.
By necessity, the Rurutu spiked my nipples. I couldn't Grab the right hormones unless a cascade of reactions had started. The wetness between my thighs, my pebbled nipples told me the cascade had properly begun.
Now. The time was now.
Carefully, I lay my head back into the vee of the southernmost heart, the Hiva Ia. My clitoris throbbed, begging me to hurry. But precision was required. Cautiously, I slid my legs until my labia was positioned exactly in the center of the hearts.
I paused a moment, absorbing the thrumming of the hearts beneath me, then I shifted two degrees west. Now I was perfectly aligned-the electromagnetic energy of my body throbbed in time with that of the earth's field.
Pressing my back against the silky black floor, I gasped at the coolness, a balm to the burning in my core. The spell directed my position-legs spread, my feet flat on the floor, one in the Hiva Ea groove and the other in the Hova Ua.
I needed the wand, couldn't release it, but my other hand ran the length of my stomach, hard and flat, skimming the curve of my breasts.
Now, bid the spell. Now.
I slid my fingers slowly, as slowly as my beating heart. Remembering to breathe, I slid them against the smooth skin that sheltered my clitoris. One finger. Then two.
Lower, the spell bid me. And I obeyed.
I rubbed the slippery nub with featherlight fingertips. Beneath me the throbbing rhythm increased its tempo, telling me to increase the speed of my caress. Back and forth, back and forth my fingers flicked across my clitoris.
Grab, said the spell. And as my heart pentagrams pounded beneath my back and my ass, I Grabbed. Within my personal biochemistry, I sought proteins that would bind perfectly to his.
Stifling a moan-the spell required silence-I pushed my hips hard against the friction of my fingers. I wanted penetration. Real penetration. But that wasn't what I'd get. Not here or now.
Inside, the spell commanded.
With slow deliberation, I slid two fingers into the hot, tight folds of my sex. My thighs quivered, wanting the real thing with a desperate hunger.
Grab, said the spell.
The right hormones were available, and I Grabbed.
But a niggling fear danced in the back of my brain. Were my standards too high? I'd cast this spell three times in the last year with no luck. The resulting fliers each brought back unacceptable prospects, men who'd seemed so promising at the beginning but lacked the proper concentrations of spine or semen or serotonin in the end.
I kept doubt from the spell, though, or I tried to. Worries have a way of backfiring, working themselves into spells and potions with unwanted side effects. Years ago, I'd worked a spell to help an older woman with fertility, doubting the entire time the spell would work. The woman bore triplets.
I didn't want triplets, figurative or otherwise.
Legs spread, my head thrown back, I received inadequate relief. An orgasm, firmly controlled, rippled through me, leaving me panting but not out of breath. The intense burning was gone, but a hunger gnawed my heart.
I'd completed the casting part of the spell.
Careful not to let my feathered wand touch any of my heart's grooves, I stood. I delicately stepped from the Hiva Ea and Hova Ua grooves, and the power generated by the Rurutu spell subsided gently, like waves receding with the tide.
In the thrall of the spell, I'd Grabbed the required proteins from my adrenal gland and my pituitary, from my blood, as hormones were generated and broken down. I'd Grabbed those proteins and put them into my tear ducts. Now, I wiped those protein-laden tears from my eyes with a sterile white handkerchief, and wrung the tears onto my wand.
The tears would go directly onto the paper, onto the flier. Now I could affect the paper, prepare it to travel the city and countryside, riding the breezes, searching and seeking. Serving as my minion.
I wrung the handkerchief onto my feathers, filling the air with an electric sizzle. I held the wand over the paper flier, holding my breath in hope.
Energy sparkled off my wand, dripping golden glitter onto the paper then evaporating as I Pushed the final molecules into position. Satisfied, I lifted myself fully from the spell, brought myself to normal consciousness. The throbbing from the hearts finally quieted and then ceased.
No Wizard had cast the Rurutu spell in millennia, but I felt its strength now. Would the Wizard's Guild disapprove of the use of my spell? Had it been retired for a reason, or just lost in time? I didn't know.
My status as a Gold Wizard gave me a lot of freedom, and I doubted any Guild members would complain. I didn't thrive on scorning the opinion of the Guild, but my need for the perfect assistant outweighed any girlish warnings Guild Chair Uriah or his minions might have.
Conventional solutions weren't available to the rape victims who were just recently filling my waiting rooms. To relieve their misery, no spell seemed too arcane, too bizarre to try. Careful not to waste a drop, I wrung the last of my chemical- filled tears onto the advertisement.
I was ready for the final step.
Shrugging into my silky robe, I walked down the narrow stairs to the tiny garden in the back of my brownstone. In the bitter cold air, only the holly and rhododendrons had any color, a withered green. Everything else was brown and gray.
The heat that had permeated my body during the spell still lingered, but the warmth wouldn't last long on this bitter morning. My feet cringed against the icy earth, and I had to force myself to relax them, to flatten them. They couldn't read the electromagnetic field if they were curled defensively against the cold.
Squinting in the late winter sunlight, I climbed to the top of a small hillock covered in hoary, dried grass, just behind my fountain. Glad for the stillness of the air, I again let my robe fall to the grass at my feet. Goosebumps rippled across my skin. Ignoring the scent of my own juices on my hand, I thrust my wand into the sky.
Electrons crackled off my wand into the atmosphere, changing the temperature immediately. A warmth, uncharacteristic of mid-winter, surrounded me. My feet more easily embraced the still-chilled ground.
The temperature change brought a damp wind from the sea, thick with briny salt. At my bidding, the breeze immediately lifted my flier aloft and carried it away.
Now I only had to sit back and wait.
Chapter TwoHuddled against the cold inside my flimsy cardboard box in the alley, I scratched my balls then cupped my hands around them for warmth. Their hairy presence, somehow solid against the night, reminded me that I was a human, a man.
Cold bit through my cloak and trousers, even through the newspaper I'd scavenged from the street. Winter's touch had a way of seeping through the brown cobblestones, through my cardboard and paper, through my once nice clothes, into my bones. The extra newspaper merely slowed the implacable creeping.
With my shoulders huddled against my chin, my knees nearly to my chattering teeth, I wanted to cast a spell to warm my bones. But spells cost energy, and my fat stores were nearly used up. I didn't want to waste muscle-I needed that to survive.
An icy blast of wind attacked my box, ripping through it like it was silk. The night would be hard, and I had just enough fat to get through. I closed my eyes and cast a spell.
With my spell of delusion I found myself back in my wife's kitchen, a warm fire crackling in the fireplace. "Gage!" she said. "I'm so glad you're home."
"Mmmm," I answered, walking behind her and snugging her tight bum to my groin. I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her tight. "You feel good." I sniffed her hair and said, "And you smell like bread."
She planted a quick kiss on my lips. "That's dinner you smell-pheasant soup with masawa tubers."
"And bread, fresh from the oven with a big thick crust just the way you like it."
Even though I knew I was deluding myself, my stomach started grumbling. My mouth was watering. "And for dessert?" I asked, kissing her longer and slower than she had me.
"Have you been good?" A suggestive smile played on her lips.
"I can show you good." I pulled the kerchief from her shining hair and let it fall over her shoulders. The warm firelight made the strands glow all different shades of gold.
Lyric turned toward me and let the tips of her breasts caress my chest. Tilting her head, she smiled in my eyes and said, "Prove it."
I pulled her with a demanding kiss. I kissed the side of her mouth, then the front, licking her bottom lip and tugging it into my mouth.
Her lips were soft and warm, as welcoming as her kitchen. Her mouth was hot and wet for me. My tongue met hers, tasted her, drank from her. My mouth claimed hers.
She confessed her heavy need to me with a gasp of anticipation.
"Have you missed me?" I asked, the words slurred against her lips.
"When you're gone, Gage, I always miss you."
"Prove it." I threw her words right back at her.
She grabbed my ass and pressed her mound against my thigh, kissing me the whole time. Her kisses demanded something from me, gave no quarter. Her sweetness, her spice, the raw need I tasted amazed me.
Why had I ever stayed away so long?
"Lyric, my love, I can't live without you. Without you I'm nothing. Nothing."
In her arms, It was like yesterday never happened. Time receded into nothingness, right here in Lyric's kitchen.
Lyric swept her arm back across the counter, pushing dishes out of the way. Unashamed, she held her arms out to me, inviting me to join her. I wanted her more than I wanted dinner.
Burying myself in her neck, I kissed that warm spot behind her ear, nipped the curve connecting her neck to her shoulders, stroked her shoulder blade with my fingertips. Sounds of longing escaped her.
Unbuttoning the tiny buttons of her dress, I caressed her soft breast, savoring the feel of it in my hand. Her pink nipple pearled in my mouth under the touch of my tongue, and I palmed the other so it wouldn't get jealous. Her small breasts were perfectly shaped. They melted into my palms.
"These have haunted me," I said to her, teasing the straining tips with my tongue. "Sometimes I'd try to sleep at night, and all I could remember was the taste of your breasts, the way your nipples get hard for me every time I touch them."
"You've haunted me, too, Gage." Lyric stretched to meet my lips, and I shook my head at my luck, to have a woman so faithful and true.
Was ever a man luckier than me to have a beautiful and caring wife waiting for me through the hardships of my quests?
"I've missed your kisses like the desert misses the rain," she said.
I climbed up on the hard countertop with her, my lips not leaving hers. Her tongue danced around mine, and I savored her willingness, her eagerness. She gave a fluttering sound of desire.
My wife moaned for my touch.
"You taste the same," I said, like it'd been years instead of weeks. "You sound the same."
"Do you want to go upstairs?" Her blond hair was tousled around her face, her eyes bright with need.
But I couldn't stand to leave the warmth of her kitchen. "Let's stay here."
I snagged my fingers around her panties and pulled them off. They landed in a puddle on the floor. I closed my eyes and inhaled. She smelled so good, so ready for me. She smelled like she loved me.
I ran my fingertips over her clit and found my nose hadn't tricked me. My wife wanted me. She was hot and ready. I ran my thumb over her clit, felt it throb under me. Pushing her skirt to her waist, I buried my face between her spread thighs, eating her on the counter like she was a banquet.
Lyric tasted salty and tangy, and she went to my head quicker than any wine could have, quicker than any champagne. I laced my tongue across her throbbing nub, sucking her hard. I pushed my tongue inside, lapping her, tickling her clit again.
She thrust her hips toward my face, and my cock throbbed. I loved it when she wanted me. But I knew she was so close to orgasm. I pulled back, wanting to prolong her pleasure.
Her high-set nipples were still pearled in desire. I caught one between my teeth and bit gently. Again she moaned and pushed toward me. I ran my tongue around her nipple and sucked her deep inside me. The scent of her desire filled the room, and she pushed my head down. I knew exactly what she wanted.
I didn't tease. She wanted surcease now. A hard suck on her clit brought her to a clenching climax. I kept my tongue pressed against her until the throbbing subsided, then I sat up to relish the contented beauty of her face. Resting my palm on her flat stomach, I smiled, happy to have done something nice for my wife.
It'd been too long.
"Come here," she said in a dreamy voice. I did. She clasped my erection through my trousers. "You need to take these off."
I did. I stood naked before her, as I did so often.
She grasped me again, slowly rubbing my straining cock, one finger slowly caressing the head, rubbing the moisture seductively over my shaft. I was ready to explode.
Excerpted from Moon Shadow by LUCINDA BETTS Copyright © 2007 by Lucinda Betts. Excerpted by permission.
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