Authors: Tracy Cooper-Posey
“I have something else to do,” Veris said. He stroked the insides of Taylor’s thighs, making the sensitive flesh there quiver.
She licked her lips. “You aren’t going to fuck me too?”
“Not this time,” he said. “We don’t want to overwhelm you all at once, and this one will take the top of your head off anyway.” He grinned.
She caught her breath at the sheer devilment in his eyes but before she could question him further, his fingers slid into her sopping pussy.
in. She cried out, as the asymmetrical knuckles and broad fingers stroked her insides. His gazed locked with hers, as his fingers worked. “I can feel you, Taylor. I can feel you coming.” His fingers were sliding in and out of her as he spoke, coaxing the climax along.
Taylor’s breath was shortening. Brody’s hands on her breasts were teasing, lightly pinching, his fingernails catching on the tips of her nipples and that alone would have been enough for her to squirm endlessly.
Added to that Veris’ deep, thick probing with his fingers and Brody’s cock in her ass and she was so close to orgasm she could barely think. She clutched at the big padded arms of the chair, gasping, her hips thrusting helplessly. “Please!” she begged hoarsely.
Veris’ lips curled in a ghost of a smile. Her desperation pleased him. His gaze flickered toward Brody.
Brody’s hand lifted to her neck and pulled her hair away. “Come for us,” he crooned, his lips brushing the nape of her neck, his teeth scraping lightly over the flesh, making her hypersensitive nerves flare with silvery pleasure.
Veris lowered his head and his lips fastened over her clit, sucking it into his mouth. His tongue and teeth began to feast on her clit and lower lips, stroking them, sucking on them. His tongue flickered and probed.
Taylor clutched at his head, as overwhelming sensation slammed through her. Her orgasm was rushing at her now. As it built from her toes, she felt Brody’s teeth pierce the flesh of her shoulder. For less than a second it hurt, not even that.
Then the orgasm shifted and became something else. Something better. Hot pleasure rushed through her like molten lava on an express train whistling past at supersonic speeds.
Taylor threw her head back and screamed, her entire body locking into the consistency of iron as the climax ripped through her nervous system. She bucked on the chair, her body clenching around Brody’s cock and she heard him give a hard oath, his hands on her hips, as her spasming body and the power of this special orgasm brought on his own.
Finally, she fell limp and almost exhausted back against Brody’s chest. Her nerve endings felt as if they were in tatters. Her heart was running fast and weak.
Veris withdrew his fingers from her pussy and sat on the coffee table, with a satisfied half-smile.
Brody brushed her hair from her face. “You see?” he said and he sounded just as drained as she did.
She giggled. This time it wasn’t a precursor to hysteria. It was just a giggle. She put her hand over her mouth. “Lord, I haven’t giggled like a schoolgirl for years.”
Veris was smiling too.
Brody’s hands gripped her hips more firmly and lifted her gently off his cock. He placed her on her feet. “I’m guessing you’ll be wanting to use the washroom,” he said. “Help yourself to anything in there, including the clothes. Veris owes you for tearing your own apart.”
Taylor was grateful for the opportunity to clean up. The bathroom was a full one and she showered and cleaned every inch of herself, including the ten pounds of black eye makeup she was surprised to find was still more or less intact.
There was a rolling clothes rack against one wall. She went through the clothes hanging on it and found a black, long-sleeved tee shirt that was sized to fit a man of Veris’ dimensions. It had the band’s logo on it.
She slipped it over her head. It was a dress on her. She rolled up the sleeves then pushed them so they stayed above her wrists. The V-neck of the shirt came down between her breasts and could be called provocative—especially as she had no bra to wear.
She applied fresh makeup from the limited supplies in her bag and helped herself to the moisturizer on the counter. While she was doing that, she grew aware of voices beyond the bathroom door. Brody and Veris were talking quickly and it sounded quite heated, but she couldn’t make out words. After a minute she realized they weren’t speaking English. Old English? Irish Gaelic? Celtic? One of their intimate dead languages—it didn’t matter. They would have chosen one they knew she couldn’t follow. It seemed she wasn’t the only one with an agenda.
She stepped out of the bathroom, her bag clutched in her hand and they both straightened up from their conspirative huddle. They hadn’t moved from where she had left them. Veris sat on the coffee table, Brody in the chair. One blond. One dark. Ancient enemies, plotting together.
Taylor cleared her throat.
Brody stood up, wrapping the robe about him. “Arena management are shutting up shop. We actually live in Beverly Hills, but they make me stay in a local hotel for the night so fans don’t track me back home. It’s a security thing. Anyway, normally we…I would head back home—to the hotel, I mean,”
“Alone, he means,” Veris added.
Taylor nodded. “My friend Andy who I came to the concert with explained about the backstage pass. I realize I’m not the first fan to get a pass back here, Brody. I’m not about to break down and cry about it.”
“Didn’t think you were.” Brody grinned. His black eyes were dancing. “But you’re not a fan, are you?”
She shook her head, aware that Veris was watching her intently with his blue eyes, missing nothing. “No.”
“That’s good,” Brody said, crossing his arms. “Because we’re not kicking you out. We’re taking you back to the hotel with us.”
Taylor squeezed the handles on her shoulder bag. “Were you planning on asking anywhere along here?”
Brody gave a short laugh. “No.” He seemed incredulous.
Veris stood up. “Your sensibilities are unnecessary burdens, Taylor,” he rumbled. “You came here with a purpose tonight and it wasn’t to attend a death metal concert. Don’t pretend that coming back to the hotel with us doesn’t further that purpose. You and I both know what your mission in life is.”
She licked her lips, her heart thundering. But this time it raged for a different reason. He
. Veris was the source of the lyrics she had heard tonight and in Andy’s apartment, not Brody.
That was why Veris had consulted with her about Domhnall.
But for some reason, he didn’t want to discuss the full details in front of Brody.
Why had he given Brody the lyrics for his song, then?
Taylor had done her research in the last twenty-four hours about death metal bands and Nocturnal Rain in particular.
She had discovered that most of the best death metal bands seemed to come of out Scandinavia and while the music tended to be variations of screeching guitars and monotonous bass and drums, the lyrics—naturally—centered around death, dying, the afterlife and all things bloody and fatal.
Nocturnal Rain had appeared abruptly on the scene a few years ago, touring obsessively through Europe until their reputation was secure enough to tackle America. By the time their first U.S. concert date was announced, they were already a heavy metal name in North America.
They were a typical death metal group and their songs were all standard fare. Taylor had checked the lyrics on all of them. The one glaring exception was “Kiss Across Time” which Taylor had to admit was only an exception to
eyes and ears. Andy hadn’t thought anything odd about the song, except that it was a bit more sentimental and a bit less bloody than others on the album, until Taylor had got excited about it.
Even when she tried to explain
she was excited about it Andy still didn’t do more than shrug. “Death metal uses mythology all the time,” he said. “Look at Amon Amarth. Their whole image is built on the Vikings.”
“But Nocturnal Rain didn’t just dip into mythology, Andy. They stole it, word for word!”
“Yeah but the poem is like, what, two thousand years old? You said there wasn’t any copyright on it now, right?”
Taylor had shaken her head and shut up. Andy had not understood. It was like trying to explain color to a man blind from birth. He couldn’t even begin to understand what this meant—to the literary world and to the historical world. And yeah, to her career too.
Now she stared at Veris. Veris understood
what was at stake. Clearly, he’d consulted her about
Domhnall last week in order to find out the extent of her knowledge on the man. If Veris had moved through time, the chances were, he knew far more about Domhnall than she did.
So why had he wanted to measure her knowledge of the poet?
The fifth century Celtic poet.
Taylor could feel her jaw sag. She looked at Brody, who was Celtic. The natural question formed almost automatically.
But before she could speak a word of her question, Veris was standing in front of her.
. She caught her breath in not quite a gasp.
“Say yes, sweet one,” he murmured, his hand in her hair, his lips hovering by hers. “Say you’ll stay with us. I am not tired of you yet.”
“Way to make a girl feel wanted, Veris,” she said tartly.
Brody laughed, behind them. “I apologize on his behalf,” he said, coming over to her and sliding her out of Veris’ hands with deft movements. “He’s rusty. It’s been too long since he tried to woo a woman with more intelligence than his own and when the stakes were so high.”
“Are they high?”
Brody’s smile faded. “Yes,” he said frankly. He brushed her face again and ran his thumb over her jaw. “Neither of us knows why this is happening, these vision things, but we both believe it is for a profound reason we cannot ignore. That is why we want you to stay with us until we learn the reason. Will you, Taylor?”
* * * * *
The hotel was a five star luxury high-rise complex complete with hot and cold running waiters and security staff. “I can’t walk through the lobby looking like this,” Taylor objected.
“We can’t walk through the lobby, anyway,” Brody pointed out. “I’d get three feet and be mobbed.” He sounded apologetic. “We’ll be using the freight elevator and going in via the kitchen.”
“How do you stand it?” Taylor murmured, staring at him.
“I’ve got an even five hundred thousand already staked he’ll last another two years and have to bale,” Veris said from the depths of the dark corner of the stretch limo. His face was in shadow.
Brody grimaced. “Don’t stay it,” he rumbled.
Taylor tried not to smile. “’
I told you so
?’” she guessed.
Security staff met the limousine as it pulled into the underground freight service area and opened the door for them. Veris was the first out and turned to hold out a hand for her. Taylor let him help her out, feeling quaintly old-fashioned despite the skimpy tee shirt dress and ankle boots. She shook out her hair and straightened up as Brody stepped out behind her.
The security staff didn’t even blink an eye at her. They were apparently too used to handling rock stars and movie stars of all temperaments and types at their hotel. She relaxed.
They were escorted via the battered freight elevator to an unspecified floor that had only three hotel room doors leading off the elevator lobby and each of them were double doors with suite names rather than numbers on them.
The security staff opened up the Neeli Cherkovski suite door and while they stood outside with two of the staff, two others did a fast sweep around the suite. Then they stepped out and handed the key card to Brody. “Have a nice night, sir,” one of them said and all four stepped back onto the elevator.
Taylor looked up at Veris.
“You get used to it,” he said and held out his hand, indicating she should go in.
Brody followed her and Veris shut the door. She took a deep breath, nervous. The sitting room of the suite was elegant and unremarkable.
“Why nervous now?” Brody asked from right behind her. His lips touched the flesh of her shoulder, as his hands pressed against her arms. “I have tasted your blood and Veris your flesh. We have feasted upon you.”
“Now who’s using old idiom?” Veris growled. He picked up her hand and kissed the back of her knuckles. “Don’t let him scare you. He’s saying in his non-poetic way that because we’ve had sex, you’re safer with us than you would be with a human boyfriend you’ve been dating for six months. It’s the way of things, among us. Besides, we’re so much stronger and faster than humans, there’s very little that can get past our guard.” He seemed to be searching her face, looking for signs that she believed him.
She licked her lips. “You don’t seem at all troubled about revealing yourself to me. Your nature, that is.”
“The visions made it necessary. We have to discover their meaning.”
Then he smiled and there was an impish wickedness in his eyes.
“Besides, if you were to tell anyone about us and actually managed to make them believe you, well…we’ve had long practice dealing with that before.” Brody shrugged.
She shivered again. There was a flatness about his voice that told her they had dealt with such issues with a ruthless swiftness that would shock her if she knew the details. She didn’t want to know. They would not have survived unknown for over a thousand years if they had not jettisoned remorse and guilt a long time ago. “And you say I should relax,” she said, trying to make her expression light. They had guaranteed her safety within the limits of their influence. She suspected those limits extended further than some of the most powerful men she knew, even those men who bought that power with money.
Veris tugged on her hand. “Are you hungry? Should we order food for you?”
She shook her head. “I’m fine.”
Brody stepped past her. “I need to clean up.” He moved silently into another room and Taylor saw a light switch on, then the sound of running water, before a door shut.
She looked at Veris. “You shut me down when I was going to ask him about Inigo Domhnall, when you know very well there’s a damn good chance Brody probably knew the man personally.”
Veris didn’t even blink. “Yes, I shut you down, for the same reasons it was I who consulted you about Domhnall, an ancient
playwright and poet and not Brody himself, the one Celt in the room. Think about that and don’t ask him.”
Taylor felt words of protest begin to bubble to her mouth. They were automatic but then she remembered the moments she had first recognized Veris in the dressing room at the arena and the hot words Veris and Brody had exchanged.
Domhnall was known to both of them. Whether he was more than just the name of a poet who might have lived when the mythical Arthur did….
She gasped and looked at Veris. She had been so distracted by the dream of a Saxon world and sexual possession by her Viking warrior as a result of Veris’ kiss, that she had failed to ask another, far more crucial question when she had emerged from it.
Veris’ blue eyes were drilling into her now, almost blazing with knowledge. He knew. He
what she was going to ask.
“Camlann,” she said and her voice was hoarse. “You said you were at the Battle of Camlann.” She found she was reaching for his shoulder, her knees suddenly weak. His big hands caught her arms and held her up. “You were there. You know.”
He picked her up and carried her into the room Brody had gone into. It was a bedroom, as she had suspected it to be. He sat her on the bed but instead of standing up, he sat next to her, one long leg folded so he could face her. In the dark his eyes still seemed to radiate blue.
“Ask your question, Taylor,” he said softly and suddenly his accent was thicker than ever she had heard it.
“The leader you were fighting….” She could barely make herself say the words. Hope was thick in her chest, tightening her throat. Veris’ answer could vindicate her entire career, could validate her thesis and prove that she hadn’t wasted the last seven years of her life researching a ghost. “In Brody’s dream, we spoke of Arthur. And afterward, backstage at the arena, I mentioned
and neither of you denied it. Yet historians laugh at the idea. The leader you were fighting at Camlann, Veris. Was it Arthur?”
It seemed to take forever for him to answer.
“Yes, Taylor. It was Arthur, although he was not the king the movies like to make him out to be. He was a warlord who held the tribes together against us for twenty years, until we found a way to break his defenses. We needed arable land. He would not treaty with us, so we were forced to take it.”
“By treachery,” she said. Her lips were numb. Her entire body felt stiff with the rush of cold adrenaline.
“Aye, by treachery,” he said. “That one fact continues to preserve itself, when all the others have gone.”
Taylor saw the touch of bitterness in his eyes. “If only your people had written their histories down as the Celts did, perhaps more flattering facts about the Saxon invasion of Britain might have been saved, hmm?” Joy was bubbling through her. Happiness. She had been proved right. Arthur did exist. She wasn’t a flake, mad or pathetically romantic. Perhaps she could even get her job back now…
“If only it had been that simple,” Veris replied. “But even the Celts’ version of those days is lost to us, is it not? Or you would not be struggling so hard to prove your thesis.”
But you were there
. The words were right there on the edge of her lips. She nearly spoke them. She didn’t have to struggle anymore. She had proof. He was sitting right in front of her, staring at her with a touch of pity in his eyes. A sad patience, even. Waiting for her to understand.
Taylor rubbed her temple, as the truth struck home. Her head began to throb. “I can’t produce you as my proof.”
He brushed her hair back and tucked a curl behind her ear, his big hands moving with gentle dexterity. “No.”
The bathroom door opened behind her and the bed shifted as Brody’s weight moved it. She felt him against her and the touch of his lips on her shoulder, through the tee shirt. “Is he upsetting you? I can hear your breathing has quickened.”
“You can hear that?” She shook her head. “It’s nothing. I’m being stupid. A product of only walking around this earth for a mere thirty years.”
Brody moved so that he was sitting where he could see both her and Veris. He smiled. “Don’t let him get to you. He makes me feel like that sometimes and I’m a little bit older than you.”
She couldn’t help her smile. The understatement was so massive it was cheeky. She found she was laughing and leaned forward to kiss him. She meant it only to be a thank you kiss on the lips but Brody caught her face in his hands and took control of the kiss, his tongue rimming her lips and probing inside. His lips drew on hers, tasting them. She sighed into his mouth, her eyes closing in bliss.