Tuesday howls, yowls, and growls, shapeshifter lovers.
So, here's the next flash scene in what appears to be an ongoing story. At least, if the Muse has her way. Which she did, anyway. Because she fell in love with the title for this week's flash, even though it's not exactly descriptive of what happens. Hopefully, you all will forgive me for that, and enjoy the continuation of Zephan and Solanja's story.
Lion Dragon Man at Midnight
Immortal Shapeshifter ~ Part Three
Immortal Shapeshifter ~ Part Three
"Beyond fur, fang, and dragon wings," Zephan muttered, more to himself than to Solanja, the beautiful woman not three feet from him on his couch.
Damn, if he didn't feel her gaze, though, like miniature arrows striking his big ole mug.
After a long swallow of his coffee, which he didn't taste, Zephan lowered the mug. Might as well go with 'unexpected' flow. "Yep. That's one way of sayin' it."
"Yes," she uttered softly. "From what I deciphered you were a slave during the time of Spartacus, and fought alongside him."
Zephan nodded, then put a lid on the memories that were as fresh as if they'd happened yesterday. "They?" he prompted.
She hissed a sigh, and Zephan watched her head drop forward. Her shoulders slumped like someone had dropped a huge iron weight on top of her. "Some call them the Illuminatti."
"Heard of 'em. The evil mucky-mucks runnin' the world behind the scenes." Zephan figured he'd hold his tongue on saying anything else he knew, and let Solanja explain it her way.
For moments, she nervously toyed with the mug. "What most don't know is...well, there's the black-hearted bloodline. They are terrorizing the world into surrender. And..." She lifted her head. Once again, her gaze appealed to him, and Zephan dived into the irresistible pool of her eyes--dark but with a sheen that was the same color as a peacock.
"There is the white-hearted bloodline," she whispery continued. "Not many of us."
Zephan knew from his own research...hell, from personal encounters...that the corrupted, priest-king bloodline she referred to had divided along genetic lines, during the decline of the last Egyptian dynasty.
"White-hearted?" he asked, to keep her talking.
Solanja clutched the mug tight, her fingers white. "Most of my ancestors...let's say they followed the enlightened path. For centuries we've battled to stop those practicing the black arts. Just as they've fought against us, to stop the way of light."
She tipped up her mug, taking a quick swallow of her coffee. The strain on Solanja's face when she looked at him again, softened Zephan's heart.
"There's one rule." Solanja paused, eyeing him for his reaction. "We are forbidden to end their lives, as they are forbidden to kill us off. To break that rule means they forfeit the power gained by their evil rituals."
"You lose the power of good, if you knock them off," Zephan finished for her.
She nodded. "That trait was originally placed in our bloodline so there would be cooperation instead of too much ambition between us."
"However." Solanja cradled the mug on her lap, her gaze following it, so he could no longer see her eyes. "While I can't be killed, I can be captured...held...forced..." She heaved in a large breath. "You get the picture, right?"
As he let her words sink in, Zephan drank from his mug. Damn, if his mid-section didn't tighten like a bigfoot's fist plowed into him. "Because of what you discovered about me."
Solanja didn't lift her gaze, and Zephan was reminded of a tea leaf reader, the way she kept staring into the remains of her coffee.
"I...I travel extensively searching for relics, for the oldest manuscripts on Earth, and for the Law of One teachings. Whatever will help our cause. And, of course, to keep them out of the hand of the black-hearts."
Solanja raised her gaze, and her eyes shimmered with the beginnings of tears. Zephan knew they weren't false. He felt them trickle inside his heart.
"What happened?" he asked.
"I should have waited until I returned home to fully decipher the merchant records. But I wanted to make certain, and I was fascinated."
Zephan watched her swallow back tears. Her whole body heaved as she drew in a large breath. "I was in the hotel room. I'd been studying the writings about you for hours. It was closing in on dawn...I thought he'd been sent by our side...but, it was a trick."
As Solanja described what occurred, Zephan observed it before his mind's eye. At least, how the good-looking SOB used his mental sorcery to put her in a trance.
"That blonde devil didn't get the documents, but I was under his spell long enough for him to use his photographic memory." Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Zephan dug for the soft cloth in his pants pocket, and handed it to her. He used it for cleaning his guns, but fortunately this one hadn't been used yet.
"I'm sorry," she wailed softly, dabbing at her face. "He escaped before I could erase..."
Scowling for several reasons, Zephan started to take a drink, but his mug was empty. He slapped it down on his thigh. "Why weren't you being protected?"
From the expression on her face, he knew he'd spoken too harshly.
"Our ranks are too thin, I'm afraid." She sniffled, suppressing her tears. "I should never have...I knew better than to...it was my mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake."
Zephan had to ask, the compulsion too fierce to ignore. "How do you know the black-hearts know what I am? Any proof?"
Solanja stayed silent for several moments. "Do you need proof to know I'm telling the truth?"
Well, she had him there. Given he wasn't the only one who possessed psi abilities. Not by a long shot. She had her share.
"Besides," she squarely eyed him, "I was taunted by that blonde devil with what he knew about you--when I allowed him brief telepathic contact."
Straightening, she gave her hair a shake. "And not to mention, Lion Dragon Man, all the attempts to kidnap me lately...while I was searching for your location."
Zephan couldn't think of any other reply, so he uttered, "I don't morph that often."
Complete seriousness owned her expression, before Solanja spoke. "That's to your advantage. Their Sweeper as they call the device, would zero in on your Manticore frequency. However, they can't get a lock on your human-immortal vibes."
"What a relief," Zephan drily offered.
He'd paused a few beats before speaking. His human male side was too damn distracted. Yep, to the point of sheer lust.
"It is to me," she answered, her words purely heartfelt.
"How about I rustle up some grub? I could sure use some supper."
When Solanja didn't respond, Zephan added, "Unless, you want me to change into the Lion Dragon Man at midnight? That's what happens when I don't get a regular feeding."
Zephan grinned to let her know, he just joshed her.
Her slowly spreading smile was his reward.
TO BE CONTINUED...
~ Have a Magickal and Miraculous New Year ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~