Nightshine, p.27
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       Nightshine, p.27
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         Part #4 of Kyndred series by Lynn Viehl
Page 27

 

  “That’s for me to know. ” A sly look came into his eyes. “I can take you to Energúmeno. You could ask him. ”

  “I’ll be talking to him soon enough. ” Genaro stepped closer. “How did he learn about my project?”

  The chief grinned. “You told him yourself, fool. ”

  “So Energúmeno is your boss. ”

  “Sure he is. ” The chief laughed. “Or maybe I do it for a favor for your mother, after I fucked her. ”

  Genaro nodded to one of the men, who shoved the barrel of his weapon into the chief’s neck. “I’ll ask you one more time. Who told you to do this, and where can I find him?”

  “Nowhere. ” Carasegas’s face lost all expression. “Everywhere. He is God. ” He lifted the gun in his hand and pressed the end under his chin, pulling the trigger.

  Genaro put up his arm to block the spray of blood and brain matter, lowering it to watch the chief’s body tumble backward onto the grass. He removed his bloodstained jacket and handed it to one of the men. “Put the body in the van, and get rid of the car. Give me a phone. ”

  Delaporte answered before the first ring ended. “Mr. Genaro? Are you secure?”

  “For the moment. ” He walked up to the first van. “I need you to find out who paid off the drug lord and Carasegas to frame me for murder. Whoever it was knows about the transerum and the Kyndred. ”

  As they approached the house, Charlotte began to sweat. Behind Samuel’s watchful, handsome face a lot of unspoken rage seethed, and it was pouring into her like liquid fire.

  At the door she touched his arm. “Let me go in and talk to him,” she murmured.

  He stared at her. “So he can attack you first? No. ”

  “We need some answers, mío. ” She nodded at his knotted fists. “Before you beat the daylights out of him. ”

  “We’ll go in together. ” When she started to argue, he shook his head. “And if he attacks, you will step aside and let me deal with him. ”

  “Don’t kill him. ”

  They slipped inside the villa, pausing as Samuel listened. No sound gave away the intruder’s location, but Charlie felt an odd sensation crawl over her skin, something like the frigid air one felt when opening the door to a freezer, minus the actual chill.

  She exhaled and watched with wide eyes as her breath briefly became a white mist before it dissipated. When she looked down, she saw the water in the floor had frozen in places, the ice shaped like footprints.

  Samuel pointed in the direction they took toward the staircase, the steps of which were lightly coated in frost, and then looked up at the ceiling.

  She nodded and followed him up the stairs. The patches of ice led down the hall to the master suite, where the door stood open.

  Samuel moved quickly, taking a position to one side of the door and gesturing for Charlotte to stand opposite. Glancing inside, she saw the man walk out of the bathroom and cross over to the patio doors, where he stepped outside.

  Without warning Samuel went after him, and reached him before Charlie could catch up. The man turned as Samuel reached out to grab him, and then stood still as Sam’s hands passed through his body.

  Samuel tried to seize him again, and then drew back his hands, both of which were coated with ice. Impatiently he clapped his hands together, smashing the ice away before he eyed the apparition. “What are you?”

  The man replied with a few sneering words.

  When Samuel glanced at her, Charlie shook her head. “It’s not Spanish. It sounds Indian. ” To the ghost, she said, “¿Habla inglés? ¿Español?”

  The man eyed her, his body becoming more transparent. In mangled Spanish, he asked, “You woman doctor?”

  Charlie doubted she could explain the difference between an EMP and an MD to a ghost, so she went with her instincts. “Yes, I am a doctor. ”

  He came at her, passing through Samuel as if he weren’t there. “Pici no die. ” He tried to touch her, but his arms began to disappear, and he uttered something in his own language before he stepped back. “You save. ”

  Charlie nodded. “Where is Pici? How can I help her?”

  “Go. ” The man pointed toward the back of the villa. “Tell Colotl. ” As soon as his arm dropped his body faded away into nothingness.

  Charlie saw Sam sitting on the deck. “What happened? Are you all right?”

  “At the moment, I’m defrosting. ” Samuel brushed at the ice crystals already melting on his chest. “Whatever that thing was, contact with it causes instant frostbite. ”

  “Let me have a look. ” Charlie knelt down beside him, brushing away the slush on his chest to expose the stiff, dark skin beneath. As she palpated the area, Sam’s flesh became more pliable. When she lifted her hand, it had already lightened to a deep pink, and then assumed its normal light caramel color. She checked the rest of his torso, finding the same process ongoing. After another minute passed, all the damaged skin had healed.

  She extended one of his arms, putting her own beside it. Scratches from walking through the saw grass still made angry, crisscrossed slashes over her skin, while his didn’t have a mark on it.

  “You should have said something. ” Sam ran his hand down her arm, healing the scratches. “Better?”

  “Scary. You not only can heal me; you’re healing yourself. ” Charlie felt a tickling sensation at the base of her neck, and brushed at it. “Niman achtopa yah in Ihiyo. ”

  “I’m sorry?”

  “Ihiyo was the first to go. ” She felt a surge of impatience at having to translate it into English for him. “You shouldn’t have tried to catch him. You should have just waited. He would come to you himself soon enough. ”

  Samuel peered at her. “Who is Ihiyo?”

  “No one of importance. ” He wanted to play, she could tell, and the hunger came into her, full and ripe. She fluttered her eyelashes at him. “Why don’t we go to bed?”

  “Perhaps a little later, after we talk. ” He looked into her eyes. “How are you feeling right now?”

  “I feel like having you in me. ” She climbed over him, pushing him back against the deck. “But we can play here, too. ” She pulled her shirt up over her head, flinging it away before she drew his hands up to her aching breasts. “Ahmo tläcacemeleh. He is not pretty to look at. Not like you. ”

  “Charlotte. ” He cradled her face between his hands. “Come back to me. ”

  A different emotion streaked through her, leaching away the strange lust and making her crawl backward away from him. “Ie ixqujch. No more, please. ”

  Samuel caught her before she could escape and brought her up onto her knees, shaking her a little. “Charlotte, can you hear me? Something is trying to take control. You have to shut them off. Get them out of your head. Charlotte. ”

  “I’m here. ” Charlie pushed her way through the alien emotions, panting as she emerged and slammed up her mental barriers behind her. “Jesus. ” She sagged against him.

  “Who’s doing this to you?” Samuel demanded as he helped her to her feet. “Is it Segundo?”

  “I don’t know. They’re so strong. Coming at me from all directions. ” She huddled against him as echoes of the thought streams hammered all around the mental walls she had erected. “I don’t know if I can . . . ” She choked on bile as a tangle of fear, anger, and terror tried to push through. “No. ”

  He brought her face close to his. “Don’t panic. You know what you have to do. Look at me, yes, like that. I’m right here with you. ”

  While Samuel talked to her, Charlie used him as her anchor, keeping her thoughts trained on him as she reinforced her mental barriers.

  At last she felt secure enough to relax a little. “I’m clear of them. For now, anyway. ”

  He kept his arm around her and lifted her chin to inspect her face. “Does it always do this to you?”

  “I haven’t been keeping my guard up the way I do at hom
e. With just you and me here, I didn’t think I had to. ” She exhaled slowly as the intense nausea receded. “Usually I feel people long before I can read them, but this time . . . it was like they just materialized out of nowhere. ”

  “Do you think they’re on the island?”

  “I know they are. Where, I’m not sure exactly. They’re together in a group, and they’re close, but . . . ” She shook her head and swiped at the tears clinging to her lashes. “There were too many voices to sort out at once, and all of them were speaking in that odd language. Maybe I can try to sweep for them a little later—”

  “Not after what they just did to you,” he told her. “You spoke to me in a language I’ve never before heard. ” He bent to pick up her shirt. “And you were definitely not yourself,” he added as he helped her pull it on.

  “I wanted to jump you. I did jump you. ” She looked down at her hands, which were clenched. “Part of it was me but not me. As if someone had helped themselves to my libido. ” Her lips twisted. “Then something shifted and I was terrified and . . . sick to my stomach. ”

  “The second person you sensed was ill?”

  She made an uncertain gesture. “You scared me, and all I could think about was getting away, throwing up, and soaking my feet. They were killing me. ”

  He glanced at her toes. “Could one of these people be hurt?”

  “I don’t think so. ” She frowned as she tried to recall the emotions that had overrun her mind. “The first surge was really strong. Almost primitive. As if men and sex are all she thinks about. The second wave was the complete opposite. She wants to get away. Be left alone with . . . ” The thought dissipated, and she shook her head.

  “Did either of the women think about what they were doing on the island?”

  “Sex Kitten just wanted you, or, for that matter, any guy with a pulse. ” She frowned as a fragment of imagery came back to her. “The girl who was sick and scared, she wasn’t reacting to only you. ” She looked back at the villa. “It’s this place. Seeing it was what made her feel sick. Something inside. ” She grabbed his hand. “Come with me. ”
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