Sunday, October 28, 2012

Damian's Sacrifice #7

Damian slid into the driver’s seat of his grandmother’s car, careful not to tip over the contents of the takeout bag on the seat beside him.  Starting the engine, he glanced at the radio’s clock and grinned.  11:50 a.m.  He was running a little early, since he’d gotten to Murphy’s right before the lunch crowd swarmed the place.

Anxiety and excitement warred inside his head.  The deep attraction he had for Cara was unnerving, but also undeniable.  He’d always kept his interaction with human women in the casual fling territory, planning on his eventual mate being an Arcturian.  Even so, he’d never had strong feelings for a female of either species.  Until now.  How could he be falling for a human?

What the hell was he worried about?  A mate?  He’d only spent a few hours with her.  And her company was enjoyable, so he wanted to see her again.  So what?  It wasn’t like he was proposing.  He was bringing her lunch.  A BLT on white toast, and pickles.  Not a fucking engagement ring.

He turned into the parking lot of her studio’s building two minutes after leaving the deli.  She hadn’t been kidding about the place being close by.

Spotting her car right away, he frowned at the car parked next to it.  A red Porsche.  Who the hell is that?  He pulled into the space next to it, grabbing their lunch as he got out.

When Damian walked by the open window of the flashy ticket magnet, a faint smell tingled in his nose.  A mix of testosterone, drugs, and rage.  His gut clenched as he dropped the food and rushed inside.  Something was very wrong with the owner of that car.

He entered the foyer, scanning the surroundings for signs of a struggle.  Nothing.  Just an empty hallway with a staircase at the other end.  And, a single metal door on the left side.  Must be Cara’s studio.

As he moved closer to her door, the sound of a muffled scream reached his ears, chilling his blood.  He lunged for the knob, but it wouldn’t turn.  Locked.  His mind raced, instincts surging forward.  Planting his left leg, Damian rammed his foot through the door, ripping it off the bottom hinge as it flew open, knocking the trim free of the wall.

A man hovering over Cara whipped his head toward the doorway, fury twisting his features.  As the guy shifted off, Damian caught a glimpse of her and his heart plummeted to his stomach.  Her face frozen in fear, bruises on her throat and cheeks stood out in stark contrast against her too pale skin.

His rage erupted, causing his eyes to shift into flame, and he let out a roar.  All higher thought left him.  That bastard was going to die.

As the man made it to his feet, Cara scurried behind a table in the corner.    He glanced to her, then back to Damian.  “Don’t worry, sweetheart.  I won’t let this asshole near you.”

What the fuck?  Was he insane on top of being drugged up?  “I’m not a danger to her.  I can’t say the same for you, though.”

Damian didn’t waste time.  He shot forward, ducking an uncoordinated punch, and nailed the guy right in balls, dropping him to his knees.  As he sat there whimpering, cradling his damaged goods, Damian gripped him by the throat and jerked him to his feet.  He slammed him against the wall, his hands like a vise pinning him a couple of inches off the floor.

As Cara’s attacker struggled for breath, she cried out, “Damian, stop!  You’re killing him!”

Shit.  What was he doing?  Killing a man right in front of her?  He may have no problem taking the life of his enemies, but she didn’t need that kind of stain on her conscience.  Besides, this guy wasn’t really an enemy, was he?  He was a drug-powered asshole who almost raped his female, but he wasn’t a Savrati drone.  He had to let the humans handle it.

 “Call the police while I hold him here.”  He looked at her when she didn’t move.  “What’s wrong?”

“I’m... worried about him.  He’s... an old friend.  I don’t know what got into Brian today, but it—this—isn’t like him.  At all.”  Concern mingled with the fear in her eyes.

Damn.  She didn’t want to involve the police.  He could hear the hesitation in her voice.  The guy was someone she knew and trusted.  An old friend.  But, he couldn’t just let him go.  Not after what he’d pulled.  That only left one option.  Dazing him, altering his memories.

“Do you trust me?” 


“Do you trust me?”


“Good.  Just sit tight over there and I’ll take care of it.”

Damian placed his left hand against Brian’s temple.  He focused his energy on reaching into his mind.  With the drugs in his system, it didn’t take long.  Since he wasn’t capable of erasing Cara from Brian’s memory, he sent a kind of mental block on anything related to her.  Leaving them with the same result.  He would never bother her again.  Never even think of her.  Too bad he didn’t have dazing skills like Vain.  He’d have made the motherfucker become a celibate monk living in Siberia. 

He dropped Brian to the floor.  The guy rushed out without a single word.

Damian took a step toward Cara, desperate to comfort her.

She stayed behind the table, eyes shimmering, arm outstretched in front of her.  “Just stay over there.  Please.”

His heart wrenched.

“I guess it would be better if I just go.  Cara, I’m so sorry.  I never meant to frighten you.”  He turned away, heading for the trashed door.

“Wait.  Don’t go.  I’m not... afraid.  I’m... confused.  In shock.”

Damian froze, unable to take a breath.

“You’re not... human.  What are you?”

He slammed his eyes shut, dropping his head.  Fuck.  He should daze her and go.  Never to see her again.  Humans weren’t supposed to know what they were.  Dazing was standard procedure in a situation like this.  Right now, he couldn’t give a shit about procedure.  But, she would be better off.  Besides, he wasn’t planning a future with her anyway.  Right?

Taking a deep breath, he faced her.

If he didn’t daze her now, he never would.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Damian Sacrifice #6

As Cara stopped in front of the studio, her gaze drifted to the tiny box settled against the passenger seat.  A diamond pendant.  As a birthday gift.  To a friend.  What the hell was Brian thinking?  Despite the fact that he wasn’t hurting for money, it was too much.  She needed to return it.

For the better part of a year now, her parents had been trying to set her up with Brian.  He was good-looking, had a successful career, and was already like family to them.  A good catch, they said.  But, she just wasn’t attracted to him.  They were close friends, nothing more.  And Brian had always said he felt the same way.  No way could she believe him now.

Cara wrenched the car door open and snatched the box off of the seat, slipping it into her purse.  While she didn’t want the thing, she couldn’t leave it in the car for someone to take.

She entered the building, her eyes resting on the sheet draped over an unfinished sculpture in the back of the room.  Not a commission, but her own personal piece.  Something she’d been working on for months, between clients.  A way to cleanse her creative palate. 

What the hell was she going to do about Brian?

She was jumping to conclusions.  Was it even a real diamond?  Or real gold?  Maybe it was a piece of costume jewelry meant as a joke or something.  Yeah.  That must be what it is.  And how’s life treating ya over there on the banks of the river Denial?

“Oh, shut up.”  Cara muttered to the empty room.  Great.  She was arguing out loud with herself.  Next stop, a padded room.

What she really needed was a distraction.

The phone rang, making her jump, and the paint-streaked sheet slipped to the floor.

What if it’s Brian?  Oh God, she wasn’t ready to deal with him.  Better to let the answering machine get it.

She grabbed a mug from the cabinet and poured a cup of coffee.  As she stirred the second spoonful of sugar, a deep voice sounded through the machine, echoing in her ears.

“Hi, Cara.  It’s Damian.  Um, we met last night...”

Not Brian.  Damian.  She all but slammed the cup down as she scrambled to answer the phone, spilling hot coffee all over her hands and the counter in the process.  But she’d worry about the mess and the second-degree burns later.  Right now, she was a teenage girl and the captain of the football team was calling her.  Well, perhaps he was more like the resident bad boy than the all-American quarterback.

She nestled the receiver between her shoulder and ear, her fingers fumbling over the buttons on the machine to turn it off.

“Hello?  Damian, are you still there?”  She could kick herself for the eagerness in her voice.

“Yes, I’m here.  Is everything okay?  You sound out of breath.”

He did have a knack for making her breathless.  The image of his dark eyes staring down at her after their kiss last night had her knees dangerously close to buckling.  Again.

“Um, I’m fine.  Just, uh, spilled a little coffee on myself.  I’m not the most coordinated person this early in the morning.”  A nervous laugh escaped before she could stifle it.

“You didn’t burn yourself, did you?” 

“No, it’s only a mess.  So, what has you calling my studio this morning?”

“No small talk at work, huh?  Okay then.  Meet me for lunch today.”

Was she dreaming?  Perhaps her hearing needed to be checked?  They’d only met last night and he was already asking her out on a second date.

Well, you were ready to pounce on his pelvis the moment he kissed you.  At least he is trying to follow good dating protocol.


Say something you idiot.  Like ‘Why yes, Damian.  I would love to meet you for lunch.  Thank you ever so much for asking.’  Even a simple ‘okay’ would do the trick.

“Oh... I would love to, honestly.  But...”


“I really need to work today.  It’s not for a client, but what I do for a kind of mental reset.  If I don’t do something just for fun in between, my art turns to crap.  I know that may sound silly—

“Not at all.  But you still gotta eat, don’t you?  How about I bring lunch to you and hang out for a little while?”

“I couldn’t ask you to do that.  You’d be bored to death sitting here while I work.”

“Then you seriously underestimate how appealing it would be to watch you move.”

 Her cheeks burned.  Why did he have to be so damn good at that?

“Cara, if you don’t want me to come by, it’s okay.  We can do lunch another time.”

“No, I do want you.  To come.  Over, I mean.  Come over.  Shit.”  She covered her eyes, shaking her head.  Someone should just kill her now.  There was no recovering from that one.  “Lunch would be nice.  Thanks.”

Damian laughed.  “I knew what you meant.  So, what are you craving today?”

“Actually, there’s a deli right down the street from here—Murphy’s.  They make a fantastic BLT.  And they have the best pickles.  You been there before?”

“No, but I think I know where it is.  On James Avenue, right?”

“That’s the place.”

“Then I’ll be there around noon, if that’s good for you.”

“Works for me.  But, I gotta warn you.  I’ll probably be a mess when you get here.”

“And that works for me.  See you soon, beautiful.”  The line clicked as he hung up.

She set the phone in its cradle, forcing her fingers to let go.  Butterflies were going to burst out of her stomach any second now.  Damian had called her, like he’d promised.  And, he was coming over.  She was going to see him again in just a few hours.

It took every ounce of strength she had to focus on her work, but she’d drive herself crazy if she just sat there in la-la land until Damian showed up.

At ten ‘til noon, a knock sounded at the door, signaling another swarm of butterflies to flutter around.  He was early.

Cara looked down at her herself, wincing.  Smudged shirt.  Paint wedged under her fingernails.  And she didn’t have to see her hair to know it was breaking free of the ponytail she’d put it in.  He is the perfect man if he doesn’t haul ass the other way when I open the door.

“Just a minute.  I wasn’t expecting you yet.”  She darted to the sink to freshen up.  After washing her hands, she pulled the scrunchie out of her hair, giving it a quick tousle to loosen the curls.

Cara rushed to the door, unable to contain her excitement.  As she threw it open, she stumbled back, the blood rushing from her head.

“Who were you expecting, Cara?  Obviously not me.”

“Brian, what are you doing here?”

“Are you gonna invite me in, or make me stand out in the hallway all day?”

“Sorry.  Come on in.  I was just cleaning up for lunch.”  She headed to the table in the corner of the room.  Right for her purse.

“So, did you open your birthday present yet?”  His tone was strange.  Distant.  So unlike him.

Cara sucked in a deep breath, her back to him as she searched for the small box.  “Yes, I did.  We need to talk about that.  I can’t accept the necklace.”

“You’re right.  We do need to talk.”

The click of the deadbolt made her turn around.  The air rushed from her lungs as he tackled her, his icy fingers squeezing her throat, his hips crushing her into the floor.

“And you aren’t leaving here until you see reason.  I will show you we belong together.”


Monday, October 15, 2012

Time Slot Change

Ok folks, I've decided to change my Damian's Sacrifice posting day from Monday to Sunday.  Real life kinda keeps interfering, and I don't want to wind up skipping any more weeks.  Hope y'all stick around to see how Damian and Cara's story unfolds.  I love them together.  And Ax... I'm developing quite the soft spot for him.  See y'all Sunday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Damian's Sacrifice #5

Damian gripped his SIG as he trailed Brutal and Talis to the broken gate of an old shipping yard, next to the river.  The fight had moved a couple of blocks from 18th Street, but finding it hadn’t been a problem.  Guardians could feel the presence of each other thanks to their special DNA, so Brutal just had to follow the scent.  Once Damian went through his sacrifice, he would be able to do the same.

One after the other, they slipped through the opening, Damian the last.  He froze as he caught sight of the battle on the other side.

Hands, feet, arms, legs, heads.  So many body parts slamming into each other.  Weapons and claws tearing through the air.  The thuds and smacks creating a rhythm to the motion.  A ballet produced by Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper.

Ax and Corrix were squaring off against a couple of drones, knives drawn and ready for blood.  Talis was working on a pair himself, slashing and stabbing them to oblivion.  But it was the Guardians who stole the show, their individual abilities nothing short of spectacular.

Stone took punch after punch without so much as a flinch, able to withstand pain that would send other males to their knees.  Hail kept out of reach of the drones’ deadly claws, turning himself to mist at will.  Vain was giving a flawless performance, not allowing a single strike to land, proving his reputation as the best fighter in the Order.  Brutal gripped a drone by the throat with one hand as he ripped the heart from its chest with the other, turning the piece of shit to dust.  A clear display of the immense strength he was well known for.

And soon, Damian would be joining their ranks, wielding powers far beyond what he was capable of now.

But there was no need to wait until then to kick some more Savrati ass.  He focused his aim on the group of drones closing in on Talis and pulled the trigger.

One.  Two.  Three.

As they fell to the ground, his commander gave him a quick nod of appreciation, then dusted the group and moved on to assist Stark and Raze—the last of the Guardians to join the battle.

The Order had their enemies under control, but several drones were surrounding Ax and Corrix.  Damian cleared a path through the crowd, though the wounds he inflicted wouldn’t be lethal.  He'd have to worry about that later.  Right now, his friends needed him.

The gunshots didn't get the fuckers' attention—they  didn't get anyone's attention.  Hail must be causing interference with the frequency or some other sci-fi shit like that.  Rumors about the extent of his control over nature were boundless, much like his powers were proving to be.  After finally seeing it in action, Damian was surprised more hadn't chosen it as their sacrifice. Damn, that was a hell of a trump card to have up a sleeve.

As he moved in on the drones, he targeted two with their backs to him.  He shot twice, and as they smacked the pavement, a third spun in his direction.  Damian slipped one of his knives from the strap and threw it straight into the drone's heart.  Corrix and Ax took advantage of the distraction, pulling their guns and firing on the rest of the group.  In a matter of seconds, the only thing surrounding them was ash.

The claw marks across both of their arms were not a welcome sight.  The venom now coursing through their bodies was going to fuck with their healing capability.

"Are you okay? Are those your only injuries?"  Damian locked eyes with Ax, straining to keep his voice even.

"As far my injuries, what you see is what you get.  And although I feel like Wolverine's sparring partner, I'll be fine."  Ax cracked a smile.  "Besides, chicks dig scars."

Damian looked to Corrix, shaking his head.  "Can you believe this asshole?  He gets sliced and diced, and all he's thinking about is fucking."

"I don't know, D.  A little pussy would go a long way right about now."  The sparkle returned to Corrix's eyes, the corner of his mouth lifting.

Damian rolled his eyes.  "You two.  If you were less focused on your dicks and more focused on the fight, you probably wouldn't have been hit.  I managed to get through it unscathed."

"You can't tell me it wouldn't be nice to have that little redhead of yours in your bed tonight."  Ax's eyebrow shot up, waiting for a response.

He couldn't argue that he didn't want Cara.  The image of her body writhing under his, flushed with passion had him biting back a groan.  His cock strained against his zipper, pleading with him to make the fantasy a reality.

Ax laughed.  "Unless Barnum and Bailey are under that tent in your pants, I rest my case, D."

"Shut up.  And you two need to get Stark to patch you up, instead of standing here fucking with me."

Hot pain shot up Damian's leg and he let out curse.  As he fell to his knees, he looked down at his calf.  One of the drones he'd left on the ground had healed itself and grabbed hold of his leg.  He felt his eyes shift to white as the bastard sank his claws in further, dumping venom into his body.

Ax grabbed his knives and jumped onto the drone, knocking him back and forcing him to release his hold.  In one smooth move, he sank the blades into the brain and heart at the same time, poofing the fucker out of existence.  He reached a hand out to Damian, helping him to his feet.

"Looks like you'll be joining us at Casa de Stark.  That one got you pretty good."

They slowly made their way over to the rest of the Guardians, the pain receding with each step.  "Damn, that shit hurt.  I'm not even gonna lie."

"Oh, you'll be fine.  Your eyes aren’t white anymore.  You just get Cara to kiss it for you and you won't even remember it happened."  Ax made kissing sounds and Corrix laughed.

Damian punched Ax in the shoulder.  "You're just jealous you haven't met a nice girl like her.  And you better respect her, man.  I'll floor your ass in a heartbeat if you step outta line."

"Easy, D.  I was just fucking around."

"Looks like I have a few newbies to stitch up.  You boys don't look too bad, though."  Stark glanced to Talis as he placed his hand on Damian.  "You're doing all right with these boys, Commander."

"Thanks, but no amount of sucking up will get you out of the bet.  You still lost.  I told you.  Every new kid gets sliced the first night.  Happens every time."  Talis winked at Damian.  "Even the talented future Guardians."

"Fair enough.  Your payment will be waiting on your desk Monday morning."  Stark shifted his gaze back to Damian.  "Relax.  This won't hurt."

A soothing warmth spread throughout his body as Stark worked his magic touch.  The guy could suck the life out of any creature, but he could also give a portion of what he took.  An ability Damian was grateful for as the pain was erased and his wounds completely healed.

"Thanks, man."  Damian patted him on the back.

"No problem.  It's my job."  Stark flashed a smile, then moved on to Ax and Corrix.

Brutal approached, Talis by his side.   "Damian, you did well tonight.  You’re gonna be one hell of a Guardian.  Though, your commander here tells me you still haven’t made a decision on your sacrifice.”

Damn.  Disappointing the leader of the Order before you even start working for him.  Excellent job, dumbass.

“I want you both in my office on Monday, as soon as the sun goes down.  I expect you to have made your choice by then.”

"Yes, sir."

Havoc appeared at the gate, the landscape distorting as he disengaged his cloaking field.  Concern marred his features as his eyes locked on to Brutal.

“That’s my cue.  You boys take it easy for the rest of the weekend.  You had a big night.”  He and Talis strode off in the direction of the gate.

Holy shit.  What if Havoc had located the nest?  A full-scale assault on the Savrati Primes hadn’t happened in such a long time.  Not since Stark’s father went kamikaze on the soulless bastards.

Damian would know soon enough.  If he could make his decision on the part of himself he wanted to give up.

Usually, the sacrifice was foreseen by the oracle, and the parents were informed at birth.  Which was why so many of the Guardians had names related to their abilities.  But, for whatever reason, Stone couldn't get a bead on Damian.  While it wasn't unheard of, it was rare. 

After seeing the Guardian talents up close and personal, the choice should be easy.  Not the case.  They were all an invaluable asset to have in the field.  They each had a role to play in the future of their species, the future of the entire world.

So what was his destiny?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I know... Monday's gone

I'm so sorry I didn't post the next installment of Damian's Sacrifice this past Monday.  I left it at home.  My mom accidentally threw it away.  The dog ate it.
Ok, really  I was out of town for the J.R. Ward signing of Rapture.  Which was an awesome trip, by the way!  I had a blast hanging out with the girls, even though it was 5 a.m.  And the WARDen is freakin' hilarious!  It is so refreshing to hear a grown woman drop the "f" bomb more often than I do.
Back to reality now, I will have the next post up this coming Monday, so don't worry.  Things will be back to normal around here.  Besides, skipping a week means that the Guardians get to hang around a little bit longer ;)