I didn’t want to kiss him. The man was old enough to be my father. But there I was, in the decrepit old barn, on my patient’s lap. My lips were inches away from his. “I’ll ask you again, what is your name?”
He could tell I was stalling. My patient’s body was healing itself at a superhuman rate. “My name? Dear girl, you’re not ready to know my name.”
“Why is that?” I asked with a forced smile. “You know my name.”
“Yes, Dr. Ella Flores.” He licked his lips. “I know your name but not your full power.”
My patient had gone from semi-conscious with a badly flogged back, to sitting up. All without the use of my ‘full power.’ Looking into his dark eyes, I saw nothing but raw passion. I could give myself to him. It would have been so easy. “My mother had never shown me the treatment in its entirety.” I rubbed my hands together to prepare my mental focus.
“Tell me a little about your parents. Perhaps holding their memory in your heart will inspire you.”
Just the thought of my father made me smile. I missed him. I couldn’t even remember the last words I said to him before he left. And now he was gone.
My patient stroked my cheek, forcing me to look into his hypnotic eyes. “Can you see your father’s face, looking up at your mother with passionate love?”
I nodded. “With my father lying in bed mother would pull at his energy. She wouldn’t actually touch him she would massage his aura.” I could see the moment in my mind. “The colors of energy would caress the bare skin of his stomach moving downward to his pain-stricken hips. The bruises would heal and my father would fall into a peaceful sleep.”
I knew my mother started the treatment by touching my father’s throat, aligning her breathing with his. Then she would move her hand down his collarbone to his chest. With my hand over my patient’s heart, I could feel the rhythm of his breath, his beautiful spirit. As I closed my eyes I could feel his energy in my hand. It felt like numbness on my skin; pins and needles.
“Yes, just like that. If your mother’s hands were anything like yours, I wouldn’t be surprised if your father was able to go dancing after one of her treatments.”
I looked at my hand. To my horror, it was hovering over the man’s erection. His lap was covered with the thin blanket but it was awkward none the less. I drew back my hand, and with it my healing energy.
The man chuckled. “My dear how old are you?”
“That is none of your concern! I am a doctor, I have examined men’s bodies before but I do not wish to engage in such impure acts!”
I could see that my choice of words made him laugh even harder: the little girl trying to speak like a grown up. “Viejo,” I muttered.
“Old? How old would you wager I am?” he asked.
“I don’t know. Forty, fifty?”
The man shook his head with a devious smile. “I will tell you when the time is right,” he said, pulling the blanket up to his chest. “If you wish, I hope you might return to cutting my hair?”
“Sure.” I moved from his lap to sit behind him. Part of me wanted to thank him for taking sex off the table. But no sex meant I would have to find a different means of learning who he really was. “If you won’t tell me your name, at least tell me about your back tattoo. Why a Chrysanthemum?”
“It does resemble a Chrysanthemum, doesn’t it?” he replied with a sigh. “My first wife’s name was Rosa. For every lover since her, I’ve added to the tattoo.”
“Oh, intresting.” I removed the towel from the medicated water, pressing the warmth to his cheek. With the skin soft and supple I attempted to shave the man’s face. I made sure to work slowly, staying focused on my blade.
“Were your parents legally wed?” he asked. “That’s a rarity in this day and age.”
“Yeah,” I replied. “That’s how his captors knew where to send the remains.”
“I’m sorry,” the man said. “I know of the cruel manner of death brought upon slaves. Not only husbands and fathers but also sons; so many young boys torn from their families.” His body trembled. “After my Rosa died, I was forced to watch as my own little boy was taken from my arms.”
I quickly put down my blade. He was sobbing so hard I could no longer safely shave his face. I had heard of male children torn from their mother’s arms and executed in the name of population control. This happened most often in third world countries; dictators flexing their power over the masses. Civilized nations treated their non-magic male children with slightly more dignity since males were necessary to keep as partners and fuel. I stroked his face wiping tears from his eyes.
He looked at me. And for the first time I felt a true connection to him.
“My name is Juan-Miguel. I am to be put to death for the autumn feast. I imagine that’s why they sent for a doctor: to make sure I will survive the bloodletting long enough for them to fill their rations before I am beheaded.”
The thought made me sick, I needed to change the subject. “What are you given to eat?”
“As of late, I have been given only scraps,” he explained, motioning towards the pile of rotted food that seemed more fitting for a pig than a man. “Of course prior to your visit I had been too weak to sit up, much less eat.”
I suddenly heard a knock at the door. I brushed the hair off my skirt as I stood to open it. “Hello?”
“Hello!” There stood a tall slender girl with long black hair, tan skin and the brightest smile I had ever seen. She wore a loose canvas dress, stained with blood and other debris. But most noticeable was the fact she was rolling in a metal bathtub filled halfway with water. Upon getting the heavy item inside, the girl quickly locked the door.
She rushed to the man’s side greeting him with a deep tender kiss.
I watched as his hand slid up her leg caressing her thigh.
The girl giggled. “Viejo pervertido.” She stood up and pulled close a large burlap sack that had been attached to the tub. “Look what I brought you,” she said as she started to take out various glass jars. “I grabbed as much as I could. Take a bite. It will give you strength.”
I pushed the tub closer to the mattress. It was heavy for me. But this girl somehow pulled the three-wheeled tub while and a bag filled with food items.
Juan gasped, “Ava, is that really you?”
“Yes, my love. I told the nuns that I wished to help prepare you for the sacrifice, and they believed me. That’s why they let me send for a doctor. Here, have some food.” She opened a container of red jam and pulled a small wooden spoon from her pocket.
Juan closed his eyes as the bite touched his lips. “I fear I am dreaming.”
She kissed his forehead. “Don’t worry, this is not a dream. I’m here. I made it back to you just like I promised I would. I love you so much. Everything is going to be ok now.” She then turned to me. “Right, Dr. Flores?”
“Dr. Flores was my father.”
“I know. You’re Ella, right?”
“How do you know my name?”
“Your father was an inspiration to me. He told me… ” She held out her hand. “Where are my manners, I’m Ava. I’m sorry I’m nervous, it’s just such an honor to meet you!”
“Did you send for my father knowing he was dead?”
“I needed to find you, I needed to make things right. It was my mother’s coven that captured him.”
Juan pulled Ava close, speaking over her. “Before coming to work as a gardener, at St Theresa, my Ava was employed as a comfort girl. She cared for many men.”
Ava pushed away from Juan. It was clear the topic was one of great emotional strain. “The young girls of the coven are selected to befriend the prisoners. We were allowed to read to them, talk to them. Many of the men had children of their own so in theory, the act was intended to bring them some level of comfort and peace. Of course, the majority of the coven children were horrible; they would spit or even kick the men. And a few of the men were not much better; taking advantage of being in the room alone with a young girl.”
I watched as Ava put her hand in her pocket, clenching her fist. But she wasn’t angry, she was holding something.
“Your father, Dr. Alberto Flores was a good man. He loved his family with every fiber of his being! When he was not asking the Lord for guidance he spoke only of your mother and sisters. Please, you have to believe me!”
“I believe you.” I had little choice in the matter. “What was your relationship with my father?”
Ava handed the jar of preserves to Juan. “I had been living in Monterrey at the time, with my mother. She was the high priestess who sent for your father, under the guise of treating a little girl who had been gored by a wolf.” Ava stood up and lit a series of candles. Almost immediately the room felt warmer. “He wasn’t even allowed to treat her. She died a week before he did.” She closed her eyes. Placing her fingers through the flames, each candle grew stronger and brighter, as if feeding off her magic. “You father was held for a little over a month. But during that time he became very sick. I was allowed to stay by Alberto’s side until the fever took his life.” Ava took the canister of food from Juan. She put her arm around him, to help his weak body into the bath.
I watched as she bathed Juan-Miguel. The water shimmered with metallic aqua, silver, and gold. It was as if she was bathing him in sparkling oils.
“Your father’s words inspired me to leave my mother’s coven, to set out on my own and find my destiny.” She moved her hands up Juan’s chest allowing the water to sparkle down his skin. She finished her act with a kiss on her lover’s forehead, down the bridge of his nose, to his lips.
Juan smiled. “I’ve missed you, my love.”
“And I you,” she said as she playfully splashed water on his face. “Ella,” she continued, her gaze was on Juan, clearly lost in her lover’s eyes. “Alberto told me about you and your sisters, Tasha liked to paint, and Annabelle she taught herself the violin. And your mother, she would bless him as I am about to bless my man now.” As her gown fell to the floor one thing became very clear- she was pregnant with his child. Her slender, physically fit body was strong yet soft with beautiful curves.
Juan sat up, his arms reaching out to her. “Is it mine?”
“Of course, my love. Our baby is the reason why I stayed away.”
As she moved her clothing away from the tub she removed a piece of paper from her pocket. It was the item she had clutched in her hand earlier. “Ella, this is for you. Once you read it my truths will become clear.”
I took the wrinkled paper from her. There was something wrapped in the paper: father’s prayer cross. I placed it to the side, as I carefully unfolded the letter. Written in dark red ink was my father’s handwriting. I felt a horrible pain in my chest, as I read his final words. In the letter, he wrote about how sorry he was, how much he missed his family. He blamed himself for getting captured, for putting his work before the needs of his children. ‘I pray this letter will someday find its way into the hands of my family; if not my wife and or daughters then perhaps their children. I truly believe in the strength and courage of my girls. Even without me, their lives will prevail.’ I crumpled the letter in my fist, hurling it to the floor.
I looked at Ava who was now sitting in the tub on Juan’s lap, his arms wrapped around her. “Ava,” he, whispered, his lips pressed against his lover’s neck. “Go comfort the good doctor.”
Ava stood up, dripping wet as she exited the bath and grabbed my hand. “Let’s take a break from the letter. Have you ever blessed someone? To give pleasure, or ease pain without seeking a reward: that is true power.”
“I sorta tried it earlier.”
Ava giggled. “Let me guess, he told you to ‘Give it your best try’? My Juan is just a dirty old man.”
I smiled. “Yeah, my father was the same way.”
Juan started to laugh until Ava slugged him in the arm.
“I mean he was charming, funny,” I specified. “Not that…”
“Not that you have daddy issues?” Juan chuckled.
“Come here, Ella,” Ava said with a sexy smile.
“I don’t think we can all fit in the tub.”
“You don’t need to be inside to take part.” She took my hand and pulled me close for a soft kiss. “Give me your hand,” Ava whispered. “You need to learn to embrace your sexual spirit.” Ava took my hand, stroking my pointer finger to Juan’s lips.
My body shuddered. I could feel his breath, his mouth opening. He was smiling as his tongue teased my skin. I had to admit he was undeniably stunning, but something felt off.
His fingernails suddenly transformed into claws, tearing at my clothes.
“Stop!” I cried.
Ava put her hand over my mouth. “Just relax,” she said she kissed my cheek, down my jaw. “He won’t hurt you.”
I took a deep breath, trying to focus on her touch as a tear slipped down my cheek.
Ava pressed a finger to Juan’s throat. All at once his breathing slowed and his body became calm. “Juan acts like a lion but he’s really just a kitty cat.” She stroked her fingers down my now exposed skin “Is that a tattoo?”
“Yes, I have a cross on my ribs. My sister did it for me.”
“It’s your father’s cross!” Ava said excitedly. “Did you get it in honor of him?”
“After the funeral service Tasha did one for herself on her leg and Annabelle got one on her wrist but I wanted mine to be more personal; to be close to my heart.”
“That’s sweet of you,” Ava said as she got out of the tub. “I know he would have been so honored.” I could feel her grab my shoulder. “Come over here, lay down on the bed.”
“Why?” I asked.
“I wish to help you unlock your full potential.”
Ava’s magic had made the room comfortably warm so I felt at ease, as I slipped out of my skirt and undergarments. I laid my unimpressive self on the dirty mattress and closed my eyes.
I could feel Ava lean over me, her long wet hair dripping on my skin. “Just relax, Ella, I used to do this all the time for the older women of my mother’s coven.”
Never in my life had I fantasized about a woman but Ava, she filled my mind with lustful sin.
Suddenly I could hear the water sloshing as Juan stood up in the tub. “Ava, are you truly going to leave me to my own devices?” He grabbed Ava by her neck.
I watched in horror as he flung her backward.
Juan gripped my thighs. He spread my legs, with his knees, pinning me down with his body weight. “It’s time for me to play doctor.” With his free hand, Juan pinned my shoulder down. His gaze feral, teeth bared.
I could feel the heat of his breath. “This is not you. This is a corruption of your magic!”
“This is me!” he roared. His skin sparkled with white energy, emanating from his shoulders: his back tattoo. That was it!
“If what your body requires is a vessel to use as a means of release, then I will give myself to you willingly.” I reached my hand to his face, caressing his cheek. I could feel him trembling. “You are a kind man, a loving partner and God willing you will be a good father to the prince that rides within your lover’s womb.”
“It’s my guess, based on how she’s carrying. But boy or girl, the baby will be special because it will be a child born of your love.”
Ava sat up as if nothing had happened. “Ella, you’re so sweet.” She leaned in and kissed my cheek, cuddling her face to my neck. She then switched her focus to Juan, placing his hand on her stomach. “Can you feel our prince? He’s going to be powerful, like his daddy.”
Juan laid on my opposite side and kissed my cheek. “I apologize for earlier.”
“So, Ella,” she said, “I heard what you said earlier, did you really want my lover to take your virginity?”
I was not certain didn’t want my first sexual experience to be with a man, especially not Juan-Miguel. I pulled Ava’s close to kiss her soft lips. “I want you to finish what you started.”
Ava smiled. “I believe that can be arranged.”
I watched as Ava moved back, between my legs. She lifted her ass, positioning herself for her lover to take her from behind.
The world moved in slow-motion.
I could see his hands grasping her thighs holding her by her hips as he penetrated her.
Ava rested on her elbows. With her face over my genitals, I let her do as she pleased with her mouth. It was not pleasurable. It was not what I wanted. But even still, my hip bucked as my muscles tensed. With each breath, I was arching my back. I closed my eyes, as I massaged my breasts.
Suddenly I felt Juan’s hands cupping my chest. It was clear by the lack of motion he had finally achieved his release. “Earlier I asked you to guess my age.”
“I remember,” I replied still not opening my eyes.
“My true age is two-hundred.”
“What?” I said with a laugh. I was shocked, but it was not unheard of. As a child, I heard legends: men born of magic had the ability to restore their vitality through sexual conquest.
“Ella, you told me your father was a doctor, but you never asked what I was prior to being a held captive.” With is freehand Juan reached down and took my hand, placing it on his now flaccid penis.
I could feel a strange, warm, energy. It was like touching a light bulb. “What are you?”
“General Juan-Miguel Torres, a witch hunter and officer of the revolution.”
Ava wiped her lips as she returned to my side. “He’s a sorcerer. Just tell him you’re impressed so we can move on to the important part.”
“A sorcerer? I had heard of such powerful male magic users but I assumed they had all been captured or hunted to extinction.”
“I had been living as a farmer. When my wife passed away I was sold into slavery.”
“But you could have fought back. From what I’ve read sorcerers have the power to level entire cities.”
“Not alone.” Juan sat up, covering himself with the blanket. “I had lost so much. Without an ally, I was as weak as any mortal.”
Ava reached for my father’s cross necklace. “Ella, now that you know you can trust us I need you to put this on.”
Trust? I failed to see how participating in their sex play equated to trust. “Why should I?”
Ava shrugged. “The way your father explained it to me, was that only someone of blood relation would be able to wield the artifact’s true power. And even if you don’t want to use its power to help us escape, the necklace was always meant to be yours.”
To be continued…..