Since today’s my birthday and Stephanie asked for more Tecun, I’m posting a snippet from the fountain scene. Please remember this is first draft only, unedited, and subject to several revisions later. Enjoy!
He reached down to his calf and pulled a slim but wicked looking knife out of his boot. “If her magic is concealing it, you may be the only one who can free it.”
“Free what? What are you talking about and why…”
Calmly, he drew the knife across the tip of his finger, and my words stumbled to a halt. I’d never seen anyone deliberately cut themselves like that, or not yelp at the welling blood. He made a low sound more a moan than anything I’d ever heard from him before, drawing my eyes up to his face.
Eyes closed, head tilted back, his body stance braced, he looked like he was in the throes of some really good head, not bleeding.
“Are you okay?” I asked softly, edging closer, as drawn irresistibly to him as the moon draws the tides.
“I’d forgotten.” His voice vibrated and hummed, low and bass.
He shook himself out of the daze enough to give me that cocky warrior smile that made me want to punch him. Or drag him off to my room. Holding his finger out above the fountain, he dripped blood into the water. Uh-oh. I was starting to realize exactly what he was doing.
“Are you opening the gate again?”
“Precisely. Not a traveling gate, though. I believe she hid the spear here in this garden. Do you see anything in the water?”
I couldn’t tell if the fountain was original to the palacio or not, but it was gorgeous. The bottom circular tier contained flood lights beneath the water. A smaller, higher tier spilled into the lower, providing a beautiful water feature for the garden. Perfectly trimmed hedges combined with palm trees and lush growth, a semi-private oasis in the midst of Antigua.
“No. You think the spear that killed you is hidden here? Why do you even want it?”
“Any weapon that bears my blood is a powerful tool in the hands of my enemies. The spear that took my mortal life will possess a destructive force greater than any weapon your technology could create. In the hands of a demon, who knows what it could accomplish? In my hands, I could hold back all the powers of Xibalba.”
“The woman who built this hotel was Alvarado’s daughter.” I hesitated, wondering if he’d really thought about my heritage. I was a very distant descendant of his greatest enemy. “I guess it’s possible that she might have inherited his spear and hidden it here.”
“Did you ever wonder why a Tlaxcalan princess came to be with Alvarado, a man all Maya despised?”
I couldn’t help but wince at his choice of words. Turning my attention to the fountain so I wouldn’t have to see his reaction, I trailed my fingers in the water. Still warm from the day’s sunlight, the water felt uncomfortably alive, clinging to my skin like a glove. “I assumed she was tribute, given to him to save her people.”
“She was given to their enemy to save her people, yes. But she possessed a secret that Alvarado never knew, which allowed her to protect and save as many people as possible.”
I could feel his gaze on me, heavy and intent. His nearness made me think about our conversation earlier about fighting, but I didn’t really want to challenge him that way. But tormenting him sounded like a pretty good idea. My cheeks and neck felt too hot, like I’d blushed fiery red, so I splashed a little water on me.
He sucked in a breath, encouraging me to keep teasing him. “How did Luisa save people? She didn’t write about it in her journal.”
“She was a powerful sorceress specializing in a particular kind of magic.”
I sat on the edge of the fountain and scooped more water to splash the tops of my thighs bared by my dress.
“You do realize my blood is in that water?”
I reached for him, threading my fingers through the belt loops of his jeans to bring him closer. “I don’t care. It’s just a drop or two.”
“My blood carries magic.” His voice thickened, rough and low, doing terrible things to my insides. I felt shaken, stirred, and more than ready to be guzzled down. “Mixed with her magic in the water, you’re playing with a veritable explosion.”
I smiled up at him as I inched my fingers over to his zipper. “I’m counting on it.”
His hands closed over mine. “You’re not worried about being seen?”
I glanced up at the hotel surrounding us on all sides. The place had gone still and quiet after the zombie attack. According to Jose, there hadn’t been many visitors to the area thanks to earthquakes and the viral scare down at Lake Atitlan. If anyone was still here other than Natalie, I’d be shocked.
I tugged at my fingers, but his grip didn’t lessen. My sultry smile slipped, my eyes narrowing. “There’s hardly anyone here and the trees are thick and tall enough that no one would see anything.”
Soothingly, he rubbed his thumbs on my palms, even though he didn’t release me. “You’re affected by the magic of this place, whether you know it or not. I cannot take advantage of what you’re unaware of.”
“So you often play in fountains?”
Without even realizing it, I’d slipped back deeper into the water. The lower half of my dress was soaked, my rump decidedly soggy. And I didn’t even feel it.
Or maybe I had felt it, because warm, molten heat flowed between my thighs. The more I looked up into his the harsh angles of his face, the more I ached.
Gently, he pulled me up out of the water. I clung to him, pressing against him even though I was soaked. His erection thudded against me and I groaned out loud. “I had some decidedly wicked things I want to do to you.”
“And you may still do those wicked things. Later. Right now, we need to free the spear. Alas, your magic is the key, Cassie. My own cannot free it.”
“I don’t have any magic.”
His big palms settled on my hips and turned me away from him. I nearly sobbed at the loss, until he pressed against my back, keeping me flush against him. Now this I could definitely get used to.
“You have great magic, especially in this place.” His voice had crossed over to feral growl territory, making me burn hotter. “Especially here, at this fountain, where your ancestor’s magic dances in the water, fed by my blood.”
He lifted me to kneel on the lower tier and then leaned against me, hard enough to push me forward. I gripped the upper tier to keep my balance. He covered me. Not holding me down in any way, but he was so big, so powerful, I’d have no chance of escape. Without exerting himself one iota, he’d be able to dominate me completely. My pulse skyrocketed, my heart thundered. Exactly the way I like it.
“Sexual magic,” he growled against my ear. “She had the power to bring a man to his knees. Even a man like Alvarado. As do you.”