Excerpt for Kiss of Stone by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


KISS OF STONE



J D CLANDICE

He had to be male.


The eyes were not unlike the gray-blue ones of a wolf. He seemed…vampiric.

He walked up to Samosa with a seductive smile on his face. Long, black curly hair bounced against his pale white skin and was clad in tight black leather pants and jacket. Up close, Samosa could see there were some male features: a strong jaw and all male rippling abs that stretched days down to his lower region.

“I’m Lex,” he said.

Deep voice.

He pierced his tongue, a very long tongue- much like a snake’s and took Samosa’s face in his hands.

“What do you think I am?” He asked.

“I thought you were a girl for a minute there.”

He threw back his head and laughed, revealing a prominent Adam’s Apple. “I can take you to a room and prove to you I am far from a girl. And more than a man.”

“N-no thanks. I believe you.” Samosa smiled and Lex not only placed his tongue on hers; he did what the others did not do. He sealed their lips together in a most passionate way, holding their kiss and bringing her toes to a curl.

The buzz that began earlier took her on flight with that last kiss.

She finally felt weightless.

And free.


Kiss of Stone

Published by Smashwords


Copyright 2017 J D Clandice

All rights reserved

Cover Design by Erica Jean Smith using Canva


This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Dedication

First, thanks and praises go to my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus. Secondly, heartfelt thanks to my readers who have downloaded the short book, Book 1: Mark of Fortune when it was available.

You are the reason for my zeal to write.

Thank You.



Part 1: Falling for a Genie

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Part 2: Elope With the Night

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

About the Author and Bonus



CHAPTER ONE

Her gaze penetrated the lecturer. She wrote only what she thought she needed to and would prick the side of her full lips with the end of her yellow #2 pencil. She would sigh and write more down on her notepad while the rest of the students used e-tablets and net books. Stone licked his lips and looked at the clock: 2:15. The group of community college students rose in unison, talking and whipping out their car keys. Time to go.

He went over to the woman who was still writing something down in her notebook. The pencil’s pointed lead pecked and twirled the paper hard, as if the woman was punching the paper with the writing utensil.

He said “excuse me” once. She continued her scribbles, hands the color of brown Earth, hair swept into a ponytail. “Excuse me,” he said for a second time, this time touching her shoulder.

“What.” Her throaty statement was hard and devoid of emotion.

“I’m your classmate, Stone.”

The woman let her pencil fall and for the first time let her eyes move from the poor stabbed notepaper to Stone’s face. He’d never seen her color eyes before. Like melting gold.

He must have stared too long because she raised a finely shaped eyebrow at him before snapping up her books and tucking her pencil in the upper fold of her right ear.

“Do I know you? Do you need something?” She looked at him warily. Normally a female would be swooning over him- happy he gave them some kind attention.

“I notice you, uh,” he fished for some kind of truth. “You leave later than most. You don’t drive?”

The woman made a pained look with her gold eyes before answering. “No. I don’t.” She moved around the small desk. Stone caught the scent of some floral scented lotion, like rose petals.

“I can take you home. I mean, if you don’t mind riding with a stranger.”

She raised an eyebrow again. I’m shooting in the dark here. If I can’t reach her then-

“The last time I rode with a stranger, I married him and he promptly dish ragged me in three years.” She gave a sarcastic smile. “I’m not a repeat offender.”

She left the classroom in a hurry. Stone gathered she would be at the nearest bus stop for college students to wait for their bus transfers.

He spotted her sitting on a graffiti stained wood bench beneath a canopy of trees. Her hips spread out like smooth butter-her blue jeans filled to bursting. Her red top was small however to fit her even smaller bosom.

“The buses will be very late,” Stone said.

“How do you know?” The woman moved so the elderly man next to her could sit. His cane had the head of a cobra on the end, it was bronze, and the sun glinted off of it, casting a shaded gold circle in the middle of the woman’s forehead.

If he told her all of his secrets now, she would call him psycho. “I overheard some students talking.”

She narrowed her eyes to slits, suspicious. “Well, I’ll go into the cafeteria to wait.”

“I don’t know your name.”

I can give you mine” someone said. The woman and Stone both saw a brunette with long legs and sparkling pink eye shadow. Stone cast a fleeting glance at Pink Eye Shadow Girl before asking his classmate’s name again.

“You know my name.”

“Your real name. The professor calls you Sam.”

“Samosa.”

Stone felt his smile grow. “With a name like that, I can give you a lift and buy you a drink.”

Samosa looked to the left at what Stone assumed to be some Disney Channel castaway teen girl.

“I’m not sure.” She shook her head.

Stone stuck out his hand. “I’m on my way to Wire Wings.”

Samosa crinkled her face, but took his hand. Stone’s hands were the color of Egyptian sand.

“I have not been there in while.” She stood up. The Pink Eye Shadow Girl made no qualms about smacking her lips out loud.

Stone let her hand lay in his, he was careful not to curl his hand around hers. A woman with emotional scarring was dangerous water to tread. Samosa handed him her two books and purple notebook and let him walk her to his car. He was shocked she let it go this far….did she have something important to do at home? He held the door open for her. She smiled, said a barely audible “thank you” and slid inside.

If Stone could gaze forever into her eyes, he would. Instead, he settled for getting into his silver 2012 Elantra and turning on the AC, happy to have her close to him.

“ What’s your major?” He asked her as they pulled away from the school zone.

“Liberal Arts. I’m just not so sure what I’m going to do with it yet.”

“There’s time. Usually you wouldn’t know until after graduation or if you transfer to a university.”

“I let time slip away. I’m too old for time.”

Stone coughed. He had just sailed through a red light and quickly caught another one. He looked at her profile. Smooth skin, slightly chubby cheeks and eyes which lit with a fire he had not seen in years.

“You’re kidding. How old do you think you are?”

She laughed bitterly. “I feel eighty five, but I’m really only thirty.” She cut her eye at him. “Minus the flirty part.”

“You are beautifully young,” he smiled and floored the car through the next exit to Wire Wings. “Wire Wings- the only place to grab a laptop and wireless service while your fingers are wet with BBQ.”

“Now I remember the slogan: Catch the net, grab a chick. Wire Wings.” Samosa drummed her fingers on the side of his car. “Corny but I love chicken. As you can see I adore eating. Period.”

Stone surmised that Samosa might weigh at least 150 or 155 at the most. She was truly very wide in the hips-super curvy; but it gave her a spicy flair she obviously was not aware of.

“Here we are,” he announced once they arrived to the restaurant where a waving banner on top of the roof featured a large, scrumptious picture of red chicken and floating forks suspended from a laptop.

Samosa wrapped her arms around herself. “You really didn’t have to take me here. I don’t have any money.”

“It’s alright. We’re classmates, colleagues. You need a way home and I need to eat so let’s kill two birds with a…chicken.”

“Alright.” Samosa let him open the door for her.”Just don’t tell any more corny jokes.” She reminded him of a scared rabbit placed in a sea of dogs and foxes. Her eyes grew large.

She is really afraid of people. Stone opened the door for her and the blast of cool air chilled them both. It was dark inside, but each table was dimly lit with an oriental decorated lamp suspended from the ceilings.

They picked a booth by the window. There were no waiters here, only cashiers and cooks. “What would you like? I think the menus are tucked in here,” Stone plucked a glossy menu from behind the napkin dispenser. Samosa took it from him.

“I’ll take the wing basket with a salad on the side.” She put the menu back.

“Drink?” He offered.

“Sprite. Please.”

Stone went up to the counter and told the red haired teen their orders. Stone really didn’t have to eat. It wasn’t a must, but to humor the society around him he would feast anyway. Bon Appetite.

When he got back to Samosa, he saw that she had taken off her jacket. She was lightly fingering the edge of the table.

“You never told me your major.” She said tapping the top of the table.

“Education.”

“Wow. I wouldn’t have pegged you as a future teacher.” Samosa surprised him by looking him directly in his eyes.

“Oh. I know lots of stuff. Might as well teach it.” He said. He knew too much.

“I wanted to be a teacher once,” Samosa spoke through his thoughts. Her voice was no longer hoarse and tainted with malice. She seemed…comfortable.

“What happened?” Stone was sorry he asked for she dipped her head back down again and he missed those eyes. Those lips.

“I had dreams once. Some of them I destroyed all my own. The rest was because of a poor choice tangled up with a guy who just-” She shook her head. A drop of water hit the table. Tears. Then another. Stone grabbed napkins and handed them to her.

“It’s okay. Don’t speak of that anymore.” He watched her dab at the corners of her eyes.

He heard their order number called and went up to grab the two baskets of wings and their large drinks tucked under both his arms.

A number of nearby college students began to pour in. The Pop/Rock station played funkier tunes that the younger crowd knew every word to. Samosa blinked at them as if she were an alien and landed on the exactly wrong planet.

“I take it pop music is not your cup of tea.” Stone said, setting the drinks down.

She pulled the meat off the chicken bone with her teeth. Chewed. Swallowed. “Nah. I like 90s music better. It holds a bit more meaning and memory for me.”

Stone liked that. “Meaning and memory huh? That’s what art does to me.”

Samosa sipped her drink. Her golden eyes wide with understanding. Stone knew then that they shared an “artsy” connection. “Right”

He ate his food, afraid she would notice he didn’t touch a thing. Watching this woman eat was amazing though. She massacred her chicken with gentle licking first, and then she would chomp down on all the edible parts. Spat out the bones.

She did this until her basket was done. When she reached for her drink, Stone was embarrassed his meal was still unfinished.

“You must be watching your figure.” She said.

“I guess the breakfast I had earlier was bigger than I thought.” He took up their baskets, dumped hers in the trash and got a doggie bag for his. “Want to sit and chill a minute?”

“I’m not sure that’s best. I really need to leave. And I appreciate your spending the money too. I’ll pay you back.”

“Why bother? I offered.”

“I understand that, but I have to do what is right.”

Stone touched her hand. He felt that sizzle, like touching something after rubbing your feet along the carpet too long. It was static. It pinged to his heart and other regions. She must have felt it too and pulled her hand away.

“You cannot do what is right without money, Samosa. Don’t worry about it. Let’s go.” Stone led her through the throng of people streaming internet over the wires and plugging in their millions of gadgets. He understood why Samosa decided to write in a notebook. You needed batteries or USB ports now just to do simple things.

“Why is your name Samosa?” He asked her once they were in the car and on the road again. She looked far away in thought, her arms hung by her sides. “My father’s name was Sam. Mom’s name is Rosa. Samosa.”

“Ah.” He asked her where she lived and she gave him the directions, naming something called Serenity Hope.

The afternoon sun waned and turned the sky a pinkish hue. Bugs began to chirp and sing and many of them caught their death against Stone’s windshield. Their bodies smacked hard against the glass.

He noticed that Samosa was still not as chatty, which was good because it meant she said something of substance to those she communicated with.

“You don’t look like you’re from here. Your accent isn’t American, French, or Spanish. In fact I never heard it before.”

Surprise number two. But he was prepared to give a semi honest answer.

“I lived all over,” he said. “Literally. Ever since I was a small child.” Stone winced when he thought of his painful past. Now it was his turn to clam up over bad memories. A million bad memories.

“If you don’t wish to talk about it, I totally understand.”

“Thank you.” Stone turned into the parking lot of what looked like a simple brick textured church with a white cross on top and a smaller brick building adjacent to it. She’s homeless. And she is in school.

“This is it. You can park by the bench over there. It’s my reading slash study spot.” Samosa had her hand on the handle, Stone pressed his hand over hers, stopping her movement of getting out.

“You have your things in there?” He pointed to the church where several people were lining up to get inside.

Samosa bit her bottom lip and looked down. “My things were stolen this morning. Math book and math folder, toothbrush. My whole bag.” She pushed herself out of the car.

This was the moment- the moment he could tell her the truth; the moment that he should tell her that since birth she had something so special marked on her that it would make all of her dreams come true.

He watched her solid form enter the long thread of people. Some wore tattered clothes. The others had on expensive looking attire- but maybe that was all they had. He could even smell well seasoned tomato soup and warm bread.

Stone got out of his car and leaned against the door. His eyes still trained on Samosa. Like a sniper with the red light beading on a potential victim. She was slightly shorter than most people and the only thing which stood out from her were those honey-gold eyes and those cleverly shaped hips of hers.

She was not a movie star darling, or airbrushed to look unreal. In fact, to most she was just a plain woman attending community college. A divorcee.

Stone didn’t know how long he stood there watching her. He knew it had to be well past four now. The sun was low, but it was a very warm Spring. He looked past the building and saw many trees lining the area to the far left of the shelter. There were office buildings off to the right. One thing he knew though: Those office buildings were occupied by those not leaving their jobs.

So the shelters stay packed.

“There’s no room.” Samosa came up alongside him. “I have nowhere else to go.”

“Come with me.” Stone offered to her. Trying to keep from smiling.

“It’s sort of your fault for keeping me out late.”

“You had a choice. Besides you think I’m going to feed you and leave you outside in the dark?” Stone waved his hand over the car. “Go on, get inside.”

Samosa eyed him in a strange way. The way she stared moved something inside of him. She shook her head and sighed. “Fine.”

“Did you need to get anything? Like an overnight bag, toothbrush, some pencils or something?” Stone was unsure as to all she would need.

“Why are you being so nice to me?” Samosa fired at him. The rage from earlier has returned.

“I will tell you why once we get you squared away.” Stone had to keep things going in his favor.

“Alright. If you can somehow purchase me a new math textbook and a three pronged folder,” she held out three fingers and pointed to each one with her left index finger. “Find me a new bag, and a whole bunch of other stuff that was taken from me today I will be nice.”

Samosa topped it all off with a smile that could have broken a storm for sunshine.

“Deal.” Stone drove down Coliseum Drive and made a left, keeping straight until the turnoff at Walmart. Samosa waited until he came around to open the door for her, she thanked him and they both went inside the supercenter.

She picked out a book bag with enough deep pockets to carry her soap and toothbrush and she picked up a few washcloths and some pearlescent peach colored lotion.

Next, Stone watched her gather some notepads, notebooks and pencils and pens. Finally he grabbed up some soup and bread.

When they got into the self checkout line, Stone pulled out his credit card, swiped and helped with her bags. He saw how she watched him through narrow eyes. Perhaps she was careful because nice guys could be murderers, rapists, con artists.

He was neither.

Although she should still be careful…

“Ready?” He carried all of their bags, not wanting her to strain herself at all.

Once he popped the trunk and put everything inside of it and closed it. Samosa tapped him on the shoulder.

“You are,” she began slowly shaking her head, eyes wide in disbelief. “The kindest person on the planet right now. I never-“He saw her eyes water up and she promptly went to the passenger side and got into the car.

Stone looked around him. People were everywhere. Shopping. Carrying babies. Playing with their siblings. It seemed that even though they had bad times, all Samosa would see are their good times.

Her time would come soon enough, if only she would let her guard down a little more. Stone got into his car and they drove in silence. Samosa’s thoughts were so loud he shivered. Not that he was a mind reader. He knew of one, but he could tell by her body language, her scent, the few words she did speak, that she would be a tough shell to crack and has been damaged beyond repair.

He knew her breath would be taken away after the hour drive, only to be standing in front of his massive home.

“You live here?” She asked very surprised.

“Yeah. It’s okay,” he smiled at her and took the bags from the trunk. He hit the car alarm from his keychain and did a quick intake of air through his nostrils. He had to do this for safety reasons. To scope out enemies.

They walked up the circular driveway which was neatly paved but well lighted. The garden smell of the ground was fresh, even the stairs had been cleaned.

“I don’t understand. What is it that you do to get a place like this? Why are you in college at all?” Samosa asked while he waved a hand over the bio-scan beside the door. It opened immediately and the fresh aroma of potpourri greeted them, along with his Golden Retriever Sugar Rocks.

The dog woofed, and pounced, landing his paws on the front of Samosa’s shirt. Stone was not surprised that she responded well, patting the dog gently on his head.

“What’s his name?” She said rubbing behind the dog’s ears.

“Sugar Rocks.”

Samosa blinked a few times. “Hey Sugar Rocks,” she cooed.

“This is my humble home. I’ll place your bags in one of my guestrooms and we can talk.”

***


Samosa let out the air she’s been holding onto ever since they pulled up to his palace. That’s right. A palace. She watched as Stone carried her bags effortlessly to another room, down a long hall. Sugar Rocks bounded off in another direction of the house. He barked once. Twice.

He is much too nice and much too handsome! Why in the world is he helping me at all? Samosa thought about the prissy girl at the bus stop with the thin figure and supermodel smile. Why am I here and not someone younger? More attractive?

Stone told her to make herself comfortable. He went down a long hall and made a left turn. Samosa, as curious as she was, could not sit down. She took to the winding, white stairs leading to the visible top landing where huge paintings depicting demons, angels, and warriors hung on the wall. They looked pretty authentic sitting in fancy gold frames. She took off her shoes so as not to ruin the plush, gray carpeting. Stone gray, she thought.

Two doors. One to her left, the other on her right. The one on the right was closed so she went left where the door was slightly opened. She pushed it farther aside and saw it was empty-just a small room with one window facing west.

She took a breath and walked out and to the door on the other end. She felt an odd, creepy sensation. Like her feet were filling up with electricity. When her hand touched the cool doorknob, it was a stimulating experience. She felt a vibration throughout her entire body.

She turned the knob. The door was not locked. Slowly pushed it in. The door swung back, nearly taking her body with it. Where the room on the left was bright inside, this room held darkness. It would swallow the light. She felt her body zing alive again and there was a curvy teapot looking lamp. Aladdin’s lamp? It gave off the only light in the room, softly glowing.

“Do you have any tattoos on your body? Anywhere?”

Samosa jumped when she heard him. She hoped he didn’t mind her little snooping problem. “Not really. No.”

“You must be lying. You have some kind of marking on that gorgeous body of yours.”

Samosa cringed but was excited too. She did have a mark but he couldn’t see it. Even her mother never knew what it was. It has always been there. How did he know?

“I have to know so you can see what I do.” He gently but smoothly guided her out of the room and back downstairs, where they sat in the main area filled with soft cushioned sofas.

“You remove strange birthmarks? In that case you can inspect it all you want.” Samosa joked sitting down.

When she observed that Stone was not laughing with her, she stopped abruptly and turned her back to him. She waited. Anticipated feeling those hands on her. What will he say?

She felt the ends of her shirt ride up. Each quarter of her back exposed to him. Amazingly he did not touch her at all. All she felt was the movement of her shirt.

“Hold it up for me.” He requested. She did. “My, oh my. I don’t believe it.”


CHAPTER TWO


Stone knew his mouth was hanging open too long. His throat began to itch and then dry. He wanted to touch her so badly. This heart symbol drawn to perfection over her entire back was an inky black mark.

The mark extended past her back, down her lower back to beginning of her hips and derriere. That’s when he reached out to touch it, with just one finger. He heard her quick intake of breath.

Her skin was very warm and satin soft. “You’ve had this since birth.” He whispered.

“Yes. My birth mom, Rosa thought I was strange when she saw it. That’s why she always had me wear long shirts even to the beach. Eventually the church got to her mind and told her to give me away. They also say that is why my real father is dead.”

Stone’s head and heart ached for Samosa right then. This was a woman with a broken soul.

“I have something to show you then,” He got up and watched her roll her shirt down quickly. He pushed up his t-shirt to reveal the exact same pattern over his chest. He saw her lick her lips and caught her blushing a few times but she looked astounded when she saw the symbol drawn over him.

“I don’t understand.” She said.

“We were meant to help one another.”

“Oh.” She said. Then shook her head again. He wanted to yank that red bow from her hair and let it swing free so he could twine of his fingers in those curls. “I still don’t get it.”

“What is it you want, Samosa. Right now? What do you want, right at this moment?”

She bristled and patted her shirt down in the front. “There is something I want more than anything, but with it I would want more and then I would be unable to keep it.”

Stone was not following the riddle, but if it made sense to her, and then it was her truth. She wanted something she thought she couldn’t obtain. That was fine. He has been there.

Maybe he should slowly weave her into his world. This could get nasty real fast.

“Do you believe in those things which you can’t see?”

“Right now the only thing I can believe and trust is myself. I see myself every day. I know my weaknesses and capabilities. Right now I don’t trust myself or you since we have the same mark.”

Stone wanted to tell her quickly why she bears his mark. Not now. She has endured enough all her life. Why explain it now to her?

“When a person is born, they are given special marks. No person can really decipher these marks and doctors quickly call them a birthmark.

“However, what you and I have are marks clearly and darkly imprinted since birth. It is a mark of fortune.”

Samosa blinked. “Can I have some water?” She scooted uncomfortably on the chair. Stone went into his massive chrome finish kitchen, filled a tall glass with purified water from tap and handed it to her. She commented how ice cold the water was.

“I have clean, cool water pumped throughout the house. The Jacuzzi upstairs clearly is untouched by the coolness.” He winked.

Samosa touched the glass to her lips and drank in a few sips. “I don’t think I’m fortunate. That theory is bunk.”

Stone was about to tell her the truth when his cell phone buzzed in his pocket. “Excuse me.” He walked into the foyer to answer it.

“I take it you found your mark, Stone of the Ice Rings.” The Grand Marid, head of their kind spoke eloquently into Stone’s ear. It scared him how diplomatic the Grand Marid sounded to people on the phone and yet he had the power to kill at the snap of his fingers.

“Yes, I think I found her.”

“Her.” A statement. Not a question.

Stone thought this one through. “I found her. In my class of all places. She was there all this time and today I picked up the psychic waves, her scent. She definitely bears the mark.”

“Good, good. So do what you have to until the next moon and I will hand over the rest of your powers and extend your life. This should be easy for you.” The Grand Marid paused. “If you want to move from a degenerate to almost as great as I.”

“I’ll do it. Just give me some ti-.”

“Are you demanding me?” The Grand Marid let out a hearty laugh that was a cross between nails scraping on the board and crashing waves against the rocks.

The Grand Marid hung up on that note. Stone hit the END button and came back to where Samosa sat sipping her water, looking lost.

He only had this moment, this time to get her to speak his language which was the most sensual of strokes to humans.

He pushed a few buttons on his touch screen phone and held it out to her.

“Can you pronounce these words?” The screen glowed, reflected in those beautiful eyes of hers.

She squinted. “Bring it closer.”

He did and he saw her silently pronouncing the long string of letters and words. Finally she pronounced the words aloud and the sound was like a sensual melody to him, played on a harp, tickled on a piano.

Her breathing become erratic, her chest moving up and down in waves, her face flushed a deep red and her hands ran down the length of her jeans.

“Wh-what just happened?” She shook as a leaf; he came over and put his hands on her shoulders.

“Do you trust me?” He asked. She shook her head no. He didn’t blame her, yet it didn’t prevent him from scooping her up in his arms and carrying her to the top floor where the bubbly hot tub and the dome which overlook the city and into the sky, lay waiting for them.

“What are you doing,” her words dragged, sounding drunk.

“You are about to receive everything you ever wanted.” He peeled off her sneakers and socks before he placed her on his bed. He had an idea. “Want to go change? I have some swimsuits in the bathroom.”

“No.” Samosa rubbed her temples. “Just tell me why I’m here.”

“I’m a jinni.”

“A what?” Samosa asked distracted by Stone rubbing the pad of her feet in a circular motion. Her feet were so soft- like wet baby skin.

“Sorry. Ever heard of genies? Well, it is what I am.” He slid his thumb firmly up the underside of her feet.

“I really think you’re on drugs.”

“It’s true. I know more about you than you think I know.” He moved to the other foot while Samosa looked ready to pass out. “All I have to do is touch you for a long period of time.”

“What a cheap way to try and bed me, Stone.”

He was prepared for that one. Pulling her head toward him and layingit on his shoulder, stroking her hair. He made sure his skin made contact with hers. Her cheek. His cheek.“Okay, how about this,” he kissed her forehead. “You stole Barbies from your best friend’s house one year. Then felt so guilty about it, you snuck them in your huge coat and brought them back the next year.”

“I never!”

“Oh yes you did. You may have been their friend but when you visit you took things from them when you thought no one was looking.”

Samosa’s mouth formed a perfect O as it began to dawn on her that Stone was not normal. “You’re a psychic.”

“I’m a jinni. And no, we do not pop out of a lamp when you stroke it. It is more complicated than that.”

“So why am I chosen? Why am I chosen by you? What did I do to deserve this?”

“You don’t have to do anything. A human is assigned an angel from birth, however sometimes crap still happens to you. I’m sure you agree.”

“Yeah.”

“So. Very long story short, jinn are different. We grant requests. Perfectly and immediately I am here for you. You bear the mark that so perfectly resembles mine for some odd reason- so whatever you want you can now have and I am at your service.”

“Just like that?” She sounded more awake this time.

“You’ve spoken the hidden words to unlock my power and now I have to obey,” Stone bowed low and kissed her big toe.

“Do you woo all your subjects like this?” Samosa shyly placed her feet behind her on the bed, away from Stone’s lips.

“Not really. I had a few people who were men- but they did not bear the mark. Only one bears the mark for everlasting fortune and not just three standard wishes.”

“It’s awkward because you feel this connection with them and it’s like a drug and the person is so drawn to you. It’s as if you are in love,” Stone smiled at her. “Nothing romantic comes of it though. I have a different preference…”

Samosa nodded. Stone realized she was beginning to understand.

***


The shiny glint in Stone’s eye when he talked about others he has granted wishes for, set her mind on a different plane. A higher plane. Were jinn for real? She had to know for herself. Any wish in the world? Just for her? After she wished, then what?

Stone asked her again to put on a bathing suit. She wasn’t a size two anymore she complained but went into the bathroom anyway and found the room beautiful and large. The tub was at least twenty feet away and there were two closets coated in ivory she pulled open.

The swimsuits hung in an assortment of rainbows and with tags still attached to them. Great. Her eyes went to a black swimsuit with a gold sarong attached.

Perfect.

After climbing out of her clothes, folding them up and neatly placing them on the white chest next to the closet and finally climbing into the stretchy suit, she found herself avoiding the life size mirror.

“Beautiful.”

Samosa jumped. Stone came behind her and stood only a few inches from her. Her eyes caught his reflection in the mirror. He spoke like a snake.

“Thisss was made for you. Black as the night. The color of night means power.”

“I thought it was purple for royalty.” Samosa countered.

He chuckled and that’s when she felt the heat of his hands land on her hips. “In my world black is the color of those most powerful.”

When she thought about it, she wasn’t really that big anymore. After many walks to the bus stop, eating nothing but Ramen noodles and soups, her legs were not so large and her arms and chest were not big(her chest never was big).

“Thanks for the lesson,” she tried to move from the mirror. Stone held her waist fast.

“We’re not leaving until you say you are the most beautiful woman in the entire world. Say it.”

“No.”

“Say it.”

“I am the most beautiful woman in the world.”

She didn’t believe the words and so they never left the bathroom until she could yell she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

It took her five tries.

***


Stone pulled on every last one of Samosa’s words as she chatted away in the hot tub full of bubbles. She said it has been a while since she soaked in a tub and he was glad she liked it.

He took joy in seeing her more fully now. Jinn were carnal creatures and enjoyed the flesh and the spirit of a human. It was their food. Her body was slick and body flushed red, her brown skin was like a huge Kit Kat bar to him and her hair was finally let loose from the band allowing springy curls to bounce and dance around her heart shaped face.

Her husband should be smacked with the dumb stick. He left a beautiful, smart woman to play with another woman? Absurdity ruled men’s hearts these days which is why it was so easy to manipulate them, take their spouses and girlfriends and make them pay. Women were devious little cockroaches too, but Stone loved women more. Not girls. Women.

“What are some things people have wished for from you, Stone?”

“Why?” He relaxed his head against the cushion on the edge of the tub.

“I don’t want to wish for the same things. My wish should be unique.”

“You are unique,” Stone said now moving towards her. “You are extraordinarily unique.”

Samosa placed her arms behind her pushing against the edge of the Jacuzzi, trying to lean back away from him.

“Did they wish for money?”

“That’s the one I get all the time,” he said.

“Lord knows I need it.”

“Wish it then.” Stone thought she needed a bit more coercing, so he leaned in close to her sweet neck and lightly grazed his teeth along the length of it.

“Oh! Please don’t.”

“Ask then.” He said under her hesitation. Her hand went to his hair and she ran her short nails across his scalp causing his loins to fill with hot blood. Just from a simple touch like that set him on fire. Who was this woman?

“Should I ask for beauty?” She was half joking.

“Negative,” he said out of breath. “You have the beauty part down pat. Can’t you tell from my reaction?”

“I know what I want more than anything,.” Samosa looked into his eyes. Her golden eyes, lined in black had begun to twirl and twirl, like a whirlpool, her lashes wet with water and the sound of the jets could be heard beneath them.

“I wish for my cancer to disappear.”

He watched as she touched her head. Her hair moved in unison with her hand and with one pull the hair slid off revealing a smooth bald, brown head. Her eyes stood out catlike, but full of sorrow.

“Turn your back to me,” he said huskily. She did as he said; the water gently lapped between both their legs, her body fell snugly into his. He never told her to lean back but her faith in him was unwavering and true.

“You’ll feel something pierce you directly into your back, it will be my…tentacles filling in the small holes.”

He felt Samosa tense, her shoulders hunched up. He continued: “This is so once I insert them into you; we will be bonded. Mere words can’t ask for something to be done the right way every time.”

Samosa remained quiet, but he saw her cut her eyes at him. She wanted to see what monster he’ll become just to help her. He prepared himself by meditating on something beautiful. The process in growing these whip-like things was arduous to say the least and stupid if anyone asked. Plus, the only focus he ever had was an attractive person, not sunshine filled childhood.

Where he came from, there was always ash and smoke and red caverns with ox blood colored stalagmites; the smell of old death…

He concentrated on the curvy woman close to him; her marking pulsated, like a heartbeat. It shook and shimmied, turning clockwise first and then counterclockwise. He closed his eyes and concentrated. The hard part was almost over.

The best was yet to come.

***

Samosa did not know what tune Stone was humming but it was lulling her to a relaxed state she never experienced before, not even in sleep. Showing her baldness was a bold step. Maybe he would have then tossed her out to end this beautiful, mysterious dream.

Instead, he was offering something alien to her. She did not know what to expect, only that if a man or whatever he was could do half of what he promised her, she would no longer have to deal with the sickness or the influx of bills.

And so came the itching and burning sensation on her back. She hadn’t felt that sting in years! Her insides began to feel hot as if boiled in a witch’s cauldron. She grit her teeth. “What’s happening to me?”

Samosa turned her head and was shocked at Stone’s chest heaving up and down and thick, but small, pink fleshy tentacles burst forth in different spots from his mark. His voice was raspy.

Stone’s eyes were filled to a total black and his hands remained on her hips to steady her. She didn’t know whether to feel aroused or frightened. She felt him lean over her back and very close to her ear said,

“The next part is always exciting. Just relax.” He kissed the lobe of her ear and felt something poke her deep into her back. It didn’t hurt, just felt- different. Then several piercings all at once lodged deep into her back. She exhaled loudly and gave a sharp cry when she could feel them all moving inside her at once.

It was the most pleasurable thing in the world to feel. Then she felt Stone’s hands move up slowly from her hips to her ribcage. She couldn’t talk, just close her eyes and relish in this delicious, sensual stroke.

Just as quickly, there were images in her mind. The images were from her childhood but mixed with some of his. She knew the slender boy with the long, black ponytail, riding atop some black winged beast was Stone.

Anything you want, I can sense it. You want to be rid of the cancer in your breasts and your body? I can do that. Do you want this gift?

Samosa’s spirit said yes with all of its might. Her heart slammed hard behind its cage like a wild lion, then her neck, head, entire body felt so hot she thought she would either melt or explode!

What happened next was her lying in complete darkness. She didn’t care if she floated to the bottom of the pool. She would die happy.

***

The Grand Marid stepped inside the house; his eyes darting around like a cat in search of its prey. His walk was slow and methodical, his bare feet glided across the shiny floor.

To Stone he looked hungry. He stood before The Grand Marid and a second later, bowed to the ground, mere inches from kissing the Grand Marid’s feet.“Do you have what I came for Stone of the Ice Rings,” The Marid smiled, revealing two long canines, like snake fangs. His grey eyes were stern, the lids lined with kohl. He could pass for a handsome woman or very, very attractive thirty year old man. Although he was perhaps thousands years old.

“She’s sleeping. I took most of her essence-“

“Most!” The Grand Marid’s voice shook the entire mansion, Stone saw Sugar Rocks leap up the stairs as if fire was chasing him. “Do you want your powers back or not? The request was for a whole soul and you found her. A perfect match!”

Stone’s hopeful thoughts were dashed away. “She has suffered enough, Grand Marid. I took all of what I could possibly take.”

“You could die tonight. I suggest you think happy thoughts of your life and hers right now. With one word I can have her killed.”

“Wait!” Stone held out his hand, daring not to touch the Grand Marid for fear of that same hand being cut off. Literally. “I can get more from her. Tonight. I have a plan.”

“Ah. You wish to make a temporary pet of her.” He tapped his long, black talon along his cheek. Seconds ticked by. “Alright. All I can promise is that you may suffer. Just not at this hour.”

Stone thanked the Grand Marid for his “kindness” and watched as he simply floated through the window and beyond the trees. Those who saw it would think it were smoke from the chimney curling up into the sky and how wrong they’d be.

***

Samosa tried to lift her eyelids but they were so heavy, like invisible tape was binding them permanently to her cheeks. She tried squeezing her eyes them opening them back up. Her whole body felt more alive than it had in two years since her diagnosis, yet she felt she lost something too. What was it?

The memories from the night before flooded back to her and she covered her mouth in disbelief. Stone and her. Jacuzzi. Touching. Things growing from his chest…sex?

No. They did not engage in coitus. This was something so different, so alien. She could not put her finger on it. On top of all this confusion, her head felt hot and itchy.

Reaching upwards, she felt a downy soft, tuft of…hair! She hadn’t had her own hair in ages! She ran her fingers through the silky tresses and it came tumbling down her shoulders. Thick, black and full of curls. Her chest looked a bit more prominent, not small from her lack of eating properly and having two mastectomies. They were there.

It was so bittersweet. It was only sweet because she knew without a doubt she was healed, but what would she do from here?

“I see you’re up.” Stone came in with a plate of food and cup on a tray. It smelled like orange juice, eggs and sausage. An early breakfast.

“Thanks.” She yawned, stretched and leaned her head back on the headboard, then suddenly bounced from the bed hopping around the room even lifted up her shirt, not caring Stone was in the room. “I’m whole again!”

The scars, the bruising was gone. She stood before the full length mirror hanging on the door. Her body was smooth and toned and she still had those dangerous curves which won her many stares from the opposite sex.

“Now you must tell me,” she said going up to Stone and then kissing him fast on the lips. “What did I do to deserve this? Is this a dream? Did I get hit by a truck before I met you and landed in a coma?”

“Neither.” Stone put the tray down on the bed. “You wanted to be healed and so you got it.”

Samosa couldn’t help it, she kissed him again. “Thank you,” she said to him and grazed his lips again. Stone then kissed her passionately. His mouth moved hot against hers, sealing their lips together and then pressed a hand to her head to pull her closer, deepening the kiss.

Samosa was on fire. She wanted more. Her hands searched him everywhere. The breakfast tray crashed to the floor; she tugged at his shirt, unaware at how black her nails have become and how hungry she was for something edible: Him.

Maybe it was him she wanted to eat. She wanted him so bad she got a headache which rapidly reached a feverish pitch. That’s when he stopped her with both of his hands. “I didn’t think this would happen so very quickly.”

“What do you mean?” Samosa kept moving against him, flicking out her tongue each time to taste his lips, cheek, neck. “Don’t you like me?” She whined.

“I really do. More than you know, but there’s something I neglected to mention.”

Samosa felt a hum in the back of her mind. Canceling all rational thought she tried to have, zeroing in on just her desire for him, for his body.

“In order for the Bond to be complete, you must give me your entire soul. It’s like a manipulation system. To work the universe in your favor, I have to tweak your soul to receive what is fortune and it is housed here,” Stone pointed to his bare chest.

Samosa stepped away from him. “You. Took. My. Soul.”

Stone nodded. “Not your whole soul, I changed the essence of it though.” His head hung low now, Samosa stopped touching him, her eyes reverting back to shame and anger at the same time.

“No wonder I feel like some hungry void.” She cursed. “Even my nails are black.” What does that mean?”

“I needed to help you so I can help myself. I am in grave danger.”

Samosa shook her head in confusion.

CHAPTER THREE


Stone braced himself to tell her the truth. She wouldn’t like it but either way when the sun tops the sky and The Grand Marid comes, she will have to be dead, as in not living at all just so he could live. Samosa sat on the edge of the bed; chomping on her food he cooked again-sausages, eggs, and ham. For some reason humans craved anything red and fleshy after giving up their soul. He was prepared for this one.

He told her the entire truth. About how he has taken souls over the millennia and was fed in this way, but this also feeds his Master. It was always a win/win/lose situation because he would always benefit from the souls he can have and exchange for goods (like money), the human gets their fortune but eventually the human will lose. In some cases his kind would lose.

That was rare.

Samosa’s body trembled noticeably as he revealed what every human’s fate would be: Cursed to illness, suicidal tendencies, homicidal, cannibalistic, or just basically reduced to an animal, wanting flesh and to destroy. Then finally put into Limbo which is said to be housed in The Grand Marid’s astral body.

“I know this is confusing and I hate to come off as a liar in the beginning, but I need this from you.”

Samosa sat her food aside, daintily wiped her lips. She wore only his long shirt and nothing underneath and was barefoot. She padded over to his window which overlooked the lawn below and the stars above.

“I knew you were not from here,” she said gravely. “You were too giving. Too nice.” She let her forehead rest on the window’s glass. Stone couldn’t command his feet to stop reaching her. When he did, he slid his hands around her waist.

“There has to be another way.” Samosa sighed. “I may hate this world, but you’ve suddenly given me something that’s been missing.”

“Your health?”

“No.” Samosa took one his hands and gave a feather-light kissed his on his knuckle. “Something to look forward to. My foster mom is a devout Christian. A woman who read her bible daily, she prays daily and gives to the poor. I wanted to be just like her. I thought if I prayed hard enough, long enough, I could be just as happy as she.”

Stone rested his head on her shoulder. “So you do believe in God.”

“Always have,” she answered truthfully, with conviction. “I had to, because then I can be angry at someone and not at a wall or the empty sky. That would be depressing.”

“I’m glad to provide proof of the other side. Now what about the problem at hand? I don’t want to kill you.”

“You can try,” he saw her flex her hands in the reflection of the mirror. “I feel stronger.”

“Not as strong as I am, love. I’d rather pick a less violent way.”

“This coming from a man called Stone?” Samosa faced him; he noticed how the thin bottom and top lids of her eyes became lined in black. A result of the Bond.

“My full name is Stone of the Ice Rings. I was born on the outskirts of Saturn’s rings.”

“Unbelievable,” Samosa pointed to the window, up where the night sky was glittered with stars. “You mean up there? The Saturn?”

“Exactly. So if we can get back to the pressing matter of your soul and The Grand Marid possibly ending my life, I’d like that.”

“Alright. So where does this Grand Marid live? Does he have any weak spots?” Samosa asked while moving past him and to the bathroom.

Stone heard water gushing from the sink. She was probably brushing her teeth.

“He doesn’t live on this plane of the world. He is very shifty and cunning and could be in this room this very minute.”

Stone didn’t hear Samosa respond. He heard the water still running. “Samosa?” He crossed his arms and called her name again.

No answer.

Stone felt as if someone dumped ice on his chest. He grabbed the knob and turned.

Samosa was in The Grand Marid’s clutches, her chin held up with one of his long hands, her legs swung free, eyes were wild and feverish.

“I see why you wanted to risk your life,” The Grand Marid continued, grinning wickedly before running his long tongue across Samosa’s neck and cheek. “I really can be any place at any time.” Stone tightened his fists into a ball and like a cougar, leapt at The Grand Marid.

Mistake.

The Grand Marid quickly lifted Samosa in the air by her jaw,her soft neck exposed and two gentle seconds from snapping.

“I take the low road, Grand Marid.” Stone said defeated. “I ask that you strip me of my powers, of my will and I will become the cursed Nightwalker. Just let me have Samosa.”

The Marid blinked his pretty eyes and slowly lowered Samosa back down to the floor. Her eyes were feral and untamed and he never turned her loose. “To take the curse to save a woman,” The Grand Marid laughed. “Would you be able to live like that?”

The floor met Stone’s knees. He buried his head in his hands. “I know it is much to ask, Grand Marid. But I love her.”

“Heh,” The Marid huffed. “This spoken from someone who probably has children spread across the universe?”

Stone watched Samosa flinch from this bit of news. His trysts across the planet, the stars, and the galaxy were well known. Truthfully, he had lain with hundreds of questionable females through time. However, something was different about Samosa. He needed her.

“You can have her, Stone of the Ice Rings.” The Grand Marid watched Stone through laughing eyes. “But your punishment will be my glory!”

Stone felt as if rocks suddenly settled in his gut. He lifted his head and gave one look into Samosa’s heart shaped face. He knew then the Grand Marid had won.

The Grand Marid licked his pointed choppers while he caressed Samosa’s face. A single stroke which drove Stone crazy. Time ticked on as he held Samosa’s chin high up. He could snap her neck back any minute and Stone would not save her in time. He was fast but not blindingly fast as the monster that stood before him.

The Grand Marid inhaled deeply and blew a gust of frigid air right onto Stone. Stone felt his body shiver and then his arms flailed about. He could hear Samosa’s screams. His leg jerked and his entire body suddenly felt as if ice pokers were jabbing him in his ribcage. It was like a giant tickler that was meant to torture and his lungs felt squeezed.

His original powers were leaving him.

***


They sat entwined under the heavy moonlight. One caressing the other’s face. Another, with exploring hands; tongues dueling. Both bodies void of any clothing. The morning will come and she will no longer see her Stone.

He told her he never suffered a Curse such as this one before so it will be new to them both. They had a disagreement over her soul. She didn’t want all of it back because then her sickness would return and she enjoyed feeling healthy and in control.

Stone then explained he was part of a race who were not kind creatures- typically. Whatever they do is for their own benefit in the end. Samosa said maybe he was the last of his kind. He must have been cut from a different cloth.

That night, Stone made love to Samosa. First, slowly and passionately and then once she became used to him, they blended into one another, comfortably. Both starved for something and needing this Something terribly.

When the morning came, Samosa opened her eyes to the sunlight, used her hand to cover her eyes for the sun’s liquid light slipped through the blinds. Stone was hers and she will love him as he’ll love her forever. Marriage was foreign to him, he told her. It wasn’t for her either. All they had was now.

Rolling over she realized she was the only one in bed. The sheets were tangled from last night. The scent of lovemaking, a sweet perfume hung on the fabric of the pillows and mattress. “Stone?” She called softly.

“Right here.”

Samosa squinted at the blinds. It sounded like he was standing there. “It’s part of my curse, love.”

It was like looking at a misty, digital form of him. “Oh Stone!” She cried and leaped from the bed to stand by him. She caught sight of his finger tracing her face, her hair and then down her neck.

“Can you live in this way? Can you step into a brighter room so I can see you?”

Stone was quiet for a minute before answering. “It doesn’t work that way. Day and night are not only predicated on sun and moon. Our bodies, even yours is programmed to come up with the sun. It’s a physiological thing. Even in a much lightened room I will be invisible. I am sorry, Samosa.”

Her tears bubbled then fell.

Sadly, she would have to get used to this.

Her Nightwalker.

Part 2: Elope With the Night





“But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” [James 1:14-15]





***

He was a genie in love with a human- for real this time.

Stone thought that becoming a Nightwalker would have just one disadvantage: being invisible in the daylight. But knowing how the Grand Marid operates, there was more to it than just that. As soon as Dawn pebbled the earth with her wicked beauty, Stone would feel his heart slow down and then the feeling of being sucked into some ice cold gelatin comes over him and the world becomes semi clear and he can no longer touch what belongs to him: his dog Sugar Rocks, his favorite chair, his books…

Samosa.

Nearly ten months ago he met Samosa Green at the local community college. Actually, he knew of her and watched her for a couple semesters before approaching her. He felt drawn to her. Of course he would. As a jinni, or genie as most contemporaries would call him, he felt drawn to his “would-be masters” because they are the ones whom the wish would be granted.


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