I tied the ferret's leash to the stick shift and pulled off my tee shirt and sports bra and sneakers. I shimmied out of my cargo pants and panties, folded my clothes, and stacked them on the dashboard.
Cooper was already standing naked on the grass, stretching and scratching his back. "No, it's better if you stay in here," he told Smoky.
The dog whined.
"What? Oh, right." Cooper opened the rear door. Smoky jumped out, ran over to a picnic table and peed on the tubular steel leg. He gave himself a good shake, kicked grass onto his mark, and happily trotted back to the car.
Cooper shut the car's doors after Smoky was back inside, then met me on the other side.
"Think wet thoughts," he told me, lightly touching the small of my back and running his hand down to my ass. My skin prickled into goosebumps at his touch. "Think low pressure. The clouds are our audience; make them come."
We walked across the grass to the edge of the trees. Cooper backed me up against the trunk of a red oak.
"This tree's roots touch those in the heart of the Grove," he whispered, planting small kisses on my face. "We're all set to broadcast; let's make it good."
He closed his eyes and started planting soft kisses down my neck, over my breasts. My hormones lit up like Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve.
This is the best job ever, I thought.
He started moving against me, breathing rhythmically in preparation for the chant. I closed my eyes and followed his body's rhythm. There was a brief, stretching sting as he pushed up into me, but after that it was beautiful. I wrapped my legs around his waist and ignored the scratching of the bark against my back. Once we really got going the pain might actually start working for me. I don't think of myself as a masochist, but my wires sometimes get a little crossed.
Anyway. I was glad to have the chant to focus on, or else it would all be over too quickly. Cooper could last for hours, provided I came quietly. But the nightmares had left me with too much pent-up anxiety to have a nice polite little orgasm. I'd be biting, screaming, demanding the obscene application of popsicles ... yeah, I figured the distraction of the spell was going to be a good thing. Silly me.
The old, old words started tumbling out of him, first as sounds that might have been little more than grunts of the ancient pre-humans who lived at the sea and rivers, worshipping the spirits they saw in the cool waters. Then his round grunts grew angles, grew more refined; my mind was filled with an image of a sunburned warlock standing in the reeds of the Nile, begging the gods for rain.
The words were coming out of me, too; my language was different, a tongue that spoke of mists and crashing waves, of broad, gray thunderstorms rolling over windswept North Atlantic islands.
I felt the air around us stir, felt the tiny hairs on my arms and the back of my neck rise. The tops of the trees began to rattle as the wind rose.
Cooper's chant rose to match, changed to something more musical, Western and Eastern in the same breath. I caught a flash of storm clouds boiling above a vast American plain as a medicine man dressed in deerskin and buffalo hide raised his ropy arms to the sky. I could smell the damp plains earth and sweating leather on Cooper's skin.
My chant shifted to match; I spoke the shadow of an old priest in a bear pelt cloak, standing in the dry forest of a new, green land, pouring the last of his mead on the thirsty earth and asking the Father God to grant him and his men a touch of rain.
Then Cooper's body jerked, and his chant was chopped short by his sudden, pained gasp. I heard the scream in my mind, smelled entrails being pulled from a still-living body and thrown on a charcoal fire.
>> Go on to Spellbent: Chapter One, Part 9