By Jiva Fang
Copyright Copyright ÂŠ 2011 by Jiva Fang No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
Cover design by TiaKari Enterprises Excerpts from The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Translated by Jacob Rabinowitz All rights reserved.
Dedicated to: You, who had to hear me whine, brag and bytch. Uoy, who argues about everything. Slish!!!
Acknowledgements Hmmm... Let’s see. First, I must thank Dwayne C. Photography for allowing us unfettered access to your images.
Then… Gotta thank the members of my band: Boogz, Jazz and George: For the suggestions, corrections and the chin checks. For generally being right, but also for sometimes being so wrong that I had no choice but to see the right way. Tana, Mani and Stinky Kashi: For always being hungry; for making me look good every day. I couldn’t sing this song without ya.
BA The Osiris X knows the names of your ba, the form in which you travel our world - the sun. Ba pure of body,
ba bright and unharmed, ba of magic,
ba who causes himself to appear, male ba,
ba whose warm energy encourages copulating. Book of the Dead 15a
KA The Osiris X, may he rest in peace, knows the names of your ka, the aspect of your soul that abides in the ground:
Nourishing ka, ka of food, lordly ka,
ka the ever-present helper,
ka which is a pair of kas begetting more kas, healthy ka,
ka the strong,
ka that strengthens the sun each day to rise from the world of the dead,
ka of shining resurrection, powerful ka,
effective ka. Book of the Dead 15a (tr. Jacob Rabinowitz)
Mikos was hiding. He lay curled up on the floor in front of mamaâ€™s favorite statue. It didnâ€™t matter that the statue stood in the center of a room he had been forbidden to enter. When mama did her chores she always saved this statue and this room for last. The statue was of a very beautiful lady. Mikos had always thought his mama was the most beautiful woman in the world, but the statue lady was even prettier than mama. She sat on a chair covered in robes, and in her arms she held two babies. She looked down at them with so much love, like mama would look at him at night when she tucked him in. Mama would always look sadly at the statue and then hug him so tight. She said it reminded her of how much she loved her Mikos, and how lucky she was to have him, so she always gave it extra special care and attention. He never asked why it made her sad. He just relaxed into the hug until she was ready to let him go.
He was positive that no one would come looking for him in the forbidden room, and so he finally felt comfortable to cry. No one missed him, he was sure of that too. After all, the only time anyone paid attention to him was to tell him to get out of the way. “Go play Mikos, we’re busy.” “No Mikos, you’re too small.” “Don’t touch, you’ll break something.” Someone had even named the new puppy after him, Little Mikos, the nuisance. Mama was the only one who ever stopped to talk to him, the only one who didn’t get mad when he was suddenly there, under her feet. Always happy to see him, she would pretend she needed help with her chores and he would happily follow along as she cleaned the big house. Today Mama was gone. She had an accident on the way home from the market. No one wanted to tell him how it happened but he knew it was his fault. Mama always slipped on the gravel coming up the hill and this time he had not been there to help her. “My little Mikos never lets me down.” Mama would say as he pulled her arm, trying to keep her from falling over. The other day though, he had wanted to play with friends from school instead. Mama had watched him, smiling as she let him run off with the other boys into the field at the bottom of the hill. She left for the market then, but Mikos didn’t stay in the field. He went to another boy’s yard and wasn’t there when mama came home. She had to walk up the hill all by herself and now she was gone. Mikos hugged the base of the statue and heartbroken, bawled himself to sleep.
“There you are, Little One. Everyone is looking for you.” Soft arms pulled Mikos gently away from the away from the statue and into an equally soft lap. Mikos looked up into the face of the statue lady, come to life and holding him close like Mama used to. “Are you real??” The five year old asked in wonder, gazing up into soft brown eyes that were so familiar. “Of course I am, Silly.” She smiled at him and Mikos turned his head to look up at the statue still sitting on the base, wearing the very same smile. The lady looked up at the statue, and sadness deeper than Mikos had ever seen on mama’s face, clouded her eyes. Then she too hugged him the way mama would. “Why does the statue make everyone sad?” “Does the statue make you sad, Little One?” “It makes me happy, because it reminds me of Mama’s hugs. Mama loved the statue.” “Your mama took very good care of this statue for me.” Mikos got a little scared. He knew who the statue lady was now. She owned the big house, and his mama worked for her. All the aunties were afraid of her—they told very bad stories—and now he had been caught in her secret room, and he would get in trouble. He started to cry again, trying to pull away, but the lady held him tightly. “Don’t worry, Little One. I won’t hurt you. I know nothing would happen to my statue when Zelda or Little Mikos are around.”
Mikos stopped crying. The lady wasn’t mad at him; she even smiled when she said his mama’s name. “This statue makes me sad because my babies are gone, and it reminds me of how much I loved them. I think it made your mama sad because she loved me, and because she could never imagine being without her Mikos.” “My mama loved you??” “Yes she did. And I loved her too. Very much.” The lady stood up with Mikos in her arms and walked to a bench which faced the statue. She snuggled him back into her arms and kissed him on the forehead. “I shall tell you why this statue is special. Do you know that I grew up in Egypt?” Mikos shook his head. “I did, and the ancient Egyptians believed that when you die, a part of your soul, called your Ba, stays with your body, and another part called the Ka travels the world. They can come together in the night, when the Ba can leave the body but they cannot stay together because the Ka can’t stay with the dead. If you have a statue or a painting, your Ka can always go home to that. And as long as someone takes care of them, eventually both parts of your soul will be able to come together. That’s why your mama took such good care of my statue, because she knew I wanted the Ka of my babies to have a safe home.” “But mama doesn’t have a statue, what is going to happen to her?” The lady smiled down at him.
“Well, your mama isn’t Egyptian, so I think her soul will be fine. But her body needs to be put to rest, little one, and everyone is waiting, so let’s go to the funeral, okay?” Mikos let the lady lead him out of the room and waited as she locked the door. He was a little saddened because he knew that he would never be able to see the statue again. Now that mama was gone there would be no one to let him in the secret room. In fact, he probably would not live in the big house anymore either. The lady led him out to the hall where the aunties were waiting in their black dresses and tear stained faces, and turning him over to them, she left. After the funeral, Mikos did not see the pretty lady who owned the big house. He spent the next two days in his room crying and sleeping. The aunties would bring him food, and at times he would hear them whispering “What will happen to little Mikos?” On the third day, he woke up late in the evening and there was a key on his night stand. It was Mama’s key to the statue room. Mikos grabbed it and snuck out of the room, down the hall past the aunties’ rooms. He made his way to the secret room and quietly unlocked the door. The lights were off but Mikos didn’t need them. He walked directly to the center of the room and sat down in the same place as before. Leaning back to rest his head against the base, Mikos was surprised to fall into empty space. The statue was gone. He jumped up and ran to the light switch. The statue of the pretty lady had been moved to the right, and two feet to her left, on a tall pedestal was a smaller statue of Mikos’ mama. She stood holding him as a baby; just like she was in the photo she always kept by her bedside. The little boy sat between the statues for a while. He was content knowing that his mama’s soul would be happy in this room and she would always be there when he needed her. After a moment Mikos walked down the hall to the Lady’s rooms. He knew he shouldn’t, but he wanted to thank her for taking care of his mama.
Approaching her rooms, Mikos heard someone cry out, so he quietly pushed open the door and entered. On the floor near the bed on the far side of the suite, outlined by the moonlight, the silhouette of the lady struggled with another figure. Worried, and determined to help, Mikos ran towards them. As he approached, the lady screamed out and abruptly stood. She turned to face him; her eyes seemed to glow red, like coals in a fire. Mikos froze, all the aunties’ scary stories about the lady coming back to him. They’d said she was a night monster; that she ate people. The lady stepped away from the moonlight and started walking towards Mikos, the red of her eyes the only indication of her progress. Mikos tried to convince himself to turn and run away, but his eyes kept getting drawn back to the other figure lying on the floor. Just before the lady reached him a gentle draft blew into the window and swirled around them. A golden glow appeared around the lady, she stopped moving and the red in her eyes faded away. “What are you doing here, Little One?” “I wanted to say… I… ummm, are you okay?” She finished her walk to Mikos, the golden glow about her still the only thing he could clearly see. She gently took his hand and led him back to the door. “Go back to sleep, Little One. I am fine now. Visit the statues as often as you wish, but you must not come back here.” Five years passed before Mikos would ask her about what he’d witnessed that night. Yet another five passed before she would answer or explain the real secret of her statue.
PETRAâ€™S RULES OF CONQUEST
1. Establish Dominance. 2. Identify and isolate the key player. 3. Eliminate Resistance. 4. Leave everyone happy.
Identify and isolate the key player
“Tell me, how does a woman get the reputation you have?” I stopped my fork halfway to my mouth and looked across the table at Markus. I’d finally managed to convince him to go to lunch after three hours of me sitting in the corner of his office. This time was spent alternating between being lectured on how important people were to the company, and being ignored. He’d finally consented at about midday with a promise to show me around the company afterwards. “You interrupt the best chicken parm I’ve had in ages to ask this. Sheesh, don’t you know about big girls and their food?” We’d progressed to a comfortable acquaintance. He had a lot of walls up, and I was making it a mission to lighten him up a bit.
“You’re not that big, cut it out.” “Size sixteen, I’m practically a candidate for an airlift.” “Seriously, I don’t wanna hear you talk like that. Off the record, I think you’re rather, um… lush.” “Lush?” I grabbed his glass and sniffed it. “What did you order to drink? Maybe I oughta get the boss one.” He blushed. My, my, my. The man was something else. He grinned at me, the first real smile since we left the conference room. I was discovering that I liked catching glimpses of the real him. “To answer your question, I’ve had a long career of facilitating deals; takeovers, mergers and acquisitions. In the beginning, I was a very young woman in a man’s world; a very young and effective woman.” “What made you different from every other shark in the water?” “Shark?? I’m wounded. Seriously I am extremely intuitive. It gives me an edge. I am also ruthless and I never lose. I don’t stand for it.” “Never?” “Never! And at eighteen it’s hard for people to accept that. So I was either a bitch or a slut as far as the conquered were concerned.” “Conquered?? Is that what you have in mind for O.I.??” “No, this deal is an honest bailout. A damn near altruistic helping hand. Yes, we want profits from it but more importantly, we really don’t want this company out of business.” 12
“Why not? What’s in it for you guys. This is nowhere near the kind of company that P-Six-T normally invests in.” He was shrewd, and curious. Obviously not a slacker, since he had achieved a position at the company higher than that of the CEO’s own son. He had done some homework on us and things were not adding up for him. I knew there was no way he was going to let me get by with a stock answer. I gave him a half truth, and a mental push. “Let’s just say that there is a guy near the top of the ladder at Ptolemy Tech, who also started out as a boy scout. He suggested the bailout, and our money guys liked the idea.” The push said “ask me out”. I try to get as much work done as possible without vamping the subjects but every once in a while the small uses of power serve me well. He played with the fettuccini on his plate and then, having finally made a decision, looked me in the eyes. “You’re gonna try to convince me, so I can talk to the boss right? Why aren’t you telling him this, and what do you plan on doing if he decides against it?” “I’m not telling him because he has it all spelt out in the contracts, he knows what we are offering. He rules with his heart, and his heart doesn’t want to let go. So he’s convinced himself that we are the bad guys. As for everything else, I am certain it won’t come to this, but we do have a contingency plan.” “I see!” There are very few people in the world I cannot influence mentally. The extraordinarily moral, psychically strong, the previously affected and the occasional genetic weirdo were often untouchable. As Markus checked his watch, I was suddenly afraid that I had found one such person in him. If I couldn’t affect him then I was going to have to reevaluate the situation. 13
That would’ve been bad for the job and for me. Bad for the job because I needed to get it done and he was already a key piece in my plan. Bad for me, not only because the wasted time put me in danger of the hunger which I knew was mere days away from overpowering me, but also because I found myself hoping he would ask me out. Not because of the push, not for the job, but for myself. I wanted to get closer to Markus. I needed to touch and be touched, I needed sex and I wanted him. “We’ve got to head back,” he stood up. “There’s a lot we have to get done before closing.” We walked to the door. Markus placed a very gentlemanly hand at the small of my back and guided me out of the restaurant. As we squeezed thru the crowd at the door, Markus leaned into me and whispered “Dinner tonight?” I nodded, hiding my smile and ignoring my relief. We spent the rest of the day touring the company and I got to see just how much of a cohesive business it was. Markus kept up an ongoing monologue about the merits and standards of the company, but he was preaching to the choir. Ptolemy was already aware of O.I.’s value and by the end of the day I was even more sure that we were doing the right thing. Buying into Octavian instead of buying them out was going to ensure that many good people would be able to maintain their jobs. The way the economy was going, our offer was a great proposition. In addition, we were going to enable the company to continue the work they’d been doing with the Boy Scouts. All in all, retaining everything that Octavian was fighting so hard to keep. I just needed the old man to admit it, and sign on the dotted line.
Sitting on the edge of his desk, I watched Markus shuffle files
back into their rightful places. He’d worked an hour later than everyone else and I was getting restless. I’ve never been big on not being in control of a situation and with Markus it was purely a waiting game. I had to make sure that Cesar saw things my way and I planned on using my time with Markus to ensure that. This meant biding my time and feeling him out. On the other hand, I’d also developed this urge to see him naked on his back under me, and that urge was derailing any rational thoughts. The fact that he’d ditched his jacket and shirt at about 4:30 didn’t help. Say what you like, but the combination of Brooks Bros., muscles and a white tee is now high on my list of turn-ons. While he was oblivious to my drooling, and absolutely focused on business, all I could think was that I needed to get the rest of his clothes off before I lost my mind.
Ideas on how to proceed danced thru my head but in the end I decided the best strategy was going to have to be the ‘tried and true’. Markus had a chivalrous streak a mile wide—must’ve been the Boy Scout thing, but no matter the source, it was going to work in my favor tonight. I enjoy having control of men, and I’d been the same way before gaining my power. In fact, I preferred not using my power simply because it was more of a challenge to bend a guy to my will using only the tools I’d been born with. Nothing like winning a battle of wits against someone before he’s even aware that he’s engaged in one. As Markus turned away from his file cabinets, I plastered an uncertain look on my face and picked up the phone. I held it for a second or two, sighed and put it back down. Markus looked at me expectantly. “What’s the matter?” I cursed softly and waffled a bit. Melodramatic is fun if done right. “I forgot the number for the car service. I should’ve just gotten the rental.” “Where are you staying?” “Hyatt Regency on Peachtree.” “I can take you home. Let’s go.” Just like that he grabbed his jacket, held open the door and calmly waited for me to sashay past him. Damn! I really love being a woman. Markus dropped me off in front of my hotel less than twenty minutes later and told me he was heading back to the office but would be back to pick me up for dinner in two hours. I waited until I was standing in the elevator to call him back. “Hey, I was just wondering why you were heading back to the office?” 16
“Just gonna finish off some work while I kill time until dinner. It’s not really efficient of me to head home right now.” “Oh! I don’t mean to put you out.” How women manage to keep that pouty, sad little voice for entire conversations, I’ll never understand, but it worked for me then. “If you’re still close, why don’t you just hang out here? Save yourself a few trips.” He sounded like he fought with the idea for about a hot second, then said “Ok, since you’re twisting my arm. I’ve only made it as far as the World of Coke, I’ll be back in a few.” “Great, I’m on 22. I’ll let the desk know I’m expecting you.” “22 huh?” He sounded suitably impressed. Only the first 21 floors of the Hyatt were available to the general riffraff. Even the exceedingly rich riffraff didn’t always make it to 22. “Yeah, I like pretty things. See you soon.” About fifteen minutes later I opened the door to admit Markus. I’d traded my black jeans for a black ankle length skirt, with a thigh high split—the better to freak you with, my dear. Getting out of jeans takes thought and concentration. Seduction is all about accessibility, and I wanted to make this seem as spontaneous as combustion. Ha! I closed the door behind him and gestured to the sofa. “I stopped downstairs and tried to snag a last minute reservation at Avanzare. It didn’t work but I was able to pull a string or two, so you have to decide quickly.” I handed him the menu and wine list from the restaurant downstairs and walked to the fridge. “I got Coke and water.” 17
He grinned, “My God!! Woman, are you trying to get me drunk?” “Abso-Smurf-ly!” I handed him a bottle of water and dropped unto the sofa next to him to look at the menu. I’d been unable to convince the manager at Avanzare to give us a table, but being on the 22nd floor had impressed him enough so that without pushing, I’d managed to connive delivery service by a few waiters who were going off shift. Of course, I’m sure the promised thirty five percent gratuity had a lot to do with the altruism of the service. What’s the point of having money and power if you don’t get the perks? I just needed to get the order in before his dinner service picked up. After we ordered, we sat and talked for a while. We covered everything from business to favorite video games. Lust and the job aside, I liked him. Once away from the office he had nothing to prove and let his guard down. Rare as it was, he was someone I could be comfortable with—maybe because he reminded me of another guy I once dated. During a lull in the conversation, I leaned over to pick up my water bottle from the floor next to the sofa. As I straightened up, he slid a finger into my blouse and exposed the curve of my left breast. “What’s this?” He pointed at the two tiny holes tattooed on my chest, and then ran his finger along the fangs that curve away from them. He stopped the caress when his finger met the lace of my bra. At this point I think he realized how intimate he was being and looking a little ashamed, he snatched his hand back. I however, am not one for being bashful. I slid my blouse off my shoulder and pulled the lace away from my breast just enough to expose the tattoo of a snake curling around it. The head rested at the 18
top, fangs retracting from the two holes tattooed on the left side of my cleavage. “Do you know the story of Cleopatra and the asp?” “Yeah, she committed suicide by snake.” “She had been imprisoned, her kids stolen, her love murdered. So, rather than wait for death at the whim of another, she took her destiny into her own hands.” He looked at the tattoo again, then looked up at me. “So, what does it signify on you?” “A few things, actually. Mainly it serves as a reminder that my destiny is always in my own hands.” “Do I sense trust issues?” I laughed, “Probably! But who is issue free these days?” Interruption, in the form of a knock on the suite door, prevented us from taking the conversation further right then. I opened the door to admit three members of the restaurant’s wait staff. It was too hot to actually eat outside, so as a result of my generosity, we were obliged to sit back as two of them set a table for two on the inside of the sliding doors. When they completed the task, the third presented our orders with an overdone flourish before exiting. Private dining luxury overlooking what little of the Atlanta scenery we could see from within the suite. This was right up my alley because in the interest of my planned spontaneity, I really wanted us to be close to a surface that was considerably softer than the stone of the balcony. Dinner was pan seared Carolina Trout accompanied by a bottle of Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc. It was a pleasant meal and in keeping with the prior ease of conversation. This was just as well, because for what I had in mind I needed him to be off his 19
guard and relaxed. I had already figured that he had a certain level of natural resistance to my gifts and being on edge would only make it stronger. So we talked and flirted while we ate, and managed to avoid all thoughts or discussions of the company and the job I was sent there to do. Considering his beginnings, Markus was a rather knowledgeable amateur sommelier and it seemed that wine was truly a passion of his. I am not much of a drinker, so I coyly allowed him to coax me into trying the Fumé Blanc. I was pleasantly pleased by the fruity flavor of the wine. It was different enough to intrigue me and started us on a playful debate: Fine wine vs. spoiled fruit juice. A while later, after helping clean up, Markus joined me back at the balcony doors looking out at the lights in the city around us. I frowned at the skyline, thinking that Atlanta had misplaced aspirations of being New York. “The view was more impressive before all the other buildings sprung up.” He said, almost defensively. “I know, Polaris was once my favorite place to eat in Atlanta. Now it’s closed and the view is walled in.” Unexpectedly, I felt very old. Too many things have changed while I play my games. The world I’d set out to conquer would never be conquered because it did not sit still while I hunted it. It grew and changed while I was beginning to believe I did not. A feeling much like despair came over me; A feeling I had not felt for many years. Suddenly it wasn’t enough to be just me. I felt a desire to let my guard down; A desire to be soft, to be the woman Markus thought I was under it all. I leaned into his shoulder and he folded his arms around me, pulling me into his arms, my back nestled against his chest. “Sounds like you had a passion for the place. Surely you can understand why some people are resistant to change.” I did not want to talk about the job, not about his company or his boss. I wanted to feel. I still needed to be touched. It had 20
been weeks since I’d been with anyone. My last has been a couple of Deltas and a Q pledge at a frat party in Florida. The pledge had been a virgin and I’d been sure that his libido coupled with the sheer sexuality of the girls would be enough to stave off my hunger for a while. Looking at Markus and my reflections in the window, the sight of my body wrapped within his frame brought a bit of the edge back. He placed a kiss against my ear and it stirred something in me. He had to have felt it too, because the tempo of his heartbeat increased. Pressed against his chest as I was, each beat vibrated though my body and with that my hunger awakened with a vengeance. I turned in his arms and his lips sought mine. The kiss was soft and questing but it deepened as my need overrode my reluctance to start something and I responded hungrily. I could taste the remains of the Fumé Blanc on his tongue, and something about that hint of guava mixed with the taste of man, drove me over the edge. All thoughts disappeared as I began to drown under the weight of my need. I’d gone too long without and it’s never a good idea to deny my nature. I felt the ravening uncoiling within me and I rebelled against it. Instinctively, desperately, I pushed Markus again. Pushed all thoughts of caution from his mind; demanded that he stop thinking that this was too fast, too new, too risky for his job; pushed until he broke our kiss, and spun me around so that I was facing the Atlanta scenery once again. One of his hands shoved my skirt up my leg, parting the split and baring my ass, while the other grasped the back of my neck and forced me against the glass. He was rough, out of control and I loved it. When I felt his head nudging against my lips, I thrust my ass back to meet him. The fit was tight and he was large but it didn’t register nor would it have mattered if it did. I was ridden by my fear and my hunger; ready as soon as he was; no foreplay required or desired. There were no sweet words or even dirty ones. Markus held me, pinned against the glass with a hand on my neck and proceeded to hammer the hell out of my pussy. Each thrust dragged ragged screams from my throat as he pounded against my cervix. Raw naked passion; No!, this was sex. Raw sex; both of us too far lost 21
under its spell to experience passion. On some level, Iâ€™m sure I wanted my nipples sucked and my clit touched but all that mattered at that moment was that I was getting fucked, hard. I was immobilized, unable and unwilling to do anything but brace myself against the glass door and scream my pleasure. I was still screaming when his grip tightened on my hip and his thrusting increased. I was vaguely aware of when he came but in that moment (la petite mort) when his Ka fled his body, my Ba beat against me wanting to soar with it. As it fought, I found my own release and the last thing I heard before my Ba escaped and oblivion claimed me, was the sound of the window cracking under our weight. In that instant, of quiet nothingness, my curse was relieved and my beast appeased.