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Age Of Aquarius - Book 1
Harmonic Dissonance - Chapter 5
Mira kissed Jase on the forehead and smiled. Keep your chin up, honey. We'll get through this. Jase smiled at her and squeezed her hand. Thanks, Mira. She smirked at Phil as she headed out. "Remember we plan to roast the jack ass, Phil. No mercy!"
Phil had a tight frown frozen on his face but he nodded. "I had arranged to have the records sealed myself, Mira. That someone was able to get them anyway, not only burns my buns, but sets me on full offensive mode. Damage control first, and then, what I can't do normally I'm sure I can overlook if it happens... paranormally."
Jase raised an eyebrow. "I thought I wasn't supposed to increase the local population of frogs?"
Phil's frown curled up to an evil grin. "You aren't going to. A few extra cockroaches will never be noticed."
Mira left laughing as Jase got out of his chair and gave the older man a hug. "I love you, Phil."
Phil returned the hug and then smiled at his teary eyed young client. "Your father may have abandoned you, Jase, but your Grandmother never did and neither will I."
Mira stepped out onto the roof and saw Mike sitting with his feet hanging over the edge. She crossed the roof and leaned on the knee-wall. "How are you doing?"
Mike looked at her and gave her a weak smile. "It's going to take me some time, Mira. I went from dreaming about finding a connection like I had with Jase; to having Jase back; to connecting to him in ways I never thought I would; to finding out he's just as connected to someone else; to thinking I'd lost that connection and hating the person responsible; to suddenly being connected to that person, who is a complete stranger to me." He looked out over the rooftops. "I was a virgin till two days ago, Mira. I'd never seen demons or death magics. I've never even had a long term relationship outside of my parents and Jase." He looked back at her, fear and confusion raw in his eyes. "I don't know how to deal with this."
Mira hopped on the knee-wall and sat down beside him. She hooked her arm in his and leaned in. Mike stiffened but didn't pull away. "First, if you haven't figured it out yet, I used to be jealous of you. Not when we met, but before that."
Mike looked at her in disbelief. "But you didn't even know me."
Mira sighed. "You were the only person Jase ever talked about with regret. For Jase you'd become the icon of best friend. How could I compete with a memory?" She gave his arm a squeeze. "Of course, he didn't do you justice. You're a lot more than his memories made you out to be."
Mike looked back out over the street. "Thanks Mira; that helps."
"And as to your question: You deal with it by being honest and having faith. We won't abandon or hurt you, Mike. Believe it or not, I'm just as scared."
Mike laughed. "You sure don't seem like it, Mira. You're one in-control bitch."
She smiled and squeezed his arm again. "Yeah, I am. Glad you noticed." They sat silently for a few minutes before she continued. "I'm scared that since Jase has someone to love now, I won't be a part of his life any longer. We've been each other's support for four years. You wouldn't believe what we've seen each other through, Mike. I don't know how I'll be able to do it alone."
Mike pulled his arm from hers, pulled her closer in, and draped his arm around her shoulders. "I think you need to take some of your own advice, lady." He closed his eyes and found the sensation of connection. I don't turn my back on friends.
Mira smiled as her eyes moistened, and she hugged Mike hard. Neither do I.
Mira looked at the Chinese takeout and shook her head. "Mike, this is stupid. You live above a Chinese Market. Why are we picking up Chinese takeout?"
Mike smiled. "Have you any idea how tiring it is to eat -health food- day in and day out?"
"No. I'm a college student, Mike. The cafeterias have fat and starch, starch and fat, and starch and starch."
Mike gave her a horrified look. "How do you stay so thin?"
Mira smiled. "Would you believe magick?"
Mike laughed. "Yes I would, but I think you're lying."
Mira looked shocked. "Would I do that?"
Mike scrutinized her for a moment and then nodded. "Yes, yes you would."
Mira turned away and dismissed him. "Your opinion is unimportant, slave. Fetch me my food!"
Mike laughed. "I'll be right back."
Mira rolled her eyes and looked around as Mike disappeared through the door. After he'd left, Mira began to feel something unusual. She closed her eyes for a moment and let her senses expand. Something didn't feel right and the sensation was strongest in the alley at the other side of the restaurant. She gazed through the window and saw Mike waiting in the line for the counter.
Mira stepped around the corner and looked about. She could see nothing unusual but the sensation was still there. She moved cautiously into the alley. You realize you're being an idiot, right Mira? She had moved about ten feet into the alley when she felt the presence of someone behind her that hadn't been there before. She didn't need to think when she felt hands grip her shoulders.
Mira dropped and did a back kick into the gut of the man behind her. She was rewarded with a grunt as the man stumbled back. She spun and stayed low. "Back off asshole!"
The man before her was of only medium height and of normal build. His eyes looked a bit odd. Mira rolled backwards and brought up her feet as the man leapt at her. With a thrust of her hips she sent him soaring down the alley and crashing into a collection of trashcans. Mira rolled back to her feet and readied herself as the idiot rose and turned on her again. This guy is either on drugs or is a complete moron. She spun as he came in, kicking him against the wall and he slumped to the ground.
Mira was still trying to decide if she should leave or finish him when he blurred in swirl of indigo mist. She stumbled back as he reformed right in front of her and grabbed her by the neck. His touch chilled her to the bone and his eyes burned with an indigo flame. "You're a lot more skilled than you look, little witch. I'm going to enjoy drinking you dry."
She clawed at his head as he bit into her neck. Her body was shuddering and she found she couldn't even scream. Closing her eyes, she screamed inwardly as she felt something pulling her apart.
Mike stepped out onto the street with his arms full of bags. "My lady, would you take one of these bags?" When he got no response he looked around the bags. "My lady? Mira?" Suddenly he felt as if his neck was being torn and his gut wrenched. The bags scattered on the sidewalk as he dropped to one knee. Mira!
Mira felt as if her body was a limp sack of laundry. It was unresponsive and hung in the grip of the creature as she felt herself being drawn, breath by breath further apart. She felt a sudden twisting as her body collapsed to the ground and her perceptions slammed back within her skin.
Mike had caught the creature off guard as he kicked it full force from the side. It released Mira's limp body as it flew nearly 20 feet and crashed to the ground with a sickening snapping of bone and sinew. Mike had Mira in his arms before her head had reached the pavement. She lay limp in his arms and there was a black and crimson bruise on her neck where some indigo mist was dissipating.
The man rose and turned on Mike. His eyes burned indigo and he moved with the gate of a creature whose limbs were no longer completely whole. Mike took it down three more times, each time breaking more bone and tearing more sinew. After it rose the fifth time, Mike braced himself for its rush. As the creature descended upon him, Mike pulled in all the chi he could summon and slammed his palm into the creature's chest sending the chi through it like an energy blade to the heart. The body spasmed and collapsed for the last time.
Mike helped Mira up and they watched in horror as indigo mist seeped from the body and flowed away into the shadows. Mike held her close. "You ok?"
"I don't know." Her body was trembling, and she felt cold.
Mike's head snapped about as the sound of sirens filled the air. In moments, police officers had swarmed the entrance of the alley, guns drawn. Mike kept hold of Mira with one arm and put his other hand up.
Mira watched Jase pace back and forth impatiently. "I'm sure Phil will have him out shortly, Jase. Pacing will only wear you out." She looked at the clock and shook her head. It had been nearly 7pm when the police had taken them into custody. It was now after 11pm.
Jase dropped into the seat next to her. "Mira, he's been booked, printed and locked up for use of deadly force. He's an Eagle Scout for Christ sake!"
Mira grabbed his hand. "I was there, Jase. I know what happened. He saved me from being the corpse. The police have to do something when they find a completely busted up body in an alley with the guy who busted it up just standing there."
Jase was about to snarl when her thoughts came to him. We can't exactly say that the person was possessed, and that Mike did everything to incapacitate the possessed man. The best I could come up with was the guy was acting like he was on crack or something as he didn't seem to respond to pain. They have my statement, and if the idiot DA decides to prosecute, we can be sure to get him off. She looked up as Phil came out of the court with Mike.
Jase lept from his chair and threw himself into Mike's arms. Mike held on and kept telling Jase he was ok. Phil looked between them with a frown. "We have to pay the bond and we can get out of here. Mike has been released till the DA determines whether he will be prosecuted."
Jase turned to Phil his voice trembling with anger. "It was fucking self-defense, Phil!"
Phil nodded. "We can discuss this later, Jase. I know what it was, but I can't go into court with what I've been told."
Jase was about to argue when he felt Mike wrap his arms around him. "Let's do this at home, Jase. I want out of here before my parents show up." Jase nodded and prayed nothing else would happen to make things worse.
Jase clung to Mike the entire ride back from the courthouse. Mike had shut himself off again but this time Jase knew why. Jase trembled at the thought of what could have happened to Mike if Phil hadn't been able to get to a judge. Jase had been left without recourse in lock up before. He wouldn't let anyone he loved go through that hell.
Mike collapsed onto the couch after they made it to the apartment. He closed his eyes and draped his head back but said nothing. Mira and Jase looked at each other, concern written on their faces. Mira stepped into the kitchen and started the stove. "I'm going to make some tea."
Jase stood next to the couch and looked at Mike, unsure if he was welcome to intrude. Without looking Mike put out his hand and Jase nearly leapt onto the couch beside him. Jase started murmuring apologies and promises into Mike's shirt. After a few minutes, Mike pulled up his face and kissed Jase softly on the lips. Mikes eyes held such sadness that Jase's heart broke. "I love you, Jase. I'm sorry I won't be around long enough to prove it."
Jase jerked back in shock. "What?!?"
Mikes eyes filled with tears. "I murdered someone, Jase. I'm going to prison."
Mira dropped the pot into the sink and spun. "Mike! You didn't murder anyone! You were protecting me. You saved my life!"
Mikes head dropped as the tears began dripping off his chin. "The reason doesn't matter, Mira. I'm a healer. I'm sworn to save life, not take it. How can I touch someone and expect them to trust me to help them when these same hands took someone's life?" Jase pulled Mike to him and Mike sobbed, clutching to Jase like a man drowning.
Mira wept as she watched her friends suffering. It's all my fault...
Mike looked down at the battered corpse on the coroner's slab. The damage he had done was extensive. He had broken over a dozen bones. The man's kidneys had been crushed and his heart had burst. Mike felt as if blood was dripping from his fingers but, each time he checked, his hands were clean.
The officer hissed in his ear. "You call this, 'self-defense'?"
Mike kept himself rigid. "Yes, sir."
"Really?" The officer laughed and circled around the table. "You are telling me you did all this damage and you're only thought was protection?"
Mike felt the first trickle of sweat slipping down his temple. "Yes, sir."
The officer slammed his hands onto the cold slab. "You're a liar, Mr. Castanio!"
Mike felt the rush of power and satisfaction he'd felt as he'd slammed his palm into the man's chest. Mike clenched his fists and forced the sensation away. "No, sir."
The officer smiled a knowing, calculated smile. "Yes you are, Mr. Castanio. To yourself more than anyone else."
Mike deflected as the fist came within inches of his face. He dropped and tossed his opponent against the alley wall. His shirt was torn and he was panting slightly from exertion. His opponent rose, shaking off the dust from the broken bricks. "You tell me you aren't feeling that? That sense of satisfaction that comes with letting go of restraint?"
They fought for a long time. Neither of them could gain the advantage. Mike tried to quell the feeling of exhilaration he was feeling. His enemy kicked him to the ground and pinned him with his arm behind his back. "See what happens when you try to deny yourself? You get trapped."
Mike found his cheek pressing against the sparring mat and he twisted. His enemy leapt back and laughed. "Admit it, you like this. It makes you feel alive."
They grappled some more and Mike pinned his enemy on the grass. He saw Jase's eyes looking back at him. "Don't you want me to stop fighting you?"
Mike stumbled back and he was on the floor again in the morgue. The police man was leering down at him. "You know what you really want, Mike."
He was back on the mat, his face against the floor and he felt a muscular chest pressed against his bare back. The breath that wafted against his cheek was a mixture of musk and spice. "Enjoy it, Mike. A little release can go a long way."
Mike closed his eyes and trembled as a hand was traveling across his chest, twisting at his nipples. "Exciting, isn't it? The whole dance of dom and sub can be such a turn on." A tongue lathed his ear and teeth pulled at his neck as he felt fingers releasing the ties of his workout pants. "You want this." Mike was up on his elbows, moaning as fingernails clawed at his chest and lips seared their way down his back. His pants had vanished and Mike cried out as he felt a tongue press past his ring. He squirmed against the invasion and whimpered in ecstasy. He felt hands gripping his hips. "Yeah, Mike. You want this so bad. Give into it." Mike cried out as his seducer thrust into him. Mike's body was on fire as the cock slammed into him again and again. Hands were everywhere, teasing his nipples and pulling at his throbbing dick. His whole body was writhing in pleasure and pain unlike anything he had ever imagined. With one final thrust his seducer pushed him over the precipice and he felt himself explode.
Jase woke to Mike's thrashing. He grabbed onto Mike's arms and tried to anchor him. "Mike! Wake up!" He struggled to hold Mike's thrashing body down as Mira rushed into the room. He looked at her in panic. "I can't wake him up!"
Mira put her hands on either side of Mike's face and projected as hard as she could. MIKE!
Mike's arm swung out and sent Mira smashing into the wall. Jase watched in horror as she slumped to the floor and didn't move. He clawed at Mike's arm as Mike's hand grabbed him around the throat and hefted him off the bed. Mike brought their faces close and he smiled. "Hello, Jase." Jase screamed as Mike's eyes glowed with an indigo flame.
Mira's head was pounding and her body felt like she'd been used as a trampoline. She felt a cool rag against her forehead and soft hands checking her wounds. As she tried to get up, those gentle hands held her down with a soft, but irresistible strength. "Be still. It will take a few moments for your body to mend." The voice was old and gentle, and the accent was vaguely oriental. She lay still, feeling the tingle of magic slowly pulling her back together. The rag was lifted and she looked into the kindest brown eyes. "You were very lucky. He might have sent you through the wall."
The little old man helped Mira sit up. She was on Mike's bed. She looked at the body imprint on the wall and shuddered. Suddenly her eyes went wide, and she looked about the room in a panic. "Where's, Jase?"
"The demon has taken him. I would have made chase but your need was more immediate."
Mira clenched her fists and tried to keep from crying. It's my fault again!
Soft fingers lifted her chin and she felt suddenly calm and at peace. "You are not to blame. Why do you young people always wish take upon you burdens that are not yours to bear?" Mira shook her head. She didn't have an answer for him. "You are very alike."
She looked at him as she pushed herself off the mattress. "Who?"
"You and the boy my apprentice loves."
Mira looked at the little man again. "Mr. Wong?"
He graced her with a smile and inclined his head. "The same." He put his hand on her arm. "Normally I would say to take one's time and experience the moment. We, however, do not have that luxury. Can you drive?"
"Yes." She ran into the living room and tugged on her jeans.
Mr. Wong walked to the apartment door and nodded. "Good. You shall drive my grandson's car." He held out a set of keys.
Mira finished yanking on her sneakers, got up and took the keys. "You know where they went?"
Mr. Wong opened the door. "Yes..."
Jase woke to find himself face down in the dirt. He felt weak, and his thoughts were fuzzy. "Welcome back." Jase turned towards the voice. Mike knelt a few feet away, running his thumb over Jase's athame. "I couldn't see you off to hell without saying goodbye."
Jase struggled up on his knees and looked about. They were in the cemetery. Jase was on the ground beside where they had buried his father. Mike had dropped him on his mother's grave. Not Mike! Mike wouldn't do this.
"Oh yes he would, little snack." Mike rose, and Jase could see the dark glow of indigo behind his eyes. He came close and breathed into Jase's face. "Believe me."
Jase turned his cheek. "No, he wouldn't." He tried to summon his power but he felt disconnected. He glared at the incubus as it laughed at him. "I told you, butt boy, I never make the same mistake twice." Mike tapped his temple with a smile. "This kid has a lot of knowledge he isn't even aware of. Wong is a genius to fill his apprentice with knowledge that is hidden. It allows Mike to live a normal life till he needs to call upon it." His smile turned predatory. "Well, till I need to call upon it."
The incubus looked over his body with a lecherous lick of his lips. "I'm going to enjoy this body, Jase. Just imagine what fun I'll be able to have." He looked over at Jase. "And I have you to thank for it. I'd never have met Mikey boy if it hadn't been for you."
Jase couldn't stop the tears that flooded his eyes. "Why? Why won't you leave me alone!"
Mike smiled viciously. "Because my Mistress won't let me, you stupid brat!" Mike pulled up the athame and cursed. "That banishment hurt, Jase. It hurt really badly. I plan to repay you for that before I tear your soul to ribbons." Mike came towards him, the athame at the ready. "A moment is as good as a millennium, Jase. I can have my fun before your heart stops beating.
Jase tried to crawl back as Mike stalked onto the grave and smiled. "Bye, bye love."
An auburn blur slammed into Mike, sending him tumbling to the ground. Mira picked herself up and scrambled to Jase. "Hold still!" She felt around at the base of his skull and found the needle Mr. Wong had mentioned. She yanked it out and she saw Jase's eyes snap to attention. She could see the warning in his eyes and she lashed out with her leg, knocking Mike back
"Bitch!" Mike rose and glared at Mira. "You know you can't stop me. Butt boy has the power but he'd never be able to bring himself to use it against his little love." He nearly launched himself at them again when Mike's body went rigid. He rose into the air, straining against invisible bonds.
"I would." Mr. Wong was walking up the path with his hand outstretched. "You have violated my apprentice, demon of lust. Unlike the young one, I can make certain you will never return."
Fear filled Mike's eyes as he saw the master sorcerer. "You will destroy him too!"
"Then I will mourn him."
Jase and Mike screamed in unison as Mike's body convulsed. Indigo light exploded from Mike's eyes and a black mist rose from his mouth. The wailing rose to something unearthly and terrifying then ended in the sound of a thunderclap.
Jase scrambled to where Mike's body had fallen and pulled his head into his arms. Mike looked at him, his brown eyes were distant. "I'm sorry..." The spark left Mike's eyes and his body sagged. Jase clutched at Mike, mumbling his name, and cried.