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Age Of Aquarius - Book 1

Harmonic Dissonance - Chapter 9

Mike groaned as he returned to consciousness. Confused and disoriented he tried to move but found himself bound. Through hazy eyes he saw someone approach. "Aren't you the strong one?" A hand stroked his cheek and someone settled down on his lap. "No wonder my little boy finds you so irresistible."

Mike's eyes focused on what would have been a beautiful face if the eyes hadn't looked so unworldly. The woman in his lap was lean and moved with a wild grace. Her hair was a waterfall of golden locks and her skin was porcelain white. Her lips curled with the hint of a joke that only she understood. It was her eyes that made his stomach knot. He had no description for them. If the eyes were the window to the soul, then hers were gates into chaos.

Mary Steward ran her finger down Mike's arm cooing as she traced the taut muscles under the charred fabric. "It's so nice when little boys grow up." She laughed with a voice that seemed to slide from one tone to another and then looked at him with hungry eyes. "I may just keep you around, Mikey. If you're a good boy." She leaned in and began chewing on his ear.

Mike jerked his head away in revulsion.

Mary's eyes ignited with rage. "You ungrateful little brat. I could have taken you any time. You're mine; just like everyone else!" She slid forward grinding her pelvis against his. "I always get what I want."

Mike strained at his bonds, but they held fast. The chair was solid wood, sturdy and resilient. The bonds felt soft yet would not give any indication of weakness. Mary laughed as he struggled.

"Like my scarves?" She leaned in bringing her lips to his ear and giggled like she was revealing a dirty secret. "They're magicked to be unbreakable." She slid down his lap to leave some space and she smiled appreciatively at his pants. "Let's see what mamma can do." She brought up her hand and winked at Mike. Her fingers began weaving over his crotch like a puppeteer controlling a marionette. He felt himself stirring and lengthening at her whim. Mike grit his teeth and tried to control his renegade member. He managed to stop it, but Mary just smiled more wickedly. "I love untamed studs. Breaking them can be so much fun." Her fingers made a claw like motion in the air and a spasm ran through Mike as if someone had just ripped through his flesh. Her fingers then made small circling motions, and he felt the pain cool. "We can do this tender or rough, Mikey." She leaned forward again and nibbled on his neck. "The outcome will be the same."

Jase struggled to regain consciousness. Everything had gone so terribly wrong. His mouth felt like it was stuffed with rags. As he forced his eyes open and tried to move his tongue he realized that he was gagged. As his vision sharpened, he saw Mike bound in a chair not far from him. He also saw the blonde woman in Mike's lap, toying with him. Jase yanked at his bonds struggling to get a hand loose. His efforts were not unnoticed.

Mary smiled with delight as Jase tried to free himself. She slid from her boy-toy's lap and wove her way over to her little boy. "Good afternoon, sweetie. I hope those bonds aren't too tight, but as they say: 'Mama knows Best'." She toyed with the knot holding Jase's gag. "I'd love to have a mom-to-son talk, Jasie-poo, but since your words can kill that wouldn't be wise." She laughed at her own cleverness losing all awareness of the others around her. Her laughter turned to a strange mixture of words and phrases that sounded like garbled snippets of an argument. Anger swept away Mary's mirth, and she glared at Jase. "Just like your Grandmother! She worked with words too." Mary slapped Jase hard. "She always loved you best." Her anger swept to sorrow and her wild eyes filled with tears. "Didn't have time for her own daughter." She brushed away the tears with a fist and snarled in hate. "Controlling, egotistical, conceited bitch!"

Mike watched the mood swings from his seat. He'd never been exposed to madness before. Insanity was frightening enough, but an insane witch was terrifying. His eyes spotted Mira's burned body sprawled on the floor near Jase's chair. She wasn't moving. He defocused his eyes and let the energy patterns flow through his mind. At first he couldn't see anything but the random and intense energy swirling about Jase's mother. It took him some effort but he was able to see past the maelstrom and focused on Mira. Mira was alive. Her aura was weak but they hadn't lost her. Mike's attention returned to Jase as Mary straddled her son.

Mary ran her fingers over Jase's bruised face. "You grew into such a pretty boy. So lithe, so delicate; like a little doll." She curled around and smiled knowingly at Mike. "You like your boys dainty, don't you Mikey-poo?" She blew him a kiss before turning back to Jase. "And you have such good taste in men." She purred and leaned in. "You got that from me." She sniffed and sat back. "It's so delightful to know you turned out gay, my little Jason. It would have vexed your Grandmother to know her great heritage would end with her pride and joy." Her hips flexed instinctively and she shivered. "But Mikey isn't gay." She cooed and sighed. "No. Mikey is just a man who's a little confused."

Jase's heart hitched. She had to be lying. A little seed of doubt took root, and his eyes began to mist. She patted his cheek. "Don't worry about it, sweetie. He loves you. Even straight boys will turn tricks if they're desperate."

Jase's head dropped and he tried not to sob. This was his mother. Why is she doing this?

"Why?" She jerked his chin up. She had pulled his thoughts from him like a librarian at a card file. She stared into his eyes and a soft smile lit her lips. "Oh, I see now. You don't even know the truth." She started laughing again. The laugh rose to a screech of maddening delight. "Oh that is so rich. Mom was so bent on controlling everything that she changed everyone's memories." She looked back into Jase's eyes. "Mama's little boy is about to learn his life's a lie." Her lips curled wickedly as she swirled her fingers over his head. "Wakey, wakey little dreamer."

Jase's eyes widened as memories flooded back.

Jase struggled against his mother's grip. She smelled of alcohol and was being rough. "You're hurting me!"

She knelt down in the grass and gripped his chin. "If you wouldn't struggle you wouldn't get hurt, Jason. Mama knows best."

His nose wrinkled at the smell of bourbon and who knew what else. "I want to go home."

She smiled and stood again, pulling him along with her as she continued deeper into the woods. "You're with me, sweetie. You are home."

Jase couldn't tell how far they'd come. She'd pulled him from Mike's bedroom after they'd gone to sleep. He didn't understand how she'd gotten up to the second floor window. He couldn't understand why Mike hadn't woken up when he cried for help. Help never came; no one had heard him. She dragged him into a clearing and he saw a stone table in the starlight. The moon was new and the night was hauntingly dark.

She waved and the torches burst into flame. In the light of the torches, Jase could see dark stains in the rock slab. The stains ran from over the top to the base like someone had poured a dark paint on top and just let it drip. The altar frightened him, and he yanked himself free. He only made it to the edge of the clearing before he froze. Jase wanted to keep running, he kept trying to move his legs but they weren't his. Tears ran down his cheeks as his body turned and walked stiffly back to the altar. His mother's fingers danced in the air as if she were pulling invisible strings.

"Now, now, we can't have that." She did a sweeping of her fingers and Jase was lifted into the air and laid out on the slab. "How can mama protect you if you run away?" Her fingers wove patterns in the air and vines snaked their way up and over the slab, twisting about Jase's limbs and holding him fast.

Jase struggled again, trying to break free. His eyes went wide as she pulled up a long, blood stained knife. Jase began to cry.

"Don't cry, sweetie, don't cry." Her eyes were soft and actually burned with a sad kind of love. "You'll be with me. Always with me. You'll be safe now."

She lifted the knife high and he saw her stiffen to make the plunge. Jase could feel something tugging at him, pulling him from himself as his mother strained. He was fighting it. He didn't want to go. Beads of sweat ran down his mother's brow as she strove to tear his soul from his body. A voice shattered the silent struggle.

"Fan amach on leanbh!" A blue light erupted between them and Jase's mother was launched from the altar. She tumbled to the ground and whipped her head about to glare at Jase's grandmother. "Your madness ends here, Mary."

Mary laughed. "Madness?!? You've always believed my visions; till I saw the end!" Her hand lashed out and tendrils of white light snapped at the older witch.

Grace Dougal waved dismissively at the magick that wrapped about her. "Teigh ar ceal" The tendrils faded like mists and she continued to walk forward. "You are a panicked little girl, Mary. You see something that scares you and you claim the sky is falling. There is no war coming against us; the burning times ended with Salem."

"You short sighted bitch!" Mary clawed at the air and limbs ripped from trees and launched at her mother. "You have no idea what I've seen! They're coming for us all!"

"Doigh!" The tree limbs combusted to ash that swirled in the air around the older woman. "So what is your plan, Mary? You think by killing off the younger magick-born that you are saving them from some horrible future fate?"

"They aren't DEAD!" Mary clutched at her chest. "They're here. Together we'll be strong enough to stop the killing."

Grace looked at her daughter in disgust and loathing. "You took from them their magick and their souls. You butchered them to feed your fears. Ceangail a lamh." Her magick lashed out, heavy with years of experience and power.

Mary screamed as she felt her fingers go stiff. She started to weep. "You're dooming us all!" Her body shook and she curled into a ball, sobbing to herself. "Doomed, doomed, doomed..."

Jase stared at his mother through the tears. He could see them, the witches she had killed, behind her eyes. They were all there, a dozen or more, struggling to exist in a single mind. She was more than mad; she was consumed in chaos.

She patted his cheek. "Don't worry, dear; soon it won't matter." Mary rose and slithered her way back onto Mike's lap. "But before we get to that, I want to enjoy myself. Adding new souls can be so draining." She started running her fingers over Mike's shirt squeezing the muscles beneath. "Mama wants to play."

"Get off me, you sick bitch!" Mike growled at her through clenched teeth.

She leaned back and regarded him thoughtfully. "We can't have that. You have pretty lips but that voice has to go." Her fingers made a little zipper motion over his lips and Mike tried to talk. He worked his mouth furiously but not a single sound came out. She smiled. "Much better." She resumed her wanderings cooing appreciatively. When Mike pulled his head back from a proffered kiss, she raked her fingers in the air.

Mike quaked, as it felt like knives had been drug through him from shoulder to hip. He was gasping from the pain till her lips touched his throat. Soft pleasure flowed from her lips and washed away the pain from moments before. He closed his eyes and stifled a moan. As he felt her move to his lips again he pulled back. Mike was gripped with pain again as it felt like someone was stirring a dull spoon in his gut. As he was about to cry out, lips pressed against his, and the pain shifted to a warm sensation of tingling pleasure. He pressed back against the lips as he moaned then jerked away. The cycle continued.

Jase watched in horror as his mother tortured the man he loved. He struggled uselessly against his bonds and screamed into the gag. Tears burned his eyes and stained his cheeks as he watched with each successive cycle; Mike's resistance was crumbling. Like Pavlov's dogs, she was programming him to salivate at the ringing of her bell. Jase was morbidly amazed at how efficiently she could work her magicks to achieve her ends.

After more than an hour of stops and starts, Jase's eyes were raw with tears. His throat burned from begging her to stop, and his wrists were bloodied from his struggles to get free. Mike was faring far worse. His body was drenched in sweat and his breath was ragged. He was still tied to the chair, but she had unraveled his clothing. His body was completely exposed to her explorations, but it wasn't as vulnerable as his mind. Inside, he was unraveling like the shirt she had pulled from him before electrifying his nipples. His will was dripping away like his pants had when she turned them to water. All he wanted was for it to end. She had discarded her own clothing during her game and was rubbing herself against his tormented shaft. He didn't even try to stop her as she drew him into a kiss or when she push his mouth against her breast and ordered him to pleasure her.

Mary shuddered again as she pleasured herself against Mike's defeated resistance. With delight she waved her hand and released Mike's bonds. His arms fell limply at his sides, and he moaned from the freedom. "I am your goddess." She whispered huskily in his ear as she rubbed herself against his heaving chest. "You're mine, body and soul." She slid down him and slowly took him within her hot tormenting tunnel. Mike groaned, and his hips gyrated instinctively. "Hold me" His hand's gripped her, and he began to thrust with more intent. She moaned in response and gripped at his flushed, straining chest as his pace began to increase. "Worship me." His lips savored her throat, and he continued down till he lathed her breasts with his tongue. Their coupling intensified as his resistance dwindled. She brought his lips back to hers. "Love me..."

Jase was dying. Everything he loved was being torn away from him piece by piece. Despair was drowning him and he could find no way out. As he sank into darkness he felt someone with him. A hand had reached into the black waters and pulled him out of the depths. Mira's thoughts buoyed him from oblivion. Jase, we need you.

Jase wept in her arms. I can't do anything. He's slipping away and I can't do anything!

Mira's thoughts refused to let him go. We're bonded. He's a part of us. You're souls are joined. Don't let him go! If I can hold onto you, you can hold onto him.

Jase lifted his head and looked past his mother's rutting. He looked past Mike's thrusting body and sought for the part of Mike's heart where he was home. He could feel Mike had been pushed aside. Mike was there but he had been squeezed into a small corner, which was being walled up with each passing moment. Together, Mira and Jase projected. Mira wrapped herself protectively around Mike's retreating mind. Jase took up his place in Mike's heart and turned. He's mine! Jase swung his fist at the woman he had called mother.

Mike's hand lashed out, smashing into Mary's face. His other hand grabbed her throat choking out her startled cry and yanking her off his body. He threw her across the room like a rag doll. Jase wrapped himself around Mike's soul and sent him everything he had. I love you.

Mike's awareness returned like the flash lightning. His knees folded and he dropped to the floor. They had been with him. Mira's thoughts and Jase's love had pulled him back. He scrambled across the floor and tore at the gag in Jase's mouth.

Mary pulled herself up to her hands and knees shrieking like a banshee. Her hand lashed out and lightning erupted from her fingers

Mike yanked down the gag, taking some of Jase's skin with it, and Jase screamed. "Contego consisto amor!" The lighting exploded against Jase's will but was repelled. Jase kept focused on their protection while Mike tore away his bonds. Get Mira

Mike slid over to Mira's burned and bloody form. He cradled her in his arms. He could feel she was awash with pain. How she had managed to reach Jase was beyond him. He pulled her to his chest and sent his power into her.

Mary screamed with her frustration, launching spell after spell at them. "I'll tear you apart. I'll destroy everything you ever held dear. Morg, Mr. Wong, even Phil." She laughed at Jase bitterly. "You never figured Phil out did you? Mother was such a control freak she couldn't even give up her name. If nothing else, Phil will be the first to go. Daddy-dearest will be dead and buried like my -beloved- husband before the day is over!"

Jase slowly stood facing the beast that had been his mother. He was the only thing between her and those he loved. No matter what, she would never have them. His magic raged against hers as the elements themselves rose to their wills. Fury and destruction rose like harbingers of death. The only spaces in the room left untouched extended only a few feet from the warring mages. How long they battled as equals he couldn't tell but Jase's strength couldn't last.

Mary laughed as Jase dropped to his knees beside Mike and Mira. "Stupid boy! I wield the power of twelve witches, TWELVE! It is only a matter of time before you burn out. I have all the time in the world. I will stand before damnation and turn back the flames. I will save our people!" Her power erupted from her incinerating everything in a wave of pure magic.

Jase clutched to Mike and Mira and closed his eyes. The power of their bond stood like a lone rock against a raging sea. The magic washed over them and Jase could feel their protections disintegrating by the moment. He looked from his mother's madness gripped form to the ceiling. With one last thrust of his will, he sent his power upward. "Discerpo!"

Mary was too consumed with her power to sense the rafters as they descended upon her. The top of the monastery tower imploded under the strain of the forces contained within it. Jase held onto those he loved and prayed the pain would be brief.

Mike saw the rafters descend and he raised his hand. He pulled upon every ounce of strength he could find and extended his will. The ceiling fell upon them in an avalanche of wood, glass and rock. As the rumbling stopped, Mike opened his eyes and looked about. The debris had been warded from them. They were sheltered in a six-foot space where they clung to each other.

Jase lifted his head. He couldn't believe they were alive. Together, Jase and Mike got Mira out of the rubble and set her down. She smiled at them weakly and put her palm to Jase's cheek. She's still down there. She's dying. Don't let her die alone.

Jase looked at where his mother had fallen. He extended his will and unleashed his magick. "Abstergo!" Boards and rubble responded to his command and few away from Mary's body.

Jase climbed over the wreckage and knelt down beside his mother's broken body. She looked up at him with clear eyes. He could feel the energy she had stolen from the other witches flowing from her. He flinched as she brought her hands to his face.

"I only wanted to protect you." There was none of the madness in her eyes or voice. What Jase saw was the woman he'd known over thirteen years before. Her eyes were solemn, sane and very, very sad. "The burning times are coming. It's up to you to stop it." She coughed and blood welled on her lips. "I'm sorry." With those last words her eyes erupted with pure white light. Jase reared back screaming as his sight was consumed by his mother's power. He didn't even hear the twin screams echoing behind him.

Jase stood over the grave. His fingers twirled slowly as he watched the ashes stir themselves into the soil. His tears mixed with the ash and earth as his mother's remains slowly sank out of sight. He felt Mike's hand grip his shoulder but it didn't stop the tears.

"There wasn't anything we could do." Mike wrapped his arms around Jase and hugged him close.

"I'm not crying that she's gone." Jase's fingers continued to circle and the dirt continued to mimic their movements. "She died thirteen years ago when she took her first victim." Jase nodded to his hand. "This isn't my magick, Mike. I can't do magick with my hands."

Mike held Jase tighter, and Jase trembled. "Am I going to become like Her?" He stopped his fingers and wrapped his arms around Mike's. "I can feel her at the back of my head. Sometimes I remember things I know I never experienced. What if it drives me insane like it did her?"

Mike rocked them slowly, wishing he could take away Jase's fears. "You have something she didn't."

Jase smiled and looked up at Mike. "What's that?"

"A family that loves you." He bent down and brushed his lips against Jase's. "We aren't going to let you go."

Jase sighed and let Mike's arms shield him from his fears. After a few minutes, Jase straightened up and took Mike's hand. He pulled them over to his father's grave. "Dad? I understand why you did what you did. I understand why you were so afraid. I'm not like her. I'm not going to go mad from visions of doom." He squeezed Mike's hand. "I've got the most incredible man in my life. I won't be alone." Jase bent down and touched the soil of the grave. "I love you, dad."

Jase turned, still holding Mike's hand, and started back down the path. He smiled as he saw Phil and Mira waiting at the gate. Home. The thought lit his soul. He had a sister, a grandfather, and a soul mate. Even with all that had happened, Jase had never felt more loved.