Brothers of the Night [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Audrey Godwin
eBook Category: Erotica/Menage Erotica
eBook Description: [Siren Menage Amour 54: Erotic Romance, Menage a Trois, M/F/M, Spousal Sharing, Horror/Shape-shifter] Jennifer Duquesne exists in the dark world of amnesia where each day brings a flood of new terrors. Ghosts walk the halls, drifting cobwebs hang from the ceiling and voices from the graveyard disturb her sleep. As time passes, and she struggles to regain her memory, she becomes the willing plaything of two mysterious brothers who fill her nights with wild, animalistic sex. While falling in love, she wonders why the moon that rules the night time sky is full of romance one night, and is cold and sinister the next. That is when the horrible truth of these two men's existence explodes, making her realize that their savage lovemaking tells the bloody story of dark nights on the prowl. She wants to leave, but how can she when the passion of their wicked, sensual nights has slowly drawn her into their unholy world of werewolves, witches and full moons? [Erotic Shape-Shifter Menage Romance: contains graphic sexual content and adult language.]
eBook Publisher: Siren-BookStrand, Inc./Menage Amour, Published: 2008, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2009
* * * *
15 Reader Ratings:
"A dark and sinister story with a Gone with the Wind flair, Brothers of the Night starts out slow, but gains momentum amid twists and turns and ruthless bestial sex. The sex is savage and lewd, and like the beasts they become their lust is insatiable. When looking for an intense and riveting story pick this book you'll be pleasantly intrigued and shocked."--PJ, The Erotic Bookworm
"4 ANGELS:"Brothers of the Night is an intensely dark and disturbing story that pulls the reader into a world of madness and lust, and will leave you on the edge of your seat until the very end. With intriguing characters and a truly unique plot, Audrey Godwin has created a story that will linger in your thoughts for a long time. This reviewer looks forward to more from this very creative author."--Kathi, Fallen Angel Reviews
"This reviewer found Ms. Godwin's werewolf book to be quite chilling, an edge-of-the-seat ride where the reader doesn't know what is next. She wrote a wonderful multidimensional story with well-rounded characters that move the plot along, and suck the reader in until the end. With an explosive ending, this book truly grabs the reader's attention and gives all that it promises and more. This reviewer looks forward to more of Ms. Godwin's books, and highly recommends it to those who want a fast-paced, suspenseful story that engages the mind and hearts of the reader."--Dawn, Love Romances
"Silently he stalks the night,
sent by the moon of magic light.
Riding high above the trees,
the Moon of Blood his eyes will see.
Hunger from his loins will cry,
until the day that he shall die.
When the moon is mirror round,
blood of red will stain the ground."
"The evil bane will be upon him
when his mouth is full of ashes,
and his dreams are nightmares."
The young woman floated in swirls of darkness.
She longed to stay where it was warm and painless, but somehow she knew she couldn't. This realization seemed to send her on a journey to the edge of that darkness, and the closer she came, the more pain she felt, until it stabbed at her unmercifully. Struggling against it, she heard words, haunting words, words that were faint, far off, words cruelly pushing their way into her subconscious.
Swing low, sweet chariot, comin' fo' to...
The tune grabbed her, thrusting her into a place where light assaulted her lids, stinging them. She scowled, lifting her small voice in an agonizing moan. To escape the throbbing pain, she moved her head from side to side. She had to get away, hide from the relentless pulsing pain.
"Wake up, suga," the old woman whispered. "You jus' got a li'l bump on the head, but you is okay."
"No," the girl whimpered. "Let me go." She struggled, trying to pull away and sink back down into the warm, comfortable darkness she had been rescued from.
"Stay with me, baby," the old, black woman murmured urgently, as she continued with the irritating, bothersome stroke of the young woman's face. "Jus' stay with me a li'l while longa."
She struggled, her flailing hands pushing at the cold grip of two skinny hands that insisted on pulling her out of the darkness and into the annoying light that brought with it such pain.
Suddenly, the woman grabbed her jaw. "No," she said firmly. "You stay with me, you heah? Thas' right," she murmured when the girl responded.
Just then, a loud peal of thunder rumbled from far away, getting louder and louder, until a sharp crack, wrenched the girl cruelly from her sleep. At that moment, the storm burst, rattling the windows and doors, sending her lunging forward. Her eyes grew wide with fright as she looked around, wondering where she was.
"Hallelujah," the black woman said. "You is gonna be awright." The old woman immediately reached for the phone, pressed a button and spoke softly into the mouthpiece. "She's awake." The old woman was straightening her covers, when suddenly there came a faraway droning sound.
She jerked her head around. "What's that?" she asked, with a tremble in her voice.
"Now, now, no reason to be scared. That ain't nothin' but Miz Duquesne's electric chair comin' up the stair..."
Their conversation ended abruptly as the door opened, and two strangers entered. Callie, standing beside her said softly, as if talking to a child. "Miz Jennifer, this is the mistress of Sangraal, Miz Magda Duquesne. Her given name is Magdalena, but everyone calls her Magda. And this is her son, Lance Duquesne."
Lance glared at the black woman, and mumbled, "Her son? What the hell is this? You're introducing me to my own wife as if I'm a stranger? She knows who we are."
"You'll see," was all the old woman would say.
* * * *
The moment Jennifer saw them, she felt ill at ease. The old woman stood stiff while leaning on a twisted cane. Her eyes were sharp and green, and glittered like twin pools of shattered glass. Her hair was black as night with a single white streak that reached from an evil looking widow's peak down into a bun at her wrinkled neck. Her lips were no more than a twisting scarlet line that reminded her of a snake. By the look on her face, Jennifer was sure those thin lips must be hiding a pair of fangs that were capable of issuing enough venom to kill. Who were they? The names meant nothing to her. She didn't know them or this place. She suddenly felt a touch and looked up to find the stranger, Lance, holding her hand.
Although handsome, she could see arrogance and stubbornness etched on his face of icy radiance. His dark, shoulder-length hair was swept back in a rubber band, and he wore an earring in his left ear. He was a large man with strong shoulders and strong features. He had an abundance of confidence, and the shadow of a beard gave him even more of a manly aura. The three-piece suit he wore told her he was stiff and unbending. When she looked into his eyes she could see worry, but beyond that--beyond the glitter of his beautiful sapphire eyes, she saw--something--a kind of horror--a feeling of dread that made her recoil from him.
"Jennifer darling, how do you feel? I was beginning to worry about you. You took a pretty nasty fall."
Jennifer's fear grew. Her eyes darted from one to the other. Strangers, they were all strangers. "Where am I?" she whispered.
"Honey, we're at Sangraal. You know, the mansion? The old home place I told you about. We came here on the plane from New York. We landed in Savannah and drove down the coast to Halfmoon Landing, remember?" He paused, a tiny look of worry on his face.
Jennifer looked at the stranger and scowled, not understanding. "I'm sorry ... I don't..."
"Jennifer," Lance began, "it's me, Lance. Your husband, sweetheart."
A look of sheer terror covered her face like a dark cloud. "You're my what?" She looked around, frightened, then back and Lance and shook her head. "No. No, it can't be, I'm not--"
"Jennifer, darling, we've been married almost a month."
With that same look of terror shining in her eyes, she slowly withdrew her hand from his. "What's my name? What did you call me?"
Lance's mouth fell open as if alarmed, and quickly looked up at Magda, who stood close beside him, still leaning on her cane. "Oh, my God! Mother, quick, call Dr. Vickers."
"I already have, dear. Lance, you need--"
"Then where the hell is he?" he hissed.
"He'll be here," she said annoyed. She took his arm and quickly pulled him to one side. "Lance, you have to try and calm down."
"But she doesn't know any of us. Is it possible she's lost her memory?" Just then he looked over at Callie and saw the I told you so look on her face.
"Whatever it is, it may just be a temporary thing. Let's wait until Dr. Vickers gets here and see what he says. I'm sure it's not as bad as it seems."
"What made her faint? Do you have any idea?"
"Well if you ask me," the old black woman began, as if she couldn't stay silent a minute longer, "I think she got a good scare. You shoulda seen her face when I found her. She was plum outta her head mumblin' somethin', and jus' as white as a sheet."
"Oh, God!" Lance said. "Where the hell is that doctor?"
* * * *
"Lance," Magda began as she opened the French doors and led him out on the veranda. "For heaven's sake, be patient. We're lucky he was at home instead of in his office. Otherwise, it would have taken him even longer to get here. Now calm down and give him time."
"I'm sorry," Lance said, his fingers digging into his hair as if trying to keep from tearing it out with worry.
"Now dear," Magda said, making sure the French doors were closed so the others couldn't hear. "You mustn't let Jennifer see you like this. It won't do her condition any good if she knows you're upset."
Lance looked up at the sky. "Rain is coming and Jennifer's afraid of storms. This is not turning out to be a very good trip for her. God, how I wish I had left her at home."
"I don't know why you didn't, Lance. You should have known this is not the place for her."
Lance whirled around. "She's my wife, mother. May I remind you we've only been married a month? Excuse me if I love her and want her with me."
"Of course, I understand. But anywhere else, Lance, not here." She turned away from him abruptly. "You always were ruled by your appetites. I wish just once you'd use your head instead of your zipper."
"Mother, don't be crude."
She whirled around to face him. "Crude is the only thing you understand, Lance. You and that brother of yours." She lifted a hand while pacing. "Well, it's my own fault for letting both of you run wild. I should have locked you in the basement during every full moon. Better yet," she added with an evil glitter in her eyes. "I should have killed you the minute you came out of the womb."
"There you go again, being melodramatic." He looked around, indicating with his hands. "Your film career is behind you, mother. There are no cameras on the veranda, so stop acting."
"God, when I think of the heartache I've experienced. Every day, every hour."
"Mother, why don't you just admit that you couldn't stay away from a certain rake from Gypsy Reef? There's where your so called heartache lies. Not with me or Stefan, but with a dirty, sleazy bohemian vagabond."
"Don't you dare pass judgment on my relationship with Ramón. He loved me!"
"He left you."
"We were going to be--"
"Married? Is that what he told you? Here's a flash for you, mother. A man will say anything when he's trying to score a home run. You'll notice the minute he found out you were pregnant, he couldn't get away fast enough." The sound of Lance's voice grew vicious as his anger grew. "He left you high and dry with his bastard child, or in this case, twins. Believe me, mother, he knew exactly what he was doing."
Anger brought tears to Magda's eyes, and she reached up and slapped him.
"The truth hurts, doesn't it?" Lance said, refusing to rub his stinging jaw.
"You wouldn't understand," she whispered.
"I'm a man, mother, I understand a lot more than you think. Why the hell do you suppose--"
"This isn't helping Jennifer," Magda said quickly, wanting to silence Lance.
Too much of the truth would tarnish her memories of Ramón and their magical nights together. Maybe things hadn't turned out just the way she'd hoped, but she wouldn't give up even a moment of their time together. Yes, he'd left, but he had given her something of himself--his boys. And she loved them, loved them with a passion that was unbelievable. Their Gypsy blood was hot and passionate, like Ramón's. She understood them, just as she'd understood him. She stared at Lance standing there looking out over the ruined grounds of the estate. Both he and Stefan were the very image of Ramón. Lance only looked like him, but Stefan was the most like Ramón. His easygoing manner, his quick smile. And then, as he grew older--
Just then, Lance turned and saw her looking at him. "What is it?"
"Nothing," she whispered, her voice breaking with emotion. "It's just that you remind me of..." Her words stopped abruptly, hanging in the air. She didn't want to get Lance started again, so she improvised. "You remind me of a stubborn old goat!" she hurled at him, her hurt turning to anger.
"What?" Lance yelped. "Mother..."
* * * *
Both Lance and Magda paced and argued as the threat of a storm raged on. Standing in the high wind they yelled, barking at each other for hours it seemed until finally they heard the doctor's car inching around the fountain.
"At last!" Lance cried, turning, rattling the French doors in his haste to get through. Finally throwing them open, he raced to the front door, opened it, then reached for the doctor and pulled him in. "Doctor's are like policemen," he said angrily, "when you don't want one, they're all over you, but when you need one--"
"What the hell are you babbling about?" the graying, middle-aged man growled.
"I don't know," Lance said worriedly, "who can think at a time like this?"
"Lance," the doctor said patiently, "it's going to be all right. Just calm down, and take me to your wife."
Lance nodded, then turned, leading the doctor up the sprawling staircase.
When they entered the bedroom, the doctor quickly crossed over to Jennifer, sat down on the edge of the bed, and quickly opened his black bag. "Who found her?" he asked, while pointing a narrow beam of light into her eyes.
"I did," Callie said, stepping forward proudly. "When I come in, she was all sprawled out in the middle of the bathroom floor in a dead heap."
"Did she say anything?"
"No suh, jus' mumbled some. She don't seem to know anything, or anybody."
The doctor looked at Lance. "You mean she's lost her memory?"
Irritated, Lance glared at the doctor. "That's what I'm waiting for you to tell me. All I know is that when she woke up she didn't know her name, and doesn't seem to recognize any of us. She doesn't even know where she is."
The doctor looked worried, then said in a hushed tone, "I would appreciate it if you would all leave the room. I need to give the young lady a complete examination and we need privacy."
"Doctor, may I stay?" Lance pleaded. "I am her husband, after all."
"I'm afraid not, Lance," the doctor said as he stood up. With a soothing hand on Lance's back, he gently herded them all out the door. "She might be embarrassed by your presence. Remember, you're a complete stranger to her now, and I'm sure she wouldn't want to be examined with you in the room. Now, please," he said, trying to close the door, "I need to get started."
After casting a worried look toward Jennifer, Lance whispered, "We'll be in the study."
* * * *
The doctor nodded, then closed the door gently.
When he turned, he saw Jennifer watching him and smiled when he sat down beside her. "How do you do, I'm Dr. Blythe Vickers. I understand you're a very sick young lady."
"Why is everyone treating me like a child? They talk about me as if I'm not even in the room."
"I'm sorry. We're just concerned about you. I hear you had a bad fall and don't remember who you are."
"Well, it's true. I don't know those people out there, but as for me, I'm, uh..."
The doctor watched her struggle with her memory, waiting for her to realize she didn't know her name.
"Well, they called me Jennifer, but..."
"Then I shall call you Jennifer, if that's all right."
"I suppose," she mumbled softly, too embarrassed to look the doctor in the eye.
"Now Jennifer, you need to be completely honest with me. Do you have any memory of yesterday, the day before, or any memory outside this room, for that matter?"
Jennifer, feeling overwhelmed, turned away from the doctor, crying softly. "I can't remember anything, doctor. I don't know who I am, where I came from, or where I am now." She grabbed at the sheet to dry her tears, and the doctor reached over and handed her a tissue. She took it quickly, still trying to avoid his eyes.
"No need to be embarrassed, dear. In my time, I've seen many a tear fall."
"I'm sorry, I guess I am acting like a child."
"How old are you?"
"Nineteen, last month," she said, then turned, looking up at the doctor hopefully. "I know how old I am."
He smiled gently, nodding. "Some things you'll remember, but the rest will come back gradually. You'll see something, or hear something that will trigger a memory, then before you know it, you'll have regained all that you lost."
While the doctor continued talking, she gazed down at the beautiful wedding ring she didn't remember putting on her finger. When she thought of the stranger who was supposed to be her husband, a question kept nagging at her.
What had she lost, and--was it worth finding again?
* * * *
In the kitchen came the clattering of dishes as Callie emptied Jennifer's untouched dinner tray. Wiping down the counter, she heard a slow, chilling scratch on the screen door and turned to see a boney hand in the dim light. Draped in shadows just beyond was the toothless grin of old Tater Crimshaw. His twisted face, sneaking up on her like that, never failed to send a shiver up her spine. It was hard to tell if he was smiling or frowning. With one eye closed, his face appeared to be frozen in a snaggle-toothed grimace. He was the keeper of the old Civil War Graveyard that bumped the Duquesne property. He weeded it, kept it reasonably clean, and slept in one of the mausoleums some rich southerner built for his family after the war. He repeatedly sneaked up on Callie while she worked in the kitchen, begging for potatoes.
"Get outta here, 'Tater, ain't got nuttin' fuh you tonight."
"You got trouble, that's what you got," 'Tater's raspy voice whispered.
"How d'you know 'bout that, you ol' ghoul?"
"I know everything that goes on in this house, and I'll tell you somethin' else. It ain't gonna get no better 'til somebody dies."
"You don't know nuttin', old man. Get outta here and go play 'mongst yo' tombstones."
"Oh, yeah?" Tater said. "I happen to know some people in this house gets thirsty, woman. Jus' like you and me get thirsty for water, they get thirsty for blood. You know it, same as I do."
"I said get outta here," she yelled, hitting at the screen door with her broom.
"You just wait and see!" he yelled, dodging the musty-smelling straw that pierced the screen.
Finally throwing the broom down, she gathered some potatoes from out of the bushel on the floor. Flinging the door open, she threw them at him, bouncing them off his bowed back. "There's yo' 'taters, you old coot, now get back to yo' dead people 'fo I empty out this dishwater all over that scrawny little body o' yourn."
'Tater scrambled around grabbing at them, visibly wincing when a loud crack of thunder sounded. Biting into a potato, skin and all, he looked up, searching the sky. "They're really restless tonight," he yelled out above the storm as the wind whistled about him. "You'll see I'm right, old woman!"
Callie turned again toward the screen door. "Is you still here?" Coming after him, she banged the screen door open and chased him with her broom raised. "I said get out." When he turned and ran, she stopped and stood with her hands on her hips watching him. "Lawzy, if I have to look at yo' misable face one mo' minute..."
"You'll see," he yelled, running toward the graveyard in a loping crouch, his insane cackling echoing through the darkness.
* * * *
Dr. Blythe Vickers, with his light colored suit, was the stereotype of a middle-aged southern doctor. In addition to his charming southern drawl, his hair was white, his manner laid back, and he favored a few patients with house calls, because of his affection for them. Although he had no fondness for Sangraal, or for the family that lived there, he did place himself at the beck and call of their money. With his black bag in tow, he quietly opened the door of the study where Lance and Magda waited. They immediately rose from their chairs, anxious to learn about Jennifer's condition.
"There's no sign of a concussion," he said, speaking softly, as if afraid of waking someone. "Actually she didn't hit her head that hard. It just looks bad because of the blood, and of course, her loss of memory. She'll need someone to watch her in case complications arise."
Lance's brow furrowed while his trembling fingers raked through his tightly bound hair, causing a few curls to spring forward and lay along his forehead.
"Now don't worry, Lance, she'll be all right. She just needs rest right now. I've given her a sedative and written down a prescription." He dug it out of his pocket and handed it to him. "You need to have that filled as soon as you can. If she's not feeling better in a few days, I want to see her in my office."
"Did she say what made her faint?" Lance asked.
"She didn't faint, Lance, she fell. Slippery floor, that's all."
"Are you sure?"
"Of course, I'm sure. She isn't pregnant. She's healthy. An accident, that's all it was. It happens."
Lance looked at Magda. "What do you think, mother?"
Magda peered toward Blythe. "I think there's something the good doctor isn't telling us."
Dr. Vickers scowled at her. "I don't know what you mean."
"Blythe, if we're going to help her, we have to know."
He hesitated, glancing at each one, then finally said, "All right. Don't ask me how I know, but I think she's repressing something. I don't know what it is, but I do know something has scared the hell out of her. I don't think it's just one thing, I think she's been through a bad time and her memory loss is the way she's protecting herself. She doesn't want to remember. She may wonder, mind you, but remember? No. There's something, maybe several things, she can't deal with. At least not now. At this point all she knows is that bed, that room, nothing else."
Lance's words held a note of impatience. "All that, and you weren't going to tell us? What else aren't you telling us?"
"For God's sake, Lance, don't get so excited. She's fine. The other is just my observations, that's all." Silence followed while the doctor looked at Lance thoughtfully. "However, I was wondering, has she tried to confide in you? Said anything that would give you the idea she was worried, or frightened?"
* * * *
Lance remembered the argument they'd had that morning. He'd noticed her acting strange, even back in New York. He'd known she didn't want to make the trip, but he just thought she was nervous about meeting his mother. He figured she'd feel better once they were here. He rubbed his forehead. "Hell, maybe I did know." He looked up at the doctor defensively. "Well, how did I know something like this would happen?"
Magda patted his hand. "It's all right dear." Then looking at the doctor she asked, "What do you recommend?"
"Be patient with her. Keep in mind, this poor young woman woke up and found herself in a house full of strangers. Make her feel safe, protected. She'll come around a lot quicker if you do. Since her problem is more psychological than physical, she'll dream a lot, have nightmares, visions. But, this isn't bad, it's a way of recalling her past. She's built a wall, and even if she wakes up screaming, these experiences will hammer at that wall, causing it to slowly crumble. In time she'll remember everything."
"What makes a person lose their memory?" Magda asked, a curious look on her face.
"A lot of things. In Jennifer's case, the hit on the head, coupled with the worries, fears, whatever, was enough to send her over the edge. I've patched her up, but there's some blood on the bathroom floor and on the pillow case." He pointed toward the small square of paper in Lance's hand. "That'll make her feel a little better, but you must remember that she's very fragile, and will need your help if she's going to get better. Talk to her about her past as much as possible. See if anything triggers her memory. I don't think this loss of memory is anything more than her mind just not being able to accept whatever it is she's running from. Unfortunately, by blocking that out, she's blocking out other things as well."
"Sounds like a bunch of crap to me," Lance said. "It seems to me if you lose your memory, you lose it. No in between ground. It's there, or it's not."
"Complete amnesia happens sometime, but the mind is a tricky mechanism. It can do pretty much anything it wants. In Jennifer's case, she just refuses to remember some things. The kind of amnesia she has, is selective. Some things she'll forget, but not others. For instance, she'll still be able to tell time, tie a knot, apply makeup, and dress herself. For all intents and purposes, she's still the woman she was yesterday and the day before. She's simply choosing what she wants to remember and what she wants to forget. She'll still remember the pleasant things. Her childhood for instance, perhaps some of the places she's been, even some people, but that may be stretching it a bit."
"Mother," Lance said worriedly, "I think I should take her home. It's this house, it's strange to her. I think a more familiar environment will help." He looked at the doctor. "Don't you agree, doctor?"
"Well," Dr. Vickers answered, a huff to his voice, "that's up to you, of course, and under other circumstances I might be inclined to agree. But, you have to keep in mind, she's frightened. If she doesn't know you, how are you going to get her to go anywhere with you? As much as I hate to say it, Lance, you and your life together are one of the things she refuses to remember. I suggest you not move her for a while. Lead as normal a life as possible and give her a chance to get better. Then, if her memory doesn't come back soon, I would suggest a therapist. And Lance," the doctor said, his voice full of insinuation. "Get a separate bedroom. As far as she's concerned, she's never seen you before in her life. She's frightened of everything now, and any agitation on that score will only worsen her condition."
"Blythe, you paint such a gloomy picture," Magda said, glancing up at Lance for agreement.
"Magda, dear," the doctor began, looking at her as if he'd gone through this with her a hundred times, "it's not my job to tell you what you want to hear, it's my job to tell you what you have to hear. It isn't always a pretty picture, we both know that, but it's always the truth, as far as I know it. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's late, and I'm tired."
* * * *
After he let the doctor out, Lance approached Magda. "Mother, you heard what Dr. Vickers said. Jennifer needs someone with her all the time."
"But Lance, you and I will be busy with the house. Plans to be made, work, preparations for the renovation."
"Then let Callie do it. She took care of me all my life. She'll be a great companion for Jennifer."
"Callie is busy with her household duties, however, I suppose with the renovations getting started, and more people in the house she could use some help." She looked up at Lance. "What do you think about adding on to our household staff?"
"I think it's a good idea." He looked around at the shining wood. "I don't know how Callie manages to keep this big place so clean, but it absolutely shines."
"Well, it's only been me for so long, it isn't as hard on her as you might think."
"Even so. I think it's about time she got some help."
"Good," Magda said, smiling. "I'll look into it."
* * * *
Curious, Jennifer glanced around the room, in awe at its beauty and elegance. Gold brocade covered the walls, and the furniture seemed to be more for looks than function. A beautiful satinwood dressing table with a dropped center caught her eye, but when she moved to get a closer look, she winced at the terrible ache in her head. While lifting her hand to her head, she caught a glimpse of it, and stopped it in mid air. Holding it perfectly still, she frowned down at it as if she'd just discovered it. She turned it over, examining it curiously, then her eyes traveled up her arm, then over to the other one.
She touched herself gently, first stroking her hands, then her arms, then she touched her face. It had just occurred to her, she had no idea what she looked like. Was she ugly or pretty? She reached for a strand of hair and tried to pull it around to look at it. Angling her eyes down, she saw it was light, and felt it falling down her back. She slowly lowered the cover, trying to get a look at her body.
This will never do, she thought, lifting her eyes and quickly looking across the room. There, in the corner, was a full-length mirror. She wanted to look at herself, but suddenly she was nervous about what she might see. What if she was plain? What if her face would stop a clock? Still, she had to know, to deal with whatever she saw. Taking her time, she slipped her feet from under the cover and swung them to the floor. Her head still ached, but she couldn't let it stop her. She had to know, so she walked, hesitantly at first, then reduced her pace to a mere tiptoe, wondering if she really wanted to learn the truth.
She stood to the side, quietly at first, then leaned over and revealed herself little by little. A hand, an arm, a shoulder, until she was staring into the sensuous, smoky blue eyes of a stranger. A wild mass of white-blonde hair surrounded her face and reached almost to her waist. As she reached up to smooth it, the waves and curls bounced back, refusing to lay down. Her petite figure fit snugly into a simple blue satin nightgown, and although it fit everywhere else, Jennifer's generous breasts seemed determined to push their way through the fragile white lace.
"Jeez, I'm top heavy," she said, looking down at the way her cleavage bloomed up over the lace. Then she gradually lifted her eyes and took a critical look at her face. "Not only that," she whispered, frowning at her reflection, "I've got a fat mouth." Finally, she smoothed the gown against her hourglass figure and groaned. "Well, that's just fine! Fat lips, fat hips and top heavy." Throwing her hands up in disgust, she turned her back on the mirror and said, "Why the hell doesn't somebody just shoot me?"
She was tempted to get back into bed and cover up her head, but her curiosity wouldn't let her. Taking a deep breath, she turned her head and looked at herself from the back. Leaning over, she gazed at the spread of her derriere. The sight was too devastating, so she stood up, whirled around, cocked her head, and looked at her feet. Suddenly they wiggled. Nothing wrong there, she thought. Her feet were small, but looked normal enough. Mm, maybe she was on to something. She began lifting the gown very carefully. First, she saw her ankles, then her calves, next her knees, her thighs--
"I wouldn't raise it any further if I were you."
Jennifer jumped around and dashed back to her bed. Pulling the covers up to her chin, she peered into the darkness of the veranda, her heart pounding. "Oh my," she mumbled when she caught sight of a husky silhouette enclosed in a mysterious curtain of shadows. "W ... Who's there?" she called timidly.
The husky silhouette didn't move, but spoke to her from within the blue darkness. "Sorry if I startled you, but I was enjoying the show too much to let you know I was here."
"The show? What do you mean?"
The stranger chuckled. "It doesn't matter. May I come in?"
"I ... I guess so."
The husky silhouette became a swarthy, handsome swashbuckler type emerging from the darkness, with nonchalant grace.
"How did you get out there?"
"The veranda extends the entire length of the house. You can walk from one end to the other, and there are no partitions to separate the rooms. That's what makes it a veranda instead of a balcony."
"Really?" she said, her attention drawn to his swarthy good looks. He looked the same as--no, not exactly the same. Had he changed clothes? Why did he come in through the French doors?
"I hope I didn't scare you too badly."
"No, I..." Her words faded when she saw his eyes travel along her body.
Silence, thick and sensuous, filled the room while the stranger's eyes slowly lowered, raking boldly over her body. He could discern a certain unique innocence about her. She seemed young, bubbly, still full of the discovery of youth, and yet with a sexy, Lolita type awareness. Her long, fluid, delicious curves almost begged for a man's touch. He could feel his loins stir at her slim, wild beauty. Even though her stature was petite, her full breasts and narrow waist suggested a delicate sensuality few women possessed. He was mesmerized by the way she moved, her body language. It was almost as if her sex appeal just crowded to the surface and oozed out of her. The good part was, she didn't seem to know it. She was completely innocent of what a potent force she was to the male animal. It was absolutely electrifying.
"I believe you're uh ... what's the name? Lance?"
"No, my dear. My name is Stefan. Lance is my twin brother. I'm the oldest, having been born two minutes before him. We're identical. That must be why you look so confused."
"Twins!" Jennifer squealed. "I've never known twins before." She hesitated, then frowned. "At least, I don't think so." Flashing him another smile, she continued with her youthful exuberance. "It must be wonderful. You two must be very close."
Stefan laughed. "That may be true in some cases, but Lance and I try to stay away from each other, as much as possible. Even though we're twins, we hate each other intensely."
Jennifer's smile faded. "But why?"
"I don't know, it's just always been that way. Competition. That seems to sum up our relationship, pretty much. If I have something, he wants it, and vice versa."
As he continued to speak, Jennifer noticed Stefan had the most beautiful sapphire eyes.
He may be identical to his brother in looks, but that's where the likeness ends, she thought. There was something very different about him. His body language suggested a loose, casual manner Jennifer liked. He didn't bind his hair up like Lance did, and she found herself wanting to bury her fingers in it. His massive shoulders strained beneath his open shirt, and she could see he had a beautiful muscular chest, covered with dark, crisp ringlets of hair. He was so tall. Surely, he must tower over other men by at least a foot. She sensed that this man was restless, too strong and potent for anything to hold him down very long. He smiled a lot, which made him even more handsome, if that was possible. Jennifer wasn't afraid, in fact she felt very comfortable with him.
"I forgot to ask, how are you feeling?"
"Oh, I guess I feel a little better." She tried to sustain a cheerfulness she wasn't feeling, when all at once, her voice softened. "Except, every once in a while, I get frightened for no reason." She looked up at him. "It's like I'm trying to remember something, but no matter how hard I try, I just can't."
Stefan smiled softly. "Don't worry. You're young and healthy. It'll come."
"Yes," she said thoughtfully, "but there's something else. I feel like I'm facing a wall. I can see it as clearly as I see you. It's a brick wall and just beyond it is another world, but I can't get beyond it. There's no door, no windows, and it's too high to climb." She hesitated, her next words nervous and frightened. "There's something back there, and it's something that concerns me." She looked up at Stefan, fear in her heart. "I want to see it, to know what it is, but, I'm afraid if I do--"
Just then, they heard something. Stefan slowly backed into the darkness of the veranda. Seeing Stefan's broad shoulders outlined against the luminous night sky, she lightly straightened the bedcovers before she called out softly, "Come in."
Lance opened the door juggling a tray with his free hand. He smiled when he saw her sitting up. "Well, you must be feeling better."
"Yes, I do, thank you."
He sat down on the edge of the bed, and put the tray on the other side of her. Taking her hand, he said, "Jennifer, do you remember me at all?"
She looked up at him. He was the exact image of Stefan, but he wore a suit and a tie, and had his dark hair combed back, bound in a rubber band. He was also extremely handsome, but there was just something about him that made her nervous. She got the feeling she should tread lightly around him, as if he was someone to fear, but she didn't know why.
Timidly, she replied, "I'm sorry."
Lance smiled, but disappointment showed on his face. "Well, I guess you just need a little more time. Look, darling, I brought you something. I happen to know you haven't eaten since yesterday. Aren't you hungry at all?"
"I'm sorry to be such a bother, but I'm afraid not."
He reached over and picked up a bowl. "Won't you at least try? It's only Jell-O. Look, darling, it's topped with whipped cream just the way you like it."
She looked down at the quivering cherry red mound that for some reason took on an eroticism that caused hot, steamy flashbacks in her mind. She reached up to her neck and began rubbing at the moist heat gathering there.
Lance watched her reaction and said, "You do like Jell-O, don't you?"
"Y-Yes, I..." Suddenly her breath caught in her throat. He looked so much like ... yes, Stefan, but he had a sort of tough charm of his own that she was suddenly attracted to.
As if in a trance, their gazes fused, the bowl of Jell-O and whipped cream between them. Lance reached for the spoon to feed Jennifer, but when he remembered that Jennifer used to like to make love using succulent foods, he bypassed it and reached into the bowl with his hands. With the quivering mass in his palm, he offered it to her with a gaze of pure seduction burning in his eyes. As if in a trance, she opened her mouth slowly, allowing him to feed her in a primitive fashion. While she ate, her mouth became enticingly covered with whipped cream.
Lance leaned forward and licked her mouth, causing their tongues to tangle. "What a messy girl you are," he whispered.
Slowly she moved her hand to the bowl and took another handful and rubbed it on herself.
"Jennifer," Lance whispered as he lowered his head to nibble at the Jell-O spread across her cleavage.
The moment his mouth and tongue began to draw on her, spirals of desire burst inside her, and she closed her eyes in rapture. While drifting in a world of sensual pleasure, she heard something and her eyes flew open.
She saw Stefan step in from the veranda.
He'd been watching, his arousal in plain sight.
Oh, God, she wanted both of them. Lance for his strength, and Stefan for his romantic cavalier manner. Jennifer watched him walk toward them with the soft, quiet pace of a jungle cat. With each step he took, he stripped himself of his shirt, and then his trousers. Just as Stefan reached the bed, Lance lifted his face and saw him--and a wolf howled in the distance. A spear of fear ripped through her. It was a strange, unidentified fear that chilled her spine. Lance rose from the bed and began tearing and ripping at his clothes until they both stood before her with pure lust in their eyes. Her gaze raked across their rippling chests, and down to their ample manhood.
She felt a tingle.
What was wrong with her?
What made her want to cast fear aside, and with untamed abandon give herself to these two rugged brutes? Slowly they came closer, and her breath stopped. Her cautious gaze darted around her, and then out of nowhere she felt a pair of soft, lush lips kissing the back of her neck, setting a fire within her. As his lips moved along her sensitive skin, she leaned her head backward, the fear replaced by licking flames that burst from her groin. She felt hands on her everywhere. Lance was kneeling beside her licking her abdomen, and then the insides of her thighs while Stefan suckled her breasts and then her neck. She reeled in their arms, a dizzying sensation turning any resistance to fire. Suddenly she felt a tongue gently licking her cunt. Licking again, and again until she felt she would burst into flames.
She lay like a feast before them.
Stefan's hot breath brushed her cheek as he kissed her face, creating an erotic path that slowly burned its way to her neck, and then her ear. When his magical tongue began an erotic dance inside her ear, she found herself unable to control herself. The frenzy of their lovemaking became hotter. Moans fell from her lips. She couldn't be still. She arched with each and every stab of desire that shot through her groin. Her hips became loose as she lost her inhibitions. Each of them started a fire within her, making her doubt that she would survive this mad, insane love feast. From them came growls and whimpers as their razor sharp teeth grazed her skin, bringing tiny droplets of blood that was licked up immediately.
Their savage caresses, the magnificent hardness of their bodies--it was all so exciting, more exciting than anything she'd ever known.
And then suddenly she felt like screaming when she felt Lance's tongue licking the insteps on the bottom of her feet. Oh, God. She'd never known anything like it. He licked her heels and her toes, taking her flesh into his mouth and slightly biting. Just then Stefan plunged his fingers into her cunt, causing her to suddenly burst into a wild, cataclysmic orgasm that made her scream like a wild woman.
As the delicious vibrations of her orgasm faded, Jennifer's slumberous eyes opened and looked beyond the French Doors into the night sky. A chill crept along her spine when she saw the icy brightness of the moon shimmering its approval of this dual act of love. When she looked again, both men had disappeared like twin phantoms in the night.
* * * *
Deep into the night, Jennifer saw herself walking in a shadowy room. She thought she was among a crowd of people, until she saw their flat, shining faces, pasted on smiles, and stiff, unyielding bodies. Blondes, brunettes, redheads, all with unseeing eyes.
She realized they were mannequins.
She looked around at the dark corners, and into leaning shadows hoping she would find a clue as to where she was, but shards of stiff material that littered the area took her attention. Strange flesh colored dust drifted into the air. She stifled a scream when she saw one of the bodies with her neck and breasts torn out. As she moved her gaze upward, a macabre smile, and glittering eyes peered at her. It was then Jennifer realized she was in a room she knew. She'd been there before, but when? And these people? They weren't people, but mannequins. She looked at each one, each pair of shiny, unmoving lips rasping out a whisper.
Help us! He is going to kill us!
For one crazy, unsettling moment, she thought the crowd of figures were alive. Women, real women, women in danger, women who would die. Frightened, she wanted to leave, but how? She didn't know where she was.
The whispers got louder.
Clattering footsteps sounded as the women began to crowd around her. She stumbled, looking for a way out. She spied a stairway and ran, trying to get to it when all at once the smiling face of a mannequin was thrust before her, and she thought she saw--no, it couldn't be, but it was, but how could it be--a tear.
Suddenly there were lots of tears raining down on her, and finally came fully awake. It was a cold spray from the rain beating down upon the veranda. Jumping up, she ran toward the ghost-like gossamer curtains floating on the wind. Grabbing the French doors, she struggled. The shivering wet wind pushed against the doors sending a flurry of tiny raindrops--tiny tears--tenderly caressing her body like the amorous fingers of a thousand ghosts.
* * * *