A word of warning: ADULT LANGUAGE!
Thank you Alyce for the help with the French.
Warnings: Netiquette violations: language and adult situations
Further warnings: If you are a Rachel Quest fan read no further - delete now.
Disclaimer: (See Prologue)
November 2 is a bright and sunny day for everyone in Orleans Parish. Except for us, for us it's a dark day.
Frustration and failure are overwhelming us all. I leave my grandparents with the intention of picking up Race from the hotel. Angelique hasn't made a move against me since the night she had Benton kidnapped. This has become an all to familiar pattern. This is the last night. Race and I will go out again hunting tonight. We both know that it's useless, but still we will go, unwilling to admit defeat and failure.
If Angelique has her way tonight my baby and I will die as a sacrifice in her bid for power; Benton, if he isn't dead already, shortly will be.
I have been using Grandpapa Armand's Jaguar for the last couple of weeks. For the last hour I have been driving aimlessly around the city. I know I should have picked Race up from the hotel, but I am just not ready to face him. I have failed us all.
I hear Angelique in my mind. "What, giving up so easily? I underestimated how delicious your husband would be Mina. I have been enjoying his company. He's more virile and insatiable than I thought a genius would be. Of course, he thinks he's with you, but he'll find out differently soon enough. Would you believe that he actually had the audacity to resist my charms?"
A heavy sigh precedes her next words, "So, I had to turn him into a mindless zombie. It's really amusing little sister to learn that after all those years of you looking down your nose at me for being promiscuous---you're nothing but a putain (whore) at heart," laughter echoes through my mind.
"The City Park, and you better hurry Mina. I am growing impatient with you. I may kill him in a fit of anger if you aren't here soon." The sound of her voice fades away.
I spin the little Jaguar around in the middle of the street. It accelerates through a red light heading for the City Park.
A shroud of dense fog covers the City Park; I can see nothing further than a few inches in front of me. The fog blankets everything, and there are no sounds to lead me in my search. I sense Angelique's followers around me, but they stay back and make no moves against me.
As I flow through the fog my clothing morphs from jeans and a T-shirt to a black velvet gown. The Easy Spirit running shoes I am wearing become high heeled, button-up, black, soft kid leather boots. My hands are encased in the same soft kid leather. A sheer black veil falls from the top of my head to my waist. "Prenez garde, diable blanc, l'ange noir est arrivé (Beware White Devil, the Black Angel has arrived)," I think as the transformation finishes.
The fog rolls away when I reach the center of the park to reveal my sister and Benton. The candles and torches surrounding them show that Angelique is wearing nothing beneath her sheer white silk gown. Benton is dressed in a loose open-front white shirt and baggy white trousers.
My sister and I stare at each other daring the other to speak first. Angelique smiles nodding her head in Benton's direction, "He is a poilu (stud), yes?" She caresses his chest. I don't respond. An intense rage fills me. I HATE HER. Completely gone are whatever doubts and reservations I may have had over the thoughts of killing her. She WILL die for this trespass. How dare she touch what is mine!
Angelique is tall and willowy, yet voluptuous and seductive, with ebony hair, white skin, and black eyes. It is hard to believe that the two of us are sisters. There is a hard coldness about Angelique. "Let's get this over with," she snaps. Drums begin to beat and Angelique's followers begin to chant. Angelique steps to the altar. "Well, what are you waiting for Mina?"
"I have come to kill you Angelique. I won't allow you to have my child for your sacrifice," I stand as if rooted to the ground. I am thankful for the veil; it conceals my emotions well.
Angelique laughs, "No. I don't think so; Jethro kill him if she doesn't obey me."
Jethro steps into the circle of light; he is a giant of a man. He forces Benton to his knees, grabbing his forelocks, and dragging his head back to reveal his throat, with a machete held at the ready. I can tell that Benton is heavily drugged; he is nothing more than a zombie.
I hear Race calling our names as a counterpoint to the drums and chanting. I want to call out to him, but I know that it will do me no good. Angelique's lackey will kill Benton the moment I open my mouth.
I look at him, his bared throat. Memories flood my mind. The smell of him is in my nose. The taste of him as I have licked, kissed, and planted playful bites along his throat haunts my tongue. In my ears I hear the music that his soft moans of pleasure make as I nuzzle his neck. Of its own accord one hand moves to my abdomen were the life we have created gently flutters. *Forgive me. I'm sorry. Believe me,* those are the thoughts I send to Benton.
I raise the veil. "If I do as you wish Angelique, you must swear never to bother him or anyone else in the Quest family. For if you do there isn't a pit in Hell deep enough to keep me from destroying you."
Angelique steps back at the venom in my words. Then she smiles, and says, "Venez la mauvaise fille! (Come bad girl!)"
Two large men step out into the circle. They pick me up and carry me to the altar. I'm weighing my options. No one has noticed that my voluminous skirt hides a machete. Can I throw it lying down with sufficient force to remove the threat to Benton? Will Race hear me if I scream over the chanting and drums? Will he arrive in time to save Benton?
I have my spells ready. One will create a circle of Hell fire around the veve and altar. It will collapse and annihilate everything within it. The other will merely contain the circle's occupants until I either end the spell, or I am dead.
The men place me on the altar. Angelique closes the veve. "Mina dearest, I have decided that the last thing you will see before you die is Jethro separating your husband's handsome head from his magnificent body." I will myself to be still and not to react. Angelique begins her chants. She raises her ceremonial dagger high.
VEVE:ritual symbol, a pattern of flour or cornmeal on the floor/ground, which is unique to the Loa for whom the ritual is to be conducted.
LOA: spirit, god/goddess
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