Warnings: Netiquette violations: language and adult situations

Further warnings: If you are a Rachel Quest fan read no further - delete now.

Disclaimer: See Prologue.




At six o'clock that night the DragonFly touches down in New Orleans. Everything we would need has been packed into a custom mini-van. I volunteer to drive. Race looks at me suspiciously, "I didn't know you were familiar with New Orleans."

"You never asked," was my short reply.

Before going to our hotel we make a quick stop at St. Louis Cemetery #1. Everyone starts to get out of the van. "No, it's dangerous here, especially at night. I won't be long. Just stay here," I order, walking towards the gates.

I walk to a tomb: it's old and in sad shape. It's not the tomb that the tour guides claim is Marie Laveau's. I place my right foot against the tomb, and pick up a piece of brick; quickly drawing three X's on the surface of the tomb. Then I place my hand over the marks, rubbing my foot three times against the tomb. When I finish this ritual I tell Marie what I am seeking. Then as tradition has it, I ask that Marie make a gris-gris for me.

As I say a brief prayer for Marie, a figure dressed all in black seems to appear out of nowhere. Her clothing is old fashioned and she wears a large brimmed hat with heavy black veiling. Her voice as she speaks is neither young nor old. "You have come back. Why?"

"I'm not sure, but I sense I am needed; there is a Caplata at work here," I respond.

The figure answers, "Yes."

"What does that have to do with me?" I question the figure.

The figure steps closer, and says; "It is said that this Bokor needs to sacrifice the fruit from the barren tree in order to gain the power she seeks."

I shake my head. "I still don't understand?"

The figure holds out her hand to me as she speaks, "Faites attention, il est danerous pour vous ici petite sorcière. (Be careful, it is dangerous for you here little witch.)" In her black gloved hand are four St. Christopher's medals identical to the one that I wear.

I take them, reaching into my jeans pocket to pull out some money. I tell the figure, "LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER! (Let the good times roll!)" She vanishes into the darkness as mysteriously as she appeared.

I wave away the questions that everyone asks as I drive to the Royal Orleans Hotel on St. Louis Street in the French Quarters. I insist that everyone wear a St. Christopher.

At the hotel, we take the largest of the rooftop suites. The boys exclaim excitedly over the convenience of the rooftop pool. Hurriedly, they change into their bathing suits. Race decides to join them.

I stand looking out over the French Quarter and across the Mississippi at Algiers. Little has changed in all these years. Benton Quest walks up behind me. He wraps his arms around me and begins to nuzzle my neck. A delightful shiver runs through my body. He knows just the right spot to nibble. My knees turn weak. I sigh as he continues, leaning back against him.

Jonny asking if we can go to Bourbon Street when they finish swimming, unfortunately, this ruins the moment. All three of us adults respond with a resounding, "NO." Tomorrow I promise I will take him for a drive down Bourbon Street. "Who knows, perhaps when you turn 21 Benton and Race will bring you back here and take you and Hadji to Bourbon Street," I joke.

"You mean you'll let me go to Bourbon Street?" Benton chuckles in his rich full baritone voice. I grab his shirt collar. "Only if you promise to behave yourself," I tell him as I pull his head down to kiss him.

Jonny splashes both of us; he occasionally shows signs of jealousy when we display physical affection. Benton breaks the kiss; "We should change out of these wet clothes Ms. Harkness."

"Yes, Doctor Quest." As we walk by the pool I make sure to say, "Thank you, Jonny."

Jonny looks stunned. "Thank you for what?" Race is sitting on a chaise lounge.

"Have fun you two," Bannon laughingly calls after us.

An hour later the Quest Team has dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe on North Peters Street; it was Jonny's turn to choose were we would dine.



CAPLATA - a priest or priestess of evil Voodoo or Vodun

BOKOR - a priest or priestess of evil Voodoo or Vodun

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