Published by: eXtasy Books
Word Count :45967
Publication Date :2019-08-16
Series : Storyteller#2
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-2355-1
Sometimes a blessing begins with a curse…
Since Jasarah arrived in Denver, her life has taken her to places she never imagined were within her reach. Now she lives under the alias Shadow with her true love, Ghost. He brings out the best in her, including abilities she was unaware she possessed.
The other members of Ghost’s group have accepted Shadow as one of their own, although one of them, Fixer, makes no bones about how much he desires her for himself. Ghost fears he can only tolerate such insolence for so long before he cracks under the pressure and his desire to teach the man a lesson. Shadow tries not to let Fixer’s fixation tear them apart or make their group unable to function as a team. But there is a limit to how much even she can do.
Shadow has much to learn, and Ghost has much to tell her. Will his revelations of his past bring them closer together or tear them asunder? Is 001 the answer they seek for the future they hardly dare to imagine?
Shadow and Ghost face a life-changing event which threatens the existing social order. It may redefine the races for all time. Can they handle the challenge, or will it defeat them?
She was seductive and tantalizing as the snug dark blue jeans slid over her hips. She hooked together the clasps of her bra, then playfully pulled his black silk shirt over her shoulders.
“You’re trying to tempt me again, aren’t you?”
Shadow smiled over her shoulder. “Now what would make you say such a thing?” Dropping the shirt in the same fashion as she had the robe, she handed it to him. “It’s too big.” She went to the closet and selected a light blue cotton shirt. “This’ll fit better.” She put on the shirt and buttoned it up to the necklace he’d given her as a gift. “How’s this?”
Ghost put on the black silk shirt. “Perfectly alluring.”
“Let’s have breakfast, and then I want to go for a ride.”
“Anything you want. We can work on file twenty-one another time.” Ghost followed her into the kitchen and helped her prepare their food.
“You know,” Shadow mused absently, “I’ve always wondered where everything came from.”
“Like what?” He reached around her for a cup.
“Like the war machines, the liquid that fuels them, and the other machines we use today.”
Ghost looked at her thoughtfully. “I guess your elders didn’t tell you much, did they?”
Shadow shook her head.
“They seldom do.” He tried to joggle his memory. “I know the elders believe that a powerful computer designed most of what we have today after the great storm to provide the survivors with a chance at life. It supposedly created the basic designs of a self-preserving household.
“As far as I know, every building has a power supply, condenser, replicator, air-cooling system, and water heating system. All these machines are interconnected and exist to provide for us without any assistance from us. Those who made vehicles also constructed the fuel dynamos, which require little attention except for when we have to dispense fuel manually. This super computer also designed the various buildings and the materials we needed for clothing, along with all the other machines I’ve listed. It also created the formula to an acid-resistant substance which was painted or sprayed on all our buildings and vehicles. The substance was made to protect us from the effects of extended exposure to the sun and atmosphere. Humans just had to build everything using the super computer’s designs, blueprints, and formulas as a guide. But they also created weapons and made adjustments to many original blueprints over the centuries.”
“A computer did that for us?”
“It must have been a massive mainframe with one hell of a programmer behind it.” Ghost grinned.
Shadow laughed softly. “I thought humans were irresponsible.”
“Well, look at what humans did the first time around.”
She met his gaze. “If the world were to be repaired, do you think we’d make that same mistake again?”
“I don’t know. Only time itself can answer that.” Without another word, they continued to focus on preparing breakfast.
Dressed in jeans and a shirt, Dodger entered the kitchen. “I don’t know what you’re doing in here, but it smells good.”
Shadow smiled. “Good morning.”
Ghost reached over her shoulder and swiped a morsel.
She slapped his arm away. “Stop that and get out of my kitchen.” She folded her arms across her breasts and glared at him in mock anger.
He just laughed and retreated to the living room.
With a wide grin, Dodger followed Ghost.
Shadow carried the tray of food to them and set it down on the coffee table. She picked up a plate and handed it to Dodger. “Please give this to Raz. Somehow I get the feeling he isn’t going to be up for awhile.”
Dodger took the plate and went downstairs.
* * * *
The tap on the door drew his attention. “Come in,” Raz answered quietly.
Dodger opened the door and stuck his head into the room. “Shadow sent this down. She thought you might not be feeling well.”
He kept his back to the door. “Set it on the table. She’s right. I won’t be up today. I need to rest.” Raz heard Dodger set the plate on the table and close the door. He sighed.
I knew the risk when I cast the spell. What I don’t know is if I’ll change back and when. He sat up and quickly ate the food. After clearing his plate, Raz sighed and glanced in the mirror. His face had aged so much overnight. He brushed the thought aside, lay back down, and went to sleep again.
* * * *
Ghost offered Dodger a plate after his visit with Raz. “Well?”
“You’re right, Shadow. He doesn’t feel well.”
When they finished breakfast, the trio carried the plates to the dish unit.
“Ghost and I are going for a ride today. How about you?” Shadow asked Dodger.
“Is this a private ride, or may I join you?”
Ghost shrugged and turned to Shadow. “I think he could use the ride.”
“Join us. By the way, has anyone seen Fixer lately? I have to get my gear.”
The men looked at each other and shrugged.
“I guess he had something to do.”
Shadow headed for their bedroom and returned fairly quickly with Ghost’s jacket. After slipping into their jackets and gloves, they headed for the bikes.
Dodger handed the blue helmets to them and took the black one. “Don’t forget the com-link.” After pulling on the headgear, he opened the garage door, pushed the blue war machine out into the driveway, and mounted it.
Ghost fixed his helmet and made sure Shadow’s head gear was adjusted properly. Nodding his approval, he pushed her motorcycle out of the garage and returned to get his.
Shadow swung her leg over the seat and tapped the helmet. She started the bike.
Ghost tapped the side of his headgear as well and mounted his bike. Sensing her tension through her breathing, he sought to reassure her, “Don’t worry, we’re here, remember?”
She nodded and shifted the motorcycle into gear, letting it ease forward.
The men glanced at each other and nodded.
Gunning the throttle, Ghost took the lead. Shadow followed him out of the drive. Dodger stayed close enough behind her to see if she got in trouble but kept enough distance to avoid a collision if she fell.
“You okay?” Ghost asked.
“I’m fine,” Shadow answered. “I’d ride beside you, but I’m not sure if you want to take that chance.”
He moved to the outside edge of the road and motioned her forward. “Come on up.”
Opening the throttle, she eased up beside him.
Dodger appeared on her other side. The men gave her as much room as they could. As they headed into town, Dodger dropped back behind her.
“Do I need to drop back?”
“Only if you want to.” Ghost glanced at her.
Shadow held her position as they pulled into a parking lot. She recognized it from the other day. They turned off the machines and secured them before they headed for the door.
Dodger collected the helmets as he held the door open for them.
Ghost slipped his arm around her waist. He wanted everyone in the bar to know she was taken. They walked to a table near the dance floor.
Dodger gave the server their order and paid for it when the woman brought it to their table.
“Can I talk to you?” asked a familiar voice.
They looked up.