People pointed and stared at him that night as he walked through the artisan’s quarter of the capital. Many knew who he was, but even those that did not were transfixed by his regal bearing and the resplendent uniform of his attendants, two full centurions. It was not often that the vizier waded amongst the everyday folk of the city, and whispers and murmurings broke out as he passed each doorway. It had been many years since he ventured this way, still longer since he had made a night visit, and back then he was a figure off little note, a simple Magian soldier, the personal attendant to the crown prince, not a remarkable personage in his own right. He ignored the mutterings of his subjects, moving smartly towards his destination without pause. A few times people tried to entreat him, either inviting him in for some warmed wine and hot cider, or asking for his intervention in some legal dispute, for he was the penultimate legal authority of the empire, his rulings could only be overturned by the emperor, which they all knew had never happened yet. None took notice of the battered leather satchel held by one of the centurions, a non-descript valise made of goat leather, slung around his shoulder and resting on his left hip, rubbing against the dull metal of his bronze armor.
“You will wait here,” he said curtly to the soldiers, though not without a tinge of politeness. “Allow no one to enter.”
The right hands of each centurion hand came to his hip, and the older one gave over the satchel while their eyes scanned the street, taking in the movements of the people about, illuminated, such as it were, by small cooking fires scattered hither and yon. Each took up post on opposite sides of the arched doorway. The house/workshop they were now guarding was an anomaly for this section of the capital, made of stone and mortar, not the more inexpensive wood like most others on this block. Steam and smoke drifted up from the rear of the house, byproducts of the forge in the rear yard. A small boy, perhaps eight years old, perhaps younger, approached them from down the street and stopped in front of them, coming no closer than about ten cubits or so. He looked upon the pair with eyes full of fascination and awe. Since they did not address him he stepped no closer, a trace of fear ascending his spine.
Upon entering the house the vizier saw his host, Achnai the smith. He mixed not with workers and artisans much lately, but remembered dealings with this man in the past, in his former life, that of a soldier and a young courtier. Achnai, he knew, was superbly skilled at metalworking, and an honest man to boot. These were not the reasons he was chosen for this important task. The most important cause which drew the vizier to this place was the fact that Achnai was a foreigner, a descendent of the Israelites who were deported from their homeland, Judea, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and brought in exile to Babel. Though some of their number had returned to their motherland after Emperor Cyrus had issued a decree allowing it, many had remained. It was a good thing for the empire, too, for many of these Jews were skilled at useful trades, and their contribution to the empire was disproportionately high in comparison to their numbers.
Recently over a shared cask of wine the vizier and Mecumman, the tax minister, had discussed the benefits of keeping these outsiders among their midst, and his companion had astounded him with tables of figures showing the amount of taxes paid by these people. By means of a double tax on Jews the empire was currently flush with gold and silver, money needed to support the armies of Devaryesh in their campaigns. This money was even being used to finance the construction of the new royal salt works at Pumbedita, a project dear to the heart of the emperor.
At the sound of his entrance the smith leapt to his feet. “Prime Minister, peace-be-to you!” he cried, “To what do I owe this great honor?”
“Peace-be-to-you, my old acquaintance. It has been a very long time since I have been here, Achnai.” The vizier allowed his eyes to wander, scanning the interior of the workspace, and added warmly, “I see much has not changed in the shop since I last visited.”
“Please, Minister, please, have a seat if you would. My furnishings are more humble than I am sure you are used to, but—”
“Gladly,” the visitor replied, and with a stately gesture indicated to Achnai that he too could sit. Achnai pulled two wooden chairs up to the hearth which dominated the room, and than went to the cupboard for a flagon of wine and two earthenware mugs, placing the cups on the table, and the wine near to the fire so it would warm.
“You are alone?”
“Yes, Vizier. My wife is across town. My eldest daughter had a child last night, and my wife is still with her. Except for my apprentice, Shemaryahu, who is still in the shop, cleaning the tools, we are alone.”
They chatted for awhile, waiting for the wine to become ready to drink. A chilling breeze came through the doorway, for there was no door, but rather a rug covering the entrance. Ko’un-Zir sized up his host one last time before deciding whether to entrust him with this important task. He had chosen this Hebrew because no Baal worshipper would take the assignment. These Jews paid no heed or fear to the cult of the empire, and so would be without qualms against destroying one of its sacred relics. Shemaryahu came shuffling into the room and placed some dishes on the table between then the two men, silently retreating at his master’s nod of approval.
Ko’un-Zir took a honeyed almond from the nearest bowl and placed it over his tongue. He liked these Jewish treats, a proclivity he kept secret from his fellow courtiers. The confectioners of his own people never made these nuts as well as the Jewish ones, skipping the brief brining the Jews gave their almonds before sweetening. Achnai poured the wine, and they got down to business.
“I have a commission for you,” the vizier stated plainly.
“Yes?” the Hebrew smith answered, hoping that his guest didn’t pick up the raw excitement in his voice. A royal commission! With the money he earned on this job he would be able to make a dowry for his last unmarried daughter; the very thought of it began to consume him.
“Two commissions, actually.”
Achnai was ready to faint, but he composed himself.
The first commission was simple. The Prime Minister wanted a necklace made for his wife, a filigreed piece, similar to one he had seen in a market stall in Tyre. He brought a drawing on parchment, and Achnai perused it, named a reasonable price, six talents of silver over the cost of the gold, and they quickly agreed on a delivery date.
Ko’un-Zir and the smith drank to the agreement, but instead of continuing he became pensive, not relating the details of the second commission right away. He reached for the wine and poured another cup for himself, and then gestured to his host to ask if he needed a refill.
“Thank you sir, but I would rather pour my own,” Achnai said apologetically to the second most powerful man in the empire, if not the world. This stirred up a memory in the vizier, and he realized that his host was following the Jewish custom which forbade them to drink wine which had been poured by a gentile. He was not upset, though he could understand Achnai’s consternation; Ko’un-Zir felt ill, and it was showing on his face. Being in the presence of the Orb did that to him, but after tonight that danger would cease forevermore. He reached down under the table and pulled up the satchel, opening it and removing the silver sphere from within. Power radiated from it, though only the vizier, Vessel of the First Seed, felt its waves.
“I want you to melt this down,” he said, almost grunting in discomfort as he spoke to the artisan. “I want you to melt this down, and then mix the slag with other metals, other silver ingots you have in your shop. The metal of this orb is exceedingly pure, and it must be mixed with less pure metals.”
Achnai thought to ask why, but held his tongue. If the vizier wanted this done, his will be done.
“I will return in ten days. You will have by then melted down this orb, mixed it with baser metals, and created a replica of the orb for me. Oh, and don’t forget the rings we discussed earlier.” He reached to his waist and pulled a large pouch from his waistband, placing it on the table. “One hundred talents of silver,” he stated, bemused by the widening of Achnai’s eyes. Within thirty seconds he was gone, giving last instructions to the centurion who was taking up temporary post on the street in front of the Hebrew’s home/workshop. As his distance from the Orbis Tertius increased he began to feel better, his powers returning.
The summer was in full swing. Alan worked at the local paper five days a week, rotating among departments every week or so. It was fun; he liked the people there, and the work was interesting. Both Kate and Pauline were working with non-profit groups which had
received generous grants from the Van Devanter Foundation, a charitable organization (similar to the Ford Foundation, but on a rather less grand scale) funded by the family fortune, and chaired by their dad.
Pauline’s job was in town; she was a camp counselor for a day camp for the children of illegal immigrant workers. There had been in the last few years some accidents involving some of these children. With no child care options, and without even the six hour respite school provided to their parents, immigrant children were often brought to work sites, not the best place for them. The local authorities, with a generous grant from the Van Devanter foundation, had established a day camp, two day camps, actually, for these kids. Pauline was assistant activities director for the girl’s camp, and also group leader for the nine-year olds.
Kate worked in the city, driving in every day in her car; she was a staffer at a shelter for teen runaway girls. She had never done anything like this before, but just a little bored by the day camp work of previous summers she asked her dad to assign her something tougher, and though James was hesitant, he agreed in the end. Kate worked longer hours, often leaving for New York not long past 6am, and sometimes not returning before dark, though she only worked at the center four days a week.
She was more at ease with herself since that night in the Plaza. She was seeing a therapist, though not mentioning a word of what was happening between her and Alan. Mostly she was focusing on why she was not as nice to others as she could have been. Kate was healing.
Her encounters with Alan were as satisfying as ever, perhaps more so. There was a new tenderness about him; no longer did he verbally abuse her, and he even cut down on humiliating her so much she was thinking of asking him to keep at her a little, but she held her tongue, the submissive streak Alan had brought out in her holding her back. He almost never called her filthy names anymore (she sometimes missed that, too), and she had never called him “Master” since that night, prom night. This gave her the strength to do some things she didn’t think she was ready to do.
First on that list was breaking up with Chad. She had kind of planned to just say goodbye to him when they went off to college, allowing nature to take its course, as it were. But right after the prom she called it off. When she threw the big graduation party at the family beach house on Fire Island Chad didn’t even bother to show up, though she had invited him, and his new girlfriend, Suzy Cormier, her gossipy friend.
“Delivery for you,” the mailroom guy said as he laid the package on Alan’s desk. Alan was sitting in his cubicle at the newspaper culling wire service reports for possible use in the next edition of the paper. The newspaper mostly was concerned with local matters, and had no national or international correspondents. The only out-of-town reporter worked in Albany, and she was more of a stringer than a full-time staff member, so it fell to Alan, who at the time was rotating through the Nation/World desk, to keep his eye on the AP and bring “possibles” to the editor, Arthur Mahoney. He had spent a week at Obits, and another at the Local Business desk before coming to Nation/World. Though it was considered a very low-prestige part of the paper, he liked it, and liked working for Mr. Mahoney.
The Clarion was a “second paper.” Most people who read it did so primarily for local coverage, and read the Times or the Wall Street Journal for their main source of national and international news. Arthur had explained to him that his was one of the least important desks at the paper because of this, but no self-respecting paper could call itself a newspaper without a minimum of world and national coverage.
Arthur Mahoney was a stereotypical newspaper man, right out of central casting, from the bottle of rye whiskey he kept in his desk drawer, to the hat with the press badge stuffed into the band which hung from a hook next to his desk. He never actually wore this hat, understanding that he would be laughed at if he dared, but Alan saw in the photos gracing his walls that he used to—including one of a very young Arthur Mahoney asking President Eisenhower a question at a news conference.
The paper closed at eight pm, and Mahoney rarely showed up before two in the afternoon. It was Alan’s job to clip wire reports for him, and also to suggest headlines to go with them, if they didn’t like the wire service ones. Arthur also wrote a twice weekly column on national affairs, and often had Alan doing some research for that. Alan was enjoying this assignment immensely.
“Delivery for you.”
“Thanks,” Alan replied. He tore open the box, a small FedEx mailer, and peered inside. There was a leather case, about for inches square and three inches tall, hinged at the back. He opened it and gasped.
It was a ring, a ring just like the one he had on his finger, just like the one Massimo wore as well. There was no letter or card either in the leather box or the mailer. Alan froze, not knowing what to think. He couldn’t concentrate for more than the better part of an hour.
“Why would Jack send me his ring?” Alan thought to himself. It was the only explanation: the ring came from Massimo. No other person knew he was a Vessel of the Seed, and no other person knew about the rings, and what their significance was. He looked at the outside of the box and studied the waybill again. London. He knew no one in London. Sighing and shaking off his doldrums he turned back to his computer and began to once again scan the AP. The fourth story on the website caused a chill to run down his spine. The headline read “WORLD FAMOUS ARCHEOLOGIST DEAD IN LONDON HOTEL FIRE.” He knew, without even clicking on the link to the story, he knew.
LONDON (AP) July 19, 2002
World famous archeologist Dr. Jean-Pierre Massimo died tonight in a three-alarm fire at the Hotel du Nord, one of this city’s most expensive and exclusive hotels. The alarm was sounded shortly after 7 pm local time, and the fire department was on the scene within minutes. After getting the fire under control the firefighters made a room by room search of the hotel, and found Dr. Massimo near death in his suite shortly after 8 pm. He died in an ambulance on route to the hospital, and was declared dead at 8:23 pm.
Two firefighters were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for smoke inhalation; they were held for observation and the released after a few hours. The Swiss-born archaeologist was the only fatality. Police and Fire Department spokesmen were unwilling to comment at this time about the source of the blaze.
Professor Massimo was one of the giants of twentieth-century archeology; at the time of his death he was semi-retired, holding emeritus teaching positions at both Oxford University in Britain, and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Most of his most famous field work was decades behind him. Born in Geneva in 1913, the son of a physician and an opera singer, in the first half of the twentieth century Jean-Pierre Massimo spent much of his time away from home, on digs in the Middle East. After taking a doctorate in from the University of Basel at the age of 24 he led famous expeditions near Baghdad and Damascus. Retiring from field-work he spent the next fifty years teaching at many of the world’s leading universities including Harvard, Duke, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, Moscow University, McGill, Columbia, Hebrew University, and many others.
His wife, Emile, died of cancer in 1979, and he is survived by a son, Claude, a physician in Geneva, and four grandchildren.
“Shemaryahu, help me with this.” Achnai was holding a pair of iron tongs and indicated to his assistant to grab another set. They lifted the ceramic pot from the huge oven and placed to on the stone workbench. It was heavy, filled almost to the brim with molten silver, and they rested their arms for a few seconds before reattaching the tongs to the hooks on either side of the pot and then took it into the workshop proper.
They poured half of the molten metal into one pot, and the other half into another one. Achnai dipped a small iron ladle in each one and set some of the silver aside to make the rings. He instructed his aide to wait in the shop and skim off the impurities which would rise to the top of the pots while he set the next set of silver, the baser silver, into the oven. Shemaryahu waited for the impurities to rise, but they did not come.
This was amazing silver, so pure, so beautiful. The young apprentice had never seen silver such as this, its purity unheard of. Furtively glancing to the oven room he figured he had time, so he took the ladle off the peg in the wall and dipped it into the pot of molten silver, then quickly poured it into a simple ingot die and tied the two halves of the casting device together with a short length of linen rope. By the time his master had returned the die was safely hidden the his cubby, lost among his tools and equipment.
His training would soon come to an end, and he was already planning his own shop, so this silver would help him get started. It was crazy really. The Prime Minister had commissioned his boss to destroy and then forge one of the most sacred relics of the empire. Achnai had not recognized the orb for what it was, but he knew, having seen it paraded through the streets up to the temple during one of the religious parades. Crazy!
“Young man? Are you OK?”
The feminine voice shocked Alan back into reality. He had been sitting in his cubicle staring blankly forward for a while, and hadn’t noticed anyone approaching. He was surprised to see who it was; the publisher of the paper, Jamie McConville stood before him, impatiently tapping her foot.
“Sorry, Ma’am. I spaced out for a minute.”
“Quite alright,” she said testily, as if to convey that she didn’t really mean it. “Is Mr. Mahoney around?”
Alan didn’t know where he was. Some days he drove into Manhattan and had long liquid lunches with some of his old-time pals, usually at a tavern near Times Square. Since Mr. Mahoney didn’t carry a cell phone or pager Alan sometimes had to call the bar and ask the bartender to get him to the phone. A few days ago he didn’t return before closing, and Alan had put the whole section together by himself. He couldn’t quite remember what the old man had said before, whether he was going into the city this afternoon or not, so distracted was he by the wire service report. “I’m not sure, Ma’am. Could I help you with anything?”
Jamie McConville was a decent boss, as evidenced by her giving a position to a dinosaur like Mahoney, and another thing in her favor was that it was she, as publisher of the paper, that had awarded this prized internship to Alan, so he liked her. Many of the others on the staff, the real workers, not interns like him, did not share this opinion. Oh sure, Mahoney liked her, but that was because she viewed him as a newsroom legend, and was always nice to him, and furthermore Mahoney and her dad were correspondents together in the war, so she always thought of him as Uncle Art. One of her first acts since inheriting the paper upon the death of her father was to coax Mahoney out of retirement and hire him for the Clarion. She knew he wasn’t a top-notch reporter anymore, but she liked the idea of having him around. He could always make her laugh, something she was in need of because of her numbing, soul-suppressing marriage.
“No, don’t bother. If you see him or if he calls in from whichever bar he’s wasting away the afternoon, tell him I need to talk with him.” She turned and made towards her office. Alan admired the view, her tight skirt framing her butt nicely. He could only see a little of her legs under the length of her mid-calf skirt, but they looked nice.
Alan tried the bar in the city, but they told him that Arthur hadn’t been in today. That finished, he took his package into the bathroom and entered a stall, locking the door. He placed the box on top of the toilet paper dispenser and sat on the seat. Before doing anything else he re-checked the packing material, looking for some sort of note or message, but found none. Examining the ring he saw that it was identical to his, and identical to the one Massimo was wearing at the time of their meeting.
Now Jack was dead.
This ring before him was most likely Jack’s. But why would he send it away? Did he know he was going to die? Was he missing something? Was there a message that wasn’t getting through? Should he put the ring on?
He looked down at his hand, considering this. He had on occasion tried removing his own ring, but each time the blinding glow and the roaring buzzing sound prevented him from leaving it off for more than a few seconds. He had noticed that no one else could sense the glow or buzz from it; he had tried removing it once in school, and though he had been affected by the attempt, no one else even turned around. In fact, no other person but Jack had even ever noticed that he was wearing it. No one ever asked him about it, or even commented on its appearance. Should he just put the new ring on next to his own? He tried that, Nothing happened.
“Well, here goes nothing,” the mumbled to himself as he took his own ring off his finger. Instantly he knew something was different. In previous attempts his ring had began to glow at once, as he was slipping it down his finger, before it was even off. This time, nothing of the sort happened. He placed it in the box, next to Jack’s (at least he thought it was Jack’s) ring.
He reached into the leather box with his left hand, and took the new ring between his thumb and forefinger, placing it gingerly into his right palm.
It began to glow faintly, not the blue glow he was accustomed to, but a rich scarlet red. With a healthy dose of trepidation he slipped on the ring.
Immediately he lost consciousness.
Well, not exactly. It was more like a trance. He could feel his whole body tingling, just as it had those many months ago in the hospital when the old and dying man had transferred the Seed of Hyrcanus to him.
“Alan,” a disembodied voice called out to him.
“Hmmm?” he mumbled back, trough his trance. He felt drugged. He heard the voice again, calling his name. Alan concentrated, and through his haze he recognized the voice, that of Jack!
“I am here,” the voice answered.
“Where?” he grunted back.
“Do not concern yourself with that just now. As you must know, I am speaking to you through the ring—”
“I’m dead, yes, but that, ahem, little fact is not so important now. I need you to listen now, and listen carefully. There is a danger present against us. Someone is targeting the Vessels. I have been sensing their presence for some time now. This is why I sought you out and came to meet you at your house.
“I don’t know who and I don’t know how. My only message to you right this moment is that you should be ever vigilant against danger. Before I ‘died’ I transferred my Seed into my ring. This is how you and I are communicating now. One day in the future you will pass my Seed to another vessel. Do not concern yourself about that just yet; you will know when to do it when I let you know. In the meantime, place this ring on your left middle finger, and replace your ring on this finger. I will be in communication with you later.”
“So...I have two Seeds now?” Alan asked, confused.
“No, you only have your Seed, but you are wearing my ring, which had my seed within. From time to time I will contact you through it, and will give you instructions to carry out. I will, at some point, need you to retrieve my research, so you can study it and ‘together’ we can identify our pursuers, and then neutralize the threat. Understand?”
“Yes, some of it at least. Are you really dead?”
“My body, the vessel you are familiar with is dead, but since sensing this threat I began to take precautions, and make preparations for my death. I will instruct you later in what I need you to do, but for now, live life as you have been recently, just beware of this new danger.”
Alan passed out.
An hour later, while Alan was sitting at his desk, finally able to concentrate on work, Arthur walked through the doors, coming right over to their desk. Alan told him that the boss was looking for him, and Mahoney went to see her. He returned after about a half an hour, shaking his head sadly, but opting not to share what passed between the two of them.
“Your not in any kind of trouble, are you? I mean, for being out drinking with your old newspaper buddies?” Alan asked him.
“Nah, kiddo, nothing like that,” Mahoney replied, the scent of Bushmill’s heavy on his breath. “We didn’t discuss work. Personal stuff.” He left it at that.
They picked their stories from the wire, including the one about the death of the famous archaeologist in London, an began cutting some for length, and rewriting the headlines of others. Ninety minutes later they were done, and Mahoney went out, probably, Alan thought, to another bar.
Alan stayed at his desk. Some nights there was something for him to do around the newsroom, and he was always eager to help. He also liked using the paper’s computer system; its internet connection, a T1, was much faster than his dial-up at home.
He did some mindless surfing, still preoccupied by the day’s events, not realizing the lateness of the hour.
Jamie McConville sat at her desk staring out of the window, not really seeing the parking lot below. A glass of white wine was in her left hand, and it wasn’t her first.
“That fucking bastard,” she thought to herself.
This morning as she was about to leave for the office the phone rang in her house. She was gathering up various items, putting them into her purse, and decided to let the machine take the call. Just as she was heading out the door, the caller began to leave a message.
“Hello, this call is for Mr. Rayford,” the woman said. Philip Rayford was her second husband, whom she married two years after being widowed upon the death of Gordon McConville; she and Philip were married now for four years. “This is Lauren, the pharmacist at the Walgreen’s on Brick Street. I’m just calling to let you know your prescription is ready. Have a nice day.” Click.
Jamie sat in her car for more than five minutes debating what to do. As far as she knew her husband was not taking any prescription medicines. Did she have the right to invade his privacy and go see what the prescription was for? One factor pushed her over the edge; it was the Walgreen’s calling, not their regular pharmacy, which was a mom and pop store called Roth’s.
Viagra! “The son of a bitch hasn’t laid a finger on me in months, and he’s taking goddamn Viagra.” She might have chalked it up to the possibility that Phil was getting the pills for their own lovemaking, but that balloon was deflated when the pharmacist said, “Please remind your husband that this is his last refill.” His LAST refill. There had been others. Bastard!
Jamie had remained calm in the store, but by the time she reached her car, quiet tears began rolling down her cheeks. As she closed the door an settled in behind the wheel she was bawling. She wished she had never married the bastard. She wished her father was still alive so he could hold her in his arms and tell her everything was going to be all right. She cried some more before she was able to start the car and head to work. “Thank god I still have Uncle Art.”
“Divorce the asshole,” Arthur had said immediately, once she had managed to sob out her story. He hugged her, and she wiped the tears from her face on the shoulder of his shirt.
Now here she was, eleven o’clock at night, holed up in her office afraid to go home, half in the bag. “For Christ’s sake! I’m some kind of pitiable cliché,” she thought bitterly. She switched to coffee.
Twenty minutes and two cups of java later she locked her office and turned to go out. She walked as steadily as her fuzzy head would allow. She almost made it, too; just as she made the last turn around the end of the far row of cubicles she saw him, that summer intern kid. Just the surprise of seeing him there, because she expected that she was alone, caused her to stumble slightly. Worse still, the kid noticed. There was a pile of phone books right outside a cubicle, and her alcohol-sodden brain didn’t process the fact of them in time. Coupled with the surprise of seeing Alan, she tripped, but caught herself, her hands grasping the wall of the cubicle opposite his.
“Mrs. McConville? Are you OK?” he asked, standing up and approaching her. She was still off-balance, and he helped her regain her footing.
“Thank you, young man,” she said wearily. “I’m sorry about all of this.” She straightened out her skirt, and when she looked up she saw him watching her. She blushed almost imperceptibly. “Oh my,” she thought to herself, “Why hadn’t I noticed before that he was so cute?” Because she was married to a man she thought was faithful to her, as she was faithful to him, that’s why, she reasoned.
“What, what is your name again?” she asked him, returning his stare.
“I’m Alan Marshall, the summer intern.”
“Right, right, now I remember. Sorry again. How -hic- are you enjoying yourself this summer? Everybody been nice?”
“Oh, yeah, everybody’s been great, and I’m learning a lot. Thanks again for the opportunity.”
“You’re welcome.” She paused, her eyes never leaving him. Could she do it? Was she really thinking about cheating on Phil with this, with this, well there was no other word for him. Was she really thinking about cheating on Phil with this boy? She was.
“Would it be too much of a bother if I asked you to drive me home? I’ve had a little too much wine, and, well, you know,” she asked him coyly. She didn’t think he knew she was coming on to him, and frankly, she wasn’t sure herself.
Alan scanned her, finding out about her cheating husband, her plans to divorce him, and her desire to get back at him a little. From inside her mind he could see that her husband was away on a business trip, in San Francisco, and that her twelve year old daughter was away at sleep away camp up in the Adirondacks.
“Sure, uh, Mrs. McConville. No problem.”
“Please, call me Jamie.”
No one in the office, with the exception of Arthur Mahoney, called her by her first name. She didn’t allow it.
“What can I get you? " she asked while standing next to the bar in the living room of her rather large house. Alan thought the Van Devanters had a big spread, but this place was approaching mansion status. This was her place, not Phil’s. She had grown up in this house, just her, daddy, and the servants. Her alcoholic mother had abandoned them, skipping town with her boy-toy tennis instructor for Europe when Jamie was a sophomore in high school. The irony of tonight—that she was tipsy and trying to seduce a teen boy—was not lost on her.
Alan could sense she was nervous, both in the regular way, and with his powers. He could have cracked a joke at this point, pointing out that technically he wasn’t old enough to drink, but didn’t want to freak her out, something his abilities told him she was close to doing.
“Whatever you’re having.”
She poured a finger and a half of bourbon each into two glasses, then added a single ice cube into the each one.
“So, tell me about yourself,” she asked, her face visibly flushing. She coupled the question with her hand coming out to rest against his forearm. He could hear her breathing accelerate as she waited for his reply.
“Not much to tell really,” he told her. She walked him over to one of the couches, the nearest one, before he continued after they were seated. He told her about editing the high school paper, among other things, and she paid rapt attention seemingly fascinated by the mundane details he was sharing with her. She licked her lips, making sure he was watching her as she did so.
She leaned into him, “Tell me more,” she said softly, batting her eyelashes. Flirting she was good at, though she had never been the aggressor, never been the seducer. She was swiftly reaching her comfort limit, hoping he would pick up the hints she was dropping with her mood and body language and make a move already. “I mean, for pete’s sake! A man would have figured it out by now: a good looking, semi-intoxicated woman invites a man, a handsome boy, into her house, her empty house. Make a damn move!” her mind was screaming out, hoping he would get the message.
Alan leaned into her, covering her mouth with his. Jamie groaned, all the muscles relaxing, letting him pull her into the kiss. It was as if the boy could read her mind.
“Is that what you wanted, Jamie?” he asked playfully.
“Yessssss,” she hissed, her face inches from his, her whole view taken up by his nice-looking face. He kissed her again, his tongue exploring her mouth, the tip tracing the inside of her upper lip. He sucked the whole upper lip into his mouth, then released it, moving down to the lower one, biting down on it softly. She groaned in arousal, unable to think coherently.
“Is this what you want?” he put it to her again. Jamie nodded, then pressed her lips to his, this time her tongue doing the exploring. He stood, and then lifted her up, cradling her in is arms, surprising her with his strength.
“Hmmmm?” she responded, lost in a haze of lust.
“The bedroom. Which way to the bedroom?”
“Up the stairs. End of the hall. Hurry, please. Let’s go,” she panted. She craned up her neck to kiss him, wanting more than anything else in the world to feel his mouth on her again.
Up in the master bedroom he laid her gently on her frilly canopied bed. Her breathing was fast, and she writhed about, wanting him on her, his body pressed against hers. He stood next to the bed, slowly, undressing. Jamie reached for the buttons on her blouse, but he stopped her.
“Don’t do that,” he ordered, his voice both commanding and soothing at the same time. As he shucked off his pants with his right hand, now naked only but for his shorts, he reached out with his right, brushing her hands away from her blouse buttons, and then opened her blouse, exposing her lacy bra. She lifted her butt off the bed to allow him to unzip her skirt and pull it off of her, than laid down next to her, drawing her in for another one of those kisses she found so dizzying. Jamie admired his body with both her hands and eyes, almost drowning in the sensuousness of his embrace. She felt his hands on her back, unclasping her bra, and groaned into his mouth. Before she knew what was happening his mouth was on her left breast, his tongue lashing her nipples.
Alan was surprised by the firmness of them for a woman so old; well, she wasn’t so old. She was, by his guess, in her middle to late thirties, but that did make her the oldest woman he had been with thus far. Her breasts were small, and very firm, with pinkish-brown nipples and very small areolae; instantaneously they were erect, and Jamie gasped at the feelings of bliss shooting through her body. He reached down and felt her flesh through her panties, her secretions soaking through the thin fabric.
“Take them off,” she gasped. He complied, and saw that her reddish-brown pubic hair matched that of her head. He tossed them to the floor beside the bed and reattached his lips to her breasts, slowly working a finger between her folds, his fingers lubricating with her flowing juices.
“Ah ah ah ah,” she whinnied, her vagina spasming around his invading digits. “Please, I’m, oh my GOD—” she moaned throatily as he began to move his fingers in and out of her, wiggling them as he did.
“Please, I’m going, ah ah YES, crazy. I need you in meeeee!.” Alan slowly slid his jockey shorts down and tossed them over the side, and her eyes bulged at the size of his erection. It was hard and an angry red.
“You want me to fuck you, to fuck you with this?” he asked as he held his dick lightly in his right hand. She was transfixed, unable to tear her eyes away from it.
“Yes,” she whispered, “Right now.”
“You’re the boss,” he quipped, lining the head up to her dripping slit. He slid in, and she shrieked, her body shaking violently as he fed his whole length into her. Her trembling continued, even when he stopped moving, resting his large cock in her buried to the hilt. She didn’t orgasm just yet, but she was as turned on as she had ever been in her life.
“Fuck me, Alan, fuck me now,” she pleaded, her lips quivering and dry. As he began to pull and push she responded by trying to pace her hips with his thrusting, and her tremors became even more intense and herky-jerky. After only a few minutes she came with tremendous force, her pussy walls clenching vigorously around his cock, and her screams filling the overlarge bedroom. Amazingly, or maybe not (after all he was a boy and not a Viagra-popping asshole like her soon to be ex-husband), he held back, slowing his thrusts considerably, but now using the full length of his cock to pleasure her. After she came down a bit from her climax she felt like she was floating on a cloud, relaxed to her core. It had been a long time since she had felt this way, not since the last time she and Gordon, her late husband, had been in bed. The memory brought a tear to the corner of her eye, and she shut them, just relaxing and reveling in the sensations this boy was stirring in her. He fucked her for a long time, giving her numerous orgasms, but unlike the first one, the ones which followed were small, gentle explosions. As she gasped and shuddered again—she had lost count at this point—he came inside her, and she moaned his name aloud upon feeling him deposit his seed within her.
Alan rolled onto his back and settled in beside her, and she turned onto her side and snuggled up into him. “Thank you,” she sobbed quietly, her emotions run amok both from the shitty day she had just had, and the devastating impact of the lovemaking just concluded. “I needed that more than you will ever know.” Her head was on his chest, and he bent his neck forward to kiss the top of her hair, sending a wave of peaceful contentment through her. She began to purr as she laid on his body, shivering slightly from the evaporation of perspiration from her overheated body in the air conditioned bedroom.
They laid together for a long time, and then Alan gently extricated himself out from under her and sat up on the edge of the bed, bending over to reach his clothes.
“Where are you going?” she asked him, her voice aquiver, as she trembled in the chill air of the semi-darkened bedroom.
He looked over his shoulder back at her. “Uh, home.”
“Please, can you stay the night? I really can’t be alone tonight.” Alan saw that she was nearing tears, so he dropped his pants and laid down next to her, just holding her until she stopped shaking. They slept.
In the middle of the night, just before four o’clock, she woke him up, and they made love again.