August 13, 2016 by Lyn
His Mentor hadn’t warned him about Daeva.
She was hiding her horns behind a heavy Mask when he met her, but letting her tail trail out under the bottom of her skirt for anyone to see. Dangerous: not all humans were affected by the Blindness of the Gods, and not all Ellehemaei were kind to passing beautiful women, especially not to the sort with tails.
She seemed as out of place in the respectable restaurant as he was, dressed up nicely in a look somewhere between “rich” and “expensive,” but there was a spark in her eye that drew him in and so, with manners his mother would have been proud of, he bought her dinner.
She told him she was a widow – when they met later, under far different circumstances, she took great pains to point out that this was, in fact, true; that nothing she told him was, per se, a lie. That was of little consolation then, and of little consequence in the moment; he assumed “widow” was a euphemism. By the time dinner was done and he was paying for her hotel room, he was certain of it.
She was perfect. That was the first thing his Mentor hadn’t warned him of. Her body, lithe and agile and slender, round in all the right places, her smooth skin, her pink nipples and silken blonde hair; under the formal layers of clothing, which he opened and peeled off as if revealing a sacred object, her body was absolute perfection. Her lovemaking, the things she did and the little noises she made as she moved under him, drove him wild.
And she talked, afterwards, with a confidence and competence and a lack of silliness he had only found before in other Mara, as if she didn’t need him for protection but just enjoyed his company. That, even more than the amazing lovemaking, kept him there in her arms all night.
He left in the morning, understanding, even if he didn’t want to, that relationships which started with a financial transaction were not meant to last, and that he couldn’t afford more than another night with her without paupering himself.
She’d been perfect. The thought plagued him for another decade, and made time with human women seem cheap, and tawdry, and ultimately fruitless, until, mercifully, the memory of her in his arms faded a little.
By the time he saw her again, he had found a woman, a human woman, with the fire and the spark and the self-assurance he’d found so startling in Linden-Blossom, but more; his Janna had a fire and strength he’d never seen before in anyone.
He was pretty sure it was having Janna, knowing and loving her, that kept him from killing Linden-Blossom when he met him again, in the streets of Philadelphia twenty years later.