Copyright © 2023 Saymore Barauta

Published by Saymore Barauta





A caress whispered over my temple down to my cheek. The tenderness of that caress and the heat it unfurled inside me roused yearning. I wanted more of that touch. Slightly, I turned my face searching for it. It didn’t come again. Sighing, I settled myself properly for sleep. I wasn’t ready to wake up, yet. Drifting back into sleep, my nostrils were filled with a scent I had come to know all too well. With sleep beckoning me, I ignored it. But the presence that accompanied the scent magnified and I couldn’t ignore it any longer.


      It was quite…Supreme.

      It registered in my sleep addled brain…Ethren. 

      I jack-knifed into a sitting position and collided with a muscular frame. “Oh,” I said opening my eyes. My face was cradled in his neck. 

      Quickly, he held me by my forearms. Lowering his head, his lips touched my ear, “Shh, it’s only me, Shira.” He started rubbing my forearms and then my back, soothing me incase I got a fright. 

      I wasn’t, I was in heaven and wanted to stay there forever. “Ethren,” my voice groggy from sleep. 

      “Yes,” his voice rich with emotion. 

      I almost wailed. His voice unraveled intense feelings deep in my belly. I let him rub my back for a while, basking in the sensations he evoked. Then my mind started screaming, ‘danger!’ I willed my body to move back and lay down. He let go of me. That is when I realized I was in the sitting room, on the couch. 

      “Oh,” I mouthed. 

      Ethren rested his arm on the back of the couch. His other hand went to playing with my locks spread on the cushion. He leaned over me, sitting on the edge of the couch. “Yes…Oh,” his delectable voice low. Ah…it was divine. 

      I bit into my lower lip, which drew his gaze to them. We were skimming the edge of a dangerous territory. I had to say something to distract us. “Welcome home, Ethren.” 

      Sharply, his gaze moved to my eyes, then he smiled. Ethren actually smiled…I quit breathing all together. It was awe-inspiring how handsome he was. 

      I was dazzled. Only when I started getting light headed, I remembered to breathe.       

      “Why…thank you Shira,” his fingers pulling lightly on my locks, “that was really sweet.” 

      Oh, that’s why he smiled. 

      “Fell asleep watching TV.” It was an observation. “Helmut was beginning to think there was something wrong with you.” 

      I knew he was going to report. “I was expecting you next week.” 

      “As I said, Helmut thought you might be sick.” 

      So he came back because he worried about me. Oh my…I wanted to kiss him. With all the strength I could muster, I restrained myself. 

      He continued to play with my hair, his gaze moving leisurely over my face, my chest and back to my hair. 

      “As you can see, I am the very picture of health,” I said lightly assuring him. 

      “I see that, yes.” Absent minded, he was still playing with my locks. The leisurely glances he kept on caressing me with, were weakening me. 

      I needed to break the spell. “So, you will be going back now.” The statement accomplished what I wanted it to. 

      Quickly, he masked the crestfallen expression that had started to form on his face. Without a word his hands circled my wrists and pulled me into a sitting position as he got up. Placing my feet on the floor, I looked up at him. Everything happened in a flash. He hoisted me and took one step and I found myself plastered to his front. I stopped breathing because I was definitely going to moan. My eyes were on his chest. His hands still banded my wrists. My body was in disarray, not just at the connection but also because of the power emanating from his body. I knew Ethren had power, I had felt it. But what I felt in this moment was tremendous. Ferociously, it pummeled against me. I couldn’t handle an amplified Ethren. My body had no energy for it. 

      Something kept on telling me not to show any manner of weakness. I breathed in slowly to  calm. It was imperative that I appear disenchanted. Tilting my head back, my gaze slowly raised to his. I was quickly ensnared by his. Lost in the deep, dark pools that were his eyes, all trail of thought was lost. He squinted slightly and I blinked. A wave of power had just emanated from him. Slowly his gaze moved to my lips and the spell was broken. 

      My eyes roamed over his face as my head started to spin. What in the depths was going on here? How did he become more powerful? Where had he gone and came back this…? The word monster was coming to mind but he wasn’t a monster. Ethren was gloriously powerful, a god. If I was ever to encounter one, he would be exactly like Ethren. 

      His lips parted slightly, and I was back to feeling his body pressed fully to mine. My toes curled with anticipation. He was going to kiss me. The corners of his lips twitched. I found that endearing, for some reason. Something told me to wake up when he was lowering his head. Whatever it was, I was grateful. I lowered my face setting my lips out of reach. A little pressure was exerted at my wrists. I almost looked back up to surrender myself to him, for him to do with me whatever he wanted…Almost.

      “I need to brush my teeth and make something to eat.” Poor excuse but true. I was certain it  was almost lunch time. 

      Immediately, he released my wrists but didn’t move. I was still trapped between him and the couch. He was playing a game with me. Really Ethren! I didn’t want to play. Placing my hands on his waist, I felt his abdominal muscles flex. I wouldn’t look at him and he didn’t say anything. Gently, I tried pushing him back. The man didn’t move. With as much force I could conjure up, I tried again. Ethren stood rooted in front of me. 

      “You could just tell me what you want.” The sexual voice was laced with humor. The  bounder. 

      I didn’t know what to do now, except maybe creating a vortex that would carry him and go  dump him in the ocean. I was irritated…highly turned on, having him this close and touching him  and he was toying with me. The feelings he evoked in me were over-powering, new and mind-bending. And I had a sneaky suspicion he knew what he was doing to me. “Ethren,” I  whined his name out of frustration. 

      He chuckled, a sound that reverberated through me with so much sexual force it threatened to drop me on my bum. My hands kneaded into Ethren’s flesh trying to find purchase so I didn’t  fall.

      He inhaled, soundly. 

      This is what he had wanted, for me to show some reaction. Well, he got it now. My head  lowered and I buried my face in his chest. We stood like that for a while, with his  hands on my  back, leisurely rubbing. 

      Eventually, he reached between us and took a hold of my chin with his fingers. When he lifted my face, I kept my eyes cast down. I wouldn’t dare look into his face because I knew if I did, it would be over. He would overwhelm me and devour me. That could not happen. 

      “Look at me,” his voice laced with rampant authority. 

      I obeyed. 

      His eyes bored into mine and I was trapped in their darkness. “I won’t force you, but one day  soon, you will come to my bed willingly, Shira.” It was said with great certainty. 

      The breathy sound that escaped my lips was more of a moan. Firstly, because my sexual  need went up a notch, secondly because I knew he was right. It was crude, yes…but he was  definitely right. He released my chin and walked away. 

      I was left standing there wondering how I was going to fight this and overcome it. After a few  minutes, I walked to my bedroom in a daze. 

      Despite my efforts, whatever was between us was growing. Yes, I fought but for how long  was I going to be able to? Desire for him blazed inside me and I fought to keep it contained.  With everything that I had to accomplish and what was now expected of me, Ethren was a  forbidden fruit that I could not allow myself to pluck and enjoy. And as we all know, there is an  allure to the forbidden that makes it dangerously desirable. Ethren had captivated me and I  found it exciting. But I feared he would consume me, I would not be able to focus on anything,  but him. 

      I took a cold shower. The sexual tension heated me to the point I almost gave in. After the shower, I had renewed determination to fight it. Too much was at stake for me to give into weakness. 


I went snooping, I needed answers. Ethren came back with more power and I had to know why  and how? Maybe the power had always been there and he just masked it. So why reveal the  extent of it now? I searched his home office, thoroughly. There was nothing suspicious in there. 

      His bedroom was next. 

      An amazing blend of gray and black greeted me when I entered his bedroom. No white anywhere, it was so…him and the air thickly infused with his scent that my nose always made sure to pick up. The travel bag lay open on a settee. I went through it. What I found odd was the mining gear. What need did he have for mining gear? As far as I knew, he didn’t own mines. I moved on to his wardrobe, chest of drawers and bathroom. Oh, there was white in the bathroom. But still, I didn’t find anything that could explain Ethren’s power and why the intensity of it fluctuated. And there was nothing in the penthouse that could shed light on his past. All this suggested, the man had something to hide. What was he hiding? 

      Going back to my room, I was desponded and thoroughly confused. I didn’t like that Ethren  made me feel useless. Despite the power I had…compared to him, I felt utterly insignificant. Powers were either bad or good. With Ethren, I couldn’t tell and I resented that about him. Which I thought was good because I was well on my way to being cured of the silly feelings that had infected me. 

      Retrieving my shell from where I kept it, I sat down in the middle of the room facing East. I entered the spirit plane and found myself in her house. Oh, she didn’t come to me this time. The moment I saw her, she smiled and stretched both her arms towards me, her hands facing up. I rushed to her and placed my hands in hers. I felt settled at the connection. 

      She released one hand and smoothed my locks, pushing them from my face. “Oh, my dear girl. What’s troubling you so?” She asked with so much tenderness reflected in her eyes. 

      I sighed lowering my gaze, “Ethren.” 

      “The man who shelters you.” 

      “Yes,” I let go of her hand and went to sit down. 

      She followed and sat facing me. “What about him?” 

      “He has power that I can’t figure out. I have no idea what to make of it, is it bad, is it good? I have no idea. He went away last week but when he got back he was imbued with such power I had never felt before. Maybe he shields meaning it was always there and worse he knows about me. But do you know what is strange? 

      She just gazed at me with soft eyes. 

      “I don’t feel threatened at all. I’m so much at peace around him. What do you think I should do? Should I leave his home, should I stay on?” 

      She turned her face away from me. The look in her eyes, she seemed to have gone far away. Eventually, she turned to me and took both my hands in hers. “Dear, evil attracts evil, to help it cause all manner of havoc in people’s lives. Good attracts good. Now you have to look inside you. What kind of power is there?” 

      “Good, I think…for the most part.” 

      “You doubt the power you have?” she said in question. 

      “Well, let’s not forget I have a tendency to lean towards getting pissed off to the point where I forget myself.” 

      She smiled indulgently. “Having a temper doesn’t make you evil. Besides, it only comes up when you think and feel you are being treated unfairly. Also when you see wrong being done. Now tell me, has this man done something that exhibits evil?” 

      The man took me in, he gives to charity. “No.” I shook my head, looking down. 

      “Does he treat you well and has anything happened that might show he is leaning towards doing you harm?” 

      “Yes and No,” under no circumstances was I going to mention the insane attraction between us. As far as she was concerned, I was above such things. 

      “Then, what has you concerned?” 

      “I just wanted to understand the root of his power.” 

      She smiled and tenderly stroked my cheek. “Then you will.” 

      And that is all I was going to get out of her. I thought of asking her to tell me everything about him, but she would just see it as me being lazy to do the work. 


For two days, I had been trying to avoid him without much success. I tried to hole myself up in my room last night and the guy was having none of it. After supper, the man decided to work on his laptop sitting on a settee in my room, while I watched a movie on the laptop. To keep me company, he claimed. I chose to pretend the incident had not occurred. He never brought it up  but he treated me as if I was now his, even though nothing had yet happened between us. 

      In his absence, I had used my power for four consecutive days and my body was thrumming with the vitality that only came with the use of my power. With Ethren around it was nearly impossible to use it but I was determined to find a way. Already I could feel I needed a release, I was frustrated and it was all Ethren’s fault. It’s not like I didn’t have enough to deal with trying to find my target. Now I also had to deal with everything…Ethren. As long as I lived in his penthouse, he was a fixture in my life and decisions.  

      Because I didn’t want to spend more time around him than I needed to, I decided to make something for supper before he came home. I poured myself a glass of wine to drink while I cooked. My brain was trying to work out how to sneak out and not get caught. His capabilities were still a mystery to me. What if he could tell when I leave the penthouse at night?  

     I had just finished cleaning up when the elevator door opened alerting me to Ethren’s return. 

     Perfect, I could escape to my room and only come out when it was time to eat. 

      “We are going out for dinner, tonight.” He announced the moment he got to the kitchen.  

      Hell, I thought. My back was to him. I took my time facing him. When I did, I had a primal reaction to seeing him. Delectable as always in a suit. At random moments, I found myself forgetting that nothing could happen between us. Even when I was irritated and frustrated it would just slip away. “I had already made supper.” I stated, though I was sure he had noticed. 

      “We can always put it in the fridge and heat it up tomorrow.” 

      “Food taste better when freshly made.” I was really trying to be difficult. The thought of him wining and dining me, being attentive and caring as he always was when we went out petrified me. It’s ridiculously easy to fall for someone when they are being romantic. 

      He reached behind a kitchen counter and retrieved a shopping bag. 

      Shit…more clothes, I prayed it wasn’t white. 

      “I made a reservation for eight.” He said sauntering towards me, that economical grace skewing my equilibrium. I shifted on my feet. 

      So he wasn’t accepting my excuse. 

      When he towered over me, he raised his hand and gently stroked my cheek. 

      The tenderness and the emotion suffused in that touch ignited a need so vicious I had to lean back onto the sink behind me. Both my hands grabbed the edge of the sink for fear of touching him and begging him to take me. 

      Handing me the bag, “I thought you might like this.” His voice betrayed the emotion coursing through him at being close to me. He wanted me. But I already knew that. He was intent on making me fall for him by enticing me to the point I couldn’t resist him anymore. 

      Strange, I actually managed to read him. I raised a slightly shaking hand to receive it. The man would reduce me to a quivering mass, I thought inspecting the contents of the bag. Black, thank the depths, “Thank you.” So Ethren could shield himself and unshield when he wanted to.

I had thought I was blocked at some point but it wasn’t it. He was shielding because he knew my power. Well, hell…this complicated things. 

      “How was your day?” He was still towering over me, making me feel small and making it clear that he could force me into submission. 

      Again…well, hell. “Good.” I wouldn’t look at him, not if I wanted to stay lucid. He was too close and realizing I was right about him knowing I had power, threw me. “I have to get ready.” He moved out of my way and I escaped to my room. 

What I found strange was how knowing that Ethren had power and him knowing the same about me did not worry me…at all. I had so much peace about it. What terrified me were the feelings we had for each other. The evening had been spectacular and him…dangerously amazing. Every minute spent with him became more and more difficult to ignore and fight what was between us. And the fact that I was the only one fighting against it didn’t help. It seemed he was determined to have me fall for him. To what end? I wondered.

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