To anyone else, the graveyard amounted to nothing more than a compilation of various intricately carved headstones that offered a glimpse into other's past lives. But to Katlyn, it all appeared dark and ominous. She instantly yearned to leave. As the two moved from headstone to headstone searching for Houston's grave, chills raced across her skin. She purposefully neglected to inform James of her "clan's" sensitive nature. She and Margaret were the most sensitive of them all. She didn't know why, but it had been generations since any like them had been born…at least that is what her father had told her. But such things could not be discussed with outsiders…ever. It was a part of the old way woven into her being from the beginning. It truly was the only part of the old way that she couldn't release herself from. The feelings that raced through her ranged from hatred to long lost love. She knew for a fact these were the feelings carried by each and every soul around her. The weight of the night pressed in on her as though she had been placed in a small, shrinking room. If she didn't leave soon, it would quickly overwhelm her.
"Ok, James, let's part ways so we can find it quicker," she suggested rubbing her arms.
"And leave such a delectable treat all on her own? I don't know about that."
"Come on…it will be quicker."
"You're right…good idea. The quicker we find him the quicker we can get back to the parlor."
"No, I don't think so. The quicker I can get back to my parlor. I'm afraid we must say goodbye for the night when finished, my friend."
James understood this as a dismissal but it didn't faze him. So what if he couldn't make her his tonight? There was time…he would woo her…seduce her…until she gave in and he claimed her for his own. With all previous guilt now eliminated, he fully embraced the growing desire to have her…heart, body, and soul. He smiled with secret anticipation but instead replied, "Pity…well shoulda brought a lamp instead of relying on the moon. Sorry. Are you cold? That gown is somewhat revealing in the um…neckline area."
"Mind your own business, cowboy," she snapped with growing discomfort as she kicked dirt onto his boots.
James laughed heartily, shook each foot then moved away.
Katlyn really had no intention of searching for his brother's grave. She would head right back to where she had come from as soon as James left her sight…and now he was gone. Carefully, she worked her way back. The feelings pressed harder in on her almost suffocating. Where is the entrance? It hadn't taken this long to come in.
Nothing looked familiar but she pushed on, bombarded now by flashes of images in her head. Her head felt full and heavy, undoubtedly proving it would worsen unless she could escape. She must escape now! She lifted her skirts and bolted in blind desperation. The images and feelings increased--pressing against her skull. Gunfights, murders, natural and unnatural deaths…too numerous to count and now the whispers began. Some threatening, some enticing weaving in and about the mixed images…calling her, luring her. The multiple voices bombarded her mind as the flood of feelings threatened to overwhelm her. And the mixed scents of gunpowder, leather, and assorted perfumes flowed about her threatening to drown. One particular headstone stood strong and comforting in the distance. She concentrated in that direction, feeling only a soothing wave.
She dropped her skirts and covered her ears as she raced to it, leaping over misty hands and arms that only she could see reaching up to grasp at her skirts and legs. Kate didn't know if they could actually touch her, but she surely didn't want to find out. When she finally jumped upon that soul's site, everything quieted, receding back into a calm after the storm. This must be a powerful soul indeed to offer such peace in all this chaos, she thought thankfully. She gasped huge breaths of air to steady her thundering heart and leaned against the stone. Where exactly am I, she wondered, gazing about. She studied the area cautiously while careful to remain upon this particular gravesite. Hopefully, James would show up soon.
Then again, maybe she didn't want his return. She wasn't so innocent that she hadn't noticed his increased interest in her. It seemed to have started out pushy and light in the beginning but now she felt his deeper, keener interest since trying to convince her of his brother's involvement in a possibly arranged marriage. His sudden change unnerved her. Katlyn continued to think as she turned around and absently studied the stone before her with her hands. She rubbed her palms across the detailed carvings and noted with surprise that the stone felt warm to the touch. Her fingers traveled slowly from the top to the bottom, noting the outline of a face. There wasn't enough light to make out any details so she traced the lines again and again hoping to form a picture. But it escaped her. She did, however, begin to feel the faint feeling of…desire. She could feel it blossoming in her heart and between her thighs. Were the thoughts of James the cause of this? Or could it be this soul that had departed? Hmmm… what's the story on this one?
Now the inexplicable feeling of tender love flowed through her body, wrapping her in a warm cocoon. She accepted this enticing feeling as it washed over her not realizing this could open hidden doors. She didn't know why she accepted this one when she had just fled from the others. But the void she had felt earlier began to shrink. Now the desire flowed again but much stronger urging… pushing…insisting. Her eyes fluttered shut as unparalleled erotic intoxication filled her soul; she reached up with one hand to trail trembling fingers across her breasts. Her skin tingled at the caress as she eased her hand beneath the top of the bodice to pinch a soft nipple. It hardened with desire as she moaned with pleasure. Still, the desire pressed her to continue as she now turned again and leaned against the stone.
Reason began to escape her as her other hand skimmed down to her hip to pull up the gown. It moved as though having a mind of its own. Soon her hand found entrance into her pantaloons. The feelings flowed about her, blocking the outside world while she continued the exploration. Her persistent fingers moved toward the soft triangle between her legs and quickly she found her most sensitive spot. She started with surprise at how wonderful it felt…
As though knowing what to do, she gently moved her fingers across the smooth, silky skin causing a burst of pleasure to shoot through her body. With more urgency, she rubbed the area harder, quickly realizing her need for these pleasures. The feelings increased and deepened as she continued and now she distinctly heard a single faint unintelligible whisper. One hand caressed a breast while her other pleasured her.
"Ohhh…what is happening?" she moaned into the night air unable to control the urges coursing through her veins. Harder and harder she stroked herself while a gentle breeze began to blow. Bit by bit, her newly pinned up fiery locks began to fall in curling cascades until all of it had become loosened. She didn't know or care how that had happened at this point.
"Katlyn…," she heard the masculine whisper speak her name. Had she not been so captured by the feelings, she would have fled in terror. Instead, she remained rooted…unable to move as her excitement increased at the mysterious sound of her name.
She stroked herself more urgently as the whisper encouraged her. "Yes, Katlyn… yes…for me…"
Suddenly, she arched her back as lights exploded behind her eyelids and the flood of inexpressible pleasure engulfed her. She trembled at the power of it as the doors opened even further. The void she had felt…disappeared completely as something indescribable filled her.
"Katlyn…," whispered the voice distinctly near her ear. She could almost feel the warm breath upon her neck as goose bumps shot across her skin. She should be terrified, she should flee, but she couldn't…and she didn't want to…
"What soul are you who seduces me?" she moaned, trembling under his erotic power.
She felt the pressure of strong hands grasp her shoulders then move down her arms and onto her waist. Then suddenly, she felt part of a man's form pressing against her back. Fear began to creep across her spine yet still this soul caressed and soothed weaving his magic about her.
"Katlyn, love me," he urged, surrounding her with waves of blissful love.
The masterful spirit captivated her inexperienced heart, but how could she love what she did not know?
"Love me, Katlyn," he persuaded, nibbling insistently upon her delicate neck.
She sighed softly as she now felt the complete form of a man holding her…running his hands freely over her needful, wanton body. He turned her about to face him but she couldn't make out his features in the weak moonlight. "I'm, I'm afraid," she whispered faintly struggling within his hold. His hands held her firmer, refusing to yield.
"Do not be afraid. I won't harm you," he soothed while his fingers followed the soft curve of her back through the thin gown. She shivered with delight.
"No…no don't touch me…please. I am not ready for a man to have me just yet…not James and not you…," she sputtered weakly, her denial making no sense since her body begged for his strange touch.
"But I am not merely a man…and as for James, he can not have you…ever…you are mine." His fingers easily loosened the bindings pulling the clothing from off of her shoulders. Katlyn moaned beneath his masterful touch. Soon the gown had been pulled to her waist, exposing milky mounds of flesh. The spirit lowered his head and kissed a tender nipple. It perked instantly…as if pleading. She felt his warm lips move in a smile which oddly enough pleased her all the more. He suckled and lolled the bud within his mouth savoring the delicious taste of her feminine flesh. She arched her hips against his, yearning for some sort of release. Something she had not felt before. Something she wanted to feel now. With a groan, his caresses roughened in need.
"Oh, please…more…," she begged, feeling weak in the knees.
"Yes, dear Kate, you will have more…," he promised, reigning kisses upon her sweet skin.
He continued his rampage, running his hands down her backside to cup her hips more firmly against his. His hardness jutted enticingly against her and she wanted him. God help her but she wanted this mystery man or spirit…she didn't know who or what he was.
She leaned her head back, wrapping her arms about his shoulders while he ravaged her more than willing body. His hands expertly found entry beneath her gown and she trembled in fright until his strong fingers squeezed and kneaded her buttocks, continuously pressing her harder into him while he still feasted hungrily on her breasts, throat, and lips. And if he moved his fingers just a little further, surely he would feel the moisture easing out just for him…she wanted him to feel it…
"Katlyn, what are you doing?" James's voice interrupted her cloudy mind as she opened her eyes to focus. Had…had she been dreaming? What happened? Where am I?
"Wh…what?" quickly she glanced down and noticed that her clothing remained exactly as it had been before--completely intact. Even her hair remained as though never released.
"I was just uh feeling the stone to see if I could figure out anything. It's too dark. We'll have to come back another time."
~ * ~
James quirked a brow. He had seen her strange, enticing behavior from the shadows. She had been completely alone so he didn't understand what had set her off. However, he chose to watch the episode rather than disturb her. He had never witnessed such an erotic display, but knew it thrilled him more than anything had ever thrilled him before. The blood boiled through his body…he felt barely in control…like a steer in rut. It only reinforced that he wanted this hot-blooded woman for his own and now. He tried to squelch his thoughts and smiled, humoring her, "I know exactly whose headstone this is."
"You do?" Katlyn turned to face him suddenly needing desperately to know his answer.
"Yes. It's Houston's grave. You found my brother's grave."
"Holy Mother of God," she sputtered and in terror, Katlyn lifted her skirts and fled, leaving the confused James quickly behind.
His body ached for her and James moved to follow when he tripped, falling clumsily to the hard earth. He scrambled up and moved to follow her again when suddenly he fell to the ground a second time as though his feet had gotten tangled. Thinking that perhaps roots had tripped him, he kicked to free himself…he felt nothing. He rolled over onto his back and stared down toward his boots. Nothing could have tripped him. The ground lay bare. "What the hell?" he questioned as he arose slowly dusting himself and his hat off.
He knew there was no way in hell he could be so clumsy. He glanced in the direction Katlyn had fled and turned to give chase again. A chilly breeze blew upon the back of his neck sending chills down his spine. An eerie sense of not being alone filled him. He rested his hand upon the butt of his gun for reassurance. But something told him the gun meant nothing in this place.
"She's mine…," a barely audible whisper seemed to float upon the air past James's ears. He jumped at the sound. Could he be spooking himself? Had he really just heard that? I've had too much to drink, he glowered to himself. He sucked in a deep breath then moved forward toward his brother's tombstone draping his arm upon it. "Brother, I believe I've imbibed just a little too much tonight. I sure would appreciate a little assistance here."
James grimaced at the expected silence. Now he was talking to the dead. He frowned then leaned against the headstone talking aloud. "Houston, I sure do wish you were here. I miss you sorely. Life's been hard without ya here and yer my only kin. But I've gotta tell ya, that gal you were gonna get hitched to…she sure is a pretty, fiery little thing. If you were alive, I'd a had to move away. I couldn't have kept my hands off of her even if she had been your wife. She makes me burn heart, body, and soul. I'm gonna make her mine…sure as I'm standing here."