Race the Darkness (Fatal Dreams Book 1)(10)

By: Abbie Roads

“Isleen.” One side of her mouth twitched like she was trying to smile. “You’re real. You’re really real.” The smile faded. “Where’s Gran? You have to save Gran too.”

Her eyes closed, her chest popped up and down in exaggerated breaths too unnatural to be normal. He yanked his cell phone from his pocket.

“Isleen, you stay with me now. You hang on.” He dialed 911, waited for the operator to pick up. Ring-ring. Pause. Ring-ring. Pause. Ring-ring. “Pick the fuck up.” Ring-ring.

“911, what is your—”

“The last road I remember is County Road 95. A trailer in the middle of cornfields. I just found two women being held against their will. They both need an ambulance.”

“Sir, can you tell me…”

The growl of his truck’s engine grabbed Xander’s attention. The Crazy One—he’d forgotten about her—had stolen his truck. This day was full of happy damned surprises. The sound of his truck faded and got further away, but then the direction changed and the roar of pedal-to-the-metal screamed at him. What was she doing? Even as the question flittered through his consciousness, the answer came to him. His truck was about to meet the trailer.

He dropped the phone and grabbed Isleen.

The room exploded.

Chapter 3

King followed the four naked men to the river. Languid anticipation warmed in his guts. Predawn light tinted everything in shades of onyx and silver. The only sound was the whisper of water and the splash of it against his Brothers’ bare bodies, then against his own. Each step was a step away from technology and man-made things, away from his job and ordinary life, and a step toward divinity and the Lord.

The current—surprisingly warm during all the seasons—sucked at his calves, at his thighs, and then at his penis and testicles, stroking his sex organs with a delicate caress. All his Brothers would be aroused by the sensation, it was a natural part of the Ritual of Resurrection. Chosen One had assured them it was simply a biological reaction to being in the presence of the Lord.

When they were all submerged chest-deep, Chosen One pointed to each of the Brothers and directed them into position, their bodies forming the four points of a cross, with Chosen One in the convergence.

Their leader raised his arms parallel to the water and tilted his head back. The Brothers and King did likewise. He stared up through the thick tree branches reaching out over the river and watched as the world changed from muted tones to shimmery gold and orange. And all the while, they remained supplicant to the Lord.

King’s sense of time and place morphed, and the memory of their ritual—performed four times a year on this spot for centuries—coursed through him. A breeze sparked against his skin. The Lord was in the air he took inside his body, in the water licking over his skin.

Chosen One spoke. “Lord, we offer our thanks and praise for your many sacrifices for us. On this day, we acknowledge the death of spring for the resurrection of summer.”

King imagined what it would be like to be on the bank and a witness to the Ritual of Resurrection. To see all five men posed, filled with the spirit. The picture they must present as dawn illuminated the day. He couldn’t breathe from the wonder of it.

“And now…” Chosen One’s words were a cue for the Brothers to lower their arms. “We will all wash away our sins, cast them off into the current, and be reborn to serve you.”

Chosen One gestured for King to move forward. Blood swelled in King’s groin. Moving through the water with such an erection both pained and pleasured him.

His leader’s face no longer reflected that of a kindly grandfather. His features had sharpened and hardened in an almost imperceptible way that portrayed power and knowledge and holiness. Chosen One stepped to the side and placed one palm on King’s forehead, the other in the small of his back, his grip on the two points a reassurance.

“Brother King, do you seek purgation of your sins?” Chosen One’s voice resonated across the river.

King could hardly breathe. “I do.” A wonderful, warm tension pulsed through his organs.

“Brother King, do you seek to be reborn in the Lord’s image with all the powers inherent?”

“I do.” The tension transformed into an expectancy, a yearning—an urge so intense his knees quavered and he fought the desire the pump his hips.

“Brother King, do you seek to fulfill your destiny as the Lord has ordained it?”

“I do.” He groaned the words, nearly lost to the sensations.

“Brother King, do you seek to die so that you may live?”

King nodded, unable to find his tongue or vocal cords amid the myriad of swelling passion, but he needed to speak the words, for saying them aloud made them a prayer. He tried twice before he actually uttered the sound. “I do.”