Lightning flashed, thunder roared, and the front door burst open. Pieces of wood flew in all directions. Raven ducked, throwing his arms across his face. He felt splinters sting him, like bullets. They drew blood, but nothing that wouldn’t heal quickly, given his nature. Despite the entry point, the zombies didn’t move. Instead, a tall, lean figure walked in.
Shrouded in billowing black, her hair snapping and snarling around her, stood Zulimara. Shoulders erect, chin raised defiantly, she strode into the room. Though her minions gathered outside, they did not come in, for which Raven was grateful.
“You could have stopped this, so easily,” she said, her voice rasping and low.
“How? This is not my doing. This began before I arrived.”
“The locket, you fool. You knew it possessed special qualities, but you kept it. Did you give it to your whore?”
Raven frowned. “How do you even know about that?”
“Not denying it, hm? That’s a unique approach. A man who doesn’t lie!”
The zombies trembled, shuddered. One put a toe through the door. With a wave of her hand, Zulimara shut the door on them.
“The locket! Give it to me!”
“I no longer have it.”
“What have you done, you fool?”
He said nothing. Crossing his arms, he glared at her. They stared at one another for a full minute before she advanced. He could hear her terrifying hoard outside.
“You brought this on us.” She pointed at the door.
“I did nothing of the kind. These are not my beasts, but yours.”
“The thing you met on board your vessel, the one that bit you. He killed the rest.”
Raven was still, wondering how she knew this.
“You threw their bodies overboard, didn’t give them a proper burial. Selfish bastard.”
“What would you have me do, Zulimara? Whisper prayers and set the ship on fire? I was nowhere near land, and loathe to drown.”
“Another ship picked up the bodies, taking them from the water. They intended to bring them here to bury them. Instead, they turned into those—things!” She flung her arm out. The hammering and pounding increased.
“I didn’t do that! It was not my magic, you must believe that.”
“The locket, you found it on board.”
“Yes. On one of the bodies.”
“And inside, was there a picture?”
“If there was, it was too damaged to see. Why?”
“My parents were on that ship. They were torn asunder by the beast.”
“How can you know that?”
“Because, I was there, too.”
“There was no other person on that ship! I searched every inch. No one was aboard her.”
“I hid well.”
“How did you get here?”
“I don’t know. I found myself here the night I came to your room.” She stepped closer, her hand resting on his chest. “You wanted me then, desired me.” Her fingers dropped, massaging his manhood. “Do you still want me, Raven Willoughby?”
“In case it has escaped your notice, madam, there is a hoard—” he gasped, biting his lip as her exploring got the required response. “…of zombies…just outside.”
“Charming, aren’t they? They want your blood. They want the gold you stole from them.”
“I didn’t steal it. They were dead. I gave them the burial I could, and saved myself. If that makes me a bad man….” He gasped as she grasped him, her hand working inside his breeks.
“Do you still want me, Raven Willoughby?”
Zombies be damned, he couldn’t stop himself. She knew just what to do to make him wild with desire. Grabbing her arms, he dragged her to him, divesting her of her garments. Determined to have her, regardless of the cost, he ripped her dress as she pleasured him with her hands. Soon, she had his clothing off, and she led him to the cot in back.
The banging and moaning grew louder, more insistent, as their passion raged. Wanting her more than any woman he’d ever met, he had the fleeting suspicion, she had him under a spell. He couldn’t find that he cared, when she grasped him, opening to him as she did.
The front door burst open once more. This time, the zombies struggled to get through. Naked, his knives nowhere near, Raven leaped up. Zulimara laughed nastily, as she stood and joined the zombie hoard. The first were halfway across the front room, when he remembered he had two more knives in his bag. They had been used and battered the night before, but he was not unarmed. Facing them, inside, with nothing but air surrounding him, he stood his ground.
©2021 Dellani Oakes