Few things excited Ailina Harris more than fresh man. No matter how many times she dropped one man and found another, the next guy always made her blood simmer. Perhaps that was why she never kept one around for more than a few months. Once the excitement of someone knew dissipated, so did her desire. She needed to conquer new territory to feel alive again. Life was cold and empty without something to conquer, and a new man brought something uncharted to explore.
No one made Ailina feel more alive than Samuel Johnson, and that shocked the hell out of her. He was just a boy when they met, and Ailina certainly did not like little boys. She liked burly, headstrong men with deep voices; the kind who looked impossible to take down until she pinned them to her bed and made them beg for her body. Oh, making them beg was the best foreplay! Having such power over an imposing man made Ailina’s toes curl long before the good part started.
At first, Ailina had no desire to conquer Samuel because, frankly, he didn’t appear to pose much of a challenge. Samuel was scrawny and his voice cracked when he spoke. Sure, he looked like he was in good enough shape for a kid his age, but he had no vast territory with riches to discover: no massive chest to bite, no biceps to squeeze, no back to scratch to ribbons. At first glance, he was just a boy, and an unimpressive one at that. Ailina needed a lion that she could wrestle and trap, and he was merely a cub who still needed his mother’s food and his sister’s protection. It was difficult for Ailina to even look at him, let alone find him desirable. Such a high dose of weakness made her nauseous.
Yet when Samuel stood up to her that day, Ailina flushed. The way he brandished that knife and looked her in the eye caused a sensation that she had never felt before. Most of her men were bold enough to stand up to her, but that all stopped when they saw her true strength. Even Brendan ran away, and he was the strongest man she had ever slept with. Achilla thought Brendan was the only man worthy of giving her a child, but his own son, Samuel, proved her wrong. He watched Ailina beat Achilla to a pulp, but he stood firm. He was willing to die fighting in a way Ailina had never seen. She found herself eyeing this boy like a slab of meat she never knew she hungered for until now, and it took all of her self-control to not leap on him and take a bite. From that point on, Ailina knew that he would no longer remain a scrawny little shrimp. No, he had alpha male written all over him. He was a lion in the making; a muscular, roaring, biting, scratching lion more than worthy of her time. He just needed a little turmoil to draw it out, and Ailina could provide plenty of that.
Ailina could have kidnapped him in front of Achilla and run off to Boston where she now hid, but she chose not to. Despite his impressive showing, he wasn’t ready yet, and Achilla would only come looking for him when she recovered from her injuries. As captivating as Samuel was, he wasn’t worth another fight with Achilla. Not yet. So for the first time, Ailina was willing to wait for a boy to become a man. She would bide her time until the right moment before pinning him down and taking him. The very thought made Ailina clutch her bed sheets in her sleep.
Her patience wasn’t entirely voluntary. Achilla proved herself to be more formidable than Ailina expected. Even as a child Achilla demonstrated the potential to be very strong, but she lacked a killer’s instinct. When she fought Ailina in her basement, it was always self-defense and desperation without any desire to conquer and hold dominion. Ailina never suspected that she could display such ferocity in a fight, but the second she threatened Brendan, Achilla changed. She turned into a ruthless, relentless, raging murderer just like Ailina wanted. It was a good thing that the gap between adults and children among their kind was so insurmountable;or else Ailina would have walked away with a lot more than six broken ribs.
Ailina was convinced that Achilla would kill for Brendan without a moment of guilt, and that was exactly what she had hoped for. She trained Achilla to kill. It was in her blood. Her destiny. Ailina just didn’t think she would do it for such sentimental reasons. Now that Achilla displayed her killer instinct, how could Ailina turn her desire in the right direction? She wasn’t getting any younger, and Achilla was getting stronger by the day. If she didn’t find a way to aim Achilla’s wrath at someone else, Ailina was sure that she would kill her. Ailina would pose no match for Achilla once she reached her prime. That was a guarantee.
As Ailina lay in her white bed sheets next to Joe Ephie, the local garbage man and competing bodybuilder, she contemplated her next move, but nothing came to mind. She ran her fingers across Joe’s nearly pitch black chest and moved down to his crotch. Ailina had been living with him for over a year now. They lived down the street from each other as kids. When Ailina returned to Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood, he immediately recognized her as an adult and admitted that he always had a crush on her. The fact that he had such impeccable memory and the willingness to approach her based on that made him useful; that and his massive muscles. During their first date, all she could do was stare at his chest. She grabbed his ass as they walked down the street, and it was the best she had ever felt since dating Brendan when he was a college basketball player. After that, he had no say in the matter. She demanded to go home with him, and he complied. Ailina felt alive again and ravished him with her new-found energy; leaving him asleep in his bed when she left. She moved into his condo three weeks later.
Despite what he might have thought, Ailina had no love for Joe. She intended on screwing him for a month or two and leaving, but she couldn’t turn down a man who served his purpose so well. Joe could cook, clean, and rut with the best of them. Add his obsession with her, calling her every morning, telling her how beautiful she was, sending flowers to her front desk job at Planet Fitness, holding doors for her, and Ailina just couldn’t leave. She had it better than any other woman on the block, and all of those women knew it. That thought alone drove her to stay.
Ailina smirked at the thought of the nasty looks she received from some the black women on their street when they watched her and Joe walk hand-in-hand. When would these women learn that Joe belonged to her and not them? Ailina knew they felt like she was taking one of their men, but none of them even wanted him. Joe always laughed when he told Ailina this story. Despite the fact that garbage men make decent money, they turned their nose at his profession; opting to pursue lawyers, and doctors, and bankers. It used to make him angry. Now they laughed together in bed in between romps.
The fact that Joe was a garbage man was one of his sexiest traits. When he told her about his profession, all Ailina could think about was the strength required to haul heavy bags of trash all day, and then she imagined that power thrusting into her like a New York City subway. When she also learned that he once squatted over seven hundred pounds after a hard day at work, Ailina couldn’t wait to wrap her legs around him. How could those stupid women pass that up? Yes, the men they married made great providers and great fathers, but they were seldom studs. Working 80 hours a week, barely working out, and going straight to sleep when he came home left a woman unsatisfied. Ailina would have none of that. Joe was home by noon and always ready for a nice go-around when she returned from work. It was a good set up, and one that would hold her over for a while until she was ready to nab Samuel. When Joe groaned awake, Ailina rolled over on top of him. After thinking about Achilla so much, she needed some stress relief.
After Ailina finished with Joe, she strolled to the kitchen, scratching the scar under her left breast. It always itched after sex, and it reminded her of the day when her father Ares beat her for insubordination. As a child Ailina was strong enough to break her soccer coach’s jaw with one punch, but Ares was out of this world. His speed made him undetectable, and he had the strength of a bull elephant in musk. Whenever he walked down the street, people ducked out of his way. His kind of power was hard to ignore, but Ailina tried standing up to him when he threatened to smack her mother for mouthing off. Ailina swung and missed when he slipped her punch with vaporizing quickness. Ailina never forgot his retaliation. One punch to the temple sent her flying across their back yard into a gate that gashed her chest. She survived and her mother stitched her up, but Ailina never defied him again.
To this day, no man compared to Ares’ savage power. Ailina lived every day in fear of his hand as a girl. When the police shot him and took him away, she was both saddened and relieved. Nowadays she just missed him, but she found it odd that the CIA stepped in, and even stranger when they insisted that she live in a foster home out-of-state. They also spied on her, especially when she moved back to Bridgeport. Snapping a few of their necks put a stop to that, but why monitor her so much when she returned to Connecticut?
The government’s high alert response to her presence prompted some investigating. Sure enough, Ailina couldn’t find her father’s body in any of the morgues or cemeteries across the state. None. Of course, the more she looked, the more agents she had to kill until they backed off. Even now she was sure that they were still watching her; just out of range of her hearing or sense of smell. After watching their comrades die, even inferiors can learn how to keep their distance and mind their own damn business.
Still, where the hell was her father’s body? Ailina had a feeling that the government knew exactly what happened to him, and she intended on finding out. That would take some serious planning, but she was up for it. She may not have inherited her father’s strength, but Ailina certainly possessed his brilliant mind. She would find the glitch in the CIA’s little game and shut them down. Nobody killed her father, took his body, and got away with it. It just wasn’t right.
Ailina broke ten eggs and fried two monstrous omelets. In order for Joe to satisfy her, he needed his strength. Sometimes that meant feeding him and keeping him in bed where he belonged until it was time for him to train. He often confused this with a loving gesture, and as long as he stayed put, she wasn’t going to correct him. She carried his plate to bed, and placed hers on the nightstand as she sat next to him and rested her ankles on his legs. Watching him eat so ravenously made her grin.
“Damn, girl, breakfast in bed?” Joe asked with his thunder voice. “What did I do to deserve this?”
He always asked that. Perhaps getting rejected so much made him appreciative of even the smallest act of kindness. Ailina didn’t mind. It kept him faithful, and she couldn’t tolerate sharing him. Besides, sometimes it was fun to humor his emotions. Ailina leaned over and kissed his cheek.
“You handle your business like a man should,” Ailina replied as she patted his thigh. “That deserves a reward.”
“Did you think about what we discussed?” asked Joe before swallowing a mouthful of eggs.
“I don’t recall a discussion,” Ailina stated as she grabbed her plate. “I recall telling you no, and there’s nothing more to think about.”
“Come on, baby,” Joe said. “L.A.’s my next big move.”
“Then you should go,” Ailina lied. She didn’t want him to leave; not until she was finished with him anyway. She just knew he wouldn’t. For some men, pretending to be nonchalant about whether he came or went made them want her even more. Joe was one of those men.
“I don’t want to leave you behind though,” Joe replied as she expected.
“I think you should worry about yourself,” Ailina said. “I like Boston. I’m staying in Boston. Stay here with me, or move on if you have to. You’ll meet other women.”
“But I don’t want another woman,” Joe replied with a crooked smile.
“You don’t know what you want,” Ailina groaned as she rolled her eyes. “You only know what you have in front of you right now.”
“I know exactly what I want,” Joe said with a hard stare. “You. A king knows his queen when he sees her. You’re my queen, Ailina.”
Ailina stared at him for a few seconds before taking a bite of her eggs. He always gushed over her, but he never called her a queen before. No man had ever called her a queen. Such worship was enticing. L.A. might not be so bad if it meant royal treatment. Joe already insisted on paying all of the bills. What was next? Ailina set her plate down on the nightstand and leaned into Joe’s chest.
“And how exactly will you treat your queen?” Ailina asked. “You know, should she take her throne in Los Angeles, that is.”
“I will give you everything your heart desires,” Joe replied with unflinching eye contact.
“A new car?”
“I’ve got you.”
“A bigger house?” Ailina asked as she raised her hand. “This is good, but I want more.”
“I’ve got you, baby.”
“Maybe six dogs?” Ailina cooed as she caressed his chest with her finger. “Mastiffs? Dobermans? Rotweilers?”
“Baby, you know I’ve got you,” Joe chuckled. “Once I win that pot, what’s mine is yours.”
“I want all of it,” Ailina replied. “And then some. If you expect me to leave Boston, you’ll need to give me everything I want. Everything.”
“Oh, I will.”
“How about a baby?” Ailina asked as she rolled over and straddled Joe. “Will you give me one?”
“I’ll give you three if that’s what you want,” Joe replied as he rubbed his hands up and down her body.
“How about four?” Ailina asked with a laser-focused stare. “I want four children, and I bet you don’t miss.”
“Then you’ll have four kids,” Joe replied.
“Anything I want,” Ailina said before biting her lip. “All I have to do is ask.”
“You know it,” Joe replied. “No questions asked. Whatever you want, I’ve got you.”
“You’re a good man,” Ailina purred before leaning over and biting his ear. She could feel Joe’s body tensing as she nibbled. Turning him on was easier than flipping a light switch.
“Close your eyes,” whispered Ailina as she scratched his chest. “I have a surprise for you.”
Joe closed his eyes and lay back on the bed. Ailina watched his chest pump up and down as he breathed with so much calm. She knew everything he said was true. He intended on giving her everything; the world if he could. This man before her was a good one. He was one of the best. All she had to do was leave with him to Los Angeles, and his world was hers. That was the ultimate conquest, and he was serving it to her on a platter.
Suddenly the thought of them moving made her eyes burn. Out here, she had nothing to worry about. All of the women turned their noses at him because he was still the garbage man to them. In Los Angeles, he wouldn’t be the garbage man. He could very well be a champion with sponsors and fame. He could meet someone else. He could run off and marry another woman the same way Brendan did; leaving her alone and pregnant.
Why did Brendan leave her? Why did he just run away like some coward? With all of his strength, with all of his beliefs about justice, where was the justice in just dropping her like that? Sure, she attacked him. Ok, she almost threw a sink at him.
Why did every man run away the second they saw how strong she was? Joe had no idea of Ailina’s strength, but if she got pregnant again and lost her cool, he might see it, and then what? Would he leave too? Would he run into the arms of some inferior woman he could handle? That thought made Ailina’s face hot and drew tears from her eyes. She refused to let that happen again. She would not share this good man. If there was even a spark of a chance that he could leave, she had to stomp it out. He was her conquest and no one else’s. She had to make sure that he found no other options.
She was putting a stop to this Los Angeles nonsense. Right. Now.
Ailina gritted her teeth and thrust her pointed fingers into Joe’s abdomen. Joe’s eyes snapped open and she clamped her other hand over his mouth when he screamed. When he reached for her hand, Ailina wiggled her forearm, pushing his warm, wet organs around until he clutched the bed in pain. Joe was a tough man, but very few people could survive a disembowelment long enough to fight back. Even if he could defend himself, Ailina was at least five times stronger than him. A confrontation would only end with the same result. This was it for Joe. He wasn’t going anywhere.
“Didn’t see that coming did you?” Ailina hissed as Joe cried out through her fingers. “Let me make something clear to you. I’m not moving out West, and neither are you because you belong to me. Nobody else! You think I’m going to let you move to another city and become some big shot with all these groupies hopping on your dick, huh? Not a chance. It won’t happen. I own this body, and I decide what happens to it!”
Joe whimpered and tears ran down his face and soaked his pillow as Ailina dug into his insides until she could feel his hard spine. He trembled as she poked it with her index finger while the warmth from his blood and muscle tissue wrapped itself around her forearm. Ailina stared into Joe’s eyes as they started to fade. Yep, he was dying. Slowly but surely, he was learning his place. It was a shame that she had to kill him. She was looking forward to a few more months, but sometimes a woman has to do what is necessary to maintain her dominance. What was the point in a conquest otherwise? Ailina leaned forward and kissed Joe’s forehead before resting hers on his.
“I will be the last woman you’ve ever loved,” Ailina breathed with a crazed look in her eyes. “You said you would do anything if I asked, right? Well right now, I’m asking you to die. Will you give me your death, Joe? You got me, baby?”
Joe wailed while Ailina tightened her grip around his mouth until his jaw cracked under her fingers. She then removed her other hand from his abdomen and punched his temple, rocking him unconscious. His death would still be long and painful, but at least now he was quiet. Ailina hopped off the bed as blood seeped out of Joe’s wound and stained the sheets. They had actually planned on going for a road trip to Virginia tonight to celebrate their honeymoon(his idea), but his little speech talked her out of letting him live another second. Luckily her belongings were packed in the closet and ready to go. Ailina always packed light. Today, that worked to her advantage. Ailina wiped the blood off of her forearm with a pillow case and walked to the shower as she planned her next step. First, she had to dispose of Joe. After she showered off the blood, she grabbed some white gloves, and wrapped the crimson bed sheets around Joe’s body before grabbing one of his over-sized trash bags.
The good thing about shacking up with a garbage man was that it made it easy to dispose of a human corpse. Ailina cracked Joe’s body in half, then halved him again for good measure before she stuffed him in a black bag. If he wasn’t already dead, that certainly did it. She quadruple bagged him and threw on a t-shirt, jeans, and her favorite black boots before she tied the mouth of the bag over his corpse like it was last week’s trash. Ailina carried him down the steps to the front door where his red pickup truck waited in the driveway. From there, she would drive him to the dump and leave him to rot or succumb to the local rats; a suitable death for any man who didn’t play his position right.
As Ailina swung Joe’s 260 pounds of dead weight into the back of the pickup truck with one arm, she noticed a brown-skinned little girl approaching her wearing denim overalls and pigtails with pink berets that matched her pink t-shirt. Her name was Jennifer, and Ailina knew her father well. She slept with him once when he and his wife had a fight. He wasn’t much of a stud, but it was worth it just for the thrill of taking another woman’s man for a night. The wife never found out, but judging by the looks she gave Ailina when they passed each other on the sidewalk, she had her suspicions. She was yet another woman who thought that all black men belonged to her. Ailina enjoyed proving her wrong.
Jennifer suspected nothing. She was the sweetest little thing, and she smiled at Ailina every day on her way to catch the school bus. Ailina actually enjoyed Jennifer’s company, especially when she told her all of the nasty things her mother would say about white women; Ailina in particular. Jennifer was quite the parrot, and that was exactly why Ailina had to get rid of her. There was no need to kill her. Ailina took no pleasure in killing children. Where was the conquest in that? So she stood in front of the truck bed with her hands behind her back as Jennifer extended a dandelion.
“I brought you a flower, Ms. Ailina,” Jennifer said with a smile from ear-to-ear.
“Thank you, Jennifer,” Ailina replied with forced enthusiasm before bending down on one knee and taking the flower with her white-gloved hand. “Why aren’t you with your parents? It’s not safe for you to be out in the street by yourself.”
“Mommy and Daddy are fighting again,” Jennifer said with a wavering voice and a jutted lip. “I think they’re getting a divorce.”
“That’s too bad,” Ailina said with a pout before smiling wide. “You know what might make them feel better?”
“What?” Jennifer sobbed as she wiped her eyes.
“Why don’t you give them a few more flowers?” Ailina asked before digging in her jean pocket and pulling out one of Joe’s competition medals. “And give your mommy this, ok? Now I have some very important instructions for you.”
“Ok,” Jennifer sniffled.
“Do not touch this metal,” Ailina said as she pulled it over Jennifer’s head. “And tell your mother to take it off of you. Don’t hand it to her, ok? It’s very special. Pretty little girls like you can carry it like a necklace, but only adults can put their hands on it. Do you understand, Sweety?”
“Yes, Ms. Ailina,” Jennifer said as she bounced up and down.
“Very good,” Ailina replied before she kissed Jennifer’s forehead and she rose to her feet. “Run along back home. That medal might keep your parents together. Hurry now!”
As Jennifer scampered off down the sidewalk past a couple of girls playing hopscotch, Ailina smirked and pulled off her gloves. She knew how to disappear. Boston Police, and even the Feds, would never find her. Jennifer’s mother on the other hand, might have a hard time explaining to the police why she had Joe’s medal in her possession; especially based on the testimony of a little girl who constantly complained to Ailina about how mean she was. Ailina was right about one thing. A divorce would be the thing on that woman’s mind when she was under investigation for murder. It served her right for thinking her husband, Joe, or any man belonged to her. They all belonged to Ailina, and she decided whether they lived or died. Anybody who defied her paid dearly. The Johnsons were the only exception, but she needed them alive. For now.
Ailina patted truck’s hood and nodded her head. After dropping Joe off at the dump and disposing of his truck, she would move on to the next stage of her plan. Four years had passed since she last saw Samuel, but Ailina kept an eye on his actions. He was now quite the young man, a star athlete known for his aggression and strength. He was the top ranked basketball player in his state and the lion that Ailina was waiting for. Now was as good a time as any to find him and have her way before Achilla matured enough to stop her. Samuel was her new territory, and she would have him. No one would spoil her next conquest. Not even her own daughter.
After checking her watch, Ailina hopped in Joe’s truck. She closed her eyes for a few moments to formulate a plan. When she opened them, she smirked and turned on the radio to a station that played nothing but rap music. When Eminem’s “Stan” came on, she chuckled to herself and shook her head. She never met Marshall Mathers, but he had nothing on her. The Johnson family would find that out soon enough. If they thought she was tough before, the next year was going to blow their minds. She was going to make them all beg; Samuel for her body, Brendan and Samantha for their peaceful lives back.
If Achilla stood in her way, she was going to beg for a quick death, but Ailina wouldn’t give her one. No, she needed her alive for the next stage. Still, if Ares taught Ailina anything, it was that insubordination must never go unpunished. Achilla’s punishment was coming. All Ailina had to do was bide her time for the right moment to make her pay for her betrayal.
Achilla was going to pay dearly, and the price was more than she could ever afford.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is the final installment of the Nephilim Mini Series! If you enjoyed that, just wait until you read Angel of War on September 12th! Just between us, you might get a sneak preview of the novel next Saturday. Like and subscribe to No Apologies to read more!
Conquer well, my friends.