It's the weekend.
You're quarantined and trying to remain COVID-free.
You've binge-streamed every show and movie that your heart desires, and you're looking for something new to pique your interest.
Well... Joi Miner to the rescue!
Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday! Every Saturday, I'll share a snippet of one of my novels... either upcoming, or already available for you to enjoy.
This week's pick:
1.5 mil years ago
“Damn, he fine…” I said, watching Charm hustle on the West End of the Kingdom.
Tsk. Melonia, my best friend, sucked her teeth and I cut my eyes at her. She’d been having a lot of attitude lately, and the shit was getting tired.
“He ain’t all that. You only want him because he’s Phoenix’s. You know there are Universe’s and beings of land, air, sea, mystic and magic that make him look like a troll. But this vendetta you got with Phoenix is what makes him sooooo delectable to you.”
The area was dark and decrepit, not fit for a Goddess like myself. But I would travel the expanse of existence if it meant I could make this man mine.
Gbogbo irokuro … Every fantasy...
Gbogbo ala ... Every dream...
Awọn Afẹsodi ... Enticement...
Ṣe mi a succubus! Make me a succubus!
I cast the Enticement Spell on myself, feeling the transformation. The ground beneath us vibrated slightly, and I bit my lip, looking into the air and causing clouds to cover the second moon’s light, providing a deepened layer of darkness.
Charm’s head turned to the side and he looked to the left. Melonia and I ducked off into the shadows. He looked in our direction, but we held our breaths, hoping that we hadn’t given ourselves away.
“I told you that you shoulda cast before we got here,” Melonia snapped. “If you’re gonna do this dumb shit, then do it right. I don’t know why you even want him so bad no way.”
“Jealous much?” I asked, smirking and walking up on her, pressing her back against the disposal unit we’d taken cover behind to watch him.
“No. He ain’t got shit on me. I just know, and you know, that that’s Phoenix’s masculine.”
“That’s because he ain’t met me yet. Who wouldn’t want an upgrade?”
“I guess he’s an upgrade from me, too, huh?” she asked, and I felt a twinge of guilt.
I leaned in and nuzzled her neck, feeling her temperature rise and blood flow increase. My fangs started to extend, and I salivated. Melonia was my poison. She was deadly to me and could cost me everything, but once I’d drank from her, I couldn’t get enough, and she’d used that to her advantage. It didn’t start out as it was right now. I was cornered and drained by a warlock who planned to sell my blood on the black market.
Within an inch of existence, I couldn’t call for help. Planning to disguise his act, he’d tossed me into the depths of Omi at the edge of the Kingdom. Melonia saved me from drowning, and from starving to death. Turning me into an addict for her. It was love at first bite. But for me it was merely the rarity of her ẹjẹ (blood). For Melonia, though, it was the feel of my fangs penetrating her scaled flesh. Then getting to know me, she’d fallen for my charm. Friend zoning her would’ve been the wisest thing to do, but when she fled Omi to become a member of my clique, the Shade Queens, indulging in her became one of my favorite pastimes. Good ẹjẹ is hard to come by, but not worth sacrificing it all for, you feel me. Call me selfish, but if you tasted her, you would understand.
As a matter of fact, I wanted to taste her. Melonia had the best ẹjẹ I’d tasted, and being a Goddess, one of the Divine Three in training to inherit all of Ọlọrun, I’d had the best of the best. But hers… it was caviar. It had to be her Mer-Heiress heritage. Pure bloodlines were always the best. But I couldn’t approach him with her blood on my breath. When she realized I wasn’t going to indulge she pushed me backwards aggressively.
Melonia was letting me know how she really felt, and it was bothering me. Yeah, we’d gotten close. I’d even engaged in Ibalopo (sex) with her, but she had to know that I was just experimenting… right? She couldn’t think that I would compromise my throne to be with her. But what could I expect from a banished Capricorn who was confused about whether she desired masculine or feminine companionship?
“Listen, Mel… what we do doesn’t mean anything. You know that, right? You can’t really believe I would sacrifice everything to be a vagabond with you and live in exile, would you? Would you give up all this for me?” I asked, spreading my arms wide.
“Yeah, DiDi. Yeah, I would. I kinda did,” she told me, shocking me. I didn’t know what she was talking about, but now wasn’t the time to ask. And it wasn’t like I asked her to give anything up for me. So if she did, that was her dumb ass, because I damn sure wasn’t willing to do that for her, I thought. Looking into her eyes, trying to compel her to get over herself, but she blocked me out. That was new for her.
“You know I can read your thoughts, right? Too arrogant to protect your thoughts… And by the way… fuck you, DiDi,” she snapped telepathically, rolling her neck and her eyes. “You’re willing to betray your SiStar, there’s no telling what you’ll do to me for a masculine when we share no lineage.”
Without giving me the chance to respond, she stomped away angrily.
“Well, hey there handsome,” I said to the young mystic that I hadn’t seen around before.
Ok, I was lying. I knew him. He was my SiStar Phoenix’s little boo thang. But I was about to make him mine, just like I would make the Empire once I showed the Goddess that Phoenix wasn’t the perfect child she thought she was. Here she was, sneaking around with this po hustlin’ ass mystic tryna make a name for himself on the corners of the Kingdom selling dreams and granting wishes.
“Hey yourself,” he said, looking at me skeptically. I’d used a transformation spell so that I would be unrecognizable, but when he took in a deep breath, I knew I hadn’t thought this shit all the way through.
“I was wondering what it would take to get to know someone like you,” I flirted, reaching out to touch his arm, which he smoothly pulled out of my reach. I looked deep into his beautiful grey eyes and tried to compel him, but that was a no-go, too. I kept hitting a mental block with him like his mind was protected. I would have to ask Goddess about that one, because I’d never met a masculine that I couldn’t compel. Especially looking the way that I was. I’d donned dark chocolate flesh with supple everything, from lips to tits to hip to thighs, with a little extra behind. My hair flowed in long locs, different from the short-cropped mohawk I usually sported, glistening in the second moon’s light. And my eyes shone, amber clusters with flecks of honey in them, with a shimmer of seduction surrounding the orbs of my pupils. My beauty would catch the eye of any masculine in the Kingdom And it had… all but him.
“I’m not tryna get to know nobody. Just tryna make a living,” he shrugged, turning to walk away.
“Well, can I at least get your name?” I yelled at his back. I saw him tense and turn around, taking in another deep breath.
“I don’t have one,” he said with a smirk, before turning and lengthening his stride, putting a healthy distance between us.
“Damnit,” I said under my breath, seeing that this was gonna be harder than I thought.
I started to trail him, keeping a safe distance, but I knew he knew I was there. I could feel him feel me. He was more powerful than he let on, and that made me want him even more. Phoenix wouldn’t know what to do with a being like this. She couldn’t even accept who she was, let alone know what to do with a man so powerful that he could deny the most perfect temptation. Lost in my thoughts, I’d lost him. Frustrated with myself and the fact that I would have to work for a man that my SiStar had caught the eye of seamlessly, I headed home. I didn’t feel like walking, or flying. So, closing my eyes, I ported to the front door of our home.
“Qadira, what in the heavens have you been up to?”
“Nothing Iya (Mother),” I lied, making her shake her head and look me up and down.
“Then why are you appearing like that. What masculine has you wanting to change yourself just to capture his attention?” she asked with a raised brow, making me look down and remember that I hadn’t transformed back to myself before entering the doors of the Kingdom.
“It’s not that, Iya,” I tried to dismiss her questions, and the fact that she’d called it just as it was. Motioning her hand from left to right, she changed me back to my normal self before wrapping me up in a hug.
See, there’s one thing about my mother that you should know. When she hugs you, she’s not only giving you affection. She’s also tapping into her empathy and feeling the energies that you are trying to keep hidden from her. Some things I’d learned to protect from her at all costs. But some, she could tap into, like she was right now.
“Have a seat, child. I just warmed up some double-layered joy to take the edge off of this long day. I was waiting for your SiStars to come home and we all share in a joyful exchange before you all went to bed. But I think you and I need to have them now.”
“I don’t have much of an appetite,” I said, trying to decline the offer. I wasn’t in the mood to have her searching around in my mind like I knew she would once the sweetness got me to let my guard down. And I sure as hell wasn’t trying to spend time with the perfect Little Miss Phoenix, or Wilhemenia’s spoiled ass.
“Joko si isalẹ! (Sit down!)” she ordered in our native tongue, and I knew that I had no choice from that point on.
Throwing myself into the seat across from hers at the table, I pouted, but she didn’t care. Sitting the delicious rations in front of me, I took in the scent and my stomach started to churn. I didn’t look up from the bowl, trying to avoid eye contact with the Goddess, whose eyes were locked on me.
“I tried that once,” she said calmly, but there was a hint of sadness in her tone. “To compel a man to love me. Transformed myself into everything that his fantasies revealed when I peered into his thoughts. Took notes of his wet dreams, his waking desires, and became just that. Wanna know what happened?” she asked and my curiosity was piqued. I didn’t say anything, but me meeting eyes with her was enough to get her to continue. “The being he ended up with was none of those things. See, there’s a difference between a fantasy and realistic needs, Qadira. A man’s wants will never supersede his needs. Remember that.”
“You were able to penetrate his mind, Iya? How? If you were interested in him, then he had to have been a Celestial. Did he not have his thoughts shielded?” I saw my opportunity to get the answer to the issue that I’d face earlier with Charm.
Shaking her head and laughing, Goddess took a portion of the rations and bit into it, reveling in the taste. Smiles were her favorite. At the end of the day, she would slice a healthy portion of double-layered joy cake, and eat the smiles from the center, leaving the rest because she said it was overindulgent.
Washing it down with a glass of Mana, she watched me as I picked over the rations, not having much of an appetite. She sat there silently, eyeing me and it made me uncomfortable.
“Say something! Why are you staring at me like that?” I snapped before I could catch myself.
“You would be wise to watch your tone with me, daughter,” she seethed, her fangs sliding down slightly from her gums. I had fangs of my own, and was almost a fully matured deity, being trained to take over the throne, but none of that had any bearing on the fact that even I wasn’t foolish enough to test Iya. Dropping my eyes back to my rations, I conceded to her power.
“Whil, huuuuuussh! I don’t want Iya to know,” Phoenix’s voice bounced joyously through the house, and a smirk crossed my lips knowing that if I heard her, Iya definitely did.
“Don’t want me to know what?” she asked, making our presence known in the kitchen that they were passing on their way through the house.
“Unh oro igbe! (Oh shit!). Deepest apologies, Iya. Forgive my loose tongue,” Phoenix came hesitantly into the room, looking at Iya like she was waiting for her to take her head off. I was waiting for it, too. And I was here for it. That would’ve made my night.
“Ohun ti ni ẹda ti se ariyanjiyan sinu ọmọbinrin mi (What in creation has happened to my daughters)?” Iya asked, sadly, making me feel terrible. I was acting out just as badly as Phoenix, maybe worse, and I could see that it was stressing her out.
“I didn’t do anything, Iya,” my baby SiStar, Wilhemenia chimed in. I rolled my eyes and cracked a smile when I saw Phoenix do the same. Whil, what we called Wilhemenia, was an epic kiss ass. There was no other way to put it. Of us three triplets, she was the “perfect one,” the one who did no wrong. I couldn’t wait for the day that she got into some shit. I wanted front row seats to it, I swear. But I knew that when she did, it would probably kill Iya.
“No, you haven’t… yet. You’re my descendant, so you’ll do something, probably worse than either of your SiStars could even conjure in their minds. And it’ll probably be the thing that kills me,” Iya said, shaking her head. I tried no to laugh with her speaking my exact thoughts, but it was hard not to. “Joy settling into your spirit, DiDi?”
“I guess so,” I lied, because I had barely consumed any.
“Good. You’re almost bearable when you’ve had some Joy cake,” Phoenix shot. Your man won’t have a problem bearing me very soon, I thought viciously. Her mouth was one of my least favor things about her. She lacked candor and that was going to be a big issue when she assumed her position on the throne alongside me.
Iya sliced and served Phoenix and Whil their rations of Joy cake, but I was over this little family time encounter. I just wanted to be alone and get ready for my compelling training tomorrow. I had some questions for my coach that I planned to test on Charm. He would be mine, willingly or unwillingly.
“May I be excused? I have training in the morning and want to be rested so that I can focus on my compelling.”
“I bet. Mind control would be something that you’d be eager to learn, since people making their own choices is so unappealing to you,” Phoenix said with a smile before taking a large bite of joy.
“Phoenix, cease your spiteful speech,” Iya cast her, hindering her from being able to speak any more. “Yes, Qadira, you’re excused. I’ll be in before you surrender to slumber for the night,” she told me, her eyebrow raised, letting me know that the objection that was sitting on the tip of my tongue ought not leave my lips. Nodding simply, I rushed to my room. I snatched my spell book open. I needed to cast myself to make sure that she wasn’t able to discover my true intentions, which I knew was her plan.
“Now Phoenix, what is it that you aren’t ready for me to know about just yet?” I heard her ask, almost wishing I had stayed a little bit longer to enjoy my big SiStar being placed in the hot seat.
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