ON THE CASE by Zenobia Renquist
Guardian's Tales Two
Everything changes when the tree hugs back.
Darah took what she thought would be an easy assignment -- wake up a tree. Nothing to it, except this tree rouses with a case of morning wood.
Shirish has been asleep for the last few decades and is eager to get reacquainted with the world, starting with Darah. She wants to believe they have a future together but the past has unfinished business with Shirish.
Family secrets long buried threaten to set fire to their budding relationship. Without help, Darah fears their final act of love will be to burn together.
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On the Case (Guardian's Tales 2)
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Copyright ©2014 Zenobia Renquist
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Brian escorted Darah through a gate in the perimeter fence and up to the base of the tree. He pointed to a gap in the roots that created a hidey-hole big enough for Darah's petite form. "Stay close to this spot. If you hear someone coming, duck into it. My buddy Adam is the one who will get you out. He's a bat like me. Good ears. Just whistle when you want to leave and he'll come get you. You do know how to whistle, right?"
"Nothing fancy. Just a plain whistle."
"Good luck and don't get caught."
"Thanks and I won't." Darah waved at his retreating back and then faced the tree. "It's just you and me now, handsome. What should we talk about?"
The tree didn't answer. Darah hadn't expected it to. Guardian had warned her this would be a tough case. The tree hadn't spoken in decades. Guardian had said it had been hibernating all that time but she wanted to wake him to make sure of his health. That made Darah his alarm clock.
How was she supposed to wake up a tree? Splash him with water? Pull his branches? Knock on his trunk? If she could get to his trunk. The vines were thicker than she'd thought and surrounded the tree like a dense rope curtain.
Staring at them made Darah shiver. They were almost like something out of a horror movie. She felt like they would grab her any second. That was silly. Trees with inhabiting spirits weren't hostile unless provoked. There were no exceptions. So long as she didn't act threatening, the tree wouldn't harm her.
"How do I wake you up? Do I just keep talking until you tell me to be quiet, because I can do that." She had pulled in a breath to make good on her threat when heavy footsteps on the rock walkway stopped her.
She rushed over to the hidey-hole and crawled into it, hoping there were no bugs calling it home. It was a tight fit even for Darah's small frame but she managed to squeeze in. Several of the branches pulled at her pixie-cut hair and scraped her skin. It felt as if a few drew blood. Or maybe that was sap from the tree dripping down her arm. Whichever the case, she ignored it to listen to the guard as he walked past.
The beam of his flashlight played over the spot above Darah's head. She hunkered down more and hoped her clothes weren't sticking out. Her medium brown skin and dark blue jeans might blend with the shadows but her white shirt was a dead giveaway. If she had known she would be playing hide-and-seek for this assignment, she would have dressed for the occasion.
The guard took his time strolling around the perimeter fence. Was he taking in the sights or something? A fine sheen of sweat coated Darah's body. She wanted to tell him to hurry the hell up, except that would defeat the purpose of hiding. Her need for the man to leave became more urgent when something brushed against her leg.
She thought it might be a root resituating itself because she moved her foot but whatever it was rubbed against her calf in a deliberate manner. It slid down to her ankles and curled around her bare skin above her sock.
Darah bit back a scream. A snake. There was a snake in here with her. A snake that had decided her pant leg was a nice nook to call home. She shook her leg to jar it free but the snake continued its upward path.
Fuck this! Guardian didn't pay her enough to mess with snakes. Darah scrambled out of the hole, not caring if the guard was still there or not. He wasn't, which was good because Darah all but jumped out of her pants to get rid of the snake.
She pushed her jeans to her ankles while slapping at her left leg. The snake was gone so far as she could tell. She couldn't see it and wasn't sure she wanted to. After indulging a full-body shiver of revulsion, she started to pull up her jeans. The last thing she needed was to get caught with her pants down. Nothing she could say would ever explain it well enough to keep her from being arrested for public indecency.
Something thick and long circled her waist. Darah had time for a frightened squeak before it yanked her back into the curtain of vines, which closed around her. She struggled to get free but the vines coiled around her arms and legs.
The tree was awake. Good. Great. Mission accomplished. She didn't know how she'd done it, but job over. Too bad the tree didn't think the same. The vines continued wrapping themselves around her body. Some of them slipped under her shirt. The vines pushed her bra out of the way and started circling her bare breasts.
The tips nudged her nipples, teasing them into taut peaks that tingled with a growing desire that made no sense to her. She should be freaked out, not turned on. The vines rubbing against her panty-clad slit added to her contradictory reaction. As much as she wanted to deny it, the teasing was getting her excited.
Just her luck she got the tree that wakes up horny. That wasn't why she was here though. Excited or not, she couldn't let this happen. "Hold on a second. This isn't that kind of party, mister. Let me go."
If the tree heard her, it didn't act like it and continued fondling her body. Darah hated to admit it but the tree was good with his vines. The ones between her legs had located her clit and stroked it through her panties.
Darah wet her lips, trying to ignore her reaction to the stimulation. She was not so hard up in the sex department that a little clit tickling should make her forget she was in the middle of a garden and there were security guards patrolling. It shouldn't, but the vines made a good case. The moisture gliding down her channel to coat her lower lips was testament to her willingness to hear them out.
"Ca-can we talk about this? Guar-Gua-G... Mmmmm." One of the vines edged her panties out of the way and touched her clit directly. The bolt of pleasure from that gentle touch rendered her momentarily speechless as she enjoyed the sensation.
It seriously shouldn't feel this good. She was being groped by a tree. Nothing in dealing with the preternatural community should make her okay with this. Frisky shifters she expected. Keeping them at arm's length was no easy feat but she'd learned to do it. A tree with morning wood was a little out of her skill set.
The vines pulled her panties down her legs to join her jeans around her ankles. Darah couldn't think of a single protest for that action when one of the vines started caressing its length between her pussy lips so it brushed her channel entrance and clit.
Darah sucked in a breath and then let it out as a soft moan of pleasure. The tree had to be doing something to her. She should be protesting instead of wiggling her hips and arching her breasts forward. Tree aphrodisiac or hypo-pollen -- she needed something to explain why she pulled one foot free of her jeans and opened her legs...