Spring 2013 after Winter 2012 in WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLSThe acrid dust of the long-deserted town filled Sedona’s nostrils, and swirled around them as Volcano slowed his superspeed cycle. They’d rolled through the arid high-elevation of Free Wyoming Territory, what had once been the state of Nevada, for most of the morning.
Now the sun made a brief appearance, a hazy disc of white light above them in a sky which reminded Sedona of the term ‘gray goo’.
"High noon." Sedona spoke once Volcano halted the cycle next to an antique hitching post.
"Gun on my hip, Missy." Volcano shaped his hand like a pistol and planted it on his hip. "Bang." He aimed toward the old west saloon.
The ephemeral spark from his fingertip struck the building, restoring it inside to pristine, yet leaving it the same on the outside.
"Missy? And just what kind of wicked entertainments are you going to want from me, top gun?" she throatily crooned close to his ear.
At the same time Baby Aru poked his head out of his travel bag, and yawned. He pricked his ears, then yipped a small adorable sound.
"First, Missy, you’ll bake me some of those chocolate chip cookies you’ve been talkin’ about craving." Removing his helmet, Volcano whipped around.
"Ooooh, such a demanding cherub," Sedona taunted. "Summon up the manna ingredients, fire up the oven and I’ll bake for you. This time."
Taking her helmet off swiftly, Volcano caught her mouth in a delicious hard kiss. The next moment he twisted back around, and Sedona knew he scanned for any enemy presence using his celestial powers.
"Come on, precious baby, I’ll take you for a stroll around town." As she lifted Aru out, he wiggled sweetly, his dark eyes bright with happiness. "That is, if your daddy says it’s okay."
Leaning over, Sedona set ‘her baby’ down on the cracked hard-packed ground that had once been Main Street. The town had been built as a movie set and for tourism. "Such a big boy now," she praised, then swung off the cycle.
Staying close to her, Aru sniffed, nose to the ground, waiting for Volcano’s signal. He adored running like a wild bush thing, but had learned patience. Always a joy to watch, Aru loved playing with them, his antics agile and impossibly cute.
"Main Street is safe. Only Main Street," Volcano reinforced for Aru’s benefit.
Bounding ahead of them like a gazelle, their ‘baby’ soon shot forward, racing full speed down Main Street, small spurts of dust in his wake.
Dismounting, Volcano wrapped his arm around Sedona’s waist, and claimed her close to his side. Aiming his finger he sent the cycle inside the saloon.
Sedona turned toward him from watching Aru, and caressed her palm up his chest. "What’s going on?"
"Need some communing time, precious woman." Volcano stroked up her back in a way that curled her toes and her hormones. "The Dark Minions are closing in on our target."
"The hidden gold," she murmured. In the following moment Sedona could smell the unique warm fragrance of gold. She leaned her forehead on the strength of his chest. "You’re abilities are rubbing off on me."
"Yes, we’re close." He cuddled her close and cupped her head, caressing. "No, your abilities are expanding."
"What next, cherub?" Lifting her gaze, she let his purple silvery eyes penetrate down to her soul.
"Walk with Aru, my Sedona. You’ll know when to return." He stroked up her arms, and drew her to him. Tenderly, he touched a kiss to her forehead. "Then, you’ll bake for me," he growled.
"Yes, oh great demanding cherub," she mocked.
Swinging her beside him, Volcano slapped her butt smartly. Instantly, her body softened and heated to wild need, annoying her no end. With her nipples points of ache for him, she craved his lovemaking far more than she’d been craving chocolate chip cookies–the way she used to make them before martial law hell had taken over the world.
"Who would have thought an angelic being could be so...so, male-primitive!" Sedona glared, then quickly stomped away before he swatted her again.
You love it, he arrogantly asserted in her mind. It makes you steamy sexy hot. Like in those romance novels we found.
Hate it! She threw back to him telepathically, and quickened her pace.
An instant later the ethereal feel of his lips kissing her cheek caused her to smile. As she jogged toward Aru, her fingertips brushed where his kiss lingered. The rustling squeaks of dying buildings surrounded her, while the weaving breezes caused ghost-like moans. From what she sensed there were no discarnate souls left behind.
Having completed his first exploration, Aru circled and dashed back to her. Knowing she would run with him, then cuddle him when he decided to jump into her arms, he pranced toward her, his neck arched. As it always did, her heart flowed toward him with absolute love.
"Your daddy is so bad, sometimes. He knows exactly how to manhandle me." She rubbed her bottom still feeling Volcano’s sensual mark on her. "Make that carnal-handle me."
Bending at the waist, she met Aru’s dainty kiss with her own. "A chip off the daddy Volcano block, that’s what you are," she cooed, then straightened. "You know just how to handle me too."
Backing up Aru flipped his curled tail, then spun on a dime, his invitation for her to chase him. Sedona leapt into a run, her strides natural and strong, the feeling glorious. Her physique had transformed beyond her body’s peak as a mortal human.
For several minutes she sprinted and darted after Aru, who enjoyed his own cleverness at avoiding her.
Soon he teased her, circling like a dervish, then catching her hand with a gentle touch of his fangs. Quickly they whirled back and forth, playing their game of doggie martial arts as Sedona called it. Until Volcano’s message suddenly took over her mind, Come now.
"Aru," she commanded. Instantly, he launched into her arms. He clung as Sedona ran back to the saloon, the safety zone Volcano had created for them.
Volcano stood at the entrance, and once they entered, he sealed it with a sparkling burst of power.
"Safe." He beamed a reassuring smile. "The Dark Minions are psychically sweeping this area. They’ll ignore this blip of energy, but not the entire town."
Sedona nodded, then kissed her baby dog, and set him down. Aru vigorously shook, then began an ambling investigation of his surroundings.
"The oven is fired up." Hope gleamed in the cherub’s eyes.
Sedona tilted her chin, then Mae West cocked her hip. "I think you’re addicted to my baking."
"Yes." He snatched her close, so strongly her breath flew in shallow pants. "I’m addicted to your baking and your essence. Only in a heavenly way," he added, the grin began in his eyes, before it formed on his too sexy mouth. "Gonna bake for me, Missy? Or do I take you upstairs and make you wear a corset for my debaucheries on your innocent flesh?"
"Innocent?" Goddess, she couldn’t breathe, as if she wore a laced up corset.
"Innocent of what I’m plannin’," he growled, his eyes smoldering like supernatural embers.
"What if I like your ‘debauchery’ offer better?" Each word had seemed heaved from her bosom, despite the triteness of the image.
"Then, little Missy, no debauchery until I’ve had my manna chocolate chip cookies."
"Oh, well, in that case, top gun, I’ll have to surrender. Take me to the kitchen. Is there a kitchen?"
Volcano scooped her up in his arms, carrying her. Sedona’s head whirled and she wondered if she’d regain enough concentration to recall how she’d made her specialty cookies.
"The kitchen is straight out of a 90's cooking magazine, little Missy," he answered, elbowing open a huge swinging white door. "When this was a tourist town."
"Dang it, cherub, you boil up my libido something awful, then expect me to bake for you."
"You’re hungry, remember?" With infinite care, his gaze cherishing her, he set her down.
"Yeah, I remember."
Still feeling light-headed, Sedona brought her arm up to her brow. She did need to eat, despite her ongoing transformation. And he was making certain she did. Not that her carnal adorable cherub wasn’t constantly after her to bake for him, once he’d discovered the difference in taste between what he could manifest from her memory, and what she actually baked. No, he asked every time they stopped at a place with a useable kitchen. And his eyes always flamed like a thousand hopeful candles.
Her head clearing, she pivoted, and saw the neatly arranged ingredients he’d retrieved from the ethers, or the manna storehouse as he referred to it. She moved toward the counter, a grin spreading on her face at how he’d created the packaging and the containers. Not that she couldn’t tell what was what. But the honeybear looked like a Grizzly bear ready to attack and the chocolate chip package was as large as a pillow, taking up most of the space.
"Where’s the jar of cloud, o cherub one?" Sedona positioned the stainless mixing steel bowl, and picked up the large spoon she preferred.
"No cloud taste needed, Missy. Just your essence mixed in the dough as you mix." He presented the stick of butter on a small plate, then floated it into the bowl.
"You are becoming the perfect assistant. And, to think, I always baked alone before." Sedona reached for the Grizzly bear. "It doesn’t bite, does it?"
She poured out a tablespoon of the golden dark liquid from the bear’s snarling mouth.
"No. Biting happens later," he smugly returned.
Smoothing his palm over her butt cheek, he lightly pinched. Sedona flared with passion, and felt the juiciness of her sex. Setting the Grizzly bear down, she grabbed the bottle of molasses. Brier rabbit never looked better, his coloring bold and more realistic than on the original bottle.
"Then we mate like rabbits." The words slipped before she could halt them. Her cheeks steaming, she quickly poured out a tablespoon of molasses. "What kind of nut butter?" she asked, making herself think about what she was doing.
"Almond, my favorite." He spooned in the half cup of almond nut butter, then added two tablespoons of coconut oil. "I could summon up a playboy bunny costume," he naughtily teased.
"So very thoughtful of you. Me, dressed up like a playboy bunny serving you chocolate chip cookies. Your idea of heaven?" Sedona reached for the salt shaker. Carefully she shook a couple of times.
"Bed cookie crumbs, my idea of heaven," he purred close to her ear.
Ignoring her shiver of desire, Sedona picked up the bowl, and spun toward him. "Oven melting or divine melting?"
Placing his hands beneath the bowl, Volcano warmed up the butter until it was liquefied.
"Perfect." Sedona set the bowl down and whipped the spoon around.
"How many cups of brown sugar?" he asked, dipping in the measure cup.
"Two heaped cups." Stirring briskly once he put in the brown sugar, she watched for the consistency she preferred, almost caramel-like. "Two eggs next, my assistant." Gazing at the beautiful brown eggs, she asked, "Manna chickens?"
"No, the manna egg comes before the chicken."
"Yeah, yeah." Sedona giggled.
Volcano suspended the eggs over her bowl, cracking them in unison. Once again, she stirred until there was a whipped appearance to her ingredients. "Did the chocolate come before the chip. Or the chip before the chocolate?"
"Chocolate chips originated in the mind of heaven first," he promptly replied.
"A gift to humankind. How many?"
"I’ve never counted the individual chips," she drily joked.
"You said you liked a lot of chips."
"I did, o cherub mine. Are we taking the bag with us?"
"Manna storage. Don’t need to." He opened the giant bag, then poised the measuring cup.
The aroma of dark chocolate liquor saturated the air, a pure divine pleasure. Sedona closed her eyes, and simply inhaled. "Goddess, I’ve missed that smell."
"We’ll take the bag with us." His voice was barely above purr.
"Twelve ounces," she instructed, sizzling softly over his sweet caring for her. "I think that’s two cups."
He poured in the dark chocolate chips while she slowly stirred, then asked. "How much flour, Missy?"
"Usually two cups. Is it half whole wheat and half unbleached, manna style?"
"Created according to your memory, my Sedona." He scooped out a cup from the old-fashioned, heavy paper bag.
"Looks like a perfect creation," she praised. "Put in one cup first."
Sedona stirred in the flour, and suddenly remembered what it had been like before in her life. A few unbidden tears dripped down her nose.
Volcano gently took the bowl from her. "Another cup?" he asked, handing her a small towel.
Sedona nodded, sniffled, then wiped her eyes. "You want practice stirring, assistant?"
With what could only described as joy, he dumped in another cup of flour, and stirred as she’d done. Picking up the cookie tray, she set it in front of her on the counter.
"Big fat cookies?" he asked, spooning out a large portion of the cookie dough.
"What else?" Sedona watched him plop the dough on the tray, then checked the oven’s temperature. "Three fifty ought to do it. And probably about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on how soft and gooey you like them."
"How you like them, my woman." He held out is dough-covered finger. "Want to lick it off?"
"Isn’t that what you said last night?"
Chocolate Chip Cookie smooch from the Kougar...