Authors: Amy Sumida
Green Tea and Black Death
Copyright © 2013 Amy Sumida
All rights reserved.
For Hideo Robert Sumida, who wouldn't have approved of this story but would have been proud of me anyway.
All of the gods and goddesses in my books have been researched and are based upon actual myths but I occasionally like to throw in some real people who a few of my characters are based upon. In this book I've introduced Krystal who is actually Krystal Holm, she really is an interior designer and just as sassy as her character. Thank you for adding your spice to my world.
Also, thank you to Krystal and Sommer Castor for helping me edit my books.
More Books by Amy Sumida
The Godhunter Series(in order)
Of Gods and Wolves
Marked by Death
(Green Tea and Black Death)
Coming Soon in the Series:
A Taste for Blood
The Tainted Web
Two books which can be read together or separately
Harvest of the Gods & A Fey Harvest
The Magic of Fabric
Feeding the Lwas: A Vodou Cookbook
Kuan Ti: Kwan-tee
Xi Wangmu: She-wung-moo
There’s nothing like a Hawaiian sunrise. The sky starts to blush shyly before the china doll pink darkens to an angry orange, then brightens to proud yellow before clearing to simply illuminate paradise. Emotions across the sky, that’s what it’s like to see the sun awaken Hawaii.
Unless you’ve been hunting a tiger goddess through Chinatown all night and are too tired to appreciate it.
I stumbled up the steps into my little house, not even noticing the spectacular sunrise… or the lip of the door. I almost fell face first into the living room. It’s a good thing two of my lovers were coming up behind me and caught me, one under each arm, before the shameful cherry could be placed on the sundae of my horrible night.
Two of my lovers… I was still getting used to that. Not that having a werewolf Prince, a werelion, and the Viking God, Odin, as lovers was anything to complain about but I was raised to want a husband… a… not many. I’m all for monogamy and if any of my lovers cheated on me, I’d probably throw a fit... and some knives. I know, totally unfair but that’s the way I felt. The really funny thing was, if I cheated on them, that is with any man other than the three, they'd be just as upset. Any new lovers had to be approved of by my alpha first.
Trevor caught me up in his arms and started carrying me down to our bedroom, his werewolf strength making it seem effortless. I looked over at Kirill, my sweet black lion, and he winked at me before he headed for the bathroom. He was going to give me some time alone with my alpha.
I haven’t been this tired since I fought Balder,” I tried hard to smile as he set me down on the edge of the bed and started removing my heavy boots.
Let’s take a quick shower and head straight to bed,” he kissed my forehead before pulling my leather bodice off. Leather, it seemed like I was always wearing leather lately, and not for fashion reasons. Fashion I loved but it was fighting that required me to wear the thicker, tougher clothes… fighting gods.
Soon, our clothes were in piles on the floor and Trevor was heating up the water for our shower. I heard Kirill’s shower running in the bathroom down the hall and hoped my water heater could take the strain. The last thing I needed was for the water to go cold.
I seemed to catch a break on that one tiny detail and the warm water continued to blast, feeling like heaven and easing some of the tension out of my tight muscles. I sighed as Trevor came in behind me and started soaping up my body. It felt wonderful but I was thankful that he was quick about it. I was just too exhausted to have shower sex.
As good as the water felt, my Chinese wedding bed was ten times better. The carved walls encircled us like sanctuary and we snuggled down into the soft mattress with a shared sound of contentment. The sandalwood oil I used to polish it, scented the air lightly, wafting in on the currents of the a/c.
Trevor kissed my neck, where one of his love bites was still healing, and I tried to push away thoughts of the scar that used to be there. The one that Thor had given me to cover Blue's vampire bite. All of my scars were gone now; the bite mark, Thor’s lightning bolt, and the scar from Anubis' blade, ever since I drank from the Grayel. I was healed completely, free from Anubis’ power but also free of the oath Thor had made me.
Thor had been my first god boyfriend… godfriend. Whatever, he’d been my first… in this life at least, and it was sad to know that our friendship and our relationship were both over. I didn’t need his protection anymore, I was technically a goddess in my own right because of the Grayel, but it would have been nice to know I could connect with his mind if I needed to.
I was too exhausted to monitor my thoughts, so my head automatically filled with Thor, images of our relationship before I’d even met Trevor. I saw the massive Viking on his boat, happy and teasing me as his red hair whipped in the breeze; in his library, standing before the fire, all shadows and gold; and in his bed, covering me with kisses, fierce in his passion. Thor had been hard to get over.
Vervain?” Thor’s shocked voice echoed in my head.
Thor?” I bolted up in shock, dislodging Trevor.
Thor?” Trevor sat up and looked around. “Here? What the fuck are you talking about, Vervain?”
Hold on a second, Honey-Eyes,” I patted Trevor back into the bed as I tried to calm my racing heart. “Thor, is that you?”
Yes, darling,” my heart clenched to hear the endearment he hadn’t used for me in ages.
How?” I motioned to Trevor that it was alright because he was starting to get those little lines between his eyebrows. “I thought our connection was broken with my drink from the Grayel.”
The Grayel heals scars, poisons, things of that nature,” his voice mused. “It healed Anubis’ scar, which was the source of his control over you and it healed my scar that I placed on you with magic but the oath I made to you had nothing to do with the scar. I made you a blood oath, that’s not something to be healed.”
But Jesus said I was free of you as well as Anubis.”
He probably thought our bond was through the scar, like that jackal bastard’s.”
Maybe,” I didn’t know what else to say. I’d missed this but having it back was going to cause problems with Trevor. Also, I wasn't sure I wanted it back anymore. It would be good in case of emergencies but I wasn't sure it was worth the headache of having to deal with Thor and all his new issues. I know, I sound fickle but it really wasn't Thor I was missing, it was the idea of the Thor I'd loved. If that makes any sense.
I had loved Thor with everything I had but he hadn't loved me in the same way, with the same completeness. He'd thrown our relationship away for guilt and when he realized he wanted me back, he didn't try to apologize and work out our issues. No, he accused me of being the reason things ended in the first place and then expected me to go running back to him anyway. Even though I had moved on with Trevor. Evidently it was all my fault, including my unavailability. Doesn't exactly sound like a winning plan to gain back someone's love, does it? That's because it isn't. I was so done with Thor.
I’m sorry, Thor,” I cut him off before it got too personal. “I’ve been chasing Xi Wangmu around all day and I’m exhausted. Can we get back to this when I get up later?”
I’ll give you eight hours, then I’m coming over.”
I groaned and fell back into bed. Evidently Jesus didn’t know everything.
“Eenie meenie minie moe,” a group of children sang as they skipped down the street in front of me. “Catch a tiger by the toe.” Their voices echoed hauntingly through the otherwise empty street.
I felt a chill go down my spine. Chinatown was never this deserted. Even in the middle of the night, you could find people shuffling about, whether they were stumbling out of a bar or pushing a shopping cart filled with their life. This was mid-day and the only people around were those damn, creepy kids.
Looking for someone, Godhunter?” The Chinese accent set my teeth on edge.
Xi Wangmu,” I turned to face the petite woman.
She was wearing a gold cheong sam with a design of tigers running over it. Her long black hair was in a neat braid, her make-up applied with strict accuracy, and she stood with her hands clasped before her demurely. She was the perfect picture of a traditional Chinese woman, except for the long, striped tail that swept out from beneath the hem of her dress, and of course those kitty fangs she displayed when she smiled.
It’s not so easy to catch a tiger by the toe,” her Cheshire cat grin got wider.
Maybe I’ll just go for the tail then,” I looked pointedly at her swishing appendage.
This is a warning, Godhunter,” her smile disappeared. “Stop chasing me or you just might catch me… and toe or tail, catching a tiger is never a good idea.”
Save it, sister,” I snorted. “I’ve fought and killed gods way more scary than you.”
Yes, I’ve heard about your conquests,” her dark eyes sparkled, “in and out of the bedroom.”
What, you think you’re going to make me mad by bringing up my sex life?” I laughed. “Please, I’ve been called every horrible name you can think of, the ones referencing my taste in the bedroom are used the most. It gets a little old. Pretty much every enemy I've ever had, has called me a whore. It doesn't even faze me anymore. Besides, most gods have a way more expansive sex life than I do.”
Hmmm,” her mouth twisted sarcastically. “I don’t know too many gods or goddesses with a harem.”
I do not have a harem,” I growled.
You’re the Lion Goddess,” her little sassy bitch-tude was really getting on my nerves. “You have a whole pride of lions to service you, that’s part of the magic, isn’t it? It must be nice to have such a good excuse to be unfaithful.”
I freed my lions, they’re not there to serve as sex slaves anymore, and I never used them in that way, that was Nyavirezi. And I’m not unfaithful,” I took a deep breath. I was not about to let her get my ire up. “Not that it’s any of your business but I only have three lovers and I’m faithful to all of them. Thank you very much.”
three?” She laughed, her tiger teeth glinting. “That’s two more than most women.”
Two more than I planned on as well,” I frowned. When did this turn into girl talk? “Forget my sex life already. Stop causing trouble and I’ll stop chasing you.”
Causing trouble?” She lifted her nose till she was looking down at me. “I’m a goddess, I do not cause trouble. I perform a necessary cleansing for my people.”
Yeah, tell it to the relatives of those who died because of your little tricks.” Forget this, she was right in front of me, why wasn’t I killing her yet?
I threw my arms down to release the claw-blades, hidden inside my special, god-made gloves… but nothing happened. I looked down to find that not only was I not wearing my gloves, my hands were covered in black spots of dead, pooled blood. They started to appear all over me as I watched.
Xi Wangmu started to laugh and I started to scream.
Eenie meenie minie moe,” the creepy kids were back but this time they were gleefully circling me. “Catch a tiger by the toe,” they giggled, swinging their joined hands as their faces blurred around me. “If you’re smart you’ll let her go. Eenie meenie minie moe.”
The evil little bastards closed in on me as Black Death crept over my neck and I curled in on myself, covering my head with my plague-ridden arms. Their small hands grabbed at me and I screamed even louder as they tore open the horrible boils. They were everywhere, cutting off my air, shaking me. Those little, happy faces peering into mine in morbid fascination.
Vervain!” The hands dwindled down to two, while their size grew. “Vervain!”
I opened my eyes and found myself in bed with Trevor, who was shaking me violently. I was covered in a thin sheen of sweat, which instantly gave me the chills when I sat up, throwing the blankets off me. Trevor fell back as I searched my limbs for any sign of disease, hands shaking as I rubbed them over every inch of exposed skin. No blood, no gaping wounds, my skin was smooth and unblemished. When I finally settled down, he reached for me again.
Rouva?” Oh he was really concerned if he was using my Froekn title.
It was just a dream,” I sighed.
Oh fuck,” he pulled me closer, “not again.”
No, I think this was really just a bad dream,” I shivered, remembering how things started with Anubis. “I don’t think that was actually her invading my dream or anything… at least I hope not. The house is pretty well warded, so she shouldn’t be able to get through.”
Anubis did,” Trevor looked up as a soft knock sounded on the door.
Come on in, Kirill,” I called out before responding to Trevor. “Anubis was already inside me through his mark, he didn’t need to get through the wards.”