Mother Earth Mystery


"Me too," she said as the green light in the panel indicated that he had succeeded at opening the lock. He pushed the door open and stepped back to let her enter first.


Once inside with the door firmly closed, Gaia was gripped by second thoughts and third. It seemed to go on forever. She tried to remember the last time that anyone had been inside her room. But she could not. Intensely private, Gaia had never had anyone visit her room before; not any of the other members of the troop, who honestly considered her a diva and certainly not a man.

She fidgeted for a moment with her hands as she tried to think what to do. How to say...I've changed my mind, could you please leave. But she could not squeeze the words out past her tight throat.

Instead she murmured, "Have a seat. I'm just going to grab a quick shower. I get so sweaty when I perform."

With a weak smile and a wave of her hands towards the table and chair positioned near the window, she fled into the solitaire security of the bathroom.


The cool professional side of Eli knew that he could not have planned this better. It was an opportunity to investigate this woman, who was one of his suspects.

But he hesitated. Somehow the idea seemed devious, more like snooping than investigating. She had trusted him. He could not betray that trust by rummaging through her things looking for evidence against her...or one of her friends.

On the other hand, a quick look around might be enough to exonerate her. Then he could relax and enjoy this almost magical night with this truly spectacular woman.

With this flimsy justification in mind, he began to look around. The hotel was luxurious, but small. There was not much to investigate really. Like most hotel rooms the table, night stand and dresser were bear of any personal items. A quick check of the night stand revealed nothing more than the television remote and room service menu. Throwing open the closet door, Eli discovered nothing more than sweatpants, jeans and a light jacket.

Turning back towards the dresser against the wall, Eli paused, making certain that the shower was still running. When he heard the tell-tell signs of water, he moved quickly. The first drawer he opened contained nothing but t-shirts much like the one she had been wearing, many advertising the show. The second drawer was slightly more interesting with sexy convections of lace and silk in a rainbow of colors...white, red, black, pink, purple and several other colors which defied descriptions blue-green sorts of things.

When he opened the third drawer, he was not certain what he had found. It was filled with candles, shells, and rocks. A leather volume was tucked into one corner. Eli was reaching for it when he heard the water stop. He quietly closed the drawer and tip-toed over to the table. Sitting down quickly, he gave the appearance of having been there all along, bored by it all.

But his mind was racing. What were those things? What did a woman like this do with shells and rocks? And most importantly, what was in that journal? Could she be the killer he sought? Were stories of her exploits written in that book?


The warm water sluiced over Gaia's aching muscles. Her routines had never been easy, but these past few months as her life force fled they began almost more than her frail body could manage. But the water, even a brief shower, always revived her at least a bit.

But for now it was not her impending death that held Gaia's thoughts but the chance to grab just a taste of life. The man...Eli was his name...bringing him here was so unlike anything she had ever done. But it felt right somehow. How could the goddess refuse her such a brief lapse when she had served her the whole of her life? Gaia had followed the dictates of her faith, staying pure.

Until her purity had been sacrificed on the alter of's unending greed. Then it had been nothing for her to use her body as a tool for the goddess's greater purposes.

Gaia did not enjoy the act, received nothing for her labors. How could she? Those men were rapists and murderers. Their greed stole precious resources that the Mother meant to be shared by all. They deserved what they got. It was too good for them in fact. A quick death. Gaia wished she had the strength, the power to make them pay the full measure of their sins, but her body betrayed her in this as well.

But Eli...he was different somehow. She did not smell the stink of greed, power and death upon him. But then again she had met other men, whom she could say the same. No, there was something more. Of course, his physical appearance was not the answer. The man was most definitely a geek. But then again perhaps that was the appeal. He is an omega type, caring and considerate. The opposite of the Alphas that ruled this world...the men that she hated...had always hated.

There was something about his eyes though. Their soft brown depths held such pain, as if he had seen too much, knew as much as she did of the horrid things that man did. Something inside of her wanted to share that pain...if only for a moment. If only for this single night.

Her mind made up, Gaia turned off the water. Stepping slowly out of the shower, she wrapped a towel about her body and opened the door. He was sitting at the table staring at the newspaper that the hotel left each morning.


Eli looked up when the door had opened. He heart was still pounding from his deception and quick escape. But when he saw her standing there in nothing but the white towel, its pace quickened even more, threatening to pound out of the confines of his chest.

She was even more beautiful like this, without the costumes that clung to her slim body giving the illusion of skin while covering everything. Her face was devoid of any trace of makeup and she looked more like a teenager than a world famous performer. Her blond hair was darker from the water and hung limply about her small shoulders. Her skin was translucent almost as white as the towel wrapped about her.

He watched as she walked slowly towards him. She was even more graceful then than she had been upon the stage. Each step was slow and practiced, a seeming seduction in itself. He stared in fascination at the way that her toes pointed as she lifted her foot, placing one in front of the other. It could not have been more than a dozen steps from the bathroom to where he sat at the table, but the show seemed to stretch forever. Each step was an act of beauty in itself.

When she stood before him, clad only in the towel, Eli cold smell the fresh scent of rose. He realized it was probably her shampoo, but some illogical part of his brain protested that it was her...just her. This woman that enthralled millions with her grace and beauty. This woman-child that loved playing in the mud. This erotic creature that had invited him back to her room.

When she lifted her chin and looked up into his face, the air whooshed from his lungs. Those blue eyes. A man could get lost in them.

Some barely sane part of his brain many men had gotten lost in their depths? Had some of them paid the ultimate price for their sin? Was this divine creature capable of murder?

Staring deep into the depths of those sea-blue eyes he sought the answer. But what he saw there froze his blood. Pain. Deep, soul-searing pain. Pain that made him want nothing more than to wrap his arms about her, protect her for anything or anyone that could hurt her.


Gaia gathered her resolve about her. She was uncertain what to say, what to do. This was not another performance. She was not the vengeful, seductress bent upon exacting justice. She was a woman. A vulnerable woman. A woman, who wanted nothing more than to be held.

In the end, that was exactly what she said.

Taking a step forward, she whispered, "Hold me."

Looking up into the depths of his mud colored eyes; she thought for a moment that he might push her away. Reject her plea.

But then his arms wrapped about her, drawing forward to press her against his body. There was a great deal more strength in those arms than she would have first imagined. Their power held her tightly. So tightly that for that single moment everything else dropped away. The pain in her body that never left her. The ache in her soul for the damaged goddess that she served. The hatred in her heart for the men that caused that damage. All of it melted away.

There was nothing but this man. Those arms. And safety. Safety and security were not familiar emotions to the girl that had been raised by a mother and grandmother who moved constantly, to the woman that moved constantly, living in hotel rooms. A woman who had never even had a real friend.

It felt good. No, that was not right. It felt right...perfect. Gaia stiffened, her eyes flew open. It was a feeling she only got when she communed with the goddess. But how could this be?

He must have felt the change in her, because he shifted them then. He leaned back so that he could stare down into her face. His voice was low when he whispered, "I would never hurt you, Gaia. Never. I'll go if you want."

Panic rose like bile in her throat at his words. "No, don't go," she pleaded. "It isn't that I'm afraid. The opposite in fact. I have never felt so safe."

His smile lit up the room. "I'm glad. I didn't want to go either."

"Would it be terribly forward of me if I asked you to take me to bed?"

"Probably...but does that matter," he said as his hands caressed her upper arms.

She smiled, "I guess not. It isn't like I have lived by society's rules up until now." She stepped forward and pressed a brief kiss on the buttons of his shirt just over his heart. "Take me to bed, Eli. Make love to me. Show me how it should be between a man and a woman."


Eli wondered if she knew how much those words revealed. Someone had hurt this woman badly. That was clear to the profiler inside of him.

But it was the man that responded to her plea.

Bending down, he scooped her into his arms. It was the kind of move that Eli knew filled the pages of the romance novels that his mother always read. It was the sort of thing his friend Jason might have done. But it was not something that he would have ever though he would do.

The knight in shining armor was not a role that fit him. He would buckle under the weight. But not this night. This night he wanted to be that knight. That perfect knight for this woman, this damsel.

He knew that was all they would have...this night. When the light broke, he would have to become the profiler once more...and his gut was telling him that this woman held the answers. But that was tomorrow. They still had the night. Long hours of dark in which to hide. Hours that he was determined would be filled with love enough to last them a lifetime.

His knees hit the side of the bed and he laid her back upon the soft duvet, following her down onto it. He hesitated. Fear gripped him. It was not like he had Jason's experience with women. What if he messed this up? What if he could not give her what she needed?

Suddenly, that seemed the most important thing in the world. Not finding murderers. Not building his career with the Bureau. Just giving this woman one night of love.


Gaia felt his body go stiff. But having come this far, she was not letting anything stop her from tasting this...just once. She arched her body, the same move that she had done thousands of times before. The move that always got her what she wanted. The move that men could not resist.

She was rewarded this time with a sound emitted not from the man's throat but from somewhere in his soul. It was half whimper, half growl, but all sexy. It gave her the courage to take that next step. She reached up, lacing her fingers through that long hair. The feel of it reminded her of the softest silk of her costumes. She purred at the sensation.

With a gentle tug, she brought his face close to hers. So close that their breaths mingled in the mere fraction of an inch between them. It danced and wrapped and swirled like acrobats in her troop. She could feel the power of the performance.

"Kiss me," she breathed as she tugged his face closer.

When his lips moved over hers, it was so tentative at first. Like a flower lifting its face to the early spring morning, testing the air to make certain that it was safe to emerge after the cold, long winter months. Then like that flower sensing the sun's warmth, it burst forth. His lips became bolder. His teeth nibbled lightly at the corner of her mouth as if seeking entry.

Gaia opened her mouth to moan and his tongue swept boldly inside, tasting her, teasing her.

His hands too joined in the bold foray. Moving up and down her body as if memorizing each curve and indentation, his caress lit fires inside of her.

Fires that Gaia did not know even existed. She moaned into his mouth and arched her body as his hand found and cupped her small breast.

She realized then that the towel had fallen away at some point. She was naked. Naked and completely exposed with this man. She had never been completely naked before. She thought that it would be frightening, an uncomfortable feeling, but it was not. It felt freeing, it was perfect.

She moved beneath him, stretching and dancing with her body, a dance of seduction that was not practice or fake. Genuine need and desire coursed through her young body for the first time in her life. She gave into the feeling. Her hands quickened as they sought buttons and zippers. Working to free her lover of the strictures of clothes, freeing him just as she herself felt free at last.

Whether it took seconds or minutes, Gaia was not certain. Either way it felt too long. But when he was finally free, as naked as she was, it still was not enough. Gaia shifted, her tiny hands sought him out. With a slight shift, she opened her thighs and drew him forward until she felt his tip pressed tightly against the warm wetness between her legs. "Please," she whispered looking up into those comforting pools of warm mud.


Things were moving too fast. Eli knew it. His brilliant mind that was recognized as genius even argued that he should stop now. This woman was hurting. He was taking advantage of her. Hell, she might even be a serial killer.

But in that moment, with her tiny hands wrapped tightly around his cock, the warmth of her body caressing it and those whispered words of needs, his brain could go fuck itself, he thought.

Following the instinct that more even than his brain had accounted for his success up until then, he surged forward. He moaned as the heat and wet enveloped him. He sank deeper inside of her.

He would have paused then, would have used his hands and kisses to tease responses from her. But there was no need. Her body was as hungry as his, arching to draw him deeper. Her fingers scored his back as she moved her hips in seductive circles beneath him.

Looking down at her then, he knew it was a sight he would never forget. Pure, raw need. Open and honest in its power. Seeking to give pleasure even as it took. Something as old as time and life itself. Something completely woman...yet god like in its powers.

And Eli was just a weak man, powerless to resist such an elemental force. Under its spell, he moved then. Following her lead, he danced. A pounding, primal dance of life that had been played out billions and trillions of times over the eons. A life giving dance of nature itself.

At its pentacle they both cried out. Loud, guttural songs of fulfillment and joy. The dance, the song was too brief in its perfection, he thought as he lay atop her. His body spent but strumming still with the power of this dance.

He shifted a bit to the side, taking his weight from her. He drew her into his arms without a word. Words would only break the spell; only mar the perfection of this night.

There would be time enough for words later. For now the only thing that mattered was this connection, holding this remarkable creature in his arms. It was the most right thing that he had ever done.


They both slept then. Rest needed to recharge their life forces. But they had awakened twice more in the night. The dance repeated. And each was more perfect than the last.

As the first rays of the early spring sun drifted between the dark drapes, Gaia rose. Her body clock had long ago set itself to the call to worship. Slipping from the warmth of the bed and his arms, she felt reluctant for the first time ever to meet that call. Would just one morning hurt?

But old habits die hard as the saying goes. She snuck over to the dresser pulling underwear and a t-shirt from the drawers. Then quickly she found an old pair of sweat pants in the closet. Within moments, she was dressed, her hair pulled back into a ponytail and her teeth quickly brushed.

Quietly, she crept about her room. She did not want to wake him. Did not want to break the perfect spell of last night with words. After communing, she would head to the theater. A couple of hours of practice should give him time to realize that she would not be returning. He would leave and their perfect night would remain just that...perfect. Unmarred by words or promises that could never be.

Returning to the dresser, she packed the contents of the bottom drawer into the duffle bag that she had grabbed from the bottom of the closet. The rocks and shells collected from a thousand different places across her lifetime. She had always felt that she carried a bit of each place with her this way. The candles were all natural...essence to beckon the goddess to her pleas.

When she had finished packing her bag, she tip-toed across the room to the table. She picked up the cell phone that lay there, noticing the light that indicated she had a text message. She felt a pang of regret, but knew exactly who the message was from...and what it said.

Her perfect night had come to an end. Turning she brushed the jacket that hung from the back of a chair. He must have hung it there while she was in the shower. The movement was enough to dislodge it. It fell to the floor. A black leather case fell from a pocket. Gaia picked it up.

Her heart froze as her fingers caressed the lines of his face beneath the plastic cover. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Agent. Behavioral Analysis Unit. The words sprang out at her. Eli Harris. At least he had not lied to her about his name.

But thinking back over their night together, Gaia realized that she was not being fair. He had not lied at all. Not really. He simply had not told her everything.

Actually, she knew that it was her own guilt that plagued her. There was no reason to believe that his being here was anything other than what it seemed...a wonderful carnal interlude between two consenting adults.

If she were not a cold-blood killer, these credentials would mean nothing. But she was. She was also a woman on a mission. A mission that was not finished yet. With resolve, Gaia placed the leather wallet back inside his jacket pocket and hung it on the chair. She tucked the cell phone inside her bag. She would answer the text message. Finish her mission...and her life.

Gaia's hands were on the handle of the door when she stopped. Crossing back to the table, she opened the bag. She drew forth the leather bound volume and brought it to her lips. She kissed it softly, the way she dared not kiss her lover now. She did not want to awaken him. She laid the book on the table and slipped into the early morning dawn.


Eli woke slowly. A smile crossed his lips as memories of the night flashed through his mind. Perfection was not sufficient to describe it. He reached across the bed but his hands found nothing but cold, crisp cotton. Rubbing his hands across his face to clear the sleep, he looked about the dim room. Light was trickling through the dark curtains, enough to see that she was not there. He listened for the water running to indicate that she was in the shower, but was greeted with silence.

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