There is only one person on Earth who ever mattered to Geris Jackson and that one person is her best friend Kyra Summers (The Empress' New Clothes). When Kyra is kidnapped, Geris fears nobody will believe her tale about the giants with the glowing blue eyes who snatched her best friend away, so she sets out to find Kyra herself.
Suffering disappointment after disappointment, Geris begins to give up hope. She gets the surprise of a lifetime when one of the giants who stole her best friend hunts her down and claims her for his own.
Publisher's Note: We advise you to read this installment after No Fear. The Trek series should be read in the following order: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 1.5, Book 5.5. We apologize for any confusion, however, we cannot change the name of a title after it has been released!
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February 28, 2003
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Excerpt from Seized by Jaid Black
California, somewhere in the desert...
"Speak to us, Divine Mistress of the Light. Bless your child Geris Jackson in this her hour of need. Show us the--nayyyyyyy!--show us the way! Nayyyyyyy..."
Her mouth hanging open dumbly, Geris could only stare at the neighing Disciple Magda as the medium's eyes rolled back into her head until only the whites showed. Magda, the seventh--and final!--spiritual medium that Geris had hired in her three-year-old quest to find Kyra, was currently convulsing while she made obscene horsey sounds in the back of her throat.
At either side of the bald, robe-clad medium sat another bald, robe-clad disciple, both of them making various barnyard noises while they aided Magda in her communication with the Mistress of the Light. Disciple Helios was clucking like a chicken, his arms flailing like crazed wings at his sides, while Disciple Mercury brayed like a donkey as he did weird things with his tongue.
Geris's lips pinched together in a frown. Sweet Jesus in heaven.
Rubbing her temples, Geris mentally conceded that seeking out these people was probably the stupidest move she'd made yet. And as moves go, she thought on a sigh, she had made some rather dumb ones in the past few years.
Or desperate ones, depending upon one's vantage point...
At least this group of crazies was a safe, peaceable one, she told herself in the way of consolation. All of them needed to be locked up someplace where they'd get regular injections of thorazine to be sure, but otherwise they were relatively harmless. A celibate cult, she knew she wouldn't have to fend off unwanted advances like she had from the leader of the last sect she'd traveled to. That leader had promised he could find Kyra, but had insisted the gods would only speak to him while having sex with Geris.
Uh huh. Yeah right.
"Speak to--nayyyyy!--speak to me--nayyyy!--Mistress of the Light!"
Cluck cluck cluck. Hee-haw hee-haw hee-haw. Nayyyyyy...
Geris shook her head and sighed, grimly wondering if her life could become any more pathetic. For three years she had trotted around the globe, looking high and low for a woman she was beginning to fear had met a bad end...
Kyra was still alive. She knew she was still alive. She just needed to think logically, needed to put the puzzle pieces together in a coherent fashion by herself, rather than relying on bizarre mediums and their mentally unstable followers to find Kyra. Think girl, she silently commanded herself. Think...
But she had tried the logical route for the entire first year of Kyra's disappearance, a nagging voice in her head reminded her. She had traveled to all of the Nordic countries where males were bred tall and broad, thinking it was a logical place to start looking since the men who had kidnapped her best friend were built so massively. But she had found nothing. She'd developed a taste for Scandinavian food and could speak broken Norwegian and Swedish, but that was the only thing that had resulted from her excursions into the northlands.
Think, girl. Think...
Geris blinked. She hadn't realized Disciple Magda had come back down from the alleged spiritual realm. "Huh?"
"You'll find the answers your heart seeks in Las Vegas," Magda said cheerfully. Her bald head crinkled in tune with the corners of her eyes. "The spirit of the Sacred Horse showed me thusly."
"Oh." Geris didn't know what to say to that. She cleared her throat discreetly. "Did, uh, did this horse--"
"Sacred Horse," Magda interrupted in a worshipful tone.
Geris sighed. "...Sacred horse mention where exactly in Las Vegas I'd find Kyra?" Arrg! As if this horse guy is real, Geris!
Magda's bald head crinkled in thought. Geris watched her hesitantly, silently hoping the woman wouldn't start neighing again. There was only so much neighing a woman could take in a day.
"As a matter of fact, the Excellent Spirit did tell me that." Magda's eyes had a faraway, dreamy, I-smoke-a-lot-of-dope quality to them. "The Sacred Horse is all-knowing in His Wisdom after all."
"Go to Caesar's Palace," Magda continued in a reverent tone that brought to mind Moses decreeing God's will to the Israelites. "Within it you shall find the needs of your heart. The Excellent Spirit has declared it and so it is."
"Hm." Well isn't that a little too damn easy! I've been searching for Kyra for three years and now some horse is gonna hand her over just like that! "Interesting."
"A skeptical heart," Magda said with her good-natured cheer undaunted, "is like an onion falling apart at the petals of desire."
Geris blinked. She could only assume that statement would have made sense if she was flying as high as Magda appeared to be. "Huh." Remembering her manners, as well as the fact that Magda and her followers had been nothing but hospitable to her since she'd found them a week ago, Geris smiled as she stood up. "I'd like to thank you for all of your help." Not that I believe a word of it! She nodded. "I'll be on the next flight to Las Vegas." Yeah right!
Magda's hand whipped out in a lightning-fast motion. She gripped one of Geris's hands in a show of strength that was a tad frightening. The baldheaded, robe-clad woman stared deeply into her eyes and in that moment Geris recognized an intelligence she hadn't seen there before. A cunning, a knowing...
She swallowed roughly, but made no move to pull away from the medium.
"The fair-haired giant has returned to this realm," Magda murmured. "If you wish to see your friend again, do not be a fool. Do as the Excellent Spirit has decreed."
Geris's eyes widened. She was too dumbstruck to speak.
Magda knew about that...that...man? But how could she? How could she unless...
Sweet Jesus in heaven. This was getting weird.
"Okay," Geris breathed out, her heart beating rapidly. "I'll go."
And why shouldn't she? Geris asked herself. It wasn't as if she hadn't looked everywhere else on God's green earth for Kyra. What could a short plane hop to Vegas hurt?
"Very good," Magda said, releasing the grip she had on Geris's hand. Her eyes resumed their normal dazed state as if the eerie glimmer of knowing she'd shown but moments prior had never been. Her bald head crinkled good-naturedly. "Godspeed."
"Godspeed," Geris muttered. Good lord she needed a drink. "Thanks, uh, thanks for everything." She swallowed over the lump in her throat.
Magda nodded, appeased. "Remember, child, that upon every silver cloud a wily bird migrates."
Geris frowned. She didn't know what to say to that. But then, most people probably wouldn't know what to say to that. "Uh huh. Take care, Disciple Magda," she said sincerely. She hesitated, then smiled slightly as she flashed the medium the nanu-nanu sign from Mork & Mindy that the Disciples of the Mistress of the Light seemed partial to. "And thanks again."
"Godspeed," Magda said a final time as Geris walked from the desert tent. "May your spiritual leaves fly high before the Spirit of the Bird shits upon them."
Geris nodded without turning back. At least that one she'd kind of understood. "Godspeed, Disciple Magda."
By the time Geris left the tent and reached the jeep she'd rented for this desert excursion her legs were wobbly and shaking. "Good lord," she muttered to herself, her heartbeat racing. "How could that woman have known--"
"The fair-haired giant has returned to this realm."
Geris's eyes widened. The fair-haired giant...
She gulped. She'd done her best not to think about him over the years because she knew in her heart it was the black-haired man who'd stolen Kyra, and therefore it went without saying that it was the black-haired man she needed to concentrate her energies on finding. But inevitably, perversely, her thoughts would always stray back to the blonde giant--the one who had studied her so possessively...
Geris rubbed her temples and sighed. Sweet Jesus, she needed a drink...