Deep Within Me

The Prophecy - 2


Tina Donahue 

To all the characters who are gone from The Walking Dead. Dale, Sofia, Lori, Shane…I’ll miss you.

Michonne—you go, girl!

Chapter One

Zeke Neekoma gripped the Jeep’s steering wheel. His eyes swept the barren New Mexico desert. At this hour, moonlight reduced colors to varying shades of gray and deepened the shadows cast by stunted vegetation and rocks. The perfect setting for a sci-fi film…or the endless battles and murders played out here.

Less than two weeks before, Zeke had been close to death from three bullets near his heart. Although no hospital emergency room or medical staff had seen to his rescue and recovery, his body recorded no lingering distress from the incident. The wounds were mere pinpricks on his chest, hardly noticeable, his pulse strong yet too fast, heightened by a continued flood of adrenaline.

Because of Liz—once his enemy, now the woman he adored.

She’d died. He’d seen it, had caressed her limp body, begging her not to leave him. And then…

The enormity of what had happened hit Zeke fully now. He tried to swallow and couldn’t quite manage the action. His throat was too dry, his palms so damp they kept slipping on the steering wheel. He rubbed one hand, then the other on his jeans and clutched the wheel as hard as he could for some measure of control. Didn’t work.

The events of the last few minutes precluded it, the memories assaulting him.

He recalled racing to Carreon’s stronghold, where Liz had gone to stop the man. Carreon was her clan’s leader and the worst sort of coward. He harmed women, children, anyone who was helpless against him. Liz had hoped the bastard’s death would end the bloodshed between her and Zeke’s clans.

How wrong she’d been to have confronted him. When Zeke arrived, Carreon was in his black Escalade with Liz’s father in the passenger seat. All these months, Carreon had kept Dr. Munez prisoner to ensure Liz’s obedience to whatever he demanded. Upon seeing Zeke, Carreon pushed Munez from the SUV, directly into the path of Zeke’s vehicle, forcing him to stop. The action allowed Carreon to escape.

Inside the stronghold—within the safe room—Zeke had found Liz’s body. Carreon had strangled her, just as Zeke’s visions had warned…horrific images he’d been unable to stop. Liz’s face was swollen and purplish. Bruises ringed her neck. He’d felt for a pulse but there hadn’t been any. No signs of—

Zeke forced back a shudder, not wanting to revisit that horror again. Desperate to flee the images, he stomped on the Jeep’s accelerator. With too much gas, the vehicle jerked forward, then jounced over the uneven terrain. He had to fight to keep it steady and to see where he was going. Turning on the headlights wasn’t something he could do. Carreon’s men might see them. They were still out here.

Before Zeke could slow down, the tires hit a particularly deep rut. The Jeep’s front tires dropped into it, and then the vehicle jolted upward.

Liz inhaled sharply. She dug her fingers into Zeke’s thigh to steady herself.

He wanted to glance at her but resisted the urge. All they needed now was for him to lose control of the Jeep, flipping it. Injuring not only himself, but also Liz and her father to the point of unconsciousness. Before long, Carreon’s men would arrive, circling them like vultures.

How could you forget that? What the fuck is the matter with you?

Zeke eased his foot from the accelerator to slow the vehicle. “You okay?” he asked Liz.


Her voice didn’t rasp from her previous injuries…her murder. It was as though it had never occurred, the same as Zeke’s brush with death. After another deep breath, she stopped gripping his leg and rested her palm on his thigh.

Her hand’s weight sent a flood of warmth through Zeke that comforted and aroused him. He recalled the feel of her lush nudity, her willing submission and longing for his kisses, the hunger of his caress, his cock buried deep within her cunt.

Its tightness and heat was the shelter he’d needed and had always searched for without even knowing it. Her smile of approval, the love he recognized in her eyes was the only heaven Zeke desired.

Without her, he’d die, no longer caring what happened. With her, he had hope for the future, the first in years. All he had to do to make certain it lasted was to find Carreon and kill the prick. Not quickly, though. He needed the bastard to suffer for what he’d done in the past to Zeke’s clan and family. To his little girl Gabrielle.

A surge of outrage, quick and hot, tore through Zeke.

“You all right?” Liz asked, squeezing his thigh.

He fought to control his anger and finally managed a nod. He’d deal with Carreon later. Right now, he had to see to Liz’s safety and her father’s. They were more than ten miles from his clan’s stronghold with few places to hide in this desolate area. A precarious position. The only thing that might possibly save them was this route. Here, they shouldn’t run into Carreon’s three lieutenants who’d escaped tonight’s battle with Zeke’s men.

Liz twisted slightly, trying to see in the back. Her father sat behind her. “Papa, you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

His words bounced in concert with the Jeep’s rough movements.

Liz blew out a breath.

Zeke welcomed the sound as much as he did her laughter, her pleasured moans when he mounted her. Thankfully, that would happen again. A fucking lot. Hell, if he had his way, he’d never pull out of her. Certainly not to sleep, perhaps not even to eat.

Losing her once was all that he could bear.

The corners of his eyes were still sticky from tears, shed when he’d believed she was gone from him forever. He’d thought, as Liz had, that she and her father were only able to heal the injured, a gift bestowed on them by their mixture of Aztec and extraterrestrial blood.

Because of Carreon and men like him, Liz’s father hadn’t told her the most important secret regarding their gift.

Not only could they undo damage from an accident or the bullets that had torn into Zeke’s chest, they could reanimate.

Earlier, Liz had been beyond simple healing, the delicate bones in her throat crushed from the pressure of Carreon’s hands. When her father finally convinced Zeke there was nothing he could do, that his love alone wouldn’t bring Liz back, he’d finally released her. Through his tears, Zeke watched Munez cradle his daughter’s face. He expected the older man to offer a farewell.

Instead, Munez poured his healing gift, his life force into her. With astonishing speed, the lividity drained from Liz’s face, her complexion returning to its rich olive coloring. She’d stirred as though awakening from a sound sleep, rather than having come back to life.

Carreon didn’t know the full extent of the healing gift. If he learned Liz and her father could reanimate the dead rather than merely healing the injured, he’d do whatever he could to imprison them both. This time, he’d make certain they brought back his lieutenants who were killed in battle with Zeke’s men.

The blood feud had already spanned thousands of years, all to gain power over each other’s gifts or to hold on to so-called sacred territory. Many on both sides claimed it was a tribute to or preparation for the return of their ancient ancestors. Beings who’d crossed deep space and had come to Earth millennia before.

While the Unknowns had bred with Liz’s Aztec ancestors, the Others had done the same with the Comanche clan from which Zeke had descended, leaving generations like him with the gift of prophecy.

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