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The flight attendant was looking down Catalina's shirt again. That was all right. It was why she left the top three buttons undone in the first place. Her dark Hispanic breasts were about to overflow out of her bra and the flight attendant had the most perfect view. He kept making excuses to check on her, which resulted in very attentive service. The power she gained from his libido was almost secondary to keeping her water topped off.
Across from her, the man in the cheap suit was checking out her legs. She crossed her legs again to give him some variety. His eyes never left the sight of her long legs and the subtle shifting of her black skirt. He couldn't see up her skirt from where he was, but Catalina did let the skirt ride up to give him a glimpse of her lovely thighs.
Meanwhile, the woman next to Catalina was pretending to be asleep. She was a pretty blonde who didn't seem to notice that Catalina's hand on her thigh. The blonde was bi-curious, something Catalina could tell by looking at her as easily as you could see that someone has blue eyes. As the woman pretended to be asleep, Catalina rubbed the woman's thigh with a gentle touch. The woman was too unsure of herself to let Catalina get any further, but the simple touch would be enough to fuel her fantasies for months to come.
All around her, the sexual energy flowed into Catalina's body like a hot oil massage. Her own body was becoming more and more aroused to the point that Catalina just wanted to take herself right here and now. She held off though, for releasing the energy now would leave her drained and exhausted. Instead, she kept absorbing the frustrations, the fantasies and the desires until her body was tingling with the power.
Catalina was a voluptumancer, a gatherer of sexual energy and today she had clients to impress.
The plane landed and the passengers disembarked. Catalina picked her clients easily out of the crowd. They were three nervous ones and one excited believer. She approached them slowly, letting them get a good view of the person they had hired. She let them see her long black hair, her exposed bust line and the swishing of her skirt. It was important to look the part and Catalina could never be mistaken for anything but a highly sexual person.
"Greetings Councilman Brown," Catalina said as she offered her hand. She recognized the senior member from her mother's photographs. He was a distinguished man despite the sloping of his back. He kissed her hand and somehow made it look natural.
"Welcome to Charlotte," Mr. Brown said. "Your mother recommended you highly."
Catalina smiled. "She was sorry she couldn't come herself but since retiring, she finds it hard to leave her new husband. Mother did ask me to give you this."
She passed him a letter that made his eyes sparkle to see it. Catalina almost laughed but politeness won out. She was always amazed by how her mother could still enchant people thousands of miles away.
A cough from one of the others interrupted Brown's memories.
"Oh yes. I should introduce you to the rest of the council," he said. Indicating a stern woman with steel gray hair, he introduced Councilwoman Meisel. Mrs. Meisel was polite but nervous about something. Catalina looked into her soul and saw that she was having an affair with her aide, but it wasn't what was bothering her. Whatever was on her mind, Catalina made her forget it with a brief vision of her aide kneeling before the older woman. Mrs. Meisel smiled at her private pleasure.
Next was Councilman Donner, a nice friendly man with a fetish for shoes. He was nervous as well but also relieved to see her. Catalina tapped her heel on the ground discretely and drew his attention to her new shoes. She didn't do it to gain any more power; she just hated to see someone that anxious.
Last was Councilman Moore and Catalina felt the distrust in his handshake. He was an attractive older man, with a solid tan that came from years of farm work. Mr. Moore had no secret fetishes for Catalina to discover and Catalina found it disappointing. A man without a fetish is like a dinner without dessert.
"Let's take Ms. Mendoza to my van before any reporters ask why the city council is gathered like this," Mr. Moore said.
The others agreed quickly and Catalina found their apprehensions amusing. Mr. Brown took her luggage and Mr. Donner was eager to help her into the van. Once they were all locked in and Mr. Moore was driving, they relaxed enough to talk.
"You see those marks on the trees over there?" Mr. Brown asked. "That is how high the water rose during the flood. For a week and a half we were completely cut off from the rest of the state, hemmed in on three sides by the river."
"They called it the flood of the century," Mrs. Meisel said. "But they were wrong. The last flood was fifty years ago."
"Right before you hired my mother," Catalina said.
They all nodded, except Mr. Moore who snorted. Mr. Brown shot him a dirty look but Catalina placed her hand on his and smiled. He instantly relaxed. Her mother would have been proud.
"My mother was curious why you didn't request her aid four years ago when the spell wore off."
Mr. Brown scowled. "Because of that bastard Charles. He was Ned's predecessor and he was dead set against paying your mother for something he didn't believe in."
"Oh he believed in it," Mrs. Meisel said. "He believed she was a witch and an abomination to God. When he found out that we had disguised past expenditures by calling it "Environmental Advisor", he gave us a speech about God and Nature right there. He said it would damn all their souls if city funds were spent on a witch."
Mr. Moore laughed in the front seat. "No, he said he would damn our souls by making it public if we did hire her. None of us were willing to explain to the voters that we wanted to hire a witch for a rain spell."
"I'm a voluptumancer actually," Catalina said. "Witches are something a bit different."
"My apologies," Mr. Moore said and it was clear that he was amused. Catalina didn't need magic to see that he didn't believe but she was curious as to why he had gone along with her exorbitant fee.
"Anyway," Mr. Brown continued. "That was when Hurricane Floyd hit. God damn if the river just kept rising and rising. The airport, the bridges and most of district seven was under water. Your mother had warned me that something like this might happen and damn if she wasn't right."
"Something you kept telling Charles the entire time," Mrs. Meisel said in such a way that Catalina knew it was a fond memory. "I'm just glad he left town when the waters dropped. The chicken shit was terrified that it would flood again like one of God's judgments."
"We all were," Mr. Donner admitted and the laughter died. The flood drained every penny we had and after we pay Ms. Mendoza's fee, we'll barely have enough to put another police department in my district."
"Now Carl, you know we need that money to go towards the new school we're building on Tenth Street," Mrs. Meisel said.
The discussion threatened to turn towards local politics except for the timely and unexpected intervention of Mr. Moore.
"So what does Ms. Mendoza need for her spell?" he asked. "Jerry mentioned that your mother used the entire city park."
"Just a part of it," Catalina said. "I'll need four walls of cloth, like a tent with no top, to enclose an area twenty feet square. It'll have to be around a picnic table where I can do the ritual. I will also need you to keep the public away but it shouldn't be a problem since it is going to rain that day."
That prompted Mr. Moore to look at her in the rearview mirror but he kept quiet.
"Ms. Mendoza, when can you start?" Mrs. Meisel asked. "I'm not trying to rush you but hurricane season starts this Sunday."
"And you would also rather not have me in town for too long in case people ask questions?" Catalina added. "I can do it tomorrow afternoon if you like. I need at least a night's rest before trying this for the first time."
"First time?" Mr. Donner asked. "You've never done this before? How will we know if you did it right?"
Mr. Brown blushed while Mrs. Meisel and Mr. Donner just looked at him. They suspected something and there were embarrassing questions about to be asked. Catalina released a little of her power to draw their eyes back to her. It wasn't professional to use her power like that but she had a soft spot for her mother's lovers.
"Trust me, if I don't get it right, I'll be dead and then you'll know."
That satisfied them or at least kept them quiet. They reached her hotel where Mr. Brown tried to apologize for their questions but she waved it off. She even kissed him on the cheek, which straightened his back momentarily.
"I'd like to watch," Mr. Moore said.
Charged with as much sexual energy as she was, it took Catalina a moment to realize he meant the ritual.
"Now wait a minute, Alex," Mr. Brown said. "I know you're skeptical but you agreed to this. You can't back out now."
"I'm not backing out," Mr. Moore said. He looked at Catalina straight on so there wouldn't be any doubt to his sincerity. "I've talked to the other former council members who are still alive and they all believed in the beautiful woman who kept the floods away. Granted, this is just her daughter but if she says she has the same ability, than I want to see it. We're paying an awful lot of money for this and I would like to be able to tell voters, if they ever found out, that I believed it was money well spent. For that, I need to see it."
"That would be perfect," Catalina said. "I could use a Watcher for my first time."
Mr. Donner laughed until an icy glare from Mrs. Meisel silenced him. They were all thinking dirty thoughts. Catalina had that effect on people.
"Pick me up at eleven," Catalina said.
"The tent is perfect," Catalina said and it was. The green material was faded and she knew they had found the original tent her mother used to use. The cloth had been enchanted to not rip or tear during the ceremony and once planted, it would stay in place for years if left alone. She was confident it would last one day.
Mr. Moore nodded over the comment about the tent but he wasn't paying attention. The poor man couldn't keep his eyes off of the voluptumancer. The Hispanic beauty was wearing a white bikini top that barely held in her large breasts. Around her waist she wore a matching white sarong that clung to her shapely hips and didn't cover half of her thighs. Her hair was down and came halfway down her bare back. Considering that it was the middle of October, she caused quite the scene in the hotel lobby but the woman acted without shame. Even now in the park, Mr. Moore couldn't believe how at ease she was. It was as if everyone else had the problem.
"Let's get into the tent before people begin to wonder," Catalina said and Mr. Moore was only too happy to agree. She brought in her bag while Mr. Moore hastily zipped the tent behind them. Catalina took out a bag of green powder and sprinkled it in a circle on the ground.
"You'll have to sit here," Catalina said. "And no matter what you believe, don't break the circle until I say so, okay?"
"All right," he said. He still didn't believe in her but he was going to play along. The skeptic sat down on the grass and crossed his legs inside the circle. There was something genuine about Catalina that convinced him that she at least believed in this weirdness. He watched as Catalina took out a bag of purple powder and sprinkled complex and somewhat pornographic images into the grass around the picnic table. She then took out a stone phallus that was nearly a foot tall and set it on the table.
"Holy Christ," Mr. Moore said.
Catalina laughed. "No, Christ is a lot smaller," she said.
"What the Hell is that for?"
"It's to help Nature take on a male form," she said. As she poured a purple liquid over the gray phallus, thunder rolled overhead.
"Male? I though Nature was a Mother."
Catalina smiled. "Nature is a hermaphrodite actually but you can coax one gender over another."
Before he could ask another question, Catalina removed her bikini top. There were no tan lines at all on her golden dark body. The sight of her bronzed breasts silenced him but when she poured a little of the purple liquid over each breast, he couldn't help sighing. The purple liquid bubbled on her skin and stuck to her breasts like lover's hands.
Catalina stripped off her sarong. She wore nothing underneath which didn't surprise Mr. Moore at all. A dark patch of pubic hair covered her sex and he lost his breath when Catalina sprinkled a gold powder between her legs. When she turned around to paint images onto the table, her wonderful round ass was right in front of him and he had to fight the urge to reach out and squeeze.
After the table was done, Catalina took a purple jar of paint and using a tiny brush, she painted her own body. She drew a stick man with two heads on her belly. On the inside of her thigh, she painted the number six. Finally, on each cheek, she painted a tiny pentagram as easily as some women put on lipstick.
Above them, the first drops of rain began to fall. Catalina looked up and stuck out her tongue to catch a raindrop. Mr. Moore trembled and found himself wanting to believe just to believe in her.