Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Black Panther and Storm
T'Challa talked in hushed tones on his cell phone, eyeing the two doors in the main dining room for eavesdroppers or the overanxious palace guard eager to please his king. Once T'Challa was convinced the large sun drenched room was empty, and no one in the immediate vicinity, he gently closed the dining room doors and took a seat at the head of the marble table.
"When can I see you?" the woman on the other end of the line asked.
"I don't know. It's been extremely busy around here, and I don't know if I can leave so soon after the last time without raising someone's suspicious eye."
"You're the king; you can do and go wherever you want. You don't have to justify your whereabouts to anyone, sweetheart. Besides, I really need to see you," the woman said in a soft, beguiling tone meant to tempt.
T'Challa gave a lazy, knowing smile and said, "Need? What exactly do you need from me?" he asked, emphasizing the word need with a playful, challenging tone of his own.
The caller responded in a deep throaty laugh, sending heat of pleasure up the king's body. To T'Challa, her laugh was like eating ice cream on a humid day, refreshing, soft, leaving him wanting more. He laughed then, realizing that described other aspects of her as well. And it was those other aspects he was most interested.
"You know what I need, your highness," she said, unknowingly interrupting his naughty thoughts. "And you're the only one who can scratch this particular itch."
T'Challa gulped, thinking of all the ways he could doctor to her needs. Just as he was about to explain, in great detail, his course of treatment, he heard two familiar voices outside of the door. Quickly he said, "Someone's coming, baby. I'll call you later to discuss when and where," and closed the phone three seconds before his mother and sister opened the door.
T'Challa smiled at the women and casually slipped the phone in his pants pocket.
"Ah T'Challa, there you are," Ramonda said as she approached her son. "We've been looking for you."
"Why is that Mother?" he asked, standing and giving her a kiss on her soft, weathered cheek.
"Shuri and I wanted to know when Ororo is scheduled to return home. There are a few proposed changes to the Wakandan Outreach Program, she instituted, we need to discuss with her before we move forward. And we assumed since Valentine's Day is in a few days, she would be returning soon."
"I'm not sure when Ororo will return, Mother," T'Challa said impatiently. He had plans to make and the longer he was detained, the longer it would take him to prepare. His plan had to be flawless or the brown skinned woman with the cropped hair cut, staring at him, would be the first one to notice, if she hadn't already. For the first time in his life, T'Challa wished he hadn't trained his sister so well. Her deductive and tracking skills weren't as good as his, but they were damn good, and better than most.
"Ororo's busy. I'm sure she's too busy to come all the way back here just to celebrate a stupid American holiday," he said, ignoring the way his sister glared at him. Her brown eyes bore into T'Challa, looking through him. Did she know? He thought not. Could she figure it out? Of course she could. Did he have to be careful? Without a doubt.
"I know we don't celebrate such holidays, son, but Ororo probably does," Ramonda said. "Both of you have been so busy lately that you've hardly had time for each other. Stupid holiday or not, I think it would be a good idea to either go see her or convince her to come home."
"Since when did you become a romantic?" T'Challa asked, smiling at his mother.
"I'm not. But I would like a grandchild before I'm too infirmed to enjoy the rascal. And how can you two give me one if you're always in council meetings and Ororo half way around the world with the X-Men." She shook her head exasperated and said, "I don't understand the two of you at all. These modern day marriages are beyond the comprehension of an old, traditional woman like me." She then turned to Shuri and said, "Hopefully, when you wed, you and your husband will remember to make time for each other and not follow in the footsteps of your brother and his wife."
Ramonda smiled at her children then turned to leave, huffing something about long distance relationships not producing the next generation of Black Panthers. With his enhanced hearing, T'Challa made out every disgruntled sentence and couldn't help laughing at his mother's impatience and frustration. She really did hate not getting her way.
T'Challa prematurely halted his laugh, catching his sister's consistent gaze. "What's wrong with you?" he asked. "Why do you keep looking at me like I stole your favorite doll?"
"I haven't played with dolls in a long time, T'Challa, and I'm not a child," Shuri said, still giving her brother a hard, unrelenting look.
"I know Shuri. It was just a joke. So, if there's nothing you want from me, I really have to be going," he said, preparing to leave the room.
Before he could make one move to the door, however, Shuri said, "You've been acting strange these last few months and I want to know why."
T'Challa ignored the statement and took two steps away from her when she said, "When did you get a non-Wakandan issued cell phone?"
This question halted his movement. "It's for security purposes. I can never be too careful," he said in a matter-of-fact tone. "If you like, I will get you one," he offered, hoping she would drop it, but knowing she was as much a tracking dog as him. And once she got a scent of something, she wouldn't cut it loose until she tracked it to its source. Any other time, he would enjoy the cat and mouse stand-off with his sister. It would be a nice training exercise for her and a way for him to keep his skills razor sharp. But this wasn't a game for T'Challa and he couldn't afford to have his sister poking her pretty nose in his personal affairs.
"I don't want or need an unregistered phone, T'Challa, and I don't know why you do either. Our firewall is the best in the world. No one, without clearance, should be able to track or tap into your phone."
"I can never be too careful and neither can you. I'll get you one when I get back," he said, taking two more steps towards the door."
"Where are you going?" she asked, stopping his movement yet again.
"I have some paperwork to catch up on and finalize a few projects before I leave."
"Leave? Where are you going?"
T'Challa grinned at his sister and said, "And here I thought I was a grown man with only one mother. Since when did my little sister start keeping track of my comings and goings?"
She gave him that disbelieving look again he was becoming all too familiar with. "What if your wife calls while you're away? Does she have the number to your new cell phone?" she asked with a sarcastic lilt to her voice.
"I know how to get into contact with her; that's all that matters."
"What about Valentine's Day? And don't tell me Ororo doesn't care about such things because I know she does."
T'Challa looked his sister in the eyes and said, "Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14th are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome, and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.
Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna about AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni.
The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under the date of February 14th. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.
No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the fourteenth century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost."
He laughed to himself at her annoyed and obviously angry grimace. Her arms were crossed tightly over her chest and her eyes sparkled with anything but mirth. "So you see Shuri, there's absolutely nothing romantic about February 14th. It's just another day. Ororo won't care. Besides, she isn't even here. And if I'm not mistaken, I believe it takes two to celebrate such a ridiculous holiday, created only to line the pockets of capitalists the world over."
With that last sentence, T'Challa finally made his way to and out of the door, leaving a fuming sister in his wake. He had pissed her off and as much as he'd enjoyed it, it was really a stupid thing to do. She wouldn't stop until she unearthed his secret. Oh well, let the games begin, he thought as he walked quickly to his bed chamber, thinking about his rendezvous in only a few days time. He wouldn't allow his nosey sister to ruin it for him, he just wouldn't.
Shuri seethed at her brother's dismissive and arrogant attitude. She knew he was hiding something and ordinarily she wouldn't care. In general, T'Challa was a secretive man, always had been, even when he was a child. He kept his cards close to his vest and had the best poker face Shuri had ever seen. But she knew her brother and knew when he was lying, which was rare.
She didn't like the thoughts she'd been having for the last six months. She didn't like where her thoughts took her and what it would mean for her sister-in-law, if she was correct. God, she didn't want to be right. But the disappearances, uncharacteristic behavior, and the unregistered cell phone, were all evidence pointing in only one direction.
"My brother is having an affair. God damn him; he's running around on Ororo and thinks he can get away with it. Well, I'll show him and that little bitch he has on the side," she said, storming out of the dining room, heading for the office of Dr. Rumbi , Wakanda's top intelligence agent.
Over the next few days, T'Challa maintained his normal schedule. Never diverging from his routine once, except for a few private phone calls he'd taken between council meetings. He found himself counting down each day, like a child waiting for Christmas. He was excited, and as the day approached, his thoughts were more on her than business. But T'Challa wasn't so engrossed in his fantasy that he'd failed to notice the extra attention his sister was paying to him, or the shifting of Agent Rumbi's assignment.
T'Challa expected nothing less of his sister and was quite proud she'd procured the help of the respected and talented agent. While he could work around both of them, it didn't mean the task would be easy. They were good and if he didn't desperately want to see her, he would cancel the meet all together. But T'Challa did want to see her and the rush of adrenalin he got from the clandestine union made it even more exciting. But was it worth the risk? He would soon find out.
To Shuri's delight, Rumbi, was able to plant an undetectable tracking device in several of T'Challa's personal vehicles. She figured he would take one of them when he went to visit whoever he'd been having secret conversations with when he thought no one was paying attention. Well, Shuri had been paying attention. And she sure as hell knew it wasn't Ororo on the other line, causing him to smile like a love sick fool.
Shuri had taken to calling Ororo in San Francisco and tracking her missions with the X-Men. According to Ororo, she hadn't spoken to T'Challa in days. In fact, she only just returned to the Wakandan Embassy, having been in London for the last few days. She didn't know exactly when she would be home, but two weeks was a fair estimate.
As far as Shuri was concerned, Ororo was clueless. She really liked Ororo. Hell, she loved her like a sister. And there was no way she was going to allow some gold, digging tramp to destroy her marriage simply because her brother was unable to deal with having an independent wife, who didn't feel the need to give up her life to be with him 24/7.
February 12th, T'Challa set out to an undisclosed location. Packing enough clothes for a few days, the king, jumped in his Land Rover, popped in a Miriam Makeda CD, and left the palace. The re-born sun lit his path to the seductress with the throaty laugh. T'Challa smiled at the weekend that lay before him. A weekend he'd been looking forward to; a weekend getaway with just him and a special lady; a weekend without his pesky, Black Panther-in-training sister.
Shuri shot up in bed when an alarm sounded. She knew instantly the source, and scampered out of bed, grabbing the palm sized tracking device. It blipped once, twice, three times, then four. "What the hell?" she swore, as the four red dots continued to beep in an annoyingly loud, chirp, chirp, chirp.
Having turned the volume up to max when she went to bed, Shuri now rotated the mini knob to a reasonable decibel. The tracking devices, Agent Rumbi, placed in T'Challa's favorite vehicles were now fully functioning. The problem, at least for Shuri, was instead of one device going off, four of them were. Four cars, all moving in separate directions away from the palace, away from Wakanda.
"You think you're so damn clever, hey big brother," Shuri snorted as she threw on a pair of jeans and a short sleeve shirt, before leaving her room.
Five minutes later, Shuri had the four cars on a screen in the war room. They were definitely going in all cardinal directions. "How in the hell am I supposed to know which car he's in?" She gave a humorless laugh then said, "But that's the point, isn't it, T'Challa." She turned the monitor off and slouched back in the leather chair. "I'll give you round one, but round two will be mine."
T'Challa arrived at the hotel several hours later and checked in at the concierge desk. The hotel lobby was bright, spacious, and luxuriant. A fountain flowing up and over with pink and blue lights giving the allusion of colored water, sat prominently in the middle of the room. But T'Challa didn't notice, too focused on the woman sitting in a high back cherry wooden chair behind one of the large faux palm trees.
The woman was tall and lean. Brown hair cascaded down her back, accentuating her small waist and well endowed backside. Her equally brown eyes glistened with recognition when T'Challa approached as did the smile on her ruby red lips.
"Have you been waiting long?" he asked, extending his hand to the woman.
She graciously accepted the offer, placing her right hand in his, allowing him to help her to her feet. "Not too long," she answered, giving him another smile, twining her hand in his. "Let's go," she said, bending to pick up her overnight bag. T'Challa took the bag from her hand and allowed her to gently pull him towards the elevators.
Once on the elevator, he wrapped her in his arms and said, "I've been thinking about you for the last two weeks." Before she could respond, beyond another breathtaking smile, he pushed her against the back of the elevator, pleased no one else got on with them. He pressed his hard body into hers, letting her feel exactly how much he'd missed her.
"I've missed you as well," she said, brushing her soft lips against his. "I wasn't sure you'd make it."
"There were two speed bumps in the road, but I handled Shuri and Rumbi. Besides, do you think I'd let anyone stand between us?"
"No," she said, pressing her lips fully against T'Challa's. He returned the kiss, opening his mouth to engulf her warmth. She wrapped her arms around his neck, running her right hand through his hair, pulling his mouth even closer, soaking in his arousal.
"Damn, I've missed this," T'Challa moaned, gliding his hands from his mistresses' waist to her full, round ass, pulling her hard against his growing need.
The elevator shook, stopped, then beeped. When the doors opened to waiting riders, the couple held their bags in their hands, looking perfectly innocent and unruffled. Holding hands, they exited and walked down the long corridor to the suite at the end of the hall.
Using his swipe card, T'Challa impatiently let them in the room. It wasn't the penthouse suite he wanted, but it was the next best thing. The theme was 19th century English with golden brown wooden floors throughout with heavy blue and bronze window coverings and glossy wooden antique furniture. Delicate glass blown vases filled with a variety of long stemmed flowers, saturated the room with exotic aromas, enchanting the couple.
With all the beauty and luxury of the spacious suite, it was the bedroom that took her breath away. In the middle of the room was a huge wooden sleigh bed. She turned towards T'Challa, and without saying a word, he took six short strides and had her in his arms.
T'Challa slowly divested himself then his mistress of their clothing, enjoying revealing one sensual part of her at a time until she lay completely nude before his ravenous eyes. T'Challa started with her toes, sucking, biting, licking his way up her hot body, reaching her luscious full lips. They kissed like lovers torn apart by time and circumstance and recently reunited. Hard, impatient, wild kisses, engulfing them in a powerful heatwave, consuming their souls, consuming their wanton bodies until there was nothing left but the addictive need to join the rest of them.
Like two addicts going through withdrawal, they grabbed and pulled at each other for the fix they'd been missing. The fix that was always around the corner, but just out of reach. But not today, never today.
An hour and a half later, they lay naked with only a silk sheet covering their sweat glazed bodies. Rubbing his firm, muscled chest she said, "So, your sister is suspicious?"
"Yes, she had one of the agents bug several of my cars. She's definitely on to me. We'll have to be even more careful in the future."
"Do you think she'll tell your wife?" she asked.
"For both our sakes, I hope not," he said smiling.
"Why are you smiling?"
"Because, my wife would kick both of our asses, if she knew what I've been doing."
"Then I guess we better no let her find out," she said, pressing her body into his enticingly. "I'd hate to have her zap me with a lightning bolt," she said grinning.
"You say that like it's a joke. It's a very real possibility. She has one hell of a temper," T'Challa said, moving his hand to cup his lover's right breast, forcing a lazy moan from her parted lips. "We have the entire weekend. Let's not waste it talking," he said, covering her soft, willing body with his own.
For the next two days, T'Challa and his mistress enjoyed being together, taking long walks on the beach, dancing at a local night club, and making love with abandon. They stumbled into their suite, high on each other. "Take it off, so I can see you," T'Challa said in an aroused tone after closing and locking the door behind them.
Parting her mouth with his tongue, T'Challa kissed her fiercely, groaning when she slid her hand between his legs, cupping him "Take it off, so I can see you," he said again. "I need to see you, all of you."
"I'll be right back," she said, dislodging herself from his grasp, and slinking to the bathroom. The door closed silently behind her, leaving a smiling king in her wake. As he started to entertain the idea of whether to undress now or allow his mistress to undress him, he turned quickly, hearing a rustle in the bedroom.
Pushing the door open slowly, T'Challa was met by a stream of bright light. "You're good, but not that good, big brother," came an all too familiar voice from the other side of the bedroom.
"Dammit Shuri, what in the hell are you doing here? And get that damn flash light out of my face," he said, shielding his eyes.
"That's the same question I want to ask you," she said, lowering and turning the light off. "What in the hell are doing here with that tramp?" she spat angrily, gesturing to the closed bathroom door. "I can't believe you're running around on your wife. I thought you had more honor than that. I thought you loved Ororo."
"I do love Ororo," he said, biting back his anger at the accusation and intrusion. "You have no right to be here. And you sure as hell don't know what you're talking about."
"No, you're the one that shouldn't be here. You threw me off with that little shell game of yours but I got around that, as you can see. And what do I find when I get here, but my brother in a romantic hideaway with some bitch."
"Watch your mouth Shuri," he warned. "You're so out of bounds here. Just go home and we'll talk about this later." He gestured to the front door, encouraging her movement with a wave of his hand.
"I'm not going anywhere until I confront the home wreaker in the bathroom," she said, moving swiftly past him and into the outer room.
"No Shuri," T'Challa said, running after her. "Go home before she comes out," he ordered.
Shuri looked at her brother's flared nostrils and soul piercing eyes and knew she'd gone too far. But did she care? No. Would she leave before facing the woman who'd come between her brother and his wife? Hell no. Just as Shuri was contemplating how pissed off her brother would be with her after this evening, the bathroom door cycled opened.
The bright light from the room blinded her momentarily and she gasped at the figure gliding towards her. She looked at the woman questioningly then back at her brother. Eyebrows arched and confusion evident in her youthful features she said, "This is your mistress? This is who you've been running around with the last few months?"
Shuri took a stumbling step backward and said, "You had brown hair and eyes. I saw the two of you on the beach. You had . . ." she paused, shaking her head with realization, "a wig and contact lenses. I was fooled by a woman with a brown wig."
She walked to one of the plush sofas and slumped onto the cushions, laughing. Then she jumped to her feet and said, "What in the hell is wrong with the two of you? Who's ever heard of a man having an affair with his own wife? What kind of crazy ass marriage do the two of you have? Mother was right; you guys have the weirdest damn marriage in the history of marriages."
They all laughed then.
Ororo walked to Shuri and gave her a big, sincere hug and whispered, "Thank you, I couldn't ask for a better sister."
Shuri smiled, returning the hug and said, "He may be my brother, but as women, we must stick together. Besides," she said winking, "I was going to really kick your ass." They both laughed then looked at T'Challa who wasn't pleased with the feminist camaraderie.
"Okay Shuri," T'Challa said, gripping her arm and pushing her toward the door. "You've came, you've conquered, now go home," he said, opening the door. Before she parted her mouth to protest the abrupt treatment he said, "And you better not breathe a word of this to anyone, especially Mother."
"But . . . but-
"Bye Shuri," T'Challa said, then slammed the door in her sputtering face. Now, it was time for T'Challa to laugh and he did.
"That wasn't nice," Ororo said, wrapping her arms around her husband, pulling him to her. "Her heart was in the right place. You shouldn't have been so cross with her."
"This is the reason we have to leave Wakanda to have any semblance of privacy," he said, leaning into her, pleased to see the white hair and blue eyes of his beloved.
"And here I thought you liked the idea of sneaking around and making love when we should be working," Ororo said, pulling T'Challa towards the bedroom.
"I enjoy making love to you whenever and wherever I can," he said, once they reached the bedroom, sliding the sleeveless black dress from her body. "And the idea of being with you, as your secret lover, is sexy as hell," he admitted, crawling onto the bed next to his wife.
"Happy Valentine's Day, beloved."
"Happy Valentine's Day to you too," Ororo said, snuggling up against her husband. "Thank you for arranging this weekend for us and for being an undercover romantic."
"Is that what I am?" he asked, kissing his wife's neck.
"You are, no matter how hard you try to deny it," Ororo said, soaking in the feel of her husband's caresses.
"Well, I'm glad you think so, because what I'm about to do to you has absolutely nothing to do with romance."
Ororo giggled knowingly, as T'Challa's lips found hers in a bruising kiss. "God, I love Valentine's Day," she moaned.