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  • The Ancient 5

    25 Once I glowered hatefully at him. “Don’t mistake me, Sara. I did love you, once.” “Pah!” I scoffed. “You’re not capable. Things like you, never are.” “Hmm.” He rumbled in rueful humor. “If you only knew…” “I do know. I doubt you’ve ever-” “Never doubt!” He roared. Making the chains twang and then creak in objection. “You don’t know what love is.” I hissed. Retreating a few steps despite my bluster. Sometimes I wondered, if he tried hard enough, strained them long enough, could he break my unbreakable chains? Sometimes I wonder. I glanced at the giant stone wheel carved into the very wall above us. As wide and tall as he was with his arms outstretched, if not more. Even in this dim light I could see the faint letters chiseled in it. Symbols I’d had workers carve for me. Symbols that make it unbreakable. None of his bindings would ever give. The wheel would not break away, the chains would not fracture. I reassured myself. No matter what he does. “What if, Sara” He bellowed after me. “I was the one that could give you all you desire.” “You can’t.” I said coldly. “There’s nothing from you I want.” “Then why did you come down here, to begin with.” His voice rose tauntingly. He knew that we’d needed something from him. Still do. I froze on the stairs. Grimacing as I warred inwardly with myself. “Ask him.” Marlay urged from the top of the stairs. Looking fearful that I’d refuse. All I wanted in this moment was to escape my humiliation and retreat to my room to lick my ripe wounds. “Please.” Marlay urged. I gave an enraged sound as I whirled around to face him. Marlay skittered down the steps to stand behind me. Staring over the railing into the dark. “We need your help Kurikus.” “Hmm.” He grunted thoughtfully. Both girls were frozen in apprehension as he delayed his answer. Giving a deep breath he stated. “After having such sweet bliss cradled in my arms after so long,” He shot Sarasae a burning look. “I find myself feeling charitable.” “Whore.” I cursed under my breath. Knowing his response before it emerged. “Me?” He said dryly. “Or is that how you see yourself.” “If I am one, I’m certainly not yours.” “I hear no man flailing about your chambers up there.” He countered. “I’d not let you ruin a budding relationship.” I retorted. “However, perhaps I’ll bring one home. Make love to him up in that room.” We both knew he’d hear every sound, if I did. He growled in annoyance. Not liking that idea at all. “Not helping.” Marlay reminded me. But all I wanted was to throw every spell I had at him until something immobilized him. Then I could go in there and choke the very life out of his vile neck. “Don’t push me, Sara.” He leaned forward enough to peer up at us. Tilting his head into the light slanting down from the kitchen above. It cut over brilliantly blue eyes, dangerously. “One day my patience may run out.” I laughed outright. “And where will you go?” He was quiet. Huffing angrily. “The only way you’re leaving this place is if I send you straight to hell.” He chuckled. “You think that’s not where I’ve been?” I rolled my eyes in irritation, shaking my head. I’d not hear any of his mutterings. “I’ll never set you free. If you think to guilt me.” “You can’t guilt someone who’s absent a conscience.” “You would know all about that, wouldn’t you.” I was leaning over the railing to spit the words at him. “I would! Since I’ve been dealing with it for the last two hundred years!” “So,” Marlay jumped in to interject. “Something is killing people in town again. It nearly got Sae.” Marlay nodded to me. That captured his attention. He went silent and his head righted, withdrawing from the eerie light which had tossed over him. Giving Marlay his full focus. The dark-haired girl went to work explaining the details of the night. In-depth enough that I could feel Kurik’s staunch disapproval permeating the air. “Alone, Sara?” “I had Marlay.” “She’s a shielder, you know that.” “She shields me while I fight.” “You shouldn’t be fighting alone.” “Oh? Should I rely on you to have my back then?” “Yes?” “No.” I asserted fiercely. “Maybe…” Marlay was looking between us. “No.” I said flatly. Nicholas poked his head from upstairs to peer down at us. I caught the movement in my peripheral. “Is he even listening?” He queried. “He’s not said much.” “He’s said plenty.” I countered bitterly. “Why are they chasing him?” Marlay cut in again. Gesturing to Nicholas above. “That’s what we’ve really come to ask.” “Come down here, boy.” Kurik barked. His roar was nearly animalistic. Demanding obedience. Nicholas stiffened. Taking the steps tentatively. Eventually he ducked the floor level to peer into the darkness, as he stepped cautiously down. Nick’s trepidation was obvious as he took each small, nervous step. I knew what he was feeling. Right now, his instincts will be screaming. It was the effect that Kurik’s kind had on mortals. And Kurik was the most powerful I’d dealt with. Or at least spoken to. “Light.” Kurik bid. Nicholas looked astonished. “It’s in the corner there.” Marlay pointed to where he needed to walk down the stairs and along the wall to a far edge. “Seems a bit of a ridiculous place to but a switch, doesn’t it?” “Well,” Marlay said slowly. Watching him go past them and down along the wall. The top of his head passing beneath them. “She was focused on other details.” Nicholas flipped the switch and revealed a sparse room that was just as atrocious as he’d first perceived. A chair, a table, and a hole in the floor sufficing as a bathroom. But that wasn’t the first thing he noticed. The giant engraved wheel dominating one wall, was so imposing that it drew one’s gaze and held it. Scattered with jagged lines crossing over it. It went from above the blonde man’s head up to the vaulted ceiling. The chains were strung from it. Latched to his wrists for so long that he had permanent red marks around his cuffs. The whole room was terrifying. But not as much as the man in it.

  • Run from Me 9

    57 Insects to Smash I gave a long moan in response to Alder’s hauntingly dark words. Every inch. He wanted me to surrender to him. To let him have that pain. To give him access to my channel to bring him pleasure. And mine… He was pummeling the deepest parts of my core in a way that would leave me sore for days to come. Reminding me he’d been here, every time I moved. Hadn’t he implied before that, that was just what he wanted? His motion sent splinters of pain stabbing through me but even those were swallowed by the endless ripples of sexual hunger. I wanted to consume him, I wanted to keep him inside me. I wanted to preserve the way he was when he was like this instead of the terrifying, imposing, calculated man he was on an average day. But when we were linked like this, he was passionate. Attentive. Vulnerable. All the things which seemed absent from him at any other time. He can be so cold and unmovable when he’s of a mind to be. He wasn’t now. His whole body was shuddering with ecstasy. He grimaced in a way that told me he was already holding back his end. I leaned over him. Stroking his neck and the hard lines of his jaw. Nipping at the top of his ear before whispering into it. “Give it to me.” I remembered how I’d come undone when he’d said those words to me. Now I’m using them on him. I thought with evil glee. “Ugh.” He groaned. Telling me it was working. “Holy hell woman! You’re going to be the end of me.” “Alder…” I coaxed. “Not a chance, sweetheart. You’re mine. Every inch of you, as long as you’re all wrapped around my cock. I’m not coming until I’m good and done wit you.” My body jerked. Once. Twice. “Don’t keep it from me.” He growled angrily. “Hypocrite.” I panted brokenly. My head fell back as I fought the sensations washing through me. I forced it down. I wanted to be the one to break him this time. For once. I wanted to prove that in at least this way, I could be as strong as he was. He was watching me in that fierce way he often did. I could tell from his expression that he knew what I was up to. “Oh no, you don’t.” He muttered. Walking to the wall and planting me against it. “Fight me now.” He challenged. But he had me pinned to the wall. Balancing me there, so he could roll himself in and out of me in a silken wave. I was biting my lip as I fought the burning climax which was already scratching away at my fracturing control. I was sliding up and down along the rough wall, but I hardly noticed. Every nerve ending in me was focused on what he was doing to me. Each of which sent wild messages of pleasure firing through me. I wiggled my hips over him. Turning them in a small figure eight. It was all the movement he’d allow. I had to do something. The tingling had my muscles spasming and my body yearning for that pivotal moment which I seemed to be always subconsciously chasing. Alder had the magical ability to bring out faucets of me that I’d never expected existed. The harsh impact of his pelvis beating my soft center rocked my body. Rattling long moans out of me. I wrapped my ankles so I could drive my heels into his flanks to urge him on. He gripped me so patiently that I knew there’d be bruises. I couldn’t have cared less. I climbed the ferocious mountain of our pleasure with him. Letting him guide me like we were in a dance, that only we knew. I couldn’t take it anymore. A series of explosive bursts of ecstasy powered through me with all the wreckage of an ascending rocket. I couldn’t breathe. Muscles I didn’t know I had, were strung taut. The world slowed until the throbbing of my heart became a drumbeat in my ears. A steady boom that echoed the surges which left me quaking, panting for breath. He’d plunged deep. Watching my pleasure unfurling like an early morning bloom. When I fell against his chest, he gave an anguished cry of objection as he withdrew from me and spilled to the floor. He fell weakly forward. Pressing his forehead to the cool wall next to me. I watched him recovering in awe, glorying at the fact that it was my body that made him so weak. For a little while, I was able to steal all the ferocity and intimidation right out of him. He lowered me down, pushing off the wall. “What are you smirking about?” I shrugged. I didn’t have any idea how to explain it to him. “Care to see what I brought you?” He nodded to the pile of clothes he’d brought back with him. “Is it a ballgown? Glass slippers?” I asked dramatically. Feigning feminine excitement. He blinked at me. “Another reference you don’t get?” I deflated. “No idea what that was.” “So, no magical pumpkin then, huh?” Still blinking. I frowned. “Fine. Fine. Clothes.” I gestured. Reminding him. He strode over next to me. Completely comfortable naked. I could see why he would be. His body was beautiful. He sauntered more than walked. Like a jaguar in a zoo, or something. I felt small and clumsy next to him. He unfolded a pair of thin tactical pants. They were army green with dangling buckles so I could snap other things into loops. With it was a piece of nylon. “What’s that?” I queried. No matter how much I stared at it, I couldn’t figure it out. “A shirt.” “That’s no shirt.” I took it from him. Holding it between two fingers as I inspected it like something foreign. I stretched it a few times. “Definitely not.” “Figured you’d still want one of these.” He lifted one of his vests. “A clean one.” He pulled out a bag of white socks. White. I hadn’t been able to find a pair like that in years. And these are still in the bag. Brand new. That made them like gold. Rovers would kill for these. I touched them reverently as he pulled them from the plastic. They were soft. And fluffy. I couldn’t wait to put them on. And feel them on my toes. I was practically wiggling them in anticipation, already. Lastly, he lifted a pair of rover boots. “All this is from your stash?” I asked, astounded. “No.” He gave me a grudging look. “Most, you wouldn’t wish to know. But the socks are.” I gave him a mournful look. There was the swish of sand outside and the rolling of grains down the hill as something heavy came down into the canyon. Or several somethings… I gasped, twisting toward the entrance. Hoping that whatever it was, it would just go past us and not see the mouth of the tunnel. There was the thud of steps overhead. Each one sounding like thunder from down here. “Someone’s outside. Get your clothes on.” He swept up his and headed into the darkness. Stepping into clothing on the way. I fumbled my way into mine. Tugging the nylon tube top over my hips and up into place, under my armpits. The boots had a lot of ties. I opted to tuck in the laces and do the buckles quickly. I added his vest and lifted the hood. Tucking it over my face. I walked the dark tunnels slowly. Worried that I’d round the next bend only to be confronted by a hoard of rovers. I thought Alder would fight his way through them and call out to me when it was clear. But an eternity went by of me not hearing his voice. The suspense got to be too much. Finally, I emerged to blinding daylight. In one heart-stopping moment all the pleasure of the last few hours dissipated under a wave of sheer horror. The ravine was filled with Main House basters. Somehow, they’d found us. Tilda was the first one I saw. She was looking at a tight knot of basters, with a satisfied smirk on her bluish features. My stomach fell to somewhere near my toes. One look at her malicious features had that kind of power. She wasn’t exactly hideous physically. Though her grayish hue certainly didn’t add to her beauty. Nor did her smooth scalp that looked a bit more like something reptilian. There was a difference in women that had once hair and the inhuman look of her, that made her seem eerie to me. And the way the black of her pupils splayed out to take over her whole eyes gave me an ominous feeling. She’s pure evil. There wasn’t a curve to her. Today, she wore some wood sandals. She had the same filmy material that had made her dress before, was turned into poofy white pants and a small top that bared her shapeless belly. There was literally nothing warm about the woman. She’s vicious. And she was looking at me like an insect that had escaped her. One she wants to stomp on.

  • The Taming 15

    160 It's Blood Elsabet was a sight to behold tonight. Mardichi was glaring at her. Sebastian was as mesmerized as Acharius’ lady had been mere hours ago. That glimmering silk was silver. As was the circlet which drew her long braid from her forehead. Making her deep blue eyes look even larger. Tiny metal flowers dangled from her ears and a silver vine wound her arm to encircle one wrist. She looks like some little fey I’d find in the woods. Bast thought. Magical. And just as likely to bite. “Perhap’ she’s no’ as evil as they say.” He grudgingly conceded. Sine she’s here to hear it. Bast laughed inwardly. Knowing full well how fond Mardichi was of Elsabet, though neither would admit it. “She may tend me.” Mardichi moved the sheet down to his waist to expose all his crisscrossing bandages. “I already did.” She said softly. “You put cool rags on me but I dunno’ recall you bandaging me. But you may again.” He decided. “You can’t feel your lower half yet.” She said. “You had some bad bites in your back that are only starting to heal. That’s how I stripped you without you knowing. You couldn’t feel you didn’t have clothes when you woke.” “You can inspect me bandages.” He tossed the blanket aside to reveal his soaked shirt and breeches. “You’re the biggest louse.” Bast shook his head. “The way your burr comes and goes when your trying to impress women...” Bast laughed. “Really are.” Mardichi blinked innocently. Elsabet intervened as she drew closer. Eyeing the sweep of bandages running over his torso. “I see you have soiled your bandages.” “Tha’s blood. No’ shit.” Mardichi corrected. She sent him a sideways glance but didn’t bother to correct his assumption that soiled meant feces. “Oh, you’ll let a woman have a look at all those wounds?” Bast asked dryly. “Just this one.” Elsabet smiled. Shaking her head. “Mardichi…” “I think it’d be fair if fer once, one o’ us stole a bit from ye?” Mardichi gave Bast a taunting look. Like hell. “I’d like to see you try.” Bast muttered. Mardichi peered over the arm she had outstretched over his belly, to meet Bast’s gaze. Nudging his head toward her and wiggling his brows. Bast’s chin hitched. He pulled out his dagger and gestured to his nether loins where he mimicked a cutting motion. Giving Mardichi a purposeful look. Mardichi lifted a brow and mouthed. You’re too tiny. Like a wee gel. “What did you say?” Elsabet asked, seeing his mouth moving. “Nothing, Sweet Thing.” Mardichi smiled at her. “It’s quite good of you to tend me so.” “Oh, back to enunciating and speak properly!” Bast tossed his arms in disgust and stalked from the room in aggravation. “What’s wrong with him?” Elsabet frowned after him. “Bah! He’s moody like a wench.” Mardichi confided. Elsabet giggled. Even Sebastian’s lips were twitching. Despite all his bluster, Mardichi blushed a bit and stared at the ceiling as Elsabet leaned over him to peel back the bandages. “You’re uncomfortable.” Elsabet acknowledged. “Not had a woman so close since...” “Only for bandages, Mardichi. You’re doing no wrong.” She assured him. The way she has with them. She’s so good at turning independent, grown men into dutiful children. Sebastian had watched her tending many of their kind over the years. She’d become the castle nurse, of sorts. By her own intent. It wasn’t something they’d ever asked or expected from her. It was a role she’d just slipped into. Perhaps as she looked for something to do here. Mardichi put back on his nonchalant face as he leaned up toward Elsabet. She dodged from his reach, eyeing him warily. “Here, Lass. I need ta whisper ta ye.” He beckoned her close. Lips turning down, she eased closer to him. Tilting an ear carefully. Mardichi began a steady rap on his leg with the palm of one hand. Whispering to her. “How badly wounded was he? After he came for me?” Her blue eyes rounded, and she reared back as though Mardichi had slapped her. Sebastian watched them. Trying to hear. But Mardichi’s drumming on his leg masked their voices. Which he’s doing on purpose. Sebastian knew. Her eyes narrowed. “How badly do you suppose?” “Pretty badly probably. They were fair enjoyin’ takin’ bites from ‘is thighs an’ arms while ‘e swam ta me through tha’ hoard. Las’ me looked.” “Oh, arms an’ thighs, were they?” She was deliberately shortening her sentences, so Bast couldn’t make sense of the pieces he could hear. “Yea.” She nodded calmly in response. But she’s simmering. Sebastian recognized. I can spot a simmering woman. “Excuse me,” She lowered her head in farewell as she gripped her lavender skirt and rose. “I’ll be back to check on you later.” Mardichi watched her remorsefully. Flinching when she slammed the door albeit too hard. “Sebastian.” She called sweetly from the other side. “Don’t fall for it brother.” Mardichi warned. “What did you do?” Sebastian asked urgently. “We’re supposed to be brothers! I just rescued you and you toss me out?” Mardichi shook his head. “I didn’t.” “Sure looked like it.” “I asked a question.” “What question?” Mardichi looked shamefaced. “How bad ye were wounded tryna save me tail the inn.” “You what!” Sebastian leaned over him to hiss. “She didn’t know I was injured!” “She...May...Now.” Mardichi grudgingly admitted. Sebastian wrapped his hands around Mardichi’s neck but before he could lock his grip and squeeze the life out of the man, Elsabet called his name again. “Sebastian.” This one was more demanding. Mardichi guiltily sunk deeper into the bedcovers. “Yes, Els?” Sebastian called. Still giving Mardichi a withering look. “Come out here please.” “Yes, Honey.” Mardichi grimaced as Sebastian walked stiffly toward the door. Opening it to slide out. Mardichi could hear their voices, just beyond the door. “I was just-” Her voice sounded so demure. There was a rustle of fine cloth and Bast yelped. Mardichi guessed she grabbed Sebastian’s arm and tore the fabric aside to inspect it. The faint whiff of blood confirmed his suspicion. “What is that?” Her tone changed to enraged. “I hurt myself a little.” Sebastian admitted. She’d found the wounds. Mardichi blanched. “A little?” She was fair waspish now. Her tone filled with disbelief. Sebastian yelped again. Mardichi grimaced, sliding further down the bedding. Certain she was studying Sebastian’s other arm. “I didn’t intend to get hurt, Els.” Sebastian explained weakly. “You swore you’d take some care.” “I have been!” He yelped again. “Good God...She’s merciless.” Mardichi murmured. Wondering if she’d gotten ahold of Bast’s genitals. That note in his voice had been pained. “What was that?” Elsabet snapped. Calling to Mardichi through the door. “Nothing.” Mardichi said quickly. “Nothing...” The smell of blood grew stronger.

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