This is for those who are interested in my writing, just not reading an entire RP or post.
~ * * ~
And then there are those fortunate few men that come upon that rare, unique individual, that single woman, who is the essence, the definition, the embodiment of everything, everything
, he could ever
possibly pronounce as—beautiful
. It is a moment of utter epiphany...his lips forming the word in a whisper, as if she is but a fragile dream, easily dispelled...or allowed one exclamation of it in the unknown length of his life. She has likely not noticed him yet, and she goes about in her natural state, observing that which is around her, or speaking and laughing with friends, and he sees that she is not an apparition, or dream, or vision sent by benevolent yet capricious deities.
~ * * ~
Prince Kieran rode beside his father, their royal guard of fifty chosen knights surrounding them, all in black armor with red enamelling, pennants and banners on high. He held his head proudly, choosing to ignore the occasional insults and other choice words directed at them from individuals who had the protection of anonymity. They rode through the main thoroughfare of King Alistair's capital, and would be soon at the castle of his rulership. They could not arrive there soon enough.
"Curse you all to the outer darkness!"
"Our fair Princess will never wed you, monster!"
The female voice that cried the last insult was shaking with horror, its pitch high and emotion-laden. Doubtless a young common-girl, one who filled her precious little spare time with dreams of living as a princess herself, and thus existing vicariously through her Princess Aaria.His
Princess Aaria. His lip curled gradually, revealing one long, white canine. He sought out and, amazingly, found the one who had shouted at him; standing atop a barrel, but barely a head above the crowd. She was hardly a woman herself, more likely an older girl, and her hair was flying free in the light breeze, but her eyes were hard and her mouth was twisted with hatred. Kieran kept his eye on her, staring mercilessly, and she quailed from his gaze within a second, shielding her mouth and eyes with her forearms, then burst into hard, wracking sobs.
He watched her for a few seconds more, but found no satisfaction from his behavior. Something inside him had sought recourse, but found none in terrorizing the inconsequential. Bringing fear to a worthy adversary--that was something special. But at the moment, he actually felt unclean. He knew many of his kind would not think twice at gutting or slaking their thirst with such a one, or perhaps other, more personal actions performed on her, but even one such as he, remorseless and conscienceless, felt no pride or power in destroying such weak and pitiable creatures.
~ * * ~
The strain and fear in her voice was expected, but not the source. She cried out not for herself, not once, but for her friends
. "Please, Girl of Intrigue--lest you weary my ears with further pleading--your camp-mates are safe and untouched. I
am an assassin; a murderer
, after all, and not a butcher
. I gain neither pleasure nor melancholy from killing my target, but find the slaughter of innocents distinctly distasteful
." Something about the way she put her friends ahead of her left a bitter taste in his mouth; he wondered what it would be like to know someone whom he respected so much as to place their
life ahead of his own. The distinct realization that no such person dwelt within the expanse of his sphere of influence left a peculiar hollow feeling in his gut, a feeling he'd never before experienced, and it set him off of his mood.
"So there. Your toadies are safe, for what it is worth. You
, I couldn't say the same of. It was by merest whimsy
that I chose not to slay you in your sleep and bring you here, Girl of Intrigue. For intriguing you are, to me
. I have a keen eye, keen as my blades, but my mind is twice as sharp and thrice
as quick. Let me come to the end of the thread, as we drow say, and tell you while you yet live. You are an enigma
to me; an enigma that refused to allow me to kill you immediately, and that is saying much
of you; much indeed, to pique my
considerably jaded curiosity. You hide a secret, or secrets
, I'll warrant, or I am no fair judge of character." He eyed her as he spun a distinctly-shaped dagger in his left hand by the tip with a quite succint and appreciably deadly grace; he made it clear as to his agility and handling of weapons that there would be no escape from this place except through death. Yet still, he found her voice and manner fair and pleasing, and that in itself was another mark in her favor, driving him further from his mission and towards the secrets she held. But he knew his time with her must be shorter rather than longer, and knew he must go on.
"Now," he finally continued, his tone masking none of his haughtiness or self-evident self-confidence, "as you can both see and hear, it would appeal to me greatly if you told me two things--at the least
." Here he flipped the spider dagger around in a twinkling and pointed it directly at her heart, though balancing it in his fingers so it swayed slightly, up and down, like a pendulum, ticking away the seconds of her young life.
"One: why do you wear such an ensorcelled ring and what does it hide? While I have no idea what your true form is, I can hardly fault you for your most excellent choice of appearance." He winked at her in a most un-assassin-like way, his face momentarily taking on a very boyish smile.
"Two: what power do you possess? Is it related to your true form? Is it learned, like arcane magic, or is it integral to you, as a were-beast or doppelganger would be?" He tilted his head forward ever so slightly, a move not intended and not noted by the deadly, dashing drow, though he was consciously attempting to keep his keen interest in her under wraps.
~ * * ~
Reaching one hand forth, he pressed two fingers softly under her chin; his thumb rested similarly against her jawline. He could feel the trembling of her muscles in genuine fear, and in some odd way it both exhilarated and shamed him. Then, gently but unmistakeably powerfully, he slowly raised her head until they were in eye contact again. Now her scent was strong before him, but her face was a sweet, limpid subterranean pool--calm and inexplicably beautiful, but beneath the surface all sorts of rare things lurked; some dark, some light, and some natural and unknowing. He leaned closer, riding the wave of sudden exhilaration, the sense of newness and discovery and bursting desire, all wound 'round with that steel-strong, filigree capture thread of arcane curiosity. When he finally spoke, it was within a bare inch of her pristine, upturned face, and in a whisper strong and proud enough to puncture the most well-forged breastplate of the famed Darstone dwarf clan.
"I am Denlil Morroq, Son
of House Aehr'vidai, Initiate of the Second Circle of the Assassin's Guild of Erelhei-Cinlu, the City of a Thousand Lusts; undefeated in two-hundred
death-duels; carrier of the Forbidden Blades; the tentacle-slasher and fish-man smiter. Never in a thousand years would you see the likes of me again, and never in a thousand more will there be one to dare aspire to my fame."
He gazed into her verdant eyes for several seconds more, finding himself nearly intoxicated with the presence of her, and fighting two conflicting needs--to kiss her full, delicate-looking lips with the force and desire of a man driven beyond any mere hunger for a woman; or to slip his dagger deep into her heart and be done with it, and never think of her again.
~ * * ~
Braddock raised his eyebrows as he looked around the room, sighing. “Yeah, it was a cakewalk for the most part. Our adversaries were outfitted for a party, not a border conflict. Their gear was sixty years out of date. What they lacked in equipment, they sure as shit didn't lack in courage, though. Any usual conscript army would have been done in a couple of days.”
“Well, two weeks wasn't bad, and it didn't put a dent in the overall bottom line,” Siri replied, coming closer to the solidly-built man. His hair was disheveled and shoulder-length; he had just enough natural curl to it to keep him from ever trying to manage it. Siri ran her hands through it, luxuriating in its coarseness.
“Mmm...now everything else can just transfer over from your PDS, and...” she slipped a hand slowly down his chest, to his belt. “...I can take it from here.”
Braddock smirked; he'd have raised one eyebrow if his eyebrows could move separately. “Is that a fact? The only one taking anything will be me...”
With that he scooped Siri up while she gave a surprised but pleased yelp; his hands were already slipping up her thighs, pushing up her skirt to reveal her naked body underneath. He pressed her against the nearest wall as she locked her ankles behind his back. “You always go commando, babe?”
“Only when my favorite commando is in town,” she purred, squeezing his knotted shoulders and undulating her hips against him.
“I thought I was a mercenary,” he quipped, releasing his belt and letting his pants slide down his legs, his thick cock already prepped for action.
you want to be, Braddock,” Siri moaned as he entered her roughly, taking no time to set up a fast, pounding rhythm.Siri's jobs are shit pay
, he mused as her moans became squeals of delight, but the benefits ain't too bad...
~ * * ~
Colonel Rufus Xavier Dangermills IV, Ret., awoke at dawn--a military habit he refused to relinquish--performed his morning exercises, then sat at his design desk, enjoying a cup of his favorite darjeeling, when Matilda burst into the room.
"Master! There's someone asleep in the stables! Caranthus found her! And I believe...she is...an elf
..." she finally breathed with more than a little touch of scandal.
"For pity's sake, did you bring her in?" Mahrets intoned, apparently in the dry-resigned-exasperation mode for the morning. He was Colonel Dangermills' butler, and head of the household servants--and as a native Egyptian who'd attended finishing school in London, did his best to maintain his composure with the more dramatic of the other employees.
"I...he...Caranthus was unsure of whether to...touch...her...as was I..." Matilda spoke, eying the Master uncertainly.
Rufus, for his own part, stood rather more quickly than normal, eyebrow quirked at the mention of those most rare of individuals. "Consider that, Matilda, next time one of the other servants finds you drunk off of Lefebre's egg nog and freezing to death in the spare hothouse." He moved without delay out of the room, the other two following close behind.
"Can't you perform a simple humanitarian task, you silly twit?" Mahrets whispered, poking Matty in the shoulder, provoking a tiny squeak.
"I can't sure as much catch the...the affliction!
" the woman moaned, amazed.
"Oh, for God's sakes..." Mahrets intoned, rolling his eyes.
"Your idea of elven 'affliction' has about as much veracity as your virginity," Master Rufus remarked dryly, opening a side door to the grounds, and pacing through the snow on his long-booted legs. Reaching the stables, he found Caranthus, the groom, just finishing placing a second saddle blanket on top of a huddled figure. The Master sighed.
"You, too, Caranthus? At least the virtue of compassion is not entirely dead where you are concerned," he said, his voice filled with disappointment.
"I am sorry, mi'lord," the stocky American replied. "Seeing as how Matilda seems more knowledgeable about the...beings..."
Rufus snorted. "Just because you're the newest here doesn't make Matilda an expert on anything." He knelt down, removing the blankets from the figures head, and then nearly started as if struck.
"See! See! The Master's been taken by the disease already!" Matilda wailed.
"Oh, do shut up," Mahrets droned, gritting his teeth.
Rufus, for his part, to be honest, was
afflicted...but not in the way his servant was imagining. The sight of the elf--barely a woman at that, from all appearances--was a shock, but not from disease...it was her comeliness. From the brightness of her red hair to the curve of her cheeks to the fullness of her lips, the unconscious female was without a doubt the most provocatively divine beauty he'd ever laid eye on in his thirty-three years of world travel. She was also the first elven female he'd ever seen, for all of his belief in the fair treatment of her species.
~ * * ~
At the very
least, he despised the soft, preening mendicants who served at the court, filling the royal couple's ears with whatever they wished to hear. It was one of the reasons why he expected the king had requested his presence at court--the king and queen had always valued him as a blunt, honest voice among whining, sickly-sweet sycophants. Most of the military leadership tended to be so; Death had Her way of making you see reality with a much sharper focus, as those who lived in deception with themselves seldom lived long in warfare.
~ * * ~
Garret had to grin when she told him she was a mechanic--good
. God, how he hated it when jobs were divided by old-fashioned sexual politics. He was old-fashioned about how his women dressed
, not acted. And seriously, were the 80s that old? He was only 45, and for a shapeshifter that was practically just into your twenties. Besides, if a woman wanted to dress in pinup style, as a flapper, a raver, or some medieval princess with pointy hat, he didn't give a shit as long as she rocked it her own way. And this woman was a style all her own. The braids, especially the beaded ones, just did her right. For a moment he had an image of Captain Jack Sparrow, who was cool as movie pirates went--he personally preferred Barbossa--but the Bangles' missing member here was in a league all her own. Mph
, he couldn't get enough of that scent.
What kind of a were was she? The way she moved was sinuous enough, but when she moved into his personal space like that, he eliminated whole families of animals--no were-bird would likely approach so closely; no were-lapine would
want to. And while the weasel-types could be family- and group-oriented, they didn't start out like that on first meeting you, usually.
And then his brain really registered her moving into his personal bubble. It wasn't like someone her size was gonna rile him up and make him feel threatened. Hah
. It wasn't like anyone
shorter than him was gonna make him feel threatened--or taller, for that matter, as well, unless he scented threat on them. And she wasn't giving off any kind of threatening scent or vibe...but what the hell was she thinking? She had to know he was a shapeshifter by now, too...maybe she was a cat like him. Were-cats were so much like regular cats--in other words, they did what the fuck they wanted and to hell with anyone's opinion. If that was the case, the attraction he felt was explained that much easier. But hell, what were the chances that a woman as full-on gorgeous as her was unhitched in a place like this, especially with other weres and vampies around? Too many alpha-types among his crowd and the blood-suckers. Not that he'd back down from them, but...it wasn't his style to swipe a female from out of another guy's arms. It never occurred to him that he might not be able to do it...just that she might not not be attracted to him regardless. Alpha, yes...asshole, no.
His lips formed a little grin, and those dimples of his popped into view, even through the stubble. It was an amused look, the kind a big cat-were like him made when he could have said Hey there...yeah, I noticed you crowding me. Lucky for you I'm not the insecure type
...it was also mixed with What's a fine little thing like you doing in a place like this?
, along with I'd love to see you use your tools on my equipment sometime...
~ * * ~
But everything changed when he lifted her bodily under her arms and pressed her towards his desk. She felt her entire sculpted body tremble violently--because she knew what was now coming. She didn't resist him--she didn't want to, no matter how terrified she was of what was coming, but she had to let him know.
"I'm a virgin, Mr. Mercer..." she managed to gasp out in a breathy, quavery voice devoid of her normal confidence, and filled with every possible aspect of a deeply frightened young woman who knew her time had come for that fantasy she'd had countless times, the one she'd played out with what seemed like every possible man she'd ever imagined or seen.
Her teacher was going to fuck her, bent over his desk, and she was helpless to do anything at all about it. And in that helplessness, that abandon, that loss of control, she felt her need and her hunger for his impaling masculinity explode.
She felt him lifting her skirt, and she couldn't help but give him a low, hungry moan that was also laced with fear and apprehension. How was he going to fit inside her? How would it feel when he...
And then he did; he slid that huge fucking thing between her slick, naked pussy lips and pressed it home, harder and harder, with no consideration whatsoever for her utter lack of experience and virginity. She screamed as he tore through her hymen violently, the tears and sobbing coming immediately after. And yet, at the same time she was reaching a new pinnacle of terror and agony, she knew somewhere in her lust-inebriated mind that he was being so rough because he was so turned on by her. She'd never seen a man react with so much as a once-over her body, or an erotic leer...now a well-hung, magnificently-sexy man was beside himself with hunger for her. The swirling combination of pain and pleasure was an entirely novel experience, searing itself into her mind and emotions for all time.
~ * * ~
He smoothed some of her straw-colored hair back behind an ear; caressed her forehead softly; his own eyes were rather open, but his own mind was meandering through those memories as if they'd happened only a moment ago--for him and his perfect memory, it was a moment ago for all intents and purposes. "Caroline...what a fine, desirable woman you are...from beginning to end. I'm reminded more and more just how good my judgement of persona is, every time I think back to our first meeting...and every time I look at you, I'm also reminded of how lucky I am that I found you first, before any other blood-thief." He kissed her again, heatedly, then moved to her ear, nibbling it seductively. "I've never wanted any
other woman, Love," he whispered to her fiercely, "I've had
no woman since you...haven't wanted one but
myself for leaving you alone for so long...but I'll be damned
if I ever
let you go again."
~ * * ~
It was then that she recognized Sarah Crawford, the poor girl with the bad health condition. Even with her normally snarky and arrogant personality, Thella still had a heart, and she felt sorry for the pretty girl, who must miss out on so much, especially with that overprotective mother of hers. However, while she thought about Sarah, the girl herself came up to them and called Tychus' name--then when he turned around, she popped him in the side of the face.
Thella had never hit Tychus, no matter how angry she'd gotten--she'd mastered Tae Kwon Do under the tutelage of her Uncle Sutherland, and one of the things in the tradition and training was to never use your abilities in the wrong situation. Thella was excessively petite, it was true, but a well-placed, well-executed, pinpoint strike with her fist could do some serious damage--and she didn't want to hurt Tychus, after all. Much. At least, not that
But now she wasn't sure just how to react. Most of the time she would have laughed her ass off at Tychus' expense...but this time, considering their situation, she decided on a different course of action.
"Oh, really, Sarah, that was a well-placed blow--though if you were going for catharsis, I would have aimed for the eye socket--a black eye is much more satisfying to see than a bruised cheek or split lip." She grinned sweetly at the other girl--she had nothing against her, felt much more than a little sorry for her, and getting to see a come-uppance to Tychus was worth experiencing. But then she, turned Tychus towards her, and ran a slender finger around the now-swelling spot on his cheek. "Oh, dear...you have a boo-boo...perhaps I'd best kiss it better?
" She arched a single eyebrow, giving her enigmatic smile, her own cheeks curving into pleasant little spheres; then she pursed her full lips and gently, softly placed them on the damage zone, ending with a purposely-audible little lip-smack. "There, I hope that makes it all better," she replied, still grinning mischievously. "If necessary, just ask and I'll add a few more if they help."
~ * * ~Wave them, don't brandish them...brandishing connotes threat, which connotes emotion, which connotes weakness
, thought the diminutive woman in the swirling ivory cloaks, a gleaming sai in her left hand, a bloody, curved, thin-bladed sword in the other. The fact that she was blocked on three sides by brutish, lecherous, magenta-hued aveshakks, and on the fourth by the cliff wall she had been forced back into, didn't elicit the least bit of fear of death. She knew death was an inevitability someday, and fearing when
was a useless gesture if ever there was one. Besides, there were worse things than death, as you had to be living to suffer them, and the aveshakks were certain to exact every last drop of suffering from her, if they managed to capture her.Managed.
The absolute arrogance of the thought curled her upper lip, revealing one white canine. She was young, she was beautiful, she was deadly, and she was alive
. To be sure she was droll
as well, but the only one who could appreciate that
at the moment was herself.
"Fine enough for me," she murmured, then launched herself across the sand of the beach and upon them, long, dark hair flying...and then her swords were singing.
~ * * ~
"Welcome...please, take a seat." His icy-blue eyes matched the aura he exuded. He hoped she could tell, just from the way he stepped forward, that he was enjoying towering over her diminutive body. "Can I get you something to drink, Miss...?"
"Moran. No, thank you." Intense brown eyes the color of hot caramel never dropped away from his...and the rest of her youthful face was as impassive as stone.
A thick eyebrow slowly raised itself, somewhat wrinkling the high forehead. Icy blues maintained their pressure. She hadn't taken her seat yet. He was tempted to break his gaze and look down at the chair, then back to her, and see if she would respond, but since she hadn't blinked, he didn't want to let up the pressure on her. Still, he knew it was an inevitability that her feminacy
would reveal itself soon enough, she would quail, and all would be well.
"Do you have a first name?" he queried, voice still sickly sweet, as if he were addressing a schoolgirl who was crying and had lost her way around the grounds on the first day of Kindergarten.
" Caramel. Hot. Unblinking.
He waited a few seconds. He then realized he had not prepared any talk after this point, expecting her to break like all other women had always done. His mind was suddenly blank, and to compensate, he smiled, though this was not the smile of arrogance or debasement now, just pleasant and accommodating.
Not caramel now...dark, fired brick...furnace-like...unaccommodating
He actually began to feel quite warm. He didn't notice the first drop of perspiration until it had slid down, out of his well-groomed, slicked-back coiffure, and tickled his temple, causing him to twitch and turn his head, hissing out an angry, choice word, and finally wiping the offending bead of sweat away with an impatient hand.
He huffed off the sudden temper with an exhalation of air through his flared nostrils. He'd broken their gaze. He
had. Still, she was unlikely to even be on the same plane of thought as he...she was a woman, after all, and hardly had the capacity for logic like him...women were emotional creatures. He raised his head again, the mask of control having returned, and he looked back into her face, the demeaning look having returned.
...still caramel; no longer hot. A smile--that only turned up the corners of her mouth--had appeared on her face since he had flinched, and held all the heat in the room, speaking volumes of feminine emotion, but only two words in his head would fit them.
~ * * ~
"How dare you. How dare
you! How dare you speak against the Bronze Throne thusly, vilifying
all that our great empire and tradition has wrought upon this world?" The vizier, ensconced in his orange and bright yellow robes, the staff of state held firmly and haughtily in his right hand, looked down just imperiously enough to satisfy the several court onlookers of his sincerity, particularly the Empress herself, seated upon said ancient Throne of Bronze.
The diminutive woman he looked down upon had the most incredible, interesting image of indeterminate indifference upon her youthful, wise features. "I
dare, and I'll continue
to dare, as long as I live and breathe--and please
don't start up with a self-righteous comment or attempted
witty barb on how I won't live or breathe much longer...I've heard
them before and, honestly, I just
don't believe them anymore."
"Why do you speak thusly to our divine majesty?" The Empress spoke, breaking the current tension and replacing it with a broader, expansive calm, though if one was sufficiently skilled in the art of human body language and tone, they would pick up the even greater tension within the Empress herself...and, surprisingly enough, the white-robed young woman who dared to defy her. "What has our eminent subliminity brought about to effect your state of grievance?" The Empress had stood from her throne, her great height easily evident in the length of her shapely legs that appeared from between her slit skirts with every measured stride across the dais.
, I've heard some self-absorbed rulers in my time..." Cammi spat amusedly, shaking her head but never taking her eye off of the Empress, nor the two dozen or so royal guards at her end of the Hall. "...but you
, lady...you take the cake
, the pan
it was cooked in, and the whole god
"Your mode of speech is unfamiliar to us," the Empress continued, eying her volatile, unwanted guest. "Where in our wide world did you learn a language in this fashion?"
to come around," Cammi purred in a silky, sarcastic drawl. "I'm not from
your world, Lil' Missy...that
explain the reason why I'm the only
one in here with a little backbone?
"Backbone...that, at the least, we do understand. But all of the courage in the world will not avail you against our power
, if we cease being amused by your demented prattling," the tall woman replied through venomous, half-lidded green and violet eyes.
Cammi gazed back unflinchingly with her own blazing eyes of hazel.
"Again." The Empress took a final step, and was but a scant foot from the first step of the dais. "Why
do you bear grievance against us?"
Finally, the expression on the young woman's lovely face slowly began to unravel, into the most startling mask of vicious, seething hatred. Her free left hand worked, while the hand with the sword made tiny circling motions, over and over, which at first looked as if she was merely tremulous, but to a trained warrior, became immediately apparent as the motion one made to twist a weapon when in the guts of a despised foe. Finally, words came through her curled lips and exposed teeth, each carrying the force of a stone block hurled from a parapet.
"You. Killed. My. Friends.
~ * * ~