Astrid the Maid stared at the black haired man before her. All about them, the air burned with the cold but she felt it not. Trees groaned and soon began to burst from the sudden cold that froze their sap solid. Where she would have jumped at the loud rapport of the trees exploding, the grip of the man who claimed her was far too strong to be penetrated by mere sound. His dark eyes swam with darker thoughts as he smiled.
"Look about you," he said, his voice rich with amusement. Astrid tore her eyes away from the man that fascinated her and looked about them. At first, it did not make sense. People literally frozen in midmotion stood about them. Some had expressions of horror on their faces and others wore looks of terror. Those who had attempted to flee tottered on the edge of motion.
The black haired man walked towards the nearest of the frozen forms. He gave it a push and the item tipped to the side before crashing to the ground and shattering on impact. Astrid shook off some of the spell's effects to gasp in horror. He who had defeated her kicked at the shards at his feet. His lips twisted into a rich, sensual smile as Astrid shivered. Bone gnawing cold pressed insistently against her awareness and she stooped to pick up the sword at her feet.
"Yes," he purred, "Come fight me, Maid." Astrid lifted the weapon and suddenly gasped. Somehow, she felt his hands passing over her body though they were beyond arms reach from each other. A ghostly hand moved over her stomach and up to cup her left breast. Those phantom hands felt warm and had the weight of an actual touch. Astrid shook herself, looking back to find only more frozen corpses in gruesome death masks of terror.
Astrid bared her teeth and charged forward even as one of the phantom hands danced lightly over her right shoulder. Distracted by his magic, Astrid's blow went wild and struck another frozen form. The body shattered with the force of her blow as she stumbled forward. Astrid lifted up her weapon again and placed her feet firmly beneath herself. A ghostly hand moved up her right leg.
That spectral touch teased the bruise left on the inside of her thigh from his love bites the night before. That incredibly faint touch sent a thrill of pleasure through her. Astrid struggled to maintain her focus but the magic rolled over her like fog. She felt his touch everywhere. A caress across her cheek. His nails dragged slowly down her spine. Clever fingertips relentlessly twisting and teasing her clit.
With a gasp, the blade slipped from her hand as she moved to wrap her arms protectively about herself. She dropped to her knees, shuddering as she felt her body fill with the liquid heat of desire. Astrid desperately tried to think of something, anything else. She closed her eyes and bowed her head, bending down until her forehead touched the rock hard frozen ground. She could hear him walking towards her.
A part of her thrilled with joy that he was drawing closer even as she struggled with the urge to weep with despair and fear. Unholy amusement sounded in his chuckle as he walked about her. Astrid shuddered as the phantom hands caressed and teased her body mercilessly. "Such will," he said, his voice stoking the fires of desire within her. He came to a stop before her. He crouched down and set his jaw in the palm of his left hand, his elbow resting on his knee.
Astrid opened her eyes and lifted her head. Dread and terror warred with lust in her blue eyes. He reached forward with his right hand. Astrid cringed away from him. His smile was a beautiful expression of tenderness and delight. As his fingertips settled on her cheek, Astrid gave a keening cry. Pure pleasure rolled through her senses at that touch. Pleasure that burned away nearly everything except the terror.
Despite her terror, Astrid leaned forward towards that touch. His hand opened and settled against her cheek. Astrid shuddered and nuzzled his palm even as she inwardly screamed for it all to stop. Her mind clamored against the actions her body took, but she was powerless to stop herself as she unwound her arms from about herself and reached for him.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Friday, December 13, 2013
This is a little different from what I have been posting up here. I'm actually writing a bit of a story here. Next portion will be up next week. I'll try to have a racy scene up at some point over the next few days. If you're curious about the world that this little story is taking place, read my book The Dragon's Daughter or my other blog.
They faced each other with weapons drawn. The man was taller then the woman and he seemed to have the advantages that went with being bigger. As some of their people leaned against the split rail fence around the sparring area, the woman sized her opponent. Green eyes narrowed as they looked over his lean body. Astrid knew that body as well as the back of her hand.
Just the night before, they had tumbled into bed and made love as though it were the last thing they'd do in life. Now, he stood before her with his long knife at the ready and his black hair falling into his hazel eyes. A wicked smirk curved his lips. It was clear that he had taken her rejection of his offer of marriage seriously.
“You can walk away,” she said. That smile turned into a grin as he leaned towards her. That grin unsettled her but she kept her expression dour as to not betray the way her heart lept at it. He took a step to the right, keeping his hot gaze on her.
“You can say yes,” he retorted. She ground her teeth. Astrid's rising temper washed away all thoughts of how pleasantly his mouth felt on her skin. The tall woman had sworn to marry none. When her father scorned her, she amended it to only one who defeated her. The wiry strength that she had inherited from Erik Shieldbreaker and the ruthlessness that she demonstrated had defeated many suitors.
At first, her would be husbands scoffed. Some thought to be 'merciful' and held back their blows. What ever weapons they used, she bested them. Some she had wrestled and choked into unconsciousness. Astrid the Maid was a terror on the battlefield and her suitors learned this to their embarrassment. Then came the dark haired man from out of the north.
He did not try to flatter her. When he chose to attempt to court her, he did not bring her gifts of finery or promise sweet words. Instead, he gave gifts of weapons and spoke of his travels and battles. Astrid, despite her efforts to remain cool, found herself intrigued by this man who spoke to her of bloody things. When the riders came out of the west, Astrid found him to be a worthy shieldmate.
In the drunken revelry following that bloody victory, Astrid took him into her bed. Now, almost a month later, he had tired of her refusals to wed him. Astrid was angry. He had counted on that anger to muddy her wits.
As he moved about her, his long knife glinting, she carefully turned, keeping him before her. She spat out her answer in a tone that would have made it an insult, if he wasn't so amused by the situation. “Make me,” she snarled.
“As you wish,” he said before moving. He seemed to flow like water. Astrid scrambled aside, the tip of the knife barely missing her right arm. They were to fight to first blood. As the experienced warriors danced about each other, people watching began to place bets. He made his second attempt and Astrid batted his arm away. She moved to strike with her own knife but he had slipped out of reach.
His third attack was different. His knife was held out to the side and his forearm struck her across the neck. Astrid's eyes widened as she gasped for air and fell back from the force of the blow. Before she could respond to striking the ground, he was upon her. His knees trapped her arms out beside her. He brought the knife down and delicately cut her lower lip.
Astrid stared up at him with hatred in her eyes. At first the people watching them argued amidst themselves if he had actually cut her. As he stood, Astrid moved quickly to attack him, blood dripping down her chin. The man who had defeated her by surprise moved far faster then any of them had expected.
He dropped down to his knee and wrapped an arm about Astrid's neck. He held her hard against his chest, his face a breath away from her ear. Quietly, he said in her ear, “Fight me and you'll find far more favor then any other who has come into my bed.” Astrid's eyes narrowed, his words cutting through her anger by their pure strangeness. He abruptly let go of her and she twisted before him.
Her knife flashed but met empty air. Her fiancee stood behind her, reaching a hand towards her in an apparent offer to pull her to her feet. Astrid made her way to her feet and glared at him. She wiped the blood off her chin with the back of her hand. The man before her arched his left eyebrow slightly in a silent question.
Astrid brought her knife up and threw it. It flipped end over end, striking her lover in the shoulder. Where any other would have screamed at the injury, he laughed. Fear snaked into the Maid's heart as he pulled the knife from his wound and held it out to her. Where the others could not see it, Astrid watched as his wound knit closed. She blindly reached back as she moved to the edge of the sparring grounds.
He slowly stepped towards her. Astrid shouted for a sword. One of the gathered dashed off for the weapon as Astrid's black haired fiancee approached her with a suggestive smile. “Come, take the knife,” he said. It became apparent to the onlookers that something about this strange man was inhuman when they realized that he did not bleed or seem to suffer from his earlier injury. An anxious hand pressed the hilt of a weapon into Astrid's grip.
As soon as her fiancee came into reach, Astrid swung her sword hard. Steel met steel and the black haired man laughed. Astrid rained blows down upon him, keeping him back by force of blows. They disengaged and he grinned with approval. “You fight as well as you fuck,” he laughed. Astrid glowered at him.
“What are you?” Astrid demanded.
He stepped towards her and the air grew colder. Astrid's breath frosted in the air as he approached. He reached forward and set a fingertip against the tip of the sword. The blue steel's sheen began to dull as ice collected on the metal. The cold burned down the blade and into the hilt, making Astrid drop the weapon with a gasp.
He stepped forward and dropped the knives that he held. As the metal hit the ground that was frozen beneath his feet, it shattered. “Your husband,” he answered before reaching forward and placing a hand against Astrid's cheek. The air about her grew terribly, terribly cold. His touch, paradoxically, seemed to burn her skin. Brilliant heat seemed to throb beneath his skin. As Astrid began to shiver with that unnatural cold, the man before her's smile turned tender.
“I have watched you for a very long time, Maid,” he said as hoarfrost crept out from where they stood and the people around them made signs against evil and backed away. “I have burned for you,” he continued, wrapping an arm about her. As that terrible cold settled around her like some kind of strange phantom cloak, his body warmed her. Astrid shuddered with cold.
He dipped his head and set his mouth over hers. Slowly, he kissed her. That heat that burned in him poured through his mouth and down her throat like wine. It pooled in her chest and then began to spread through her limbs. As they kissed, Astrid's golden hair darkened. Slowly it faded from the color of honey to that of old straw and then to the shades of dead leaves. Finally, it turned a deep almost blue black color.
Astrid found herself consumed by that warmth he kindled in her veins. Hunger burned through her and she ached to feel his body against hers again. He broke the kiss and smiled down at her. Astrid the Maid and her inhuman spouse stood in the center of what seemed frozen statuary. The entire encampment had frozen. People and beasts froze solid where they stood. Fires were extinguished by the pure cold that radiated out from them.
Astrid, however, didn't care. All she wanted was the taste of his kiss and the feel of his skin.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
“I don't know what to write,” I muttered, pushing my chair back away from the desk. “Anything I put on paper is going to be crap anyways,” I added with a snarl as I made an exasperated gesture at the computer. The woman with the honey blond hair sitting on my couch arched an eyebrow. She looked over to her brother, who leaned against the doorjamb and looked solemnly at me.
“It's late,” he rumbled, “Why don't you go to bed?” I looked over at him, restraining the urge to give him my best glare. His sober expression brightened at my scowl. As my frustration shone with greater clarity on my face, he laughed. His sister rolled her eyes at the two of us and sighed. “Go,” he said with a bright smile, “Go on. You need your rest. You can write tomorrow.”
I fixed the computer screen with that glare I had been contemplating when his sister said lightly, “Even authors need their sleep. Especially when they're stuck on something.” I groaned, feeling like I was a terrible hostess. At the same time, the twins were right. It was late and I did need my sleep. “Go, we'll mind the rest of this stuff. It's not like you need to be up all night,” she said breezily, “After all, it's not your job to entertain us. And my brother and I have a few things to talk about. Get some rest. We'll mind this business.” I sighed and conceded defeat to her logic.
Several hours later, I woke to find my vision obscured by a tangled web of golden hair. To my left, he lay with an arm wrapped around my waist. To my right, she was curled on her side, her body close to mine. Their hair lay tossed over my face like some kind of silken veil, as though dainty fairies had draped each strand with the greatest of care. I was starting to think about getting up when his arm about my waist tightened slightly.
His sleep roughened voice murmured in my ear, “Warm. Stay here.” His sister said nothing but snuggled closer to me. I reached blindly for the blanket when his hand and mine touch. I felt something like an electric thrill race up my arm from that contact. I could feel him smile. He sat up slightly and pulled the blanket and the small pile of furs up over the three of us.
Within that nest of warmth, I realized that I felt entirely safe and at peace. It was a realization that surprised me. I rolled over to face him. Long strands of hair fell between us. He smiled at me in the whisper of shadow cast by his hair. It was a lover's smile. Not a lustful one but one of deep sweetness and affection.
I blushed and suddenly looked away from his face. His callused right hand lightly cupped my cheek and resisted my effort to look away from him. At that slight assertion of control, I looked to his eyes. Eyes the color of green grass seemed to glow as I looked deeply into them. “Just be,” he said softly.
Carefully, he gathered me closer. His face a breath away from mine, I realized that I had no choice but to look at him or close my eyes. Panic whirled up like a bird beating against a cage. “Shhh,” he soothed, placing his fingertips over my lips. My heart hammered and my mouth went dry.
“Shut up and kiss her,” his sister grumbled, pulling a greater share of the blanket over herself.
My eyes widened as he smiled. His hand moved away from my face and the urge to flee lashed at me. At the same time, that terrible sweetness in his eyes held me pinned in place. Gently, he brushed the hair out of our faces. I stared at him helpless and horrified and hopeful all at the same time. He rolled forward.
His body settled against mine, pressing me down into the mattress. I gave a startled squeak and he chuckled softly. “Little mouse,” he said, his tone both teasing and endearing. As his mouth closed over mine, I closed my eyes and shivered. Slowly, I melted into that kiss, my mouth opening slightly to sigh.
Tenderly, his tongue moved over the inside of my lower lip and slid against mine in an intimate caress. His hands moved, seemingly of their own accord to hold my face between their warmth. Somehow, my hands found their way to the thicket of hair over his heart. Fingertips nestled in those wheat gold curls, I could feel his body heat like pure summer sunlight against my skin and the steady throb of his heartbeat beneath his. Dizzy and confused by the mixture of delight and desire that rose up within me, I did nothing but shiver and sigh. He laughed softly, breaking the kiss to bury his face against the hollow of my throat.
Holding me tightly against himself, I heard him whisper against my skin, “Soon.” I felt as though the world swam with beauty and that I was captured by a sunbeam. Even as a part of my yearned to tumble into that riot of pure delight, I trembled. Fear had snaked its way into my heart.
He gave a pained groan. “I will free you from its grasp,” he vowed quietly, “I will find away and you will laugh again.” I closed my eyes and did my best to push the fear that all of this was little more then a dream aside. He kissed me again. There was a desperate hunger in that hard kiss and a promise that more was waiting for when I was ready.
Confused and ashamed of my resurgent fears, I closed my eyes and wept. He rolled to his back and set my head against his chest. I listened to the reassuring pulse of his heart even as his sister wrapped herself about us and drew the covers close, knowing that I needed warmth to ease the terror of past trauma out of me. As he held me, he whispered, “Soon.”