Eighteen: Lies and Murder in the Bear Empire

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Captive in the Bear Empire

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Carrone was eyeing Deline oddly.  “You don’t like killing. The Deklegion paper-pusher told us you were a mass-murderer.  Then you put a blade to me and offered to leave me in the cabin.”

“I have killed a grand total of… three people and seven animals in Dekleg, not this trip, in my life, and two of those people were actively trying to kill me at the time.  I don’t like killing people.”

“But you would have slit my throat.”

“Sometimes…”  She sat down on the edge of their makeshift bed cross-legged, “the mission is more important than what I want.  And if I don’t make it home, the mission fails.” Continue reading

Haunted House 20: Girl Talk

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Wardrobe

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Mélanie sat with the wealth of clothes on her bed – her bed, her room – and was unsurprised when they began to carefully hang themselves.  “I don’t suppose you do alterations, do you?” she asked the air. The clothes would fit her, mostly, but the very nce trousers would look nicer if they weren’t cinched in three inches with a belt.

The hanger tilted side to side thoughtfully.

“Maybe?  Sort of? Requires you to talk and you’re not a big fan of talking?” Mélane guessed.  She had no idea if the house could talk and, if it could, why it didn’t.

But on the last option, the hanger started tilting forward as if nodding.   Continue reading

Chase the Fox Part II

Written to @DaHob’s commissioned continuation; part II of a longer story.  This comes after Fox Hunt(Saturday) and The Hunt Continues (Wednesday) and Chase the Fox Part I (Wednesday – the following Saturday).

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Wednesday

Hitchhiking had gotten old pretty quickly. George hadn’t thumbed a ride in years, not since his college days, and he found that all the things that had made it so unpleasant back in Maine were almost identical in California — the road splashing and the traffic noise, the hours you’d go by with nobody picking you up, the odd juts out of your way when you did get a ride, the talking. The endless uncomfortable chatter.

Add to it that in California, the chatter was likely to veer into topics he knew nothing about. Politics was a land mine. Even the weather could be tricky. And then there was his accent, which didn’t exactly sound Down Home Californian not matter how much time he’d spent scrubbing the salt water and lobster out of his vowels. Every ride was an exercise in tension, and the time spent watching for rides wasn’t much better.

After his third ride spent far too long asking prying questions about his marriage plans and potential children, George decided walking was the better plan. He could stay away from the road, he wouldn’t have to deal with prying questions, and he wouldn’t have to worry about the police having his picture, for any number of reasons including $517 Californian he’d stolen over the past few days. Continue reading

Experts

A Fae Apoc story prompted by @SkySailor.  Set in the post-apoc of Fae Apoc. 

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“Excuse me?  Excuse me, I’m looking for an expert?”

He looked like nothing you’d stop to look twice at, and most people didn’t even bother with looking once.  He was weedy, small, underfed. Fifteen years after the collapse of most of the world, he looked like – well, like it was a miracle he was still alive.

Nobody worried about him.

“What sort of expert, son?  We’ve got all sorts here.” The aging professor had not been quite so aging when the school had stopped being quite the same institution he’d been hired by.  Tenure was, however, tenure, and there weren’t that many universities hiring Labor Economics professors in this day and age.

Not when they were more worried with the simple economics of laboring enough to survive. Continue reading

The Hidden Mall 37: By a Thread

Abby didn’t scream. Later, it would occur to her as strange: her heart had dropped she’d grabbed for the ropes around her, but she hadn’t screamed.  She hadn’t made a sound. But as soon as she had any sort of handhold, she’d looked for her Livs.

They were both fine; Vic was fine, if gaping.  and her shoulder was suddenly yanked as all of her weight fell onto her hands grabbing onto the thinning ropes.

The pavement was a long, long, long way below.  Someone else was screaming – someone near her, someone who had been too close and was scrambling backwards, reaching for some sort of support.

Abby looked at her Livs.  She looked down, down, down at the pavement.  “There,” she grunted. “up there, on the left.  Meet me there.”

“But you-” Continue reading

Purchase Negotiation 15: Orders

First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Owned

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Mr. MacDiarmad raised his eyebrows at Leander.  “Is there a problem?”

He shifted, setting his weight on his heels and doing his damnedest to meet his owner’s eyes.  “No, sir. No problem.”

“Sylviane?  You agreed that you’d take on a bodyguard.  So what’s the problem?”

“The problem isn’t him, Daddy.  It’s you. You! I’ll take a bodyguard, fine.  If you insist that having him under your Name is the only way for you to be sure that he’ll do his job fine.  Have him Belong to you. The problem is that you shoved him on me without taking to him. You know better.  You ought to, at least. He’s on edge, he’s uncomfortable, and he looks like he’s waiting for the rug to be yanked out from under him at any moment.”

“I’m not…” Leander fell silent as she kicked him in the calf. Continue reading

Funerary Rites 23: Home

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Erramun stepped through the door, looked back at her, and looked back into the room.  “There is nothing particularly troubling, unless you count the decorating.” He wrinkled his nose.  “That, on the other hand, is fairly disturbing.”

Senga stepped in, grateful for the small humour.  “I don’t think my Grandmother did anything but renew the Preserve Working on things that her grandmother had chosen.  As far as I know, it’s not tied in to any legacy or anything…”

Her grandmother’s grandmother had preferred pink floral chintz and an everything-matches set-up that made the room look something like the inside of a pepto bismal bottle.  But everything was still intact: the bed with its pink chintz canopy and excessive decorative pillows, even with the hollow where her grandmother’s dogs had slept at the foot of the bed; the Queen Anne furnishings that had been painted just as pink as everything else, the wide windows with their matching curtains, valances, fringed… things…. Continue reading

Beauty-Beast 41: Bitch

First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Yourself

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Sal drove without chit-chat, at least at the beginning, but after three blocks, the glass between the two sections came down.  “Boss. Your boy is shifting back and forth like someone’s sending him to the principal’s office.”

Ctirad froze.  “Am not.”

“You were,” Sal countered.  “You’re going out in public with the Boss for the first time.  You have a pretty good idea what’s expected of you in private. but now you’re in public.  What does wearing the Boss’ collar mean for you when you’re out there, in front of other fae?  Other than us that work for him, I mean.”

“…Yeah…” Ctirad muttered.  “I mean. I’m his bodyguard.  Your bodyguard, sir. That happens to also be your boyfriend.  It’s not like people don’t have bodyguard-lovers. I mean, Lex Luthor…” He trailed off. Continue reading

A New World 25: Jamhaier

The bar was not all that different from pubs and taverns that Kael remembered.  There was louder music, yes, the lights were different, but the drinks were much the same – just more variety.  She bowed to Gemma’s expertise for the first drink and got a wink and a decidedly flirtatious smile in return.

“Are you encouraging me to get you drunk, Madam Kaelingrade?”

“As a matter of fact, I might enjoy that,” Kael agreed.  “But I’d have to hope that you have better than an apprentice’s garret to take me back to, since that’s all that they give one for ‘room and board’.  Well at least for the room portion.  The board is quite nice.”

“Did she call you – did she call you Madam Kaelingrade?”  The bartender, a handsome man who was a little younger than Kael’s apparent age, looked surprised.  “Is there a new Kael in the tower, then? You look…” He studied her for a moment. “You look genuine.” Continue reading