Archive | April 21, 2017

Crazy like a fox – more Mélanie/Mdom not asshole

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“Mélanie! Stop, please. Stop!”

Mélanie stopped. She didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. “I’m not going in there.”

“Come back, please.”

Even with the please, it was an order. Even the way he sounded like he was pleading with her, abashed and embarrassed, it was an order. She turned around and walked as slowly as she could back towards him.

“I have too much of a flair for the dramatic, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were from around here. I didn’t know you’d have heard the rumors.”

She put one foot deliberately directly in front of the the other foot and didn’t look up at him. “Rumors? I’ve seen what happens to people.”

“Oh, so you really are from nearby. There were a couple, yeah. They weren’t scared enough, and they were quite irritated at me. I’d done this and that, you know, and so I, uh, I put a little mojo on them. It should wear off. It should have worn off by now – that was a while ago.”

“I haven’t seen then in a while,” she admitted slowly. “I got – well, I got sold.”

“Oh.” He sounded relieved. “Oh, well, I may have to check. Anyway, this place is, well, it already had a reputation. And there are a couple – they might be ghosts; I didn’t think those actually existed, though – but I came to an arrangement with them a long time ago.”

She was still walking towards him as slowly as she could. “Wait.” She looked up at him. “This place is a hellhole, a real demon-infested place. I know people…”

“Like I said, when people get very close, I have to discourage them, but most of the time, the rumors and some Workings on the gates and the fence keep people away. Nothing in here is going to eat you. Nothing in here is going to make you empty. Okay? It’s all smoke and mirrors and some Workings that I guess were me outsmarting myself.”

“And a couple ghosts,” she pointed out. She let her feet carry her at a slightly more normal walking pace.

“And a couple ghosts,” he allowed. “Or things that may or may not be ghosts. Please?” He held out his hands to her. “We’re safer once we’re inside all those Workings.”

“Safer in the haunted house.” She let herself speed up a bit more. The pressure of the orders was starting to give her a headache. “You know how ridiculous that sounds, right?”

“It might sound ridiculous, but I assure you it’s true. Now, I am sorry. I honestly didn’t expect you to have heard of my little charade. But I assure you, once we get past the facade, it’s lovely inside, there’s food, there’s running water, or at least water that runs, and I can provide you with some better clothing. Please?”

She let herself close the last few feet to her new owner at a much faster pace.

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Beauty-Beast 12: Tim Kaprinsky’s House, Timaios’ Bedroom

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Timaios’ house was everything Ctirad might have expected from someone as rich as Tim Kaprinsky, and yet nothing at all he expected. It was a big house on a big lot in the middle of the city, an easy four acres of property with such good landscaping that you hardly noticed you could almost never see more than three feet in any direction, and the house itself was almost completely obscured from the road and all three of its neighbors.

The inside, though – or, at least, from the garage to the stairs upward – looked comfortable. It was more spartan than opulent, as long as you didn’t think too much about what some of the materials cost, and the sitting room he got a glimpse of was done in overstuffed upholstery that actually looked designed to sit in.

“Sal,” Timaios asked of his driver, “can you tell Danny to send up food for two? A real meal, but keep it relatively bland. I’m not sure how much good food our Ctirad here has had in the recent past.”

None was a safe bet, but he hadn’t been asked, so he didn’t answer. Timaios’ hand was on the small of his back, steering him as effectively as if he’d had him on a leash.

“Yes, sir.”

“Thank you, Sal. This way, Ctirad.” The back stairs – they had to be back stairs, any place this big had to have a grand staircase somewhere – were carpeted in something soft under Ctirad’s boots, and he stumbled for a minute, thinking he ought to have taken his shoes off.

“Easy,” Timaios murmured. On the stairway, he was practically pressed against Ctirad’s side. It was a warm feeling, pleasant, and yet distracting as well. “You’re fine. Just up these stairs and, here, to the left.”

To the left took Ctirad to a smallish door, just barely big enough to allow for the horns he couldn’t currently see on Timaios. He made a questioning noise in his throat, not quite trusting him with words.

“There, yes. It’s okay.”

He hadn’t been this skittish in a long time. Then again, it had been a long time since he’d had a new Owner. He opened the door.

The room inside was – well, it looked lived-in. Someone had tidied, he thought, and made the bed, but there was a stack of books on one nightstand, a tablet and a laptop on the other, and three pairs of shoes under the bed.

Timaios’ bedroom had no mirrors, and the wide wall of windows was covered with blinds and curtains. The decor was expensive understated wood and neutrals in light colors, except something in purple silk thrown across the desk chair.

“Steady, steady. All right, my lovely man, I’ve got you in my bedroom.”

All thoughts of dinner fled at the rumble in Timaios’ voice.


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