Archive | July 23, 2017

Side Quest – a Camp NanoWrimo Story – Ten: The Perils of One’s Past

Ten: The Perils of One’s Past

She should have thought of it before she agreed, she supposed. She might be stepping into some long-held family feud — their mountain had several of those — or maybe into the sort of thing where the city wanted to move someone whose home had stood in the same place for three hundred years. Their town had dealt with that, too. She might be running into another conspiracy sort like Trinner Tralen, who thought, perhaps, that the city or the empire or this architect were out to get him.

And maybe they were. She thought about Trinner Traln and the spectre sliding into him. She didn’t even know if she’d done the right thing there.

The architect’s nervous cough interrupted Raizel’s train of thought.

read on…

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Beauty-Beast 22: New Information

FirstPreviousLanding PageNext


Fuck. Did everyone know Ctirad was the boss’s idiot leashed pet?

“Easy, easy. Come on, man.” Shel ran a hand in front of his face; when he dropped his hand, his skin was nut-brown and his ears were pointed. He looked a bit spindly around the joints and he was about half a foot shorter. “Easy. We’re all fae here. That means we all know what a collar means, okay?”

Ctirad touched the collar with both hands and tried to ignore the feeling in the pit of his stomach. “It means I’m his bitch.” That’s what Ermenrich had told him. “But that was… That was Ermenrich.”

“No, Ermenrich is just an asshole.” Shel sat down a few feet away from Ctirad. “Look. Belonging isn’t something Ermenrich made up for you, okay? It’s not something that he did because he’s clever or because he knows how to use people. You didn’t know?”

Ctirad shook his head, not trusting himself to words.

“Damnit, and I bet you act so… Well, self-confident isn’t the word, but you act like you know everything that’s going on. So the boss wouldn’t know, just think you were, uh. Abused. Which you were – sorry, but it’s true.” Shel leaned back. “Damn. Okay. You had a Mentor, you were trained?”

Ctirad swallowed. “I was working for one of Ermenrich‘s associates. I almost died. I Changed. Ermenrich found me a teacher and taught me the basics.”

“Okay, so he found someone that would leave out the things he didn’t want you to know. What an asshole. And then- uh, what came next, if you don’t mind me asking?”

He minded. But he wanted information. “I stayed working for his associate for another couple years. I had a name, I was making a name for myself. And then Ermenrich decided I should come work as his man. Be his. And that was fine… I guess. That was what it was. But then…”

“But then you were his, and you were under his thumb, because he’d tricked you into a Belonging. What an asshole,” Shel repeated. “What a ridiculous fucking asshole.”

Ctirad ducked his head and tried to get control of himself. “So… Uh.” He didn’t even know where to start.

“So he tricked you into something because he knew you didn’t know. It’s not your fault. And it’s not… uh.” Shel looked over at him. “So. The collar means – what the collar means is that you agreed to Belong to someone – the boss in this case – and what THAT means is that you agreed to be under their Name, to do as their will dictates, and to be protected by them. Pretty much, he hired all of you instead of just some daytime work. Now, you and I know – or I’m getting, at least – that you didn’t actually agree to shit, and I’m pretty sure the boss knows that, too. But just seeing the collar, nah. That just tells people you’re all in, that the boss and you are like this,” he crossed his fingers tightly. “So, none of this ‘you’re his bitch’ stuff, okay? It only means that when your Keeper is an asshole.”

Ctirad swallows. “So. I am wearing a collar.” He touched it. He was still definitely wearing a collar. “And I have no idea what it means. That is – that is not more reassuring than wearing a collar and knowing what it means, even knowing it meant I was someone’s bitch.”

Shel snorted. “No. Well, let’s see. You know that it means that you do what he says, that you want to please him, and that displeasing him makes you unhappy – don’t look at me like that, I’ve spent some time in a collar, too. Actually, the boss bought me in a situation… not too different from yours, although I was more of an adult when I went into it, at least. I knew what I was getting into, or thought I did. Not saying my situation is yours, but I know what it’s like to be Kept, to Belong – those are the words they use, although there’s fancier words, there’s longer words, and there’s formal words. Anyway. What it means, under fae law, is that he’s responsible for you. What it means, practically, is that we know not to mess with you, because you belong to the boss. Practically, though, we all do what he says.” Shel shrugged. “If your education was that slim, I’ll talk to the boss about taking some time out to teach you the things your Mentor missed.”

“I’m not a kid,” Ctirad offered weakly. “I was a full-grown adult and everything-”

“There’s adult and there’s adult, I’m afraid.” Shel’s smile was apologetic. “And you were an adult, sure, but you were mis-educated. At least in fae things. I’m not saying anything about your human-life stuff. So…?”

Ctirad looked up at him. “So everything Ermenrich told me was a lie?”

“Well, I don’t know about everything. But it’s a good bet. I mean… It’s a good starting point? And if you want to ask me about things, I won’t tell anyone anything you ask. Cross my heart.” Shel made the gesture across his rather attractive chest. “Now. Are you okay to go shopping, or should I tell the boss something came up and we ended up sitting around eating ice cream all day and bitching about our employers?”

Ctirad stared at him. “You’re joking, right? I mean, he said I should go shopping.”

“Ah, but did he make it an order?”

“…No? No, but he. He told me to go shopping.”

“Then I guess we’ll go shopping, and then I’ll buy you some ice cream, and yes, you can punch me if I get too irritating, but try to avoid the face, please, I make money with this face.” Shel held out a hand to Ctirad. “Let’s do that, before I change my mind and we really do sit around all day eating ice cream, all right?”

“Tempting,” Ctirad admitted. He took the hand. “But I don’t think I could manage to do that.”

“Hey, that’s the thing about Belonging to someone. Even a good owner like the boss, it messes with your head. And from your accounts, your previous owner was anything but a good one. So that’s fine. It’s like, uh, PTSD. You’ve been in a traumatic situation. It’ll take you a while to get your brain back on straight. Let’s see.” He looked Ctirad up and down. “Jeans, shirt. Shoes downstairs.”


“That’ll do. All right. Watch out shopping world, here we come.”


FirstPreviousLanding PageNext

Want more?

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Funeral: Mutual Interest

First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Shower Negotiations

There was an ancient fae assassin in Senga’s bathroom, and she had her hands in his pants.

“I’m capable of taking care of myself,” he pointed out.

“Yes. But you’re my responsibility now.” She peeled his pants slowly off. He went commando; she was going to get the full show all in one go.

“You have other responsibilities. Besides, you gave me something to do.” He stretched back a little bit, consciously or unconsciously showing off. Flat stomach, muscular chest and arms: he didn’t work out so much as he kept his body in perfect fighting condition. Senga didn’t try to stop herself from licking her lips. He was kind of scrumptious, in a way that wasn’t normally her style.

“You liked it?” She looked up to his face, to find his eyes half-lidded like he wasn’t sure he wanted to see her reaction. “Being given something to do?”

“Yeah. I.” He shifted into something she thought was close to a parade rest and studied her. “Yeah.” He swallowed and considered that. “I didn’t think I would,” he admitted. “I don’t like orders.”

“That is going to make things difficult,” she admitted, a little amused despite herself. “Suggestions are easy enough for most things, though. And, ah, nudges. As long as you don’t actually attack Chitter.”

He snorted. “Nah. She’s … I get her. She makes sense. So. Shower?” He took a step back and reached for the tap but stopped short of turning the water on.

“A shower is why we’re in here, after all,” she agreed, or at least suggested agreement, in part to see what he did with something that sideways.

“It is. Unless it’s to show off your really expensive pumps.” He turned on the water. “And my – well, whatever I’m showing off.”

“Most men would say their abs.” He had very nice abs.

“I’m not most men.” He sounded almost prickly.

“No, that’s obvious.” She tested the water and stepped in. “Better-looking, for one.”

She’d had her back to him for a moment and turned around just in time to catch an uncomfortable expression on his face. “Not many people say that.”

“I’m not most people.” It was too easy a line to ignore. “Besides, you really are quite attractive.”
“… Thanks.” He rolled his shoulders. “So uh.”

“So this is where you wash my back.” She turned so her back was facing him. “And then, if we’re sticking with the old adage, then I wash yours.”

She waited and tried not to be nervous. She didn’t spend a lot of time pointing her back at someone, especially not a stranger.

He can’t attack you, she reminded herself, but the logical part of her brain pointed out that someone named Silent Death who her Great-Aunt had threatened her to take into her home on pain of certain murder if she didn’t could probably work around something as simple as just a Bound Servant bond.

The washcloth brushed across her shoulders so lightly she barely felt it. Then a little more firmly, as he gained confidence in himself, and then a little bit more firmly, just enough to actually wash her back while still being rather gentle. “There’s blood back here,” he pointed out. “The bullets went through you.”

“You saw the holes in the dress,” she countered uncomfortably. She didn’t like to think about the sensation, being pierced through, how close one of the bullets had come to her heart.

He was lingering on that blood spot, too. “It’s one thing to see the dress and another to see the blood. No scar – she does good healing work.”

“She gets enough practice.” It was so the wrong thing to say, but she’d already said it.
“Mmm.” Much to her surprise, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against him. He was quite a bit taller than her, enough so that his chin rested easily on top of her head. “I find,” he murmured, so quietly that she could barely hear him over the water, “that I do not like that. I suppose I will help you find jobs that cause you to have fewer holes in your dresses, mmm? And perhaps come along to protect you.”

She didn’t really want to discourage this, she really didn’t, but, “it’s going to be hard to do a honeypot sort of thing with you standing protectively behind me,” she sighed.

“Oh, I can be very, very un-noticable. Even by cameras.” Something in his voice was wild and amused. “But that…” He stepped back and tugged on her shoulder. She took the implied cue and turned to look at him.

He looked serious, a look somewhat ruined by the water pouring over his shoulders. Hopefully Monmartin Manor had a taller shower somewhere. This one was really too short for him. “I am not sure I could stand by quietly while someone attacked you.” He cleared his throat. “You invite intimacy. My previous — That hasn’t happened before.”

“You could probably stand by quietly if you had an order holding your there.” She ran her hands over his chest, following the trails the water was leaving. “I suppose we could test it on an unimportant mission. Then if I’m being set up, I’ll be protected. More protected,” she corrected. “I’m not a helpless flower, you know.”

“I’m getting that impression. You four, you wade right into trouble, don’t you?” He was watching her hands, as much as he could, instead of her face. “It’s interesting. I’d like to see more of it.”

“How about you work on seeing more of me right now and worry about my job later?” Senga suggested. “I’d like to focus on you for a bit.” She picked up a washcloth and lathered up his chest, watching the way his heart pounded as she moved her hands down towards his hip bones.

“You—” He coughed and tried again. “You want to focus on me? I am — that is — I am not very interesting.”


Want More?

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable