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One Hell of a One That Got Away

What can I say?  Country music makes good Addergoole songs.  This one’s light and sweet, as such things go – content warning for discussed violence. 

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He knew within ten minutes of starting to go after her that it wasn’t going to work.

Oh, he had no doubt he could get some of her time.

He was charming, he knew how to listen – or to at least look like he was listening, but he found with her he didn’t have to fake it much – he was good looking – which around here was like saying he was breathing; everyone met  certain base qualification – and they shared three classes.  He had plenty of time to chat her up. He just wasn’t going to get her.

He already knew it was doomed when she agreed to a date.

He made the plans anyway. Continue reading

Haunted House 33 – Thank You

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

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The kitchen door was lit up with more lights than Mélanie had thought it had, twinkling and shining like it was welcoming them home – which it might be, Mélanie admitted to herself.  There were even curtains in the door window that she was fairly certain hadn’t been there before and, as they walked up to it, the door swung open.

The short walk from the stable to the kitchen – Jasper was holding her hand, and she found she didn’t want to let go of it – was enough time for her to start thinking.  “You know,” she told Jasper, as they closed the kitchen door behind them, “that may be the first time I have actually made a decision – I mean really decided to do something and done it – since – since – since I don’t know when.” Since I was free.

“Then I am even more honored and pleased that you chose – made a decision of your own free will – to rescue me, and I am very proud of you.”

The warm feeling as Jasper hugged her, the rush as the praise – praise she had genuinely earned, even if having free will was not the sort of thing that people normally praised their slaves for – it was like a blanket all around her.  Mélanie smiled up at her master, feeling a little weak in the knees.

“And look, the house has given us some warm tea for the late evening.  Here, this chair.”  He directed her to a chair and, between the very-nearly-an-order and the way that her knees felt a little wobbly, Mélanie had no problem in sitting down.

She watched Jasper until he, too, was sitting down and had picked up his tea before she picked up her own.  “You’re proud of me?”  And now she was most definitely fishing for praise – but she also wanted to understand.  “For-”

“Well, I suppose the easy part to get is that I’m very happy you came after me.  That was fortunate indeed for me.  And yes, Mélanie, my dear.  I want you to understand… Hey!”  A napkin had hit him in the face. He huffed and put the napkin down.  “Mélanie – can I talk to her, or are you going to hit me again?”

No more napkins lifted.  “It was very impressive, that you not only made the choice to come after me and made the plan to do so, but that you – uh.”  He cleared his throat.  “Please forgive me – both you and the house here – if I sound condescending; that’s not my goal.  But I’m very pleased that you made a decision at all.  I know that it can be difficult, when one has been under the collar – metaphorically – for some time, and I know you’ve been collared for quite a while.”

Mélanie swallowed and blinked at her owner.  The feelings rushing over her threatened to bowl her right over, and she thought she might be starting to tear up.  “Sir… Sir.” She cleared her throat. “Sir, I did what I had to.”

“And I am very, very pleased with you.  May I give you a hug?”

“Sir, you own – hey!” It was her turn to be hit in the face with a napkin.  She considered the question as fairly as she could.  “Yes.  Yes, please.  I’d like a hug.”

He walked around the table to her and enveloped her in a tight hug that still somehow didn’t leave her feeling too constrained. “Thank you for rescuing me, Mélanie.”

She hugged him back, pressing against him, and tilted her head up towards him. Towards her Master, her Owner.  Towards Jasper. “Thank you…” she spoke quietly, still not completely sure that this was the best idea, “for being worth saving, sir.”  She stood up a little taller and pressed her lips to his.

He responded, at first chastely and sedately, and then, when she showed no signs of pulling away, with more enthusiasm.  He drew out the hiss, his hands resting on the top and bottom of her back, until his hips were pressed hard against her and he was groaning softly.

“Mélanie.”  He looked at her with an expression far too much like rue for her comfort.    “Mélanie, I would love to – I would love to – to carry this on.   But until you can look at me as a person and not as your Master, I don’t think it would be – ow, hey!”  Another napkin had hit him in the face. “What was that for?”

“Well…” Mélanie looked up at him and smirked a little, even though it was giving her a twist in her gut to think about it.  “If I had to guess, I’d say because the house wants you to remember that you are my Master, and that it would be stupid and rather delusional of me to think of you as not my Master.  Jasper.”

He was looking rueful again, but this look was a little less sad.  He tilted his head down and kissed her, lightly and gently but with definite purpose behind it.  His hand on her lower back slid downwards; his hand on her upper back stayed where it was.  Feeling both brave and affectionate, Mélanie put her own hand on the middle of Jasper’s back.

“Perhaps,” he murmured into her ear, “we should go upstairs?  There is a bed there, and I did tell you that I would rest.”

“Is it rest that you’re thinking of?”  She had looked up at him and ginned before she’d even realized what she’d said.

“Well, a bed, at least…”

“Then lead on.  A bed sounds like a good start to me.”

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Using Magic

Okay, so I watched The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and I was thinking about teenaged fae in Fae Apoc – non-Addergoole ones – and how they might deal with having magic and here, have a story.

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“Can I use magic now?”

“Are you freaking kidding me?” Continue reading

Funerary Rites 36: Stages of Grief

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“Will it help?”  That was sigh-worthy, so she did sigh.  “I don’t know, not about the long run,” Senga admitted.  “In the short run, what it’s done is, uh. You saw.”

“Mistress everything,” Chitter agreed. “He’s like — he’s like some sort of puppet or something.  Like he’s pulling his own strings.” Chitter wrinkled her nose. “I don’t like it.”

“I don’t either.”  Senga took her friend’s arm and led her down the stairs, whispering softly. “I don’t want to talk about it where he might overhear, okay? Because it might make it worse.  And I don’t want to talk about it where anyone else can overhear, because it might give them something-”

“Geeze, what, do you think I’m an amateur? I’m offended, Senga.” Chitter wrinkled her nose up at Senga. “Come on, ‘no eavesdroppers’ was like the first Working I learned. Did you really think I wasn’t going to use it everywhere around this place, with the creepy butler and — hey, why didn’t you quiz the maids?”

“They’re…” Senga stumbled. “Shit.  I should have quizzed the maids. It’s just, uh.”

“They helped raise you, when you were a baby, didn’t they?  But it’s not like uh. It’s not like the butler guy didn’t do the same thing, and you—”  Chitter looked at her wide-eyed. “Oh. You didn’t. So why didn’t Erramun quiz the maids?”

“That’s a very good question.  Maybe he is waiting to sneak up on them unawares.  I mean — did I just say ‘unawares?’”

“Are you reading mystery novels again? Because you know that makes you see crazy men in rubber masks everywhere we go.”

“No, Chit, that was you.”  Nobody else could get away with calling Chitter Chit.  Ezer had almost lost his nose to it once.  But Senga and Chitter went way back, more than the rest of the crew did.  “Remember, after that cartoon marathon…?”

“Yeah, well, you read all those mysteries, and you remember what happened then.”

“We actually found out who was behind…. Chitter.”  She stopped on the bottom step of the grand staircase.  “Someone murdered my great-aunt.”

“Well, yeah?  She was dead, right?  Fae don’t just uh, fall over. And you checked to be sure she was really dead, right?  That’s just Cartoon HIjinx 101.”

“I checked.  I did check. And so did Erramun and — you knew my aunt was murdered?”

“Well, I figured, yeah.  I mean, like I said. We’re fae.  We don’t really drop dead from old age; okay, I’ve heard of three cases of that, but that means that that’s the exception that proves the rule,” she flapped her hands.  “So the point is, I figured you were processing. I mean, she was — is, let’s be honest,” she thumped the railing “– she’s a huge part of your life. I mean. She killed your parents.  She kept you safe. We know all this. So I figured you just needed some time to chew on it before you really accepted it. Grieving and all.”

“…Oh.”  Senga tried to work her mind around that.  Had she been – had she been even thinking about the whole thing?  People trying to kill her, yest, but that was nearly comforting and familiar in her line of work.  Generally, it meant they were getting close to something interesting. “I… guess I was having trouble processing it.”

“Well, to be fair, you also moved back into your childhood home and… got a boyfriend?  A new pet? What is even the way to say that? I mean…” Chitter shook her head so much her whole body shook.  “A new guy, either way. So there has to be uh, a little bit of a distraction going on. Anyway. Someone murdered your great-aunt.”

“They did.  They killed her.  And they very well might have uh.  They might have gotten something in her will.”

“Considering it really looks like she likes attaching strings to everything, I kinda hope they did.  Something with a caveat like ‘if you killed me, this will blow up horribly and you will never know why.'”

“Chitter, have I told you recently that you are a dangerous woman?”

“Not in at least the last week.  So, come on.” Chitter took Senga’s hand.  “Pizza. Come on. It’s in a not-entirely-fancy dining room and everything and Ezer already has paper spread out all over the place.  It’ll be just like home.”

“Ha.”  Senga shook her head.  “All right. Here we go.  ‘Just Like Home.'”

She remembered the informal dining room, or, at least, her feet did, although it took far fewer steps than the last time she’d been here.  She remembered the table, and the place where she had accidentally broken a table leg while riding on her tricycle around the downstairs.

She remembered the way her father had spoken to her, calm and soft, and shown her the magic that mended the table leg.

She remembered him showing her a Working that would make her tricycle have a “bumper” of air in front of it so that she wouldn’t break any more legs, table or family or anyone else.

She blinked her eyes, pushing away tears that she did not want to deal with, not now.  Not in front of everyone, not-

The smell of pizza and wings assaulted her nose.  Senga caught her breath and straightened herself up.

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Haunted House 31 – Promise

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

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Mélanie looked at the brute. She looked at Jasper, still shaking on his feet. She looked at the house.

The storm had died down as suddenly as it had come up.

“She was going to torture my – she was going to torture him. And Keep him, if she could.” She sounded shaky, she knew. She felt shaky. She was still invisible – she thought she was, at least – but she wasn’t going to let that stop her. What was one more ghost in this place, right?

“Yeah, well,” the brute didn’t seem to have a problem talking to an invisible woman, either, “it’s not like he was nice to us.” Continue reading

Funerary Rites 35: Pizza?

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A short nap and a long shower in – in her  new shower – found Senga unwilling to stop cuddling Erramun.  

Which was, she supposed, kind of ridiculous.  She had things to do. She had places to be.

She had a man who was amazing in bed, who could handle what she did, who had a mind.

Maybe that’s why Great-Aunt Mirabella had done this.

And maybe pigs flew. Continue reading

Haunted House 30: Care

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

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“Anan, I’m not going to – I’m not going to do that.  For one thing, I don’t think he can live without those.  And for another thing – ew.” The brute sounded, Mélanie thought, both worried and squeamish.  How could she be squeamish when she’d been planning on taking Jasper home and torturing him?

But she definitely sounded it.  “I mean, ew. And, well, if I do that  – then he won’t be able to tell us anything, or to agree to anything.  Anan, are you feeling okay?”

“Mm’fine.  M’… more than fine.  Wonderful. Everything is wonderful.” Continue reading

Funerary Rites 34: Teeth, Hands, Hips

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Senga balanced on her toes, kissing Erramun.  There was a split second where she thought he wouldn’t respond before he kissed back, pressing his throat against her hands.  As she drew on the kiss, letting her thumbs brush against the tattoos she’d inked into his skin, he put first one hand and then the other on her waist to brace her.

She snaked one hand around to the back of his neck and drew out the kiss; he pressed his hand against the small of her back, holding her to him.  She caught a breath and stole a glance at him; he had closed his eyes.  He leaned in towards her; she kissed him again, her fingers all pressing into his neck.

At the moment when she thought that her toes might give out, he lifted her up.  She wrapped her legs around his waist and kept hissing him, pressing her whole body against his.  They were still wearing quite inconvenient clothing; she wanted to do something about that, but that would require either that she stop kissing him or stop touching him.  Possibly both. Neither were acceptable.

He turned slowly around, so slowly she almost didn’t notice what he was doing, and set her on the bed.  A moment later, he set her on the bed and, very slowly, disengaged.

Senga opened her eyes and made a soft noise, not quite a complaint.  He froze.

“I think,” he murmured, “that Mistress-” Continue reading

Funerary Rites 33: Leave

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There were, at the very least, not literal traps between the Solar in the back left of the downstairs and Senga’s room in the middle right of the upstairs, or at least not new ones.  Senga found that she was holding Erramun’s hand, and she found that he was holding very firmly to that hand.

She closed the door behind them and locked it.  She turned to look at him as he released her hand and dropped to his knees in the middle of her sitting room.  “Mistress.”  His voice sounded rusty; it hitched in the middle of the word.

“Erramun.”  She needed a manual for this.  Aunt Mirabella had clearly not seen fit to provide her with all of the things that she needed for this endeavor.  If it turned out she wasn’t really dead, Senga was going to have come very stern words with her. Continue reading

Haunted House 29 – Teamwork

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

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The wagon rumbled on.  Mélanie stared at her Owner and tried to decipher something from his expression.  His eyes were closed. Sometimes he muttered into the gag, but it was nothing that made any sense.  Sometimes his eyes fluttered open, but he didn’t look at her.

Possibly, he was still drugged enough that he thought he’d imagined her there.  Possibly, he was drugged enough that he was seeing pink elephants and purple unicorns and hadn’t seen her at all.

She didn’t know.  So she waited and listened and hoped, held her breath with a Working sitting right on the tip of her tongue in case there was enough of a distraction, praying that Jasper would trust her and let her do what she had to or that, if his plan was already in action, her plan wouldn’t interfere with his in any bad manner.

She hadn’t been walking that long, had she?  She resisted the urge to look up, to twist around to look bout between the brutes’ feet.  Even if she could see the road without getting noticed, she didn’t know the area well enough to recognize any landmarks. She thought, though, that they ought to be almost there.

A groan from Jasper almost made her jump – it was loud, pained, distressed.  She bit her tongue and held still. Continue reading