Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wicked & Wonderful: Chapter 13 - The Flesh is Willing


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The first kiss was tender, tenuous, that press of lips held a second longer than a friendly buss, yet enough to pull away from, should the mood deem it so. Milo reached out with his energy and found hers waiting just above her body, like a wave of cool ocean tide lapping at the beach of him. She inhaled sharply, stealing the breath from his mouth, as their energies met, mingled and melted into each other, and one hand snaked behind his head to pull him in closer. He closed his eyes and followed where she led.

She pressed her body against the line of his, free hand tugging at his shirt, and he obliged her, removing the offending garment. Fingers curled through the spread of hair across the broad expanse of his chest, and brought a moan of his own into her mouth once her fingers found his nipple piercings. She played and tugged at them, and he kissed from the corner of her mouth, across her jaw line, down her neck and along her shoulder in a cacophony of self-made music.

Madeleine let go of those little metal rings with a final twist, and he inhaled sharply. He could feel his eyes roll into the back of his head at her gesture and dragged teeth along that elegant curve between nape and neck. She shuddered beneath him, hands racing up his back to bring his mouth back to hers. Her hips rose to meet the length of him drawn tight against his jeans, and the little voice in his head screamed of boundaries and traps and possible death.

But Milo did not care. Her personal magick played in his like a child in spring after a long winter. It pulled and pushed at him like a million fingers, and it must have felt the same for her, because she broke more than one kiss in a giggle and a laugh.

The truth of the matter was simply this: he wanted to be here, in this moment, no matter the consequences. He could have listened to the voice in his head, run away, but he could no longer hear its protest beneath the hum of their magicks intertwined. He could not remember the last time he had enjoyed just kissing a woman without a motivating ulterior option, as was ken to most men his age. Madeleine, well, she he could keep kissing. Somewhere between her symphony of noises, her frantic hands, the scent of her skin beneath her perfume, he was more than a little content to continue this interesting thing they were endeavoring.

He covered her neck with kisses, her shoulders, and even the tops of her breasts. She arched her back off the mattress and into him, and in one deft movement, removed the last bastion of clothing between their heaving chests. Milo paused. Was he taking advantage of her amidst the chaotic blend of their energies? Would this be that moment she would remember later, her loss of control beckoning his? Was he so willing to risk everything he had built between them for this chance?

Hands touched his face, and he was met with her eyes. The room stilled as their ragged breaths steadied. “It’s okay,” she whispered in that space between them. “If I did not want you to do it, I would not have let you get this far. You believe that, do not you?”

Milo nodded, and she pulled him in for a kiss. But in her fervor, and perhaps also in his, the flesh of his tongue raked against something sharp. He pushed away from her, hand to mouth, and came away with blood, bright and red, across his fingertips. “You bit me.”

Madeleine scrambled from beneath him to the farthest point on the bed she could go without setting foot on the bedroom floor. “I’m sorry. I did not mean to. I just…I just got carried away.”

He stared at his fingers, tasted the telltale metallic stain in his mouth, and as her words penetrated his brain, a darker truth came to light. Zeke’s words at the office echoed in his head, that warning of what she could be, what it usually meant for someone to be so pale, keeping such hours…He repressed a shudder.

“You’re a vampire.” There was no musical introduction, no dark theme song playing as he made the proclamation.

She wrapped her arms around her own body and nodded. “Yes, I am.”

“You’re not going to try and deny it?”

Madeleine looked at him from her perch, dark lines running down her face from eyes that had been swallowed in endless pitch. “To what end? I am what I am, just as you are a mage. And really, you did not ask me, Milo. You kind of just told me. There’s no sense in lying about so obvious a truth.” She wiped at the seemingly offensive tears, and when she pushed at the bed again to secure her position on that part of the bed, he saw blood smeared against that hand.

“I suppose,” she continued, “this is enough reason to leave. I would not think any less of you, you know, if you wanted to pursue other ventures now, other avenues that require a little less necessary trust.”

He ignored where she was going with the conversation and concentrated on the injury. He could still feel the blood flowing off his tongue, but the pain had gone from a sharp, stabbing thing to a throbbing pulsation. “Will I become a vampire now?”

She shook her head and wiped away more tears, leaving dark feathers across her pale skin. “No, it requires you to be near Death’s door, and then you have to drink of me. As neither has occurred, I think you’re pretty much still one hundred percent human. Alive, heart beating. Yeah, human.”

“Do not mages have a innate ability to heal any blood damage?”

It was Milo’s turn to shake his head. “No, myth. We’re pretty much what you said, alive, heart beating, human. Being a mage would protect me if you were deciding that the sip you just got of me was something you’d like more of. But I will have to heal this like every other bruise and scrape on my body: slow and steady.”

“I did not mean to bite you.” She stood up and made her way to the window on the nearest wall. “I just kinda got lost in the moment, and I forgot to keep them hidden.”

“And if you had?”

She stared out of the window, fingers on the window sill, and in the light of the intruding moonlight, he could see her eyes were still dark, engulfed. “If I had meant to bite you, we would not be having this discussion. You’d be dead. Or dying.”

He touched his neck. “That’s good to know. But your eyes…”

Madeleine sighed and closed her eyes. “You taste like an amazing fine wine, Milo. And the part of me that enjoys such decadence, well, let’s just say I’m hungry now.”

Milo leaned back where he sat, still shirtless, and contemplated his options. “But you’re not going to eat me.”

She chuckled and swiped at her eyes again. The vampire blinked and daubed at the blood still welling beneath the whites of her eyeballs. The ebony was gone, and he could see her normal irises again. “No, I’m not going to eat you.”

“But our night’s pretty much shot then, is not it?”

She nodded. “It’s probably best if you go for now.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right.” He slipped off the bed and sought out his shirt.

She came back to the bed and returned to her farthest most corner, like she wanted to see him but was afraid of what might happen if she got any closer. “Hey, Milo?”

“Yeah?” he replied as he tugged on his shirt and slipped into his shoes.

“I had a great time tonight.”

He grabbed his car keys off the carpet and smiled. “Me, too. We should do it again sometime.”

Hope rose and quickly fell from her features. “We’ll have to see.”

“That,” he said as he moved toward the doorway, “is better than a ‘no’. I’ll let myself out. G’night, Madeleine.”

She nodded in his direction. “Good night, Milo.”

*****

He had made it back to his car without looking over his shoulder to see if she had been unable to resist the urge. Sierra Vista at midnight was not exactly crawling with people, so it would not have been hard for her to just take him out, to drag him back kicking and screaming into her lair. A fuckin’ vampire…he shook his head. How could he have been so stupid? So naive?

Was everything he felt part of her magick? Had she used vampire tricks to lure him into her house? He unlocked his car and turned to look at her house. All the windows were dark, not so much as a candle to cast her silhouette against a surface for him to see. For all he knew, she could have committed hari cari. And it’s not like a dead vampire would leave a rotting corpse for the neighbors to complain about until some authority figure went to check.

He slid into the driver’s seat and banged his head lightly against the steering wheel. He felt like such an idiot. But how much of what he had seen was an act? And more importantly, was any of it real? He could not trust his own feelings, but how exactly could he discern how honest she was? If this was all a means to an end, then she would lie about it to him, with a sweet, blank face. If it was not, well, here he was back at square one again. In the dark again.

He needed to sort this out, everything he knew about her, about vampires, about dark side magic, but he could not do it here. Key in the ignition, he managed to get home in one piece. While going the speed limit, no less.

He did not remember the walk into the apartment, or if he even saw Douglas on his way to his room, but he soon found himself beneath his blankets very much alone. And despite everything that had just happened, Milo wished he had stayed there with her anyway.


Continue: 14

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