Thursday, August 30, 2012

There's a Fine Line: Chapter 07 Snippet

This is the intro to the next chapter of There's a Fine Line and the lead in to two of the most graphic chapters I've ever written. There are further BDSM elements of Blake and Alicia's relationship in this chapter (though not in this snippet) which will be explored in greater detail in the near future.


There's a Fine Line...
Chapter 07

Narrow bands of sunlight filtered through the curtains, waking Alicia from a most inappropriate yet extremely arousing dream. After Blake’s parting words the night before detailing all he wished to do to her, all he planned to do to her, there was little wonder that her dreams had been full of him. And her. Together. Rolling over, she groaned into her pillow as desire flooded her body and moisture pooled between her thighs. She’d already had a taste of his expertise in carnal pleasures and, even if going further scared her, she still craved more. She craved her mate. She flipped onto her back and snorted in disgust.

“Mate. He’s my fucking mate. Son of a bitch.”

Admitting it aloud didn’t upset her like she’d expected. Instead, it seemed to grant her a peace that she’d only felt once before: the night Blake had strapped her to his bench and flogged her. Grumbling as much from the revelation as from the early hour, Alicia rose from the bed and wandered into the shower. In a few short weeks, her entire life had been turned on its ear. Even after the Reveal, she’d never given much thought to the nonhumans except as either potential employers or unaware “clients.” In the cutthroat world of the homeless, race mattered little over what someone could give you. To think of herself as belonging to one of them, mating with one of them, and possibly even becoming one of them, were frightening yet oddly reassuring thoughts.

As she smoothed the soapy sponge over the taut plane of her stomach, her dreams returned in vivid detail and she couldn’t help but imagine that he was touching her, learning her curves, teasing her with those insanely skillful fingers and lips. Closing her eyes with a soft moan, she dropped the sponge as she hesitantly slid her hands along her wet, slick skin. For the first time in her young and troubled life, she explored her body to learn what she liked. For once, she could think of herself as a sexual being without shame. For that, she would always owe her vampire more than she could repay.

With the force of the heated water beating down upon her, Alicia explored the body she thought she knew. Cupping her small breasts, she stroked the rounded globes and was amazed by their softness. She wasn’t as large in the bust as many of her peers but Blake had seemed to enjoy stroking and licking them. And biting them. With a whimper at the memory of sharp fangs sinking slowly into delicate skin, she lightly pinched the hard nubs that graced their peaks. It felt pleasant enough but seemed to be lacking…something. Again, she pinched her nipples but added a twist that caused her to catch her breath. Yes…this is what she was missing and what she needed. Gripping the reddened tips firmly, she gave them both a cruel twist and gasped as the pain shot pleasure straight to her neglected core. Leaning against the cool tile, she gave her abused nipples a second twist, harder and crueler than the first and moaned at the dual sensations. Pleasure from pain; pain that became pleasure. She didn’t entirely understand yet but she was beginning to learn.

Needing more, she closed her eyes and pictured Blake’s ruggedly handsome face as she let one hand trail slowly down her stomach to the soft bed of curls that lay below. As she gently tugged and twisted her nipple almost absently, Alicia slid a finger along her soft folds. She shifted her feet a little wider in the stall, pressing her back against the wall as she stroked the small bundle of nerves that had given her so much pleasure at her mate’s command. It radiated warm pleasure with even the gentlest of touches and she spent many minutes just enjoying it and thinking of all that was to come.

How would it feel to finally give her mate that last piece of herself that she’d guarded so closely for so long? Would it hurt in that painfully pleasant way, or simply hurt? Would he be the gentle lover or the domineering vampire? Which would she prefer? Teasing her clit almost absently, she accidentally scraped the tender nubbin with an errant fingernail and inhaled sharply. God, the pain was delicious! Praying that Blake wouldn’t be gentle, she altered her caresses until they bordered on vicious. As she built towards her ultimate ecstasy, she gripped the small bit of flesh in her fingers. Moaning loudly as she brutalized both her nipple and her clit, she gave the tender flesh in both her fingers a savage twist. Her cry was loud, echoed with a hint of her avian tones, and filled with the pleasure of her release. Slowly sinking down in the small shower stall, Alicia trembled as the last aftershocks of her orgasm passed.

Once she was certain she could stand without stumbling, she rose to complete her shower. She dressed comfortably in a pair of relaxed jeans and a loose t-shirt with a pair of backless sandals. Glancing at her clothing, she frowned at what she saw. The clothing was certainly comfortable but that was all that could be said for it. It was concealing and shapeless and, quite frankly, unattractive. It had been a necessity on the streets; curvy little girls were prime targets for the stronger sexual predators but shapeless or plump ones were often overlooked. Rummaging through her closet, she was dismayed to see that all of her clothing fell into the same style. Perhaps she could persuade Ms. Pierce to take her shopping for an outfit that would shock her vampire? Alicia grinned as her eyes faded to black. Oh, what delicious punishment would he offer?

She nearly skipped down to breakfast, humming a silly tune from her youth as she piled her plate with eggs and bacon while waiting on her toast. Not daring enough to go for something truly slutty, Alicia thought she could pull off a mini-skirt and midriff top, perhaps. Her legs were decent enough and though she hadn’t seen the inside of a gym since high school, her stomach was nothing to be embarrassed about. She was about to pour a cup of coffee when a glass of orange juice appeared before her eyes like magic.

“I think you’d do better to drink this, McNugget.” Francisco grinned at her yelp of surprise and swirled the pulpy liquid in the glass.

“Ok, Cisco. What’s with everyone pushing juice on me all of a sudden and why can’t I have my coffee?”

“You need your energy replenished, Alicia. Your mate has been rather fang-happy, and it shows.”

“It does?” Alicia looked horrified for a moment while wondering just what else was so readily apparent to her hosts.

“Yup.” Her friend grinned and sat her glass in front of her before taking the opposite seat at the table. “You’re too pale, a bit shaky, and it’s plain that you’re sometimes dizzy when you first stand up. You have a mild case of anemia, sweetie – very common in a vampire’s human companion and a near constant condition to the human mate of one.”

“So, that’s what he was talking about.” A blush rose in her cheeks as she petulantly speared her eggs. “How long will it last? I want my coffee, dammit.”

Francisco chuckled and rose to pour her a cup. “You can have coffee after you finish your juice, little girl.” His teasing set her at ease, as it always did, and she shared in his laughter. “As long as he keeps his fangs to himself, you should be fine in a day or so. You’ll need to get some red meat into you, though.” When her cheeks flushed nearly purple with embarrassment, his laughter echoed throughout the room. “You naughty human, you!”

“Fuck you, Cisco!” Alicia gave him a rude gesture before turning her burning, yet smiling, face towards her breakfast. Totally unperturbed by her mock hostility, Francisco finished fixing her coffee and sat it before her once her juice was gone.

“Elizabeth is working from home today, by the way.” The young vampire moved easily around the kitchen preparing his own version of a meal – a warmed glass of bottled blood mixed with a spicy V8. His announcement was spoken casually yet he watched his human friend closely. Blake had spoken to the small coven about his mate and all were eager to help her to understand and accept her needs.

“Oh. Ok. D’you think she’d see me? I need to talk to her about something.”

“Of course she will, Alicia. Shall I let her know to expect you after breakfast?” He was rewarded by a renewal of her blush but she nodded immediately. Touching on the very light bond they still shared, he could feel that she was happier and more at peace than at any time in the past few weeks. Dropping a brotherly kiss on the top of her head, he nearly danced from the room to alert his Lady.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

There's a Fine Line: Chapter 6 Snippet

This chapter is a bit short, just barely 2 Lit pages, so the teaser will be short as well at just under 1000 words. This chapter will also introduce a new character (not included in this snippet) whose bio I posted recently. You'll also get some info on our baddies. So, short chapter, lots of info. This should go live early next week but for now, enjoy the snippet!

There's a Fine Line...
Chapter 6

Alicia aimlessly wandered the spacious gallery of the Pierces’ home, paying little attention to the elegant sculptures or the exquisite artwork that graced the large room. Francisco had vouched for the slender elf and called his sires home to discuss the spells the shaman wished to place around the estate at Blake’s behest. The two men had spoken of trivialities, the kind of small talk one indulges in at a cocktail party, while she had fumed in a barely civil silence and fled the moment Elizabeth had arrived. For all his talk of the importance of honesty, it seemed that Blake Simons held himself to a different standard than he did others.

He’d been attacked by six creatures – three from a totally different plane of existence – but didn’t feel she deserved to know. If he didn’t think she deserved to know when he wound up in a situation that could have meant injury or even death, then what did she deserve? Was she nothing more to him than what she’d originally feared: a quick and easy fuck? She snorted unhappily at the thought. He hadn’t even tried to have sex with her when she’d spent the night with him, so that was out.

Gripping her hands tightly to avoid grabbing the nearest priceless treasure and throwing it violently against the wall, Alicia stalked from the room, no longer trusting her self-control. With a manic gleam to her pearly black eyes, she entered the small gym on the ground floor and approached the punching bag hidden in the corner. Even during those horrible months with Markus, she’d never felt so angry and upset and betrayed. She was supposed to be his mate, not a plaything he could use then discard and forget. Tears ran down her cheeks as she attacked the heavy, cylindrical bag, uncaring of the bruises on her knuckles and unaware that her avian cries of rage and pain echoed through the empty room. Jagged tears were beginning to form in the thick leather when powerful hands clamped firmly but gently around her wrists.

“You’ll hurt yourself, Beautiful One.” Blake’s murmur as he pulled her back against his chest seemed to dispel all of her aggressive anger and left her feeling numb. She neither struggled nor responded to his touch, though the tears continued to fall in silent streams. “I’m sorry I didn’t call, Alicia. Though I’ve tried to convince myself that I was only trying to protect you, the truth is that there is no excuse for my actions.” Still holding her wrists, he wrapped her in his embrace and nuzzled tenderly into her hair.

“Were you hurt?” Alicia’s voice was low and hoarse from weeping, and she was thankful for the arms that held her. She was suddenly exhausted and doubted she could stand without aid for, as angry as she had been at him, she couldn’t refrain from asking.

“No, beautiful. They never even got that close.” Daring to place a light kiss upon her cheek, he tightened his hold when she sagged in relief. “There were six. Two vampires not much older than Johannes were being led by a third who might have passed his first century. They were still too human in their ways to be much of a threat, even had I been unarmed. I’m rarely unarmed.”

“You use weapons?” Still soft, her voice was slightly stronger and full of confused curiosity. A quick glance told him that her tears had slowed to a mere trickle, which lightened his heart considerably. Joyously, he chuckled softly at her disbelief and gave her a brief squeeze.

“Yes, my sweet. I prefer handguns in such situations, though I’ve trained in most firearms from shotguns to sniper rifles and everything in between. I keep the pistols out of sight unless they’re needed, and then they’re easily accessible. The younglings had little opportunity to do more than annoy me because I’d dirtied my suit.”

“You said six…”

“The other three were Mephits, small creatures commonly referred to as the cockroaches of Hell. They’re easily manipulated by those with a stronger will, but vicious when ordered to attack. They don’t just obey their masters, they enjoy it. Their pitiful existence is only made bearable by transferring their abuse onto others. They posed a problem simply because of their tendency to shoot bursts of hellfire at their opponents.” She shivered and his arms tightened around her. “Some singed hair and a ruined shirt was all they managed before they were eliminated, Beautiful One.”

“They were after me.” 

“Not directly.” Blake sighed, wishing he didn’t have to reveal the reasoning behind the attack but unwilling to make another glaring error in judgment. He slid his hands from her wrists to entwine their fingers, his thumb stroking her wrist soothingly. “They were after me as a means of getting to you. The loss of a mate is a thousand times worse than the loss of a loved one, Alicia. Many fall into a despair so great they slowly waste away, while others can’t handle the pain and either go rogue or commit suicide. It is our belief that Malphas’ plan was to eliminate me in hopes you’d be more susceptible to his manipulations.”

“How could he think I’d have anything to do with him if he was responsible for taking you from me?”

“I don’t think he planned on us figuring that part out so soon, Beautiful One, or he has something more to use as leverage. What that may be, however, we don’t know. Yet.” When the silence stretched, with only the sound of their breathing to break it, Blake turned the precious human in his arms to face him and cupped her cheek tenderly. “Talk to me, Alicia. Yell, scream, hit me…whatever it takes, but tell me what you’re thinking right now.” 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

There's a Fine Line: Chapter 05 Snippet

All good things must come to an end, much like Blake's and Alicia's date. Chapter 5 will be submitted to Lit on Sunday, 4Aug12, but here's a teaser to tide you over.

There's a Fine Line...
Chapter Five

Reluctantly pulling away from the Pierce Estate, Blake watched his mate in the rearview mirror until a curve in the drive blocked her from his sight. His beast grumbled and paced at leaving Alicia behind with other vampires, especially when one of them was unmated, but was partially soothed to see that she stayed on the stairs until he had disappeared from her view as well. The only thing that prevented the creature from demanding they bring her back to their suite was the fact that he’d have to forbid her from leaving should he have to go to the office or attend a meeting. He didn’t want to cage her and, at least with the Pierces, she had some freedom of movement. The wrought-iron gates latched shut behind the silver sports car and Blake shifted into gear with a sigh. No matter the reasoning, it was still difficult.

The road was deserted as he sped across the asphalt though his mind was occupied with thoughts of his beautiful mate and their night together. Their time in the elevator had been interesting, to say the least, and he’d already requested an associate with some basic skills in magic to look at the wall and see if it could be repaired. He was tempted to leave it as it was but it had seemed to upset Alicia on their ride down to the garage so he’d fix it if it brought her peace. Hell, he’d change buildings if that’s what it took. Smirking ruefully, he shook his head at the thought. How his friends would laugh to see him so wrapped around the little human’s finger.

It was clear, however, that he needed to spend some serious time with his mate in the playroom. He’d never seen anyone take to the flogger and the paddle the way she had. She’d even gotten sassy with him when she realized there was pleasure to be found in the pain. Grinning, he knew he’d have his hands full with his spirited little brat and he was eager to take on the challenge. Her susceptibility to subspace, though, had surprised him. He’d only had a few submissives over his many centuries that were able to fly beneath the flogger; he supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised that his mate would be one of them. They were truly well matched.

Downshifting the powerful roadster to enter a sharp turn, Blake’s musings had distracted him just enough that he didn’t notice the large rocks that had been rolled onto the lane until it was too late. Clutch, brakes, and handbrake were all applied immediately as he turned the steering wheel sharply in an effort to avoid destroying his nearly two million dollar vehicle. The smell of burning rubber joined the shrill shriek of the tires on the asphalt as the car slid sideways towards the boulders. When the dust settled and his ears quit ringing from the noise, Blake was relieved to see that he’d stopped half a foot from the closest rock.

And then the figures emerged from the blowing dust.

From a small bush near the cliff side of the road, one vampire rose and began to slowly advance towards the car while another appeared from behind one of the large rocks. Blake curled his lip in a sneer as he watched them. Younglings. He took his time leaving the vehicle, unbuttoning his suit’s navy blue jacket and tossing it carelessly into the passenger seat.

“I really wouldn’t recommend doing anything…unfortunate.” The elder vampire drawled as if bored while rolling up the sleeves of his pristine white shirt. “I’ll get upset if I have to make a mess.”

“There’s gonna be a mess, all right.” One of the younglings grinned, crimson eyes glowing malevolently. “But I think I’m gonna take that shiny toy you’re driving after it’s all been cleaned up. Ain’t seen nothing like it except on the TV.”

Blake merely smiled and leaned against the closed door with his arms crossed over his chest. His mind was racing as he worked out just how to dispose of the two vampires. The one who’d come from the bush and taunted him had stopped his advance and stood mirroring his stance. The other was moving as quietly as he was able…which counted for little in the face of Blake’s age and skill. His age had also taught him patience, which the younglings had yet to learn. The chatty one’s eyes darted around the ambush site, landing on more than just the single vampire on the rocks and their victim. There were more to this group than he’d originally thought.

Hearing the scrape of a boot on the rocks to his right, Blake dropped to the asphalt as the vampire made his move. Had the situation not been quite so dire, he’d have laughed when the enraged youngling hit the road face first. Instead, he quickly rolled beneath the Bugatti to grab the pair of pistols he kept in a magnetized box attached to the front passenger wheel well. Sliding off the safety, he took aim and shattered the ankles of his talkative attacker and the rock diver. There wasn’t enough space between the roadster and the rocks to use the car as a barrier, so he rolled back out the way he came in. In a single smooth motion, Blake rose to one-knee and quickly put two rounds into one of the screaming vampire’s heads, removing him from the equation.

“Who paid you to commit suicide?”

“Fuck you, Simons! You ain’t leaving here alive.” Chatty snarled as he waved to someone over Blake’s head. “Get him!”

The smell of brimstone filled the air just seconds before a stream of fire singed the elder vampire’s hair. Cursing, he dove towards the back of the small vehicle and searched the sky for his attackers. Hovering about ten feet above the ground were three short creatures straight from nightmares and fantasy novels. Neither male nor female, they needed no garments to cover their leathery, humanoid bodies.  Approximately four feet tall with broad bat-like wings, the lesser Infernals were a deep brick red and completely hairless. They bore only three digits on each hand and had hooves instead of feet. Upon their heads were two small horns that curved back away from faces that held large black eyes and a canine snout above a set of vicious fangs. A thin, whip like barbed tail completed the horrific image. The creatures grinned down at the trapped vampire as they gathered the energy needed for a second fiery attack.

“Mephits?” Attempting to hide his concern, his scornful words were directed to the vampire he thought of as Chatty, who was clearly the leader of this little band. “Someone is getting a bit desperate to be working with the cockroaches of the Lower Planes.”

One of the mephits snarled and dove for the trapped vampire. Blake nearly grinned as he easily dodged its clumsy attack and grabbed the Infernal’s tail, yanking him from the sky. A quick twist, a slash with his razor sharp incisors and there was one less fire-throwing creature to worry about.

“You can’t win, Simons. Four against one ain’t good odds, no matter how old you are.”

Four? Blake took a quick glance around the site in an effort to find the missing fourth attacker. Since Chatty hadn’t counted the dead vampire in his numbers, it stood to reason that the dead mephit wasn’t included either. His beast growled. No matter the numbers, it was eager to dive into the fray. The human held it back for the moment but soon, it would be allowed out to play.

As he scouted his surroundings one last time, he managed to pinpoint the hidden vampire. Snorting in disgust, he realized it was slightly older but still little more than a youngling. Either he was being insulted by the caliber of his attackers or he was being severely underestimated. He didn’t appreciate either option. Widening his stance and checking the slight difference in weight of his guns, he got ready for the rest of the fight.

"Time to show me what you’ve really got, kiddies!" he murmured with a wicked grin.