White wings twitched impatiently as her eyes scanned the expanse of blue before her. Green eyes squinted slightly as the sun peeked out from behind a cloud and the rays bounced off the surface of the lake. Her ears caught the sound of wings flapping off in the distance and she turned to look for the source of the sound. Full red lips curved in a smile as the figure approached. She waved the set of guards, standing silently four feet away from her, farther away. Stealth was so ingrained in their movements they didn’t make a sound as they turned and walked up the hill. Far enough away to give her the privacy she’d commanded but close enough to respond should she need them.
They wouldn’t be needed that day. The creature winging his way to the regal figure waiting at the edge of the lake was as close to a friend as she could call in her position. He had been steadfast in his pursuit of a solution to her problem, even when others had grown tired of the search and pronounced it impossible, he’d continued his dogged quest.
He landed with a soft thump, his aged knees creaking slightly as they bent to absorb his weight. “Your majesty,” he said softly as he lowered himself to one of those knees.
“Were you successful?” Her hands pressed against her stomach in anticipation of another failure.
“Yes, your majesty. It has been made so that she will be able to read it.” His lips turned up in a smile as he waited for her response.
She blinked a few times as she took in the unexpected news. “And you think she’s the one?”
He was silent for a moment. His gaze lifted from the hem of her gown. The hope shining in her eyes made her appear centuries younger than she was. For a moment he was transported back in time, to the night he’d been brought before her, and charged with finding a way to free her son. Her head tilted as the silence lengthened. “In the time I’ve known her she has always been kind.”
“It will take more than kindness.”
“I know.” He looked down again.
“What is it?” she prompted.
“She’s a good person and what we’re going to do to her—”
“He will not harm her—”
“Not physically but—”
“If she is not the one we will remove him from her possession.”
“But what of—”
“We will help her.”
The tension eased from his shoulders. “Thank you, your majesty.”
“She is your friend?”
“Yes your majesty.”
“I do not envy the choice you’ve made though I appreciate your sacrifice,” she said with a little frown. “And hers.”
He stood with a grimace. “I will give it to her tonight.” She nodded once then turned to murmur the spell to open the portal to the human realm.
There was nothing more to be said between the two of them so he stepped through the portal then turned to watch her image, and the image of his home realm, fade from view. He sighed as it closed completely leaving him in his cramped little office. He tucked his wings against his back, grabbed a sport coat that was hanging over the back of his chair, and pulled it on to hide the silvery gray feathers away from prying eyes.
The bell over the front door rang out sharply. He looked toward the door, listening for footsteps, already knowing who it was. His fingers patted the satchel he’d set on the overcrowded desk. A blur in the doorway pulled his attention away from the bag. He looked up with a smile.
“Hello dear,” he said.
“Hi Bernie,” the woman said and held up a to go cup. “Is that a new treasure?”
His smile turned into a grin. The excitement in her eyes almost made him laugh. He took the cup from her then set it down away from the satchel. “It’s for you—”
“You didn’t have to do that.” She shook her head slightly. He pulled the old leather bound book from the bag and held it out to her. She took it from him and tilted it up to the light. “What’s it about?”
“Witches,” he said as he watched her run a finger over the design carved into the cover. “A cautionary tale really but it should make for some good before bed reading.”
She smiled widely. “I love a good bedtime story.” She spun away to leave the room. “I’m going to read it tonight,“ she called as she walked up to the front of the store.
He stood looking at the door for a moment. “Watch over her,” he said as his head went back and his eyes closed. “And him.”
It was the scent of female flesh that woke him. A barely there smell that roused him from a slumber he’d fallen into over a hundred years ago.
So much time had passed since he’d last enjoyed the wonderful earthy essence of pure femininity he’d almost forgotten what it was.
His eyes opened slowly, revealing an ice blue gaze that swept over the walls of his prison. Half closed against the light that never seemed to dissipate fully within the gray walls that held him, he looked around for the source of that heavenly aroma.
He didn’t expect to find a woman in the small room but he checked anyway, partly from curiosity and partly from instincts honed from his past life as a warrior. His body had awakened before his brain had cleared itself of the cobwebs of sleep, reacting to the information his nose had gathered, preparing his body for what he would need to do next.
Pushing himself onto his elbows his eyes fixed on the wall opposite from his pallet. The door was open.
It wasn’t really a door in the conventional sense. There was no frame or jam. There were no planks attached to each other to create an actual door. It was just a blank space in the stone where, before he had closed his eyes, it had been unbroken gray.
Someone must have opened his cage. A female someone if his nose was to be trusted.
He didn’t bother covering himself as he stood. Anything he put on would just be coming off in a few minutes anyway.
Black wings stretched as he came to his full height. Inky iridescent tips brushed the stones on both sides of the room. His lips flattened as they unfurled. It had been far too long since they had lifted him in flight. Being chained to the ground went against the very nature of his kind.
With a shake of his head to focus his thoughts he tucked his wings against his back and moved to the door to look out. He expected to see feminine eyes gazing back at him but there was only darkness. Shadows danced across a white surface before him.
A ceiling perhaps? Where was the woman? Hadn’t she read the inscription and left the book open to summon him? Perhaps she could not read the language it was written in?
His hands pressed against the stone on the sides of the door. His eyes closed as his head fell forward.
It could mean that she was unaware of what she had in her possession. Which, in turn, could mean he would be forced to do something he abhorred.
He took a deep breath, magic surged through his big body. There wasn’t much time.
Exiting the room was never pleasant. A feeling of being crushed and stretched at the same time. It was confusing and painful but necessary for him to fulfill the demands of the curse that held him enthralled.
He shoved his hand into the barrier between his prison and the world letting the spell suck him in. One long moment of feeling what it must be like to be stepped on by a giant and then he was standing next to a bed. His eyes sought out the person who had summoned him and was relieved to discover a young woman sprawled across the bed.
The last time he’d been freed from his cage by a female summoner it had been an old woman who had held the book in her frail hands. It had meant he had to be gentle as he execute the demands of the spell. He’d done everything he could to ensure the sweet old lady had felt all the desire and passion she’d been seeking when she’d opened the cover with a youthful giggle.
It hadn’t been nearly enough to satisfy him though. He needed someone sturdier who could handle the rigors of having a warrior between her thighs.
By the looks of her he’d been called out by just such a woman. She was in her early thirties if he had to guess. While her features were partially hidden by long dark hair he could make out the angle of high cheekbones and full lips. His eyes drifted lower taking in the swell of her full breasts, barely contained by the night dress she was wearing. A faded black shirt of some kind that had slipped completely off one of her shoulders and left almost all of her chest exposed.
He looked over the rest of her quickly taking in the curvy hips and long legs. She had one of her knees bent and pulled up toward her side. His nostrils flared as he took another deep breath. Carefully he lifted the book that had obviously slipped from her sleeping hands from where it rested near her side and set it on the night stand.
The familiar pain of the magic had already started to build. He sighed heavily. He would need to prepare her quickly, before the pain pushed him beyond reason. Strong hands gently moved her limbs farther apart as he moved onto the bed with her and settled between her knees.
Moving his hands to her hips he slid the fabric higher and bit back a growl as her sex was revealed to him. She shifted with a little sigh and it took almost every once of restraint he had to keep from devouring her right then.
Flicking his gaze up to her face briefly he considering doing just that. Under other circumstances he could take his time with her but unfortunately the magic wouldn’t allow it at this point. Already the pain was growing to a point that would make even a cursory preparation difficult.
He had to force himself to move over her, knowing that if he didn’t the spell would build to a point where he would be forced to drive himself inside her to escape the agony. He shuddered remembering the last time he had tried to resist. His morals had demanded he not give in as a young widow lay trembling beneath him and he had learned just how awful the full effects of the magic would become if he did not follow through. Hundreds of years later he was still grateful to the woman for taking pity on him and taking matters into her own hands once he’d managed to explain why he was there.
He crawled over his new summoner, brushed her hair away from her face to get a better look. It was too dark to make out details but what he could see was lovely. Long dark hair spilled across the pillow, the high cheekbones and full lips he had noticed earlier. Long eye lashed that were just dark smudges in the shadows. Faint worry lines made tiny creases next to her eyes even in her sleep.
His fingers hooked the top of her shirt easing it down with a quick tug. He bent down to capture a rosy nipple between his lips. It responded quickly, tightening under his tongue.
Her unconscious welcoming of his touch pushed him past the point where he could hold the effects of the spell at bay. If he didn’t get inside her immediately he would be driven into a frenzy, unable to temper his passion once she woke.
“Please forgive me,” he whispered as he took his shaft in his hand and slid the tip along her slit.
It had often been difficult for human females to take him. He sent a silent prayer to the stars that she would be one of the few that could accommodate him entirely. It had been so long since he’d buried himself completely in the soft slippery heat of a woman.
“I’m so sorry lass.” His voice whispered sadly and he began to push into her. Marshalling every scrap of restraint he had left he eased himself further as her body accepted his intrusion. It was a tight fit but he managed to work his entire length into her without strenuous resistance.
He held himself there, letting the pain recede to a manageable level. His heart sank as his breathing calmed.
Taking a woman this way, without her knowledge or consent, went against every moral he held dear. If it was possible he would withdraw and leave her in peace. If it were possible he would spend the rest of his lengthy life repenting for every instance he had been forced to violate a woman like this. The witch had known this when she cursed him. He understood her motives and, after several hundred years to contemplate them, would have agreed with her choice had he not been the victim caught in the middle of it.
Under him the woman mewled softly. Driven by another need he started to withdraw slowly, listening to the little sounds she was making. Her hands slid off her stomach where they’d been resting in her slumber, instinctively reaching for him. They settled on his hips.
Her lips parted with a soft moan. His eyes focused on her face. She was lovely. He wanted to kiss those full lips, suck on them, bite them tenderly.
He eased back into her stifling a groan as she encased him. The need to fill her with his seed rose in his chest, he pushed back at it refusing to allow it to overtake him.
Her hands moved lower pulled at him slightly. She moaned louder as he obliged her request. Her thighs closed against him, cradling his hips.
“John,” she murmured, “Oh god I’ve missed you.” She pulled at him again. “Don’t ever leave me again.”
“I’m sorry,” he answered softly.
Her eyelids twitched, a frown formed on her lips.
Something was wrong.
The sleeping pills she’d been taking had caused strange dreams on and off but nothing had ever felt this real. There was a comforting warmth above her and something solid between her thighs, under her fingertips. It felt like her husband had come back to her but that was impossible. John had been dead for over two years.
The object of her focus moved slowly, her body clung to it, reluctant to let it go after an absence of that particular sensation for so long.
Her eyelids fluttered as she fought against the effects of the drugs she had taken hours earlier. A little sigh escaped her as she was filled again. She’d missed that feeling.
This had to be more than a dream, the sensations were too intense to be ghosts of her imagination.
But how can that be? I was alone when I went to bed. I checked the doors, they were all locked.
She forced her eyes open. The first thing she saw was a forearm close to the side of her chest. At least she thought it was a forearm. Between the lingering effects of the chemicals in her system and the shadows dancing around the room everything had an ethereal quality. She couldn’t be sure if she was still dreaming.
Screwing up her faculties she moved her eyes up the rest of the arm to a very muscular shoulder. Her eyes opened wider as they reached the face of the man above her. Long dark hair framed a darkly handsome, slightly aristocratic face. He was watching her emerge from her dreamworld silently with a puzzling expression of sadness.
Her eyes traveled down to where her focus had been before she opened her eyes. She watched as he pushed himself into her in the most intimate way possible. Her eyes flew back to his face. He was staring at her intently.
She screamed and shoved at his hips with her hands. His weight shifted as he covered her body with his. She tried to buck her hips intending to dislodge him but that just pushed him deeper. She moaned inwardly but outwardly she kept screaming.
Full lips twisted slightly and his hand moved under her jaw closing her mouth tightly. She pulled her head back but his grip followed her cutting off her wails behind her teeth. His fingers pressed her chin hard.
“I am sorry for this and I will explain in a moment but I’m going to need you to stop screaming.” His eyes entreated her through the shadows.
She stopped in stages, still fully aware of his position between her legs. His hips flexed pushing him deeper and that set her off again. Sorrowful cries that tore at his deeply ingrained chivalry.
“Please.” He spoke softly, trying to soothe her. “If you don’t stop this will just take longer.” Her eyes were so wide he had begun to fear that he was hurting her physically but she quieted after a few moments. She tried to shake her head when he started to move again but his fingers held her so tightly she couldn’t move. “I don’t want to hurt you. Please. You must stop fighting.” She shrieked behind her lips.
He considered her for several heartbeats then decided to try another tactic. His free hand slid under her ass to pull her into his thrusts. He breathed a little sigh of relief at her reaction. A sharp indrawn breath, her eyes closed and then she made a sound that could only be interpreted as a purr.
After a few minutes her hands stopped pushing at him, slid up his chest to his neck and then into his hair. He half expected her to grab it in her fists and pull but with a moan she used her hold on him to pull herself up and pressed her face against his neck. His fingers released her chin to cradle her head.
She surprised him by pulling her face away from his neck to look up at him. He dipped his head to capture her lips in a deep kiss, she all but smashed her lips against his. Once she was moaning in time with his movements he gave himself into the sensations their bodies created together. She moved into his strokes, lifting her hips to take him deeper. He obliged her with a groan. Her body tightened under him, he stroked harder in response, thrilled that he could at least give her a moment of pleasure in the midst of his violation. She tore her lips from his as her body bowed against his and she cried out loudly.
He gave her a few moments to savor that feeling of exquisite release before restarting his rhythm to seek his own. It was on him within seconds once he stopped holding it at bay. He drove himself deep groaning as he spilled himself into her softness.
After the last contraction the pain faded into the background of his consciousness becoming the faint heartbeat of discomfort he’d grown used to over the years.
He pressed his lips against her neck. “What is your name lass?”
“Isabelle,” she answered, “What’s yours?”
Her head fell back on the pillow and he sighed as her expression changed from post sex bliss to indignant anger. Her eyes narrowed and her little hands pushed at his shoulders. “Get. Off. Of. Me.” He lifted himself up and sat back on his heels. She yanked the sheet over herself and sat up. “Who the fuck are you and why are you in my house?”
“Lass please calm down.”
“Calm down?” She glared at him. “I just woke up with you on top of me and you want me to calm down! Are you deranged?”
“I assure you I’m not. If you’ll allow me to explain.”
She shook her head. “Dear god. You must be the most polite rapist on the planet.” She waved a hand at him. “How can you possibly explain this?”
He smiled slightly and looked over at the night stand. “You were reading that book earlier.”
“What does that—” He looked back at her. “Yes I was. What does that have to do with you attacking me?”
He growled low in his throat. “It was not by choice.” She frowned. “Years ago I was cursed by a witch and trapped in that book. Once it is opened I’m freed for a time but I’m driven to copulate with the first woman I see.” Her mouth dropped open in shock. “It has been a few hundred years since the last time it was opened.”
“Cursed?” She laughed. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. You raped—” Large black wings lifted and spread out behind him. “Holy shit!” Her eyes bounced back to his. “What the hell are you?” Her voice rose with every word.
“I’m faerie.” He smiled proudly.
“What? Aren’t fairies teeny?” She held up her hand with her index finger an inch away from her thumb to demonstrate.
“I don’t know what that is.” He mimicked her gesture.
“Little bitty creatures.”
“None of the faerie I know are little.”
“Either way you broke into my house and assaulted me.” She pulled the sheet higher.
“I did not break in.” He pointed at the book. “You brought me here and summoned me.” She was shaking her head as he spoke.
“All I did was bring an old book home and fall asleep reading it.” Her hand waved in the direction of the night stand. “If it hadn’t been for the sleeping pills I took I probably wouldn’t have even tried reading it tonight, I’d still be trying to fall asleep in front of the TV.” She clutched at the sheet. “Instead I ended up waking up to a strange man having sex with me.”
“I’m not a man,” he said quietly.
“For the love of god.” His wings shifted higher behind his head. “Fine. A faerie.”
“As I said I have no choice in this.”
“Oh right,” she spat, “The spell forces you to have sex with whomever summons you.”
“It’s quite painful if I don’t.”
“Ya I’ve heard blue balls can be a bitch.” She rolled her eyes.
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Oh for crying out loud.” She sighed. “You know, when a guy gets turned on but doesn’t get off.”
“Ah yes. If it was only that I wouldn’t care.”
She took a breath preparing to launch into another tirade. The breath caught and held for a moment. “Are you getting hard over an argument?”
He looked down at where her eyes were fixed. “I like my women spirited.” His shoulders lifted in a shrug.
“Well forget it. You’ve already assaulted me once tonight. You are not doing it again.” She scooted back against the headboard.
“I’m sorry Isabelle.” He tucked his wings against his back and crawled toward her. “I must spill myself inside you.”
“Nope.” She moved to one side of the bed intending to slip off the side. “You really mustn’t,” she mocked.
He caught her arm before she could make it out of his reach. “I will make it enjoyable for you.” His tone was soothing but his grip was like steel. He pulled her back to the headboard turning her to face it. “I cannot resist the enchantment. Don’t make me force you again. Please.”
“This isn’t right. We don’t even know each other.”
“The spell doesn’t care.” His wings spread out and forward blocking her exit on both sides. He pulled her hips back groaning as she rubbed against him. His fingers brushed her hair from her shoulder and he bit her gently, soothing the sting with a lap of his tongue. “In another time I would court you with flowers and love songs.” She shivered under his lips.
“Indeed.” His hands gripped her hips. “You would have come to my bed willingly.”
She looked over her shoulder at him. He was smiling. “You think so huh?”
“I do.” His hands moved higher sliding under her shirt to brush the undersides of her breasts. “You would have eagerly given your body to me.” A frown appeared on his lips. “Instead I’m forced to take you before I can seduce you with my charms and for that I’m truly sorry.”
She almost laughed but as he was speaking a fine sheen of perspiration had sprung up on his face. “Are you alright?”
“It’s painful lass.” His voice was soft but the effort it was taking to be gentle was written all over his face. “The longer I resist the worse it gets.”
“What happens if you wait too long?”
“Pain beyond anything I could describe. I would be driven to take you, it would not be pleasant.” His voice was strained. “I would not want you to experience that.”
She studied him for a moment turning everything that he’d said over in her mind. It was all too perfect, it had to be a drug induced dream. The most realistic she’d had since she started taking them over a year ago. But it was the only plausible explanation for the whole situation.
“I’m running out of time lass.” A single bead of sweat trickled down his temple.
She reached down to grasp his hardness sliding him into place. “This is just a dream. I’m probably going to wake up before I can come.” She gasped as he pushed forward. “A really good dream.”
He smiled tightly. “This is no dream and I will make sure you peak before I have to go back into the book.” He was working himself into her as he spoke. He sucked in a deep breath as he slid all the way in and stayed there.
Her head fell back against his shoulder. “Best dream ever,” she moaned.
He tried to chuckle but it came out as a groan. The pain had started to recede leaving the primal need to fill her with his seed in its wake.
She turned her head to brush her lips along his jaw. “You’re not moving.”
“I need to a moment to gain control of myself.”
“Don’t.” Her hand slid into his hair to pull him closer. She kissed him and pressed back into his lap.
His breath hissed between his teeth. “Don’t what?”
“Control yourself.” She bucked her hips. “It’s my dream and I want wild faerie sex.”
“You don’t know what you’re asking.”
“Show me.” Her hips pushed again. “I want to know what it’s like.”
Ice blue eyes considered her for a moment before he took a breath. “Hold onto the headboard.”
His hips drew back till he had withdrawn almost completely then he drove forward hard. She gasped loudly. He did it again expecting her to ask him to stop.
She didn’t though. Instead she tightened her grip on the top rail and yelled. “More!” He smiled when she slammed her hand against the wood. “Don’t stop!”
He kept going and thanked his lucky stars for the good fortune of stepping out of the book and finding this dark haired beauty.
Her mention of being in a dream was a little unsettling but he could ignore his misgivings until she realized this was no fantasy. She clung to that thought for hours though and he couldn’t help but be impressed by her determination to convince herself that it wasn’t a real faerie touching her.
He took full advantage of her demand of wild faerie sex. It was the most primal he’d been with a female since he’d first ventured into the human world. He retained his basic civility, even saved her from a few tumbles off the bed, but he let himself give in to her cries for faster, harder, deeper. More.
Until, after several hours of pulling and pushing each other, petting and demanding, passionate kisses and tenderly biting each other they both fell onto the bed breathless and spent.
“Alasdair,” she murmured sleepily.
“Yes lass.” He brushed her hair away from her face to press a soft kiss on her forehead.
“I hope I dream about you again.” She yawned.
He stood and tucked the blanket closer to her. “Open the book after sunset and I can come back to you till sunrise.” He moved to the window just as the sun was peeking over the horizon.
She watched him standing there looking out the window trying to puzzle out what he was doing. Her eyelids kept closing despite her efforts to keep them open. She missed the first hint of light streaming through the glass and his sad smile as he disappeared without a sound.
The phone rang a few hours later jarring her out of the deep sleep she’d fallen into. She snatched it off the nightstand with a little grumble, hitting the answer button without looking to see who was calling.
“Bernie? Why are you calling so early? Is everything okay?”
“Early? My dear it’s almost eleven. I was beginning to worry.
“Oh my god. I’m so sorry. I must have shut off my alarm.” She sat up and swung her legs out of the bed to stand. She winced as she straightened, everything hurt. Bernie was saying something but she had to pull the phone away so he couldn’t hear her little groan. “I’ll be in as soon as I can. Would you like me to stop by the diner and pick up something for lunch?”
“That would be lovely. I’ll see you soon.” She disconnected and stumbled towards the en suite.
What the hell happened? She looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was a tangled mess, the old t shirt she’d gone to bed in was missing and there were red marks all over her. Turning she spotted more marks on her back and butt.
She was still trying to remember when she got out of the shower. There were vague images of incredible blue eyes, strong arms, a wicked smile and black feathers but she couldn’t grasp anything solid it was all hazy.
It must have been one hell of a dream. She laughed to herself. What the heck could the feathers mean?
She marched to the closet to pull out some clothes and stopped. A single black feather was laying on the floor next to the bed. Her eyes went wide as she grabbed it off the floor. It was huge, longer than her forearm and as wide as her hand. It was a glossy black that seemed to shift colors in the sunlight.
Her eyes fell on the book still open on the nightstand, they narrowed with suspicion.
It couldn’t be. She shook her head. That was just a dream.
Laughing nervously she flipped the cover closed, scooped it up and continued her march to the closet. She set it firmly on a shelf, laid the feather on top of it and turned away to grab her clothes. The closet door swung closed with a little bang.
Just a dream. She repeated to herself as she dressed and then headed out the door.
Then why do I remember black wings around me?