Capricious: 44

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Capricious icon art by Alan CooperWelcome to Fox Pass, Texas, a small community where the people are friendly and the mythical creatures aren’t so mythical after all. Capricious by Julie Cox follows the adventures of satyr Luke and his fellow myth-folk in a town that borders a whole lot more than Mexico. (Do you need to start at chapter 1?)

Chapter 44

Luke followed Sally up the front steps and into the house. His body shook from the adrenaline of the battle with the troll, with Mae, with himself. His head was back to hurting; had it been only that morning that August had given him a mild concussion? It seemed like days ago. The grounding magic from earlier wasn’t going to hold off the pain and fatigue forever. He was hungry—no, he decided, he was ravenous. He hadn’t eaten since before he’d gone through the portal on August’s horse. August couldn’t be a whole lot better off.

They’d left the others in the barn and come inside to gather supplies: water and easily digested food for the recently rescued, pain meds for the recently injured, and the spear for Orson. Luke considered making good on his threat to the troll, but torture didn’t suit him. When it came down to it, no matter what experiences he could draw upon or how gray his morality became, Luke wanted to be a good person. And good people didn’t torture other people, even when they were murdering bastards, and especially when the bulk of the danger had passed.

Luke was in the middle of these musings when Sally turned around and put a hand on his chest as they entered the kitchen. She was especially pretty right now, he thought—in her pajama shirt, old boots, and jeans with the knees blown out, with no make-up, only the most cursory of attempts to tame her hair, and the exhilaration of danger lighting up her eyes and pinking her cheeks. She was rumpled, to say the least, and it gave him ideas about rumpling her further.

“I just wanted to look at you,” she said, letting out a slow breath between her teeth, “and be reminded that you’re real. That you’re you. That I didn’t lose you.” She stepped up to him and looped her arms around his waist, fingers trailing up his spine. “I’ve wanted you so bad, I’m gonna hunt trolls down for generations to come if we don’t get to have a peaceful spell.”

“Girl,” he said, drawing her against him, “I got no intention of letting you have any peace.” He kissed her, and she kissed him back, matching his passion. He picked her up and put her on the kitchen island; she wrapped her legs around him and held him close. She wasn’t wearing a bra, and he could feel the press of her breasts through the soft cloth. He moaned at the electric buzz of her lust-magic, her energy soaking into him whether he went looking for it or not, a warm, insistent hum of excitement.

“I want you,” she said. “This isn’t the time or place, but I can’t get over wanting you. I see you and I just want to tear your shirt off and look at you and touch you.” She grazed her fingers over his face, as if memorizing every plane. “You with your dark good looks, I swear you could’ve come out of a movie.”

“Never seen a movie star who needed so much dental work, or had a farmer’s tan,” he joked, giving her the tilted grin that he knew got to her the best.

“Well they oughta come that way,” she insisted. “Or maybe you just make it look good.”

“Even the horns?” He buried his nose in her neck, breathing in her scent, unmasked by perfume or soap. Just her. It was wonderful.

“Especially the horns.” He could feel her grinning. “Maybe it’s weird, but I really like the horns.”

“You know it turns me right the hell on for someone to grab them and hold me by the horns.”

“Oh yeah?” She ran her hands down his horns, from the base where they grew from his forehead, just behind his hairline, to the tips, one slightly shorter than the other where it had broken, long ago. He shivered, twitching like he was unsettled. She drew out the satyr magic in him and egged it on.

“Does the fur go up to your waist?” she asked, running her hands down his back to his waist.

“No,” he said, pushing her hand to his hamstring, just below his ass, “it ends about there. No hairy butts, sorry.”

“Do you have a tail?”

“I do.”

“Eeee, I want to see your tail!”

“You first,” he said, dropping his hands to cup her ass and pull her hard against him. She made a small noise of frustration and want; he knew she could feel that he was hard, that pleasure was available for the taking, just a few layers of denim away. She ground against him, squeezing him with her thighs. He ran his hand up her side, cupped her breast, thumbed her hardening nipple, and kissed her deeply, their tongues flitting and circling each other, each wanting to drown in the sheer presence of the other—

There came a bang and shout from the door. “Goddammit Luke, not now!”

Luke and Sally jumped as one, spinning to see Orson charge through the front door and cross the living room at a gallop, Sally’s father’s hunting rifle in one hand. He threw open the door to the front hall closet, where a collection of brooms and mops were propped up with their business ends in a plastic bin that had long ago parted company with its lid. He yanked out the black barbed spear from Tír na nÓg, sending the cleaning implements into a confused jumble on the floor. He strode back to the door and threw the rifle to Luke. “C’mon, Romeo. Fight now, fuck later.”

“What?” Luke said. “Who are we fighting?”

“Alan, the cop troll,” Orson said, “and a whole flock of chupacabras.”

Capricious is published weekly on Circlet.com. Want more? Proceed to the next post! Or, revisit earlier installments.

Julie Cox lives in Texas with her husband, children, and ever-expanding menagerie of animals on their farm. She runs a small online yarn business and teaches yarn spinning. She has numerous stories published with Circlet Press and elsewhere. For her full list of published works, see her website at www.lazypifarm.com.

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