Welcome to Capricious by Julie Cox, a Texan tale of love and magic. NSFW.
A new chapter appears every Tuesday. This week is Chapter Sixteen. Listen to the audio version at Nobilis Erotica here!
“So then she sprayed me with the sink hose and left, all in a huff.”
Orson laughed, and Luke scowled. “You really don’t know anything about women, do you?” Orson said.
“I know plenty,” Luke said, slouching back into his couch with a petulant expression on his face and a beer set on his stomach.
“Psh, whatever. You’ve been soaking in your satyr magic too long to remember what it’s like to be a normal man. Sally don’t want to be seduced, Luke. She wants to be romanced. There’s a difference. And because it’s Sally, what she finds romantic is gonna be different than most girls.”
“Well, why don’t you just tell me what she wants, since you’re suddenly the expert.”
Orson stroked his mustache while he thought. He picked up the TV remote and muted the football game they were watching before turning toward Luke, fingers steepled. “Some girls fantasize about a beautiful man, faraway adventures, grand romantic gestures, obsessive pursuit, expensive gifts. But the most romantic thing you could do for Sally would be to show up with a sensible ring, a big bunch of wildflowers, your toolbox, your health insurance card, a copy of your credit report, and your most recent pay stub.”
Luke stared at Orson with a growing fire in his throat. “You saying Sally’s a gold digger?”
“Far from it. I’m just saying she has control of her heart where most girls don’t. She’s not going to fall for you just because she wants you, Luke. And she does, I think we can all agree on that. But remember, she got left high and dry by a man who strung her along for years. Sally wants someone she knows will be able to take care of her, will be there for her. She wants babies and security and someone who’s got her back. You know as well as I do that when a woman has children, she’s exposing herself to a shit ton more danger than the man is. Motherhood is the most expensive occupation in the world, and it’s not just the expense of the children that makes it so. By showing Sally you can and will look after her, you’re saying the most romantic thing of all: that you’re man enough to shoulder the terrible burden and wondrous joy of a family, with her.”
“I could do that,” Luke said.
“Not if you’re banging other chicks. Because you might end up with babies from those women. Most basic, reasonable cause for jealousy in the world.”
A light went on in Luke’s eyes. “That’s it! Other women. She didn’t care that I kissed August. I think she might have actually liked the idea. I can’t get a dude pregnant. Well, there was that one time in Belfast, but that doesn’t count, that was some seriously kooky magic. I could just limit myself to other men for magical energy if Sally and I were hooked up!”
Orson sighed. “Good luck with that. We might be myth-folk, and because of our uniqueness, our centuries-old historical perspective, and having been men and women in other times, we might be more inclined toward… alternate lifestyles. And gender don’t always change just because sex does, from life to life. Look at Cormick. But we’re still living this life, now, not those other lives we occasionally recall. We’re still a bunch of rednecks in a tiny West Texas town. How many gays you think we got around here?”
Luke stood and started pacing, thinking intently. “Well, there’s me. I mean, I know that part of why I’m bisexual is that I’m a satyr, and statistically speaking, we’re more likely to be bi than anything else. Comes from getting turned on by other people being turned on.”
“What a feedback system.”
“I know, right? So there’s me, and August, theoretically.”
“Who will eventually leave. Who you don’t even like,” Orson said.
“He’s OK. And he’s certainly hot.”
“I need another beer if we’re going to have this conversation.” Orson headed to the refrigerator, and Luke followed him.
“Cormick’s… something. Don’t know if he’s gay or bi.”
“But you will never get him to admit it. He might be a frickin’ fairy princess, but he’s still royalty. He’s still gonna follow the rules if he can possibly help it,” Orson pointed out, popping the lid off a beer and tossing it in the trash. Sootie came trotting in behind them, looking around expectantly as if to say, “Hey, we’re in the kitchen! Are we going to do something exciting in here?”
Luke bent down and scratched the blue-ticked dog on her head. “Anything’s possible. Maybe I could appeal to the council system and see if I couldn’t get a proxy down here every so often.”
“Using the council as a gay dating service? Unlikely in the best of circumstances.”
Luke continued pacing, which in the tiny kitchen meant turning around every three steps. “No, this could work! I don’t necessarily have to be involved in the action. It helps, but I can get by without, if Sally’s OK with throwing some really wild parties.”
“You’re logicking yourself into some pretty dicey areas here, boy.”
“But it’s the closest I’ve gotten to having things work with me and Sally!”
Orson grabbed one of Luke’s horns and held him still. “Good God, Luke, stop pacing.”
Luke turned his head as much as he could. “You know being restrained by my horns turns me on, right?”
Orson let go of his horn with a sigh. “Yes, I know that. Tragically, I know that. It is part of the accursed wretchedness of my life that I know that. I’m just saying, maybe you and Sally aren’t gonna work, you know? Have you guys even said outright that you want to be together?”
“Um… in a roundabout sort of way.”
“You can’t be roundabout outright. Just think on it real close before you go trying to make this work when it’s such long odds. A satyr and a sensible, traditional southern woman who is… some kind of myth-folk. Has she ever said what she is?”
“Nope. I figure when she wants to tell, she will. I’m being all respectful of her boundaries and stuff, see? And yes, sir. I’ll think on it.”
“All right. Then I have a special request for you,” Orson said.
“For my Jiminy Cricket? Name it.”
“Can we go watch the game and not say another word about your sex life all day?”
Luke nodded. “Absolutely. Nothing would make me happier. Except if the Colts beat the Eagles.”
“That, my friend, is something we can both finally agree on.”
* * *
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About the author: Julie Cox is the author of Chasing Tail and numerous short stories in Circlet Press erotica anthologies. She 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.
Welcome to Fox Pass, Texas, a small community where the mythical creatures aren’t so mythical after all. Satyr Luke’s comfortable routine is thrown into disarray when he becomes the target of enemies who won’t hesitate to hurt his friends to get to him. Struggling to save his town—and to sort out his feelings for his friend Sally—Luke faces the adventure of a lifetime in Julie Cox’s Capricious.
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