Welcome to Capricious by Julie Cox, a Texan tale of love and magic. NSFW.
A new chapter appears every Tuesday. This week is Chapter Twenty-Three. Listen to the audio version at Nobilis Erotica here!
Sally was sitting on the porch next to Sootie when Luke got back to his house. He stopped just outside the fringe of mesquite forest and looked at her. She was in shorts, her knobbly knees drawn up to her chest. When he looked at her, he saw the faint impression of a Navajo weaver, a Canadian lover, an American Indian girl in Mexico, and he saw through the eyes of an American farrier, a British businessman, a Greek merchant.
Of course, they were also none of those things. They were a thunderbird and a satyr. They were a pair of mortal humans in West Texas–a young woman living on her father’s goat farm and a construction worker with his own small plot of land. They might have once been Jane, Dinae, and Blue Sky; Enrique, Basil, and Dmitri. But now, they were Sally and Luke. The same souls, different lives.
“I went looking,” he said as he crossed the gravel drive and stopped at the bottom of the steps. “It was as you said. Three lives. Three betrayals. I want to defend the actions of my past lives, to try to explain… but it wouldn’t change anything, would it?”
Sally shook her head.
“I can see why you don’t want to hook up with me again. But Sal… I ain’t those men, not really. I share those memories with them. I share the same soul. But I gotta believe that we are in command of our own destinies. Because if we’re not… well, what the hell’s the point? Why be immortal if each life doesn’t have a different destiny, a new start? Without free will, what are we?”
Sally’s eyes and voice were steady. “We do have free will, Luke. I can change my choices. I can choose not to let you into my heart and my bed.”
Luke walked up the stairs and dropped down next to her. “That’s another thing. The whole want-you-or-not? That’s one choice I ain’t got. Seems that’s where free will stops for me.”
Sally turned away from him, burying her nose in Sootie’s neck. “You can’t stop yourself from being in my bed, huh? How’s that work?”
“You don’t have to be so biting about it. Even when I don’t want to, I find myself thinking about you. Remember that day August first came here, and I dropped Sootie off in the morning? That whole day, I couldn’t get you out of my head. I couldn’t stop imagining you and August–uh, what’s wrong?”
“You were imagining me and August? Like, having sex?” Her eyes were wide, rabbitlike, her voice flung high and squeaky.
“Yes…. Uh, sorry–”
Luke rubbed his neck, scuffing his boot on the steps. “Well…. He had on green boxers. And there was one moment when he had you bent over the hitching post in the barn–”
“Ohhhhh, God, no no no. Luke, this can’t be real!”
“You’re gonna have to fill me in here, babe, because you are flipping out in ways that I did not expect.”
“I’m so sorry, Luke. I… I did jump August that day.”
“Holy Jesus Christ on a cracker! Seriously?”
“And I was thinking about you while I did it. I wanted you so bad, I figured here’s this hot guy, a day of wild hanky-panky would take my mind off of you. But it didn’t, not at all.”
Luke’s eyes flew wide in understanding. “And I picked up on it when you were having sex… because you were channeling it at me, a satyr.”
Sally covered her face with her hands. “Shit.”
“The night I was attacked by the chupacabras… what were you doing then?”
Sally chewed on her lower lip. “I was talking online to a friend of mine.”
“Oh, your gay buddy in Austin. About what?” Luke pressed.
She looked anywhere but at Luke. “About sex and you.”
“That was it?”
Sally groaned. “Fine, it was an extremely graphic conversation and I was really turned on.”
Luke snapped his fingers. “And at the same time, I was having an extremely erotic dream about you. Don’t you see, Sal? You channel to me. It’s almost like telepathy. I bet if we could trace it, every time you did something sexual and thought about me, I’d start fantasizing about you, too.” He thought for a minute. “I’m not gonna think about that too hard.”
“Yeah, please don’t.”
He put his hand over hers. Her skin was cool, and a flush of goose bumps raised on her arm. “So you see? As long as you want me, I’m gonna want you. The question is whether you can handle our history and whether you can be flexible enough to let someone else charge me up with magical energy when it’s necessary.”
She shook her head. “I just don’t know.”
He ran his thumb over her knuckles, thrilling at the small touch. “Those three lives were rough. But I can promise you this, Sal–if you want me in this life, I’m yours. You can put a halter on me, stable me in the round pen, and call me Mr. Fuzzypants if you want. Yes, there may be things that happen that are out of my control. Shit is gonna fly. Someone like Mae will turn up and throw me for a loop. But do you really think her kind of magic has any stake in what goes on in my heart? In every way that really matters, I devote myself to you.”
Sally’s chin had been trembling, and her face finally crumpled as she drew in a sob. “Oh God!” she said, and wrapped her arms tight around Luke’s neck. He held her awkwardly from the side while her shoulders shook. She was warm, and her spaghetti-strap shirt stretched tight against her chest, and her shorts exposed more thigh than they covered. Her feet were bare, and for some reason that stood out to Luke as intensely sexy. He felt a little guilty, getting turned on while she was crying, but the guilt fled when she pulled back and kissed him.
Luke gasped as her mouth closed over his, rough and forceful in her need. She got up, not ending the kiss, and pushed her way into his lap, straddling him, pressing him against one of the poles that held up the porch. Her breath came fast and shallow, her body arching to press against as much of him as possible. Her hands found the edge of his T-shirt and slid up his bare back, nails scratching faintly down his spine. Electricity seemed to shudder out of her, and Luke yelped.
“Did I hurt you?” she said, leaving their kiss to nip and lick at his ear.
“Nope, I’m good. Just careful on the shocks.” He pulled back enough to look Sally in the face. “You’re sure about this? I don’t want to get into this, then have you change your mind.”
Sally got to her feet and offered Luke her hand. “Of course I’m not sure. I’m scared as hell. But I’m sure I can’t run away from how I feel about you, either. So if you’re willing to risk your immortal heart, knowing all that I do, then I’ll meet you halfway.”
Luke grinned and let Sally pull him to his feet. “Sounds perfect.”
She led him to the front door and inside, shutting Sootie out on the porch.
* * *
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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