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-Nine. Listen to the audio version at Nobilis Erotica here!
She sat sidesaddle on a skeletal horse, and gauzy wraps draped her bones in what would have been a scandalous and enticing fashion had she been whole. Scraps and ropes of long, blonde hair clung to her scalp, held in place mostly by the deteriorating silken scarf around her brow. She crooked her finger, and the great spear Luke carried became impossibly heavy, unbearably heavy–he went down to his knees, the spear across both shoulders, both hands held in place by invisible bonds. He could not put it down.
The undead woman slid from her mount and knelt before him. He could only raise his head enough to see her shoulders. She clacked her teeth and touched one finger beneath his bearded chin.
“You are not of the people,” she said, her voice surprisingly beautiful–a ghost’s voice, he thought, nothing to do with how she was now. It was all in how she remembered herself. She leaned forward; he would have had a perfect view of her breasts, if she had been alive. She seemed to be sniffing him, a quick in-and-out huffing like a dog. “But you have the scent of fae love upon you. Three of them.”
“Cormick and Orson,” Luke said. “One is my lord. The other is my brother-in-arms, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann.” His brow knit. “Three? Oh–Glen. Glen is a goblin. Goblins are fae, aren’t they?”
“Strictly speaking, yes. What is he to you? He loves you.”
“Just… my friend.” He thought of the night he’d performed his great feat of magic, destroying the dens of the chupacabras on his land, when August had kissed him. He’d felt a great rush of lust-magic from someone else in attendance, someone who tasted like a fae. He had thought it was from Cormick. He felt almost guilty that he had never considered the possibility it had been from Glen.
“He is my friend,” he said with more certainty. “I don’t know if I am anything more to him.”
“You have a trifecta–a lord, an equal, and a supplicant of fae blood.” She rose. “You may take the spear, if you have a noble cause.” The silence was pregnant with expectation as she waited.
“I take it to give to Orson, to use to defend my land, my love, and all our lives.”
“The only three things worth fighting for,” she said, and mounted her horse. “But I will take a toll from you.”
The weight of the spear lifted, and Luke stood, relieved. She gestured him forward, and he took a few steps to stand beside her horse. She leaned down, opened her jaws, and sealed them over his mouth.
Twenty-eight hundred years seemed to open up inside of him. Hundreds of lives waited for him, some just beneath the surface, some fossilized beneath layers of memories in his mind. He heard himself screaming from a long way off, but he could no longer feel the air in his lungs or see anything of the stone hall or the undead fae woman. She dredged through his mind like a potter digs clay from a bank, leaving deep, rending trails with her fingers. She pulled great chunks of old lives away, and he tried to cling to them as she swallowed them.
A Greek woman with wild tastes and a husband who could not give her children came to run with him and the nymphs in the woods. He remembered how she wanted him, how her eyes lit up when she saw him, knowing that he would give her what she wanted. She was soft and starved for pleasure and came looking for her satyr lover more often than she should have. Their children were many, wild things who grew fierce and powerful, both the sons and the daughters. For a moment he was inside her, she was calling his name, always saying “More… more….” Then she and all his memories of her were gone.
He–no, he was a woman this time–was a priestess of some long-forgotten religion, in the temples of the forests. Men would come and pray upon the altar, and if they pleased her, she would have them upon the altar. They would rend her clothes in their eagerness to penetrate her. She loved that initial thrust when a new cock pushed inside her, not knowing if he would be rough and frenzied to spill his seed or if he would take a long time, sliding in and out, making her beg. The best, she thought, were the new ones, the ones who had never been with a woman before, and certainly never a satyr. She would laugh at them, make them flustered, until they would either pin her to the stone, push her legs aside, and take her or falter and beg her mercy. And she would give it, pleasuring herself upon them at her own pace. The women did not dare approach the near gods who lived in their woods, the feral beast-demons their men sought. At least, that was what they thought of her. She didn’t care; she and her sisters were as inhuman as any wolf, and just as vicious when they were crossed.
A momentary burst of magic, and that life was gone too, sucked down the fae’s throat.
A family life in early Europe, cut short by the plague. Luke clung fiercely to the memory of a blond-haired little boy, his youngest son, the sole survivor of that terrible summer, and then the boy and all the tragedy he lived through were gone. A life at sea, only a few centuries ago, as the cabin boy to a handsome and gregarious captain. He’d laughed at the pity he saw in the eyes of the other sailors–he loved the days the captain asked him to stay up late with him. He lived to be the captain’s first mate, eventually, and those old sailors never did seem to understand that he enjoyed being in the captain’s bed. He and the captain and the ship and everyone he knew sank into the sea, a blaze of fire above them–and then oblivion, as that life was forgotten too, consumed. A solitary life in the woods of colonial America, a true Salem witch that everyone had the good sense to leave alone–unless they wanted to pay her, with goods or with pleasure, for her services. Gone. A short life, a little girl on a large farm, a fall from a horse, a long fever, then death. All gone.
Luke fell to the ground, gasping like he’d nearly drowned, drinking in the cold, still air. He had the feeling something had been taken from him, some old part of his soul, but he no longer knew what it was. He raised his eyes to the skeletal fae–but she wasn’t a skeleton, she was swelling, coloring, flesh filling in between her bones. She was beautiful and young, a blonde fae woman on a horse that also filled out, muscles and skin and fine gray fur engulfing the bones. She smiled down at Luke.
“I thank you for what you’ve given me. More than I thought you could have. You are old, so impossibly old–there is more in the world than I knew. You have years enough behind you, I would be surprised if you even missed what I have taken.” She breathed in deep, and her eyes fluttered closed. “I have never known pleasure as you have. Satyr–that is what you are. Shall I keep you, and have you teach me all you know of bodily bliss?”
Luke rolled onto his stomach, struggling to get to all fours. “I… I have sworn an oath. I will take none to my bed without the blessings of my mate.” The language of the land–oath, mate–spilled easily from him. Dimly, as if from a long way off, he thought, I’ve been around Orson too long.
“Because of all you have already given, I will allow this,” she said. She looked away from him as if she could see far, over many miles. “I have quarry,” she said. “I will lead the Hunt today. But look for me in the future, Satyr.” She smiled, and her grin was as wide as a skull’s, too wide, too many teeth. “I may hunger for you again.” She gave some unseen cue to the horse, and it lunged forward. The great horde of skeletal dogs and horses and humans and faeries and more followed, and they disappeared through the stone walls.
Luke staggered to August’s black horse, the dog collar from the dais in his fist and the spear upon his shoulders. This time, the horse let him mount. He braced the spear against the stirrup as he might have a flag and clung to the horse’s mane, and the horse leaped through the stone walls as if they had never been there at all.
* * *
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.
Buy the paperback edition!