Welcome to Capricious by Julie Cox, a Texan tale of love and magic. NSFW.
A new chapter appears every Tuesday. This week is Chapter Three. Listen to the audio version at Nobilis Erotica here!
Late that night or early the next morning, Luke sat in the bed of his truck, staring out across a pen of goats. They were startlingly white in the moonlight, almost shimmering. Earlier they had been noisy and boisterous, the deep bleats of the nannies mixing in with the sweet baby-bleats of their kids, occasionally punctuated with the deep-throated bleat of the billy. Now they were still and quiet, asleep except for the billy, who dozed standing up. The nannies and kids slept piled up next to each other with their heads laid across each other’s backs, giving the impression of a great lumpy snowfield in the middle of the desert.
He hopped down out of the truck and paced around it to get his blood moving. It would be all too easy to fall asleep. The billy goat opened his eyes and watched Luke suspiciously. Luke grinned at him.
“Jealous of the horns or something? You know a bigger billy when you see one, don’t you?” he asked the goat, who stared balefully at him. Luke stretched; with a twist of his head he popped his neck, which was constantly a little sore. He once thought he’d get used to the weight of the horns. Not so much, it seemed. He reached down to the tips of his toes–well, his hooves. He squinted at his feet for a minute, playfully throwing the mental switches that changed what he saw from what everyone could see to what other myth-folk saw, like opening one eye and then the other. Camera one, camera two. Steel-toed work boots below battered jeans, split hooves with soft buckskin-and-black fur. He pitied the true fae, like Orson and Cormick, who didn’t have anything more than a vaguely otherworldly aura to differentiate them from ordinary people. It was fun having this other physical self so few could see. Plus, he had a hell of a headbutt. He tossed his horns and snorted. Just let that goatsucker try and take on this billy goat, he thought. Everyone knew what happened to monsters who took on billy goats who were too big. Especially gruff ones. And Luke considered himself gruff.
Luke jumped, shaken from his thoughts, and looked over his shoulder. Wilson’s daughter, Sally, stood there in a Pink Floyd T-shirt, striped pink-and-white boxers, and cowboy boots. As always, around her shimmered the vague impression of feathers and light. He didn’t know what she was–she didn’t talk about it–but whatever it was, it seemed happy. And avian. Luke grinned.
“Hey, Sal. Nice jammies.”
“I’m comfy, so shut up.” She climbed into the bed of the truck, and Luke joined her. “How’s it going out here?”
“My phone ran out of juice, so a little boring, can’t play solitaire, but all’s well with the herd.”
Sally nodded. “Real freaky what happened with that kid. Thanks for coming out.”
“No problem. You been over to see Glen at the milking shed?”
“Yeah, he hasn’t seen anything either.” She stretched and looked up at the stars, a dazzling display of milky starlight against the velvet black sky. “Sure is a nice night.”
Luke was not looking at the sky. “Sure is.” He smiled. “You know, Sal, seems a shame to waste this semiprivate truck….”
Sally laughed. “In your dreams, satyr. Like I’m going to bang your hairy ass in your truck out by the goat pen.”
“Don’t sound like a bad plan to me,” he purred.
Sally rolled her eyes. She picked up his cigarettes, lit one and fished herself a Dr. Pepper out of the little cooler in the truck. “I have bed hair, no makeup, I smell like death because I never did get to take my shower tonight. Why is it you choose these moments to be amorous?”
Luke shrugged. “You’re your real self. Your daddy know you’re smoking again?”
“Huh. That’s almost sweet. And no, he doesn’t. And he isn’t going to, is he?” she said, smiling, and blew out a thin stream of smoke like a tea kettle.
“I dunno, that depends,” Luke said.
“On how good of friends we are,” he said, circling an arm around her waist.
She smacked his hand and laughed. “Like I’d give it up to keep a cigarette from my dad.”
“I was kinda hoping you’d be giving it up because you’re after my sweet body,” he said, running his hands down his chest in a playful Madonna-“Vogue” way.
Sally laughed. “Did you know that capricious comes from the same root as goats’ scientific name? Caprine?”
“Of course I knew that. How could I not know that? Everyone knows that. And capri pants, which better display my nice, shiny hooves. Also related to Capri Sun, as in sweet and juicy.”
Sally rolled her eyes. “You satyrs. Is there nothing you wouldn’t jump?”
“Honey, I wouldn’t jump you ’cause I’m a satyr. I’d jump you ’cause you’re a sweet little thing.”
“And I’m hot.”
“And you’re hot,” he agreed.
She tousled his hair. “You know, you’re strangely refreshing, Luke. I always know exactly where I stand with you. Other guys try to be my friends because they want to get in my pants. You want to get in my pants because you’re my friend. The problem is, you have lots of friends.”
Luke tilted his head. “That’s most elegantly put.”
Sally groaned and stubbed out the cigarette. “Yeah, it’s what passes for elegant around here. Good night, Luke.”
“G’night, Sal. You get bored, you know where I am.”
“And will know where to avoid, then. Don’t shoot anything that isn’t a chupacabra.”
“Aye-aye, Captain.” He smiled, watching her leave.
* * *
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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