Welcome to Capricious by Julie Cox, a Texan tale of love and magic. NSFW.
A new chapter appears every Tuesday. This week is Chapter Thirty-Two. Listen to the audio version at Nobilis Erotica here!
Allison let Sally slide down to the ground at last. She watched the girl pant on all fours for a minute before declaring loudly, “I am so goddamn good. That was one of the coolest things ever.”
“Very impressive,” Luke said, drumming his fingers against his leg and rocking slightly. He felt like he could go bouncing off the trees around the clearing, a shiny steel ball in a pinball machine, a complete turnaround from his near-coma of earlier. He walked over to Sally. When he knelt beside her to ask how she was, she tackled him and kissed him, hard and sloppy.
“You,” she said, “are trouble.”
“This is all adorable and whatnot,” Cormick chimed in, “but we’ve got to get out of here. The trolls will have some way of knowing Luke is back, remember? They showed up after you went through the portal the first time, Luke, pissed off something fierce.”
“I gave them what-for last time, I’ll do it again,” Sally said, cracking her knuckles.
“Oh, and you have the, ahem, juice left to do that after charging your satyr boyfriend?” Cormick said, not unkindly.
Sally’s face fell. “Crap. I don’t know.”
“Then let’s get going. Best not to tempt fate by getting cocky. No pun intended.”
In true suburban style, Cormick was driving a massive SUV borrowed from his aunt, a Boy Scouts den mother. Allison called shotgun, and Orson sat in the middle row with a very put-out August, who had been unable to catch his rogue mount. Luke sat, silent and fidgeting, between Charlie and Sally in the third row of seating, the events of the evening catching up to him. He didn’t know why Charlie was there, what his intentions or his relationship with Sally really were. The more he thought about it, the weirder he felt about having kissed the man earlier. Well, he thought, that’s the way of intimate encounters. They so frequently sounded like good ideas at the time.
The ride down the mountain from the portal was tense, with all parties staring out the windows at the surrounding trees, normally so lovely but now a menacing sight, almost claustrophobic. What looked to be a boulder on the side of the road might be an ambush. Anything might come out of those trees, a troll or a troll’s ally. When they were off the mountain and the trees thinned to sage and mesquite brush, Luke breathed a little easier.
Orson turned in his seat to look at Luke. “Tír na nÓg didn’t treat you so badly, then.”
“Oh, it did,” Luke growled. “Sally, Allison, and Charlie got me back on my feet. I was nearly catatonic when I came back through.”
“What happened in there?”
Luke described the hall, watching Orson’s face crumple with the old hurt. Orson perked up when he heard about the woman who had sucked something away from Luke, though Luke couldn’t put his finger on what, exactly, she had taken.
“A part of my soul, perhaps,” he said, “though I hope it’s not as dire as that.”
“She could have sucked away part of your life–your memories, and the emotions associated with them,” Orson said. “Remember the old stories about how the fae would kidnap people, keep them awhile, and when those people came back, they’d find a hundred years or more had passed? And they’d age suddenly and die? There’s more than one way that happened, not the least of which was time passing differently there, but one way is that the human lived those hundred-plus years and every so often the faerie host would drain those memories away from them, and place a youthful glamour upon them, so they didn’t know they’d been there all that time. When they escaped, or were set free, or failed to follow a geas like Cuchulainn did, the glamour would break and they’d find out how old they really were. I bet that’s what happened to you, too. You certainly have memories enough to take. Do you remember your mother?”
“Yes. And high school and college, and Mae and working, and moving to Fox Pass….”
“Might not even be this life. Let’s try some others.” Orson listed off moments he’d shared with Luke in their past lives, and for a time, Luke remembered them. Then, “Do you remember Salem?”
“Is that a place or a person?”
“Salem, Massachusetts. Before the witch trials. You sold agricultural charms to the peasants, before that one hysterical bitch set fire to your house, and you moved up to Canada.”
Luke’s eyes grew wide, and he shook his head. “Doesn’t sound familiar.”
Orson’s lips grew thin underneath his bushy mustache. “You, uh…. You were a woman. Very busty. Kinda whorish.”
“You say that as if it were a bad thing,” Luke quipped.
“Oh.” Luke’s smirk vanished. “I understand you now. I would remember that. And I don’t.”
Orson sighed, the resigned noise of a man long accustomed to loss. “Pity. Sounds like she consumed some of your memories. We can puzzle out more about which ones later, if you want. You and I, we don’t have many secrets from each other.”
“Funny, I would have said we don’t have any secrets.”
“No one shares everything. Thank God for that.”
* * *
Prefer reading on paper? You can mail order the paperback of Capricious, right now, and have it within days! Order from Amazon, or purchase straight from Createspace!
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!