Welcome to Capricious by Julie Cox, a Texan tale of love and magic. NSFW.
A new chapter appears every Tuesday. This week is Chapter Fifty-One.
Back inside Sally’s parents’ double-wide, the mood had only worsened with the storm Sally had summoned up. Luke found that Orson had Mae in the spare room, trying to keep her calm and collected until they could take her somewhere safe; Cormick and August were back in Sally’s parents’ room, talking quietly; Allison and Agatha were in the kitchen, cleaning up after dinner; and Charlie dozed under a crocheted afghan on Sally’s bed, curled up into a little ball of traumatized Jersey Devil.
“Let’s start with Cormick and August,” Luke murmured in Sally’s ear.
“I’m following your lead,” she said. “I didn’t see you do much healing stuff in prior lives. This aspect of your magical penis is new to me.”
Luke smirked. “I told you, this part of my magic doesn’t need full-on sex, though it’s sure nice when it happens that way. It’s a lot like grounding, only once the negative energy has drained out, I put a warm and fuzzy kind of magic in its place.”
“You’ve got the fuzzy taken care of anyway.” She smacked him on the butt.
Luke opened the door to Sally’s parents’ bedroom. Cormick and August sat on the bed, newly made up without the bloodstains from that morning. Luke wondered who had managed to magic all the blood out of the sheets, the blankets, the carpet, the drywall. He winced a little, seeing the headboard August had thrown him into, and realized his head no longer hurt. Whether it had been a concussion or not, apparently the sheer amount of magic that had run through him that day had taken care of his injury, too. How handy was that, he thought as he sat next to August.
“How are you holding up?” he asked. Sally climbed up next to Cormick and leaned against his back.
“How do you think?” August said. His voice was bitter and sharp. “In the course of a day, I’ve learned that I was possessed and used. I was physically, magically, and sexually assaulted. I find myself unprepared to deal with the emotional fallout.” He nodded toward Cormick. “He’s trying to help.”
Luke raised his eyes to Cormick. “You guys have a thing then, huh?”
Cormick sighed, more tired than irritated. “I’ve said it a hundred times, I’m not gay. I’m truly not into men. If you must know–not that it’s any of your business–August needed someone to hold his leash, so to speak. He has been under a great deal of stress, not just today, and he needed someone to be firm with him, tell him what to do, and make him feel secure. And frankly, I kind of liked someone blatantly needing me like that. It really isn’t sexual at all.”
“I would call it dysfunctional if it wasn’t so clearly functional,” Sally said.
“Whatever works,” Luke said. “August, I grounded you this morning. I can do something like that again. It won’t get rid of the hurt, but it may speed the healing process, so to speak. Clears your head, makes you feel centered, at peace, refreshed. You still better get a therapist when you get back to New England, but you’ll have more clarity and calm as you go through it.”
“New York’s not part of New England,” August corrected.
“It’ll last that long?” Sally asked.
“It’s like an extra battery. It’ll last till he uses it all.”
“That sounds fantastic,” August said. “After grounding this morning, I felt better than I’d felt in a long time. Of course, I’d also just had a bunch of magical poison sucked out of me, so that probably had something to do with it.”
“It had a lot to do with it,” Luke affirmed. “How’s your chest, by the way?”
August touched his chest and winced. “It’s stitches, so it smarts, but it’s not so bad. Allison did a good job dressing it, and she just changed the bandages a little bit ago. She says I’ll have a wicked cool scar.”
“Oooh, sexy,” Luke said as they both smirked. “Now listen. There’s a bunch of different ways to do this, but the most direct way is for me to breathe into your lungs. You ever shotgunned a cigarette? It’s like that.”
August raised his eyebrows. “So, uh, we have to make out.” He didn’t sound like it was an entirely unwelcome idea.
“It can be clean and clinical, full of platonic affection, hot and heavy, whatever is appropriate to the situation. It’s a healing magic. Though it’s sure easier if one or both of us is turned on. I’m a satyr, I can’t help it, it’s just how the magic works.”
August flicked his gaze to Sally and Cormick. “I don’t mind if you stay. And I don’t mind if you go.”
“I’ll stay, keep an eye on you,” Cormick said.
“And I’m staying to keep an eye on him,” Sally said. “That there’s my mate.”
Luke grinned at the title. “We could say fiancé.”
“You haven’t asked all formal-like. I want a ring, even if it costs a quarter and comes in a little plastic bubble from a gumball machine outside the grocery store.”
Luke made a rude noise. “You give me no credit, woman.” He turned from her and faced August. The young man–for he was young, both in age and as a myth-folk, compared to Luke–dropped his gaze to the floral comforter, letting his black hair fall around his face. He looked much diminished from the haughty creature he’d seemed when Luke first met him. Luke could hardly sense the ghost within him, the headless horseman quiet and distant. He cupped August’s cheek in his hand, admiring the man’s fine features and pale skin, so aristocratic, so different from Luke’s scruffy mutt looks. He kissed August; the man’s lips were cold and thin, almost lifeless. August opened his mouth, and Luke felt his breath coming and going. Luke drew up the magic within him, feeling it coalesce in his chest behind his sternum, like a steam-powered boiler about to blow its seams. He breathed it out, pushing it into August’s mouth, slow and steady, insistent. August breathed in, unsure at first, then gasping to take in more. He pulled away from Luke, his eyes wide with shock. He wanted to say something, but Luke kissed him again, looked for his opportunity, and breathed in another mouthful of magic. August moaned against him, sucking on his mouth, taking in all the magic he could.
Luke’s magic welled up in him, coming easier now. His cock stiffened inside his jeans, almost painful. August was handsome enough, but he wasn’t Luke’s type. It was the magic that excited him; simply using it stirred his body. He answered August’s moans with little sounds of his own, pressing forward as if to push the magic into him with greater insistence. August yielded easily, lying back on the bed and taking Luke with him. Luke’s head swam with pleasure and want, in spite of himself, as he breathed magic down August’s throat. They found a good rhythm; breathe, breathe, breathe, then a strong exhale from Luke as August inhaled his magic. He could feel their hands wandering, could sense his control of his body and his magic faltering.
He broke away, gasping, and backed up awkwardly on hands and knees on an impressively fluffy comforter. His gut cramped, and he sprawled across the foot of the bed, back arching as he tried to get his muscles to stop spasming.
August and Sally peered down at him. “Are you all right?” they both asked.
“Yes,” he said. “It’ll pass. Maybe I should have stretched first.”
“And in the barn wasn’t a warm-up?” Sally grinned.
“Girl, between you and this household, I’ll have gone through a magical pentathlon by the time the evening’s done.”
“Like you won’t enjoy it.”
“So you guys are, you know, really a thing now, huh?” August asked.
“Yeah,” Sally said, brushing her hair out of her eyes. “I’ve waited three lifetimes to have him for life, so I’m holding on to him this time, come hell or sex magic.”
August leaned forward and kissed her cheek. “I’m happy for you.”
“Thanks. Um. Sorry I was such a bitch before.”
August shrugged. “Thank you for that. Frankly, you really were. But I understand now it wasn’t personal.”
Sally smiled. “I hope you get to feeling better.”
August pushed his hair back out of his eyes, which were now bright and active, interested in the world again. “I already do. I feel a rush and a calm at the same time, like I just took a whole lot of Xanax.”
Luke managed to sit up, looking between the two of them. “Didn’t you guys sleep together?” he said.
“Yeah,” Sally said, biting her lip. “Only I didn’t make it clear at the time it was, uh, a one-time thing. I wasn’t very nice to him later.”
August shrugged. “I heard what I wanted to hear. Water under the bridge.”
Cormick, nearly forgotten until that moment, clapped Sally and Luke on the shoulders. “Thank you both,” he said, “but now that he’s stabilized, I think I’m going to take August back to my place and order him around for a bit before bed. Thank you.”
“Take care of him,” Luke said.
Luke and Sally watched Cormick lead August out of the bedroom. Sally put her hand on Luke’s. “Orson and Mae?”
Luke nodded grimly. “Orson and Mae.”
* * *
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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