Like a Thorn is an anthology of BDSM fairy tales. Today’s excerpt is a little teaser from Sunny Moraine’s “That Wicked Witch:”
“So,” said the woman, and she tossed her long black hair back over one shoulder. Her arms were crossed over her chest, the swells of her breasts hidden under a black suit jacket, and Greta couldn’t stop looking at her. Since she’d walked in Greta and Han attempting to walk out with the last piece of her stereo system, things had been a little awkward.
They were on their knees, hands behind their heads. That was part of why things were awkward.
“So,” the woman said again. She raised a hand to her face and tapped an immaculately tapered fingernail against her chin, looking coolly thoughtful. “I should probably call the police, now. Shouldn’t I?”
“I wish you wouldn’t.” Greta shuffled a little on her knees. Her shorts felt too short like this, pulling up uncomfortably into her crotch. She glanced at Han, who was looking at her with his jaw tense and his face grim. Police. Jail. They’d come too far for it to end like that. Pulled off too many things, had too many plans come together. But she wasn’t sure how to explain that in any way that sounded at all appealing, and the woman was looking at her and arching an eyebrow in such a way that Greta wasn’t sure she could even speak.
“I bet you do.” The woman laughed, a rich, deep sound, and something in it sent a shiver down the muscles of Greta’s back. “Pretty little thing like you, spending a night in lockup. Maybe a lot of nights. You and your friend. I guess it would be kind of a shame.” She leaned against the back of the plush loveseat and crossed her spike-heeled shoes. “You got any other ideas?”
Han opened his mouth to say something but Greta silenced him with a look. She could feel a thread of something here, a guideline out of the situation, if she could just keep hold of it. The woman was severely beautiful. Would Han be jealous? When she’d rolled up and scooped him out of his bland suburban house and his senior year in an equally bland high school and taken him away with her, she barely had to convince him. She had known from their first moment together than he would do just about anything for her. She loved him, she supposed, in the way that she loved anyone or anything, according to its usefulness. But Han was sweet. And good in bed.
Stupid geek name aside.
“We could pay you back,” she said slowly, lifting her head as much as she could with her hands pressing against the back of her neck. “You know… like washing dishes or whatever. We could do work for you. Whatever you wanted.”
The woman smiled, and it was thin but it was amused. And maybe interested. “And what do you think I’d want?”
“I don’t know.” Greta took a breath. “Like I said. Anything you wanted.”
“Greta, I don’t like this,” Han hissed at her. “Look, let’s just–”
“We’re both eighteen, you fucking moron.” She rolled her eyes and the woman’s smile spread just a touch. “They’ll try us as adults.” She turned her attention forward again. Forward was where the real help would be. She knew it with the kind of instinct that had kept her alive until now, and would see her out of this in one piece.
And Han, too, if he watched his fucking mouth.
“Anything,” she said. “I mean… I’m not really into killing anyone, or anything that could get us killed. But anything else… “ She shrugged, doing her best to seem nonchalant. “Sure, why not?”
The woman nodded, still smiling, and when she shifted her arms, her tits pushed up under her jacket, and Greta stared a little more. And she could tell the woman had seen her staring. So much the better.
“What’re your names?”
“I’m Greta.” She inclined her head in Han’s direction. “He’s Han.”
The woman arched a thinly-trimmed brow. “Han?”
Han flushed, and the combination of his pale skin and red hair made it seem even more pronounced. “It’s… it’s stupid. My dad was a big Star Wars fan.”
“Obviously.” The woman’s lips pulled into a sardonic twist. She nodded briefly, as if satisfied, and stepped away from the loveseat. “I am Circe. I’m not sure I want you to call me that, though. I need to give it some thought. While I’m thinking, you can tell me why you were robbing me.” She pointed down a short, narrow hallway. “And you can tell me on the way to the bedroom.”
“Greta,” Han hissed again, a note of panic creeping into his voice, but Greta ignored him. She and Han fucked pretty regularly, but it had been a while since she’d had much occasion to do anything else, and even the hint of it sent heat rushing south of her belly. It might all turn out to be perfectly innocent, she knew.
But she didn’t think so.
“We just needed money,” she said, beginning to get to her feet, until the sharp sound of Circe’s spike heel clacking against the tile floor stopped her short.
“You can crawl.” Circe smiled thinly. “Walking isn’t for thieves.”
Han stared up at her, and for once Greta could only do the same. But whereas Han looked mildly horrified, Greta felt another rush of that heat. So this. Okay, maybe.
She could do this.
“Okay,” she said, beckoned Han with a look, and started to crawl. When she bent forward on her hands and knees, her shorts dug even harder into her crotch, the lips of her cunt caught and tugged uncomfortably. So maybe it would be nice to have it off entirely, at some point.
“We needed money,” she continued, her eyes on the white tile floor in front of her and the shuffling sound of Han following behind. “We’re… we’ve been living on the streets. We need to eat and we were gonna buy a bus ticket.” Which was partly true. Partly. True enough for her purposes.
She could hear the click, click, click of Circe’s heels as she followed the two of them. Ahead was a door, mostly shut but ajar just wide enough for Greta to see the end of a bed, black metal and white sheets. Everything in the bungalow seemed to be black and white.
“And how do you know each other?”
“She’s my girlfriend,” Han said, and Greta thought he sounded as though he were trying to be strong. Aggressive. Maybe a little bit of a foolish attempt when he was on his hands and knees like that, but she was almost touched. She had never given any indication that she needed his protection, but maybe he was still the kind of boy who would try to provide it.
Circe laughed. “Is she? Well, that just makes everything more interesting.” She lifted a foot and lightly kicked the door open. “In. Go on.”
The bedroom was big, bright, a contrast of blacks and whites, and Greta stopped in the middle of the floor on a furry white rug, looking around. Filing things away in case she needed them later. It was a habit, and more than once it had saved her a lot of trouble. Han stopped beside her, closed his hand over her and when he did she could feel the tension in his body.
“It’ll be fine,” she muttered, and smiled. “Trust me. It’ll be fun. She’s not going to hurt us.” And truthfully, there was no way for her to know that for sure. But she knew it all the same.
Circe had turned slightly away from them, opening a black steamer trunk at the foot of the bed, and Greta realized that this might be their chance. They could make a run for the door, maybe slow Circe down with a well-placed kick on their way out. But she didn’t move. She didn’t really want to. Whatever money they could have gotten for the stereo, this was a lot more interesting already.
And it was even more interesting when Circe turned to them with two sets of leather cuffs in her hands. She smiled again, that delicate, wicked curve of her red lips, seemingly the only red things in here.
Greta returned the smile. “All right…”
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