Whispers

Whispers

Aslan had been acting oddly for days, now.  It wasn’t like him to jump at every sound or to run out of rooms for seemingly no reason.  He was a very loving, lazy cat who enjoyed sunning himself and sleeping in warm, cozy areas.  Edie would usually find him curled up on her laptop or sprawled atop the refrigerator.  At eight years old he had little use for the typical kitten-like mischief, which made his behavior that much more strange.  Edie doubted it was the move to the new house, as she was a military brat and he had been with her through three long distance moves with no issues.

Edie Moss had just finished her senior year of high school when she decided that she and Aslan were going to move to Oregon, where she would work to get her photography business up and running.  Her father was stationed in Washington, and her family had taken many trips down to Oregon for vacations.  It was on one particular trip to see Thor’s Well, that she had fallen in love with the area.  Three years later saw her settling into a small one bedroom, one bathroom house with a basement that would easily convert to a darkroom.  It wasn’t much, but it was hers, and she loved it.  Aslan, however, had started acting skittish the moment they had walked in the door.  Edie tried to console him, but nothing seemed to bring him out of his funk.  Figuring that he would adjust sooner or later, Edie went about unpacking and making the space her own.

Edie jolted upright in her bed and threw her hand out towards the nightstand, searching desperately for her eyeglasses.  As soon as they were placed upon the bridge of her nose she looked around her bedroom, desperately searching for what could have startled her out of her sleep.  She was quite a deep sleeper and rarely had night terrors, so to wake up so abruptly, sweating and feeling jittery was a rather strange occurrence for Edie.  Seeing nothing, but feeling too alert to fall back to sleep, she untangled herself from her sheets and placed her feet on the ground.  Her eyes went wide and gooseflesh erupted down her arms as she felt cool air blow across her Achilles tendons.  Clenching her fists, she popped off the bed and knelt down to see Aslan crouching behind the bed skirt.   Edie chuckled at her apparent overreaction and pulled him towards her, cradling him to her chest.  He let out a quiet mew and bumped her nose with the crown of his head.  Edie smiled and turned just in time to see a dark shadow play against the bathroom door opposite her bedroom.  She squeezed Aslan tighter and took a deep breath, convincing herself that her eyes deceived her.  Obviously the nightmare had amped her adrenaline levels and it was slow to wear off.  Kissing the armful of fluff, she turned and made her way to the kitchen for a glass of water.  As she made it to the refrigerator, there was a creaking in the living room which caused Aslan to jump out of her arms and hide on top of the fridge.  Edie hissed as his back claws had dug in to the tender skin above her breasts whilst making his escape.  Noise forgotten due to the burning sensation, Edie flipped the light on to inspect her wounds.  If she had only looked up, she would have seen the shadowlike reflection of a tall, muscular man standing directly behind her.  She turned the water on and let it warm up a bit before grabbing a paper towel and getting it damp before touching it to the three bloody lacerations.  It stung a bit, but she figured it would do until she got her drink of water and was able to head to the bathroom to clean them out with soap and apply some salve.  Unable to get Aslan down from his hidey-hole, Edie grabbed her water and flipped the light off, still not catching the figure hovering behind her.

Edie and Aslan had been living in the home for just eight days, and it had been four days since she had been wounded.  The bleeding had stopped almost immediately, but Edie kept finding drops of blood in strange places.  She’d spotted them on her bathroom counter, her nightstand, the doorknob to the back yard and on top of her dining room table.  Each time she discovered more, she attentively checked Aslan over making absolutely sure he wasn’t wounded in anyway.  He never was, but he also had yet to relax in the home.  On that note, Edie had been pulled violently from sleep every night since the first incident.  The nerves were starting to take their toll on her, with her imagining more and more often she was seeing things in her peripheral vision.

It was much too late at night for her to be up and working in her darkroom, but she couldn’t help but push herself to finish this project.  Edie knew when she took these photos that they would be gorgeous and that her family would love to see Aslan in all his glory in front of the beautiful view she had from the bay window situated in her living room.  She set the timer on her watch to alert her when she needed to take the photos out of the developer and started to ascend the stairs to the kitchen.  Her hand was shaking as she attempted to pour the coffee into her red mug.  She was hearing them again.  The whispers.   She couldn’t make out what was being said, but it was terribly unsettling.  She rubbed her eyes and sighed, then cried out as her knuckles brushed against the hot pot of coffee she was settling back over the hot plate.  She glanced down and was hardly surprised to see the skin was an angry red, already preparing to blister.  Another sigh left her lips as she turned to run them under cold water, hoping to lessen the swelling and soothe the burn.

After quickly applying some burn cream to her newest injuries, Edie rushed down the stairs into the basement and shut herself away in the dark room.  Something felt off, but she shook the feeling off and got busy finishing up the developing process.  She didn’t take more than a quick peek at the wet photographs as she clipped them up to dry, barely able to keep her eyes open.  All she wanted at that moment was to crawl up the stairs and into her bed.  Hopefully she would have a cuddle partner, if only she could convince Aslan to stop hiding under the bed.  She hit the lights and, once again, trudged up the stairs, calling for her furry companion on her way to the bedroom.

Edie woke up feeling exhausted, but excited for her day.  It was lovely out and it would be perfect to drive down and get some shots of Thor’s Well.  She was hoping she might get the perfect shot to turn into a postcard or something that she could sell to eager tourists.  As she prepared for the day she noticed that Aslan was looking disheveled.  Her tiny lion was just not himself.  She resolved to make an appointment for him to be seen just as soon as she got home from her outing.  With a behind-the-ears scratch and a kiss to the head, Edie was out the door and driving down the coast.  She didn’t notice the blood spatter on the floor beside the couch before she left.

Arriving home Edie was practically vibrating with excitement at the day she had just had.  She had been able to capture some absolutely incredible photos and even handed out her business card to a few people who had stopped to chat with her.  She walked into her home and locked the door while calling out for Aslan, hoping to see him back to himself but was once again disappointed and concerned.  He didn’t look any better than he had that morning, and in fact seemed worse.  She scooped him up and gave him a cuddle, then went to contact the local veterinarian to schedule an appointment for the next day.  Once that was complete, she noted the time and figured she would eat and feed Aslan before heading down to the dark room to start developing the pictures from today and look over the ones she had developed the day before.

She cleaned up after herself and rinsed Aslan’s dishes out, ignoring the now familiar sensation of gooseflesh as it seemed to be a constant when in her new home.  Once she made it into the darkroom, she set her camera down and went over to the photo line.  She pulled the pictures down, one by one, until she had them stacked neatly in her arms and took them over to her little table to give them a proper look over.  Edie’s wide smile dimmed as she caught a strange figure and face in the photos that most certainly shouldn’t have been there.  The more she looked through, the more she started to hear the whispers; to understand what was being said.  She looked up from the now disorganized pile of photographs and stared at the corner of the room where a tall, muscular man was standing.  Their eyes locked as he continued to whisper things to her and tears of blood ran down her face.  She could faintly hear Aslan scratching at the basement door.

Whispers: Dorothy’s Story

Dorothy had lived in Yachats, Oregon for most of her life.  At 68 years of age, that was saying quite a bit.  She’d seen things change and people come and go often.  The small house at the end of her road was one that had seen quite a bit of traffic.  As a young girl, she remembered the house as being warm and inviting.  The elderly couple that lived there were always kind and she often went there after school for piano lessons and warm oatmeal cookies.  Mr. and Mrs. Walker had two children that had moved out long ago, and had their own families.  Dorothy remembered the day she met their eldest son, Geoffrey.  She had never seen the man before, but he looked quite a bit like his father.  Tall and muscular, he was a handsome man, if a bit stern looking.  She approached the house for her lessons, but was told that the elder Walkers had passed away in their sleep over the weekend.  Dorothy was distraught.  They had seemed so lively just the week before when she had seen them last.  She was slightly consoled by the knowledge that they went together and peacefully, though.

It wasn’t long after his parents had passed that Geoffrey and his wife, Margaret, moved into the home.  Dorothy hadn’t been back inside the Walker’s home since the wake.  She noted how cold and uninviting it felt, but had attributed that to the death of people she had considered friends.  Walking to her home from school, she could sometimes see Margaret standing and gazing out the window.  For some reason, this made Dorothy very uncomfortable.  Something seemed off about the couple, but she could never place what it was.  Maybe it was due to her age, or the fact that she grew up in a loving household, but others in the neighborhood knew what was going on.  She heard snippets of her parents talking quietly or the whispers of her mother’s friends when they came over for their book club meetings.  She didn’t fully understand, though, until she woke up to her mother sobbing, crying about how awful it was.  Apparently Geoffrey wasn’t quite right in the head and had killed his wife in a brutal fashion, bleeding her through cuts all over body before finally slitting her throat with a hunting knife.  He wrote notes about the voices he heard in his head all along the walls and floor in her blood, before embedding the same hunting knife into his brain.

It took years, a dirt cheap price and a young couple from out of state for that house to eventually sell.  The couple didn’t move in straight away, but took the money they had saved in the sale price and used it to completely remodel the home.  Dorothy still didn’t want to get near the house, but was happy to see the change in it, as the reminders of the horror the house had seen seemed to fade a bit.  The couple had only been living in the newly updated home for a few weeks when they suddenly packed their things and posted the house for sale.  None of the townspeople knew for certain why the young couple did this, but there were plenty of rumors going around.

For thirty years, this house was bought and subsequently put back on the market.  Dorothy had lost count of the times the property changed hands, but remembered it was the early nineties when someone bought the place and turned it into a rental home.  After the first five tenants moved in and out within the first year, Dorothy could remember thinking that the owner was raking in fees from broken leases.

It wasn’t until about fifteen years later, when a young woman and her cat moved into the home that things seemed to change.  Edie seemed like such a sweet girl, coming over to introduce herself to Dorothy, telling her about herself and her photography.  Dorothy had even met Aslan, when Edie had seen her out in her front lawn tending her small garden.  Edie was a strong young woman, stubborn even, Dorothy could tell.  She wondered how long she would stay in the home before packing her things and her cat and leaving like all of the tenants before her had.

Dorothy was out in her garden when she saw Edie packing her camera gear into her car.  She waved as Edie drove off, and wondered what she would be photographing this time.  Dorothy took her time tending to her flowers and sweeping off her porch before she went inside to eat lunch and rest.  Just before closing her front door, her eyes went to Aslan in the bay window of the house down the street, and a chill went down her spine.  That had happened before, always right before the other tenants had moved out and she assumed she’d see Edie packing her things into her car for good tomorrow morning.

She had just finished washing her dishes from dinner when she saw Edie’s car pulling in to the driveway.  Dorothy had the thought to step outside and say something to Edie; say anything to her.  She stopped, however, as she realized that any warning she may have would probably just be taken as the crazy ramblings of an old woman.  No, Dorothy thought, better to just experience the strangeness and move on with life.  She spared one last look at the house at the end of the road and turned towards her bedroom to retire for the evening.

Dorothy’s eyes fluttered as the sun peeked between her blinds.  She had the oddest sense of foreboding, but shook it off to start her day.  She carried on with her typical tasks in typical fashion, but there was something not quite right about the day.  Dusk came and she realized that she hadn’t seen Edie leave the house all day.  While that wasn’t completely abnormal, she couldn’t help but be concerned about the sweet girl that lived in that strange house.  She glanced down the street, but didn’t see anything amiss.  Dorothy shook her head and closed the blinds.  If she didn’t hear anything from Edie before supper tomorrow, she promised herself that she would head over and take a look for herself.

Swatting at the covers and sitting upright, Dorothy awoke with her heart pounding and sweat running down the back of her neck.  Although she was unsure what had caused her night terror, or even what it was about, she vowed to head over to see Edie directly after breakfast.  Dorothy hopped into a cool shower and swiftly fixed a bowl of oatmeal.  She ate and washed up quickly, before heading out the door.  She hadn’t made it halfway to Edie’s house when she caught sight of a rather disheveled looking Aslan pawing madly at the bay window.  As disconcerting as that was, the red streaks left behind on the glass were more so.  Dorothy rushed to Edie’s front door and began to knock.  Receiving no response did nothing to settle Dorothy’s panic, and she began to beat heavily on the door while calling to the younger woman.  When she heard nothing but Aslan’s frantic mewling, she used the spare key that Edie had given her shortly after moving in.

The door creaked as it opened and Aslan rushed between Dorothy’s legs.  Bending down to try and soothe the agitated cat, Dorothy was alerted to the red stains covering his tawny coat.  She gasped and stood upright, once again calling out to Edie.  She heard nothing and started to become even more concerned.  Dorothy checked room to room and came up empty.  Aslan ran between her legs for the second time and then ran to the door leading down to Edie’s darkroom.  Realizing what the feline was trying to tell her, she slowly opened the basement door.

The stairway light wouldn’t come on, and it wasn’t until she stepped on broken glass halfway down the stairs did Dorothy realize why.  Somehow the bulb had exploded, leaving the staircase shrouded in an eerie darkness.  Once she finally reached the basement floor, Dorothy saw the red light flickering under the crack of the darkroom door.  She took a deep breath and approached the door, calling out to Edie.  When no response was heard, she twisted the handle and pushed the door inwards.  The sight that greeted her was one she would never forget.

There, sat at her reviewing table, was Edie.  The girl’s eyes were blown wide open and blood covered almost every pale inch of her face.  Dorothy couldn’t believe what she was seeing.  It was terrifying and her body was frozen with shock.  Blood was pooled around the chair Edie was sitting in, her clothing drenched in it.  There was so much blood, Dorothy thought, there was no way she was still alive.  She tremulously made her way towards the younger woman and gently laid her fingers on Edie’s neck to check for a pulse.  Although Edie was cool to the touch, Dorothy could detect a faint pulse and she immediately pulled her hand away.  As quickly as she could, Dorothy took off up the stairs and called 911.

Not more than fifteen minutes had passed between trying to describe the scene to the emergency operator and paramedics rushing into the house.  Dorothy couldn’t even bring herself to go back down to where she had found Edie.  She had scooped Aslan into her arms and sat, rocking herself back and forth on the couch.  When the paramedics and police had entered the house, she just lifted a shaking hand and pointed towards the basement door.  She tried her best to answer the questions the police asked her, but she really didn’t know much.  The only things she knew for certain was that there was no way in hell she was ever stepping foot in this house again and that she would never be able to erase what she had seen, no matter how desperately she would try.

The Last Straw

For two weeks now, SSA Dr. Spencer Reid had been holed up in his apartment, struggling with the crippling guilt and depression left in the wake of Dr. Maeve Donovan’s murder.  His teammates, his friends, had come by and called numerous times, but Spencer couldn’t bring himself to speak to or see anyone.  The weight of his emotions was crushing him, and he was teetering on the edge of a major depressive episode.  He just couldn’t find the will to shower, let alone be babied and face all of the pitying stares.  He knew that his friends were worried and, honestly, they had reason to be.  Spencer had spent much of those two weeks struggling to stay sober.  He craved the sweet numbness he could experience with Dilaudid.  He had worked so hard to get and stay clean, but at this point he was questioning the point of it all.  Was it worth it to stay sober when he felt the way he did?  He had lost the one woman he had ever loved and who truly understood him.  He had wanted to spend the rest of his life with this incredible woman, but that future had been cruelly ripped away from him, and he knew that he would never meet someone more perfectly suited for him.  He heard her voice in his mind and tears ran down his cheeks as he curled into the couch even more, tightly gripping “The Narrative of John Smith” in his arms.

The ringing of his phone jarred him out of his troubled sleep.  He glanced at the phone, and then turned to look at the cover of the book that Maeve had left for him at the restaurant.  He still wasn’t prepared to deal with anyone.

“Hey Reid, it’s Derek.  Listen, I’ve got a work question for you.  The UNSUB is exsanguinating the victims and removing their eyelids ante mortem.  Does that mean anything to you?  Hit me back.”  Spencer listened as the voice of his best friend, SSA Derek Morgan, came through the speakers of his answering machine.  He wrestled with himself.  On one hand he had no desire to speak to anyone, but this was his friend and teammate and they needed his help.  He leaned over the armrest of the couch and grasped the phone’s receiver.

After a short conversation with Derek, Spencer decided to put in a call to SSA Anderson to request the case file.

“Hi Anderson, this is Dr. Reid.  I was wondering if you could possibly bring me the file on the case my team is currently working on,” Spencer asked.  Anderson, while surprised to hear from him, hurriedly agreed and promised to bring it over within the hour.  Deciding that he should at least look mildly presentable, Spencer forced himself to his small bathroom to take a quick shower.

Less than 45 minutes had passed when he heard a knock at his door.  Spencer, clad in brown corduroy pants and a rumpled indigo colored button up, padded to the door and glanced through the peep hole.  Seeing Anderson give a small smile and lift the case file, Spencer opened the door and greeted the fellow agent.  Seeing the collection of gift baskets littering his hallway, he gathered them and set them just inside the apartment.  Anderson was there for no more than five minutes before he was headed back to Quantico, and Spencer was sat back on his couch, although this time he had a case file spread before him and he was sedately munching on the mixed nuts he had been gifted.

It didn’t take long before he’d gotten the geographical profile ironed out, and he made a second call to Morgan.

“What’s up, kid,” Derek answered.

“If it is about the art, then it’s clear the disposal sites are scattered around the Mission District area,” Spencer told the older agent.

“Wait a minute.  How did you know-“ Derek started to ask, but Spencer interrupted him.

“I had Anderson bring over some of the files.”

“All right.  All right, hold on a second.  Let me patch in Garcia,” Derek said.  “Reid,” he said once the patch went through.

“Garcia, you should pull a list of all the art galleries in San Francisco,” Spencer said to Penelope.

“Reid, I was just…how are you?”  Penelope’s soft, concerned voice floated through.

“Better.  Thanks for asking.  And thanks for the baskets.  You know, nuts have magnesium, which helps produce-“ Spencer was cut off by Penelope.

“Serotonin.  Yea.  I know,” she said.  “Ok, galleries.  I got a lot.”

“Focus on the Mission District,” Spencer said before hanging up.

That little bit of interaction with two of his closest friends warmed his heart.  He could hear their affection for him in their voices, and while he still didn’t really want to leave the solitude of his apartment, he felt maybe he should.  He collapsed back onto his couch and ate a few more of the nuts Penelope had so kindly chosen for him.

Twenty minutes later saw Spencer zipping up his freshly packed go bag and heading towards the phone to let Garcia know he was going to fly out to San Francisco to help the team.  Just as his fingertips brushed the receiver, the phone started ringing.

“Hello,” Spencer answers the call, brows furrowed.

“Dr. Reid?  This is Dr. Norman from Bennington Sanitarium,” the voice says from the other end of the line.  Spencer’s heart starts to race.  It never is a good thing when his mother’s doctor calls him.

“Yes, Dr. Norman?  What’s going on,” he asks.

“I’m sorry to inform you that your mother died this afternoon, Spencer.  She had complained of a headache last night then this morning she fell to the ground and started seizing right after lunch.  We think it may have been caused by a brain aneurysm.  She was gone before the EMTs showed up.  I am so very sorry,” Dr. Norman informed Spencer.

“I…thank you for calling to let me know,” Spencer replied in a flat tone.  He said nothing more before his knees gave out and he dropped the phone.  He didn’t know what to do.  Spencer was devastated by the news of his mother’s death.  Two of the most wonderful women that he’d ever known in his life being cruelly snatched away in less than a month, and Spencer could only feel like he was being punished for something.  What had he done to deserve this pain?  He’d done his best to care for his mother for as long as he possibly could, but she had needed more help than he could provide by himself.  He had tried to save Maeve, but ultimately was unable to.  Maybe this was his fate.  Being left behind by everyone he loved.  His father hadn’t cared enough to stay when he was a child, Ethan had dropped all communications with him after their first day at the academy, and Elle had ran off and hadn’t been heard from since.  Gideon, a man that Spencer had looked up to as a father and mentor, had left the same way his actual father had, leaving just a note.  JJ had been torn away from the team, although she had come back, and Emily had faked her death, come back to the team, and had left again.  Maeve had been murdered and his mother had succumbed to a brain aneurysm, of all things.

Spencer was tired of all of the hurt from being left by his loved ones.  He was tired of trying to get past these losses he had suffered.  There was only one way to take away those feelings, though, and he would have to force himself to his feet to go and find it.

The sound of his door closing echoed through the empty apartment, as Spencer left to find his old dealer.

Accidental

He should have never been there in the first place.  It wasn’t her fault, but he blamed her for it, anyway.  Ever since Sam pulled her out of the woods, the wolves had all felt a bit connected to her in some way.  Sam and Jared just chalked it up to being concerned about Bella being mistreated by the leeches, but Paul knew it was something more.  What, though, he couldn’t put his finger on.  It was driving him mad, this draw he felt towards this girl he’d never even met.  One way or another, he would figure it out.

 

Bella was so angry.  Anger and hurt and so many other emotions she couldn’t even describe welled up inside of her.  How dare he say those awful things to her?  She just couldn’t reconcile the boy she fell in love with telling her that she was a distraction; that she was a simple minded human who would soon forget all about the supernatural world.  The existence of supposedly mythical creatures was not something that one could just turn around and forget about. For some reason, during her internal rant, she was reminded of the tribal legends Jacob once told her.

 

Paul knew that it was time to return to the res, but he couldn’t bring himself to walk away.  He didn’t have another patrol until tomorrow morning, and it’s not like he would be missed if he didn’t go home.  The only people he was accountable to were his pack, and even they held him at arm’s length.  Paul didn’t blame them, not really.  He knew that his personality was a bit abrasive and they didn’t want to subject their mates to him.  He didn’t really want to be subjected to their mates, either, though.  He wasn’t their biggest fan.

 

Tossing and turning in her bed, Bella tried her hardest to get back to sleep.  Glancing over at her alarm clock, she noted the time at just past three in the morning.  Groaning, she rubbed her eyes and sat up.  Obviously her attempts at sleep were futile.  She eased herself off of her bed and grabbed her blanket, wrapping it around her shoulders.  Walking quietly to the seat beneath her window, she picked up her copy of Great Expectations and thumbed to her bookmarked page.  Just a few pages in, her eyes were drawn to the woods outside her window.

 

Tired, but unable to sleep, propped up in the branches of the tree as he was, Paul rested with his eyes closed, listening to the subtle sounds of the forest at night.  The rustling of sheets inside of the house caught his attention and he slowly opened his eyes.  He watched her slender frame move towards the window and gently settle in, legs curled beneath her.  He could tell she was reading, but wasn’t able to make out the title of the book.  A few moments later, he watched as she looked towards where he rested and their eyes met.

 

Bella couldn’t see much of anything in the inky darkness of the hour, but just after she had glanced towards the trees, she felt a sharp jolt in her chest.  With a quick intake of air, she placed her right hand just above her breasts.  Her heart beat swiftly, and her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.  She could find no reason for this physical reaction, so she shook off the strange occurrence.  Bella’s eyes went back to the words of Charles Dickens for but a moment before being pulled back to the same spot in the trees she had looked before.

 

Stunned, Paul almost fell out of the tree.  His heart and mind were racing.  He had imprinted on Bella Swan!  On one hand, he was ecstatic, on the other, he wasn’t sure what to feel.  The other imprints were so meek and mild, subservient almost.  Paul had often wondered if they had always been that way, or if that was caused by the imprinting.  If it was, he would do whatever he could to break it, as taking away a woman’s personality was unacceptable in his book.  At least he had figured out the reason he was drawn to Bella.

 

Without her permission, Bella’s hand reached up and unlatched the window, opening it to the cool, humid night air.  The crisp scent of autumn and wet earth invaded her senses, along with something else that she couldn’t place, yet gave her a sense of contentment.  A small smile graced her face, as she felt she was finally letting go of the hurt and anger Edward had caused by his callous words and abandonment.  She was young, intelligent and pretty.  There was much to look forward to in her life, and she wouldn’t allow a perpetual teenage boy drag her down.

 

As soon as the window was opened, Paul was treated to an intoxicating aroma.  His eyes rolled back in his head as he deeply inhaled the delectable scent of wild strawberries and warm French vanilla.  He opened his eyes just in time to see a beautiful smile on the face of his imprint.  A smile!  He was thrilled to see the look of utter pleasure on Bella’s face, and could feel himself smiling as well.  Slowly, he eased himself down from the tree and moved gracefully towards the open window, intent on speaking with his girl for the first time.

 

Bella spotted movement at the tree line, and watched a handsome, half naked man walking towards her house.  She looked him over from head to toe, enjoying the shape of his muscled frame.  She wasn’t sure what this man was doing in her backyard, nor why he was heading straight for her, and yet she could do nothing but stare at him, ensnared as she was by the look in his eyes.  Well, life certainly couldn’t be all bad if this hunk of a man revealed himself to her on a regular basis.  Maybe he could lose the shorts, too.

 

As soon as Paul had made it close enough to Bella to be heard, he told her that he had something he needed to show her.  She looked a bit confused, but smiled and nodded her head in acceptance.  He never broke eye contact with her as he stripped out of his shorts, and enjoyed the look of lust in her eyes.  He couldn’t help the cocky smirk that spread across his face any more than he could help the twitch his dick gave.  He wouldn’t apologize for it, but he had hoped he had better control of his body.

 

Bella had never seen a nude man in person, though she couldn’t think of a better male specimen to see for the first time.  She had no idea why he felt the need to give her a show, but she certainly wouldn’t complain.  The view was much too nice.  The confusion and lust caused by this man’s impromptu strip show chased the lingering bits of nasty emotions she had felt away.  She was now singularly focused on whatever this man had to show her because if it was anything like she was seeing now, she had no reason to complain.

 

Paul pulled his attention from the brunette beauty staring at him and focused his attention inward, calling forth the wolf.  He felt the beginnings of the shift, and took one last glance at Bella through his human eyes watching her own widen in shock.  Landing on his front paws, he stretched and then sat back on his haunches.  Paul was trying his best to tune out the panicked voice of Jared in his mind, but quickly gave up and sent him a quick replay of his imprinting on the girl who was staring at him, mouth agape and eyes unblinking.

 

Bella couldn’t believe what she was seeing.  So, the tribal legends that Jacob had told her were true!  She had known that at least the vampire bit was true, but watching this man turn into a horse sized wolf right before her was mind blowing.  She finally got her body back under control, and snapped her mouth shut, blinking rapidly.  She backed away from the window slowly until she heard a pitiful whine.  Quickly returning to the casement, she held up a single finger in a ‘just a moment’ gesture and turned around, collecting herself and hurried down the stairs.

 

Paul cocked his head to the side and listened to her footsteps, wondering what she was doing.  Hearing a door sliding open, he stood and shuffled in place.  He watched Bella as she quickly made her way around to the side of the house, stumbling in the dark, and walked right up to him showing no fear.  This pleased him greatly, especially as it had rendered Jared completely mute.  Emily and Kim were extremely uncomfortable around the boys in their wolf forms, so seeing Bella accept him in this body was quite satisfying.  Paul nudged her gently with his head.

 

Bella couldn’t help but to reach out and scratch behind the behemoth’s ears, causing him to make a grumbling sort of noise.  She couldn’t help but giggle and wonder if he’d start kicking with his back leg soon.  She sighed and pushed on him, telling him that she thought it was time he turned back into a man and explained things.  The large wolf chuffed and took a few steps back.  Bella watched in fascination as the wolf seemingly melted away into the strapping, bronzed body of the, so far, nameless man.  She took another opportunity to check him out.

 

Paul chuckled as he grabbed his shorts and slid them on, resulting in a pout forming on Bella’s face.  He introduced himself and divulged the legends of the cold ones and the protectors to her, but was shocked when she let him know that she had heard them before.  He laughed as she blushed, regaling him with her amateur attempt at flirting and coercing the information she had wanted out of the naïve Jacob.  Paul was elated to see that his imprint, while a bit shy, was not the meek thing that his pack mates’ imprints were.  She was wonderful.

 

For her part, Bella was completely captivated by Paul.  Not only was he fun to look at, but he was fun to talk to.  Charming and intelligent, but with a quick wit and biting humor, she enjoyed conversing with him quite a bit.  Finally she asked him why he felt the need to reveal himself to her.  He seemed to tense up a bit, but after a deep breath he explained imprinting and how it applied to them.  She was taken aback at first, and maybe a little hesitant due to her recent epic failure in the world of dating.

 

Paul can practically see what is going through her head and rushes to reassure her that he wasn’t trying to push her into anything.  All he wanted from Bella was a chance for them to really get to know one another.  Later on they could decide, together, where they wanted their relationship to go.  He had high hopes she would agree to that, and was slightly reassured by her answering smile.  A bright grin broke out on his face as she told him she couldn’t wait to get to know him more, and he grabbed her in a bear hug.

 

The embrace that Paul had given her had probably been the best one Bella had ever had.  She had never felt so safe or cared for as she had in those few moments.  She knew then that the relationship between them would likely progress swiftly.  Surprisingly, that thought didn’t make her feel uncomfortable.  She was rather looking forward to it.  Paul was different, she could tell.  He seemed self-assured and assertive; knowing what he wants and going after it.  She smirked.  He also didn’t seem to have any reservations about being nude, so maybe he’d teach her about carnal pleasure.

 

It started with that one night Paul could not control his curiosity.  It had been two weeks since that first night and things were progressing rather nicely, Bella thought.  They had talked about everything, from their lives before the supernatural had invaded to how Bella had gotten tangled up with the Cullens and how Paul had dealt with phasing for the first time. Although Paul was brash and unapologetic, Bella appreciated these things about him.  He was real and honest.  Rough around the edges, maybe, but he was true to who he was, and she loved it.  She loved him.

 

Paul was enjoying learning so much about his imprint.  She was caring and loyal, but she wasn’t one to be pushed around. Paul liked that a lot.  He respected that about her.  It was honestly a bit confusing to him how she had bent to the demands of the leeches, but maybe that had to do with their creepy vamp pheromones, or whatever the hell it was that made normal humans think they were so enthralling.  He had kept his cool when she told him about her experience with the tracker, but it wasn’t without effort.  He was falling hard.

 

Bella sat on her front porch, waiting for Paul to show up.  She was a bit surprised that he hadn’t beat her here, as he typically did on days his patrol schedule didn’t interfere.  Leaning back to rest on her elbows, she enjoyed the mild weather while wondering what was keeping him.  Did they find something while patrolling their land, or were Sam and Jared giving him a hard time about their relationship again?  She did her best not to worry over her imprint, but she wasn’t able to shake the concern completely.  She sighed, and resigned herself to waiting.

 

Running as a man wasn’t Paul’s preferred method of getting to his imprint’s house, but he didn’t feel like dealing with his pack mates at the moment.  Although they were supportive, somewhat, Sam and Jared had both expressed concerns about how Paul was dealing with the situation.  He didn’t understand why.  He and Bella were both happy and taking things at the pace they both felt most comfortable.  He wouldn’t be pressured into toeing the line, nor would he allow Bella to be.  Paul was sure Bella’s personality had something to do with their discontent.  She wasn’t like the others.

 

She wasn’t sure how long she’d been waiting, but as soon as she heard the crunch of leaves coming from the side of the house she was up on her feet.  Paul had just rounded the house when Bella launched herself into his arms, and pressing her body tightly against his.  She loved the strength and warmth he possessed.  Bella nuzzled her face into Paul’s neck and took deep, greedy breaths of his scent and could feel him doing the same, with his nose pressed into her hair.  She pulled back and tilted her head upwards, locking eyes with him.

 

Paul loved Bella’s scent.  It was, at once, soothing and arousing.  Feeling his length harden in his shorts, he quietly grunted and looked down into her eyes.  She felt it, too, he knew she did.  The spike in her scent told him so, as well as the increased heat between her legs.  There was little else he wanted, at that moment, than to rip her clothes from her body and bury himself in her sweet heat, but they weren’t ready for that just yet.  He leaned in closer and pressed his lips to hers, enjoying their sweet taste and texture.

 

Bella moaned into the kiss.  Paul’s tongue beckoned her lips to part, and she didn’t hesitate to open herself to him.  This wasn’t the first kiss they had shared, but it seemed more urgent this time than it had in the past.  As much as she was enjoying it, she had a nagging feeling that Paul was distraught about something, and she wanted to get that taken care of and out of the way.  After the issue was settled, maybe they could take this upstairs into her bedroom.  She was hoping to be less dressed and horizontal with him shortly.

 

Paul groaned in disappointment when Bella broke the kiss, but rested his forehead against hers and took in another breath of her scent.  He slid her down his body to set her on her feet, causing both of them to moan.  Paul took her hand as she stepped away from him and couldn’t help smiling at her.  He took in her flushed cheeks and darkened eyes and was amazed by her beauty.  Her dark hair and eyes set against her alabaster skin was striking, especially in the sunlight.  He couldn’t help but to pull her in for one more kiss.

 

Bella sighed and stepped back, gently tugging on Paul’s hand.  She led him up the porch steps and into the living room of her home.  Bella dropped his hand and slid off her light sweatshirt, revealing the thinning, cotton band shirt she’d worn underneath.  She heard Paul’s breath catch in his throat and quickly remembered she hadn’t bothered with a bra this morning.  Bella blushed lightly, but was flattered that the hint of her nipples through the material of her shirt aroused him.  Smiling, she tilted her head towards the couch and prepared herself to hear what was bothering him.

 

Paul knew he needed to explain why he was late getting here and what was eating at him, but that glimpse of her tight little nipples was enough to get both the wolf and the man riled up and ready for action.  He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before settling onto the couch close to his imprint, but not touching her.  As much as he wanted her on his lap, he wouldn’t be able to have any sort of coherent conversation with her that closely, right now.  He took a moment to organize his thoughts before speaking.

Sully the Snow

“Are you sure this is okay?  I would hate to feel like we’re imposing on their couples retreat.”

Bella bit her lip and sighed.  She’d been so excited to just catch a break from everyday life that when the cabin was mentioned she had packed up her bags and put them in the car within a minute.  Now that they had arrived, however, she was worried that they would be intruding on the other Whitlock couple’s little get away.  Jasper just shook his head and chuckled at her concern.

“Darlin’ I promise you, they’ll be real happy that we decided to join them.  You know Peter better than to think he would have invited us if they hadn’t really wanted us here.”

“You’re right, of course.  When are they supposed to get here?  I can’t wait to look around!  This place is beautiful,” Bella said while she admired the gorgeous architecture of the cabin and the way the snow contrasted against the lovely dark wood.  They had done quite a bit of traveling together and stayed at damn near every bit of property that was owned amongst the Whitlock coven, but Peter and Char had just plucked this one up a few months back.  After having it gutted and remodeled, this would be the first time anyone had actually stayed in it.

“Well, someone was a bit overeager in getting out of the house and into the country, so we won’t be seeing them for at least another six hours.  What do you say we make a quick run up to Calgary to hunt, kitten?  It won’t take more than two hours to get there,” Jasper wheedled.  It wasn’t imperative that he hunt right away, but it would kill time and relax the both of them.  Besides, it had been months since they’d hunted in Calgary.  It was time to clean up the streets a bit; time to take out the dregs of society.

“Ooh, time to take a bite outta crime?” Bella bounced on her toes and smirked.

“Come on, McGruff, let’s get on out of here,” Jasper replied, grinning down at his mate.

They took off through the glistening snow heading north.  The scenery was absolutely lovely this time of year.  Bella had fun using the trees’ trunks as launch pads and limbs as poles to vault like the Traceur she had become.  Shortly before her change, the two had watched some film that was heavily focused on Parkour and she got it into her mind that once her clumsiness was no longer a problem, she would teach herself how to move like that.  Jasper agreed to learn as well, and it was something that they both had immense amounts of fun doing.  They quickly learned, however, that they enjoyed a natural setting as opposed to hurtling around the city.

They arrived in Calgary just after sunset and decided to walk around downtown for a while.  Their prey wouldn’t be out just yet, anyway.  Holding hands, they looked into shop windows and even found a small pseudo-cabin warming gift for the other Whitlock couple.  Time passed quickly and they headed towards the clubs.  It was rarely difficult to find their particular fare around bars and clubs.  Although it was still early, it didn’t seem to matter to the scum; those human monsters that preyed on inebriated or smaller party goers.

It wasn’t long before they heard a surprised scream and muffled pleadings of a young woman.  Quickly but discreetly making their way to the source of the cries, Jasper used his gift to knock the female unconscious.  The three men chuckled and rudely joked about how it didn’t matter if she was awake or not, that they would use her body the same.  Bella and Jasper stepped out of the shadows and made their presence known.

“Well, hell, look at that pretty little thing!  Come on over here, sweetheart.  Let a real man show you a good time,” one of the lowlifes called out.  His buddies snickered at his comment and leered at Bella like they couldn’t wait to get their hands on her.

Jasper growled, long and low.  Bella shivered, as she never could get past how erotic that rumbling was to her.

“Real men don’t need to gang up on and attack a woman to get their dicks wet.  No, I’ve already got myself a real man.  We’re only here for a quick bite to eat.”  The smile on her face promised pain.

Jasper ramped up the attackers’ fear until they were shaking and close to hyperventilating.  Bella and Jasper pounced on their prey.  Bella already had her fangs into the smallest man’s throat while Jasper knocked the two remaining degenerates’ heads together, knocking them both out.  He began to drink deeply from one, pushing the other to the ground.  Two more bodies hit the asphalt, as the couple finished their meals.  They glanced at one another heatedly.

“You up for sharing dessert, kitten?”

“Mmm, that sounds lovely, Major,” Bella purred.

Jasper reached down and hauled the last of the would-be rapists up in between his mate and himself.  Staring into one another’s eyes, they bit into either side of his throat.  The hot and savory crimson blood gushed into their mouths.

Soon the flow of blood was petering out and the man’s heart stopped.  Bella kept a hold of the back of his jacket while her mate returned to the two cooling bodies just feet away.  After grasping onto them, the pair made their way to a large dumpster settled at the employee’s entrance of the nightclub.  Dumping the bodies in, Bella chuckles as she nicks her palm to spread venom over the recently deceased and Jasper smirks at her as he tosses a burning book of matches on top.

“Fire in the hole,” the blonde vampire mutters.

“Indeed.  Back to West Glacier, cowboy?” Bella tossed over her shoulder, as she was already heading towards the main street.

“We’ve still got some time to kill, kitten,” Jasper drawled.

Bella smirked as her eyes darkened to ebony.  She flashed her mate a sensual look and licked the tip of one fang.

“There’s quite a bit of forest with pristine snow to sully on our way back to the cabin.  I’m sure we can spend our time wisely.”

Jasper’s eyes flashed midnight and a slow, provocative grin graced his face.  Glacier National Park was about to be defiled.

Tales of a Smut Slinger

Phallus Frenzy

Portland, OR Summer of 2005

 

I’m surrounded by cocks.

 

Literally.

 

I’m on my knees, sweating in this poorly lit room, hands working in a frenzy. Just forty-five minutes more of this and you can go home and crack open a tall boy of PBR, I tell myself. That should get this awful taste out of my mouth. I give myself a mental shake and attempt to get my head back in the game. The lights flicker and I furrow my brow in agitation.

 

Seriously? How’s a girl supposed to work in these conditions? It’s hotter than sin back here and I can barely see a thing. One of these suckers is going to fly out of my hand and put my eye out! I envision myself in an eye patch and snort. The look I am given clearly says, “what the hell?” I ignore it.

 

The stench in this room is overwhelming, yet I push through it to finish my task. I’m exhausted by this point and it’s obvious. I’ve been at this for the last nine hours, and the enthusiasm with which I started my work day has long since faded. I got screwed out of my lunch break and I’m alarmed to notice I’m shaking a bit and it’s not due to incredible pleasure. I guess the protein I got earlier just wasn’t enough…go figure. The door swings open and I’m hit with a gust of cool air and the sounds of Peaches’ Fuck the Pain Away. The breeze feels incredible on my overheated skin and I let out a sigh.

 

“Alright, let’s wrap this up and head out for the day. I can’t take much more of this,” Dan says.

 

He’s only been here for three hours and all he’s done is walk around, barking orders at us. Orders that, honestly, make no sense. How the fuck did he get this job? Oh, that’s right…nepotism. Boinking the owner’s daughter obviously has its perks. It’s clear to the rest of us that Dan is a chest hair celebrating, gold chain wearing asshat who enjoys the sound of his own voice too much. He met the company owner’s daughter on the set of some cheesy disco bush porn in the mid-eighties and has been harassing lowly grunt workers, such as myself, ever since.

 

Sighing out of both frustration and relief, I toss the King Dong suction cup dildo down onto its rightful pile. My coworker and friend, B, glances over at me and smirks. Dick.

 

“What’s wrong, Bitsy? Got your hands full? Had a long, hard day?” He chuckles at his own penis puns.

 

“B…I love you, I do. But if you call me Bitsy one more time, I will gouge your fucking eyeball out with that new anal speculum in the case up front,” I tell him.

 

He winces slightly as I smile a crazy little smile. We work together to compile our inventory lists and sign off on them, checking behind the other. After a quick high five we exit the back room arm in arm, almost running right into Carlos, one of the janitors. I clue him in to the faulty air unit and the light bulbs that need replacing and he promises on get right on it. I give him a “good game” ass pat and continue on the way to freedom.

 

We’re so close to clocking out and grabbing those PBR tall boys I can almost taste it. That is until one of our regular customers stops to beg for us to impart our knowledge of his nasty little habit to our new coworker. She’s been here two days and half the time she looks close to tears. It probably doesn’t help when B and I run that one video of the guy taking two fists and a foot up his ass on loop behind the front counter.

 

Oh well, nothing phases us anymore.

 

I digress. This customer is a fan of amyl nitrite “poppers”. They smell fucking awful (that’s what caused the stench in the back room…a whole case exploded in the mini fridge) and cause terrible headaches, but apparently it makes his time in the glory hole seem that much more well… glorious. I quickly run through this information, including his favorite brands and clock out right before B and I are asked anything else. We grab our bags and our porn we’ve rented for our days off and hightail it out of the back exit.

 

“Fuuuuuuuuuuck. Please tell me your girlfriend is staying away tonight,” I pleaded.

 

Lisa’s a bitch who despises me for…actually I have no idea what her issue is with me. She hates the porn industry with a passion. Some sort of belief that every female involved in the business has some daddy issues or some such shit. I think she needs to fuck off, but what do I know?

 

“Yea, she’s at her place for the next few days.”

 

Oh thank fuck! I light up a smoke and step away from my friend. He’s sensitive about these things. Heaven forbid I smoke near him. The secondhand smoke may kill him off before his love for nitrous oxide whip-its do. Walking up the last few stairs to his studio apartment, I stub out my smoke and toss it in the cat shaped bin he leaves out for me. I haven’t made it completely through the door when I hear the DVD menu music for I :heart: Big Toys #8 playing and the distinct sound of two tall boys being cracked. This would be a good night.

 

 

Whisky Dick

Portland, OR Autumn of 2005

 

“Uh, Bitsy…what are you doing?”

“What does it look like, B?  I’m reorganizing the lube case.  We got a few new brands, and I want them front and center, you silly fucker.”

“No…no, I mean…I know that you’re fixing that up, but I was wondering more about the huge, sparkly red cock you’re…wearing.”

“Oh, you like it?”  I stood up and attempted to helicopter the massive dildo without knocking myself over.

“Uhh…”

“Yes? Is that a yes?  I think it looks great!  Look, it even matches my lipstick!”  I was really proud of myself.  It took a long time to get the right shade of red lipstick and then painstakingly glue glitter to my lips.  Now they looked like Dorothy’s slippers.

“Uhh…” Apparently speaking was not B’s strong suit today.  I walked over to him and planted my hands on my hips.  I was just about to question him on what he thought of my sweet dick, but I heard someone tap on the case that contained all of the Phallix blown glass dildos.  I loved selling these babies.  Not only were they beautiful, but they were so sanitary and they cost a shit ton of money.

“See anything you like?  If you have any questions about those pieces, feel free to ask me.  I have a lot of experience with those,” I told the couple that were perusing the hand blown works of art.  They smiled at me and started to look back at the case when they caught sight of my bobbing boner.  I watched their eyes widen and smiled.  They quickly looked back to the case, and I was a little bummed.  I mean, if they were going to look at my cock like that, doesn’t general courtesy demand you compliment it…or something?  Oh, well.

“One of the best things about these toys right here, is that they are made from medical grade borosilicate glass.  Basically that means that they are the most sanitary toys out there.  You can even stick it in the dishwasher when you’re done with it.  Freezer or boiling water for temperature play with no worries.  You could probably bludgeon a home intruder to death with no concern for breaking your Phallix.  I mean, I don’t recommend that, obviously.  That would be a little awkward next time you went to use it, but what I was getting at is that it’s incredibly strong.  You know your Pyrex baking dishes?  Yea, that’s borosilicate glass as well.”  I continued my spiel and they made their choices.  Lucky me, they bought two.  That always looks good on the sales reports.  I may not make commission at this store, but I had my pride to think of.  Today was just getting better and better.

“So, now that we’re alone again, what do you think of my cock, B?”  He just turned to me and sighed.

“It’s really…big…and red.”  He gives me a big, fake ass smile and two thumbs up.  I scowl and tell him where to shove those thumbs.  It’s not my fault he’s jealous of my dick.

“Seriously, though.  Isn’t it getting in the way, Bitsy?  I mean, how are you not knocking shit down with it?”

“Uh, B, should you be used to this issue?  How do you work every day without knocking things down with your peen?”  Seriously?  He asks me this?  I’ve never seen his, and don’t have the desire to, either, but his question has me concerned.

“No.  I do not have that issue.  First off, my cock is not almost a foot long and secondly, I wear pants.  Even if I did walk around with a boner of that magnitude, it would be contained in said pants.  Why are you even wearing your strap-on right now?”

“Why aren’t you wearing a strap-on right now?” Ask silly questions and I answer you with silly questions.  I have no time for this, I have lube to harmonize.  As I start to walk back to the case I catch B’s thunderstruck face. “Your face is going to stick like that, you know.”

“I am just dumbfounded by you sometimes.  You make my brain hurt.”

“Is that a compliment?” He makes me smile.

“Not particularly.  So, any new flavored lube?”  Of course this is what he asks.  His girlfriend has a strange obsession with fruit flavored fellatio.

“Yea, there’s apparently a whole line of cocktail flavors.  Hmm…here they are.  We’ve got ‘Cumming Cosmopolitan’, ‘Mai Tai Me Up’, and ‘Sex on the Beach’, look they didn’t have to alter that one at all!  The rest get progressively worse.  They should make a whisky flavored one and call it Whisky Dick.  I’d buy that.”  I would, too.  Hilarious and quite possibly delicious.

“Are you opening one of each as a tester?” Smart boy.  Some of these taste fucking horrible.  We tried one once that was supposedly ‘vanilla’.  We thought, vanilla is one of the least offensive flavors, right?  WRONG!  It tasted like a vanilla milkshake made with chunky, rotten milk.  So foul.

“Yea, I was going to wait until I’d finished, but if you let me know which you’re interested in I’ll hop on that now, I suppose.  So, choose wisely.”  I bet they all taste like shit.  Although, I don’t like those types of drinks for the most part.

“Hit me with the ‘Mai Tai Me Up’.  Those are Lisa’s favorites.  Maybe she’ll like this one.  Apparently she’s bored of all of the Good Head flavors, and apparently giving head without lube is a no-no.”

“I don’t get it.  If I wanted fruit, I’d eat a piece. If I wanted a drink, I’d mix one up and enjoy one. If I’m giving head, obviously I want to taste cock. Just tell her to assume the position and get the fuck over it.  I bet she is offended if you try to use flavored lube on her when you go down. Right?”  Hypocritical bitch.

“…yea.  But most of those flavors are gross anyway, so it doesn’t matter much.”

“It’s only good manners to treat someone how you’d like to be treated.  Like oral sex without faux flavoring.  Just saying…”

 

Soggy Kitty

Portland, OR   Winter 2006

 

“I love watching you suffer through this.  It makes no sense.  Is it really worth it?”

“Fuck you.”

“I mean, honestly.  You look ridiculous.  Are you a masochist? Oh wait, I already knew that.  But, seriously?”

“Fuck you, B.”  He’s really starting to piss me off.  I’d love to punch him straight in the throat…repeatedly.

“It’s nice and toasty in here.  I’d say it smells better, but we both know that I’d be lying.  At least I can feel my fingers, though,” he taunts.

Did I mention how much I’d love to punch him?  Too bad I can barely bend my arm to lift my smoke to my mouth with how bundled up I am.  I just scowl at him, but it’s unclear as to whether he can actually see it or not.  It may seem ridiculous to him that I put on fifteen layers to come out here and attempt to enjoy my five minute smoke break per hour, but I need it when dealing with the fuckery that abounds in this place.

“Come on Stay-Puft.  Let’s get you inside.”  He tugs on my arm and I just barely manage to hit the ashtray with my flying cigarette butt.  As the door closes and we near the emergency exit for the jack shacks, I hear a noise.  Not just any sound, but one that immediately sets my neck hair on end.  It’s one of those noises that signifies impending doom.  My feet stop moving forward and both B and I stumble, as he’s still holding on to me.

“What the hell, Bitsy? We need to get back to the counter before some shady fuckers come and steal all of our poppers and Extenze packets.”

“B, it is 3am.  There is no one in the store right now, and I heard something.  Something creepy,” I mutter.  I give him the big, watery “save me” eyes, and he hesitates.

“What did you hear?  As you said, no one is in the store with us.” Now he’s starting to look a little twitchy.  I don’t blame him, though.  I don’t want to deal with some scary ass porn store ghost, either.

“It was this eerie, wheezing type sound. It almost sounded like a tiny Darth Vader with emphysema, but,” I was interrupted by another noise.  This one was slightly louder, and I watched B’s eyes widen. “You heard it, didn’t you?”

“Uh-huh.  What the fuck was that?!” B looked terrified at this point. He raised his hand and pointed towards the potted plants that partially blocked the arcade’s emergency exit.  The overgrown…shrub…thing rustled and we clasped hands.

“We’re going to die, aren’t we? I’m too pretty to die, here, B,” I whimpered.  This was not how I was supposed to go out.  I was trembling by this point and I thought I might wet my pants, which would be both gross and eventually cold.  I didn’t have a chance to contemplate pissy-pants anymore because at that moment this grey, sopping wet creature stumbled out of the foliage.

“Ugh!  What is that abomination?!  Seriously, what the fuck is that?” B’s face was expressing his thorough disgust with the tiny beast.

“Oh!  Um, is that…it is.  That’s by far the most hideous cat I’ve ever seen.”  That was a true statement.  This…cat…was small and grey-ish with large, bug-like eyes and a face so flat is was damn near concave.  The animal was not only wet from the freezing rain outdoors, but around its mouth and nose was slick with mucus.  I slowly loosened my grip on B’s hand and stepped towards the unsightly little thing.  “Here ugly, ugly, ugly.  Come here, you foul little feline, you,” I called to the soaked cat.

“NO!  No, no, nope.  Do not…WHY would you call that thing over towards us?  What are you thinking, Bitsy,” B questioned me.

“It’s so ugly it’s cute, B!” I squealed.  Oops, the kitty didn’t seem to like that.  I took a moment to shed some of my protective layers and pushed them into B’s arms.  “Sorry, sweet heinous kitty.  Come here, sweetie,” I cooed as I knelt down, gently rapping my fingers against the ground.  The cat inched its way towards me as B inched his way backwards.  Pussy.  Finally I was able to scoop the drenched critter into my arms.  I pulled the cat close to my body, then flipped it to its back, checking to see what sex it was.  Girl.  Righting her in my arms, I stroked the top of her head.

“What the fuck is that noise?  Ugh, it’s disgusting!  What is it doing,” B asked.

“I think she’s purring…kind of.  Listen, she’s obviously sick and is doing the best she can.  I’ll take her home with me, tonight and go and get her checked out in the morning,” I reasoned with him.

“Okay, A it is the morning, and B I can’t believe you are touching that thing!  You’re going to get some sort of super AIDs or something just from touching it.  If you’re going to keep it with you, you should probably get yourself checked after you hit the vet.”  I was really glad to see that B wasn’t overreacting at all.

“Yea, I’ll make sure to do that.  Listen, we get off in thirty minutes and we need to start closing out the till and putting returns away.  Which do you want,” I asked him.  He didn’t respond right away, so I looked up to see him holding back laughter.  “What?!”

“You said we’re getting off in thirty minutes,” he gasped out before guffawing at his own joke.

I shot him a bitch brow before turning and walking towards the restroom to blow dry my kitty.  I was instantly glad that I had kept that little gem to myself and hadn’t said it out loud.  That I would have never lived down.  I could still hear his chuckles as the door closed behind us.

“Oh, poor, sweet, hideous little thing.  You need a name, don’t you,” I spoke to the beast as she tried to rip my arms to shreds.  Apparently the sound of the hand dryer wasn’t soothing. I dried her off the best I could while still keeping my skin intact, and left the restroom.

“It looks slightly less offensive, now, so…there’s that,” B said from behind the counter.  “Hopefully you’ll have better luck getting the guys to accept it.”

I stopped instantly.  Shit!  He was right.  I lived in an apartment with my current beau and two of our male friends, and they already put up with my two cats.  I wasn’t sure how they would respond to another cat being brought home.  No, that’s a lie.  They would be pissed, especially with this one being sick and just plain ugly.

“They’ll get over it, B, I’m sure of it.” I wasn’t sure of it.  “It won’t be that bad.” It was going to be horrible.  They would throw an epic bitch fit.  Oh, well.  Fuck ‘em.  B shrugged and I carried on and set the little beast behind the counter while I closed out the till.  A few moments later I heard a rustling sound and looked over to see the cat playing in my bag.  I had no worries as she couldn’t possibly ruin anything I carried to work.

“What’s it doing, Bitsy?”  B had apparently snuck up behind me.  I elbowed him in his gut and turned to look at the cat again.

“She’s just playing in my bag, B.  No worries,” I told him.

We finished up closing out and explaining the cat to our coworkers who had stumbled in…five minutes late.  I went to collect my bag and the cat when I saw her backing away, something glinting in her mouth.  I kneeled down and called out to her, but she wouldn’t come to me.  I guess it wasn’t that strange, considering we’d just found her, but I needed to go home, and wasn’t in the mood for some persnickety cat shit.  I stood up again, and walked towards her when she started growling.  Oh, hell no.

“Is that…is it growling at you,” B asked.

“My, you are quite astute, aren’t you?” He flipped me off and continued to watch the cat growl.

“Fuck it,” I said and continued on towards the pissed off pussy.

Her growling became louder, but I honestly didn’t give a shit.  I scooped her up and flipped her onto her back.  She had one of my rings in between her teeth, and she didn’t look the least inclined to let go of it.  I tried to pry it gently from her mouth, but that didn’t seem to be happening.  Her growl subsided mostly, unless I tried to get my ring back.  Little bitch.

“I figured out what I’m going to call her, B,” I said.

“Oh, yea?  What’s that?”

“Smeagol.”

 

 

 

Dancing Sky

The sky danced with color.  Green, blue and purple streaks swayed and rolled, churning above me.

My time here was coming to an end; I was being called home.  I closed my eyes and moved with the colorful waves.  Sighing, I opened my eyes and turned to the willowy form of the female behind me.

“You’ve accomplished your mission, young one.  It’s time to take our leave,” the gentle voice of my Watcher said.

“I know.  It’s just so beautiful here.  I feel…whole.”  My voice was no more than a whisper, but I know she heard me.  We hear everything.

“It is.  You know, this won’t be the last time you come to this place.  You stay for a cycle, and then leave for a cycle.  Only eleven years will have passed here, by the time of your return,” my Watcher soothed.  “You will be very busy with your upcoming mission, so the time will pass quickly.”

“Of course, you’re right.  Shall we go?  I think I’m ready, now,” I say.  I will miss it here, but my Watcher is right.  It won’t be so long until I’m back.  I’m thankful she understands me; understands what this feels like.  Not all of the Watchers are as caring as she.

The’a nods and turns away, walking gracefully towards our departure sight.  I look up at the sky once more, taking in the beauty one last time.

“Come, Ri’ix.  We have much to do,” my Watcher says.

I take a deep breath before turning and walking towards The’a.

“Good bye, Earth, for now,” I whisper.

Firelight

The night air was cool, but her body was warm.  Seated in front of the bonfire with her body pressed against mine was one of my favorite places to be.  She looked beautiful in the glow from the flames.  Her skin seemed lit up from within, as shadows played across her legs which were splayed out before us.  The smile that graced her face was bright and brilliant.  It was also contagious.  It was rare to see someone resist the compulsion to grin when she unleashed her smile.

She shifted against me, and I held her tighter.  I thought back to the times when I was pulling her out of herself; when I was piecing her fragile self-esteem back together.  She was strong, now, but she wasn’t always.  Maybe that’s not true.  She had always been strong, but somewhere along the way she had forgotten that.  She knew it was the truth, now, though.  That was what was important.

Her chuckle pulled me from my thoughts and brought me back to the present.  She slowly unwound herself from me and danced out of my reach when I tried to bring her back to my side.  Smirking, she raised her hand and crooked one finger in a come hither gesture.  Unwilling and unable to do anything else, I stood to follow her retreat.

I watched her hips sway as she sauntered down the beach.  Her silhouette was illuminated by the moonlit ocean.  I watched as her long dark hair blew in the slight ocean breeze.  Finally she stopped and turned back towards me.  Her smile, now, was hesitant.  I made my way to her and wrapped my arms around her, turning my face downwards to look into her eyes.  Her eyes slid shut as she sighed.

“I hate leaving you to go home.  I wish I could stay in your arms, always,” she whispered to me.

“I know the feeling.  The days when I wake up to you are the most wonderful,” I tell her honestly.

“Can I…can I stay with you?  What I mean to ask is, can I move in with you,” she asked shyly.  I was surprised, but overjoyed.

“I would like nothing more than to make my house into our home.”  Her responding smile was quite possibly the brightest I’d ever seen.  Her eyes glistened with tears, and I ran my thumbs beneath them to catch any that managed to escape.

“Hold me for a bit longer,” she requested as she turned in my arms.

“You couldn’t get me to let go.”