Friday, August 16, 2019

#FridayFlash - Homesick

Maxine closed her apartment door and let her shoulders slump. Weary beyond words, she leaned against the barrier that kept the outside world at bay. Neighbor kids yelled as they played, a dog barked incessantly, and a car honked; all muted by the door but not silenced.

Heaving a sigh, she shoved away from the door. Maxine slowly shed her clothes, the loss of each layer giving her a sense of freedom, like a massive weight lifted. Constrictive and binding, she had to wear them, no matter how much she hated dressing like everyone else.

Finally free, finally bare, a lightness returned to her step. Still tired, at least she was comfortable. Spreading her wings, Maxine smiled and stretched. It was good to be home.

Home.

Loneliness and sorrow filled her, making her heart ache. Maxine drooped again, iridescent wings trailing on the floor. Too long had she been here, surrounded by mortals, forced to hide her nature and pretend to be one of them.

Maxine sighed and shuffled to the bedroom. She wasn't due to make a report for another three weeks, but she needed to see her own kind. She could afford to use the little bit of magic she had to activate the mirror. It would mean doing without until the new moon, but the sadness would drive her crazy before next contact.

She set the mirror upon her bed, propped against the headboard, then made herself a cozy nest out of her pillows and blankets. Maxine traced all the activation runes except the final one. Did she really need to do this?

A baby wailed next door, the high-pitched sound resonating across her nerves.

Her cousin's image appeared in the mirror, brows drawn together. "Are you all right?" Darlene's wings fluttered behind her head, hair dancing and sparkling.

Maxine sighed, tears stinging her eyes, and forced a smile. "I'm fine. I just..." She wiped at her eyes, unable to speak.

"Oh, honey." Darlene moved closer. A wave of warm love and support emanated from her mirror, like an invisible hug. Maxine's wings lifted slightly, and her shoulders loosened.

"It's harder than they said." Maxine finally spoke, opening her eyes. "I mean, humans are way thicker-headed than any of the training suggested. It's almost like they're trying to ignore the magic of the Otherworld, let alone the magic of their own world. It's just so..." She shrugged, unable to express her frustration.

Darlene gave a sad little pout. "Do you want to come home? I'm sure someone else could take your place."

Maxine sighed, gave her cousin a smile. Darlene was still in the Otherworld because she had children. One of the few fertile faeries left, so she was too important to risk in the human world.

Unlike Maxine.

"No. It's important that I stay here, that I return as much magic as I can." Someone had to help; more magic meant more baby faeries. "But if one more human bumps into me without apologizing, I'm going to dust them to within an inch of their life."

Darlene cracked a smile, then gave a chuckle. "Start letting their shadows loose?"

Maxine laughed, her worries slipping away. "Join up with some Red Caps and test one of their all-you-can-eat buffets." Her wings lifted, tinkled as she flapped them twice.

"Lick all their ice cream." Darlene's laugh grew in volume, her mirth causing the mirror to vibrate.

"Pay for lost teeth with candy bars." Maxine could bare control herself, stress fading as she made light of her situation.

They spoke for another hour, until the magic could no longer hold the mirror open. Maxine put everything away with an unburdened heart.

Tomorrow was a new day. She would do her part to return magic to this world and be happy to do so.

Friday, August 9, 2019

#FridayFlash - Dinner Service

Something a little racy. Get that blood flowing.
***

The evening air carried the scent of jasmine and roses into my room. Moonlight streamed through the window, promising a beautiful night. I should be out in it, hunting, but I had no motivation to rise from my bed.

My favorite part of immortality was the freedom from time. I could be lazy if I chose, simply enjoy being undead, because there would always be another night to do whatever needed doing. Even feeding wasn't a priority, would happen when it happened.

Stretching languorously, I rolled away from the window. This wasn't a night for staring at my garden. I wasn't sure what I wanted, even after an hour of lazing, just that it didn't involve the terrace.

"Mistress?"

I sat up, not recognizing the man's voice. He stood in the doorway of my bedroom, lost in shadows so deep even my heightened senses couldn't see. He sounded grown, though not yet fully hardened into a man. I drew in his scent, intrigued by his sudden presence. "Come into the light," I commanded.

He hesitated briefly, though not from fear. Rather, nervousness. As if he didn't want to fail me. I tipped my head, staring, salivating.

Moonlight caressed him with loving silver. Tall, with a slender build on the verge of lithe strength, and soft brown curls surrounding an angelic face. He wore the livery of my house, right black pants and a suede vest, and it hugged every plane of his body like a second skin. He moved with a mix of caution and confidence, placing his hands behind his back when he stopped.

I surged out of bed and circled him with vampiric speed, my jaws aching with sudden need. His smell was both masculine and delicate, like the heady perfume of a rose about to bloom. I groaned, wondering what he tasted like. Mustn't go too fast, ruin the moment.

He attempted to suppress his fear, but I saw the tiny flinch, felt his heart start to race. "I was told to see if you required dinner."

I groaned low in my throat, stalking around the young man. My majordomo knew exactly what he was doing when he sent this delightful youth to my chambers. "Did he tell you what to do if I said yes?" I refrained from touching him yet, letting the hunger build and crawl through my system.

He said nothing, simply removed his vest, then knelt with his hands behind his back once more.

A groan escaped me as a flush raced across my skin. I finally laid hands on him, and another groan rose. He was almost hot to the touch, and he shivered as I stroked his shoulders and neck. Sensitive fingers felt every goosebump, every pulsing blood vessel, every tiny flush and shiver he attempted to hide.

I grabbed a handful of his hair, yanked him back to look into his face. He met my gaze briefly, but that second was all I needed to see the green gems of his eyes. Long lashes rested on his cheeks when he closed them, and a sigh fell from his parted lips.

Keeping his head pulled back, I move around his kneeling form, running nails along his soft skin. Hunger surged inside me, threatening to take over, to drive me into a frenzy. Best not to wait much longer.

I join him on my knees, bodies a hair's breadth apart, and bask in his warmth. His heart pounds, his pulse visible in his neck. Soon it will be mind, will race against my lips, will pump that exquisite life into me.

He whispers a single word, and it ignites an inferno in my chest. "Please."

Growling, I pull him toward me. He sighs again, then whimpers when I lick the hollow of his throat. The flavors of soap and youth and man and desire dance across my tongue. My growl deepens, and I plunge fangs deep into his neck.

The richness of his blood carried me away on a tide of bliss, and I was glad I hadn't gone out hunting.