I'm so naughty, neglecting my poor blog. In my defence, life had just been plain crap of late, plus I've been ill with a head cold.
Lots of writing developments... well, lots for me.
Enticement is out on submission again.
The Whore is undergoing a metamorphosis. It's in its chrysalis just at the moment.
And I've just unearthed the Bloody Book to start working on that one again. Rather looking forward to it. I've always had a soft spot for Blaze and Asha.
This is the pair, if you recall them from Broken Angel.
Blaze watched Asha close the door and put her back to the wood. She eyed him curiously, with her arms folded across her chest. ‘Is your past really worth risking a man’s life for?’
‘I was quite happy to go myself.’ He refused to feel guilty. Jaku had volunteered to go outside.
Asha dug her teeth into her bottom lip. ‘You know we couldn’t let you do that, even without the Ghost Wind.’
‘Frightened I’ll try to escape?’
The apprehensive flutter of her eyelashes confirmed the truth. He frowned at her, and she pushed away from the door to come to him. ‘If we’d let you out, you’d have been on your bike and away. Don’t try to deny it.’
Blaze rubbed his fingers across his knuckles, but didn’t respond. Until this moment, he hadn’t actually thought of escaping. He hadn’t realised that he needed to. When had she switched roles from his saviour to his jailor? Maybe from the moment he stepped out of the bathroom, and they started discussing the blasted pamphlet.
He snatched it off the table.
Of course, now that he knew he was a prisoner, it dawned on him that her suspicions were right. If he’d reached his bike, he would have run. The pamphlet had told him little enough, and as he couldn’t afford to pay someone to translate it for him, there was little point in keeping it. With nothing to bring him back, yes, he’d have run from the Talon. He was almost tempted to run now, except even if he got away from her, and evaded Palter Rodgers, the gate guard, he still wouldn’t reach the bike and get far enough down the road to outrun the dead.
Nobody got caught in the Ghost Wind and survived. It’s icy grip strangled without mercy. It was clean and cold, the perfect way to murder. There wasn’t a night that went past when some poor unfortunate didn’t find himself at the mercy of the chill windborne horde.
He glanced warily at the tiny skylight above Palter Rodgers’ desk. The wind was already picking up outside, another few minutes and clawed fingers would be rattling the window frames. He spared a glance for Asha. Her features had tightened into the mask-like expression she’d presented when he’d first seen her. She’d withdrawn, was probably hiding her fear for her partner in the only way she knew how.
Blaze resumed his seat, and turned the pamphlet in his hands. The cover was blotched and worn in places, but surprisingly tactile. It had a distinctive smell too, a malty, acidic odour that had little in common with normal leather. He wondered if the others had noticed it too. It was almost…like bacon cooked in cider with a hint of something nefarious. Rat, maybe.
He traced his thumb along the spine and it fell open in his palm at the image of the sigil. From what he recalled, the version on his chest was far cruder than the picture in the book, which was comprised of many delicate swirls.
Blaze looked down at his t-shirt as if he could see the pattern burned onto his skin through the cloth. What was that supposed to mean? That he’d be responsible for waking some ages old demon prince? Not bloody likely. It didn’t make sense after what had happened earlier either. Why attack him? Why not ask for a quiet word? Were the two incidents even connected? There’d been rumours enough about the youkai recently. Maybe they were just hungry. Maybe he’d seemed like an easy mark.
The sigil on his chest burned, bringing with it a sharp flash of pain.
He must have winced, because Asha was suddenly kneeling by his side.
‘How are you feeling?’ She pressed her hand to his brow. The mask replaced with matronly concern. ‘I can give you more painkillers if the effect is wearing off.’
Blaze tightened his grip on the booklet, so the colour bled out of his thumbs. ‘I’m fine,’ he growled. No sooner were the words spoken, than the thrumming in his hindbrain started again. Blinded by the pain, he clasped her arm for support.
‘Blaze. I think I ought to check the poultice is working. You don’t look so good.’ Her free hand tugged at the bottom of his damp t-shirt.
‘No!’ He clapped a hand over hers, preventing her from revealing any more of his chest. ‘I’m fine. It’s fine. Just a twinge.’ He managed a pained smile.
She sat back on her haunches and eyed him quizzically, but didn’t let go of his shirt even when he removed his hand from hers. ‘I think we have wildly different concepts of fine. The fake smile isn’t convincing me.’ She tugged again at the black cloth, this time exposing a three-inch band of flesh around his midriff.
‘Really, Asha—leave it!’
She lowered her eyelashes a moment in response, then her brows furrowed and her green eyes bore into him.
‘Don’t be so stupid.’
He stared into the crystal fire of her eyes, and almost backed down. Only the thought of having to try to explain the mark upon his chest and his miraculously healed shoulder blades prevented him.
‘Blaze.’ She leaned into him. So close, he could smell the scent of her body beneath her perfume. ‘You’re hot. Burning up. There’s something wrong with the wound.’ She slid her hand below the fabric and up his side towards his back.
Wild panic fluttered in his chest beside the flaring heat of the pulsing sigil. Her hands felt icy against his skin. To distract her, he did the only thing that came into his head. He kissed her. Hard.
For a moment, he felt her shock: a sharp intake of breath, a clenching of all the muscles in her back. Then instead of pushing him away and slapping him, she was kissing him back.
Her tongue played against the seam of his lips, igniting both passion and terror. He wanted her, had known that almost the moment he’d woken. Perhaps before that, but she was out of his league. Talon—you didn’t mess. This was wrong. There’d be payback. She was his jailor. The thought just excited him more. Unable to stop himself, Blaze pressed his tongue into her mouth. His moans mingled with hers. The globes of her bottom fitted neatly into his hands as she straddled his lap and rocked against the bulge of his cock. Like splashes of heaven, her kisses rained upon his face. He felt disorientated, shivery, but the earlier pain dwindled to a pinpoint. It flared again, white-hot when she squeezed his nipple, but in a good way, a way that made his cock thicken and buck.
Her underwear rasped against the zip of his trousers as she writhed upon his lap, urging him to loose his cock with the rock of her hips. Both her hands were beneath his shirt. They roved across his freshly healed skin, which tingled with each touch. Where the skin had been cold, now it was hot, as if the heat of her soul was seeping into him wherever their bodies made contact. No way was this natural.
Blaze looked at her in wonder. A slender line of perspiration peppered her brow. There was glazed sheen to her eyes. ‘Asha!’ He put his hand out to stop her, but didn’t push. He wasn’t sure if she was even aware of his resistance. She was gazing at him as though he was out of focus. ‘Asha, there’s something wrong. The poison you drew…’ Would it be this slow acting? He hadn’t a clue about youkai poisons beyond what she’d told him, but he didn’t think this was simply down to lust. ‘I think we have to stop.’
Blaze stretched away from her, and took refuge in the depths of the sofa, but it was no use. It simply put him in a more vulnerable position.
Asha tore at the waistband of his leather jeans. The fly gave, revealing his rapidly hardening cock. It bucked as if begging attention. Blaze gulped down a deep breath while he watched Asha lick her lips. Then her mouth closed, soft and eager, over the ruddy helm, and he was hers. He couldn’t stop her. The pleasure was so intense, he could do little more than groan and clench his fists. In his mind, he knotted his fingers in her hair, held her still so he could watch his cock slide in and out as he fucked her mouth with quick deep strokes and watched her lipstick smear. Her tongue teased the sensitive eye. He was going to walk away with black lip prints all along the shaft. Just that thought was enough to draw him that bit closer to coming. ‘Asha, please…’ His control was fraying, his reservations melting away.
The sigil on his chest flared white-hot again and seemed to writhe in time with their motion. It hurt, but her lullaby of poisonous kisses somehow overrode everything, and turned his words of denial in to gasps of surrender.