Howl / Impartials and Immortals / Smut / Snippet / Teaser / Writing

Surprise!

Anyone who’s been keeping up on my A to Z Challenge posts over at See Murphy Write will already have seen this snippet, but a couple people had issues finding it, so I thought I’d share it here. I was in the land of smutty Howl plot fun a while back, and this came out of it.

*waves her smut fairy wand and shares with everyone*

The halfling hadn’t left by the end of the night, and neither had Aedhan. Never mind that she’d told him before any of them had even left the house tonight not to wait for her. Never mind that she’d made sure he understood she would drive herself home. It was her last dance of the night—the last dance before the place closed down—and both of them were still sitting and watching, both impassive as stone.

She couldn’t decide which one she wanted to clobber more. The halfling who’d come up to her every time she circled the place between songs and tried to persuade her to leave with him, or the Seelie prince who sat and watched her with no sign of what he was thinking on his face.

She didn’t mind admitting that stubbornness had her taking far longer than she typically did getting changed. Aedhan, being Aedhan, probably expected her to come out the front door and meet him, so she took some perverse enjoyment out of leaving by the back door—only to find the halfling waiting, leaning against the Blazer.

Brenna’s lip curled in a snarl. “Move,” she ordered flatly, brushing by Teagan’s lackey.

“I thought you may wish to reconsider,” it said instead, turning to watch her. She knew the way its—she couldn’t bring herself to call it anything else, half-human or not—eyes ran over her now, when they hadn’t in the club, was meant to be insulting. Damn if it didn’t work and fire her temper up. “You danced wonderfully, and have far too much talent to be wasting away here. Master Teagan would offer you a much more lucrative position.”

She laughed humourlessly, yanking open the car door and flinging her duffel bag inside. “You’re kidding, right?” she demanded as she slammed the door shut. “I’m here by choice. I won’t exchange that for the kind of slavery you enjoy living in.”

A flash of heat in its eyes. “Oooh, did that make you mad?” she taunted, her lips curving. Halflings were pathetically easy to manipulate. “It did,” she laughed when she saw the eyes flash again. “Because you know it’s true, don’t you? You’re a slave, but you like getting walked on just so you can spend some time with the Fae side of the family. Pathetic,” she sneered.

She saw it lunge for her but didn’t block it. Instead she let her temper build, and laughed meanly when it pushed her against the vehicle and held her there by the throat. “Go ahead, try and hurt me. I bet Daddy dearest won’t be happy when he finds out.”

Fury contorted the human features, and still Brenna grinned at it. “You know I’m right.”

“I should kill you,” it hissed. She didn’t flinch when its spit hit her face. “It would serve you right.”

“But you won’t. You can’t. Let me go and find out if you can even handle me, pal.”

The fingers on her throat twitched, then released her. Brenna grinned and dropped into a crouch. She was ready, hell, she was impatient to get the fight started.

The halfling was about to launch itself at her when it was knocked to the ground. Brenna swore loudly before realizing it was Aedhan. The interruption of a situation she’d had perfectly under control ticked her off enough that she strode forward and yanked at his shirt. “I’ve got this one, Tinkerbell.”

He barely spared her a glance, only bared his teeth furiously. Brenna raised her eyebrows, but stepped back, grudgingly admitting—if only to herself—that the Fae prince knew how to handle himself in a fight. The punches he threw were sharp, well-aimed, and probably painful as all hell. He was standing now, holding the halfling up by the shirt collar.

“Why were you sent?” he demanded, his normally fluid voice guttural and snarling.

“Her,” the halfling spat, jerking its head towards Brenna. “I was sent to offer her a position with Teagan.”

“Doing what?”

“I’ve no idea.”

Aedhan’s eyes narrowed. Slowly, he twisted the handful of the halfling’s shirt until the collar was choking it.

“He wanted her!” the halfling wheezed as its eyes bulged. The hold on its shirt relaxed and it continued, panicked and breathless: “He wanted to take her as his own entertainment and bring her to the Dark King.”

“Fat chance of that,” Brenna snorted, and the toffee-coloured eyes turned on her. Glowering, she subsided. Aedhan’s eyes turned back to the halfling, filled with disgust. After a moment, he released his hold so that the halfling fell to the ground, then pressed a foot to its throat and leaned over, examining the half-Fae creature’s blackened eye and swollen lip. A light push on the thing’s ribs elicited a pained groan. Aedhan nodded as if satisfied.

“You’ve a minute to get out of my sight,” he said placidly. “Or it’s dead you’ll be.”

For several seconds after Aedhan’s foot had come away from its throat, the halfling stared up at the Fae prince in horror, gasping and wheezing in an attempt to even its breathing. Then Aedhan arched an eyebrow and pointed out, “You’ve thirty seconds left.”

The creature scrambled to its feet, fumbling to find keys in its pockets as it hurried to a car parked up the road. It scrambled in and started it, then drove away.

“It’s a fool you are,” Aedhan hissed to Brenna. “Challenging it like that? What were you thinking?”

“That it was either pummel it or pummel you,” she retorted, her own indignation at having a fight taken away from her rising again. In the next instant she’d been shoved against the vehicle again and Aedhan’s face was inches away from hers, his hands circling her wrists to hold her still. If she’d thought he’d calmed himself, she’d been wrong. The normally relaxed lines of his face were taut with barely controlled anger.

“Don’t,” he warned, the quiet tone of voice humming with the intensity of the single word. As abruptly as he’d grabbed her he’d released her and was striding around to the other side of the vehicle. She unlocked his door and he climbed in; she followed suit, resisting the urge to rub her sore wrists.

Recognizing that they were both in a foul mood, she stayed silent for the drive home, both of them ignoring the tension filling the small space. She half expected to be lectured for her stupidity, but Aedhan didn’t speak either, only stared out the window as the night passed them by.

He still didn’t move when she pulled into the yard and killed the engine. She could have left him there, but something had her stopping from pushing her door open and studying his profile instead. “You coming?” she finally said. When he didn’t respond, she rolled her eyes. Hell. She wasn’t good at tiptoeing around people in general, never mind when they were in bad moods. “Fine,” she muttered. “Sit and brood. That’ll help.”

She didn’t see him move, but she heard it—even before she felt it. The abrupt shift as he turned, then the sensation of it as his hand caught her arm and yanked her back, so fast she barely had a chance to take a breath before she’d been dragged almost across the centre console and up against him.

This wasn’t the patient, slow seduction he’d shown before. This was the anger he’d been trying and failing to contain for the entire drive home, coming out in an entirely different way—in impatient, demanding hands that forced her to yield to him or be snapped him half; in kisses where both of them tried to claim the upper hand, tried to make the other be the first to moan and give in. She couldn’t think, everything in her wanted this so badly. Thinking was overrated anyways—she didn’t need to think when he used his hands like this, slipping them under her T-shirt to find heated skin, pressing at her and urging her to mould herself to him, to give more, give everything until she had nothing left. Didn’t need to think when she understood and could give back exactly what she got, her fingers scrabbling with and yanking the little tie out of his hair so that she could fist her hands in it and pull, yank him closer—she hissed, jolted when his teeth sank into her lip and the taste of blood flooded her mouth, then somehow—she’d never understand how she did it—managed to climb over the console and straddle him, swing her legs over him and sit on his lap so she could keep attacking his mouth while his hands slid to the waist of her plain cotton pants and pushed the fabric out of the way. She heard his groan when he found there was nothing under the pants, arched against his hand without thinking—and cried out, shocked, as his finger slid into her, moved in her, and made her climax.

She pushed herself back from him, still shivering, reeling from the force of it. They were back on opposite sides of the car now, staring at each other, breathing fast and shallow like cornered, hunted animals. She watched him lick his lips; then she muttered, “Oh, hell,” and flung herself across the console to get her mouth on his again.

“Out of the car,” she said impatiently. She was feverish now, hadn’t ever felt like this before, like she’d go insane if she didn’t get him to herself, didn’t get to pull the clothes off him and get him inside her. “Inside, in bed. Fuck,” she added when his teeth nipped at her throat. “Now.”

He lifted his head, watched her. “You’re sure?”

She narrowed her eyes and leaned in to glue her mouth to his again, pushing everything she had—impatience, want, whatever the hell she was feeling—into it. Flopping back into the seat, she eyed him to make sure she’d gotten her point across before adding, “Yeah, I’m sure.”

She didn’t see him get out of the vehicle or walk around it. In the next instant he was opening her door and she belatedly realized he’d leaped over it. Then he’d pulled her out of the car and pressed her up against the side of it, but instead of threatening this time he was kissing her, just as violently as before, just as demanding. She boosted herself up and wrapped her legs around him, rock against him, show that to hell with it, she wanted this and she’d deal with the consequences later.

“Inside,” she said breathlessly, because she figured he’d feel bad if they played this out up against the side of a car. She didn’t really care. But—

“Hey!” Her head snapped up as he drew back. He’d let her go, had set her on the ground and was stepping back from her, shaking his head. “What the hell? You’re stopping now?”

“It isn’t right,” he insisted, and if he was going to be stopping this, well at least she had the satisfaction of hearing that he was out of breath too. “It should be when we’re both wanting, both ready.”

“We are,” she pointed out. Standing had made her realize her legs were wobbly. Shit. “You started this to begin with, but I’m not complaining.”

“I know that. But tonight? We were angry a few minutes ago, Brenna.”

She shrugged. “So? Sex is as good a way as any to vent anger.”

“Not for me. I don’t want it to be anger that brings us together.”

That made her sigh. “Do you overthink everything?”

His lips twitched. “Most things, yes. You’re not angry, then?”

“Sexually frustrated is not the same as angry,” she corrected ruefully, grabbing her bag from the car and walking to the house beside him. “I’m not enough of a bitch to be angry at you after that.”

He laughed at that, opening the door to let her into the house. “Well, then I suppose the night isn’t an entire waste. You’re not going to sleep?” he asked when she didn’t follow him to the stairs.

“I’ve got some energy to work off,” she replied with a grin. “You know where to find me if you wanna help.”

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