Sunday, November 17, 2013

Flash Fiction: Caught in the Rain

PROMPT/CHALLENGE SUMMARY: Enough with the blood and brains and bugs in ears! Not that I don't love a good horror story, but sometimes you just need to spend a cold rainy afternoon kissing a hot guy. And maybe sometimes the hot guy bites. Paranormal is funny that way. This is another prompt I pulled out of my own head rather than a formal challenge, though this one was at least written recently.

"What has put that grin on your face, I wonder? You look as though you've just thought up some enormously annoying prank."

"I'm wondering what you were like as a kid." I leaned back on my hands, letting my feet hang over the edge of the picnic table as I studied the worn wooden planks above my head. The sudden summer storm pounded on the roof and I really hoped the rickety park pavilion didn't leak. I was already impersonating a drowned rat. No need to add insult to injury. "Is that how you spent your time? Thinking up enormously annoying pranks?"

His eyes widened, surprise seeming to slow down his ability to blink. "I... I don't... You want to know what I was like as a child?"

I'd never seen him flustered. The temptation to tease him curled my lips up into a grin. "No, no pranks for you. You were probably too well-behaved for that. All studious and obedient and always there to help little old ladies cross the street. I'll bet you were positively charming as a child."

"I'm charming now," he muttered in a voice I almost didn't hear over the rain. He shook a dripping lock of wet-ink hair out of his eyes. "I fail to see what could possibly be of interest about my childhood," he said. "It was a long time ago."

I shrugged. "So? Don't you remember?"

"Of course I remember," he snapped. Then he paused. "Some. Fragments. It was a long time ago," he repeated, sounding melancholy this time.

"So what was it then? Annoying pranks or model mini-citizen?"

I tilted my head a little, trying to understand his expression. A couple hundred years was a long time for anyone, even an immortal, and I wondered if I should change the subject. Perhaps he didn't remember. I couldn't even imagine living so long I forgot my childhood. Would it hurt, losing those memories?

Would he even have noticed, if I hadn't brought it up?

He shrugged, interrupting my musing and drawing my gaze to his wide shoulders instead. His wet t-shirt clung like a second skin, giving me a very nice impression of his muscles.

"Some mix of both, I suppose, as most young boys are."

I snorted. "That is such a cop out."

"If I told you I was an unholy terror as a boy, you wouldn't believe me." He turned toward me and favored me with a teasing grin.

I sat up, no longer quite steady on my wet-noodle limbs. That grin was lethal. "Were you?" I challenged, one eyebrow raised.

"I imagine my sisters must have thought so." A little note of wistfulness slid into his voice. "They were forever shrieking at me."

I swallowed. I hadn't even known he'd had sisters. "About?"

He smiled, mischief replacing the sadness that had been creeping up on him. "They had an inexplicable disinterest in frogs and snakes. Particularly with regard to their sleeping quarters."

My jaw dropped open. I snapped it closed, trying to force a little boy who liked slipping snakes into his sisters' beds to match up with what I knew of the oh-so-proper man.

He chuckled and reached out, pushing some of my damp hair off my forehead and tucking it behind my ear. "Is it really so shocking? That I was a boy like any other once upon a time?"

"No... I just... I never..." Now it was my turn to be flustered. I could swear my hair was tingling under his touch. "I guess I never really thought about you that way before. As a boy, I mean."

I wished my voice didn't sound so breathy and pathetic. I'd always considered myself a confident woman, but he made me feel like a silly teenager with her first crush.

The woman in me did her damnedest to shove that fluttery little girl aside, not wanting to miss out on a moment with a very promising dose of potential.

His gaze searched mine, his fingers still partly tangled in my hair. The laughter from a moment ago faded and something else took its place between us. "Not as a boy," he said slowly. "In what way does that mean you have thought of me then? As a man?"

My heartbeat felt thick and a scorching image shot through my brain, bringing with it the phantom sensations of his lips against mine, his hands roving over my body. A wave of his magic or my own fantasy? Did I want to know?

Did I even care?

His eyes warmed to something rich and smooth like a particularly fine dark chocolate as the silence stretched between us. My mouth went dry. His gaze dropped, tracing the path of my tongue across my lips with obvious interest.

I leaned toward him as his fingers settled more deeply into my hair, the weight of his hand on the back of my neck impossible to resist. Not that I had any form of resisting in mind. My eyelids felt heavy but I made myself keep them open. I wasn't interested in missing any part of this.

His lips met mine, firm but not quite demanding, drifting away too soon. He teased me with small, light little kisses that danced around the edges of my mouth. I found myself chasing his lips with my own and he paused. The whisper of a chuckle vibrated between us.

To hell with that. I wasn't a damn toy he could play with.

His fingers tightened, holding me still when I would have pulled away, and I gasped at the gentle tug on my hair. He took advantage of my parted lips, his tongue sweeping between them to taste me and I forgot about… everything.

I slid a hand up his arm and over his shoulder, loving the feel of his smooth muscles beneath my fingers. I pressed my body closer, wanting--needing--more. He felt so good. So very, very good.

"Mine."

The voice whispered in the back of my brain, so quiet it barely registered. I had more important things to pay attention to at the moment. Our lips tangled together and there was nothing light or teasing about it anymore. This kiss was all heat. Heat and darkness and something utterly wicked.

A slow burn started to curl low in my body, warmth licking through my veins like a drug. My hand slid around the back of his neck and my fingers curled around his smooth blue-black hair.

The storm turned the pavilion into a quiet little cocoon, swallowing every sound except my sighs and the thudding of my racing heart. His tongue stroked against mine and I sucked at it lightly. In the next moment he was gathering me closer, lifting me onto his lap. My knees parted, sliding around his hips, and a groan rumbled in his chest as I pressed against him.

His hands slid down to my ass, pulling me closer still. Our bodies slid against each other, lining up deliciously. I gave up the fight with my eyelids and let them flutter closed, the better to savor the feel of him.

And God, did he ever feel good. His mouth drifted over my cheek and down the side of my neck. Fire danced under my skin as his teeth dragged lightly over my skin. The wet heat trailed back up and found the sensitive hollow behind my ear. I moaned and rocked my hips against his, needing him to be closer. Needing him to touch me.

Needing him. Period.

"Mine," the voice in my head said again, a little more insistent this time, and a shiver raced through me. That voice was... unfamiliar. My fingers clenched in his hair.

He pulled back from my neck, leaving the damp patch of skin tingling. His lips caught mine again, but only for the briefest instant before the gentle pressure of his hands on my shoulders put a little more distance between us. I made a little sound of protest when I realized my lips couldn't reach him any longer, even though something alarmed was trying to force its way through the lust fogging over my brain.

"I think the storm is letting up," he said, sounding so calm I would have thought him totally unaffected if I couldn't feel an impressive amount of evidence to the contrary pressing against me. Somehow I found that smooth calm even sexier than a growly rasp would have been. "We should go."

The rain pounded on the roof harder than ever, but I agreed anyway. Another wave of racy thoughts had zinged through my brain, scattering away the impression of that foreign voice in my mind. Racy thoughts that involved more privacy. And less clothes.

A little more rain wouldn't kill me.

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