Addictive Rimeshade

BOOK: Addictive Rimeshade
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Addictive Rimeshade

 

 

by

Poppet

 

 

Book 3: The Addictive Series

 

A Thorstruck Press Publication

 

 

 

Published by Thorstruck Press in 2014

Copyright author Poppet 2013

 

All rights reserved under the International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, businesses, characters, and incidents, are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organisations, events or locales, or any other entity, is entirely coincidental.

 

Warning: the unauthorised reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Cover Model: Max Forman

Photographer: Andreas Gradin

 

 

For Monique (sister of night)

For Kelli (cast your stones)

For Kim (let the bodies hit the floor)

... for the mad sin, the sea of it, for the lies we see through because we remember the beginning, before SS set in.

 


. and Nashville (it's complicated)

 

for the gorgeous models Thom, Tobias, Max, and their photographer (Andreas) who have given their beauty and talent to this series,
tack
för din vänskap.

 

and for the fans who love PNR as much as I do

 

 

I am the one who lives in a state of peace

because I am forsaken

 

~ Leug

 

 

Prologue

 

 

That hound of mightiest deeds,

Which was irresistible in hardness of combat,

Was better than wealth ever known,

A ball of fire every night.

 

~ Lugh of the Mantles (Oisean Ballad)

 

 

The twins shake me, hissing whispers of conquests and fate. Sköll mutilates the word
fate
while his brother Hati emphasizes the word
mate
.

The snow owl flies and there is one other overlooked, one which can be exploited for our endgame. In all our years as fenrir the wolf clan has been persecuted because our great father Odin is too vain to relinquish his immortality. The oldest and wisest of them all, he refuses to fall, to allow his sons to take the helm, to go quietly into the majestic hall of his kin to celebrate lives lived in triumph.

He ruled the earth, yet now exists in mumbles and rheumy melancholic inebriation, slurring his accolades as if the world still bows and trembles before his wrath.

It's my path to end his mighty reign and because of this he has treated me as an usurper, one that must be persecuted, sacrificed for his ego, marginalized, excommunicated, and victimized.

The twins have found the loophole, it is time for Leug to rise.

She is overlooked, as I was, and still am.

Destiny has a sense of humor and the three Fates are chittering gleefully on their perch. I put the frost into bifrost, and it is time to toil. The uprising has begun. Raven takes credit for gifting the world the sun and the moon, yet the twins before me devour both. The night warriors shall have nowhere left to hide, not even in the halls of umbra's darkness in the caves of my only worthy adversary.

I will disguise my true form to claim she who is forlorn. Separated from the herd makes for an easy victim.

Nodding to Sköll I heft upright, accepting the vial of ambrosia. I shall shift thrice before Ewan Eagle even knows I've rolled the dice. They toy with my history and my future, now my kin shall finally see what I'm capable of, I shall expose my true nature.

I am nothing if not loyal, why don't they put that into the accursed history books?

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Spurs to the pyre gods builded

For the fallen son of Odin

 

~ Skáldskaparmal

 

 

The sky is a symphony of swirling bruises ranging from purple to black, framing the stranger inside a Van Gogh canvas, the impressionist painter making an indelible impression right inside my soul.

He's got a honky tonk smile; lazy and seductive; framed with lips cast to slow dance with mine. His facial expression is poised in suggestion, the kind that wonders if I'd like to play the sax in his pants with a bit of obsessive blowing and slippery lips, tapping nerve endings to the beat of that seductive smile. He makes me want to gyrate, incites me to masturbate, to indulge my darkest fantasies without penance or confession because the only altar he expects his damsel to pray at is his own, starting with his feet and working all the way up the ladder of sin to the lethargic lovemaking encapsulated in his smirk.

H.O.L.Y.F.U.C.K I'm about to be eternally damned.

His bachata eyes have the Ray Charles soul-blues, shimmering shattered temptation across the deserted street in an unshuttered gaze. The vulnerability in his gaze cracks open the fissure in my heart and I want to run across the road like a lunatic fleeing the voodoo exorcist, right into his arms to kiss him better. He yanks the nurturer out of my genes and into my jeans.

What the hel is wrong with me?

Tumbleweeds of worry scud across the landscape of my mind, but I'm ignoring the winds of caution as destiny is a date I refuse to miss; and he's standing right there like an orphan bastard rebuked by his kin, lonesome and lost and wanting to come in.

Stepping onto the asphalt, crumbs of regret grind under my soles while the winter dirge plays a haunting whistle down the alley of mediocrity.

It's bitter, as bitter as the betraying tense tick in his jaw.

Well this is me being a good Samaritan, (with a salacious agenda I may live to regret), but that man needs to get into dry clothes with a scalding brew of rustic mugged coffee clamped between his hands. The last downpour has left the dude sodden and bedraggled, yet he still embodies sex appeal and confidence, an aura of pride emanating through the jaundiced dusk.

He needs thawing, from his heart to his soul.

Reaching two steps away from him, opening my mouth to voice the invitation, the broken shards of his soul abort my words.

It's clear my offered crutch is insufficient. He is immortally wounded, the alluring smile and wary eyes at odds with each other, waging a war within where the only loser is him. He's buried his hopes and scattered the ashes of his dreams, leaving a shell shuffling sidewalks in an obscene blasphemy of life.

I have the compulsion to help you, but am afraid my intentions cannot fortify the rotten buttresses left crumbling inside your soul. I'll sample your lips and give evil's idle hands something warm to hold, but in the end there's only room for one in your coffin.

He looks up, over my head and beyond the shingles shivering on the roof of my home, tilting his neck as if scenting the wind, sampling lost wishes stuck in the eddies of the dystopian storm. It's such a feral and primordial gesture that I almost lose my courage to welcome him in.

Prudence, so dear, so redundant when he looks back into my eyes, into my secrets, rummaging through the drawers of shame I keep locked far away from inquisitive angels.

A plastic bag curses in tongues, skipping down the road behind me with the enthusiasm of a demonic stagecoach bound for their lord, hurrying the VIP past the kill alleys and soul snipers.

As if it's the signal he was waiting for he steps off the lip of concrete, coming so close I can see the charcoal smudge of a tattoo hiding the pulse in his neck with the black kiss of nefarious ink. Boughs creak, the gale keens, branches rub their limbs together as if trying to generate heat or beg for coin, and a peal of damnation rocks the sky.

If I was superstitious, or a hedgewitch, I'd consider these portents of danger, warning me not to cross paths with a soul so slippery and charred. Instead we both speak at the same time... I laugh, ignoring the tips of my hair whipping my cheeks with sandblasting fervor, nudging my head at the cherry red front door with the mjilnor knocker agitating in the turbulence like an impatient foot bidding us hurry up and secure the doors, the death hunt is on the horizon.

“I'm Lara, and you look like you could use a cup of coffee and an hour out of the weather. Would you like to come inside?”

Inclining his head, narrowing eyelids around eyes as licorice black as his hair, he gives me a real smile, one that tempts me to play strip poker with the devil.

“Thank you, that's so very kind,” he says, stooping near to my ear so I can hear him, melting all foreboding in an instant.

Indicating my door, wrestling my hair back and binding it in a clenched fist, I shout over the satanic volume of the underworld rising while heaven bottoms out, “We need to get indoors!”

The first step we take together toward safety is paralyzed by the diabolical strike of lightning not four feet from us. The boom is immediate, detonating my nervous system in a barbaric bomb of violence and scarring brilliance.

It's enough to siphon my strength out with shock, and he grips my hand as if he was ordained to stand between me and Thor, looking at the seared tar, laughing while scorched ozone petrifies the world around us in a transcendent haze.

Dollops of rain splatter their wares across the ground in  spontaneous sacrifice, loosening cherubic bladders when they piss on our parade, emptying their kegs of pyrotechnic liquid to hide the evidence of footsteps and signature scents.

It seems to me that the god of thunder likes to mark his territory with the golden shower of the century. I don't know why but I have the urge to salute the storm with my middle finger and yell 'bite me you melodramatic bastard', but the warm hand holding my own derails my inner anarchist, locking me in the serene and false safety of an angel dressed in matte black.

Corralling me to my door he shields me from the elemental assault, feeling like the lost slither of my soul, ready to rejoin and recreate me whole. I do not sense danger even if the weather is spitting malice at my front door.

He opens it for me, chivalry suiting him even as he wears the glamor of a vagabond, his pedigree clear to me when lightning strikes the same spot in tempestuous aggression, flaring him in strobes of supernatural glory, the phenomenon stinging molten plasma into the earth like a hornet casting down the battle gauntlet.

There's a god up there throwing one helluva conniption, but he's instantly dismissed when broad shoulders eclipse the threshold and the front door seals in a hushed vacuum of attraction.

Silence is a thick mantle on my shoulders now that I have him on sanctified soil, his next move so delightful I'm smitten by the enigmatic stranger serendipitously planted in my crosshairs, extracting compassion out of me as an orphan who knows too well how it feels to be on the outside looking in.

The kiss on my hand is warm, soft, delicate, a paradox to his physique and the hardship etched around his eyes in fine lines of pain. “Your compassion is a salve on an old wound, Lara.”

Enchanted, I look up at the charismatic man, managing to whisper hoarsely, “What is your name?”

“Leug.”

I grew up fostering a love of paganism and wicca, and his name 'lew' instantly reminds me of Lugh of the long arm, whose festival is lughnasadh (lew-nassa).

He is very tall, so much so he had to duck to walk inside, and he does have long arms to match his height.

It's the oddest perception but I feel as if the gods themselves have crowded my hallway to witness this interaction, their scribes furiously quilling every word.

Everything you say or do will be used against you.

Well fuck them. If I'm going to be damned regardless I may as well give them something to write about, let them swallow scandal and debauchery while I attempt to rescue this man from twilight's squalor and detrimental tantrum; from the internal agony simmering his irises and widening his pupils.

He still holds my hand. I squeeze my grasp in his, encouraging him to the warmth, to the Aga burning heat in the heart of my humble home. “Come,” I insist, nudging my head toward the kitchen at the end of the hallway.

Inclining his head, hiding a coy smile, I almost miss his mumbled, “I intend to.”

My pulse has a seizure, my mind conducting a skirmish with my spontaneity, the sinner in me crawling over the ceiling above us - barking glee.

I've been a prisoner of the system all my life, yet in my hand I sense I'm holding the only key that can set me free.

BOOK: Addictive Rimeshade
4.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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