Addictive Rimeshade (2 page)

BOOK: Addictive Rimeshade
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Chapter 2



he's a damn fine hunk of mine

chill him down like a bottle of wine


~  The Gemini Journal





The lit candle in the window is such an archaic rite, one that makes my inner skeptic smile. It's a church candle, tall, thick, whiter than meringue, dichotomous to the torrent of sleet intermittently finger-painting the neighborhood.

Crimson gables tap in the tempest, matching the epileptic fit being thrown by the rosemary on either side of her garden gate. The herb of remembrance is thrown about by a manic squall. She is maintaining a vigil, an ongoing one, but for whom?

The twins crouch low, their tweed-hued pelts combing artfully in the wind. They morph their fur to blend into the small copse at the rear of her property. The wolves will keep watch while I enter the haven of the forgotten and kinless.

A shadowed form stands in the portal of the sash window, peering at me, gnawing a full bottom lip as if struggling with a guilty conscience. Making up her mind she opens the front door, closing it immediately behind her, the gloss gilding the carvings, enhancing the gloom of the moment.

The ether responds to the imminent trouble, thickening the clouds in sulky glowers.

Wind suctions a baby blue cardigan to voluptuous breasts, long lean legs willowy in matching blue jeans, sheepskin slippers on her feet. Look at that, the wolf wears sheep's clothing and she's crossing the cracked boulevard to tempt me to join her flock.

Every step closer increases the static in the atmosphere, the agitation of my bloodbrother burgeoning anger, ready to birth and smite. He and Odin are so alike, yet they just can't see it. Their rage is their disease. I have no such deformity, and for that I walk alone. Scorned, spurned, and ostracized for daring to be different.

His legion turn, coalescing the storm to face the vaporized wolves ready to give chase, to snap at the heels of those who would interfere. It halts the impending deluge long enough for me to get a good look in her eyes, at the graceful neck holding a cocked head, reading me as easily as if I'd handed her the parchment myself.

This is an interesting development. No one can read me.
No one
. She hesitates, but has come too far to turn back without feeling foolish. Skirting the intent plastered to her visage, she calms the thunder when she speaks, the sultry vespers rolling off her tongue are serenading harmonies for the devout.

She's definitely a waiting wolf, ready to devour from unnatural hunger and vices, yet needing to bond to a pack more than to pamper her dark desires. She needs to know security so flirts instead with danger. She defies her core needs, denying them as inconsequential, choosing the superficial as a bandaid for the deeper wound sparkling eyes so light gray they butter corpses in ethereal frosting. She is a mortician, finding respite with the dead.

Yes pretty lady, I did my homework before standing on this precipice with you. You are worth the ire we will instigate.

The thurs growl, shaking the ground, siphoning the oxygen out of the air, trying to rob her of the strength to brook my boundary and entwine fortunes with the one who can purge her past in favor of a future. She's tethered to pain, submissive to it, so much so it's plain to see.

She owns a small scar on her neck, one that tells lies and reveals honesty between the blurred lines of disfigurement. She wants to be different, she knows she is, but can't quite put her finger on the 'why'. Well flirting with that kind of human darkness isn't the answer. I have fangs, I'm a wolf. I can give you real bite scars, ones you can be proud of.

Anguish softens her eyes, her smile doubtful and borderline wry, bidding me enter her home to shelter inside her haven.

Thur's violent opposition seals the deal and I don't hesitate, pausing just long enough to laugh at his outraged display of bratty displeasure. The imbecile never had a shred of patience or self-control. I'm the master of both.

Hurrying her inside, away from the pewter sky and the hidden legion in its moodiness, the inner sanctum of her home is predestined. The atmosphere hits me, making pulling breath labored. It is sacrosanct and hallowed, hushed and warm, the scent of her broken innocence saturated into the paint and suffocating my senses. Every threshold within is bordered with carved door frames, the celtic knotwork wrought with spells and good intentions.

Good intentions do indeed pave the way to Hel. This woman and Hel would find comfort in each other. They both take care of the dead; loving the dead more than the living because the deceased have value for life the living have never fostered.

Come,” she croons, wishing for me to follow her down a passage of warped floorboards smelling of lemon and lavender.

Her doubt, worry, insecurity, so plain and open, it's an aphrodisiac. I have a gnawing qualm that she has very few boundaries. She looks demure and docile but the savage creature behind her eyes is famished, and addicted to the chase.

For tonight then I shall choose to be the fox, and before dawn I'll be so deeply in a warm safe hole she'll forget she's a vixen.

The hexed home embodies an ambiance so peaceful it reeks of heathen sacraments. Only one woman has these ingrained abilities, and she's the only one I ever knelt before and offered my devotion.

I wonder how she feels about women? Does she swing both ways? If she does I have the perfect trap to catch all the butterflies together in one net.

One fact no one seems to know about butterflies is they are the most violent of all insects, battering each other broken, sometimes to death.

Swallowing my laugh as I stroll into a burnt mango kitchen diffusing warmth and invitation with sunflower yellows and spicy reds, I think I shall enjoy watching a nest of butterflies clashing.

All I need do is separate the women from their men, corner them together, and wait to see which one is dominant.

The men think I am risen to threaten their clans, so I shall distract them with petty conflict. I have no ego to wound, no reputation to protect, but they'd both die for those qualities in themselves.

My role is to make a fool of the fools.

She turns, indicating a large Italian espresso coffee pot on the stove, tugging at my shirt, muttering words about being cold and wet, but the truth simpers under her tone.

She wants to sample the goods, she cares nothing for my discomfort, only her own. Shrugging, smiling as if willing, I let her assist me in the stripping of my jumper and shirt, distracted by the tip of her tongue lacing her lips, with her blatant glance of admiration.

Lara coughs, turning her face askance to cascade albino pale hair across her shoulder, but passion was present before she could avert it.

I am the game, I am the trap, and I shall play the hand of patience and ignorance until I discover her fatal weakness.

Lara and Leug, it sounds too cheesy, but then fate always did have a penchant for kitsch romance.

What smells so good?” I ask, sitting down at the kitchen table draped in orange and white gingham. I give her the meaningful stare, hoping she catches on quick.

Remaining diplomatic, she gestures to the cast iron pot on her stove, “Curry. Are you hungry?”

For you? “Very.”





His sleeves are dripping. How is he not shivering with teeth chattering? He's just lucky I'm a tall girl who likes oversized sweats to chillax in. I think my charcoal track top will fit him while I put his in the dryer.

I'll be right back, help yourself to coffee.”

Dashing into the laundry, I rifle through the 'to be ironed' pile which breeds and multiplies without my permission, unearthing the sweatshirt in question and stalking back into the kitchen.

He waits, like the soulless queuing for a spirit to animate their body. It breaks my heart even more. I'm accustomed to obnoxious, pushy, and opinionated. This man is nothing like the common male specimen befouling the planet.

Jeez dude. Tugging at the hem of his black jumper, I coax, “Don't you want to get out of this? You must be iced underneath this wet weight.”

He gives me a stare that's hard to decipher, as if touching him is by invitation only.

It only urges me to manhandle him more, just to instigate a reaction. His complacency is freaking me out a little. What happened out there? You seem to be in a state of shock.

“Leug? Come on dude, let's get this off. I'll put it in the dryer and you can wear mine in the meantime.” I nod, being motherly and pushy, refusing to take resistance for an answer.

He lifts his arms, assisting me with a hollow smile plastered in amiable acquiescence which doesn't match his eyes. Two men, one body, do they ever agree?

I have to cling to the kitchen table for a moment because the wanton whore who haunts my nightmares and fantasies just whipped off her pushup bra at the sight of his upper half stripped to the skin.

Holy fuckohara, the wind blew and froze his torso in a permanent crunch of extruded muscle. Not starving then. Well, he doesn't look like it. But then this man is more mystery and questions than obvious answers.

Closing my eyes against the masculine morsel poised before me, my inner calm cracks with a tremor.

Good lord, someone must be so proud to call you their son.

Inhaling to calm the birthing storm in my veins, rocking my pulse with an excited tempo, all I do is inhale a lungful of his male potion instead. Warm skin locked in the scent of fresh thunderstorm, wet mulch and brisk ice. Beneath it all is a hint of burn. It catches in the back of my throat, watering my eyes, my heartbeat squeezing tighter with an aching crescendo.

Reopening my eyes I cling to my conditioning, that of a polite hostess without a pulse, without desires or demented dreams.

I know instinctively to tread cautiously, to not pry. I hate getting a grilling from people who don't know me and know nothing about my life. Human nature assumes it is entitled to question a stranger on personal issues that are none of their damned business.

I know - who he is, where he comes from, and where he's going - is none of my business, but I have an overwhelming need to make it my business. I want to smooth away the frown and watch those eyes light up with laughter. The constant pain etched into his expression is killing the part of me that witnesses the serenity of death, daily. Is living so cruel that it must scar those in its realm?

I like my job, there's no one to interrogate me, to ask unwelcome questions. The dead drop the body suit and float on off to a different level of being, they finally get to step out of the shackles of living. Leug looks like every breath scalds his lungs and induces agony. The tension in his muscles is plain to see before he covers them up with my sweatshirt. He looks glorious in charcoal.

I indicate he should sit, moving to the counter to pour coffee.

“What smells so good?” he enquires, his tone relaxed and a tad gruff.

Curry. Are you hungry?” For all I know he could be homeless, or lost, or have amnesia. When was his last meal?

Very,” purrs at me as if he just declared a vendetta against chastity.

Ooooer, that's the most delicious 'very' ever uttered around my eager ears.

“I've eaten, so don't mind me just drinking coffee,” I natter, filling the awkward stiltedness with noise and fussing. Grabbing the Spanish soup bowl and filling it to the brim, I place it in front of him and point to the caddy holding the knives and forks. “Dig in.”

Pouring coffee into my already waiting mug, I grab the rolls, putting them down in front of him in case he wants bread with that. I'm about to stretch my legs out when I spy his reaching my chair. This is weird. I'm so used to slouching around my house without sitting primly or making polite conversation - or checking for 'his' legs under my chair.

He eats methodically, surveying my kitchen and windows, as if wary to make eye contact.

It is awkward, even I have to admit it is, so stand after staring at wet black trainers for too long.

“Please enjoy your dinner, I won't be long,” I say, needing to put distance between us to regain my composure.

Taking my coffee with me I put his shirts in the dryer, stop in the lounge to put a CD on to fill the gritty silence, before continuing to my bedroom to find the man a fresh pair of socks. The trainers will take a few hours to dry, and I can't believe I am so clueless that I thought a dry shirt would make a shred of difference.

He garbles my brainwaves and makes me behave like a complete fuckwit. Finding the hiking socks, I dig at the back to find the pair that's too big; the pair I never wear because they give me blisters. That's what happens when you buy the wrong size.

I can't help him with his jeans, but I do have that red fleece blanket I was saving for Deliah. He can just wear a fleece sarong until his jeans are dry.

Taking the blanket down, the devil on my shoulder pokes my neck in gloating insistence, demanding to know why I'm being so accommodating to this guy.

BOOK: Addictive Rimeshade
6.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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