Fire, Chapter 5 --PG-13

Fire, Chapter 5 --PG-13

Postby librarian_7 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:56 pm

Standard disclaimers apply.

No spoilers here.

This story is rated PG-13 for relatively mild violence and sex.

This story follows the events of “Control.”



Fire

Chapter 5

The carriage jounced and jolted roughly across the cobbles through the London night, and Mary Atherton Shaw, never one to lose an opportunity, artfully lost her balance, flinging herself closer to her companion in a flurry of rustling satin and lace. Josef wasn’t fooled for a second, but then again he was far from displeased at having this warm, fragrant bundle in his arms, and he smiled into the darkness, aware that she could not see his face.

For the sake of the pretense, however, he growled something about the scandalous state of the roads, and the king’s shocking inattention to the needs of his realm.

“My pardon, milord. I had no intent—“ Mary began a pretty lie, and pushed, very lightly against his chest as though to move away. Josef tightened his arm around her, much as she had expected he would. Men were all the same, she thought. Trying to get away from them only brings them scurrying after. Lord Josef Alexander, foreign or not, was no different.

For his part, Josef felt the stirrings of desire, and her slight struggle only ignited him. He tried to distract himself by burying his mouth against her dark curls, but her scent only came to his nostrils that much quicker. He was feeling the sweet ache of his fangs for her, and that was dangerous so early in the evening. The torture of being with her, of being so often inside her, without the completion of feeding on her blood, was forcing him to drink more often, and more deeply, than had been his wont in recent years. “Don’t lie to me, minx,” he cautioned playfully.

When she protested her innocence, he pulled her closer into a kiss. This, too, was an occasion for more control than was pleasant to exercise. He desired her kiss, and yet he could not risk her seeking tongue finding the hard length of his fangs. He wondered briefly why he felt so strongly that she must not be told of his nature, why she was so different from Betty or any of the swallows he used and fed from without a thought. His Maria had become important somehow, her opinion of him significant to him. He knew with an instinct beyond reason that he needed her acceptance, and that somehow she might not find it in her heart to welcome something so uncanny as a vampire into her life, and her bed. Perhaps it was a result of his fatigue, perhaps he was wrong.

She sighed against his mouth and turned comfortably to rest against his shoulder, her full skirts spreading over his knees in billowing profusion. He closed his eyes, momentarily picturing her dark hair spread across his thighs , the silken feel of it on his skin, the warm velvet of her mouth…this wasn’t helping.

As though in response to his thoughts, the woman reached up to touch the hand that rested around her shoulders. “You seem tired, my love,” she said. “Tired and chill. Are you well?”

Josef smiled. He was tired, very tired. His business ventures, the ostensible reason for his visit to the city, were taking up more daylight time than he found comfortable, and his nights had been consumed with the—thus far—fruitless hunt for the vampire killer. Every lead he had pursued, every avenue he had followed, had led nowhere. If he dreamed, he would have dreamed of headless vampires, and as it was he felt constantly tense and braced. But that was nothing to burden pretty Maria with. Her smile and her warmth were what he needed to restore him. Sympathetic ears could be found elsewhere, if he needed one. Only the night before, he’d sat his personal swallow, Betty, down on his lap, and told her every bit of the tale, although since he spoke in his birth dialect, he knew her serious consideration of the matter was quite limited. Still, even without response, it had helped to talk things out.

And if that were not sufficient, the climate in this dreary place would soon do him in, he thought. The last vestiges of the summer were penetrating what should have been the chill haven of his stone sleeping room, and what rest he was able to take had not been as restoring as he wished. And he would admit such a trivial weakness to no one, vampire or human. No one.

“Quite hale, my dear, and all the better for your concern.” He paused. “And to think there were those who told me you would be like a character from one of the plays you act--all demands and caprice.”

She twisted around to give him a mock frown. She could see he was weary, and decided the best way was to charm him out of it, distract him from whatever burdens he bore. He had never spoken much of such things to her, always turning the conversation to other matters less close to his life. “Caprice, is it? And shall I become then imperious in my concern, and order you hence between my sheets, that I may oversee with royal disdain, your proper rest?” she asked in her best stage voice, complete with grand gestures to match her feigned expression of regal displeasure.

Josef sketched a courtly bow as best he could from his seat in the carriage, his mouth twitching with amusement, and patterned his response to meet her theatrical style. “Your pardon for mentioning it, empress of my heart, but I have ever found that the confines of your gracious bed are anything but a space of peace and rest.”

“Fie upon you, sir,” she retorted, “to traduce my honor so.” But she was laughing as she said it, and he was laughing too, and when their lips met again in a kiss, it was as though the laughter still bubbled between them, and Josef was able to control and direct his responses. Still…he found his focus drifting. He’d planned to take her out, show off the brilliance of her beauty and wit before some of his alleged peers, rakehells and wastrels though they might be. He had had word that his reclusive behavior, his failure to maintain the type of household expected of an aristocrat of his publicly known lineage, was raising question amongst the mortals with whom he dealt, and there was no question that to do so normal a thing as parade his association with a pretty mistress would serve to allay suspicions. Then again, he reflected, there was such a thing as too much caution.

“Maria,” Josef said abruptly, “would it distress you if we postponed our outing?”

She frowned a little in puzzlement. “Of course not. Have I displeased you in some fashion? If so, milord, I do beg your pardon.”

“Displeased me? Not in the least.” Josef smiled at her. “It’s simply that I thought, given the choice of standing around in noisy, overcrowded room with a herd of fatuous nobodies drinking bad wine and watching poor gamesmanship, or taking you back to that bed you mentioned so beguilingly a few minutes ago, and untying all the ribbons and laces of that very complicated dress you are wearing, well, it occurred to me that I was on the verge of making the wrong choice.”

Mary cast him a sidelong look. “I was looking forward to showing off this—as you say—very complicated dress. But as long as you promise to untie the ribbons and laces, this time, and not rip them apart, then I expect it would be my pleasure to do as best satisfies you, milord.”

Josef nodded, then rapped sharply on the roof of the carriage, and ordered the coachman to turn around. His heart was lighter for the decision.

And in the darkness near their planned destination, the one who had planned to kill the vampire and his mistress waited in vain for them, as the hours of the night passed slowly away.
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Re: Fire, Chapter 5 --PG-13

Postby coco » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:37 pm

Love this paragraph Lucky:

“Fie upon you, sir,” she retorted, “to traduce my honor so.” But she was laughing as she said it, and he was laughing too, and when their lips met again in a kiss, it was as though the laughter still bubbled between them, and Josef was able to control and direct his responses. Still…he found his focus drifting. He’d planned to take her out, show off the brilliance of her beauty and wit before some of his alleged peers, rakehells and wastrels though they might be. He had had word that his reclusive behavior, his failure to maintain the type of household expected of an aristocrat of his publicly known lineage, was raising question amongst the mortals with whom he dealt, and there was no question that to do so normal a thing as parade his association with a pretty mistress would serve to allay suspicions. Then again, he reflected, there was such a thing as too much caution.
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Re: Fire, Chapter 5 --PG-13

Postby mitzie » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:53 pm

Someone waiting to kill Josef and Maria!! :gasp: I love this story, off to read more... :yahoo: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :eek2: :chair: :fingerscrossed: :clover: :eyes: :eyes: :yahoo: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :thud: :thud: :thud: :thud: :notworthy: :heart:


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Re: Fire, Chapter 5 --PG-13

Postby allegrita » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:30 am

In Lucky's mind, Josef has always had favorite mortals, who satisfied more than just his hunger. Mary/Maria, though, is different. She's not a swallow. What is it about this mortal that obsesses him so? And is he mature enough to realize the danger he faces because of her? He's got a weakness, and weaknesses are there to be exploited, at least, that's the vampire way. :chin:

Worst of all, the mysterious vampire killer has Josef in his sights, now. :nosee: :nails:
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