Silver Flash Wednesday - More Two for the Price of One
Happy Wednesday everyone, and happy Hump Day!Thanks for coming back for another week of flash fiction with the authors of Silver Publishing! This week we have our very first Guest Prompt Diva - Reese Dante, our lovely cover artist, who has given us: : ...will you stop doing that! I can't concentrate when you're ....
And the alternative prompt, from our very own Ryssa Edwards is:
Use these three elements in your story: a full moon, an iron gate, suitcase
This could lead to some rather interesting possibilities, don't you think? As for myself, I have brought both my series to the table again this week, unable to choose between them. In Lust Never Sleeps, the plot thickens as we learn more about the slippery Sawyer, while in Scent of a Wolf, Cameron and Jareth come face to face... or is that nose?
Don't forget to check out all the divas, their links follow my tales!
Scent of a Wolf 4
For a moment, the startled Cameron forgot to breathe, staring into those dark velvety eyes. But when the admittedly good-looking man drew closer to him, practically inhaling him, then Cameron automatically reacted, pushing the intruder summarily away. Shifter or not, he didn’t care for the man’s far too intimate manner. And the unhealthy way he was eyeing Cameron up, like he was some cut of Grade A Choice Beef snack. Raw, and on the hoof, so to speak.
“Hey man, what’s your trip? Ever hear of personal space?” He jumped up, debating with himself whether fight or flight should be the order of the day. While not afraid of fighting, this wasn’t necessarily the venue for it. Especially without a better reason than this.
“Excuse me…” Another country heard from. Hopefully a saner nation. Perhaps it was the other man’s keeper; that would explain much. Where the first was tall, dark and handsome—as clichéd a stranger as any found within the pages of a romance novel—the second man was blonder, stockier, and seemed to at least possess something of his own wits about him. Whereas the first man’s sole mission in life seemed to be to get as close to Cameron as he could get, his nose twitching at him in an almost sensual way. Cameron found that it turned him on, in spite of himself.
“I’m sorry, I must apologize for my friend,” the blond began. He grasped his companion by the forearm, pulling him back. The well-dressed brunet strained against his keeper’s tenuous hold, and Cameron found himself carefully backing away from him. ‘”He’s not himself today. Jareth!”
To Cameron’s surprise, the blond placed his hand over Jareth’s nose, pinching it shut, a move which made no real sense to him. But for some reason it worked, as he instantly ceased from making any untoward movements in Cameron’s direction. That was a start.
“What the fuck?” Cameron growled.
“Shaw, must you do that?” Jareth protested, reaching for the offending hand. Suddenly he stopped, his own hand arrested in mid-aid, staring about him with confused eyes. “Where on earth are we? And why?”
“He’s why.” Shaw nodded at Cameron. “I don’t have time to explain where. Or anything else. I suspect his pursuers are either close at hand, or waiting just outside.”
“My what?” Cameron looked between the two men. Someone was certainly crazy around here, and it wasn’t him. They were very lucky that it wasn’t any closer to the full moon, for at such a time, he was less prone to self-control.
“Look,” Shaw said, attempting to be as patient as he could under the circumstances. Between having to keep a tight rein on Jareth’s nose and watching out for the gruesome twosome, he wasn’t exactly in the mood to play professor. “We know what you are. I don’t know why Jareth is so damned attracted to you, but he is. That’s beside the point. You’re in grave danger from two hooli—“
Just then, Jareth’s nose came loose from its imprisonment. He leapt toward Cameron.
“You know what? I hear your loony bin calling, they want you back,” Cameron murmured, before he did a quick vault between the two men, just as Shaw threw himself toward Jareth. Thanking the powers that be for his wolf reflexes, Cameron leapt down the stairs three at a time, banging his elbow painfully against the wall as he did so. At the bottom, he hurtled himself through the front door and back out into the miserable drizzle which was still falling, calling an apology over his shoulder to the owners of the establishment. With any luck, they wouldn’t ban him from the premises for this lunacy.
It was definitely time to go home. He’d had more than enough excitement for one day.
Too engrossed in evading the melodrama that was no doubt playing itself out on the second floor, Cameron failed to take note of his surroundings. A most grievous error on his part. A hand emerged from nowhere, clamped itself about his upper arm. Cameron’s head whipped backward. He felt a shockwave of pain run down his arm, as he was jarred into momentary immobility.
The hand squeezed tightly; Cameron winced, drawing on what inner strength he possessed to fight the pain. He changed his mind—he wished it was the full moon. He’d rend this bastard limb from limb, given the chance.
From the corner of his eye he saw a long lean man with weasel’s features. He opened his mouth, revealing sharp pointed teeth. “The show must go on, dear boy,” he said, grinning.
Cameron pulled as hard as he could, one foot coming up in a self-defense kick which caught his captor in the groin. He doubled over, and Cameron ran. He dashed across the street, glancing about for some means of quick escape. A bus was approaching; he feared that would not do. He turned into an alley instead, hoping to lose himself in the shadows.
His arm began to scream; he held it close against his body, his feet lithely dodging the accumulated detritus that blocked his way. An abandoned baby carriage. An upended garbage can. An empty suitcase. Collective pains in his ass.
He dared a quick glance behind him—nothing. Veering course, he ducked down a second alley, speeding along it in desperation. At least he was on familiar grounds, hopefully an advantage his pursuer did not share.
Pursuer? That’s what the men in the bookstore had said. What the fuck?
Ahead of him, he spotted the entrance to an abandoned shoe factory, its workers long ago relegated to the unemployment line. If he could scale the iron gate, he could slip inside, catch his breath, and plot a course of action.
He reached the top of the gate, swinging one leg over the top when he felt the arrow strike the base of his spine, toppling him. He fell to the ground, unconscious.
“Excellent work, Chambers!” Rutledge hooted.
to be continued
Lust Never Sleeps 11: What is the Real Truth?
“Wait, wait, wait! Let me understand what you’re saying,” Amandine protested, holding up one gloved hand, as if to dam his words. “You let the actual diamonds out of your hands? And into theirs? Sawyer, how could you?”
“Amandine, please, this is no time for reproach. You can beat me over the head later. First things first, my dear, and that is to retrieve my diamonds.”
“Your diamonds?” She arched a silken red eyebrow at him, receiving an annoyed scowl in return.
Brushton let out a long low whistle. “Bugger, Sawyer, I hate to say it but I think you’re royally screwed. The thing I don’t understand is how you’re still alive? I mean seriously, I’d have thought Sue would’ve flayed you like a prime filet for losing the family jewels. I know that forgiveness is a nunly trait, but honestly, that goes above and beyond—“ He paused in mid-sentence, setting his half-empty glass of champagne onto the table so abruptly it imitated a drunken sailor, sloshing onto the tablecloth. “She doesn’t know, does she?”
“Of course not, that’s why he’s here.” Amandine glared at her ex, who refused to meet her gaze.
“No, she doesn’t know,” Sawyer reluctantly admitted. His eyes fell upon Brushton, whose hand was busily scratching at one of his udders.
“Will you stop doing that! I can't concentrate when you're playing with yourself in public like that!”
“Am not,” he insisted, continuing to rub away at the large teat, “but this damn suit itches. There are worse places I could be scratching, you know. Want me to show you?”
“NO!” Amandine and Sawyer cried in unison.
Darryl was having difficulty in following the back and forth and give and take among these three people, who obviously possessed a great deal of very interesting history among them. It was like watching a tennis match without knowing anything about the sport, or any idea what the rules were—a lot of pointless head turning with himself none the wiser. He cast his eyes upon Sawyer, who kissed him softly, as if that explained everything.
Brushton released his hold on the udder, reaching for his glass, to a collective consensus of relief. “I say, old beaner, you’re in a bit of a jam here. I mean it’s not like you can just go up to them and ask for them back, now can you? Say pardon me but you filched the real thing and not my fakes, would you hand them over, please.”
“Hardly.” Sawyer snorted derisively.
“Fakes?” Darryl echoed.
“Sawyer’s the best forger that ever was.” Amandine praised her ex, who did his best to appear to be modest, but somehow failed. “He’s so good, he leaves his victims feeling that they all have the real deal, no questions asked. Of course, they’re forbidden to show them to anyone either. Part of the price they pay for having such expensive trinkets in their collection. So no one can compare notes. Or figure out just how many copies of everything Sawyer’s sold.”
“As long as I keep track of who has what, no harm done eh?” Sawyer insisted. “The point here is what can I do to get back what is rightfully mine?”
“Yours and Sue’s,” Brushton pointed out helpfully.
“Let’s not quibble about semantics,” Sawyer brushed away his assistance. “Let’s think of something.”
“”What about your…” Darryl didn’t know what to call the ability which Sawyer seemed to possess. But he’d seen him touch people and bend them to his will, at least to some degree. So why not use it on Schrodinger and Salisbury?
Sawyer frowned. “That’s a simple parlor trick,” he replied evasively, “of limited usefulness. I would if I could, my love, I assure you. But those gentlemen are too savvy to fall for that.”
“In other words, they caught onto him in that regard a long time ago,” Amandine laughed. Sawyer flushed, but he didn’t deny her words.
“So let me see if I have this right.” Darryl fought to make sense out of the disjointed bits of information. “You forge things and sell them to these two men? Yes? But for some reason they ended up with the real thing, and not the forgeries? Do I understand the situation correctly?”
“Yes and no,” Sawyer equivocated. “I brought the real diamonds to bait the trap, but once I learned who the client was, I intended to give them the fake ones. It’s worked beautifully before. Jewels, paintings, sculpture…”
“You can do all that?” Darryl was impressed.
“And more.” Sawyer broadly winked. Darryl flushed at the implications inherent in that simple motion, his groin tightening with desire.
“So what happened tonight?”
“Good question,” Sawyer glumly replied. “All was going well, until that thief and his bosom companion had to interfere.”
“What about the gypsy who killed the thief? Can you be sure he took the diamonds to those two men? Maybe he kept them for himself?” Darryl was trying to cheer up his lover by looking at the cup as being half full, not half empty. But even he wasn’t sure if that was a better idea or not.
“Milosh? No, he’s one of theirs. As is Mondo.”
“What do you mean, one of theirs?”
“I mean he’s a creature whose purpose is to do their bidding. A servant to do their dirty work. As for Mondo, I’d swear that he’s a golem, actually, although I’ve no real proof of that.”
A distinct shiver traversed Darryl’s spine. Or it might have been because of Sawyer’s blatant hand pressing
against his crotch.
“Darling,” Amandine interrupted their tête-à-tête, “I do hate to be crass, and while I do adore the free bubbly, I’m not quite as enamored of watching you and your dear darling Darryl mindfuck one another. Is there a reason why I’m here? Other than to be admired, of course?
Before Sawyer could either explain or apologize, their ears were assaulted by a maddening din.
“AIR RAID!” Brushton screamed. “Everybody dive for cover!”
to be continued
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