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It makes you ache, it makes you cry, and it rips you apart. I don't want the empty promises, the false smiles and the fickle happiness. I have no need for love.
As I look around Trick's bar I feel the bubbling energy of everyone in the room swirling around me and I know that I have all that I need right here. An all you can eat buffet of Fae energy available at the distance of one touch. No need for control or restraint.
I take a slow sip of my drink and feel a distant hunger gnaw at the pit of my stomach that reminds me that I haven't been feeding as often as I probably should. I shrug my shoulders and muse to myself that just because I have an itch it doesn't mean I have to scratch it. I'm more than just my Nature, I am what I chose to be, damn it!
A blonde woman approaches without making much of a sound and it's just when she clears her throat that I realize someone is there.
"Is this seat taken?" She asks while pointing to the seat next to me.
Even if I couldn't read her energy there would be no mistaking the slow teasing smile curving her mouth. She's interested in me and I'm pretty sure it's not my conversational skills she's after.
"It is now." I smile back at her almost in reflex. I might not have been practicing much lately but seduction is after all intrinsic to my nature.
She is tall, elegant, and beautiful in a timeless way. Her hair falls around her shoulders in soft, somewhat rebellious waves that frame her oval face perfectly. She carries herself with the understated confidence of someone who knows exactly her own worth. Everything about her commands attention and for a brief moment I wonder what kind of Fae she is although it doesn't really matter to me.
Maybe I should call it scientific curiosity.
Her eyes sparkle amusedly at my inspection of her. I can't help but notice how very blue they are and I feel a slight pang of disappointment as if deep down I was expecting something different. But maybe blue is better, prettier, wiser, safer. Blue like the sky, like the ocean. As far from the cold hard brown earth as possible.
I stop that train of thought slightly annoyed that my mind seems to want to wander without my permission. Maybe it is time I fed after all.
"Hi. My name is Pat." She says as she sits down. She turns to face me and adds. "I've seen you around here before. But tonight it's the first time there's an open seat beside you."
Funny how Fae can sound so remarkably human sometimes. I'd think they would have had the time to evolve to something more refined and less cheesy but alas a pick up was a pick up. No need to be sophisticated when you know what you want and that you're going to get it. And I'd say hitting on a Succubus is a very safe bet if you are Fae and all you want is sex. And don't mind feeling a bit drained the next day. I have it in good authority that it will be worth it.
"I'm Bo. And I guess I'm just popular." I shrug and take another sip of my drink.
"That you are. I've heard a lot about you." She replies to me coyly.
"Oh, really?" I lift one eyebrow and look at her, not at all fooled by the shy act. "All good things I hope."
She laughs and winks at me. "I don't believe all I hear."
I lean in close and am about to suggest that maybe she should see for herself when I feel a familiar prick at the back of my brain. I try to shrug it away and focus on the matter at hand, a blonde, very agreeable matter, but it's a spark of recognition that won't be denied. I am powerless to fight the urge to turn around.
Lauren. Why is it that I'm not surprised?
As she stands unmoving at the door and looks around I can't help but drink her in. Even as I close my hand unconsciously on my companion's forearm.
Pat leans closer and whispers something in my ear, warm puffs of air caressing the shell of my ear but I can't make out her words over the pounding of my heart
Three weeks. It has been three weeks and two days since I left her in my bed and walked away without looking back.
Lauren seems smaller than I remember somehow. Her shoulders are hunched as if bowed by some weight that only she can feel. I wonder if I haunt her dreams the way she has been haunting mine.
I can tell the exact moment she sees me. It's the way her eyes blink and the line of her mouth tightens. As if she wasn't really expecting to find me here. I smirk and turn my head a fraction so that my lips stroke the soft skin of the long neck presented to me. I hear a moan coming from above and I feel more than see the breath catch in Lauren's chest. For a second I'm annoyed that I'm still so attuned to her. But then she starts walking towards me and annoyance morphs into anger.
"Hello Bo." Her raspy voice washes over me the same way her energy does, softly, warmly.
"What is it? Can't you see that I'm busy?" I snarl back.
I can feel Pat's throat moving under my mouth as she chuckles and I kiss her harder and let my hand drift to her waist. Pat sighs and I see Lauren turning her head ever so slightly away.
"Yes, I know." She stresses the last word in an exasperated manner and I wonder if she's jealous. Well, screw that, she had her chance and blew it. "You've been busy for the last three weeks, but I really need to talk to you."
I lift my head and turn to face Lauren fully ignoring the noise of protest from the blonde besides me.
"Does the Ash command it?" I ask in a supremely bored voice.
Lauren sighs and I can tell that she is annoyed. Still her composed façade doesn't crack and I can feel my ire grow. Damn to Hell her pristine control.
"The Ash has nothing to do with this."
"Doesn't he? Aren't you his pet? Aren't you ?"
Just as I was about to start a tirade Pat snaked her arm around my waist and started nuzzling my neck. I had forgotten she was there. Startled, I was about to pull away when I noticed Lauren's eyes flashing and her hands closing into fists.
I smirked smugly. There are cracks in your armour after all.
Lauren takes a deep breath and when she looks at me again I see nothing of the furious maelstrom that raged there a second before. "Please, Bo. Let's not do this here."
"She's busy." Pat interjects for the first time. Her patience apparently is running thin with this conversation.
"It will only take about five minutes of her time and then she'll get back to you." Lauren says in a perfectly composed, clinical manner as if it is just a professional matter and she didn't really care one way or another.
"Is that all you want? Five minutes of my undivided attention? You think that will be enough?" I lower my voice and I move closer to her staring deeply into her eyes. But I am careful not to dislodge the other woman's hand from my waist.
Lauren doesn't take the bait. But though outwardly she seems unaffected her energy tells a different story.
"I'll be right to the point." As she answers me, her voice remains strong and unwavering and it annoys me further.
I stand up, turn around and deliberately step between Pat's legs, grab her face none too gently and kiss her deeply and thoroughly. Through my half closed eyes I see a look of pain cross Lauren's face and I put a little more enthusiasm into my kiss.
When I step back there's a barely concealed irritation swimming in the brown orbs in front of me. Without saying a word, she turns around and walks to the door not looking back to see if I'm following.
I smile. Gotcha.
I get up to follow Lauren and feel a hand grabbing mine to hold me in place. When I turn around I feel a slight pang of guilt at the dazed expression on the blonde Fae's face. She's pretty much reaching a seven and rising steadily right now and I couldn't care less. I'm pretty sure I'm giving Succubi a bad name.
"Don't take long." She pleads huskily.
I give her a small, soft peck on the lips and pull away after a second effectively evading her attempt to deepen the kiss. Her expression turns into one of confusion and I shrug my shoulders.
"I'm not sure how long this is going to take but I have to go." I give her a little smile. There's really no need to burn bridges.
She shakes her head a little. "There's no avoiding the doctor, hum?"
I shake my head as an answer.
"Rain check?" She asks as she gets up.
"Definitively." I nod as I watch her walk away and wonder what I am doing.
I down my drink in one go and resolutely make my way outside. For a second I contemplate whether or not Lauren is waiting for me and I am angry that I am nervous.
Lauren is leaning against the wall by the door seemingly deep in thought. She's staring at the sidewalk, her straight hair falling like a curtain around her face. A flashback of those same soft blonde strands caressing my face, shielding us from the world invades my thoughts. A shiver runs down my spine.
"I'm here. Now talk." I say brusquely as way of introduction.
I can see that I startled her. Maybe she didn't think I'd follow. Maybe she thought I'd avoid her, the same way I've been avoiding her phone calls.
She runs her hand over her hair in a helpless gesture that is out of character for her. It tells me that she isn't as in control of her emotions as she seems to be.
Good to know. Neither am I.
I missed her. I missed her smile, her laugh, her easy unassuming manner, her caring, and her warmth.
"Bo. That night I didn't go to your bed because the Ash told me to." She starts hesitantly but right to the point. I'm guessing she's worried I'll only give her the promised five minutes.
I arch an eyebrow at that and she hurries to continue.
"He told me that if you killed Vex the Dark would kill you and that I should distract you if I wanted you to live. When I went to your house I didn't go there to sleep with you. I just wanted to reason with you and try to talk you out of it." She pauses to collect her thoughts and then looks into my eyes as if willing me to see the truth.
"But then you started talking about wanting to have a choice at leading a human life. How nobody would want to live it with you if you didn't fight for it. And in that moment " She steps closer and holds my hands in hers. I let her.
"In that moment, Bo, I wanted you like I never wanted anyone else before in my life. I felt like I was going to die if I didn't have you." Her voice cracked at the end and she blushed but her eyes never wavered away from mine.
Yes, that part was true. I had seen her energy flaring up to an inferno in that instant and I had been powerless to resist her. I had opened myself to her, dropped all pretence and all my defences. I trusted her and she betrayed that trust.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Part of the hurt I was feeling must have showed in my voice because she winced slightly.
"Because I knew you wouldn't listen to me." I drop her hands and open my mouth to reply but she lifts her hand to stop me. "You're new to the Fae world and I know some of the rules are preposterous by human standards and you don't condone them. But that doesn't mean you can work outside them when you're dealing with the Fae."
Lauren tried to come closer to me again but I step away getting angry again. My voice drops an octave and I struggle not to rush as I cut whatever she was going to say.
"What I don't get is how you can accept this all so calmly!" I pause to try and calm myself. It doesn't work. "You're human, Lauren! To Fae you're nothing but a a pet or a meal in whatever form they need to have you."
She sighs deeply and I sense that she is getting annoyed. Her voice not as controlled as it was in the beginning.
"It's not like that." The blonde takes a second to breathe, to regroup. "For a human to know about the Fae and to be allowed to live he or she is required to be under the protection of one Fae. That tells all other Fae that he or she is off limits and untouchable. There are Dark Fae that do keep humans as pets but among Light Fae that is forbidden."
Lauren stopped as if remembering for a second before continuing in a strong voice.
"I was just a resident doing a night ER shift when they brought in a perfectly ordinary looking woman unconscious and fading fast in a gurney. I worked like a maniac to try to save her and the more I looked into her case the less ordinary it looked to be. When I had finally made a breakthrough and it seemed like she was going to make it a weird thing happened. All the lights started flickering and the walls seemed to be zoning in and out of phase. And suddenly I was standing in a deserted room with the Ash. He started talking and I couldn't even breathe I was so scared. But at the same time I couldn't help but be in awe that there was so much more out there than I ever dreamed possible. He was impressed with my work and told me he needed a doctor just like me and the job was mine if I wanted it. And I did."
She took a deep breath, shrugged her shoulders and looked at me a little helplessly. "I know you don't understand." She added.
"Then explain it to me. Explain it to me how you can stand by someone who lets a woman whose only crime was to love a human be executed for something she didn't do."
I'm sure some of my disdain for the Ash must have showed in my countenance because I saw Lauren's posture stiffen. We were but a couple of feet away but we might as well be on different continents right now.
"I don't always agree with the Ash. I just think the good he does out weights the bad. And I wish there was something that I could have done to save Lou Ann, how I wish it. But you have to know what battles to pick, Bo. I have no influence whatever with the Dark Fae. I couldn't help Lou Ann and more importantly to me on that night I couldn't save you if you killed Vex. I wanted, I needed you to be safe and I did all that I could to keep you that way."
"You did a crappy job." I shot back rudely. I knew it was a cheap shot but I just couldn't get over the hurt so easily even if the anger was fading away fast. And maybe a part of me loved to see Lauren's eyes sparkle angrily and her ice cool façade crack as it was doing right now. God, how I loved to see her unravelled, her control shattered, her defences blown away.
I guess a cheap shot calls for another cheap shot because Lauren fought back.
"Well, at least I did try to help you unlike say Dyson."
"Dyson has nothing to this." I make a dismissive motion with my hand. I'm not at all concerned about Dyson right now.
"I somehow doubt it." Lauren mumbles audibly and her tone leaves no doubts of her disdain for that particular Fae. "Why is it that I'm the only bad guy here? I never lied to you Bo!"
There is an undercurrent of hurt lacing Lauren's voice that breaks through my defences and hits me deep in my chest. And for the first time tonight I feel guilty. I expected so much from her but I never bothered to tell her what I wanted.
I guess it is time to take the plunge. Crap.
I take a deep breath and just let it out slowly.
"Dyson is on my crappy list too if it makes you happier." I say calmly and I am gratified to see her posture relax slightly. "But there's no comparison."
She turns her head a fraction sideways as if pondering what I am saying and I take advantage of the silence to finish what I'm saying before courage leaves me.
"Look, Dyson is a good guy and I care about him. He's Fae and he's there and it's convenient. But you " I cross my arms in front of me and take a step back though my eyes never stray from the soft brown ones staring at me. "I thought you and I had a chance at something real."
Lauren looks stunned, her mouth opening as if to speak only to close a moment later without emitting a sound.
I stand my ground, fighting the urge to flee while I wait for her answer.
"Bo " She says hesitantly, softly after a minute. "I "
Whatever she was going to say is interrupted by the sound of the door opening. A man comes out of Trick's bar and looks at us curiously before giving Lauren a little wave and walking away. I am suddenly aware that we have been having this discussion in a very public place and that is only by sheer luck that we haven't been interrupted before. And who knows how many ears have been eavesdropping on our conversation.
"I think we should take this elsewhere." Lauren says after we're alone again. She sounds more composed and I can't fight the urge to rattle her a bit
I nod and then smirk. "Want to go to my place?"
Lauren fidgets under my gaze and I wonder if it's the thought of having to deal with Kenzi's sarcastic remarks or if it's the memories of the last time we were both at my place that she fears.
"Or we could go to your place instead." I say taking pity on her and if I am to be honest on myself too. I think maybe I'm not ready for interruptions either. I love Kenzi to bits but Lauren is seriously on her shit list right now. I'm not sure where this is going but I'm pretty sure we need to figure it out ourselves. Tomorrow will be soon enough to come clean and tell my best friend everything.
The blonde nods with relief and points back to the street.
"Ok, I have my car right over there"
We are both quiet during the drive. It is an uneasy silence, heavy with words unsaid and expectations. But I don't feel like making small talk.
I look at Lauren through the corner of my eyes and I see her deep in thought, her teeth nervously biting her bottom lip. She looks kind of adorable and I feel an undeniable twinge low in my belly.
I try to bring up the anger that has been my constant companion for these past three weeks but I find that it has mostly dissolved. And it left in its place an ache and a hunger that have little to do with feeding.
Lauren parks the car next to an old looking but well kempt building. I look around for a second but by now all my attention is focused on the woman beside me. She fumbles with the lock for half a minute and gives me a small sheepish smile when she finally manages to open the door.
A couple of flights of stairs and another door later I find myself standing in the middle of the living room. Large windows on the far wall let the moonlight enter and bathe everything in its ethereal light. My eyes roam curiously over every surface, the bookshelves lining the walls, the comfortable looking black sofa, the flat screen TV, the discarded book on the coffee table.
Lauren makes no move to turn the lights on as she walks to the kitchen area.
"Would you like something to drink?" she asks politely.
"No, thank you." I would just like to get back to where we were.
She sighs and runs one long fingered hand over her hair.
"I never thought I was enough for you."
"Huh?" Not the most articulate, I know, but it did the trick.
Lauren took a deep breath and clarified. "I'm only human, Bo. If we're together you're still going to need to " She swallowed and continued in a stronger voice. " you'll still need to feed from other people."
"I want a relationship, Lauren, not a meal. As for other people, I don't need to have sex to feed. You know that." I reply slightly annoyed.
The blonde blushes and drops her head. "You're a Succubus. You need a healthy sex life to stay balanced."
"We can have a healthy sex life." I can't help but drop an octave and move closer to her.
Lauren's aura flares up to an inferno the closer I get and I bask in her energy. It feels like coming home. I'm not letting this go without a fight, Ash or no Ash. Fae and humans who don't like it can all kiss my leather covered ass as far as I'm concerned.
"If you keep looking at me like that I'm sure we can." She replies in a voice turned even raspier.
"Then we have nothing to be worried about." I whisper close to her mouth and feel her sigh upon my lips and all the way down my spine.
Our eyes are so close that I can see the luminous brown in front of me turn smoky as Lauren surrenders to the inevitable. Without hesitation or gentleness she brings her hands to cup my face and closes the gap between our lips and our bodies.
It's a hungry, aching kiss, deep from the very beginning. Teeth biting, lips sucking, tongues probing, hands trying to reach everywhere at once, pulling on clothes and opening buttons. I feel my hunger grow and my power reaching up to the energy and I pull away.
We're both breathing hard; our clothes are in various states of disarray. Lauren's hair is sticking up in places in a way that is as far from her usual composed self as possible.
"Bo, I trust you." She says looking right into my tinged with power blue eyes.
I swallow convulsively and try to put my hunger back where it belongs. I feel my eyes recede to their usually dark color and hold my hand out to Lauren.
"Let's move this to a bed."
We undress each other quickly in between kisses and when we fall into bed the feel of our bare skin wrenches a moan from both of us. Lauren rolls me on to my back easily and settles her weight over me. She pushes her leg in between mine to press up firmly against me and I feel my wetness melt on her skin. I sigh and close my eyes as my hips start rocking almost automatically to try and relieve the pressure.
When I open my eyes I see Lauren looking down at me closely, unblinkingly. I run my hands up and down her arms gently.
"What is it?"
"It's just I never thought I would get to do this again."
There is so much naked emotion on Lauren's eyes, so much longing that I have to fight not to turn away. She leans down then and kisses me, hard.
"Bo, I don't want you to treat me as if I'm going to break. I might not be Fae but I can take it. And I trust you."
"I don't want to hurt you." I hold her away weakly.
"You won't." She breaks through my defences as easily as a knife cutting butter and kisses me deeply, as if famished.
I feel my power rising up again and this time I let it, trusting my heart to know when it is enough. I roll us over so that Lauren lies under me, spread open in every way.
I take everything she has to give and in return I give her all that I am and all that I will ever be. As she screams out my name in pleasure I know I am willingly and forever owned by her.
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