Tag Archives: free story

LOVER IN STONE, Installment No. 14

INSTALLMENT NO. 14 #humiliation #scent  #crave
Merrick watched the woman’s backside grow smaller for the second time in the same day. Just like before, he was struck dumb.
Was that shame he’d seen flash in those blue-black eyes? The Chimera had lived a solitary existence for millennia, but he recognized humiliation when he saw it. Because he saw it almost every day, perched atop the Archway with damned souls plodding beneath his paws.
That the human woman Angelia should fall victim to such a debilitating emotion cut away at the stone of his heart, something she alone seemed to have the knack for doing.
And Merrick wasn’t sure how to take that.
He didn’t like humans. With God on their side, they were doing a fine job of destroying themselves and the beautiful planet that had been gifted to them.
Their egos acknowledged no bounds. Nothing was too great or too low for them to grasp with their greedy, bloodstained hands.
Yet, Angelia seemed different somehow. As clever as she was, there was a naiveté she emanated, an innocence the Chimera hadn’t encountered since he’d been exiled to the gates of Hell.
Merrick plucked his leather coat off the ground and smacked the dirt and dead insects out of it.
This could have been her.
A rosy thought.
One that made him think of how fragile a human being she was. She offered him nothing but kindness and fair play, and he shoved it back down her throat.
But it was either that or acknowledge how he reacted to her. The scent of her went straight to his groin, so that it thickened and grew painfully heavy.
What was he going to do with that? Mate her?
Not on God’s green toy called Earth. Or in Hell, for that matter.
Except he wanted to, which was the problem. He wanted to taste her, he wanted to know what her softness would feel like as she encased the damned thing hardening between his legs.
She was the opposite of stone, which was the Chimera’s fate, and just once before his body succumbed to its doom he would like to feel the pliability of soft flesh yielding for him.
Merrick scoffed, shoving such nonsense out of his head. He would have to be satisfied with something more platonic, curse his infernal erection, if he wanted to savor the presence of the human woman.
He could cram his rage and the fact of his hardening skin away for the next several days. Hell, if he could do that it would give him something nice to think about while he was perched in immutable stone for the next few centuries. Maybe thinking of her would ease some of his rage so he could endure his granite prison.
“Angelia, wait.” Merrick trotted after the one thing that shined a little like hope, even if he could never touch her.

****
Her feet halted like the booted traitors they were when the Chimera’s growling command caressed her eardrums.
Brilliant.
So much for her shred of dignity. That was about to get tossed to the curb like the paltry thing it was. Angelia took a fortifying breath and turned to face her anguish head on.
“What, Merrick.” Her curt response was all she could muster as she watched him jog toward her. God, he was beautiful. Not pretty in any way, but striking, the way a tiger sliding through the jungle was beautiful. Sublimely powerful, muscles rippling with every self-possessed movement.
Who knew? Maybe one of the animals of his Chimera was tiger.
Oh yeah, the idea of that just stuffed her with confidence.
“Not Mr. Merrick?” He coaxed a chagrined smile to his lips as he pulled up in front of her.
Angelia hadn’t been expecting his grin, and the sight of it stabbed straight for her womb, which wrung taut with raw need.
She bit down on a gasp, and for one horrifying second she thought she gave herself away.
God, she couldn’t even focus on her Indiana Jones adventure without somehow messing it up. Getting moist for her guide would not prove her self-worth. Not to her father, or Aro. Least of all to herself.
Merrick lifted his chin as his nostrils widened. He took a step back.
Angelia’s cheeks warmed, the stings and bites growing sere from the heat rushing to her face.
Oh, she must be gorgeous, all reeking with needy sex and mottled like a toad. So attractive, the Chimera took a step backward.
Angelia stiffened her spine in the face of his revulsion. Then spun on her heel to flee toward the River Acheron with as steady a hiking pace as she could muster.
She wouldn’t let him see her run. She wasn’t a coward, dang it. No, she was not.
Yes, he weakened her.
But she couldn’t deny the soaring of her heart as he fell into a quiet pace behind her.

****

They reached the river Acheron by what would have been nightfall if they hadn’t been traveling beyond the Archway. Time simply didn’t exist in Hell, the sun didn’t rise or set. The sun didn’t appear at all. Instead, a red sky reigned above their heads, a constant part of the scenery Merrick paid no attention to.
Because, as Angelia walked, he followed her like a dog, trying to steal more of her scent whenever the breezes cooperated.
She never looked back at him, so she didn’t have a clue what he was doing. Hell, he didn’t have any idea what he was doing.
Chasing a scent like an animal.
Yes, he was.
But he couldn’t help himself. The smell of her had him hooked, as it had from the second he’d gotten a whiff of her back at the Triumvirate’s gallery. He could follow her scent instinctively, so the rest of the time they walked he turned his mind to the task at hand.
A surprisingly difficult feat given the way he practically salivated as he watched her walking ahead of him. She had a cushy, yet tight ass, one that begged squeezing, and long, lithe legs dropping out from the bottom of that tempting bum.
Merrick kept his hands clenched in fists lest he indulge his urges.
He had more important decisions to make than whether or not to sandwich his phallus between the cheeks of her ass. Besides, the fact that he wanted to should have been fueling his rage.
The Chimera hated humans, who tended to lord it over everything, the world being their God-given domain and all.
Humans were higher up on his list of dislikes than Ghouls. So, why wasn’t she pissing him off the way other humans did?
Well, he could rub that little nugget, too, while he sat frozen in Grotesque form on a window ledge.
Right then, he had more immediate concerns, like how he was going to convince Kharon the Ferryman that the living soul he escorted should be granted passage across Acheron.
~S.C. Dane
~Installment No. 15 coming Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

LOVER IN STONE, Installment No. 11

Installment No. 12  #hell #gargoyle
Angelia stood with Merrick’s pack in her outstretched arm, watching the Chimera sift through his emotions, seeing his mistrust shift to resentment as he reached toward her. She felt a pang of sadness for him, especially after having seen how affectionate and unguarded he’d been with his fellow Gargoyle only moments before.
The greeting had been a private moment, and one she guessed not many on the outside ever had the chance to see. That Merrick would let her witness it? A squirming twinge played in her belly, expunging the sadness, as she recalled the easy smile on his handsome face.
Like Darken’s eyes, Merrick’s had glowed warm, reminding Angelia of smooth-worn rocks on a sun kissed beach. He had looked down on her without masking his joy at seeing his friend, and her heart had stuttered at the sight of him.
If only she could elicit such affection from him.
Okay, so for now she’d be content with the bone he’d thrown her by not hiding his affectionate side, and ignore the tormented rage he was currently exuding the closer he got to her.
She was brave, darn it. She’d give him a bone, too.
“We should be going. The longer we take getting started, the—”
“The farther down we’ll have to go,” he snapped, snatching at his bag. But she didn’t let it go, and they both stood holding the bundle between them, united for an electric moment.
Was she feeling the heat of Hell, because it was getting awfully warm under her clothes.
Merrick’s smooth jaw ticked, his nostrils flaring like he was smelling something.
Dear God.
Angelia released her grip, and stepped off to preoccupy herself with adjusting the straps on her own backpack, making sure it fit snug, making sure the Chimera couldn’t see the flush on her cheeks, which she was sure was there, if the burning of her face meant anything.
She didn’t dare look at him, but started off, too self-conscious to look back. Yet each step that led her closer to Hell fluttered her heart, tingled her skin, like she was nearing her destiny. Which she felt certain was somehow entwined with that of the Scriptum.
And with the Chimera. Who was nothing like she imagined him to be.
Aside from her inexplicable fascination with the Kynd, Angelia knew she was just as prejudiced in her thinking as the rest of the world. She thought the Chimera chosen to guide her would look as hideous as those fashioned by the hands of man and mounted onto old buildings and churches.
Surprise, surprise.
She hadn’t expected him to have a Gargoyle form, or to have a physique like he posed for GQ in his spare time, or to have eyes that left his soul wide open when he let his guard down.
Not that she’d meant to, but she had seen the depths of his anger as she’d gazed into the slate of those eyes, and had felt like a trespasser. Never mind she’d yearned to drop the bundle she was holding to kiss those tortures out of him.
Well, she couldn’t overlook that part, actually—her cheeks still burned hot enough to remind her. So, she trucked along, oblivious to her surroundings while images of the Chimera and his leonine grace dominated her thoughts.
****
Merrick didn’t immediately follow Angelia. He stood as if planted as he waited for his heart to slog back to its natural rhythm.
Which it wouldn’t do so long as he kept thinking about the woman’s kind gesture and utter lack of retaliation. If she’d have just plunked his bag at his feet, he’d have understood. He would have bitten out some sarcastic comment and dragged her delicate ass down the path after that damned book.
Instead, she’d been nice, and that scraped at his rage without feeding it, confusing him. Ergo, his rapping heart.
Angelia’s backside grew incrementally smaller while he stood grounded like an idiot.
Finally taking off after her, he lied to himself that he didn’t want the view of that round ass a lot closer to him than it was.
He was merely concerned she was getting too far ahead of him for her own safety. They weren’t yet in Hell, but the rim around it contained its own dangers. For being one of the Literati she seemed awfully blasé about stepping across the threshold into the Vestibule.
Surely she wasn’t ignorant about what resided in the antechamber to Hell. It didn’t matter that all around them, stretching as far as the eye could see, was nothing but vast prairies of trampled grass, and an unattainable horizon, charred blood red.
The grass beneath their feet wasn’t merely crushed, it was macerated, the dents and crescent prints of unshod hooves and bare feet tattooed into the pulverized sod.
Yet, still the human walked on.
Undaunted or unaware?
Merrick wasn’t sure, but his mane thickened so the ends of it curled along the collar of his leather jacket. He wanted her safe.
For the deal I’ve made with Anton.
Yes. Of course, that was the reason why. It had nothing to do with the way his eyes kept drifting downward to watch her wiggling ass. Nothing whatsoever.
The woman swatted at bothersome flies, slapping one of the biting insects at her neck, which piqued that unfamiliar urge to protect her and made his chest too tight.
Scanning the plain they traveled across with renewed wariness, Merrick ignored his body’s reaction, and loped to catch up with her, even though he hadn’t a clue what he would say once he closed the distance.
He didn’t do small talk. He had spent too many centuries by himself to have mastered the art of chatting.
Yet, the second the smell of lavender drifted into his nostrils, his tongue loosened like a flapping sail in a stiff wind. “So, how does a human find herself as one of the Literati, anyhow? You’re no withered husk.”
~S.C. Dane
~Installment No. 12 coming March 7, 2015

Lover in Stone, Installment No. 3

Installment No. 3
#gargoyle #shifter #MFRWauthorscdane #romance

Like a gift, the Scriptum lay open upon the table above the unconscious woman. A single lamp spilled warm, buttery light on both, leaving the rest of the narrow room in shadow.
Where the intruder lurked a few moments longer, waiting. Watching, despite the fact most of his attention was on the book. Which looked like any other relic he’d stolen during his base life.
Old. Valuable not because it was made of anything precious, but because its worth lay in what he was going to get out of it.
Power. Unlike anything he’d ever experienced.
In exchange for this book—if he could get it into the right hands.
But the man understood greed as a supreme motivator, and he would deliver the Scriptum into the right hands.
Come hell or high water.
The soulless man let his lips twist into a smile he felt nowhere within himself; an odd reflex to something sublime he couldn’t emotionally fathom.
Yes. Hell would come, if he handled this right, but not the high water.
He nudged the unconscious woman’s wrist with the toe of his soft, leather moccasin.
She was not beautiful.
Plain.
Definitely not Vampire, or Fae.
Which explained why it was she he was stealing this book from in the first place.
The man suspected enough about the Scriptum to know that few would most likely be able to touch it, let alone decipher its mystery.
But this brown paper bag of a female?
Indecent.
If he didn’t have this matter of stealing the book pressing upon him, the power coming to him in lieu of cash payment, he would do her justice.
The man uncurled his fingers from the bowie blade riding his hip.
He would not cut her as he so desired to do. Yet, how remarkable she would be if only he could slide his sharp knife from one cheek bone to the other. Give her a puppet smile that would permanently grace her unexceptional face.
Only the anticipation of the payment awaiting him stayed his hand, and he stepped off from his inborn urge to carve beauty where it was lacking. He turned his attentions to the relic, to the object that, should he succeed at delivering it into the guts of Hell, would gift him an eternity of joyful sculpting.
He bothered not with wondering why the woman had been studying blank pages. That wasn’t where his interest lay. The soulless man stepped over the woman to reach her work table, and closed his gloved hands over the Scriptum.
He was surprised by its heft.
For such a small, unassuming object, it seemed as though it was weighted with the things not written upon its blank pages.
The man yanked and lifted the tome, then slid it into a silk bag, which he then placed inside his backpack.
As he stepped back over the unconscious woman, his hand once again drifted to his hip, to his bowie knife.
Just one quick sweep of his blade.
And yet.
He would not. He could not.
During his lifetime, he had gambled only so far, had never taken unnecessary risks. Besides, he had far too much to gain if he won this game. His hand reluctantly slid from the cool steel of his blade.
With a stealthy tweak of the doorknob, the man slid into the dimly lit hallway, skulked along the rows upon rows of dusty manuscripts, and made his way to one of the many dark recesses of the vaulted library where his ropes hung as quiet and unnoticed as jungle snakes.
With practiced ease, the soulless man pulled himself upward toward the vent at the height of the thirty foot wall, and disappeared into it as silently as he had emerged, like a spider born from one of the hundreds of billowing webs stretching like banners across the ceiling.
Bound for Hell, with the Scriptum riding safe upon his back.
*****
Sometimes it’s a blessing to remain unconscious. At least, to Angelia’s way of thinking anyway. Once she’d come to after having fainted like a wuss, she’d had to endure Aro’s wrath. Which came in the form of silence. Not a good sign at all. He had picked her off the floor with a grip shying just short of breaking her arm, and had her escorted to a “room” at the Triumvirate’s holdings.
For her safety.
Bah!
She knew exactly why Aro had sent her here. She was to await her punishment for ruining the Scriptum. She sat on a stool in the middle of a ten foot square cell, thinking the only thing missing from this interrogation scene was the bare bulb overhead.
Running her palms up and down her arms did nothing for her shivering as she remembered her last botched job. The details of which dug their sharp nails into her fragile ego.
She’d been in a similar predicament before, when she’d first joined the Literati.
Well, okay, it was similar only in the sense she’d effed that job up, too.
The Recovery Team wasn’t even out the door before Angelia inadvertently bungled the protection magic painstakingly conjured by the Mage to keep them safe. To this day, she didn’t know how she’d done it. But she could remember the faces glaring at her. Each one was covered in soot, like the spell had blown up, turning the faces of her teammates into cartoon characters.
Which was kind of funny. Except no one laughed with her.
Aro had yanked her off the team faster than she could say whoops.
And figuratively chained her to a desk for the next ten years.
Until the Scriptum had been unearthed, and remained stubbornly shut for six months, even for the Demon Decipherer.
Angelia had again proven how inept she was when she’d gone into the room to ask Aro and the Decipherer a question. Somehow, she’d managed to trip on the flat stone floor and brush her fingers along the Scriptum’s sealed cover as she’d thrown her hand out to catch herself.
Aro and the Demon Decipherer had watched in helpless horror as the great tome teetered precariously upon its binding.
The Vampire had a flaming curse on his lips when the impenetrable Scriptum split wide open to finally reveal its secrets.
Well, not quite.
The text on the immaculate vellum promptly disappeared the moment Aro ordered Angelia’s clumsy ass out of the room. Which was the only reason she had been assigned to translate it.
Because the writing didn’t remain for any eyes but hers.
And now those pristine pages were forever marred with a blotch of her pathetic human blood.
Angelia’s insecurities assailed her as she sat on the stool in the cell. As if their weight was too much to bear, she turned in on herself, curling her body around the growing hole of humiliation, the shame that had taken up permanent residence in her gut years ago.
God, Aro was going to fry her for this.
The clank of the heavy steel door had her hopping to her feet, like she was going to kick butt. Or run. A more likely outcome given the current strength of her spine.
The same Vampire who had escorted her here came into the cell. “They are ready for you, Miss Delacroix.” He bowed his blonde head as if he felt bad about her situation, offering his arm like an usher at a formal wedding.
Angelia took it, even if it was just to hold onto something to keep her hands from shaking. She felt hard muscle under the shirt sleeve, and shut her eyes as she sucked up a little comfort from the solidity of it.
“Where are we going?” She peered up at a strong, tight jaw.
Her escort kept his eyes straight ahead. “The Triumvirate wishes to see you.”
The Triumvirate?
Holy Moses, she was in bigger trouble than she thought. Was Aro demanding they give permission for him to release her from the contract?
Her father would be flipping cartwheels while he sang Yes! So, Aro would get at least one vote in the affirmative. Angelia gripped a little tighter to the young Vampire leading her down the stone paneled corridor, her stomach churning as her feet turned to slippery clay.
She would be stripped of her duties. Severed from the one thing making her feel a little special in this world of super beings. Cold, familiar fingers of inadequacy clamped around her guts, just as her escort halted in front of a thick wooden door. He leaned forward to open it, revealing the stone gallery where the Triumvirate conducted their interviews.
~S.C. Dane
~Installment No. 4 coming Saturday, February 7, 2015.