Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Taste Test

Well, I did tell you that I'd have a snippet for you this week. In fact, I have two! And for an odd twist of fate, they're both m/f pieces.

The first is from my latest submission, "The Dancing Princess", which is a (mild) BDSM story about what happens after the "happily ever after" ending of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". Though my story has the soldier marrying the youngest, rather than eldest, daughter, and the Wikipedia summary fails to capture the version I grew up with, in which the invisible soldier uses branches from the magic trees to whip the princesses as they run past him on their way home, a detail which has always stuck with me as particularly strange -- but which sparked this story when I saw the anthology call. That said, here's a little taste:
Numbly, I let them lead me through the rituals and pageantry; I waved and smiled at the thronging crowd, I followed meekly to the church, I repeated my vows for the priest, I sipped from the cup of wine (why, why had I not stayed to watch the man drink his sleeping draught?).

It wasn't until the priest pronounced us husband and wife that I began to awaken. My new husband took me in his arms and I steeled myself for the touch of his lips. It was no chaste kiss he gave me, there on the steps of the altar. Soldier that he was, he thrust his tongue into my mouth like a battering ram, and before I could begin to understand this intrusion, it was gone and instead his teeth closed on my lower lip hard enough that I squeaked in surprise and the beginning of fear. When he released me, the look he gave me was possessive and dark, perhaps even cruel. My innards fluttered and shuddered at that look.

The feast was a blur. My husband's eyes were on me constantly (did he think I would try to flee? I had more dignity than that) but he spoke to me only once, to introduce an old woman of his acquaintance. She patted my hand, cackled wordlessly, and nodded to him as if sealing some marketplace bargain.

Despite the limp in his wounded leg, my soldier led me through the dance well enough. If he was lacking in the smooth gentility of the courtiers who had taught me or the hectic joy of my lost partners of the Realm, I must admit there was something in the coarse grip of his hands at my waist that offered up a dim echo of the excitement I'd once felt, following in my sisters' wakes as we hurried toward our pleasures.

Eventually, the festivities were done, and we were shut into the bridal suite for the consummation, the moment I had been dreading. Clever he might be, but he was a soldier, a brute. My lip still stung from the kiss with which he had wed me; I did not dare contemplate what sort of assault he would mount on my other, more tender, parts.

Aw, don't worry about her too much. It ends well. ;-)

My other snippet for you is from my prompt story for this week from the project I'm doing with Lynn. I've been rather lax on these stories, I admit -- our self-imposed deadline for each week's story is Wednesday, but lately I've been squeaking in under the deadline and posting my story to our Dropbox folder late Wednesday night, rather than having it ready to go Wednesday morning. But yesterday promised to be a little slow, so I called for some prompts on my Facebook page that morning. The day did not live up to its promise of slowness, but I squeaked out my prompt anyway, when I was in between tasks and waiting on someone else for something urgent.

I'm not posting the whole thing here -- it's best not to post whole things if you hope to see them published, which is what Lynn and I are after. But it's called "Carnival Corners" and here's a nibble:
The crowd was applauding -- the band had finished their set. Belatedly, Jason joined in, summoned a smile and shifted his gaze so that when Caroline looked up at him, she would not realize he had been imagining the taste of the skin at the nape of her neck. But then she did look at him, that half-amused smile she nearly always wore when they were together, and he swallowed hard, suddenly aware that "lost in her eyes" had never been a poet's fanciful turn of phrase but the truth, the honest to God truth.

"What should we do next?" she said, and tucked her arm casually through his. Jason shivered inwardly. Four months now, or was it four and a half? -- and it still rocked him to feel her warmth so close, her body pressed against his. It made him want more, made his cock stir and his blood fizz. He couldn't wait to be alone with her again, to taste her skin, to kiss away that teasing smirk, to make her gasp and moan and finally cry out in passion and then bury himself in her still-quivering flesh and sate his own increasingly hot desire in her...

She was watching him again, amused. Was it wonderful or terrible that she found him so transparent? Sure enough: "We can't do that here," she said. "They'd kick us out of the carnival. Besides, a little anticipation is good for you."

His balls were already aching, but he thought she enjoyed making him wait nearly as much as she liked the sex itself... and God help him, he was beginning to enjoy it, himself -- the flirtation, the knowing looks, the taunts. It was as much an aphrodisiac as any perfume or striptease. Still, not all the barbs had to be hers. He bent to murmur in her ear, "Too bad there isn't a Tunnel of Love. Imagine how much fun that could be."

Caroline laughed, but Jason thought he had struck a mark: she liked playing with fire, liked slipping her hand surreptitiously under the table to touch him, and if she could make him stutter in the middle of a sentence, so much the better. She chastised him if he groped her ass in public, but it was with a spark in her eyes and a smile on her lips.

I admit it's inspired -- a very little bit -- by my own recent dating. I haven't been to a carnival in years and I'm not nearly as bold as Caroline, here, but I do like to tease. And, in fact, to be teased in return.

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