Flash Fiction Fridays…

Time for Changeling Press Flash Fiction Fridays… Every Week the Changelings over at Changeling Press puts out themed offerings of 100-150 words our own sick depraved enjoyment and share them with the world. This week’s theme… the Apocalypse didn’t happen– so now what?
I threw my lot on this week! Check it out!

One for the Road

Maddie looked at — a condom covered nightstick?
She—Was that carousel horse with a dildo attached?
At her left a soft body pressed up against her.
The space between her legs and butt cheeks… throbbed.
“Stop moving,” a hand clutched her breast. “Sleeping.”
She tried to sit up and couldn’t because there was a naked man with — unicorn horn trapped her legs.
“She awake?” Another man, green eyes and leopard spots purred from her other side.
“Pipe down,” the midget grumbled, his face buried in her pussy.
“Oh,”—they all were lying on a fucking talking bear thing– in bondage gear. “I guess the world end,” he yawned exposing knife sharp. “Awkward.”
“Yeah,” the unicorn shook back silver white hair. “what now?”
She looked to the left at the beautiful bald woman tweaking her nipples. Her body was covered in silvery purple scales. “I say one more go, then exchange cell numbers.”
“Nice,” the bear… thing and everyone agreed.
“What —did I fuck?” Maddie rasped, after blowjob soreness in her throat–
“What didn’t you fuck,” the unicorn asked. “You demanded fisting.”
Maddie wanted to disappear but… the world was still there–“One more for the road—sounds good.”


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Number one! My Baby! Keeper of the Flame!

Number one! My Baby! Keeper of the Flame! My first full length novel and the only one I will never give away! My baby, Flame!




Keeper of the Flame
Chapter One

“Damn that man anyway!” Kendall muttered as she walked out of the swinging doors of Johns Hopkins Hospital. At this late hour, the parking lot was empty, but the sound of the nearby traffic told her the drive home would be difficult. The dark asphalt gleamed wetly in the glow cast by the many streetlights surrounding the parking lot. The empty black square, parking pads looked as dead as she felt inside.
The treacherous-or should that be lecherous-Dr. Richard Tanner was obviously absent, thank God. That, at least, made her day a little brighter. She had tried so hard to keep a sunny smile on her face, but it had been difficult to do when all she wanted was to go home and hide her face from friends and coworkers alike. As far as she was concerned, she had no family left to help 
her grieve. Her sister was probably catting around with the good doctor, her 
own ex-fiancé, right at this minute.
“Damn him, Damn them, and damn me!” She slammed open the door to her silver minivan and threw herself into the driver’s seat. She sat there looking 
out of the windshield at the bright yellow lines on the parking pad as tears 
slowly tracked down her face.
“Damn me for caring,” she muttered. She wiped her eyes with the heels of her hands, then pushed the key into the ignition.
Kendall growled about the traffic on her hour-long drive home. After pulling 
an eighteen-hour shift, on what was supposed to be the eve of her honeymoon, 
all she wanted was a little peace.
“Damn love songs,” Kendall muttered as the radio began to croon nauseatingly sweet lyrics of undying love. She reached out to switch the station, but changed her mind. The irony of the situation was too good to pass up, even 
if it was at her expense.
Maneuvering her car into a turn that led to her street, Kendall dispassionately sang along with Stevie Wonder as he crooned the words to his song “Castle in the Sky.”
She threw up a her middle finger in an uncommon fit of bad temper when she looked up and noticed lights flickering on the waters of the 
lake behind her house.
Late night boaters, no doubt, out having a good time, while Kendall’s life 
crumbled around her. They were probably drinking and dancing, enjoying a nighttime cruise, filled with all kinds of joy and laughter.
“Damn them for being happy!” she growled as she whipped her van into her 
driveway. Her irrational anger at the unknown, late night boaters faded into 
a deep aching sadness when Kendall remembered the plans that she had for many 
a romantic tryst on that very lake. How different her current reality was 
when compared to her fantasies.
“A shower,” Kendall murmured to herself. “No, a long hot bath for this 
old girl.” Absently rubbing the tension from the back of her neck, Kendall 
popped open the mini-vans’ door and wearily headed for the house.
Thanks to the overcrowded delivery rooms that were filled courtesy of the 
last winter blizzard, she had been kept running all day. The usual combination of four-foot high snowdrifts and stranded couples always made for a major population increase nine months later. It was just a quirk of fate that the nine-month span ended around the time that her so-called wedding was to have taken place.
The most difficult part of the day had been dealing with the pitying 
looks and uncertain comments from her friends. What could you say to someone 
whose heart had been ripped out and tossed away like so many used rubber 
gloves in an ER?
She had smiled at all of her well-wishers and reminded them that at least she was getting an all-expenses-paid-for vacation this week: all courtesy of the good doctor.
She had tried to laugh and joke with them, but the pain had gotten harder and harder to hide. And now it was almost unbearable. Tomorrow was the start of her vacation and new life, but the night was still her demon, her monster to face and two fists into submission.
“I’ll deal with the world tomorrow!” she decided finally, a little determination, and a little spark of the old Go-get-’em-Kendall shining through her misery. “Tonight I get loaded!” She did have rum in the house, right? Maybe a bottle left over from when her sister flew in to help her celebrate her engagement. She would have to check and overlook the irony of drinking her sister’s liquor to help her revel in the joy of her single state. Yeah.
With new determination, she hopped to the ground and gave a small nod to 
her property. All those extra hours of work were worth it as long as she could afford her own house.
The brick-faced, split-level was barely within her price range. With careful budgeting, though, she would be able to keep up the mortgage payments. As an added bonus, Richard had no claim on it! She had bought it just after finding out the truth about her fiancee and was proud to say that no memories of him tainted her beloved sanctuary.
Her front yard always made her smile though, and tonight was no exception. In the warm, humid air of the late summer night, she could smell the roses that grew in abundance around the perimeter of her yard. She had painstakingly planted and nurtured each one like a child and all of her efforts were paying off. Her flowerbeds were fully stocked: Gladiolas, Impatiens and colorful decorative grass surrounded the house like a vibrant, living welcome mat. It glowed softly in the illumination provided by her porch lights. Even the delicate white MoonFlowers she had planted beside her front door gave off an enticing aroma that teased and pleased her senses.
She paused in the perusal of her organic masterpiece of a front yard when she spied what could only be a pile of garbage near her front porch. Her eyes flared in sudden anger or a moment before narrowing into small brown slits. “Damn the person who left that there!” she declared. She gave a small snort of laughter. At the rate she was damning people, the word would soon lose all meaning. “I need to find some better swears!”
Muttering under her breath about overpriced community association fees and cheap, ineffective security, she stalked over to the pile of refuse. After all her hard work creating a horticulture showcase, she would be damned before she let a litterbug destroy her near perfect view.
She never expected it to move.
With a shriek, Kendall fumbled for the pepper spray in her pocket as she 
jumped back several feet. Hands trembling, she held her weapon before her in a perfect Charlie’s Angels imitation. When the pile showed no other signs of life, her heart rate returned to normal. She cautiously inched closer to the dark pile and carefully rolled it over with the toe of her nursing shoe. Again she jumped back barely controlling another shriek of fright.
It was a big man.
A big man in obvious pain.
“Help me!” he groaned as a wave of pain flashed over his features. “Please!”
In the face of his unmistakable distress, Kendall’s medical training 
kicked in. In a flash, the pepper spray was replaced with her house keys and 
she was squatting to help him struggle to his feet. It wasn’t easy. He was lying in what could only be described as a fetal position, his back to her as he strained to hold his head up and speak. Kendall placed her hands on his quivering shoulders only to pull back at the cold wetness that she felt. He moaned and she rushed to brush the wet hair from his face in an effort to calm him down. Dropping to her knees, she managed to ease her hands beneath his arms and pull, her face turning purple with the effort.
Muscles straining and screaming in protest, Kendall managed to pull the man the few feet to her porch, grunting and breathing heavily with 
the effort.
“Come on! Help me here!” she gasped struggling to reach the door to use as leverage and pull the man upright.
He must’ve been dumped by one of those boats, she reasoned. Maybe there had been an accident and he had managed to make it this far for help. Many scenarios quickly flashed through her brain as she helped support the man. Maybe after he’d been dumped, he had managed to swim to safety.
The man’s slow nod brought her back to the situation at hand. He understood and was trying to help. He braced himself and began to try and force his body upwards.
Working together, they managed to get him upright. Then they attempted a 
few shaky steps towards the front door. Struggling for each step, they 
slowly and painfully made their way to the front door.
Once there, he released a tortured moan when his body tightened and began to spasm in her arms. “Come on, “ she urged, “you can do this!”. She added a bit of command in her voice as she desprately tried to hold him upright long enough to get the key in the lock.
He must have heard her plea, because his legs tightened, taking some of the burden of his weight, freeing up her arm for more movement.
“Shh,” she crooned to him while searching for the right key, sighing in relief as it slid into the lock.
The key turned slowly and the tumblers clicked loudly, but finally the door slammed open under the weight of the man. Kendall ignored the noise and possible wall damage and urged the man into her cool hallway. They both let out a sigh of relief and took a deep breath.
But there were still more obstacles ahead of them, mainly the couch. It seemed to loom before them, a million miles away across the room. The man’s wet clothes would have to come off. They were starting to make him shiver in the air-conditioned hall.
“To the couch!” was her war cry and together they nearly ran the last few 
feet before his legs collapsed beneath him. Like a Ken doll, he lay there, as if it were too much of an effort to right himself.
“Are you okay?” she questioned in her best nurse’s voice, dropping to her knees in front of him.
“No!” he groaned, closing his eyes in pain. “I am in labor.”
“Labor?” Oh, no! He’s escaped from a loony bin, she thought. Why do I get all of the nut jobs?
Before she could say anything else or check for a bump on the head, he pulled aside a long coat to reveal his extended abdominal cavity.
Shocked by what had to be an extreme case of peritonitis or some type of internal hemorrhaging, she quickly rose to her feet and eased his legs up on the couch. Before she could run to call 911, he gripped her hand, his face twisted in agony. His back arched almost off of the couch and he sucked in and held his breath.
In front of her disbelieving eyes, his stomach tightened in what appeared to be an actual contraction. It lasted nearly a full minute before he began to relax and start to breathe again.
“Please, help me!” he panted. “I am about to deliver!”
Kendall looked into the grayest eyes that she had ever seen: eyes that were now filled with anxiety and pain. Her brown rich coffee au lait skin paled as she read both truth and sincerity there, and not a drop of madness.
Swallowing hard, she nodded. She believed him. She actually believed him! She was going to help deliver this man’s child.
There are some things I need first.” She managed to force the words 
past her suddenly, tight throat as she stared bug-eyed at the miracle man 
before her. “Just remember to breathe with the pain and try not to fight 
against it.”
He closed his eyes and seemed to relax a bit as he ran a trembling hand 
through his long wet hair.
She turned and raced to the second floor, mentally reciting the list of 
things needed for a home birth. Breathing hard, she grabbed a few sheets 
from her linen closet along with a few clean, white towels fresh from the 
laundry. From the bathroom, she pulled her first-aid kit from beneath the 
sink before rushing back downstairs to the man lying on her couch.
My name is Kendall Moore, and I will try to make you a bit more 
comfortable,” she said in her best bedside voice. She began to efficiently 
strip the man of his clothing. “Remember to rest during the contractions and 
pant when the pain gets bad.”
Never before had she delivered this speech to a man, but there was a first 
time for everything. This was certainly the first time that she had seen 
a man in this condition!
First came a sopping wet pair of black, leather-like ankle boots. Then, with 
his help, she removed the long, many-pocketed black trench coat. It made a 
thumping sound as she dropped it to the floor.
After a pause to help him breath through another contraction, she slid his shirt, also in black, over his head, carefully untangling it from the long rope of his wet hair. She reached for the fasteners at his waist, but stopped short.
“How do I get these things off?” she asked. She had to wait as another 
contraction stiffened his body. The pants were made of some long, flowing 
material, but seemed to have no visible zippers or buttons.
Finally the painful grip of the contraction passed and he panted, “The 
zip cords are on the sides.” This contraction had lasted longer and now his body 
was covered in a thin film of sweat.
Sure enough, there were two tabs at the waist of his pants. With a few 
pulls, they separated down the sides to his ankles and she gently rolled the material away.
Quickly, she covered him with a sheet. She took no time to be embarrassed
and she really didn’t want to see just what he was hiding beneath.
Really, how could a man conceive a child without a little, odd, equipment?
She had no time to follow that line of thought, because a small opening began to appear just beneath his navel.
“Holy…” Her eyes widened as the opening grew. He moaned in 
pain, but followed her directions and panted as best he could.
“This won’t hurt.” She opened a bottle of peroxide and dumped it over his 
stomach, blotting the excess with a towel. The shock of the cold liquid 
caused him to jerk his head back in her direction, eyes wide in a near panic at this liquid cold, but he said nothing.
“What am I supposed to do?” she asked him when he was disinfected to her 
satisfaction. She knelt beside him, wiping his damp forehead with one of the 
towels and thinking that the rules had to be different when a man gave birth. 
There was no birth canal, for starters!
“Just catch them,” he groaned as another contraction shook him. He was pale with pain and damp with sweat.
“Catch them. Right.” He must mean from that tiny opening on his stomach. 
Now how would that work? She stopped examining that area, though, as her eyes 
widened at the changes going on there.
Kendall stared in shocked silence as his abdomen spread quickly open and 
a small head crowned. The man bit back a cry of pain.
“My God!” she cried excitedly. “Push or do what you just did again!” He raised his knees slightly and grunted with effort. They were rewarded 
when a small heap of humanity pushed its head through the abdominal opening. 
Quickly Kendall moved in to clean the child’s airway, gratified to hear a 
small wail.
“Do it again!” she cheered as the sound of new life filled the room.
“What the hell do you think I am trying to do!” he growled at her. But then he seemed to gather control over himself as he began to strain again. With his hands clutching the arm of the couch above, tendons straining in his neck, he prepared to deliver his baby into this woman’s hands.
Eyes closed tight and jaw clenched, he threw back his head and groaned like a wounded animal. The growl exploded into a cry of both pain and relief as the opening widened and the baby was expelled from its warm cocoon.
Kendall ignored his outburst as the small child slowly slid from his body.
“It’s a boy!” she cried as she laid the small body on his father’s chest.
She quickly turned to her first aid kit, retrieved a package of surgical 
thread and tied off the cord in two places. With a grin, she cut in the 
center of her bindings, freeing the child to breathe on his own.
She then looked at the man, flushed brightly with success. Bringing a new 
life into the world always touched an inner place within her. Her smile 
faded as another spasm of pain crossed the man’s face.
“What’s wrong? Don’t you dare die and leave me with this child!” she said urgently, alarmed by his reaction.
“It’s the other child,” he gasped.
Sure enough, the pouch was opening again and another dark head was crowning. Pushing the first child higher on his chest, she made ready to catch the 
Within moments, the second child emerged from his body, crying in complaint at being thrust into its cold new world.
“It’s a girl.”
Kendall spoke softly to him as he closed his eyes in exhaustion; he seemed to sigh with relief.
For the first time, Kendall actually looked at the man. Even while 
in pain, his accent had sounded almost similar a Russian doctor she had once 
had the pleasure of working with. His voice sounded Russian with a French 
lilt and the slow delivery of an Italian playboy.
The features of his face were strong: high cheekbones, a straight 
nose, and a stubborn chin seemed to scream that he was a mixture of cultures, 
but it was his crowning glory that caught and held her attention. His hair, even wet, was a most startling and unusual shade of red.
“What is your name?” she asked quietly as she let her eyes roam from 
his exhausted face to the crying children he held lovingly on his chest.
“Flame. My name is Flame,” he answered, just before he fell into a deep 
sleep, the lines bracketing his lips fading as the tension eased slowly from around his bruised looking eyes and his face eased into a peaceful countenance.
* * *

The afterbirth came out in a neat little ball, under Kendall’s expert 
manipulation. With gentle fingers she massaged where his fundis would be, if 
he was a woman, and the tiny placenta was expelled through the birth…slit.
Kendall tossed it and the sheet that covered him into a red hazardous waste bag that she had brought home from the hospital. They were the perfect size 
and color for her guest bathroom. That bag went into a thick dark contractor 
bag that she used to clean up garden waste, and the whole bundle went neatly 
into the garbage can out back. As bloodstained as it was, the sheet was a 
total loss, and as for the rest, well, it had served it’s purpose. No need 
to have any messy reminders around the house. If his doctor wanted a peak at 
it, he could go out back and dig it out himself!
Since the children had grown quiet, she washed and placed them in a dresser drawer that she had taken from one of her guestrooms and lined with pillows and a few sheets. She even sacrificed a few more of her sheets so that she could diaper the tired, red-faced babies. Then she did what she could for the new 
He had begun to shake uncontrollably, his teeth chattering as his body was wracked with chills. First Kendall placed a hand upon his brow, noting with 
some relief that there was no developing fever. It just wouldn’t do to have 
him come down with childbirth fever after this miraculous delivery. Knowing 
that most women did this after giving birth but no one knew just exactly why, 
she noted his condition and vowed to keep an eye on him. There was nothing 
else that she could do. Using warm water and a mild soap, she began to clean 
him up as best as she could.
She noticed in passing that he was made like any other man: a trifle on the large side, but normal. The slit that opened in his belly, his birthing pouch, had closed up tight as a drum and the seam line was lost in the line 
of red hair that arrowhead down from his navel. She could not tell that it 
had ever existed and his stomach was flat as a board. Women should be so 
Shaking her head in awe, she covered the sleeping man and went to make 
herself a pot of coffee. Her mind still struggled to accept the fact that 
she had just acted the part of mid-wife for a man.
As Flame drifted in a light but exhausted sleep, his frightened mind 
urged him to rise and flee from the house of this strange woman, and get his 
children to safety. But his body refused to cooperate.
And then too, there was the feeling of safety that he had begun to feel 
almost as soon as the woman had voiced her decision to aid him. He had never 
before felt this curious feeling of being safe in the presence of a woman and 
he decided that he needed to experience more to fully understand.
But that was dangerous. This woman could behave like the very women he 
was running from. The best thing for all would be for him to gather his meager strength and depart at once. Unfortunately, his body was failing him.
The warmth of the water that she used to cleanse his sore body, combined with the natural fatigue of child birth, caused his thoughts to chaotically spin in 
his head, before the relief of deep sleep finally over-rode all of his plotting and planning.
Whatever could happen to him here, at the hands of this woman was surely better than anything that would happen to him at the hands of his pursuers. Thoughts swirled chaotically around in his head before he gave himself up to blissful oblivion.
Flame jumped, sucking in a deep breath as a gentle hand shook his shoulder.
“Hey, wake up!” a soft voice commanded.
Flame fought to open his eyes and was almost frightened by the strange hazy vision before him. He blinked several times and slowly, his sleep clouded 
vision cleared to see the woman, Kendall, rocking his daughter in her arms.
The woman’s skin was the golden brown color of the finest Tarcas stones on his planet and her eyes were of a color to match: very expressive, very 
beautiful, and very rare.
“What am I supposed to feed these babies?” she asked quietly. “They have to eat.”
“How am I supposed to know?” What did a man know of the care and feeding of a child? His duty was to bear them, not care for their needs. His mind 
reeled in a shock so strong that it erased every ounce of sleep in his body. 
He had come to the startling realization that he did not know what to do! He 
was so very ill prepared for this aspect of fatherhood and now wondered if 
his children would suffer for his ignorance. What was he to do? “What do 
you feed your children?”
“I don’t have any children and if I did, I would breast feed,” she answered. 
Surprised, he struggled to sit up, despite his sore stomach. “Breast feed? 
Breasts do that?” He eyed her bust with avid curiosity and quite a bit of 
Kendall stared at the man, face in dead pan as she tried to reason through his responces and only winding up more confused.
“Okay. Where do you come from? Who can I call to get you some help?”
“Call no one. I will leave you shortly. I do thank you for the assistance, 
but I must go.” He sounded almost upset at the prospect of receiving some 
additional help or having his whereabouts made known.
“I don’t think so!” Her stomach clenched into a knot of anxiety as she 
pictured him, with these newborn babies, leaving and collapsing in the 
street. And even worse, what if he planned on abandoning the children there, 
with her? “You are going to give me some answers, mister!”
Upon hearing her authoritative tone, Flame froze and dropped his gaze to 
the floor.
“As you wish, Mistress Kendall Moore.”
Kendall blinked at his quick change from worried, yet harried father, to 
subservient male.
“Look, Flame. I only want to help you. Where are you from? Why were you 
pregnant? Where is the fathe…uh, mother of these children?”
As she stared at him lying in nothing more than a sheet and a tangled 
mass of damp red hair, she struggled to come to some conclusion.
While there had been incredible advances in medicine and her hospital had always been a leader in research and development, nothing about a pregnant 
man had ever popped up on the gossip mill. Maybe a government experiment? 
But then, the government would have killed him before letting a prized 
specimen escape and possibly end up in the hands of an enemy. Victim of radiation? Nope, no loss of hair, glowing blood, missing teeth or any lesions that might tell if he was radioactive.
Then it hit her: the lights on the water, a pregnant man, a pouch that had 
disappeared as if it had never existed moments after giving birth! There 
could only be one explanation!
“You’re an alien, aren’t you?” She gaped at him.
Slowly he raised his head and she saw silver sparkles flashing in his 
eyes. He wouldn’t melt the woman who had delivered his kids, would he?
“I seem to have need of your assistance once again, Mistress.” The 
sparkles had faded from his eyes, leaving her wondering if she had imagined 
them there.
“Kendall. Call me Kendall.” She nervously looked at the child she cradled in her arms. Then, gathering her courage, she asked, “Where in the universe are you from?”
“Two light years from your sun. I left my world looking for a safe 
haven, but I fear they have found me.”
“Who?” she asked. Was this man some type of intergalactic space criminal?
“The execution squad. With my mistress dead, there is no longer a use 
for her children.”
“What?” Kendall shrieked, the outburst startling his daughter in that shocking, jerky way that all newborns have. “Let me explain,” he said, raising his arms for his crying daughter. Looking her over with liquid swimming in his gray eyes, he placed the infant on his shoulder where she instantly quieted. Kendall was speechless. Execution squads were way out of her jurisdiction, but then so were pregnant men. Kendall shook her head ruefully. All of those “damns” she’d spat like gunfire had finally come back to haunt her. Kendall looked up and saw him waiting for her attention. Once he saw he had it, he began to speak.
* * *
On my world, Testrious the women rule. The men had been captured and forced to labor for the women long before I came to be. Our role is worker, child bearer and protector. We have no control over our lives. We work because our 
bodies are built for it. We bear children because the Matriarch decided that 
men would bear up better under the strain. Some of us were herded up and 
given the honor of being altered. They said that we should be proud of this 
because we were special.” He snorted derisively at this reasoning.
“I was chosen because of my hair. It is considered special on my world.
Usually, I would have served as a member of the Brotherhood, but the woman who wanted me was head of one of the five ruling houses. My family the 
word sounded ugly on his lips, “decided to make an alliance. So, I was sold to increase my mother’s power. I was taken to my new life-mate and 
impregnated.” He paused for a moment and a tortured expression crossed his 
“In the beginning, there were five original ruling houses, and then my 
Mistress died. After scanning revealed that I carried a boy child, my mother 
claimed my Mistress’s house and then there were four ruling houses on 
Testrious. Later I discovered the girl hiding behind her brother.” He 
smiled at the irony of a male protecting a female even before birth. “I knew 
I had to leave. She would be heir and my family did not want to give up the 
properties and power that came with my mating.”
“I discovered their plans shortly after someone, a spy no doubt, told of my 
secret. So, I ran. They will kill the children and I to accomplish their 
goals. By their laws, the laws of the Matriarch, she will be heir. They managed to track me to this planet and this area, but I managed to evade them for now. 
They will find me. They are ruthless.”
He turned to her with as much urgency as he could muster from his battered 
body. “I must leave soon or they will find me here and then you will be in 
danger. I tell you this, Mistress, because you have demanded it of me, but 
you must be on guard at all times. Tell no one you have seen me, and I will 
disappear from your life.”
Stunned and amazed by the story that she had just heard, Kendall stared 
at the picture the father and child made wrapped in sheets and lying on her 
floral print couch.
“Where will you go?” she quietly asked. She was still having problems 
assimilating all of the information that he had given her. 
”I do not know.”
He gazed down at his child, the tiny person he would die for, and had no idea hot to go about protecting her on this strange planet.
Before she could gather her wits enough to respond to him, the second 
baby began to cry. Reacting to the distressed cry, Kendall reached for her. “Before we do anything, they ought to be fed and named.” Her voice was rather shaky, and she cleared her throat several times before turning to Flame.
“Ember, ” he stated quietly. “Her name is Ember. And his name is Spark.” I detect a theme here,” Kendall mused, though inside, her mind was blown away by his words.
Looking up, he answered, “My family are known as Keepers of the 
Flame. It is a talent that we of the red hair posses.”
Shrugging, Kendall rose to her feet and made her way to her immaculate, 
white, country-style kitchen. What did little fire-keeping babies eat 
anyway? Ever practical, she decided it was easier to deal with the 
children’s needs than to try and deal with his story. Even when the proof was 
wailing in her arms.
“Ah, Flame?” she called over her shoulder. “We need to feed these 
children. What do the women at home use? Think!”
“I do not know,” he replied with a worried frown. Spark had now joined Ember and together they continued to wail, almost in harmony.
Kendall eyed her counters full of useful gadgets, but found none to aid in her quest. Finally, she opened a cabinet and spotted salvation. It came in the form of a few starter, soy formula kits that she had gotten from work for a friend. At the last minute, her friend had decided to nurse, so Kendall had no use for the kits, yet was reluctant to throw out food that was still good. After quickly reading the instructions (delivery room nurses were almost never called upon to prepare formula), Kendall soon had two bottles ready for the children. She made her way back to the living room and handed Flame one of the little four-ounce bottles before seating herself on a chair.
“Food goes in here,” she instructed as she carefully placed the square tip of 
the bottle into Spark’s mouth. Instantly, his cries stopped as he latched on 
to the latex nipple.
“It’s feeding time, Papa.” She nodded to Ember’s open mouth. Remember to support her head, neck, and back.”
Flame quickly caught on to this method of feeding his daughter. She immediately quieted down to the serious business of eating. Flame looked on 
in amazement while his daughter savaged the latex nipple the kit had provided. 
”And your women voluntarily do this to their breasts?” he asked as if only a 
fool would put themselves through this torture.
Unable to help it, Kendall burst out laughing. It did seem a 
little masochistic but nature had intended the ultimate usage of breasts as feedbags.
She motioned Flame to hold Ember’s head a bit higher while Spark, just as 
violently, violently consumed his first meal. Soon both babies were full, content and blessedly asleep.
Kendall rose from where she had placed a sleeping Spark in his makeshift bed, then sat beside Flame. “I want you to come with me on my trip, Flame.”
In typical Kendall fashion, she had quickly made a decision about the 
situation and just as quickly decided to act on it. When he started to protest, she cut him off. During the children’s first quiet meal, she had done a lot of thinking. She could not in all good conscience send them off to possibly die in a strange place, all alone.
“You have no idea what you are going to do next. You’re very weak and your children are too young for you to start wandering around lost and alone. If 
the execution squad is still after you, you need a guide so you won’t be wandering around in circles. I had planned to leave the area anyway. I was going off to the mountains tomorrow for a vacation.”
She paused for a minute, and stared into his eyes trying to convey her feelings to him. There was so much at stake here, and she needed him to understand the importance of her decision.
“I want you to come with me. It’ll be much safer than hiding here and you can have some time to decide your next move. But you need to get away if they can track you to here.”
Flame thought on considered her words for a moment. He did need a guide on this strange planet and she had helped him deliver his children safely, his new reasons for existence. He looked at his children, safe, fed and content. He would sacrifice anything to keep them that way. He had never loved anything more than the two babies sleeping in their makeshift beds and if the woman, Kendall, could help him he would give her his very soul. “I would be grateful to you for any help, Mistress,” he said, giving her a respectful nod of his fiery head.
“Kendall. Call me Kendall.”

Number two…My baby Pink!

Number two…My baby Pink! *g* You gotta love the Fae of Lust! LOL


Pink it’s my new obsession Pink it’s not even a question Pink on the lips of your lover, cause Pink is the l

ove you discover Pink as the bing on your cherry Pink cause you are so very Pink its the color of passion `Cause today it just goes with the fashion –Aerosmith

“What the hell is going on today? Is everybody in the world fucking besides me?”
Calita managed to close her eyes as she staggered outside of her brother’s office door.
The man had some female sitting on top of his desk, a roll f saran wrap clutched in her hand as Able made grunting whining noises as he apparently ate her out.
This was the third suck scene she encountered since walking on the e small apartment that housed their small publishing house.
First there was their main artist Fab and his dark hailed lover Casmir, her health and fitness specialists, going at it in the kitchen/break room area.
Fab was on his knees swallowing what looked to be an impressive dick, making doe eyes at his lover. Cas, for his part, had his hands buried in Fab’s short brown hair, massaging his scalp gently as he mumbled praises to the Lord for delivering unto him the perfect mate.
After taking a second to admire Fab’s technique and unflinching attention to detail like the gentle nibbles, the tender way he rolled Cas’ balls, the smirk that rode his lips while he allowed his lover to ride his face, were all noticed and locked away for future reference because Cali got the hell out of dodge.
Then after she gathered her composure enough to look down and see if a wet spot was showing in the crotch of her tight jeans, she stumbled to the bathroom to wipe.
Only once the unlocked door was opened, she was shocked by a pair of strangers having a wild go at it against the sinks.
One was a lavender haired female was bent over the sink bowl, her hands clutching the base as a silver haired man behind her thrust away eagerly at her swollen cunt.
Hell, Cali couldn’t miss it as she walked in on a down stroke and almost had a stroke of her own!
The woman was slamming herself back onto her fuck of choice, squealing and moaning as he reached the full depth of what had to be a twelve-inch cock.
She stared mute as the male pulled out inch after inch of wet swollen throbbing cock, she could actually see it throb, before slamming it back in, much to the delight of the female who was taking it all eagerly and demanding more.
Her gasps of “more’ and “harder” made sure that any innocent by-watcher standing there knew that the act was consensual.
Cali stood there for a moment, head tilted to the side as she contemplated taking anything that size up her twat in horror, before she realized that she was observing two weird looking winged strangers fucking in her bathroom!
Yeah, clear wings were now sprouting from the female’s back and wrapping almost lovingly around the male, which was oddly gentle despite the power fuck he was throwing her.
But wings and odd colored hair and twelve-inch monster sized cocks aside, there were two complete strangers fucking in her bathroom.
Backing away before they noticed her, or worse, invited her to join in, Cali decided the increasingly uncomfortable wetness in the crotch of her panties could wait as she raced towards the safety and information hopefully contained in her bother’s office.
But once there, she again realized that there was a fuck fest going on and she apparently didn’t get the memo.
When did Casual Fridays become free-fuck-for-all days?
Her twin was orally occupied with their secretary who just broke up with her girlfriend now a month before. Since when did Laslie go straight, or at least bi? OR should she be called Lassie because of the howls that were erupting form her throat.
And the child had to be double jointed to have one leg up on her brothers shoulder, the other around his head and have her backed arched up to resemble the Gateway to the West while brandishing an open roll of plastic wrap!
She stepped out of the room and eased the door shut. She wouldn’t bother her brother while he was munching carpet, but she did have to speak with him about this.
So after composing herself, she called to Able, “Um, When you both let go of the golden ring, I’ll be in the waiting room, waiting for some answers!”
Twin groan of pleasure was enough to send her scurrying to the living room waiting area and collapses into their Ikea special couch.
Once settled, she whimpered and resisted the urge to rub her thighs together for some relief. The sexual tension n the small apartment was killing her!
And she was too scared to make for her office! Who the hell knew what could be in there!
So feeling embarrassed, aroused and confused, Calita sat and waited, an waited and waited, skin crawling and knees shaking as she contemplated her business….And wondered if that thick peppermint stick she got when playing Santa’s Elf last year would act as a substitute dildo until she could go down to the toy shop on the corner and purchase a vibrator strictly for office use. Well, not for the whole office, they seemed to have living dildos and oral stimulators, but if instances of unending lust were going to explode, she wanted to be prepared.


“What the hell kind of name is Pink anyway?”
“Pink?” Able grinned at his best friend, twin sister, and co-worker, “Pink. He’s my kind of woman.”
Calita stared at her best friend and brother and resisted the urge to slap him on top of his corn rolled head.
“You mean she, fool,” Calita rolled her brown eyes. “And that doesn’t explain why Inter Office Get Fucked day replaced denim Fridays in this office!”
Able actually managed to blush, well a little as he stared at his twin, an irrepressible pleased look on his face.
“Pink,” he sighed again, tossing a look at his grinning secretary, who sighed and squired in her chair, a freshly fucked look on her face despite the blush that seemed to now be a permanent part of her face and the strangled roll of plastic wrap she still clutched.
Cali shot her the look of death, a look so scary that it had been known to send New Your Fire Fighters running away in fear, a look that made Baltimore street thugs cry. It was looks that made her gynecologist heat up instruments and contemplate shaving a few inches off the thickness of his fingers. It was a look reserved for the lowest of the low, for people who achieved sexual gratification she didn’t, especially when the prospects for future orgasm looked bleak and uncertain.
But the look just tolled off of the poor woman who was still clutching a roll of saran rap mumbling to her brother about how it was better than dental dams for oral sex. Leslie was even squirming in her seat, trying to find a comfortable way to stay seated when she obviously had just been fucked raw. Hell, she still had finger marks in her hair and her shirt was on inside out and….
Cali had to take a moment out of being pissed to wink and nudge at her bother.
“Good work, brat,” she smiled, then her look turned hard again as she snapped out her next command. “Explain!”
“Well, you know we were looking for a columnist to appeal to the sensual sides of life?”
“Talk faster,” Cali snapped. “Yapping with you isn’t getting me any closer to buying my vibrator.”
“What?” Able squeaked, looking horrified at the thought of his sister jacking off, then grinned as he realized why. “Oh yeah, well Pink came in and this mornings interview was…well…something else.”
“Oh, was he giving out free Spanish Fly with every question asked?” Cali snapped. “Talk faster, Abe. I got a magazine to run, strangers fucking in my bathroom, and an itchy eye to prevent! Cut to the chase!”
Her knee was shaking faster, she was sure that the wet in her underwear needed some of the saran wrap the secretary was holding to prevent a massive spill over, and she hadn’t even made it to her office yet! She was going to explode!
“Pink is an Urban Sprite and his special power seems to be dealing with things of a sexual nature, Lust if you will.”
“Right,” Cali groaned. “Who brought the weed in and what was it laced with? Was it Fab? You know how those artistic types are.”
“I’m serious, Cali! You have to meet Pink! And the two in the bathroom were probably his body guards.”
“Right. Urban Sprite, bodyguards, sexual powers. Does our insurance plan cover detox? Because I swear you and everyone else in this office is on something!”
“Just go to your office and meet him.” Abel urged.
“But I didn’t even have my morning coffee yet, Abe! If I have to meet sex spreading urban sprites, I need my cup of java. Oh wait! I can’t get coffee because Fab and Cas are reenacting the blow job scene form Deep Throat! They’ve probably moved on to The Devil and Mr. Smith now, but who can say? All I know is that they are blocking the direct path to my morning caffeine!”
“Just go and meet him, Cali!” Abe said, rolling his eyes. “Go meet Pink and see what happens.”
“Go to your office!” Abe stood up, ignoring his unfastened pants that were sliding off his ass and pointed, “Go! Believe me; it will all make sense then.”
“Fine!” Cali shouted, also jumping to her feet, taking one inconspicuous look behind her to see if the wet mark had spread. “I’ll go!”
A deep masculine, “I’m cuming!” and a gurgled, “Good boy!” coming from the kitchen gave them all a pause.
Cali snarled at the dual shouts of orgasm coming form the kitchen area then turned to face her brother again.
“This had better be good, Abe, or you will curse the day my egg split in two and spawned your horny ass.”
Then with as much dignity as she could muster, Cali tuned to walk away, but paused. “And another thing…. Make them disinfect my kitchen area, especially around the coffeepots. And use bleach! Lord know how far Cas shot or if Fab swallows!”
She stormed towered her office, stopping to shoot a sneer at the rattling bathroom door before stalking off to her office.
“Damnit,” she hissed under her breath. “Why is everyone getting fucked instead of me?”

Number Three! WOO HOO! From Loose Id…. Absolute PErfection!

Number Three! WOO HOO! From Loose Id…. Absolute PErfection! You gotta love a Naga and a Seahorse shifter! *g*


Chapter One

“You are a dick, and I don’t think I like you.”
Chris growled the words while leaning with arms braced on his bar.
“I have a mighty fine dick, thank you very much, and I really don’t care what you think.” Astika stared at the bartender as he answered with all the sarcasm he could muster. “I just need some information and some quiet, and in that order.”
“I can tell you the same thing I told your contacts. I don’t have the information you seek no matter what your family told you”—the bartender began to grin a little maniacally—“but boy, do I have the perfect drink for you.”
“I don’t drink.”
“Maybe you should start.” This came from what must be the bastard of a bartender’s wife, the Nāga decided. She peeked out from behind the swinging doors to the kitchen before she disappeared again, no doubt to fry up some small, defenseless creature for consumption. “It just might soften your disposition a bit.”
Everyone knew that the vampires who operated this bar worked as a team, and it was said that the female was often more trouble than the male.
“I really don’t care if you do or if you don’t”—the vampire shrugged inelegantly—“but I have to agree with her and say that maybe drinking would improve your attitude.” Chris gave him his words back, smiling as a small frown curved down the ends of Astika’s rather thin lips. “You came into my bar tossing your name and title around and demanding things, Nāga, and it is my job as the best bartender in the tristate area to see to it that you leave with exactly what you need.”
“But not what I want.”
“Buddy, haven’t you heard that you can’t always get what you want?” called a youngish female voice.
The reluctant customer felt his frown grow deeper as he looked around the place. There were two small children staring back at him. It was the girl child who had spoken the sarcastic words, her brown eyes glowing as she stared up at him. Her brown hair was styled into two ponytails, and she had the same countenance as Chris, the bearded asshole of a bartender who refused to give him straight answers.
She appeared to be around seven or eight—with vampires it was hard to tell the age of their young ones—but her eyes looked ancient.
The boy child was a bit smaller than her, with dark blond hair and green eyes and looked just like the female who popped out of the kitchen earlier to add sage bits of advice. The family resemblance was stunning.
But the young male vamp said nothing about the antics of the adults, merely shaking his head at their childish behavior. He absently rolled a chess piece between two fingers before boldly reaching out to the board that sat between him and the small female who could only be his sister. He then blithely moved her queen a box over before making his own move. “Checkmate,” he declared, his face looking as innocent as a preacher’s daughter.
“Cheater!” his sister squawked, turning back to their game, and then the familial arguing commenced as the pair proceeded to ignore the adults once more.
“You make that sound like a threat.” The blue-haired Nāga ignored the goings-on of the young ones and focused his attention on the bartender again.
“It sounds like fact to me.” Chris sucked at his front fangs as he reached for a collection of tall bottles and a metal shaker. “You would do well to listen.”
Then with a few deft moves, Chris made the bottles dance.
It was an art form the way the muscular brunet juggled three uncapped bottles, tossing them over his head, behind his back, and twisting them in midair, never allowing a drop to spill where it wasn’t supposed to.
Finally, in short, controlled flicks of his wrist, measured amounts of liquor were poured midjuggle into a tall metal shaker. Once the proper amounts were reached, he flipped the bottles back into their places and took up the metal container.
The bartender capped it and began to shake it gently as he eyed the blue-haired man. After a moment and a few considering looks, he placed the shaker on the bar and retrieved a tall, frosty glass. He poured the pale-colored mixed drink with flourish. And after a final squirt of juice from his bar gun, he whipped out a cherry from its dispenser and tossed it into the glass before he slid the drink in front of the frowning blue-haired man.
“Not impressed?” Chris asked, flashing just a bit of fang from behind his neatly trimmed mustache as he grinned widely at his customer.
The Nāga just glared.
“Too bad.” He attempted to sound remorseful and failed. “And I gave you the free show and everything.”
“I don’t drink.”
“You will drink this.” Chris chuckled. “After all, it was tailor-made just for you.”
The man reached out with long, thin fingers and tapped at the condensation beading up on the glass before him. He pulled it closer to himself, eyeing the slightly blue liquid, before inhaling deeply. He raised an eyebrow as he again turned to stare at Chris.
“I’m not getting anything out of you until I drink this, right?”
“Smarter than you look.” And from the look in Chris’s eye, his estimation of him put him somewhere between arrogant ass and airhead lackey.
He looked behind Chris to stare at the mirrored wall behind the bar and tilted his head, trying to see what the vampire was seeing.
He had long, flowing deep blue hair—not the electric stuff you find in bottles, but a deep dark blue that had subtle purple highlights. His eyes were beetle black, no light escaping and allowing no emotions to show. His nose was rather aquiline, his nostrils thin and flaring, his face narrow with a slightly pointy chin.
His body gave off a useless-pretty-boy facade as well; he was thin and tall with a model’s body and tight musculature.
But most damning was that he was quite feminine in the face.
He knew he was the epitome of the word twink.
He appeared childlike but was saved from being almost too cute to be male by his height, the thin lips, and attitude.
“Gee, thanks,” he deadpanned before lifting the drink to his mouth. “What is this called, anyway?”
“Well, they don’t have a drink called jackass yet, so I did you one better. This, my friend, is perfect for you. It’s called an Absolut fucker.”
“I am not your friend.” The Nāga paused with the drink in his hand, nearly to his lips. “And you may call me Astika.”
He frowned again.
The kids chuckled.
Chris grinned.
Astika shrugged, lifted the glass fully to his lips, and was just about to take his first tentative sip when the doors to the bar exploded open and a terrified shriek filled the air.
“He’s going to eat me!”
Before the blue-haired Nāga could move off his bar stool, what appeared to be a fall of silver highlighted blue hair slammed into his chest and burrowed beneath his arms, hiding as best as it could.
Astika’s black eyes widened as he stared down at the female—male—creature that was now trying to do its best to burrow under his shirt, shivering in what smelled like fear and…and french fries?
“What the hell…?”
“He’s going to chop me up into little bits and eat me with malted vinegar and salt!”
By now the smaller creature had managed to work its way behind Astika, pulling along with him what had to be yards of hair and a slim, compact body. He somehow managed to get all that hair and his small frame underneath the back of Astika’s shirt.
Astika’s muscles tensed as he caught a wisp of very real fear and cooking oil.
He looked up at the brunet barkeep. Chris’s blue eyes were wide in disbelief, his mouth open enough to show more than a hint of fang as he leaned on the bar. One finger was still in the air as if poised to make a point, and he was bending aggressively forward, his eyes locked on Astika and the thing that was trying its best to burrow into him from behind.
No help there, Astika realized before he began the delicate feat of turning without destroying his human clothing and extracting the little…thing that was now shivering and blubbering behind him.
“Scaler! He had a fish scaler and a fillet knife!”
The Nāga did note that the…creature also carried the tang of the sea and was still damp, something that was made apparent as his white shirt became transparent where the little beast was clutching at his sides.
“Cocktail sauce!” it wailed, burrowing its head in the small of his back. “Cocktail or tartar sauce! He gave me a choice!”
“What…?” Astika began again, only to have his words cut off by the door flying open, and a dark, towering figure raced into the bar.
“The fish-boy is mine!”
The human was mentally off, Astika decided, taking in the scent of the man as his gaze swept the room before dropping to the floor at the doorway. He groaned as he watched those crazed eyes narrow as the human’s gaze followed the damp trail left on the floor where it led over the dark wood and tile, directly to him.
Of course. Trouble never fails to find me.
The figure behind him began to tremble harder, whimpering slightly, digging sharp nails into his side. “Mine!” the human roared, rushing toward Astika, fist balled up and drawn back in preparation to strike.
“Oh, I don’t think so!” Chris bellowed, but the human ignored him, completing his headlong rush toward Astika and his own imminent demise.
As he reached him, the Nāga jumped to his feet, forcing the figure clinging to him to back up. Then instinct had the Nāga turning his head to the right and leaning back.
The fist coming toward his face sailed harmlessly past him with a rush of warm air, missing him by several inches, but that left Astika not a very happy Nāga.
He reached out and gripped the elbow of the massive brown-haired man as he slid past his body and jerked, using the man’s own momentum against him.
The human went flying to the ground, landing hard on his stomach with an audible groan, all the breath flowing from his lungs at once.
Astika took a step back, but before he could follow up on his takedown, there was a growl, and the children were on the man, straddling his body as if daring him to move a muscle.
“A positive,” the girl on his legs growled, her eyes gleaming as she bared a conspicuously large set of fangs of her own. “I am sure of it.”
The boy said nothing, but he began to pet the man’s face, his eyes dreamy as if he had just been handed his favorite treat.
“One bite, Papa?” he asked, his voice breezy and whimsical. “He, after all, did invade our kiss…”
“No one comes into my bar and starts shit,” Chris growled, his face reddening in anger, his voice drowning out the noise of his excited children.
Chris nodded, and a huge shadow separated from the back wall, moving slowly toward the human.
“It’s mine!” The man whimpered, cringing from the children who were now snarling in earnest. Their mouths parted enough to show long white fangs made all the more scary by their thin, rose-colored lips darkening to black. Spittle slowly dripped down from the sides of their mouths, splashing near his face as if adding extra insult to their papa’s threatening actions.
“I don’t know what ‘it’ you are talking about,” Chris snapped. “But whatever it is you think you own, you won’t find it here.”
“You say that a lot,” Astika observed, eyes wide, as the tall, dark, shadowy blob gently shoved the children away. Without a sound, it tossed the human over his shoulder before carrying the now cowering man to the door. The human offered no resistance and almost seemed to float in the dark thing’s arms before the door slid open unaided and the thing unceremoniously tossed him out on his ass.
Astika shifted his weight again, trying to reach behind him to pull the wet…creature out from behind him. But it was stuck fast and too afraid to move. He could feel its claws digging into his skin.
Although it was rather uncomfortable, he refused to acknowledge that small and unusual pain. So he changed tactics. Instead of jumping and twisting like an idiot, he would appeal to a greater power—in this instance, the power of words.
“I say it a lot and I always tell the truth.” Chris snorted his answer as the door silently slid shut and the amorphous blob dissipated. Turning back to his bar as the two pouting vampire children silently made their way back to their seats, grumbling about missed meals, he nodded at the glass still on the bar. “Finish your drink.”
“I would rather you assist me in other matters,” Astika growled, shifting from foot to foot, maintaining his balance despite the small lump hiding under his now partially transparent shirt.
Still attached to his backside was the damp and whimpering squirming form.
“Finish your drink and get the hell out.” Chris threw his hands up in the air in exasperation. “The opening rush is going to start soon, and I don’t need the distraction of you hanging around and whining.”
“Whining…” Astika was trying to sound assured and in command, but that was a wee bit hard when he was dancing from foot to foot while a wet sea creature was clinging like…like a barnacle!
“Whining.” Chris slammed down the bottles he was replacing and glared at the front door as if he expected more interruptions. “You came to me because you wanted to know about any ritual sacrifices going on around here, and I told you that I can’t help you. I don’t follow that kind of thing unless it’s to steer people away from it. So unless you’re looking to be the first on the sacrificial chopping block…?”
“I was told that you were the one to talk to about matters preternatural…”
“You were probably told that I was the one who could guide you toward what you needed.”
“Then take your present”—he nodded toward Astika’s now lumpy back—“and get the fuck out of my bar.”
The kids chuckled.
Astika glared at Chris, noting that he probably looked ridiculous arguing with the vampire while there was a shivering sea creature clinging to his ass.
“Present?” he asked softly, eyes narrowing as the whining behind his back became more prominent.
“I give people what they need, not necessarily what they want.” Chris’s grin was more than evil, and Astika felt a lump of fear begin to grow in his stomach. It was not fear of what Chris would do to him—he was a nearly immortal Nāga, after all. It was more of a fear of what the vampire would say next.
“And because you are such a nice—and I do mean that despite your gruff exterior—creature, the stars have aligned to give you exactly what you deserve.”
“I was told I was needed here…”
“Whoever told you that lied. There are no great and evil sacrifices being carried out. There are no creatures crying out in distress for you to save…as long as you don’t discount the thing you have clinging to your back. What the hell is it, anyway?”
“How in the name of Shiva’s left nut am I supposed to know?” Astika’s voice was growing uncommonly loud, something he usually fought to avoid. Maybe he needed a vacation.
“You are the fucking prince of the Nāgas!” Chris pointed out. “Why don’t you stick out your pointy little forked tongue and smell what it is?”
Chris was now mopping up the wooden bar, a smirk on his face as he stared at Astika, almost challenging him.
“This is what I get for calling you a no-account, sway-backed, nosy bloodsucker, isn’t it?” He sighed, noting that Chris was now grinning and exposing all of his fangs.
“You reap what you sow, my man.” Cheery was too mild a word to use for the vampire’s attitude.
Astika stared at him, his face showing he was suddenly at a loss for how to proceed, and then he shook his head, accepting the inevitable.
“And you came in here demanding instead of asking.”
“I’m used to demanding,” Astika pointed out. “In my world, it’s how we get things done.”
Chris snorted, rolled his eyes, and pointed to the still-waiting glass. “Finish your drink. It’ll make you feel good. And pull that poor thing out of your shirt so I can see what you caught.”
“I’m trying!” Astika finally snapped, wiggling and shifting, reaching behind him in an attempt to grasp some kind of flesh or hair. He noted that the sea creature was whimpering so loudly now he probably couldn’t hear a word of the conversation going on around him.
“Hey!” he finally called out, giving in to the urge to swat at the large lump that just had to be the thing’s head.
“Ouch!” it yelped, and then the claws released his sides, no doubt leaving a few welts in their wake.
Astika could feel the tingling, burning scratches, but the pain relief was instant when the little thing let go. And more than anything proved that this creature wasn’t among the common creatures he was used to dealing with in his part of the world. If it could penetrate his thick hide, then it had to be special, maybe even royal, and royal always meant trouble.
“Come out,” he groused. “The big bad human is gone.”
“Gone?” the voice warbled before the back of the shirt was pulled up and out enough to expose huge blue-green eyes peering at him from underneath his arm. “It’s gone?”
“Gone,” Astika assured it, rolling his eyes as Chris tossed down his bar rag and bent over, his laughter filling the bar with the deep, amused sound.
“It won’t eat me?”
“No, but I just may slap the shit out of you if you don’t get out of my clothes,” Astika growled, closing his eyes as his frustration grew.
The shirt dropped, and then he felt a cool draft as the damp body separated from his skin.
He shuddered, hating the idea of anything cold against his skin, and this thing had definitely left a large cool spot as it moved.
“Safe?” the timid voice repeated, and Astika stepped away, yanking his shirt back into place, turning to see what had disrupted his argument with the vampire.
“If you want to call it that,” he drawled, tilting his head to the side, confused as to what he was seeing. “I don’t see why you couldn’t have taken care of that human yourself. You seem to have a pretty good…amount…”
Astika’s words trailed off as he took a good look at what he had inadvertently helped save.
It was gorgeous.
Huge teal eyes dominated the triangular face, eyes the same color as the silky hair that was cut into the longest Mohawk he had ever seen. The ends fairly dragged the ground, covering a body that was clad in sea foam and air.
So…sea foam was the source of the salty smell he’d automatically cataloged as he took a good long look at the body which had been clinging, to him.
Even when not compared to his nearly seven-feet frame, the creature was a tiny thing. It was slender, yet its well-defined musculature gave the impression of delicate strength. It was barefoot and shivering, its full pink lips quivering, its dark complexion seemingly unusual for its hair color, like the bright pink nipples that peeked through the fall of hair.
Its small nose quivered as it looked around the room before those unique eyes landed on Astika again.
“You…you saved me.”
“Huh?” Astika was struck dumb. This whining creature, this pain in his side—it was…unique.
“You saved me!” It smiled.
And Astika was struck mute again even before he could speak, for the sea foam shifted, and he caught a glimpse of the package that was swaying between the thing’s knees. Equine—the word came to his mind as he watched the flesh shake before it was hidden in a layer of sea foam once more.
It was definitely male, Astika thought, blinking at the feelings that seeing that soft swaying flesh evoked within him.
“I…” He blinked and took another step back, feeling as if the hands of fate were beginning to get a stranglehold on his neck.
“You saved me,” he continued, “and according to the law, you now own me.”
“What?” Those words killed the growing admiration rather quickly.
Astika could not believe that particular high-pitched sound which had emerged from his throat any more than he could believe the words the creature just shouted at him. The little beast was happily bouncing and clapping his hands. But those actions combined with his spoken words gave him an evil intent that made Astika want to turn tail and run.
“I belong to you,” the small male called, spinning in a circle, sending damp hair flying all about, allowing his sea foam to play peekaboo with the tender unclothed flesh.
“Chris…Chris and his imps saved you!” Astika stammered, his eyes growing wide as he stared at the creature dancing in front of him.
“He’s not alive.” The small male…thing waved a petite hand dismissively at the vampire. “He does not count.”
“See? I don’t count,” Chris mocked, leaning forward farther on the bar, eyes gleaming with suppressed laughter.
“We’re not alive,” the little girl added, all interest in the game lost again as she stared at the beings around her, her head tilted to the side as if considering the small creature that was trying to wreak havoc in Astika’s life.
“Looks like he’s all yours,” the boy child added, smirking at him, just a little fang showing. “You found a playmate.”
“But…” Astika stammered. “But…but…”
“You felled the hunter!” The creature beamed up at him.
“I dodged…”
“You defeated him. The undead one just removed him from my presence.” Huge eyes stared up at him, utter adoration in their depths. “You are my savior.”
“What am I ssssuppossssed to do with you?” Astika shouted, tugging at his hair in frustration, not even noticing that his voice was slipping into sibilant tones.
“Well, I understand that my kind make great lovers…”
“Loverssss!” Astika nearly shrieked, his eyes growing huge while his pupils pulled into black vertical slits.
“But I am not meant for that life.”
“Thank the mother goddessss,” Astika said under his breath, his eyes going back to normal dimensions, his heart rate slowing from the racing mode it had jumped into when the creature spoke of lovers.
“No, a mere lover won’t do for one of my pedigree. I am meant for a mate.”
Suddenly some of that innocent and childlike glee fled with the speed of those dissipating sea-foam bubbles.
“Guess who that is?” The small blue-haired thing was leering at him! He was leering, and…and it was waggling its eyebrows!
“Mate?” Astika’s voice was reedy as he again stared, at a loss, at the small blue, suddenly frightening thing. “What are you, anyway?”
“Sea horse!” he supplied, tossing the damp hair of his Mohawk behind him and preening. “And I am a royal too! Eldest son of the king of us all.”
International diplomatic nightmare. Astika paled at the thought.
“And now I belong to you.” He—the insane sea horse—winked at him.
“No.” It was time to take control of this situation. Crossing his arms, Astika glared at the smaller male—sea horse—trying to instill a little fear into the creature. “I don’t think sssso.”
“Well, I do!” the sea horse insisted, his voice growing hard.
“Look.” Astika pointed at him, nearly jabbing him in the chest. “Whoever you are, I am not in the market for a mate. Sssso you are jusssst going to have to find ssssome other fool.” Arms akimbo now, he leaned downward in a suitably intimidating manner, making his feelings known.
“I don’t think so.” The cute expression left the sea horse’s face altogether. In fact, he started to look quite…feral. “You saved me, you own me, deal with it, in that order.”
“Oh I don’t think ssssoo!”
“Well, I do!” the sea horse insisted, stepping forward, reaching up and poking a finger into Astika’s chest, his suddenly serious eyes glaring hard as he actually managed to move the large male back a few steps.
“That is the way things work where I am concerned. You won me; you got me!” He eyeballed Astika from the toes of his shiny wing tips to the top of his multifaceted blue-haired head before he demanded, “Get over it.”
“Why would I want a half-drowned, whimpering little…pissssant of a ssssea horsssse?” Astika hissed, recalling the step he had given and taking another for good measure, getting right into the little male’s personal space. “You look like a female, you whine like a bitch in heat, and now you think to tell me what I am going to do with my life? Kid, you have another think”—he nearly choked on the word—“coming.”
The more he spoke, the more upset Astika became. He had finally gotten some control over of his life, and he refused to let anyone or anything take that away! This was his final job for a long time, and then he could retire…or at least take a long vacation. And his plans did not include a small, Mohawked, sea-colored menace!
“I do not look like a female,” the menace growled, exposing… Astika blinked. Were those tiny little fangs? They were almost cute in a curiously odd way. When combined with those huge eyes, they gave him the look of a feral puppy.
“When I’m dressing like a woman, I’m whorishly commanding!”
“You aren’t dressssed like anything!” Astika shouted. “You are practically naked!”
“Practically.” The sea horse grinned. “But only you are allowed to see all of me.”
“But…but I don’t want to ssssee all of you!” He threw his arms up in the air. “Don’t you understand what I am ssssaying to you? I don’t want a mate!”
“Un-huh.” The sea horse nodded, smiling, eyes wickedly arrogant. “My name is Taza, mate of mine. Taza of the fifteenth dynasty of Coushrin, heir to the power throne of Coushrin. Your mate for life, lest there be war between our two peoples.”
“War!” Astika shrieked. It was his job to prevent wars, not start them! And with the power behind the title that the little one bandied about…and with his own high-placed position as the heir of the High Nest of Shiva’s blessed Nāgas, the only prince, no less… “But…but…I don’t want to be mated!”
“Tough luck, my tall, blue-haired twinkie…”
“Twinkie!” he wailed. He knew he fit the description of a twink in most circles, but that didn’t mean he wanted a tiny sea horse to point it out. “I am sssseven feet tall! How am I a twinkie?”
“Looks like a girl in the face, looks young enough to have the undead one arrested for having you in here without proper ID, looks like you’ve never been laid in your life… You, my mate, are a twinkie!”
Taza even winked at him as he laid down the truth as he saw it.
“Argh!” Astika threw his hands up in the air again, bemoaning the matrimonial chains he felt tightening around his neck.
“My mate!” Taza crowed, clapping his hands and jumping in place as if the whole matter had been settled. “And if you behave, I’ll even let you top me sometimes.”
“I think…” A grinning Chris interrupted, picking up the drink and sliding it across the bar toward the blue-haired sea horse. “Yes, I really I think that this was meant for you.”
“Thank you.” He nodded politely before picking up the drink and downing all sixteen ounces in one shot.
“Tasty, just what I wanted, just like it was made for me.”
Chris and the kids laughed before Chris informed him, “It’s called an Absolut fucker.”
Astika whimpered.
He knew from this moment on, life as he knew it would never be the same.