Thursday, April 29, 2010

A couple of pictures

So I'm feeling a bit better. Still lots of panic. Panic sucks. Makes my hands tingle and my breath scarce.

I've done a bit of art in the last couple days though. The first pic is Fai and Kurogane from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, which I adore.  Fai and Kurogane are delicious!!

The second pic of London, from the manga form of Snowman. This is before he meets Jonathan.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

One more last bit of story

This is a bit of fan fic that I did in 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 
Youji's Shadow

by Nix Winter

Disclaimer: I do not own Weiss Kruez, which is the story where Youji Kudou originated

My website:

Youji ran a finger slowly around the rim of the shot glass. It wasn't a club this time, wasn't a place he'd normally go to play. This was a bar. His drink wasn't sweet, just watered down rum. He looked his part in black slacks, a white shirt with rolled up sleeves with a blue tie, and a pistol holstered at the small of his back. Bleach blond fringes hung down by his cheeks with the rest of his hair in a pony tail at the back of his neck. Of all the things he might be, for the last month, he'd been a gangster on loan from another city, infiltrating the local hoods.

It wasn't as if Weiss were interested in the local workings of Yakuza. Weiss cared about predators that couldn't be stopped by normal means. Weiss cared about a killer that targeted Yakuza and their families, leaving some of them drained of blood, some of them walking zombies. If Youji could have defeated death all together, he would have, but baring that, he really didn't want the dead walking around panhandling and spreading disease.

He missed Aya though. Aya's red hair across a pale hotel pillow, those violet eyes opening up just a little to watch back at Youji. When they'd become lovers, that's when things had changed for Weiss. The change wasn't so terribly drastic at first, but over time, the team had taken few and fewer low survival missions, more information gathering, more mystery solving. Omi was in law school. Ken was furiously growing 'herbs' in the back of the shop, and a few more in the briefing room. Youji didn't know what they were, but Ken had more money than he'd had before. Hobbies could be good for a person.

Youji's hobby was being near Aya. He liked solving mysteries though too. He liked catching killers. Killers were good at catching killers.

His cell phone vibrated and he pulled it from his pocket. Opening the new text message, a sense of confusion washed over him. It seemed do desperate. "Where are you? Mission scrubbed. Get out of the bar!"

The time stamp on the message was nine pm. The clock over the bar said it was only 8pm. The phone said it was 11pm. Youji licked his lips, finding them suddenly dry. Aya. It was as if he could hear Aya screaming at him. He knew Aya was banging on the door of the bar, though he was the only one hearing him, seeing his shadow on the glass. The bar door opened, letting in a laughing woman and man, that crossed right through Aya's shadow.

Youji slipped off the barstool, finding his legs shaking and unstable. He wasn't drunk. He was too careful for that. The bar tender smiled. Youji didn't remember him being one of those freaks that file their teeth down, and do it so well. Youji took a step back from the bar, ran into a waitress who gave him a slight shove back towards the bar.

The bartender grabbed another bottle and shot glass. The rum was thick, swirling dark as blood, thicker than rum should ever be. "You didn't think you'd be leaving now, did you? Mr. Hunter man?"

another old story

Song of Wood
by Nix Winter

"With hands of song, I'll tune your heart, to me you belong, this voice will passion impart," Michael said, voice sweet and rich, if slurred just slightly. Blond hair, soft beside his face, was clean and a little flighty, dancing around his slender face. Blue eyes wickedly inviting, watched his prey with genuine longing and desire, freed from it's cage by the wine from the previous night, a night that had stretched right into the unflattering daylight. "Jean, I didn't know you were coming home."

He wore a blue velvet vest, laced up the front with a golden chain, uneven as his balance. Blue breeches of a matching blue were clean, cut to fit him neatly, painting the shape of strong legs right down to the golden chains at his knees, with small little locks there, to keep them where they belonged. Pale blue stockings, unmarked by any of the revelry suggested an innocence that had long since fled the blond minstrel. "Your soul still burns so beautifully in your eyes, as if all of nature could linger there, condemning me for all that I am."

He reached towards Jean's face, the dark brown stubble, a bit of bruising under. "Who has been condemning you, my love?"

Jean Bellamont was the younger son of a duke. Legitimate, but unfavored by his brother who was the current duke, he had found better fortunes serving His Majesty's affairs abroad. In grays and serviceable brown leathers, he smelled of horse, of the road, perhaps even a little gunpowder, and there was little patience in his dark eyes. He caught Michael by the arms, steadying him. "The whole world, it seems. Are you drunk?"

"Very likely," Michael admitted. "If I were not, I should not be dreaming of you, now would I? I long for the road, Jean. I can not stay here much longer. I hate this life. I hate his touch."

"Is that so," Jean asked, sweeping the slighter violinist up into his arms with a grace that betrayed a strength and power unlikely in a glittering court life. "Well, my sweet little English, how about we to the new world together? What would you think of savages and penitents?"

With all the care he'd have if he were really in a dream, Michael lay his head against Jean's shoulder, a hand brushing over Jean's face. "Can birds with wings clipped to the bone again take the sky? What there was to pay, I have paid already."

"Hush," Jean said, opening up the door to a room traditionally set aside as his own. Scent, thick and cloying, almost covered the stench of recent mating. In his bed lay a courtier he'd never thought enough of to speak to, with no less than three women. They tangled over each other and the bed. Jean's hissed curse reflected a bend towards military service and the proclivities of the profane. "Where is your violin?"
"Jean? Are you really here? Mary's tits!"

"Michael," Jean said smiling genuinely. "I see the willful spirits have returned you to me." He backed out of his old room silently, not waking the tarnished lace in his bed.

"What are you doing here? Philippe will kill you. He wants you dead any way!"

"Shhhhh," Jean said, holding Michael in his arms still, his own boots much quieter as they moved through the rooms of the passed out household. "You tell me nothing I do not already know. Your feelings for me though are plain and I will have no more lies from you. I have no time for it."

He set Michael down, still keeping him close, just inside the shadow of the deep door frame of his mother's room. From within a gilt cupid, Jean found a small key that let them into the room. "What has happened?"

"Come," Jean said, holding the door for him. A moment later, he closed the door, locked it again. "Three days ago, I killed the brother of the king's current favorite courtesan."

"Why?" Michael pressed his fingers to a headache fast approaching. "I'm sorry, about," Michael paused, sinking to the floor, head in his hands, "It was just, I feared he would kill you. I… I needed you to live."

Jean sank down to a squat in front of Michael. "Do you think I have not figured this out? At first, I was so angry. I thought you preferred Philipe for his money and title, that you craved power and that was why you moved from my bed to his. Collette writes me often telling me of the house and of you. When I realized the truth, I had commitments to His Majesty and I told myself that you should be safer here. What is this?" Jean touched the golden chains around Michael's knees.

"When he realized I came to his bed unwillingly," Michael said, face pale, but eyes meeting Jean's directly, "He was not pleased. He suspects I might not be the most faithful of lovers. He has Dermont, in his room. I am allowed to play only after I have pleased him."

"Will you leave without him?"

Blue eyes held back rain. With tight lips, he nodded slowly. "Do you think we will really be able to … escape?"

Jean's grin was bright, as wide and daring as the first day Michael had met him. Light, long dim, flared back up within Michael. "Was that not what we first said we would do? Take to the road? You said you'd die if kept to the rule of one man or one roof. I understand now. I just want nothing more than to be in your song, to see you smile."

"I can get another violin," Michael said, rising up on his knees. "You are more important to me."

The lock turned, iron doom in the fall of those tumblers.

There should have been time, time to run, time to flee, time to react, but the door opened and neither of them had moved more than just to turn and look.

Philipe filled the door, broad cuffs ornate with rubies and embroidered dragons. Dark hair like his brother, his face was fuller with the thin lips of his mother. "How tender," he growled, "My traitorous lover and my usurping brother. Brother, I understand you're lost whatever favor you might once have had with His Majesty. I knew you were coming though."

"Philipe," Jean said, rising slowly to his feet. "I want only the minstrel and his violin."

"You would take my dear little bird? Don't you know what kind of pleasure he gives me? You don't care, do you?"

"I have no time for games. You cannot stop us from leaving. I will not be bullied."

The sword drew, hissing metal death through silk and air. Jean matched him though, blocking with his own blade. Reflected morning sunlight, crashing steel, the will of a man held extended out like desire hardened deathly firm. Jean had ridden through the night. Philippe's debauch had hardly left him in better form.

Mouth dry, Michael watched the slick silver disappear into Philippe. The song of two brother's ended there, dark eyes watching the light in the other's eyes. "Murderer," Philippe cursed. "You will rot in hell. The bird will betray you too."

"Not more than I have him," Jean said, guilt over having left Michael to his brother. Still close, Jean went to one knee with his brother. "I shall fetch a doctor for you. I doubt I've hit anything fatal. Philippe, just let us go."

"Never!" Philippe spat.

Jean jerked, falling back, a small dagger in his thigh. "It burns," he hissed as he pulled the dagger out, splashing red blood on the white of his mother's bed cover. "What have you done?"

"Killed you, of course," Philippe said smugly. "You have always been better with the sword than me. Birds are owned by those that can keep them in the cage."

"The antidote," Jean demanded, grabbing his brother by the lapels, "Where is the antidote! You'd never carry a poison on your person if you didn't have the antidote!"

"I'll let you leave now," Philippe offered, a hand holding his blood soaked waistcoat. "Take the bird, the violin, go. Before you make the coast, you'll die screaming."

Michael dropped to his knees, hands catching hold of Philippe's coat hem. "What do you want? Anything. Please, please don't let him die!"

"Isn't that an old song, my bird? You begged for his life last time, promising to love me my whole life. A song turned lie is nothing but tin and piss."

"Please," Michael pressed his forehead to Philippe's knee. "Please don't let him die."

"What will you give me now, my bird? What do you have more important than your sweet body?"

"What would you have of me? I have given you everything. I have nothing left."

"Oh, but you do. You have your heart, which you have given to him and your song which you would never give to anyone. That is what I want. I want your song. I will free you, my traitorous bird. I'll even let you take my brother and your violin, but you must leave me your right hand."

"No!" Jean growled, a wounded wolf, he fell faster than he rose, blood black against the leather of his pants. "That's insane."

"Soon, Michael, or he be past when the antidote will work," Philippe said. "Give me something you can't take back, then I will let you both leave alive."

"How," Michael stammered, years of songs flowing through his head, the feel of music flowing from him so sweet and vital, as he tried to hold onto that feeling, that knowledge, so that he won't think of never touching that beauty again.

"Put your hand out, on the floor," Philippe instructed, the pride and satisfaction of a bully blooming in his voice.

Shaking, Michael pulled his sleeve up, set his arm out. In their years, Philippe had done many things, many ugly things, but he'd never lied.

"Philippe! Don't do it," Jean begged, reaching out with a shaking hand. "Don't! You'll kill him!"

"Good," the duke said. With a great jerk he pulled the sword from his side and pulled his arm back. The lighting of angry soul split the air and bone, tendon, a lifetime of music and freedom, pride and hopeful searching, all split and severed. Michael's fingers flexed, claw like, as if there was a bow held there still. Blood sprayed. In the pain, which felt so like far away gauze, Michael wondered if music was really in the blood, if it could spill out of him to leave nothing except a ruinous stain.
He missed the old violin maker. He wondered how the old man would remake a ruined violinist. Perhaps he could take the good parts and make something new. The bridge and the scrollwork, because the box was completely ruined now. He'd hated the cage though, missed the road more than he could have said.

It wasn't jean that lifted him out though, holding him, cradling him in such strong arms. The face was young, sad, but so familiar. "Dermont?"

"Hello, Michael." A deep and gentle voice greeted him. "Music and love, they're not so different."

"Am I dead? Jean?"

"I'm here," Jean's voice answered, close to his ear. "We are safe."

"Where are we," Michael asked, sitting up a little. Dermont was on his lap, between himself and the wall, which was a dark unfinished wood. Jean had been the one holding him, in the rocking world where they sat.

"We're on the Hart's Run." Jean brushed blond hair from Michael's face, caressing. "We're free. The king's men caught up with me, within the hour of you losing your hand. We never would have out run them. Philippe made it possible for us to escape. We are on our way to the Carolinas."

"The New World." Michael said, laying back down, exhausted. "How long?"

"Ten days. You've been sleeping," Jean said gently. "The doctor said it might take sometime for you to regain your strength. You were exhausted before. The loss of your hand nearly killed you."

"Is Dermont," Michael asked, trying to sit up again.

"The violin is fine. He's as tough as the old man that made him," Jean said, shifting a little to turn up the oil lamp. "I have a gift for you."

With his whole arm he reached around Jean's waist pulling the man close, hugging him, drinking in the sweet scent of a living human. "You are a gift. We are together. We will never be apart."

"Never. I'll never leave you again, but you're my little bird. I'll follow you along whatever roads you find."

"I can't play now," Michael whispered, hiding his face in Jean's belly.

"Stop whining," Jean said gently. "Music is a man's soul, not his hand. I'm going to help you up."
Michael let himself be turned around, feeling weak as a newborn. As Jean moved off the bed, Michael let himself explore the stump of his hand. Philippe had kept it, he guessed, his hand. That hand had been very helpful for many things. Since that first real beating when he'd lost his first violin, he'd learned a lot about the nature of humanity. He'd wanted to trade places with his violin then. Some part of him still missed that first violin, even if part of it lived on in Dermont.

This time, he lived, Dermont lived, but the music had been taken from him. When it hurt less, he'd cry.

Jean touched his shoulder to announce his return, then shifted them both so that Jean was behind him. "I expect your hand is too sore still, but I don't want you sleeping away your songs."

"What are you talking about?" Michael said, resenting this painful dance with hope. "My songs are gone. I have no voice and music takes two hands."

"Stubborn Michael," Jean chided, "Too much drink and lazing around has softened your wits. I can't make music and I have two hands. Close your eyes and trust me."

Jean's voice comforted him, even if there were years of separation between them, too much sacrifice on both their sides. "What is it? A hook? I can't play violin with a hook for a hand."

"That's true. Give me another minute," Jean said, pulling a slender strap all the way around Michael's elbow. "It might be a little tight because of the swelling, so you can't wear it very long."

"What? Oh, oh my," Michael asked, impatient eyes opening. There around his stump, bandages showing like rumpled lace at the open end, was a wooden chalice, the stem end carved into the end of a bow, a full length bow. "Will it work?"

Jean kissed his cheek, then his ear. "Let's try."

Dermont came out of his box. Clumsy, Jean helped Michael get the violin into position. Years of living between bow and string gave Michael an understanding of pressure and tension, but the first pull across the strings had more in common with a dying cat than song. Michael cringed. Jean held him, "Breath. Try again."

Michael closed his eyes. Music. Love. Spirit. With his eyes closed, it was as if the old violin maker held up his arm, giving him strength. The man who'd stayed with him in his dreams, was with him now in the music, young and strong, the immortal spirit of the violin. Music, a slow reel, joyful and triumphant filled the room he shared with Jean. He didn't know he cried, but held in Jean's arms, supported by his friend's spirit, the violinist was free and on the open road again.

old bit of gw story

Current mood:  accomplished
Category: Writing and Poetry
The Shadow of Will

by Nix Winter

Disclaimer: Duo Maxwell and Chang Wufei are so not my characters. The universe is a little generic, but GW-ish. In the US GW is owned by Bandai. I need to look up the original writers. They don't get enough recognition.

Story Note: Set during the war. It's a 1+2, leading to more, depending on how long this thread goes.

Personal Note: I'm sitting in the SF Airport waiting for a friend so we can take the shuttle over to Yaoi con. Anyone going to be at the GW meet and greet?

Blue water stretched out, lazy and forgiving. The ferry rippled it a little as the ferry pressed on towards Kerry Island, where the new safe house was. It was more a school than a house, but Duo rather liked the idea of a 'safe house'. It made him think that they were a family, that they'd all be back together by Christmas. Leaning over the railing, he wanted to imagine that he could reach all the way down, trail his fingers over the clean blue water and it would be like touching Heero's eyes.

Heero's eyes were the great untouchable. The warm sun laying on Duo's face could have been Heero's smile. It was like Heero's sheer existence had uncovered a arched garden door, behind which Duo just knew there was the most fantastic garden ever. Too fantastic for Earth even. Like all great mysteries, Heero didn't seem inclined to notice at all.

"What are you doing," Chang asked, standing proper as some eternally tragic servant in a great Chinese castle somewhere. Probably a castle in the clouds, and he was sentenced there after his wife died.

Duo pursed his lips, look up slowly, not wanting to leave the warm sun on his face, which he was happily fantasizing was one of Heero's smiles. "Wu. I'm leaning on the railing, watching the water, killing time."

Dark disapproving eyes looked over the railing at the water without any head movement at all. "I have completed the homework."

That was not so fancy code phrase or having memorized a ton of crap about their target. "That's great," Duo said, smiling brightly.

"Have you completed the homework," Chang asked pointedly, fingers playing with the edge of his sleeve cuff.

Both of them were already in the dark blue uniforms of their new school. The school just happened to be near a research lab that was rumored to like human test subjects. Their mistake to have taken a sweeper girl who had been on Earth. She was going to be an expensive penny for them. Got to be careful what you pick up from the dirty sidewalk. Never know when it was going to be fucking important to someone.

Duo looked back up, not sure just how long he'd been watching the water again. He flashed his grin again, knowing it wasn't going to do more than irritate Chang. "Don't worry about it."

The small sound, kinda like teeth grinding together, but not quite getting there, was Chang just not appreciating the real plan.

"Hello boys," a gentle voice said. The teacher responsible for bringing the new students across from the main land to Kerry Island had to be eighty if he was a day. L2 just didn't have old people like this. Either people just didn't get all like crumpled up drawings of themselves or they didn't get that old. Duo didn't know which, didn't know which he liked better either. The man was a good ten cm shorter than either of them, hands behind his back, white hair neat around his face as if snow drifted into just the right places. His dark eyes were warm though, in a way that Chang's never were, even if they were both dark as a power failure. "What homework might that be? Are you still attending another school?"

"Grandfather," Chang said, bowing politely. "We refer to private tasks between ourselves. Blue and I like to challenge ourselves."

"I see. You both seem to have excellent sight."

Duo bit his lip, eyes narrowing nervously for a moment. "I'm David Blue. This overachieving buddy of mine is Leon Wu. We're new."

"Blue and Wu," the old man said, a white eyebrow arching. "How old are you boys?"

"Sixteen," Duo said, hands now shoved in his pockets, braid swaying slightly.

"My name is Professor Sung. You missed lunch."

"I'm sorry, Professor Sung," Duo said.

"Come with me."

When he walked away, they had little real choice other than to walk with him. The raised lines on the deck hadn't been much of an issue before, but Duo noted them now. The dining room was dimly lit, surprisingly so.

A waiter met them, bowing so quickly that it just left Duo with an uneasy feeling. "Professor Sung, who are your guests?"

There it was. The waiter's eyes were milky. Goosebumps ran up Duo's arms. The sweepers woulda fixed that up for him. The solution mighta been a bit less than perfectly pretty, but it would have worked. Earth was a very strange place. A fairytale place and maybe the man had traded his eyes for the life of a loved one. Maybe there was a story somewhere, where he couldn't get medical treatment to fix them up.

"New students," Professor Sung said. "The one with the light quick step is David Blue. The one with the hard soled shoes is Leon Wu. They are a little older than most of our new students. Boys, this is Mr. Smith. He works part time for the ferry and he works for the school as well."

"It'll be good for them," Smith said nodding. "You boys have to trust Professor Sung. He did good by me. Kerry Institute is a good place. Don't be rebellious. No matter how hard things have been before, and I know it must be hard to lose your sight as teenagers, but they can help you there."

Chang ground his teeth in a very nearly soundless half choke.

""I'm David. I got my moments," Duo said, sounding truly repentant. "I'll do my best not to cause'em any trouble."

"I don't place your accent," Mr. Smith said.

"Sweeper," Duo said. "I grew up with the Sweepers."

"On a spaceship? Aren't those people like… Gypsies?"

"Now," Professor Sung said reproachfully, "There's nothing wrong with Gypsies or Sweepers. The boys were late to lunch. Can we have some sandwiches?"

"We were making burgers for dinner," Mr. Smith said. "I can have a couple of those for you."

"David? Leon?"

"Man, that'd be great," Duo said, his stomach growling not nearly as quietly as Chang's teeth grinding. "Can I have two? Please?"

"Sure," Mr. Smith said, smirking a bit. "Growing boys need to eat. Leon?"

"Anything will be fine," Chang said, body stiff as a chopstick.

"Okay, you're not from the Sweepers" Mr. Smith said, one hand on a hip. "Somewhere on Earth, yeah?"

"I am from San Francisco," Chang lied. His accent was much finer, slightly Chinese edged and educated though.

"So what happened? Can I ask?" Mr. Smith tilted his head, eyes falling closed for a long blink.

"I would prefer not to speak of it," Chang said.

The blush on his face must have burned, Duo thought. Must have been a red hot poker through his eye that cause him his sight.

"There was a plague, when I was a kid," Duo said, "I just couldn't get here till now. Sweepers got other ways. I was just a special case, always getting myself in trouble."

Mr. Smith laughed. "Well, no more of that then! Do what you're told and you'll learn a lot. Maybe you'll get rich some day and get some implants. But you were pretty young when you lost your sight, yeah?"

"I was really young when the plague happened," Duo said honestly. "So? I can really have two burgers? Do you make fries?"

"I don't. I'm not getting anywhere near boiling oil. I bet Betty can do some fries for you. Professor how about you all take table three?"

"That would be wonderful. I think these boys can have some pop too, if you have some."

"We do, strawberry and cola."

"I would prefer tea, please," Chang said, face still red.

"Cola, please."

"Let me get that for you then," Mr. Smith said. "The rest of them, they're already down in the story room."

"Thank you so much," Professor Sung said, reaching to catch the waiter's hand, holding it between both hands. "Your trust in me has always been most appreciated. I wish the new boys to be a quiet fact."

"Oh," Mr. Smith said, now holding the old Professor's in his. "Of course, Professor, anything that works for you. Table three, okay?"

They stood there for another moment as Mr. Smith walked away. "It's a little narrow, boys," Professor Sung said, reaching to guide Chang's hand to Duo's arm. He took Duo's hand and laid it over his arm, so that he could lead his new students to table three.

Chang was doing that silent tooth grinding, but he'd turned his hand in to a crab claw intent on killing it's prey too. Duo's eye twitched, but he didn't say a word. If Crab Wu left marks on his arm, he was gonna be sure to give them back though.

They sat down. Students on one side, teach on the other. Professor Sung took at least three minutes positioning his napkin. He took a deep breath and asked, "Why are you here?"

Extra note: I stopped here because I'm at the hotel now and have net only in the living room.. and because Duo and Wufei need time to think up an answer ☺

an old bit of story

Again with the Dark

By Nix Winter
copyright 2008
All rights reserved

The bar was nearly empty. Christmas Eve in Detroit and Santa ain't driving an Amercian iron horse, not this year. The jukebox played country twang, low enough that it could pull sad out of the air and not budge the dust settling around the world at all. A girl, not more than twenty hunched over a table, a half empty shot tumbler of fluid too dark to be tears, but probably related, in her hand. Her red velvet Christmas dress, wrapped in a way that made her look like a second hand gift, a white elephant just waiting for new hands. Short hair, a bit too stiff with hair product, didn't move with her breathing, and at first glance, she could have been little more than an off duty manikin.

Against the bar leaned a lanky man, long slender fingers wrapped around his own tumbler. Wavy blond hair hid most of his face. He didn't look quite as dusty as the girl, but he hardly seemed like a first time Christmas package either. The bartender kept her distance at the far end of the bar.

"You could let her go," Michael said, reaching into the bowl of peanuts and crunching them loudly. Or maybe just the simple human act felt loud in the cloud of magical possibility of the bar.

"Fae," the man accused, picking up his drink, even though he hadn't actually drank any of it. "Should I find some salt?"

"What was it? The red hair? I'm just a man, with a touch of the vision, not fae. What's your name?"

"Raphael." The blond reached up and tucked blond hair behind his ear. "What do you want with this, mortal man? She is nothing to you. There are no ties between you."

"Yeah, well," Michael hedged, "It's nearly Christmas. You don't really want to kill her or she'd be dead already."

"That stupidity works in the movies, little boy." Raphael's eyes narrowed. Such a dark green to be nearly black, the whole eye, not just the iris. "I will kill tonight."

"Maybe." With deliberate grace, Michael drew the Japanese symbol for light just in front of himself. The summoning touched a plane of being that few people would be able to sense, let alone see. The expression on the blond's face told Michael that his new 'friend' did indeed see the change. The arched white wings unfurled, sending a powerful blast of air past the blond shinigami, knocking the bowl of peanuts back against the mirror behind the bar.

"She's going to kill herself anyway," the blond growled as he tossed the contents of his tumbler at the man and his invoked angelic nature. "Can't you feel the despair? Can't you feel how lonely she is?"

"She might feel better tomorrow." Michael moved, spreading his wings, ivory white and full of hope, to block the view between the mortal girl and the darkly hungry shinigami. "You can't know."

Chin tucking towards his chest, a snarl on his lips, darkness unfurled behind him, slick and onyx, dark demonic wings with sharp claws. "Don't get in my way, angel boy. I don't need to hurt you."

"You don't need to hurt anyone." Static and the rush of hungry psycic energy roared past him, ruffling ruby and gold hair. "I'll prove it to you."

"If I kill you both," Raphael snarled, "Maybe I'll sleep for a couple of years." The lanky body bent a little, one shoulder seemingly dislocating, fingers elongating into pale bone claws.

"If you kill, you sleep," Michael asked. He drew another symbol in the air, his finger leaving a trail of iridescent energy.

"Love? You think you can fight me with hope and love," Raphael asked, offended. "I'm going to tear you apart and leave you in this plane forever."

"Big words."

Raphael jumped, backwards a bit to land in a crouch on the bar. Blond hair fragile around his face, brittle as winter tree branches or death's caress. "Everyone dies. There's no shame in death. The shame is in lingering when there's no place for you."

"Have to remind yourself of that," Michael asked, a silver sword manifesting in either hand.

The bar held still, breathless and timeless in the plane below where they fought.

"I'd think you'd be the one reminding, with your cloying hope and soupy love." Boney talons moved, weaving silver spider web, gleaming sharp. Those green eyes watched with cold apathy. "Santa Claus isn't real, little boy."

Michael struck, trusting with the right sword, blocking falling acidic spider web with the other. "Love is real enough."

Blade through the cat's cradle of web, a bright shiny light through the web of decay and self hate, Michael pressed forward, violet eyes taking all of the shinigami in, knowing him as if the other man's life were painted over a psychic canvas. "Your death was a mistake. You weren't alone."

The hiss echoed around them, even pushing the bar around them, making the girl knock over her glass, the bartender reach back to hair raised on the back of her neck. Slowly the Raphael moved forward, impaling himself on the length of bright sword. Acid blood dripped. Black bled like tears, until he was close enough to breath cold words over Michael's face. "What do you know of rejection? Of lonely? You who summon angels and wear pure white wings as if they were your own? Death swallows you today."

"Maybe." White wings slowly enfolded the impaled demon, "But I'm not the one impaled and encircled."

Green eyes blinked, such a human expression on a completely demonic face. "Why aren't you afraid of me?"

"I'm afraid," Michael admitted, a slightly shaking hand reaching to caress gray and degrading skin. "Just not the way you thought I would be."

"I'm a demon," Raphael pointed out, trying to push himself back now. His fingers morphed back towards being a man's, his hair softening back towards golden waves. "I'm death!"

"No." Michael let go of his swords. Fingers brushed into Raphael's hair. "You're a man, who made a mistake, a man who hurt very deeply, and now you're a spirit wandering the plane of the living."

"I don't wander. I sleep. I have death." Panic heightened and the spider fought against bonds that already pinned him.

"You are more than that," Michael promised, pinning Raphael's face between his hands. "I know your soul, Raphael Tortino. I'm older than I look. Think back. Think hard. Don't you remember me?"

Blinking, the whites returned to Raphael's eyes, leaving brilliant green eyes watching the red head. "Mickey? Mickey Samuel? But you died in the war!"

"I didn't die," Michael said gently. "You were gone when I got back. I've been looking for you for nearly a hundred years, Raph."


"Because I love you," Michael said. He pressed forward, kissing a mouth gone demonic, twisted and gray. In the kiss, Raphael's mouth softened, warmed, opened to the kiss. Wings brushed at each other, sensitive and curious, dark against light, floating above the bar, beyond time. The bells of Christmas rang outside, announcing the change of day, the new day, a new Christmas day, brilliant and pure. Raphael sagged in Michael's arms, the only remaining proof of his demonic path were the large black wings, folded and held tight. Michael's arms wrapped around him, holding him close, protectively.

"I failed."

"No," Michael comforted, "This time you didn't. She lives. You will live again. I know how to make that happen and I have a place for you. You won't be alone."

"But the things I've done…."

"And now you'll do them differently. Merry Christmas, Raphael. We finally have our Christmas together."

A Berth on Calista

A Berth on Calista
A Story Set in The Pet World

by Nix Winter
all rights reserved
copyright 2010 @ Nix Winter

The Naruto stretched out on the landing pad, the evening sun lazing warmly over her silver skin. She was a teardrop class ship, named both for shape and for the fact that her build made her ideal for single Human families. The Spacer community had long recognized that Humans were as likely to divorce as they were to bond. 

Nein had her because she was fast and cheap on fuel, and because he'd salvaged her when he was seventeen. Free and functional spaceships are kind of rare.

He sat on his entry way steps, a cigarette in one hand, sunglasses covering his closed eyes. The recession had made cargo and passengers pretty rare too. He had a berth paid on Calista for another month, but then he'd be breathing recycled air and taking vitamin D supplements.

There were other options, but he wasn't much to bend his will in ways it didn't want to go. He had naturally blue hair, pale as an early spring sky, sapphire colored eyes. His looks and rumored ancestry would have gotten him a place in one of the health centers, but he couldn't think of anything more boring than sucking cock he didn't want to suck and smiling and simpering about how delicious it was. He'd suck cock, but on his own terms.

In the mean time, he was quite comfortable soaking in all the vitamin D he could and while he was at that, he'd use his calories as efficiently as possible. And so it was that he was napping with a slow burning rose scented cigarette hanging from his fingers when work walked up and studied him.

Work, in this case, was a red headed man with demanding violet eyes and a hand truck of luggage. He wore tight black pants, boots, a trench coat of twilight. Long red hair hung freely down his back. He had perfectly smooth and creamy skin, obviously enhanced, probably an indicator of pet genes. His lips had a little too much curve to be strongly masculine. Colored red, with a black 'geisha' line down the center, it wasn't like he was making much effort to stay within masculine norms. He stood there quietly for a minute, maybe two, waiting for Nein to acknowledge him.

"Excuse me," he said finally. His voice was very male, but fluid, languid, disregarding the rules of gender and expectation. "I'm not interrupting any chemical recreation, am I?"

Nein jumped like a suddenly wet cat, only barely keeping his cigarette in his hand as he went over the railing and glared at the sudden source of Human interaction. "No. No, I don't do that shit, often. Are you looking for passage?"

The man's hips cocked to the side a little and his smile sent trepidation down Nein's spine. "Yes, actually, if it's not too much trouble. I need to go to Sebastian City. I will want passage there and return passage."

With his thumb, rose scented smoke curling lazily around his face, Nein pulled his sunglasses down and studied his prospective passenger. He knew this guy... couldn't remember his name, but he was some big shot. Nein leaned forward just a little, lips twisting in thought. "I think I voted for you. Aren't you like... the mayor or something?"

How a smile could give a person such a feeling of being prey, Nein didn't know, but it wasn't an unpleasant feeling, just unfamiliar, did stuff to his biological processes that he wasn't real keen on sharing with the establishment, as it were.

"Yes. I'm Rose Kline, mayor of Calista. I'm so glad you voted for me, Nein San.  Does that mean I get a discount?"

"Uh," Nein said, switching his cigarette off and shoving it into his pocket. He pushed his sun glasses back up though, hiding his eyes. "Don't you got city transport for shit like this?"

"This trip is personal. Do you want the work or not, Nein San?"

"I want the work," Nein said, wishing he'd been a little less eager, but he named a price that accounted for the fact that this was a personal trip, and therefore a  little on the quiet side.  His price would cover six months of vitamin D and cigarette cartridges.

Rose might have licked the edge of his upper lip when he smiled in agreement. Nein wasn't sure about that though. "Stow my luggage in a way that is accessible from the interior."

"We're leaving now?"

Already half way up the stairs, he leaned a bit towards Nein. The elegant man smelled spicy, sweet, unique, not like anything that Nein had ever smelled before and that scent seemed to imprint itself into his brain, doing hard things to his biological processes. "Unless you have other plans? You don't have a date, do you?"

He pulled off his sunglasses, his stomach fluttering as he looked right into those violet eyes. Mouth suddenly dry, he shook his head, "No, now's good."


There. Nein was sure he saw the mayor lick the edge of his lip. He was twenty-five now, no randy little teenager, but that movement flashed images into his head.  He wanted that pretty red curvy mouth around his cock, hot and wet and about then his head felt so light he might just have floated away. He took a step back, hands behind his back. "I'll just get the luggage in then, okay?"

"Splendid." Rose disappeared into Nein's home with a swish of thick twilight silk.

That hand truck of luggage had fifteen cases and they weren't gravity offset either.  Rose had taken Nein's favorite chair and he sat in it with an air of ownership, comfort that Nein had never felt outside his own space, let alone tucked up in someone else's space. Long red hair flowed of his shoulders, pooled in his lap, hiding his lap, and for a second Nein wondered if the rich man's biological processes were being fucked with hard too.  It just wasn't possible. Someone like Rose Kline wasn't wanting to share heat with someone like Nein with no family name.

He set the last case down. A trickle of sweat ran down his back. Rose blinked right at him, very suggestive, and right at him. It wasn't like there was someone else standing right behind him or something. Nein almost tripped over the stack of cases and he hadn't even been moving. He coughed, trying to get his lungs working again. He'd imagined it. 'Yeah. Sitting out in the sun too long. Maybe you could get vitamin D poisoning.' He'd have to look up the symptoms.

Trying to be professional, he went about securing the cases, closing up the hatch, running through his systems checks. 'He's not watching me... he's not watching me.'

Except, he was.

Nein peeled off his shirt, used it to wipe away some of the sweat, more than there oughta have been from just moving those cases. Nervous.

Lean body, lined stomach, Nein ran a hand through his hair, ruffling it. The softer light inside the ship gave nuance and shade to his hair that the straight up sun could flatten into highlights. He was blues and hard, conservative lines. Calories weren't cheap. He threw his shirt into a bin, stepped into the control cylinder and tried to ignore that Rose Kline was watching him as he slipped his arms into the body sheaths of the ship. Energy flowed of him, dancing like faint golden fairies. His body and the ship synced up, one the avatar of the other.  It was normal for his cock to respond, hard, balls tight. A teardrop was a very personal ship.

He stretched his arms out. 'Just going to Sebastian City.' The wings of the ship unfurled, stretching out. She lifted off her platform. Nein let his head fall back as the ship's nose lifted. Just so easy, they were up, rising towards the upper atmosphere.

"I understand," Rose said, from where he sat, "That orgasm while bonded with your ship is a very intense experience."
"Won't know," Nein whispered, wishing like fuck he'd remembered to close the privacy shield.

"That's a shame. You're a beautiful man, Nein."

"Yeah, won't know that either." He strained, shoulders and arms moving with the ship's climb. "I don't.. uh, yeah, uh, I don't .. with other people, you know."

"Really?" Rose's voice was so close, his breath cool against Nein's energy heated skin. "I've been studying you, Nein."

"Don't touch me," Nein gasped. He held his breath for a moment, then whispered, "Not until we break gravity and have the shot set. Fall."

Rose didn't touch him, but his finger tips were so close that Nein could feel their life, heat. "I was rather hoping you might fall. I've been studying you. You're brave and honest, kind and creative. You're the sexiest man in the Four Quarters. I know you just met me, but I'm a cautious man. I have to be able to predict the most likely outcome within 98% before I can take a chance this big."

The Naruto broke through the clouds, great silver wings spread wide like a powerful bird.  She rolled gently and laid into the trajectory to Sebastian City.

Inside her, Nein's body shivered, eyes opening as the avatar link weakened. "What are you looking for?"

"You," Rose said, both hands caressing over Nein's face, thumbs tracing over his cheeks. His lips were soft as they brushed over Nein's and while his connection to the ship's computer told him that Rose's lips were cooler in temperature by two degrees than his own, they felt hot. Demanding fingers combed into his hair and he submitted to the kiss by instinct that he'd never owned up to before.

Rose's hair lifted and tangled around Nein's body, dancing with the energy still skittering over the surface of taunt skin. "Let me love you, here to Sebastian City. If we still want each other when we get back to Calista, we can talk contract."

"But I don't even know you!"

"I know you. We are life long compatible. I am what you long for. Try me and see."

"But I'm not good with people! You're the gob smack mayor and I'm not good with people!" Nein shifted, struggling against the oh too intelligent tendrils of hair as they undid the fastenings on his pants.  He didn't want to let loose his connection to the ship. This could all be a glitch dream. That was the other thing the AI in a teardrop could do and it was probably how the previous owner had died, leaving his ship to be salvaged by a little no name nothing.

"I'm not asking you to be good with people, only good to me."  When Nein's pants opened, it wasn't hair tricked out with questionably legal AI, but Rose's own hands, sliding down Nein's bare hips. "Once upon a time there was a city that made making beautiful humans into an art. That city fell in the war and all the creations won their freedom, scattering to the far reaches of the galaxy."

"I'm not a sodding pet, you pervert!"

"No. You're the child of a child of a child of a pet, going back who knows how many generations, but there were two pets, back so far in history. One with blue hair, one with red, and they were literally made for each other. Our family lines, they wind back through the chaos of Humanity, but I am genetically the red and you are the blue."

"I got blue hair. That ain't so unusual! People been having red hair and blue hair all the way back to Old Earth. I seen the history vids."

"Not natural blue hair. Not red like roses. So you don't want my mouth on your cock then?"

Nein's cock, thick and smooth was a bridge between them, innocent in it's pure desire for touch and heat. "Fuck! Of course I want your mouth on my cock! Hell! I want my cock in your ass! That don't mean we have genetics that make us destined for each other. What a load of crap!"

"Maybe," Rose purred, bending to trace his tongue over Nein's cock, slowly, over the curve at the top, down the length, pressing slightly against the vein.

An uncontrolled cry broke from Nein's lips, filling the cabin with moan, a begging long cry. He broke the connection with the ship, hands reaching down to take hold of Rose's head. Not a dream! Their movements flowed easy, Nein finding the heat of Rose's mouth as easily as if he'd been there a thousand times. All the way in, deep, hot, tight an he screamed, fingers tightening in long red hair. That hair embraced him twining around him, around his legs, pulling them slightly apart as Rose gently cupped Nein's balls.

Nien shook, shivered, his body overwhelmed by the last of the ship connection, the pure human touch, the ravaging attraction he felt to Rose. He wasn't sure when or if he came, or if this explosion of euphoria and pleasure that shook him was some bit of ship dream that he wasn't sure he'd mind dying in.

He felt Rose lift him, carrying him. His pants fell away. Rose must have unfastened his boots because they'd fallen away even before he'd realized his pants were gone. With a hungry moan he wrapped his arms around Rose's neck holding tightly to him. "What are you doing? What was that?"

"That was an orgasm, I think. Tasted like cum to me," Rose whispered, kissing Nein's hair, his ear. "We should try it again, see if it feels as good the second time."

"My bed."

"Yes. I feel such a powerful and overwhelming sense of love for you." Rose set Nein down on the narrow bed, knelt beside him and kissed one pink nipple.

"You just met me. Fuck. This is crazy."

"Love is an emotion. It arrises from biological processes and you are the biological process I crave. Love doesn't have to have logic's permission."

Nein grabbed at his chest, as if he could catch the feeling, hold it up and examine it. "Is that what this is? Love? That when you touch me I feel such joy? That I want to know you like I could drink you down? I forget the edges of who I am when I look into your eyes."

"Yes," Rose said softly. "I'm going to tie you up and fuck you. Will that be okay with you?"


Rose rose, slipping out of his coat as he moved. "I'll be right back. Have you ever been sodomized before?"

"No," Nein said, feeling naked by the formal word. His cock was still hard and now his ass entrance tingled. He licked his lips. "You?"

"Yes." Rose let his coat fall, and peeled his shirt off over his head. He was as lean as Nein, but smoother, less defined. "Our state of excitement is so high, I don't think it will hurt much when I first take you."

"Don't care if it does," Nein admitted. He reached down and grabbed up Rose's shirt. He buried his face in the cloth. "You smell so good. I thought so too when you first came aboard."

"I love how you smell, how you taste. Stay right here." 

There was rummaging around in the cases, but very quickly Rose returned naked, with a mag clamp, some silk cuffs and a strap made out of the same material that his coat had been, and a slender golden bottle. He set the toys down on the bed, all except for the mag clamp.  The clamp he affixed to the metal wall at the head of Nein's bed. "Put your arms over your head."

"You don't have to tie me up. I'm not going to fight or change my mind," Nein said, almost pouty.

"I don't have to, but we both want to. Do it." Rose commanded.

Nein did. His arms felt slender then, though he knew they were plenty strong, but as Rose cuffed him, he felt delicate, beautiful, desirable, and so hard his cock threatened a sensation close to pain. "I want you," he moaned.

"I want you too," Rose reassured him as he put the strap around Nein's knees. "And now I have you. My god, you're so beautiful like that. Nothing I've ever seen has been as beautiful as your body bound for me. I ache for you!"

Nein arched up as Rose drew his fingers along the length of his body. "Fuck me then? Fuck me now."

"Roll onto your side."

Rose opened the bottle. The scent of jasmine filled the small bedroom. He spilled the oil a little in his eagerness. Drops rolled slowly over Nein's waist. Rose's fingers pulled that little trickle of oil over, down between the valley of Nein's cheeks, seeking the secret treasure. "Relax. I'm going to put my fingers into you."

Nein bit his lip, expecting it to hurt, but the first small penetration just... felt strange, intimate, so very, very intimate. Then one finger became two and Rose lay down behind his space ship captain. "It should be more than that, but I think.. .god, I'm not reasonable, but I want you now."

"Please," Nein begged, body trembling with anticipation and maybe just the slightest bit of fear.

Rose slicked up his own cock, then hand still slick reached around and stroked Nein's. Nein cried out, arching back towards his politician. "AAahhhh!"

"You're mine," Rose growled, sliding home. His cock spread Nein, dilated tight muscle, filled the hot sheath, possessed and owned Nein utterly. Nien cried at the burning stretch of it, confused by the roaring need for more of the burning pain, the sweet caresses deeper, the stroking of his cock, and he fell back into that glorious place where he didn't know if he were orgasming or floating.  Strong arms held him.

They moved together on a trajectory that had been laid in maybe from the first moment that Rose had become aware of the little blue haired pilot. Their passions rose, breathed, entwined, penetrated, and Nien screamed again as he came, this time sure that the white bright peak was indeed orgasm.

Sometime later, still bound and held in Rose's arms, he woke. His movements brought small kisses, tender and loving.

"How are you?"

"I'm fucking amazing," Nein said, joyful, sated, confused in all delicious ways.

"Yes, you are," Rose agreed.

"I didn't mean it that way." Nien blushed.

"I know. Hungry?"

"Shit yes."

"I have dinner and a hotel reservation for us at the Mahogany. We can discuss contract terms."

"How far in advance do you plan your life?"

Rose kissed his shoulder again, licked a little. "Far enough."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pocket Rockets, wip, start

Pocket Rocket

by Nix Winter

Camelot Airlines did not sell discounted anything. 

Aurora 'Rory' Williams didn't need any discounts.

Long red hair hung down her back.  Waning Vegas sunlight traced gold through the soft curves. Black slacks, a tailored white shirt open at the top button, and a black leather jacket, also tailored just for her set her just far enough outside the business class of traveler that people instinctively gave her a little space as she walked through the airport. That might have been a little bit of her own attitude as well. 
"Hey," a man called out. "Hey!"

She turned, saw him headed  her way, then stepped onto the moving walkway. She smiled as he started running. It only took him a couple of moments to catch up to her. He held onto the railing with one hand, catching his breath, and pointing at her with the other. "You're Rory Williams. You just won that big tournament. I saw you on tv."

"Yeah," she agreed. She'd just won a two million dollar pot at the Satin River World Tournament. "I wasn't until last night. I'm in town for the consumer electronics fair, but I saw you when I was getting ready to go out. You're so beautiful."

An eyebrow arched, she made a small dismissive sound. "Thanks."

"Do you have a while till your plane boards? Where are you going?"

As if out of no where, she pulled a business card from the air and handed it to him. "I'm headed to New York for Carnegie Big Apple. Unfortunately I'll be boarding my flight now."

He took the card with a grin. "I'll check out your site. You don't have any posters of you, do you?"

"Not on me, no," she said, "My talents are more in explaining how to play poker to people."

"Oh, no, really your talents are," he caught himself. "I'm sure you have many talents."

At the end of the people mover she stepped off, hand up to wave to him, her back turned to him. "Have a nice day!"

"You too, Aurora!"

'Just keep walking,' she told herself. Most days rude people who somehow thought different rules of society applied to people they'd seen on TV, most days those people didn't bother her. That boy just grated though. She'd just won one of the biggest tournaments in Vegas and all he could see was her tits. Misperception could make for a good bluff, but there were just those moments when she wanted as far away from people as she could get.

Not far from the end of the people mover she entered through a pair of opaque smokey glass doors. They opened for her automatically. The system had recognized her bio metrics as she approached.

An elegant man, who very much looked the part of a Victorian butler approached her, a silver tray in one hand and a look of mild welcome on his nearly perfect face. "Welcome to the Camelot lounge, Williams-san. Will you require a cabin on this flight?"

She took the rum on the rocks from the tray, sipped, smiled. "I don't think so."  She pointed at a blond man already in the lounge. "He's very interesting though. Is he traveling alone?"

"I am not at liberty to disclose such information, Williams San."

"Of course not," she agreed. "Secure me a cabin, though, just in case."

He sat in a thick black leather chair, silky blond curls around his face, an un-lit cigarette between his fingers. Pale, but even complexion suggested he was a tech person who worked long hours and probably not from Vegas. He wore a blue tee shirt with artwork of a wolf on the front with the words 'My Baby Bites'. So maybe he was a kinky tech boy.   Almost too pretty to be a man, he still had broad shoulders, a grace that only came from strength. Rory tried to stop herself from I imaging how much stamina there might be in those hips. It wasn't the 1970's where two willing adults could pick each other up and bang on a flight. She carried her drink with her as she crossed to him.

"You have beautiful green eyes." She held out her hand to shake. "Rory Wiliams."

After a moment he reached out and shook her hand. "Valentine St. Grenis. You smell delicious."

She sat down on the edge of the coffee table. "That's a new line. Where are you going?"

"My ticket said London."

"You sound very excited about it," she said sarcastically. "Why are you going to London?"

"I don't know. I'm a bit of a complicated man, I guess.  Would you believe me if I told you I woke up two days ago in a hotel with a bag of books, a letter from a friend and this ticket? I've got a brand new slate, so to speak."

She took a drink of her rum. "That's not a bad place to be. You have a bit of an accent, but not like one I've ever heard before, a little like I'd imagine a Shakespearean actor to sound. Are you an actor then?"

Frowning, he took her tumbler from her. When their fingers touched, movement slowed and their eyes met. She smiled. His eyes went a little wide. "I might be. I do like Wiliam Shakespeare. I found one of his books in the bag. Do you believe in love at first touch?"

"Hardly. I believe in attraction. Maybe you'd like to go to New York with me? I have a day before I need to sign in for the tournament. We could take in a play, have some dinner, Valentine?" She smiled broadly, full of confidence. "Valentine, such a lovely name."

He liked a bit of rum from his lip as he handed her tumbler back. "I feel vividly alive now that you're near. I would like to kiss you."

"You're a strange man," Rory said, but she leaned forward, as if inviting his kiss.

He ran his pointer finger over her lips. His finger felt warm, solid and real, not at all like a simple fantasy. He scooted closer, one knee moving between hers, the other catching her knee between his. She froze, breath caught, his cheek to hers, almost touching. His breath brushed over her skin, the only part of them that actually touched until he brushed his lips very lightly over hers. Without kissing, eyes staring into hers, words warm and sweet against her lips, "I want to go somewhere alone with you."

Desire tightened in her belly, brought moist heat to her rose. "Did you know that flowers are the sex organs of ... of plants?"

"I did not know that," he admitted. A hand slide slowly up her thigh, strong fingers slipping under her coat. "Then I should love to tend your garden, breath in the scent of your roses."

Shivering, she pulled just a little bit back. It felt terribly intimate reach up and touch his hair. Such soft silky golden curls.... "You have condoms?"

Confusion passed through his green eyes. "Do I have what?"

Laughing, she leaned forward to kiss his lips, stealing in and committing herself. "Damn, how many children do you have?"


"Williams San?"
"That cabin, it's well stocked? We can board now?"

"Of course," the pretty Victorian butler said. "Shall I bill the cabin for two?"

"Yeah," Rory said, taking hold of Valentine's hand. Her excitement had built to a ravenous hunger. She'd buy him dinner, but first she wanted to taste him.

The concierge unlocked opened the door leading to the jet bridge. "Cabin 3 is set to your  usual password, Williams San."

"Thanks!"  Still holding Valentine's hand, she strode into the passage that lead to the plane.

"This place looks like the Queen Mary," Valentine said softly. He'd been letting her lead him along, but now he was right behind her. A hand slid around her waist, pulling her back against his hard body. "We could almost be newlyweds. Would you be my blushing bride?"

"It's completely killing me where your accent is from," she said with a soft moan, moving her tight ass over the front of his hips, testing just how ready he was to be the bride groom. When she found what she was looking for, the physical promise of his attraction. She turned in his arms, letting his arm tighten around her waist. "I'm no one's bride and it's been a long time since I was blushing."

"My lady would turn the world to her feet and own the sun? You are a lady with a virgin heart, yet paradise tucked between her breasts?"

She kissed him then, her fingers combing into his hair, taking a firm hold as she pulled him down and devoured him. She'd expected cigarette smoke flavor or some kind of mint toothpaste cover it up flavor, but instead it was almost like kissing a man in the forest, a little sage, the faintest  hints of pine. The impression of being far from modern life, of some strange untouched innocence struck her. Still holding his hair, she pulled back a little and searched his green eyes. "Where are you from, Valentine?"

"I'm from right here, with you," he said genuinely. "Will you marry me?"

Rory laughed, delighted. "I hope you don't turn out to be one of those crazy stalker bastards. I'd hate to have to kick your ass." She turned, blocked his view of the keypad and put in her security code for the cabin.

"I will never hurt you," he promised, both hands caressing through her long red hair. "So, My Lady, will marry me?"

As the door opened she looked back over her shoulder, still smiling, still very amused. "We will have to see what kind of orgasms I get when I'm with you, my sweet Shakespearian man."
She caught the look of confusion on his face. Just inside the cabin door, as she kicked it closed, he buried his face in her throat, her hair, kissing, drinking in her scent. Arms around her, he nearly lifted her from her feet. "You don't smell like a man. Not that I'd mind if you were."

She pressed him away with one hand, her hand in the middle of his chest, then grabbed hold of his tee shirt. "Do you have a fucking boy friend?"

"No, My Lady. I have utterly no other soul besides myself and your kind regard." His hands slid down her back, pressing her coat to the curves of her body until his fingers reached the fine, thin wool of her slacks. It was more respect than timidity that paused him.  Her hand covered his and pushed it down to cover her ass.

"Are you a virgin, Mr. St. Grenis? Do I have to show you one step at a time? Aren't you a little old for that?" Appearances could be deceiving and she was tempted to ask to see his passport.

His kisses traveled back up to her ear, right behind her ear, and the concept of passports seemed so far away. "I do not believe I am a virgin in anything. What year is it?"

"2010? Are you okay? I don't want to take advantage of you. You don't remember what year it is?"

"You're very honorable. I promise you that I am entirely too old to be a virgin in anything.  I wish to see demonstrations of your orgasm."

She was going to protest, but he touched her face, such a gentle touch, barely touching her and all she could think about was saying yes to anything he wanted. "Get naked."

"As My Lady wishes," he said, kissing her chest as low as her top button would allow.  He stepped back far enough to be able to peel his tee shirt over his head. Under his pants he wore nothing except hard passion. Hard, thick, his cock stood eager for her.  Dark blond curls proved that he wasn't a peroxide job.

She growled. Her coat hit the floor, leather on leather pooling. Her shirt followed and then her pants. Shoes got toed off.  Pressing up against him again, her hand tracing along the length of his cock, over the thick vein at the top, testing how comfortable with her touch he really was, it became obvious how much taller than he was. He was very masculine, though his humility and seemingly gentle nature had masked some of the power to him.

His fingers trailed down her bare waist, rising over the valley of her hip, over the black lace that hide the last bit of her skin from him.  "My Lady may have anything she might wish of me."

"I like books," she teased, gasping a little as he lifted her her in his arms.

"So do I, My Lady."

"Still think I'm a man?"

"I think that thou art a soul such as I have never known. Your scent and warmth draw me near as if you were a goddess summoning me."

She pressed up onto one elbow. He had moved to the foot of the small bed in their cabin. His first kiss to the inside of her ankle nearly drove her question out of her mind. She bent one knee, pointed the toes of her other foot as he kissed slowly up her leg. "You got a vampire fetish? Is that what this accent and stuff is?"

He licked very delicately at the inside of her knee.  "You are very sweet. I remember vampires... Edward. He is very sexy, in a spoiled and slightly vapid way."

"You're just jealous. You've got nothing to be jealous of, Valentine."

He tugged at her panties with his teeth. Green eyes staring up at her, soft blond curls brushing over her bare thigh. "Take these off, My Lady."

"You do it," she said, lifting her hips. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

epub format

Okay... let's start with the idea that I'm not completely stupid or ignorant. 

Epub format... when it has to get validate... is really hard. None of the avaliable converters work. Word processors don't save as epub... and breaking one down and seeing what's in it... and trying to put it all back together again... humpty dumpty much!

Both Sigil and Calibre are easy to use... Calibre creates lovely files from PDFS, and itunes sees the cover art. It fails to validate no matter what you do to it. Sigil is more open and you can get in and edit things, great! It'll create a file that'll validate. But you get brown paper cover art, unless you're a freaking genius and use the work around.

So now I'm hungry... kinda shaking.. maybe I should get around to that eating thing... and very frustrated.

So if you're one of the brilliant people who thought up epub... Maybe you could think about people who don't write their notes in xml or mimetype or something strange and foreign.... we want to use the new standard too.

Stimulating the economy by making jobs for computer programmers is nice, except when it shuts me out of what I really wish I'd gotten done today.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Storm Without Kisses

A Storm Without Kisses
by Nix Winter
copyright 2010, all rights reserved
Please do not archive.
Work count: 3800

Note: Okay... this story is my version of wish fulfillment.  All characters represent archetypes in my own imagination and do not represent any person, living or dead.

Second Note: I just finished it today... haven't really edited it today, but it was just a story for fun... so I hope it's enjoyable, at least a bit.

Soft, apathetic rain misted outside the windows, lazy and grey as life slept. Liet fastened the tool belt around his waist. "It's not going to take that long. I'll be back in time for dinner. We'll watch that movie like we talked about."

Nori padded to the windows. He laid a hand on the thick storm glass. "I could see the bay when I bought my house here. So many things have changed. I've seen storms rise like this. More turbines will go down before it's over. I have a month's worth of battery power. Everything will be okay."

"Other people don't have that. We need to get the turbine started again."

"Do you ever consider what you get into," Nori asked, hands on his hips, "Before you get us into it?"

Liet looked back over his shoulder, ruby red hair framing a wicked grin. Green eyes sparkled in the unsteady emerald fey light. "I didn't get you into anything. This is the best I've felt in months. I need the work. That's all."

The large one room loft that Nori shared with Liet felt warm, almost too warm. It had been Nori's apartment, his house, in the century before, but time and circumstances move forward. At a hundred and seventy-nine he was still fairly well to do, but that meant he owned a loft in downtown Seakyo, not the whole house he'd once had. The Shot ran between Seattle and Tokyo and made the space into a very premium location.

Other changes in those decades had erased years from him. It hadn't made him taller, but he looked fitter, younger than when he'd originally bought the house with profits from the 2015 boom. Long dark hair hung down his back, clasped off in three equidistant silver ties. Intelligent dark eyes watched his friend. He wore a thin tee-shirt with a swirly slogan for a local art school on the front and paint stains pretty much everywhere. His jeans were decades old, faded.

"It's dangerous work, Liet. The turbines are not to be taken lightly. Especially not in the coming storm. You don't need to do this. The city crew will take care of the issue. This isn't about work. It's about him saying that you're too flashy, that he feels smaller near you."

Liet's face clouded. "I don't want to talk about it. The quarter has been off the grid for twelve hours. There are people with batteries that won't last much longer. Some of them could be in real problems if the turbines don't get fixed."

They'd met at the train station.  Liet's relationship had already been waning, coming to a drizzling end like the ever present Seakyo rain. One just never knew when it stopped or when it might want to start again. Leit's move into Nori's space wasn't official or even stated, just growing up slowly around them.

"It's dangerous fix. If it was a simple reset, the watch would have taken care of it." Nori sat down in his data space, one slender leg tucked under the other. Fine golden fibers woke and reached out from the wall for the mated connections hidden in his hair. "You haven't finished installing my kitchen yet."

"I'm waiting for parts. Anyone could finish your kitchen. I'm grateful that you let me stay here and all, but fixing things is what I do. I'm licensed to work on the turbine. It'd be cowardly of me to leave it hosed when I could probably fix it. It'll pay enough to let me get a place of my own, you know."

"You've made up your mind then? You're not going back."

"I'm not what he needs." Liet said quietly. "I'm just a fixer. I don't think he's what I need. I'm bent in some ways, you know. I got mad when we fought, but he left me. He threatened me. He called me dishonest."

Nori blinked slowly, his eyes opening to a smokey silver color as the data connection firmed up. "I want to offer you a contract, one year. I desire you. I don't want you to leave, Liet. I'll expand my space here, give you your room."

Liet cocked his head and frowned. "Making sweet love in the mornings and mutually self validating love notes just isn't my thing right now. Hell, Nori, I don't even know what my thing is. I tried so hard to be right for him and I just feel confused right now."

The smile on Nori's face lifted even has lose dark hair floated up around him, the data connection dancing and flowing. "You're not confused. You know what you want.  You just don't want it to be true."

"Somethings I can't fix, no matter how much I want to."  Sadness bleached the color out of Liet's voice. Chin tucked towards, he closed his coat. "I'd better go."

"I'll come with you." Nori blinked again, the silver gone from his eyes. Eyes dark again very human again, he sought out Liet's eyes and locked with his friend's green eyes. "I've just paid for my license and downloaded the basics of turbine repair."

"Don't be stupid! Just installing some data does not give you the experience to go scaling wind turbines in a storm. If there's enough man left in you to want to bang me, there ought to be enough to fear getting diced up into little bits."

Data cables disengaged, dancing like golden static back towards their beds in the wall. "I fear you being diced up into little bits. I was so lonely before you came. I don't want you to leave me."

"I'm your friend," Liet said, looking up just a little, holding his hand out. "I don't want to go away. I just...."

The dark haired man had crossed to Liet already though, fingers caressing over pale skin.  Liet's breath caught as the slightly different texture of Nori's fingers traced over his skin.  Silkier, the finger prints long since transformed into data skin.  "I know what you want, Liet. I want it too. Trust me."

Liet backed away, lower lip between his teeth. "I have to go."

"No you don't," Nori said, following him. "Let me touch you. I want to bind you. I want to penetrate you. I want you to trust me. I trust you. I will trust you with all that I am."

"I can trust you?"

"You know you can trust me," Nori insisted. "I will never lie to you. I will never sulk because I don't carry a script around in my head. I like who I am and I love you. I love you, Liet."

"Crazy. You've only known me six months. I fix your kitchen, take care of your cables, that's all."

"No, you wake me, bring me to life. I love being in your aura, if it's only what I've had from you or if it's the next hundred years. I will never betray you, Liet."

"I don't need your kindnesses old man."

"You don't know what you need, little boy," Nori growled back, following Liet back until he had him against the wall.

"I'm not a little boy. I'm twenty-eight. Let me go, Nori." The sadness lowered his voice.  So many things he couldn't say, maybe not even say to himself. One disaster after another, betrayal on betrayal, he'd grown up in the sub-city with an addicted mother who had been willing to trade everything she had for what she needed. He'd learned young to trade whatever he had for survival. "I'm not going to give you anything! I haven't got anything to give, Nori! I'm broken, don't you get it? I gave him what I had and it was never enough. I don't have enough to give! I'm a worthless shit, Nori."

Wind crashed against the windows, rattling the thick glass.  A tear tried to hide behind wisps of red hair.

Nori's sensitive fingers caught that tear, traced along the side Liet's face. His lips followed, kissing Liet's cheek, then brushing lightly over warm lips. "To give a gift to the one,  one desires is a norm across species. Your flaw is that you give, regardless of what kind of pebbles you get back. I have something to give you and I want everything you can give me."

Liet's breath became a soft moan, pleasure sent will that should have stayed in his brain down to his cock. "I can't. This love shit... it's not good for me."

"Yes, it is good for you," Nori insisted, getting his knee between Liet's legs as red head tried to wiggle away. "You're just afraid."

"I'm not afraid of anything," Liet hissed. "You don't know me! I'm different!"

"As if I'm not different?" Nori's words were soft, gentle. Liet didn't avoid the kiss. Their lips touched. Nori moved his lips slowly over the shorter man's, not forcing the kiss deeper, just soft skin against soft skin.

Their breath mingled. When their eyes opened, Liet's were darker, bluer. Chocolate brown hair lay around his face and frightened eyes looked up at the data wizard. "Are you going to betray me?"

"No," Nori promised. "I only want to know you. I won't try to cling to you. I won't drown you to save myself. I'll be your safe port."

"But you want to have sex with me."

Nori backed off just a little, only a couple of centimeters, just enough to bring his hand up to touch the lips that this dark haired personality sharing a body with Liet. "I want to touch you, but I don't need to. Do you have a name?"

"I'm Chocolate. Liet does like you."

"I know he does. I like him too." Nori took a step back, hands relaxed at his sides. "Are you his protector or is he yours."

"We take care of each other." Chocolate said. "You won't love us. No one does."

Hands on his hips, Nori arched an eyebrow. "That's a little negative."

"You're not surprised that we ... swapped?"

"I'm a hundred and seventy-nine years old. You're not the first multi-soul I've met. I won't hurt you."

"How can you know that?" Chocolate asked.

"I suppose I can't, but I don't think I will and I'm willing to open the doors of my heart and trust to both of you."

"And Nyx? She's a woman."

Nori scratched his eyebrow, smirked. "I want to know Nyx too. Will you guys stay for a while?"

"Yes," Liet said.

It was only then that Nori realized the voice had changed too. "You can stay as long as you like."

"I won't pay for love or space with sex."

"I won't ask you to. I don't want you to. Do you think I have to pay someone to get my cock sucked?"  Nori glared out of narrowed eyes. "I have ways to take care of my own sexual needs. Just because I want you, doesn't mean you're the only heat I want to stir."

"Uh," Liet scratched the back of his head. "I guess that makes sense. I don't like letting people down."

"Don't worry about that with me," Nori said. "Likewise, if you bug me, I might kick your ass out."

Liet grinned, a bright toothy grin. Hair now a light strawberry blond, he gave Nori a wink.  "So don't fuck with me anymore right now. I have to go fix the turbine and Chocolate isn't mechanically inclined."

"I want to learn all about all of you." Nori said, holding out his hand.

Banging on the door drew both their attention. A long tendril of Nori's hair grew towards the jewel toned security pad, rapidly keying in the security code. The tendril then reached down and turned the burnished brass doorknob.  A little girl tumbled in, bright cooper hair, dark green eyes, black cotton knee pants and a frilly white shirt. "Mr. Liet! My dad went up to fix the turbine, but he ain't come back down. Mayor Wolf said you was the only body that could go up after'im. He said cuz you were crazy enough to do it."

"Liet-san is not crazy," Nori said firmly and the little girl shrank back. He snapped the dark tendril of hair back.

"I will go up. I was going anyway. Who's your father?" Liet grabbed up a box of tools.

"Mikan Justice. I'm Daisy."

Mikan was HIS lover, the man He had gone back to when Liet failed.

Nori blinked, slowly, and Liet could have sworn he saw data streams take over the cyborg's eyes. A couple of quick blinks and Nori reached out to grab Liet's arm. "This man, Mikan Justice, he's in public record for wishing you bodily harm."

"Uhn," Liet said, shrugging Nori's hand off. "I'll be back."

"I'll come with you."

"I said," Liet said firmly, "I'll be back."

Nori took a step back, bowing, arms out to either side, long tendrils of dark hair dancing around with angry nervous emotion. "As you will."

At the door, Liet turned back and gave his friend a smile. "We're not done, you know."

"You're reckless with your well being."

"Yeah," Liet agreed as he closed the door.

The quarter had only one main wind turbine. Many people had other smaller ones, but the main one supplied energy to residents of the quarter. As soon as they were outside, even in the valley between Yesler and Alice quads, the wind wiped them, pressing them back against Empress Tower for a moment. Liet grabbed Daisy by the arm and shoved her back into the building. "Stay! This storm is gonna be rough!"

As soon as he got her back inside and the door shut, he ran off towards the turbine, hoping she'd stay.

The wind turbine towered over the buildings around it. Just small little shops. The fourth quarter had been downtown Seattle once, one of the first places to be settled in this area by white people, way back when that label had meant something. It had been underwater for a while when the waters rose. There were really two kinds of people who lived in forth quarter.  There were the well to do like Nori of the people who served people like Nori.  Nori's class would have plenty of battery. Everyone  else could wait until the storm ended. They'd be okay, or they wouldn't. Either way the city crew wouldn't  be out until after the storm.

Liet made it through the empty streets fast. Numb inside, he focused on what needed to be done, but both His words and Nori's words rumbled around in his head. Really it wasn't just His words, but the lover before, and the one before that, going back for most of his life. He had no idea how to do it right, this relationship thing. Nori had called him a multi soul, but Liet expected there was a better name for what he was. Broken.

He couldn't pass judgement on His behavior. He didn't trust his own reactions to anything except mechanical fixings. For all he knew, his cock was supposed to be  working ways that it just didn't seem to do. Right or wrong it didn't rise on command. When he'd first gotten with his seemingly ex-boyfriend, there had been so much exploration. Nothing had filled his boyfriend up for long though. Then the rules had started.

Just kissing, exploring, doing what felt interesting hadn't been enough. For sex to be loving, it had to fit the definition. It had to go all the way through to orgasm and cuddle, no matter who got in late or when either of them had to be up. Failure to complete love making in the right way harmed Cory.

Liet ran the name through his mind, letting the harassing wind pick the name up and carry it away.  In the complicated rules of physics that Liet was harming another was one of the strongest taboos. To harm was... Unspeakable, taboo.

He set his box down at the base of the turbine. High above the turbine didn't seem damaged, just stalled. A bit of yellow cloth fluttered in the wind just below the stalled blades. If Cory's new, er old, lover were up there, too close to the blades and the city crew sent a successful restart pulse that could be really bad. A flash of burning need ricochet through Liet. He needed Cory to be happy. He couldn't make that happen himself, but maybe Mikan could.

A tiny flash of hope flared. Maybe Nori would be good to Chocolate. He pulled a scale hook from his box, found a Jack point  to imbed the long metal spike in the responsive skin of the turbine tower. He grabbed a couple more tools and shoved them into his belt.       He took hold of the bar with both hands, thought 'fuse' then 'up'.  The bar shot upwards, moving through the skin of the tower like it was butter. The pathway healed over the moment the bar moved on, carrying Liet stories up as fas as an elevator might. Wind clawed at him, twisting and lifting him, but the fuse command held. As soon as he got to the control booth, the skin opened a door sized space to let him in.  He thought the release command. He shook off the cold, batted at his wind matted hair.

"What are you doing here?" Cory demanded, angry, accusatory eyes raking Liet over.


"I thought so. Sorry we're in your way!"

Liet took a step back. "I came to help."

"I don't need you."

The blades groaned, straining to turn to start collecting wind energy again. "Where's Mikan?"

"That is not your concern! You better get out of here! He wants to pound you for breaking my heart."

There had been a time, when this last phase of their arguing had come up when he'd thought that there could be a trio for them, maybe that moment hadn't fully let go until that very moment. "What did you tell him about me?"

"I've been very protective of you! But he knows you... you broke my heart!"

"How'd I break your heart? By not fucking you according to the numbers well enough?"

"You left me alone too much and you didn't desire me! I felt abandoned and unwanted. You abandoned me!" Cory wrapped his arms around his chest. "You only want me when I'm behaving like you want me to! I want to be loved all the time, not just when you're happy with me!"

What was there to say to that?  Liet remembered the day Cory had said he'd be going back to Mikan. He'd held his lover that night, smoothed his hair, lain awake for hours wanting to find a waybto comfort Cory, to find a way to make things right, to find some measure of love for himself, to give love to his lover.  Maybe that hadn't counted as love because there'd been no sex that night. "I'm glad you have him to take care of you."

Cory clenched his fists. "You don't care what I do, do you?"

Those words echoed around inside Liet, banging into old taboos, fears, pains older than either Liet or Chocolate, older and deeper in his mental system even than Nyx. The question confused him, bewildered Chocolate. Of course he cared, needed Cory's love and attention. He didn't know what he'd done to make it seem otherwise. Even if all they were was friends, he cared. He wanted Cory to be happy and Cory said that happy was Mikan. "I just want you to be happy!"

"Then why are you making him cry?" Mikan growled.

Liet failed to duck and got a large fist to the face.  He hit the wall behind him and came back with a blow of his own. His strike became little more than a blocking blow to Mikan's next punch, but it was enough to let them both get into good combat positions.

"Stop!" Cory screamed. "Don't fight!"

"He deserves ton have his ass kicked for not taking better care of you! He's neglectful and stingy! I won't let Jim make you cry anymore. He's a fucking asexual whiny bastard!"

The blades shuttered and started, whirring to blurring speed with the storm winds.

One eye swelling shut, Liet bowed. As he bowed a bit of scaring showed on his chest.

"and you're a flashy show boating son of a bitch!" Mikan growled.

Liet smirked bitterly. "I guess I am." he held up his hand, near the wall and the hook zoomed through the wall to meet his hand. With his free hand he gave a flourishing motion.

"Wait!" Cory called. "I just want us to stop being dishonest with each other! I want you to tell me what you're not saying."

Liet's eyes shifted to a dark forest emerald color. His voice edged with dangerous rage. Inside though, he felt nothing. He couldn't have told Cory what Cory thought needed to be said to save his life or heart. "I am not a liar. Such a behavior is taboo."

"What does that even mean? People lie and hide things about themselves all the time! Why can't you be honest with me?"

"I have been honest with you. I have loved you. I have shared and shared who I am with you and you don't see me. You don't feel loved by me. It is you who only loves when you get what you want, not me."

"Fine then! I suppose you're leaving me?"

"I can't leave you. You never saw me in the first place, Cory. Merry meet. Merry part." Liet put both hands on the hook. The door opened in the skin. Hurricane winds roared and the skin closed just as fast as it had opened. The drop back to the ground only barely stayed within the parameters of safety.

An hour later it was Chocolate that showed up at Nori's place. Soaked to the bone, long brown hair hanging around him, he searched the almond shaped eyes of Liet's bus stop friend.

Nori didn't say anything. He just held open the door.  He pointed to an open doorway, a door that hadn't been there before. Inside was a new bedroom, a set of clean and dry clothes folded on the narrow little bed. He changed. Studying himself in the mirror, Chocolate wondered when Liet would come back. It didn't really matter. He'd be back when he was ready.

Peeking his head out the door, Chocolate chewed his lower lip. "What's a contract?"

"Doesn't matter rig now. Come watch a movie with me? You're safe here. I promise."

"Don't you want to know where Liet is?"

"He said he'd be back. I trust him. Want a soda?"

And that was the storm without kisses....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sai's first attraction

Note: To those of you who aren't following Naruto.. Sai is 17... I had to look it up as I thought he was about 20.  In my imagination he's 20. Naruto is a shonen story, fighting, personal growth, community, and such. The object of Sai's imagination in this snip is a slightly older ninja on his team. Yamato is 26. Both of them had crazy childhoods. Sai was trained to suppress all emotion, but he's been working on Yamato's team and way from The Foundation.  His rising attraction comes as a surprise to him.

Anyway, my mind runs away with the fan fic and art these days. I promise to get you something decent up sometime really soon!
Sai's Surprise
by Nix Winter

I do not own Naruto. Naruto was written by Masashi Kishimoto.

The trees sheltered him.
This was safety.
The pencil moved -
more soul than it was wood and lead.
Hundreds of Narutos jostled, glowed with effort, then with darker lines in the center of the paper Yamato.

Sai blinked. Unconciously he licked his lwoer lip. He turned to a newvpage and tried to clear his mind. The next page darkened into Yamato again, closer up, dark eyes, the shape of his lips. The Narutos were fainter, smaller. The pencil lingered over Yamato's eyes, the shades, the shadows, as if Sai could feel the very edges of other man's soul by coaxing his form onto the paper.

Staring at his drawing, his stomach tightened, fluttered. Without looking at his art kit, he traded pencil for white ink to lay highlights into Yamato's eyes.

Sexual attraction.

A hunger that came from no where - offering no means to satiation.

The Foundation had frowned on auto-erotic self gratification.

Anonymity and shadows offered sanctuary.  A hand slipped under his sketch pad, the heel rocking against neglected hardness, against soft black cloth.

Emotions did not always lead to hate.

This was a different kind of emotion. Pleasure tightened through him. Shivers breathed across his shoulders.