Playing with Matches
By elfscribe, email@example.com
Characters: Calanthe, Terzian, Pellaz, Cobweb, Swift, Ithiel, OC
Disclaimer: Storm Constantine owns all to do with the Wraeththu universe. I am borrowing her characters for my own nefarious purposes.
Summary: What exactly happened during those hours when Terzian seduced Cal “with the fire power of a volcano?”
Author’s note: A few lines of dialogue have been taken from The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit. They are indicated with italics.
Playing with Matches
Terzian was drunk. That, right there, was cause for alarm. The first crack I’d seen in the cool, controlled exterior. He paused at the door. “Cal, I have to speak to you,” he’d said ominously, then walked into the room, his leather garments creaking softly as he moved, the sound vaguely menacing. He dropped into a chair at the table where we were finishing dinner. “Pellaz!” he growled with a dismissive jerk of his chin.
Pellaz, sweet, innocent Pell with the face of an angel, took the hint. Got up from his chair, excused himself, and left. Left me to my devils. Oh Pell, why? I’m not strong, you know that. I’m a tramp, a cat in heat. And Terzian is stretching his claws.
I smiled at him – a lazy Cal smile, like a laser beam of charm. Well do I know it. “What do you want, Terzian?”
His eyes: hungry, shadowed, direct. “You know what I want.”
Well, so much for a long, slow seduction. But we’d already been at it for weeks. He wasn’t one to play coy and I must have been making him crazymad. Oh Pell didn’t see it. But I did. An arched eyebrow. A hand: clenched, unclenched. A twitch in the jaw. The very air between us thrumming with aruna magic. Beckoning. And I must admit, I played him. Batted him about in the sunshine like a ball of twine. Slanted glances, a flip of tawny hair, the insouciant remark. There is only so long you can do that with one such as him before the explosion comes. Bad Cal. Playing with matches.
During this dance, I was aware of his consort Cobweb in the background. I could feel him, hissing quietly, mouth open. Green as a viper. It adds to my sin that I didn’t care. For right now there was only Terzian: a powerful, dominant presence: pulled taut like a longbow, growling, needy. Power such as his draws me. It always has. Fills me with a desire to bite and claw, a need to surrender. My blood itched with challenge. I was Uigenna to his Varr. Showdown.
“What do I get out of it?” I asked, examining my nails, noting the nicks in the black nail polish. I’m such an imposter.
“What do you get out it,” Terzian repeated thoughtfully as if assessing a trade. He picked up a spoon, tapped the bowl against his lips. “It would seem lodging, food, security, would already be payment enough.”
“I was under the impression that you extended your hospitality to Pell and me in gratitude for rescuing your consort. You never said there was a price for it.”
“There wasn’t,” Terzian said abruptly. He got up from the table and walked about the dining room, picking up objects and setting them down again. Finally, he turned to look at me. “I would hope you would get pleasure out of it.” Read the rest of this entry »