Desert’s Fierce Kiss

Desert’s Fierce Kiss
by Thevina

Rating: Adult
Pairing: Cobweb/Lianvis
Summary: Potentially set canonically at some point not quite a decade post-Bewitchments, Lianvis visits Forever (in search of Ulaume) and spends some memorable time with Cobweb.
Author’s Notes: Written for Gingerspark (former Niennaainur), who requested this pairing.

“So. How long before the scorpions arrive?” Cobweb asked, picking up a cup of tea with steady hands.

Ithiel raised a tawny eyebrow. “A few days yet. Our scouts intercepted them on the very southern borders. Their leader is with them.”

Cobweb shuddered, gooseflesh washing along his forearms despite being covered by layers of silk. “Him,” he muttered, looking into the cup all at once to see if there were messages to be read, but the leaves were silent. “Why did he come?”

“He didn’t say much to the patrol.” Ithiel gave Cobweb a sympathetic look. “Lianvis, much like you, is a force unto himself. We are allies, as you know.”

“We’re overrun,” Cobweb snapped. “I’ll be courteous. I always am, even when— after all that… Gelaming,” he finally concluded with a venomous hiss.

“I believe he’s coming because he’s looking for someone. A har that used to be close to him but vanished a few years ago. He hadn’t been told about Terzian’s death, so now he wishes to give his condolences in person on top of his true purpose.”

Cobweb fixed his old friend with a brittle stare. “I can’t imagine that desert sorcerer could miss anything going on in his tribe, much less an actual har.”

Ithiel took a deep breath and let it out again, his gaze flitting around until it alighted on a bottle of sheh. “I’m only telling you what’s been told to me.” With an agile hand he poured himself a drink and helped himself to two green olives from a plate sitting between them.

“Thank you for that,” Cobweb said gloomily. “At least Swift and Azriel aren’t here.”
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Playing with Matches

Thevina Editor's Pick

Editor's Pick

Playing with Matches
by Elfscribe

Story Notes

By elfscribe,

Characters: Calanthe, Terzian, Pellaz, Cobweb, Swift, Ithiel, OC
Rating: Adult

Beta: Thevina
Spoiler: Enchantments

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 »

Butterflies With Guns

Butterflies with Guns
by Karen Chahbi

Story Notes

Spoilers: Bewitchments of Love and Hate


Credits: Thank you to Storm Constantine for creating this universe and letting us play with it.

The characters are mostly ones I made up, although Ponclast makes an appearance, and Cobweb, and Ithiel. Also Swift and Terzian are alluded to. It’s about a couple of Uigenna who run away from their tribe and find a life in a secluded valley somewhere between Galhea and Fulminir. One of them has a secret, and his past comes back to haunt him after they find themselves in Fulminir, having signed on as Varrish soldiers. It takes place during the time I guess Swift is growing up, and culminates just as the Gelaming are about to take Fulminir

Butterflies With Guns – Teaser

My home stands atop a hill surrounded by hardwood forest, and from the kitchen window I can see our little valley stretched out before me like a painting. The late afternoon sun reflects off the orchard gate, which in turn casts its long shadow across the gently sloping lawn. The apple trees have already shed their leaves, and I can see past the orchard, even as far as the little stone steps, and beyond them, the stream. From there the landscape drops into the valley below, and I can see out across the tops of the tall oaks and pines in the distance. If I close my eyes and stretch my mind out, I can skim along the forest floor, down the hill through the trees, along the golden carpet of leaves, and by doing so bring back lucid memories. I can float past the tall white obelisk in the town square, and look back, up into the hills toward my house, and beyond, to where the forest becomes nothing but a dark mass, and a pale mist covers the mountaintops far away. The sky is pink and those mountains are purple, and the mist encircles them like a gauzy shroud. It’s a lovely sight, but as I look I’m reminded that somewhere on the other side of those mountains I had another life, a long time ago. If I think about it, piece by piece, I can recall some of it in vivid detail. And still, some is lost to me. Somewhere on the other side of those mountains I lost my innocence, and crossing them, found it again. The journey from there to here was a long one. Along the way I learned to kill, to love, to hate, to forget. And sometimes to forgive. Somewhere along the way I buried someone I loved, and with him, a great part of myself. My story is all tied up in there somewhere.

Butterflies with Guns – Download as a PDF!
File is over 200 pages, single-spaced, so it works much better as a PDF than as a web page.

A Kiss for the Rose

Introduction & Disclaimer

This is a sequel to another of my stories, “The Night Just Seems So Long.” Also, this storyline fits together with Paula’s story, “Freedom.”

All items contained on these pages are non-profit amateur fiction. The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, The Bewitchments of Love and Hate, The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire and all characters named in those books are the copyright of Storm Constantine and her publishers. No infringement on the copyrights are intended.

A Kiss for the Rose

– 1 –

The gentle tap, tapping at the door was the first thing Cobweb became aware of, followed by the sun shining directly into his eyes from the window by his bed. He groaned and pulled the quilt over his head. He didn’t want to get up – not yet. Nearly all the previous evening he had sat in a morose heap on the garden seat in the green-house, enjoying his misery. Now he wanted to sleep in…maybe stay in bed for the whole day – to dream. But there it was again, more insistent this time. He lifted his head from the pillow and called out.

“Go away.” But whoever it was didn’t. A soft voice issued from behind his bedroom door.

“Cobweb, please, it’s urgent.”

Cobweb forced his eyes open, gritted his teeth, sat up in the bed, flicked his hair off his face and called out.

“All right, come in Lias, but this had better be important.”

Lias opened the door quietly and entered the room, his head bowed. When he looked up there were tears in his eyes. “It’s Bryony, Cobweb. I think she’s dying.”

Cobweb almost fell out of the bed, grabbed his gown and followed Lias down the hall. Lias, his new personal servant was turning out better than Cobweb had hoped. He was considerate, discreet as well as very efficient. As a healer, he had also been nursing Bryony through her latest illness. For the past three or four years, Bryony had been in and out of bed with one problem after the other. Cobweb had hoped she would bounce back again this time as she had before…but Lias seemed certain she wouldn’t, when he took Cobweb’s hand now and looked gently into his face.

“She hasn’t long, Cobweb. This time the infliction has taken hold of her whole body and she is going down hill fast. None of my herbs or potions are making any difference. All I can do is make her comfortable.”

Cobweb picked up Lias’ hand and together they entered Bryony’s bedroom. It was filled with soft sunlight and flowers, and Bryony was propped up on several lily white pillows, seemingly asleep. Cobweb drew near to the bed and Bryony stirred, opened her eyes and smiled wanly at him. “Thanks for coming Cobweb.” Her voice was indistinct and husky, and the few words she had spoken tired her out. She sighed and shut her eyes again, momentarily.

Cobweb let go of Lias’ hand and took up one of Bryony’s. “I’m here for you my sweet friend.” Bryony opened her eyes and smiled at him.

“Thank you.” Was all she could manage before she slipped into a fitful sleep. Cobweb sat by her bedside for the rest of the day, giving her little slivers of ice to suck on and singing old lullabies to her. Several times she opened her eyes to look into his, but never spoke another word. As the light in the room began to wane, her life slipped away, and Cobweb laid his head on her chest and shed sorrowful tears.

Lias eventually pulled him away from her and led him back to his rooms. He was completely bereft, even more so than the night before. His whole body was shaking with emotion as Lias helped him to undress and brought him a cup of broth.

“I’ll send a message to Swift and Seel for you Cobweb. They should be able to get back here in time for a funeral.”

“It’s all right, Lias. I am in tune with my son. I will let him know in my own way what has happened. He was close to Bryony. They almost grew up together.”

Lias nodded and closed the curtains in the bedroom and turned on the bedside lamp.

“Can I get you anything else, Cobweb?” He asked quietly.

“What I need I don’t think you are capable of producing.” Cobweb answered, as he sucked in his lower lip.

Lias looked at him confused, but knew better than to question him any further. “I’ll leave you alone then. Just put your mug on the side table, I’ll see to it in the morning.”

Cobweb watched Lias leave, brought the mug of broth up to his lips, but put it down again straight away. He couldn’t drink it…his heart was leaden. With a long drawn out sigh, he pulled the quilt up over his head and tried to sleep.

Two days later, the morning of the funeral was bright and sunny, as Cobweb dressed slowly, looking out the window to the little garden Bryony tended. It had become a little overgrown lately, as she had been unwell most of the time. But there in the middle of the tangled herbs and drooping spring flowers, he saw it. A perfect red rose. He went into the garden himself and cut it carefully, taking in a whiff of its delicate perfume.

Swift and Seel had arrived the night before, along with a few servants who had worked in the house for a short time, including, Swithe and Ithiel, as well as an old friend of Swift’s, Leef. Cobweb was of course pleased to see them all, and fussed over everyone, making sure they were well fed and watered.

Swift approached him at one stage and took him aside. “Cobweb, stop fussing, we should be fussing over you – after all Bryony became one of your best friends, eventually, didn’t she?”

Cobweb just nodded and hugged Swift to him. “I didn’t send for Tyson, Swift. He has just ventured on his journey to be reunited with his hostling. I didn’t think it was fair to bother him. Do you think he will mind?”

Swift reassured Cobweb, and set about helping him to serve the drinks. Their servants looked on suspiciously, but Seel let them know that Cobweb and Swift were happy to be fussing, it kept their minds off the funeral that was being held that afternoon.

As the little entourage of mourners approached the small cemetery at the edge of town, Cobweb clutching the red rose, and his other hand holding his son’s, he noticed someone standing near the entrance gate. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the Har, with blonde hair, and an all too familiar stance. He looked suspiciously like Cal.

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