Am I teasing the demons? Or do I have demons who are teasing? Maybe a little of both. In exactly one month, Prince of Tricks will be unleashed on the world. I'll be doing a blog tour with Bewitching Book Tours, and the Grand Prize for the tour is absolutely insane. Seriously. It's completely mad. You'll have to wait until the tour starts on January 6 to find out what it is. Because I'm evil like that. ;)Read More
As I mentioned last week, I came late to the party and managed to miss out on the entire Six Sentence Sunday phenomenon. But luckily for me, a new weekly blog hop began today for Weekend Writing Warriors. And even better, I get to post eight sentences instead of six. Below is another excerpt from the fantasy WIP That Shall Not Be Named, with the same couple (Ume and Cree from my novella The Devil's Garden), who seem to spend an awful lot of time in bed in this book.Read More
So today I thought to myself, I've been meaning to give that Six Sentence Sunday thing a go. I head off to the land of Google and find the sign-up blog...and the post that says "today is the last Six Sentence Sunday." Like, ever. Wow, does my timing suck. Ah, well. Here are six sentences...erm, okay, ten, that I felt like sharing anyway. If you've read The Devil's Garden, you may be happy to see that Cree and Ume are making an appearance in a WIP I'm revising. If you haven't, this is kind of a big, fat spoiler, so stop reading now. ;) Or, if you don't care about spoilers and just want to make your eyes cross at some steamy f/f goodness, read away.Read More
...otherwise known as the Land of Revisions. Just thought I'd pop onto the blog to share my favorite line from recent revisions to The Fallen Queen (formerly The House of Arkhangel'sk). Belphagor is half-conscious and being carried on Vasily's back when Vasily has an argument with Belphagor's friend Dmitri. Dmitri:
"And if you want to know the Heavens’ honest truth, Lev and I never really got what he saw in you. You’re sullen and ill-tempered and totally self-absorbed.”
Vasily stared at him, speechless, too stunned to be angry.
“And hot,” Belphagor murmured against his shoulder. “Totally hot.”
I've been threatening to post a teaser for my Arkhangel'sk books for a while now, and it's time I put out. The scene that follows doesn't appear in The House of Arkhangel'sk trilogy. It's just a little demon porn treat. (All right, so it's not so much demon porn as demon romantica, but there's only so much I can do with a broody leather demon. He wouldn't give me porn. Maybe next time.)
The Prince of Tricks had been notably absent from the wingcasting table. Word had gotten ’round about the little party he'd broken up in the lower end of the Devil’s Doorstep and the sweet bit of fire demon ass he’d dragged away from it. It wasn’t much of a leap to connect one event to the other. All of Raqia knew of his patronage of the little thief, and plenty had seen him leading the blind-drunk demon to his room in the back of The Brimstone. Belphagor had done nothing either to encourage or discourage speculation. He had a reputation to maintain.
Belphagor sighed as he watched Vasily sleep, stretched out on his stomach across the cot with one bare foot hanging over the edge, his skin exuding a gentle firespirit heat. If only what was going on were even half as interesting as what the rest of Raqia was imagining. But he had, in fact, spent the past several weeks making up for the appalling lack of education to which the young demon had been exposed. Growing up on the streets of Elysium’s demon district, one might not have the advantage of celestial schooling, but a smart demon could pick up tricks and knowledge along the way that would stand him in far better stead than sterile “facts” about the Heavens distilled by dour Dominions in a stuffy schoolroom full of angelic prats.
Which was not to say that Vasily wasn’t smart. But he'd been on the streets from an earlier age than most, and thus had been at the mercy of any number of charlatans and predators, and suffered from an almost alarming naïveté. It was sweet, really. He was so eager to please and desperate to be praised. He was starved for affection—and for a firm hand. The latter, Belphagor had in abundance, and the former he couldn't help but give him. In all the years of his considerable career, Belphagor had never encountered such a genuine soul. Vasily’s emotions were as volatile as his element, but they were writ plain upon his face, and he was as quick to repent as he was to anger.
And his anger stirred Belphagor in a way he had never imagined. Like the unexpected, wild heat of Vasily’s tongue as he’d first taken Belphagor in his mouth, the young demon’s temper made the blood rush to his cock and made his heart beat with a violent measure, while his insolence made Belphagor want to do Vasily genuine harm. It stirred memories he ached to recall, memories of a beautiful Russian prince staring down at him with measured fury, warm grey eyes gone cold, when Belphagor had pushed him too far with his own insolence.
He'd been younger than Vasily was now when Fil had taken him as a lover. Oblivious to the backdrop of the restless country on the brink of revolution, Belphagor had spent that cold Petrograd winter of 1916 inflamed with alternating currents of jealousy and desire. He'd thought it all a game until that moment when he’d gone too far, trying to humiliate the prince in front of his social set because he felt neglected. That moment in the Nevsky Prospekt flat, when Fil had taken him aside and stared down at him with what looked like hate as he’d rebuked him was one of the most painful Belphagor had experienced in his young life.
The anger Vasily aroused in him now wracked him with a conflicting battle of emotion between the hot spark of urgent need to cause the demon pain and put him in his place, and the desperate fear that he would lose him. It was too much to contend with on top of his feelings of guilt over the young demon’s age; Vasily might be past the age of consent in the world of Man, and might have sold his favors to demons long before he had been, but he was decidedly "unworldly" in either plane. So Belphagor had taken a mental step away from his desires and concentrated instead on Vasily’s education.
The worst part of all of it was Vasily’s increasing frustration as Belphagor evaded any intimacy between them. It was a small room he rented in the back of this den of iniquity, and while he strove to spend as much time outside of it as possible during the day, there was no avoiding the presence of the hot little demon in his bed at night.
There was, of course, only room for one in his cot, and so Belphagor took to the floor with a pile of blankets, but more often than not, he'd find Vasily climbing under the covers with him and curling up in his arms. It made sleep impossible. Not for Vasily, who barely woke to slip out of the cot and drifted off immediately with Belphagor’s arms around him. But for Belphagor, feeling the long, sinewy limbs sprawled across his own, and the uncanny warmth the firespirit exuded without breaking a sweat, it was torture. Delightful torture, but torture just the same.
And in the mornings—well, Belphagor had quickly learned to be an early riser, or he would be rising in more ways than one.
Vasily stirred on the cot under Belphagor’s gaze and opened his eyes. Belphagor looked away, intent on his coffee and eggs.
“You got breakfast without me,” Vasily yawned. “Again.”
“Serves you right for your indolence.” Belphagor dipped his toast in the yolk and winked at Vasily as he took a bite.
Vasily rolled over onto his back, stretching his arms and tucking them behind his head. Belphagor had given him a castoff alkogolichka—a sleeveless undershirt of the type the angels called a “demoness beater”—and a pair of striped boxers from the world of Man to sleep in after finding the prospect of the naked demon slipping under the covers with him too much to take. Though he'd been underfed when Belphagor took him in, his frame was swiftly filling out, and the thin, ribbed fabric stretched tightly over Vasily’s broad chest, while the boxers—
Belphagor sputtered on a sip of hot coffee gone down the wrong pipe and turned his attention back to his food. Barely of age or not, no one could accuse Vasily of not being a healthy young lad.
“What boring market are you dragging me to today?” Vasily grumbled, oblivious to his own allure.
“May seem boring to you now,” said Belphagor after he’d stopped coughing and collected himself, “but knowing how to count facets and use them wisely is vital for success at the wingcasting table.”
“I don’t see why I can’t learn it at the wingcasting table.”
Belphagor laughed. “I don’t think I could afford the tuition.”
Vasily gave him an exaggerated sigh as he rose and pulled on a pair of American blue jeans Belphagor had won some months ago in a game in the world of Man before the collapse of the Soviet Union had made them less of a luxury. They fit Vasily’s ass perfectly.
“I’m going to the ‘tualyet’.” Vasily rolled his eyes at the word Belphagor insisted he use in place of shitcan. He pulled on his boots and grabbed the other slice of toast from Belphagor’s plate as he headed for the door.
Belphagor made a swing for him as he dashed past and managed to slap him on the ass. He regretted it immediately as both of them paused in the midst of laughter and grew serious. Belphagor looked away and Vasily stood for a moment longer in the doorway, and then sighed and went out.
When Vasily returned, Belphagor was folding the blankets he slept on and stacking them on the cot. Vasily watched the dark-haired demon for a moment. He wore the sleeves of his black t-shirt rolled up over his well-developed biceps as if the fabric were too tight to contain them, neatly framing tattoos of a naked pinup girl with angels’ wings on one arm and the head of a lion on the other. He'd asked Belphagor a few times what they meant, but had gotten nothing but noncommittal grunts for his trouble.
Belphagor looked up as he approached him, giving him that same guarded look he was all about lately.
Vasily stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “Are you mad at me? Did I do something?”
“Mad at you?” Belphagor’s brow wrinkled, making the metal bar piercing his left eyebrow flash in the thin shaft of sunlight that managed to get through a tear in the dark curtains. “Why in Heaven’s name would I be mad at you?”
“Have you decided you don’t want me here?”
Belphagor set the blankets aside, his face devoid of emotion. “What brought this on?”
It was an evasion, and worse than that, it was a lie. Belphagor knew damn well what had brought it on. Vasily hated being lied to. The heat in Vasily's eyes was immediate, like a fever headache had struck behind them. “You think I’m stupid,” he snapped. “That’s what it is, isn’t it? You think you’re so damn smart and I’m just a stupid suka who doesn’t know anything but sucking khui!”
Belphagor stepped toward him so swiftly that the slap took Vasily by surprise. He stumbled, blinking back tears at the unexpected sting. Belphagor snarled at him like a rabid wolf. “Who taught you that fucking word?”
Vasily's tears evaporated instantly in the fire of outrage. “Who the fuck are you? My schoolmaster? You the only who gets to teach me words? Poshel na khui!”
Belphagor seized him by the arms, his strong, ink-marked hands biting into the flesh, and Vasily felt a stirring of alarm at the look in his eyes. Belphagor was only an airspirit and there was no fire in the dark gaze, but something about it made his balls clench. “I asked you a question.” Belphagor’s voice was even, but the intensity behind the words was ominous.
Vasily wasn’t about to let him know he’d scared him. Defiance seemed like the only reasonable option. “So? What are you going to do, give me another strapping?”
Something glinted in Belphagor’s eyes and he almost smiled, though the dangerous stillness remained. “Do you want another strapping?”
“Fuck you, Belphagor.”
Belphagor swung him around in a smooth motion and slammed Vasily onto his back on the cot, nearly knocking the wind out of him. The older demon climbed over his thighs, still pinning his arms at his sides. “Fuck me?”
Vasily’s heart was pounding with fear. And something else. Something frantic. He jerked against Belphagor’s grip. “Fuck! You!”
Belphagor let go of him and Vasily was too surprised for a moment to move. “Roll over,” said Belphagor, with utter calm.
“On your stomach.” Belphagor climbed off and stood. “Or get out.”
“Why?” The air felt trapped in his lungs, as if he couldn’t breathe out. “What are you going to do?”
“Roll over,” Belphagor repeated. “Or get out.” The dark eyes were unreadable.
Vasily stared up at him a moment longer, trying to catch his breath. He ought to just get up. The tattooed sonofabitch could go fuck himself. He rolled over, the pounding in his chest increasing. Nothing happened. “What are you—?”
“Pull down your pants.”
Vasily shivered. “Why?” His voice had gone very thick, as if he couldn’t quite get it out.
“I’m not going to ask you again.”
Vasily bit his lip and began unbuttoning the jeans. He took his time, one warm, riveted button after the other. Belphagor didn’t make a sound behind him. Vasily lifted his hips and wiggled the fabric down to his thighs and lay breathing shallowly into the blanket, waiting.
“Shorts,” snapped Belphagor.
Vasily’s breath quickened as he slid the boxers over his cock and bared his ass. His cock was so hard it hurt. Again, he waited. From the stillness behind him he thought for a moment Belphagor had somehow slipped out without him knowing, and he turned his head, but Belphagor’s hand was there, swift and firm, turning his face to the blanket. Vasily lay still while the hand moved down his shoulder and back, unable to stifle a gasp as it paused on his bare flesh.
“Damn,” Belphagor whispered, and then struck him with the flat of his palm so dead-on that the retort startled Vasily before the brutal sting of it registered.
Vasily bit the blanket tightly and hissed between his teeth, not wanting to give Belphagor the satisfaction of crying out. But the hand was brushing softly over the throbbing heat of the spot it had struck, barely touching. Vasily squirmed against the blanket as Belphagor’s palm moved and hovered over the other cheek. He could feel the heat in the callused hand as well, radiating from it like Vasily’s element. Vasily’s cock rubbed against the rough blanket as he squirmed, and he groaned at the delicious friction of it.
Belphagor leaned down and whispered at his ear. “What’s the matter, malchik?” There was something in the way the demon said this word, the Russian for “boy,” that made Vasily quiver and ache inexplicably.
“Please,” he gasped, wriggling and pushing into the harsh fabric.
“What do you want?”
“More,” he breathed.
The blazing speed and blunt force of the hand on his bared cheek thrust him forward against the cot and Vasily gave a startled shout as the pent-up heat in his cock shot against his stomach without warning. He moaned and writhed as it shuddered out of him while Belphagor’s rough hand stroked the place he’d struck.
“Sweet boy,” whispered Belphagor. “Was that all it took?”
“I’m sorry,” Vasily gasped into the blanket. “Please. You can fuck me anyway.”
Belphagor chuckled deep in his throat as he straddled Vasily fully clothed. “Oh, can I?” He stretched himself against Vasily’s body and wrapped his arms around his shoulders. “That’s very generous of you.”
He could feel Belphagor’s hardness pressed against him through the fabric of his pants, and he trembled at the thought of being taken by him.
“Not yet,” Belphagor murmured at his ear.
The refusal in the face of the demon’s obvious arousal confounded him; Belphagor had let him stay and yet avoided his touch ever since, sleeping on the floor and keeping his distance. It was maddening.
“Don’t you want me?”
Belphagor’s arms tightened around him. “Oh, yes, malchik,” he whispered.
“Then why? Why won’t you?”
“Because,” said Belphagor, as if his words made perfect sense. “I want you.” Vasily growled beneath him in frustration and Belphagor chuckled again and kissed his neck, sending a shiver down his spine. “I don’t want you to leave me,” Belphagor admitted, resting his cheek against Vasily’s.
“I’m not!” Vasily exclaimed. “I won’t! I swear it!”
Belphagor kissed his cheek. “We’ll see, malchik.” His arms tightened further, hurting him just a bit. “In the meantime, who taught you that word?”
“What word?” Vasily pushed back against him in exasperation. “Khui? What’s the matter with it? It’s just cock!”
“No,” said Belphagor. “The other.” He paused for a moment and then bit out the word as if it soiled his mouth. “Suka.”
Vasily tried to turn in his arms, but Belphagor wouldn’t let him. “I don’t remember.”
“Did you let angels buy you?”
Vasily shrugged. “Maybe. Yes, I suppose. Once or twice.”
“Never again, do you hear me?” There was no arguing with that stony insistence. “Angels are not to touch you, and you are never to say that word again.” Belphagor shook him. “Do you hear me?”
“Yes, I promise. I won’t.”
Belphagor released his hold and brought one hand up to tuck Vasily’s hair behind his ear, letting his fingers linger at his temple. “Khorosho, malchik. Khorosho.”