Fantastical Page 11

He tasted good, he felt good on me, his body so warm and solid and he could kiss.

Amazing.

He tore his mouth from mine and lifted his head an inch. I opened my eyes to see his glittering with a new light as they blazed into mine and I felt his heavy breath mingling with my own.

Jeez, he was hot and he was even hotter looking turned on.

“Gods,” he murmured with feeling.

He had that right.

“Bloody hell,” he went on.

He had that right too.

His eyes roamed my face and I wished they wouldn’t mainly because I was hoping he’d kiss me again.

He didn’t.

Instead, his eyes turned to stone and he whispered, “Conniver.”

I blinked and my skin went cold.

“Cunning little schemer,” he kept at it and for some reason I suddenly felt like crying.

“Get off me,” I whispered.

“You’ll do anything, won’t you, Cora?” he asked.

“Please,” I said softly, “get off me.”

“You’d given me that, even a hint of it on our wedding night, my love, I would have given you a better house.”

Seeing as the house he gave me belonged in a fairytale, I couldn’t imagine what would be better but I didn’t share that mainly because I was concentrating on my stomach muscles contracting because it felt like he’d punched me in the gut.

Then I shoved at his shoulders, bucked and shrieked, “Get the f**k off me, you ass**le!”

He shifted just enough for me to slide out from under him and gain my feet. I took several hasty steps away then whirled to face him, my mind searching for a stunning set down and finding nothing when I saw him on his side, the hides to his waist, up on a forearm, his magnificent chest on display, his black hair tousled from sleep and his eyes on me.

Damn, he was sexy as all hell and I wished he was ugly as well as a jerk.

“Have I mentioned I hated you this morning?” I asked spitefully.

He grinned.

Grinned!

Jerk!

“Actually, yes,” he answered.

“Good, I don’t want you to forget,” I returned.

“Oh, I won’t forget.”

“Excellent.”

“Though,” he started, shoving the hides aside and moving lithely to his feet, “you don’t want rabbit for your next meal, you pay the price.”

Oh no.

This didn’t sound good.

“What?” I asked.

“You don’t like rabbit,” he reminded me.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like it. It was that, even tasty, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking it was gross because I liked bunnies.

“No,” I said cautiously as he crossed his arms on his chest.

“You don’t want rabbit, love, then you earn something you want.”

This definitely didn’t sound good.

“Perhaps you’ll explain,” I suggested though, truth be told, I didn’t want him to explain.

He did as I suggested. “A kiss for a meal.”

Uh-oh.

“I –”

“You want anything else, like clothes, you’ll need to get creative.”

Uh-oh!

“Noctorno –”

He leaned forward slightly but ominously. “I’m certain you can be creative, can’t you, Cora?”

“I’ve decided I like eating bunny and my nightgown is perfectly fine, thank you,” I snapped, wrapping my arms around my belly protectively.

“You’ll need a bath. You like to bathe, I reckon.”

Oh shit.

I did, indeed, like to bathe. Actually, I was hoping I wasn’t already ripe.

“Noc –”

“You’ve earned breakfast with what you gave me on the hides. It was so good, love, you earned a trip to the river too. Anything else you want, you work for.”

I unwrapped my arms from my belly and planted my hands on my hips, leaning forward slightly myself.

“How much more of a jerk can you be?” I asked.

“Why don’t you see?” he returned.

“Ugh!” I grunted, my arms shooting straight down, my hands in fists, my head going back so I could stare in disgust at the ceiling. Then my chin tipped down sharply and I glared at him. “I hate you!” I yelled.

“You already told me that.”

“Well, I hate you more than I hated you before.”

“I don’t really care.”

“And I hated you a lot before,” I informed him.

“I repeat, I don’t really care.”

“Well, you’ve made that clear,” I snapped.

His head tilted to the side and he grinned.

“Is there something you need to do?” he asked.

“Plot your murder?” I replied.

His grin turned to a smile and it sucked that it was hot.

“Other than that.”

Yes, there was something I needed to do and that something was go to the bathroom. Then bathe (in the river, for God’s sake, yikes!). Then eat.

And I needed him for all those things, I was guessing. I mean, I could do the first and second myself but he had to protect me from vickrants or whatever else was out there while I did it.

I glared at him. He held my glare calmly.

Then I tore my eyes from his and asked myself out loud, “Why did I kiss this jerk? Why? Damn my pride! Damn it to hell!”

“I take it that means you agree to the terms of our continuing relationship,” he remarked and my gaze cut back to him.

“Jerk!”

His eyebrows went up. “Are you saying you don’t?”

“Go to hell!”

He shrugged and then moved to his shirt. “You could, of course, go forth on your own. The vickrants will be hunting you or The Shrew may send toilroys.” He shook his head and I didn’t like the idea of toilroys. Vickrants were bad enough. Furthermore, I didn’t know who The Shrew was but any shrew, I knew, was bad news.

Damn.

He pulled his shirt on as I clipped out, “Fine.”

He turned only his head to me.

“Fine?”

“Fine!” I snapped.

He grinned.

I glared.

He grabbed his boots and tugged them on.

When he straightened, he extended his arm to the hide-covered opening.

“Fancy a bath?”

I growled under my breath and stomped to the hides.

From behind me I heard a manly chuckle.

Seriously, I freaking hated this world!

Chapter Six

Written in the Sky

I had a plan.

It probably wasn’t going to work but at least I had a plan.

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