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Black Magic Sanction

Black Magic Sanction: Page 99

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Biology was grand. Male witches were not as well endowed as humans, and to make up for it, we girls had a couple of extra muscles that didn't let go right away. I didn't have control over it, actually, and the saying was that the better the sex, the longer it took. Right now, it seemed like it might be a while.

A faint glow showed in the lantern, and Pierce rolled us to our sides to get his weight off me. Stretching, he reached for a fold of blanket, giving me flashes of his anatomy until we were covered. Propping his head up on an elbow, he tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. "I'm in no hurry to mosey off," he said, but he was hiding a wince.

"Oh God!" I said, thoroughly embarrassed now. My body was betraying me. "Pierce, I'm sorry. It's been a few years since I've been with a witch, and I think the hormones are overcompensating." This was utterly mortifying.

He leaned in and gave me a kiss on the forehead. "I'm not of a mind to complain. I should have taught you how to shift your aura sooner. I swan, I lost it when you traced a line through me. I didn't know it made a body feel so all-overish."

All-overish? I blinked when the light went out and he gathered himself to me. "What time do you think it is?" I asked.

"It's dark," was his answer. "Go to sleep."

Our legs were intertwined, and I could feel things loosening up. I didn't think this was quite what Ivy had in mind when she said to be smart. Or maybe it was. Sighing, I tucked my head under his chin and listened to his heartbeat. His arm was over me, and I was warm. I was warm inside and outside. Everything. This was a damn fine hole in the ground.

"Thank you, Pierce," I whispered, and I felt my hair shift when he chuckled.

"I opine you'll feel different when your business partners fill your head with gum-flapping nonsense."

He sounded irate, and I pulled back, trying to see him and failing. "When have what they said ever changed my mind about someone I liked?" He made a soft mmmm of sound, and my fingers drifted down to his chest. "I meant thank you for understanding that this isn't forever."

He gathered me closer, my arms folding between us. "Nothing is forever unless you make it so," he breathed. "I don't want to be alone. I need you, Rachel. And for now, you need me. I pray that I'm not parted from you until you don't need me anymore."

I went up on an elbow again, looking at him. "What do you mean, until I don't need you anymore? You think I'm going to throw you away like an old sock?"

Smiling, he pulled me back down. "You're going to live forever, mistress witch. I want to see you happy while I'm here on earth. Leave it at that."

Eyes wide open, I settled back against him, shifting my back to him now that I'd let go of him and I could. His arm was warm around me, and we spooned, the line that we'd been connected to washed through us again, a gentle flow to warm us both. It was how I'd woken up, but now, everything was different.

Live forever - Newt had said the same thing, andAl. Were they serious?

The cadence of Pierce's breath shifted, and I woke. Eyes flashing open, I searched the dim confines of the hole. It was silent, a soft glow of natural light showing where the ventilation hole was and that the sun was up. Pierce's stubble, too, said it was tomorrow. I was still lying beside him, his arm over me protectively and one of my legs atop the blanket. It had gotten warm. Pierce was awake and listening, and when he made a soft sh-h-h-h of sound, adrenaline shocked through me.

"Morning," he whispered, eyes on the ceiling. "Someone's in the woods."

My breath came fast. Stiffening, I stared at the ceiling, remembering my panic last night and trying to relax. "Trent?" I whispered back, and he shook his head, not moving.

"No dogs or horses. I think it's..."

The hum of dragonfly wings grew from a muffled hesitancy to a full clatter, and Jenks dropped in from the far corner of the ceiling, shedding glittering sparkles to double the light. "Rache! Glad you're... Tink loves a duck!" he said, wings clattering. "It stinks of sex in here. God, woman. I leave you alone for one night, and you're humping the ghost."

I sighed, and Pierce finished sourly, "'s a pixy."

"Jenks, show some class," I said as Pierce sat up.

The pixy flew over the confines of the hole in three seconds flat as he took inventory. "You know me, Rache. I ain't never been to get no schoolin'. I don't have class."

Pierce got to his knees to reach for his clothes. He was still naked, as was I, and seeing him, Jenks shot to the ceiling, gold sparkles falling from him to make a puddle of light. "Oh! God! Naked witch!" Then he hesitated, his altitude slipping. "Hey, dude, I'm sorry about that."

He was laughing, and I frowned, seeing where Jenks was looking.

Pierce snatched his underthings, sitting on the corner of the blanket as he put them on. "He's just tired, little man. He had a busy night."

This was so not how I envisioned my day starting. Wincing, I sat up, blanket held tight to me. I was a mess. "Jenks, in this case, it's truly what you can do that matters."

Jenks was waving his hands at me, hovering backward. "Oh God! Shut up!"

"Then you shut up," I said, eying my clothes, abandoned in the corner. I didn't want to put my leather pants back on, but I didn't want to walk out of here in a blanket either. Stretching, I reached for a sock, feeling its stiffness before dropping it. No way.

Pierce looked at Jenks with a dark expression and, rubbing his thicker stubble, said, "Can we get out of this hole, master pixy?"

Clearly in a good mood, Jenks dropped to alight on the peg holding Pierce's still soggy coat. "Yeah, the woods are clear. Ivy's in lockdown at Cormel's - "

"What?" Suddenly I was a lot more awake.

"She's fine," he soothed, his glow dimming as his wings quit moving. "The coven's on the scout for you, and Rynn won't let her out for her own safety. She is so pissed."

"I can imagine." I glanced at the ceiling as Pierce, now wearing at least his thin shirt and trousers, grabbed his hat and crab-walked to the far end. Good thing I kept the elven porn. I'd never get it back from Rynn Cormel and not get caught. How we were going to run the end of this without Ivy might be tricky. Plans were going to have to change.

With a sifting of earth, Pierce slipped the locking bar out of the trapdoor and opened the hatch, carefully shifting it to the side to keep the moss from being damaged. Sun and noise spilled in, shocking after so long a silent existence. Birds were singing, and a flickering sun made shadows on the earth floor. I had to get out. The fresh air only highlighted how nasty it was down here.

Pierce stood up through the opening, eclipsing the light until he levered himself out and the sun beamed in again, unimpeded.

"Don't worry about it, Rache," Jenks said as I gathered myself to move. "There's something about a hole in the ground that just turns a person into an animal. Every time I got Mattie alone in one of the back tunnels - " He hesitated, then smiled, his head down and his wings still. "Tink's titties, I miss her."

I could only smile sadly with him, but I wished I could give him a hug. I was surprised he was talking about her already. Maybe the pixy psyche was like that, live hard and fast.

Jenks darted out and away as I wrapped myself in the blanket and shuffled to the opening. Standing creakily, I blinked in the sun, relishing the fresh air and being upright. Pierce was under a huge oak, hands on his hips and doing some kind of nineteenth-century exercise that looked stiff and about as effective as toast, though seeing him doing them in his un-derthings had a certain appeal.
The chatter of the unseen river was obvious. Jenks was a hum of noise beside me, and gazing at Pierce, I whispered, "Don't drive him away. He's a nice guy."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Jenks perched on a fern, looking like he belonged, his bright red bandanna catching the sun. "Did he make sparkles sift from you before or after he told you his lies?"

"Sparkles sift from you" was nicer than "porked you," or "boinked you," or "had crazy monkey sex," and I smiled. "After. Not that it's any of your business." Jenks's wings dropped, and I added, "I know he uses black magic. So do 1.1 like him even if he's a pain in the ass, and he makes me feel less evil, okay? I'm not going to be stupid. I know it's not forever." My thoughts flashed to Kisten, and I sobered.

The pixy didn't say anything, just looked sad as Pierce approached, looking rejuvenated and a little less rumpled. He extended a hand to me, and with his help, I scrambled out. My bare feet touched the moss, and it was as if I was reborn, new again with hope.

"Thank you," I whispered, meaning about six dozen things. Thank you for last night, for thinking I'm worth sacrificing for, for holding me when the dogs came, forgiving me hope, for not leaving..

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