So...I have been known to quietly point out things I find ridiculous to friends. Over emails and texts and private messages because some of the things I find ridiculous others don't so why risk upsetting people? I mean, there are topics I will happily say, "Fuck you if you're upset" about, but they are serious topics. Fuck you, politicians who think you can control my body, for example.
I was talking to a dear, amazing, awesome, inspiring friend the other day. Who is, btw, an amazing writer and you should check out his MG book The Fog Diver. Sequel to arrive next month. So, now's a great time to read the first!
Back to the story. We were discussing the mixing of tropes in genre fiction and he made a ridiculous comment that I instantly loved. Three thousand words later and I am ready to share.
All thanks to the beloved husband for the name. And many, many, many thanks to Joel for being a great friend.
Dirk glared at the vehicle in front of him as he brushed blonde locks from his eyes. Why the fuck did these people drive so slow? His knees tightened and he nudged the horsepower higher. As he overtook the vehicle in front of him the rest of the Stallions followed. Once more he brushed blonde hair from his eyes. He was going to have words with Sasha. He'd done the braids too loose.
From the car he heard, "Look, mommy! A unicorn!"
An adult voice, nervous and high pitched, said, "Don't look, Jane."
It was hard to tell, but he would have sworn he heard the doors lock.
Fuck yea, they better lock the doors. Satan's Stallions were back in town. The boys and their mounts would need to wash a lot of road dust from their mouths tonight. They were here for the football game tomorrow, but tonight was open to a hunt. Lots of maidens in town.
The clubhouse was on the northern edge of town and no one slowed down as they galloped through the dusty streets. By now the residents knew better than to mess with Satan’s Stallions and the out-of-towners would learn quickly. Already Dirk say a large number of people fielding the blue and white of the visiting team. Rough plans began to form in his head and his wild grin alarmed more than one person who caught sight of it.
“I know, Dirk. I know. Sorry. I’ll be sure Sabina’s mane is perfect for tomorrow. Sorry. Those damned semis wouldn’t ease up on us.”
Dirk slapped his fellow club member on the back. Sasha was a good man who knew better than to let this happen again. Not after what happened to Lou, the last man who had the job of dresser. Lou, the poor bastard. He still lurked in town, watched them ride by, and only glared at Dirk’s back. Because he knew better.
A heavy tread warned Dirk of Ollie’s arrival. The man weighed less than 150, but had the walk of a man three times his size. He also rode the second biggest mount in the club.
“Pick said the new sheriff had been snooping around,” Ollie warned. Pick was the stablemaster and was too old to ride any longer. Dirk valued him more than the rest of the club.
“Well, fuck. What’s the new sheriff want?” A bribe, most likely. They all did. A few dollars and they ignored the club so long as the Stallions kept the local mayhem to a minimum. Which Dirk was happy to do. No sense shitting where you eat, his dad has always said.
“Dunno. Said she’d be back today to talk to you.”
Dirk swore, exhaustively, and left Sabina to Sasha. Slow steps took him inside the clubhouse and he retreated to his office to see how much cash they had on hand. Enough, he decided, to handle the sheriff. She’d not ask for more than ten or so thousand. They never asked for a lot. Not at first.
A few beers later, there was a knock and he didn’t bother standing as Pick popped his head in to say the sheriff was here. Knowing how shy some local law was to deal with the club Dirk had her brought to him. Besides, he liked to size a new person up on his territory. One hand reached into the cooler by his stained desk to draw out another beer. By the time the new sheriff arrived it was half gone.
Holy fucks. Dirk forced himself to stay relaxed and took another swig from his bottle. This woman was nothing like the last sheriff, a battleax of a woman who’d held her own against three club members one drunken night. The door closed, but Dirk didn’t notice. He was too busy letting his green eyes rake over the body of the newest sheriff. Her blonde hair was cut short and framed her face in loose waves while her brown eyes took in him and the room with only faint interest. Which was fine. Dirk didn’t need to fend off another woman. Not after El Paso.
The brown uniform she wore somehow fit her. Unlike most law enforcement who looked like sacks of shit in their clothes. Dirk enjoyed the swell of her breasts and the curve of her hips as she stood still and suffered his gaze. He knew she was annoyed because there was a smirk on her face when he looked at it again. A smirk that only made her full red lips more kissable looking. Fuck. He should hustle her out quickly.
“Sheriff.” He nodded after his greeting.
“Name’s Dirk.” No one called him Ted. Ever. Ted Jones hadn’t been around since college. Dirk tried to hide his name as well as his engineering degree. Hardly respectable.
“Mr. Jones.” The smirk was back and Dirk wanted to kiss her until it vanished. There were a lot of things that could vanish. Her uniform, for example, would look better off her. Fuck.
“Look, just tell me how much you want and we’ll get it settled. Same as we had with Sheriff Kazan.”
The new sheriff grinned. “My aunt ran things differently than me. I’m here to put you on notice.” All thoughts of the new sheriff naked vanished. “I don’t like you in my county, let alone in the town where I live. You may as well pack your things now, Mr. Jones. Because you’ll be out of here before my first term is up.”
Dirk’s boots hit the floor with a thud and he stood. All six foot five inches looked down at the sheriff. Although, he noted, not that far down. She was close to six feet herself. Must run in the family. Most people, even those openly wearing a gun on their hip, backed down when he glared. The sheriff, had she given her name? Well, she stared right back. It was a challenge and he wouldn’t back down.
Also, it only made him want to fuck her more and he had to get that under control.
“Be seeing you around, Mr. Jones.” Dirk had no reply. Even though her back was to him as she left he knew she smirked. Damn her.
Slowly, and three times, he counted to a hundred in his head. Only when he was sure he wouldn’t be embarrassing himself did Dirk leave his office. Some time spent with Sabina would fix him up. He headed for the stables, but Sabina wasn’t in his stall. Great. Could the day get any worse? Rather than look for him, Dirk returned to his office and the cold beers in the cooler. Fuck everything, man.
A fight was brewing. Dirk felt it in his bones as sure as he felt the six beers he’d consumed since arriving at the bar several hours ago. Sabina had shown up, eventually, and he’d headed to The Bad Penny with the rest of the club. It wasn’t their bar, but the owner was a friend. Which meant, for one thing, they could run a tab and settle up days later. Always best to not carry a lot of cash when on a drunk and disorderly.
The sheriff’s words picked at the edges of his mind, but Dirk was intent on drowning them in hops tonight. Because, fuck her, that’s why. How dare she come in and give notice like she did? Who the hell did she think she is around here? And then Sabina. His steed had been prissy tonight. Prancing out of reach and eyeing him down the length of his equine nose. Dirk had hidden the scratch on his palm left by Sabina’s horn. No one needed to know the unicorn was annoyed with him. It might give someone ideas.
Dirk snorted and banged an empty bottle on the scarred bar. Sandy lifted her head from flirting with one of the new club members and nodded her head. A few minutes later she dropped off a fresh bottle and told him, “Compliments of the lady in the corner.”
Well, that was nice. Things were looking up. All he needed to do was flirt with another woman and the damned sheriff would disappear from his head. So, he stood slowly and sauntered to the corner. No sense asking which. A Stallion always knew where the maiden waited.
In the dim light he thought he recognized her, but too many beers and not enough wattage made it impossible to tell. Dirk sat down in the booth she occupied alone and slid around to be right beside her. The women loved being close. A shame so few realized that was as close as they’d be allowed to get to him or any other Stallion.
“Took you long enough.” Her voice was husky, warm from whatever she was drinking, and like the rest of her, demanded attention. So, Dirk resolved to give it to her. Again, he thought he knew her, but couldn’t be sure. She wore a tight red tank top over a black leather skirt that covered very little when she sat. He took his time looking her over, enjoyed the length of bare leg he could make out until it disappeared under the table. “Eyes up here,” she said with a laugh.
Dirk had no problem lifting his eyes from her legs. Not with the peek of skin on her stomach where skirt and top didn’t meet. He thought he saw a tattoo, but couldn’t be sure.
“Keep going.” She teased him and for the first time he understood what had happened to Lou. Despite the seven beers he’d drank his body was ready for something else. Fingers cupped his chin and Dirk let her lift his head. Under her top, he was sure, she wore nothing, and his palms itched to find out. When she released him he stared at full, ruby lips. Lips he was sure he knew.
“No more touching.” Only, it wasn’t a rough command like he’d give to any other woman who dared touch the leader of the Satan’s Stallions. Dirk was appalled to think he heard a question mark at the end. Fuck, he should get up and leave. Right now. Go find Sabina and ride the highway until his head was clear.
And he was going to. Truly. Then her hand dropped down into his lap and she cupped him through is jeans. Outside, Sabina screamed and Dirk barely heard. His hooves were trashing on the pavement and Dirk had only a moment to spare for the unicorn’s comfort.
“All the touching you want,” those tempting lips whispered in his ear. “Isn’t it about time?”
No. It wasn’t as if he’d never been tempted. Every time Dirk had managed a no. Usually with some choice words around it. This time the word dried up on his tongue and he couldn’t pull it from his throat. She was still touching him, palm caressing the hard ridge she’d created between his legs. He would say no. In a minute.
Distantly, he was aware of a bottle smashing against a table. Ah, the fight he’d been sure would happen. There was something he could join in. A few thrown punches and he would be good as new. Only, her hand squeezed and his head fell back as he moaned. All at once he had thoughts and visions in his head he’d never had before. Like, how with her skirt so short he could easily haul her into his lap and take her. No one was likely to notice if the fight was truly going. What would it be like?
Dirk’s lips turned up into a smirk. Who was she to command the leader of Satan’s Stallions? Who did she think she was anyway? He brushed her hand from his body and turned to give her an earful.
That was not what he’d meant to say.
Her hand touched him again, but this time it was to take him by the arm. She hauled him from the booth and out the back door. Dirk didn’t resist.
“I know a place.”
Dirk only nodded. Once more he was almost aware of Sabina’s anger, but he brushed it aside as he climbed into a truck he supposed belonged to the hot blonde. They left the bar behind and he slid closer to the blonde driving the truck.
“What’s your name?”
Dirk wound a lock of short blonde hair around his finger and stared at it. In the moonlight it looked almost silver and he leaned in closer to breathe in the scent of it. She smelled like no perfume or shampoo he’d ever known. One of her hands left the steering wheel and took his other hand to bring it down and rest on her thigh. High up on her thigh. Dirk breathed in her scent as he stroked his fingertips over her smooth skin. Fuck. This wasn’t a good idea, but he couldn’t remember why. Not now. Not with her so close and…and soft.
“A few minutes more.” Damiana glanced at him and her brown eyes promised something. He wasn’t quite sure what, but was onboard. She said something else, but he couldn’t make out the words because there was so much soft, welcoming skin to explore and she didn’t seem to mind at all.
Dimly, he was aware they pulled off the highway. A few miles, maybe, before they pulled off the dirt road into a large pasture. Damiana turned off the truck and twisted to face him. As he watched, she pulled off her top and tossed it behind him.
“I can’t do this.” Finally, reason restored! Dirk pulled away from her as if even the near vicinity of her body would ruin him.
“No?” Damiana asked. The truck door opened she slid out. The moonlight, had the moon been full before, caressed her.
Dirk swore. Because no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t look away. Not as her hands slid down her body to undo her skirt. Helpless to look away, he watched her remove what little she wore until she stood naked in the night air.
“Are you sure?”
He wasn’t. Dirk didn’t last another minute and he stumbled from the cab of the truck to reach for her. Damiana laughed as he lunged for her and he let her draw him down into the grass.
The sun on his bare ass woke Dirk up the next morning. His head throbbed which was odd as he’d only had a few beers. Not only his head. It was like his entire body thrummed with something unremembered.
Until he remembered.
Dirk began to shake and he clutched at the ground as if he might be thrown off into the sky were he to let go. The night came back to him and he wanted to scream, but he was too dry to do anything.
“Here. I always keep a few bottles of water in the truck.”
“You bitch.” Well, he managed those words.
“Now, now, Ted. I assure you, last night was an excellent time.”
Dirk, not Ted, sat up and stared at the sheriff. The parts of him still remembering last night took heed of the fact she was as naked as him as she held out the bottle of water. Without a word, he snatched it from her hand and drained it in several long gulps.
“This doesn’t change anything.”
“Keep telling yourself that, Ted. We both know it changes everything.” She looked too smug, too satisfied, and he wanted to punch her, but didn’t. Because she was right and it was all over.
Ted deflated and his head dropped into his hands. Sobs escaped, his fingers unable to hold them in, and he screamed mournfully as the weight of the morning’s truth settled atop him. Sabina was gone. The Stallions would already have removed him as president of the club. His life was over.
“Don’t be melodramatic, Ted.” Damiana knelt down in front of him and pulled his hands from his face. “It’s not all over. Fuck, I’d think you’d be happy. No more enforced celibacy. And for what? To ride some pansy unicorn?”
“Don’t you fucking dare.”
The rest of the words died as a screech from the sky set his hair on edge. Ted didn’t look up, but he heard heavy wings and then the sound of something large landing nearby. Damiana didn’t even glance away so she must have expected it.
“There’s so much more in life than being some badass virgin, Ted.” Her hands settled on his thighs as she leaned into him. “Like me.” She kissed him and Ted didn’t move. Not until her entire body wiggled closer and bore him down to the ground. “And I did warn you. I told you I was going to bring you down.”
Not that he was down now. Which she was quite aware of since she straddled him. Ted didn’t bother pointing it out because he was distracted by the warm scent of her. Not to mention the way her body was, fuck, was this what he’d been missing the last twenty-five years?
“Besides,” she whispered against his lips, “Who would want to ride some punk unicorn when they could fly on a griffon?” That must have been what landed nearby. “Only, later, Ted. When I’m done with you.”
He had no objections, but found himself too busy enjoying the now to anticipate the future. Even if the future involved flying. Fuck the Stallions. They had no idea what they were missing.