impertinences: (Default)
you're too young & eager to love ([personal profile] impertinences) wrote on September 23rd, 2016 at 08:29 pm
My Muffinpants posted a piece, so naturally I became inspired, and this happened.

Oldies but goodies! A few snippets because I’m too lazy to write anything legitimate at the moment.

~



Chason has the hands of a miner. They are rough with thick callouses blanketing his palms. There are scars on his knuckles, old wounds with even older histories.

Ita presses her thin mouth to them in the dry desert night. She has a tongue that blisters despite her silver softness, and Chason instinctively bends his hand away from the heat.

She looks hurt.

But then, she always looks hurt.

“What are they from?” Her questions are never loaded, her mouth too unaccustomed to saying what she actually wants. Sometimes Chason swears she has trouble even shaping certain words.

Words like love, like separation, like future.

He forces the uncomfortable laugh back down his throat and pushes a hand into her pale hair, an apology of sorts (he does that a lot: laughs at nothing, at everything, hoping to hear the response of his brothers and sisters on the horizon). He curls his fingers, and he can feel the sand under his nails, the tangle of knots that cause his hand to stick. Both, he knows, are caused by their failing journey, and he feels the responsibility, the guilt, settle over him like a shroud.

She’s a delicate thing, long-limbed and snow-skinned. She is blistering beneath the heat of the sun and shivering during the long hours of the night. She is starving, he thinks, her ribs like sharp blades against her stomach when he presses her to him.

But she is his.

In this form or another, she is his now.




~


She likes her tea scalding hot with a heavy dose of lemon and just a hint of honey. Once, Ita brought her a gold-rimmed cup syrup-thick with honey, and Augusta had thrown it at her feet after one sip. The porcelain had shattered; the tea had burned; Ita had caught her voice in her throat.

Augusta had said nothing, and Radomir had made her a new cup, the saucer as fragile as a toy boat between his large hands.

When he placed it on the table beside her folders and official documents, she had touched his wrist in passing, a sweep of her fingers in gratitude. She’d sucked the end of a fountain pen into her mouth, her teeth white and sharp against the metal, and caught his eye. There was something amused there, something dark in her red glance, something he appreciated and understood.

Ita had seen it, and she had shivered.

Mated, she’d thought, bonded, paired.

The idea had unsettled her, and the scent of lemons still makes her skin crawl.




~

Eda is a waif, but she is horribly pretty. Too pretty, Sunniva sometimes thinks. She has all the beauty of a desert flower but none of the poison. Sunniva worries she might have bet her money on the wrong horse, so to speak, that her investment is not as promising as it once was. She could be losing.

Financially, and maybe something else.

Palmer shrugs, his movements slow from plum wine. “She’s a hell of a survivor though, that one. Better than a fucking flower.”

“Some cacti can survive two years without a single drop of water.”

“I thought we were talking about flowers? Who said anything about cacti?”

Sunniva rolls her eyes, her mouth a straight line, but there’s a slope to her shoulders that reveals her amusement. She finishes counting the last of the day’s coin and refills Palmer’s glass from the pitcher between them. It’s been a long time since she’s poured for charm’s sake, but there’s still a practiced, natural elegance to the way she holds out her arm, to the flash of her white wrist, and the curve of her fingers.

Palmer catches her hand.

There’s a hungry look about him, like a dog scavenging for bones, that makes her want to push her nails into his face.

But then he laughs, his off-kilter, off-balanced, rumbling sound, and strokes her the soft center of her palm with his dangerous fingers. “You could be a flower, you know. You’re pretty enough.”

“A flower?” she deadpans. “Tell me, does this type of approach work with all your women, or just the particularly vapid ones?”

“Eda likes flowers. She would be a Canterbury bell. Some dainty purple thing. But you, you would be …” Palmer sucks the air into his mouth in thought, still stroking her palm, circling his fingers closer to the thin veins near the bump of bone in her wrist.

He is silent for so long that Sunniva finds herself uncomfortable, unfamiliar with her embarrassment. “What?”

“A prickly pear.”

She snatches her hand back to the protective shield of her body, scoffing. “Charming. Very charming.”

Palmer laughs again and drinks from his refilled glass. “As ever, my dear, as ever.”

He flicks a coin at her playfully, but later he will fall asleep thinking of the desert claw and its copper blossoms.
 
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