Notes go here. [Hi, hello, Ferosh here. I definitely published this chapter with “notes go here” as a placeholder because I’m very sleep deprived and clearly not master of proof-reading at the moment. I was going to write about it being my birthday but then I got the chapter out late anyways so no need. Anyways, hope it brings you a laugh!]
“And for a price, I will pretend absolutely nothing.”
— Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen
“It’s a bed,” Transmutation explained, patting it gently as if to demonstrate its safety.
“I know what it is,” Penny snapped, but there was no heat in it. When he asked to make something with her jacket, she hadn’t expected anything to come of it. And now she was standing here shocked and—possibly worst of all—pleased?
“You couldn’t sleep. And because you couldn’t sleep, you couldn’t think, and because you couldn’t think, you couldn’t—”
“I remember,” she said, cutting him off. Her embarrassing breakdown had already been replaying on a loop.
“It’s soft, and the sheets are smooth. You’re hard, but you like soft things.”
“We agreed you wouldn’t read my mind.”
“I didn’t,” he said quickly, arms held out to soothe as if she were a skittish cat, “Your emotions are on your face. Or rather, your thoughts are. Not that there’s a difference; it’s all inside your head.”
“Sort of,” she hedged, trying not to get too annoyed. Was she going to have to explain every basic concept to him? “Emotions and thoughts aren’t really the same thing.”
“I know. I was being imprecise. Some emotions are objects or creatures.”
“O-kay…that’s a whole separate tangent that I’m sure means something to you, and maybe, if we weren’t trapped in a binding spell, I could be assed to ask about it. But we are trapped, and I don’t really have time to get into it because there’s work to do.”
He crossed his arms and stared at her until she began to feel uncomfortable.
“What are you doing?”
“You said there’s work to do,” he answered, “I’m waiting for you to start.”
Brindleton Bay – Somnus’s Realm
“I’ve brought you a gift,” Somnus called from somewhere on the second floor. Miko heard multiple feet shuffling, which was strange because they never had guests.
Shit. “Give me a minute!” she cried, jumping up to find something other than her towel. With a screech, she backed into the wall as Somnus appeared in front of her.
“I know you can walk,” she accused, her cheeks hot. But as Miko said it, she had to work to tamp down a flutter of excitement.
He gazed at her, refusing to hide his interest. Maybe it was age or godhood, but he had a possessive intensity that really worked for her. She’d used her influence to make him less hostile—a girl had to survive—but not for anything else. Somnus was this wild about her all on his own.
He wanted to be tamed, unlike Akira, and to do a whole host of things Miko only ever dreamed about. And he was changing in subtle ways—adapting her penchant for casual clothing, letting his hair grow dark instead of bleaching it.
“If I had known you were waiting for me like this, I would not have gone to such great lengths to bring you a gift,” Somnus said, a playful arch to his brow.
Miko bristled and pushed past him. “I wasn’t waiting for you; I was merely taking a shower. I have plenty of other things to keep me busy!”
But she didn’t, not really. Alice had gone to ground with The Owl, and Omar was off with the other gods licking his wounds. She and Somnus had fallen into a pattern. Exquisite dinners, long talks by the fire, and days spent doing…other things.
She felt free, freer than she ever did with Akira or her aunts.
Somnus grabbed her, pulling her hips flush against his pelvis. “You have bewitched me, Miko, but I have not forgotten. I think it’s high time we got started on our plan.”