There’s so mushroom in my heart for you

“Did you eat that?” Rory asked, eyes wide in shock.

Cole rubbed at his midsection. “I don’t think it agreed with me, what was it?”

“Why would you eat it?” Rory demanded, voice high with panic. “You don’t just come into someone else’s house and consume a 600-year-old toadstool!”

“Is that what it was?” Cole frowned. “I don’t like mushrooms.”

Rory laughed, slapping a hand over his mouth when it came out unhinged.

“Was it poisonous? Why would you put out a poisonous mushroom for a guest?” Cole asked, sinking onto the couch.

“It was a toadstool, not a mushroom, and you are not a guest!” Rory shouted. “You walked in here asking for a hammer!”

“Oh, yeah,” Cole looked up at him. “Did you find one then?”

“No, I didn’t find a freaking hammer, Cole!” Rory slumped onto the couch beside him in defeat. “My mother is going to kill me. She’s going to kill you. No, she’s going to make me kill you, then make me relive it for the rest of my miserable life.”

Cole’s broad hand rubbed Rory’s back, warm and soothing. “Was it a family heirloom, then? Because those should be tomatoes, not mushrooms.”

Rory laughed despite his misery because he found Cole hopelessly charming, even in dire circumstances.

“It was a toadstool,” he reminded Cole, giving in. “There’s something I should tell you about myself before my mother appears.”

“She going to apparate into your living room?” Cole teased, squeezing his thigh and spreading warmth through Rory’s body.

“Pretty much, she’s the Fey Queen of Winter West,” he said, watching Cole closely.

“Oh,” Cole said, his brows pulled low. “That explains a lot, actually.”

“Like what?” Rory asked, incredulous.

“Well, you can be a royal pain in the ass sometimes,” Cole grinned when Rory rolled his eyes, but his smile slid into something more subdued and private as Rory met his gaze. “And I’ve always thought you were too good to be true.”

Rory’s mouth went dry and he shivered against the heat of Cole’s thigh against his. “I’m true,” he whispered, then cleared his throat. “I mean, I’m real. Just because I’m Fey doesn’t mean I’m not real.”

“Fey royalty,” Cole reminded him with a sad smile. “And further out of my league than I could have imagined.”

“No,” Rory shook his head, in a hurry to explain. “I’m not even important, I swear. I’m like, forty-ninth in line for the throne, I’m nothing.”

Cole cupped his cheek and Rory grew dizzy at the incredible warmth that surged through him. Cole was the only thing that had ever made him feel anything but cold.

“Rory, Rory, you’re… everything,” Cole confessed, the truth in his words purer than the frost of a winter morn.

Rory surged forward, capturing Cole’s lips in a searing kiss. His lips warmed against the soft curve of Cole’s mouth, his tongue an anchor against the tempest of Rory’s need.

“You’ve always been the difficult one,” Rory’s mother sighed, causing them to spring apart.

“Mother,” Rory sputtered, grasping for Cole’s hand and a suitable explanation.

“Save it,” she told him in a bored tone before turning to the horned creature beside her. “It seems this one is unavailable for marriage at this moment; may I offer you something in a lighter shade? A green aura, perhaps? I have a daughter who has quite an affinity for creatures who rut.”

The creature bowed its head in acquiescence, stomping one hoofed foot before disappearing. The Queen looked Cole over with a careful eye before giving Rory a smirk.

“I knew you’d be trouble the moment you were born,” she told him, amused. Rory flushed and ducked his head, but he held tight to Cole’s hand.

“I love him!” Cole blurted, cheeks pink. “If that makes a difference. I love him like mad.”

“You do?” Rory breathed. 

“He does,” the Queen assured him. “But if you plan on keeping him, be sure to train him not to eat things he doesn’t know the origins of. A wrinkly, green, enchanted toadstool, Cole, really?”

Cole shrugged bashfully. “I thought it was one of his fancy vegan concoctions.”

The Queen rolled her eyes, looking so much like Rory Cole had to bite down a startled laugh. “Well, child, I will bless this union because you’re spoiled and incorrigible, but keep him in this realm and away from your siblings or you’ll regret it.”

“Thanks Mom, I will,” Rory promised, eyes dancing with glee. The Queen ruffled his hair with affection before placing her hands on the top of their heads. She muttered a few words Cole didn’t catch, and then with a loud crack, she was gone.

Cole blinked and looked around, his ears ringing. When he looked to Rory, he found a dark blue aura shimmering around him and a shining golden string that trailed from the pinky finger of his left hand to the one on Cole’s right. 

Rory toyed with the string, sending a jolt of desire and elation straight to Cole’ heart. “So about that toadstool…”

You Don’t Need a Library Card to Check Me Out

“There has to be something,” Lucas weedles, tossing another peanut into his mouth.

Hal shakes his head and smiles into his drink. “Why are you so obsessed with this? It’s not like I’m some man of mystery who hides everything.”

“Yes, you are. That’s exactly what you do, you arse. You play your cards so close to your chest I’m surprised they’re not indented into your skin.”

“Oh my god,” Hal laughs. “Have we even met? I am perfectly forthcoming, you’re the one with seven passports and a different cover story for everyone he meets!”

“That’s just good sense,” Lucas waves his hand, sending peanuts flying. “Just give me one guilty pleasure, darling. One tidbit of intimate knowledge about yourself and I’ll let it go.”

“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If I like something, I refuse to feel bad about it.”

Lucas glares in response.

“Fine, maybe you’re my guilty pleasure,” Hal teases, leaning on the bar. Lying with the truth, sadly, always worked.

“I hate you, you know that? You won’t even open up and show me one chapter of your life.”

“I’m an open book, Mr. Lucas, you just have to figure out how to read me.”

Can’t Talk Myself Out of Wanting You

It could be worse, Amelia could have never been here at all. Rue tells herself it’s fine, that she doesn’t need more of Amelia than the woman is willing to give. She can survive on the hours they spend together and not think of them as scraps. As hollow moments when Rue is worth Amelia’s time. Her air. Her mouth and her skin.

She’s tried to move past this; to not spend her free time wanting, waiting for Amelia to come around. To not wonder where, and when, and for how long this time. Next time. The last time.

Rue thinks about telling her. About the stiffness of Amelia’s shoulders and the tightness of her smile when she declines. Or worse, brushes off Rue’s demands. Like they’re nothing more than the post-coital mumblings of a sex-drunk rambler. Like Rue doesn’t crave her with every fibre of her being. Like she doesn’t count the hours, the minutes, the touches, they share. The moments between the tomorrows and the yesterdays.

The world fades when they’re apart. Shaded in grey and tasting of ash, Rue simply existing until Amelia comes back, hunts her down, finds her, biting her neck and pressing her down, down, until Rue can feel her in her bones and between her teeth. But it gets harder every time Amelia walks away.

“I want more,” she confesses against the smoothness of Amelia’s thigh, hiding there because she knows she’s about to ruin everything. “I can’t keep doing this if I can’t have everything. If I can’t have your heart.”

And then Amelia’s pushing her back, and off, and away. Until Rue is spread across the mattress, her breath sharp and heavy in her chest. But Amelia’s still there, kissing her through her smile and whispering, “You already have it.”

One Simple Word

“He was caught with his hands down the poor man’s pants,” Lady Mary whispered. “Naked as a newborn babe, checking the guard for ticks.”

“I heard he’s used that excuse three times already this month,” Lady Anne snickered, her eyes trained on her embroidery.

“Anne, you are too bold!” chastised Princess Catherine. “My cousin simply cares deeply for the wellbeing of his staff. His methods may be questionable, but you can’t argue with the results. Three of his past guards are Captains now, and one of his tutors is a Duke.”

The ladies giggled, their talk soon turning to gossip of a less scandalous nature. After all, it wouldn’t do to be overheard trading rumours about the King.

But tucked into a secret passage, barely four feet away from where the ladies were sat, was the King himself, bent at the knees, his fine britches collecting dust from the floor as he worked his mouth over the throbbing prick of the Captain of his new personal guard.

The guard had two knuckles shoved between his teeth, praying desperately to his God that no one would hear them because it was one thing to be rumoured to have warmed the King’s bed, but something else entirely for there to be proof. And Lord, did the King like to leave proof.

Scratches and bruises, marks sucked deep into pale skin, barely hidden beneath the collar of his uniform, reminding him with every movement of who had touched him last. Who had laid claim to his body and made himself a home there.

There’d been men before him, this the guard knew, but none had been invited to stay. None had made the King beg them to spend the night, to chance everything just to wake up in each other’s arms. None had broken through the King’s icy shell to bask in the warmth and love that lay hidden underneath. None had brought the King to his knees in this very spot, holding his face with the tips of his fingers and his heart in the palm of his hand. None had loved him so madly that it hurt to be apart. And none had ever, ever dared use the King’s Christian name where someone else could hear.

The guard’s hips thrust forward as he came, spilling between the King’s soft, luscious lips, choking out that one simple word.



There’s a moment that separates the waiting and the action. A single fleeting moment between expectation and result where Aaron achieves perfect equilibrium. When he closes his eyes and holds his breath, his skin buzzing and his pulse pounding, as he waits for the motion of James’ hand to transform itself into one perfect shock of impact across Aaron’s skin.

A sharp crack of pain, born from the flat of James’ palm and spreading outwards in a rush of heat and discomfort to settle Aaron. To remind him where he belongs and why. To claim him with finger-shaped bruises at his hips and stripes of red across the curve of his ass.

And when James presses in, curled over Aaron, the misaligned bluntness of his teeth scraping over the knobs of Aaron’s spine, and the unforgiving thickness of his cock forging a path for itself inside him, Aaron sinks into it, pushing back to welcome him, desperate and eager for that exquisite connection. That heated clasp that slots them together with a certainty and rightness that feels too much like fate to ignore.

He gasps into the heavy silence of the room, shivering with delight at the way his name rolls its way around James’ mouth. Choked off and trailing into a groan as if the feeling James is trying to convey is too weighted to push past the clench of his teeth. Like the importance of Aaron is too much for him to describe in words and can only be expressed in a flurry of sharp thrusts and sharper nails.

And later, when the sweat is washed off and the proof of James’ love is hidden away from prying eyes, Aaron will wait, impatient and open, ready for the next perfect moment.