The Price PaidbyA_Little_Show©
This is a 2013 Halloween Contest entry. Please vote.
I saw him round the bend in the narrow trail. The sensible precaution of an orange windbreaker advertised his presence to me as well as to any other hunters. He appeared handsome, as I expected. His ripped jeans showed the honest wear of hard use. His short blond beard complimented an angular face.
As he noticed me, I greeted him warmly. "I'm glad you came. You're the answer to my prayers."
"Are you hurt?"
I admired the way he assessed the environment and got straight to the point. "In a way. I need your help," I answered batting my eyes. "Come this way."
I didn't doubt he'd follow. Soon, he'd be convinced it was his idea. That's the way it worked.
His eyes traveled the length of my body. It pleased me and generated a brief thrill of anticipation. We had time, so I struck up a conversation while we walked.
"What brings you up the mountain today?" I don't know why I ask questions when I know the answer.
"I'm just taking advantage of the last of the good weather. There'll be ice up here in a few weeks."
"Oh? Do you hike here often?"
"No, I moved into town a few weeks ago for my job. I've tried a different trail each weekend. Ah, aren't you freezing?"
The chill October air bit my skin. "I am."
"Here, take my jacket." He unzipped the windbreaker.
"Thank you." His invested body heat soaked into me the moment my arms descended into the sleeves. I disappeared within as the jacket draped to my knees. Inches of fabric stretched beyond my fingers.
"How are your feet?"
"Oh, I don't mind. I am connected to the mountain when I wriggle my toes in her. We haven't been introduced: I'm Bronwen."
"Dean," he announced. "Where are we going? We're getting pretty far off the trail."
"We're almost there." I scanned the horizon for the moon and judged we still had plenty of time.
"Should I call for help?" he offered.
"I don't think your phone works here."
"How'd you end up here alone?"
I knew what he asked but decided to start from the beginning. "As a foolish young woman, I asked for something I had no right to request. His name was Owen." A tinge of regret colored my words.
When Dean didn't remark further, I filled the silence by continuing, "He was the most handsome man on campus. Of course, he didn't realize I existed. He traveled in the most interesting crowd. I yearned for him."
Dean raised his eyebrows encouraging me.
"I worked up the nerve and asked him out for coffee one night. I don't often drink coffee."
"Did he say yes?"
I nodded. "I lived a dream. The conversation ranged from art to politics and the art of politics. He planned to run for office. The chemistry between us burned hot, but he explained, right then, he needed to focus on his master's thesis. It was an inconvenient time to get involved with anybody. We parted with a single electric kiss that made my knees weak."
"Where is he now?"
My shoulders shrugged with my confession, "I've lost track of him."
"Is he up here somewhere? I'm confused."
"I begged a favor from a powerful friend - no, I can't call her that. She rewards homage and fealty - not friendship."
From the initial absence of reaction, I assumed he doubted my sanity. He motioned for me to continue.
I wondered how much more to say but continued unheeded, "She granted my wish, and Owen came to me."
"Was it everything you expected?"
"I have to say, it exceeded my hopes. I met him on the trail not far from the place you found me. His passion matched my own. From our first embrace, I dreamt we were one spirit in two parts. With him inside me, I felt complete for the first time."
Dean smiled making his eyes crinkle. "I'd give a lot to experience that feeling. How could you lose track of him after that?"
"You mentioned what you'd give - how interesting. There's always a price to pay."
"The price was a year. She demanded one year of service."
"Now you've lost me. I don't understand."
"Lay with me here. I'm shivering. Lend me your warmth. We can share the jacket."
Dean scanned our flat patch of meadow surrounded by ancient oaks casting long shadows from moonlight cresting the horizon. He reclined in that wild place and opened his arms to accept my body pressed against his. I savored Dean's embrace wishing it could last all night.
"My pleasure in Owen's arms prevented thought of consequences. He carried me over the threshold of transcendence many times." I heard my own voice become wistful. "I believed we forged a permanent bond and expected an ecstatic reunion after my year of service."
Dean's hands absentmindedly roamed my back producing chills unrelated to the season.
"When the moment came, Owen vanished. She took him instead of me. I swear, I never suspected the possibility. I pleaded with her to take me instead.'"
"Where did he go?"
"We'll get to that in a bit. I never lost sight of our promised future together. What's a year compared to a lifetime of true love?"
"True love," Dean repeated with reverence.
"I returned for him at the appointed time. I opened myself to accept him, but he didn't come."
"He abandoned you after all that? He couldn't wait a year?"
"It wasn't him. Her fondness for Owen developed over the year until she refused to release him as promised. I shamed her as an oath breaker and feared for my life. I pleaded. She pitied me and relented to my appeal, but she demanded another to fill his place."
"He came back for you?"
"Oh, he came back, but it wasn't the same. I found a husk empty of passion for me. The enchantment failed or faded. I had no hold on him. My heart burst when he left."
"What did you mean, 'another to fill his place'? What's this year of service all about?"
"Of course, I didn't want to do it. Her jab of cruelty struck its mark. A woman loathes accepting a man while longing for another. I obeyed her command out of desperation."
"Who is this woman to command you?"
My hands wrapped around Dean's penis absorbing soothing heat. The intimate contact briefly clarified his perception. His eyes searched for lost blue jeans before settling back on me. The rhythm of our breathing synchronized. His chest rose and fell pressed against my breasts. Our lips met melting his resolve and blurring thought.
"Who was this other man?"
"His name was Wallace. He was kind and gentle, but I never enjoyed him as he deserved."
"So, where is Wallace now?"
"I think he moved abroad to teach."
"You seem to discard your lovers lightly."
I looked in Dean's eyes and wondered what entitled him to judge me harshly?
"You can never know how completely wrong you are," I scolded. My fingernails scraped his bare shoulder. I gripped his cock between my thighs.
"Where is my shirt?"
"We have more important concerns," I distracted him.
His hard body pressed against me. My hips swayed, and he slid with slight friction between my lips, threatening envelopment but stopping just shy. Each subtle movement brought us together. He caressed the back of my thighs reaching around as extension of our clench.
I detected the tension in my new lover rising to match the pressure of firmament opening. The fey folk streamed past frolicking. This was their night. My reward was scant in comparison.
Angry again - as I was every year - I willed my body to separate from Dean long enough to reposition and take his member into my mouth. My mischievous rebellion against the inevitable nevertheless cheered me briefly. His mouth found my sex and his tongue parted my folds. I relished sensations with bittersweet certainty that I didn't deserve such pleasure.
"Thank you," I whispered around his cock without pausing.
I surrendered to my body for a time to savor. He lapped my juices in slow strides, starting beside my clitoris extending to dip into my depths. His nimble tongue darted and swirled. His hands grasped my buttocks pulling me apart for greater access. I ignored consequences. I disregarded the fee. Abandon lead to crashing waves of electricity blinding me even as my animal moan escaped.
In the moment of my surrender, Dean lifted me from his body and rolled to cover me. Oblivious to the celebration around us, he pressed into me - pressure - so tight. There was an instant of relief when his throbbing, swollen tip crossed a threshold, but then it nudged - collided - spread. Each thrust produced a shivering jolt. Sparks flew along my nerves until I tingled from fingertips to scalp.
The blush of a second orgasm descended, making my face burn, and muscles contract. It lasted an eternity. I worried I would die if it continued, yet I lived and lived, until I crashed against a wall of fatigue.
Dean timed shallow invasions to match my ragged breaths. I hovered midway, unable to settle into contentment or climb up to conquest. His muscles tightened like ropes at the breaking point. He approached the fate altering moment.
I suffered a pang of regret. I suffered the same shame every year. "He'll think it was his choice and his own idea," I consoled myself.
I braced myself for it. Thrusting became animalistic. The dancing faeries twirled in incomprehensible delight. Crisp air cracked open. My Queen ascended from her mountain with urgent grace.
Trailing the Queen, a barely recognized man pondered the carnal scene before him. He was naked, of course, and his erection stood high and strong. I remembered him in that moment. He drank Kahlua and played with my breasts. He buried his face in them and nuzzled. His kisses launched tiny darts of delicious passion through me as he worshiped my nipples.
In an instant, Dean slipped away into captive service of the faery Queen. In his place, Kevin, the breast man, surged inside me. My body shuddered in shock absorbing the stark change, and another small wave splashed inside my mind.
As the faeries faded from view and the air settled, the scent of Dean lingered in the bright jacket wrapping me. Was it wrong to pine for Dean while Kevin shrank inside me? I welcomed Kevin's return sincerely. What sort of heartless witch would I be to leave him under the mountain for eternity? I returned for Kevin, and I'd return for Dean.
Kevin lay beside me while I imagined an impossible future, and tears welled in my eyes. I didn't weep for Kevin or for Dean. I wept because I'll never enjoy the true love I tried to steal or any other. That was the final callous dagger. That was her reminder. She owned me.
Who could I love knowing the consequences? She'd take any companion I chose unless I willfully left his predecessor under the mountain. What man loves a woman who would choose that? Even as I imagined my liege accepting a stranger in place of a lover, what worthy man could tolerate the sacrifice of an innocent through the altar of his beloved?
I wept and cuddled Kevin close. I relished his company while it lasted. His service changed him in ways I didn't fathom.