tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Tangled Webs of Love Ch. 01

The Tangled Webs of Love Ch. 01


Author's Note:

This is my first story for Lit and I hope you like it. It' started as a stand-alone, then grew into something more. I'm sorry there's no actual sex in this chapter, in many ways this is an introduction, the frame of a much larger story and if some of it just doesn't quite make sense yet, that's okay, all will come clear in time.


Halloween has come to New Orleans, though it hardly brings with it even half of the color and celebration of Mardi Gras, it still fills the streets and bars with costumes and drunkards alike. But Joe's House of Blues is a smokey, local place, not a gaudy tourist attraction, and with that comes a subtler, if not always friendlier air, even on a holiday such as this. Which isn't to say that people aren't in costume, but they're less gaudy and more common from the slutty witch in the corner nursing a bourbon to the man at the end of the bar in the top hat dressed as Baron Samedi himself and on the stage, which sometimes hosts live bands and tonight hosts a drunken karaoke-fest, is a lithe woman in a black unitard and cat ears belting out Waiting on a Hero like a champion.

Amidst the calm bustle of the friendly bar is Sharyn, a girl who both seems to fit and stands out. Leather pants hug narrow hips and bring out the tone of lean muscle in her legs, disappearing into knee-high leather boots with a line of silver buckles up along the outside of each boot. Her torso is covered by a loose puffy shirt of off-white covered over by a black corset with red brocade, doing what is to be done to emphasize her average breasts and give her otherwise boyish form a more feminine set of curves. Where her body lacks natural femininity, her face has a simple beauty to it from gentle features to piercing green eyes and a cascade of red and auburn ringlets that frame her face and fall around her shoulders, shifting naturally as she alternately sips from a glass of bourbon and glances at the door..

The fact that she's waiting for someone is all too obvious and every time the door opens, there's a flare of hope followed by the bitter flash of disappointment when it's not him. As a wizard and an apprentice, she rarely gets to come home to New Orleans and it was years ago that he gave in to his Faerie nature and joined the timeless ranks of his kin in the Autumn Court of the Sidhe. Love transcends many things, but it doesn't stop them from being kept apart. She has her studies and he has his duties to his lord and his Kings. There are only a few days in the year where they might meet and be together for just one night and one of those is his birthday: Halloween.

She's already on her second bourbon, beginning to think that perhaps he's forgotten her. That this year they won't be able to be together. Or worse things, things barely imaginable when you date an immortal, but possible. Even powerful Fae can die under the right circumstances. She dares to allow herself to look at the stage as catwoman is replaced by a man in a superman costume that only goes to show that he is far too thin to be the man of steel and the strains of some rap hip-hop travesty, which only drives Sharyn further into her drink before making a disgusted face, trying so hard not to gag at the choice of music. It's the joys of karaoke right there.

It's then that she hears him, his voice with the smoothness of honey and the richness of the spiced wine of the Autumn Court they both favor coming from right behind her, "It is a shame what they allow people to use to embarrass themselves, isn't it?" It's then that the rich scent of allspice and cinnamon that usually precedes his presence hits her full force and for a moment her knees go weak, the music fading to the background as she turns to find his gorgeous face just there framed, as always, by long hair in the reds, golds, and oranges of autumn along with his piercing amber eyes. "Merrin!"

It came out louder than she intended and a few heads turn to stare as she throws her arms around him, burying her face in his neck and inhaling that deep, heady scent that is uniquely him. And pumpkin pie, but mostly him. The gentle strength of his arms wrapping around her waist draws her attention to his dress and she chuckles softly, "You wore a puffy shirt just for me?"

Puffy indeed. He's in a loose shirt of bright Halloween orange with a loose, open neck that shows off the top of the tree 'tattoo' that covers his whole chest, currently cast in the brilliant tones of autumn, the tiny leaves seeming to blow and shift in an invisible wind. His legs, like hers, are encased in black leather pants so tight they almost seem to be painted on and she can't stop herself from letting her fingers run over the taught material as if she could feel the flesh beneath, though she freezes when he murmurs, his tone sliding into a more severe register, "I did. But you seem to have forgotten to wear a skirt."

Oops. Well, only a small oops. The familiar interplay and complaint brings some color to her cheeks, "I didn't so much forget as decide to really show off my ass tonight. I know you like it when everyone looks but knows they can't touch."

It's true, not only does he enjoy it, but so does she, and many of the eyes in the bar are upon them, people jealous of each in one way or another. After a moment, he concedes with a smile and she adds, "And I have a skirt in my bag for later," before tucking a strand of yellow-orange hair behind one pointed ear, careful to avoid the sensitive flesh there, "What are you dressed as, anyway?"

His smile is slow and languid, finally tilting his head to steal a long, passionate kiss once the vile karaoke is finished, and she melts into it, pressing against him and savoring the extended contact. It's enough to make her forget she even asked the question and they both let out soft sighs as the kiss ends. Then a slow smirk pulls up his lips and he murmurs, "Why, I'm the Halloween Faerie, can't you tell?"

Sharyn smirks and runs her hands over the smooth silk of the shirt, "So I see."

She leans in and takes a deep whiff of that heady, spicy smell that is uniquely him and he gives her a playful shove, a knowing smirk on his lips, "Come on, woman, are you going to inhale me all night or are we going to get signed up for something?"

Sharyn glances at the stage as singers change again. It's the requisite drunken rendition of "Hey Jude" no karaoke session is really complete without and she takes the opportunity to lean back against his firm chest, tipping her head back to look up at him, "I don't know, Mr. Todd, are we ready for another performance so soon?"

His first response is a smooth laugh as he reaches to run a hand over her hair. Sweeney Todd is one of their traditions. Even before they started seeing each other as more than friends all those years ago singing as Todd and Lovitt at karaoke was something they did and now it's become something more: a re-affirmation of their complex feelings for eachother. "Of course, Mrs. Lovitt. It's been a year since they've heard our lovely voices, it seems only fair we give them another performance."

She knows he craves the stage in a way she can only imagine, even since his Choice when he gave up his human side in favor of the Fae and left behind the torn, crazy psyche that came with it. He's always craved the stage, the cheers of his fans. At one time, he was even the lead singer for a band that never quite made it pro, though they should have, and here in New Orleans they were reasonably well know. Well known enough that when the pair move to put their names down, another girl, younger than Sharyn, but with a similar build but long blonde hair, moves to intercept them with a bright smile, her tone pitching up to a fangirl squeal, "Oh my god! You're Merrin from Spaced Outsider, right? You've got to be him!"

Sharyn cuts her off with a crisp, frigid retort, "Before you ask him to sign your tits remember that those need to be washed."

The completely dumbstruck look on the blonde's face makes it entirely worth it even as Sharyn tugs a pad out of one pocket and adds more politely, "This will last longer."

An amused smile flickers on her face while she lets him play rock star, it was a rare enough treat for him while he still walked the streets of the real world day to day, let alone now. One arm stays possessively around his waist, though, lest the girl get the wrong idea and, when the necessary evil of allowing someone else to indulge his ego is over, she tugs him around for a proper kiss. Her long fingers dive into his red, orange, and golden yellow hair while her other hand tugs him tight against her, grinding against the inescapable turgid reminder of how long they've been apart while their tongues dance in a pale imitation of what their bodies will do later.

They part reluctantly, both smiling and both, for a moment, completely wrapped up in each other, his deep amber eyes meeting her piercing green. Sharyn's hand slides free of his hair to gently stroke his cheek, "I love you, rock star."

There's a moment's hesitation. A Fae cannot lie and every time the L-word comes up, he has to for a moment weigh whether or not that uniquely complex human emotion is one he can still express. Then he leans in for a soft, quick kiss that is no less passionate in its brevity, "I love you too."

Sharyn's smile is gentle, her eyes promising darker things once they're somewhere more private, "At least one song before we retire." Her hand hesitates awkwardly before tucking some of his ever-lengthening hair behind his pointed ear and for a moment enjoying nothing so much as his spicy aroma, "If all goes well, next year I'll be able to visit for the Equinox."

As the song playing unnoticed around them ends, he's almost inhumanly still, his eyes still locked on hers, an odd mix of emotions there, flitting between hope and lust as he murmurs, "Don't make a promise you can't keep."

Unlike in previous years, when those words have made her look away, knowing that though she hasn't promised, she can't follow through either, this time she just smiles that small, knowing smile, "I'm almost done with my year as a drudge and there's no reason I can't pass my trials. I'll be home by this time next year. I'll finally-" she hesitates, leaning against him and trying to ignore the next piece that starts up on the stage, "We'll finally have an equinox together again, like our first solstice."

A small shudder passes between them as he tugs her against him, pulling her into an almost painfully tight embrace. It's been more than five years since they've been able to share that most special time in his life, when his Court is at the height of its power, with the man she loves.

Five and a half years and more since he made his Choice, forever putting that rift between them.

Seven years since they first shared eachother's embrace.

Eight years since they first met, since she first came to New Orleans.


The sun is blindingly hot in the sky as Sharyn nears the outskirts of New Orleans. She's been on the road for months and it shows in the weight of the worn backpack on her shoulders, the holes in her jeans, and the wear on the end of the staff she's used to walk when she could no longer run...

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