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LUSTFULLY EVER AFTER FAIRY TALE EROTIC ROMANCE
Copyright © 2012 Kristina Wright
All right reserved.
Chapter One GRETEL'S LAMENT
He slid his mouth along my throat, over the thrumming flutter of my pulse and to my jaw. At my ear, he paused, his breath full of sweetness and promises of candy as he asked me to follow him upstairs.
It was an offer I'd heard before.
Still, he wore me down with the way he touched my lips with his, broad hands on my hips and a posture that told me he knew how to do this. How to touch and how to kiss. I wondered what else his lips could do.
Another breath against my ear was all it took, and I felt myself nodding, my fingertips seeking out buttons, eager for the drag of a zipper. I longed to grip the width of firm male flesh. And it was easy to be swayed by promises.
On the way upstairs, I scattered my clothes like bread crumbs. I knew full well the dangers of wandering out into the forest of love alone.
Laying me down across his bed, he put his mouth to the center of my collarbones before surrounding the tip of my breast. And then he went lower still. Succumbing to the soft pleasure of that warmth against my flesh, I held my own legs open with my hands. It gave him the freedom to explore.
I'd heard a man could eat a girl alive, and that's exactly what he did. Licking and sucking, stroking lips and teeth and tongue across my apex, he devoured. From the sounds of things, the low moans and quiet words against my flesh, he relished it. In the heat, I burned, and when he pressed his fingers deep inside, I felt myself consumed.
And yet I survived. I lived to kiss my liquid from his lips and to feel his body's sweetness. Intermingled with salt and bitterness, he fed himself into my mouth, and I took everything he chose to give, sucking greedily until he grunted low and deep and flooded me.
I licked it all up. Just like candy.
In the morning, I slipped out from underneath his arm and followed the trail of my own scattered clothing back to safety. Only my apartment felt cold, the shelves all barren. There was nothing there to eat. There was nothing to sustain me.
When he called again a few days later, I was sitting on my counter, nibbling at my fingertips and staring at cobwebs. Over the phone, he asked me, "Will you come?"
On my way to his apartment, I bought a loaf of bread to feed the hunger in my stomach and my heart. It was a good, rich bread. Poppy seed.
Although I had traversed it many times before, the route I took to love that day felt unfamiliar. Squishing bread between my finger and my thumb, I let a lump fall to the ground, and then another. Behind me, the white puffs looked far too small against the sidewalk.
So insubstantial—so impermanent—my tether to the place I'd called my home.
With the last of it deposited, I stuffed the final piece into my mouth and chewed. I knew that I could be alone and that I didn't have to starve.
But I wanted what he offered me.
I knocked, then held my breath as the door swung open, uncertain what precisely I would find. Staring at the tender lines of his face, I searched for warts. I sniffed his breath for a hint at what he'd been eating, and I kept on the lookout for the charred bones of children.
A single girl had to be careful, after all.
He laughed and pulled me forward, tilting my head back to kiss me. I let him. I let him slide his lips along my skin and to my ears and throat. And his promises were still so sweet.
We didn't make it to the bed this time. This time, he stripped me down beside the door, slipping hot fingers through the lips of my pussy before holding them up for me to taste.
"It's so good," he whispered. He kissed my cheek and let me suck on his fingers. "You taste good enough to eat."
Some memory haunted me. Some plea for caution. But in the face of pleasure, I let my safeguards slide away, my breath catching as I asked him, "Then why don't you?"
He sank to his knees, still half-dressed, bare chest against my thighs and warm hands parting me. With one leg over his shoulder, I threw my head back, and my hands moved to his hair to keep him where he was. To pull him closer.
And as I tightened, my whole body soaring, I wondered if this was what I'd been missing. I wondered if what I'd really needed was someone to feed.
He drank down everything.
Still trembling from the brilliance of climax, I melted against the door and pooled across his shoulders, stroking his hair as I laughed and smiled and breathed.
"God, you're beautiful," he told me.
Maybe he was the one feeding me.
Rolling us until I lay beneath him, he asked me if he could, his body hard and naked then and pressing to my thigh. His tip was wet, the whole length of him hot, and I was wanting still. So I told him, yes, please, to take me.
As he sank into my body, I gripped him just as tightly as I dared, all arms and legs around his frame and lips around his breath. He felt so good, hard and male and filling me up, up, up, pushing and making all these sounds inside his chest. I made them, too. I made them when he pulled almost all the way out and pressed back in. When he ground himself against my hips. When a hand snaked in between us and he begged me, Please.
When I shattered around the hot bloom of his release.
And after that, nothing was the same.
First it was one night a week and then two. And then it was more. There were dates and dinners, and I while I never stopped looking for warts or for danger in his choice of what to eat, I let myself enjoy his company. I particularly enjoyed his bed.
Sitting in the middle of it one night, naked and slick, sated from our lovemaking, I waited for him. He came to me with a tray full of cheese and wine and bread. Breaking the loaf, he pressed a piece against my swollen lips. I took it in, but as I did, I remembered how I always used to feed myself. I wondered how the cobwebs in my apartment were doing.
"Come on, love," he said, a wicked smile upon his face. "Eat up, now. You know you'll need your strength."
As I chewed and swallowed, I thought of all the times that he had told me I was beautiful, a low hint of caution tingling in my spine. The feeling only grew as we ate. His hands were at my face so many times, touching and stroking and placing morsels on my tongue. I accepted it all. The food. The affection that was so warm it hurt my heart.
We made love with the lights out, tumbling roughly. Swift strokes in and out, and his fingers in my mouth, my teeth restrained as I came and came and came.
Afterward, he curled himself around my body with a hand against my abdomen. Through the hum of his sleeping breath, I imagined he wanted it to grow.
My earlier uncertainty resurged. With my hand over his, I pulled his arm away from me, slipping out from underneath him to stand beside his bed. I saw my own reflection in the mirror and tried to see if I was fuller in my figure, or if it was just inside my mind.
I felt fuller. Like I was more than I had been.
I remembered that he could just be fattening me up. The way he fed my belly and my heart, I would be ripe for the slaughter. And he had so much power now. In just his words, he had all he needed to make me bleed.
He was still sleeping as I pulled my clothes back on. I didn't say good-bye, and I didn't leave a note.
But when I stepped outside, I found that all the crumbs I'd left were gone. Somehow, in the intervening months, they had gone to seed, and the sidewalks bloomed with the flowers of my previous hesitancy, a brilliant rainbow of poppies. I could have followed them. I knew where they would lead me.
Instead, I picked a small bouquet of blooms and went inside. Most of them I left in a little plastic cup, filled with water to keep them alive. But one I took to bed with me.
For half the night, I trailed its scarlet head across my lover's skin, relearning the shape of him and opening my mind to hoping for more from him.
The next day, I followed the path of poppies to my old apartment, and I packed a box. One by one, I moved my things into his space. I never told him. Still, he knew.
For a week, the poppies sat there on our kitchen table, beautiful and colorful and new. When they started to wilt, I kept them fresh, heading out into the field that now covered the walk and gathering another bundle of blooms. They reminded me that I could always find my way back to my own lonely bed.
And that, in retrospect, the path that I had taken to the one I slept in now was beautiful.
A few days later, I came home from work to find our apartment hot and sweltering, the drywall dripping. As the heat overtook me, I leaned against the wall beside the door.
When I pulled my hand away, it was covered in sticky-sweet.
Stepping forward, I called his name, and he called back. I found him in the kitchen, hovering over the oven. Through the window, I could see the orange lines of flames.
In the corner, the poppies were wilting.
With a smile, he turned toward me. "You're just in time."
All my old uncertainties told me I should flee. His face was still clean, no hints of warts or green, but surely this was enough of a sign.
I wanted to trust him, though. God, but I wanted to.
"Just in time for what?"
And then he threw the oven wide.
I jumped back, my skin raw, like it was blistering. He was bent over, his arms reaching, and in the flames behind his body, I saw my opportunity.
My thoughts screamed, Save yourself!
But I couldn't harm him without harming myself.
A second later, it was all rendered moot as he turned back around. His smile was just as devilish as I had always feared. And it was even more beautiful than that.
But he didn't push me in. He didn't burn me.
Instead, he swung the oven closed, and when I looked again, his arms were full of bread. What I'd mistaken for a leer was just a grin.
"Come on," he said, reaching over to kiss me. "It's cooler in the bedroom." As we walked, he told me how the oven had been malfunctioning, but how he'd persevered.
"Wait," I begged. "You did all this.... You almost roasted yourself because you wanted to feed me?"
"What can I say?" With his eyes soft, his hand on my cheek, he explained, "I love you."
So many times, I'd thought of love as a forest one walked in alone. It was dangerous and frighteningly dark.
How could I have known that it was also warm and bright? That it could smell of bread and poppies.
"Take off your clothes and lie down."
I followed his instructions with brimming eyes, my own assurances of love hanging silent on my lips. He didn't let them spill out. Instead he pressed a bit of crust into my mouth.
I ate it happily.
Spread out on the bed the way he'd asked of me, I lay there and waited for him to join me. Instead, he stood there at the edge, tearing off pieces of bread. "What are you—"
One by one, he laid the pieces on my body. A lump on my shoulder and another on my breast, all of them leading to the very center of me. So tenderly, he tore a final chunk and placed it on my mound. Sitting back, he licked his lips.
Taking care to keep still, I look down at the trail he'd left across my skin, and then I asked, again, "What are you doing?"
His mouth and eyes were shining as he stared down at me, slowly bending down to kiss me. With one fingertip, he traced the bread crumb line from my throat to my heart and to my sex. He followed it with his lips.
At the juncture of my legs, he paused to look up at me.
"I'm making sure I can find my way home."
Excerpted from LUSTFULLY EVER AFTER Copyright © 2012 by Kristina Wright. Excerpted by permission of CLEIS PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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