Exquisite. Deadly. A deceptively beautiful corset trimmed with heartsblood rubies, but fashioned by the vengeful spirit of a dark sorceress, a vixen of the dark forever. Once the black laces tighten around the vulnerable Meggie, so does the grip of a terrible curse. Now trapped in an erotic dance of domination and submission, as both cruel mistress and helpless slave, Meggie must do everything in her power to resist the corset’s hypnotic pull, or she could destroy the only man she ever loved.
Note: Rubies and Black Velvet, is set in the same Pentacles universe as The Flame and the Shadow. Think of it as Book 1.5!
Rubies and Black Velvet
Holdercroft on the Cressy Plains, Palimpsest
When the thunder came again and again, rolling around the tall heads of the mountains, the good folk of Holdercroft village shuddered. "They'm at it again," they said, shaking their heads. But the tavern on the plain was warm and snug, the doors and windows shuttered against the fierce driving rain.
"'Tis the dragon djinn," grunted old Griddle, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
"And the sorceress," whispered his wife. She made the two-handed sign of the Sibling Moons. "Brother and Sister preserve us."
"Seen `er once." Griddle held out his tankard for a refill. "Ridin' a storm cloud, the night the big tree came down, ye remember?"
"Ye were drunk," scoffed his wife.
"Naked as a bebbe she were. All pale and long." Griddle's rheumy eyes took on a faraway look. "Hair down to `er waist, flyin' like whips o' black silk. And when she looked at me, `twas like starin' hell in the eye. So dark, so deep." He buried his long nose in his ale.
"Ye stupid old sot." Griddle's wife poked his shoulder with a bony finger. "Why would a sorceress look at ye?"
Griddle subsided, grumbling into his ale. "She did," he muttered, almost too low to hear. "Like she wanted to chew me up and spit me out. Like she hated me for livin'." Abruptly, he banged his empty jug down on the bar. "Gimme another!"
At evening's end, his wife had to call for the blacksmith's boys to carry him home through the rain on a plank.
Out in the barn behind the Mackie place, John knelt at Meg's feet, grumbling as she toweled his hair. "Give over, Meggie. You're not my bloody mother."
But Meg only laughed, that deep delicious chuckle that never failed to make something inside him flutter. She pulled his head down between her generous breasts and rubbed harder. Giving up, John pushed his nose deep into the warm, fragrant depths of her cleavage and inhaled with tremendous satisfaction.
Meg. His Steady Meggie.
Even at nineteen, he had no doubts. The gods had made Margaret May Mackie just for him. His center, his refuge, when the emotional tempests at home got too much. They wore a man down, his family. Between Ma and Da and his ten brawling siblings, there were times John couldn't think straight unless he held Meggie's hand in his.
He stroked a broad, callused palm over the luscious curve of her rump. The only girl in the Cressy Plains who could match him. Five foot eleven inches in her sturdy bare feet, Meg's cushiony body fitted perfectly against his huge frame, her long legs and smoothly muscled thighs a comfortable cradle for his eager weight.
John fumbled a hand down to rearrange his aching cock. He wasn't embarrassed. With Meg, everything was natural, easy. She knew him, better than he did himself, he thought sometimes. He hadn't got inside her yet, though it was all he'd been able to think about through the long, golden summer, the pink musky flesh between her pale thighs. They'd done just about everything else though. Grinning, he traced the crescent of freckles on the inner curve of one breast with his tongue. Then he blew on the damp, creamy flesh.
Meg yelped and tweaked his ear.
One day. He leaned forward to rub his cheek against the softness of her belly through the fabric of her sensible nightgown. One day, Steady Meggie would swell with his child. They'd make their own family, one without fists and fury and slamming doors. And if they were fortunate, her frail widowed father would live to see his grandchildren, the farm in good hands, before he passed to the gods.
And John would be hers too. For the rest of their lives.
It gave him such pleasure to think of it. His life in her steady, capable hands.
"What do you think they're doing down there?" The sorceress stared broodingly across the gulf of night-dark space at the tiny twinkling lights far below. Her dwelling was older than time, built into the shoulder of the peak, carved of living stone. The chilly wind lifted the tendrils of black hair that brushed her snow white hips, but even naked as she was, she didn't feel the cold.
Huge ebony arms snaked around her waist from behind, the hint of scales under the skin abrading her flesh. "Insects," rumbled the dragon djinn. "Who cares?"
The sorceress smiled without humor, the merest curve of thin red lips. She pressed back against her dragon lover, enjoying the monstrous size of him, towering over her by more than a foot. His massive pointed phallus burned so hot against her cool buttocks, the sensation was just this side of pain. She didn't need to turn to know his reptilian eyes would be flaming with passion, ruby-red.
But in the end, she did turn, because she couldn't help herself. By Shaitan, she hated this strange compulsion, her inability to be done with him, to discard him as she'd done with centuries of lovers. Fifty seasons they'd played together and fifty times she'd tried to extricate herself and failed.
In their hellish dance of lust and blood and pain, she could never be sure who'd triumph in the struggle for dominance. She knew only that she was addicted to the savage beauty of the djinn's body, swaying under the lash, fascinated by his stubborn draconic endurance. Sometimes he was so fierce, she feared for her very life, and her slow ancient blood would run hot and heavy. Then it would be her turn to plead for mercy, cracked and broken and exalted. The razor's edge of peril intoxicated her.
And oh, she loved his magnificent body in either form, man or dragon, black as midnight in the pits of hell. But in general, she preferred something in between, as he was now. The best of both worlds.
Stepping back, the sorceress wrapped long slim fingers around his jutting phallus, though she had no hope of closing her fist. The dragon djinn rumbled his pleasure, his forked tongue flickering over a brutal mouth. His organ writhed in her palm, undulating like a cat, the slitted tip curling back to dab a wet kiss on the back of her hand. A mortal would discover his bodily fluids burned like acid, the sorceress felt only a tingle pleasantly reminiscent of pain.
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© 2009 Denise Rossetti
Rose graphic courtesy of Corbis