DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW


She walked away from the snug, stone cottage nestled in the valley. With each step, the weather grew colder. The leaves around her changed from soft greens to vibrant golds, burgundies and oranges, flaming brightly against the painfully blue sky. The sky faded as the dwelling became a tiny dot on the horizon. The blue, that once hurt to look at directly, darkened to a pewter gray as the leaves drifted from the trees, becoming dry and brittle before they even touched the ground.

Her mother was in fine form today. The more she raged, the more quickly the land died.

Persephone sighed. It didn’t change anything. The woman could throw as many tantrums as she liked, but Persephone had had enough. She loved her mother, of course, but she’d been held hostage to the woman’s unfulfilled dreams for too long. Just because Demeter chose to live a miserable, bitter existence didn’t mean she needed to trap her only child within it.

Persephone drew her cloak more tightly around her shoulders as she continued to push forward. The overly sweet, sickly scent of rotting apples filled the air, clinging to everything around her. She wouldn’t be surprised if the sheep, looking for shelter from the buffeting winds, reeked of the decaying fruit.

Dark storm clouds roiled overhead, throwing needle-like raindrops to the earth. Icy wetness seeped through the thin wool wrapping her body, and she shivered beneath the increasingly heavy weight. She could put a stop to this. If she returned home, all would be forgiven as if it had never happened. In fact, her mother would pretend it never had happened then light and warmth would return to the land. But Persephone was tired of being a captive in her own home. She wanted more than to tend the gardens and fruit trees. Her mother might be content to cut herself off from physical contact, but Persephone wasn’t.

She wanted things. Things she couldn’t even name. Dark things. Things that made her body ache with needs she couldn’t describe, let alone explain. Needs that kept her awake at night and distracted during the day. Needs that twisted her dreams into writhing, pulse-pounding visions of equal parts torment and ecstasy. Needs that became more pronounced every time she saw him. Needs that made her cross from the land of the living and into the dead.

Quill’s eyes dropped to her lips. It wasn’t the first time he’d looked at her like that, but it was the first time she’d ever considered doing anything about it.

Tarran stepped up behind her, his chest grazing her back, his body heat wrapping around her like a comforting blanket. He smoothed his palms over her bare shoulders and down her arms while the music became little more than a whisper.

She took a deep breath and slowly expelled it, leaning her head back to rest on Tarran’s chest, keeping her gaze on Quillen. “When you both touch me, it almost vanishes completely.”

Quill’s eyes darkened with desire, and her stomach tightened with trembling anticipation while Tarran’s clever fingers kneaded the tense muscles in her neck and shoulders.

Her fear receded, quickly replaced by need. She wanted their touch. She wanted them to kiss her, stroke her, chase away the otherworldly threat that still lingered on the edges of her consciousness. She didn’t want to think about a world where faeries existed and apparently wanted something from her. She didn’t want to think about fluttery golden creatures who’d prefer it if she were dead. And she certainly didn’t want to think about the fact that it wasn’t right to want two men as much as she did—especially, not at once. She just wanted to feel their hands, mouths and cocks on her body. Skin against skin, making her forget everything else.

The arousal she’d sated earlier thrummed to life again, sliding insistently beneath her skin as she trailed her fingertips over Quill’s sculpted chest. His nipples tightened, creating tight little buds under the soft fabric of his T-shirt. He sucked in a breath through clenched teeth as her nails caught on the sensitive flesh.

“Brontë.” His whisper grazed over her skin like a caress as he slowly lowered his head. His hand slid along her cheek and into her hair as his lips brushed across hers, his touch feather-light.

She lifted her mouth to his, increasing their contact, needing more than a fleeting taste. He fisted his hand in her hair as if he was having trouble holding back. He plunged his tongue into her mouth on a hungry groan and pressed himself to her body, backing her into Tarran’s chest. Pinned between both men, shivers of need coursed through her, growing more intense as she felt the heated insistence of both men’s erections.

Whimpering into Quill’s mouth, she clutched at his shoulders, urging him closer. Tarran stiffened behind her. His hands fell from her shoulders and he began to back away. Worried that he thought she only wanted Quill, she snaked an arm behind her and caught Tarran’s waistband, pulling him close again.

He pressed his hard cock against the cleft of her ass, as he drew her hair back, exposing her neck and shoulder. His hot, unrelenting lips dragged open-mouthed kisses over the curve of her shoulder, up her neck to the tender spot behind her ear. “Do you know what you’re doing, love?”