Title: I Wish I May, I Wish I Might
Fandom: The Hollows
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: Rachel and Ivy have a girl's night out, but things don't exactly go according to plan.
My father always used to tell me to be careful what I wished for because I just might get it. I always used to nod, and meet his eyes very seriously to convey to him that his wisdom had reached me, but I never really understood the warning. I had wished that my Rosewood Syndrome would go away when I was little, and I was glad that it did. I had wished to breach my I.S. contract without getting caught, and I was glad that I had. I had wished for a car, and I was definitely glad that I had gotten it. Wishing had worked out pretty well for me in the past, and I really wished that I hadn't let Jenks and his brood eat that Wishing Fish I had stolen from the Howler's, because I was full of other wishes that I totally would have liked to come true.
As I watched Ivy on the dance floor of Piscary's, long dark hair swinging about her face as she swayed back and forth in time with the music, her hips rolling and gyrating with a sensuous abandon, I felt the first tendrils of understanding for my father's gently whispered words. I didn't know why exactly, but I was getting the feeling that I had bitten off more than I could chew.
Ivy was so tense, so controlled all of the time that I was worried that if she didn't find a way to cut loose and relax that she would snap (and I would get taken out with her). For a while I had been wishing for an idea to come to me, wishing that I could think of some way to help her relax a little. Then, on my platonic non-date with Kisten, I got sugared on vampire pheromones at Piscary's and I realized that getting Ivy sugared would be the perfect way to loosen her up and allow her to relieve some of the tension she carried around with her. And, oh boy had she loosened up.
I focused on the dance floor once more. Ivy had her hands up above her head and was waving them loosely back and forth. Her head was tilted back and a large, almost delirious smile covered her face. Ivy was in love with the world at that moment, and if the crowd of living and undead vampires surrounding her was any indication, the world was in love with Ivy too. Her joy was infectious, and just as the vampires at Piscary's and encouraged and looked out for me the first time I had been sugared, they were supporting and encouraging Ivy's good mood.
Kisten had told me that sugaring hit people according to need. Those who were already happy and content, would barely feel the effects of the concentrated vampire pheromones in the room, but those who were in pain, who were suffering and soul-sick, would be hit like a mack truck being propelled by ley line energy. Therefore, when the vampires in the club, saw someone completely succumb to the effects of sugaring they tried to keep it going for as long as possible knowing that the person really, really needed to feel good, if only for a while. And Ivy … Ivy needed to feel good.
I was just able to make out the sound of my name being called over the beat of the music being pumped into the club. I focused on Ivy and could just make out her lips moving in the dark room. She was calling out to me, and as she smiled blissfully at me a walkway opened up between us, the vampires surrounding her parting like the Red Sea to allow me easy passage to her.
Ivy held out her hand towards me, and immediately I began to walk towards her.
The sugaring wasn't affecting me as much this time as it had the last time I was there. I wasn't quite as depressed and down with the world as I had been that first night, but something was always going on – or maybe just going wrong – in my life, and I was feeling pleasantly light-headed as I made my way towards Ivy.
"Rachel," she breathed out, taking both of my hands in hers as I reached her.
"Ivy," I said, and I could feel a goofy grin spreading across my face as I looked into her shining brown eyes. So beautiful, Ivy was so beautiful. Looking at her – trying to take in that much loveliness at one time – was sometimes painful. The sight of her, the sound of her voice stirred something deep inside of me, something so raw and visceral that it terrified me … most of the time. But I wasn't scared at that moment, holding Ivy's hands, not with vampire pheromones floating through my body and Ivy's warm brown eyes looking down at me. I was stirred, but it was warm and tingling and pleasant this time, and I wished it could feel this way when I looked at her all the time. I wondered if it did feel this way, under the fear.
"Rachel," she said again, her voice taking on a sing-song quality. And then before I was really aware of her moving, I felt myself being enveloped in a full body embrace, the length of Ivy's lithe, perfect body pressing up against me as she pressed her nose into my frizzy red hair and flexed her arms around me, sighing happy as she hugged me.
Ivy and I had hugged before, but the contact had always been tentative. Usually Ivy would stand stiffly within the circle of my arms as I hugged her loosely trying to pretend that her body wasn't about as welcoming as a plank of wood. She was scared to get my scent covering too much of her, and I was … well, I was scared of the same thing. In fact, I felt a nagging kind of fear at the back of my mind as Ivy began to sway us to the music, but the vampire pheromones were doing their job, and while I realized that I probably should have been worried about her being pressed so close for so long, I wasn't worried at all. I had wanted Ivy to relax and be happy, and she was relaxed and happy. It was a good thing.
My father's warning about being careful what I wished for kept running through my mind, but I ignored it. I was feeling to good to be worrying about anything.
"This is nice." Ivy's voice held a wistful quality to it, and I found my eyes closing at the sound of it, allowing the warm honeyed tones to sink into the very depths of me. When she was in a good mood, Ivy's voice was one of the most powerful intoxicants in the world. I would have listened to her read the phone book in moments like that. In fact, I had once.
"What is?" I asked, sounding dazed and happy to my own ears.
"Being so close to you," Ivy said, inhaling again before simply resting her head against mine. "I feel nice," she breathed out. "I've been so scared to get too close to you. There were so many times, when you were hurt or scared, and I wanted to comfort you so much," her voice was like a warm breeze, "and I couldn't. But, I wanted to Rachel. I wanted to hold you."
My arms tightened around Ivy as she spoke, and when she was finished speaking I leaned forward and rested my head on her shoulder. Tears were beginning to pool in my eyes, the wistful sadness in her voice touching something deep inside of me. She was so wonderful to me, so caring and protective. Sometimes it made me uncomfortable how much she seemed to care, the way her tenderness settled in my belly and made it clench made me uncomfortable. But there, on the dance floor, in her arms, I only felt safe … and loved.
"Me too," I said, my lips brushing against the pale flesh of her shoulder as I spoke.
I remembered seeing Ivy broken and bleeding four months before, her lovely dark hair matted with congealed blood as she lay curled in a ball on the front steps of our church. I remembered her sitting, curled in on herself, on the floor of her shower, rivets of blood running towards the drain as she rocked herself back and forth trying to exercise the horrible memories of what had happened to her from her brain. I was her roommate, her partner, her best friend, and I should have leaped into the shower and wrapped my arms around her, hugging her to me as I whispered meaningless but soothing words to her. I wanted to do that, I wanted to hold her and try to make her feel safe. But all I'd been able to do was fetch a towel for her and make hot coca, because I knew that if I had touched her she would have snapped and then both of us would have been broken and bleeding in the shower.
"It's so easy right now," Ivy said, her hand moving to the small of my back so that we were dancing together like lovers. Our movements were slow and completely out of tune with the pulsing music being played, but Ivy didn't seem to care and I knew that I didn't. "I wish it could always be like this."
"We could watch movies together again," I said softly, a smile tugging at my lips as I imagined being able to cuddle up beside her, one blanket covering as both as she watched things explode on screen. "We could spar again," I continued longingly. I missed the sparing session we used to have together. I missed Ivy's wicked grin, and the way we used to toss taunts back and forth. I used to always glare at her when she would mockingly call me 'little witch', but I missed the teasing nickname now. Various other scenes of domestic bliss flitted through my brain, and I was surprised by the fierce longing that accompanied them.
Ivy sighed, and I felt her body tense against mine. My eyes opened in surprise, and when I tilted my head up to look at her beautiful, somewhat Oriental features, I was surprised to see the blank look in her eyes that I so often encountered. She was becoming serious again. Even with all of the vampire pheromones floating around the club, her angst was killing her sugar high.
I reached up and touched her once. The first time I had gotten sugared I had passed out in Kisten's Corvette, and I had been terribly self-conscious about the whole thing and never wanted anyone else to find out. So, of course the first thing he had done was call Ivy and tell her about it. When she questioned me about the speed with which I had become falling down sugared, I had responded defensively, meanly telling her that she could use a good sugaring, only they probably wouldn't let her into the club because she would kill everyone's buzz.
I didn't want my words to come true, and I angled Ivy's face down to look at me.
"What is it?" I asked, hoping that if I could get her to tell me what was suddenly bothering her that she would be able relax again and enjoy the rest of the night.
She looked at me, her eyes conflicted. My beautiful, tortured Ivy was back and it broke my heart. "Tell me," I prompted stroking her cheek, my breath catching when her eyes closed and her tilted her head into my touch.
"We won't be sugared forever," Ivy said sadly, her eyes opening to release a delicate trail of moisture from each of her eyes. "Let's just dance," she continued. But her voice was tighter than I had heard in the past two hours, and her body was now stiff in my arms. She was afraid that answering my question would affect our friendship, and that fear was chasing off all of the pleasant effects the pheromones had been having on her.
"You can tell me," I said, feeling much more sober myself as I spoke. "Nothing you say will scare me off."
Ivy snorted indelicately and averted her eyes from mine, staring at the dancing bodies around us for a moment.
"Everything I say scares you," she murmured finally. "Everything I do scares you. You're so comfortable around everyone else, but I so much as look at you and …" she sighed again, still averting her eyes. "It breaks my heart that you're so afraid of me."
I dropped my hand from her face and placed my head on her shoulder where she couldn't see my face. I wanted to protest, to tell her that I wasn't scared of her. I wanted to tell her that she didn't give me the creeps at least three times a week, but I couldn't. Because I was scared of her sometimes and she did often give me the creeps. I loved her, and needed her, but oh god she could give me the willies sometimes. She was so intense, so focused, just burning, seething, simmering all of the time with barely suppressed emotion and seeing all of that feeling directed at me …
I shuddered against her, and felt her tense even more.
Ivy sighed deeply, and I knew I had just broken her heart again.
"I'm sorry, Ivy," I said pulling back a little. I wanted to see her face when I said it so that she would know that I meant it. I didn't want to be afraid, but I couldn't control all of my body's reactions to her.
"So am I," she said, her weight shifting. The movement was almost imperceptible, but I noticed it and I knew that she was getting ready to pull away from me. I tightened my arms around her, unwilling to release her from the circle of my arms knowing that she would leave the club if I did, and that when I got back to the church I would find her more haunted, and self-loathing than she had been when we left.
"Rachel, let go," she said. Her voice was flat. We could as well have been in the kitchen of the church for all the good the pheromones of the vampires around us were doing. I refused to release her. "I'm not sugared anymore," she said. Her voice was strained, and pained, and I knew that when I looked into her eyes there would be black in them instead of the cinnamon colour they were when she was relatively content.
"No," I said shaking my head, pulling back a little so that I could see her. "Tonight was supposed to help. Not make things worse. I was trying to make you feel better, not make you feel worse," I went on, a note of alarm sounding in my voice. "I hate seeing you so sad," I whispered. "I hate knowing I'm the reason for it."
Ivy smiled darkly at that. "There's a lot of things wrong with me that have nothing to do with you," she murmured, the pain and sorrow in her voice bringing more tears to my eyes.
Needing to do something, anything to try and make that pain go away I wrapped my arms around her again, hugging her fiercely. Ivy went completely still in my arms and her chest stopped moving. I held on for a few more moments, hoping that she would relax. Hoping that I would feel her arms wrap around me again like they had before. Oh god, that I had been so nice. But, she remained still, and when I pulled back I found her features drawn tight and her eyes black as midnight.
"But you went out before we came here," I said, frustration and confusion mingling in my voice. "You can't be hungry," I went on wanting to yell, and stamp my foot and scream at the injustice of it all. Couldn't we have just one night? Couldn't we be able to spend just a few hours together without it going wrong? It wasn't fair. We tried so hard but everything always went against us.
"I'm not hungry," Ivy breathed out drawing my attention to her and away from my angry internal rant. She was still standing stiffly and her eyes were black, but something subtle had changed about her face. "It's not your blood that tests my control," she continued. She looked softer somehow, still intense, but not scary. And the look in her eyes, it was surprisingly tender and … longing.
I gasped and Ivy sighed.
"Please don't say anything," Ivy whispered, squeezing her eyes shut. She sounded almost scared and I wondered why before I remembered that I was me, and she was probably worried that I would say something horribly insensitive to her. "I know," she continued forcing her eyes open with what seemed to be a lot of effect. "You don't want me," the word 'want' came out as a puff of air as if someone had punched her in the gut. "I promise you, I won't try anything."
"I want you," I said clutching at her wrist, sensing that she was seconds away from using her vampire speed to flee from me.
"Not the way I want you," she replied sadly, her eyes turning towards the staircase that led to the lower part of Piscary's and the exit.
"How do you want me?" I asked, the words out of my mouth before I could think better of them. No wonder she had cut me off before.
"You know, Rachel," she responded, the words a low growl. Her heart was on her sleeve and she was tense and defensive, wanting to get away from me before I could trample it under my vampire made boots.
"Tell me," I pressed somewhat breathlessly. My heart was pounding beneath my breast, and my skin felt like it was on fire. The conversation we were having had cut through my sugar rush, but I felt light-headed again, giddy and terrified. My gut was clenching, and I was sure that my hand was beginning to sweat, but I wouldn't back down. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I knew that it was important. I knew that it was necessary.
"What do you want me to say to you?" Ivy asked, her eyes flashing with anger as a touch of steel crept into her gray silk voice.
"I want you to tell me how you feel," I whispered, my voice soft but firm. Ivy's expression was fierce, almost vicious but I wasn't afraid of her. She stared at me for a minute with onyx coloured eyes, and then she seemed to deflate as she realized that I wasn't going to shrink away from her this time.
"I want to kiss you, Rachel," Ivy sighed. "I want to lay my hands on your face and kiss you until you can't breathe, until you can't stand, until you are panting my name and the lords as if we were one in the same. I want to feel your skin, under my fingertips, under my lips. I want to kneel before and hold you pulsing against me. I want to wake up and see you beside me," her voice was rising with fervor and passion as she spoke, and I watched her, transfixed. "I want you to look at me like you're glad I'm here. I want to meet your mom. I want you to call me your partner without adding a paragraph long addendum to it. I want people to have the right idea about us. I want you covered in my scent, and to have it be something beautiful instead of terrifying," she said running out of steam, her shoulders hunching as her words finally came to a halt.
I stared at Ivy, my pulse pounding as she looked down at ground, no doubt wishing that it would shallow her up. She was retreating inside of herself, hating herself, running dozens of horrible scenarios through her head about what my reaction to her revelation would be. She would apologize to me, and she would run. She would avoid me for days, and I would come back to the church and find her stuff packed up in boxes. She had laid her heart on the line, and I wasn't doing anything. I was just standing there, and it would be too much to expect her to stick around now that everything had been laid out in the open. She had laid herself bare to me, and I was just standing there, gaping at her like an idiot, not saying anything and she was going to leave me and it was so stupid because I wanted her to kiss me.
I wanted her to kiss me.
I wanted her to kiss me.
"Kiss me," I said suddenly, my hand tightening around her wrist.
She stared at me for a moment, emotions swirling across her face too quickly for me to categorize them, and then her face was a blank mask once more and she was pulling her hand out of mine and turning her back to me.
"Kiss me," I said reaching out, grasping her hand again just before she moved out of my reach.
Ivy stilled under my hand, and then before I could blink she was in front of me, her hand around my neck, squeezing hard enough to bruise.
"I've already been made a whore under this roof, I won't do the same to you," she hissed at me in a low voice, pain and hurt dominating her tone more than anger. She thought I was trying to appease her, that I was offering myself to her to stop her from leaving. I would have been horribly insulted by the implication if it didn't make my heart ache for her.
I reached out and touched her cheek. She jerked back sharply, surprised by the touch by didn't otherwise move. She was so beautiful, so proud, so incredibly wounded.
"Kiss me," I whispered, my heart beat slowing as I stared into her eyes. Ivy was, as Ivy had been so many times in the past but I was different. Instead of focusing on fear this time, I focused on the longing in Ivy's eyes. Instead of focusing on the fear of her squeezing my neck a little to tightly, I focused on the soft feel of her fingertips against me, and the way her pinky finger resting above my demon scar was beginning to make it tingle. "Kiss me," I repeated, my voice just breathy, and wanting enough that her eyes widened in surprise.
Her hold on my throat loosened.
"You don't mean it," she said, but she sounded uncertain.
"Yes, I do," I whispered, my voice calm with certainty.
"I'll do it," she threatened, the thread of petulance in her tone taking away from the bite of her words. She sounded like a scared little child, and I thought that she must have thrown the most adorable temper tantrums when she was little.
"Good. Do it then," I replied, relaxing even more.
I wanted her too. I really wanted her to. I think I had wanted her to for a while, but had been too scared to admit it to myself, let alone to her. Ivy was a woman, and a vampire, and so very intense and complicated, three things that I had absolutely no experience with when it came to romantic partners. Neither one on its own would have been enough to scare me so thoroughly, but all together, Ivy presented a trinity of otherness to me. The strangeness of looking a delicate, elegant, smooth hands and wanting them on my skin; the concern that in a moment of passion my lover could rip my throat out and kill me in the throes of love; looking into her eyes and seeing so much that I couldn't begin to decipher what she was thinking or seeing so little that I couldn't tell if she was thinking at all. It was so much, it was too much for me to handle.
"You're sugared," she said and I stared at her, wondering at her reluctance. She wanted to kiss me. I could see her desire to kiss me in every tense line of her body. And I wanted to kiss her. I was practically begging her to kiss me, but she wasn't kissing me. Why wasn't she kissing me? "You don't mean it, Rachel. You don't really want it. It's just the … pheromones," she continued, the last word coming out as a harsh growl.
Kisten's voice came to me, "She wants that perfect love but she thinks that she isn't deserving of it." I was offering her what she had wanted for years, but she couldn't let herself believe it. Ivy: my sweet, loyal, beautiful, wonderful, tortured idiot.
"It's not the pheromones," I said firmly knowing that she needed me to explain if she was going to understand and accept what I was saying. I had resisted her for too long, my denials had settled deeply inside of her. She wished, and she waited, but a part of her feared that her efforts were futile. But she was right, I had just needed time … and the time had come.
"Look at me, I'm in control of myself," I said knowing that when my scar was working on me I tended to look high and intoxicated, and that the effects of sugaring worked the same way. "I am glad that you're here. I miss you when you're not around. Sometimes I have to look away from you, because I feel so much that I'm afraid I'll choke to death on it. It's not really you I've been scared of Ivy," I continued realizing the truth of my words as they came to me from some part of me that had been hiding, cowering in the darkness for far too long. "I've been scared of how much I feel for you. I've been terrified that we couldn't possibly survive each other," I went on, images of supernova's and ley line eruptions flashing through my brain. "But I'm not afraid anymore. I want you to kiss me."
I was shaking slightly by the time I finished speaking. Ivy was standing still in front of me, staring at me like well made up log. She wasn't even blinking and suddenly I became extremely aware of the sets of eyeballs watching the two of us with the rapt attention of day time soap viewers.
Ivy's lips were soft against my own, and I gasped at the feel of them. Still only half aware of what was happening, I reached out for her and wrapped my arms around her. I parted my lips to breathe in deeply, which I hadn't been able to do because she had moved so quickly. I had just enough time to think, Ivy's kissing me, and then her tongue was in my mouth, and my head was swimming, and her body was molded against mine and all I could think was 'Mm'.
One of her hands drifted up to cup my face, and the other tightened around my waist, jerking me against her and I moaned into her mouth as she growled softly, and kissed me like she was dying. My hand fisted in her shirt, clutching at her, encouraging her to stay right where she was, but as she sucked on my bottom lip I needed to do something and I ran my hands over her back, and then down over her ass cupping the delicious globes, almost lifting her into my body.
Ivy moaned, her tongue fluttering against mine in the most incredible way and then … she was gone.
"Jesus Christ, Tamwood!"
I blinked, my eyes focusing on Ivy's black orbs. She was looking at me, focused entirely on me as two men held her back eight feet away from me. Her movements were weak and confused, she looked dazed. She was sugared again, but on me.
"Do any of your pheromones actually stay in your body?" one of the men asked grunting as Ivy began to struggle in their hold, her eyes still focused on me the entire time.
I breathed in deeply and my eyes widened in surprise. I realized that there was a rich, cloying smell at the back of my throat. I had only smelt it once before, when I had gone to see Piscary after he attacked Ivy, and I knew that it was vampire pheromones. The air around me with thick with the smell, much denser than it had been both times I was sugared, and with the realization made the core of me throb. They were Ivy's pheromones. Kissing me had induced her to pump them out like they were going out of style. She wanted me so badly, so desperately, and had been waiting for so long that she couldn't help herself.
"Let her go, Sam! The way she's pumping them out, it'll probably be even better than the last time!" a voice rang out from the crowd.
I turned, but I couldn't see make out who had yelled the comment. I shuddered at the implication behind it and turned my attention back to Ivy, to find that she was staring into the distance with an absolutely murderous expression in her dark eyes.
I understood her rage.
One of the truly evil things about Master Vampires was that they could make a victim complicit in their own abuse by manipulating their emotions and forcing them to feel things they didn't want to feel. The last time Piscary's had been coated in Ivy's pheromones it had been because Piscary had attacked her and taken her against her will. He had raped her, manipulating her with his pheromones and his blood, tricking her body into thinking that what he was doing to her felt good. The pheromones the two of them had produced had made it out to the other vampires in the bar, and nearly started a riot. When I had arrived later to make Piscary pay for what he had done, the vampires that were left had been joking about what had happened, impressed with Ivy's sexual prowess under the mistaken belief that what had gone on between her and Piscary had been consensual. To the vampires that had been at Piscary's that night, Ivy had become kind of a Sex Goddess.
Quickly, I moved over to Ivy knowing that if she lost it things would be very, very bad. As Piscary's scion, she was much stronger than an ordinary living-vampire and she could do a lot of damage in a very short period of time. Not to mention one of the only things that were keeping me safe in the club at that time were the pleasure pheromones floating around the room, and if Ivy's anger grew anymore it would set off a wave of fear induced pheromones that would cause a frenzy to begin.
"Ivy," I said softly.
She didn't look at me, she didn't even blink. She had located the person who had yelled out in the crowd, and she was focused on them as if she could rip off their head with her eyes alone.
The happy, relaxed atmosphere in the club began to become tense. A shiver ran through me and I saw a few other vampires back away from where Ivy, the two vampire bodyguards and I were standing. Oh fuck, I thought realizing that she was unconsciously beginning to pull an aura. Normally, she wouldn't be able to affect other vampires, but she was stronger now that she was Piscary's scion, and she would be able to affect the living vampires in the club. If she kept it up, she would definitely begin to make others start sending out pheromones, not to mention the fact that the people in the club were likely to figure out that she was now Piscary's scion – a fact that she desperately wanted to keep hidden.
"Ivy," I said again, tentatively placing my hand on her cheek.
"Ivy," I repeated softly, "calm down."
She turned her head to stare at me. Her eyes were still black, but some sense was returning to them.
"It's okay, baby," I said, and mindful of the two men holding her, pressed myself against her front, embracing her as much as I could. "Please, Ivy. Please."
She was still as granite under against me when I first embraced her, but a few moments later I felt her body relax. There was some rustling of fabric after that, and I knew that the guards had felt her relax and were releasing her. Then, after a moment more of rustling I felt her arms wrap around me, and I sighed.
We stayed wrapped up like that for a few moments as I allowed the tension to drain from my body, and then I looked up at her.
"I'm okay," she said, knowing what I was going to ask. Her eyes were still black, but her voice was calm and I knew that she was alright.
"Maybe we should …" I began to say, however before I could finish suggesting that we go home, the crowd start to shift and murmur again, a small pocket forming before an irate figure burst through it.
"What the hell is going on up here? Who's causing all of this …" Kisten stopped speaking when his eyes landed on Ivy and me. He was silent for a moment, taking in our intimate position and then he sighed. "I should have known," he said glaring at Ivy. "I can't take you anywhere. Either of you," he continued directing his gaze at me. "You're both absolutely incorrigible. Such naughty girls," he went on shaking his head. "I'm going to ban you both if you can't learn to behave yourselves."
"Is that supposed to be a threat?" Ivy asked grinning, her posture relaxing even more as she stared at Kisten.
"Yes, of course Ivy, love. I know how much you love your pizza," he replied shrugging, a little smile on his handsome face. "But I guess you've finally trapped a more delectable treat."
My eyes narrowed at him and I tensed in Ivy's arms. I had been so swept away in my feelings before that I had forgotten to think, I had forgotten to be afraid, but Kisten's food talk was brining my worries to the forefront of my brain once more. There was a reason that I had fought what I was feeling for Ivy before. There was a reason I had tried to keep an emotional distance between us. I seemed to test her control more than any other person, and I was afraid that her love would kill me … or worse leave me a mindless puppet. I had kissed her, but I didn't want to be bitten.
"Ignore him," she whispered, no doubt smelling my sudden fear. "I'm not going to bite you … until you tell me to," she promised, though the last five words she added did not have the calming effect she was after. I knew that Ivy was convinced that one day I would allow her to bite me, that one day I would beg her to bit me and that after that I would never want her to stop. But as of yet, I was unconvinced of that, and her desperation for it was worrying to me. "Believe me. I won't hurt you, Rachel," Ivy continued, her voice was soft, and tender and sincere, and I felt myself relaxing a little. "I'll never take anything from you that you don't want to give me. I swear it."
I covered the arm she had wrapped around my waist with my hand, my tension easing a little more. Her words were enough to calm me for the moment, though I knew we would have to have a serious talk, and soon. I would not push her away, after what we had shared tonight. I couldn't do that, and didn't want to. I wanted to kiss Ivy more, I wanted to feel her arms wrapped around me, and have her whisper softly in my ear. I wanted to see her smile, and I wanted to be the reason she was. But we were going to need some guidelines.
"Nothing but the best for me," Ivy replied loudly enough for Kisten to hear, her tone bored and slightly mocking. She was putting up an unaffected air, but I could feel the tension in her body, and I knew that his teasing was bothering her, if for no other reason than it was bothering me.
"You'll have me over for dinner soon, I'm sure," he replied smirking at me.
I remained silent, confused as ever by their relationship. Kisten seemed more amused by change in things between Ivy and I than jealous, which surprised me and kind of hurt my feelings since we had been 'kind of, sort of, though not really' going out. A little anger would have been nice; something to show that he had actually been interested in me, and not just hunting me for fun. My womanly pride was under attack. Men were supposed to fight for me, not banter with the competition.
I glowered at him, and he winked before lifting his eyes to Ivy behind me. His expression changed subtly when he looked at her, and I felt my irritation with him decrease. There was emotion in his eyes, just not the type I had been expecting to see. It was tenderness. His gaze was soft, and … pleased. Kisten's words about Ivy not thinking that she deserved to be loved came back to me then, I started in Ivy's arms. He knew, I realized. Kisten knew how she felt about me and he was happy for her. When I was resisting her he was more than happy to make a go at me himself, but now that she had me he was willing to back off. He wanted me, but she loved me and he loved her enough not to challenge that.
"You keep looking at her like that, and I'll have you for dinner," Ivy growled in response to Kisten playful retort. Her tone was gruff, but her body remained relaxed and despite the awkwardness of the situation, I knew that she was just teasing.
"Promises, promises," Kisten sighed wistfully. "Eating out … with you, was always so much fun."
Ivy's body moved behind me, her chest shaking and I realized that she was laughing even though no sound came out of her. I looked over at Kisten and the lecherous look he was giving her, and tried very hard not to think about how close to each other they had once been. Ivy had been my girlfriend for about ten minutes, and already I was feeling jealous. I sighed, and shook my head at myself. I was a piece of work.
"I do have an impeccable taste," Ivy drawled, clearly amused. It took me a second to register her use of the word 'an' and when I realized what she was implying, I felt my skin begin to burn. For the love of God, why would she say something like that out loud … in a room full of people?
Kisten smirked and inclined his head as if to say, "Well, done Old Sport, well done," and I hoped that the exchange of sexual banter was over. However, just as hope began to blossom in my chest, Kisten focused his gaze on Ivy once more and smiled. "You know Ivy love," Kisten began, the look in his eyes really making me worry. "Rachel didn't like it when I took her … downtown, on our date."
"I'm sure that's because you didn't know where to go," Ivy responded without hesitation, a note of mocking pity in her voice. "I'm familiar with all the hot spots," Ivy continued and I could hear the smile in her voice. "She'll have a great time with me."
I blushed so deeply that I was surprised my face wasn't emitting an orange glow. They were talking about going down on me in a room full of people, some of whom I was likely to encounter again. My embarrassment was epic, and I really, really wanted them to stop talking. However, when Kisten smirked and opened his mouth to respond, I realized that they could keep it up for a while, and that it was up to me to put an end to things.
"Stop it!" I hollered, lifting my hand to call for silence. "For the love of God, stop it!" I exclaimed, my skin heating up even more in the face of my outburst. "I'm not a chew toy."
"Yet," some voice from the crowd called out, creating a ripple effect of laughter around the club.
I sighed deeply, knowing that I would never find the smartass who muttered it, and that even if I did there was really nothing that I could do them, at least not without my spells handy.
"Ever," I muttered darkly under my breath, the comment directed at Ivy even though I was glaring into the crowd.
"Yes, dear heart," Ivy responded lowly, and I got the distinct feeling that I was being placated.
"I don't appreciate your tone," I muttered darkly, my frown deepening when her chest shook in silent laughter behind me once again.
"Uh oh, sounds like someone's in the Bloodhouse," Kisten chided, giving Ivy a mockingly apologetic look. "Witches," he continued, shrugging helplessly, "so high-maintenance."
"Now wait a minute!" I began. I had taken just about all of abuse I was going to for one night.
"We're leaving," Ivy said to Kisten, cutting me off before I could really get my indignant rant rolling. "There's no need to continue this conversation later," she continued, clearly amused. "I'll win then too, as usual," she drawled. "Head towards the exit, he'll keep talking if we don't move," Ivy whispered in my ear following that, and I shivered at the feel of her warmth breath on me even as I smiled at her comment.
We began to walk towards and the stairs and Kisten.
"You're taking the girl, and my opportunity to dazzle you with witty retorts? That's cold Tamwood, very uncool," Kisten said as we reached him. He didn't sound hurt in the least.
"As cold as my mother's undead hands," Ivy murmured, making him smile. "I'll call you," and with that, the hand she had resting lightly on the small of my back nudged me softly and we continued on our way down the stairs.
To be continued …