Title: Can You Hear the Horses
Rating: PG-13 to light R
Warning: adult themes, sexual situations; this is total crack and screws around with the Passions timeline, but oh well…another plot bunny that wouldn't leave me alone; goes without saying this is AU; title inspired, as always, from my playlist (see if you can guess who).
Pairing/Characters: Gwen/Ethan, Alistair/Theresa (yuck!), Ethan/Theresa, suggestions of one-sided Fox/Theresa, mentions of Little Ethan and Julian, and the big surprise…Gwen/Fox (I know…I couldn't believe it either. LOL!)
Word Count: 820.
Summary (for chapter): prompts: taste, enemies, sunshine, learn, secret, perfect, grin, dare, hidden, downstairs, quiet your life, violence. It's not perfect, this…thing…between them, but Gwen likes it that way; it feels kind of like happiness, or something close to it.
Their first kiss tastes like secrets, like lies.
Fox's fingers dig into her skin like poison daggers, and his teeth drag across her bottom lip, drawing blood.
There's violence in the way he pushes her into the shadows (covers her mouth again, muffles her indignant scream), but she allows it, follows him into the darkness (down the rabbit hole), returns the favor.
Her thighs ache, her mouth feels bruised, later, as she watches him, watches them, her brown eyes staring over the sparkling rim of her wine glass.
Little Ethan knocks his glass of milk over, and her husband coddles the child while Theresa falls to her knees, helps the maid clean up the mess. Alistair's cold, calculating eyes keep watch, and when the maid is gone, when all evidence of the spill has vanished, he summons his young bride to his side. Theresa stands, her large, fearful doe eyes canvassing the room (the prey looking for escape from the predator), and does as he asks.
The old man's possessive touch on the other woman makes Gwen's skin crawl with revulsion, and she pushes her food around on her plate until Fox's hand strikes out, shackles her wrist (and burns, burns, burns). Their eyes meet, linger (just a fraction too long), and break away.
Ethan eyes them curiously, but the nanny arrives to take Little Ethan away, and the child's tears are enough to lure Ethan from the dinner table and upstairs.
Gwen makes her excuses and follows him; it feels like running away.
Alistair draws his child-bride deeper into the depths of Hell, further from hope, and Gwen feels herself losing Ethan, bit by damning bit as he plays White Knight to the woman that would just as surely burn him with her (dangerous) blazing sun.
She begins to feel like a supporting player in an elaborately orchestrated game, a chess piece moved around at will (one not completely her own) while the sadistic Chess Master contemplates her (his) next move for her, and she decides she doesn't like it, decides she's nobody's pawn.
Their second kiss holds the bold spice of determination, the awakening whispers of unexpected desire, unexpected feeling.
Fox lowers the zipper to her dress, breathes sin into her mouth, as his haunted hands find all her secret places, make her cry out, make her moan. The books fly loose from their shelves as she comes undone, and her eyes widen when the door to the study opens, when approaching footfalls make her shiver, make her gasp.
Julian's mouth curls upward in a ghost of a grin, but he says nothing, merely sips his brandy, allows them their escape.
It's a lesson learned in a house where secrets thrive.
She lets Fox lead her downstairs, to the wine cellar, deep and dark as any dungeon, and listens to the door lock behind them. Her hands find the belt at his waist, and she bites her lip before she kisses him (this third kiss buzzes with anticipation) and tugs, sinking to her knees.
Truths float to the surface, light as feathers caught in a restless current, but her husband's love for another woman no longer has the power to hurt her. Theresa's savior is the only part Ethan knows how to play anymore, and she no longer considers the other woman (girl) her enemy. Theresa's too much a victim of her own devices, and Gwen's had enough (quiet your life, a voice inside her whispers).
She feels a sort of peace in letting go.
Ethan doesn't fight her on the divorce, doesn't even blink an eye at the grounds (Adultery? His? Hers? It doesn't matter anymore). His pen scratches against the paper in the too-quiet room and that's that.
The day Gwen packs up her things, moves out of the Crane Mansion, the sky is blue and cloudless, and the sunshine beams down on her shoulders.
The moving truck crawls back the way it came, and the servants scurry back inside. A curtain falls closed, and Little Ethan's round eyes disappear from view.
Gwen's eyes land on him just before he announces his presence, just before he takes the keys from her shaking hand, and smirks at her slyly.
His brown eyes twinkle with intent, with daring, as he opens the passenger door of her car and waits, just waits.
"Where to?" Fox asks, and Gwen can only shake her head, the beginnings of a smile flirting with her lips (looks like he's made his choice), her blond hair escaping her ponytail in tendrils.
"Does it matter?" she finally asks, grins back at him (It's not perfect, this…thing…between them, but Gwen likes it that way; it feels kind of like happiness, or something close to it), waits for his answer.
Fox kisses her instead.
Gwen closes her eyes, hums, savors the moment.
Their first real kiss tastes like potential, tastes like promise, tastes like tomorrow.
I know, I know.
This is a totally crack-tastic pairing. :)
I hope you enjoyed the story anyway.
Feedback is love!
Thanks so much for reading!