16 – Nonsuch

Curt exhaled after the long shift, mentally counted his limbs, then looked over to Stef to make sure she hadn’t lost or gained anything. Normal. As normal as she got anyway.

‘That is so weird,’ she said as she walked around the edge of the blue-painted shifting circle, arms out like she was on a balance beam.

‘What?’

‘Shifting down here, or up from here, always feels like I’m getting hit with server lag. I don’t want to know what happens if I get an IRL disconnect.’ She hopped out of the circle, a strange, but proud look on her face.

‘You broke rule one,’ he said.

She tried to look innocent. ‘Which one was that?’

‘Always be considerate to your partner?’ he indicated to his singed suit. ‘We’re headed deep into fairyland, I need a couple of minutes to prep. We’re going to be gone for hours out of a system area, some slight forethought is needed.’

‘Like?’

He fought a sigh. Baby steps. Everything was baby steps. He’d checked, and her profile matched her often claimed cry of genius – but that was on paper, abject genius was of very little use in the real world, if she couldn’t focus for two minutes. She was getting better, but she was still so…tangential to what was going on in the real world, interacting with it when it suited her, not glued to it full-time like everyone else.

He caught her gaze and held it, the eye contact focusing her for a moment. ‘Are you disarmed?

She nodded. ‘I set my Marches shift to convert my gun into a low-wattage taser – which, yes, is street legal without a license-‘

It was a smart move. ‘Good thinking. Are you working on your licence application?’

She stared at the ground. ‘I can’t apply yet.’

‘What?’

‘Citizens have to be sixteen, non-citizens have to be eighteen, unless your race doesn’t live that long, then it’s a case-by-case basis, agents have to be at least five, and I should be grateful, because they only lowered that last year down from ten.’

‘Sorry, newbie.’

‘It’s ok, I don’t usually come down here with the intention of getting into fights.’

He made a macro requirement, and a shoulder bag appeared in his hand, and he crouched to open it and check it. ‘Haven’t been down here on a mission, so I could only plan ahead so much. Water, map, required currency, all my usual stuff, and trust me, having a bag is always useful.’

She smiled. ‘Yeah, but you’ve got one, so you can carry all of our stuff.’ She handed him down the IV bag of blue. ‘Do you mind?’

‘Remind me again which one of us is the agent.’ He said as he gently shoved the blue into the bag before zipping the main pocket, careful to keep it away from anything that could pierce the plastic and leave his things covered in liquid agent.

She stuck her tongue out at him and headed for the door. ‘Come on,’ she said, ‘we don’t’ have all day.’

He let her walk towards the door, and sighed before jogging to catch up. ‘You’ve got to follow me,’ he said, ’you don’t know which way you’re going.’

‘I-‘

‘Point in the direction of the capital, you’ve got a one in four chance of getting it right.’

She pointed south.

‘Wrong.’

She pointed west.

‘Wrong.’

She pointed south.

‘Wrong;’

She pointed north.

‘Wrong.’

‘How can all four be wrong?’

He smirked. ‘Because you pointed in the same direction twice.’

‘I did?’

‘Bus is this way, newbie.’ He pointed an arm east. ‘And it’s that way.’

‘How do you know? How can you memorise this stuff?’

‘This one’s actually easy,’ he said, ‘there’s a massive interchange this way, the Marches Terminus, half of the buses that go from there will at least get us going in the right direction.’

‘I’m no good with public transport, least not here. I mean, I can probably still draw half of the tube map without peeking, but I’ve never really gone anywhere since I came back. I came back, got my flat, and haven’t left since. I know what buses go between the city and the valley, and on the train it’s one stop.’

‘So, functionally, I know more about the city than you do, and I’ve only lived here a year?’

The first thing he had done after feeling comfortable enough to leave the Agency on his downtime was take the major train lines to their end points, to see the limits of the city by rail, by bus and by ferry. He’d made sure to announce his travel plans each time – even if it wasn’t something Ryan had asked for, just to keep on their good side, so they didn’t think he was running. Running was bad. Running led back to the cold, black room and-

He swallowed, and casually brushed his fingers against his throat, phantom agent fingers there, choking him until he saw red, till he saw black, till he was sure he’d seen Death out of the corner of his eye, then leaving him winded on the floor, before doing it again. Over and over and over-

He faked a sneeze, turning away long enough to make sure his eyes were still dry.

Stef was rambling, a good natured rant about the things he was better at. ‘Congrats,’ she said as her rant wound down, ‘you win again.’

He fought to remember what they’d been talking about. Public transport. The sights and sounds. Well, he knew the sights, she knew the sites.

He brushed his arm against hers as they crossed a narrow street, glad of the tiny bit of contact, of comfort, of being reminded of the present.

‘It’s not a competition,’ he said. ‘I feel kind of sorry for you.’

‘Don’t be,’ she said as they walked past a sign announcing the Marches Terminus was only half a kilometre away. ‘I’ve been to plenty of places, Silverpine, Loch Modan, Elwynn Forest-‘

None of the names sounded familiar. ‘Never been.’

‘I could take you,’ she said, ‘anytime you want to start up a WoW account.’

‘Oh, newbie,’ he said with a groan. ‘If they’re not real-‘

‘They’re real enough,’ she said, ‘so are the memories attached to them.’ She turned and walked backward so she could face him. ‘The Enterprise isn’t real either, but I’d say you have some real familiarity and attachment to it, even though it’s been a purely non-interactive experience.’

‘I still don’t think of it as a real place.’

‘I know what’s real and what’s not, doesn’t change the fact that Ironforge is always warm and comforting, and the perfect sort of background image while you’re lying on the bed with a head full of snot.’

He grabbed her and turned her around. ‘You need to look were you’re going, there are people here shorter than you, and “I accidentally committed a murder” isn’t going to wash with a judge.’

‘I will get you gaming,’ she said.

‘Not in this life, Stef.’

She gave him a shrug, and they walked in silence the rest of the way to the bus interchange.

‘Oh…wow,’ she said as they stepped through the large arch that had “Marches Terminus” spelled out in large red letters, and smaller letters of a half dozen other languages.

The rounded, child’s-drawing buses sat at stops that led to sloping tunnels. Information booths – both automated and manned sat to their left; ticket booths were to the right, and several small food carts sat scattered through the place, selling drinks, cakes and strange-looking delicacies.

He stared at the screens above. ‘Seventeen minutes until the next express, or five minutes till the next all-stops, your choice.’

‘What’s the difference?’

‘Two hours versus four hours,’ he said. ‘The all-stops is coach though, so it’s more comfortable.’

‘Wait for the express,’ she said as a small cart carrying four Barbie-sized fairies whizzed by her foot.

‘Stop sixteen then,’ he said, and she followed him through the mostly-fairy crowd.

Only four other passengers waited for the express – two fairies, a hob, and a nymph dressed in a Beatles shirt and her own vines. The nymph watched them as they sat, orange eyes staring and making him self-conscious. For every fae he’d help catch, there were five or more that had slipped through his fingers, every step in Fairyland was another chance to run over someone who had known him, someone who wouldn’t mind-

The nymph beckoned him with a slim finger, and he rose, passing his bag to Stef.

He walked across to the woman – full nymph, at least a fae crossbreed, there was nothing human to be seen in her. Flowers were threaded through her hair, and there was a brand of knotwork running down the side of the arm, wood grain mixing seamlessly with skin.

‘If I asked you to go buy roses,’ she said, ‘would you know what I meant, Agent?’

Agent. Definitely full fae. Halfbreeds and less generally made an effort to distinguish between agents and recruits – unless they’d been raised fae, with the traditional values instilled.

He couldn’t help a slight smile at the “roses” though. ‘It’s not my first time in fairyland.’

Buying roses. A casual, non-expletive way to ask for anonymous sex. As open and sexually liberated as the fairies were, there was still something crass about being in need and walking up to people you found attractive and bluntly asking if they wanted to fuck. “Buying roses” had been coined by one of the larger sexporium chains as a way to capitalise in on those that couldn’t get to one of their establishments, and quickly entered everyday use.

It also helped them brand their interests. The app – which he knew he’d need in a minute; the jewellery that shone or otherwise let out a signal for those bashful about initiating the “I really need to get laid” conversation.

He looked up at the clock. Sixteen minutes until the bus. Perfectly achievable.

‘There’s rooms just over there,’ he said. ‘Meet you there.’

She gave him a nod and quick stepped toward the rooms. He went back over to Stef, grabbing his phone and wallet from his pockets before slipping off his jacket and dropping it beside her. ‘There’s a Gameboy at the bottom of the bag, can you amuse yourself for five minutes?’

‘What’s up? Anything I can help with?’

He gave himself credit for slipping into a poker face before he laughed at her. ‘Nah, I’m good. I’m just going to show her the tourist map. Ten minutes, tops.’

He left her digging for the Gameboy – it had been on the tech-suggested list of “toys to keep Stef busy”, along with a pouch full of games, surprisingly Pokemon heavy – and headed for the room, and the nymph.

She had her hand near the scanner of an unoccupied room – a Rose-branded room to little surprise, they were fast becoming the preferred provider and servicer of the public rooms, other than in establishments that insisted on maintaining their own. ‘No, let me,’ he said as he tapped his wallet against the scanner, and waited for the door to slide open – the single tap had bought them twenty minutes, more than enough time.

She stepped in, he followed, and locked the door behind them by hitting the large black-and-red rose-patterned button.

‘Don’t get that courtesy from a lot of guys,’ she said as she stripped off the shirt and began to unwrap the wide, flat vines she was using to cover the rest of her body.

‘I figure it’s the least I can do,’ he said as he stepped out of his shoes, placed them on the small rack, and unzipped his pants.

He hung his pants over the rack, and dropped his boxers on top of his shoes – there was no point in modesty, no point in keeping unnecessary clothes for the allure, or to be stripped during foreplay. He took off his shirt, but left on the tight t-shirt he wore under his formal shirt, the one he used to hide his tattoos, no point in scaring her. No point in reminding himself.

A vine wrapped around his leg and snaked up to skate across his groin as he pulled on a condom. He reached out a hand, grabbed the vine and turned to face her.

‘You’ll do,’ she said with a grin as she looked him up and down. She held out her phone, the Rose app already loaded and waiting for him. He retrieved his Fairyland phone and booted the app, then tapped his phone against hers. Their screens swirled in unison for a moment, then announced that their mutual details had been recorded, recorded under their usernames of course – their real details wouldn’t be disclosed without contacting the company and following proper procedure.

Even in Fairyland, STIs could be lied about, but with the details recorded for each anonymous encounter, there was paper trail. Failure to disclose an STI was considered a crime – even if it was generally dealt with without the help of the law, or at most with a civil case. It was generally quite a non-issue – the payment for the treatment or medications needed to deal with the frankly weird spectrum of sexually-transmitted nasties the fae could carry. In the rarer cases, when it was something that could last a lifetime, then the punishments were a lot more severe, so the app was a little insurance for all concerned.

‘What’s your preference?’ he asked, ‘bed, wall or floor?’

The Rose Rooms were adequately equipped to handle all quickie styles. Packed into the space was a wide single bed, a sloped section of wall to accommodate those who preferred to stand, and a carpeted section for those who wanted it…uncomfortable and with carpet burns.

‘Bed,’ she said, pushing him onto the supportive mattress.

Two thin white vines reached for the hem of his t-shirt, but he pushed them away. ‘No.’

She stepped up and onto the bed. ‘I’m letting you see everything,’ she said, roots moving across her breasts, teasing the nipples erect.

‘Scars. Car accident. It’s really not a pretty sight, and I’m not comfortable letting anyone see,’ he said, lying with a straight face.

The nymph pouted, but moved forward, settling herself onto his erection without further comment or complaint. He hissed in pleasure at the intimate contact, of the moist warmth, the pulse of life beating against him. He knew well enough not to move – the first moments for a nymph were very important, and all about them, not about their partner.

She reached her arms over her head, and they twisted and melded together, forming a strong trunk that reached toward the ceiling. Reaching vines and branches touched the off-white ceiling and began to spread out. Her spread legs spread further, taking him deeper as her calves pinched against him, thick roots moving beneath his back and wrapping around him to keep him in place.

‘All right,’ she said, and began to move against him.

Sex with a nymph – especially anonymous Rose Room sex with a nymph – was a largely one-sided affair. She pounded against him, enjoying herself without any real need of assistance from him. It was enjoyable to be serviced like this, to have nothing expected of him, but he always felt guilty, as if he should have been doing more. Half-nymphs like a more equal experience, but they still generally preferred to be on top, as it gave them more room to spread out.

Tiny roots flicked and teased his body, eliciting sounds he hoped were suitably manly. The vines against the ceiling spread and curled, and Curt made a promise to himself to try nymph sex on sensory stimulants one day. He came with a soft sigh, but she continued to pulse against him, drawing out the experience. She continued to move against him, keeping him inside her, and a minute later, she came, flowers bursting into life across the vines covering the roof.

Soft petals fell down on them as she collapsed onto the bed beside him, the flowers withering and disappearing as she retracted all of the roots, branches and vines back into the appearance of clothing.

She gave him a pat on the chest, then stood and began to dress. ‘Thanks Agent,’ she said as she pulled her Beatles shirt back on. ‘I really need to be able to focus this afternoon.’

‘Work or class?’ he said, grabbing a tissue from the courtesy stand and wiping himself off.

‘Class,’ she said, ‘engineering.’

He dressed quickly, and smiled as she left the room. He pulled on his shoes, straightened his tie, and pulled a few petals from his hair. He checked himself in the mirror, making sure he had none of the tell-tale signs of getting laid – not that Stef knew what the signs were – and gathered his phone and wallet, then left the room. The sign on the door changed from “occupied” to “awaiting clean” as he closed the door. A small Rose Room maintenance golf cart was already zooming towards the room as he walked back to the bus stop.

The nymph had taken a seat, her face buried in a university-branded tablet computer, bright blue headphones cutting her off from the world.

Stef had a similar ignoring-reality expression as she concentrated on the Gameboy. He grabbed his coat and slipped it back on, then sat, nudging her in the arm before she even noticed his presence.

‘Miss me?’

She gave a shrug, and didn’t look up from the machine. ‘There’s still three minutes until the bus.’

He looked up at the screen – she was correct. ‘How are you keeping track?’

‘I synched a countdown in my HUD.’

‘Of course you did.’

The bus pulled in two minutes later. ‘Come on newbie.’ She turned off the machine and passed it back. ‘Got your card?’

She pulled her card folder from her pocket and extracted her bus card from behind her Agency ID. They tapped on, their uniforms making the bus driver do a double-take and then claimed the backseat on the nearly empty bus.

‘Thought it would have been busier.’

‘On a weekday. After the morning rush. To a city two hours away?’

Concern flashed across her face. ‘Two hours?’

‘You’ve got plenty of time,’ he said. ‘Don’t worry. And if for some reason we get caught up and you get close to your time limit, there’s quicker ways back, but two hour taxi rides aren’t cheap, let alone anything more expedient, so we’ll save those for back-up plans, ok?’

‘And if I need to use the bathroom?’

He pointed to a red pod that sat where most buses had a back door. ‘That’s a toilet, so you’ve got nothing to worry about.’ He took off his jacket and settled into the relatively comfortable seat. ‘Settle in, like I said, two hours.’

She stared out the window for a moment. ‘Can I ask a newbie question?’

‘Of course.’

‘Why is it two hours? I mean, I know there’s not fairy stairs everywhere, but it seems a little extreme that’s there’s nothing closer.’

‘It’s the exclusion zone around the capital,’ he said. ‘It’s so that the stairs can’t be used to bring down invading armies. It’s paranoid, but it’s also prudent, there’s nothing to say people would use it for evil, but there’s too great a chance for exploitation, sort of the same reason recruits can’t shift, it’s not worth the risk.’

‘This is the closest point?’

‘There are a couple of closer ones, but most are useless because we don’t have cars down here – something the Agency really needs to work on – and the other place with busses is a much small interchange than this, so we get transport quicker, and your blue lasts a little bit longer.’

She stared past him, at something up behind his head.

‘Stef?’

She squeaked, and started babbling. He tried to pick out words from the stream of happy-excited sounds. ‘Nonsense?’ he asked. ‘What’s nonsense?’

Her babble stopped as she moved across the seat and knelt in his lap to get a better view at the advertising banner that ran along above the windows. ‘Nonsuch!’ she said, bouncing happily in his lap. ‘But, why, how, what?’

The bus went around a corner, and she fell back, happily sprawling onto the seats.

‘Sit up,’ he said, ‘we don’t want to get kicked off the bus.’

‘But that’s Nonsuch!’

He looked up at the poster, it was an ad you saw everywhere in Fairyland, a picture of the royal palace, with the prices and times for tours. ‘It’s the royal palace.’

‘It’s Nonsuch!’

He gently grabbed her by the shoulders and brought his face closer to hers. ‘I’m happy you’re happy, but I have no idea what you’re on about.’

She stared up at the poster again. ‘It’s Nonsuch Palace. King Henry – the one with all the wives – built it, but it got ripped to shreds hundreds of years ago.’

‘So they copied the design? I still don’t get what’s so special about it.’ He hated himself as soon as the words were out of his mouth. She deflated like a balloon, turned around properly on her seat and sat as still as he’d ever seen, hands folded in her lap. He looked from the poster, down to the agent, and wondered if he could get the driver to stop long enough to let him throw himself under the bus.

He touched her shoulder, and she shuffled away. He felt a stab of regret in his chest, and he withdrew his hand. ‘Sorry,’ he said, trying to cram every bit of sincerity he could into the word. ‘I’m really sorry, newbie. Explain it to me?’

She continued to stare down at her lap. ‘It’s nothing,’ she said, her voice flat, she’d tripped “slash-serious”. ‘You should tell me the plan, how do-‘

‘I want to hear about the palace,’ he said. ‘Seems to be something more than a landmark to you.’

‘What should I expect from Carmichael?’ she asked. ‘If he’s private intelligence, does he work out of firm, or-‘

Voluntarily talking about work, her shields really were up. ‘Stef.’

‘Sorry,’ she said. ‘I didn’t mean to.’

‘I’ll take you on the tour if you tell me.’

She snapped her head up, and slowly turned to look at him.

‘I’ll even pay for it,’ he said, ‘and all the gift shop stuff.’

‘I’m interested in the Tudor period?’ she said, her voice still emotionless.

‘Turn off your macro and try again.’

She turned away, wiped her eyes, and smoothed back her hair, tucking it behind her ears. Her eyes were still wet, but the hurt was gone from her posture. ‘It’s Nonsuch,’ she said again. ‘Henry the Eighth built it, cause he wanted it to be better than anything that had come before, “nonesuch place more magnificent” I think was the idea. Had some production hell issues, stood for a bit, then got torn down and buried.’

She stared at him to make sure he was still listening. She tapped out something on her knees. ‘It- I- I guess I like the idea of it more than the building. Nonsuch, it seems so…fairytale. It seemed like such a shame that it just didn’t exist anymore, so I hoped that like-‘ her cheeks flushed so much he prepared to grab her in case she fainted. ‘I hoped that maybe fairies or elves or something stole it away, that it was saved, not destroyed. It’s a replica, obviously, but I’m still so close to being right that I could burst!’

Her excitement had returned, though far more restrained.

‘Don’t get me wrong when I say this,’ she said, ‘but I find sometimes that I’m a little at odds with myself when it comes to magic. There’s the awesome of it being real with the disappointment of it not working exactly like I thought as a kid. It would seriously drive me insane-‘ she stopped to smirk at that. ‘-if we had to do these big-ass incantations every time we wanted to do something. I couldn’t live without requiring though, but I don’t mind the sparkly, frippy stuff sometimes.’

‘When we’re done with Carmichael, presuming it doesn’t take all day, we’ll go. If it does take all day and you’re running out of blue, we’ll come back tomorrow.’

‘But Ryan said-‘

‘If the world is going to end,’ he said, ‘shouldn’t we get to have a bit of fun first?’

She gave him a small smile, and nodded.

He squeezed her hand for a second, then let it go. He pulled his phone out. ‘Want to have the tourist commentary so you can see the landmarks?’

‘…you has a fairy phone?’ she asked as she took it and began to examine it.

‘It’s kind of necessary down here, I’m surprised you don’t.’

‘I come to Fairyland to ride my pony. And occasionally other ponies. And muck out stalls. And eat as much cake as a gnome can pile onto my plate. It’s more like visiting the country than anything else.’

‘I picked this up on my third trip. It’s nothing fancy, it’s a fairly basic model, and because I’m a non-citizen they can screw me on the plan rates.’

She fingered the magic lamp symbol on the back of the phone, and it cycled through a rainbow of colours before turning to gold again. ‘Oooh.’

‘It’s Genie, it’s sort of like the Apple of Fairyland.’

‘I’ve never had a mobile,’ she said, poking the lamp symbol again.

‘You haven’t, but you’re-‘

‘Who would I call?’ she said, staring down at the phone. ‘I never needed to call anyone, so I couldn’t justify the expense.’

‘We’ll grab you one this afternoon,’ he said, ‘you can call me.’

She stared off into space for a moment. ‘Oooh,’ she said after a moment. ‘That’s nifty.’

‘Share it with the class?’

‘So, like, when there’s stuff I don’t know I get these automated tips, or agent wiki stuff pop up. There’s one for fairy phones. If I’m reading this right, the Agency has a sort of corporate account thing, so we won’t get screwed by the plan rates.’

‘You can if you want.’

‘Huh?’

‘Some degree of separation from the Agency is nice. Just that little bit of protection for situations like Carol.’

She smiled. ‘When I hear you preaching paranoid, I listen. But yeah, my first phone, this afternoon.’

He laid the phone in her hand and opened up the app. ‘Go with the text, the voice is sorta annoying.’ She leaned against him, folded her legs up and stared down at the phone, flicking through the information as it loaded.

He rested his head back against his jacket and closed his eyes, happy for the moment, despite the threat of apocalypse.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Book 05 - Oubliette 2.0
35 comments on “16 – Nonsuch
  1. Anonymous says:

    Good character development, but is there any respite from the random sex with strangers scences coming? I get it that this shows a huge change from Curt’s previous outlook, but, um, enough already.

    (Though in response to the facebook question, I have to admit that I did get a real laugh out of Not the droids you are looking for)

    -John

    • Stormy says:

      …I don’t exactly plan these things. Seriously, that Ryan/Vink scene came out of nowhere while I was just trying to have my lunch. It was just going to be one (maybe two) chaste little kisses, and him starting to feel a bit confused, and a bit comforted. …and then it just went further.

      Like, if you’d told me five minutes before that Ryan was going to bang some random, I would have laughed at you. -_- Proof that I don’t actually have any damn say in what these people do.

      (Remember though, for Fairyland, this is perfectly normal.)

      All that said, I don’t have any more planned (there’s not really anyone else who desperately needs to get laid).

      Ryan…no idea what’s going on with that plot line, or if it’s even a plot line.

      Curt needs a girlfriend, poor boy, not just random encounters.

      Mags and Taylor have each other, ditto for the Parkers.

      Jonesy is too busy secretly experimenting on recruits.

      Stef has cookies. :D

      Though in response to the facebook question, I have to admit that I did get a real laugh out of Not the droids you are looking for
      But that also gets a pass because it was a random spooning/cute scene, not a random sexytiem scene? :P

  2. the leaking pen says:

    Theres an app for that?

    • Stormy says:

      …there’s an app for everything.

      • Wraith Wraith says:

        That sounds like a pretty handy app for the real world too. Hmmmm, I know someone who’s trying to learn how to code for iOS devices, maybe I should look into Android so we can corner the market. (and yes, We’d cut Stormy in for having the idea to begin with)

        • Stormy says:

          …you’d need a couple of decent lawyers to come up with the terms and conditions (and therefore consequences) for the service.

          You’d need a decent amount of profile information – so that people could be tracked down (kept secret by usernames, nothing else public) (possibly approved manually, so that people don’t enter false information).

          The ability to ping nearby users, if you felt like a random encounter – instead of “flagged for PvP”. :P

          To recognise the other use once an encounter has been initiated (or some sort of image for the other phone to scan and record the information).

          A “reporting” feature, in case something not holding to the spirit of the app happened (bait and switch, not using a condom, etc). Reporting would be *insert lawyer speak about being legally binding* to discourage false reports.

          Additional features or future releases could include things like an optional grading feature, a listing for kinks, etc (depends on how fully-featured you wanted to make it).

          It almost seems like it would need to be a subscription-based service, but that may not work well, so ad-supported, so possibly work with, say, sex toy companies/adult stores/etc, to offer discount for buying their services/products using the app (could very easily be localised to send business to local places, as well as online).

        • the leaking pen says:

          iwas actually thinking ofa similiar thing,but my main thought was… a profile about the looks appearences and habits of people, and being able to tie who they hook up with together? Can you imagine the scientific use for that data?

  3. the leaking pen says:

    I suck… double post.

  4. Fantasy_Lover says:

    With John/vampire; the random sex (and planned sex) actually adds a lot to the story. I mean What other universe then Mirrorverse has Nymphs that partially form into trees while making love and blossom on orgasm.

    It is not like the scene was drawn out into a 5 chapter every-thrust-in-detail with Curt screaming epic poetry about her bark for 5 paragraphs. It was a quick little hop in the sack world building bit that gave up a bit deeper look at Curt and the society of the Fae which is still a big mystery.

    • dungeonkeepr says:

      Also, it’s nice to see Burt relax, even a little bit. (I know he’s affable, but ‘s not like he’s relaxed, just working hard to look it, I figure.)

      Also, it would be kinda cool to be able to grow leaves and flower at least once, just to see what it felt like. :D

      • Stormy says:

        …not really. Maybe starting to calm down, but he’s still wound so, so incredibly tight.

        Also, it would be kinda cool to be able to grow leaves and flower at least once, just to see what it felt like. :D
        It’d be really useful for last minute decorations and/or mother’s day presents. :D It would make it really easy to shade your eyes during summer too. ^_^

    • dungeonkeepr says:

      Also, it’s nice to see Curt relax, even a little bit. (I know he’s affable, but ‘s not like he’s relaxed, just working hard to look it, I figure.)

      Also, it would be kinda cool to be able to grow leaves and flower at least once, just to see what it felt like. :D

      (for some reason, my brain renamed him Burt for this post :O )

    • Stormy says:

      With John/vampire; the random sex (and planned sex) actually adds a lot to the story.
      The Ryan scene, I think, added to the story – it’s a turning point for his arc with Carol, this one shows Curt just…being a guy for five minutes, not Stef’s babysitter, and not “OMFG AM I DOING THIS OK PLEASE DON’T KILL ME!!!!!”

      (And it’s not like this is all building to Stef starring in one of these random sex scenes, they’re just happening of their own accord).

      I mean What other universe then Mirrorverse has Nymphs that partially form into trees while making love and blossom on orgasm.
      I’m guessing it can’t be too common, but I’d like to see someone else’s take on it. :D

      It is not like the scene was drawn out into a 5 chapter every-thrust-in-detail with Curt screaming epic poetry about her bark for 5 paragraphs.
      …I was going to write up a couple of purple prose-y paragraphs just for the lols, but couldn’t continue after I wrote down “his turgid member” >_> I can’t do the long-drawn-out sex scenes, and really, there’s no need for them to go on that long, they are what they need to be, then they’re done.

      the society of the Fae which is still a big mystery.
      It’s also incredibly fun to design. :D

      • the leaking pen says:

        I know I still owe you the end of that other story, but… My purple prose isn’t too bad. Would me rewritingg the scene in that style count like guest art does for webcomics? lol

        • Stormy says:

          …I’ll post it up as fanfic. :D

          And I can’t even remember where that other story was. -_-

          • the leaking pen says:

            the psychic vamp convention slowly eating a writer.

            and… I tried. I actually can’t rewrite that. Theres nothing that needs changing, no point to adding purple prose beyond whats there. Its too well written of a sex scene to screw with, (no pun intended)

          • Stormy says:

            Its too well written of a sex scene to screw with, (no pun intended)
            I think that’s a good thing? I mean, this was actually one of my more quickly-written sexytiem scenes (I think I’m getting faster at writing them) since I spent most of my time figuring out what the nymph would do.

      • meeks meeks says:

        that the phrase “his turgid member” gave me a giggle-fit?

        On a completely unrelated note, what does Curt look like? I know there have been bits of description scattered throughout the chapters, but I’m too lazy to go hunt for them :P

        • Stormy says:

          …from 10 Things I Hate About You is what always goes through my head every time I start to write a sex scene:

          And why I try so very, very hard to avoid purple prose or strange metaphors.

          • meeks meeks says:

            I saw that movie once when it first came out…I may have to try watching it again!

          • Stormy says:

            …it’s one of the movies I watch when I just need something uncomplicated and feel-good. :)

          • chaotic.calm says:

            Although I must admit that I haven’t really tried writing much in the way of sexy-time scenes. I always ALWAYS think of this scene when I think of the writing of any and all romance novels and purple prose.

          • Stormy says:

            …it also pops into my head when I get a chance to do some writing at work. The I have to pull a /serious so no one asks why I’m randomly giggling.

        • Stormy says:

          …tall (well, taller than Stef, probably 5’10” or something, so he’s a little shorter than Ryan). Brown hair, nothing fancy. And…*shrug*? He’s just sorta average.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Five paragraphs of epic poetry about her bark? That could actually be amusing – not saying that I’d _actually_ read all the way through it, but it could be amusing. Personally, I’d probably be more likely to read (or write) 5 stanzas of tounge in cheek faux romantic poetry (Probably with something about Ode to a Gracious Elm worked ito the middle,) then ending with:
    – Shall I compare the to a tree, let me count the ways…
    Thy bark is like … bark
    Thy flowers are so floral, thy leaves are like unto leaves
    Thy vines are like – HEY! WAIT A MINIUTE! Please, stop strangling me with them,
    I was just joking!

    Of course, Curt really is deep down much to kind to do anything like this, but I thought I’d offer it anyway.

    In response to Fantasy_Lover and dungeonkeepr I do have to admit that this is a pet peeve of mine; to many authors use sex as a crutch – and while with an author who has not developed other skill sets I realize that this is the main reason they can sell their books – Stormy is, in my opinion, a _truly_ good author who has the potential to be one day known for her literature; and I guess I just am trying to encourage her not to become another Heinlien who by the end of his career was writing mostly for sexual shock value (not that it would be that unexpected by today’s standards, but for the time) and in my opinion at least, the quality of the stories suffered for it. Big time. Please note “literature” is not boring when it is actually the good stuff and not just something that has managed to amass snob apeal – I’ve read enough of both kinds, alas.

    Also, I know that I personally, am a fan of only partially revealled stuff – ideally so that your imagination has enough to work with if you want it to, but not so much that you have to – in this regard, Curt’s pain and fear from when he was tortured in the next chapter (17) is masterfully done – we already know they induced high level glitches in him (an what that means) from earlier books, here we see that they treated him in the same way physically without having to wade through the grisly details – unless we decide to dwell on it in our imagination.

    • Stormy says:

      …if I could manage one-non-epic paragraph of poetry, it would be a miracle, if it’s one thing I can’t do, it’s rhyme.

      (And yes, I know poetry isn’t all rhyming, but I don’t think an across poem would work

      Oh. Fine. I’ll try.

      And no, this is not really supposed to be IC, it’s just whatever I come up with).

      ETA while halfway through. This is the worst, worst thing I’ve written, but I shall endure for…no reason whatsoever.

      Yonder is a horny nynmph, a dryad to be precise, a fae to be less precise, who cares, she wants me!
      Altogether I am too excited, she’s not the only one sporting wood.
      Yellow roses for friendship, red roses for love, the Rose app for a random bang with a tree!

      Nymph, saviour, the rain to end my drought.
      Yellow vines wrap round my wrists, restraining, teasing, showing her strength.
      More. I wante more.
      Petals fall and more taket their place, proof she’s losing control.
      Halluncinating while staring at her vines, the room is alive.

      Sap oozes and life pounds, it’s the best way to be a tree-hugger.
      Everything. Give her everything. Take everything.
      X marks the spot.

      I hope Stef hasn’t wandered off.
      So wish I could ask the tree her name.

      Gently brings herself to fulfillment.
      Really stretching for relevant ideas.
      Ego satisfied, clothes straightened.
      All alone, again.
      Time to catch a bus.

      Of course, Curt really is deep down much to kind to do anything like this, but I thought I’d offer it anyway.
      Ya, he’s a good guy, if/when he finally gets a girl he can keep, he’ll be a good boyfriend.

      to many authors use sex as a crutch and while with an author who has not developed other skill sets I realize that this is the main reason they can sell their books
      Let me know if I get crutch-y, I don’t want to overdo it.

      Stormy is, in my opinion, a _truly_ good author who has the potential to be one day known for her literature;
      This is me blushing. :)

      I guess I just am trying to encourage her not to become another Heinlien who by the end of his career was writing mostly for sexual shock value.
      I think I’m far, far too vanilla to ever pull off any sort of shock value.

      That, and I can’t just write random sex. I know these two last scenes were random in origin, but they both contained a person we know and care about, having sexytiems for reasons derived entirely from their established character, and that will have an effect on their next steps in their respective arcs.

      I think there’s very little in terms of shock value that can come from being true to a character. I hope.

      And that’s pretty much the only way I can write sex scenes. I have to give a shit about the character, otherwise I stare at the screen and nothing, er, comes.

      I know this cause for a brief time I considered writing some erotica to make a little bit of money on the side. I didn’t even get a paragraph into it before I figured out that it wasn’t going to work.

      I mean, I could always just do erotica with thinly-disguised versions of my characters, but that would be way too weird, and really that’s why fanfic exists (The Great and Powerful Stormy demands Parkers fic! Not really. Sorry. Channeling Trixie.)

      Also, I know that I personally, am a fan of only partially revealled stuff – ideally so that your imagination has enough to work with if you want it to, but not so much that you have to – in this regard, Curt’s pain and fear from when he was tortured in the next chapter (17) is masterfully done – we already know they induced high level glitches in him (an what that means) from earlier books, here we see that they treated him in the same way physically without having to wade through the grisly details – unless we decide to dwell on it in our imagination.
      I think we’ll get a couple more glimpses – thuogh they’ll probably be distorted through nightmare imagery, but I don’t have the heart to go into detail about what they did to him.

      I mean, with what I know about the rest of this book, I already spend enough of my day wandering around going “poor, poor Curt” without adding torture flashbacks to that list.

      And it’s also more true to him, he tries not to think of the detail, so even saying that much to Stef was a big thing.

      Poor, poor Curt. *hugs him*

      Holy crap this is a big comment.

  6. the leaking pen says:

    Altogether I am too excited, she’s not the only one sporting wood.

    I just sprayed water on my monitor.

  7. Fantasy_Lover says:

    ya that line was rather … YA

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