It starts with a mutation, a body broken and twisted and misshapen by a woman who swore to give them second chances. Power, longevity, beauty, strength.
The first time Alcina sees Karl Heisenberg’s new body, she is struck by one thought: he’s taller than me. She is accustomed to a man of above-average height but normal stature. A man with a lopsided, cocksure grin and an attitude that threatens her sanity. He is crude and loud and foolish. An immature child on a good day.
This man is not the same Heisenberg. This man stands half a head above her, stretch marks and scars pulling on each inch of tanned skin. His limbs are long and thick with muscle. His face is the same; scarred and irritatingly handsome. Thick silver-and-ink hair falls to his shoulders. But there is no spark. No recognition. There is no sneer or blade-sharp comment or metal flying about him in effortless, complicated patterns.
This is not the same Karl Heisenberg.
It sits in her stomach like an icy stone.
“Heisenberg was getting some. . . troubling ideas in his head,” Mother Miranda explains, cool, clinical. “So I had to make some adjustments. It’s quite fascinating – I used a few of your DNA samples to adjust his Cadou and that was enough to cause the rapid growth spurt. Although he doesn’t have the same taste for blood as you and your. . . daughters.”
The way she sneers “daughters” rolls over every nerve and synapse and Alcina fights down the very real urge to scream and rage and snarl. Those are her babies, her girls, and it does not matter whether or not they can become swarms of flies, or whether they carry her blood. She is a coward. She holds her tongue.
Mother Miranda continues: “It seems the further mutations had some fairly significant impact on his ability to communicate and function. He cannot stay alone in that factory any longer.”
Alcina knows what the result will be before it is uttered and hates with every inch of herself.
“As of today, Heisenberg will become a member of House Dimitrescu. You will have to get over your childish distaste for men; besides, he’s become quite vicious in recent days. He shall make an excellent guard, no? Perfect for physical labor.”
This is a test of some sort. Perhaps a punishment. For whom Alcina is not sure. But there is no denying Mother Miranda, not when those eyes are sharp as the scalpels resting so innocently on the surgical tray behind Heisenberg. They do not shudder with Heisenberg’s fits of pique. He’s been disturbing silent this whole time. Not a word passing by his cracked lips.
“I trust you will be up to the responsibility, Dimitrescu?”
A breath. A clenched hand. A lifted chin and steeled spine. Alcina answers.
“Of course, Mother Miranda. You can depend on me.”
She looks to the massive, hulking frame of what was once Karl Heisenberg. There is rage in those sea-green eyes. Burning, sparking, incandescent. But he says nothing. Does nothing but look. As she leads him out into the cold Romanian night, his calloused hand is rough and lax in her own.
For once, there is not a word of fight.
This is the beginning of the end. Alcina simply doesn’t know it.
It begins with a sentence.
Weeks pass in relative silence between them. Heisenberg is a constant in her home, ever-present and lurking. Silent as a wraith as he looms or sulks on a settee nearby. Alcina takes it upon herself to have his clothes properly tailored. Though it is obvious that he dislikes their fitted nature, Heisenberg accepts them with a rough growl and grunt. They fit him quite well, accentuating his broad shoulders and trim waist.
It becomes somewhat a distraction.
She is on a very important call with a supplier when the first incident occurs. The fool is arguing over the raw cost of their new crops. A typical man-thing, so self-important and unable to take direction from a woman, however incompetent he is. They are going in circles. A headache is beginning to make itself known, throbbing just behind her eyes and in her temples. Figures and stocks and long-winded explanations of profit are beginning to become irksome, regardless of how necessary they may be.
Then she catches movement in her periphery.
Heisenberg has been sulking in the corner of her study, grunting occasionally as he reads through some vague engineering text he had (somehow) found in the library. Though his memory is gone, speech more than difficult, he has quickly regained his ability to read. Which he does constantly, voraciously. She’s somewhat surprised; idiotic as Heisenberg is
was it never struck her that he would be inclined towards academics.
But now he has stood, book closing with a quiet thump! and placed on a nearby table without ceremony. There is something dark and irritated in his green eyes. She turns to him with a glare, lips pursed and itching for a cigarette to take the edge off.
Then Heisenberg begins disrobing.
Were it not for the idiot on the other end of her line, Alcina would be screaming, shouting at him for doing something so uncouth and vulgar as to undress in a lady’s study. But the words seem to stick in her throat. Her tongue is sandpaper. The fitted green jacket is tossed unceremoniously on a nearby divan – which galls her sensibilities because of the wrinkles that are bound to form – and then he begins fumbling with the buttons of his white Oxford. The desire to his at him, hand over the mouthpiece to muffle her disapproval as the man drones on and on is just this side of unbearable.
Then skin begins to be unveiled. Tanned, roped with silvery scars, rippling with every movement as the idiot growls and grumbles his way through unbuttoning a shirt. Her mouth goes dry again. Alcina is hardly paying attention to this very important call because of a man-thing removing his shirt. But she cannot seem to look away.
Instead, she traces the movement of his pectorals and the faintest movement of his abdominal wall. External obliques and rectus abdominus muscles just barely visible beneath the thin layer of subcutaneous fat that had returned over the last weeks. The anatomical terms are screaming at her, years of experiments lending her clinical knowledge that does nothing to ease the sudden tingling between her legs.
“Lady Dimitrescu? My lady, if you aren’t going to listen to me, I really see no point in this conversation continuing at all! As it stands, Dimitrescu Vineyards is a long-lived institution; however, I do not think we can conduct a civil working relationship moving forward if this is how we are to be treated.”
Such a long-winded man-thing. . . .
Heisenberg’s eyes snap in her direction. Alcina swallows. His eyes burn, irritated and angry. They’re a color she cannot quite describe. Mint-green in some light, shot with silver in others, flecked with emerald jewels of pigment as he steps forward to loom in her personal space. They glow in the dim. Wolven. Hungry. Furious.
Speechless is not a word that has ever described Alcina Dimitrescu. And yet she cannot find the wherewithal to form a syllable. Instead, she stares, dumbstruck, as the shirtless miscreant pries the phone receiver from her grasp – his hands are massive, how has she not noticed until now? – and brings it to his lips. Pale, pink, chapped, framed with silver-and-ink hair.
“Listen to her, bastard,” erupts into the mouthpiece.
Alcina is startled.
Karl Heisenberg is a chaotic smooth-talker. Karl Heisenberg croons and struts and puts upon airs for those about him, forever gauche, forever crass. Forever the golden child and charming his way into Mother’s good graces.
This is not the voice to which she has become accustomed.
This Karl Heisenberg speaks in rough monosyllables. A bark, growling deep in his chest, rather than dignified speech. It is obvious his mouth struggles to wrap around the sounds, teeth bore and gleaming in the light from her desk lamp. The words are in Romanian; however, the German accent is unmistakable.
Squirming is undignified. Squirming is not an option. But the sound of his voice is. . . decadent, truth be told. Alcina has always thought herself above such base notions. Stooping to fantasies of those hands bracketed about her waist and that voice growling into her ear, muscles rippling, skin glistening and blood filling her mouth and –
Alcina swallows. Her mouth is filled with cotton.
The man-thing on the other end of the line is stammering, spluttering apologies. She just hear them over the sound of her heart in her ears. Heisenberg does not say another word. Instead, he grunts. The receiver is shoved back into her hands.
She finishes the business call with a more receptive man-thing and it galls.
Later, Alcina will tear Heisenberg a new one. Berate him time and again, loudly and angrily, for interfering her business. For being such an uncouth animal as to undress in a lady’s room.
Later, she will lock herself in her room and try to ignore the aching wetness between her thighs at the thought of his angry, burning silvered eyes.
Now? Alcina clenches her thighs together, ignores the scent of him wafting about her, and proceeds with her business.
Listen to her, bastard. . .
It begins with an over-large shirt she finds forgotten amongst her things. Not at all akin to her silk dresses and fine lingerie. Made of Egyptian cotton, wrinkled where it has been tossed haphazardly and alien against her ungloved fingertips. However, it smells of Heisenberg, a peculiar mix of musk and machine oil and something she cannot quite put a finger on.
Truth be told, Alcina feels mad wearing it rather than one of her nightgowns, material falling only to mid-thigh and unable to button over her endowments. It’s quite comfortable, foreign but not unpleasant by any stretch. She bites down on her lower lip, fingertips tracing down her abdomen and causing gooseflesh to ripple.
She is a lady. Ladies are above such lesser desires. Above such crass, uncouth cravings for man-things. It is a disgrace to her noble heritage for thinking and. . . wanting? Is that what this feeling is? Wanting for Heisenberg, of all others?! For the obnoxious, idiotic child that has plagued her very existence since arriving in this pathetic village?
And yet she cannot help it. The way he had looked at her with those silvered green eyes, like jade fire, voice a guttural snarl deep in his throat. His gaze had been smouldering, punishing, not even remotely subtle. . . .
God, she should not have pictured it, the way his muscles moved beneath his skin when removing his shirt.
She pictures it again, imagines what the view would have been had his back been turned to her. The thick, corded muscles in his shoulders and back bunching, silvered scars tracing along the steel-hard flesh. The sinewy ripple of movement as he tossed the garment away, to be found and worn later.
In her bedroom, Alcina’s fingers push beneath the waistband of her silk-and-lace panties.
He turns to look at her over a shoulder then, those unnatural eyes burning with hatred and lust. Perhaps he growls, calls her “bitch” the way he used to, tongue and teeth working around syllables that no longer come naturally. There is a vicious grin on his lips, rogue and wild and wolfish. The shirt and his scent is pressed about her as he pushes her on to her back, snarling as though asking for invitation.
She gasps and circles her fingers just so and her breath hitches.
Beneath the blackness of her eyelids, perhaps he is atop her – perhaps she atop him. Perhaps she is laying across the expanse of a mattress, just like this, him snarling and glaring at her from between her legs.
Alcina bites her lips and trails her fingers along her wetness before delving two fingers deep inside. She moans softly, the stretch and press of her fingers exquisite.
And, Gods, his hands. . . Perhaps they spread wide around her waist, grip bruising yet unable to mark her flesh. Perhaps they, rough and large and scarred as the rest of him, delve deep into her heat just as her own are. Not all the way. Shallowly, just a few inches. Enough to feel the burn and curl so well against that magic spot against the top wall. He grins down at her, feral and vicious. There are words, more guttural than is allowed in proper circles, right into her face, breath hot and heavy against the shell of her ear.
She knows that she should be quiet. The walls have ears. Maids that twitter and whisper and chirp like songbirds, entirely too knowing. Heisenberg is just down the hall. And yet Alcina cannot help the moans that spill from her lips, hips bucking against her hand and head twisting against her goose feather pillows.
Then he adds a third finger just to hear her squeal, thrusting rough and fast and curling against her Grafenberg spot so well.
Alcina’s breath comes faster. She removes her fingers and circles her clitoris with wet fingers, bucking and moaning. She is terribly wet, soaking the sheets beneath her. Sweat beads along her chest and forehead. Release is coming faster than she intends – far more quickly than anticipated – before she can even imagine what he would look like. Glistening with sweat, teeth gritted in effort, grip bruising about her waist, thighs, hips, wrists, ankles – desperate as she and filled with hatred.
And, oh, God if the thought of wrapping her hands about his throat and squeezing as he fills doesn’t make her womanhood gush and hips twitch! She can imagine him filling her, thrusting into her warmth. What would he sound like as he does? Such a guttural, uncouth beast is Heisenberg. Would he moan? Perhaps growl? Snarl? Or would he whimper and sigh and hiss through his teeth, pressed to her skin.
Perhaps his face would contort in pleasure, handsome as she pushes him right over the edge. . .
Alcina feels her orgasm wash over her in a tidal-wave and moans, long and low, as she jerks and twitches. A dance only her nervous system is privy to. She coasts through the aftershocks with a gentle finger on her clitoris, the feel of cotton along her skin grounding.
Hatred and self-disgust and confusion walls within her. Once there is feeling back in her legs, she cleans herself well and resolves to have the maids change her sheets come dawn.
She does not remove the shirt. Instead, she buries her nose in the collar and dreams with the scent of him filling her lungs.
It begins with a confrontation in her dressing room, one that ends with her twitching and overstimulated, sheets shredded and mirrors cracked in the struggle.
Alcina wakes the next morning livid and sore, thighs sticky with his seed and core aching from his intrusion. Heisenberg – Karl – is wrapped about her as though she might disappear any moment. His grip is too tight. Suffocating and clad in iron. They are covered in blood and saliva and other fluids.
She looks up to his face, expecting to find a grimace or something equally ugly. Instead, she is pinned in place by those eyes of his. Silvered green and sharp. They seem to stare into her, through her. There is a rush of heat, filling her tip to toe. His hand cards through her hair, catching in tangles formed throughout their little escapade. It’s a sharp pain. She refuses to succumb to it.
“I would thank you kindly to get off, Karl,” Alcina snarls; her voice is hoarse and not as it usually is upon waking.
The scrutinizing expression Karl wears fades, replaced by that savage wolfish grin he now wears so often, and her stomach flops. There is a fresh throb in her center. It has nothing to do with her soreness. His hand leaves her hair, cupping her cheek, and a thumb smears at what little remains of her lipstick. Something hungry lights in his eyes. Suddenly, Alcina is on her back, pressed hard into the ruined mattress by her bruised wrists.
The undignified squeak that escapes her will be taken to the grave; she is sure.
Karl laughs, deep and rumbling in his chest, and she hates how pleasant his weight is atop her. There are feathers poking along her skin, caught in her hair. She can feel his morning erection against her hipbone, and Alcina fights the urge to squirm. Instead, she sets her chin and glares up at him in defiance.
His grin grows wider, so wide his teeth gleam in the early morning light.
“Get off?” His head tilts, silvered hair falling in a damnably handsome curtain. “Okay.”
It takes her an embarrassing length of time to understand why he begins kissing and biting down her body. Alcina does squirm when he takes her nipple in his mouth, moaning softly as he sucks and worries it to a stiffened peak. The other receives much the same treatment. Her fingers wind into his hair as he moves lower, then lower again, finally biting hard enough against the junction of her to leave a lasting bruise.
There are tears in her eyes. She shakes. It’s too good. It’s humiliating.
Why him? Why Heisenberg? Why?!
She does not tell him to stop. Instead, Alcina opens herself wide enough to accommodate and keeps a firm grip on his hair. His hands are rough about her thighs, biting deep into the sore muscles, and Karl pins her in place with a savage look.
Alcina nearly rips out her handful when he dives in like a starving man.
She’s still sensitive from the night before. But not to the point that they had reached, where pain and pleasure teetered on a razor’s edge she could not distinguish between. Instead, it’s sharp but manageable, coaxing long, low moans and gasps from her lips. He traces slowly along her slit until swirling about her clitoris, then thrusts his tongue deep inside her, mouth opened in a sloppy attempt to devour.
For all his issues with speaking of late, Karl’s tongue is marvelously dexterous.
All she can do is cling tight and hang on.
His strength borders upon grotesque as he pins her in place. For all her back arches and she trembles, shakes, tugs, Karl is immovable. She feels weak as a babe in his grasp and – damn it all – she likes it.
Alcina does not know how long he holds her there, how long he keeps her on the edge of teetering into oblivion. All she knows is that she comes with a loud, long moan, hips twitching and thighs clamped about his head to keep him in place. She does not think he can breathe. In any case, she doesn’t care. She comes off her high just long enough for him to rise on to hands and knees above her, sneer, and shove two fingers into her.
They curl against her Grafenberg spot. She comes again with a shout, butterflied and twitching. His lips and teeth latch on to her exposed throat. Bruising, choking, all-encompassing. The second high lasts long enough to leave her dizzy. Or perhaps that is oxygen deprivation? She isn’t quite sure.
All she knows is this is too fast, too much, and entirely not enough.
She needs more.
And Alcina damns Karl Heisenberg for that.
Mostly she damns herself.
It begins with stolen moments.
Behind the curtain in her tailor’s room, half-dressed in new clothing. In her office, her bent over the desk and moaning as he tugs her curls roughly. In the bathroom, lady’s maids standing just outside the door as he makes her scream his name over and over and over again. In the gardens, neckline of her dress pulled down below her breasts as he pins her roughly to a stone wall and nails digging into his neck as she finds release twice before him.
The bruises pressed into her hips, thighs, waist fade. The bite marks pressed along her neck and shoulder do not. Alcina keeps hating him. Alcina is fascinated by him.
Karl keeps defiling her in new, creative ways.
There’s a bone-deep ache for more – more time, sustained on morsels of decadent passion between duties of running the vineyard and being a Lord.
Speech is returning. Karl finds his voice best when whispering filth into her ear, hot sinful things that growl and snarl and never fail to make her clench hard about his cock.
Somehow, some way, when Mother Miranda finally realizes her vision, they will have all the time in the world.
Alcina is sure of it.
It begins with an argument, smoldering glares over wine glasses sparking with hatred and passion in equal measure – glimpses more suited for the bedroom than a ball.
Mother Miranda has insisted upon Alcina hosting the annual gathering for the townsfolk. It galls, watching all these peasants milling about in her opera, tainting her family’s history and dignity with their grubby fingers. But she is a gracious hostess. Her smile is immovable, her elegance impeccable. Alcina knows she is beautiful, knows she is striking. All that need be done is show that she is better, that she is more. Except Mother Miranda cares not. She is occupied by other matters throughout the gathering. Rage and jealousy festers in Alcina’s stomach like acid.
She has imbibed far more champagne tonight than is considered proper.
Frankly, she can’t give less of a fuck.
Across the opera hall, lingering in the shadows, Karl looms like a specter. She’d had the tailor custom create his tuxedo for the occasion in a shade of black so deep it seems to absorb light, his tie deep crimson patterned in paisley. His hair is shining silver in the flickering lights of the opera hall, swept back elegantly in a bun. His eyes gleam angrily when they meet, and Alcina feels a rush of desire pulse down her spine.
It has been just over a week since their last encounter.
All she craves is more.
Graciously excusing herself from the gathering, Alcina feels Karl’s eyes burning in the back of her skull as she ducks through the door and heads towards the powder room. It takes less than two minutes before a massive paw of a hand lands on her shoulder, whirling her about and pressing her hard into the stone wall.
There is no surprise when Karl’s lips descend upon her own, biting and nipping and overwhelming in their intensity. Instead, Alcina hums into the contact and bites back. Blood drips between them. It tingles on her tongue, thick and heady, and she is shocked to realize that she has become rather fond of the taste of him. After a moment of him threatening to devour her, she presses a gloved hand to his shoulder and shoves. Hard.
She sneers up at him, knowing which buttons to press to get exactly the reaction she so craves. “So crass of you, Heisenberg. Honestly, could you be less of a brute?”
His scarred, handsome face twists into a snarl of its own, and he presses her harder into the wall. Her dress – fine silver silk that shimmers as it drapes over her like liquid – is bunched in his fists where he takes her hips in a bruising grip. It’s horrendously decadent.
“No. You’ve been a tease all fucking night,” Karl growls, the words still rough but coming more easily now after months of practice. “Tired of fucking waiting.”
“God, you’re a menace,” Alcina responds, and though she intends to be sharp and reprimanding, the words escape with a breathless whine as his fingers knead along her hips and ass. “You could at least pretend to have an ounce of propriety, you animal!”
Karl’s eyes gleam in the dim lights of the corridor, and he offers her a vicious facsimile of a smile that makes her legs tremble.
“Propriety?” he croons, and Alcina’s breath comes faster as the syllables drip from his tongue like honey. “We’re well past that, bitch.”
As he speaks, he begins sliding her dress further up her hips, skirts trailing along her skin like water. Alcina cannot suppress the shiver that runs down her spine, or how her hands clutch at his broad shoulders. Karl growls when he realizes that she isn’t wearing any panties; a whimper escapes her unbidden at the sound.
“No panties, eh?” he leans in, teeth grazing along the soft flesh of her neck, breath hot on her ear. “What a slut.”
A rush of heat floods her core, and Alcina gnaws her lower lip to keep from moaning aloud. It’s humiliating how wet this sort of talk makes her. Ladies are meant to be spoken to with respect, to be taken gently and adoringly. Karl handles her as though she is entirely disposable, speaks as though she is a common whore in the brothels, and Alcina feels entirely sickened by how much she loves it.
“This dress isn’t meant to be worn with traditional undergarments, you cretin,” Alcina stammers, tries to explain as he bites gently overtop her jugular. “Besides, you can’t possibly mean to do that. . . here? What if someone were to leave the party?”
Karl moves far faster than someone of their stature has any right to. Suddenly, Alcina finds herself lifted into the air, bracketed by steel-corded arms and heat against the flagstones. His eyes burn up into her own, leering like the beasts that roam the forests outside. Her breath comes in shaking pants. She’s unable to look away.
“I think that’s a ‘them’ problem, eh?”
And suddenly his lips are on her own, devouring, consuming. Alcina is swept away in the violence of it, the bruising grip his hands take on her backside, the blood trickling from a split lip as he bites down harshly. Her lipstick is already hopelessly smeared as he begins trailing biting kisses along her jaw, growling as he grinds his hips roughly into her own and bites down hard on the curve of her shoulder.
Wetness seems to flood her core, and Alcina moans breathlessly. She can feel his clothed erection grinding on her center, her thighs trembling about his hips at the sensation, at the thought of him filling her. It’s addictive, having a lover that can fully satisfy her needs. And, oh, the sounds he makes! Grunts and growls and snarls, more beast than man.
This is a new version of Karl Heisenberg, and they hate one another, but damn if this isn’t decadent.
Frantic, needy, she shoves the fine wool jacket from his broad shoulders, needing more contact with him. Karl growls, bringing his lips back to her own as they battle to loosen his tie, unbuttoning as much of his pressed shirt as can be reached. Exposing leagues of glistening, scar-roped skin for her to appraise and abuse. Alcina lets out a growl of her own, licking a hot stripe up the side of Karl’s throat before ducking her head and sinking her teeth into the meat of his pectoral. More of his blood fills her mouth. Hot, thick, overwhelming. She sighs as it washes over her tongue.
A hand weaves its way into her curls, brutally yanking her head back to expose her throat, and Alcina does not stifle the broken moan that escapes her lips. Crimson drips over her chin. Trickles down her throat.
Karl’s eyes burn. Her thighs tremble. Her core aches with need.
“Greedy little bitch,” he hisses into her face. “Didn’t have permission for that. I think you should be punished.”
A thrill shoots through her at the impropriety of it all, burning low in her abdomen, and Alcina feels herself melt against him. Still, she meets his stare with defiance and lifts her chin. A challenge. Oh, how she has learned that Karl loves a challenge.
His pupils dilate until they are an abyss of black, just the barest rim of that beautiful silver-green cast about them. One hand leaves her hips, thick fingers fumbling to free himself of his trousers. The other leaves her hips. Alcina gasps as her thighs tighten about him to keep from falling, and he pins her hands above her head.
Karl grins savagely and grinds against her bared center with his cock, free hand pinning one thigh up and out to the side. She’s been ensnared at the perfect angle to just slip right in, she realizes, and a fresh flood of wetness threatens to drip free.
His face hovers a mere breath from her own, damnably handsome and smug and, God, does she hate him. She is certain the feeling is mutual. Emotions roil and fester in her blood and she snarls, “Get on with it, then, mutt!”
The words are punctuated by a heavy gasp, followed by a breathy moan as Karl sinks to the hilt inside her. He inhales coarsely through his teeth. His face ends up buried in the crook of her neck, grip brutal about her wrists. The bones grind. Delicious pain that juxtaposes the pleasure thrumming from being so full. Alcina moans and trembles and a smile crosses her face unbidden. He’s almost a touch too big, her core clenching hard around him, but it’s perfect.
Karl waits just long enough for her to adjust before he thrusts – hard and brutal and steady – into her. Alcina yips then moans loudly at the sensation. Each thrust hits the perfect spot deep inside her, the pleasure brightening by the moment and swelling deep in her belly. Her eyes drift shut, head lolling on her shoulders.
Then the grip on her wrists tightens and a particularly deep thrust makes stars dance behind her eyelids, swears falling from her lips, surrounded by breathless moans and whimpers. Karl growls and grins down at her, all teeth and burning eyes. She clenches around him helplessly.
“Look at me!” Karl rasps, demanding and harsh, and Alcina finds herself enraptured by those eyes once more, unable to look away.
He thrusts harder, deeper, faster. The stone is rough and cold against her back. Delicate bones in her wrists. She could not stop the moans and whimpers spilling from her lips if she tried. All that exists is heat and pleasure and him. One of her heels digs into his backside, and Karl snarls, leaning down to bite her again. The pain makes her moan even louder, and he drags his teeth up her throat until his lips rest just by her ear.
“I want you to feel this. Feel me. Such a dirty little slut, moaning like this for my cock. No one else can make you feel this good, huh, baby? No one but me. Look at you: high and mighty Lady Dimitrescu, moaning for a mutt.”
The filth spewing from his lips spark fury and lust in equal measure. She trembles about him, wetness flooding her core and release bearing down on her like a freight train. Alcina twitches and squirms as much as she can, helpless moans and pleading babbles spilling from her lips like wine. Karl’s hips quicken once again. Hot air gusts over her ear with each pant and growl. Rougher deeper harder, yes yes yes!!!i
“Oh, wouldn’t it be terrible if someone finds us like this?” Karl sneers, and Alcina meets his gaze dizzily, hardly able to string two thoughts together for the pleasure. “Pretty, perfect Lady Dimitrescu getting fucked against a wall like some cheap whore! God, such a pretty little slut you are!”
Her lip trembles, tears welling in her eyes against her eyes. Alcina moans brokenly. And suddenly her hands are free, fingertips tingling with new blood flow as she wraps them about his neck. Karl cups the back of her neck and brings their foreheads together.
“Not a slut!” she whines, unable to comprehend why the word – which he has used so many times in their past encounters – upsets her in this moment.
Karl suddenly growls and crushes their lips into a wet, open-mouthed kiss. Teeth clacking, the taste of their blood mingling on her tongue. Alcina whimpers but fights back, tongues sliding along one another and hands gripping tight to his silver hair. One hand snakes between them until rough fingertips are rubbing smooth circles against her clit. Alcina’s head drops back against the stone with a half-formed shout at the pleasure, hips bucking and core clenching hard.
Her partner grunts, snarls, and doubles-down. He pins her in place with those damned eyes again. When he speaks, his voice is gritty, parched.
“I’m gonna fill you up and leave you dripping – “ he leans forward to bite harshly at her chin, leaving a mark that fades moments later, “ – and you’re gonna go back to the party like that. It’ll hold you over ‘til later. Then I’m gonna tie you to the bed and do this again – and again – and again!”
He punctuates each word with a vicious thrust, hard enough to jolt her up the wall with a wet slap, and surely there will be bruises on both of their hipbones after this and the pleasure is building, burning, brightening and she’s drunk and dizzy with it all, barely able to keep her eyes on his and then he grins at her and –
“You’re not gonna feel anything but my cock for the next week, bitch!”
And, fuck, she’s coming hard, trembling and moaning and shaking around him. Alcina wrenches his head to her, lips pressed insistently against his to swallow each sound she makes in desperation. The deviant thrill of it all makes the orgasm last all the longer. Karl snarls into her and does exactly as promised; she can feel his seed fill her with warmth, hot and sticky and so satisfying.
Karl presses her so tight to the wall she can hardly breathe for the pressure. Alcina cannot seem to stop trembling, forehead dropping to his shoulder as he holds her close and they attempt to calm racing heartbeats. His hair smells of sweat and sex and chamomile shampoo, oddly enough. They must look at terror, she is sure.
“Good fuck, you feel good,” Karl rasps hoarsely.
It startles a chuckle out of her, and Alcina surprises herself by kissing his jaw softly. “I shall take that as a compliment, mutt.”
“Shut it, slut.”
They remain like that for a few more moments before Karl finally slips out of her, tucking himself back into his now-ruined trousers and grinning at her dishevelment. Alcina’s legs tremble dangerously. Her heels are not tall by any stretch; however, the way she teeters borders on indecent. At least the cad has enough sense to offer her a shoulder for support.
Her makeup is a lost cause, as is her dress. There is blood streaked and dried all about them, staining silk and cotton and wool alike. Alcina huffs – perhaps the castle launder can remove the stains but still. She quite likes this dress and now another shall have to be commissioned.
Karl snorts and rolls his eyes. “Don’t pout, princess. There’s more dresses.”
Alcina sneers. “I do not pout. And I happened to like this dress.”
Another snort, followed by a shockingly fond smile. “Yeah, ya do pout, Cina. ‘s kinda cute, actually.” Then his smile turns to that wolfish grin again. “Besides, I like you out of the dress better, anyway.”
He has the audacity to guffaw at her when Alcina snarls and slaps him hard about the shoulders. It devolves into another heady kiss, all lips and tongue and teeth, her pressed tight to his bared chest and his seed trickling over her thighs.
Later, Alcina will berate herself (and him) for being a terrible hostess, leaving the festival unattended.
Later, Alcina will accept Mother Miranda’s sound punishment
bruises on skin and ego alike and tears in her eyes and trying to keep Karl from tearing out of his skin as he watches from the sidelines with her head held high and vow to never stoop to such a level again.
Now, she falls into the poisoned honey-trap of Karl Heisenberg’s silvered-emerald eyes and delectable kisses and the deviant threat of being caught-out.
It begins with three little girls.
More specifically, it begins with the bodies of three little girls. Tiny waifs with delicate little cheekbones and eyelashes resting soft on over-pale cheeks. Alcina’s heart aches at the sight of them. From the files Mother Miranda has left with them, the eldest – a little blonde with evidence of long-term starvation – was barely six. The middle child
death by scarlet fever, parents unknown, unfit vessel for Eva is five. The youngest with her brittle red hair had only just turned two prior to death.
Implanting the cadou in their bodies was a tedious process. Karl growled and snapped and snarled from the corner the entire procedure. Later, in her chambers, he pinned her to the bed and fucked her until she begged him to stop, tears and mascara and saliva smeared over her cheeks. Afterwards he held her tight in the bath and buried his face in her hair and shook hard. Alcina decides that, beast though he is, she forgives this trespass.
Karl’s new mutation and lack of memories has been difficult for him. He remembers small things. Reading, speaking, sex. But he no longer grasps the engineering tasks or powers that used to come so easily to him. They sleep wrapped around one another in her bed, and if Alcina catches him pressing gentle, reverent kisses to the bruises and scars etched into her body, then that is for her alone to know.
It takes approximately a week for the full transformation to occur. But when the bottleflies disperse, there are three honey-eyed little girls staring up at her with pure innocence and trust. Alcina feels her heart soar, dreams long-thought dead surging to the forefront.
She names them as she would have her own children: Bela, Cassandra, and Daniela.
Bela is her quiet, dutiful little butterfly. She is timid, a bit shy, but clever and studious. She takes to reading like a fox to a henhouse: ravenous and sly and unapologetic in her quest to know more. Cassandra is her little wolf. She is vicious and brash, taking to their new diet of meat and blood more easily than her sisters. The maids run in fear from her tiny brunette hellion, and Alcina cannot help but take pride in the steel-hard confidence her middle-daughter possess.
Daniela, however, takes to Karl more readily than anyone else in the castle, including herself. She is bright and happy and clever as either of her sisters. However, she is not studious like Bela or fierce like Cassandra. Instead, her little bumblebee is content to sit atop Karl’s lap and listen to him read stories for hours. She finds them in the atelier rather often, messy fingerpainting masterpieces (and themselves) smeared in every color of the rainbow.
Karl smiles more genuinely than she could ever have imagined with the girls about. Memories seem to be returning to him. He builds things. A playhouse for the girls in the dungeon. A more efficient heating system in their rooms to protect them from the cold winter storms. Delicate puzzles for Bela, and child-safe weapons for Cassandra, and even a dollhouse for Daniela to keep her presents from Donna. He is gentle with them, though his demeanor is gruff as always.
And suddenly, Alcina finds herself lying in bed on a cold October night, listening to thunder rattle the windows of Castle Dimitrescu as Karl wraps his arms about her and the girls. Their girls.
She wonders when the bone-deep hatred for Karl Heisenberg softened into this.
Another peal of thunder. Bela whimpers and cuddles hard against her breast, little fist clenched hard in her silk nightgown. “Mămica, it’s scary!”
Very softly, Alcina shushes her baby and presses a kiss to her crown, inhaling the scent of talcum powder and lavender that clings to each soft sunshine lock. “It’s perfectly alright, little love. Mămica will always keep you safe. Besides, the thunder is simply loud. It cannot hurt you.”
Cassandra, her brave little wolf, is pressed between her and Karl and pretending that she isn’t afraid. She is betrayed by the whites of her eyes, the tremble of her lower lip. “R-right! It’s just noise!”
Another peal, and all three girls squeal and bury themselves under the covers. Karl chuckles, his shoulder jostling under hear ear, and lifts the covers enough to see Daniela shivering against his chest. “These kids are chickens.”
Alcina shoots him a warning glare, hands gentle on Bela and Cassandra, though she can see his words hold no real malice. Daniela looks up at him with watery eyes. “Nu-uh! ‘s scary!” their baby lisps, all chubby cheeks and freckles.
“Nah, kiddo. Storm’s already moving away.” Karl is very calm, subtly pushing them all deeper into the pillows and blankets.
The lights dim, rain pattering heavily against the windowpanes. Dani curls up underneath his chin, ear pressed to his sternum. She looks almost comically small as Karl’s hand covers much of her tiny body. But Alcina cannot help but smile as her lover launches into an explanation of how to count the seconds between lightning strikes and thunder peals, his voice as soothing a rumble as the thunder outside.
It takes only another half-hour of counting seconds between strikes before the girls are snoring quietly between them. Bela is curled in the crook of her right arm, Cassandra spread-eagled atop their abdomens. Daniela remains sprawled on her belly atop Karl’s chest, a little line of drool running from her rosebud lips.
Alcina feels sleep fighting to take her, unable to keep her eyes from drooping. A hand, rough and calloused, strokes along her cheek to coax them back open. She is met by Karl’s silvered eyes glowing in the dim.
Despite herself, Alcina smiles.
Karl smiles back. And it is entirely too fond, too soft for them. His lips press to her forehead, just above her eyebrow, and they are chapped and warm and gentle. He nuzzles her. Everything is warm and syrupy and soft and right.
They are beast and lady. Bastard and bourgeoise. Uncouth ruffian and cultured noblewoman. They are jagged edges and sharp tongues. They should not mesh.
And yet here they are.
And it feels perfect.
“Goodnight, pretty girl,” Karl growls.
Alcina musters enough consciousness to kiss him back, lips just the barest weight on his own, and mutters, “Goodnight. . . bastard.”
The last thing she hears is his laugh before drifting off to sleep.
It begins with hatred.
It begins with lust.
It begins with a broken man and an equally broken woman, though they neither one know it.
It begins with a look, a kiss, a moan.
The end begins with “I love you.”
And a man named Ethan Winters.