“Fucking Unseelie Court,” Jamia muttered, dropping her keys on into the catch-all dish beside the door while closing it behind her with a resounding thunk. The smell of baking bread and roasting vegetables met her and she breathed deeply, letting that soothe her. She was home.
“It went that well, huh?” Alicia called, poking her head out of the kitchen further down the hallway.
“Yes,” Jamia answered. “That well. Tell me you are making roasted vegetable soup. Or you’re just gonna let me eat them directly from the pan.”
“Do you need me to shoot Frank again?” Lindsey called from upstairs. “I just got a new crossbow.”
“I thought you were doing laundry,” Alicia called back, frowning up the stairs.
Lindsey strolled out of the upstairs bath with a laundry basket balanced on her head and a hand to steady it. “I can multi-task,” she said walking downstairs. “And it’s your turn to clean the spare bathroom.”
“Ugh,” Alicia grumbled. “That’s so unfair.”
“Well, neither of us shed that much,” Jamia said, raking a hand through her hair and dropping her glamour, adjusting her earring on one pointed ear.
“That’s only on the couch, mainly,” Alicia argued, pouting.
“Which is fine until you encourage the cat to go romping about outside with you and get fleas, forcing us to leave the spare bathroom a scene of devastation,” Lindsey said, stopping in front of Jamia. “Hi, honey.”
“Hi yourself,” Jamia smiled as Lindsey’s lips pressed softly against hers for a slow, steady kiss.
“I’ve had a long day and declare that we eat all the veg ‘licia has made and watch Leverage on Netflix. Just cuddle pile, dinner, and fuck everything else,” Jamia rested her forehead against Lindsey’s shoulder.
“Did you already start the cuddling? Unfair,” Alicia grumbled, hugging Jamia from behind and sticking her nose against the back of Jamia’s ear.
“Only a little. Consider it pre-cuddles for after dinner.. Dinner is safe and not in danger of being ruined because of impromptu cuddles? I don’t stink like Frank anymore, right? Little fucker was all over me.” Jamia sighed, reaching back to stroke Alicia’s side. “I should just start bringing you two when I have to make even the most mundane of appearances.”
“We are your Huntress and Wolf,” Lindsey allowed. “We can be quite menacing. It’s one of our better traits.”
“We would gladly growl at anyone who looked at you the wrong way.” Alicia confirmed, kissing the hollow of Jamia’s throat where jaw met neck.
Jamia couldn’t have gotten any luckier to have found them.
This was just embarrassing. Amateur move, even.
“Well, aren’t we in the wrong end of town, Pigtails?” a voice asked behind her. “Long way from home, even. Let me guess, wrong turn at Albuquerque?”
Lindsey turned, pulling up her crossbow as she pivoted her feet.
“Who are you to tell me where I should be?” Lindsey asked, with more bravado than she felt.
“Just one of the court, darling.” The woman at the end of the hallway smirked. She was cute, cuter than Lindsey expected a fae to look, actually.
“You’re a fae?” Lindsey asked and bit down on the inside of her cheek. Well, there went any hope of getting out of this one, she thought.
“What? You expected someone taller, didn’t you?” The woman crossed her arms over her chest, cocking a hip to the side. “Fucking typical.”
Lindsey grinned, “Dirty mouth.”
“You gonna clean it up?” The woman asked, stepping closer, and Lindsey knew she could get lost in those enormous doe eyes.
Lindsey licked her lips.
“Well, what about it, Huntress?” The woman asked, leaning in on tip-toes, lips brushing Lindsey’s cheek.
“I-uh-I was at least going to start with breakfast,” Lindsey said, voice shaky.
The woman laughed and the sound of it danced along Lindsey’s face. “For that, Huntress, I’d even give you my name -- if there’s bacon,” the woman said, grinning.
“It’s not breakfast without bacon,” Lindsey agreed.
“Then I’m Jamia,” the woman extended her hand.
“Lindsey.” She took Jamia’s hand and shook.
“Let’s get breakfast and then I’ll mess up your lipstick,” Jamia smiled, snapping her fingers of her free hand and a door appeared, opening to reveal the diner near Lindsey’s apartment.
Lindsey grinned. She’d done more foolish things than give her name to a fae in order to have breakfast.
“You need a pack,” Pete said, dropping down beside her and handing her a red plastic cup that smelled like really terrible beer. She took a sip of it anyway. Yep, totally awful.
“I’m doing just fine on my own.” She frowned. Okay, she wasn’t really doing all that fine on her own. Granted, it was really hard to make rent by herself, but she managed. That was just the thing, though. She was managing. She hated to admit it, especially to anyone, least of all Pete, that she was lonely.
“You could least cohabitate with someone,” Pete offered, like he couldn’t read her like a book.
“Let me guess, you’ve got someone in mind?” Alicia frowned harder. Fucking Goblin King being meddlesome. Pete needed to mind his own business. She needed to talk to Patrick about discussing boundaries with Pete again. Or maybe she could get him to meddle in Sean and Tom’s business. Those two were way overdue. Sean’s moony eyes were getting ridiculous. Steegs would probably even be okay with some sort of complicated poly-triad relationship arrangement if her exasperated eye-rolling meant anything.
“Before that look on your face becomes permanent, I want you to ask yourself when have I ever led you astray before?” Pete asked all cheeky smiles and the smell of self-satisfaction.
“Do you want me to bring up Mikey?” Alicia sneered, and immediately regretted being so cruel.
“Hey, he broke my heart too,” Pete chided, sounding quick and easy, but the acrid stench of hurt tickled her nose.
“Sometimes we both make bad decisions,” Alicia allowed, bumping her shoulder against his in apology. “Like us dating, for example.”
“Hey we were fantastic for like two weeks and the sex was ah-maaaaay-zing,” Pete grinned, eyes sparkling.
“You’re not totally wrong,” Alicia allowed and then sighed deeply, relaxing as his scent normalized. “So, who’s this person you want me to be roomies with?”
“Two people actually, of sorts,” Pete said, giving a nod to the two ladies who just walked into the backyard one with lips red as blood and dark hair pulled into pigtails and the other woman grinning widely, with the scent of the otherworld clinging to her.
“You want me to be roommates with a hunter and a fae,” Alicia gaped. “Pete, have you lost your chaos-loving mind?”
“Nah,” Pete grinned at her. “Lyns and Jamia are awesome. You’ll see. Trust me. I’ve never lead you wrong on anything important.”
Pete looked at her then, scent nothing but sincere, smile hopeful. She could see what kept Patrick with him.
“Fine,” she said and Pete beamed at her and Alicia felt them approaching.
“Great! Time for introductions.” Pete hopped to his feet.
Before Alicia could rise to her feet, the shorter one was standing in front of her.
“Hello Wolf, meet Pigtails,” she inclined her head to the one with the painted lips. “Lyns, I pick her. Do you pick her too?”
“She’s perfect,” Lyns grinned, nodding.
“I’m Jamia of the Unseelie court. We live that old Victorian on the edge of the Warehouse District. Neither of us can cook for shit, but we’ve got an extra room and a giant bathtub,” Jamia said, extending her hand. “When are you gonna move in?”
“Bit presumptuous, and you don’t even have my name yet,” Alicia fought a smile. She was completely and totally charmed and a little gone already.
“We will soon,” Lyns said. “And we’ll be yours as much as you’re ours.”
Turned out that she’d never been so glad for Pete to be right. Not that she’d ever tell him that. She made Jamia and Lindsey pinky swear the same over dinner the first night she moved in. Of course, she had just claimed their undying affections with her culinary talents.
The three of them fit well together in so many ways. She would have stayed for the cuddle piles alone. Everything else was cake.