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The Fruit of Your Intents

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I couldn't stop rubbing my wrists. I think part of me didn't believe that I was actually free. I stared at Luke. “Why?” I saw no need to be more specific.

He looked wary. I suppose he was realizing just how thoroughly pissed off I was. I can’t imagine why that should have surprised him. Did he think I’d been having fun?

I bared my teeth at him.

He reached over and touched my cheek. “I wanted to. I figured it wouldn't make you more likely to kill me when we got to this point.”

He was a fool. I hadn’t thought that before. He should never have taken the cuffs off me. Or done it a hell of a lot sooner. Months sooner. As soon as he saw what his mother was doing. Instead--

If I didn’t hurt him very, very badly, he’d be lucky.

One of my hands shot up to grab his wrist. I squeezed.

His breath hissed between his teeth, but he made no effort to pull away. His eyes reminded me of him right on the verge of something exhilarating and potentially deadly. Which he’d already done.

“I'm pretty sure that, no matter what I do, Ghostwheel will help me. Not you.” I hoped I was right. The things Ghostwheel had said seemed to suggest that, but he'd been angry with me before. And he hadn’t rescued me when he could easily have.

I stepped in closer to Luke and pulled his body against mine. There was a tree nearby large enough to serve, so I shoved him against the trunk and kissed him. I was no more gentle about it than he had been with me an hour earlier. Or any time before that.

I pressed one thigh hard against his groin and ground it against him.

He groaned, and I could feel his cock hardening.

I kept our bodies pressed close but separated our faces enough so I could speak. “Is that because it's me or because of what I might do to you?”

His breathing was unsteady. He wouldn't meet my eyes.

He’d fucked me when I couldn't say no, and now he wanted me to reciprocate. Punching him would have been simpler. Especially if he thought this was about sex.

I touched the side of his face. “You don't get that so easy.” I kissed him again, much more gently this time. “I definitely want to beat the shit out of you, but if you're getting off on it, that's a different Shadow entirely.” I took three steps backwards and gave him a long, appraising look, making it as frankly sexual as I could manage.

He flushed, and his breath came fast. He actually thought he wanted what I might do. Maybe he thought I had been having fun. Maybe.

Definitely a fool.

“I'm pretty damned sure your mother's looking for us now. I've no mind to wait for her.”

He looked unmistakably disappointed. “Yeah. She wouldn't approve. Me doing you, yes, but not…”

I couldn't think what to say. Part of me wanted to warn him. Part of me wanted to hurt him as he'd hurt me, worse if I could manage it. I looked away. “You should run.” So I was going to warn him. Would he realize how vulnerable he would be anywhere that Ghostwheel could find him?

If he didn't, would I do anything about it? I hated him. I… loved him, too. That was a terrible combination. For him. I wished he hadn't put the idea into my head. Punching him wouldn’t make me like him, like her. This… I wouldn’t. Would I?

I probably would. I wanted to. I didn’t, but I might.

I flicked my fingers at him. “Go.” Before I changed my mind.

He made no move to leave. I don't think he had any idea what he was risking. “I'm going to tell her I put you somewhere, that I didn't like you and her together. If you escape there, I didn't let you go.”

I didn't think Jasra would buy it, but that was Luke's problem. And Jasra had been trying to figure out what to do with me, so maybe she'd pretend. I narrowed my eyes. Did she guess that I could be dangerous? I’d hidden that as well as I could, but she wasn’t stupid. Would she think about what I might do?

Luke wasn’t thinking at all as far as I could tell. Fantasizing, maybe, but... Did he still think we were friends?

“Later, Luke.” I put menace into the words, the last warning I was going to give. Because we used to be friends. Then I called the Logrus to mind and pulled myself away before I could change my mind.