Daryl’s annoying her again.
He’s not doing it on purpose, she doesn’t think. He’s just sulking — probably because she’s annoying him. But that’s nothing new; he’s got a temper, after all, it’s impossible to guess when she’s gonna piss him off over the littlest thing. She’s a witch, not a psychic, for Pete’s sake.
Either way, her attempts to get a smile out of him only make him scowl instead. And if he’s going to be like that — like he usually is — well…
Beth snaps her fingers, and suddenly it’s not a man, but a big black Maine Coon narrowing bright blue eyes at her and snarling.
She shrugs. “Did this to yourself.”
Which is, in a way, true.
He didn’t have to come home with her in the first place. He could have transformed from the cat she’d found prowling through the cemetery some six months ago, could’ve told her from the start that he was a shapeshifter, not a stray, but he didn’t. With minimal fuss — which is surprising enough, now that she knows him — he’d let her bundle him up in her coat and bring him to her cozy little house in the woods.
Beth’s never had a familiar before. There were plenty of animals on the farm growin’ up, but none of them ever felt quite right. The big mangy graveyard cat, on the other hand, well, she’d liked the look of him straightaway and thought he ought to be hers. He’d only hissed at her once, after all, before she cooed at him sweetly and he grudgingly allowed her to scratch him under the chin. The scrap of food she’d offered probably helped some, too.
Turns out that was pretty much what did the trick, too. Beth performed the familiar bonding charm that very night and, lo and behold, the next morning there was a man lounging on her floor, back braced against the armchair and dirt-stained hands digging into a jar of pears.
That had started one hell of an argument, because Beth’s got enough problems with the fae in the clearing a little ways’ walk from her back porch without shapeshifters pulling tricks on her, too.
It was mostly just an argument on Beth’s end, mostly just her huffin’ and tossing filthy looks at him while she cut up herbs perhaps more violently than usual and he just kept right on eating her preserves.
“Why didn’t you say somethin’?” she wanted to know.
Daryl shrugged, slurped fruit juice off his fingers and said, “Was hungry. You had food.”
He didn’t seem all that fazed, either, when she informed him that they were stuck together now, ‘cause that’s how the bonding charm works, duh.
Beth guesses not much could faze you, though, if you’d been living alone off the land as long as he had. She’d been alone a good long while by then, too, so it wasn’t long before her irritation faded away. He got used to her and she was happy to have him here.
But, yeah, okay, sometimes he still annoys her and she does it right back. Probably doesn’t help matters that she’s got more powers than he does, and he pretty much has to bend to her will — like now, when he can’t switch back ‘til she snaps her fingers and lets him.
She dances out of the way when he swipes at her with one heavy paw, claws out. He wouldn’t hurt her, he’s just pissed, so he yowls when she points a threatening finger at him and says, “You put those away or else I’m not gonna change you back.”
That would be pretty counterproductive, seeing as how changing him back would make his claws a moot point, but he retracts them at her bidding. That’s not part of the bonding charm; it’s just that Daryl tends to do what she tells him to, even if he does kick up a fuss about it first.
“Good boy,” she coos, and scratches his chin because she knows it’s gonna rile him up more. He bares his sharp little teeth at her, but then licks up the side of her hand with his sandpaper tongue in a show of penance ‘cause he knows what’s good for him.
“Alright, then,” Beth relents, and snaps her fingers so it’s Daryl the man perched on the arm of the patchwork couch again.
He still looks kinda pissed, probably because she’s smirking at him. She flops down onto the other end of the couch, so she can stretch out her bare legs and prod at his thigh with her toes.
“You gonna behave now?” she asks him.
His jaw tics when he grumbles, “Ain’t gonna fuck you, ‘f ya keep doin’ that.”
That’s not part of the bonding charm, either. That just sorta… happened, maybe a month or so after she brought him home. Beth’s not sure she could pinpoint the how or even the when, the precise moment, only that it had felt like a long time coming and they were both plenty relieved when it finally did. And it kept on happening after that, because neither one of them seem at all inclined to stop.
“Oh, yeah?” Her toes curl into the rough denim of his jeans. “You don’t wanna?”
One corner of his mouth pulls into a snarl, while his hand circles her ankle to hold her still. “You fuckin’ know I wanna.”
Beth snaps her fingers again, not to turn him into a cat this time, but to light the candles around the room. It’s the same sorta finger-snap, yeah, but it’s all about the intent. It’s getting dark outside, and besides she likes the glimmer of flame when it catches on Daryl’s teeth and in his eyes.
“You gotta be good for me, then,” she says, all sweet the way she does when she starts bossin’ him around. It makes the heat rise in his cheeks, visible even through his sun-tanned skin and the stubble that grows prickly and wild across his face. “Don’t want you kissin’ me if you’re gonna be all grouchy about it.”
“Ain’t grouchy.” He slides his hand up to trace her calf muscle, gone taut because she tends to tighten up when he starts to touch her, all delicious (if a bit impatient) anticipation. “You’s the one havin’ a damn tantrum ev’ry time y’ don’t get your way.”
Beth crooks her knees a little farther apart, giving him a peek at the triangle of black satin, all that’s covering her beneath her sleep shirt. “I like havin’ things my way.”
“Yeah,” he says, but his gaze is zeroed in on the space between her thighs and she knows he wants to get his mouth there, too. “Fuckin’ know y’ do, goddamn, girl.”
“Think you like it, too.”
Actually, she knows it. ‘Cause he has to get on his knees for her, when he snaps at her like he’s been today, and it’s why he snaps at her so often.
He doesn’t say anything, but then he doesn’t need to. He talks more than he used to, back when she first brought him back to her warm little cabin, with its bright quilts and glittering crystals, tinkling wind chimes, with its fragrant plants hanging from the ceiling and the pots in the crackling fireplace that’ve always got somethin’ brewing. It’s quiet here, serene, but Daryl’s been working up to talk to her more — in conversation, in bed, whatever the case may be — but all the same he remains a man who prefers action to words.
So now he slips from his seat on the armrest to crawl over her slowly, bearing her back against the cushions as his body covers hers. He drags up the hem of her nightshirt, gets it outta the way so he can scrape one blunt thumbnail up and down the line of the panties she’d just teased him with. He tracks his own movements with sharp eyes, and licks his lips when he swipes his thumb up over her covered clit, making her shiver and then whine when he pulls away.
“That ain’t behavin’,” Beth chides, even as his hands push her shirt up farther, so he can smooth rough hands across her bared stomach.
“‘M gonna be good t’ ya,” he promises, gruff voice rumbling out the words like a purr. “Jus’ lemme touch you first.”
That’s exactly what she wants, for him to touch her, not tease her. But she knows what be means, and that look in his eye when he’s lookin’ at her makes her melt, so she’ll let him take the lead ‘til she’s too impatient to wait anymore.
His hands are rough like the undersides of a wild animal’s paws, big and broad and worked over by the sun, and his fingernails scratch at her skin — not to hurt, just to make her shake a little ‘cause she likes it. He knows she likes it, knows everything she likes, and he does it all for her because he likes it, too.
“Been worked up all day, haven’ you?” he mumbles, watching as his hands track the valleys of her body. He’s always watching himself touch her, like it’s somethin’ to be fascinated by. “Need me t’ get ya off, that it?”
“Thought that woulda been obvious,” Beth points out, as her hands follow their own path up his chest. His heart thrums beneath the press of her palm, like it’s all hers and he wants her to know it.
And she does, because he’s always been good at showin’ it.
“Yeah,” Daryl admits, “jus’ like hearin’ you say it, s’all.”
Well, she can do that, easy, Beth thinks, and then says aloud, on the breathy side ‘cause he really is gettin’ her good and worked up — “Want you to make me come. You wanna do that for me, huh?”
His tongue swipes his lips again, leaving them glistening in the flickering candlelight. “Uh-huh.”
That said, he wraps his arms around her thighs, spreads them wide enough so he can fit between them. It’s tricky work on the couch, but they make do; they’ve made do with plenty less space before. He dips his head, inhales the scent of her before he takes the edge of her panties between his teeth and tugs them down. The tip of his tongue flicks out to tease her skin, hot and crackling ‘cause she feels like she’s burning from the inside-out every time he gets his hands, his mouth, on her.
When there’s no more give, he leans back to roll her panties the rest of the way off and tosses them aside. Usually he’d just rip them in half, but he knows better than to do that when Beth wears something especially pretty for him. He’s told her before he don’t give a fuck what her underwear looks like, he just wants to get at her pussy, but he knows she likes them and he’s not about to tatter perfectly good satin.
That’s not to say he isn’t eager, though. Beth can feel that in the way that he looks at her, gaze just as hot as the candles she’s got burning. His eyes flick from her cunt to the dark pools of her own eyes, snagging a couple seconds on the smile playing at her mouth, like he can’t decide which lips he wants first. Beth makes up his mind for him when she draws her bottom lip between her teeth and nods down to the apex of her legs.
“C’mon,” she urges, tilting her hips invitingly as she wheedles him. “C’mon, want your mouth. You gonna let me have it?”
“Gonna give it t’ you, alrigh’,” he says, all husky and dark, and he dips down to suck hickeys onto the insides of her thighs. She lets him, ‘cause she likes the scratch of his beard and the way he loves on her skin with his mouth.
He sucks hard, bites at her and twirls his tongue around, giving her a taste of what it’s gonna feel like when he tastes her cunt. He’s done it a thousand times before, but every time, god, every time is like the first time, he makes her feel so good.
He palms her knees as his mouth moves up, tongue laving soothingly over the skin he’s gone and bruised up — she might be in charge, but she’s his and he leaves those marks on her so she won’t forget it. She never would, but if it makes him feel better to see the evidence of what he does to her, then by all means she wants him to keep right on doing it.
Beth keens like a cat — yeah, ain’t that funny? — when Daryl’s tongue swipes up her slit, just like it’d done when he’d been lickin’ at his own lips. He flattens his tongue and swipes again, gathering her wetness in his mouth and groaning into her cunt.
“Goddamn, girl, y’ needed this, huh?” His fingers bite into her thighs while one of her hands tangles in his hair, and the other in her own.
“Uh-huh.” The words are tight in her throat, but her body relaxes when his thumb moves in circles across her skin to soothe her further. “Always need you. Always so good to me, mmph —”
He groans again, he’s always making a racket whenever he goes down on her, all moans and gruff curses as he tongue-fucks her ‘til she sees stars. She loves feeling those sounds, loves the way they tremble into her cunt, loves the way he nestles between her legs like he could live there.
“Gonna fuckin’ kill me, girl, c’mon, lift up for me some more,” Daryl huffs. He smacks her lightly on the thigh and she tilts her pelvis up, so he can get more of his mouth on more of her. “Tha’s it, good, tha’s what I want from ya…”
With that, he goes back to eating her like he’s slurping on another jar of her canned fruit. He laps at her in long, slow licks, then flicks his tongue rapidly as it moves inside her, and back out again to swirl around her clit. She’s gonna have beard burn all over her by the time he’s done, and she’s gonna like it.
Her hips follow the rhythm he’s set, circling, thrusting up, though not too far because he’s holding her steady. His hands are moving all over her, feeling her up, but they press down whenever she starts to go a little too wild, otherwise he’s gonna wind up with a black eye or busted nose. Hey, it’s happened before, and it almost killed the mood (not quite, he still finished her off no problem, but still).
She’s panting into open air while he’s panting into her cunt, everything hot and heady, candle wax melting into pools of scented jasmine and vanilla, her arousal coming faster with every lap of his tongue over her, in her. He takes her voraciously but leisurely, like he could do this all night and never let up for breath, let alone anything else.
God — when he slurps at her, loud and sloppy, making her even wetter for him, damn it, so good, she bites her lip hard enough to draw blood — what else even is there?
“Gonna come for me yet?” Daryl asks her, mumbling the words into her pussy so she can feel them inside of her. “Gonna let me do that for you?”
“Yeah,” she gasps, coiled tight and ready for him to let her loose. Her fingers card through his hair, tugging him closer, and he burrows his head deeper between her clenched thighs like he’d just been waiting for her to ask. “Yeah, c’mon, want you to give it to me. Said you would, now do it.”
Never one to disappoint her, Daryl holds her down by the hips and latches onto her clit, sucking like he did on her inner thighs, hard and fast, moaning things like fuck and her name and g’on, girl, wanna feel you come in my mouth —
And she does, god almighty, but her body seizes up, back arched, and she gushes into his waiting mouth like he’s sucked her come straight outta her. Her fingers are flexing in his hair, pulling at it probably painfully, but he just rumbles words of encouragement as he laps her up. He’s practically mewling as he does, though she’ll never say that to him or else he’ll get embarrassed.
When he’s got her all cleaned up, he releases her legs so that they both fall slack, one against the back of the couch and the other straight to the floor, so her foot’s planted on the well-worn throw rug, trembling all over still but the solid ground helps some.
Daryl leans back on his knees to give her some room, though truth is Beth’d be fine if he just stayed sprawled out on top of her. She likes the weight of him. So she tugs at one of his belt loops to bring him back a little closer.
“Alrigh’?” His voice is hoarse, and she swears the sound of it rasping out from deep in his throat is enough to punch another round of aftershocks through her.
“Yeah,” she assures him because, god, yeah, she is. “Just want you to kiss me.”
His mouth twitches, all wet with her come, and he laps that up, too, ‘til his own saliva replaces it. His chest is rising and falling heavily as he draws in air, swallowing it like he’d been drowning.
He rubs his thumb against the self-inflicted cut on her lip, then replaces his finger with his mouth and drinks away the hurt. He sighs into it, into her, relaxed, not a care in the world now that he’s got her off, and now all he wants to do is kiss her slow and easy the rest of the night. His breath is hot and tangy when it mingles with hers, and she takes it greedily, needy, like she can’t get enough of him and she really, really can’t.
Their lips cling, and still brush even when they break the kiss to breathe. She only wants to breathe him in, anyhow, that smell of smoke and evergreen that seems to follow him no matter how much the rest of the house smells like sage or — when she doesn’t air the place out properly — the five-pepper chili she cooks in the fireplace every Thursday.
“That good for ya, huh?” he asks, nudging his nose up against hers. There’s something like a grin tugging at his mouth, which lets Beth know he’s feeling mighty pleased with himself, like he always does whenever he eats her out like a damn last meal.
But he’s earned it, so she lets him have it. She stretches, all content and luxurious-like, a smile stretching around the words when she tells him, “Mmhmm, sure was.”
Daryl smirks. “Gonna quit bitchin’ at me now?”
“Hmph.” She snorts, and swings her foot around to tap him on the ass. “No, I ain’t.”
He shoves a hand up under her ass now, gives it a squeeze and pulls her up close.
“Good,” he mutters, and kisses her again, swallowing up her indignant huff of laughter before she can think to do anything else to punish him.
She does, of course, consider snapping her fingers at him again, but… Well, he’s just about kissed all the good sense outta her by now, and Beth figures she should give him the chance to kiss the rest of it out before she goes turnin’ him back into a cat for the fun of it.
Because, y’know, the kissing’s pretty fun, too.