Pulling her ponytail tighter, Bryce headed into the sunny center of the apartment to grab linen bags from the kitchen. Her heart squeezed at the sight of Hunt finishing his breakfast at the island. Seeing him cooking and eating in their kitchen, as if it were normal...she wanted to weep with relief every time.
Hunt's eyes followed her in, and she had to force herself not to stare at the glorious, empty space on his brow. "Do you wanna go to the store?" she asked lightly, bending over (perhaps more than necessary) to grab the bags from under the counter, well aware that she was giving him an eyeful of yoga pants.
Straightening out and turning back, she met Hunt's eyes as they raked up her body. "Shoe shopping again?"
Bryce scoffed, popping up her leg like a shoe model, "Why? Is there something wrong with my new sneaks?" Lately, she'd ruined more shoes than she cared to replace, but the clean, white lace-ups were a nice new addition. Hooking the bags on her shoulder, Bryce took Hunt's now-empty plate to the sink. The scent of his freshly-applied deodorant was a pleasant reminder that she was awake, and this was real. "But no. I'm going out for groceries because a thousand pound gorilla is eating me out of house and home."
Sneaking behind her at the sink, Bryce could feel Hunt's body heat her back. He twisted her ponytail around his fingers, shooting tingles down her scalp, and planted a warm kiss at the base of her neck. "Sure, I'll come." He tugged lightly on the ends of her hair as he pulled away, leaving her upsettingly aware of the increasing distance between them. "Let me grab my wallet."
The rainy season was nearly passed, leaving the city sun-warmed and brimming with fresh blossoms. Although it was nothing compared to the preternatural fauna of FiRo, most of the walk was lined with palm trees on one side and rhododendrons and blooming jade on the other. To Bryce's delight, Hunt had donned that ball cap again to shade his eyes. It was hard to suppress her smile at the dichotomy of that big chest and wide, dark wings against Hunt's jeans and hat. She couldn't decide if he looked like a regular guy in an Umbra Mortis costume or the angel of death on summer break.
They chatted lightly on the walk, Syrinx trotting ahead, tugging on the leash. "So your big plan for your day off is grocery shopping?" Hunt mused. A week had passed since The Incident, and time had been precious ever since. Hunt's phone was ringing off the hook with tasks at the Comitium, often keeping him away all night, and Bryce had strange new tasks supplied at Jesiba's temporally-unbound will, along with a deluge of what she politely thought of as "forced socialization" to keep everyone calm and off her back. On the rare moments that Bryce and Hunt were in the same room, it was often to shovel food down before passing out. But today, they'd decided, would be a forced chill-out day for them both.
Bryce waggled an eyebrow and slipped a hand into Hunt's back pocket, giving his butt a shameless little squeeze. "I have many important plans for my day off, actually. But I have to keep my personal chef well-supplied first," she said irreverently. "What about you, big boy?"
"Hmm," Hunt pondered, interlacing his hands behind his head. "Word on the street is, Three Bats Under the Bridge 3 is streaming for the first time in a few decades," he replied, referring to a corny old movie that had some dumb legal dispute preventing it from being shown in marathons between Two Bats Under the Bridge 2 and Four Bats, Forty Nights. Those movies really started going off the rails around the fifth installment, though.
Ribbing him with her elbow, Bryce laughed, "Is that what they're saying on the streets? What kind of dark rumor mills are you plugged into, Athalar?"
Hunt squirmed and grabbed her arm, and Bryce tried to wrestle it away but he tugged her into his side, and tossed his arm around her shoulders.
There was a farmer's market and a nice family-owned grocery down by Griffin Antiquities where Bryce would usually stock up on sparse essentials. But the Old Square catered to a different kind of clientele, which meant the nearest grocer was pricey and full of strange, imported supplements, and Syrinx wasn't the only exotic pet taking a ride in the shopping cart in this store.
Even in his regular-guy disguise, people seemed to maintain a radius around Hunt, as if, given the opportunity, he would flip their carts over. Bryce browsed the fun fruit section, half-contemplating a multi-pronged pineapple. Watching Hunt compare two melons, Bryce thought he might be humming along to the pop song crackling through the store.
Through the store, Bryce pushed the creaky cart up and down the aisles, grabbing minute rice and easy-seasoning packets, while Hunt loaded the cart full of whole foods and paused to compare the prices on eggs and meat options. In the bakery, Hunt selected a still-warm loaf of focaccia, and they both stopped to take in the cake options.
"Mmm, let's do chocolate," Bryce moaned, mouth salivating at the shiny glazes and swirls.
Hunt crossed his arms and glanced at her. "I guess it's time I come clean," he said seriously. "Chocolate is...a little bit too sweet for me."
Bryce's face contorted and she spread her arms. "What did you just say?" She put a hand on her waist and pointed at him. "How could you keep this from me? What, you want me to eat raisin cakes now, I guess? Oh, and don't forget to eat your prunes before bed, as a treat!" Bryce had risen up on her toes to gesticulate more wildly, rolling her neck in exaggerated snaps.
Grinning, Hunt captured her accusatory hand and pulled her to him. Bryce put her other hand on his shoulder to catch herself, and they made a facsimile of tango dancers in an embrace. "I'll tell you what," Hunt said, then lifted her with an arm around her waist and rotated them both so that he could use their connected hands to point at a cake. "Compromise?"
Bryce tore away from those gleeful brown eyes, where she was appreciating the little smile lines that had appeared, to see where he pointed. "Red velvet? Hmm, kind of an old person cake, but..." Bryce considered that red-speckled cream cheese frosting. She turned her grin on Hunt. "Okay. Compromise."
Syrinx wound around their legs, howling for the food he knew they bought while Bryce and Hunt unpacked the groceries. Bryce dug out a never-used cake holder and set the red velvet under the glass dome like a center piece on the dining room table. Hunt started to prepare something in the kitchen so Bryce flipped through the TV channels and - predictably - found a Bats Under the Bridge marathon at the end of the first movie.
Hunt mixed some herbs into a little bowl of olive oil with the clink clink of a fork, and dipped a torn piece of focaccia in the mixture. "Mmm," Hunt beckoned Bryce over, "come try this." He drenched some meat in a bowl full of marinade which he covered and tucked into the fridge, and threw some pieces of the raw meat to Syrinx, who yipped with pleasure in between catching the bits in his eager maw.
Bryce walked back over and ripped her own piece of focaccia off and let the still-warm bread and oil melt in her mouth. "Oh yeah," Bryce moved into Hunt's chest and pressed slick lips to his, "that's a carb I'd kill for."
Wrapping an arm around her and sliding his hand down to cup her butt, a smiling Hunt grabbed and wiped a napkin gruffly over Bryce's face and leaned down to kiss her again. They broke the kiss and Bryce peered up into Hunt's warm, loving face, his eyes darting between her eyes and her mouth. Reaching up, Bryce grazed her thumb, feather-light, along Hunt's bottom lip. His eyes dipped closed, shoulders relaxing. Suddenly aware of about how near Hunt's fingers were to her cunt, and remembering of how it felt to have those digits buried in her, Bryce stood up on her tip-toes to trail her hand back, along his neck, and greedily pull his mouth to hers.
A growl purred deep in Hunt's chest and he chucked his hat to the counter to return her escalation. He stroked kneading fingers down Bryce's spine to squeeze both her butt cheeks. The hint of spreading between her leg made Bryce hungry, and she nipped at Hunt's lips.
Flipping her back to the island, Hunt's large, hard body pinned Bryce back and she submitted like gelatin under him. He hoisted her up, onto the counter. His wings flared as she wrapped her legs around his center and felt how hard he was against her groin, and yanked on his shirt to pull his torso against her as she moaned into his mouth.
Tongues wrestling, Hunt's hands moved under the hem of her shirt, sliding up her waist. Tugging at the band of her bra, he unclasped it with one hand and palmed a freed breast with his other. Hunt pushed both her shirt and bra up, over her head and Bryce lifted her arms compliantly. Weaving his hand into the hair at her crown, he pushed her now-bare back into the cold stone of the counter and moved his mouth to her ear and down her neck, the tickle and sound of his breathing sending Bryce into a frenzy. She bared her throat to him and couldn't suppress her moan as his teeth closed on the sensitive flesh by her collar, and Hunt ground his hips harder against her.
With arms wrapping her waist, Hunt lifted Bryce's torso into an arc that brought her breasts to his teeth. Seeming to want to savor them like a wine, he planted small kisses and nips around her chest and the tops of her breasts, teasingly avoiding her peaked nipples, only fueling the fire in her core. His wings curled around them protectively like a cocoon, and Bryce's heart squeezed with yearning. Hunt eventually trailed his lips closer to her nipple, the scraping feel of his facial hair sending a thrill through Bryce's core, and he swirled his tongue around the small pink flesh, licking the top and sides of her nipple back and forth. Bryce's legs tightened their hold on Hunt's hips, willing that hardness under his pants to be free and in her immediately.
A buzzing sounded on the other side of the kitchen. Hunt paused his ministrations. Hooded eyes met hers and he rested his chin on her sternum, scowling. "Is that yours?" he asked darkly.
Bryce sighed heavily. "Yeah. I guess I should get that." She could feel her blood pumping hard in her chest.
Head still resting between her breasts, Hunt replied in the same dry tone, "I guess you should." Neither of them moved.
Bryce considered letting it go to voicemail for a new more rings, before pushing her self up on her elbows in resignation. Hunt helped set her feet on the floor and gave her ass a pat as she walked away.
Hunt scrubbed his hands through his hair and moved to the living room while Bryce conversed in a short, clipped tone in the kitchen. Two Bats Under the Bridge 2 had just started and he flopped on the couch before the TV, but his brain was laser focused on the low voice of the woman behind him. He pressed his back into the couch, resting his arms on the couch back and his wings on the floor behind it. His cock strained against his jeans, and he shifted his hips restlessly as if it would relieve the pressure.
A flitting thought in the back of his head informed him that he was completely unguarded right now. His mind and body were simply consumed by those of the woman starting to impatiently snap into the receiver in the kitchen. That hair slipping through his fingertips, those full, soft curves, breasts plump, the sounds that would come out of those damned lips when he touched her just right...Bryce Quinlan was more dangerous than all the armies of the world.
He was so far gone.
He strained in his body like an animal in a cage waiting for her return.
With a snick of her phone on the counter and a long-suffering sigh, Bryce padded into the living room, adjusting the hair that he had mussed. "Does she think I'm some kind of fucking moron?" she griped. His eyes followed her approach, and he could feel his jaw working. Her shirt was still off, her breasts reverberating with each step she took, and those damn yoga pants promising a world of delights lower down.
Another useless thought told him that must have been her boss, but what did that matter when she stopped in front of him, limned by the sunlight still pouring in, and her own eyes trailed up to meet his. A smirk cracked her face. "I believe we were in the middle of something," she said, and climbed on him.
Her mouth crashed into his, her scent washing over him, and she straddled his lap and ground the heat at the base of her legs against his needy cock.
Feeling possessive, Hunt smacked a palm to Bryce's ass, digging his fingers in, and caressed upward along her torso to grip the soft tissue of her breasts.
Bryce pulled back from the kiss, and Hunt moved with her to pull her back, but she swatted at him, laughing. "Lay back, big man," she crooned, and scooted back, hands trailing down his chest and catching on the button of his jeans.
Hunt tensed. Bryce pursed her lips and slowly undid each tooth on his zipper, her knuckles grazing along his boxers. Her cheeks stained prettily with pink and she bit her bottom lip. Hunt felt his own cheeks heat from the attention this unbelievable woman before him was paying him. His chest strained from barely breathing as Bryce shifted off the couch and onto the floor before him, between his legs, trailing a delicate finger along the bulge in his boxers. Her eyes were locked on his package. He couldn't stop looking at her.
She trailed her fingers along the hem of his undershorts, dipping them beneath. She flicked her eyes up to his face. The sunlight threaded through her eyelashes, her amber eyes gleaned golden. She smiled up at him before returning her gaze back down and pulling his boxers up and over his straining bulge. His cock sprang free onto his stomach, and Bryce immediately ran the pads of her fingers along the soft flesh, radiating beads of pleasure through him. Hunt couldn't take his eyes off her, heart racing.
Taking him in her small hand, Bryce brought him to her lips and planted a gentle, wet kiss on the tip. She gazed back up at him under her lashes and tucked the whole head inside her little mouth.
Hunt dropped his head back on the couch and a roar ripped through his chest. Bryce operated with the confidence of a woman who wanted to make him meet the gods. Slow, but hungry. Teasing, but shameless. Her fingers tangled in his chest hair as she reached up, under his shirt. Suddenly feeling suffocated by it, Hunt sat up and peeled his shirt off, discarding it.
Loving every sight, sound, and sensation but yearning to do, Hunt stroked loving fingers along Bryce's scalp and through her pony tail, then down the line of her spine. That strange, dangerous tattoo peaked out over the hem of her yoga pants. Her bum on this angle looked like a ripe peach. He planted another satisfying smack on it, and started slipping his hands under the stretchy fabric.
Warmth spread through his core, but Hunt refused to get close to orgasm just yet. There was so much he wanted to do with her. Knotting his hands back in the crown of Bryce's hair, he pulled her off his cock and to his mouth. Her mouth was wet with the saliva that now coated his erection.
On her knees before Hunt, Bryce hungrily returned his kiss. He slid to the floor in front of her, his wings wrapping protectively around them. His hands kneaded in her back muscles and he hooked his fingers in her yoga pants, yanking them down over her butt.
Bryce scooted back into a sitting position on the plush living room carpet to push her pants down further, and Hunt helped to untie her sneakers and pull them off. Of course, she left the red lacy thong on.
"Hmm," Hunt purred, thumbing the lace on her hip. "That's a nice number."
Bryce pushed Hunt's jeans down further, and he shifted to kick his shoes off and shove out of them, leaving him buck naked. She leaned back on her hands, a smirk playing at her lips, and took in the angel before her. His skin was a rich umber in the sun. His feathers traced the spectrum of gray, from cool and shadowed, nearly black, to warm and silvery. Chest and deltoids wide, a dark dusting of hair trailing down his chest, and those abs...Bryce licked her lips.
A full, devious smile cracked her face. She spread her knees wide before fanning them closed again, and turned to wiggle her butt for him. "You want this?" she supplicated. "You want in this?" She put a hand on her butt to jiggle it a little for Hunt, who was on his hands and knees now, slowly reaching for her.
"Oh, sweetheart," he murmured, trailing a finger along her hip, "I want in that real bad."
"Well then," Bryce said, propping up on a foot and looking back mischievously over her shoulder, "you gotta work for it." She launched into a run, jumping over the ottoman and bounding toward the dining room.
She heard Hunt belt a laugh and barge after her. Over her shoulder, she saw him gaining on her and she ducked behind the kitchen island, putting it between him and her. Bryce stared Hunt down opposite her, heart elevated. Hunt was smothering a grin that lit his brown eyes beautifully. She feinted toward the living room, then turned heel and ran for the dining room, but Hunt called her bluff and came storming right after her.
About to be cornered, Bryce scrambled over the table, avoiding the cake as she rolled in her best imitation of a chase scene in a bad movie. Unfortunately, her bad roll cost her and Hunt caught up, catching her around the waist as she dropped off the table. He lifted her up and tossed her over a shoulder, planting a possessive slap on her butt. Fortunately, this put Bryce in good squeezing distance of Hunt's cute butt.
He marched them toward her room, her hair swinging with his steps. He kept his free hand caressing up and down her thighs and butt, grazing against the small area her thong covered with great pleasure.
He plopped her down on the end of her bed and she again had the pleasure of looking up at the handsome angel, who had an erection with her name on it hovering pleasantly near to her core.
He wasted no time in ridding her of her underwear, tearing them off and tossing them to the side. He looked down at her, dark eyes taking in every inch of her body, and stooped to kiss her, his forearms framing her face on the bed. He'd brought his scent to her and she writhed with the desire it instilled in her. She knotted her hands in his hair and twisted her tongue around his. He pulled back and kissed her neck, collarbone, sternum, belly, trailing downward.
Gripping both her thighs, Hunt planted kisses down the tender inner flesh. Bryce felt his warm breath on her vulva, saw his head between her legs, and desire heated her cheeks. She stroked his dark hair lovingly as he licked up her slit and brushed his lips against her clit.
Bryce's head dropped back in ecstasy, her whole body relaxing under his mouth. His rough cheeks grazed her clenched thighs as Hunt licked and sucked along her hot flesh like he was exploring a new dish.
Suddenly gripping the back of her thighs, Hunt hoisted Bryce up, hooking her legs over his shoulders. His feathers tickled her ankles and his fingers dug into her butt as Hunt buried his face between her legs.
Gasping and moaning, Bryce reached for Hunt or just for something to hold as he licked along her labia, flicking and sucking her clit. He lapped at her cunt like it was his first meal in weeks. The bliss in her core coursed through her body, but Hunt's ministrations were relentless.
He adjusted his grip on her butt and Bryce tightened her thighs around his head as if he might drop her. Instead, he met her eyes as he licked slowly up along her vulva and dipped his thumb into her cunt. The thought of him being inside her thrilled her, and her eyes dipped closed in euphoria as Hunt's other thumb entered her too.
Spreading her and massaging her entrance with his fingers, Hunt maintained a unrelenting indulgence of Bryce's basest needs as he lapped at her. "Oh," she moaned, "oh, Hunt. That's so good." She grabbed hold of her breast as she peered up at him, bewitched by everything about him in that moment.
The feeling of a kernel of heaven melting in her core began to spread, and she could feel a tightness stewing beneath the surface. "Oh, Hunt," she whimpered. "Oh, Hunt..."
The pressure rapidly summited and Bryce tossed her head back, mouth crying out as her back arched. The rapture rolled into and over her again and again, her muscles contracting around Hunt's fingers, his tongue teasing her orgasm further and deeper. Her legs wriggled in the air but he held her still as she swam through the full force of her orgasm, that small bit of infinity that crested in her mind and silenced everything else in the world.
The sensation ceded slowly, as Hunt kissed gently along her delicate flesh and thighs, then toward her stomach as he tenderly laid her back down on the bed. She reached for him, needing to feel him close against her in her afterglow.
Hunt climbed on the bed before her, and she wrapped both her arms and legs around his torso tightly, burying her face in his neck. He was so warm against her, so steady and real. He was firm everywhere she was soft. He wrapped his arms around her tightly too, but as he moved toward her, she felt his cock graze against her thigh.
Dazed and floating, her drive to have him still surfaced. Moving her legs down to wrap them around Hunt's hips, Bryce pulled hard, urging his hips forward, and she planted hot, wet kisses on his neck. He turned his face toward her and matched her needy kiss. She felt such immense love from him in that moment that it nearly moved her to tears.
He shifted his center nearer to hers and she felt his hard tip against her entrance. Her swollen cunt yearned to be filled, still so wet from the recent exertions. She squeezed her feet against his butt again, imploring him to complete her entirely.
Hunt moved a hand to cradle Bryce's head and pressed his cock to her entrance just enough to tease her. She whimpered, head lolling back. Hunt's breath was jagged against her collar. He gripped her butt firmly with his other hand, as if to steady himself, and then he slid the length of his cock inside her.
She exhaled as if he had pushed the breath out of her lungs. Bryce thought her eyes might roll out of her head. The sensation of Hunt inside of her was unbelievable. Electrifying. She felt her muscles clench around him, greedy.
Hunt drew back slowly but fully, leaving Bryce whimpering at his absence. Biting down hard on her neck, he thrust back in to the hilt, and Bryce shouted out in rhapsody.
Hips now slamming into her, Bryce's moans turned into guttural groans, choked and overwhelmed at the intensity of the feeling of Hunt sliding in and out of her. She was so wet, and he grazed her clit ever so slightly on each inward thrust. She might have said, "This is unbelievable. This is too good to be true," but words were beyond her now.
She was so far gone.
Hunt hooked his arms under her legs and pulled her knees to her head. She wrapped her legs over his shoulder and felt him hitting impossibly deep inside her, stroking places she might never have felt before.
He paused and took her face in his hands. She looked up, into his face. Dark eyes and hair framed the imploring look he wore, a thin layer of sweat setting him to near glowing. The sunshine on his wings around them made it look like he was an ethereal, otherworldly being. A extraordinarily powerful male was before her, looking upon her with kind brown eyes, touching her softly. Bryce wanted to reach into his heart and hold him there, to touch him anywhere it hurt and cover it in love.
They kissed. Slowly, sweetly. Then teasingly, nipping and bumping tongues. Then they were like uncaged animals, and he was moving in her again, and he was fucking her, and he was making love to her. He filled every dark spot of her with electrifying energy, and she felt so alive.
His rhythm altered, becoming more rigid, more intentional. Bryce stroked along his back, near the base of his wings. "Yeah, baby. Yes, baby," she whispered, coaxing him.
Hunt gasped against her. "Bryce," the word a plea and a question and prayer.
He suddenly thrust deeply, stiffly, and a growl in his chest reverberated through Bryce. She held him tighter, his release feeling like her release, kissing his neck, his ear, his scraggly cheek, as he came and poured into her.
Long after he stilled, he relaxed against her, wrapping around her like she was a pillow. He nuzzled her neck and nipped her ear. He didn't pull out of her yet, and she wished he never would.
Their breathing slowed, and Bryce felt sleepy. Or, at least, comfortable enough to sleep. Entwined with Hunt, under his weight, she felt like she was in a half-awoken dream. She had no idea how long they laid together, but she savored every breath.
Eventually, Hunt shifted, suddenly vigorous, and he slipped out of her, softening. He braced himself over her and smiled down at her, pecking her on the lips and eyelids and nose, over and over.
Bryce giggled and swatted at him, "Sto-op."
He kissed her again. "Why? Aren't I allowed to kiss?" He scooped her up and into a sitting position, their legs still loosely around each other.
"Men are supposed to look and not touch, haven't you ever heard?" Bryce quipped. She kissed him, both of them still smiling.
She rested her head on his chest and Hunt smoothed circles on the small of her back. "I can prepare us a small post-game meal, if you want."
"Mmm." Bryce was pretty hungry, now that he mentioned it. But she was more focused on the sound of his beating heart beneath her ear. "Can't we start with dessert?"
Hunt chuckled. "Whatever you want, sweetheart. Just as long as we can watch trash TV the rest of the night."
Bryce smiled up at him. "Oh, that was never not an option." She tackled him with another kiss, before forcing herself to stand and stretch her aching legs. Reaching down to her toes, she couldn't help but see behind her that Hunt was appreciating the view, eyebrows raised toward her rear, despite his recent climax. Straightening out, she padded into the bathroom. "I could sure use a shower first, though." Leaning over to turn on the hot spray, she maybe arched her back a bit more than necessary. "Want to join me?" she shouted back, over her shoulder, straightening up.
But Hunt was already there, grazing her thigh, and leaning in for a kiss.