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Flash Fiction – Love and Lies August 30, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction, WeSeWriMo.
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This is it!  The 8th episode for WeSeWriMo, woohoo!  This kicks off a new story line, and starting friday I’ll be back to the regular once-weekly schedule.  Thanks everyone for cheering me on throughout the month – it’s been hard to do 2 episodes, but a lot of fun as well.  I will definitely be doing this again next year.

If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.

“Argh!  This is hopeless!” Nox said. “I have nothing to wear!”

Grimm eyed up the small mountain of clothes she had thrown out of her closet and rolled his eyes. “You know how this is going to go…”

“I can’t wear anything backless, thanks to that damn Chimaera clawing me…”

“Loki is going to say something to you…”

“Nothing too short, my knees are still bruised from that disastrous attempt to land after flying…”

“You are going to blush bright red…”

“And everything longer is formal wear for court. I can’t wear that to lunch!”

“And you two will make goo-goo eyes at each other for the rest of the afternoon.”

“Formal wear, formal wear, eww, dowdy school-marm.  When did I buy that?”

“He is so besotted, you could wear a sack cloth and he would not notice.”

Nox blew a raspberry at him. “You don’t have a romantic bone in your body, Grimm.”

The hound chuckled.  “Romance is for the young.  You had better leave out some of the formal wear. We have to present ourselves at court tonight.“

She shut the door to her room but kept talking, her voice muffled by fabric.  “I’m trying not to think about that.”

“I’m surprised your father did not insist that you stay at the mansion last night.”

“I think he wanted time to talk to mother first, before I rip into her.  Any bets on whether we devolve into a cat fight?”

Grimm let out whurfs of laughter.  “You would win.  You fight dirty.”

Nox came out in a sapphire blue dress with a gauzy wrap across her shoulders.  The silver pin the Wind Knights had given her hung by a delicate chain from a loop in the shaft of the feather.  She spun around, making the skirts swirl around her calves.  “Will this do?”

A flash of memory hit Grimm as the pin caught the light.  Auburn hair, leaf green eyes, and his own feather insignia hanging on a slender, tanned neck.  He blinked and the memory was gone.

“Oh no, this looks awful, doesn’t it?”

Grimm shook himself.  “No, sorry, just wool gathering. You look fine.  Wear that flowery stuff you put in your hair.  He likes that.”

Her face lit up. “He does?  Ooh, do I have any left?” She dashed back into her room and started tossing clothes back in the closet to unbury her dresser.

Grimm got up as the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it,” he said, but Nox whisked past him, smelling faintly of jasmine and starflowers.

She stopped halfway down the stairs, ran back and gave him a hug.  “Thanks for the hint.”

“Oh, go on, before your dress gets covered with dog hair.”

She flashed him a smile and all but flew to the door.

Just has Grimm had predicted, Loki had her blushing in seconds.  They walked out arm in arm, neither taking their eyes off the other.  He let out an amused snort, and settled down to a blissfully quiet day with his book.  He was happy that she was happy, but it was spilling over through their soul-bond and making him feel giddy.  Which was bad enough for a guy, but at his age it was undignified.

Another memory surfaced – this time it was a name.  Katya.  Bittersweet memories, love and loss, underscored by the mocking voice of the Shadowkin, “betrayed by a woman…“ The hound rested his head on his paws, and wondered if some of the holes in his memory were there because there were things he did not want to remember.

The tolling of bells in the clock tower caught Nox and Loki off guard.

“Oh no,” Nox said. “We’re going to be late! My parents wanted me there by six.”

“A carriage won’t make it, but we can always ride,” Loki said.

Nox crinkled her nose.  “After a week in the saddle, my bruises still have bruises.  I think I’d rather be late.”

“That’s easily fixed.  Here, I know a stable close by.”  Loki led her through side streets along the edge of town to a small farrier’s shop that had a stable attached.  Loki walked in and tossed a few coins to a stableboy.  “Saddle up Cherry for me.  An extra tip if you’re fast.”

“How many horses do you have?”

Loki winked.  “In my business, having a quick way out of town is a necessity.”

“And what business is that? Dodging irate boyfriends?” she teased.

He laughed and gave her a wicked smile. “Leading maidens astray is my specialty.  Sit side-saddle.” He gave her a lift up and swung up behind her.

Nox squeaked as he scooped her up, shifted forward and sat her across his lap.  He put his arms around her to take the reins, and whispered in her ear.  “Hold tight, luv.”

She wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head against his shoulder, and for once, she actually enjoyed a horse ride.

Thirty minutes later they cantered into the courtyard of her family’s mansion, amidst a flurry of other guests.  Nox checked the family crests on the servants’ livery out of habit, so that she could properly greet whatever visitors had come to the dinner.  They were all attired the same, with the crest of the House of Mist emblazoned on their coat sleeves.  “The Marche Warden is here?  I went to school with his son.”  She smiled as a young man exited a carriage.  “Mikael!” she called out.  “What brings you here?”

Mikael stiffened as he looked at Loki.  “Who are you, and what are you doing with my fiancée? Is this some sort of joke?”

Loki scowled at him.  “I was thinking the same thing.”  He dismounted and lifted Nox down.

“Would someone please tell me what in the Hel is going on here?” Nox said.

Mikael looked startled.  “This is our engagement party.”

“Our what?!”

Serenna swept through the doors of the mansion, and down the stairs into the courtyard.  “You are so absent minded, dear. I told you about a new suitor before you left on your trip.” she smiled sweetly at Nox, and used the compulsion spell to keep her daughter’s lips sealed. “Mikael spoke so fondly of you, and your years spent together in school, that I saw no reason to delay your union with a lengthy courtship. Come, let us go inside. We can discuss the wedding over dinner.”

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1. Mari Juniper - August 30, 2010

making him feel giddy. Which was bad enough for a guy, but his age it was undignified.

This made me laugh out loud!

What a mother Serenna is, eh? Now that she’s using the compulsion spell openly, it seems that there’ll be more than a simple cat fight. Hee! heh

Err, a small detail. Did you mean “definitely”, up there? 😉

techtigger - August 30, 2010

whoops, heh, yeah. Fixed!

I am going to have fun with this story arc 🙂

*rubs hands together and cackles with evil glee*

2. lauraeno - August 30, 2010

I want to smash Serenna and grind her into pulp. Grrr!

techtigger - September 1, 2010

who needs enemies when you’ve got family like that! *lol*

3. Gracie - August 31, 2010

Of all the domineering mother tricks! Why, I oughtta…

I hope somebody gets Serenna good– and soon!

Great episode, and a really great cliffhanger, if you couldn’t tell. 🙂

And I want to know more about Grimm’s past and those holes in his memory. Very interesting.

Love it!

techtigger - September 1, 2010

It felt so weird not writing a cliffhanger in the last episode, I had to make up for it 😀

4. Cecilia Dominic - September 1, 2010

Yay! Caught up on the WeSeWriMo tale and am intrigued by this new story arc. You did a great job with both — congratulations on finishing out the month!


techtigger - September 1, 2010

thank you! though I’ll admit, will be nice to go back to a less hectic schedule 😉

5. Julie (Okami) - September 2, 2010

Ok – bring on Grimm to dispatch this interloper immediately!!

Definitely an unexpected turn. Her mother is SO devious. Bwahahahaha!!

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