October 11

Hey guys! We’ve got just 3 days left after today to get those donations in for the RAWR Write-a-Thon. You can donate with the PayPal button on the right of this site, or through the Write-a-Thon participants page on the site at http://wat.rawr.community

 

My current wordcount is 28,443 of my 35,000 word goal.

 

Below is an excerpt from the current novel project of Simon, our magically-inclined black and white fox having some one-on-one time with Cyril Understone, the Achilles Club’s librarian. This is, like all of the excerpts, a rough draft and one that I will definitely need to have looked over by extra sets of eyes in order to ensure fair and decent representation. For now, this is the scene.

 

PLEASE Be aware that this scene contains adult situations between two males. If this does not seem like something that interests you, please feel free to skip it.

 

Simon watched the evening mist rising up from the moor, catching the faint sliver of moonlight passing through the clouds. The dark and the fog obscured the ground so completely that the old house might as well have been standing on an island, all alone. The hills in the distance loomed over the plain, cutting off the horizon from view.

The fox’s tail lashed back and forth.

Francis’s pleading eyes stared helplessly at him from the depths of his memory as the police hauled him away. In the end, it was the right decision. Of course it was. It had to be, didn’t it? Francis was dead. Even if they didn’t get him out of that pit, he would just vanish from this world when his time was up. Then he could be recalled.

He was helpless here. Without access to the books in the magical libraries of the Club, or access to a skilled enough mentor, he could not hope to do anything that would make a difference against the Followers of the Void.

The failure was his own.

He could not force the others to help him. He needed to fix this mess, and not burden anyone else with the weight of his error.

“Damn it all to hell,” he said, slamming a fist against the creaking wood of the windowsill.

“I can think of more productive uses of our time, Mr. Bartholomew.”

Simon’s fur bristled. He looked to find Cyril Understone standing in the middle of the room, regarding him with something resembling pity.

“How did you get there?”

“A librarian, above all, knows how to be quiet, Mr. Bartholomew,” the marten said, flashing Simon a small smile. “Miss Mather is tending to some of the wounded with the help of that old priest. A few of the others are drawing wards of protection about the house and grounds.”

Simon nodded. “Very good, though I don’t know that we can stay here for very long.”

Understone tilted his head and twitched his whiskers. “Why would you say that?”

The fox ran a black paw through his head fur. “Because our enemy is on the move. We cannot hide here and let them have free reign over London.”

Understone sat on the soft feather-mattress of the bed, paws folded in his lap. “Sometimes, Mr. Bartholomew—“

“Simon. Please, call me Simon.”

“Simon,” the marten repeated as though tasting a foreign dish on his palate. “Sometimes discretion is necessary. I will grant you that it has not happened for quite some time, but this is not the first time the Club has been driven into exile and lacking in resources. We have always persevered.”

“The club always had strong leadership before. They had ways of knowing when the worst was coming.” Simon crossed and sat next to the marten on the bed. Without intending to, he had sat a bit too close, and the shape of the bed had slid him closer. He could feel the warmth of the marten’s body through his clothes. He thought of Francis again.

“We have an excellent leader, Simon. In you.”

“I nearly got everyone caught by the police!” Simon barked, feeling the frustration and helplessness slither up from deep inside and threaten to seize around his heart.

“No, you did not. It was thanks to you that we managed to escape as we did.”

“Perhaps. But I do not feel better about it.”

Understone smiled again. “That just goes to prove that Candlemere was right in choosing you for membership.”

Had he been? Certainly he’d been given a safe haven to indulge his lusts, but wasn’t he just that? A plaything?

Simon thought back to all of the times that he’d given himself to Candlemere and the other members of the Club. The fox was little more than a highly paid, highly sought-after prostitute, in the end. He saw in his vision the release in the faces of his lovers.  Not just physical release of ecstasy, but something deeper.

They’d put their trust in Simon, to be the agent both of physical and emotional catharsis that they could not receive in their quotidian lives.

And then there was that first eve of all souls, when he had donned the Club’s robes and participated in the Ritual of Joining, with Francis as the conduit by which the new initiates were bonded to the club, and to each other, by their desires and by their seed.

The energy released in a ritual like that was of immense value to practitioners of the mystical arts like the Achilles Club’s inner circle.

Was that all he was? Another source of energy? He wasn’t good for much else, and certainly not leading.

“Do not doubt yourself so much, Simon.”

The fox looked up, shaking loose the idle memories of his past encounters. He shifted uncomfortably. The heat from the marten’s thigh combined with the memories, and the scent of the librarian’s musk created a most unwelcome situation in Simon’s trousers. Now was not the time. Everything was on the brink of collapse.

And yet…

Understone placed a paw on Simon’s thigh.

“I must admit that I did not know what to make of you when you came to us. I entertained similar thoughts to those you probably have about yourself now. I wondered if you were just another plaything for Candlemere’s experimentation in ritual magics.

“And then, something fascinating happened. Francis became enamored of you, and you of him. And it was genuine. I had never seen so much of the mystical energy released at one time as I did when you made love upon that altar.”

Simon shifted, trying very hard to be subtle about the action.

“I learned then that you were potentially immensely powerful, but also that you could be trusted,” Understone continued, “Not just because of your predilection towards males, but because your heart was genuinely open to love.”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, surely you’ve seen it at the Club before: males who come there to indulge their shameful desires, but who could never truly be a mate for their paramour, even in secret. They come, they come, and they leave. Ties may bind them to the magic circle, but certainly not to each other.”

Simon fought against the fire growing in his veins. They were outside the safety of the Achilles Club here, even if they were solely among its members in this secluded hollow.

The marten’s scent though. So much like Francis’s, and yet different. There was something vivacious and alluring about it. The scent of knowledge gleaned from a thousand ancient books and scrolls, and the smell of ink, paper, pigment, papyrus, and even clay. Simon could smell them all.

Before he could debate back and forth any more, he had grabbed the librarian by the shoulders and locked muzzles. Understone’s eyes widened, and he tensed. Then, he closed his eyes, as did Simon, and relaxed into the kiss. The fox’s tongue flitted into his mouth, exploring the sharp points of his teeth.

He even tasted a little like Francis, which set the throbbing between his legs alight with electric currents of desire. He let out a little whimper, and slid one paw along the marten’s waist to the button of his trousers. Flattening the paw, he began to slip it between Understone’s legs. Just a little farther—

“Simon, please stop.”

Simon opened his eyes. Understone had broken the kiss and was gazing at him. One paw had caught Simon’s by the wrist and now gently pulled it free of his trousers.

“Wh-what’s wrong?”

“Simon, we need to talk about me, and why I’m thought of in the club as peculiar.”

“You aren’t—“

“I know that I am. I am a librarian. I hear things in the silence. It’s part of my job.”

He flicked his whiskers.

“There is a reason you have never seen me partake in the pleasures of the flesh that the Achilles Club offers its members.”

Simon tilted his head, black ears twitching. He could still feel the ache of his erection, yearning for the touch of another. His heart pounded.

“What is it?”

“My desires are somewhat—er—unusual.”

“I am sure I can meet them. I’ve always done so for clients.”

Understood shook his head, whiskers twitching again.

“What I mean is that I am not like other males. I do not have a strong…urge.”

“You are impotent, then?” Simon blinked. “That’s nothing to be ashamed of. If it matters to you, I am able to be the dominant partner—“

“No, Simon. That isn’t what I mean. I mean that I don’t have the desire. Not physically and not mentally. It isn’t that I am incapable of lovemaking. I assure you that I am. But for me to be in the right state of mind for it requires so much energy and my nerves are set so on-edge by the act that I simply do not engage in it.”

Simon shook his head. “You are male. All males have the same base needs.”

Understone narrowed his eyes a bit. “Simon, when I do feel those urges I often take care of them myself, alone. The resultant few minutes of pleasure are not often worth the hours of buildup I have to go through to put myself in the mood, nor the sense of disgust I feel with myself for days after.”

Simon sighed, rubbing his head. “I see.”

“It does not mean that I don’t care for you. Quite the contrary! I merely cannot be with you in the particular way you desire at the moment. There are things I do desire in a partner, that perhaps we can engage in, when all of this is over, and if you still wish it.”

“Such as?”

Understone’s ears flicked back and he smiled meekly.

“Well, you know what use the chambers in the cellars have been put to, do you not?”

Simon did, very well. The memories of the stings along his back and rump reminded him very much of the times he himself had spent down there. Sometimes with the so-called exotics that the club had brought in for specific members to indulge themselves with.

That one Bengal had the most tender touch with his claws…

“I understand. I apologize if I was too forward.”

The marten shook his head and smiled once more. “The kiss was lovely, and I had not explained my particular situation to you. You were not too forward. If anything I was too slow to tell you how things stood.”

“I just feel so alone right now,” Simon said, fighting back a sudden sting in his eyes.

“You are not alone. We are here with you. Myself, Miss Mather, and the others. More are coming, as soon as they can arrange quiet transportation. And Francis will return to you. If not now, then as soon as the ritual can be performed after the new moon.”

The marten stood from the bed, straightening his blue waistcoat. He placed his paw on Simon’s shoulder, his amber eyes meeting the fox’s.

“Sleep now. We will convene in the morning and begin making plans. The Achilles Club isn’t finished yet, and you’re going to see to that.”

Without a single creak from the floorboards, Cyril Understone slipped out of the room, gently closing the door behind him.

Simon turned back to stare out at the last fading light and the rising mists. The librarian was right.

They weren’t done yet.

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