Boggart- malevolant house fairy in English folklore.
Warmth. A bed softer than any she'd ever slept on. And the blanket -- not scratchy wool that always pricked her skin, but something like the down-filled comforters on the beds she made at the big house. Aine lay still, enjoying the sensation of soft fabric against her naked body, the brush of her long, brown hair to her face. She opened her eyes to stare at a white ceiling. It was low, though not as low as the thatch roof of the mud-wall cottage where she spent her childhood. Nor was it soaring and ornate, like the ceilings in the big house. It was flat and smooth. She risked a look around. The walls were as smooth, a soft peach color. Here and there hung paintings the like of which she'd never seen. They were pleasing to the eye, bright-colored depictions of horses, dogs and cats. Soft light glowed from a source she could not trace.
"Why was a bagairt chasing you?"
The man's voice startled her and she burrowed deeper under the blanket. Memory flooded back: the wind tearing at her clothes, rain stinging her skin, cold soaking through flesh and bone until she knew she was going to die. Then strong arms around her, her legs collapsing, the darkness of her dreams. Aine turned her face to where the voice had come from and she forgot to breathe.
The man sprawled in the big upholstered chair had hair like the golden fleece she'd read of in the master's book of Greek mythology. Cut unfashionably short, it still curled around his head like a halo. His blue eyes were friendly but guarded. A light blue shirt of a cut she'd never seen before hugged a broad chest and strong arms. His close-fitting breeches covered his legs down to his ankles, and he wore no hose. In fact, he had no shoes on, either. Aine swallowed to try and combat a suddenly dry mouth. She berated the wanton hussy that woke inside her, pushed away the scandalous thoughts that sprang to her mind.
"It was no bagairt, sir. It was the master of the house where I work."
He tapped a knee with long fingers. "Why was he chasing you?"
Aine hesitated. A lie hovered on the tip of her tongue, but when she looked into her benefactor's eyes, she couldn't bring herself to tell it. "The master got wind that I was no blushing virgin. He wanted to taste of my skills, and would not accept that though I was not averse to taking a lover, it had to be a lover of my choosing." Here she faltered. It was easier to confess that she was no stranger to the art of love, than it was to relate that awful night when she risked going to look for her friend Maire, when she heard the muffled screams of pain while passing the master's bedroom door. Maire never did return, and no-one ever heard of her again. She ran away to her mother's family in the north, everyone said, but Aine had seen blood on the master's bedsheets and had her own theory of what had happened. He'd set his sights on her next, and she'd made a bid to escape.
Just her luck to choose the night of Candlemas 1715, when the worst storm in living memory unleashed its fury on fair Eireann.
Her host said nothing, but somehow she couldn't rid herself of the feeling that he guessed much more than she had told. A slow, lazy heat bloomed over her breasts, poured down the skin of her belly to the apex of her thighs. What was happening to her? She'd never felt so attracted to a man. She averted her gaze, stared at the simple wooden wardrobe in the corner, lest he saw the desire in her eyes.
"Do you suspect what I am, young lady?"
"Aye," she said. He raised an eyebrow, and she mumbled, "I think you are one of the Good People, sir."
"And you are right. I am one of the Tuatha De Dannan, and you are in the hidden world."
"Tir na nOg?" Was she in the legendary land beyond time? Where people would spend a day, and return to their families to find years had passed? Or live a lifetime to return the day they'd left?
"No, no. Tir na nOg and the hidden world are two different places. But my race lives in both, and the time between this world and yours is also not connected. You'll know, then, that my kind like to help those in need."
"At a price." She was nothing if not practical.
He chuckled. "I like your spirit. Yes. I offer you my help, but you will have to pay me."
"Name your price, sir, and I will tell you if I'm prepared to pay it."
Her savior shifted in the chair, leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees. His shirt spanned over his shoulders, and Aine felt warm juices slick her sex. "I can defeat the bagairt." He raised a finger to still her protest. "Whatever you might think, the creature after you is a bagairt. One of my kind who has gone seriously wrong. Many of us live among you, er... what is your name?"
"And mine is Lorcan. Here is my offer: I will go back to the night when I found you half frozen and close to death, and I will fight the bagairt. Most probably, I will win, and it will be safe for you to return. My price is this: I want you to be my woman for a year. In every sense of the term."
Her arse cheeks clenched involuntarily at his words. Every sense of the term? Oh, God, that was no price he demanded. That was another favor he offered to her. She pretended to think it over, but her mind was already made up. "Fine. I accept your terms. One year as your woman." She flicked a nervous tongue-tip over her lips, suddenly afraid. "In every sense of the term."
Lorcan smiled. "Good."
She thought he'd take her then and there, but she was wrong. Over the days that followed, he patiently showed her how to work the strange machines he possessed which made housework so much simpler. Every opportunity to touch her was taken, and Aine felt the tension rise in her lower belly. She wanted him so much, wanted him more still when he showed her books to read, and spent long hours talking and laughing with her.
He hunted under the sky she discovered was always doused in twilight dimness, never lit by golden sun, never basked in silver moonlight. Night was just a little darker than day, while dawn meant no more than a slight lightening of the gloom. The Fey made up for this loss with frequent feasts, music and dancing. Lorcan took her to one of these, and they danced until their skins were slicked with sweat and her pussy dripped with desire.
"Undress," he whispered when they returned to his house. Aine obeyed his command with shaking fingers, peeling the soft, yellow dress he'd given her from her body. He watched, silent, but the growing bulge in his trousers said all she needed to hear. "Now undress me. I need you to do it. I need to know you want me of your own free will."
She stepped closer to him, undid the buttons at his throat, then trailed her fingers over his collarbone as she slid his shirt off. He blew over her hot, naked breasts and her nipples pebbled in response. When they were both naked, he bowed his head and tasted her lips, a slow, sensuous kiss as if he wanted to memorize the taste and fragrance of her body. Aine slid her hands over his smooth skin, the hard muscles of his chest, his flanks, his back. His tight arse. He cupped her breasts, squeezed her nipples, and she let out a moan of pleasure.
Emboldened, she closed her fingers around his cock. He was big, much bigger than either of the lovers she'd had. Lorcan groaned when she stroked the velvet flesh and nibbled her neck, his hands on her arse. He lifted her off the ground, looked into her eyes and lowered her onto his shaft. She whimpered as her body stretched to fit him, but he was slow, gentle. Pleasure built inside her as he invaded her body more and more. Soon he was sheathed to the hilt in her heated flesh. She clung to his shoulders as he pumped into her.
Lorcan drew in a sharp breath and stilled. She wriggled in his arms, wanting more. "Sssh, wait now, my sweet vixen, or it will be over before it has begun," he said, a shudder in his voice. "You test my self-control." He walked her to the bed and lowered her onto it, his cock moving inside her body, sending pleasure-ripples through muscle and nerve.
She arched her back when her body rested on the soft comforter, his weight pinning her down, and Lorcan groaned. "Wench, you drive me mad. I want you. I want all of you. Lose yourself, sweet Aine, lose yourself." He thrust his hard cock into her soaking sex again and again, stoking the fire that burned away all coherent thought, building the sweet pressure in her womb until she cried out. Sensation burst inside her, rolled in waves from her belly to every part of her body. He found the rhythm of her pleasure-spasms and tuned his movements to her body's song, prolonging her ecstasy before pushing deep into her, stilling, then joining her. The pulse of his release triggered another eruption in her body and she screamed, pushed her hips up to have more and more of him, clenched her inner muscles to milk him of every drop of his fluid.
Sated, fulfilled, they rolled over and, clinging together, fell asleep.
Aine sprang to her feet when she heard his step on the porch. She rushed to open the door for her lover, the man who'd shown her pleasure beyond her wildest dreams this past year. He leaned against a pillar, blood dripping from a cut on his forehead. She dashed to his side and lifted one arm over her shoulders. "Lorcan, you fool! I told you, you didn't have to keep your promise. I didn't need the bagairt to be defeated, because I didn't want to return to my old life! I want to stay here, with you. Do you not want me? Is that why you had to go?"
He let her help him into the house, though part of her would rather add her own pommeling to the beating he must have endured. Lorcan winced when he sank into a chair, then turned his blue-eye gaze to her and smiled. "I know, my love. And no, I don't want you to leave. But we will need to visit the world of men a few times. Together."
"Because, sweet Aine, here in the hidden world, there is something you and I can't do."
She filled a bowl with water, brought it to his side and dipped a cloth to wipe away the blood. "And what might that be?"
"We cannot conceive a child here. We have to go to the world of men for that."
Her hands stilled. "You mean..."
"Yes, my love. I do." He grasped her wrist, not as weakened as she'd thought, and pulled her onto his lap.
About the author: Anida Adler is the erotica-writing alter ego of author Nadia Williams. She grew up in South Africa, but has been happily living in Ireland since 2005. Nadia's novel, The Pebble, can be found at Amira Press. Anida's The Ancient is available from Loose Id.