These 3-word prompts were set by the lovely people over at the torquere-social livejournal the last time I hosted, and I have only just managed to get my act together enough to finish them all. I swear, when I start writing these things I have no idea where they're going to end up, but that's what makes it so much fun. Also, they give me brainworms.
Red, glass, book – set by Rapidess
Erian Folt drew in a deep breath of cool Altrean night air. He was high up, on the upper-most balcony of the Marquis's decadent palace. The view was great – a vast swathe of tiny, glittering lights set amongst the box-shaped shadows of the city lay below, the street gas-lanterns of the wealthy areas to the south-west glowing brightly as the watch-men no doubt made their rounds. Everything looked pleasant from this perspective. Even the slums to the east, where the most privileged residents would have a single lantern to a whole family, and would spend the night huddled around it for warmth. From here, the drunken shouts, the whoring, the murders and robberies and beatings were all conveniently cloaked by the romance of night.
If he searched his heart, as much as there was remaining, Erian could empathise with the outlook of the ruling classes. How could they possibly be expected to understand the situation? They had never set foot in the slums of Altrea, nor seen the children put to prostitution in its brothel houses, nor smelled the thick, putrid stench of poverty that saturated every pore of the people who lived there. These weren't the sorts of things you could convey in a book, and even if there was such a book it would never be read anyway. Erian knew all of those things far too well. Even dressed in the gaudy, expensive gold and red suit he sported for the evening's event, he felt no less the poor boy who'd had to fight to survive a childhood in the slums on his wits alone.
He swirled his wine glass, watching the red liquid lap up the sides, then took a sip. It was rich and velvety, and incredibly pleasant. The most expensive liquor in all the land, if the sommelier was to be believed. He tipped his glass up and watched its contents disappear into the night. Soon, he promised himself, the blood of the Marquis and his line would flow through the streets of Altrea as easily as the wine from his finely-crafted flute. Soon, he'd right the wrongs done to his mother and sister.
“Erian, there you are!”
The Marquis's son and first in line to his inheritance, Surro, pushed his way loudly through the ornate doors and onto the balcony, sidling up beside Erian too close for personal comfort. Erian didn't think much to Surro, but thought enough of him to have fucked him the past four nights in a row. It was strategic – anything that got him closer to the Marquis's family got him closer to the Marquis himself.
Surro was his usual jovial, irritating self, making lewd and judgemental comments about the ladies his father had summoned for him from the city's upper-class families to come and meet him for a marriage match, slapping Erian heartily on the back to encourage a reaction.
As soon as the doors swung closed and the sounds of dancing and merriment were shut away, the atmosphere on the balcony changed. Surro's energy seemed to drain away. He leant gingerly on the balcony beside Erian, rubbing his fingers together nervously. “I want to leave this place, Erian. I can't stand it any more,” he said, in a small voice.
Erian turned to him, eyes widening. It was like a different man was standing in front of him. For a moment, Erian almost found him attractive. “What do you mean?”
Surro took him by the hand, grip fierce, expression resolute. “Run away with me.”
Pepsi, needle, cotton ball – set by Kim620
“You know, for a guy waiting in an abandoned warehouse for purposes of espionage, you're pretty relaxed.”
Needle grinned at Ryan, his long-awaited deliveryman.
His can of Pepsi was empty. He shook it, then up-turned it over his waiting mouth, wanting to catch the last dregs of sweet liquid on his tongue. Of all the hedonistic things on this world, it was his most favourite. A number of other cans, also empty, lay at his feet. He lined up the newly empty can beside them. “I'm a relaxed kind of guy,” he replied.
“You shouldn't drink so much of that shit, you'll rot your teeth,” Ryan told him. The man was keeping his distance. Needle's eyes flicked over him, registering caution but no indication of threat. Ryan intended something, something that made him nervous, and that was worrying. Needle consulted his various cortical implants, but could find no signs of an escort in the area or other troublesome complications that might have followed Ryan or been led here by him.
Ryan held out a wad of documents.
Needle squinted at them. “Paper?” He knew that already. The question was just for show.
“The really important stuff Government only keeps in single hard-copy. It would be stupid to keep this kind of information in a format that's so easily accessible, even with the best protection. No digital trace for this kind of thing. That's the rule. Not that it helped them in this case, but at least it's harder for you to send these out to every major new agency.”
That caution was the very reason Needle had had to come to Ryan in the first place. It had taken six months of grooming and persuasion, but Ryan had come good in the end.
He took the papers. The lump in Ryan's throat bobbed – an interesting nervous tic that Needle had noticed the last couple of times they'd met. It seemed to be happening with increasing frequency. “These must have been difficult to get.”
Ryan shrugged, rubbing the back of his head. “A few scrapes; nothing some metaphorical cotton wool and iodine won't fix.” He fidgeted as Needle flicked through the papers. “What you were looking for?”
“You said I could name my price, right?”
Needle snapped the folder closed and slipped it into a discrete document holder slung over the back of the chair he'd occupied for the last couple of hours while he waited for Ryan. “Sure.” No doubt Ryan's price would be an item of value or property rights or something equally insignificant that Needle could easily secure. A title or position of power, a Minister perhaps, would be a little more difficult but not impossible. In his experience though, humans were invariably, boringly predictable, and Ryan's fee would be an amount of currency at only a fraction of what Needle was capable of providing. He was pretty sure Ryan didn't have the guts to ask for what he really wanted.
“Tell me who you really work for.”
Needle turned to face him slowly, smiling thinly. “It would have been so much better for you if you'd just stuck to your guns and asked me to sleep with you.” He watched Ryan squirm with discrete embarrassment. “You've named your price, and I'll pay in full of course, though you may not like the answer.”
Pink, tea, map – set by mlhm45
Ardello's body reacted as though fevered. He writhed, sweat-slicked against the fine silk of the bedspread, muscle tensing in waves up his back and through his shoulders as short, sharp gasping noises escaped his lips. Dem wished to make things worse, wanted to drown Ardello in so much pleasure he'd never be able to forget the feeling. He wanted to map Ardello's body with his hands and lips and tongue, wanted to know the scent and taste and texture of every inch of him. Dem feared that even that much might not be enough.
“Dem,” Ardello whispered, clenching his hands in the silk. Dem was jealous of the material that protruded sumptuously between Ardello's fingers, clasping them in his place. “Please,”
The fingers he was thrusting into his artisan lover simply weren't enough anymore. He spread them apart, teasing Ardello's cute little pink asshole open. Ardello grunted into the pillow and raised his hips impatiently.
“The tea will get cold,” Dem warned him.
“Let it,” Ardello muttered.
Purple, marble, fountain pen – set by Irodell
The grand marble halls of the Kurtch & Stein Solicitor's Guild echoed with an unusual sound. Not the curt tap tap of the expensive heels of its clientèle coming and going under rush or duress,
nor the brusque gabble of competing egos that usually swelled to the rafters of the ancient building during business hours. Tonight, though the old oak door to the offending office was firmly shut, a salacious rhythm sullied the still air of the hallowed seat of law – the sound of a stylish antique desk suffering under extreme duress.
“I thought I told you it would just be that once.”
“As if I'd listen to anything you said.”
“Always fucking thinking that you're better than anyone.”
“I don't think it, I know it.”
Par Hannodin and Trey Brooks were sworn enemies. Anyone in the Guild could have told you that. Never leave them in the same room alone together, or they'll be tearing each other's throats out in no time. Turned out there was tearing under those circumstances, but it was of clothes off rather than any bloodier alternative.
Par had to admit, the first time had been unexpected. Not as unexpected as the second time, though. Trey spread his thighs wider and sent a number of things on Par's desk sprawling all over the place. One of his precious fountain pens, the pens he signed lives away with, rolled off and met the floor with an unpleasant cracking sound. Par surprised himself by not being able to give even the slightest shit.
He lifted his shirt and gazed down, watching his cock disappear into Trey until his thighs smacked up against the thick purple leather of his desk top. “Stop squeezing so hard, you'll cut my dick off.”
“What, afraid you'll come before I do?” Trey's stupid handsome face lit up with a smirk. Par gripped him by the throat and held him down. “Do it better then, because you're not even getting me close.”
These encounters were infinitely bad for both of them, Par especially because he had to work each day in the same spot they'd done it, twice now. He found he couldn't concentrate the way he used to. Thoughts of despoiling his nemesis would dance through his had all day long, distracting him during client meetings, filtering into his mind while reading important executive orders, making him less focused when he was defending in court. If he didn't know better-
He stopped mid-thrust. “You fucking piece of shit.” He glared down. “Is this a ploy to ruin me?”
“Oh? You're smarter than you look. Which still isn't saying much.”
Rage boiled in Par's chest, mixing with the lust seething in his belly. He hoisted one of Trey's ankles up, moving slowly in and out of him. The man was delightfully flexible. “I am going to fuck you on this desk until I hear you beg. You're going to admit defeat here, in my territory.”
“Like hell I-”
Par changed the angle of his thrusts. Trey's goading comment died on his lips, lost to pleasure.
“You picked the wrong fight.”
Trey grinned as though he'd picked precisely the fight he'd meant to.