Sean's nostrils flared, eyes darting wildly from side to side as he pushed through the dense underbrush. For the thousandth time he chastised himself, he'd been warned again and again about getting caught in these woods after dark. But it's the 21st century, his rational side countered. Everyone knows those stories are just old wives tales. One of the locals probably thought it would be funny to try and frighten me.
"Alright you've made your point.” He stopped running and turned to confront his pursuer. “Next time I won't scoff at your folklore.”
Sean found himself glaring at the center of a broad chest. They sure grow them big around here, he thought idly, tipping his head back to look the man in the eye. The figure in front of him had to be at least seven feet tall, wrapped in leather and fur with a massive bow and a quiver of razor sharp arrows. Time seemed to stretch, his mind scrabbling to process what he was seeing. His heart roared back to life when he realized he was looking at an elaborate mask. Or perhaps it's a helm, he mused. Above a sharp chin and smirking mouth, bronze wrapped the rest of the face, only the eyes visible as overly bright sparks in the motionless visage. Moonlight traced the twisted branches of the antlers that topped it, spreading at least six feet and curving forward to further obscure the man's face.
"That's quite an outfit,” Sean ventured. “Are you on your way to a party?”
"A party.” The voice immediately had his attention; rich, deep and slightly husky. The figure inclined its head ever so slightly, corners of the thin lips quirking upward before continuing, tone filled with cold mirth. “You could call it that. Now that we've met, perhaps you'd like to come along?”
"Thank you for the invitation, but I'm afraid I need to get home.” Sean refused to listen to the primal part of his brain screaming at him to run and hide. “Do you live around here? Maybe another time.” He turned to leave, staggering forward a few steps before a hard hand landed on his shoulder and squeezed.
"You'll only get lost wandering around out here. These woods can be dangerous for travelers.”
There was an ominous undertone to the stranger's words. Sean knew the pronouncement was a subtle warning meant to keep him by this man's side. It was then he noticed the hounds, monstrous shaggy beasts whose deep rumbling noises reminded him of the masked man's voice. “Are these your dogs?”
"I'm sorry. Do they frighten you?” The stranger muttered something in a language he didn't recognize and the pack grew still. Sean flinched when, as one, their eyes turned toward him, regarding him with an uncanny intelligence. After a long moment they faded silently into the dense brush, although his skin prickled and he imagined them lying in wait for unwary wanderers, ready to shred their flesh with razor sharp teeth.
A shudder ran through him at the thought and he didn't protest the guiding hand leading him back along his panicked track. In fact, he didn't even question it when he was yanked unceremoniously into the air to sit behind the masked man astride his wheeling mount. The tiny voice in his head began whispering that things weren't as straightforward as they seemed when they were instantly flanked by a silent company of masked horsemen.
"You're shivering. This will brace you for the ride.” Any other time he would have refused the flask. But tonight, Sean eagerly tipped it back, clinging to the familiar burn as the strong drink poured down his throat.
"Thanks,” he muttered as he handed the vessel back.
"It is my pleasure, I assure you.”
The softly murmured response left him struggling to see underneath the simple statement, hoping to figure out what was really going on. He was still trying to articulate a response when one of the hounds let out an unearthly howl, and the entire troupe set off .
Sean's head was spinning. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't seem to form the words needed to ask even the simplest question. He fought to push past the exhaustion threatening to overwhelm him and figure out what, exactly, he'd gotten himself into. The world around him seemed to swirl, things taking on a preternatural clarity that left him debating whether or not the grass was really as soft as it looked.
"Let me help you.”
As soon as the words were spoken hands were there to help him dismount, a strong arm wrapping around his shoulders when he stumbled unsteadily. “I don't think I like this. I don't usually take drugs.” The words came out thick and slurred, and a small knot of panic began to unfurl in his abdomen, sending a frisson of terror running up his spine and nearly galvanizing him to take action.
"No drugs. I don't believe in them.” A hand encased in an elaborate gauntlet cupped his chin and Sean's skin tightened, trying to escape from the menacing claws gently dragging across his vulnerable throat. “After all, what would be the point of stifling all these wonderful reactions.”
The low chuckle should have put him at ease. Instead it spurred his sense of wrongness and he searched the masked face for clues to his rising sense of disquiet. “Take off your mask and introduce yourself,” he demanded. “I want to know who I'm talking to.”
"You are spirited.” The broad chest vibrated with another rumbling laugh as razor sharp talons delicately grasped the antlered helm and slowly revealed heretofore hidden features. “As for my name, surely you know who I am?”
"How could I possibly know you?” Sean snapped. “I've never laid eyes on you before tonight and you certainly haven't introduced yourself.” He summoned his best glare, mouth twisting into a frown at the mirth dancing in his host's eyes.
"You are a storyteller, are you not?”
The question hung, unanswered, as he struggled to get his sluggish reflexes under control, stumbling back a few paces and shaking his head. “I'm a librarian.”
"So, you're a keeper of stories. Do you read any of them?”
"Of course I read them. I love to read.”
"You really haven't figured it out? I am the Amadan na Briona.”
"The Fool?” Sean slapped a hand over his treacherous mouth as soon as the words passed his lips.
"Do I look like a fool?” the hunter growled. “I'm leader of the wild hunt and lord of the unseleighe court . . . and you are my new consort.”
"Consort? But, I'm a man.”
"The Fae have long taken humans for companions.” Broad shoulders lifted in a graceful shrug. “There is no disgrace in my choice.”
"I meant I'm male,” Sean explained. “We're both the same sex.”
"Yes? I'm afraid I don't understand. What, exactly, is your point?”
"Look, I don't know about you, but I'm not gay.”
Gauntleted hands wrapped around his waist and pulled him closer, steel talons tickling across his skin, leaving a trail of goosebumps in their wake. “I don't see why that's an issue.”
The normally calm librarian could feel his blood pressure rising. He tried to twist out of the claustrophobic embrace. “You can't just kidnap me and expect me to go along with your crazy bullshit. Now let me go, I need to get back.”
"I did not kidnap you.” That velvety voice had dropped back to a harsh growl. “There are rules. You agreed to come along. You drank willingly. I'm not a monster. I fail to see what the problem is.”
"I'm not into men,” Sean protested.
"No, of course you're not.” The silky tone in combination with the claws tickling dangerously across the bulge in Sean's pants finally broke the glamour he'd been under. A quick twist to the left, he decided. The miscalculation spun him tight against an armored chest. He lifted his gaze, and the protest died in his throat in the face of the madness spinning in those bottomless blue eyes.
"I don't want this.” The uncertain whisper seemed to come from someone else. Like it or not, a hot coil of arousal twisted low in Sean's abdomen and his erection twitched against his thigh.
"I do though. You want to please me, don't you?”
"I-I don't know. I don't feel well.” The sense of surrealism was back. Sean was certain the Fool was growing taller, leaving him feeling ever more vulnerable. “I think I need to lay down.”
"I agree, no reason for us to be uncomfortable.” As soon as the words were uttered the landscape around them seemed to twist on itself, and Sean couldn't help the panicked whimper that escaped his lips when he felt himself falling.
The reason for his disquiet suddenly snapped into focus. “Where are we? How did we get here?”
"You really need to make up your mind. Do you want to talk or fuck?”
"It's too warm for January, and the grass is too green.” Sean was determined to regain control of the situation. “Where have you taken me? And how did we get so far so fast?”
Arms wrapped around the librarian's back to hold him close and the Fool bent to lick across a sensitive ear. “We are at my home in Tir na nOg. Time runs differently here and the seasons don't change.” The words were punctuated with a trail of hard, biting, kisses. Sean hissed when a hot tongue avidly lapped up the blood spilled along the way.
A shiver ran up his back. The hunter's caresses were not the kind that should be arousing, but Sean found himself pressing into them. His hand rose to clutch at a hard shoulder as a talented tongue licked its way into his mouth. Strong hands twisted in Sean's hair as the kiss turned violent, teeth clicking together in their haste. Before he had a chance to protest the librarian found himself stretched out on the soft moss, wrists securely bound over his head, while sharp claws carefully sliced away his clothes.
"Hey, I need those,” Sean tried to protest .
"Are you telling me to stop?” Deft hands began to wrap him tightly in silky rope, elaborate knots making a pattern across his chest and abdomen before his hands were unbound and re-secured. “You look beautiful,” the husky voice soothed. “Wild and angry and so very helpless.”
When the coils began to wrap around his cock and balls a whimper escaped Sean's throat. He pushed down the terror threatening to rip through him and reminded himself that, so far at least, he hadn't been hurt. As frightening as the Fool's attentions were, they were equally exciting, and his cock began oozing precum the moment the rope touched it. A muffled squeak slipped past his lips when his legs were bent and secured, leaving him helpless and completely exposed. Even with the most wanton of women, he'd never felt this needy. His entire body seemed to be straining toward this dangerous stranger, eager for his touch.
He couldn't tear his eyes away as lubricant was smeared over a glittering metal rod. “Just relax,” the unseleighe lord crooned as he slowly began to thread the rod into the slit of his consort's penis. “Almost there.” When the rounded tip of the sound bumped against Sean's prostate he let out a startled whine.
"Now, don't you look inviting, all bound and stuffed for me.” The hunter dropped his head to lick across a tempting collar bone, smiling to himself at the lusty moan it produced. He slid two slick fingers deep inside the dazed man, scissoring them to stretch the passage for what was to come. When a third finger slid alongside every muscle in the librarian's body clenched.
Sean blushed when he realized the loud moaning sounds were coming from his traitorous mouth. Of course, he'd never felt anything quite like this before. His cock felt hugely swollen and insanely heavy, like it might explode at any instant. When the fingers teasing his entrance disappeared he tried to gather his wits.
"You need to get this good and wet.” The Fool stroked himself a few times before forcing the librarian's mouth open and shoving his intimidating erection deep in unsuspecting man's throat. Sean twisted and struggled, the lack of oxygen sending a surge of adrenaline through his system. He managed the occasional sip of air, but the bonds left him unable to do more. His thoughts grew even more muddled, and when he suddenly found his lips stretched around nothing but air, he focused on filling his lungs. After a few shuddering gasps he relaxed as much as he could, slumping limply in the tight embrace of the ropes.
Sudden comprehension of what was to come sent a cold spike of reality running through him, and he couldn't avoid tensing as the broad head of the hunter's cock pushed through his hastily stretched entrance.
When he was fully seated the Faerie lord paused. He wrapped a hand around Sean's straining erection, razor sharp talons scraping over the shiny swollen flesh peeking between the cords wrapped so tightly around it. He pulled his hips back until only the tip remained inside, then slammed forward, striking his captive's prostate.
Sean twitched and shook, unable to move as wave after wave of pleasure streaked through him. The hunter read the telltale signs, squeezing the base of his erection and blocking his orgasm. A hoarse chuckle sent shudders running up his spine. When his hard cock was pressed firmly into the librarian's prostate, the Fool reached down and carefully tapped the tip of the sound. He worried his lip between his teeth as he concentrated on the feel of the tight sheath rippling around him. “You're mine now,” he growled. “No one will ever possess you like this.”
The librarian abandoned himself to the feeling, concentrating on the pleasure coiling inside until his world exploded in a series of sparks, muscles tightening erratically as the sound shot out of his penis and seed splattered across his chest. The sight proved to be more than the hunter could resist and he let out a deep groan as he filled Sean's ass with his cum.
"That was entertaining.” The Fool's darkly mirthful voice roused him from his stupor. “Let me help you.” Once again strong hands took control of the librarian's body, efficiently loosening the intricate knots and rubbing feeling back into his limbs. After such tender treatment Sean was caught off guard when his arms were roughly twisted behind his back and tightly secured from elbow to wrist.
As if I felt like running right now, Sean thought indignantly. He turned his head, intent on saying so, when he noticed the ring of silent watchers. He blinked, then blinked again, and wished he could rub his eyes. It almost looked like their masks were moving.
"My companions aren't as lucky as I am.” The Fool repositioned him roughly, sprawling him across muscular thighs, pinned by hard hands and rising panic. “They find it hard to seduce someone looking the way they do. Not to mention the whole communicating in grunts issue. But they are very loyal to me, so I think it's only fair they share in my good fortune.”
Sean watched as a monstrous man with the head of a bull strode towards them. He marshaled his thoughts, hoping to come up with a plan, only to despair at the unseleighe lord's next words. “I'd relax if I were you, otherwise they'll tear you in two.”
If he'd had hopes the words were an exaggeration, the first thrust robbed him of them. The huntsmen were as animalistic in their desires as they were in appearance. One after another they roughly pounded out their frustrations and went on their way until only Sean and his captor remained.
"They don't lust often,” the Fool assured him. “Just on the equinoxes, when we ride. Most of your time will be spent with me. Perhaps you'll appreciate my attentions more, in light of the alternative.”
"Please, let me go.” The softly whispered words were the first he'd spoken since before the Fool had woven his seductive illusion.
"You can't go back. I told you, time is different here. In Tir na nOg the years can't touch you. If you go back all the years you defer staying here will manifest themselves. No one is waiting for you. Your name was forgotten long ago. This is your home now.” The Fool let out a sharp whistle and his hounds gathered, milling around the seated pair and breaking the silence with their bids for attention.
The ropes around his arms loosened and Sean let out a gasp when he was gently lowered into a warm pool. “Clean yourself up,” came the gruff command. “And don't try to run, my hounds would be only too happy to stop you.”
By the time he found himself securely spooned against the Faerie lord his mind and body were numb. When the hounds crowded tightly around them, settling down with soft chuffs and throaty rumbles, he barely noticed. “It will get better,” the Fool whispered almost lovingly. “Soon you won't be able to imagine any other life. Who knows, you may even come to care for me.”
No, I won't, Sean decided. He almost shouted it in the Fool's face, but held his tongue, merely curling more tightly in on himself. With luck he'd open his eyes on his own bedroom and this would all fade like any other nightmare.
But the days melted into weeks, and then into years. Against his wishes, he grew comfortable in his captivity, and the Fool's attentions gradually worked their way into his heart. Their interaction mellowed into easy amiability born of deep seated, if unexpressed, affection. Yet Sean never let go of his conviction that he would one day find his way back to the life he only vaguely remembered.
When his chance finally came he almost didn't take it. The same intuition he'd ignored to his peril insisted the hounds would wake and tear him to shreds. He'd never had much rapport with animals, but he swore the horse understood his need for silence, and he was mounted and away. As the ground fell beneath thundering hooves, Sean screwed his eyes tightly shut and prayed to gods he'd long abandoned.
The horse finally slowed to a walk, and he opened his eyes on a bleak winter landscape. I'm home. The realization galvanized him into action, and he slid from the saddle, eager to prove to himself that he wasn't dreaming.
Sean's feet hit the ground, and he sucked in a lungful of crisply cold air. He expected to be invigorated, the sensation of strength leaching out of him instead left him scrambling to climb back in the saddle. Without the energy to pull himself back into its protective influence, he could only cling weakly to the stirrup, and then he was still.
The Amadan na Briona poked the remains of his consort with the toe of his boot before turning away. The mournful sound of his horn floated across the fields. Tonight he would hunt.