EDDA SIGHED and closed her eyes. She would need a clear head to get out of this predicament. ‘I swear, Vanadís—if this is all your doing, I’ll never forgive you!’
The man had her in a vice grip. She couldn’t see him, but the scent was familiar enough. He held her so tight she couldn’t move, but she recognised the voice and the touch. She knew this man, and, because of that, she knew she was in trouble. Her mind reeled, but her traitorous body was already responding to his primal display of dominance. ‘Fuck! I guess we’re “playing stones” after all…’
“Horse! What the Hel do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m picking you up, babe,” he smirked against the soft skin in the back of her neck.
“The fuck you are! Why are you here?”
He released his grip enough to spin her around and leaned in closer. His forehead touching hers. The magnetic pull that she’d felt as he came up behind her intensified when their eyes met. Edda thought it was like looking into his soul. As if all of his feelings and intentions were laid out and as clear as pictures to her. And everything she saw in there gave her an overwhelming sense of being safe. Of coming home. The one thing she’d always dreamed of, but knew she couldn’t have. Overcome with the pain of that realisation, she melted into the embrace of the man who knew her better than anyone else and cried.
“There’s my good girl,” he praised, placing a soft kiss on the top of her head. He rocked her gently in his arms, slowly moving his hands over her body in long, flowing strokes. Horse had always had an uncanny ability to anchor her, and silence her overwrought mind. This was no exception. Knowing resistance would be futile at this point, Edda felt her body relax and her mind begin to slip into subspace.
“Fucking horse whisperer!” she muttered, and earned herself another primal growl and a sharp neck bite.
They stood there by the stage in the busy bar, just holding on to each other. As far as Edda was concerned, time and space had ceased to exist. She had no idea what was going on around her and she wasn’t even concerned about whether someone could see them. All she knew was Him, and he was home. There was no pain, no fear, no frustration. She could have stayed in that moment, sheltered in his arms, forever. But of course, she never got what she wanted.
Lewd howls and wolf whistles erupted all around them, and Edda was pulled back out of her bubble to the unmistakable sound of her old friend, Baker, working the crowd. “You’ve gotta be kidding me!” she groaned. The Cubbies were coming, and she knew she’d never hear the end of this. Baker had the crowd snapping their fingers rhythmically as the intro to Li’l Red Riding Hood started, and the big bad wolves made a dramatic entrance to his rendition of the old 60’s tune.
“Bloody show-offs!” Edda snickered, as Lowkey and Scooter danced up to Horse and her and wrapped their arms around them. Sandwiched between the three of them, the magnetic pull was so strong it felt as if it might rip her apart. But these massive men were her oldest friends, and in the collage of pictures they were projecting, she saw the love and affection they all had for her. It was too much for her broken heart to bear, and she unravelled into a sobbing mess in their arms. Gods, how she had missed her ride or die family!
For thirteen years, hardly a day had gone by that they weren’t all together. Life had been so much easier back then. Sadder, in many ways. Harder too. But definitely easier. Now, she’d spent the past ten years keeping them all at arm’s length, trying to find a way to cope with life on her own. But for all the lonely cry-outs in the shower, she had not fully appreciated just how much of a number the separation had done to her.
The group hug soon turned into a playful tug-of-war, and Edda was extracted from the sandwich and spun around by a giant hunk of a man. “Lowkey!” she laughed, hugging him tightly. “So good to see you, brother. What are you guys doing here? I would’ve thought you’d be living it up at the clubhouse tonight.”
“Hey, little mama,” the long-haired giant with the mischievous eyes replied. “We were just taking your old man out for his birthday treat, but we’re heading back to the party now.”
“What? Just the three of you? It’s not even his birthday today.”
“Nah, Hunter and his lot are here too. We got a private room so we could get some privacy and—”
“It’s time for you to come home, mum,” Scooter cut in and pulled Edda into a bear hug. “You’ve been gone too long if you don’t remember that all horses on this side of the world are born on the first day of the year.”
“Nice try, Scoot,” Edda laughed, “but being a stud doesn’t make him a real horse.”
She didn’t get a chance to hear his reply as she was passed around like a little ragdoll between the Cubbies. The magnetic pull that had stressed her out all night was worse than ever around her boys, but weirdly she felt no push from any of them. She was hugged, twirled, spun around, squeezed and kissed, and it was all accompanied by sweet words and playful banter. Edda was laughing and crying so much she no longer knew whether she was happy or sad. There was only one thing she was sure about. She had truly missed being around these crazy buggers and their caveman antics.
In the end, it was Horse, never too keen on sharing her, who put a stop to it all. He pulled her back into his arms and buried his nose in her hair again. “It’s time to go, love,” he said. “We have a party to attend.”
Edda rolled her eyes at him. “No, you have a party to attend. I’m Angel’s bitch tonight and I’m not going anywhere without her.”
“Well, she’s coming too. Hunter’s getting her now.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Horse! Send someone to abort that mission right away. Please! She’ll roundhouse kick his arse into February, if she finds out he’s here when he’s supposed to be with Juicy. “
Edda had barely finished the sentence before all Hel broke loose in the corridor outside the bar. “Please, stop them before anyone gets hurt,” she pleaded, and both Lowkey and Scooter took off in long strides. Angel and Hunter were both formidable fighters, but she couldn’t bear the thought of either of them getting hurt. Or hurting any innocent bystanders for that matter. Not like this. And not tonight of all nights. Luckily, she didn’t have to wait too long before the boys returned with an irate Angel, and a somewhat sheepish looking Hunter, in tow.
“Are you out of your bloody minds?! Starting a fight in a corridor packed with drunken revellers? What the fuck were you guys thinking?!” Edda would normally go out of her way to avoid conflict, and she rarely raised her voice to anyone, but she’d already established there was nothing normal about this night. The last couple of years had taken their toll on her and, for some reason, it all seemed to culminate in the madness she was experiencing tonight. She was either finally going insane or the shit had well and truly hit the fan. For all she knew, every bad spirit and wretched soul of the underworld had been let loose, and she had to unleash her inner beast to cope with the crippling fear.
“Hunter, you fucking idiot,” she barked, “where the Hel is Juicy?”
“He left her with his girlfriend,” Angel hissed behind her.
“Are you insane?!” Edda spat at him. “Please, tell me you’re not that stupid?”
Hunter’s self-preservation mode must have kicked in, because had the good sense to keep his mouth shut. He knew better than to argue with the Wolfmother when her teeth were showing. “He’s not having another drink tonight,” she said to Horse. “He has to drive first thing in the morning.”
“Angel, my love, I know you want to kick his arse, but you’re not fighting each other drunk. Scoot, you set the date for them to take it to the ring in the next nine days. Hunter, you’re bringing Juicy home right after breakfast in the morning. And Horse, you better get me the Hel out of here. Now.”
“Your mother has spoken, boys,” Horse chuckled. “We’re out of here!” He wrapped his left arm around Edda’s waist and motioned for Scooter and Lowkey to take their usual protective positions as lead and rear guard. Hunter rallied the remaining Cubbies, and they all filed into some kind of formation and cut a path through the crowd. They made their way up to the foyer where Angel was waiting with Edda’s coat at the ready.
As soon as she had her coat on, Horse, Lowkey and Scooter whisked her away to one of the vans that were waiting outside. A thrall jumped out to open the door, but just as she was about to climb inside a piercing howl broke through the winter night. They all turned around to see Angel standing by the entrance with an arm around Jonas’s shoulders. She threw her head back and let out another howl, making sure she had the attention of every single Cubbie.
“Hey boys,” she cooed. “Let me introduce you all to Jonas the door knob. He and I have a date lined up to settle a score. You see, when we arrived here tonight, this dick wad thought he could manhandle my bestie for shits and giggles. Obviously, I showed him the error of his ways, and I’ll do it again on our impending date, but I need you all to remember this face in case he’ll need further lessons.” Angel clearly enjoyed outing the doorman to the Cubbies’ inner circle, and Jonas paled as the gravity of the situation began to sink in.
Edda felt Horse stiffen by her side, and realised this could end badly. He could barely tolerate the Cubbies being affectionate and playful with her; a man who deliberately hurt or scared her was a dead man walking. “Hey, listen up,” she called out. “He’s already had his arse handed to him by a girl tonight, and you all have a party to attend. I’m sure Jonas didn’t mean to scare me. It was no biggie, just a joke gone wrong.” That was a blatant lie. She knew exactly what he had meant to do to her, but she didn’t want to see anyone ending up in police custody on her account. There was nothing she could do to save his arse from a good beating or two, but hopefully, this would at least save his life.
She turned to Horse and grabbed him by the hand. “Please, can we just leave?” she begged. He looked deep into her eyes, searching for the truth and she knew that he knew. But he didn’t say anything, he just nodded and helped her get into the van. A few minutes later, she was sat in the back seat with Horse, and Lowkey, Scooter and Hunter were on the seat in front of them. The thrall was driving them out of the city centre towards the abandoned Anti-Aircraft Regiment’s barracks that served as the Cubbies clubhouse.
Horse pulled Edda closer and she tried to squirm away from him, but he wasn’t having it. He growled and nipped her ear and neck, and he let his hands roam all over her. The guys were howling with laughter and kept a running commentary as cubs watching their mum and dad’s mating ritual. Edda who’d always tried to keep their relationship hidden was embarrassed, but Horse couldn’t care less who saw or heard them. As far as he was concerned she belonged to him and he wanted the world to know.
When they pulled up by the clubhouse, he took her hand and lead her straight to his “presidential sweet.” He unlocked the door, pulled her inside and helped her out of her coat. Then he backed her up against the bathroom door and trailed a finger from her forehead down to the mermaid pendant that was nesting in her cleavage.
“I love that you’re wearing my gift, babe, but something’s missing,” he said and pulled something out of his pocket.
Edda’s heart ached when he kissed the back of her right hand, and each of her fingers, before sucking her ring finger into his mouth. When he pulled it back out, she was wearing a platinum wire ring, one end sporting a fé rune and the other a kaun rune. It was gorgeous in its simplicity, and it matched the set he’d already given her perfectly.
“FC? For Fenrir’s Cubbies, I presume?”
“Yeah… I really want to collar you, but I know how you feel about that so I thought this would do. For now. I want you to have a more prominent position in the club. I want everybody to know that without you there would be no Cubbies. And I want them to know you’re mine. I mean, they already know, but we’ve never made it official.”
“I don’t know how I feel about that, Peter. What do you want to tell them, exactly?”
“The truth about how the club was formed.”
“Right, and what about the prominent position?”
“Whatever you’re comfortable with, baby.”
“Ok, how about this? Talk about Cubby history as much as you like. It belongs to all of us and you should be proud of what you’ve done here. But please, promise me you won’t say anything about me or the kids. Not tonight. I know it’s inevitable, but there’s something we need to discuss before you go down that road. And I’m going to need more of your time than what we have tonight for that to happen. Is that ok?”
“Well, I was expecting a non-negotiable no, so I got more than I expected. But there’s one more thing. You have to sing. Baker and the guys from the bar are setting up now, and Angel’s here to help you get ready.”
“Yeah, I kinda figured I’d been had when two complete strangers knew my songs and what key I sing them in. It’s fine. I’ll enjoy singing with Angel and Baker, and it’ll keep the fucking joyrides out of my hair. It’s a win – win.”
Horse laughed and pulled her in to kiss her forehead. “Ok, baby, I’ll go downstairs before they send out a rescue team. Don’t keep me waiting,” he winked and disappeared out the door.
Angel walked in a second later. She had brought her bag of tricks and she fixed Edda’s smeared and smudged make-up and brushed through her unruly hair. “Just promise me not to cry anymore tonight and you’ll be fine, my dove,” she said and booped Edda on the nose. “Now tell me what Horse had to say before we go down there.”
Edda gave her a quick recap of the meeting. She showed Angel the ring and told her what she’d agreed to. Then they made their way downstairs and entered the stage, ready to woo the crowd.
It was early morning when Edda got Lowkey to lead her back upstairs and let her into Horse’s room. She was so tired she went straight to bed, crawled in under the duvet fully dressed and fell asleep. Horse woke her up when he slid in next to her and she was vaguely aware of him pulling her up on top of him. He fumbled with her dress and she made a half-arsed effort to help him get her out of it.
Too late, she realised it left her sprawled over him in the sexy lingerie he’d bought her, but she was beyond caring at that point. She just wanted to sleep.
© 2021 Lïnnéa Lucifer & Evalena Styf. All rights reserved.
The right of Lïnnéa Lucifer and Evalena Styf to be identified as the Authors of the Work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing of the publisher.
First published online in 2021 on www.aswewrite.com and on Wattpad.
All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Still just a rough first draft, but writing is a process and I will be sharing my edits too in the future. If you liked what you read, please share using the buttons below and leave a comment. Thank you!