Howdy! I didn’t forget about you all. Here’s a short story for your fantasy reading pleasure. Part 2 of Mardi Mayas’ adventures.
Spelljammer, Part 2
Teeyi followed behind me a little close for comfort through the crowded streets of Central. I’ve never been too big on elves. Skinny, sneaky, and hold the permanent stink of the forest on them. I’m not exactly sure why I accepted the work from her. Even if she was a VIP, she probably planned to pay me in acorns.
I adjust Maribel on my arm, my wife turned bow. She and I have been partners for ages, long before our impromptu joining after a night of particularly potent passions. It was a drunken error in judgment that worked out in my favor.
“Where are we going?” Teeyi hurries to my side.
“To get a drink.” I roll my eyes.
“What? We don’t have time for that. Baron Black is going to slip away.” Her brows furrow. “I thought you were a professional.”
“…a thirsty professional,” I say, “Look, we don’t have any leads. I really wasn’t expecting to blow up his little get away castle, Teebo.”
“Fine,” the elf says, “You know my name. You don’t need to be a jerk.”
“Trust me. I’m not trying.” I shrug and turn my eyes to see a regular oasis in the desert. Laying my eyes on the Parched Peacock after a week’s time made me happier than a sunburnt dire boar sliding on a frozen lake.
“Why do you hate elves so much?” Teeyi tugged at my arm, halting me.
“Why are you so sure it’s not just you?” I look back at her with a firm look.
“So you DO hate me.” She sighs. “You could have at least lied.”
“I’m an honest guy. But I’m not talking abou—“
A flash of light makes me flinch. Maribel reclaimed her human form and drapes a hand over my shoulder. A mischievous smile lines her face.
It leaves me with creeping dread. She wouldn’t.
“He might not want to but I will.” Maribel steps away from me and approaches Teeyi.
“M…Maribel…” I reach an arm to stop her but she already has a hand at Teeyi’s chest.
Maribel grins back at me. Her finger tips sit nestled the top of her blouse.
Teeyi stares blankly at me but I kept my eyes firmly averted.
“Um… Maribel? What’s going on?” Teeyi glanced down. “…what are you planning to do?”
“That’s enough Maribel.” I shake my head. The instant I move, it’s all over.
Teeyi raised her hands in an attempt to oppose Maribel’s grip. She tugs at it helplessly but Maribel leveled a stare at her.
“This is for your own good Teeyi. I don’t want you thinking Mardi Is a bad person. He’s just stubborn. Either he comes clean or…”
“Fine!” I snap quicker than bridge from a bakery overrun by ogres. “I don’t hate you. Nor do I hate elves.”
Maribel offers a content smile but rolls a hand with a clear message.
“In fact… It’s the opposite… Teeyi.” I say.
A blush comes to Teeyi’s face and her eyes light up.
“I’m not the only one that’s cursed Teeyi.” Maribel slipped her hand away from her blouse. Happened at the same time actually.”
“What happened to you?” Teeyi draws closer. I take a step back.
“Easy now! She’s not kidding. It’s a curse not a game.” I wave her off desperately.”
“A curse that’s your fault I might add.” Maribel purses her lips. “If only you had a little bit more self control.”
“How was I supposed to know that was gonna happen?” I gesture to Teeyi. “Why do you think I took this crummy job anyway?”
“To help me?” Teeyi’s eyes moistened.
“Wrong!” I say, “I got sources that say you’re the cure. Well… you’re related to the cure.”
“What? I’m the cure?” She puts he hands on her cheeks. “L…like a princess kissing a frog?”
“No.” I halve my eyes. I can’t let my mind wander.
“I’ll do it.” Teeyi nods her head. “If it means helping you lift this curse I’ll do anything. You’re helping me after all. It’s the least I can do!”
“Anything…?” I say, swallowing.
“Anything.” Teeyi takes another step closer and I bump into the wooden door of the Parched Peacock.
My eyes wander, she’s not a bad looking lady. As much as I treat her like a kid, she probably has several years on me. My eyes snap back to hers, probably my worst mistake. Beautiful eyes on this doll, especially when those eye lamps are lookin’ at me with apology and pity.
She turns to Maribel, a stray though grabs her attention like firepit at a moth farm.
“What’s the curse anyway?”
The door behind me flings forward launching me at Teeyi. She shrieks, we topple and I find myself with a mouth full of elf lip. While the drunken patron to blame wanders away obliviously.
Teeyi’s eyes grow wide as she realizes I’m on top of her kissing her. Not that I don’t want to stop, it’s just that I can’t help it. Yep.
I have an elf fetish.
A hard yank pulls me off Teeyi. The taste of her lips hang on mine while my darling Maribel chokes me at the collar. Truth be told I don’t really mind the curse that much as it is a justification for an existing condition. I’ve always had a thing for elves, but just as Maribel said that very reason is why she’s cursed as well.
Teeyi stares at me, thunder struck. I struggle fainty to return to her but there’s something about oxygen deprivation that keeps a man regular. Maribel isn’t man, I think, her expression still has the calm smile I love her for. I couldn’t ask for a more understanding mate.
“…ca…. n’t breathe….” I wheeze.
“Oh right.” Maribel loosens her grip and lets air flood back into my windpipe.
“That’s the curse?!” Teeyi said, her cheeks flushed a deep scarlet.
“Not entirely. Mardi probably really wants to do that to you. But it’s his willpower that’s the curse. Pretty much anything he’s enthusiastic about gets amplified.” Maribel smiled wryly. “It’s not all bad though. It makes our sex life interesting.”
“B…but I just kissed him. I…” Teeyi’s face tur.
“No. He kissed you. There’s a difference.” Maribel shrugs. “You’re not upset are you? It was my fault after all.”
“No…” Teeyi looks away. “I mean he couldn’t help it. Sort of like a puppy.”
“Now, I really need a drink.” I regain my composure and gently push away from Maribel. Bad enough I had the stupid curse that Maribel felt the need to tease him about it.
“Just like a puppy.” Maribel grins and follows me into the bar. “I’ll let that one slide of course, but you’re going to have to find a way to beat this Mardi. You can’t go around treating Teeyi poorly just because you can’t stop fantasizing about her.”
“Maribel… please…” I rub my temples as I walk in.
“HEEEEEEEEY!” The booming voice of Gully Greenguts, the world’s greatest bartender, comes from the bar. A chorus of voices follows. “MARDI!”
I wave sheepishly and take my spot on the lacquered stool. A tall double shot of whiskey haphazardly slides in front of me.
“Gods bless you sir.” I say before tossing it back in one gulp. Teeyi’s lingering kiss is swept away with the comfort of alcohol.
“Maribel.” Gully with a small nod as Maribel sidles next to me. “Whatcha havin’ love?”
“The same.” She points at my empty glass. “Leave the bottle.”
“Aye.” Gully stoops over and starts fiddling behind the bar. “So I hears Baron Black’s vacation home went up in smoke.”
“Something like that.” I say.
“That’’s gonna be expensive Mardi. Baron Black is well known for payin’ well. You’re gonna have some unsavoriness breathin’ down yer neck.”
“I’ll live.” I say rubbing my head.
“Who’s the elf?” Gully pointed.
“Oh right.” I sigh. “Teeyi. This is Gully. Good guy but ask for the price of drinks before they go down your gullet. Or else you’ll be dancing on the stage for dubloons.”
“Oh?” Teeyi toys with her hand nervously. “That doesn’t so bad I guess.”
“Without a shirt, dear.” Maribel says smirking behind her drink.
“Oh…. Oh!” Teeyi hurried to Mardi’s side and sat on the barstool.
Mardi draped an arm over Maribels shoulder. “Hey, at least I was up there to join you.”
Maribell smiles and bumps heads with me affectionately. Her glass keeps me from stealing a kiss. I settle for a toast.
“How much is firewater?” Teeyi drums on the bar with her fingers.
The noisy chatter of the bar falls to a hush.
Teeyi smiled a warm innocent smile.
“Well… it’s not expensive but…” Gully leaned forward, sized up Teeyi. “You sure? It’s a fresh batch.”
I say nothing. Teeyi wasn’t a moron. She knew what she was doing.
She nodded happily.
Gully slides away the glass he had set out for her and replaces it with a steel carafe. He slips on a glove; A gloves over that one; wraps thick cloth around that glove; and dips the bundle into a bucket of cold water.
All eyes locked on the process, he turns and opens a cabinet. A lick of flame pours out of it. Gully reaches in and a loud hissing noise echoes through the bar. He knits his brow underneath his bald head and turns. A thick red liquid pours from the stone container into the metal carafe. It pours slowly as magma until the container was fills. Not a drop spilled. Best damn Bartender in the world. It settled and cooled almost instantly until it was but a pale pink liquid.
“Wow. That is fresh! Are you sure it’s not expensive?” Teeyi marveled at her reflection in the shifting liquid.
Gully puts away the stone container and closes the door in time to avoid a second blast of flame. He pulls away the charred remnants of the wrapped cloth. “Tell you what. You drink that down in one pass and it’s free. Otherwise it’s…”
Teeyi scooped up the metal carafe without missing a beat and slugged back the syrup like substance in ten deliberate gulps.
It is easily the most terrifying and arousing fourteen seconds of my life.
Maribel lets out a low whistle when the carafe hits the bar. Pale steam sifts from the sides of Teeyi’s mouth and she lets out a triumphant belch.
Hustled. I grin.
The Bartender reaches out and picked up the carafe in awe. “You…”
“Mmm hmm.” She nods. “I’m a fire elf.”
I knew the moment I kissed her. The sweet taste on her lips was a gentle residue the fire elves had in their bodies. The taste of it crept back into his mouth. Even just kissing her was enough to nullify Gully’s whiskey.
My eyes widen in realization. “Drinking contest!”
“No way.” Gully waved off the notion. “I’m not wasting my booze on her. She’ll win by default.
“Aww…” I slum to one side into Maribel. I had to hide my smirk.
Maribel smiles back and gives me a knowing squeeze. I love this woman, so much.
“Guess I just have to start one myself. Who’s in?!” I stand and peel off my coat. “Last one to get shitfaced takes the pot!”
A cheer erupted in the bar.
“Don’t worry. I’ll stay out of it.” Teeyi waved it off calmly. “But um… can I have another please?”
“Sure.” Gully made a face. “But this one ain’t free.”
“I got that.” I say as I help line up the tables.
Cause I’m about to be stinking rich.