It's been a while since I had a Friday Five, mostly because I can't always think of a cool theme. If you have an idea, I'm open to suggestions. This week's theme, 'Outfits', was suggested by Lea!
“Who’s abandoning who, now?” he commented good-naturedly.
“What can I say? Predator instincts.”
She finally pulled out a dress and slipped it on before turning to face Brett, an eyebrow raised in a silent question. The dress was black satin, hanging precariously from Lisa’s shoulders by spaghetti straps and coming down to just beneath her knees. It seemed to reveal more than it hid anything.
Walking to her, Brett ran his hands up her arms and down her sides, finally sliding them behind her to cup her ass and pull her against him, where she would feel the effect she was having on him.
“Breathtaking,” he murmured in the crook of her neck. “You’re sure you don’t want to stay in tonight? I could be the prey to this gorgeous predator.”
Pulling back, he gave her a wide-eyed innocent look that made her laugh softly.
“I won’t be long,” she promised with a peck to his lips and a light squeeze to his semi-hard cock.
Flat sandals were the only accessory she put on before leaving, and Brett could only stare at her backside, mesmerized by the way the satin hugged her ass, until the front door had closed on her. Then he smiled. A predator, indeed. He would have defied any man in the club to resist her—or any woman for that matter. She would find someone to feed from before she ever stepped down onto the dance floor, he would bet the club on it. And as a matter of fact, he wanted to see it. She refused to feed from him, having explained that she didn’t want to think of him as food, but like so many of his patrons he had been attracted to vampires for a long time, and he was fascinated by the idea of being bitten. If she wouldn’t bite him, he could at least watch her feed from someone else.
Blurred Bloodlines - Kate
On top of the largest box, the note she had opened earlier lay half open. She picked it up and read it again, the butterflies in her stomach fluttering a little faster as she did.
I hope you’ll like these. Be ready at eight.
She touched the words, then Blake’s signature. His handwriting was a little slanted, the cursive letters slightly rough and irregular. It fitted him.
Putting the note down again, she lifted the cover of the largest box—and immediately gasped. A dress lay in the box, white and silver with large black flowers across the bodice and down the skirt. Her hands trembling a little, she lifted it out of the box, and noticed the lace inserts in the ankle-length skirt. It was silky smooth between her fingers, and she could just imagine what it would feel like on her skin. She had never seen anything so lovely, let alone worn it. It looked like something from another age, before breaches had opened all over the world and demons had started their relentless attacks on the human civilization. These days, simple fabrics and clothes that were both utilitarian and easy to make were the norm. She could only wonder where Blake had found something so extravagant.
Moments later, her wonder turned to awe when she slipped the dress on over plain cotton panties and bra, and found that it fit perfectly. She could have sworn it had been made for her. Surely, though, that was beyond Blake’s means. There was at least one seamstress in each town who could sew special garments, usually for weddings and celebrations, but their prices were supposed to be exorbitant—not that Kate had ever had the need for one.
She smoothed her hands down the sides of the dress as she turned to the second box. In her haste to open it, she dropped the lid. It fell to the carpeted floor with a whisper but she barely noticed as she pulled out the shoes from inside the box. She remembered Blake checking her boots, a few days earlier, and commenting on what small feet she had; she hadn’t thought anything of it at the time.
These weren’t anything like her combat boots, though. Black with a white trim, they had heels—not very high ones, but still higher than she had ever worn—and a curved opening at the toes. These, she noticed, weren’t new. The soles bore some signs of use. Although not anything like what she was used to, they were lovely, and surprisingly comfortable once she slipped them on. She walked back and forth through the room, getting used to the heels, and was almost surprised when she didn’t immediately trip over her own feet. All those balance exercises were paying off, she thought with an inward grin.
Only the suede box was left. She sat on the bed after picking it up and held it on her knees for a moment before opening it. Rectangular and about as large as her hand, it had to be too big for a nipple ring. A necklace, maybe? The lid flipped back easily, revealing not only a necklace, but also a pair of earrings in the center of the box. The pieces appeared to be silver. The necklace, short enough that it would sit close to her throat, was made of three flat strands, the links that formed the strands so small that they were barely distinguishable. The three strands were entwined in a tight braid. Three similar strands of differing lengths dangled from the earrings.
Kate touched the necklace with the tip of her finger, following one of the strands as it wove over and under the other two. It was all a terrible idea, she thought as she snapped the box shut.
Ward of the Vampire - Angelina
“You’ll need to lose the bra for this one,” she said, lifting the dress off the mannequin.
Another perfectly reasonable occasion to say no. I still didn’t.
I turned around until my back was to her and slipped my bra off. It’s not that I’m that much of a prude, but come on, how often do you find yourself topless and wearing nothing more than panties in front of your boss?
After fumbling with it for a second or two, I dropped the bra to the floor and, at her command, lifted my arms. She slipped the gown over my head and tugged it down in place, immediately starting to do the laces in the back while I was still smoothing down the skirt. Made from bright, light chiffon, it fell as an A-line from a dropped waist. The corset was made of a thicker fabric, with a scalloped top and crystals scattered throughout.
“The trick to a corset,” she said on a conversational tone, “is to tighten it until you can’t breathe anymore.”
She demonstrated, and I let out a huff as every last bit of air was squeezed out of my lungs.
“And then,” she continued, “to release just the width of two fingers.”
She did release the laces somewhat, and I didn’t feel anymore like I would die of asphyxia in the next minute. As she finished the lacing, I did feel rather glad that I’d only have to wear the dress for a few minutes. The corset was giving me a cleavage to die for but I do enjoy breathing very much.
“Peep-toe shoes,” she demanded as she stepped back.
I slipped into the shoes and stood there, arms at my side, watching her watch me and thinking that, lack of air notwithstanding, this had to be the most beautiful dress I’d ever worn. And there wasn’t even a mirror in the room for me to look at myself.
Miss Delilah apparently agreed. She nodded once and smiled. “Perfect. All we need is to get your hair up, freshen up your make-up a bit, and we’ll be all set to go.”
I stared at her, confused beyond words. She couldn’t have just said what I thought she had said, right?
As it turned out, she’d known all along which dress she’d wear: the fourth one, a long sheath that hugged her body like a second skin, with a black train hanging in the back. The other three, she’d bought for me. No, not just bought. She’d had them made for me. That was why they, and the shoes, fit so well. How she knew my measurements, I have no idea.
I wasn’t wearing the Cinderella dress, but when she was done with me, I did feel like I’d just met my fairy godmother and was about to go to the ball to meet the prince.
Except that, as far as I can recall, there weren’t vampires in the fairy tale, and the godmother didn’t offer Cinderella to the prince as a midnight snack.
Bodyguards - Vivien
Aedan had provided her with an answer for that, too.
“Only peasants and those too new to the court to know their way around are escorted through the palace,” he had said. “You don’t want to appear like an outsider, not to the king or to the high families who will be there. Some will wait in the hallways to watch you from the moment you enter the castle. They will judge every move you make, every word you say.”
It wasn’t a particularly reassuring thought.
“That will not be necessary,” she said in a firm voice.
The majordomo’s expression cracked, showing alarm. Surely, he had been instructed not to let her wander in alone. Vivien was already striding toward the door, though, stopping two feet in front of it to allow Aedan to sweep forward, open the door, go through, and give a small bow after he was satisfied no enemy lurked in the next room. When Vivien passed by him, he murmured so quietly that she had trouble making out the words, “Very good.”
She let out a slow, quiet sigh with her next breath. She’d passed the first obstacle. The course was still long, though, starting with the long corridor, so much like the one from the round room to the main house in her mother’s castle. Vivien took the opportunity to practice her walk some more. After she’d dressed and put on shoes that were a little too big, Brad had suggested she walk around for a while to get used to the whole outfit.
“Even your prom dress wasn’t that long,” he’d said, with enough confidence to remind her how long he had watched over her. “And my guess is, it’s been a long time since you wore heels that high.”
He’d been wrong about that. She had never worn heels like these, and even though they were only about two inches high, at first she had felt like she tottered with every step. She was beginning to get used to them, but she still had to pay attention to the way she walked.
It didn’t help that the dress, made of a pale blue fabric that resembled satin, with metallic embroidery along the full sleeves, bodice, and hem, fell in long folds around her and all the way to the floor, tangling around her legs when she took strides that were too long. The dress was a little tight across the stomach and looser at the bust, but Vivien must have been the same height as her mother, because the dress barely brushed the floor with each of her steps, as though the length, at least, had been tailored for her.
When she reached the other end of the corridor, she stopped again, and this time Brad stepped forward for the door-opening ritual. When he turned to bow her forward, he met her eyes for the briefest of instants, and while he kept his countenance and did not smile, his eyes held all his love, all his strength, and all his confidence that things would go well.
The Thirteenth Halloween - Thomas and Jim
Any memory would have done, but he chose the first time they had met—at the engagement party of friends they had in common—and summoned every little detail he could remember: the pounding music, the smell of spilled alcohol where some guests had toasted with a bit too much enthusiasm, the heat of that summer night, the rum and vanilla cake, and the wild costumes the guests had been asked to wear. True to form, Thomas had gone as a wizard, and at some point a young man dressed in shorts, a tank top, and running shoes with a crown of laurels on his head and a golden medal hanging from a ribbon around his neck had approached him.
“You must be overheating under all this,” he said, grinning as he gestured to where Thomas’ long robes fell all the way to the ground.
Thomas grinned back. “Not at all. There’s a nice breeze under here.”
Some kilt allusions followed, along with inquiries as to where Thomas had acquired his accent, and all through the night Jim tried to figure out if Thomas was truly naked under his robes. He went home with Thomas’ number but no answer.
Fire suddenly flared at the tip of the candle. With slow, almost ritualistic movements, Thomas angled it to the floor in front of the armchair so that a few drops of wax trickled down. When he set the candle down on the melted wax, it remained upright. He then pulled another candle from the bag and chose another memory. Maybe because his first thought had been of a costume party, or maybe because symbols and connections were so important for this kind of magic, he recalled the first Halloween he and Jim had spent as a couple in this very house. Jim had been smashing in a James Bond-like tuxedo. The second candle burst to life.