Welcome to the Wednesday Briefers flash group. The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. The prompts for this week are:
I’m using a picture prompt this week~
For the love of Home and Hearth
“Come on, come on…”
He loved snow, but God, the damn stuff was freaking cold when you didn’t have fur covering you any longer. He’d wished for a white Christmas down here in what he now affectionately called Freaksville, but he hadn’t really thought he’d get it. Didn’t snow here often. Not only had he gotten his wish for snow, he’d gotten nearly a foot of the stuff. Merry Christmas to him!
But now he was freezing. With chills chasing across his skin, Chip fed more kindling onto the fire, slowly nursing the flames. Desperate for heat, but determined not to rush things, he leaned closer and blew gently on the growing flame. A sudden pop sounded then an explosion of sparks raced up a piece of wood, igniting one of the bigger logs.
Chip sighed, relieved. “There we go.”
He tended the flames, coaxing forth a nice roaring fire. He loved that the fireplace was real, not gas. They were a mess, sure, but nothing beat them. And the bricks were old, very old, and hand-laid by his grandfather. A burst of heat engulfed him, warming his chilled skin. He moved back slightly, rearranging his body. Soft fur suddenly tickled his foot, making him grin. In front of the fireplace was a huge, furry black rug. Jason had brought it with him when he moved in months ago. Chip loved the damn thing—it was so soft. And okay, yes, it reminded him of something…or rather, someone.
From the kitchen the microwave beeped, drawing Chip’s attention. “Oh, thank you, God.”
Chip hurried into the kitchen, jeans still unbuttoned at the top, no shirt, and no shoes. That was all he’d bothered to throw on when they came inside. His toes curled on the new tile floor. He and Jason had laid every square of that tile themselves, and he was damn proud of their work, but damn it was cold. He and Jason were updating the house he’d inherited upon his granny’s death not long ago.
Little did he know the place came with a Native American shifter who planned on claiming him. They’d had a rocky start, but things were settling now into normalcy. Chip snorted. As normal as things could be, considering he’d mated a black cougar shifter. And oh yeah, he was now a shifter too. Normal had a new meaning.
He opened the microwave door and removed the mugs of heated milk. Shivering slightly, he mixed in the homemade hot chocolate mix he’d prepared earlier. “Damn, damn, damn, please tell me there are marshmallows left from the bonfire last night.”
Chip opened the pantry door, shoving things around as he hunted the needed ingredient. “Ah-ha, there they are! And shoved toward the back, of course.”
Bending at the waist, he reached into the pantry. They really needed to widen this thing. His fingers just brushed across the package when a heavy weight leaned against his legs. The smell of crushed grass, wild animal, and something more pronounced—a woodsy musk—enveloped him. Breathing deeply, he inhaled the scent. God, he loved that smell. A low purr greeted him and, damn, something nudged his ass.
Backing out of the pantry, he straightened quickly. At his feet was one of the biggest cougars he’d ever seen. But that wasn’t the most intriguing thing about the cat. No, what was unique, besides the fact the cat could shift into a human, was the color of the cat’s coal black coat. There were no authenticated cases of truly melanistic cougars. The animal didn’t exist, except for the one currently purring and rubbing its head against his thigh, scent-marking him.
“Kitty want some milk?”
Greenish-yellow eyes narrowed and a fang flashed. A rolling growl floated through the kitchen. A long black tail skittered across the tile floor. Then the cougar once again head-butted Chip, only this time harder.
Chip stumbled back, laughing aloud. He rattled the back of marshmallows at the cougar. “Hey! I have the marshmallows for the hot chocolate. Be nice or I’ll put’em up the top shelf.”
The cougar turned up its nose and stalked out of the kitchen. Chip watched as the cougar flopped down on the black furry rug by the fireplace. It was hard to tell where the rug ended and the cat started, especially since there was only light from the fireplace. Amused at his thoughts, Chip fixed the hot chocolate and carried the mugs to the fireplace. He left the mugs on the bricks and sat. The big cat rested a paw on his leg, staring at Chip.
“It’s supposed to snow tonight. Tomorrow I’ll shift, and you guys can go play in the snow… all day, if you want. Does that sound good?”
The cougar purred loudly.
Jason and his cougar were separate identities, with the ability to speak internally, so Chip treated them as such. Chip still hadn’t developed the ability to speak to his cougar, but the animal spirit was there. Chip felt him. “Well then, in that case, come back to me, babe. I have hot chocolate.”
Chip cringed at the screeching of bones popping, rearranging. The tearing sounds that filled the room made his body hurt. Finally, a low groan sounded from the rug. “Fuck, Jason, I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to those sounds.”
“But it’s worth it, right?” Jason trembled, shivers racing across his body. “It’s kind of cold in here now without the fur.”
Chip jerked a throw off the couch and threw it over Jason. As much as he hated covering that hunky body, it was cool in the den. No problem, though. After Jason warmed up, Chip planned to remove that covering… with his teeth, if needed. The mere thought of long, black hair spread out and—Chip gulped—all that toned, naked skin just waiting to be loved on, had his cock pushing against the fly of his jeans.
“Yeah, we should’ve turned the heat up before we left this morning.”
He retrieved the hot chocolate and held it out to Jason. “Drink up. I even added the little marshmallows you like so much.”
“Thanks, babe. And just as soon as I warm up, I’m going to remove you from those jeans. Thought I’d throw that out there.”
The blood flowing to his cock so suddenly made Chip dizzy. “Well, then, drink up.”
Merry Christmas, everyone! May your day be filled with things that make you happy. Best wishes for a safe holiday. :) Try not to eat too much... which I probably will do.
Chip and Jason are the characters from the novel Shadows in the Night. The rest will post on the 26th.