Chapter Twelve – Wild Hunt

Faraday never thought he would say it, not if he lived another few thousand years, but watching Vasquez eat was damn near enough to put him completely off food for a while. Not forever, of course, because forever was a damn long time. But he was comfortable with saying that it might be a while before he was having venison again.

Maybe he could get the halfling, Teddy Q, to part with one of those apples of his. He had been listening to some of the townsfolk talk since they arrived about the mysterious properties of those apples. He had heard stories of little Teddy growing the tastiest fruit that could keep a man full for a day off a single apple. That sounded like a mighty fine thing, if it was true. That were the case, then he might take it upon himself to take a few of these apples to stash around town for Vasquez.

After all, the god had made a rather sizable dent in the local deer population tonight… and they were only one day into Rose Creek. There would be a lot more days and nights to keep him fed. If Chisolm’s guess was right, after all, they still had at least six more nights to get through.

“You seem to be thinking very hard, güero.”

He turned back towards Vasquez and offered up a smirk. Say whatever else he wanted about the monster, Vasquez was at least fastidious: not a drop spilled, not an ounce of meat wasted, barely even bones left behind. Granted, one of them was currently being used to clean between his teeth, but that was the way of things.

He had known Fae, mostly in the Unseelie Court, who were a great deal more messy… and that was with eating humans.

“Full now?” he asked… and laughed uproariously when the other monster only did a vague shrugging thing that only involved moving his head back and forth. Even though he knew there was nothing left to see of the meal the Old God had had, he still glanced around as if he could see the carcasses of the six or so mule deer that were no longer among the living. “In that case, can I be the first to say ‘damn’, because… damn.”

Unsurprisingly that got a laugh. Honestly, he had met a lot of monsters over his long years. Admittedly, few were as old as the Fae in general and himself in particular, but the ones that were even close to his age generally were sticks in the mud. For that matter, he had met a lot of monsters who were younger than him who fit that dour description. This particular Old God, however, had proven to be the exception to that rule.

Well, in truth, all the monsters on this little quest of Sam Chisolm’s had proven to be exceptions to that rule, but it was the Old God that was holding his attention, thank you very much. It wasn’t going to be easy keeping from making his interest plain. Then again… What was life without taking some chances?

Of course, before he could say anything, the Old God frowned and asked, “What is this Wild Hunt? That you were talking with the niño about?”

Well, there went any semblance of a mood there might possibly been towards something fun. Still, he managed to rally enough to smirk along with his drawled response of “That’s right: they’ve never had to run down towards Old Mexico way. Never any need as far as I can recall.”

Vasquez shrugged expansively. “We take care of that problem ourselves, my brothers and sisters and I.”

“If your brothers and sisters have teeth anything like yours, I can see how that would be.” The Old God chuckled again, with a grin that showed off too many of said teeth and sent shivers straight down Faraday’s spine.

Man, why did his type have to be hot as hell and just as dangerous? Damn his fucking libido and its very specific fucking tastes.

“A lot of the rest of us monsters don’t have the advantage of those teeth,” Faraday continued, unable to drag his eyes away from them. “We had to come up with another solution to the wendigo problem, so… the Wild Hunt.”

“And you told the niño you rode with it?”

As much as he wanted to grit his teeth, as much as he wanted to demand the topic be over, he forced a shaky smile. “Full of questions tonight, huh? Yeah, I ran with the Wild Hunt for a while. Off and on for a few hundred years, point of fact. Left it in ’58, I think ‘bout a year after the baby demon’s brothers… yeah.”

“You do not think that the third brother is alive.” It was a statement, and in answer, he shrugged. “The niño seemed certain that he was.”

“Baby demon didn’t see the same chunk ripped out of Ezra that I did. I don’t think even Antichrists can survive something like that. I think Goody’s… hopeful, but he’s still a baby, demon or not. You’re allowed to believe all kinds of ridiculous shit at that age.” He pulled off his hat and ran a shaking hand through his hair. “I… Can this conversation be over? I will pay you or blow you, whichever will get this conversation to end the soonest.”

One dark eyebrow shot up, expressively heading towards Vasquez’s hairline. “Really, güero?”

Shit… Had he said that out loud? Well, in for a penny and all that nonsense. “Unless there’s something better on offer, yeah.” He smirked and moved like water into the Old God’s space. “Is there something better on offer, Vasquez? No… Mictlantecuhtli?”

Well, that was nice, watching the other monster’s eyes darken like that. Yeah, that was good. There was a power to true names, after all, especially where monsters like Faraday were concerned, and seduction was a Fae’s best gift and weapon, all in one.

“Still do not actually know your name, güero…”

And that was almost funny, like his thoughts weren’t entirely his own… or at the very least, not private. He’d heard of seers who could do that—pluck thoughts right out of a being’s head—but never another monster who could, not even an Old God. He wished he could say that it lessened the appeal, but not really.

“The Fae don’t give out their real names.”

“Then you are a Fae.” And oh yes, he had said that he was… what was it… a little of this and a little of that when he introduced himself to the Old God, hadn’t he? For that matter, he had been tormenting the baby demon with it for days, and now that they were in Rose Creek, he had no intention of stopping.

“Close enough.”

There was a little something of death in Vasquez’s eyes, enough that it was both terrifying and intoxicating, especially this close: close enough to share each other’s breath but still not quite touch. It made him just itch to touch, to taste the Old God. It was like temptation incarnate was standing in front of him… and Faraday had never been good at resisting any form of temptation.

Vasquez whispered, “Tell me, güero,” the words little more than air against his lips, and Faraday let out a shuddered sigh, squeezing his eyes tightly shut.

“Damn it, Vas. That’s cheating.” At the Old God’s dark, deep chuckle, he squinted his eyes open again to glare. “Fine. You win.”

He leaned in close, hands sliding around the taller monster, and whispered the secret he had been keeping from everyone for at least a millennia: what he was.

2 thoughts on “Chapter Twelve – Wild Hunt

  1. Hi,
    I feel really nervous posting this, the both of you are so talented. And I guess i just wanted to refute your claim on chapter one, that the two of you were the only ones who wanted this story. The last chapter drove me insane. After my fifth time reading it i found myself searching for my sketch pad for the first time in years, and drawing that last few minutes when Vas turns the seduction back on Faraday. I’m horribly out of practice, and its not my usual style. I used to draw manga style art. But something about this story makes me want to visualize it as realistic as possible. I guess i just wanted to do something to say thanks for all your great writing (i’m totally hooked on Wicked Ones too). Is there some where I could email this to either of you?


    1. Oh. My. Gods.

      Okay, I had to squeal like a demented fan creature and show this to Katsuko before I could even begin responding to your comment.

      I can’t even tell you the last time I got fan art. Many, many years. Early 00s, at least.

      My email is apollymi @ gmail dot com. That’s probably the easiest way to reach either of us.


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