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The Witch and Broom With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Printable Version

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With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 02-25-2023

Emily's very meticulously put-together outfit: Boots, trousers, coat, low-cut shirt, and underwear

The Witch and Broom was a wonderful shelter from the chill of the day. It was the definition of warm, in both temperature and decor, with the naked brick, polished dark wooden bar, and cozy booths along one wall. The lunch hour wasn't too busy, with a few daytime patrons tucked away with their meals, taking their time. After greeting her and inviting her to pick a seat, the bartender went back to going over receipts. A very cozy, informal affair, which was perfect for a hole in the wall--she'd expected a more 'witchy' aesthetic, but she was grateful that wasn't present, and it seemed more like your typical New England affair.

With the smell of cooking steak and frying potatoes wafting through the bar, Emily was eager to sit and eat. She scanned the bar for Max, to see if he’d already arrived and grabbed a table or not. She was absurdly relaxed after her time at the salon, smelling like lavender and other calming essential oils. For once, she was dressed for the weather, but she'd worn a low-cut shirt that occasionally let a peek of her cute scalloped bra slip just over the neckline. And she wore boots, but they were thigh-high and soft, suede-like.

Just as she'd silently resolved while they were texting, Emily had dressed strategically today--part of it was for her own schemes on getting Max to come home with her, even if she knew deep down that if she just boned up and asked, he'd probably say yes. The majority of the impulse behind her outfit was just the joy of looking and feeling sexy, dressing up in an understated, but somewhat pointed way. Thus, if Max didn't notice, Emily wouldn't be bothered, but she was certainly aiming to grab his attention for her birthday.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 02-26-2023

Outfit, with a navy peacoat.
Cinder (Preternatural Senses) Complete success

The Witch & Broom wasn't a place Max went to often, but he'd been there enough to know it was a good place to go. The food rarely disappointed, and the ambience was that of a gastropub that didn't take itself too seriously but enjoyed regular clientele wobbling in from the brewery tours.

As Max pushed in through the door, it didn't look too busy, the murmur of conversation low and easy to tune out. Outside and inside, he could follow a trail of pleasant scents, the most dominant being lavender. It wasn't hard to spot the source, Emily standing by the bar, still dressed in her coat. She hadn't been waiting long, then.

“Emily!” Max called out, grin apparent as he drew in close–forethought enough to warn her he was coming, as he went straight to wrapping an arm around her waist in a half-hug and pressing a chaste kiss to her cheek. “You smell pampered,” he murmured with a grin, pulling back from the kiss as he looked her over.

She looked put-together, but she always was. The only deviation from the norm was her low-cut shirt–a henley?–with more buttons than usual loose, giving him a clear peek at her cleavage and the edges of her black bra, the glimpse of frills that promised something sexy if understated. Her thigh-high boots and coat hadn't given him a good view of the rearview, but instinct told him it'd be as grabbable as usual and cupped perfectly pert.

Max couldn't help checking her out, eyes taking in the signs of Emily dressing up deliberately, even if she'd just come from a pampering session. He associated that with loose clothing and mussed hair, but none was evident; Emily'd made an effort for their spontaneous lunch date. Eyes sliding up to meet hers, he quirked a sly eyebrow, grin going crooked and wondering if she had a date after or if this was just Emily wanting to be enticing.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 02-27-2023

When he called her name, Emily had just enough time to turn before Max’s arm was around her waist. By now, she was used to the friendly greeting, and leaned into it, grinning.

“Oh, I am,” she confirmed cheerfully. “And I left my spoiled cat at a groomer too, so we’ll match before too long.”

By her fond grin, it was clear the witch was joking about her familiar. Dulce was spoilt, but she only earned the title incidentally. Emily spoiled her rotten whenever she could.

It was then that the witch noticed where Max’s eyes were going down her body and she flushed with satisfaction. It was a bit of a catch-22: Emily wanted his attention, and had dressed to get it, but now that he’d noticed her, the sly look and smirk had her stomach doing flips. Max just had a way with her.

It didn’t help when she caught sight of his sweater and the trim way it clung to his waist. She looked her fill as well, both eyebrows lifting in surprise, before meeting his eyes and grinning back. How could someone make a cable-knit sweater look sexy? Sometimes she wondered how Max made being so hot look so effortless—sometimes, humorously, it made her jealous—but today, she just decided the way the werewolf looked was God’s birthday gift for her.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 02-28-2023

Chuckling at Emily smearing her cat's good name, Max rubbed a hand over her hip as he caught her eye after she'd looked him over, his grin widening at her lifted eyebrows, smugly self-confident in the wake of her elevator eyes. He'd dressed up for the weather rather than to look good, but he couldn't deny picking a sweater he knew he'd gotten compliments on. It was a casual birthday lunch, but he wouldn't show up in a wrinkly t-shirt and stained jeans.

The undeniable spark between them left Max unbearably curious about Emily's dressing up and her blatant admiration of the cut of his sweater. He cocked his head in subtle interest, wondering at potentials but knowing they were only supposed to have lunch.

“Come on, where does the birthday girl wanna sit?” Max invited, letting the earlier moment pass between them without words. Looking around and taking in the available spots, he was tempted to find a secluded corner, but he knew that was more likely to get him in trouble. “Over there?” He nodded to a private but not secluded corner booth.

It wasn't too busy, meaning they had the pick of the place. Max just preferred having his back against a wall and his eyes on the exit, but other than that, he wasn't picky.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 02-28-2023

Grin going crooked, Emily’s gaze skittered away from the werewolf when she caught the self-satisfaction in his smile. The unspoken tension between them had her pleasantly flustered, and she wondered if she’d ever actively angled for Max’s attention like this. It was difficult to tell when they had a habit of falling into bed together anyway, but Emily realized she’d never consciously made the decision to dress to impress until now. Now she felt like she was playing with fire.

But, for the moment, Max let it pass without comment, redirecting them to finding a seat. Emily had similar thoughts about picking somewhere a little more secluded, wisely went with his suggestion for a corner booth. “That’s good,” she agreed, as she started shrugging off her coat and moving in that direction. She went on, asking conversationally, “How’s your day been? You texted me early today.”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 02-28-2023

Max let Emily go first, trailing just a step behind her elbow as they approached the corner booth. When she pointed out he'd texted her early, he chuckled, grinning as he pulled a package wrapped in plain brown wrapping paper out of his pockets–a tight fit, so it took a yank to get it out–and tapped it against his palm.

“Yep, bright and early. I was on my way to the gym,” Max said, stopping by the table to put the package down and start shucking his coat. “Otherwise, slow day. No shift today, so I just got some uni work done and called ma. She says happy birthday.” Max passed on his ma's message with a grin, draping his coat over the end of the booth seat.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 02-28-2023

Emily slid into the booth with her coat in hand, and put it along with her purse on the side of the seat nearest the wall. She noticed the brown package while Max got settled and looked up at him with a smirk and a quirk of her eyebrow that said “is that for me?” The witch was just as tight-lipped about things she wanted as she was about her birthday, so what had he gotten her if anything?

Rather than ask outright, her smile warmed at the mention of his ma and her well-wishes. “Tell her thank you,” Emily replied sunnily, vaguely registering that Max talked to his mother about her. She didn’t think too deeply about it, and focused more on the fact that Max didn’t have work today. “So you have all today off?”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 02-28-2023

Gift w/ wolf charm instead

Max caught Emily looking at the package, amused at her coy reaction even if it was apparent it was hers. He slid into the booth on the other side of Emily, nodding the affirmative as she told him to thank his ma, and leaned back in the booth. He had a good view of the place, and Max scanned the room before his eyes went back to Emily, grinning.

“Yep, whatever will I do with all this free time,” Max joked, winking at her. Then he reached for the package and slid it across the table, stopping in front of Emily. He grinned, feeling equal parts apprehension and eagerness. Emily was difficult to buy for, and Max was more in tune with practical gifts than other types, so he thought he'd found a good solution. “For you. Hope you like it.”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-01-2023

Emily had a few answers for whatever Max might do with all his free time right on the tip of her tongue, but only propped her chin on her hand and grinned at him across the table, although her gaze dropped away when he winked at her. She didn't want to say it outright anyway. Tracing the outline of their chemistry was more fun for the moment.

Max quickly redirected her anyway when he pushed the package across the table to her. Dropping her hand, she glanced up at him with a shy little smile that widened when she spied what she thought was a mote of self-consciousness. Whatever it was, she was reasonably certain she'd love it. Max knew her well.

“Thank you,” she said sweetly, already charmed as she tucked a thumb under one flap of the wrapping. Pulling it aside, she saw warm, supple leather and then caught the scent of it and crooned in quiet appreciation when she pulled the satchel free from the paper. It wasn't large, but it was well-made, and Emily could already see that it was the perfect size and shape for spell components. Then she spied the wolf charm and burst out laughing. Holding it up between two fingers, she looked at the werewolf, delighted at his audacity. “Branding, huh?”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-01-2023

Max hadn't needed to worry if Emily's croon was any indication as she peeled back the wrapping paper. He took in her reaction, happy that he'd managed to find something she'd appreciate without needing to ask. As she pulled it free, he took the paper and folded it up, the brown paper crinkling as he compacted it and tucked it back into his pocket. He looked up from stowing the trash away when she burst out laughing, spotting the wolf charm she was holding up and grinning.

“Yep, gotta make sure everyone knows what the coolest animal is,” he said, smug and unrepentant but happy she was enjoying the gift.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-01-2023

In her heart of hearts, Emily thought the little wolf charm was the best part of the whole gift. It was the personal touch of it. It had been a very long time—a decade at least—since she’d put anything like a keychain or other unnecessary adornments on her things, but now didn’t seem like a bad time to start up again. She had a very professional image to maintain, but that was at work. When she was with Max, when they were running around doing magic and tumbling deeper into this supernatural world they lived in, things were a bit different. She was a witch with a wolf keychain and an adorable little spell component bag.

Still, the werewolf’s unrepentant attitude needed an answer. Emily put on a big-eyed contrite look as she clutched the little wolf with both hands. “Oh… Maybe I should’ve told you sooner,” she said, biting her lip. “I’m really more of a cat person, Max.”

Which could be true, considering the shape of her familiar, but she was aiming to tease the werewolf along the cats and dogs dichotomy. Emily thought the claim was extra funny when she thought about the sort of things they got up to in the woods, but managed to keep a straight face as she gazed at him. Big eyes, pouty lower lip, just asking to get called on her bluff.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-01-2023

Amused, Max watched Emily's expression morph into that wide-eyed remorse, biting her lip for effect. His ego was unshaken at the assault, and he wasn't all that convinced with how long it'd taken Dulce to get a foothold in her apartment.

“Really?” Max intoned, smiling slyly as he shifted closer to Emily in the corner booth–a benefit of no barrier between them–and patted her thigh. “You looked taken with the wolf, scratching ears like a pro, but if you don't want it...” he trailed off, reaching for the charm to tug it from her fingers.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-01-2023

When Max sidled close, she bit down on her lip so she wouldn’t start snickering, but leaned away slightly, suspicious of his intentions. The hand on her thigh kept her from scooting off—not that she had anywhere to go except out of the booth—but when Max reached for the wolf charm, she gasped, offended.

“No!” she laughed as she snatched both bag and charm away, holding it at up at arms’ length on her opposite side. With her other hand, she shoved at the werewolf’s shoulder to ward him off. Emily was more likely to push herself away than move Max but the sentiment was clear: she wasn’t giving her gift up.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-01-2023

Snatching after the charm as she held it out of his reach, Max leaned into her, chest up against her side as he twisted his torso to reach over her and towards the bag and charm she was holding away from him.

“No?” Max asked with a laugh, eyes flicking down her shirt and how her movements let the unbuttoned shirt gape and give a better view of her cleavage. “But if you're a cat person–” he emphasised it, taunting her, “–you wouldn't wanna rep wolves. You better give me that; get your own cat charm instead.”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-02-2023

Inadvertently holding her breath so she didn't yelp, Emily made a strained laughing sound in the back of her throat as Max very nearly bowled her over in the seat with his big body. It was imperative that they not make too much noise, because they were a pair of grown adults wrestling in a dinner booth. For now, the bartender was still busy with his work and there weren't a lot of other diners around them, so their little scuffle went under the radar.

“No!” she repeated in a whisper, leaning away from Max so much that she was braced on her elbow on the seat. By now, Emily was holding the bag and charm just out of reach over the edge of the seat and giggling like a fool. Her cheeks flared hot when she saw where his eyes were going, but wasn't in a position to take advantage of that. In fact, she was more invested in the playfight, turning her head and playfully snapping her teeth at him when their faces were close. “It's mine now. You gave it to me,” she insisted, mashing her hand against Max's cheek and trying to push him away like that.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-02-2023

The view down her shirt wasn't the only reason Max enjoyed the pair getting silly; Emily's giggling and struggling were worth her insulting his brethren. But the blush he could spy on her dark cheeks was worth his cheeky little peek. Max bared his teeth playfully as she snapped at him, amused at the decidedly wolfish behaviour from a supposed 'cat person.'

When she mashed her hand against his cheek, Max turned his head to lick at her hand, even as one arm snaked around her waist to stop her from pushing away from him–and wisely keeping her in her seat rather than falling to the floor off the edge.

“Say wolves are the coolest, and I'll stop,” he wheedled, wheezing the words out between snickers and Emily's hand.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-02-2023

The bared teeth made her shake with suppressed laughter, and Max’s arm around her waist kept her from falling off the seat with it, but made her slide toward him and off-balance. At the same time, he licked her hand and it took all of Emily’s self-control not to shriek. Gasping, she visibly puffed up. Of course, she wasn’t completely disgusted, considering, but it was still unwelcome as all middle-school pigtail pulling tactics tended to be, and in retribution, she made sure to smear her palm on his cheek.

“Wolves are the okayest,” she snickered, stubborn even when she was slowly tipping over, practically sliding underneath him. She stuck out a foot and braced her heel on the foot of the bench perpendicular to theirs for balance.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-03-2023

Emily's gasp had Max giggling, even as she smeared her palm against his face. It didn't bother him, the werewolf having met worse substances than his spit. He did let out an aggrieved gasp at Emily only yielding for 'okayest,' even if her puffing up was a victory in his book.

Upping the ante, Max stopped stretching for the charm, putting his hand over her ribs and curling his fingers. All a threat that he'd start tickling her if she didn't give in; perfectly fine with making a scene in the middle of the bar to get what he wanted. Which was the admittance that wolves were the superior beast.

“I think you can do better,” he insisted, mouth pursed in amusement as he gently tickled her ribs, only a promise of more to come.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-05-2023

As Max pressed his fingers into her ribs, Emily sucked in a breath so quickly it felt like it might make her burp, and squirmed while staring daggers up at him. She didn't want to give in, but the werewolf's tolerance for public disturbance was much higher than hers and she was feeling the pressure. She was starting to feel light-headed with the effort of trying not to laugh.

“They're okay, and you're the very worst of them,” she declared stubbornly, shifting her hand to pinch his earlobe.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-05-2023

Max felt and heard the sharp intake of breath and knew he was close to making her crack. The fierce stare she was giving him didn't work as a deterrent; the man dogged when he had something he wanted in his sights. The stakes were low, but Max liked watching Emily react when he turned up the pressure. Rude of him, but he'd never pretended to be an angel.

His pursed lips turned into a sly smile, self-satisfied. Too self-satisfied. With the pair of them pressed so close, it was easy to turn his head even if she was tugging his earlobe, so his lips were right by her ear, murmuring a low and dangerous, “That wasn't what you said last time.” Skimming his fingertips over her ribs, still a threat to tickle her, but focusing on a little bit of psychological warfare. He continued, “What did you call me? Warm and soft? Big?”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-05-2023

The smug look on Max’s face made her frown deepen, the expression exaggerated by her efforts to look fierce and disapproving. When the man leaned in close to get his mouth next to her ear, before he even said anything, Emily was already blushing from the proximity. Heat rushed up her neck, she tipped her head away the little distance she could go, but dropped her hand from his ear to grab his shoulder, his nice sweater bunching in her fingers.

With her head tipped away, she was looking out across the bar with an expression of delighted anguish as Max whispered in her ear. A common occurrence when he was tormenting her. The reminder of that afternoon made her giggle nervously, and Emily bit her lip as she turned to find Max’s ear in return. With her lips brushing the shell of his ear, she murmured, “I was under duress.” She grinned, even as she squirmed away from his tickling fingers. “But maybe you’re right—you’re more polite when you can’t run your big, filthy mouth.”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-06-2023

The nervous little giggle was music to his ears, but she wasn't about to give up the game, annoyingly. As she squirmed and levelled her friendly insult at him, Max let out a mock gasp of offence, bringing his tickling fingers to bear before she had a chance to get away.

“Take that back!” Max demanded, his outraged face marred by the crooked grin creeping into the curve of his lips, finding the ticklish spots along her ribs. He knew them well, with how much she liked tickling him.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-06-2023

As Max dug his fingers into her ribs, Emily's body jerked, and she pressed her hand over her mouth as she finally burst into loud, squeaky laughter. The bartender glanced over, quickly assessed the situation, deemed it within acceptable limits, and returned to work with a shake of his head. Still, that was too much attention for Emily.

Gasping, she slapped Max's shoulder in surrender, begging as she tried to twist away from his fingers, “Okay! Okay- I give!”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-06-2023

As Emily cried a metaphorical uncle, Max backed off as she slapped at his shoulder, laughing quietly. He didn't back off completely, flattening his palms against her ribs. He spared a moment to glance at the bartender and saw that they weren't about to get kicked out.

“And?” Max prompted, grinning as he poked at her ribs with one finger.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-06-2023

Now Max was just holding her, his bighand curved around her ribs. Mostly. His finger pressed into her side, and she twitched, making a pathetic noise in the back of her throat as she pushed at his shoulder. Emily was still bowed back and braced on her elbow.

“And wolves are… cool… ish. And so are you,” she sighed and rolled her eyes, but her exasperation was dampened by her toothy grin. With her mouth still near his ear, she drew back her lips and caught his earlobe, biting down lightly.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-07-2023

It was a begrudging way to give it, but Emily had given in, so Max straightened them up. With his hand wrapped around her ribs, he lifted himself with a clench of his abdominal muscles and obliques while pulling her up with him, restoring their equilibrium in the booth. As he did that, she'd turned and caught his earlobe, which prompted a chuckle out of him, even as he turned his head–tugging his earlobe out from between her teeth–to nip at her jawline gently.

“Careful,” he murmured, his grin colouring the word. “Keep that up, and I'll follow you home like a stray okayish wolf.”

Even with them upright and the impromptu wrestling over, Max didn't shift to return to his part of the L-booth, perfectly content to be pressed all along Emily's side. He hadn't been so bothered about personal space as a human; as a werewolf, it was worse.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-08-2023

This close, she enjoyed the way Max smelled, from his body wash to the masculine smell of him, and was a little disappointed when he pulled away. Still, Emily tipped her head to one side as Max nipped at her jawline, the movement relaxed and comfortable with his unorthodox show of affection. She leaned into him now they were hip to hip, pulling her gift into her lap. Her fingers closed protectively around the wolf charm, although she was sure the game was up by now.

The threat was a delight in that it was precisely what she was angling for, although she didn’t let on overtly. Instead, the human did precisely what the werewolf warned her against and turned her head to playfully nip at his ear again. Then she pulled back and smiled coyly, biting her lower lip. She wasn’t trying to hustle them out of the bar, but if she could wordlessly convey that getting him to come home with her after was exactly what she wanted, then she would.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-08-2023

Max enjoyed how Emily unquestioningly settled into his invasion of her private space, leaning into him. He left his arm curled around her back loosely, eyes flickering down to where her fingers curled around the wolf charm protectively. He couldn't help the helpless little twist to his smile, pleased that she liked it. He'd gotten it as an afterthought, finding it funny, in a way, for a werewolf to buy a wolf charm for her.

The innocent little thought was chased away when Emily retaliated to his warning and his thoughtless, wolven show of affection by simply repeating the behaviour. Then Max surmised he'd gathered the evidence he needed to answer the question he'd first thought when he'd seen her all dressed up, even as a shiver zipped up his spine at her teeth closing on his earlobe. There probably wasn't any date waiting with her deliberately pushing his buttons.

“Are you trying to seduce me?” Max murmured, thoughtful and amused all at once, eyes flicking to her bottom lip, his interest obvious. He lifted a hand to cup her jaw, lifting his thumb to tug her lower lip from between her teeth, reflecting on how it wasn't so much trying as her succeeding since he wasn't about to let her go home alone now.

There was no real urgency; Emily's plunging neckline was not overriding Max's hunger for lunch. There were just the hot embers of potential, ready to be stoked somewhere that wasn't in the middle of a bar.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-08-2023

They’d done this song and dance countless times now, but Emily wasn’t tired of it. Her lips tingled at Max’s question, the sensation blooming into flutters down the back of her neck and between her shoulder blades when he looked down at her mouth. When he cupped her jaw, his thumb smoothing over her chin as he freed her bottom lip, her expression went soft and inviting, her eyes growing dark. Emily couldn’t hide her reactions to him, even if she wanted to. Today, she didn’t want to, and just leaned into his warm hand, her tongue flicking out to touch the pad of his thumb.

Grinning, her tongue withdrew just as quickly, Emily exploring her way forward. “Yes,” she admitted softly, cheeks warming. “Is it working?” She wasn’t the one who did the seducing most of the time, but she was comfortable with Max, knowing she didn’t need to take it too seriously. It helped that she knew this odd language they’d developed between themselves, with aspects that didn’t feel quite human but were still enjoyable.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-09-2023

Strike (Partial shift) Complete success

Max liked Emily's blushes, especially when she was trying to hide her responses to him, but there was something about her unabashedly staring him down even when he could spot the shadow of a blush over her cheeks. Stare him down and flicked her tongue at his thumb, a level of boldness he usually only saw a couple of drinks in if he didn't have her already naked.

“Mhmm,” Max murmured in reply, a relaxed exhalation of the affirmative, even as he let his thumb slip off her bottom lip to press into the groove between her lips and chin. “Makes me wonder if you're looking for something specific. As a birthday treat,” he mused, scrunching his nose with a little effort as the feeling of muscles stretched beyond their limit erupted around his head, wolf ears popping up from his skull–the colour of them blended into his natural hair well enough, so Max was feeling both reckless and a little bold. Anyone glancing their way wouldn't realise they were there unless they gave them a good stare-down. He flicked his ears, shaking off the ache. “Like the little trick we figured out I could do. If you remember.”

He hoped the ears would remind her of their discussion around selective shifting. He didn't relish marching it out plainly in the middle of a bar, even if referencing it might be just as bad. Even so, maybe it was wishful thinking on his part, even if Emily seemed enthusiastic enough in the woods. Maybe it was different when he was human.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-09-2023

Was she looking for something specific? No, nothing beyond getting Max naked and in her bed--despite what they got up to together, she was, at base, an uncomplicated woman who liked to be thoroughly bedded. Mildly surprised, her lips formed into a little 'o' as she thought through a better answer than she had, but she barely got through contemplating the question. Lifting an eyebrow when he scrunched up his nose, Emily's expression went perplexed for a moment until she saw his soft wolf ears pop up from the top of his head.

Startled and slightly flustered from them being in public, Emily hurriedly glanced beyond the table, pulling her chin from his grip. Again, nobody was paying them any mind in the quiet bar, but when she looked back at them, her face was a mixture of delight and wide-eyed trepidation. The sultry mood wasn't ruined, but it seemed they were taking a swift detour.

Unfortunately, she barely registered what Max was getting at in the first few seconds, lifting her hands to smooth them over his head and pushing his ears back until they could pop back up again. “What are you doing?” she whispered, shocked but grinning and wondering if this was what he meant by her birthday treat. It was a good one since she thought the ears and tail look was adorable on him, but what did it have to do with seducing him?

Then, when he asked if she remembered, it clicked, and her mouth dropped open. Hands pausing with her slender fingers in the hair on the back of Max's head, she felt a warm thrill that started at the base of her spine and shivered up her body, making her nipples tingle. Mouth going a little dry, she mustered a thick-tongued, “Y-yeah- Yes, I do remember that.” Her eyes were wide, and she looked almost punch-drunk with the implicit offer. “I- you- would?”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-10-2023

Cinder (Concordance) Failure
Strike (Partial shift) Complete success

He'd somewhat anticipated a reaction at the ears, them being in public, so Max let her chin slip out of his grip as she looked to the room. He lowered it to her thigh, curling it comfortably around her lower thigh, just above her knee. When Emily had assessed the room as he had, she looked back at him, her expression warring between joy and worry.

Her next step, rather than chastise him for being bold about it, was to lift her hands to run them over his head, pushing over his ears and pressing them down against his hair before they popped up again. Max flicked them again, feeling her hands on the back of his head pause as the implication of what he'd said sunk in. With the lingering ache around his ears still, Max couldn't parse the thread of emotions at the back of his mind that was Emily's warm glowing light. He didn't really need it, even if the extra reassurance would've made him bolder. Even stuttering, he could see it wasn't reluctance, just... he'd caught her off guard.

She still had her hands in his hair, resting on the back of his head, so Max leaned in to press his forehead to hers, grinning a little slyly at her as he uttered another relaxed, “Mhmm,” in response to her question, before gently teasing, “Should I throw in the ears too? Getting handsy there.”

But even as Max teased her about it, he let the ears recede, shrinking and shifting back to human. His head ached, but he knew it'd fade. His point was made without actually saying it, avoiding giving Emily an aneurysm in the middle of a bar. It wasn't his goal to embarrass her, only prod into what she was thinking and maybe get something he wanted.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-10-2023

Max leaned in and Emily slid her hands from his hair to cup his jaw. She was disappointed to see his ears go away, but simultaneously relieved. The easy confirmation made her unconsciously squeeze her thighs together, pinning his fingers between her knees. Unbidden came the memories of his soft fur rubbing along her spine and the backs of her thighs, and she dropped her gaze, blushing.

“You could throw in the whole wolf,” Emily laughed at his question, titillated and only half-joking.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-10-2023

Max cocked his head to the side, feeling her knees trapping his hand as she squeezed her thighs together. Watching her drop her gaze, the colouring on her cheeks darkening to a proper blush. Her words got a huffed laugh out of him, acknowledging that she didn't have a problem getting up close and personal when he was fully shifted. Still, it struck on that stray thought he'd had, whether Emily preferred the wolf in all this.

“You want a monster in your bedroom, huh?” Teasing again, but Max pulled back, straightening up, still sitting close but not leaning over her so much. He gave her a small, crooked smile, tapping his thumb against her thigh, the only finger that wasn't trapped. “You'll have to go without this time. It's- it won't encourage a sexy mood.”

Even as much as Max knew he took advantage when he'd planned to shift anyway, shifting solely for it felt like taking it too far—more fetishisation than mutual enjoyment. Maybe a fine line since he suggested doing it to his dick, but he could plan for that, as hidden as the effect would be. There wasn't the press to shift his whole being, not today. Max felt even-keeled and calm, knowing he might risk ruining the entire evening if he forced it. He couldn't blame Emily for it, considering how he teased her about it and encouraged it, even. She didn't- she didn't know how it felt, really, and Max didn't think he'd really taken the time to tell her.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-10-2023

The question about a monster in her bedroom made Emily chuckle, but she shrugged, noncommittal. She could take it or leave it, whatever happened happened and despite being so uptight, she’d proven herself to be adventurous when the moment was right. She really didn’t mind whatever he decided to do—if he brought in the ears, he could bring in the wolf if he wanted to and she wouldn’t say no—but she was unaware of the mechanics of it all. However, she knew her line didn’t seem to land quite right in other ways and when Max withdrew, even if he was smiling, she felt it on a molecular level.

The way Max briskly informed her that she’d have to go without this time had her eyebrows tilting in confusion and a touch of apprehension—she hadn’t thought she was touching on anything he hadn’t already put on the table—but she let him go, her hands going back to her lap to curl around his gift. She wanted to ask what he meant by it not encouraging a sexy mood, considering how they’d made it work other times, but she was too off-kilter to work out what to say, except to apologize. Had she touched a nerve?

Admittedly feeling a little yanked around, the woman looked away, and down at her lap to pick at one of her fingernails. “Oh… Well, whichever works for you,” she said softly, metaphorically backing off as well. “I wasn’t angling for anything… extravagant or anything.” She stayed sitting close, but the heat that had been prickling up her spine was slowly morphing into embarrassment. Still, Emily glanced over with a shy, uncertain smile, trying to get a bead on what he meant.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-10-2023

Max couldn't tell what Emily had read into his words or how she'd taken them other than she was confused, backing a little off. He'd tried to carry through the teasing, even though he'd pointed out it wasn't pleasant. Kept it light as much as he could, but straightening up had changed the tone more than he'd intended. She wasn't looking down to hide a blush now.

With the arm still around her, Max lifted his hand to clasp her upper arm, squeezing it. Bowing forward, he tried to peek at her face even as it was downturned. “I know, don't worry about it,” he reassured softly, hoping she believed him. He wiggled his thumb against her thigh again, hand still between her lower thighs. Then he took a little breath, deciding to explain since the mood had turned so. “It's just-” he hesitated, trying to choose his words, before he kept going, “I don't think I really told you? How it is. To shift, I mean. I don't know how much you understood by just watching it happen.”

They were going in a vastly different direction from before, but they'd stumbled upon something Max knew they were better off actually talking out. Something that bothered him if he really thought about it. Things got muddled with how much they joked. Him especially. He'd begun letting it all out, rather than hiding it, but like he hadn't liked her demanding he shift when she'd first found out, her joke had hit a little too close to a sensitive spot.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-10-2023

The urge to withdraw into her shell and cover herself in protective politeness was powerful, but the werewolf was still holding her, his hand squeezing her arm, his other hand on her thigh. Admittedly, this was a bit of a blow but Emily recognized that if Max of all people was suddenly pumping the brakes with her, then something was really bothering him. While it didn’t feel good to try and be bold and have it fall so flat—and to not even know why—she forced herself to relax and meet his eyes when he ducked his head down to look at her.

At his reassurance, Emily smiled softly, though her eyebrows were still crooked with concern. Her cheeks were flushed too but it was with confusion and embarrassment. She was replaying their conversation in her head and still couldn’t work out her misstep. Didn’t he like hearing that she didn’t mind him when he was a wolf?

It was fortunate he wanted to talk about it, though… if he hadn’t, she would’ve felt so much worse. Being in Max’s confidence meant so much to her and seeing him hesitate ate at her more than anything. Tucking her hair behind her ear, sending a little puff of shampoo aroma up into the air, she straightened and considered Max’s leading statement, wondering if it was rhetorical. He had to know she couldn’t, just by watching, and her smile went a bit wry, finding some odd humor in it.

“About as much as you understand when I’m lying on the couch and moaning about cramps,” she lightly shot back, trying to lighten up the mood. That is to say, she was sure he understood it was painful, but he couldn’t know. Joking around was just as much for her as it was for him, letting her reach for some kind of equilibrium.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-10-2023

Max huffed a laugh at Emily's joke, glad to see she was trying to make light of it. He was still confused about what exactly she'd read into his gentle no and brief explanation to get so... embarrassed so quickly? He had a feeling prying into that wouldn't help whatever little hiccup they were going through. It was better to elaborate on what he'd meant.

“Yeah, thought so,” he offered, smiling crookedly, sharing the humourous moment even if he was about to ruin it, just out of necessity. Max looked down, trying not to lean in even when a puff of her scent hit his nose from when she moved her hair. What he was talking about was too grim for cuddling, especially when elaborating on what he'd said before, but he didn't lean away; he stayed where he was, speaking softly still. “It's a bit like getting torn apart, muscles, tendons... bones, just stretching and expanding all at once. Sometimes, it hasn't felt so bad, relatively. It turns out a werewolf's raw instincts are pretty good at compartmentalizing agony.” That or the feral shift had just been... smoother, more manageable. Like there hadn't been so much obstructing it. Max was still unsure; it was hard to tell after just once.

He tilted his head to look at her, eyes searching her face before he kept talking, checking in, and making sure she wasn't taking it the wrong way. Max had more to say than 'it hurts,' like the whole context as to why he'd said what he'd said.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-10-2023

Well, at least that landed. They didn’t seem to be understanding each other, and as Max went on it only worsened. Emily felt almost… baited. But why would Max bait her with an offer and then twist it around? It didn’t seem like something he’d do, so Emily assumed there was some frustrating misunderstanding somewhere in their conversation. Frowning, she tucked her chin, eyes going a little wide at the description.

“Jesus,” she breathed, remembering the sympathetic pain she’d felt just watching him transform. Then she asked, faintly incredulous, “So, why did you even offer?”

Max in agony was the last thing she wanted for her birthday, yet he’d offered anyway. She was sure to say no to the whole deal now though, especially in seeing how much it bothered him as a whole.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-10-2023

Max's brows furrowed at Emily's words; now he was confused. He didn't recall offering to shift into a werewolf; he'd only had the selective transformation he'd played with all those months ago on his mind. But the silver lining was that he was picking up on where the misunderstanding was. It looked like only he was aware of the distinction between the two. Or at least the difference in how he considered them and how they felt.

“I think we're talking about different things,” Max said slowly, frown smoothing over as he considered it. He was conscious of not wanting to phrase it like it was Emily's fault because it wasn't. He'd made an assumption that mostly made him look like an ass. “And that's my fault. The, uh, targeted transformations I do. The ears, other parts. It's not a proper shift. It does ache; I'm not going to lie and say it's totally comfortable to do it, but it's... it isn't the same as the shift, so I make a distinction between the two.”

Sometimes, it could hurt just as much, but that was when he used it to stave off the feeling of bursting out of his skin. Containing it as much as he could, giving him a chance to keep going. When he fooled around with it... there was still a bit of a headache around the crown of his head, but it was the pain you got from being a stupid thrill-seeker. Maybe that was why he liked doing it, feeling a little more human because it felt like ordinary pain rather than getting torn apart. Max decided not to look too closely at that.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-10-2023

Emily pulled her lips between her teeth and gently bit down when Max noted they were talking about different things. That was bad news, but encouraging in a way—that would make this more of a misunderstanding than her swallowing her own foot.

He admitted to that, which helped soothe her and she paid avid attention as Max went on to detail the difference between this targeted change and a full shift. She let the tension unwind from her shoulders in increments. By this point, she’d released his fingers from between her thighs, and now she exhaled gently and nodded slowly as she pulled her lips out from between her teeth. She smiled awkwardly, tucking her hair behind her ear again.

Emily was rapidly getting the full picture; he’d been offering part of a shift and thought she was asking for the whole thing. His withdrawal and the comment about going without since it would be difficult to stay in the mood made much more sense in the context of his body ripping apart, although she hated to think still more was lost in translation. It eased her embarrassment but not by very much. She was still feeling the effects of a cold bucket of water. Wrapping her fingers around the pouch, she absently rubbed her thumb over the charm’s nub nose.

“I wasn’t asking you to shift, you know? Fully, I mean,” she said gently, uncertain about how to explain it. Emily glanced over at him, gauging his reactions. She’d been vague while joking around about it and he’d taken it much more seriously than she’d expected. She went on, “I was just thinking that- If you were wanting to or feeling it, since you offered, I meant I wouldn’t mind. I like… I mean, I like you both ways, but I-” She went a little pink again and smiled shyly, scrunching up slightly. “I mean, when I started all this I was thinking pretty vanilla. Nothing extravagant. I hadn’t even thought-” she waved a hand around her head, indicating his absent ears, but left it unsaid that she hadn’t even considered doing something kinky. Emily did hate having to say it aloud but maybe this whole conversation was a good thing. It seemed like something in their supernatural sex life was genuinely bothering him. Her lip was beginning to feel sore with the way she was worrying it, her expression regretful as she finished with, “I’m sorry.”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-11-2023

Able to shift his hand without tugging, Max curled his hand around her knee joint, squeezing gently as he felt the tension bleeding out of her. The hand on her upper arm shifted to curl around her waist again as she spoke, offering insight into what she'd been thinking. Important insight, it turned out. Where she'd wanted to provide an openness to it, he'd assumed she was just more interested in, well, the full package. As simple a phrase as 'I like you both ways' was enough to assuage that stray thought he'd had about it, the implication he'd read in assuming she was asking for the wolf in bed rather than just Max.

The way she pinked up, scrunching up, a little shy, just endeared Max to her efforts to put her thoughts into words. She looked cute, even if the way they'd gotten here wasn't exactly a fun time. The apology was something he appreciated, even if it was another one of those situations where he didn't think it was necessary since it was all crossed wires.

“Thank you,” Max murmured, leaning in to rub his cheek against hers, a platonic touch after everything. “But you don't need to apologise. I brought it up. I didn't consider how it was... how you didn't see the difference.” He let go of her knee, reaching up to take her hand. “Or that you didn't know what asking meant. You uh- I think I'm more sensitive to it than I thought, after you... demanded it when you first found out. I'm sorry.”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-11-2023

Turning her hand over to take Max's, Emily leaned in to let him rub his cheek over hers. Then, as he drew her attention back to their argument when she first found out he was a werewolf, she laughed softly and sadly. She had trouble drawing the connection between then and now. It hadn't been in the context of sex then, just... proving something. What, she wasn't sure, but she'd had an idea back then.

However, she understood that words could hit hard and stick, even without their context or initial intention. Exhaling when he apologized, she turned her head to press her nose against his temple and breathe in the scent of his hair. The explanation was a relief, but selfishly, she wished they hadn't gotten here in the conversation. The flirting had been more fun by far, but better to run across this now than later, she supposed. They'd touched on something that bothered him. Kissing the side of the werewolf's head, the spot just in front of his ear, she leaned into his embrace, the rigid lines of her body softening and becoming more inviting.

“Why?” she prompted. “What did you think I meant?” She was a little nervous about finding out if she was being honest. Assumptions didn't tend to be very flattering, and it already hurt a little to think Max had thought she was angling to put him in pain for her pleasure.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-11-2023

Emily leaning into him signalled that the tension from her earlier embarrassment was finally draining away, the press of lips just by his temple soothing and pleasant. Max curled his arm tighter around her waist, even if there wasn't much space between them from before anyway. He couldn't help the small sigh, comfortable in the wake of the show of affection.

Her question, seeking more clarification, was one Max didn't begrudge her, even if he thought it was straightforward what he thought she'd asked after. It bore repeating in plain English, though, so he didn't begrudge her focus on it.

“I thought you wanted me to shift fully and all that involves,” Max started softly as he looked down at their clasped hands. She'd asked it differently from that first time, no demand, more joking, but it had gotten too close to sounding like it was all a trick he could do rather than something more significant. That was it, but he'd been thinking of something else as well, even if that wasn't contained in anything he'd said. So he continued. “And, well... in the context of offering the selective shift, I wondered if maybe you didn't want to get too close a look at what I looked like with just parts of me changed.”

Max didn't look up from their hands, comfortably leaning into Emily as he prodded at that little insecurity. It made sense if he thought about it. He'd also been worried about what she'd thought of the wolf after asking him not to shift a year ago, although they'd also gotten through that insecurity quite effectively.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-11-2023

Emily nodded, the repetition not unwelcome in that it removed any possible misinterpretation. However, it also made her cheeks start burning—the cost of it aside, the idea that she would specifically ask for and prefer the wolf in bed was both hilarious and mortifying. Did she really seem like that much of a kinkster? Only Max would really know that about her.

Pinning her lips between her teeth again so she wouldn’t burst out with a flustered denial of a sexual interest she couldn’t quite parse, she listened carefully as he went on. That he couldn’t look at her was sobering, killing her embarrassed laughter at herself in her chest. It was enlightening too, reminding Emily of his fear about how he looked as a wolf and her reaction to it.

“I…” she said, leaning into him as she carefully measured her words. One hand untangled from Max’s and rested on his thigh, her thumb rubbing along the outer seam of his trousers. “Well, I don’t think you could blame me for taking a second to get used to you with… you know,” she said with a breathy laugh. Imagining a human Max with a knotted penis was difficult, despite having seen and felt it on the wolf. Emily did try though, looking at the ceiling and humming thoughtfully.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-11-2023

Cinder (Concordance) Complete success

Max could feel the swirl of emotions that was Emily, the lamplight wavering in embarrassment and amusement. Not... bad if he considered it all in its whole. In a different light, it might look like he was suggesting she got fired up over monster sex. Not Max's intent, but he was a monster in some respects.

As Emily finally spoke, putting words to her feelings, Max couldn't help the burst of a laugh that escaped him as she pointed out, quite reasonably, that it was strange to think about. Half-monstrous, inhuman. He looked at her then, a crooked smile building as the whole thing lost its teeth. It wasn't what he'd been insecure about, to be sure, but he appreciated her looking at the humorous, common-sense approach to it.

“No. No, I definitely couldn't,” Max agreed, smile blooming a little more as he tipped his head to press his nose to her temple as she gazed upwards, slowly breathing in through his nose and scenting her. Was she imagining it? God, he hoped not. “It's just- if you were avoiding it. Everyone needs to get used to things before they're totally cool about it. We can... we can do the usual human stuff if you don't want to... get used to it today.”

Max made the offer, thinking that the topic might be delicate after everything they'd discussed, offering her the way out without them stumbling into it later. Maybe she just didn't want to deal with that today.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-11-2023

Max’s laugh startled her in a good way, and she joined him with a breathy noise. Tipping her head into his nose, she smiled brightly, enjoying his grin. She got the warm, soda pop fizz urge to kiss his smile, but left it be while they were still talking.

As he went on, she caught on his wording. “Get used to it” implied a bit, as did the offer to do the usual human stuff. Did that mean a half-monstrous Max was an inevitability? Or… perhaps he wanted her to get used to it. Her specifically.

If she was being honest, Emily wasn’t wholly interested in pursuing the idea of sex again just yet. Not as resilient as Max, she was smarting from putting herself out there and running into a roadblock. A productive one, certainly, but she was feeling gunshy. However, she could sense that answering this question was important to Max’s peace of mind and that took precedent. She wasn’t forcing herself, she just valued Max’s feelings more than her current mercurial mood. She was sure he was going to get under her skin again before too long, anyway.

“No… No, not avoiding it,” she chuckled. How could she if she wasn’t yet able to register it as a reality? Emily went on, steeling herself to be forthright. “We had sex the second time you shifted with me,” she said softly and tipped her head flirtatiously, looking at him sidelong. “If you want to, I don’t think it’ll take much for me to get used to it… I also think… I’d like to hear what you think about… knotting me. In human words.”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-11-2023

When Emily turned her head, squishing his nose a little, Max couldn't help his smile blooming into a grin. It helped that he could feel the pleasant turn in Emily's emotions, happier than before, giving Max a vicarious boost to his already building mood.

Emily continued, chuckling and pointing out that they'd adapted quickly before, even if Max would argue that the chase had played a significant role. But he kept mum, listening to what she was saying and feeling a rush of affection for Emily, reassuring him about that lurking insecurity even if she didn't have to. As Emily shared what she'd like from him, Max leaned his head back, chuckling as he tipped his head down slightly.

“I... I think I had a lot to say last time,” he admitted, looking at Emily from underneath his eyelashes, evaluating Emily's flirtatious look with one of his own, but he didn't think they could pick up where they'd left off. Even thinking about it sent a sympathetic jolt of arousal zipping through his nerves, all the things he'd wanted to say but couldn't. “I'd like another shot at that if you'd let me.”

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Emily Reyes - 03-11-2023

As Max tipped his head down and told her he had a lot to say, Emily felt a thrill go down her spine but with that, a sudden sense of terror that he was about to go into it right there in the booth. Which she would love, admittedly, but she also wasn’t ready to burn down into cinders before they got lunch. Unconsciously, her hand jolted up from his thigh, about to press it over his mouth, but she stopped herself and covered her own mouth, flushing and muffling her laugh.

When she recovered, she asked in a whisper, “Do you want me in the witch outfit too? The pointy hat?” That had been the deal the last time they spoke about it.

RE: With golden hearts and hearts of lace - Max Kuryakin - 03-11-2023

Cinder (Concordance) Exceptional success

Max felt it before it happened, a surge of... giddy panic before Emily's hand jolted up from his thigh, the warm weight disappearing as her hand did an odd jerky movement before covering her mouth. Max's eyebrows shot up his forehead as his flirtatious smile morphed into baffled amusement, resisting the urge to lean back and ask her what that was about. She was muffling a laugh, though, and the emotion had been good if tinged with the sort of panic that reminded Max of trying to hide something incriminating from his ma.

Once she had the laughter under control, Emily's following whisper didn't enlighten Max much, but he had other things on his mind. He couldn't tell if she was flirting or joking, the whispering muddling things, but she was casting them back to that evening. Fishnet stockings and short skirts, a pointy witches hat to complete it all. She hadn't done exactly that for Halloween, but close enough.

Wetting his lips, Max searched Emily's expression, even as he imagined her ass in the stockings and short skirt, bending over. Some of that was showing on his face, he knew. “That'd be a sight,” Max rumbled out, voice low to match her whisper, his eyes trailing down her body, what he could see of it. Her lips, her cleavage, before returning to her eyes. He continued, sultry and savouring the mental image. “Is that something you want to do, Emily? Play the witch to my big bad wolf.”