Big, Bad Red – Chapter Five, Part One

Big, Bad Red

Liam rubbed his aching shoulder and ignored the woman chuckling softly beside him. For the past twenty-three minutes, Red had seethed in the booth, munching on their dwindling supply of peanuts and watching with a little more snarky joy each time Liam had tried and failed to break the magical force field. He’d thrown every destruction spell he could remember at it—not to mention his own shoulder repeatedly—and the damn thing remained solid.

Sitting back against the oversized, high-backed seat, he swiped the last remaining peanuts out of the bowl and crunched them to smithereens between his teeth. He glanced over to Red, who sat with her long legs curled up underneath her while she smirked at him.

“You think this is funny?” He put enough growl in his voice to make a goblin take a step back but she didn’t even flinch.

She toyed with the ruby-red cocktail ring on her pointer finger. “It’s a laugh-or-cry situation and I’m not the kind of girl to get all sniffly.” 

No she wasn’t. She was the type of girl who drove sober men to drink. Smart. Sexy. Devious as the day was long. “But you are the type to screw over a guy without a second thought.”

She flicked a stray peanut shell at him. “This coming from the man who I caught trying to steal the Caladbolg sword from me.”

“That’s different.” It was his family heirloom and was the only thing that would keep him from going perma-furry.

“Really?” She batted her thick eyelashes at him, all fake coy and sweet, scooted closer on the bench seat and walked her fingers up his chest, leaving a trail of fire in their wake. “Oh no! Are we having our first couple’s fight?”

Calling her bluff, he captured her hand with his own, lifting it high. The pulse in her wrist beat at an excited pace, betraying the practiced nonchalant look on her face. Wondering just how far he could push her, he brought her wrist to his nose and inhaled her amber and spice scent. No powder-fresh smell for his girl—and she was his. Even as pissed-off as he was at her at this moment, he couldn’t stop himself from dipping his head and tasting that sweet spot on her wrist where she showed everything she was trying so desperately to hide. 

Her breath hitched. “I’m not into kinky love spell sex.” But the little lie detector under his lips gave her away. 

“And I’m not into being toyed with.” He kissed and nipped his way up the inside of her forearm, taking his time to enjoy every millimeter of her soft skin. Pausing at the crook of her elbow, he looked up at her. “But of course, you might be able to talk me into using some toys, if that’s what you’re into.”

She pulled her arm away, hugging it close to her body. “Sorry to disappoint you but I’m as vanilla as they come.”

The points tenting her shirt and the slight flush to her brown skin told another story—one he wanted to read from cover to cover.  “When will you figure out, you can’t lie to me?”

Her pink tongue flicked across her bottom lip, but she didn’t answer. Instead, she pulled out her phone from a pocket in her tiny excuse for a skirt, brought up the WitcheryRUs website and went to work looKing for a way to bust through the Fairy Godmother’s force field surrounding them. Exactly what he should be doing. And he would if he could remember to think with his big head instead of the little one when he was around her.

He pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed Max’s number. If anyone would have a workaround for becoming a bubble boy, it would be him.

Max picked up on the third ring. “Is this an official wedding invitation?”

“I need to break a bubble.”

“Not what I was expecting. More information please.”

Liam caught Max up on the situation. “I’ve tried everything I can think of.”

“Scan it with your phone and send me the info.”

He swapped over to the Enchanted Translation app and pushed his phone against the force field. The phone’s screen blinked on and off several times before lighting up with a strand of code that it translated into the spell more than likely used to create the bubble. Liam punched a few keys and sent the data to Max. 

His best friend let out a series of “hmmms” and “huhs” as he read the information. “Do you happen to have a dried lizard tail that’s been kissed by three fairies on you?” Max asked.

Oh yeah, didn’t everyone carry that around? “Fresh out.”

“That sucks.” Max laughed and tried to cover it with a cough. “Looks like you’re stuck until dawn. It’ll pop like a soap bubble then. Do you need some ideas about how to pass the time away?”

He peeked at Red out of the corner of his eye. She’d pushed away her phone, probably in frustration at not finding a way out, and was resting her head on the back of the booth. Her eyes were closed. Her chest rose and fell in a steady beat, her shirt’s material straining with every inhale. Tempting didn’t begin to cover it. He glanced down at his watch. He had twelve hours alone with Red before the bubble burst and they got back to the business of hunting down the sword. It might be Liam’s best chance at convincing her to forget about trying to break the spell.

“I’ll figure something out.”

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