The Lonesome Road

Animal attraction

Lili rolled over and tried to cover her head with the pillow to block out the noise. She could feel the material starting to degrade and crumble as it touched her skin and threw it onto the floor in disgust. The bed was too soft anyway – she’d spent her entire life sleeping on things that were barely distinguishable from the floor and she wasn’t able to get comfortable now. But Cornelius had drunkenly offered her the room as he’d staggered out to the rig and she’d been touched by the gesture, so she’d said yes. Now she was regretting that moment of softness, especially given that her room was next door to Snowy and Duke. When she’d had another unexpected moment of kindness and left them alone together, she hadn’t expected… this.

She sat up on the bed, staring furiously at the wall. She wanted to bang on it to get them to shut up, but she didn’t think they’d hear. How could this have happened so fast? The Duke had been absolutely bloody oblivious to being literally kissed twice, but now he’d suddenly got the picture, now that she was allowed to sleep in a real bed! Not that she probably would have been able to get comfortable even if things were quiet, but still. She wondered if they’d even notice if she kicked in their door.

Was everyone suddenly exuding some sort of strange sexual magnetism that she wasn’t aware of? A strange woman had come up to her when she’d been fixing up the war rig yesterday and just straight-up propositioned her. It had never happened before – most people were smart enough to stay away and those who weren’t quickly picked up on the hostile aura without her even having to tell them that she could poison them with a single kiss. It had been utterly bewildering, more so after she’d very clearly said no and yet the woman kept just… hanging around. She’d seen her in the inn that same night, and then again during the day. The woman had been talking to Cornelius, although it had been too quiet for Lili to hear what they were saying. Perhaps the woman had been propositioning Cornelius as well – she’d put her arm around the man, although he’d been quite oblivious to any such thing.

Well, it was a small town. They probably didn’t have anything else to do besides ask strangers to have sex with them. Maybe sometimes they even got lucky.

She got to her feet and opened the window, letting in the cold night air. It was another clear and starry night. Carefully she hauled herself out and onto the roof of the inn. It was quieter out here, although she could still hear the sounds faintly if she concentrated – which she very pointedly did not do after realising that. She had never been gladder to have difficulty hearing out of her right ear. The roof was cold and hard, but it took her weight and it was more what she was used to anyway. She’d wake up with the sun and climb back down before Cornelius even got up. He’d never have to know.

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Marlene

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