Hustle and the Bustle
This material is copyrighted. Please feel free to share it, but know that re-distributing it for profit, or without attributing it to the author is illegal.
Ibbe took her plate to the sideboard and examined the fruit bowl. She didn’t particularly need to eat, but she did enjoy fruit. And if she ate unnecessarily, maybe she would gain some padding. She thought of Wren’s voracious appetite and suppressed a smile.
The sound of boot heels in the hallway announced Marshall’s arrival. He strode to the table and pulled out a chair, then paused for a moment, brown wings outspread in surprise. Ibbe straightened her spine and kept her attention on transferring pieces of tart green apple and plump berries onto her plate.
“Ibbe—what is that thing on your ass?” Marshall whispered.
Ibbe deigned to give him a glare over her shoulder, resettling her own wings before she continued her task. “Marshall, don’t say ass.”
Her brother straightened and came to join her at the sideboard. “Sorry, sorry,” he said amiably. “What is that device perched on your…fanny?”
Ibbe gritted her teeth and turned to make her way to the table. “Bustle, Marshall. It’s called a bustle. They’ve been around for hundreds of years. They’re becoming quite popular in town these days. All the human girls are wearing them.”
Marshall trailed her to the table, where she had set her plate down and begun to set out glasses and silverware for the others.
“Honestly,” Marshall said, tilting his head to watch her form as she moved. “That’s Godsawful.”
Ibbe ignored him.
He followed her around the table, reaching out a hand to poke at her dress.
“What are you doing?” She said, whirling to face him. then, realizing she had lost to his teasing, she turned away to pour out fresh blackberry juice for everyone.
Marashall sidled closer. “I just want to touch it.” He poked at her again. “What’s it made out of?” He pinched the bustle. “Padding of some sort?”
She swatted his hand away.
“It’s strange though,” Marshal muttered, thoughtful. “It reminds me of something…”
His contemplation was interrupted by the arrival of Ville and Wren.
“Good morning,” Ville said with his typical good natured smile.
The wolf followed him, her frizzy red hair hastily pinned up into a messy bun, and wearing one of Ibbe’s borrowed dresses. She was a wonderfully wild thing, as always.
Marshall’s eyes widened as he took in the sight of the dress, which fit Ibbe perfectly, but on Wren brushed the floor and stretched painfully tight over her generous bottom.
Ibbe cleared her throat. Her brother was an idiot. “There’s fruit on the sideboard,” she said to the other woman. “And the cook is bringing a plate of meat for you.”
Wren made her way to the sideboard and started helping herself, still looking like she was half asleep. Marshall grinned and went to join her.
“Oh! You have one too,” he cooed, right before he reached out and grabbed a double handful of the redhead’s generous bottom.
Wren didn’t immediately murder him the way Ibbe expected. Instead, plate still in hand, she slowly turned to regard him with a glare that should have withered him where he stood.
“What do you think you are doing?” Her brown eyes narrowed as the wolf in them came closer to the surface, and her alpha aura surged. “Let go of my ass!”
His hands still wandering, Marshall turned to his sister as if he were a tattling child. “Ibbe, she said ass. I thought we weren’t supposed to say ass.”
He finally relented and released the Shifter. “Oh, I’m so sorry! I thought you had a bustle too!”
Ville crossed his arms over his broad chest, his face serene, but his blue eyes snapping with anger, and his massive raven-black wings half spread. “You knew it wasn’t a bustle.”
Marshall came to a halt in front of him, out of earshot of Wren, who was now ignoring them in favor of the newly arrived tray of roasted meats. He clapped his hands together as if praying. “Forgive me,” he begged. “I just couldn’t help it!”
Ville raised an eyebrow, then went to join Wren, commenting on her heaping plate as he looked over her shoulder. Tilting his head Marshall’s way, he very slowly and deliberately stroked a hand over that lovely bottom.
At a look from Wren, he smiled patiently. “Dust,” he assured her. “I was just brushing it off.”
Wren shook her head and went back to her food, Ignoring the fact that Ville was still fondling her curves.
The dark Fallen ruler gave Marshall a smirk.
Returning to the table, Wren gave Ibbe an eye roll that said she knew full well what the men were up to, but didn’t give a whit. She knew who was really in control in this situation, and it wasn’t the two blockhead males.
Ibbe pulled out her chair and attempted to sit, but her bustle got in the way, making the maneuver awkward and uncomfortable.
“Oh, for the love of the Gods!” she muttered, abandoning the attempt and flouncing from the room to go change her clothes.
Marshall and Ville glanced at each other and burst out laughing, leaving Wren to arch a questioning brow at them.
Marshall patted her hand. “Imitation is a type of flattery you know, dear.” He winked.
Wren snorted. “absurd. Ibbe hates me. Besides, who in their right mind would want an ass like mine?” She said around a mouthful of bacon.