“Honestly, Scarecrow, it was years ago, you have no reason to be jealous!”
He hadn’t spoken to me since dinner when it was decided that Glinda and Gregory would search near the northern edges of my territory that met with his. Scarecrow and I were to go along the eastern route, closest to the lake surrounding Emerald City.
“I’m not jealous,” he muttered under his breath as he shoved something in his bag before securing it to the bike.
“Then why aren’t you talking to me?” I demanded.
He scowled, “I didn’t sleep well. If you recall, we spent the night in the dungeon, perhaps, I am tired?”
“That’s a lame ass excuse, and you know it,” I got up in his face. “I am not getting onto that bike until we resolve this.”
He threw his leg over and started the engine, “Fine by me.”
I knew he wouldn’t leave me.
At least, I had strong hopes that he wouldn’t leave me.
But when he pressed the gas to rev the engine I got a little worried.
“Last chance, Indy,” he growled.
I shook my head infinitesimally, “Tell me.”
In the next moment, his hard body was smashing mine up against the wall. I don’t know how he managed to get off of his bike that quickly. Nor how he could get my motor running just as easily as he did his bike.
“You want to talk?” his harsh breath was against my ear.
“Yes,” I couldn’t even nod, he was that close.
“I fucking hate the idea of anyone seeing you naked. You are mine, Indy! I don’t care that it was before we were together.”
My heart melted into a puddle of goo.
“Scarecrow, nothing happened that night,” I paused, remembering some frolicking in the woods. “Nothing important, anyway,” I amended.
He pressed into me harder, “I want to be the only one that sees these luscious tits and this amazing ass. I want every memory without me to be obliterated from your mind.”
“That’s how I felt when I heard about you and El,” I said softly.
He rested his forehead against mine, “There was never me and El. There was only El trying to get back at Steele.”
“I know that now.”
He let out a sigh of relief.
“This feeling,” he grimaced, “It’s shitty. I am sorry that I ever made you feel that way.”
I cupped my hand around his face, “Me too.”
His lips captured mine in a kiss so tender, so sweet, that it made me want to weep. His brutal hold had become protective as if he were terrified that one wrong move and I would break.
His warm lips caressed mine as his hands ran down my sides, cupping my hips. I groaned as he deepened the kiss, feeling every sweep of his tongue as he explored the cavern of my mouth. It was sensuous, the way he kissed me until mind and reason were a thing of the past.
I whimpered low in my throat wanting more. His hands came up to sink into my hair. He tilted my head so that he could have better access to my mouth.
This man could kiss! I was drowning, swirling in a vortex of heat and want when he lifted his face away from mine.
I growled in protest and saw an echoing burst of lust in his eyes.
“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the Wicked Witch of the East and her faithful sidekick, Scarecrow.”
That voice not only had a dampening effect on me, but it also sent ice racing through my veins.
I whipped around, “Dorothy!”
There, standing not ten yards away from us, stood a teenage girl in a light blue gingham dress. Her silky brown hair was tied up in adolescent pigtails, and her skirt was covered with a bright white apron. In her arms, she carried a wicker basket with a black Cairn Terrier peeking from beneath the brim.
But what really had me going was the fact that on her feet, she was still wearing my blood red, sparkling Jimmy Choo pumps. Everyone knew that they were a staple in any woman’s wardrobe.
“You have some balls coming to Oz and wreaking your havoc,” I sneered at her. “But those days are over!”
Dorothy’s face was the picture of innocent confusion.
“Whatever are you talking about? I am only trying to find a way for my little dog Toto and me to get home.”
Her sickeningly sweet voice grated on my nerves, “Why did you kill the Munchkin’s?”
She blinked, “I could never hurt those adorable little people. After all, they went on and on about how killing you had released them from captivity.”
My jaw was starting to ache from clenching my teeth, “They are not oppressed, just damn lazy. And I am not dead!”
Dorothy’s lower lip pouted, “No, I can see that you are very much alive.” She shrugged her shoulders, “It’s a pity that, but some things can’t be helped.”
Scarecrow took a step forward, “Did you just threaten, Indy?”
“Oh, goodness, no!” Dorothy feigned shock, “I could never do such a thing!”
“What do you want with Oz?” I demanded.
For the first time, there was a tiny crack in her armor. It was so quick, so brief, that had I not been staring at her, I would have missed it. The flash of hatred and ill will in her gaze was baffling. What could Oz have done to her to cause such hatred?
“I only wish to go home,” Dorothy said coldly. “There is nothing here for me.”
The childish lilt in her voice was missing this time.
“Then leave,” I spat. My magic was tingling in my fingers, but I knew better than to get myself into a fight against an unknown witch. If Dorothy left of her own accord, everything would just go away.
Her smile was as malicious as it was depreciating. “Poor Bastinda, doesn’t know all the ins and outs of the world. One cannot merely leave Oz. Nothing is done without permission from the Trustees.”
“They won’t let you leave?” I was astounded. “Who are they? I will make them!”
Dorothy’s laugh was akin to nails scraping down a chalkboard, “You fool, do you honestly think that you will save the day? That you alone, are enough to change the world? Some things cannot be fixed. They are unalterable.”
“I will get them to agree. I know my father is one, who are the other two?”
Dorothy narrowed her brown eyes, “Nessa Rose has given her permission, as has your father, but the Wizard of Oz refuses even to discuss it. He won’t see me, or anyone for that matter.”
“Is the violence only to gain his attention?” I gasped.
She smirked, “Maybe you aren’t as stupid as you look.”
I didn’t know the Wizard well, though, he did indeed live in Emerald City. His castle was not far from Father’s palace. But he was said to be a miser. Part mad with grief from losing his family hundreds of years ago, and more than a little bit insane from living too long on the earth.
“We will go to him for you,” I promised, ignoring Scarecrow’s sharp inhalation. "But you must leave Munchkin Land. I cannot have you destroying my people.”
“But it is so fun!” she pouted.
“And I want my damn shoes back,” I demanded.
Dorothy shook her head, “Not going to happen.”
“Are we really arguing about shoes?” Scarecrow tried to interject some sense.
I huffed, “Fine! Keep the damn shoes, but you will leave my territory if you wish for us to try and help you.”
Dorothy pretended to consider, and I wanted to wring her neck right there.
“Deal!” She said happily, “I will just go into the northern country, that is your sister Mombi’s land isn’t it?”
I didn’t like the way she was grinning, “You promised to stay out of trouble.”
She laughed wickedly, “No, Bastinda. I promised to leave Munchkin Land. What happens up North is none of your concern.”
And then in a puff of smoke, she was gone. It was the strangest thing, and I was more than a little bit jealous that I had no idea how to perform that type of magic.
“That was the weirdest fight I have ever been in,” Scarecrow seemed dazed. “Nobody hit anyone else, nor was there any blood. I am a little disappointed.”
I squeezed his arm tightly, “Don’t you worry. I have a feeling this is only the beginning.”