Bribing the Muse

Pulling open the door to the Wicked Muse Tavern, I wondered what I was going to run into. This would be my first visit to this place and I wasn’t sure what my welcome would be after my insane muse, Livvy had turned this place upside down during my Gabriel’s Light Blog Tour.  Would Shay’s muse, Lucien welcome me or would he come after me with a blunt object?  Shifting the treats I had made specifically with Lucien in mind, I knew I only had myself to blame.

Letting my muse run my book tour hadn’t been my wisest decision. However, an author could only do so much and when my kiddo’s band trip to Florida demanded my undivided attention, I in my brilliant wisdom decided to unleash Livvy on my unsuspecting hosts – which hadn’t turned out the best decision I ever made.  But with my upcoming blog tour for Essential Master, I was going to have to soothe some ruffled feathers or face the fact that my muse may be non-gratis at a few of the blogs – particularly here.  Considering that two of my characters, Liam and Grim, had threatened to kill Lucien the last time Livvy had visited, I was pretty sure that would be the case.

Stepping inside the cool interior, I glanced around.  The club was much as I expected it to be – or at least from Livvy’s descriptions.  Lots of beautiful wood work, a long shiny bar gracing one wall and a decidedly wicked Chesterfield chair, I was dying to try out next to the fire place. Unbelievably there was a fire crackling in its depths as if it wasn’t as hot as hades outside. Moving forward I looked around, wondering where Lucien, Serphina or even The Bruce might be hiding at.   I really needed to talk Lucien before Livvy joined me. I could only hope that the directions I gave her would confuse my forgetful muse and she’d be late as always.

After placing my hand on the bar and the basket on the stool next to my hip, I nibbled on my lip and wondered if the goodies I brought would be enough to smooth out Lucien’s ruffled feathers, and convince him to let Livvy come back into the tavern in a few days to promote one of my newest books.   From the back off the bar I could hear what sounded like cursing and the yipping of a dog. As the cursing got louder I could only assume that it was Shay’s muse and The Bruce, his arch nemesis in the form of a red curly haired dachshund.

Moments later, a huge, devastatingly handsome Scottish man, clad in leather pants and a blindingly white silk shirt stomped out into the bar. My mouth dried and my eyes widened. I suddenly wished for a tankard of ale, even if it would probably be the most disgusting thing I’d ever tasted. Beer drinker I’m not, but at least it would give me something to concentrate on rather than the sexy hunk of muse stalking towards me.  I might be married, but I wasn’t dead.  What the hell was Shay’s muse doing dressed in leather anyway?  He was supposed to be wearing kilts, not leather. I could handle kilts….kinda.

He came to a stop, his face in the shadows but his dark hair and blue eyes were captivating.  Damn it.  Shay hadn’t done justice to how irresistible her muse was.  How the hell had I got stuck with a smart-assed wench who took nothing seriously.  Finally, I stuck my hand out. “Hi. I’m Dakota.”

“Are ye now?”  His stance didn’t change, he just continued to study me.

“Yeah.”  I shifted uncomfortably. “I talked to Shay and she said I could stop by and that you enjoyed goodies.”  I turned and lifted a glass bowl of raspberries, whipping cream, honey and toasted oats up for his inspection.  “I found a recipe for raspberry cranachan online and thought you might enjoy it…being Scottish and all. I even splurged on the whiskey.”

He crossed his arms over his chest. “Ye made it? It’s not bought at one of them from the store?”

“Yeah, I made it. If you want something done right, you should do it yourself. Or so my dad has told me.”

“Perhaps ye should’ve thought of that before letting that muse of yers loose on the unsuspecting public, Mistress Trace.”

Heat filled my face. Setting the bowl down on the bar, I resisted the urge to fidget. “Yeah, well it wasn’t one of my better ideas. I seem to be the only one who can handle her in more than a small dose.” I bit my lower lip.  “If I told you that in the end she got what was coming to her, would all be forgiven?”

He seemed to be thinking about, before he finally sighed. “It depends. Do I have to share the cranachan?”

I shook my head. If giving him the whole bowl of dessert would pave the way to Livvy’s return, he could have it. Seraphina could have a book or something.

He was inching towards the bowl when a woman appeared from the back, a dog trailing behind her. “Okay. All’s forgiven as long as ye promise to never let her in here again…” His hand wrapped around the edge of the bowl.

Seraphina smacked Lucien’s hand. “You will not! What would Shay say if she knew you banned Livvy from the tavern? All muses are welcome here.”  She placed a hand on her hip as Lucien growled. “While I’ll admit your muse, Mistress Trace, is a more than a bit of a handful, Livvy is still welcome…as long as you accompany her.”

I smiled in relief. “Thank you, Seraphina. Not an issue. After the last tour, she’s not allowed in public by herself.”  The bells jingled as someone came in.

“Slave!”   The voice echoed through the tavern.

I groaned as Livvy sauntered into the tavern, her tight leather corset and leggings making my jeans shorts and tank-top look provincial.   “Livvy.”

Lucien stiffened before grabbing the bowl protectively. When Seraphina gave him a look, he shook his head. “Mine,” before slipping back into the shadows.

“I’m sorry.”  I whispered as Livvy pranced over bold as you please and hoisted her butt up on the bar.  “Get down!” I grabbed her arm to yank her down. “We don’t sit on bars.”

She shook her head, her dark curls bouncing. “Perhaps you don’t, slave, but I’ve danced on a few in my time.”

A rubbed a hand over my face.  Incorrigible. That was what my muse was. There was no way around it and I was stuck with her.  At times I wondered what that made me – since by all counts from my non-writer friends, Livvy was just a figment of my imagination.

*however the dessert Lucien absconded with isn’t a product of my vivid imagination, so here’s the recipe for those who have a sweet tooth. Just make sure you hide it from Lucien or he may abscond with yours as well.*

raspberry cranachan Classic Cranachan

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz of whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp whiskey
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 9 oz of raspberries
  • 3 tbsp of oatmeal

Directions:

  • Toast oatmeal in a pan over low heat. Let cool
  • Lightly whip cream, then fold in honey, whiskey, oatmeal and raspberries
  • Chill in fridge until time to serve. Makes 4 servings.

*picture is courtesy of the BBCgoodfoods.com

 

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