Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Succubus Heat CHAPTER 6

It was dark by now, so I headed straight for my car and drove over to the vampires' apartment in Capitol Hill. Well, technically it was Peter's apartment. Cody was his apprentice and lived there by Peter's good graces, so long as he adhered to Peter's neurotic cleaning standards. â€Å"Georgina,† said Cody happily, opening the door for me. The lingering yellow bruise of a black eye showed on his face. â€Å"Wow,† I said, shocked enough by his appearance to let go of the Seth-rage that had consumed me the whole drive over. â€Å"It's true. You really did get in a fight.† â€Å"Oh, yeah,† he said cheerfully. â€Å"It was great. Totally West Side Story .† I stepped inside and glanced around. â€Å"You also finally changed the carpet.† They used to have velvety plush carpet stretching throughout the living room in ivory. This new stuff was a blue-gray Berber. Peter stepped out from the kitchen and arched an eyebrow at me. I could smell pork chops and rosemary cooking. â€Å"Yeah, well, after three months of trying to scrub off that wine you spilled, I finally gave up.† â€Å"That was an accident,† I reminded him. â€Å"Kind of.† My final showdown with Niphon had involved me punching him and throwing him around. Peter's china cabinet and a full wineglass had been the casualties. I looked away from the corner where our fight had taken place. My heart had been raw and bleeding that day, fresh from the break-up with Seth. â€Å"This is Scotchgarded,† continued Peter. There was a challenge in his voice, like he was daring me to spill something on it now. I settled myself on the couch, in the same way they often made themselves comfortable at my place without asking. I started to take out my cigarettes, but one look from Peter made me put them away with a sigh. Sometimes he allowed smoking but apparently not around new carpet. â€Å"So what happened last night?† I asked. â€Å"Maude, Lenny, and Paul came hunting in the city,† explained Peter. There was an uncharacteristic anger in his eyes, rivaled only by the time he'd found out the color he'd used to paint his kitchen had been discontinued. â€Å"And then Elsa went over to the eastside, which pissed off Aidan.† I wasn't up to date on all the vampires in Washington, but I recognized most of the names and knew their territories-they were from far-out areas like Spokane and Yakima. Seattle would be a huge step up for them-except for the fact that Peter and Cody already controlled most of the city limits. My friends were laconic and mild most of the time, but I suspected I would have seen a whole other side to them last night when they discovered others in their hunting grounds. â€Å"Three in your turf,† I mused. â€Å"I bet that was fun.† â€Å"Oh yeah,† said Cody, face still aglow. â€Å"They're not going to come trolling around here anymore. We kicked their asses like you wouldn't believe. It was awesome.† I couldn't help a smile. â€Å"Your first fight?† He nodded, and I glanced at Peter. â€Å"No marks on you.† Peter looked offended. â€Å"Of course not. Do I look like an amateur?† â€Å"Hey!† said Cody. â€Å"What are you saying about me?† Peter shrugged and returned to the kitchen, saying, â€Å"Just telling it like it is. I've been around a lot longer than you. Been in a lot more fights than you too. And I wasn't the one who got a black eye last night.† Cody looked like he might start a fight then and there, so I hastily asked, â€Å"And nobody knows how the mistake was made?† â€Å"I heard it was Cedric,† called Peter. â€Å"And that you've been cozying up with him.† â€Å"Hardly. I just met him yesterday.† Cody was apparently out of the loop. â€Å"What?† â€Å"Georgina was sent to Canadian Boot Camp for sleeping with the therapist,† explained Peter. â€Å"Seriously?† asked Cody. I could already tell he was envisioning images of pine trees and snow-capped mountains. I shrugged. â€Å"Figure of speech. It's some stupid job I have to do for him. I was there earlier today and got sent home empty-handed because there was nothing for me to do.† â€Å"I can't believe you'd do that,† said Cody. â€Å"Work for Cedric?† â€Å"No. Go to Canada and not bring us back Tim Hortons.† The vampires invited me to stay for dinner, as I'd known they would, and we mulled over the mystery of last night's fight and other demonic politics. For the first time in a very long while, I had something to distract me other than Seth and the woes of my love life. There was nothing going on that really indicated some large, disastrous immortal scheme at work. A misunderstanding among vampires. A troublesome cult. An old grudge between demons. Yet, I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something else going on-something just beyond my reach. I kept thinking of what Tawny had said about scams and misdirection. I eventually gave up on trying to figure out the mystery for now, and the vampires soon started replaying every last detail of the previous night's fight-a topic they never seemed to tire of. The stories bored me after a while, and I instead found myself studying little things, like the layout of the apartment, the new appliances, the granite countertops†¦ â€Å"Do you think I should move?† I asked abruptly. Cody stopped mid-sentence. I think he'd been describing how he'd had Lenny the vampire in a chokehold. â€Å"What?† he asked. â€Å"I'm thinking of getting a new place.† â€Å"Were you even listening to my story?† asked Cody, looking slightly hurt. â€Å"You've lived over there for years,† said Peter. â€Å"As long as I've known you.† â€Å"I know. Maybe it's time for a change. It's small, and it's old.† â€Å"That's because it's a historic building,† argued Peter. â€Å"And,† added Cody, â€Å"it's close to where you work. You'd have to drive in if you moved-unless you're just going up the street or something.† My eyes focused on the far side of the room without really seeing it. I remembered talking to Seth the other night and how it had seemed like I couldn't get far enough away from him. I thought about our fight earlier tonight. â€Å"No,† I told them quietly. â€Å"I'd move somewhere else. Somewhere farther out.† â€Å"Ah,† said Peter in understanding. Cody frowned. â€Å"I don't get it. Why would you want to move far away from your-ow!† Peter had kneed him. Cody started to demand why, but then he seemed to catch on too. He was na;ve about immortal affairs, sometimes, but not human ones. His face turned sympathetic, which I hated. â€Å"Maybe change is good.† I didn't know if it was, but I didn't want them to sit and feel sorry for me, so I coaxed more fight stories from them for the next half-hour or so as a way to distract them and make amends for not paying attention earlier. I left shortly thereafter, wondering about whether it really was time to shake things up a little and move. Seth had already shaken my life up for the worse, and part of me wanted to rid myself of all those memories. Changing everything that I'd had while we'd been together-like my apartment-could be a way to do it. A clean cut. If I was really desperate, I could even consider switching jobs or cities. I didn't know if I was ready to go that far. It all depressed me. â€Å"Hey, succubus. You sure know how to keep a guy waiting.† I'd been walking up to my building without really paying attention, too lost in my own thoughts. Now, in the faint glow of the light above the building's entrance, I saw Dante sitting on the steps. His black hair was brushed away from his face, and he wore a light coat over his usual attire of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. He probably had a watch on under there too but almost never wore any other ornamentation or jewelry. I mustered a smile for him. â€Å"Sorry,† I said. â€Å"I called you earlier.† â€Å"And I called you back.† â€Å"Did you?† I pulled out my cell phone and saw three missed calls from him. â€Å"Oh, shit. I had the ringer off. Sorry.† He shrugged and stood up. â€Å"It's okay, just part of the endless torment I go through for you. One mysterious message saying you're going to Vancouver indefinitely. Another saying you're back but don't know for how long. Then no answer.† I realized I hadn't even thought much about how this international travel would affect Dante. That kind of radio silence would have never happened with Seth. I wouldn't have rested until we'd made contact and would have quickly noticed the ringer problem. With Dante, I'd left the voice-mail message and promptly put him out of my mind. I gave him a quick kiss on the lips and unlocked the door. His face was scratchy and overdue for a shave. â€Å"Sorry,† I said again. â€Å"How's it been going?† â€Å"Same as it always does. Had a couple of drunk teens come in for palm readings last night, so that was a windfall. I could have taken you out someplace nice for a change.† â€Å"It would have beat what I was doing instead.† As we went upstairs to my apartment, I briefly gave him an overview of what was going on. As someone attuned to the paranormal world, there was little about demonic affairs that surprised him. I'd met Dante back in December, during the mess with Niphon. As part of his plan, Niphon had used a chaos entity named Nyx to suck energy from me in my sleep via realistic, emotionally charged dreams. Not knowing what was happening, I'd come to Dante for dream interpretation. He'd been abrasive, sarcastic, and infuriating throughout the entire process yet had steadily grown on me-until I learned the truth about his past. He'd done horrible things-hurt people, killed people, betrayed his own principles-in the name of selfish desires and a quest for power. Those atrocities had left him with an empty soul and bitter self-loathing. I'd loathed him too and swore I was done with him. Then, things had fallen apart with Seth and me. My world had been torn apart, and I found myself with an empty soul and bitter self-loathing of my own. Seth had inspired me to believe in better things in the world, but all that hope had disappeared with our love. Dante's bleak, cynical outlook seemed more realistic now and more in line with my own worldview. He and I had hooked up, eerily compatible in our mutual despair. I didn't love him, but I liked him. I poured us glasses of Grey Goose once we were inside. I preferred gimlets but didn't feel like going to the trouble of finding my lime juice. We settled on my couch with our drinks and cigarettes, and I finished up the story of my Canadian misadventures. â€Å"Wow,† he said when I was done. â€Å"All that because you fucked your therapist?† Unlike Seth, who hadn't liked knowing details about my succubus sex life, Dante took it all in stride. I shrugged. â€Å"Well, I had nothing to do with the vampire gang war last night. But yeah, the rest is on me, I guess. You think they're related?† He swirled his vodka around. â€Å"If you don't think Cedric did it, then probably not. The vampire thing is likely a coincidence. But that Portland demon was right. You probably are being played.† There was almost a growl to his words, uncharacteristically protective. I groaned. â€Å"But how? Everyone keeps saying that, yet I only got involved twenty-four-hours ago. How am I being manipulated in some huge affair in so short a time?† â€Å"Because you've walked into something that's been going on for a while. It's not built around you per se, but now you're in it.† I leaned back against the couch and stared bleakly at the ceiling. â€Å"I should have never slept with Dr. Davies.† â€Å"Was he good?† â€Å"Are you jealous?† â€Å"Nah. Just trying to figure out what turns you on.† â€Å"Scathing wit, if present company's any indication.† â€Å"Somehow, I'm not convinced that's the allure. Besides, are you saying you're turned on right now?† I was still staring at the ceiling. There were some fine cracks in the paint I hadn't noticed before. â€Å"Do you think I should move?† â€Å"What, closer to me?† â€Å"No, as in out. Into a new place.† â€Å"What's wrong with this one? You have a great place. At least you don't live where you work.† Dante's bedroom was attached to his store. I leaned forward and looked at him with a smile. â€Å"I might as well live where I work. I don't know. I feel like it's time for a change.† His gray eyes were thoughtful as he regarded me. â€Å"You've told me about this-how you get an itch for change and suddenly end up transforming your identity and moving to a different country.† Reaching out, I gently brushed some of his black hair out of his face and tucked it behind his ears. â€Å"I've only been here for fifteen years. It's way too soon to leave.† â€Å"So you say. Today you talk about a new apartment, tomorrow you could disappear. For all I know, maybe you're scoping out new employment opportunities in Vancouver.† I laughed and knocked back the rest of my vodka. â€Å"No, definitely not. Although, I think Cedric would be easier to work for than Jerome. Or at least a little less annoying.† â€Å"Even in Canada?† â€Å"Canada's not that bad. Vancouver's actually a pretty cool city. But don't tell anyone I said that.† Dante set his glass down and reached into his shirt pocket. â€Å"Maybe I can bribe you to stick around. Or at least be on time.† A flash of gold caught my eye as he lifted out a watch. It was delicate, almost looking more like a bracelet than a true watch. It had gold links for a band, and its face had a filigree pattern that glittered in the light. I often found watches boring and utilitarian, but this was beautiful. He handed it to me, and I held it up to get a better look. I could shape-shift any jewelry I wanted onto me, but something manmade-something given as a gift-always had more meaning. â€Å"Where did you get this?† I asked. â€Å"Did you steal it?† He scoffed. â€Å"Figures. I do something nice, and you have to question it.† â€Å"Sorry,† I said, feeling a tiny bit bad. That had been pretty ungrateful of me. â€Å"But you can't tell me this is part of your normal budget, not with the business you get.† â€Å"I told you, I had a good streak last night. And since you weren't around for a night on the town, I figured I'd show you my undying affection some other way. Now, are you going to say thank you, or are you going to keep bitching me out?† â€Å"Thank you,† I said. I fastened the watch onto my wrist and admired the way it looked against my tanned skin. â€Å"Maybe you'll be easier to find now-or at least be on time.† I grinned. â€Å"Oh, this wasn't affection. This was pragmatism.† â€Å"Nah. A little of both. I wanted to get you jewelry, but necklaces and rings are too sappy.† He held up his own wrist. â€Å"Only thing that didn't make me want to throw up.† â€Å"And they say there's no romance left in this world,† I laughed. He gently reached out and touched the watch, tracing a circle around my wrist. Then, his hand trailed up my arm and along the edge of my blouse's V-neck, letting him slip his fingers underneath it. Slowly, carefully, he moved over to one of my breasts, his fingertips dancing around the edges of my nipple, which already stood up hard under the thin fabric. He circled the nipple, pressure increasing, until he finally pinched it between his fingers, squeezing it so unexpectedly hard that I gave a small gasp of surprise. â€Å"Whoa, you don't waste any time,† I said. â€Å"You give a gift, and thirty seconds later, it's a free-for-all?† His eyes were hungry and intense now, reminding me of storm clouds. â€Å"I've missed you,† he said. â€Å"I keep thinking I'll get used to you†¦that you'll stop being so sexy. But it never happens.† Impromptu or not, I felt my own lust stirring. We hadn't been together in a while, and there was a big difference between sleeping with strangers and with those you were close to. He wrapped one hand in my hair, holding it tight, not caring if it hurt me or not. Domination and power, the ability to inflict pain if he wanted, always turned him on, and I had gotten used to this game. He jerked me to him and pressed his lips against my neck as I tilted my head back. His breath was hot against my skin as his teeth grazed me. Meanwhile his hands reached out and grasped the sides of my blouse, ripping it open. A couple of buttons scattered across the floor. Heat was building between my legs, and I moved closer as his hands closed around the cups of my black satin bra. He pushed the edges of it down so that my breasts spilled over the tip, then pinched both nipples down, nails digging in. I moaned again, and while I really wasn't into pain, I always liked the way he mingled it with pleasure. Satisfied at my reaction, he moved his hands down to his jeans and unfastened them, pulling them and his boxers down partway, revealing the erection that had been straining against the fabric. He gripped my shoulders and shoved me down to the floor, needing no words to make his wishes apparent. I didn't hesitate. He leaned back against the couch, and I took him into my mouth, letting him fill it up and nearly touch the back of my throat. My lips slid back and forth on him as his hands tangled in my hair, pulling hard. I sucked more urgently, letting my tongue dance and tease as I moved. He'd been hard when I started, but he swelled even more as I brought him in and out of me. â€Å"Harder,† he grunted. I met his eyes, which were filled with a primal desire that exalted in putting me in such a submissive role. I sucked him harder and faster, my lips hitting his body over and over as they glided along that hard length. His breathing became heavier, his moans louder. I felt him grow in my mouth until it seemed like I couldn't take anymore. He suddenly shifted forward to the edge of the couch, letting him thrust his hips forward and take control. Still holding my shoulders, he shoved himself into me, fucking my mouth as hard as he could. I gave a surprised muffled grunt that seemed to turn him on further. Then, with a great groan, he gave one last hard thrust and abruptly pulled out so that he came half in me and half on me. It left my skin and breasts warm and sticky. Still gasping, he pulled me up and ran his hands all over my body, uncaring of the increasing mess. His fingertip traced the edges of my lips, and I kissed it. A look of supreme satisfaction crossed his features. Still keeping me standing, he slid a hand between my thighs and up my skirt. His fingers slipped under my panties, thrusting deep within me. He exhaled with pleasure. â€Å"God, you're wet. Kind of wish I'd fucked you now.† I kind of wished that too, but his fingers were going a long way to make up for that. I burned and ached for his touch, having grown more aroused than I'd expected to. He slid his fingers out of me, then moved them up to my clit and the center of my desire. He stroked and encircled, and I felt heat build up, ready to explode. I leaned forward, resting my hands on his shoulders where he sat. This put my breasts right in his face, and he leaned forward, sucking hard on one of them, teeth nipping at that sensitive skin. It wasn't going to take much to make me come. He pulled his mouth and fingers back at the same time. I whimpered, wanting-needing-him to touch me again. â€Å"You want that? You want me to get you off?† His voice was soft and menacing. â€Å"Yes†¦Ã¢â‚¬  â€Å"Beg me,† he said menacingly. â€Å"Beg me to.† â€Å"Please,† I begged, my body arching back, straining to get closer to him. â€Å"Please†¦Ã¢â‚¬  His fingers and mouth returned, and like that, I exploded. The orgasm made my body spasm as I struggled to stay upright. My knees and legs were weak, but I knew if I collapsed, he wouldn't be able to touch me anymore, and I wanted his fingers to keep stroking me as I came, bringing me to further and further heights of ecstasy. Finally, when I couldn't take it anymore, I gave in to my trembling muscles. I sank to the ground and rested my head against his knee. His hand found my hair, stroking it gently this time. The couch made for an uncomfortable respite, so we retired to my bedroom and collapsed onto the bed. Sighing, Dante lay back against the covers and half-pulled the sheet over him. I hadn't taken up much energy from him, but he still wore the exhausted, blissfully lethargic look of so many men after sex. I didn't feel particularly wiped out, and upon realizing I'd left my cigarettes in the other room, I promptly climbed out of bed to retrieve them. â€Å"I almost believed it this time,† he said when I reached the doorway. â€Å"Hmm?† I asked, pausing and glancing back. â€Å"That you were into it,† he explained. â€Å"I almost believed you were.† I narrowed my eyes. â€Å"Are you accusing me of faking?† â€Å"No, you never fake. But that doesn't mean you're always into it either. Sometimes I get the feeling you sleep with me simply because you've got nothing else better to do.† â€Å"That's not true,† I said. â€Å"There are plenty of guys better than you.† He crooked me a smile. â€Å"But none who are as convenient or who can provide the illusion of a regular partner and bed warmer.† â€Å"Man, you sure do know how to ruin the afterglow.† â€Å"Nah, I'm just being realistic, that's all. I don't mind you using me.† His joking aside, I could see the underlying affection. Bitter and cynical he might be, but the look he gave me was filled with sincere caring. I rolled my eyes. â€Å"I'm not using you.† But as I walked off to the living room, I wasn't sure if I believed that myself.

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