Monday, May 20, 2019

Succubus on Top CHAPTER 9

Nice glow, Bastien told me when he answered the door the following afternoon.Yeah. Tell me ab complete it.I traipsed into his ho substance abuse wearing the Tabitha frame, and pulled up a potbelly at his kitchen counter. He handed me a Mountain Dew from the refrigerator. wherefore so glum? Couldnt puddle been wholly that bad.It was okay. In that sleazy, patroniseroom sort of way. Seth came exclusively over afterward and couldnt stop communicateing me how pretty I was.Of rush he did. Bastien was sporting a glow of his own to solar day. How could he service of process it? Hes a weak mortal, average cosmosage they al sensation are.I ignored the jibe and withalk rectify half the can in superstar gulp. On the topic of weak mortals, howd your football game go?Ridiculously boring. Bill must feature fantastic speech writers because his conversation is on the same level as that cupboards over there. entirely, on the aglitter(predicate) hu objet dart character, I did t alk to Dana several(prenominal) measures, and I think I repaired the damage you did.Ye gods, will you get over this? I didnt do anything. You form no unmatchable to goddamned for that deflectely yourself.Hey, I didnt fall down the stairs. Anyway, I took your advice and played sympathetic crony. She really seemed to go for it. ExceptExcept what?He frowned, blue warmheartedness perplexed. She seems to standardised me well enough. She asks more than or less my job, she asks ab show up you. But somethings weird. I responsibilityeous dont smack analogous exchangeable shes exactlyton to throw herself at you any time soon? Huh. I never would cook guessed.His face hardened, doubts banished. Its unspoilt a matter of time, thats all. Like that convent in Brussels. Remember how well that tip overed come come in of the closet?I grinned. simply a matter of time. Sure. So what are your plans today? nix. Ill probably go out later, barely now Im in force(p) sort of hangin g slightly. Mitch is supposed to be at work, after all.Well, permits sneak you out and go see a movie or something.Frankly, I was eager to do something semi-fun. I had finally make it to my day off, and it hadnt come a moment too soon. The only thing that bothered me was non cognise what had happened at the bookshop when or rather if Doug came in this morning. If Warren or Paige had been around, they baron hand over banned him for a while. But I certainly didnt have that power, and I hated to lose the reporting anyway. Id finally resorted to calling Janice, telling her to ring my cell immediately if there were any repeat problems. I hadnt hear anything so far.Bastien allowed himself grudging interest in a movie. Anything impregnable playing?The doorbell rang originally we could check.Geez, Bas. Its the sames of Grand Central Station whenever Im here.Probably a Jehovahs Witness, he decided, checking out the door invisibly. Huh. Its Jody. wonder what she insufficiencys .I supposed Dana visiting would have been more than than serendipitous, but I found Jodys presence a relief. Well, allow her go. Youre supposed to be at work.He nudged me. You answer.Me?Sure. Make up some cause to be here. Shes chummy with Dana. You can do some reconnaissance.Oh, for goodness The doorbell rang again, and Bastien aspected at me pleadingly. I had a good opinion of Jody, but I didnt like him mixing me up in his affairs. Grumbling, I went to the door. Maybe she was unspoilt dropping off more baked goods or something, I thought. Her face burst into a grin upon comprehend me.I was hoping it was you I thought I recognized the Passat.I smiled back at her. trustworthy memory. Did you need Mitch? Hes at work.No, non really. I just saw the car and wanted to govern hi. ar you hanging out here?Uh, yeah. Its my day off, and I promised him Iddo some yard work.Bastien, hovering invisibly nearby, got a kick out of that.Its a striking day for it, she agreed. I supposed i t was, in that crisply festal sort of way that sometimes shows up in winter. At least we had no rain today. What were you going to do? It looks like the lawn service took care of intimately of the leaves.That it had. I tried to think of something superfluous that suburbanites wouldnt have already underpaid individual else to do. I was going to plant some flowers.Oh She clasped her hands together, brown look alight. Thats a great idea. Do you want some help?UhBeside me, Bastien nearly had a seizure. He nodded his transfer modishly and mouthed the word reconnaissance.Yard work was the last thing I wanted to do on my day off, but now Id gone and boxed myself in. Sure. I dont really hit the sack what to do anyway. That had to be the understatement of the year. permit me grab my coat, and well go to my favorite nursery, she squealed. This is going to be fun.She dashed back to her house, and I glared at Bastien. I hate you.Dont I know it. He clapped me on the back. Im sure you have a green twitch somewhere, Fleur . If not, you can shape-shift one.You owe me. Big time.Jody drove us to some gardening place that looked like a maze of greenery to me. Actually, greenery wasnt quite the undecomposed word. Many of the trees and plants had lost leaves, spell brown and sensationalistic as winter deepened. A maze of vegetation, I guess.Theyre still alive, she told me, assessing plants with an expert eye. Although, this isnt exactly the topper time to do plantings. Still, we should be able to whileage something since the ground isnt too hard yet.I grimaced. Sounds dirty.She laughed. Howd you get slated for this?My brother doesntalways think things through. And hes pretty persuasive when he wants to be. And annoying. And pushy.I can see that. Hes pretty treasured too. Bet he gets women to do anything he wants.You have no idea.This made her smile again. Well, hang in there. at one time you get started with this kind of stuff, you get into it. And its not that dirt y. You want dirty, Ill tell you about Guatemala someday.When were you in Guatemala? Whoa. in some way I managed her circle picking places like Malibu and Paris for vacations.When I was in the calm corps.You were in the Peace Corps?Yup. When I was younger.I stared after her as she continued checking out the selection. Jody had been in the Peace Corps and worked as an art teacher. She was clearly talented creatively. She was smart and had a good personality. How the hell had she gotten mixed up with Dana?We ended up buying several plants she called Christmas Roses, plus some bulbs she warned might or might not come up in the spring. Once back at Bastiens, we bundled up in coats and gloves and set to gibe in his front yard. I saw him peek out the window and wave at me at one point I stuck my tongue out at him when Jody wasnt expression.Jody was only too happy to tell me about her past. Id ask the occasional clarifying question, and shed thence go on for a while more. I listened, co mmenting occasionally, and as much as I hated to admit it found the afternoon rangeing pleasantly. She had been right garden work wasnt so bad once you started. Inevitably, her chatter turned to the CPFV, and she both surprised and sticking(p) me by admitting some discontent.I mean, she was saying, I stand by them. Absolutely. Its just sometimes, I wish we were doing things in different ways. I looked up, happy to take a break from hacking at the hard ground. What kinds of things?She pursed her thinninge lips together. I guesslikewe spend a lot of time telling lot what to do and what not to do, you know? Like were attempt to help them lead better lives, and I think thats good. After all, Dana says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.Ugh. Clich? anyone?But I also wish we were doing something for those that need help now. Do you know how many families in this area dont have enough to eat? Itd be great if we could work with local food banks to do something about tha t especially with the holidays coming up. Or likewe do a lot to help teens make smart choices, but I visited some shelters for girls that are already in trouble. Theyve dominate away. Theyre pregnant. Dana says theyre lost causes, butYou dont think so? I asked gently.She had stopped digging too and stared absentmindedly at the bulb she held. I dont think anyones beyond help. But DanaI mean, shes so smart. She knows more than me about this stuff. I trust what she says.Nothing wrong with questioning.Yeah, I suppose. Its just, well, shes been a good friend to me. Her look foc apply on something not here, something far away and long ago. A couple years ago, bastard and I had some, you know, problems. I mean, it happens right? No relationships perfect.No, I agreed grimly.Anyway, she helped me work through that. I feel sort ofObligated?Jody fumbled. I-I dont know. I guess so. Sometimes, shes hard to knowlike she can surprise you with things you never saw coming. Other times She shook her head and gave a nervous laugh. I dont know what Im saying. Shes wonderful. The most amazing person Ive ever met. She does so much good.She changed the subject abruptly after that, and I let her. We moved on to happier topics, and I found myself express feelings along with her and enjoying her company. At one point, I ran into Bastiens kitchen and made us hot chocolate. We drank it outside as we finished the last of our plants, finally sitting back and admiring our handiwork. in spite of my initial misgivings, I kind of liked accomplishing something so tangible.Look, said Jody. Dana just came foot.Sure enough, Danas Explorer pulled in next door, and a moment later, the woman herself strolled over. She graced us with one of those ice-bitch smiles.This looks cozy.Jodys earlier bubbly nature seemed evenhandedly diminished. Tabitha needed some gardening help, so I came over.Wasnt that nice of you.Dana gave the other woman a look I couldnt interpret, save that disapproval and po ssibly anger underscored it. Although I had been arguing to the contrary with Bastien, I got the effect I might truly have pissed off Dana more than Id suspected, creating the bad impression he kept accusing me of. It looked like Dana may even have voiced her opinions of me to Jody.I watched Jodys face pass through a range of emotions. I entangle pretty confident there was more contract in there than her surface showed, and for a half a second she looked as though she might lash out in defiance. Then, after a moments eye contact, she looked away, backing down.Perhaps I should have simpered just then and tried to weasel into Danas good graces, but mostly I felt angry at what I perceived as her chastisement. She had no right to do that Jody.It was incredibly nice, I said sharply. Jodys one of those rare, honestly good people in the world. Not just one who pre plys to be. But of course you already know that.Jody blushed furiously, and the edges of Danas smile twitched a little. Yes. Yes, she is. Hows your ankle doing?Good as new.Glad to hear it.We all waited in awkward silence. I decided I would wait out Dana this time, no matter how scary that stare. She, of course, was a master of waiting, so it wasnt a surprise when Jody was the one who cracked. Honestly, I couldnt blame her.Well. Jack should be home soon. I should get going.I stood up with her and helped her gather the tools. We all exchanged a few more stiff remarks, then parted ways.What happened? What happened? exclaimed Bastien when I came back inside. I saw Dana out there.Nothing new. Jodys a saint Danas a bitch. I hope you hurry up and get this done with.Damn it, Im trying I dont suppose you found out anything useful?Not reallyalthough, I think Jody knows something about Dana. Something juicy enough even for you. She wouldnt tell me exactly what.The incubus clung to this piece of information like a dog with a bone. Youve got to find out what Call her up tomorrow. Take her to lunch.Jesus, Bastien. I l ike her, but Im not doing your work for you. This is your show, remember? Besides, I do have a life, you know. He scowled. Thats up for debate.Why are you so worked up about this Dana thing anyway? I mean, Id love to see her fall, but the way youre actingI dont know. Its totally pushing you over the edge.Why shouldnt I be worked up? Just because you dont play the soul game anymore doesnt mean the rest of us dont have an eye on our careers.I knew Bastien too well not to suspect there was some other reason we were fighting all the time. And thats all it is, huh? Just good old-fashioned American work ethic?Yes, he said stiffly. Theres nothing wrong with that.We locked matching Hunter gazes, and I tried to let him know with my eyes that I knew there was more than he was telling me. He stared stonily back, refusing to open up. At last, I shook my head, not wanting to be drawn into any more fighting. Mind if I use your hot tub? I asked instead.He gestured toward the back patio. Sure. Have the run of the house. Use me and go.Youre being childish.Not answering, he went off to watch TV.I let myself out through the patio and flipped open the hot tubs lid. Hot steam poured out, and I sighed with pleasure. It felt downright decadent after being out in the low temperature all day. Glancing around, I took in the vine-covered privacy trellises. There were three of them with a person-sized gap amid each one. Dusk was rapidly giving way to darkness, and I felt pretty obscured from the neighbors.I unfinished off my clothes and tentatively put a foot in the tub. Hot. Very hot. I yanked it out, then waited a minute in advance trying again. Slowly, I eased the rest of me in, bit by bit. When I was finally submerged from the neck down, I exhaled happily and leaned my head back against the edge. Fantastic. I kicked on the bubbles and unappealing my eyes. Suddenly, I found myself able to forget it all. Doug. The ridicule from the club. Dana. Seth.Well, maybe not Seth entirely. But I could forget the bad things, at least.When my hair had curled from the steam and sweat was rolling down my forehead, I stood up and sat on the tubs edge, letting the air dry me off. A lot of people dont meet outdoor hot tubs, but I preferred them to indoor ones. Nothing can match that temperature change.Once cooled, I sat back in the piddle, ready to repeat the process. I could have done this all wickedness and been perfectly happy.Id only been back in the water a few minutes when I heard a twig snap from somewhere nearby. It was like a bad-horror-movie clich?, butterrifying nonetheless. I shot out of the water, splashing everywhere, scrambling over the side as I heard a rustle of leaves and brush.Bastien I yelled, tally back into the house.He tore into the room, face pale and alarmed. Whats the matter?I backed away from the patio, pointing. Theres someone out there. Nothing could really hurt me, of course, but being immortal does not relieve a person of instinctual fear an d caution. Thered be time to feel embarrassed about girly behavior later.His eyes cut to the patio, and he moved outdoors without any hesitation to look around. My knight. I waited in the kitchen, dripping water onto the wood floor, my heart still thumping. He returned a few minutes later and shook his head.Theres nothing out there. You imagined it.No. It was there. I heard it.Then it was an animal. He suddenly smirked. Or maybe Reese acquiring a thrill.When I didnt laugh at the joke, he approached and pulled me to him, unconcerned about getting his clothes wet. My body trembled against his.Its all right, he murmured. Youre okay. Youre safe.He pulled off his blazer and wrapped it around me. It was too big, but it felt wonderful. I huddled against him, still too fazed to shape-shift some more substantial clothing on. accrue on, Fleur .You know Im here. You know I wont let anything happen to you.The animosity wed built from our fight went away, and suddenly we were back to normal agai n. He took me upstairs to his bedroom, still keeping his arm around me. I shape-shifted dry as we walked and turned back into my Georgina self. Changing into his usual shape as well, he pulled me down to the bed with him so my head rested on his chest.A lot of immortals dont understand the way incubi and succubi relate to each other. We tend to touch a lot, in ways that are pocket-sized but still intimate by most standards. Id been accused many times of being sexually involved with Bastien or someone else over the years. Yet the truth was that in all of our time together, he and I had never actually had anything romanticist happen. We were close, physically and emotionally, but that came from friendship, nothing more.Because honestly, when you spent most of your existence giving complete strangers access to your body, it seemed ill-considered not to enjoy physical bonding with those you actually cared about. And again, by physical bonding, I just meant small things, not even th ose that resulted in orgasm or a PG rating. Petting. Stroking. Massaging. Kissing here and there. They were all signs of closeness. We needed them, I think, to keep ourselves sane with the way we lived. And there was a certain comfort to knowing that in doing this, the other person got exactly the same thing in return. I could not have had such an equitable emotional relationship if Id sought a similar physical exchange with, say, Hugh or the vampires. It would have meant something different to them.Which was why I could lay there in Bastiens bed, half naked, with my body twisted around his. We laughed under the blankets, reminiscing about past times when we had to sleep in similar but less homelike ways. Ship cabins. Narrow boardinghouse beds. Campsites along country roads. Then too, wed huddled together for warmth and security.I ended up spending the all told night with him. He held me the entire time in as gentlemanly a way as Seth might have. But with Bastien, I didnt toss and turn with worry all night over what damage one careless touch might do. It was the best night of sleep Id had in weeks.When I returned home the next day, I called Seth and asked him if hed been at the bookstore yesterday. He verified that he had and that Doug had behaved himself.He was kind of goofy and chipper but nothing like that day.Good. I hope thats the end of it.There was an awkward pause, and then Seth asked, too casually Were you out again last night? I called you pretty late and didnt get an answer. Oh, yeah. I stayed at Bastiens all night.Oh.Silence.Its not what you think, I hastily assured him. We just slept. Perfectly platonic. Just likeYou and me?Silence.Nothing happened. Hes like a brother to me. Honest. Hes the last person you should be jealous of.Im not jealous. Not exactly. But if you say its nothing, then its nothing. I didnt mean to sound like I was accusing you of lying. I know you wouldnt do that.I thought about oral sex at the dance club and my bare bark pressed against Bastiens. I might not lie, but I didnt always tell Seth the whole truth either.A few days later, Seth and I went to another Nocturnal Admission concert. Doug and I had worked together all week in a civil manner, if not exactly a brotherly one. Seth picked me up at my place and again could only stare in wonder at my appearance. Id gone out hunting with Bastien last night against my better judgment and had taken another victim. The beguile hadnt quite diminished yet, and I would have looked hot even in a burlap bag. So, I suppose wearing the kind of dress I did was just outright mean. It was a little example of a dress in gray cotton jersey, with a ribbon threaded around it that trussed just under my breasts. The thin-strapped, V-necked top showed lots of cleavage the skirt hung soft and drapey to just above my knee. It was like a winter sundress.Seth put his mail around me and nuzzled my neck. You never fail to surprise me. I always think I know what to expect with you. Then I actually see you, andHe couldnt finish, but his eyes did it for him. They slid up and down my body, making my insides melt. Throw me on the bed and take me, I begged silently. Out loud I said, We should get going.At the concert, Nocturnal Admission performed as spectacularly as last time. Their following had increased, and people packed every square inch of the place. I had trouble seeing the stage but could hear every golden note.Fortunately, I got to see plenty of Doug later. The venue had let him use the place for another wild, post-concert party. Adoring women and several men clung flirtatiously to him and the other band members. Doug hugged me when he saw me, arranged for someone to make me a decent drink, and acted as though nothing had happened amidst us. I guessed I was glad to set aside the hard feelings, but now that I knew what to blame his behavior on, his bright and wild demeanor unnerved me.Casey showed up at one point, still looking a bit gaunt, b ut obviously on the mend. From across the room, I watched her tentatively approach Alec. Hed been talking to Wyatt the guitar player and turned to give her an obviously forced and fake smile. I couldnt hear the conversation, but the capacity came through loud and clear. She wanted to talk to him, to get his attention in some way, and he was blatantly snubbing her. I could see him shaking his head as she spoke, an almost desperate look on her face. Finally, he simply walked away, leaving her staring and upset.I want to go over there and punch him, I told Seth.No, you dont. Its their business, not yours.I turned on him. Damn it, Seth How can you always be so placid and nonconfrontational? Dont you stand up for anything?He regarded me coolly. If he was surprised or offended by my outburst, he didnt show it. I stand up for plenty of things. I just know when to pick my battles, thats all. So should you.You image he slept with her and then turned around and dropped her cold. He may have even used sinister ways to do it.Believe me, Im not condoning that, but Caseys got to be the one to say something. Otherwise, its just you making accusations and starting a scene.I scowled, half agreeing with him but still wishing I could help. feel around, I couldnt see her anymore, which was probably just as well. With any luck, shed gone home and would swear off the company of men for a while. Seth left for the bathroom, and almost the moment he was gone, Alec sidled up.Hey, Georgina. You look hot.Thanks, I said. I angled my body away, hoping hed get the signal I wasnt interested. He was lucky I didnt just turn around and deck him.Youre, like, the best-looking woman in here tonight.Whether that was actually true or not, I knew the life-force surplus made me the most attractive. There was a difference. Eyeing Alec, I suddenly toyed with the idea of returning his vamper and sleeping with him. I rather liked the idea of seeing him sprawled out unconscious and sick somewhere. Nah. On second thought, considering he was such a sleazebag, I probably wouldnt steal enough energy to do much more than wind him.You drinking those vodka gambits again? he asked, still pushing the act.Gimlets, I corrected.Well, the bar can make anything if you want something different. And theres weed everywhere. I think I saw Corey with acid too.This guy just couldnt stop trying to fuck women over. He didnt care how he did it. Seth showed up just then, and I turned to him with a dazzling smile.Nice talking to you Alec, I said breezily, taking Seths arm. fill you around.What was that about? asked Seth, once we were out of earshot.That asshole was trying to pick me up again. Right after turning away Casey. God, I hate him. He was trying the usual stuff too. Trying to push more drinks on me. Telling me how hot I was.Seth leaned his face toward mine. You are hot.Stop that. Youre giving me risible ideas.He continued holding me close. I really needed to wait two days before seeing him afte r a fix. forever wonder how far I could kiss you on the lips? he asked.What do you mean?Well, I can somewhat substantially kiss your cheek and neck, right? Your lips thoughwell, those have to be quick, brushing kind of kisses. Too much intensity and tongue with your mouth is right out. So, I figure there must be a middle ground.Have you been drinking?Just thinking, thats all.The rapture from my glow was reflected in his face. Forgetting about anyone we knew seeing us, I let him lean his mouth toward my own. Ever so gently, his lips touched mine. Not a family-type slip of a kiss, nor a saliva-exchanging deep kiss either. It was like a caress. His lips slowly stroked my lips, his tongue just barely tracing the contours of my mouth. Electricity ran from my head to my toes and tried to run back up again, but it got delayed between my legs. Seth stepped away.Anything bad happen?No, I breathed. But I think we need to conduct several repeat experiments, just to make sure.Suddenly, from ac ross the room, we heard whoops and cheers, followed by a terrific crashing sound and gasps of alarm. Without conscious communication, Seth and I moved as one to see what had happened.Doug lay in a heap on the floor in front of the stage, laughing hysterically. Whats going on? I asked Corey.His eyes were heavily dilated, and I remembered Alec saying the bass player had acid. Its a new Olympic sport. Stage-table High Jumps.Following his gaze, I saw a table set up on the stage. About fifteen feet away, on the floor by Doug, was an overturned table. I looked back and forth. Did he try to jump from that table to that one?Corey cackled. Sure did. Shit. He almost made it. Caught the edge on his way down.He could have broken his leg, muttered Seth in disgust. Or worse.Doug seemed to be okay. Some solicitous women in tight shirts were helping him stand. He caught my eye and laughed harder.Dont look so panicked, Kincaid. Im finebut if you want to make sure, you can come kiss me too and make i t all better.He winked at Seth, and others laughed with him, without knowing why. I was soon forgotten as more adoring people swarmed in. Seth and I retreated.What was he thinking? I fretted. I mean, hes always doing crazy acrobatic stuff on stage, but he had to have known he couldnt make that.If hes not thinking straight, theres no telling what he believes. Drugs,ll do that. Give you a sense of invincibility.I reminded myself to look up those drug names Cody had suggested. I didnt know if itd do any good, but itd at least make me think I was doing something.Hey, I exclaimed, drag Seth to an abrupt stop. Its him again.Who?That guy talking to Alec. The weird gothic, male-model-type guy.Seth followed my gesture. Way on the other side of the place, near the bar, Alec and the man Id seen at the earlier concert were having a heated argument. The GQ-poet guy looked stern and cold tonight, dampening his otherwise suave and polished looks. Alec had a pleading look. The drummer gesticulated frantically, his face desperate and frightened. The other man shook his head sternly, face unyielding. He waved a hand toward the crowd and then said something to Alec. Alecs face paled, and he once more turned into a pitiful supplicant. The other man shook his head yet again, then strode off.He didnt approach us exactly, but he had to move in our pleader to reach the exit. He was still a good fifty feet away and separated by walls of people when an odd, prickly feeling touched my skin. It was strange and discordant, yet sleek at the same time. It was almost like what Id felt around Doug and the band, except that had been unidentifiable. This was clearly a persons signature. It was linked to that man, pulsing with sentience. I choked out a strangled sound and quickly stepped back out of range. Pulling Seth with me, I threw my arms around him and kissed his neck.As I did, I watched out of the corner of my eye as the strange man froze and jerked his head around, looking out over the crowd. He had felt me too. His eyes passed over us several times, but we drew no especial focus. We were just another couple getting hot and heavy. I tensed, waiting for him to come closer and try to sense me again. Without knowing why, I didnt want him to find me. He scanned a bit longer before giving up and continuing his retreat.When he had left, I relaxed and leaned into Seth.What?That man that was talking to Alec, I said, still in shock. Hes an immortal.Seths eyebrows rose. Really? What kind? Angel? Demon?None of the above. Hes not one of mine.What do you mean not one of yours?Not all immortals are part of the enlightenment and hell system. There are a lot of other creatures walking the world nymphs, orisha, oniYou do realize youve just thrust me into a theological quandary likely to keep me awake at night for years, he joked. When I didnt answer, he turned serious. Okay. So what kind was he?I shook my head. Thats the thing. I dont know. I dont know what he was exactly.

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