Friday, March 8, 2019
Succubus Heat CHAPTER 4
Can I c either you?The Sorta-Seth-Looka c are lay naked in bed, still worn tabu even though hed bewilder hours ago. I s a wishd near the doorsill, fully dressed, slipping on my shoes. It turned break through he was actually here on business from Seattle, and hed been ecstatic to learn we lived in the same city.Mmm. I pursed my lips as though I were giving this a lot of thought. I dont return thats such a costly idea. actually? His brief, happy look faded. Hed turned out to be as under fire(predicate) and shy as I thought. I was only the second charr hed ever slept with. barely I felt indispensabilitywell, I felt homogeneous we really connected.I fixed him with a c white-haired look. That sm new(prenominal)ing rage from brave darkness no longer consumed me, merely I was still angry at the world and needed to lash out at any(prenominal) hot stroking I could. Our bodies connected. Thats about it. The truth is, I already encounter a boyfriend.His eyes widened. I realiz ed then I should take on mentivirtuosod having a boyfriend onward we had sex. It would drive doub lead his guilt and give me a stronger fix. Still, the agony he now felt over sleeping with aroun through with(p) elses girlfriend was un interrogativeedly balefulening his soul even as we spoke.R-really?Yup. Sorry. This was serious a way to pass the meter. And honestly, baby? You motivation rough feed put up? Youve still got a lot to learn. It really wasnt that great.I left earlier I could see the full effect of my words. It would hurt, I had no incertitude about that. Devastating him didnt really give way me feel better, but it had nippy me up enough so that I didnt contract to process any real emotions. I was numb, which was about the best I could hope for.Kristin was delay for me at a c take outee shop down the street so that she could drive me over to the cult leaders ingleside. Her mousy brown h send out was pulled up into a neat cut twist, and her crisp suit re minded me of something Grace or Mei might wear, save that this was navy as opposed to their public down in the mouth or-on daring long time-red. She drank what looked like a cappuccino and picked over the remains of a bagel, her eyes lost in thought as she no doubt pondered the coming days wheeling and dealing.I bought a white chocolate mocha and slid into the chair opposite her. Good morning, I said.She looked me over, noning the entrance. And a steady-going night?I shrugged. Okay night.You ready to meet the military of sin?Sure. I-wait. What did you as original?The Army of Darkness. Thats what the cult calls itself.They know thats a movie, right?She shook her head. Honestly, its dense to say. They may arrest named themselves later the movie, for all I know.This is so incorrect as to be unreal, I told her. It all sounds like a joke.If only, she muttered. guess me, Ill be glad when you rule rid of them. Aside from the fact that Cedric makes me pour forth to them, I piss to file a ream of paperwork each time they do something stupid. Its really stressing him out. I keep undertakeing to get him to do simpleness exercises, but he wont.Her tone sounded genuinely concerned, almost as though she worked for Cedric out of true loyalty, rather than the forced servitude the rest of us gesture to.Well, Ill see what I can do. Dont you guys live with a succubus up here? Why isnt she working this group over?Shes busy seducing the premier. Cedric didnt want her distracted.Whoa, I said. It had been centuries since Id had the initiative to go after a major politician. I feel like a slacker.Kristin cut me a look. Mostly I hear that youre a troublemaker.I like to venture Im just misunders to a faultd.She snorted. Were all misunderstood. You have no idea how many times people stress to mapping that as a reason to break their contracts.Between sadness Seth and being the target of Jeromes annoyance lately, Id had humble time to phone about much else. Kri stins words suddenly triggered a memory, one Id well-tried to keep buried for some time now.How many times do people try to break their contracts over an error?When Niphon had been here last winter, hed gone to great pains to complicate my life and get me recalled to Hell. Since hed been the one to trick me into selling my soul so long ago, I had people of reason to hate him. But why hed hate me and want to smash me? That had been-and still was-a mystery. Hugh had speculated that when an imp went to that much trouble to mess with their acquisition, there was ordinarily a reason-specifically, a potential problem with the original contract.My casual air didnt fool Kristin. You think there might be an error in yours?I kept my nonchalance. Hugh-my imp-thought there could be. But he wouldnt look it up. His refusal to swear out me still stung.Hes smart. Looking into others contracts can get us in lifesize trouble. The vaults of Hell are not a place you want to get caught snooping n igh in. It would take a lot to get an imp to guess that.I had no proof, but something told me that Kristin was older and higher-ranking than Hugh and that she might have more access than he did. I smiled bouquetly. What would it take for you to risk that? vigour you can offer. She flashed me a wry grin and slipped on sleek Oakley sunglasses. play along on. Lets get this over with.We ended up at a house out in suburban Vancouver. It was a lower middle-class area, not specially polished but not the kind of place you had to cephalalgia about getting mugged either. Kristin parked on the street and led me up the houses driveway, her heels clicking on the concrete. Along the sides of the yard, individual had recently planted marigolds and geraniums.She rang the doorbell, and a significance later, a man in his mid-twenties answered the door. He had messy black hair, like perhaps hed just woken up, and possessed the friendly, low-key feel of someone who worked at Home Depot or lap City.Hey, Kristin, he said, instance cheerful and blas?. Come on in.She stepped just inside the doorway, and I followed, crack the guy a friendly smile of my own. I cant stay, she told him crisply. Im just falling her off. Evan, this isKristin glanced at me, apparently waiting to see if I wanted to use my own name. I usually used different identities and shapes when seducing victims, but it didnt depend worth it for this.Georgina, I supplied.Georgina, said Kristin. This is Evan. He and I shook hands. Georginas one of the founders of a sister chapter in Seattle. Shes here to see how things are done and possibly form some connections between the groups. She tipped her head down, smell at him over the tops of her sunglasses. I want you to show her some(prenominal) courtesy and involve her in your activities. Its very important.He nodded, still looking mild and pleasant-but a little nervous at the strictness in her voice. Absolutely. Cedric had said Evan knew Kristin was a powe r player on Team Evil, and he clearly seemed to respect her. She supposedly didnt have the people skills to deal with this group, but from the way Evan regarded her, it didnt seem like itd take much to get his financial aid.To me, Kristin said, send for a cab when youre done. Well expense it.With that, she headed back out to her car, leaving me with the asseverate general of the Army of Darkness.You want anything to subscribe? he asked, stifling a yawn. Ive got some RC in the fridge.No, thanks. Im just anxious to learn how you do things up here.He grinned. Sure. I should probably show you the temple first.I glanced nigh, fetching in the flowered sofa and grandfather clock. Temple?Yeah, its in the basement. You sure you dont want something to drink? There was nothing I wanted to drink that was under 80 proof, so I declined once again.He led me down some rickety steps, pulling a chain at the bottom that turned on a bare lightbulb. We stood in an scanty basement with rough cemen t floors and brick walls. Fold-up chairs were arranged in a hemicycle around a low bookcase about as high as my waist. On top of the case was a propped up painting with an angels black silhouette set against a gray and purple nebula. It looked like it had strike straight off a sci-fi novels cover. Half-burned red and black candles were scattered around the painting, along with an inverted cross. Off to the side of the room, more candles sat on top of a washer and dryer. Evan walked over to a light append and turned it on. White Christmas lights twinkled to life on the brick walls.Wow, I said. My astonishment was not faked.We arent finished setting up here, he said modestly. We have to interpolate our location a lot to avoid discovery. You know how it is. So, theres still some stuff we need to unpack. He pointed over to a cardboard disaster in the corner. I couldnt see all of its contents, but I did make out a black feather boa and a radiate-in-the-dark waxy skull. On the side of the box, black marker succinctly declared temple STUFF .I counted the chairs. Fifteen. How many members do you have? I asked.well-nigh a dozen. A little less than that that are truly active. He sat down in one of the chairs and gestured for me to do the same.And how long have you been meeting?Oh, about a year now.I smiled, turning on the charm in an effort to not sound like an investigative reporter. Ive hear about some of the things youve done. Pretty impressive. Like the Bibles and the, um, spray paint.He beamed at the praise. You heard about that? Cool. We do as the apotheosis of Darkness directs us.What other things have you been directed to do?Well, there was the one time this Methodist church was having an ice cream social. We broke in advancings and left all their ice cream outside the freezer to melt.Uh-huh.Then, this other time, we went to the petting zoo and hung pentagram collars on all the goats. We also create their horns red and black. Let me tell you, that wa snt easy. They dont like to stand still.Uh-huh.Oh, and then we do all the TVs show Rosemarys Baby .Uh-TVs?Yeah, I work at Circuit City, and we have these crowing walls of TVs, so I synced them all up. My boss neer suspected who did it.On and on the litany went. About ten minutes later, I interrupted, unable to listen to any more. Look, Evan, this is really amazing stuff youve been doing. I mean, this is stuff my people in Seattle would never, ever dream of doing in a million years.Really? he asked happily.Really, I said flatly. But, although it makes a big statement, wouldnt it be more in line with the, uh, Angels purposes to work on securing souls for him?Her, throw by reversal Evan.Her. Right. Lucifer, Satan, the Devil, whatever. There were lots of names for what humans regarded as the supreme entity of evil, and Id heard tons over the years. Considering the popular idea of Lucifer being a fallen angel, this Angel of Darkness thing didnt surprise me, but the female part did. Sorry, I told him. We know the Angel as male.Its okay, he replied. The Angel is all things to all people.Right. So, anyway, I mean, the ultimate goal is to convert as many people to her as possible, right? To lead them down the leftfield path. It doesnt seem like melting ice cream would do that-not that that isnt cool, I added hastily. Im just question if you should be more focused on leaders people into temptation instead.Evan didnt seem bothered by my criticism in the least. Maybe thats what your group is directed to do. But this is what ours is supposed to do. We all go different purposes in the greater plan.I was sure I had an stiff look on my face, so I tried to shift back to the alluring, seductive mode that had landed me this job in the first place. for sure it couldnt be that difficult to sway him, particularly considering how fresh my succubus glamour was. Reaching out, I took his hand and delicately stroked it with my fingers.Youre doing amazing things, I reiterated , locomote closer. Really amazing. But maybe its time to move on to the following(a) level, to truly bring darkness to the world.His eyes studied my hand for a moment, then looked back up. His breath caught as the full effect of my glow enchanted him. He swallowed nervously. Perhaps. But not now. This is our purpose for the time being. entirely because you havent tried something else. Maybe thats why Im here, why the Angel sent me to poke out your influence. I leaned my face close to his, lips only inches away from the side of his face. I can teach you things. All sorts of things.Zealous or no, I was in spades affecting him. He took another mysterious breath, trying to steady himself. Were already doing what the Angel wants.I ran my lips across his check, letting my tongue flick out. are you sure? Let me show you how we honor the AngelHe shot up abruptly and put his back to me. After several deep breaths-honestly, he was in danger of hyperventilating-he turned around to look at me. Warring desires danced in his eyes. He still had that crazy yes-man enthusiast look, but he also looked like he was already project me naked. It was intriguing that his devotion to a largely fictitious entity could stand up to my charms, but religious fanatics had a history of being tenacious. Youre verysweet, he said at last. Very. But I cant-we cant. I mean, this is what we do. What the Army does. We cant change that, not without talking to the others.Progress. I kept the smile turned on, wondering if I should keep pushing on him now or try to enthrall the whole group. I opted for the latter, largely because I could think of a couple of(prenominal) things more unarousing than having sex on the black Ozzy Osbourne plush rug on the floor. Especially if Evan decided to turn on any black lights. Of course, I purred. When can I meet them?He raked a hand through his hair, still a little hot and bothered. Wellyou should come to our attached meeting. Its Saturday at ten a.m. Over at the big Tim Hortons on Broadway.Okay, Ill be- I blinked, my sultry faade faltering. Did you say Tim Hortons?He recovered himself and returned to his upbeat nature. Oh, yeah. You guys dont have them, do you? Theyre these donut shops and-No, I know what they are. Im just surprised, thats all. Aside from look like a mundane place for a Satanists meeting, Canadians going to Tim Hortons was like the biggest stereotype ever.Are you kidding? Their coffees the best.I left after that, my head reeling. These werent Satanists. These were frat boys doing hazing pranks. They probably smashed beer cans on their foreheads at their dark ceremonies.Kristin wasnt at her desk when I returned to Cedrics office across town. Presumably she was off doing imp things. Or maybe she was at lunch. His door was closed, making me think he must be busy, but honestly, I didnt have time to pay much attention to that. Something else immediately caught my attention.There was a demoness in his waiting room.A ful l-fledged archdemoness, actually. I recognized her, even though wed never formally met. Nanette, Portlands archdemoness.Hi, I said, too stunned for much more than that. I might mouthpiece Jerome, but other demons were an entirely different matter.She glanced up from her magazine like shed just noticed me, though I knew shed sensed me long before this. Hello. Georgina, right?I nodded, wondering if I should shake her hand or something. She didnt seem like she was keen to get up, so I simply sat in another chair. Why was Portlands archdemoness waiting to see Cedric? And why was she waiting, period? That wasnt in satanic nature at all. They were too impatient.Nanette wore a short, peach-colored shift dress that showed off long, shapely legs. Her blond hair cut out just over her shoulders, smooth and sleek from a flat iron-or, well, from demonic magic. She was beautiful, but it was edged in the cold fierceness demons so a lot had, like the way a cobra or a katana is beautiful.I was nt panicked to talk to people. Striking up conversation was part of what I did. But I wasnt entirely sure what to say to her. Demons were prickly about how they interacted with lesser immortals. Some were quite snobby about it. I didnt know too much about Nanette or how she might react. I knew she was less sinewy than Jerome and that the two didnt have much contact. Id never heard of her being particularly bitchy or trigger-happy, so I took that as a good sign.My concerns about what to say were put to rest when she spoke first.Boy, she said. I wouldnt want to be you for the world.I-I beg your pardon?This. She gestured toward Cedrics closed door with a French manicured hand. All of this. I presume youve been out to see his little Army of the Night?Darkness, I corrected. Army of Darkness.Whatever. Those nuisances. Jerome sent you here to help because Cedric wanted an infiltrator?Something like that. I wondered how this news had spread so fast.Nanette shook her head in mock sympathy. Youre going to be the one to take the fall if something goes wrong. If things go bad between Jerome and Cedric or if that cult wont play ballwell, like I said, I wouldnt want to be you. Youre being compete from both angle and dont even realize it.Whats there to play? I just got here. And I dont see how things can go wrong, I said slowly. I mean, this group just does stupid stunts. I recalled how even a little seduction had affected Evan. If Id started stripping on the Ozzy rug, I was certain he wouldnt have been able to hold back. Theyre no real threat to Cedric, and I dont think theyre going to be that hard to rein in. And as for him and JeromeI mean, they patched up their differences already, right?Come now. Youre what, a millennium old? Millennium and a half? So young. She smiled. Georgina, demons never settle their differences. stock-still you should know that. Do you really think things are stable around here? With the way Cedrics let this cult run wild? And after the way J eromes barely been able to keep make in Seattle?I thought about Jerome booting me to Canada in less than twenty-four hours. Jerome seems like hes got control to me.She uncrossed her legs and leaned forward, blue eyes gleaming. Jerome has had three nephilim in his territory in the last six months. Three. Do you know how unheard of that is? Im guessing youd never even run into a nephilim your entire life before this. not in all those years.No, I admitted.Nephilim were the children of humans and angels-well, angels who had fallen and were now demons, seeing as having kids was a breach of Heavens employment agreement. Considered abominations by both good and evil alike, nephilim were the scourge of the immortal world. They had a lot of power and were wee off at the way greater immortals treated them. They were unruly, destructive, and given to putting to death sprees.Jerome had actually fathered two nephilim, twins who were among the three Nanette was referring to. One of them, Roman , had been my boyfriend for a bit while he secretly wiped out immortals on the side. Id been submissive in his undoing-something I was certain he was still pissed off about, particularly since it had resulted in the death of his sister. We hadnt seen Roman since then. Shortly thereafter, a nephilim named Vincent had come to Seattle, following an angel he loved. Vincent was actually a very sweet nephilim, though I wasnt sure how kind he was feeling these days since Heaven had kicked out his girlfriend when she killed another angel to save him. Vincent too had disappeared.Three nephilim, repeated Nanette. And two got away. Sloppy, very sloppy.It wasnt Jeromes fault, I said loyally, a bit unsure how youd even assign blame in that situation. It had never occurred to me that our unexpected visitors could be seen as a sign of Jeromes weakness or his inadequacy as archdemon. The angels could have done something. Its their territory too.Not in the eyes of our superiors, she said slyly.I fr owned, losing a bit of my timidity. With all repayable respect, what are you doing here?Her smile grew. What do you think? I have two demons in my backyard who are in an arms race. Both are getting attention from demons outside the Northwest. I didnt like the sound of that and recalled Cedric affirming as much. You think I want to be involved in that? You think I want to be played the way everyones playing you? My territorys small, and Im weaker than both Jerome and Cedric. I dont want them to decide to annex Portland while they play their cosmic game of Risk. I want them to leave me alone. Her voice was hard, but I heard a bit of worry in there too, and I realized what was going on.Youre here to I considered suck up or beg but thought better of it. negotiate with Cedric. For protection. To keep you out of it.Nanette looked away, unwilling to acknowledge this in front of a succubus. Just then, the door opened and Cedric stepped out. He glanced around. Kristins still gone? I wish sh ed charge up and bring back those donuts.Tim Hortons? I guessed.He gave me an incredulous look. Of course. He turned to Nanette. Shed stood up, and he kissed her hand in a polite, antiquated way. Sorry. sound call with Tech Support. You know how that is. To me he said, Well talk later.I took it as a bad sign that he said later and not soon. Settling into my chair, I braced myself for patience. Ten magazines later, Cedric opened the door again. Nanette was nowhere in sight, so I presumed she must have teleported back to Portland.I took my same chair in Cedrics office, noting that his screen showed Match. com rather than Wikipedia today. When he cut what I was looking at, he hastily minimized his Web browser.So, what have you found out?I gave him a report of my morning with Evan. Theyre ridiculous, I declared as my final assessment.I already knew that, he said. You think you can put an end to this? Soon? The impatient sound in his voice made me wonder if hed expected me to cinch thi ngs up already.I thought about it. Yeah, pretty sure I can as soon as I meet the others. This guy looked like he might crack on his own. But I wont see them until Saturday.Cedric tipped back in his chair, face thoughtful. All right. They probably wont do anything before then anyway. Go to their meeting and work over the rest of them. In the meantime, you might as well head back home.I straightened up in my chair. Really?He shrugged. No point in you viscous around unless you want to sightsee. Just come back Saturday.But I hesitated. Jerome sent me here because he was mad and didnt want to deal with me. If I go back and he doesnt want me thereCedric snapped his chair forward and sat up. He can take it up with me. Ill tell him I didnt want you here either. There was something mischievous in his eyes, like he almost hoped Jerome might pick a fight. Uneasily, I remembered Nanettes words. Youre being played from every angle and dont even realize it.Okay, I said finally. Thanks.Cedric gla nced toward the door, his facial expression lightening. Ah, Kristins back. A few moments later, I sensed the imps signature as well. I stood up, and he gestured me to the door with a smile. Have a good drive. And snaffle a donut on your way out.