Nov 04 2014

A Review of Spellbound by Marcus Atley

Spellbound by Marcus Atley

Spellbound by Marcus Atley

Possibly the hardest thing to manage is to be able to trust in someone. Right next to that is the ability to be able to see the worth in one’s self. Both are very fragile things which can be lost, or found, in the blink of an eye. The battle to have both of these is never easy, never simple and many times the battle is held within and to keep that hidden away becomes something all consuming.

When do you stop fighting for the sake of it and instead try to see what which has been there in front of you all of the time? Sometimes that takes more than a leap of faith. It takes an intervention, a struggle, and, finally, a reason to change.

  • Title: Spellbound
  • Author: Marcus Atley
  • Length: 199 Pages
  • ASIN: B00O92Q3A6
  • Publishing Date: October 6, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

In the realm of Hesian there is Stavros, a detective who has made a name for himself as a dangerous, short-fused cambion; a child of an incubus and a human. Stavros neither wants nor needs a partner, but when the option is taken from him he is left with Elion, a young, cocky elf that knows exactly how to get under his skin.

Exhausted with the butting heads and heated exchanges between the two detectives, the Warden of the Force, Mikhail, takes matters into his own hands; leaving Stavros and Elion bound through magic until their lesson is learned.

With mounting pressures,egos, and jaded pasts hindering them, the two seemingly opposite partners come to realize that maybe the fire that burns between them isn’t solely fueled by disdain, but by something more powerful than anything they will be forced to overcome.

Stavros is part-Incubus, all detective, and very good at his job. But he is also coiled up like a spring, ready to lash out at any moment, and that has caused some issues. Enter Elion, an elf that has heard all of the stories about Stavros, the legends as well, and finds he is attracted. But he’s also frustrated to no end with Stavros’ attitude. After they come to blows and have no choice but to work together intimately a threat appears which will take its toll on them both and leave scars that might never be healed.

The story tells a really involved story about relationships, not just that between Stavros and Elion, but as well echoes of both of their pasts that matter very much as the story is told. The weaving of their past comes at some surprising moments in the story, but in a way that doesn’t really feel like an info dump which I appreciated. The tales told by them both aren’t forced or seem to be wooden, there is a lot of heart, passion, grief and, in a way, this gives a means for the story to develop further than it otherwise would if the past had been told in flashbacks or a similar means.

The work is a mix of detective and fantasy with a lot of sexual tension mixed in. While that is ever present, for the most part it doesn’t overwhelm what is, as a whole, a well written story that tells a captivating tale about two tortured souls trying to deal with their pasts and their futures. There is, of course, struggles, fights, and some real conflict, but there is also the hints of something better and that kept my attention throughout the work.

Stavros is part-Incubus, to be specific, he is a Cambion, and as such he does not have the appearance of horns or tails or really much that marks him as being one save that he is very handsome and, of course, others are very attracted to him. But there is clearly much internal struggle within him about his nature and discovering what that is, why it is there, and what it means to the story as a whole comes to mean a lot by the time that the reveals begin, the climax arrives, and the truth is stripped bare.

I think, overall that Elion’s story is actually the most involved, well told, and detailed when compared to what is told about Stavros. There is much about Elion that isn’t really out in the open at the beginning of the story, but as things change, as their relationship changes, there is a lot of heartache and heartbreak in Elion’s story as well. The two are really peas in a pod, having their own battles to fight, to struggle against, and, at times, with each other as well.

There is some lovely humour in the work, Elion’s mother especially made me laugh when she appeared and that did bring some really needed joy to the story in the darkest part. There are also some moments which feel like they were taken from a “buddy-cop” drama or film, but they weren’t stereotypical, out of place, or wrong. The personalities of Elion and Stavros are very strong, very clear and passionate in their own ways. It’s those personalities that drive the story and when they come into conflict it is a strong one, but when there is understanding the moments are just as strongly felt and matter more.

As much as I liked the story, the author needs one more editing pass on this work. There are several points where “too” is used instead of “to” and as well some other similar sounding words are misused as well. Particularly bothersome for me was the used of “passed” for “past” which happened many times.

That’s very much a shame because the plot, the characters, and the, at times, quirkiness of the players in this work really makes this something special as a supernatural detective story. The work closes on a cute ending that I enjoyed and felt very true to both Stavros and Elion and while there was a bit of silliness that broke into that ending it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the work.

Four out of five pitchforks.

A story about trust, understanding and possibly the hardest thing to do. To be able to say words that one has never been able to say…. truly. A wonderful captivating story that has a lot of promise within its pages. It would be nice to see where the story goes from here.

 

Tera

Nov 03 2014

Storm Clouds 211 by TeraS

Beginning Chapter 38 with Nina and Tom… Camilla will appear… shortly… Eventually… Mostly…

For those that would like to read Storm Clouds from the beginning, you can click this link, and it will take you to the page where all of the previous chapters can be found.

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Storm Clouds 211
Chapter 36
By TeraS

 

Time passed ever so slowly in the room. Someone who concentrated might be able to follow the dust motes as they floated here and there among the bookcases, tables, and chairs. Someone not so inclined to watch them might be held by the image of a woman straddling a man on one of the chairs, her fingers laced into his hair and their lips crushed together in a deep kiss.

One might also notice that neither of them were moving. But there was one other in the room who was. She was stalking back and forth, her long, red, heart-tipped tail swaying pensively as she walked, her eyes scanning intently from the carpet below her to the two intertwined and then back again as she paced.

Out of what some might mistake for frustration or impatience, she would tuck a wayward lock of hair back behind one of her ears from time to time. In fact, it was neither of those emotions, but rather her pondering over what she knew and understood …

… and when Tera, the Queen of the Succubi, put a puzzle together and the pieces fit? That spelt issues for someone.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a familiar presence entering the apartment building, so her pacing came to a stop and a warm smile played upon her lips. She had been wondering when he was going to appear, and it seemed that this moment was the one that mattered.

His timing, as always, was impeccable. But then, he was especially attuned to her.

Counting to twelve, Tera walked over to the apartment door and then waited another three beats before opening the door and looking out into the hallway. The elevator dinged, the doors opened and she waved to the one standing there, his hands quite full. “Coming! Just a moment, my heart!”

The man in the elevator, who Thomas would recognize as the pastor from the funeral he attended not so long ago, nodded his head in lieu of a wave: “All fine, Dear One. I’ll manage.”

Quickly making her way down the hall, Tera replied: “Manners will not allow that, you know. At least allow me to be of some use?”

He chuckled: “We’ve talked about this before, Dear One. You sell yourself short. You are more than useful and, one of these days, you’ll see that.”

She scrunched up her nose as she took a small bag from under his arm: “Family trait, you know.”

He nodded once: “Yes … quite so.”

Moving to walk beside him, she slipped her arm with his and they moved towards John’s apartment. As they walked, they slipped into the banter they always shared.

“I’m sorry for being late.”

“Not late. You are exactly on time, as always.”

“How are you managing, Dear One?”

“Oh … managing, my heart.” Of course, she didn’t want to worry him.

“I see.” Of course, he saw right through that.

The next words that passed between them were ones that each knew didn’t need to be said, for they had known each other, it seemed, forever. Tera’s heart would always be so, as would she for him as his Dear One. That was just how things were, and nothing in the universes could change that fact. After they entered John’s apartment, he handed her one of the styrofoam cups he held. As he closed the door he asked: “And where is your Eternal, Dear One?”

Tera smiled as she traced a fingertip around the rim of the styrofoam cup: “Oh, he’s off and about looking after something.” She looked at him and nodded once: “But he is with me and I am with him.”

The look he gave her was somewhere between understanding and trepidation: “Of course. That was not my concern.”

Her finger stopped moving as she tilted her head to the left: “But you are concerned.”

He nodded, taking the lid off his tea: “I am worried about you, Dear One. You are troubled, have been for some time. I can see it in your eyes … your Eternal and I are the only ones that possibly could have seen it, of course, but it is there.”

Tera was silent for a time, then admitted: “I think the Dark has been messing with things it should not. So I am … hoping … to fix that damage.”

“I see. And the two over there?”

“They are the thing that needs to be made right once more.”

He took a sip of his tea: “Playing matchmaker, Dear One?”

She took the lid off her own tea: “Oh those two are matched, my heart. I’m just trying to set things right once more.”

“Dear One, are you sure you are doing the right thing, or are you possibly … inadvertently … just maybe … doing the Dark’s own work for it?”

Tera paused, her tea almost to her lips: “Memories have been changed, my heart. The reason for that I do not know. Yet the Dark has altered the memories of some of the succubi. It has also changed the memories of innocents. It is trying to set something up to Its benefit. Jane is one of them. John, the dear man she is with at the moment, is the other.”

“Are you sure?”

Tera’s tail moved slowly behind her: “I know Eternals when I see them, my heart. In that I am sure. What happens after that is in their hands.”

“Which means we wait.”

“You need not have to, my heart. I’ll wait.”

He winked: “And have you talking to yourself? I shudder to think what your dear Tail will have to say about that.”

Tera smiled a warm, knowing smile: “You are, of course, quite right, my heart.”

He walked over to the couch and settled in: “What would you like to talk about while we wait?”

Tera took a spot on the other end of the couch, curling her legs underneath her as she did: “I have a theory … more of a thought, perhaps.”

He looked at his tea: “Why do I have the feeling, Dear One, that we’ll need more tea?”

She laughed: “Because that is how it always works when we chat, my heart. And, next time, I will bring the pie to share.”

He tipped his cup towards her: “So. Tell me what’s bothering you.”

She tilted her head to the right: “There is quite a lot that is bothering me. To be truthful, there has been for some time. I think that the time which the Dark has spent in trying to get into the Realm has made it desperate for some kind of success.”

He furrowed his brow: “It is a persistent entity; that much is obvious. And yes, your … resistance … has been a thorn in Its side.” The innocent look she gave in reply just made him chuckle as he sipped his tea, waiting for her to continue.

She considered the cup she held, then continued: “To be honest, it’s been a bother to me as well, in more ways than one, but we won’t dwell on that part of the story, as we’ll come back to that a bit later to try and tie the threads together.”

“Which means we start with … ?”

“We start with the question of what, exactly, is It intending to do with the tail that is missing.”

“You assume she is being held?”

“I know she is being held. I am just not sure exactly where she is at this moment. I know that she is nearby … somewhere … but otherwise I am not sure where. I sense she is trapped or bound in some way. That means It must have a plan for her. Whether by influencing her, forcing something upon her, or other means, It has but one goal, and having a Tail would give It something It never had before.”

He nodded: “A key.”

“Yes. There are only a few entries into the Realm for those not …” She paused here, considering her next words, worrying that “like us” would sound more than a bit conceited, but he finished the thought for her.

“… like you, Dear One. I know better—we know better—and you need to keep that in mind.”

She nodded in reply: “Of course. Like us, my heart. There are some with that key. Some others, like you, are offered a pass to the Realm, at the right time for the right reason. But all of us, even myself, have to pass by the gates, all of them, before stepping foot in the Realm.”

He smiled: “And, of course, that final gate, the one that none shall pass without permission, is the last bastion.”

She sighed, wistfully: “Yes. But we won’t dwell on that point, my heart. Let’s try and keep focus on our missing tail for the moment.”

He gave a sidelong look at the pair on the chair as he wondered: “Can I assume that they are both part of the story?”

“Quite so. She is the sister of the one whose tail is held, obviously. He is, I am sure, her Eternal. When we had the funeral, it struck me that she was there, but he was not. The question then was … “Why?” Speaking with her afterwards, it was clear that the Dark did something to her, and, I think, vice versa.”

“So, you have two souls no longer connected together.”

“Yes, but that’s just where it begins. She, our dear Jane, is impulsive, quick to anger, and more importantly, would do anything to have revenge for her sister’s passing. What would she do if she believed that her only family, the only one she loved, was gone?”

He shook his head: “Oh, I have a good idea. There was something wrong about her; I had chalked it up to grief and did not push her. I should have.”

She set her cup down on a small side table, some worry in her eyes as she looked at him: “No guilt, my heart—not for either of us. There was enough grief to go around for everyone. We both missed it, but we are both now aware.”

He allowed those words but replied: “Then I expect you not to have guilt, either. It is not becoming of you. Queen or not, it is not becoming of you or your soul, and I will not allow it.”

She laced her fingers together, placing them in her lap: “The guilt I think I have dealt with. It was slowly turning into anger … or it was until Jane came back and I saw she had a problem. That problem made it clear that there was a … discrepancy that needed to be repaired.”

He considered his tea: “Now that your anger is gone, Dear One, you need to keep it away … the Dark is counting on using it against you.”

She looked towards Jane and John: “Something happened in the two weeks that she was out of touch. When she came back, she claimed to have been overseas for some time, but that made little sense, as they were inseparable. There was something missing in Jane. Again, it seemed like the loss of her sister was the answer, but it goes further than that. He was missing. They were missing.”

“So, that’s when you put Tom and Camilla onto things?”

She nodded and picked up her tea again, taking a sip: “There was something that happened in the world here, driven by forces bound to rules that apply here. Something else happened outside of this world, where other rules apply. Having the two of them dealing with this will give me a new perspective on what It wants.”

He chuckled: “There’s something more, Dear One.”

She smiled over the rim of her cup: “Perhaps … perhaps not. We shall see.”

He raised his cup in reply: “Yes. We shall. But the story isn’t over yet. You are holding back a few things. I can tell.”

She paused, just before taking a sip: “Two things: All four of them are connected to what happened. Two of them are what It has focused upon.”

He frowned: “So they are all at risk. But which two are the ones It has focused on?”

Tera’s tail pointed at Jane: “She is one, obviously. I believe that Thomas is the other. They both have suffered great losses. They can both be influenced by It making an appeal to their darker emotions.”

“What happens when one … or the other … or both … is freed?”

“That, my heart, is what I am intending to find out with Jane.”

“And Tom?”

She sighed: “I am trusting that his belief in doing good is strong. Camilla will help in that. So will Nina … assuming that Thomas will let them in to help.”

He considered her words, then asked: “But what about our missing tail? How does she fit into this?”

Tera looked into her cup as if reading tea leaves, though there were none: “What would one do if one could bring a lost love back? What would one give up? What would happen when the truth was revealed?”

“That, I think, would depend on the truth, would it not?”

She looked up: “Yes. Yes it would.” Then she looked back down at her cup once more.

He sighed: “Dear One, it does you no good to keep things bottled up inside you, nor can you get them past me without me noticing.”

“There are two problems with sharing the truth in this case, my heart. One is that the truth will not set anyone free. The harm in the truth being known would only play into It’s hands. The truth I speak of is meant for one soul only and it is one that I do not have the right to share.”

“If not you, then who?”

Tera looked at him: “The one that cannot speak.”

She stood and began to walk around the room, still holding the cup in her hands: “The second reason for not sharing is that I may—and yes, I know this sounds impossible—I may be completely wrong about what I believe the truth to be.”

He leaned back in his chair, a small twinkle in his eye: “You, Dear One? Wrong? If so, I do believe I will have to check on whether the laws of the universe have been changed recently.”

Tera laughed softly: “I’ve been wrong many times, my heart. The thing is that I hide those mistakes well enough that they are not seen for the mistakes they are.”

“You are avoiding the point, Dear One. It isn’t that you are wrong nearly as often as you believe … except when you think you are hiding these things from your Eternal or me. It is that you are far too hard on yourself when those around you are hurt. You make it your focus to deal with that, to take it upon yourself. Sometimes, you do have to allow others to stumble.”

A sigh, quite a long one: “Cannot do that, my heart. Call it … a very deep fault. Perhaps it is the one that the Dark has figured on to be how it wins the war.”

He placed his cup on the table and then walked over to her. Resting a hand on Tera’s shoulder he explained: “It is not a fault to care. We have talked about this many times before. It is a fault to take on too many things, to not share with others who can help with the burdens. And I would bet my socks that this is exactly what the Dark will use to defeat you.”

Tera patted his hand lightly: “As you know, that sharing is something not easily done.”

He smiled: “True … for both of us. Now, there are plans to be made, and in this case, Dear One, your heart is going to help.”

She began to shake her head, to refuse. She couldn’t possibly allow him to do so.

“Ah! I am sorry, but no, Dear One. There is no getting out of this. You need more help than what you have now, and if you don’t let me help you, then I will go on my own. So please, tell me what you have in mind next.”

“You really will not like it my heart; not at all.”

“I’ll be the judge of that, Dear One.”

Ten minutes later found Tera sitting on the couch, rolling her cup between her hands and looking at him as he paced back and forth as she had been before he arrived. She had explained her plans, what she intended to do and what the cost would be.

He finally stopped pacing and looked at her: “I do not like this at all, Dear One.”

“I did warn you.”

“So you did. It is a dangerous plan. It can go wrong at any of a dozen turns. Worse, if it does go wrong, then the Realm is lost. However …”

“However?”

He furrowed his brow: “However, misquoting Einstein, ‘I, at any rate, am convinced that you do not throw dice.’”

She was puzzled; the twist in her tail, which he knew well, spoke to her thoughts as much as any words would: “Meaning what, exactly?”

“Meaning that, though your plans appear to be risky, somehow you have a fairly good idea that it will turn out well.”

She traced a finger against her lips, as if sealing them, a thin smile there as she did so.

“But what is missing from this equation is that you are not going in alone. I won’t have it. You would risk yourself to save the Realm. Someone needs to be there who will risk the universe to save you.”

She looked him in the eye: “I worry that I may have to do something of which you do not approve, something that would disappoint you.”

He didn’t waver: “You could never disappoint me, Dear One. Never. And I will stand beside you no matter what … including no matter if you tell me not to.”

She opened her mouth to speak … but then closed it, smiling.

He smiled back and nodded once: “Did you ever meet Einstein in your travels, Dear One?”

“Yes. I was fortunate to hear him play the violin once. His connection with music was … breathtaking. Even if he didn’t see his talents for all that they were.”

He chuckled as he took the other end of the couch once more: “Your words remind me of a certain red tail that I know who has the same problem. She needs to see that in herself every now and again.”

She tilted her head to the right: “I have no idea what you mean, my heart.”

He shook his head: “Yes, Dear One. Of course you do.”

 

Storm Clouds
Chapter 37
By TeraS

 

Billy wasn’t sure if Donna actually had to go and visit every single person in the building. Actually he wasn’t sure if they actually did visit them all or not, but there were a lot of people that she had introduced him to, and he knew there was no possible way he was going to remember all of their names. Funny thing was, the only name that he wanted to remember was Donna’s. He wasn’t sure why it mattered so much, but he was bound and determined not to forget.

He always hated going around with his father and meeting with people that mattered to their business, or to his father. They always treated him as if he was being tolerated, and they were always formal and cold, seeming like they only did so in order to not offend his father.

Donna’s co-workers weren’t like that. He wasn’t sure if they were always that interested in other people, or if they were now only because he was with Donna, or because he was helping deliver the coffee and donuts. Whatever the reason, there wasn’t one person that he met who didn’t greet him warmly. The hugs from the women were embarrassing, but Billy managed to get through that without making a fool of himself. Even the men weren’t trying to break his hand during the many handshakes, which is what normally happened to Billy. They treated him as an equal—which, again, was something that didn’t usually happen for him.

Billy, being overwhelmed as he was by what was happening, didn’t notice the look that Donna gave each person that he was introduced to. The look was, if one was paying attention, almost pleading for approval.

By the time the tour ended, he figured that he certainly must have met everyone in the building. As they passed by an office on the upper floor, he noticed Donna frown, just a little, and that bothered him. “What’s up?”

“Oh. I was hoping you might meet my …” The pause was very noticeable, even for Billy, and he was about to ask about that when Donna continued: “… boss. Her name’s Tera.”

Billy was still bothered about the pause: “Don’t like her?”

Donna shook her head, her short platinum blond hair moving in an odd wave, which Billy found very interesting: “Oh gosh no! I love her bunches!”

Her answer brought Billy up short. She didn’t seem like the kind of lady that would use the words “gosh” and “bunches.” For some reason, he felt she was putting on a show or something. “Really?”

Donna stopped and turned to look at Billy. She placed her right hand on his chest and explained: “She’s wonderful, Billy. She’s done so much for me. I owe her a lot, and I’ll never be able to repay her.”

He looked at her hand, then into her eyes: “Lots of people tell me that, but they do it ‘cause they fear the people they work for.”

Donna scrunched up her nose, which Billy thought made her look awfully cute: “Not me. I love Tera like a sister. We’re all …” Again she paused, which was odd, but then she continued: “… a family. I know that sounds weird, but that’s the only way I can explain it.”

Billy had come to the conclusion that there was something odd about the place where Donna worked. There was something odd, but what it was, in the end, didn’t seem to matter as much as meeting Donna did, so Billy nodded: “’kay. I can see that. This place is kinda’ weird, but if that’s how you think about things, then … ‘kay.”

Donna smiled, and Billy thought that it was a good thing to see her smiling.

After going down a flight of stairs that took them past the Receptionist—and Billy still found himself not wanting to make her mad—Donna led him down a hallway that he was sure they hadn’t been through before. He actually wasn’t even sure if the hallway had been there when they had entered the place and first met the Receptionist. This place was built weirdly, and he had been turned around so many times that he wasn’t sure what direction he was facing. Not that it mattered that much: he was fine with walking with Donna and talking to her, anyway. But he had expected to arrive in what Donna had called the “Lounge,’ and, as they walked, he worried about making a mess there. This building was amazingly well kept and clean, and he just knew that he would drop something somehow and make a mess somewhere. Luckily, he thought, that hadn’t happened so far. So it was a surprise when she opened a door and he found that that the Lounge wasn’t their destination.

Instead, the opened door revealed what looked like a neatly kept lunch room, large enough for a dozen or more diners, with a big picture window to one side that looked out over what seemed to be the backyard of the place. Though Billy wasn’t exactly sure how it was that so many trees would be there.

“After you, Billy.”

He shook his head: “Sorry. Manners say that it’s ladies first.”

Donna smiled: “How about together? You’ve been following me around, me leading the way. I’d much rather have you walking with me. You don’t have to hold hands if you don’t want to.”

Billy blushed, but managed: “That’s kind of forward, isn’t it?”

Donna smiled: “A little bit … maybe.”

With a flick of her shoe she held the door open for them: “Now you don’t have to hold the door, and we can go and find a place to sit and share my coffee and bagel.”

Billy held up the bag that he had been carting around with him: “Bagel? Not a donut?”

A short walk across the room and they were both sitting at a table over by the window, Donna facing Billy: “Bagels are a good thing to have when you want to think about something.”

“I don’t get it. Sorry.”

She opened the bag and took the bagel out, placing it on top, then opening the coffee and sitting it beside the bagel: “You have to work at eating a bagel. It’s a bit of a struggle to tear it into pieces to nibble on. It’s a bit of work to chew on. Because it takes a while, you get a change to think about things.”

The look on Billy’s face made it clear that stuff like what Donna was talking about was a little over his head: “Like what?”

She picked up the bagel and tore it into four pieces. Taking one of those, she broke it in half and then gave Billy one of them: “Oh, all sorts of stuff.”

He looked at the bagel in his hand: “Like?”

Donna held her piece a bit away from her lips as she answered: “Like if you might like me as much as I like you. Like what you like to do for fun. Like if you might ask me out to dinner.” As the last word left her lips, she popped the bagel in her mouth and started to chew on it.

Billy was brought up short and stuffed his piece into his month to occupy himself while he thought. She was really classy, and that meant that she’d want to go out somewhere expensive. That wouldn’t be a problem: Dad had always paid Billy well for the work he did, and he had saved a lot over the years. But he didn’t have a suit, didn’t run around in those sort of places. After finally swallowing the bagel he explained: “Do like you. But you’re so classy. I don’t know what you like to do for fun, and the place I like to go for dinner is the burger joint on 11th and Main—not exactly the sort of place you’d want to be in.”

Donna stood up, and Billy didn’t have any other choice but to look at her standing there in a classy blue dress. When she didn’t say anything, he closed his eyes and really tried to remember what she looked like, knowing that he’d never see her again—that little sweep in her hair, the twinkle in her eyes, that chunk of bagel that she was chewing on that pushed out her cheek and gave her a dimple. Darn him for being honest. He opened his eyes and watched her chew. She had that bagel in her mouth. Then it hit him that she wasn’t mad, she just had her mouth full.

Donna picked up the coffee and took a sip, swallowed, then said: “Billy, I don’t always dress like this. This is what I wear to work. It’s like your overalls or uniform or whatever you wear where you work. I look classy because that’s how it is appropriate to look here.”

She put the coffee down and walked around the table, taking a seat right beside Billy: “I’m just as happy to wear an old T-shirt and jeans and running shoes.”

Billy gave her a look: “Can’t imagine that.”

She laughed: “I clean up good. Like you do, okay?”

Billy shrugged: “Okay.”

She folded her hands onto her lap and looked at them: “You know, a lot of the people here think that I’m shy.”

He looked at the tabletop: “Dunno about shy. Think yer cute though.”

“Could say the same about you, too.”

“Not cute. Cute isn’t a guy thing.”

Donna pursed her lips and blew out a long breath: “Billy, if a gal says you’re cute, don’t argue.”

He looked at her: “How am I supposed to talk? Usually no one sees me or stuff. Haveta’ be honest, Donna. Don’t talk to a lot of cute girls that I … like.”

“Because you’re shy?”

“Maybe.”

She smiled, which made Billy happy: “Maybe, between the two of us … maybe … we can work on that.”

“Wadda ya’ have in mind?”

The next part Billy didn’t expect: “I like walking, looking at the ships as they come into the harbour. I like movies—old ones, not the new stuff, the more B-grade the better. And what I like most of all is watching those sorts of movies with a greasy burger and fries from Ben’s at the corner of 11th and Main. But only when Jack is cooking; Adam burns the buns and I can’t stand that.”

Billy was shocked to put it mildly: “You eat there?”

“Yup. Never do dinner, but I do lunch, and, sometimes, midnight snacks.”

Billy mulled that over as he took another piece of the bagel, tore it in two and handed Donna half: “Always thought that Jack was kind of an ass. Never went in when he was there. And you are going to be mad at me.”

Donna looked confused: “Why?”

He had a lopsided grin as he started to chew on the bagel: “I like the burned buns.”

Donna slapped his shoulder lightly: “Oh! You! How could you possibly!”

Billy just continued to chew on the bagel and chuckle to himself as Donna ranted over that, liking her more and more by the moment and feeling a lot better about himself as he did so.

 

 

 

Storm Clouds
Chapter 37
By TeraS

 

It was after about an hour of walking through the Realm that Tom noticed something. It wasn’t all of the beings walking around with horns and tails; he had gotten used to that surprisingly fast. It wasn’t the looks that he had seen from some of them; he understood the why of the looks of lust or curiosity or even temptation came in his direction. Nina was in the middle of turning a corner when Tom said, “I have a question.”

“Oh? If it’s about life, the universe and everything, I think there’s a book that has that answer in the Library. I think it’s one of Tera’s favourites, actually.”

“Nothing that grand … just something odd I’ve noticed.”

Nina stopped walking and looked at him, her tail swaying behind her, the sunlight glinting off her silver dress: “You’d better be specific. There’s a lot of ‘odd’ in our world.”

Tom nodded: “Yeah, noticed that. What’s odder is that it all seems to fit, in a way.”

“So? What’s bugging you?”

“Where’s your police department? I haven’t seen any references to one.”

Nina pointed off to her left and when Tom looked he noticed what seemed to be a castle of some kind standing a fair distance away: “See that? Want to guess what it is?”

Tom rubbed his chin: “Normally, I would reckon that was Tera’s place.”

“But?”

“But Camilla said that Tera doesn’t go for that.”

“Correct. Tera rarely can be found there. That’s for show, for those that expect to see a Queen in her castle.”

“So it’s a symbol of … of what, exactly?”

“It symbolizes one very clear point: that the words of Tera and her Eternal govern us. But it also symbolizes, in her refusal to be there, that she does not believe that she needs to lord her authority over us.”

“So, she’s Queen in name only and nothing more?”

Nina frowned deeply: “Oh no. She’s our Queen, but she will only allow one being to call her that. She gave that one the right to do so for reasons that are between the two of them. To everyone else, she’s Tera, and, honestly, that’s more powerful.”

Tom looked at the castle, far past the nearby rolling hills, the occasional bit of mist or cloud shimmering nearby: “In what way? It seems more casual, more open.”

Nina walked up to Tom and said, with a slight shake of her head: “Tom … I’m really disappointed in you.”

When she didn’t say anything else, just looking at him, Tom sighed and shook his head: “I get the point. It’s worse to disappoint someone you know than it is a faceless title you never see.”

She smiled and twined one of her braids around her right hand: “That’s part of it. Remember Camilla told you that, if Brent had been lying, Tera would have known? That’s another part of it. But the most telling thing is that, when she’s standing there, looking at you, and says, ‘I’m disappointed.’ Believe me, those words are something no one wants to hear from her … not after all that she’s done for everyone.”

“Okay, I get the picture. Pissing off Mom would …”

Nina shook her head: “That’s yet another story.”

“Your world has a lot of them, you know.”

“We also have an amazing library, vibrant art, passionate culture, and our midnight get-togethers by the Lake are amazing.”

Tom shook his head: “You know the amazing thing?”

“Hmm?”

“The amazing thing is that you speak of all of this as completely normal and it feels normal. Well, except for some of your kind who aren’t exactly my type.”

Nina nodded: “Tera has said that there is someone, somewhere, for everyone. The trick is bringing them together.”

Tom nodded his head in the direction Nina had been walking: “Yeah. Sure. Let’s go.”

The abruptness of Tom’s attitude surprised Nina, but she didn’t press on that, nor come back at him with a snip of her own. That part of Tom’s story she’d find out, or Camilla would. For the moment, she turned and continued to walk, knowing without looking that Tom was there beside her.

They crossed an intersection, and Tom was treated to the sight of a carriage being pulled by two ponygirls, their Mistress, a Succubi that Nina recognized as Rachel, a rather strict personality that some submissives were attracted to. “Getting back to your question about our police: we are all, in a way, our own police here. We help each other if needed, protect one another, and otherwise keep each other from going down a path that leads to nothing for us.”

“A collective, then?”

Nina nodded, still looking at Rachel as she went on her way: “For example, the succubi in the carriage? Her name’s Rachel. She’s a very strict domme; she controls the lives of her submissives in every way and means.”

“And?”

“And the thing is, she knows the lines she cannot cross. She knows what her pets desire and gives them that, pushes the boundaries from time to time with them. But if one of us felt something wasn’t right, we could find out what was going on. And honestly it’s better that one of us did. Otherwise …”

“Otherwise Tera might be disappointed.”

“Yeah. It’s about the most powerful reason not to do harm you can think of. How can you disappoint someone who would do anything for you, offer you something precious, and trust you with the power to do almost anything?”

“Have you?”

Nina sighed and pinched her nose: “You know the terrifying thing, Tom?”

“What’s that?”

“The first time I met Tera, it was when she had come into her power as the Queen. So many of us had done wrong that we were called, one by one, to see her. I expected to be banished at the least, my end was almost certain for all of the souls that I had taken.”

“You’re still here.”

Nina smirked: “Yes. Don’t let anyone tell you what they think Tera will do. They’ll always be wrong.”

“So, what did she do?”

Nina crossed the street as she called out: “She hugged me. I broke down in tears, I told her everything that I had done. Then she just said, ‘Do better this time.’”

Tom paused in crossing the street when Nina had said. ‘Do better this time.’ The words where haunting and struck very close to home. Before Nina could turn around and see the look he had, Tom ran across the street and caught up to her.

Tera was going to have a lot of explaining to do … someday.

Nov 02 2014

A Review of Cedric the Demonic Knight by Valerie Willis

Cedric the Demonic Knight by Valerie Willis

One of the things that seems to be, for the most part, very difficult for beings like Succubi or Incubi, in most stories, is to believe in is that there is something, or someone, for them that could be called a soulmate. It is the moment of their acceptance of that being true, whatever the form that makes a difference to them.

It becomes that much more difficult when the universe likes to play games with them, around them, and draw them into a place where almost anything can happen.

The thing is, in some cases, it can also see to it that they themselves can do anything as well.

The work tells about:

Known for hunting the supernatural, no mortal man realizes Lord Cedric is one of Sorceress Morrighan’s abominations. After competing in a tournament, he is wed to a Lady of the Court, Angeline. Cedric’s senses begin to overwhelm him and he struggles to decipher his feelings; Are they a creation of his incubine bloodline or truly heartfelt emotions for the girl who has lost it all to him? He finds himself forced to choose between falling in love or continuing his suicidal quest to kill his creator. Epic battles against all manners of beasts and demons fill this story with memorable antagonists such as Morrighan and her two sisters; Romasanta the Father of Werewolves; Succubus Queen Lillith and many more.

Cedric has a goal, one that has driven him for most of his life. Revenge. In order to have that, he will do almost anything to gain what he needs to have that in his grasp. A chance encounter with Angeline starts them both on a path that neither expected, neither could see the results of, and with all of that… to come to change the world in ways unimaginable.

The most interesting part of this work are the characters by far. While the names of some are familiar, like Lilith among others, they are not quite what one expects them to be. There are quite a number of myths and legends written into and around these characters and in doing so the author weaves a deliciously complex and riveting tale. It’s a refreshing turn of the tale with all of those that Cedric and Angeline encounter, never stereotypical, and in doing so the story rises about a simple adventure story or romance, but into a much more gripping story of the growth within Cedric and Angeline.

At the beginning of the story, Cedric doesn’t quite come across as the sort of character that one might like, if at all. He’s a bit rough, a bit aloof here and there, and, to a point, he’s quite a cad at times. Part of that is his history, there is no doubt and it is a history that is very complex and really one of the most unique stories told that I have read in sometime. As the story unfolds, as Angeline’s purpose and connection to him turns from a matter of “just being” and into “never being without” the change in Cedric is breathtaking. The emotions, the need and want are very strongly told and in that comes reveals about Cedric that while at times are a surprise, they do not step outside of what is known about him, his past, and more importantly, what his future being to him.

He is not completely an Incubus, though it is a large part of him, and with that comes an ongoing internal struggle as the story is told. It is painful at times, occasionally head-shaking, but always tightly told. The reasons for his struggle, the awful past that haunts him and the fear that comes with it are when he is his most human which brings him to being a character that one cannot help but admire for his strength and how he comes to if not cope, then to come to terms with it.

Angeline follows a similar part through the story, going from perceived weakness, to discovering her past, what it means, and what it has done to her. As the story of her relationship with Cedric goes from grudging tolerance into acceptance, discovery and beyond, the strength within her character becomes a mirror to that of Cedric himself. It is her discovering that she is more than she believed, does more than she could have imagined, and, more than that, finds something within herself and within Cedric that answers a question within them both. Angeline’s transformation is as vast and complete as Cedric’s own and perhaps more so.

The work tells of a unique connection between Cedric and Angeline, and in that connection I have to admit that it bothered me from time to time in how it worked and what it did to each of them. But this was consistent throughout the story, and in the case of other Succubi and Incubi that appear, there was no exceptions or alterations in that. It’s important to keep how things work consistent and in this work it is.

Lilith appears in this work and in her appearances she is, just slightly, different enough from the legends that I liked her for what she represented. There is a change in her from when Cedric first encounters her and when she appears again in the closing chapters which isn’t really explained. I really would like to know what changed, why it is, and what that means between the two of them. I think that untold story would be interesting to see.

As Lilith is the Queen Succubus, then Boto is the King Incubus. He is also Cedric’s father and while he is that, there really isn’t anything that connects them together. There is, of course, another involved in the story about Cedric’s father, Morrighan and to other levels and connections, her sisters. There isn’t really much to like about Boto, but then he isn’t really meant to be much in the way of a good character. He is, quite simply, over the top and evil and within that comes a revelation about Cedric that was quite unexpected when it came in the story.

There are quite a number of surprises that appear as the story moves towards its climax. They all could have been impossible or be badly disconnected, but they were not. The plot is complex and one does need to pay attention as the events of the past come into play as the story goes onwards. There is a lot of detail, background and events that are told that matter and as such, and for the length of this work, attention should be held to the story throughout.

The writing has personality, character and it’s quite clear that the author cares very much to tell a story with heart and soul. I didn’t feel like anything was wasted in the storytelling, nor did I feel at the end of the work that the story was left hanging with many important things untold. There is a good sense of closure, of drawing this part of Cedric and Angeline’s to a point where the ending is a satisfying one.

The author also uses a very unique means of dropping the reader into the story that seems a bit odd at first and tends to make one ask “why is this happening” but when the last chapters appear and that in explained, I thought that was simply inspired storytelling. The questions were answered, the meaning is there, and that made the story much stronger.

It’s very rare that I do rate works as highly as I do this one. This is really an amazing work, one in which I felt very strongly connected with the characters and how the story was told. A truly amazing piece of prose in which anything is possible and sometimes anyone can do the impossible for the right reasons.

I’m giving this work a solid five out of five pitchforks.

A joy to read, a story well told, and most of all, the author’s own words tell how strongly she needed to tell this story… And it’s amazing.

So the only question is… When will the next book appear?

I can hardly wait…

My thanks to Valerie for sharing her work with me, taking the time to as well write a bit about her work in the SuccuWiki, and most of all, creating something that brought a lot of joy for me… There are very few stories that, for me, tell a story that’s new, refreshingly so in this case, and I wish her the best in her writing career…

 

Tera

Nov 01 2014

Another Morrigan Colouring YouTube

An interesting piece of Morrigan Aensland art this week on the Tale… I’m not quite sure who the other character is though… She does seem familiar though…

And if you can’t see this video on the Tale, try this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgSBssGI1BI

And an image of the art itself:

morrigancolouring

I think the other character might be from the Marvel universe, but she isn’t quite I think… It might be Psylocke, the costume seems to be right, but I could be wrong. Still, the art is interesting, really there isn’t a lot of art that has Morrigan with characters that don’t normally appear with her so that’s quite different…

Obviously they are both laying in a bed together… Might be a story in that somewhere…

 

Tera

Oct 31 2014

Drawn Upon – Tera’s Halloween 2014 Manip

It has been, as well I know, quite some time since I have created a Succubi manip… As it is Halloween, and it is my tradition to share a Halloween manip… I thought it was time for something… or rather someone… to be Drawn Upon…

 

Drawn Upon by TeraS

Drawn Upon by TeraS

 

And here, for those that would like to read, is the story that goes with this image:

 

She came as a plaything for the Halloween party.
Then she saw the drawing . . . lines on the wall, calling out to her, drawing her in,
whispering, seducing, drawing her closer.

Something drew on her, stroking her skin, her mind, her soul.
Bricks pressed against her skin drew a flush of heat through her.
Hot … wet … she arched her body, twisting, being twisted, drawn upon.

She wanted to submit … totally.
She wanted to obey … forever.
She drew upon a touch of ecstasy she needed so badly … so completely.

She closed her eyes, opened her soul, drew upon a true self she never knew before.
They would never see her coming.
They would never realize until too late.

Something new, yet so very old, was drawn upon
The leash she held was drawn through her fingers.
Images of those she would lead were drawn in her imagination.

A room full of thralls waited to be claimed
… possessed
… marked, drawn out and drawn upon,

A room of souls was ready to be taken … drawn to her and redrawn.
A gasp of chill air was drawn into her mouth,
and a hot moan was drawn sensuously from her lips.

The truth was now drawn for all, plain to see.
She came as a plaything for the Halloween party.
She’d cum as a succubus instead.

 

My thanks to my heart for taking my words and helping them to have the power that was hidden within them…

To all, a Happy Halloween from the Queen of the Succubi…

May you have all of the treats and all of the tricks you wish for…

 

 

Tera

Oct 30 2014

Succubi Image of the Week 355

Personally I like Succubi that have but a single tail. That’s mainly because I know, full well, that more than one tail is a real problem… They are be quite the mischievous thing when they want to be and when there is more than one… I shudder to think about the things that might go on…

I found a lovely work this week’s Succubi and I do wonder just how much trouble she gets into with all of those tails…

Vezakam by Pie-Likes-Me

Vezakam by Pie-Likes-Me

This work is by an artist on DeviantArt named Pie-Likes-Me and it is of a Succubus named Vezakam. You can find the original page I found this work on DeviantArt here and this artist’s page is here as well…

I have very few pencil sketches in my collection of Succubi art and I do like this very much. The tails are cute and just seem to work well with her and that expression she has. Her outfit sort of has a “superhero” vibe to it and really that is an interesting thought for a Succubus to be. Lovely texture and depth to her form, the wings really match her body in size nicely too.

I wonder about her colours… Perhaps blue hair? Purple wings and tail? Green or gold for her clothing and boots? It might make for an interesting combination…

But the one thing about her that makes me wonder the most is her smile and look in her eyes… It’s very “butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth” sort of an expression… Something to think about…

 

Tera

Oct 29 2014

This is closer to a nightmare than a Succubus costume…

Red Devil Bodysuit CostumeAs it is only a couple of days before Halloween, there of course has to be one final nightmare before that night arrives… right?

This… thing… is called the Red Devil Bodysuit Costume and it comes with the vinyl teddy, the horns and the attached tail… And that’s all. The gloves, stockings, and shoes are not included and it sells for $70 US, but can be found for as little as $35 US at some online stores…

And I really dislike this quite a lot. It just looks too cheap for my tastes, which is one of the things that I really do not like in a Succubus costume by any means. The tail is nothing special and the horns are simply wrong by any stretch of the imagination.

With the stockings and gloves, to be honest, it really adds not all that much to the overall look at all. I’m not sure if that is a case of the model not fitting the costume well or if it is just the overwhelming kitsch in this that makes it just so bad.

Saving this isn’t at all possible, at least I cannot see a way to do so and I won’t be wearing this on Halloween I’m very sure…

I’ll be generous and give it one pitchfork out of five.

Call it a gift before Halloween to make up for the nightmare?

Though it really doesn’t I know…

 

Tera

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