Jun 30 2013

A Review of The Sex Demon by M.G. Morgan

The Sex Demon by M.G. Morgan

The Sex Demon by M.G. Morgan

Story means everything. It is the story that makes you want to see what happens next. It is the story that takes you from the beginning to the end. But, if you have two characters, one a Succubus that is more than you expected, and her pray, who turns out to be so much more… that’s a book I will read over and over again.

  • Title: The Sex Demon
  • Author: M.G. Morgan
  • Publishing Date: December 13, 2011
  • Length: 30 Pages
  • ASIN: B006M4A2AQ
  • This work at Amazon.com

It is the story of:

Sasha is a hot succubus seeking sexual prey. When Antony moves into the apartment where she resides, she uses her power to feed from his frenzied masturbation and erotic visions.

While he sleeps, she takes her pleasure from him and when he brings a couple around to the apartment, Sasha joins all of them in an orgy of blowjobs and fucking.

Her cock-pleasing adventures lead her to find the one man who can fully satisfy her.

The first thing I need to say is that the summary of this work is not really a fair description. Oh there is some very hot sex, there is no doubt about that, but unlike a hot flash, this work has characters with a history, a story to be told, and a resolution that is just wonderfully sprung onto the reader. I won’t ruin the reveal in the story, but when it comes it made a lot of sense, but more importantly, it answered some questions about the main characters that satisfied me.

Sasha, the Succubus of the story has some traditional powers and abilities that are seen in many Succubus stories, but some that I didn’t care for. I didn’t like that her teeth were sharp and pointed like a vampire’s, but the description of her otherwise is deliciously Succubus-like. The descriptions of her powers being tied to darkness and shadow painted a lovely picture and she became a very real person in that to me.

Her “victim” and you will have to read the story to understand why I have quotation marks around that, is… well, if Sasha is the perfect woman, than he is the perfect man, and that means a lot as the story progresses. There are secrets held within him and there are hints of what they are until the big reveal at the end of the story.

And that reveal, well it took a story that could have been very dark and sad into something very hopeful and wonderful for me. Really, that’s the one thing I look for in a story and I was very pleased to see it in this one.

The erotica is very hot, very much so. Sasha is really one of the best Succubi that I have read in some time, but it wasn’t just how she played her prey, the descriptions of the moments they share, or even the climax of the story which moved in a direction that I didn’t expect. It was that the story focused on the moments, the feelings, the emotions.

That makes this very special.

Obviously it is really well written and told, I have but one regret and that is the story is too short for all of the promise in it. Especially when the reveal is made about who the man Sasha has encountered is, what that means, and what it transforms her future from.

Going from hiding in the dark to living in the light is everything…

Four and a half out of five pitchforks.

I so very much wanted a longer story about these two. I wanted to know their past and their future. If I am very, very lucky there will be a second story about them, but regrettably, it probably will never happen…

 

Tera

Jun 29 2013

A short film YouTube called Lilith

I always find it interesting how the legend of Lilith seems to attract young student filmmakers to create their own works about her. This particular YouTube short film is from August of 2012 and it was the production of the film making course of 2012 at the Tallinn Estonia Summer School.

An if you cannot see the film here on the Tale, here is a link to the YouTube page…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WftPGRg7fv0

While it is a film that does not use English as its spoken language, there are subtitles which help quite a lot.

In the event that the video is removed from YouTube, the story follows Lilith from her first encounter with Adam. He demands that she obey him because he was first, and she asks if that is so then why does he not obey the oceans or birds that were on Earth before he?

Adam then rejects her and Lilith leaves, Eve appearing with Adam soon after. As they are interspersed with images of The Apple of legend, time moves forwards and Lilith reappears from the waters of the deep.

When she first appears, Lilith wore white. In her appearances after Adam rejects her, Lilith wears black. She then passes through a town in the day and transforms the scene through her powers into night, revealing the darker side of humanity.

In the end, Lilith returns to Eve and Adam and she berates Eve for submitting to Adam and not being strong and independent as should have been. Eve says nothing in reply, she looks away from Lilith and Adam simply ignores her.

I found the imagery very powerful, the apple spoiling over time reflecting the loss of what was intended did give me pause for thought. The passage of Lilith in the world revealing the darkness in the light also was well done, both in form and the special effects that made that scene possible.

Looking to the actor that played Adam, he seemed to project a “not a care in the world” attitude and a belief that whatever he believed was correct above all others. The actress playing Eve was lovely, but held what seemed to be such sadness within her, and her need to look to the ground in submission was her focus.

The actress playing Lilith was excellent I thought. Of course no horns or tail on her, this story wasn’t about the demoness Lilith so much as about the first woman Lilith who was not submissive to Adam and was cast aside. There was an undertone of sadness in her words and movements I felt, but as well, an underlying strength of character that seemed to drive her forward.

I also thought it was telling that once Lilith rejected Adam, he never speaks to her again, and to Eve he only demands she obey and then ignores her.

The story then is a question of respect, and for this story there was really none between any of the characters in the story… I think that’s telling…

 

Tera

Jun 28 2013

A Review of Succubus Psychology by Jacques Desmond

Succubus Psychology by Jacques Desmond

Succubus Psychology by Jacques Desmond

Reality is what you make of it. That is true not just of beings who are immortal, like Succubi are. That’s true of the not so simple mortals that find themselves wanting to change their own realties for something more than they are.

But what if, just if, both sides could learn more about themselves than they ever could have imagined? What if a choice is made, a path taken, that transforms them both into something more than they were expected to be?

Isn’t that where fantasy and reality meet? Isn’t that were the truths of one’s own self come to pass?

  • Title: Succubus Psychology
  • Author: Jacques Desmond
  • Publishing Date: June 22, 2013
  • Length: 8,900 Words
  • IBSN: 9781301410668
  • This work at Smashwords.com

The work tells the story of:

When student Cindi summoned a succubus for advice about her love life, she didn’t expect to receive a crash course in Succubus Psychology.

When succubus Sophie was summoned, she didn’t expect to be trapped within Cindi because of an emergency possession.

When both were put together and were forced to put up with each other, each discovered some truths about themselves and each other and were transformed as a result.

Cindi is… well… She’s somewhat lost. She cannot see the inherent beauty within herself. She’s smart, she manages to do something that really had never been done before. Summon a Succubus to do her bidding. Thing is that something goes a little bit wrong in the details and she finds herself with a Succubus within herself that is as smart as she is.

Sophie as a Succubus isn’t stereotypical by any means. She’s smart, funny, has a flair for the dramatic but most of all… She honestly cares about Cindi and wants to help her. Now, that of course involves a bit of Succubus magic and desires, but what’s most important above all else is that she wants to do the best she can.

That’s something not often seen in stories about Succubi. They are seen as evil beings with only destruction on their minds and that’s not Sophie. She’s better than that. So much so that she reveals things about herself that in turn give Cindi a chance to return the favour.

There is a delicious mix of sensuality both in what happens to Cindi, but also in how her new found abilities, including mind control and other interesting changes in herself and the immediate world around her. It isn’t silly mind control. There is purpose to it, there is lovely imagery in how both she and Sophie get what they want to survive.

What makes me happy is that there is real emotion between Sophie and Cindi. There is a connection between them that grows and transforms the two taking them towards something I didn’t expect at the beginning of the story.

There is a truth for both of them that is realized as the story continues. That truth is they are both more than they give themselves credit for or can bring themselves to believe is true about themselves. It is, after all, the hardest thing to do when it comes to believing in one’s self.

The erotic scenes in the work are perfect for both of them in that there is hesitation and uncertainty in Cindi, but also belief and experience from Sophie that guides them both. The scenes are not a momentary flash of passion and nothing more. There is real emotion, real growth and they are not forgotten as the story comes to its climax.

The ending is just right in so many ways. What happens is right for both of them, there is closure to many of the questions that were posed at the beginning. But as well there is an open  door and question at the end of the work that I would really like to see explored…

Heat in the right moments, passion in the right places, and two characters that while they inhabit a single body are two clear personalities. It is that mix of their personalities that drives the story forwards and it is something that I love to see happen and when it does…

I’ll give this work four and a half pitchforks out of five.

I would have loved to see what happens after the end of the story… Because it goes to a place that really fascinates me in so many ways… That is a very minor quibble I admit, but then I always want to see so much more of the Succubi that I so dearly love…

In this work, there are…

I’d like to thank the author for sharing their work with me. It was truly a joy to read from the first page and I will always treasure being able to do so…

 

Tera

Jun 27 2013

Succubi Image of the Week 286

I love pencil art… One of the very first artists that was kind enough to draw the Succubi me did so in pencil and I have that work framed and I cherish it every day. I particularly like softer art of Succubi in this medium and I discovered this wonderful expression of Succubus cuteness that will be the Succubi of the Week…

Succubus by Tetsu

Succubus by Tetsu

This art of a Succubus is by an artist named Tetsu and I found this work on the Medical Whisky Order website here. There is a topless version of this art there as well, but I like this art better than the alternative version…

She is posed a bit oddly but it shows off her outfit really well and I think that it suits her perfectly for her body shape and the attitude she has. Love her hair, very smooth and flowing which is how I like Succubi hair to be. Her horns are right for her too, I wish she had a tail, but overall I don’t miss it all that much for the sexy-cute she is…

The site is the home to a collection of artists that really have so much talent that it just amazes me. There is quite a lot of anime on the site, but there are some really fascinating tutorials as well which I think gives the art community as a whole a wonderful resource. I know of at least one artist that has improved their own art dramatically from following the artists on the site.

Please visit won’t you?

 

Tera

Jun 26 2013

I’ve seen this Succubus costume before I think… another way…

I mentioned before that I’ve noticed that some Succubus, or Devil Girl costume ideas are being… recycled. What I am really wondering about is, why do they keep recycling the same odd thing so much that it sticks out like a sore thumb?

Sequin Devil Costume

This is called the Sequin Devil Costume, which actually is interesting as I’ll explain in a moment or two…

The costume comes with the red gown and black tulle, a pair of devil horns, and the pitchfork the model is holding.

It originally sold for $99.95, but I have found it on sale for $84.95 Us at several sites, some even a bit less than that.

I am quite sure that you have noticed the really ugly black flame pattern on the dress. Those that have read some of my reviews of various costumes might realize that, in fact, that pattern has appeared on several costumes I have looked at.

The dress change, the frills are different, the accessories might be different as well, but that same ugly flame pattern appears in each and every one of them.

It doesn’t even really look like flames to be honest and that’s what really bothers me most of all. Why use such a ugly pattern when it really serves no purpose?

I’ll also add that the pitchfork is laughable, the horns are nothing special, and the tulle is… well it looks wrong to me at least.

I don’t care for this, and certainly will not consider it for my costume this year for Halloween…

However, and this is a very minor point, take away the flame pattern and the tulle… The dress might not be that awful…

But that’s asking for a lot I think…

One quarter pitchfork out of five.

More to come of this sort of mistake next week…

 

Tera

Jun 25 2013

Desires 83

Touching, caressing, learning the shape and form of another can be erotic on its own…

________________

Desires – Beginnings

By BStyles and Tera S

Part Nineteen

 

Martin’s eyes were wide and rapt in their fixation on her shifting form. Likewise, he was captivated, amazed at her raw, physical beauty. No wonder mortals were so easily enchanted… he thought, his cheeks growing hot with the images that thought conjured. Perhaps that’s why so few people…. 

His train of thought was interrupted, however, as she expressed her wish to touch him. He fidgeted a little with his admission, “Very few have ever done that as well…” His wing recoiled slightly from her initial touch, twitching as a ticklish person might do if prodded too hard. With an apologetic smile, he willed himself to relax, allowing her to explore his signature appendages at her pleasure.

It wasn’t easy for him to do so. Every so often, a small murmur would escape his lips, a little sigh of contentment at her gentle, curious touch. His cheeks would flare a fresh shade of red, each little slip punctuated by a light *ahem* as he cleared his throat. He actually shivered a bit as she stroked over his shoulders, feeling the light caress of her nails. His eyelids were more than half closed by the time she finished, so it appeared he was just waking up as her arms encircled his waist from behind. He smiled a little, enjoying the warm feeling of her body pressed up against him like it was, and he bowed his head in humble embarassment at her compliments. “You flatter me…” Gently, he took up one of her hands from around his waist, offering a small, tender kiss on the palm. “Thank you…”

He turned slowly in her singular grip, golden eyes meeting hers for a moment as he moved to face her. It was his turn to explore, it seemed, his fingertips touching over the horns on her forehead, darting out to catch her whippy red tail in his gentle grip…he hesitated to touch the rest of her, though. He could still feel the warm impression of her body against his back…the memory and sight of her nudity before him made him blush once again.


_______________

For a Succubi, being nude is… well… part of who we are isn’t it?

 

 

Tera

Jun 24 2013

Storm Clouds 197 – An ongoing Succubi Story

This is the continuing story of the Succubi called Storm Clouds…

If you want to read previous chapters, please click here…

Nothing managed this week for various reasons… I’ll try again this coming week to get out of my mood and into writing something again…

_______________________

Storm Clouds 197

Chapter 29

By TeraS

The Dark was not omniscient. It was intelligent: It schemed and planned, It moved pieces around a board of its own choosing … most of the time. However, the one whom it battled against regularly knew how to make it even less connected to its plans. When that one had destroyed Its view of the only piece that mattered, there was nothing to be done except what It had done.

It had taken control of a pawn. There was no choice in this; but in doing so It isolated itself from all of its other pawns. It was like having cotton in your ears and dark glasses on. You might have heard something, but not clearly. You might have seen something, but not know what it was perfectly.

This was, for It, intolerable.

But what was more intolerable was that It could not simply be where It wanted because It needed this pawn to gain access to the place, to form a new eye, and to have again what it needed most of all: information.

The accursed of the Realm, they understood that more than any other beings, and that was their advantage, an advantage that the Dark wanted for itself. That was Its purpose behind all that had led to this point: to have what they knew, and to be able to use it.

This was the thing that It could not understand. They had to know … everything. This was the worrisome thing, for the question was what they knew about It most of all. What weakness could they use against It? Could they … end It? For one of the few times in eons, It felt something that could be described as being fear, although It would dismiss that as being part of the pawn It held at the moment and not itself. If It was omniscient, or even more than minimally self-aware, It might have realized its folly … perhaps.

The travel took, according to the pawn’s perception, well over an hour, but Its prize had to be in a place where they would not easily find it. The small, out-of-the-way trailer park, along with the one lodging of the pawn that was in it, surrounded by misfortune, grief, and helplessness, masked Its prize and protected it.

The Dark was comforted by all of the dark emotions that surrounded this place, gaining some power from it and giving a fraction of it to Its pawn. This was the agreement: the pawn wanted power; the Dark was willing to give it … for a price.

The Dark was still amused by how little the pawn understood about the agreement. Eventually, It would see that the pawn understood fully. For now, It needed him, and so it fulfilled what he desired without actually giving more than what he could have gotten on his own. Humans were, It well knew, so easily distracted.

The pawn removed the traps, broke the sigils, and lastly turned the key it held to open the door and reveal the space where the prize was. And, in doing so, it failed completely to notice the shadow that had followed It from the moment It had taken over Its pawn …

From within the shadow that fell across a nearby tree, a purple hand with pink nails rested itself against the bark. For a few moments one finger tapped against the bark as if the owner of that hand was considering something, or more accurately, planning something.

Considering who this was, it wasn’t surprising that she was here and watching It carefully. The tapping stopped as she felt the viewing portal begin to form and waited patiently for would happen next.

There was a snap of energy that only those of magical ability would ever notice and then there came a rumble as the trailer itself vibrated, then stopped. Then the curse came from within. It never should have left the door open really; It was becoming sloppy and, in that, more dangerous. Then she watched as Its pawn was thrown from the trailer and the door slammed behind him as he lay stunned on the grass.

She considered removing the pawn from the field, to stick another pin into It’s hide and make It more angry than before. But she had a use for him, as well, if not yet, so she left him alone and continued to watch from where she was safely hidden. The problem was that she didn’t know exactly what was going on within the trailer, and that stayed her hand.

Within the trailer, the Dark was pleased that the tail was still in its jar, trapped, and held from her kin. It lifted the jar from the floor and looked inside, shaking the jar slightly before gloating. “There you are, still safe and secure. You have no hope except to give in to me. Do so, and I’ll end your pain. What hold does your precious Realm have on you now?”

The Dark finished ranting and then the tail in the jar … moved. The tip rose out of the coils of itself like the head of a snake. It pushed against the lid just once before the heart shaped tip turned to look at the one holding it. A moment passed, as if it was not looking at the Dark, but through it. Then a tired woman’s voice answered it, “No. I will not give you what you want. You have done everything save end my existence. Do so, if you dare.”

The tip turned away, almost dismissively, and then sunk back out of sight, seemingly having said its peace and finished with It.

“What if I gave you new life?”

A pause, then the answer: “I know your tricks and your boons are nothing but traps.”

“Then I’ll find an innocent and force you to join with them.”

“Please do try.”

The Dark paused at that. The tone was not dismissive, but was instead challenging. It understood how Tails were joined, or It thought It did; the information was so tightly guarded that only hints and theories were really known outside of their world.

“You are not Tera. You cannot trick me.”

“No. I’m not. But I am of her Daughters. Do your worst, if you dare.”

“Why not turn to me, to where you came from?”

The laugh this time was certain and strong. “You never made us. You only wish you did.”

The Dark shook the jar once violently and then set it back on the floor: “You will, all of your kind, bow to me.”

The tail answered: “Better luck next time. Now go away and leave me be.”

Everything the tail did and said was exactly how every one of their kind had responded to It in the past. Denial, resistance, and then they just turned away from It because they could. But this tail couldn’t. It had trapped it, imprisoned it, and It held all of the cards in this case. But still It was denied, refused, and, more angering of all, laughed at for Its efforts.

The Dark turned It’s efforts back to making the viewing portal again, for some reason it didn’t form the first time, and so It focused itself on making it again. Again it formed and then collapsed. Twice more It tried, and then the portal formed in the far corner of the space the tail was held in. As the place was unprotected now, It moved towards It’s own place in the darkness to confirm all was well before commanding the pawn to again protect the place. It gave the tail one more look and then swirled away into nothingness.

And then the Dark made a mistake. It left the door wide open and unprotected. In the silence that came after It left, there was the sound of something running through the grass outside … and then it stopped. Then a small, grey calico cat peered inside the trailer, as if checking out the place.

When the cat saw the jar with the tail in it, its eyes narrowed and then it leaped inside. It took but a few seconds to rush to the space under the viewing portal, scratch three times on the floor there, and then flee outside once more. As the cat ran back outside the pawn began to stir. The cat saw this and, before the pawn regained all of his senses, darted into the shadow of the tree, where a pair of purple hands caught and then pulled the cat out of sight.

Before the pawn could gather his mind and sense for her being there, she vanished, taking the cat with her. She promised a favor for help and this she would do … unlike a certain arrogant being of darkness.

It had pawns. She had friends. Something the Dark would never be able to understand …

The Dark, in the meantime had returned to its lair, the remnants of what once had been it’s means of watching its plans unfold. It would take time, much time, to repair the damage, and there was no doubt that she was planning something. The destruction she had left in her wake was not important in the grand scheme of things, however. All that mattered was that one tail It held. Losing the view of It’s pawns was less important, after all; pawns could be replaced, if need be. They were nothing compared to the prize It wanted … no, needed.

It regarded the mirror, and the tail sitting there, with some satisfaction. This one piece of the plan could not be allowed to be free to return to her kind. It knew well that, should what it had done come to be known … the repercussions would be universe shaking.

At least, that was It’s plan.

It was very good at building traps, and to trap Tera and her kind would be the pinnacle of It’s work. To have them all in It’s control would feed the Dark for eons to come. So, It had been planning and scheming for eons before this, looking for a means to enter their Realm, to influence, to take everything apart from within. But every time It tried, something stopped it at the edge. No matter how it tried, whether by possessing, inhabiting, or means even darker, nothing it tried allowed It to pass through. Why could others enter and not It? What held It at bay, and how? This was the question that needed to be resolved, regardless of the cost.

The cost had been high. It seemed as if it would be even more so. But the rewards where tempting and many, and so it continued on it’s path towards …

It’s thoughts were stopped by a partial image in one of the broken mirrors. The image was unclear but it appeared as if one of Tera’s had been in It’s grasp and then tried to flee. It watched as they and … some other being … had been killed by It’s protections.

The Dark would have to punish some of Its pawns, but that was acceptable to have caused Tera more grief at the loss of another of her kind. Perhaps enough that, taunting her or others of her kind, would make it easier for It’s plans to come to fruition.

It returned back to the pawn near the tail and had it set the traps back into place, giving it a measure of power for doing so. It needed this one for a time longer, not much more, but long enough to be sure that this went correctly.

Once the pawn was finished, the Dark moved to leave—It had others to teach how wrong they were not to obey It’s wishes—but paused a moment. If It had been human, It might have explained that it felt as if someone had walked on Its grave. Instead, It felt … uneasy. It scanned the place, looking for a reason to do so, but found nothing. Dismissing it as being echoes of the pawn It had possessed, It vanished.

It had two pawns to deal with, and so It did.

 

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 30

By TeraS

“Where the hell are we?”

The frustration in Tom’s voice was very evident for two reasons: one was that Nina hadn’t told him what she was going to do, and the other was … she blindfolded him, again not telling him she was going to.

“You’re safe, Tom.”

Tom considered that. On the one hand he wasn’t crushed by a window washer platform, so there was that point for her. He was, however, sitting flat on his ass, didn’t have a clue where he was, and wasn’t happy about it. “This has to be a definition of the word that I haven’t been acquainted with before.”

He could hear the smirk in her voice, “What? You don’t like learning new things?”

“I have issues with not being able to know what the heck is going on, Nina.”

He felt a hand—he assumed it was Nina’s—on his arm, “I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version: you are in a place where, if you could see, it would probably break your mind, and I don’t want to have to explain that to Camilla … or Tera, for that matter.”

“I’m not that fragile.”

She laughed, “Maybe. And maybe you need to trust me like you do Camilla.”

He thought about that, only for a moment, “She’s …”

“… proved herself to you. Yes, I got that. I just saved your bacon … and eggs … and hash browns … so how about you give me the benefit of the doubt and …”

The break in Nina’s rant was disturbing

Tom didn’t like it, “And what?”

Then Nina, more seriously than any time Tom had heard her before, said, “Tom, be quiet and don’t say anything no matter what happens.”

The grip that Nina had on his arm tightened, as if she had seen something that was a threat. Tom began to move his hand to the blindfold to remove it, but he felt what seemed like Nina’s hand, or tail, or something, bat his hand away and she hissed “Shhh!”

Then things got … weird.

There was a … presence. Tom couldn’t see it, didn’t know what it was, but there was suddenly someone … or something … else nearby. Nina’s grasp relented and she seemed almost overwhelmed when she spoke …

“I’m sorry. I know he’s not supposed to be here. I didn’t have anywhere else to go that I could think of.” Tom listened for an answer trying to figure out who was there, but he didn’t hear a single word spoken by anyone other than Nina. “He can’t see where he is. He won’t be able to tell anyone.”

The presence came close. Almost touched Tom, but he didn’t flinch from whatever it was … whoever it was. There was light, or he thought there was, around him, around them … and he wasn’t afraid of it. He should have been; there could have been a threat. But it didn’t feel like it. It could have been dangerous, but that little voice in the back of his head that told him to duck before something bad happened … didn’t.

“No, he isn’t. I mean … he could be … Couldn’t he?”

Tom was trying to figure out what that meant when he felt something brush against his cheek and a voice echoed in his mind softly, “I’ll see you again, Thomas.” He heard Nina gasp—again he wasn’t sure why—followed by a whisper of, “I promise … always.”

Then the presence was gone and Nina spoke with an odd tremor in her voice, “That’s never happened before.”

Tom didn’t say anything—he wasn’t sure he could—so he did the next best thing. He pointed at his lips and then turned his head towards Nina’s voice and starting mouthing words.

Nina seemed sad, “Sorry, Tom. You can talk. They’re gone.”

“Who … or what, was that?”

“Can’t say right now. Not allowed to.”

“Is this a thing with your kind, Nina? Riddles and hints? Not giving out information?”

“You aren’t supposed to know. Only our kind does and it’s something we don’t talk about.”

“Family secret?”

Nina actually laughed, “Oh, it’s a big one. Even bigger than Tera’s age. Don’t ask because I won’t be telling that, either.”

“So, now what?”

“Now we’re continuing on, and then you can take off that blindfold.”

Tom didn’t know what to make of that, either, and then be felt his stomach lurch and twist just like it did when he passed into what Camilla called their Realm before a warm breeze blew through his hair and he heard the sound of birds around him.

“Okay. We’re home now, Tom. You can take it off.”

Tom removed the blindfold and found himself standing in a well maintained courtyard, the grass trimmed to within an inch of its life, the flowers in their beds in precise rows, and not one leaf from one tree falling from a branch.

“Nice gardening. Who’s place is this?”

“Mine. Haven’t been home … for a while.”

Tom considered her as he stuffed the blindfold in a pocket, “Don’t come home much?”

Nina was looking at a building: a simple side-split home in orange brick with a dark brown wood door in front, the door itself oddly marked with what looked to be a symbol that reminded him of the shape … and color … of Nina’s tail.

“Not since I died. Want to come in?”

Tom didn’t know how to answer that and, when he didn’t, Nina just took his hand and pulled him towards the front door.

“Remember I said that I’m a tail? We need to talk about that, I don’t have a lot of time left to do so, and you’ll need to know some stuff when Camilla comes back.” She took hold of the doorknob and, as she turned it, added, “And you can never, no matter what, tell anyone about this. Or I’ll kill you, Tom.”

In spite of his confusion, Tom didn’t doubt she would.

Tom found himself looking at a home that hadn’t been lived in for a long time. Little motes of dust floated in the sunbeams that came through the windows. The light revealed protective sheets covering furniture, the true forms shielded both from dirt and from prying eyes.

This actually made Tom think about Nina more than anything else. All Tom knew was that she was part of Camilla, but he really didn’t know anything else about her. Tom didn’t like mysteries, and here was one of the most complicated ones he had ever seen.

Nina didn’t say anything for some time once they entered the house. Tom watched as she seemed to be transfixed by the stairs that led to the second floor, and by a particular chair in the sitting room next to the door they came in through. Tom glanced around, looking for some sense of who lived here, but, where there should have been pictures, all that remained were nails in the walls and the space here and there on a table where it was obvious a picture should be, but wasn’t.

When Nina just didn’t say a word as she moved from place to place, Tom asked quietly, “How long haven’t you been home Nina?”

She shook herself before answering, “Oh, at least a few centuries, probably longer. Time really means very little to me anymore.”

Tom was going to make a flippant comment, but stopped as Nina pulled a black sheet from a sofa sitting next to the bay windows of the sitting room. She dropped the sheet to the floor and then turned to Tom, “You might as well sit down, Tom.”

He shook his head, “Ladies first. You can have that end, I’ll take this one.”

“Chivalry, Tom?”

He watched her settle in, her legs drawn underneath her and then took the other end of the sofa and sat facing her, “Manners, sure; one of my better points.”

Nina chuckled at that. Tom was pleased that she did. What followed next wasn’t as amusing …

“I think I’ll start by asking what you know about the succubus myth.”

“They take people’s lives, and souls. They are evil. Those are the highlights.”

“I’m a succubus. Or was, once.”

Tom frowned, “You’ve killed, then.”

Nina didn’t look pleased with herself, “Yes. Many times. I’ve done things that are awful, horrible, and evil.”

Tom just looked at her, saying nothing, and, when he didn’t, Nina continued to talk, her hands in her lap with her looking at them and not Tom as she did so. “I cannot make up for all of the things I have done, Tom. I know that I can’t. I can’t bring them back, I can’t do anything to make the past not happen.”

Again, not a word from Tom; just his eyes on her; nothing more.

“I exist as I do now to atone for what I did. I am a reminder to Camilla that … if she isn’t aware of what she does … she’ll …” Nina’s voice trailed off, the rest of the sentence leaving Tom never sure of what she said, if she said anything.

“Camilla doesn’t strike me as the kind to do that. Neither do you. You’re a pain-in-the-ass, Nina, no doubt …”

Nina looked at him and smiled, “Thanks. I’ve had a long time to perfect that.”

“… but stop the self pity, will you?”

The shock on Nina’s face was very plain to see.

“It doesn’t suit you and you are tougher than that. Don’t sugar coat it for me; if you want to dump on me, then do it. Otherwise, we’re playing a game, Nina, and, frankly, neither one of us has the time for it.”

Nina nodded, then stood up and walked out of the room leaving Tom alone for a few minutes before she returned carrying a picture frame. “Here.”

Tom looked at it while Nina settled back in and talked, “That’s me. The real me, or at least the me that existed when I was here. To be honest, I’ve forgotten what I look like. I think that’s part of being a Tail. You lose who you were for who you are joined with.”

Tom looked at the picture, then at Nina before setting it face down on the sofa: “Let me see you.”

“What do you mean?”

“The myths say you can look like anyone. Is that true?”

“Yes.”

“Then let me see you: the real you.”

“Tom, I can’t do that.”

“Why? Are you scared, or is it something else?”

“My life is done, Tom.”

“Doesn’t seem to be from my point of view. I can talk to you, so either you are a figment of my imagination or you are here. Which is it?”

“It’s complicated.”

“You keep saying that. Explain it to me as Nina, not as Nina in Camilla’s body.”

“I … can’t.”

“No, you don’t want to. There’s a difference. Look, you said you are running out of time. Just do it, Nina. Camilla won’t mind.”

“How do you know?”

“Easy. She’s not the kind to hold a grudge.”

“She will, Tom.”

“Then I’ll explain it to her.”

Tom picked up the picture frame and handed to Nina, “Show me who you really are.”

 

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 31

By TeraS

 

“Looking for Mister Right. Are you he?”

The question wasn’t one that John had expected. To be honest, he didn’t expect her to be with things enough to be able to ask anything at all. Normally, there would be screaming or yelling, tears, pain …

… and that’s when the pain pushed through the adrenaline and he gasped loudly in surprise: “This isn’t the time for a date, lady.”

She squirmed beside him—whether she was trying to get out from under the rubble or not he wasn’t sure—“Stop … moving.”

The tone, even through the pain, was firm, and Jane stopped before pleading, “I … want … OUT!” Jane had one secret that he hadn’t shared with anyone save her sister: she was very claustrophobic. The fear that came with being crushed into such a small space made her feel as if all of the weight of all of the rubble was on top of her … she was starting to find it hard to breathe …

“Nowhere to go. We’re both stuck here until they dig us out or something worse happens.”

Her laugh was raspy. “You are such an optimist, aren’t you?”

His answer was not, however: “I’m optimistic that they might not have to amputate my leg.”

Jane had forgotten that this was all in John’s memories and that she was trying to help him. For an instant, she began to change, so she could use her power to simply bampf the two of them out from under the wreckage and to safety. Then she could heal John’s leg and …

… and completely mess everything up. She had to stay, had to allow his memories to move forward into the space the Dark had taken.

She hoped that she could do that.

“They won’t have to.”

“How do you know?”

“You seem like a cane kind of guy to me.”

He did, at least, chuckle a little bit at that: “My old man voice sucks.”

Jane managed to turn her head enough to look at him, or at least look at where the sound of his voice was: “I’m … Jane.”

There. It was done. He would know her name and this moment would connect with when he rescued her from the brownstone in what his memories would call the future from now.

Jane didn’t want to think how messed up that was going to be.

She wasn’t sure if he was looking at her, but, for the longest moment, he said nothing. Another groan—dammit, she didn’t want him to have to suffer through all of this again—and then, finally: “John.”

“Yes? Well, John, when we get out of here, you owe me.”

“I owe you?”

“Absolutely.”

“Lady, you are something else, you know that?”

“Damn right I am. I’m pissed off at this building.”

He sighed, Jane imagining that if he could, he would he shaking his head as well: “If you want to blame someone, how about yourself?”

“Me?”

“What the hell are you doing here?”

Jane thought quickly, she really didn’t have a plan, then told the truth: “My Sister comes here. I was looking for her. Next thing I know, you’re here and we’re under a desk.”

“Better than being under a wall or worse.”

“This is bad enough.”

John was quiet … and then something beeped: “That’s my beacon. They’ll be able to find us.”

“How long?”

“What’s the rush? You have a date or something?”

While Jane appreciated the levity, she explained, “I’m claustrophobic.”

“Ah. Well.”

“Well what?”

He grunted and then took in a sharp breath before he answered: “Me, too, actually. This isn’t a lot of fun for me, either.”

Jane didn’t believe him, “You are so full of it. Is that some kind of fire department training you learned?”

“No, really; I am.”

The tone in those four words told Jane he wasn’t lying to her.

“Sorry. I mean …”

“S’okay. It’s something I don’t think about often. Better, really, as this sort of thing”—he tapped the rubble—“is what they call an ‘occupational hazard.’”

“You are crazy.”

“Thank you. I also like ballroom dancing, curling up with a book, and coffee.”

“Are you hitting on me, John?”

“Me? You’re the one that started asking.”

It took the fire department just over two hours to dig their way through to them. While the beacon did tell them were John was, they found it was just as easy to follow the argument that came from under the rubble. That continued as they were pulled out and put on stretchers …

“And another thing, you are the most frustrating pain-in-the-ass I have ever met.”

“Lady, you need to look in a mirror … seriously.”

“So do you! Better, you need to shave, have a haircut, and learn some manners, you dumb ape!”

The fighting continued as they were carried out of the building and then placed into an ambulance … together. The fighting only stopped when they both were jabbed with needles to knock them out when the paramedics had enough of it all.

But, after they got to the hospital, Jane would wander into his room and berate him for being lazy, not to mention trying to get out of the date that he owed her.

When he could walk—with a cane, mind you—John turned the tables on Jane and walked to her room to chew her out for being stupid enough to get caught in the fire in the first place. This went on for a time, until Jane was discharged, but John would have to remain to recover for a long time, they said.

He found, to his surprise, that he walked the same path to the room where Jane had been several times a day without thinking about it. He claimed it was just exercise and the nurses accepted it, even if they didn’t believe it.

When he didn’t see her for three days, John found that he … missed her.

On the fourth day, after another walk around the floor, he came into his room and found Jane leaning against the window, her body silhouetted there.

“Hi.”

“Hi, yourself.”

She started to walk towards him, “I wanted to see how Mister Right was doing.”

Leaning against his cane, John was going to reply with sarcasm, but stopped himself, “You look … nice.”

She walked up to him and looked into his eyes, “Thank you. They told me that you are not improving as they thought you would.”

“And how, exactly, did you get that info?”

Jane touched his hand, the one that held the cane: “I told them I’m your girlfriend. They believed it because we argue so much.”

John looked down at her hand, then back at her again, “Lady, you aren’t my girlfriend.”

“I can be.”

“Don’t need pity from you or anyone else!”

John was surprised at how strong Jane was. He found himself bouncing on the edge of his bed in the next moment, Jane standing in font of him, both of her hands on his thighs, looking at him with … really … really green eyes: “How about we start over? Hi. I’m Jane. I like reading in bed, I’m lousy at making coffee, I’m a lousy dancer, but I’m stunning in a little black dress.”

As she said the words, Jane couldn’t understand why she was being so forward with him. He was a pain … he drove her around the bend … he had wonderful eyes, though … still, he was a pain … but he did have a nice smile … dammit, this was all so confusing …

John smirked, just a little, “Are you, now?”

Jane continued, “As I understand it, you have a fireman’s ball coming up in three months. The guys at the station tell me that you never go.”

“I don’t.”

“Why?”

The smirk became a smile, “Been looking for Miss Right. You her?”

“That depends.”

“On?”

“On how fast you heal with me kicking your ass every day and how good a teacher you are when it comes to dancing.”

“No stilettos.”

“Only while I kick your ass, John.”

“That a promise?”

The kiss certainly was … but Jane didn’t keep the promise about the shoes.

When John woke up the next morning, Jane was sitting nearby drinking a cup of coffee and watching him.

“What are you doing here?”

“I told you. I’m going to kick your ass and you are going to teach me how to dance.”

John sat up and looked at her, “Are you always this stubborn?”

“Are you?”

John knew the answer to that question, but he didn’t give her the satisfaction. Jane stood up and tossed her cup into a waste bin before she tossed a calendar at John, which landed on his lap.

“So, it’s less than three months until that dance.”

“I’ll never be …”

Jane stood next to John, looking down at him with frustration in her eyes, “Why? Why are you so damn negative, John?”

He shrugged and pushed the calendar to the side, “Because that’s how things are, Jane. The docs have told me that I won’t walk right, won’t be right. There’s nothing that they can do to help.”

Jane took a spot on the bed beside him and then placed a hand on his bad leg. “They don’t know everything. How about having a little faith that miracles can happen.”

“I gave up on the tooth fairy when I was eight.”

“I’ll be sure to tell her that. She’ll be miffed.”

John was going to laugh, but there was something in Jane’s voice that gave him pause … or was it the warmth he felt through the bed sheets from her hand touching his leg. His eyes went from her hand to her eyes before he continued: “You are the eternal optimist, aren’t you?”

This time it was Jane’s turn to pause. He couldn’t possibly be. Could he? “… Someone has to be.”

John complained and grouched throughout the day as Jane pushed him through his physical therapy. He didn’t feel like he managed anything by the end of the day and told Jane so very clearly when she got him back to his room. She poked a finger into his chest and told him that she would see him after dinner.

John really didn’t know what to expect, and, when Jane came back, he decided that he wasn’t going to lose her… even if she drove him crazy every single day. It wouldn’t be easy, but he wasn’t going to let go of her.

Jane stood there, wearing a little black dress looking like a million dollars. She wasn’t joking when she said that she was stunning in one.

“Nothing to say?”

“You promised no stilettos.”

“I lied. Deal with it.”

“That’s going to be really hard to do.”

It was Jane’s turn to smirk, “Oh, I hope so.”

She crossed the room to him and helped John to stand up with her. For a moment, time stopped and he wondered about finding a black tux for her next dance lesson.

“How bad a dancer are you?”

“The worst. But I’ll learn.”

The half dozen prods of her heels onto his slippers put the exclamation point to that.

“You really do have two left feet, you know.”

“Be happy they aren’t hooves, smartypants.”

“Oh I am. Trust me. Now, from the top, and this time step with me, not on me.”

Jane’s smile was nice. He found himself wanting to see it every morning …

 

Storm Clouds

Chapter 32

By TeraS

 

The Receptionist was, as always, at her desk. If you asked any of those in the Realm if they ever saw her not being there, the answer, after a time, would be a slightly confused no.

Not everyone understood what her place was, though there were many opinions. Some thought she was just there to manage things. However, what those things were never really well explained. Some thought she was there for her looks, but they never said that to her, or even anywhere within several dimensions of where she was.

As for herself, she knew why she was there. In the end, that was all that really mattered.

She had greeted Donna, and did smile when Billy introduced himself, as awkward as it was. She herself did not have time for such things, but the young did, and that was the important thing.

After they had left—which was not before Donna left a cruller and a tea with her—she settled in to do some paperwork. There always was paperwork to be done. For the umpteenth time she allowed herself a small snort of derision at the two beings that had made such things part of the universe.

It was when she was reaching for her tea that she looked towards the front doors of the building … her building. While to anyone’s perception she would still be at her desk, in truth she was … elsewhere. On another plane of existence, in the same space where the brownstone stood in the city, there stood an archway, stone with wisps of ethereal, eternal mists, clouds, and fog around it. Within the archway were a pair of seemingly fragile wood doors that could seal off whatever lay behind them from prying eyes.

At this moment the pair of eyes were that of the Dark, regarding the archway again and again, for the umpteenth time, trying to find a way in.

“Are you quite finished?”

It turned to see the Succubi there, leaning against the doors looking almost bored … and that she was a red tail, just like her Queen.

“I will pass.”

“No. Would you like to try again?”

“You cannot keep me out forever.”

“I have all the time in the universes.”

“Insolent.”

She shook her head and then looked at It again, “You know, I have a lovely tea and cruller on my desk which have a far better chance of succeeding than you do.”

“Perhaps I should destroy your home there.”

“Oh, please try. As I recall, that will make the hundredth attempt. You know, at two hundred, I’ll be sure to send a lovely potted plant as a consolation prize.”

“Wouldn’t you rather be Queen instead of serving her?”

For a moment, a very long one, she didn’t answer that question. She seemed as if considering the offer, an exchange for what the Dark wanted most of all.

In the next she was standing in front of the Dark, just out of It’s reach, a silver broadsword in her hands and the tip pressed against It’s chest.

The flippant attitude was gone, and her words were calm … much too calm. “Are we done? Because then I can cut you in half, again, and scatter your remains over a dozen universes. How long did it take last time to pull yourself together?”

The Dark answered her by vanishing.

The Receptionist rather enjoyed her tea and cruller.

And on her desk, a small photograph of a newborn Succubi, with her tail wrapped around a feminine hand, held her attention and made her smile until she returned to her duties once more.

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