Part Four of the ongoing story I’ve been working on for Halloween this October on the Tale. If you’d like to read the prior three parts of this story, you can find them here on the Tale.
The question of good and evil—there is no or if you think about it—comes to a matter of understanding. The words that declare what is right or wrong are words with power. They can shape reality, minds, emotions, and needs. But, when it matters, the question is immaterial for someone that needs the answer they seek.
The Second Coming
The room was still and quiet, a shocking change from what had been moments before. Mandy held Cleo in her arms, Amber was out cold, as was the unfortunate young man that Amber, as a succubus, had sunk her claws into and fed from. The book laid nearby, the cover scored with what looked like claw marks, and Goddess-knew-how many pages beneath were destroyed. The emerald was cracked, dull, no longer a deep green as the pictures had shown before.
All were promising things, save for one that gave Mandy pause.
Cleo’s hair. There was red in it. She’d been warned by the pastor not to leave Cleo alone with the succubus. She feared that she knew the reason why, but prayed silently that she was wrong about it. More, she didn’t know what she was going to do next. Cleo wasn’t in any condition to help, nor was Amber—or her ex-thrall, for that matter. Reaching one hand into the pocket of her jeans, Mandy fingered the card the pastor had given her. She didn’t have any other options.
His voice was staticky: “Hello?”
“Cleo was alone.”
There was a telling silence. She thought her phone had lost the connection, but his whisper came through: “How… is she?”
The question brought the young nun up short, her eyes returning to her paramour: “She’s got some red in her hair. She’s out cold. Can’t say more.”
There was a tremor in his voice: “It starts with that. She’ll change. It’s inevitable.”
“Nothing is inevitable. How do we stop this?”
“You can’t. I can’t.”
“You said if I needed you, to call. Well, I need your ass and I need it now.”
The connection was fading in and out: “It’s not the time.”
“What are you talking about? I’m going to lose Cleo! I need you!”
“They’ll be coming for her … for you.”
The sound of footfalls in the hallway outside drew Cleo’s attention and her eyes darted around the room: “Who?”
“Don’t leave her. Don’t let them take her, no matter what.”
The line went dead.
Mandy stuffed the card away as they came into the room: “Right.”
The first person into the room made Mandy gasp in surprise. The voice was authoritative: “We’ll take over from here.”
Mandy’s blue eyes hardened as they came closer: “Don’t touch her.”
“Sister Miranda, step aside.”
“Not going to happen.”
“You have no choice. Leave her.”
Mandy’s first answer was to wave her cellphone at them as a voice came over the speaker: “911. What’s your emergency?”
Her second response as the interlopers glared was to raise her middle finger: “I need the police and an ambulance! My God! Something’s happened and I can’t wake them up!”
“We’re on the way Ma’am. Say on the line with me.”
By the time the police and ambulance arrived, the visitors were gone. Mandy had little time to gather up the book and the remnants of the emerald, stuffing both underneath the cushions of Amber’s couch outside. Not the best hiding place, but it would do …
… she hoped.
Mandy hadn’t left Cleo’s side, leaving the aftermath of Amber and her victim to the confused police in her wake, speeding away with the ambulance. She’d managed to turn on the gas stove, leaving a strong small of natural gas in the apartment. That would explain why everyone was out cold. Not the signs of sex, or the whips, or bondage paraphernalia, however. Mandy expected an article in one of the checkout rags to have pictures next week. The headline wouldn’t be near to the truth. Thank God … Goddess … whomever.
She didn’t sleep through the night, remaining by Cleo’s side, hoping she’d wake up. His warning kept her awake, praying that she’d not have to see the intruder again. But the visitors were back the next morning as Mandy held vigil in Cleo’s hospital room.
The sun hadn’t come over the horizon as the leader spoke: “None of this will help her, Sister. She needs to be taken to a place where she can be contained.
Mandy should have been cowed by their presence; she should have given in to their demands. She did, however, manage not to tell them to go and fuck themselves. That would have been pushing the limits and she couldn’t afford to do that, not with her.
“Sorry, Your Grace. Cléophée stays here.”
From across the room, her superior rested on an old hospital chair, the image of the proper head of their church, wise in all things … or so it would seem: “She is a threat. We cannot allow her to be free. It’s best we restrain her and exorcise what lurks within her. We have some theories, and …”
The revelation made the redhead shiver with realization: “You have no idea how.”
“The … method … has not been used in centuries.”
“What? Burning her at the stake? Drowning her?”
“They are options.”
Mandy couldn’t breathe. They’d given up on Cleo already, made up their minds. Damn them all!
The prelate moved to leave, placing a card on the other bed in the room: “You will keep me informed?”
Mandy didn’t look. Her focus was on Cleo’s pale features, her reply out of rote: “Yes, your Grace.”
The sunrise came, which found Mandy brushing her fingers through Cleo’s lovely ash-brown hair. Even with the red highlights, she held on to the thought that Cleo was still there, still … Cleo. Her fingertips were brushing over Cleo’s cheek when Cleo took a breath and whispered: “Mandy?”
“Hey … You scared the shit out of me. How are you feeling?”
Cleo looked much older as she sighed and opened her brown eyes, squinting at the light in the room: “Tired. Hurts all over. What happened?”
“You, my sweet dear Cleo, were an idiot. You said you were going to do something stupid and, by God, you did.”
Cleo’s thoughts weren’t of herself: “Doesn’t matter. How’s Amber and that poor man?”
Mandy couldn’t help her smile: “Amber’s been freed, he’ll survive. They’re both in the hospital recovering. Neither remembers exactly what happened.”
Turning on her side, wincing, Cleo pulled a pillow underneath her as she looked towards Mandy: “What … about me.”
Mandy took hold of Cleo’s hand: “You were out cold when I came in. Cleo … you’re …”
“No, you don’t. Her Grace was here. They want to imprison you, and that’s the best part of what they want to do.”
“I meant … I know I have the succubus in me.”
Mandy turned away, sniffling as she did so: “Seems so. Your hair’s got some red in it now.”
“It’s … different than what happened before.”
“In the catacombs it was a split second and I was turned. I don’t understand.”
The younger soul smiled: “I’ll take what I can get. There might be a way out.”
“There’s no way out, Cleo.”
They didn’t have another visit from the powers-that-be of the church, though Mandy couldn’t ignore the two men, looking out of place in their ill-fitting suits, positioned in the waiting room nearby. Not thinking much about the idea of leaving Cleo alone, she managed to convince the nursing staff that it would be quite fine for her to use the other bed in the room to watch over Cleo.
It had also been nice of that receptionist at the hotel to send over a bag of her and Cleo’s things. She still didn’t like that smile, however. Creepy didn’t come close to how ick it was. The evening came with Cleo sitting up in bed, poking at her tray’s contents: “The apple pie is almost edible.”
Mandy’s reply came from the other bed, her focus on the ceiling tiles: “I can bake a better one. I have a family recipe that you’d love.”
Cleo swallowed her bite: “What are you thinking about?”
“They’ve released Amber and Ben. They’re going to release you tomorrow.”
“Which means they’ll be waiting for you to leave. They’ll probably grab you and spirit you away.”
The sound of Cleo’s fork clattering to the table drew Mandy’s attention to her: “What’s up?”
She watched as her mentor pulled herself out of bed, gathered up a robe and some towels: “I need a shower. I’d rather have a bath, these old bones don’t like showers much.”
“You’re not old.”
Cleo didn’t answer that, save to shuffle past Mandy, closing the door to the bathroom soon after. The next thing that Mandy heard was the shower running, and, to occupy herself, she started to gather things for Cleo to wear when she was finished.
The shower ran as Cleo looked into the mirror. She was old, worn, tired. Sighing, she frowned and mumbled to herself: “What are we going to do?”
The steam soon covered the mirror and she turned away, pulling the curtain closed behind her. The soap was barely a sliver, being that it was supplied by the lowest bidder, as was the shampoo. Cleo stepped under the stream of water, soon soaking her short hair before beginning to rub the shampoo in.
Washing the shampoo out took a moment, then she splashed the warm water over her cheeks before her attention turned to soaping away the grime that was covering her skin. As she did so, she said a little prayer, her thoughts of Mandy as she did so. The smallest glimmer of a fantasy caused the smallest of embarrassed smiles to appear.
The first real change, the one that Cleo wasn’t quite aware of, was the wave of red that cascaded over her hair. Bit by bit, inch by terrible inch, Cleo’s lovely ash-brown hair turned to flame, the red that was almost, if not quite, as red as Mandy’s own.
She then felt her hair growing longer, the waterfall of red tickling down her back, the added weight of the water from the shower head making it now impossible to ignore. A few stray locks of hair came over her shoulders, the ends tickling over her chest and Cleo’s hands took hold of the errant red, lifting it to her eyes.
There wasn’t time to think, to cry out for Mandy. A spark of heat, centred deep within her, a need, a throbbing pulse of want, curled itself around her clit, causing Cleo to stumble backwards against the wall of the shower. Hot and wet now, her pussy made her shudder, her back arching. Gasping for breath, her cheeks flushed, she bit her lip as one hand toyed with her folds, the other cupping her breast, pinching a nipple.
“This is what you want. Open yourself to me.”
Cleo shook her head, mouthing a no, trying to resist, but there was nowhere to run to. Still, she couldn’t hide from the voice in her thoughts pressing on her, pushing her, demanding that she give in.
A flash of Mandy, nude, her sex open and weeping, took Cleo’s thoughts. Her want opened the door and the succubus crashed through it.
Mandy didn’t hear a thing.
Cleo’s pupils dilated, a surge passed through her skin, rippling as it traveled from her sex up to her forehead and down to the tips of her toes. She was groping her cleavage now; her body began to change, a gasp and moan escaping her finally, but not in her voice as it was. On the edge of her perception, it sounded lighter, breather, seductive and erotic.
It wasn’t her.
“But it is.”
With nipples far more perky than she had in her younger years, her breasts began swelling, her hands not able to hold them. Her nails lengthening, her skin became young, flawless, inhumanly perfect. Another wave of power cascaded through her, making her younger by the moment, ten years, twenty, even more, and still it didn’t stop.
Cleo shrieked, her body becoming hypersensitive, no longer the Cleo of learned years and knowledge, but a young, seductive woman whose body wanted one thing. That cry, and the sound of Cleo falling in the shower, Mandy heard clearly, and she rushed inside.
She found Cleo curled up on the shower floor, the water raining down on her. It was Cleo—there was enough there for Mandy to know it was her, without question. But the tears that came, seeing Cleo changed, were also accompanied by something she had forgotten:
Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.
Mandy didn’t care about the water as she struggled to help Cleo sit up in the shower, her clothing being soaked through in moments. Cleo’s hands covered her face as she cried for what she’d lost.
“You should be happy for what you’ve gained!”
“Oh, God, Mandy.”
“Shh … It’s okay. Look at me.”
Cleo’s tear reddened brown eyes looked into Mandy’s blue: “What am I going to do?”
Mandy’s words hid the little shiver of pleasure she had in seeing her lover transformed: “We can’t stay here. You don’t look anything like … you.”
They looked at each other, Mandy holding Cleo, she shivering in her arms. The two redheads held each other’s gaze, a long moment passed, neither moving. It wasn’t clear which of them was the first, it didn’t matter. The needful kiss of two lovers, their desires opened at last, did.
The kiss was deep and soulful. Both were gasping in surprise when they had to part, their desire for one another now having no need to be hidden from view.
“Mandy … I …”
“I know. Cleo, I’ve always known.”
Cleo twined some of Mandy’s wonderful red hair around one of her fingers: “What are we going to do?”
Mandy had a smile that made Cleo shiver: “Oh … I have an idea about how we’re getting out of here.
The ache of the succubus within her grew a little, assuming that soon Cleo would be feeding. The whisper was heartfelt: “Please, don’t let me hurt anyone.”
“You won’t. I promise.”
With Mandy’s help, Cleo stood up and left the shower, wrapping the robe she’d brought around her waist. The mirror was still steamed over, but she could see the red of her hair reflected in it.
“Close your eyes.”
The sound of a towel being wiped over the mirror came.
“Have a look.”
The woman in the mirror opened her eyes, her lovely kissable red lips parted in surprise. Her hair. It was like fire now, but looking at Mandy, Cleo was, somehow, pleased that Mandy’s hair was brighter than her own. The robe parted in a way that left no illusion that her cleavage had doubled, possibly more than that. The hourglass figure, which the terrycloth robe did nothing to disguise, was mesmerizing.
“Perfect aren’t we? Prey will be crawling to us.”
Cleo was shocked how much she’d been changed. Licking her lips without realizing it, she sighed: “Well, I’m not getting out of here in the nude. I can’t leave wearing a hospital gown, either.”
Mandy’s cupping of Cleo’s cleavage was a surprise. More so when her smile became a little larger: “You won’t be.”
Cleo’s shivering wasn’t from being cold. The need deep inside her was inflamed by Mandy’s touch.
“She’ll be delicious.”
Cleo pushed herself away, trying to get space between them both, for Mandy’s sake.
“Liar! You want her.”
She’d managed to put her bed between them: “Mandy, no! That’s what it wants! It wants … you!”
“I know. But you want me, too. We’re going to use that.”
Cleo’s confusion was plain to see as Mandy turned away, opening the bags that had been delivered: “They are expecting two nuns. They won’t be expecting … us.”
The confusion got worse as Mandy dangled one flame red heel in one hand and a bit of sparkly fabric in the other.
“I’m not going to be able to resist you.”
Her smile was telling: “I hope not.”
The two watchers weren’t paying much attention. They’d been there the entire day and nothing had happened. They weren’t quite awake when the two young women walked down the hallway.
They woke up some when they passed by. It was impossible to miss two stunningly beautiful, erotically so, redheads walking together hand in hand. From the come-fuck-me-heels, to the barely-there miniskirts and the tighter than tight tank tops, there was no ignoring them.
They were, to be blunt, sex on heels.
The saying written on their tops, one of which was stretched to the point where her nipples were pressing clearly against the fabric, was even more to the point. Each had a glittering arrow, pointing at the other. The saying?
Their hips rolled as they passed, thrusting out their chests, their bodies on display in wanton lust. Every few steps one would lick and suck at the other’s neck with her red painted lips, or the other would caress a hand, with their long red nails, possessively over her partner’s ass.
When they arrived at the elevators, they spent the time waiting for one to arrive, lips pressed against lips, tongues playing against each other. The sound of the bell announcing the arrival of the elevator was ignored, at least long enough for one to push the other against the elevator doors. They opened in the next moment, the two stumbling in, giggling, but not stopping their tongue and lips playing with each other. As the elevator doors closed, the last view of the two women was one redhead pushing the other against a mirrored wall, the other gasping in surprise and need.
In the elevator, Mandy pressed Cleo against the wall: “I wasn’t sure that was going to work.”
Cleo moaned, her heat building from Mandy’s own: “You … You need something less slutty as a wardrobe. Some tweed jackets would … gawd … be a start. I … don’t want to know what they were thinking!”
Mandy’s cherry red lips caressed Cleo’s own: “I think … they either wanted to fuck us both, or they wanted to watch me go down on you.”
Cleo’s whimpers turned lustful as Mandy’s fingers dipped beneath her skirt: “Mandy … please …”
Hot breath on Cleo’s clit made Mandy’s next words shattering: “For you? Anything Cleo. Always and forever.”
As a very talented tongue stroked Cleo’s clit, her purr was on the edge of a growl as she moaned: “Mirandaaaaa …”