Oct 07 2016

A Review of The Demon’s Daughter Likes to Watch by Nessa Triskelion

The Demon's Daughter Likes to Watch by Nessa Triskelion

The Demon’s Daughter Likes to Watch by Nessa Triskelion

A short time ago I reviewed the first work in a new series about a succubus named Elodie and you can find that review here on the Tale. At the time I noted a series of questions and issues that bothered me about the work. I also mentioned what I had hoped might be the focus of any works that followed. Recently another work did appear and while there was some opportunity for more story to be told, and there was to a point, the story of Elodie herself seemed to go into a bit of a tail spin… literally.

Telling a story needs to be more than a narrative about what happens around a character. Even when that story has some heat in it, not doing something with that heat can be disappointing. It’s a shame when much of the story seems to be pieced together and the outcome winds up to be not much more than an interlude.

The second work in Elodie’s story is:

The work tells the story of:

Elodie is a fledgling succubus just trying to make her way through college. When she and her best friend have the opportunity to watch a pair of girls make out in the showers, will she be able to resist trying out her powers on Stephanie? No. No she won’t. And the result will certainly be juicy…

Elodie has a series of issues, not the least of which is that she needs a job and quickly. Being dragged by her best friend to work out brings with it a little voyeurism, some fun and games and the possibility of something going right for her. But not all things are quite expected and family is, after all, family.

I had the feeling that this work was a little lost for the most part. There didn’t seem to be a real direction to the story at times for one. The other issue was that the erotica felt almost tacked onto the story as an afterthought. The heat simmered, trying to come to a boil, but never really got there. It teased and not much more than that. More so, the erotica didn’t really “show” very much, leaving much of what happened to the reader’s imagination. It was a little disappointing in that this work is about Elodie, she is a succubus, and she barely acts as one.

Part of that is Elodie’s character, her desire to not depend on the talents she has, which storywise is interesting to read. But that means the story falls back on what happens otherwise to her. Her day isn’t really under her control so much as she is dragged along by circumstance. Elodie tends to be rather whiny much of the time, but there are moments when the story takes a positive turn.

Some of this is her desires when she encounters someone, some is her past which is touched on more. Still more comes from the appearance of a family relation. But in all of these moments it happens so fast that little time is spent on developing things than it is in a rush to move onto the next moment in the story. Much like the first work in the series, this work is too short, which leaves a lot of story and development to the side.

I really do like Elodie as a character. I’d like to know more about her mother, which doesn’t happen, and as for Lala, Elodie’s aunt that appears for a fleeting moment there’s a certain familiarly about her, one that suggests that this universe is connected with another series in some way. Perhaps, as in that series, there will be something told about Lala herself along with Elodie.

While there are no obvious editing issues, the story is short, the heat of the erotica is lacking. Character development gets a toehold, enough to start to tell something about Elodie herself, but only skims the surface. The main thing, as a whole, is the work is far too short and that hurt the heat, the story itself and the characters.

Three out of five pitchforks.

The heat that exists in this work doesn’t actually settle around Elodie. It holds itself to a pair of minor characters that appear, then vanish moments later. Even when Elodie’s powers come to the fore and there is some heat, that felt muted and inconsequential. That said, the telling of more about Elodie, her life, her family and those around her was what kept me in this story. But it wasn’t quite as strong as the first work in the series.

There will, obviously I think, another work in the series to come. Perhaps with that will also be some focus on building Elodie’s character, telling about her mother, who still is a mystery, and perhaps take Elodie from being something of a wall flower into something more.

I hope so, because there’s a lot about Elodie I like and would like to see more of. I hope that will be.

 

Tera

Oct 07 2016

A Review of Hunted by the Lustful Futa Succubus by Felicia Dumont

Hunted by the Lustful Futa Succubus by Felicia Dumont

Hunted by the Lustful Futa Succubus by Felicia Dumont

I enjoy works that have history and background to their characters. I feel that makes them something more. There’s things to wonder about, consider as the work unfolds. Sometimes those hints involve other characters as well, and then I’d like to know what happened then. It doesn’t happen often, which leaves a lot of questions behind, but that I can accept.

The issue comes when the story closes on a point where it’s obvious that something more needs to follow, that the two characters have something to figure out, and doesn’t explore that. A cliffhanger on work with nothing to follow it bothers me.

  • Title: Hunted by the Lustful Futa Succubus
  • Author: Felicia Dumont
  • Length: 22 Pages
  • ASIN: B01DPRZ21G
  • Publishing Date: March 31, 2016
  • This work at Amazon.com

It is the story of:

Gwen has been on the run for a long time. Better to be safe than sorry, when you’re a vampire. But it seems that Gwen’s sexual passions have garnered the attention of a lustful succubus, who has sought out the vampire across the world, using her own sexual aura to find her. When the succubi finally catches Gwen, she has more than one surprise in store for the lonely vampire.

Gwen is a vampire, a very experienced one at that. Playing it safe has kept her alive so far, but when an encounter leaves her rattled she finds that she has been hunted for centuries by a succubus that wants her. The question is, what exactly does that mean for them both?

The work tells a lot about Gwen, some of her past, her thoughts about her life as a vampire. The interesting part of that is all of the history she has, what she’s done and where she’s been. There’s a hint of her being, at least a little, worried about her life, trying to protect herself as much as she can. When she meets with a friend and a threat seems to appear, that’s where the story takes the turn towards Miranda, the succubus of the story.

Miranda is a futa succubus, but she’s different than most characters like her. She’s intent on Gwen, and the why of that, what it means, how it unfolds is what I wanted to see more of. The problem is that, compared to Gwen, really very little is told about Miranda. Her history is murky, save that she’s been on the Earth as long as Gwen has. Miranda’s been searching for Gwen, tells of some of the places they have been.

And that’s the problem, It’s a bit of name dropping really, there’s no detail, no expansion on that point. It’s a hint as to Miranda’s need to find Gwen, but not told. That plot, which I wanted to know of, is just put out in the work as a teaser, then it left behind as the work moves towards the erotica.

That erotica is a hot flash, actually a fairly good one, with a little bit of succubus and vampiric powers mixed in with the futa theme. It is short however, the moment passes very quickly and then the story concludes very rapidly. The conclusion leaves the promise of something more to be told, but never gets there. It’s a shame really because the erotica turns the work in what would be an interesting direction, to tell a larger story about both characters, but doesn’t.

Overall, the story could have continued in that vein, told that story, opened both characters up, told more about Miranda’s past as well. There are a number of lost opportunities here, and I wish the author had delved into them.

The characters are interesting, the plot is a little thin overall. The erotica could have had more heart, perhaps moving into a second scene between Miranda and Gwen that was not quite so rapid and forced overall. There’s a lot that could have been done, but it wasn’t.

Three out of five pitchforks.

I liked Gwen, she was interesting. I needed more about Miranda by far. Her past isn’t explored, only teased at, and in doing so a lot of opportunity was lost to tell a larger story. I’ve said it many times that erotica without story is disappointing. This work just about avoided that, and I really wish more time had been spent on telling the past encounters between Gwen and Miranda. There’s another story in there, there’s a story to follow this one, but it never appeared.

 

Tera

Oct 06 2016

Succubi Image of the Week 455

There are songs about the Devil and his fiddle, there are stories about that as well.  In the case of Succubi, wouldn’t it be more more sensual? Something in which one pours themselves into making the instrument they are playing… sing? For me, I think that might be the violin. This week’s image tells a story about that thought…

Melody's melody by HandsofMidaz

Melody’s melody by HandsofMidaz

This work is called Melody’s melody and is by the artist HandsofMidaz who can be found on DeviantArt here and you can find the original page with this art on DeviantArt here.

This might be one of the most wonderful pieces of Succubi art that I have found this year. It’s just an exquisite image as a whole, but there’s so much more. The details in Melody, her form, her outfit, her expression tell so much about her. She’s held by her passions for her music, in making her joys within her known. There’s that little smile she has in which it feels like she is at peace with herself in this moment.

The little artistic touch of having her tail twine around her brings that out a little more I feel, adding to her overall look and mood. It’s a snapshot of being whole with oneself, of knowing who they are… And that’s the most interesting thing about this. Melody is telling her story in all ways if one cares to listen…

A story? Perhaps…

 

Tera

Oct 05 2016

A rather cute looking corset Devil Costume…

Red Sequin Devil Corset CostumeIt is October and Halloween is fast approaching… Sometimes the best costumes are those that simply are elegantly sexy. Sometimes that takes someone to actually care about what they create and what love they give to their creation. It is always nice to find such things…

This is called the Red Sequin Devil Corset Costume and I found this on eBay some time ago. It is the creation of a small corset designer and, as such, there’s quite a lot here that I like because it is clear they cared about what they created.

The costume comes with a steel boned corset dress, the devil horns and the pitchfork the model is holding. Shoes are not included and it sells for $160 US.

That is not, really, an outrageous price for the corset, and really I only would want the corset  for the horns and pitchfork aren’t really all that wonderful. But the corset? That I really do like quite a lot.

Matching the corset with the right horns and shoes would be wonderful I think and it does give me something to ponder over.

This is a prime example I think of a costume idea that works, needing only a few minor changes and as such I think it is quite promising.

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

Lovely, save for the horns and pitchfork, but those aren’t that difficult to change to something better…

 

Tera

Oct 04 2016

A Review of Seductress Seduced by Kira Barker

Seductress Seduced by Kira Barker

Seductress Seduced by Kira Barker

Quite some time ago there was a series called The Embassy in which each work in the series told the story of one supernatural being or another. In one of these, of course, the main character turns out to be a succubus. While that garnered my interest, what kept me was something about her that tugged at me. A seeming feeling that she didn’t really care much, that she’d seen too much and for too long. But beyond that, she’d found that some things she could do, she never wanted to again. That was something I wanted to see unfold.

To be a succubus means, much of the time, you know exactly what the other person wants. What happens when you aren’t really sure if you do know? Moreover, what happens when the control you’ve placed on yourself is stretched to the limit and beyond?

It is the story of:

Welcome to The Embassy…

The Embassy is a matchmaking service catering to supernatural clients, and those who would love to satisfy their curiosity. Be it vampires, werewolves, demons, or humans, everyone finds the perfect partner to make their fantasies come true!

When your entire life revolves around sex, it’s easy to forget how much fun it can be–at least that is how succubus Viveca has been feeling for quite some time. But then she is approached to take care of Garrett, hotshot new insatiable lover for the female clients of the Embassy. He’s been trying to get on Viveca’s radar for quite some time, and he is very open for all kinds of exploration. After all, it takes a real man to even attempt to satisfy a sex goddess.

Viveca has seen a lot in 2,000 years of being a succubus. She’s done everything, seen it all. She’s become almost bland resigned to sex and for a succubus, that’s not a good thing to happen. A call to take care of a new client is intriguing, bothersome, irritating and that’s just Garett’s personality. Taking control and using him as she wishes, Viveca’s self control is pressed and she faces something she never wanted to again. The taking of another soul.

The most interesting part of this work for me was delving into Viveca’s personality as the story unfolds. To see things from her perspective and listen to her thoughts. She’s dominant, every bit the seductress and succubus she appears to be. Honestly Viveca’s character I adored because her thoughts allowed a glimpse into her own soul. To explore her own wants and needs, but also her fears and more. She’s a very complex character and through the story facets of her are brought out then shuffled around to deal with what comes next.

If Viveca is slightly mysterious, then Garrett is painfully self-centred at the beginning of the story and I really didn’t care for him very much. Even as the heat came into play, he submitting to Viveca and what comes from that, as a character I just didn’t care for him. It’s one thing to be self-confident, it’s another thing completely to act like an ass until the whip is literally cracked on your rear.

The mystery of Garett, when it is revealed, honestly wasn’t that surprising. There were a lot of hits about what he was, what he could mean to Viveca and what that might result in for both of them. There’s a lot of dancing around his truth, trying to keep it under wraps as long as possible. The point in the story when it comes out feels a little odd, mostly I think because of what Viveca went through in the moment before.

There’s a fair bit of teasing from both characters, they play off each other well I thought. The erotica focuses mainly on Viveca dominating Garett and where that takes them both. The BDSM pushes some limits, but not so much as to make things impossible or silly. It feels very much like the author might have tried out some of the things their characters do all things considered I thought.

The erotic heat is quite good, though some of the more dominant moments are pushing things to the point that some of the heat was lost for me. The climax was a little too quick for my liking, erotica-wise and felt a bit like the author was rushing to the ending. The ending itself tied up a lot of loose ends, explained who Garrett was, and how Viveca changes as a result. But there’s something missing.

As much as this story comes to a sense of closure, I wanted more out of the ending than the very quick one that came here. I would have liked more actual dialogue between Viveca and Garrett for one, and I wish there would have been a little more of the “what comes next” than the “promise of something will happen, but you’ll have to imagine what that is.”

Four out of five pitchforks.

It’s a shame the series never returned to either of Viveca or Garrett, save for in passing. This work tells the story of the beginning, but it leaves the middle and beyond left to the reader’s imagination. It would have been nice to see a part two, but that never happened. The balance of the series was as well written as this work is, but as there isn’t any appearance of succubi or incubi, they didn’t interest me as much as this one did.

The thing about hope is that when it is found, the story needs to tell where things go from there. Ending the story with the promise, at least for the characters, of more sex is a start. The question is where do things go from there. Again, a story never told or expanded on and that’s a shame honestly.

 

Tera

Oct 04 2016

A Review of His Darkest Desires: Transforming Him into a Fertile Succubus by Lily Fey

His Darkest Desires: Transforming Him into a Fertile Succubus by Lily Fey

His Darkest Desires: Transforming Him into a Fertile Succubus by Lily Fey

The problem with a lot of erotica, regardless of the theme or anything else, is that sometimes there are things missing. For example, a major character who drives a plot forwards, one that without whom there wouldn’t be a story… doesn’t have a name. It seems to me that is something important, even necessary I would think.

Beyond that, there comes the question of mixing story with erotica well. The difficulty comes in when the main plot of the story rushes towards the conclusion, and the author doesn’t see a need to tell more about what’s happening other than how the sex is. Doing so leaves something missing, especially in a transformation story.

  • Title: His Darkest Desires: Transforming Him into a Fertile Succubus
  • Author: Lily Fey
  • Length: 28 Pages
  • ASIN: B0149JX4CI
  • Publishing Date: August 20, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

It is the story of:

Best friends Quinn and Alan decide to perform a succubus summoning ritual for kicks. Despite their skepticism, strange things begin to happen! Quinn is visited in the night by a sexy supernatural presence that decides to make his darkest desires come true.

When he wakes up the next morning, Quinn discovers that he’s slowly transforming into a beautiful woman with a craving for the carnal. Little does he know that he’s destined to become a fertile succubus, meant to be used and degraded for all of eternity!

Quinn finds that summoning isn’t a joke when succubi are involved. An offer accepted means that Quinn is becoming a succubus, in mind, body and soul. Nightmare or dream, it’s hard to say, but either way, the future is coming.

One of the problems I have with this work is a very simple one. There is a succubus character in the work, she’s very present, she drives the story forwards and is in control of things much of the time. But she’s never named. She’s always referred to as “the succubus” and that gets frustrating very quickly. More so when the erotica comes into play. It’s odd to hear dialogue where a character is referred to as “the succubus” and there are two of them in the room.

I’m not quite sure that the unnamed succubus is stereotypical in her nature. There are some pieces of dialogue and story that seem like it, but then there’s a little bit of compassion in her which manages to avoid that, if barely so. She is a futa succubus, and that isn’t really played up much in the work, mainly because the focus really is on Quinn and his transformation into a succubus.

Quinn’s transformation takes up much of the story, leading to a sex scene, it really isn’t much of a hot flash, at the beginning of it. The latter scene is slightly better, but again it doesn’t have a lot of heat in it. Quinn isn’t physically like the other succubus character, but has some aspects of her within his/her changed form.

That change, when it’s complete, reads well, but then there’s a mental shift in Quinn that’s like flipping a switch and it’s jarring overall. There’s a reasonable explanation for that earlier in the work, but considering his thoughts prior to that moment, the falling to her new form just didn’t work for me.

There is a story here, but it needs more fleshing out. There should be more time spent in Quinn’s transformation and change, but isn’t. The ending is abrupt, odd, and somewhat stereotypical as well. There was promise here, it starts to appear, but then the story rushes towards the sex and the story breaks down. It’s only the whispers of the unnamed succubus to Quinn that keeps things from falling directly into porn scenes and paper thin plot.

Two out of five pitchforks.

Parts of the work were actually quite good. One issue I have comes from how Quinn’s transformation is handled in the story. It’s glossed over somewhat, being pushed below the sex scenes which were more porn than erotica. The other is simply not giving the more experienced, and powerful, succubus a name. That bothers me, over and over again as I read and that took much of the heat from her presence away.

The author released another succubus transformation work and I’ll review that one shortly as well…

 

Tera

Oct 03 2016

The Second Coming – Part I By TeraS

I’m going to be trying something different in a lot of ways this October on the Tale. I have a story to tell; it isn’t really part of the Realm, mind you. Still, I have been nudged by some to “try and write something more evil”, for whatever that might be worth considering. However, my idea of “evil” and theirs, I think, are two completely different things.

Still, I have an idea, it is October, and Halloween is fast approaching. What follows is a story that I intend to complete by Halloween, if all goes well and if … other things allow me to do so.

It’s different, as I have mentioned, but … as in all things I write, I suppose … We’ll see …

There are some things in the universe that should never be allowed to have what might be called …

 

The Second Coming
Part I
By TeraS

 

There are some sounds which are unmistakable. The sound of someone crying out in passion is one of them. Of crying out as they orgasm, their bodies covered in sweat, their breath, if they can catch it, taken away … or stolen … or worse still.

“Harder, you worthless worm!”

For those that called this particular little four story brownstone apartment complex home, such sounds were very uncommon, at least up until the last few months or so as some recalled things. The place hadn’t been known for wild parties, loud neighbours, or, really, anything untoward or bothersome to anyone.

“Give me your hot spunk!”

Even when the mousey twenty-something had moved in, there was no sign at all that she was anything other than a respectable woman starting out in the world. Rather bookish, nothing flashy about her, she’d been quite friendly to everyone there. Many of the more mature individuals had thought her to be more than pleasant and were happy to see that the calmness of their little slice of the city would remain the same.

“Fuck me harder! Oh fuck yes!”

Something changed about her, what it was exactly no one was really sure when they thought about it. Her eyes seemed different; she changed her hair colour. The most apparent change was the pornstar cleavage that she must have been hiding under those baggy sweaters of hers became very prominent in the corsets and leather she was suddenly wearing.

“You’re mine, slave.”

Most had turned their eyes away from what started to happen. At least most were able to ignore the thumping sounds at first, assuming she was moving furniture or something. However, the occasional boyfriend—though in many cases that was questionable—who came to her apartment, then left in the middle of the night, was something many couldn’t ignore.

“Use your tongue!”

One of the other tenants had confronted her about the noise and the seemingly endless stream of men and women that came to her. Afterwards, they didn’t seem to mind very much about her, the noise, or anything else, for that matter.

“You fucking slut! On your knees!”

It was the weekend before Halloween that one tenant in the building was speaking—in confession, of course, as such things that were happening weren’t the sort of thing spoken about in polite company—with her pastor. She told of her concerns about the young woman, how strange things had become, the sights and sounds they had heard.

“Join us! Oh my fuck, yes!”

The good man explained that times had changed and sex was not evil. The parishioner left, worries calmed, for the moment. However the same couldn’t be said about him. There was one particular comment made which brought a frown.

“Gawd, you’re a hot fuck!”

It was meant as a joke, a commentary on the sexual frenzy the young woman seemed to be capable of now. How almost otherworldly her sexual appetites were, how those that entered her domain didn’t seem to be quite right afterwards. How she didn’t, for lack of a better term, seem right somehow. Almost as if she wasn’t quite human.

“What the hell’s that?”

There are some secrets held in places that few are able to see. Knowledge of the past, of legends and things thought to be legends, but actually very real. Some are shared among the trusted, to act as tripwires in the world, to warn of impending dangers, beings coming to this world. To attempt, if possible, to stop such things long before they can do harm.

“Fuck, no!”

In the past, such reports were carried by messenger, taking months to engender a response. In the modern world, such reports, when they were made, took but moments to find their way to those that could understand such things. A report transcribed, pictures attached—one in particular very concerning for what it showed. A click of a mouse and it was away, leaving the sender to pray for the soul of the young woman and hope for the best.

“mmmm. Fuck … yesssss …”

Elsewhere, in a place that simply didn’t exist to the world at large, a soft chime sounded, announcing the receipt of an email. The computer waited, patiently—for it was a computer, after all, and couldn’t do much else without someone using it as the tool it was. It wouldn’t matter if it was hours; the email would sit there waiting. A creaking sound gave notice that a door had opened, the sound of feet shuffling across the room making it clear that someone had entered. A slim hand reached out, shook the mouse attached to the computer, and set about reading the email.

She had heard of many things in her time, been taught about the comings and goings of spirits, angels, and devils in this world. Things that the world in general didn’t believe in, or, when they came to see such things, if rarely, they ignored or obfuscated, save on those occasions when they went mad.

Sometimes she envied the ones that had gone mad. She traced a finger along the glowing text, her frown deepening and her concern growing. Finding the attached pictures, she clicked through them, one by one, until she stopped at the very last one.

“Well, damn us all.”

With another click a printer started to make whirring noises, putting the report to paper. She mulled things over in her mind as it did so, her thoughts not as they usually were about why the bureaucracy of the Church needed to have everything on paper. She hadn’t been needed; her role had been changed from dealing with demons and the like to dealing with bureaucrats. It had been ages since the last time she’d had to face this. She remembered what happened then, the threat she had faced, what she had been forced to do. More ominously, she remembered the promise made to her …

“You will be mine.”

As the last sheet of paper came out of the printer, she gathered the sheets up and made her way across the room to her desk. It seemed that she was needed again, whether those above her liked it or not—likely not. The threat was clear; at least the report made it so. Now the problem was to overcome the inertia of those around her. Settling into an old, well-worn leather chair, a stray lock of ash-brown hair fell out of place and she blew it away from her nose.

“You look happy, Cleo.”

Cleo looked across the room as she tucked her hair into place and frowned: “I’m not. Come in, Mandy. Close the door.”

Mandy, proper name Miranda, frowned: “Okay, if you’re not calling me by my proper name, whatever it is has to be a ball of suck.”

The sigh was a long one: “Oh … it is.”

Cleo watched as her protegé, née assistant, closed the door and locked it. An idle thought, one she had had many times, passed: “Young, confident, attractive. Who did she piss off to be here?” She had always wondered about her: how she came to be involved with the church, how she wound up being assigned to Cleo’s own little personal hell. It seemed to her that a vibrant young woman like Miranda should be out in the world acting in a public relations role, possibly on television, being interviewed about the church and dealing with the many issues it faced. Her thoughts were interrupted by Miranda settling into the other chair in the room, after putting a stack of papers that were in her way on the floor.

Miranda didn’t look like the typical nun. Cleo had never seen her looking anything but casual. She liked running shoes, blue jeans, and T-shirts with sayings written on them. Today’s shirt was no exception: “All I need today is a little coffee and a whole lot of faith.”

Cleo smiled, she couldn’t help it. Mandy winked, her blue eyes sparkling as she gathered her hair into a ponytail with a scrunchie: “You like?”

“I think it’s very apt.”

“How so?”

Her brown eyes narrowed slightly as she replied: “How well do you know me?”

Mandy paused in the midst of getting her hair under control: “Professionally or personally?”

“Both.”

Finishing gathering her hair, Mandy picked up a pair of Cleo’s glasses off her desk and put them on. “Professionally, you have been director of the catacombs since 1991. Your guidance has taken what had been a loose collection of scrolls and books whose contents were unknown to the world and made it a wealth of information about the legends of the past.”

Resting a hand against her cheek, Cleo sighed as she thought, “I wish I could keep you thinking that.”

Miranda continued: “By 2000, the collected wisdom and teachings had been collated and sorted into what is the largest collection of lore on Earth. Following that marvel, you pressed onwards and drove into a ten-year long personal project to examine every artifact held here, entering them all into the database and cross-connecting them to the texts involved.”

Another breath of air directed at that lock of hair covered up her shiver at remembering one particular artifact and what happened late one might when she was left alone with it.

“Currently, you are … teaching …”—the pause was telling, as was the look Mandy was giving—“… Miranda Meyer to take over your role here when you retire, sometime in the distant future.”

She smiled: “Nice summary.”

The glasses went back on the table as Mandy took the scrunchie out of her hair, allowing it to fall in waves around her petty features.

“Personally … well, that’s something neither of us has quite figured out yet, but … I’m having fun.”

Cleo’s mood brightened: “Tease.”

A blue-tipped fingernail was poked in her direction: “I’d say the same about you, but then you are my boss, so I’d better not.”

Taking a sip of coffee, Cleo replied: “I still don’t know why I put up with you.”

Mandy returned to putting her hair back into a ponytail, her thoughts betraying that she wanted to know what was bothering her friend, if not quite lover: “So. What’s crawled into your panties and can I be the one to … pull them down and take care of it?”

The reply was unexpected and the choking fit went on for a few minutes, Mandy sitting there and looking as innocent as she could. Cleo was older, yes, but to Mandy that only meant she was more experienced, in a lot of ways. Yes, she had a crush on her—she wasn’t exactly hiding it either. Still, the flirting didn’t go much further than that and the one kiss they’d shared left Mandy wondering what it would be like if Cleo was her age. That particular thought was the source of a lot of daydreams that she wasn’t all that sorry about.

Wiping tears from her eyes, Cleo sighed: “Ah yes, now I remember. It’s your sparkling personality and all of the times you’ve told people to … what was it …”

“… go and fuck themselves when they wanted to get in your way?”

The reply to that was a raised coffee mug and a nod. Mandy was very good at running interference, but at the same time she was more than capable of dealing with the bureaucracy and keeping Cleo out of it.

Thank God.

Mandy’s expression turned earnest: “Okay. Spill it. What’s going on?”

Cleo put the mug down and gathered the report into her hands: “This morning a report came in from a diocese. It tells of … well …” She handed the report over: “… you read it.”

The earnest expression turned from Cleo towards the papers, becoming quizzical. With a shrug, Mandy started to read the report, skimming over it at first, then suddenly stopping when she came to the middle of the second page and starting over again. When she was done, her eyes returned to Cleo: “Okay. A girl’s on a sex kick, screwing left, right, and centre, and someone didn’t like it, complained about it in confession and then … this appears in your box.”

“What do you make of it?”

“Nothing. She sounds like a randy tramp that’ll fuck anything in sight.”

“Anything else?”

Reading the report again, Mandy pursed her lips when she came upon it: “That’s … impossible.”

Cleo handed over the picture that sealed things for her: “No, it isn’t.”

Mandy stared at the picture in disbelief: “Cosplayer or something … has to be some kind of fetish.”

“No. I wish that was true, but … no.”

Her eyes flicking from Cleo to the picture, Mandy asked: “You’re seriously telling me that she’s some kind of devil?”

Learning back, her blue eyes watered: “No, she’s human, mostly. It looks like she’s been possessed by a succubus.”

“How do you know?”

Still looking at the ceiling, Cleo didn’t dare look at Mandy: “Ever wonder why there’s that sealed-up section of the catacombs?”

“Not really. The signs say it’s unsafe, structurally unsound.”

Cleo’s voice lowered: “It isn’t. It contains … things that should never have been found.”

“Cleo … What are you saying exactly?”

“You know all of those legends? The stories about devils and angels, possession and so on?”

“It’s real?”

Leaning forwards, she looked across the desk: “I was there, around the witching hour one Halloween. I found a locked chest in which there were … things. Dark things.”

Mandy started to laugh, but when she saw the look in Cleo’s eyes she choked it away: “You’re serious?”

“There are two kinds of sex demons. Name them.”

Mandy’s reply was by rote: “They are the succubus and the incubus. They seduce mortals, take their souls and … are you telling me you encountered one of them?”

A short nod was the answer.

“Heavens …”

Cleo’s eyes wandered around the room: “I found myself at the mercy of an incubus. He wanted … a succubus mate. Needed one to start his conquest of the world. I was … handy …”

“What happened?”

“I came within a soul’s breath of being made a succubus. He had everything needed save one thing. I didn’t know what he was talking about, he searched, trying to find it. He ran out of time, was banished back to where he came from when his time was up. When I came to my senses, I got out of there. The next day I had the place sealed off.”

Mandy put the picture on the desk between them: “And this?”

Cleo looked at the picture again: “She seems to have come into possession of what he was looking for, and then been possessed.”

Her finger tapped the picture. It showed what might well be the most sexually alluring women either of them had ever seen: deep cleavage, a wild mane of hair. That wasn’t strange; there were a lot of beautiful people in the world after all. What were haunting were her red eyes and the green emerald that was nestled above her cleavage, one that was glowing, seemingly merged with her body, tendrils of similar green spending out from it under her skin.

“She’s the host for a succubus.”

Mandy didn’t say anything for a long time, the shadows in the room moving slowly as the light of the day turned slightly darker.

“Assuming you’re right … what happens next?”

Cleo’s answer made Mandy shiver: “I … don’t know.”

“Okay, where do we start then?”

“Have to gather some things from the artifacts. I’m … going to deal with this.”

“Why?”

Cleo’s expression turned sour: “As my … penance … for what happened … this is my responsibility.”

Cleo had never heard Mandy rant before, but there was always a first time: “Bullshit! Whatever happened wasn’t your fault! They can go and fuck themselves! You? Against this? Bullshit!”

“I know what to expect; she’s a succubus, she won’t affect me like an incubus would. There’s a way to banish them.”

Cleo’s thoughts betrayed her confidence: “Never have, though … no idea what happens if I try.”

Mandy pushed the report and the picture aside: “You’re not going alone. I’m coming.”

“No, you aren’t. I’m not going to risk …”

“Stop. Just … stop. I’m not going to stand aside and do nothing. You can’t do this alone, you aren’t going to. You and I both know you aren’t as young as you were. Let me help you … please?”

Cleo looked very small there in her old, worn leather chair: “Miranda …”

“Yes, Cléophée?”

“If this goes badly …”

“It won’t. You’ll see.”

“If it does …”

“… I’ll … take care of you.”

Cleo smiled softly: “Thank you.”

The phone rang in the next moment, the two women looking at it. Picking up the phone, Cleo sighed: “Yes, your Grace?”

The conversation was very one sided, Cleo not saying another word until she put the phone down again.

“I’m expected to be on a plane in the next few hours.”

Mandy smiled as she stood up to leave: “We’re expected. You know … this might be a great chance to do some shopping. I’ve never been over there before.”

Cleo shook her head: “More T-shirts?”

A pair of blue eyes sparkled: “Darn right.”

Five hours later and Cleo found herself sitting onboard a private airplane. It was a new experience for her, one she found delightful, all things considered. Security was a breeze, no fighting for the armrests either. The only thing she didn’t care for was having to wear what made her look like a university professor, 1960s era glasses included. Tweed jackets were not her thing. No matter; she wasn’t a fashion plate, anyway, and appearances had to be taken into account.

There was no sign of Mandy as she heard the pilots warn they would be leaving shortly. She relaxed slightly. She had what she needed in her sealed case. Mandy wasn’t here and she’d be safely away from what might …

“Hey. Sorry I’m late.”

Standing there, a backpack slung over her shoulder, was Mandy … but a far more sexually charged Mandy than Cleo had ever seen. A wild mane of red hair was the first shock, the second was the low riding hip-hugger jeans and the pair of cork-wedge heels she was wearing. But the one thing that made it clear that, no matter what she was wearing, no matter how shocking the change, one thing made it clear it was Mandy: the baby-doll T-shirt, which revealed her underboobs and her cute navel. Or rather what was written on it: Blink if you want me

Cleo blinked.

Mandy smiled as the door closed and the plane started to move. Tossing the backpack onto an empty seat, she settled beside Cleo: “Eight hours plus on a plane, just you and me.”

Cleo managed to blink before the plane took off.

“Cat got your tongue?”

What happened after that involved a lot of blinking, and a lot of tongue . . .

. . . and something nagging at the back of Cleo’s mind.

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