The Choices You Make
Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws, your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of their choices, because, without consequences, there are no true choices. Sometimes, some people find the need to make amends, or to try to do so.
Perhaps one of the things that makes Tera different than most is that she is—and this is the hard thing for a lot of beings to understand—very much truly good. Yes, she has red horns and a tail. Yes, she is the image of perfect sexual pleasure and desire. And yes, she can and sometimes does make people do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do. But then, sometimes, thinking about who you are, why you are, and where you want to go means taking a chance that only a being like Tera might offer for you to consider.
Like the thought that life is, really, no matter the circumstances, worth living.
Tera was away from her Realm, as she was wont to do pretty much all of the time. She decided to visit a world that she had heard about with azure skies and purple dragons, one, because she loved dragons—which were some of her best friends, after all—and two, because she hadn’t seen an azure sky in quite some time.
When she arrived, the Succubi Queen discovered two things that she wasn’t prepared for. First, the populace really and truly hated anything that even remotely looked like a demon. Second, while there were demons, fairies, angels, dragons, and more there, the world itself was partly medieval and partly very modern. Why? That was a question which it would take a long time to work out.
Still, wasn’t difficult for her to hide her horns and tail—though she didn’t like doing it much—and less so to smile and make friends in the small enclave that she knew full well might try to harm her if they knew what she really was.
But then, she wasn’t a succubus, was she? And, as a succubi, and, with her aura, few people took more than a third look at the beautiful women who had joined the community. She was always helping where she could and, even if she seemed not very clear on things that were going on around her, she seemed nice, and was nice to look at regardless … She didn’t ask for any sort of special treatment, and didn’t go looking for the easy things to do, either. She helped, even when most expected her to shy away; after all, someone that looked like her wouldn’t be seen helping the needy or planting a garden, would she? But she was.
In all of the things that she did, Tera never felt as if anything was hard to do. That was simply the way of things for her. The hard part was trying to understand the almost constant nagging feeling of being there for a reason … yet she didn’t have one that she could recall… other that it seemed like a good idea at the time.
While Tera couldn’t really show her normal form, she did, however, discover that some of the more … risqué fashions in this world were quite close to those she liked. As a result, she had managed to find a pair of black leather thigh-high boots with a modest heel, a red leather skirt that ended about mid-thigh on her leg, slit on the left side, and a red corset, finishing with a pair of black shoulder length opera gloves to complete her look.
Mixing that with her wild raven hair, green eyes, and oh-so red lips and nails left an impression on quite a number of the community … And when she attended the local bar on the occasional evenings, there was always an offer by someone to share a night with him … or her. Those offers always made her smile and, soon afterwards, the suitors each found themselves with other souls that the beguiling brunette had, in her special way, figured out were perfect matches for them.
After all, the Queen of the Succubi knew of the needs within and more that not always was she the one to fill the need of another.
She was standing at the bar one evening, sipping on a drink that the locals had told her was the taste of the dew on flowers after the rains, when he walked into the bar.
And Tera found herself looking at him and suddenly realizing that he was the reason she was there …
Sebastian had decided that the time had come for him to call it a day and bring an end to a life, a job, a commitment … no, a quest that he had embarked on many years ago.
He was a family man in the beginning, having a hard working life on a farm. His wife from an early age, Grace, was the most beautiful and loving partner any man could have asked for. She gave him two wonderful sons, who both grew up with manners and hard-working ethics.
The years flew by and the boys grew up while the farm prospered. Times changed in the valley, however, and there were growing numbers of attacks in villages all over. Dark forces—demons—roamed the land and took as they pleased. Sebastian took precautions, but when the time came it was not enough. He was called to a neighbouring farm, set on fire that night. He went to their aid, tasking his sons to be alert and ready. He rallied to the cause and saved lives on the fellow farm, being thanked as he assisted them. But the true horror struck home: he looked across the fields at his own farm, seeing flames rising and animals fleeing, and hearing the sounds of a woman screaming.
Sebastian ran like the wind with all his speed, arriving with sword in hand, cutting down one evil being after another as he arrived, but it was not enough. After the flamed died down, he found the remains of his two sons, killed either by the fire or the demons. His heart sank further when he found his wife, torn apart during the chaos. As he held her dying form in his arms, Sebastian swore revenge.
For years he fought against every evil in the land and in lands further away. He even developed a sense to see where and who these demons were. After many years, however, the loss and grief mixed with revenge took its toll. After his fight with the last demon—who taunted him, seeing what was in his heart—Sebastian let out a cry of despair and headed to a local tavern. There he walked in, headed straight to the bar, and leaned against it. He ignored all the other patrons around him. He ignored his tingling sense, dumbed down after all these years. A woman stood nearby; she looked harmless … tempting, but harmless.
Taking his pint, he took himself to a table in a dark corner and, toasting to his family and his own tortured soul, he downed the pint and ordered a second. “I’ve had enough,” was his only thought …
Tera ran one of her hands through her hair as he approached the bar, looked at her, and then just … walked away. The overwhelming aura of sadness, loss, and grief dug deeply into her, for she was empathic in nature, being who she was, and there was no way for her to ignore the whirlwind that surrounded him. She knew he had fought, killed, suffered through much grief, and more. But that did not mean she was afraid of him. When he ordered another pint from his table, she drew the attention of the bartender. “Would you mind if I took it to him?”
The answer was the usual gruff grunt, which the woman with oh-so-green eyes had come to expect from him, but a little silver to pay for the drink took care of that. The pint appeared, the silver vanished under the hand of the bartender, and Tera took it from him and turned towards the man in the shadows. She was about to go to him when the bartender actually spoke to her, “That one is trouble, you know.”
Tera turned back and gave him a wan smile, “He’s seen trouble; doesn’t mean he is … but thank you …”
The bartender nodded and, as he returned to his work …
… Tera began hers.
She crossed the room, his drink in one hand, hers in another. She skirted around and about some others in the bar that wanted to have their way with her, but she was nimble on her feet and their efforts didn’t amount to anything. Reaching the dark corner he waited in, she stopped just outside of his reach.
“I saw you asking for a drink. Care for one and some company, or would you rather not?”
She didn’t use her powers on him, didn’t make a threatening move, didn’t suggest that she was anything other than a lovely looking woman that was concerned about him …
… because she wasn’t.
Sebastian looked up from his empty pint glass to see the woman standing before him, holding his next pint in her hand, asking if he wanted company. He didn’t flinch as he looked her up and down slowly and without glare. He had seen a few others in the bar try and approach her as she’d made her way over. And he could see that she was a good looking woman with a well-shaped figure—possibly no children yet—and dressed as if she was after a good night. That was something he hadn’t had in years: a good night of fun, good-natured humour, and the love of a good woman.
He decided, for a change, to choose the company. “Take a seat, if you want. I’m sure, though, that any of these men could keep you better occupied.”
But she was holding his pint and, the longer he looked at her, the more there seemed to be an innocence to her he may have missed out on before. Maybe she wasn’t that bad …
She shrugged a bit at his words, “Company isn’t always of the physical kind … sometimes the ‘being’ is better than the ‘doing.’” With that answer, she placed his pint on the table before drawing out the other chair, placing her drink next to his, and then sitting across the table from him.
She crossed her legs and then straightened out her skirt before pushing the pint towards him with one finger: “The question is, which is better: having company for only a moment, and then leaving them and having only memories, or keeping them and having a life?” A tilt of her head to the left and a lock of raven hair fell over her right eye: “Or are you held by your memories so that nothing else matters?”
She wasn’t being cruel with the questions she asked; far from it. She had two reasons for the points she put to him: one, to demonstrate that she was more than a pretty face; and two, to get him to reveal the truth about himself.
Now, Tera could, if she touched him and he allowed it, see his past and understand it, but she would not do that uninvited. She watched him, quite unafraid of him, but she could sense the demons that he had killed upon his aura—little black wisps of energy that stuck to him. She knew that dealing with darkness had it’s toll. She was very aware of that …
… She wondered if a bit of light in his world might set him free …
Sebastian was surprised by her question. For a woman who looked so young, she came across as educated and philosophical. He recalled how Grace had been similar in that respect. “To be honest, it’s been a while since any company I have had held any good memories for me,” he said, taking the pint from her. “However, recently, I’ve had a change of heart. For the second time in my life …”
He sat forward slightly, looking at her, trying to read her body language, but all he could tell was she just wanted innocent conversation and company.
“There was a time I would have agreed that memories were a good thing, but I have 20 years of only bad memories, something I would happily trade for a good memory and a reminder that a person can be happy.” His heart felt heavy and he felt a tear fall down his cheek as he took a sip of beer.
For a moment, Tera considered reaching out and wiping that tear from his cheek, but that wouldn’t do. One, it could break the small sliver of trust, and, two, she did not wish to know all of the answers so easily. Sometimes the soul needs to speak, to tell the story in the way it needs. She traced a finger around the edge of her glass and continued to talk to him. “The question to consider is not that you have a change of heart. The question to ask is if your soul itself has changed from what it is within you. That’s the one part that should, in truth, never change. If you are good, then your soul should remain so. If you are evil, then your soul will always be that.”
Her finger stopped its pattern: “I sense that you have good within you, but that you have seen more than any soul should in your lifetime. You have seen the highs and the lows of life. You know more and have experienced more than any soul should.”
She smiled softly: “The question is, what do you see and need … and can you accept it for what it is, or not? The one thing that is the hardest to offer is trust. The second is belief. The third is understanding.” She then offered him her hand, palm up, showing that it was empty, and said, without malice, to him: “Which have you?”
The quiet man listened to her, taking in her words. What she said made sense, and he knew, deep down—although he wouldn’t admit it—that his soul was good … even after all the evil he had encountered over many years. He looked at her in the eye and could see no harm, no malice there. There was something he couldn’t shake, but it wasn’t bothering him. She’d made no move to harm him or bring harm to him and had approached him without any malicious intent that he could see.
He reached across and took her hand, clasping it firmly but gently. “My soul was pure before I took the path I chose. It still is, and that is why I fought evil. I have trust in you; you haven’t harmed me. I believe what you say, as you seem to understand me.”
A further tear dropped down on his cheek. “I am just weary of this endless battle I have
fought against evil, knowing that, in the end, I will still be as lonely as I was when
it began …” He gripped her hand for comfort as more tears flowed.
She did not flinch at his grip, nor did she show fear at him holding her hand as he was. For a moment, she considered what he had revealed about himself, but more what he had not said. The contact had opened him to her, and she winced slightly in the wash of pain that had wrapped itself around his soul. There was blackness, but it was being kept at bay, if barely so. He could well be at a crossroads in his life, a decision to be made that would be telling. This was the point where she needed a clear answer from him. “I understand … I understand because, while I have not faced the life you have, I do know of being alone, misunderstood, and, mostly, seen to be something other than what I am …”
She placed her other hand over his and continued, “You speak of evil, of what it has done, what it continues to do. I have a question: what does evil look like? Is it just what you see, or is it what exists within?”
She allowed herself the smallest of smiles, “You have me, hold me, you can feel me more than anyone really can … Am I what you seek in finding a place to not be lonely anymore, or am I not that?” She looked directly into his eyes, “Am I salvation for your soul?”
He looked further into her eyes, considering what she was asking him to decide, and he could tell that what his sense was telling him was true. She was not who or what her form looked like. But that didn’t bother him anymore.
“I know that evil shows its true form in many ways. I have seen most of them. I also know that it reveals itself at the time is due.” He explained this, taking a second grip of her hand with his other hand, smiling … “I also know that I have arrived at a crossroads, where my next choice will determine the next direction of my life … and that direction lies on a path that involves you, so I choose that path … I know that’s what I wish to do … so I choose you.”
He looked up and down at her and his answer was chosen … “The most difficult thing for anyone to decide is to take a leap of faith … You have taken one with me, so I will give take one with you in return …”
The green-eyed brunette stood up from the table, her hand still in his, and guided them both towards a flight of stairs that led to the upper reaches of the place. A series of rooms were available for rent there. In truth, the rooms had been used by many, good and bad, wanton and pious, and one other of recent times that needed a place to call home when there was no other. She took him to the very last one at the end, and opened the door there with the words: “Enter of your own free will …”
Once inside, the contrast from the shambles of the bar was clear. It was not the spartan place that one would expect, but a well-appointed home; oddly, it seemed to be much larger on the inside than it could be on the outside, if that was even possible if he really thought about it. There were leather chairs of black in the sitting room, the room itself in shades of red, gold, and black. It was … tasteful. That was the only word that could explain the place; almost like someone of royalty might have as part of her home.
After offering him a chair there, she released her hand from his—with some hesitation, he would notice. Then she traced her fingertips over her thighs and said: “You spoke of evil being of many forms … I am exactly as you see me right this moment. I have not, ever, changed what I look like in all the time that I have lived, nor do I expect I ever will. I am just what I appear to be … for the most part …” She then clasped her hands together and continued: “There are two things about me that I have not shown you. I expect that, when you see them, and I explain who I am and what I am, you will either decide to attack me or leave in disgust over knowing what I am. If you wish, you can leave now, and I will understand why … I will leave from this place moments after you, and you will never see me again. Or you can stay, and, I pray, see that there is hope …”
She lifted her hands and touched her index fingers to her lips: “The choice is, of course, yours …”
Sebastian sat quietly as she explained what actions she thought he might take … His mind, however, was made up. Before she revealed her true form to him, he explained his thoughts to her, trying to guess what he might do: “I chose to come here, that was my doing. What you say or do next will be because of my leap of faith.”
Then, as he watched, two small, almost cute, red horns appeared in her raven locks. Two little red beacons in the sea of black that was her hair. From behind her, a long, red, heart-tipped tail rose into the air behind her, swishing in the air, like a cat’s but not quite, if that was possible …
As Tera revealed her true self, Sebastian wasn’t surprised. He found her true succubi form pleasing, and he stood up from the chair, approaching her until he was face to face with her.
“My name is Tera, and I am the Queen of the Succubi … And I ask you to trust me if you can allow yourself to …”
He surveyed her form, taking in her curves and details, looking very impressed. “Ten days ago, I would’ve slain you. But, today … I have hope and I trust you … Lead me …”
Softly, gently, she placed one hand upon his chest and looked into his eyes: “If you would have met me ten days ago, I would have greeted you in the same way, made the same offer, given you the same chance. I believe in free choice, and everybody has to make their own singular choice at some point in their lives.”
Taking his hands in hers, she raised them to her lips and kissed his wrists—soft kisses, a tender moment that she felt would be the right place to start. Looking back into his eyes, she explained: “There are three things that I will share with you … The first is that I do not kill. I promise that I will not take your soul, your life, nor cause you harm.
“The second is that I keep my word. When I make a promise, it is forever. I will not twist my words or place other meanings within them. I speak plainly, but, you must ask the right questions.
“The last, and the most important, I never lie. I do not speak falsehoods or create stories. If you ask a question, and ask it correctly, I will answer truthfully. Be specific … please do not forget this.”
She shrugged slightly, “It is how I and my kind are … We are not of the Dark nor of the Light … We are in-between and serve neither … but …” She slipped her hands free and drew them up his chest, along the sides of his neck and then up to cup his cheeks with a soft touch. She looked into his eyes with her so-green ones a moment before drawing his lips to hers … soft, slightly wet, red lips that brushed against his own like butterflies … a soft scent of cherries in the air about her. Then she pressed her lips against his, hers having just the right feeling and texture … not a kiss of passion or to somehow claim him, but to show that she did care, so very much, about him and about his feelings, but, most of all, to show his that there was love and light in his world …
… if he was willing to allow her to show him the way …
She broke the kiss with him, then traced a fingertip over his lips and explained with a purr in her voice: “… but we are beings of pleasure to those that accept us for what and who we are …”
Sebastian listened to the succubi’s instructions and made sure to remember them. He was then caught off guard, however, by the sweetness and soft touch of the first kiss they shared together. He did not look upon her as a demon, the way most would see succubi. He knew better than that. He saw her as an equal, a soul as precious as his own. “I know not what to ask or why I would ask. I have turned a corner to walk a path that I would never have considered before … I bow before your epic wisdom and ask you to lead the way for me …”
He looked up and down her form, marveling at her body, a slightly amused smile coming along with his gaze: “I would ask … am I allowed to give you pleasure, my dear? I ask only that because I always pleasured my wife first before lovemaking … it was our way …”
He wondered what the pleasures of a succubi queen would be.
Tera’s smile never left her, “To give of oneself before that of another is the greatest gift of all … I have never allowed myself to accept my pleasures over others, I have never believed that my needs should be more important than the ones that I find myself called to.” Her hands moved to hold both of his and then guided them down her body, along her sides, and finally to rest upon her hips. As his fingers rested there, her hands left them and travelled back up his back slowly. There was a sparkle in her eyes as she purred: “But in return for what you ask of me … I have one request of you …”
Her fingers stroked against his cheek lightly before she drew close one more. A cherry scent around her now, an earnest look in her eyes: “What is your name? May I know that?”
Her lips brushed against his, the heat from her body warm against his fingertips and his chest were she pressed against him. Although he could see that she was clothed, it seemed as if her bare skin was stroking against his own.
She tilted her head to the left and said with a wink: “You know mine … That’s only fair, isn’t it?”
He could smell the slight scent that was now gently filling his nostrils as he stroked her body, letting his hands roam over her back, feeling them glide over her form. “My name is Sebastian, Sebastian Gray … my apologies for not saying before,” he finally answered.
He couldn’t help but feel her body respond to his touch as he explored her contours and learnt what was possibly underneath … waiting to be revealed. He had no sense of shame or regret, he knew he was happy, though a question came to him: “I have a question … What is that lovely scent I can smell …?”
Tera traced her tongue over her lips: “Succubi, from my Realm, when they are aroused and happy, give off a scent … For me … as I am a red-tail … that scent is of cherries.” She traced a finger over his lips and then tapped them once: “On a world called ‘Earth,’ I would have explained it by mentioning cherry pie, but I fear the little joke would be lost with you.”
She leaned in close to him, her lips brushing against his ear as she whispered: “It is the scent of my kind when we desire the one we are with.”
As she spoke, her tail wrapped itself around his left leg, the tip rubbing against the inside of his thigh. She kissed from the tip of his ear lobe along his cheek and then kissed his lips once more: “I want to give you pleasure that you have never felt before Sebastian … to heal you … to make you see that there is a future for you.”
She looked into his eyes once more, her green eyes sparkling in the light with not lust, but love and desire for him: “You feel me because you can, Sebastian … The light within you calls out for me, asks for me to help. It called to me from afar, and I needed to answer. I waited, not knowing it was you until tonight.”
Her fingers plucked at his collar: “Give in to your desires … please.”
She smiled: “For the desires will come …”