Over the past while I’ve been poking my tail into the story of another world, another universe, in which succubi appear. The world is the creation of my Adored Brother, and over time we’ve managed to create something that’s complex, heartfelt and more.
This time on the Tale, a story from the other side of an encounter in that world. Perhaps call it an opening into how things work and why they matter.
In the Eyes of Prey
by TeraS and her Adored Brother
There are always two sides to a story. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that, at least in some cases, they are two sides of a coin. As such, there’s only one side that can be seen at any one time. That’s the harsh reality of things, after all: one side is favoured over the other, one speaks more than the former. But there are two sides to every story, and it’s vital that the other side has its turn to speak.
We need but to listen …
I’m exhausted from this business trip.
It had been a long, hard week for me. Not that the place itself wasn’t decent, mind you. Bridgeport had it’s attractions, but that wasn’t why I was here. No, for me it was all business and not a lot of pleasure involved. That’s the curse of making a deal, and the deal I was involved with was buying out a competitor and adding them to our own business.
The sticking points were contentious, at times, a little more money than we were really willing to pay being the tipping point. There was a good reason for it, when push came to shove: they wanted to be sure their people were taken care of and not tossed into the streets. Loyalty mattered to them and I got that. They wanted to be sure there were jobs for the workers in their plants, that we weren’t going to close up shop and leave them all on the streets. The board back home didn’t quite get that, seeing that it was a chance to get rid of the completion. But that wasn’t going to fly. It took a week of being the middleman between the board and the locals before the deal was cut.
The deal was signed, sealed, and delivered today, and I couldn’t have been happier to get through it all. Sometimes doing the right thing cost, but doing the wrong thing cuts a lot deeper. Someday the board would get that, one way or the other, probably about the time that someone else made a move on them.
After all of that, I figured I needed a drink to celebrate.
Returning to my hotel after having dinner out at the company’s expense—well, it was the least they could do for being such a pain in my ass—I considered what to do with the night ahead. I could just go back to my room, watch some TV, and then call it a night. But something didn’t fit right with that idea. Neither did the idea of checking out a bar or club in the area, either. It wouldn’t do to be out late, get back, and then miss my early-morning flight home. Seeing little other choice as I entered the hotel, there was only one thing to do: go back to the bar in the hotel lobby, drink some overpriced, watered-down drink, watch the sports on the TV, and then head upstairs when the boredom overtook me.
It wasn’t very busy as I crossed over the landing from the tiled lobby into the wooden tones of the bar. There were a few fellow patrons milling about, nursing their drinks and telling tall tales to pass the time. The hard wood creaked slightly under my weight as I strode across the room, finding there were a number of places open at the bar. The black leather stools waited in their place beside the redwood bar itself. A classy place, without question, and for a moment I wondered about who’d spend this much time putting so much into a place that, honestly, wasn’t the centre of dining and dancing in Bridgeport. Still, the hotel was upper class and the bar had to at least equal that attention to detail.
There was an open space at the bar proper, and I settled into place there. After scanning the bottles against the wall, a nod to the bartender, who’d been busying himself on the other end, brought him over. I caught my reflection in the mirror across from me: brown eyes and black hair, not a movie star by any means, and those brown eyes held a hint of weariness that I’d come to know well lately.
The bartender snapped me out of my thoughts.
“What will it be?”
“Bourbon on the rocks.”
As he left to fill the order, I fidgeted with my tie, the Batman oval clearly evident. He’d been my anchor from when I was a kid, the notion that honour mattered, what you did mattered, being core to what I believed now. Oh, the rest of me looked like a typical businessman: suit, slacks, shoes, and all, but at my core I was a geek, and I wasn’t going to turn my back on that.
The bartender returned, placing my drink on the countertop: “Are you starting a tab, sir?”
“Sure. Room 504, please.”
“Will do. Enjoy.”
After he left to deal with another customer, I took a sip. The bourbon was smooth and only left a slight burn. I became lost in my thoughts as the world went on around me. My career had been going great; I’d made it up the ladder to where I was today: right-hand man to the CEO, on good terms with my co-workers, those that reported to me, and so on. Things were going great, from a distance. Inside I had this nagging thought that something important was missing, something outside of work, something that meant more than the job I did, the accolades I’d been accumulating.
There wasn’t anyone to share things with. Not that I hadn’t tried over the years, though. One-night stands happened frequently enough, but that’s all they were. There wasn’t the connection I needed, the spark that said this was someone that could be more than a friend, a smile over a nightclub floor. Taking another drink, I wondered if, somewhere, there was Miss Right, whoever she was. It wouldn’t be a hardship either to have a passing encounter with someone like that, either: a connection, a feeling, something that said they thought more of me than someone to pay the bar tab or cover the dinner expenses. Raising the glass to my lips, intending to swallow the last of it, turn, and walk away, the voice that cut through the bar music and low chatter was a complete surprise.
“So why’s a handsome guy like you drinking alone?”
I caught the scent of jasmine and allowed myself a light chuckle. That wasn’t the best of pickup lines, I thought before answering: “Celebrating. Well, trying to. Been a good day, but there’s not a lot of celebrating to do when you’re alone.”
“Well, that’s no fun, Batman.”
That got my attention and I turned around to find myself in the presence of a showstopper. There are some people that think they’re beautiful; the woman that stood next to me was something more than the beauty she was. That, for me, was the difference between being beautiful and being a pretender.
She had an angelic smile, a light blush upon her cheeks. Her eyes were a deep blue that could melt hearts. Waves of red hair flowed over the shoulders, shining in the light of the room. That made for a lovely frame about her inviting, full, pink lips that offered themselves to be kissed and kissed often.
I wanted to, without question.
The beauty in her warm expression was matched by the lovely shape the green dress she was wearing put into sharp focus. The fabric clung tightly to her, leaving nothing to the imagination and stopped tastefully against her thighs. The dress might have, could have been over the top, but it was just enough to enhance her cleavage, putting a little flourish to her look. She was a wonder from her mane of hair to the black stiletto pumps that she stood upon.
I didn’t, couldn’t, think of what to say as I was held there by her eyes. Seeing my complete loss for words, she offered: “Well, would you mind if I joined you? It’s no fun to celebrate alone.”
There was something about her voice, so sultry and seductively smooth. She wasn’t like other women I’d met, and it wasn’t just that her presence made my heart race. I admit I’d played the game before, but this didn’t feel like that. It mattered to me that she might spend some time with me. That feeling of something missing wasn’t quite as strong as it had been before.
Standing, I offered her the bar stool next to me: “If you’d like?” I hoped she’d say yes, that this wasn’t a game, that she actually was interested in me, if for only a moment. If that’s all it was, I didn’t want the moment to end.
Her reply was all I’d hoped for as she settled into place beside me: “Thank you. I’m Sophia.”
I don’t know why, but I took her hand in mine and kissed it lightly: “Curt, my lady—a name that is, sadly, not as elegant as yours.”
The blush on her cheeks deepened as she favoured me with a smile. Her words were as smooth as silk as she replied: “Elegance is not in a person’s name. It is in how they hold themselves.”
“What can I get you, Miss?” The bartender’s voice cut in and I sighed, the moment broken as Sophia’s attention turned to him.
“Dry Martini, please.”
“Right away. On your tab, sir?”
There was only one answer: “Of course.”
After he left, her eyes met mine once more and we continued as if there’d been no interruption at all.
“So, what brings you to Bridgeport?”
“I’m here on business. I was working a merger, perhaps you’ve heard of it on the news?”
She thought about that a moment, then answered: “Ah! Yes,
I have. I hope all things have turned out well for you?”
I shrugged: “Everybody seems to be happy, so I suppose so.”
There was real concern in her voice: “Aren’t you?”
I let out a chuckle: “I am single, sadly.”
Her pout was something I wanted to kiss away: “That’s a shame. A good looking guy like you should have someone in his life.”
It was a risky question I asked: “What about you?”
Sophia brushed a lock of hair behind her ear and smiled. “I’m single, as well.”
“That’s interesting. Any reason why you are? You shouldn’t be alone, either, Sophia.”
She pulled on one ear slightly: “I hold men to a high standard.”
The bartender returned with Sophia’s drink. Taking a sip, she considered her drink as I considered her. Her answer left an open question and I stumbled into it.
“Well, what sort of high standards are they?”
“If I told you that, you wouldn’t be yourself, would you?”
She then held out her glass for a toast: “To celebration. Let it be a memorable pleasure.”
Sophia’s toast made me smile as we gently tapped our glasses together.
We spent the rest of the evening together drinking, flirting, and chatting. From time to time we had a little dance or two when the right song played. To my surprise I didn’t have two left feet, either. That feeling of something special about her hit me hard. I’d never really thought about what love at first sight was. This, honestly, had to be it.
I didn’t want to lose her, nor did the thought of holding her hand, sharing a kiss, with others seeing us bother me at all. For this night, she was all that mattered, and I could see in her eyes that, for this night, I was all that mattered to her.
When last call came, it was a surprise. I didn’t intend to be out this late, but at the same time I didn’t want to say goodbye to Sophia. She made me feel different then all the other women I’d been with and, when the moment came, I feared what was next.
She spoke first: “Well … I guess this is goodbye.”
I didn’t want it to be. She’d be in my dreams forever, and the thought of never being with her was too much to bear. It was awkward of me, but I tried to tell her. “It doesn’t have to be. I have a room upstairs. If you’d like … we could … get to know each other better.”
It was lame, I know. But I meant every word. I wasn’t trying to be anything but truthful and I hoped she’d be as well.
“I’d like that.”
I became ecstatic. My smile masked my relief that she’d said yes. I offered my arm and we made our way out of the bar together. As we crossed the lobby to the elevators, I wondered out loud: “I’ve never met anyone like you, Sophia. Are you an angel?”
Her smile was lovely: “I’ve been asked that a few times.”
She didn’t answer, but instead she stopped by the elevators and turned to face me. The touch of her small hands on my cheeks was a surprise. Then Sophia whispered softly: “I’m working on that.”
I’m taller than her, by a lot. I didn’t resist when she pulled me down, my lips touching hers for the first time. There was a spark, a tingle when her lips met mine. I felt passion, desire, and love in a split second, something I’d never felt with anyone else before. My arms wrapped around her waist as I returned the kiss and I felt, as best as I can describe, we became connected. Something within me, my soul, my being, all of me, wanted to be with her. It wasn’t just the passion that enveloped me, it was her being, her joy in sharing this moment with me.
The kiss ended and her lips curled in a delighted smile: “I want you, too, Curt. But we should wait until we’re in your room.”
I was going to argue that point, but all I managed was a nod as she pressed the button to call the elevator to us. She held my attention as we waited, the thought of her being mine not quite as strong as the thought of me being hers. I was in a daze when the elevator doors opened and she needed to take hold of my tie, drawing me inside before the doors closed.
I couldn’t wait any longer. I needed to kiss her again, to taste of her sweet lips once more. There was only her in my world. I pressed Sophia gently to the wall, her arms wrapped around my neck, a delighted smile on her lips. I crushed my lips against hers, our tongues danced passionately as my heart sang out to her. I had the most beautiful woman in my arms. I wanted her more than I could say. But I wanted more than just sex. That wasn’t what drove me into her arms, what drew me to her. I needed to love her, to feel that love returned, and to know, finally, that I’d found someone that loved me.
We missed the bell announcing my floor, but we couldn’t ignore it when the doors opened. The kiss came to a close, but the feeling didn’t leave, the attraction to her didn’t ebb at all. I was glad that my room wasn’t too far from the elevators. It still seemed like miles to go, however.
We made a little more small talk as we went, the moments passing in a blur. I moaned a little about it being a long walk to the front desk when I left in the morning, she mentioned that being out of the way wasn’t such a bad thing. One comment did make me wonder, however: “I like to be as discrete as I can be.”
That made me pause, but then she laughed and I dismissed her comments as a bad joke. She wasn’t a one-night stand, and I hoped, somehow, that come the morning we’d still be together.
The door to my room appeared and opened quickly enough. Holding it open I offered: “Ladies first.”
Her hand touched my cheek: “You are such a gentleman.”
Once she was inside, I followed and closed the door behind us, the lights coming on as I did so. The room was nice enough. It wasn’t the most stunning of rooms; fairly basic even if the place was a five-star. But I’d always remember the bed, king-sized, the chairs and desk across from it, the TV hanging on the wall. I wanted to commit it all to memory, just like I held onto the memory of Sophia herself. She turned to me and took me by the tie to lead me directly to the bed.
I didn’t resist. I didn’t want to.
I was completely at her mercy as she loosened my tie. I started to help, but she placed a finger on my lips, shook her head, and I didn’t resist her any more. As she slipped off the knot, I whispered, speaking words that I couldn’t help but say: “I love you, Sophia.”
The neckwear fell from her fingers as she replied, the honesty in her words overcoming me, “I love you, Curt. I’ve loved you from the moment I met you.”
Her words overcame me and I came back to myself as Sophia was almost done slipping off my shirt. I couldn’t hold back anymore. She admitted she loved me. I love her. That’s all that mattered now. It wasn’t long before she’d unbuckled my belt and pushed my pants to the floor.
Her slim fingers brushed against my hardness, my desire plain as she whispered: “There’s no need to rush, my love. We have all of the time in the world.”
She turned slowly, lifting her hair up to bare her back, needing help with her dress. I could still smell the jasmine on her and it drove me wild. I desperately wanted to be with her, but the love I felt held me in control and I carefully undressed her. I wanted to see every inch of her skin as it was revealed, to caress her hips as I lowered the dress over them, allowing it to pool at her feet. The lights in the room were dimmed, but she glowed magnificently as I knelt before her, she stepping out of her heels and turning towards me. It felt right to be there, bent on one knee as her fingers caressed my cheek lightly. I found myself looking up towards her and I didn’t want to rise. She smiled as she came to rest on the edge of the bed. There were no words needed as she parted her legs.
My lady wished me to please her, and that was exactly what I wanted. I drew close, her sweet scent alluring, calling to me. Her delighted mewl of pleasure came at the touch of my tongue and it drove me onwards to hear more of that blissful sound. She gasped in pleasure as I slowly licked and found the places that made her keen loudly. The feeling of her fingers in my hair was wonderful as she took took everything I gave her.
It wasn’t enough for either of us. I needed her; her moans of passion said everything I needed to know. Finally she tugged on my hair, making my eyes meet hers. Her breath was ragged as she called out: “Make love to me, Curt.”
She slid backwards on the sheets and I followed without a thought. The moment was perfect as my hardness dipped into her wetness, her folds and depths sending waves of ecstasy through my mind, body and soul.
My voice held wonder as I felt us becoming one. It was perfect, meant to be: “Oh god … You’re so perfect.”
“I’m yours, Curt … for always …”
Her promise pushed me over the edge. We started at a slow pace, my needs warring with me as I tried not to start pounding her like a porn star. But the cries of delight only pulled me towards doing just that. The dam broke and I gave in to the need that overcame me. The sound of our bodies against one other were only matched by our cries of pleasure.
We spent what felt like hours of making love in every way I could imagine and that she made me experience. After a time, Sophia was on top, riding me, her hair a wild mess as she drove us onwards. Her smile was all I needed to know, that wonder in her expression reflected in my own I knew. Wave after wave of pleasure came until I couldn’t move as she continued to pleasure me.
“I’m going to cum!” I struggled to get those words out around my groans of pleasure. The warning didn’t stop Sophia at all, if anything it made her double her pleasuring of me. Her answer was a gasping moan: “It’s … okay … Don’t hold back.”
My eyes opened wide and I couldn’t restrain myself. She pushed me over the edge, and I was crying out in time with Sophia as we both found our release. Somehow I could feel, experience her own orgasm melded with mine. A flash of light blinded me, then darkness came as the sound of Sophia gasping for breath faded away.
When I opened my eyes again, I was on my back and looking at the ceiling of my hotel room. I couldn’t help smiling, being with Sophia was the best thing that ever happened to me. There was no question in my mind that she loved me and I loved her. I wanted to tell her how much I loved her again and again. Rising from the bed, I made my way over to the bathroom, wanting to start the shower and then bring Sophia there with me. But as I passed the mirror and looked into it—in that moment—everything had changed.
The reflection wasn’t me.
It was Sophia.
It was impossible! My mind raced in circles trying to understand what had happened.
Sophia stood there, a wan smile on her lips. I felt … alive, more aware than I’d ever been before, replenished with new energy, new life. I watched as Sophia’s hands traced over her breasts, teasing over her sex as she looked into the mirror.
I wanted to know what happened.
“Everything is fine. There’s nothing to be worried about.”
“Who said that?” It wasn’t Sophia, I knew that much as she’d turned her attention from the mirror to the shower and turned it on.
“Who’s we? What the hell’s going on?”
I felt her hands as she showered, the steam billowing around her … us.
“We are part of her. As you are.”
“Do you not love her? Want to be with her for always?”
Once the water was turned off, the sensation of a towel being rubbed over her … our … skin was arousing. The question I’d been asked had only one answer: “Yes.”
“You offered your love; she accepted.”
I had to think about that as she left the bathroom and returned to the bedroom once more. Her dress took our attention as she slipped it on again, her heels soon once more adorning our feet. Then she turned to the bed and all was made plain. There, lying cold and lifeless, was my body. The waves of grief and regret washed over me and in that moment we knew that what happened wasn’t what she wanted to be.
She brushed my hair as she spoke: “I’m sorry. I didn’t want this to happen. I hope you’ll forgive me, understand, even, I hope, love me again.”
But we did love her. She loved us all. We all wanted to be with her, to know her, to never leave her. The price to pay was losing one life and becoming part of another.
“We understand now.”
We had been consumed by Sophia. Our souls were given that she could live—an inbred danger that was at the core of her being, but had no idea how to stop. For centuries and it had been wearing on her, driving her towards a pit of emptiness that no number of souls could ever fill.
That revelation tore at our being. We didn’t hold anger towards her. It wasn’t possible to hate Sophia for being what she was. Her memories were an open book to us, we knew every moment of her life, the pain of betrayal, the agony of every soul she’d taken.
If we could only make things better. We wanted to comfort her, to offer her help, to guide her towards her salvation. But she couldn’t hear us. We fell in love with her this night and we wanted to be one with her. Now we are. We all live through her, knowing her love, feeling like all of us were home.
Sophia tucked my past body under the covers and gave a parting kiss before leaving the room. The mists of her being enveloped us once more, making it clear we had so much to learn as she departed. But we sent a whisper of a thought in the hope she’d hear: seek out our love.
All we can do is wait for her now, wait for her to call for us, as we must …
… as we listen to words spoken from within and without …
… as we wait for the meaning to be revealed …
“Remember: consciousness, memory, will, and emotion all survive. Be thankful, for they are. Listen, for they speak. Cherish, for they love you.”
—The Word, as spoken by Tera to her kind