Sep 09 2017

A rather fuzzy Morrigan Aensland tribute YouTube…

It’s the time of the year when Halloween is creeping up… slowly… As such a Halloween themed Morrigan Aensland YouTube is a nice thing to stumble across. It’s just a shame that it is so blurry at times really…


As always, if you cannot see this video here on the Tale, please try this link.

I always share the one image of Morrigan that I liked from videos such as these and today is no exception of course… This time however, it is one of the Aensland sisters together…

Morrigan and Lilith Aensland

Obviously this isn’t a screenshot from the video as that would be far too blurry. I like this mainly because it’s a little bit different in perspective, the sisters look so very right together, and I just smiled when the image appeared…

Which is, really, as good a reason as need be.



Sep 08 2017

A Review of The Diary of Tessa Graves: First Entry by Raven Leigh

The Diary of Tessa Graves: First Entry by Raven Leigh

The Diary of Tessa Graves: First Entry by Raven Leigh


A review today of a work that first appeared in 2015 in a far shorter form. The author reissued the work, more than doubling the length, which added much to the story as a whole. There was a lot of gaps in the original work and filling in many of them I think has created a better story overall.

I might not like the main character as a succubus still, but I can understand her better and it’s that understanding that makes the difference by far.

Saying that someone is a succubus is one thing, it’s explaining them, getting to the character themselves and starting the exploration of who they are where things get interesting. Straying off into tangents tends to make a story that is forever trying to find itself. Focus does matter.

  • Title: The Diary of Tessa Graves: First Entry
  • Author: Raven Leigh
  • Published By: Amazon Digital Services
  • Length: 58 Pages
  • Format: eBook
  • ASIN: B075CBDK92
  • Publishing Date: September 2, 2017
  • This work in Kindle Format at

The work tells of:

A dark, sensual and deliciously sexy urban paranormal “romance”. The Diary of Tessa Graves follows the story of a woman who discovers the shadowy truth about her origins and the darkness that awaits in her future. Gritty and raw, this series is meant to walk the line – breaking the boundaries of what might be considered taboo.

HEA? Please. This is Tessa’s world, and her idea of happy ever after has nothing to do with fairy tales.

Tessa Graves is not a woman waiting for the right man. Instead, she seeks out the wrong men for her own, sometimes deadly, interests. In book one of TDOG, First Entry, we get acquainted with Tessa and her rather tame beginnings. But don’t let that discourage you. There is plenty of story mixed with plenty of steam in this first installment of a planned ten-part miniseries.

At 18 years old, Tessa has finally hit full on puberty a lot later than her friends at school. The sudden onset of powerful sexual urges is driving her to the edge of madness. That is, until her estranged bad boy foster brother Thomas Reed shows up unannounced a few days before her graduation. Tattooed. Muscular. Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome college boy is too much to resist and Tessa’s ascension into womanhood is thrown into overdrive. Now faced with both primordial desires and terrifying nightmares, she doesn’t know how long she can hold back the tempest growing inside.

Can she overcome her taboo attraction to Thomas? Or will she give into the carnal demon awakening within?

Tessa is a succubus, one who is very self-assured in her abilities even if she doesn’t really understand them. Her story begins with the discovery of her sexuality and the effect she has on others. When one of them is someone she knows intimately, there’s nothing to stop her from taking what she needs.

The work is told from Tessa’s perspective and overall it’s very hard to like her as a character as she speaks from the present and tells the story of her past. The Tessa of the here and now is jaded, almost aloof, and overall has the personality of a shark looking for its next meal. It is a sharp contrast with her personality of the past, and as a whole I liked the somewhat more innocent Tessa than the matured Tessa. There’s just something about her that rubs me the wrong way and I think a lot of that comes from how cold she is.

As the past is told, we learn about Tessa’s life, her adoption, and the family she lives with, including an adopted brother. When her powers come into the fore, he, of course, becomes her target to sate her new found needs. This does provide for a means to draw the story forwards and tell of Tessa’s thoughts about the past and how it started her on the path to where she goes next.

It is made clear that Tessa feeds on men, and, at least her older self speaks of killing many of them. She also mentions that succubi like her are “unique” and “the top of the food chain” which tends to put a particular light on the story overall. As such, at least personality-wise, Tessa becomes very much a stereotypical succubus in her thoughts and actions and needs which seems a waste considering how her past played out.

What’s changed from the original work is that there’s a lot of time spend in fleshing out Tessa more, to explain herself but also to open up the world she exists in. By doing so, this overcomes a lot of her personality and makes her far more interesting than she was originally. The editing is better, there’s more focus on telling the story, of getting to Tessa herself and that makes a world of difference. She’s still a bit rough around the edges and it’s difficult to like her, but her story balances agains that flaw of character well.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

A somewhat better beginning to the series with a character that isn’t as attractive as she really could have been. The question of who Tessa is gets more explained, more involved and that made the work a much better read. I’m still not enamoured with Tessa, I think there’s places for her character to go and that’s what is interesting by far.

Given that the author laid out a series of books to follow, one of which being the same title as the second work in the original series, I hope there’s more substance in the works to come, if they ever do, because there’s something interesting here, it’s just that Tessa doesn’t seem to know who she is and that’s a problem to overcome.



Sep 07 2017

Succubi Image of the Week 503

When looking for art of Succubi, I like to wonder about the story behind the succubus herself. Why did she decide on the look, why is she smiling or, more importantly, just what is her personality like. This week’s image has so much potential in storytelling, but more so, the image itself is just one of the most delightfully cute works of Succubi art that I’ve shared this year…

Albino Succubus by Ankkoyom

Albino Succubus by Ankkoyom


This work is called Albino Succubus and is by an artist on Pixiv called Ankkoyom. You can find the original page on Pixiv with this art here.

She’s simply gorgeous, there’s really no other way to describe this character. Her look is right, lovely eyes, a little wan smile together tell a story by themselves. Her ensemble isn’t over the top sexy, it looks right for her body shape, showing off her form in a way that I think is really very tasteful. Her shoes are just adorable too, and matching her tail, wings and horns to her ensemble’s colours just shows the promise her character shows.

There’s a story here, it’s been tickling my thoughts and at some point I really do need to tell that story. I don’t think she’s evil or nasty, but I do think she’s passionate and deliciously so…



Sep 06 2017

So close and yet the tail is so, so wrong…

Hell's Angel CostumeIt amazes me at times how costumes can be designed to be sexy, to have a look that’s deliciously seductive and yet there’s that one little thing, at least for me, that is completely disappointing.

More so, and perhaps more to the point, why is it that the perfect look shown always needs things that are not included?

Poor horns are expected. A poor tail as well make me roll my eyes…

This is called the Hell’s Angel Costume and it comes with the spandex romper, garters, that… tail, black feather wings.. which you can’t see here, and that awful pair of black horns. The stockings, gloves and shoes are not included and it sells for between $50 and $80 US. Adding the stockings, gloves and shoes would push the cost of this costume to $150 US.

Honestly I love the overall look of the costume, but the horns are really poor. But it’s the tail that bothers me more. That looks very much like a cat tail, not a succubus one. Where is the spade or heat shaped tip? It just looks wrong and with the horns the costume, sexy though it is, becomes confusing to me.

The horns have to go, as does the tail if I was to consider this. I’d use one of my red horns and one of my better, far better, red tails with this. I think that would be delicious…

I’d love to give this four pitchforks, but that tail and those horns?

Three out of five pitchforks.

It came so close, it’s a shame that it couldn’t get that little bit more…



Sep 05 2017

A Review of Dungeon Spawned: Dark Dungeon 01 by D. R. Rosier

Dungeon Spawned: Dark Dungeon 01 by D. R. Rosier

Dungeon Spawned: Dark Dungeon 01 by D. R. Rosier

The creation of a story universe is a complicated thing. There’s much to consider beyond the world itself. There’s the question of the characters, how they relate to each other and the universe itself. When that universe, at its core is one of the characters themselves, that makes for something that’s really quite unique in story telling.

Telling an adventure story takes care, there needs to be time to set up events, to bring characters from their start to where they need to be. It’s a complicated dance of needs and when they come together in the right way, things work well. Perhaps the most needed thing is a reason to care about the characters themselves, to have them more than being one-dimensional. In that moment, when everything comes together, something quite magical happens.

The work tells of:

Nurien wakes up in a crystal prison, a soul stone, and has no idea what happened to him, or what he is or was. It takes him a while to figure things out.

A dungeon imp eventually shows up to tell him what he is, a dark dungeon, and to help him learn and grow. Problem is, it doesn’t take long for him to figure out that things aren’t quite matching up to little Ebony’s expectations. Luckily, he has some other help in his head, another soul trapped in the crystal prison with him. Unluckily, that help is a power-hungry demoness from hell.

He’s got a lot to learn if he’s going to survive and prosper, but most of all, who the hell was he, and what?

Nurien has more than a few problems to work out. Who he is, why is he as well. But perhaps the most confusing are those around him. Still, there are always possibilities and one of those is a succubus, things can become so very interesting.

The work is an action-adventure mixed with a lot of mystery along the way. The characters are well created, they grow as the story does as well. There’s a lot happening along the way and it’s perhaps a little odd listening to Nurien as he creates his dungeon, there’s a real feeling of a D&D dungeon master setting up a dungeon crawl. That said, it also allows for a lot of character development in Nurien himself, but also in those characters that are closest to him, such as Lila.

Lila, the main succubus character of the work, isn’t at all stereotypical and I liked that because it allowed the story to take her in directions that a limited character could never approach. There are some other succubi and incubi mentioned, but they are minor characters mentioned in passing. That’s a shame I thought because I think there could have been some interesting moments between them. There’s no question that there is some darkness in Lila, but it’s not all she is. Her character is more than that and by the end of the story the truth about her, or rather the change that Nurien brings to her, makes a lot of sense.

There’s very little in the way of erotica, those scenes are glossed over for the most part. The focus is on setting up the universe, introducing the characters and putting them in harm’s way when the story demands it. There’s a lot of character development as a result and that was a pleasant surprise. I’d have liked more time spent in drawing out more about Lila and the other main characters however. Those closest to Nurien seem to be still somewhat in shadow and there’s a lot to be told I think in that respect.

The work is a strong start to the series, there’s a lot to like. But at times the focus on the minutia of creating a dungeon and running it seemed to take over too much of the storytelling. There’s a point to that of course, but the moments I think took away too much from the characters themselves. When the climax of the work came, again there seemed to be too much focus on how things worked rather than the emotional and character impacts overall. It’s not so much as to take one out of the story, but it was somewhat distracting and it shouldn’t have been.

That said, I liked the work very much and I am looking forwards to the next work in the series, that being scheduled for three works overall. The intrigue works, the characters are captivating. I think the only thing that’s missing is the “why” and for Nurien to see, in time, what it all means.

Four out of five pitchforks.

I like the complexity of the story, how the characters play off each other so delightfully well. The second work in the series, which has been released at the time of this review, I hope will allow for more character growth for Lila, but really for all of the characters. There’s a lot of plot left unrevealed, plans and plots still simmering. I think that will make for an interesting follow-up.

I like character development and that seems to be core to this work. Perhaps, in time, Lila will discover she’s more than she really understands and the same I think can be said about Nurien most of all.



Sep 05 2017

A Review of Reality’s F**ked! by Simone Scarlet

Reality's F**ked! by Simone Scarlet

Reality’s F**ked! by Simone Scarlet

Humour, as one fictional character once said, is a difficult concept. Not everything is funny to everyone, it’s a matter of taste. Sometimes the concept is a good one, but the telling of the joke itself, or the story, leaves something lacking.

Still, there’s a certain bemusement in watching events unfold and how characters deal with absurdity. Dropping names, television series, as wide and odd as they are, can make up for a lot. But when the story suggests there is a succubus to be found, and she’s not that much of one, it’s a little disappointing.

The work tells of:

What happens when you don’t pay your Reality Bill?

That’s what newlyweds Simon and Gina find out in this bonkers sci-fi adventure chock full of nerdy humor, explicit sex and crazy adventures. Newlyweds Simon and Gina have forgotten to pay their Reality Bill – and now all sorts of fictional hijinks are bleeding into their mundane reality. From cowboys and Indians, to prison escapes and vampires, it seems nothing’s too crazy to be coming true. At first you’d think living without reality for a weekend might be fun – and Simon and Gina certainly make the most of it! But they soon find out that it’s not all talking cats and clone-fueled orgies. When a kinky experiment goes wrong, Simon and Gina – plus their sexy friend Keri – suddenly find out that life without reality is more dangerous than they could possibly have imagined! Especially when they find themselves facing off against a sociopathic, sex-mad clone of one of Hollywood’s most famous leading ladies – and she’s packing a package that would make any male porn-star jealous!

Reality’s F**ked! is a screwball comedy sci-fi adventure featuring nerdy humor, pop culture references, explicit sex, a clone-fueled orgy and a demonic, shemale facsimile of a world-famous female celebrity.

Simon and Gina have a small problem: Their reality bill wasn’t paid and the impossible becomes possible. Be it science fiction becoming real, demons having their way, or a cat that has an attitude, that bill needs to be paid soon. But there’s still time for things to go a little bit weird. Or a lot weird.

The work reads very much like a mixture of anything written by Douglas Adams with a smattering of any one of a number of erotica writers. As such, there is a lot of name dropping, tropes and similar themes that result in a lot of situations that can’t help but be laughed at.

There’s a good deal of erotica in the work, but it’s not exactly filled with heat, tending towards something like a summary of some well-known porn movie themes mixed with a lot of hentai storylines. The focus of the work seems to be in the humour, which has its moments, but the erotica didn’t really work for me overall.

That then brings me to the succubus of the work. Who that is I’ll leave aside in this review, but it’s hilariously used. She’s very stereotypical, not having much in the way of personality as well. She’s a means to an end and not a lot more than that. Still, this isn’t meant to be a story with a lot of character development or meaning, it’s supposed to be a laugh and it is.

It’s a cute and funny story, but overall it really isn’t a story about succubi in any great way. Still the story was well told and it was a lot of fun to read. There’s a clear path towards another story set in this universe, but whether or not that happens, this was an interesting fun story. I just wish there’s be more succubi within the story than there is.

Two and a half out of five pitchforks.

If you like comedy in a Monty Python way, this work might interest you. From the aspect of being a story about succubi, it’s only barely so.



Sep 04 2017

The Bet by JHB

Last week I shared a story for my Eternal’s birthday. This week, a story from my heart, our dearest friend. Something that we both cherished, made us smile and laugh, but most of all, we thank him for a gift beyond words…


The Bet


by James, for his friend, Keith, on his birthday


Keith, King of the Incubi and husband to Her Majesty Tera, Queen of the Succubi Realm, was not always an incubi, of course. He grew up in the human realm, and fell in love with an impossibly vivacious, raven-haired young woman, with oh-so-green eyes, and the rest was history.

Now, in the Realm, everybody knows this story. It is part of how their world is, a story that humbles those who might take too much pride in their long succubish lineage and bolsters those just finding their way around with horns and tails. Some, like Uncle, who has always been there, at least seem to have forgotten the time before Keith was part of the family, when this was the way the world was. Even a few of the closest members of Tera’s and Keith’s still-human family don’t seem to recall what had been before, and know, accept, and love both of them for who they are.

There are a few members of Keith’s human family, however, who don’t know about his other life. They know Tera, of course, and know her beauty and her grace and all that really matters about the both of them—how they love each other. They know the house in the human realm, the one by the koi pond, with the odd neighbor on the other side. But they don’t know about the Succubi Realm, and they know nothing of tails or horns or all that goes with them, and they certainly know nothing of crowns or royalty. There simply had to be a limit to who knew and who didn’t know, as the whole of the human realm was not and is not ready for this reality.

One of those who doesn’t know is Keith’s other uncle. Other Uncle lives further away, and doesn’t see him or Tera anywhere near so often, and there was simply never any reason to bring any of this up.

Other Uncle, for being a fair bit older than Keith, was remarkably spry and quick-witted, and always had a sparkle in his blue eyes. Yes, the hair had grayed over the years, but he still traveled far and wide—which is part of why he didn’t see Keith and Tera so often—and he still had his strong opinions over which teams were best in various sports and what set men of the great northern world apart from any other men.

And, on occasion, he had no trouble expressing his opinions on how Keith’s generation—to whom he still referred as “you young upstarts”—couldn’t hold a candle to manly men like him.

So it was that, over a few beers one night, as Keith had been unusually and unceremoniously shooed out of the kitchen by his lovely wife so that he could spend time with Other Uncle, who had come to visit, that the older fellow was teasing the younger about how he just couldn’t keep up. “I bet you,” Other Uncle harrumphed, “that I could beat you in a set of challenges—physical contests, skill contests, even a social contest or two—and take you in two out of three of them.”

The incognito king couldn’t help but smile: “Well, that would be quite the contest, I’m sure.”

“I am serious!” the older man glowered. “Don’t you dare treat me like I’m some doddering . . . some doddering old fart!”

“I’d never think of it, Uncle. But . . . I mean . . . we’re just talking here. You’re on your way to that shuffleboard holiday in Florida tomorrow, right?”

“I can put that off for a day or so, sonny boy, if only to wipe that smug smile off your face!”

Keith hadn’t realized that he was smiling . . .  but maybe, just a little. And Other Uncle was getting apoplectic. “Okay . . . okay . . .”—it was time to test whether the old boy was just blowing smoke—“. . . Just what do you propose as the stakes?”

“If you win, I’ll clean your house, do your laundry, and wash your dishes for you two youngsters for a week.”

“You mean you’ll hire somebody to come do it.” Other Uncle absolutely abhorred housekeeping.

“Did I say that? Should we have thrown in a hearing bet, too?”

“You are going to be our maid? Well, that is quite the bet! And what happens if you win?”

“Well, there is this girl who—and I have no idea why, when she has had the chance to date me— but she wants to give you a kiss.”

“Are you serious?”

“Come on, do you think anybody could turn your head from your  . . . what do you call her? . . . your ‘Eternal’?”

“Uncle, it’s just that I . . .”

“Don’t want your ego bruised by some old codger showing you up?”

“That’s not it at all, but . . .”

“Then is it a bet? Or don’t you think you’ve got the stuff?”

“Oh, Okay, Uncle.”

“Meet me tomorrow, then, 8:00 in the morning, at the gym across from my hotel. And eat a light breakfast; I don’t want to see you upchucking in the locker room.”

That night, after Tera closed her laptop, while both of them were getting ready for bed, Keith tried to explain to his Eternal just what had transpired while she was cleaning up from dinner. “He was just so determined! I knew I shouldn’t do this, but, somehow, he talked me into it.”

The brunette beauty smiled a knowing smile, as if, perhaps, she knew something of what it was like to talk her husband into something . . . just perhaps. “Well, now you’re going to have to go ahead with it. He’d be devastated if you backed out of it. Dad would never hear the end of it.”

“Which means we would never hear the end of it.”

“Well, yes. And, even worse, you’d have hurt his feelings.”

“But how will he feel after I beat him in every event?”

The Queen arched an eyebrow, but then looked a bit more solemn. “You can’t use your incubi powers. This is the uncle who doesn’t know.”

“Oh, I know that, but . . . Wait! Don’t you think I can out-endure my uncle who is a good quarter-century older than me without horns and a tail?”

“Oh, of course I do,” Keith felt the kisses on his neck as his Eternal wrapped her arms around his shoulders, “but your incubish nature is part of you now. You will have to be careful.”

“Well, of course I . . .” the rest of the sentence was lost as the two fell into bed. The last words heard from their room were, “He may be older than me, but I need to be sure to get some sleep tonight.”

The next morning found His Majesty remarkably refreshed, and more than happy to meet Other Uncle promptly at 8:00. Keith had decided to take it just a bit easy on the old guy. As tempting as it was to see his decidedly un-domestic relative washing, vacuuming, dusting, and maybe even cleaning the windows, he realized that he wouldn’t have the heart to see it through. Maybe they could just play to a draw. Maybe there would be a way to work that out. Maybe . . .

A hand slapped his back hard enough to knock the wind out of him. “So you didn’t chicken out after all, eh, lad?” Other Uncle was in fine fettle, every bit the athletic septuagenarian he was—but “septuagenarian” was the operative word. Keith felt even more confident, and just wanted to let the old guy down easily.

“Let’s get started with a lap around the track,” Other Uncle encouraged his sturdy nephew. “You ran track, didn’t you?”

“That was in high school, but I’ll be fine.” The younger man let the older count of to the start, and then even let him have a few steps lead, but was still easily passing him, heading for a quick finish. Maybe he should ease up just a bit and . . .

. . . WHOA! Keith went sprawling onto the track surface, having caught his foot on his own shoelace, landing safely but unceremoniously, face down, looking up just in time to see his older relation easily cross the finish, barely even looking winded. Okay, one to the old man.

“Now let’s try the rock wall!” Contest number two, with the younger competitor grateful that they both had to get put into harnesses so they could start together. Minutes later, up they were climbing. It would be easy for an incubi, but even a fairly fit human was too busy paying attention to his own grips and footing to worry about his competitor. Still, he was shocked to hear Other Uncle’s voice for only the second time since they left the track: “What took you so long, kiddo!”

There was the older man, sitting on top of the wall, checking his phone messages, looking down at Keith.

The morning continued much like this: an imperfect jackknife dive was nothing compared to the younger man’s awkward belly flop—how could he have tripped on a shoelace in bare feet?—a humiliating straight-sets loss in table tennis; and a game of darts where neither of them could wear corrective lenses. Keith was glad to get a decent grouping all on the board, but his elder got six bulls-eyes, all by tossing the darts backward over his shoulder. Nobody had matched this precision since Kenneth Mars took on Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein.”

Keith was shaking his head, and still a bit winded when he followed Other Uncle back over to the victor’s hotel. As they sat in the bar, waiting for their lunch, the older man enjoyed a bourbon while the younger insisted on a mineral water.

“So, have you had enough?”

“You have won, fair and square, Uncle.”

“You didn’t have to say ‘Uncle’ . . . but, then again, you did.” Keith could hear the wink in his host’s voice. “But I’ll tell you what. See the cute redheaded waitress?” The woman was perky, nicely shaped, and quite compelling, especially for a human. “If you can get her phone number before I do, you win the bet.”

“But, if I lose?”

“Well, that nice young girl with the great personality gets two kisses with her arms wrapped around you.”

“You’re on.” The monarch wasn’t above having an advantage this time. Even without his incubish powers, he still had a lifetime of carefully-honed skills. He checked his hair, sat up straight, and used the come-hither look that could even divert a Succubi Queen, all so that . . .

“Hey, cutie, I get off at 2:00! What are you doin’ this afternoon.” She had come over to them, all right, as if pulled by magnets, moving her body in just the way that had earned her thousands in extra tips . . . and looked right past Keith as if he wasn’t there, reaching into her cleavage, pulling out a card, and handing it to Other Uncle.

A rather dejected, baffled nephew accompanied his Uncle up to his room, unable to contain himself as they walked the hallway. “How? I mean . . . ummmm . . . you’re great and all but . . . How?”

“Well, you were just so sure you had this all figured out, didn’t you? A couple months ago, when I was in California, I met this sweet young woman, and we got to talking. I told her about how nice you kids are to me whenever I come visit, but that I really start to feel old. She told me she could cast a spell, and that she’d be helping me every step of the way. Of course I don’t believe that stuff, but I thought ‘What the hey! I don’t get a kiss from a hot babe every day.’”

“Wow, Uncle! So everything was a set-up.”

“Not everything. I never said we couldn’t have help. You assumed that. And the waitress was a complete surprise. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a date.”

Other Uncle closed his door, and the Incubi King turned on his heel, shaking his head as he departed. He realized that his uncle never said anything about meeting this girl who wanted to kiss him. As he debated calling his relative back, the doors of the elevator slid open, and a silver tail wrapped around him and pulled him into the waiting arms of . . .

. . . He’d have said “Cassie!” had he not already been pulled into a mind-melting kiss with Tera’s oldest friend. He then realized that they were both naked, and in the master bedroom of the Palace in the Realm. He started to pull away.

“But I get another kiss, with my arms still wrapped around you. Well, one arm.” Cassie’s grin broadened under her blue hair as her right hand reached down and began giving a certain red tail the second-best massage it had ever gotten—nobody could beat Tera at this—and the incubi began to respond most ardently, but then caught his breath and said, “Tera!”

A familiar, irresistible voice came from the rocker in a far corner of the room: “I think this is just fine, as long as she leaves you with enough energy for me.”

“Maybe we’ll even let her help,” Cassie giggled, breathily, just before nibbling his left horn.

“But . . . why . . . how . . . unnnnnhhhh.”

“Oh, I loved meeting your other uncle,” the blue-haired silver-tail purred.

“And you’re not the only one I grant birthday wishes to, you know,” the red-tailed brunette moaned as she slid into bed with the couple.

As for Keith . . . well, he might have something to say . . . in the morning. He was sure this was the best bet he had ever lost.