"Come on, El. We're going to be late."
This again. Classes have only just started up today, and she's going to make me late.
"El!" I knock on her door for the third time, then roll my eyes as I hear the sounds of scrambling in her dorm room. The lock thunks open, and a girl standing only 5'2" looks up at me, eyes wide - one gray, one blue. She's got on a black 'In This Moment' tee-shirt, blue jeans, and only one sneaker, and her long, blonde hair's a mess. In the fluff of it, only one little horn projects from the right side of her forehead. A small, almost vestigial wing is folded up beneath her shirt, also on the right side. Such birth defects are unfortunately common for children of mixed parentage.
A pregnant second passes by until I finally swallow down my impatience and say, "Good morning, Ellena."
El swallows and blushes, her hands shaking. "Rachel! I'm so sorry! My alarm didn't go off, and I can't find anything!" She's practically vibrating with panic as she stands in her doorway, so I take some pity on her and gesture for her to move back into her room, where I follow.
I close the door behind me and lean back against it, setting my own messenger bag down on the floor by my ankle. Unlike El, I'm dressed in black knee-high boots, black leggings, and a light cream linen tunic, belted at the waist. My scarlet hair is neat and styled to drape over my right shoulder, and my makeup is on point today, highlighting my equally scarlet eyes. Horns don't run in my family, but full, elegant black bat wings do, as do black, prehensile, spade-tipped tails.
I'm used to the "New Semester" madness by now, being in my junior year, but El's just a freshman. She only moved up from our hometown one week ago, and I can see unpacked boxes beneath her bed. "Right... El?" I try to get her attention, but she's looking around for something, not listening to me at all. "EL!" When she finally stops and looks at me guiltily, I take in a deep breath to calm myself. "Now, what do you need today?"
She looks around quickly, then spots a printed sheet on her desk. She picks it up and hands it to me shyly, and I take it, pacing back and forth across her single room. Listed there is a pretty packed schedule of classes for the week, and nearly all of them are gen-eds. She hasn't declared a major yet, but she's got time. Still, I sort of wish she'd given herself a moment during the weekday to just breathe. "This is pretty intense, El."
The girl just shrugs, swiping up clothes from the floor and tossing them on the bed to reveal the items underneath. When she finds a brush she looks triumphant, and sets about neatening her hair. "I can handle it. I don't mind working hard."
I smirk. "You can't even find your other sneaker." That was mean. El blushes and doesn't make eye contact with me as she quickly pulls the brush through her locks. I wince, then look back at the paper, turning it over. There are penciled-in notes all over it - directions on how to get to various places, and a sketched map of campus. Silly thing could have printed one. It makes me smile, though. She's really determined to do a good job, and she probably made sketches so she'd better remember it. "Okay, so, you really aren't going to need much today. Your professors will hand you a syllabus..."
She gives me a nervous look.
For a moment I'm confused, and then it occurs to me. Our high school didn't use the term syllabus. "It's like a layout of the whole course, and usually has the semester's assignments listed on it. Professors love to waste the first class going over it in detail, so some asshole can't try and find a loophole for getting an A, despite doing jack shit."
El smiles and relaxes a little. Whenever I swear it seems to put her at ease. I don't do it all that often out in public, but I don't mind getting a bit potty-mouthed with her.
"So, with that in mind, you just need a folder to hold all these syllabi in, plus this rundown of your classes. And a pen, if you feel the need for it. You've got your backpack ready?"
She nods, and points to a simple black canvas bookbag resting on the floor of her closet alcove, beneath her shirts. I wander over and pick it up, and there isn't anything in it yet. While she's busy putting her hair up in a ponytail, I crouch by my messenger bag and open it up. It takes only a moment to slip a notebook, a folder, and a few pens and pencils from my bag to hers, and I'm standing up by the time she turns around again.
She swallows, nibbling her lip. Her mismatched eyes slide over my features, and she blushes a little. "Should I wear makeup?"
Given the state of her belongings, and the sorry appearance of her makeup kit (God, how old is it?), I just shake my head. "Don't worry about it. I put on makeup because I like to. No one expects it. We're just students, El." Well, none of her professors will be expecting it from her. I'm in the advanced courses, so it's expected of me, but she doesn't need to know that.
The girl nods, then looks around, frowning. Her eyes light on something under the bed, and she reaches for it, pulling out her other sneaker. She pulls it on and ties the laces, then stands up, trying to smooth out her clothes as she looks at me, waiting for my approval.
God, she's cute.
The thought catches me by complete surprise, but I try to ignore it. I've never had that sort of feeling about a girl, the delicious little coil of hunger, that I do with guys. Still, no need to freak her out more than she already is. "I think you look just fine. Now, take this," I say, handing over her backpack. She takes it and slides the the strap over her shoulder, taking in a deep breath before she looks at me with a brave smile.
I open up her door and step back out into the hallway, gesturing for her to join me. Just before she steps out, I catch sight of her keys on the desk, and I place a flat hand on her chest to stop her in place. She looks up at me with wide eyes. "Keys" I whisper, and she nods, turning on her heel to go back in and grab them. She also thinks to grab her wallet and phone and stuffs them into her pockets. Good girl.
The door finally gets locked, and we have far too little time to sit down for a hot breakfast. I hadn't been counting on it for myself, but I know Ellena's going to get pretty unhappy if she forgets to eat. Luckily the cafeteria has a To Go station, so I take us down there. This isn't a large campus - there aren't many demons on the east coast, really. Still, the cafeteria's packed, and the anxiety of first day jitters causes a bit of jostling as people forget the simple etiquette of keeping their wings tucked and their tails around their legs. I suppose, as a people, we aren't made for cramped spaces.
We're in and out of there without too much trouble, getting hot coffees and bagels to go and eat on the green grass of the quad. El takes a seat under a tree and starts applying cream cheese to her toasted cinnamon and raisin, and I just save mine for later. I'm not about to have the gummy feel of cream cheese on the back of my tongue, especially not for my first class. A coffee will just have to do for now.
While El sits, I remain standing, sipping at my coffee and looking at the other students come and go. Some of the incubi are really filling out, and I give them appreciative looks. Some of them notice me checking them out and they smile, and I lift a pinkie from my coffee cup and wiggle it at them. Who knows? Maybe a few of them will be worth my time this year.
Even as I make silent promises that I have no intention of keeping, my phone vibrates in my bag. I pull it out and unlock the screen to see a text from John. A quick, clandestine glance around, and I wander to the other side of El's tree to lean my shoulder against it and read in privacy.
Hey, Rach. Moved in alright?
John has a scholarship to stay at the college over summer break, and since he's a little older and unattached, he uses the time to get ahead on his degree track. So while we started in the same year, he's now a senior, technically.
I nibble my lip a little and smile, typing out the response Hey John. Move in went fine.
He's absolutely the last sort of incubus that I'm expected to spend time with - he acquired his incubism after living a somewhat blue collar human life, complete with a stint in the military. Where I'm cultured and elegant, he's far more down-to-earth and crass. But he's genuine, and I really like that. Plus, the forbidden aspect is delicious.
I've heard that you've got a new apprentice.
I wrinkle my nose, glancing back over my shoulder at El, still munching on her bagel.
Her name is Ellena. She's a friend of the family.
She's not insufferable like you, is she?
I almost make a sound, but just manage to catch myself. No one's near my level, John.
Obviously. Have some time between 12 and 1?
My cheeks heat up a little; I know he's not talking about lunch. Yes, I'm free. Where?
The storage room at the gymnasium. I'll walk you back there.
Sounds good. See you then, John.
I close up my phone and slip it back into my bag. Ellena's just about finished up, so I move back over, feeling just about back to normal, or at least close enough that I can fake it. "Ready to go?" I ask, hoping the question will nudge her up to her feet.
It does, and she wipes away the grass from the backs of her legs. "Yeah." She pulls the schedule out of her bag and studies it. "My first class is Calculus. That's in, uh..." she squints, looking closely at the sheet. I think only the blue eye on the left sees very well, but I've never asked. "The Berkley Building."
I nod, guiding us that way. "It's not too far from here. Make sure to text me if you need anything, okay?" While we walk, I resist the urge to make sure she remembers to go eat lunch or drink enough water. Half breeds especially need a lot of calories to make it through the day, and Ellena's metabolism is through the roof. It makes me smile a little as she finally slips into the crowd filing into the sciences building, and only when I finally lose sight of her do I make my way to The Studio.
Now, The Studio is the building where every sort of upper-level refinement takes place, and where most of my classes this semester are located. The architecture is elegant, gothic, and imposing, located at the top of the hill overlooking the rest of campus. Some people walk up the path, but I decide to take to the air. It's nice to stretch my wings - there probably won't be much chance to unfold them until noon, and that thought nearly makes me lose my focus and crash into a spire.
Jesus Christ, Rachel, get it together.
There are several landing areas, and I select the one that services the music room. It's quiet now, but the window gate has been left open, probably to let in the pleasant morning air. The light's on in the office, and as I pass by I can see Shoshona Demoncoeur, professor, oddly enough, of all things music and martial arts. She's a private, taciturn, extremely serious sort of person and prefers to be alone, but she's not mean. Like John, she was turned into a succubus later in life, though whatever she started as is hard to tell. Her skin is pure shadow black, and her hair is black as well. Pointed ears show when her hair's up in a ponytail, but any time someone asks if she's elven she glares at them. Apparently it's a sore point. Her eyes are light red, which makes her look truly intimidating, especially when she's lost in thought and looking at nothing in particular. She has no wings, but she does have a spade-tipped tail.
Still, despite all that, she glances at me as I pass. "Rachel. Happy first day." Her tone is almost completely flat, but there's a little smile right in the corner of her mouth. At one point I might have wondered why she's wearing a black silk bathrobe, but now I know better. All demons have their reasons, and it's not always for fashion.
"Professor Demoncoeur," I say back, noticing that she's working on restringing a violin. "How lovely. Is that new?"
Her delicate hands set it down in its case, a black leather and green velvet number resting opened on her desk, and she shakes her head. "Second-hand, but it should play well enough."
A gentle klaxon rings through the hallways, and both of us look up while Shoshana smiles. "Best not be late, hmm?"
She gives me a knowing look, and I smile and wave. "Might be fun if I am. Have a nice day, Professor."
I can just hear her velvet chuckle even as I leave the music room and head out into the hallway, making my way towards Perfection 101.
My first and only class of the day is, really, the only class I care about this semester. I would never admit that to my other professors, but the woman who heads this class also happens to be my personal adviser and mentor, and she's about as arrogant as demons come. If I confided such thoughts to her, she'd only look down her nose at me and tell me how proper it is to feel that way.
I'm not the first one in class, but the professor isn't there yet. My posse, however, is.
Seated in one of the leather couches ringing the classroom walls (there are no desks, per se, in The Studio), are two succubi deep in idle, jaded conversation. They look so alike that many people think they're related, and they don't do all that much to shoot that rumor down. A lot of people are appealed to the thought of sisters, after all, though these two aren't. I don't think. They've never really told me one way or the other, come to think of it.
In any case, they both have fair skin, silken hair, and slender bodies with models' proportions. Neither of them have tails, horns, or wings, which is unusual, but it's been known to happen. Claire's hair is black, her eyes are violet, and she's wearing a black silk sundress... if sundresses can be made with shimmering black silk and still be sundresses. Her hair is curled and allowed to hang down over her shoulders and brow, leaving one lovely eye nearly obscured, which somehow only draws attention to her plum-tinted full lips.
Her partner in crime (and genetics, maybe) is Danielle. Instead of silk, she's got on leather leggings and a black velvet tank top with satin lacing keeping the upper half closed. Danielle's hair is a dark, chestnut brown, straight, and pulled up into a high ponytail, the tips just licking at her bare shoulders with every movement. Her eyes are magenta, an odd color for a succubus, but her rose lipstick is a clever match to it.
Both girls turn to look at me as I make my way over, and their smiles are as indulgent as they are trouble. Danielle purrs, "Rachel... you look good enough to eat." Tease.
I smirk and take a seat on the couch sitting kitty corner to theirs. A small side table in the corner receives my coffee, and I set my bag down in there as well to keep it out of the way. "Shocking how there's still enough of me to go around. Dieting?" Oh yes, I can be a catty bitch right back. To be fair, they both know it's a joke - if they lost any weight, they'd be unhealthy. I'm slender, and even I have more curves than they do.
"It's because we've only just run into you now, Rachel," Claire smiles, lacing her fingers in her lap with faux innocence. "Have you been avoiding us to spend time with your little colonel?"
I roll my eyes, resisting the urge to check my phone for more texts. "He's an airman," I correct softly, and they both smile wickedly.
Danielle leans forward, her elbows on her knees, eyes narrowed as she smirks. "Have you two fucked on the wing yet?"
My cheeks heat up a little, and I frown, just preparing to shoot off a response when we all hear:
"None of my students fuck."
All three of us lift our heads immediately, backs straight. Our professor has entered the room, standing in the center of it, having gotten there silently. How she managed that on four inch stiletto heels is beyond me, but she's marvelously talented. As always, my eyes just drink her in - dark red hair, straight and perfectly styled up into a French twist with jet pins. Glasses with slender, black frames rest on her sharp nose, the lenses doing nothing to hide how perfectly garnet her irises are, and her eyebrows are finely sculpted and judgmental. Her lips are full and colored a deep, Merlot red, as are her fingernails.
Unlike Claire and Rachel, our professor is curvaceous and tall, just pushing up past six feet in her heels. Her full breasts are contained, somehow, in a beautiful white silk blouse, which is itself tucked into an A-line black latex skirt. Sheer hose lead down to her patent black stiletto pumps, and I'd bet good money that her toenails are the same red as her lips.
That statement hangs in the air just long enough to let us take in how completely put together and perfect she looks, dominating our finer sensibilities with her flawlessness, until, at last, she smiles just a touch and purrs, "Do they?"
"No, Mistress," we all say in unison, delightfully intimidated.
Her brows lift a touch, and her smile is praise enough. We know we're her best students, and we bask politely in her good graces. She turns her back on us and walks over to her desk at the head of the classroom, and we can see that she's not wearing her wings or tail out today. We know she has both, beautiful midnight limbs with velvety smooth skin, but she's skilled enough (and some say ancient enough) to magic them away when she wants to.
Okay so, remember how I said earlier that I'd never really desired girls before? Well, that's still true. I didn't say anything about women. Professor Victoria Demoncoeur, wife of Shoshana Demoncoeur, has been my singular professorial crush, ever since I decided to major in, basically, what amounts to being a wealthy socialite. I'm minoring in courtesan training, which I think covers all the proper bases, really.
To explain our school, demons come in a wide variety of types. My type, and the type of those in this part of campus, are the succubi and incubi. It's a myth that we feed on sex. I've got a bagel in my bag that disproves that. But for us, sex is what allows us to access our magic, and in order not to be a menace to society, we train to slip into those niche roles that let us power up our magic within the boundaries of the law. Not all demons use sex to fuel their magic, of course. Only the best ones.
I feel a little coil of worry about Ellena. She's half succubus by birth, but the thought of her trying to initiate any sort of useful sexual energy just seems impossible. Succubi are expected to be seductive and flawless - she's... just so not. Still, that's not for me to worry about right now. She has a lot of time to figure herself out. She might even decide to go into one of those odd majors, like the one John's in - personal protection services, masquerading as an escort. Well okay, he's also training to be an escort, but I think he's only minoring in it because it's fun for him.
Suddenly, I feel a slender, red-nailed finger press beneath my chin to tip my head back, and my eyes widen. Shit - day dreaming again. I swallow and look up at Victoria, blushing slightly.
"Repeat what I just said, Rachel. If you can."
She knows I can't, and I can just feel Claire and Danielle smirking at me. I take in a deep breath and admit, "I'm sorry, Mistress. I can't."
It's only a light slap on my cheek, but it does wake me up and snap me out of my daydream. I feel my nipples harden inside my bra, and I shift just a little in my seat, determined to pay better attention now. That seems to be enough, and Victoria returns to her lecture. I'm sure there's a syllabus available somewhere, but we don't need it. It's just a class with the three of us, and we know the point of it this semester - manipulation. I feel like I've already experienced about three lesson's worth already, but I still attend to what she's saying, sipping occasionally at my coffee.
I'm a little surprised when Shoshana walks into the room about halfway through the three hour lesson. Before, in the music office, she'd been dressed in robe. Now, however, the robe is gone and she's dressed to impress - a black leather bodice showing lots of toned, impressive midriff, and a black silk wrap skirt. As always, indoors she doesn't wear any shoes, keeping her steps graceful and silent and her height drastically lesser than her wife's.
Victoria, upon seeing her wife, announces, "We will focus on women today: where to touch, and how, for best effect. Danielle - you're first."
Claire and I smile a bit meanly as Danielle nervously gets to her feet. She's tall, but Victoria is taller still, and looks down on her with a patronizing little smirk. It's poor form to use the F-word in this building, and especially to use it in Victoria's classroom. Danielle is made to stand casually and relax as Victoria engages her in a conversation. It's about the lesson plan from last year, and soon enough our classmate is conversing with nearly all her attention.
I notice that Shoshana walks silently up behind Danielle and moves her hand to touch the woman's lower back, fingertips just barely pushing the material of her velvet top into the back hem of her leather pants. Danielle gasps and falls silent, mid-sentence, eyes widening, and Shoshana smiles, joining into the conversation seamlessly, almost as if Danielle is her companion. A gentle caress of that hand upwards pulls the velvet back out, letting Danielle relax a little, but the pressure maintained by Shoshana's hand keeps our classmate silent.
Frankly, Claire and I can't believe it. Danielle is impossible to silence, and Shoshana's done it in less than a second. I don't think that Danielle was in on this, and I'm so curious about how it works that when Victoria sends Danielle back, I raise my hand to be next.
As before, Shoshana wanders back to the edge of the room, paying attention to a flier on the noticeboard while Victoria engages me in conversation. I find that my professor's invitation to speak is unavoidable, and I'm almost forced to engage with her, to smile when she wants it, and to think about what she suggests. After a while I forget to keep track of Shoshana entirely, and I'm laughing about some incident from the news when I feel this electric touch press against my spine, right between my shoulder blades. Three fingers slide in with just enough pressure to shut down my brain almost entirely.
To my surprise, my wings don't move. Typically they flick or flare when I'm startled, but they just remain as they were, politely folded against my back. To my right, Shoshana picks up the conversation where I left off, even chuckling about what had amused me, as if she's stealing my role in the conversation and leaving me mute. Just before I grow indignant, or even consider it, her hand moves, fingers and palm sliding a comforting, firm warmth to my mid-back and remaining there, holding me pleasantly captive until she's done.
Victoria turns to Claire and demands, "Tell me the difference you saw."
Claire nibbles her lip in thought, then gestures. "With Danielle, Professor Demoncoeur touched her lower back. With Rachel, she touched her between the shoulder blades, between her wings."
Our professor nods, pleased. "And why is that?"
Danielle thinks, and offers "because I don't have wings, and Rachel does. The muscle groups would be different."
Shoshana even smiles just a touch. Danielle's recovered admirably from being chastised, and I'd smile, but my reactions are still somewhat on lock down, given the palm on my back. A velvety chuckle from the shorter professor, and that hand finally shifts away, letting me move again. I sit back down on the couch and breathe out slowly, catching Danielle's sympathetic glance. That was uncanny.
We both watch Claire, and, as expected, Shoshana presses her fingers against our classmate's lower back, freezing her into silence as she smoothly slips into the conversation. Claire looks just as surprised as Danielle and I did - none of us really trusted that the technique worked so well, but it's like clockwork. After a while, Shoshana and Victoria take a seat on the couches and watch as Claire, Danielle, and I practice on one another, taking turns to be the mark, as it were. Claire picks up the technique a little faster than Danielle does, the latter seeming to believe that bruising will replace finesse. I start to dread her attempts until, finally, she manages to shut me off, and I hear a light round of applause from the couches.
The last half hour is spent in conversation after Shoshana excuses herself to get her first class of the day prepared. Victoria clues us in on her expectations and lesson plan, and I have to admit that it sounds pretty interesting. There will be a few field trips into New York City in the evenings for gala events where we can practice out in the wild. Not to feed, of course, but to mingle and get real feedback on where our weaknesses are. I know for a fact that I get caught in day dreams with embarrassing frequency, so I'll work on that.
It'd be mortifying (and arousing) to be slapped in the middle of a fête.
By the time our class lets out, it's 11:30 and I need to get to the gymnasium. I also need to eat - I'd completely forgotten to. Danielle and Claire wave goodbye with blown kisses and filthy suggestions for things to do to John, and I take off from one of the landing platforms to glide down to Lower Campus. On the way I eat my bagel, trying to quiet my rumbling stomach. It'd be really frustrating to finally have a moment to mess around, then get dizzy and need to stop.
I'm just swallowing the last bit of breakfast as I glide down to the Gym's rooftop platform. Flying's murder on my hair, so I take a brush to it as I make my way inside, flashing my student ID to the bored student manning the front desk. He just looks at me, nods, then goes back to his nudey magazine, jadedly flipping through the pages, cheek in hand.
John catches my attention gently as he pushes a bin of towels towards the laundry room, and he passes me the key to the storage area and tells me to wait there. I nod and let myself in - it's shadowy, musty, and quiet. Piles of mats are stacked against the wall, and bins and racks are loaded with all sorts of sports equipment. I'm just caressing my fingertips along the edge of a rowing paddle when I hear the door open again, then shut.
There's just enough low light from the skylight above to see, and I smile as I see John wander up towards me. As always, he's got a slightly slanted, lazy grin on, his hair is a bit on the long side, dark and blending in with his curving black horns, and his blue eyes sparkle with mischief. He's strong and slender, and moves with what I can only describe as an honest, easy stride.
His smile makes mine grow, and I lean my hip against a pile of mats, crossing my arms as I slip into my role in this game. My expression becomes indignant, and I look down my nose at him, eyes narrowed. "You made me wait. My time's actually valuable, unlike some." A brow lifts, and I flick my wings, making myself as bitchy as possible.
To John's credit, when the game's on, he takes up his role just as well as I do. His smile slides away, and he rubs at his face, looking insecure with those beautiful, darling puppy eyes that make me weak in the knees. "I'm sorry, Rachel. I just had to get the laundry started, and..."
I huff and turn my head away, as if I'm angry at him that I waited for thirty seconds.
He steps closer, nibbling his lip, appearing every bit the pussy whipped bastard that so many online forums call Betas, and murmurs, "What can I do to make it up to you, Baby?"
The swift crack of my palm on his face takes him by surprise, and he barely keeps the facade going despite how aroused it makes him. It takes a lot for me to keep it together too, but I manage it, still glaring. "Don't you ever fucking call me 'Baby'!"
He sinks to his knees by the mats, looking up at me, bereft (God, he's good), and I sniff and set my bag down, then start sliding down my leggings to the tops of my boots, rolling my eyes. "Just hurry it up," I grumble, pretending not to be on fire as he slides his hands around my bare ass cheeks and buries his face between my legs beneath the bottom hem of my tunic. Without him looking, my face crumples into desire and overstimulation, my mouth hanging open as his mouth and tongue works magic. My right hand moves down to grip his hair as I slowly grind against his face, and I only just barely keep my voice bored and annoyed as I grumble, "Jesus Christ, would you hurry it up?"
An apologetic groan buzzes into my flesh, and I suddenly feel fingers slide up into me. God, just perfect. Utterly perfect. When my orgasm comes crashing down, I don't bother with the facade anymore, cupping my free hand over my mouth to keep from making any noise louder than a soft, muffled moan. That's John's cue that the game is on pause, and he slips out from between my legs to stand behind me.
I gasp and catch my breath, leaning over the pile of mats as I hear the jingle of his belt and slacks being unfastened, and the soft rip of a condom wrapper being opened up. Then his hand's on my hip and his cock's sliding into me, making me shiver out to my wingtips. He doesn't bother with delicacy or foreplay - that bit of play acting was enough for me - and he takes me swift and hard, flesh clapping against flesh. His fingers are tight as they grip my hips, pulling me back onto him at the end, until at last he buries himself and grits his teeth. I can feel him cum in the condom, and as a tease, I slowly roll my hips over his hypersensitive cock.
"Oh God, Rachel," he mutters, breathing hard. "I've missed the fuck out of you."
When he finally pulls out, I pull my leggings back up and tidy up my clothes, smirking. "I missed you, Baby."
John smirks back at me, pulling up his zipper, buttoning his fly, and fastening his belt. "Oh, so Baby's allowed, now?"
I lean back against the mats, imperious. "I'm allowed anything." I smile as he moves in against me, hands resting on my hips as he kisses me, his mouth tasting like my desire. Delicious.
"My fingers are going to hurt all day," he rumbles against my lips, nipping at them.
"Serves them right," I breathe, sliding my tongue along his for just a moment.
"Good thing my classes this afternoon aren't the note-taking type." He moves away from me with a smile, suckling his fingers clean, eyes still sparkling mischief at me.
I narrow my own, pouting as I fold my arms across my chest. "This is going to be a 'no details' sort of curriculum, isn't it?"
Look, I know what we are. But I'm still kind of possessive.
John just smiles, caressing my shoulder. "Yeah, one of those. But see, it's not that hard to imagine the girl has beautiful red hair or pretty ruby eyes. Plus..." he leans back on his heels and rubs the back of his neck, looking off to the side shyly, "...no girl plays the game like you do."
That makes me feel a little better, and I sigh. "I like this, John. I like us..."
He moves to lean back against the mats on my right, nodding, hands in his pockets. "Yeah."
We both stay silent for a while, looking down and trying not to think about how this little game has to end, and soon. His life isn't going in the same circles as mine is, most likely. It's a painful thought, and this is John's last year, after all.
Or so I thought.
"Rachel... I'm graduating this semester. I've got enough credits, and I've got a job lined up already for January."
I blink, not quite understanding at first. He looks guilty as I turn to look at him, and that only cements it as being real. Painfully real. "O...oh. Um... Congratulations, John. Where is it?"
He smiles a little. "Seattle. State Senator needs a new body man to replace her last one."
Seattle?! But that's literally across the country. My lips pull into a tense line, and my fingers feel cold and tingly as I grip at my arms a little harder.
I tense as he touches my arm lightly, but listen as he offers, "It's nothing you've done, Rachel. And we've known this was never going to last. I'm twenty-eight, and it's time for my civilian life to start."
That makes my hackles rise a little, and I frown at him. "It's not started yet? All this - your education, the connections you've made here, us - this hasn't been part of your life?"
He grits his teeth, rubbing the back of his neck. "Shit... that's not what I meant."
I bend over and pick up my bag, slinging the strap over my shoulder as I growl, "Yes, it is." Furious, but mostly just hurt, I storm out of the storage room, letting the door swing hard against the wall and startling a pair of students heading for the racquetball court. On the way out, I snap my fingers, setting the desk boy's magazine on fire.
Not that it'll fix anything, but it sure fucking feels good.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck.
I'm so fucking stupid, god fucking DAMNIT!
My phone buzzes in my bag as I storm across Lower Campus, needing to burn off this frustration before I'm seen by anyone I know. At first I don't bother looking at my messages, but after a minute I sigh and check. To my surprise, it's not John but El texting me.
Hi Rachel! Would you like to get dinner with me?
I come to a stop and bite my lip, sighing. God, El doesn't need to see me like this. It's quarter to one now, and from what I saw of her schedule, her last class should be out around 4. After a long, slow breath, I type That'd be great, El. How's your day going?
It's been really good! I'm going to be really busy, but that's okay. And I've made some new friends!
Oh God, I can only imagine. Of course, it's presumptive of me to think that the only people interested in El would be out to take advantage of her. You have? That's really great! What are their names?
Morox and Foraii. They're freshmen like me. We're in the same math class.
Christ. Morox and Foraii... that's about as traditionally demonic as you can get. Orthodox demons are intensely into our "culture" as you can get before becoming actual zealots, and they will never forgive you for not living up to their standards. That they befriended El, a half-breed, is just bizarre. Of all the things in the world that the orthodox demons hate, it's impurity.
I sigh, but bite down on my own personal misgivings. Will your new friends be joining us for dinner?
There's a span of a few minutes that goes by, until El types They can't. They still have classes later.
That's too bad. Let's meet at the cafeteria on Lower Campus. I'm on my way there, so find me whenever you get out of class.
The little conversation only ate up about fifteen minutes, so I have a few hours to kill. Today's schedule only has Victoria's morning class in it. I'd really been hoping to spend more time with John today after not seeing him all summer, but now he's the last person I want to run into. With a sigh, I walk towards the cafeteria building, flash my ID, and take a seat in the corner to brood in.
To help the time flow a little faster, I go and get a cup of coffee, then sit back down and pull out my ear buds. Soon enough I've got Phantom of the Opera crooning into my soul, and I start to feel a little better as I sip at my drink and surf Reddit. I get a few texts from John, but I ignore them for now. I'm not ready to have that conversation, and while I don't want to ever have it, I know I have to at some point. And if that's the case, I'd like to be an adult about it, and not a giant, reactionary baby. Feeling a bit of guilt, I send off a quick text to let John know as much, then go back to furiously ignoring him.
I'm not sure what makes me madder - the fact that he only bothered to tell me after we'd had sex, or the fact that the sex, somehow, feels morbidly hotter because of the bad news that came after. The whole game is that I'm using him, but it feels like he used me today, and I don't like that the concept of turnabout arouses me. Bastard.
My thoughts turn to El, worrying again. I'm experienced with this sort of thing, and I was still taken advantage of. El's a babe in the woods, and her sweet innocent demeanor is like a gigantic sign advertising it. The population of this school is, more or less, creatures that fuel their magic on sex, fear, pain, and other intense basic emotions. Someone like El would be exquisite prey for any of them.
I think about these two new 'friends' she has. Orthodox demons, and by the sound of their names, pain demons at that. My pulse quickens at the thought of them luring her to some lonely spot, then beginning the process. My teeth grit as I picture one of them holding her still as the other only hurts her a little to freak her out, to see if she likes it or if she's going to run to the cops - that's always an issue, hence the existence of this school. And if she likes being hurt? Or if she is so desperate to please them that she puts on a brave face?
Her mismatched eyes, would they be wide with anxiety, or would they be squeezed shut? Would she be breathing hard? Would she blush? What sound would she make when she's touched? When she's scraped just a little, or pinched, or slapped? I shift a little on the padded bench of the booth, my eyes still closed.
No, I couldn't possibly let that happen. I'd find her. She'd text me for help, maybe. I'd fly out to help her and drive those demons off with threats of police action, and if that didn't work, I'd start setting articles of their clothing on fire magically, while they were still wearing them. Off they'd run, and El would be safe. She'd cling to me nervously, needing comfort, and I'd hold her tight, feeling her slender body against mine. Feeling the little folded wing against her back shake under her shirt.
She'd shiver as I slide my hand to her lower back, and she'd look up at me as I lower my...
I blink and realize that I'm daydreaming again, and I see a pair of amber orbs looking back at me, hovering over a fanged smile. The sudden presence of another person in my booth makes me startle, especially feeling caught out like that, and I angrily pull my earbuds from my ears with a scowl.
"For fuck's sake, Quillan!" I hiss.
His grin only grows, and he rests his chin on his hand, tapping at his lower lip with a sharp, black nail. He's a tragically handsome halfbreed mix of incubus and elf, and what's worse is that he's completely aware of it. "Thinking of me, Rachel?" he purrs. His pointed ears just peek out from his shaggy black hair, and his tanned-olive complexion makes his amber, catlike eyes really stand out, along with his white, perfect teeth with almost vampiric fangs. Where El got the crap end of the genetic lottery, Quillan won the jackpot.
I frown, trying to will away the heat in my cheeks, but it's not working. What a strange thing to think about. It's got to be that my thoughts are all messed up and frustrated by John. "No. The only time I think of you is when I come upon a clogged toilet, and I admire the resemblance."
The man pouts, leaning back on his side of the booth. "What's eating you?"
I cross my arms over my chest and look out at the rest of the cafeteria, determined not to give Quillan an inch.
He hums for a minute in thought, then folds his arms just like I'm doing. "So, it's a mystery, is it? I'll find it out." With a sudden smile, he taps the table with his nail, a quick click, and brags "and when I do, you'll forget all about John."
The moment I snap my head back to glare at him, I know that was the worst thing I could have done.
Quillan beams, clasping his hands in front of his slender chest. With a gasp and wide eyes, he breathes "You've dumped him!" He's far too delighted about that.
"Keep your stupid voice down!" I growl, taking a sip of coffee to wet my drying throat.
"How can I keep my voice down?" he whispers, his voice shrill with ill-contained excitement. "I have a chance!"
I just raise an eyebrow. "You don't have a chance, Quillan."
He takes it in stride, smiling confidently. "Oh I know. But you're the sort of proper Valedictorian-in-the-making who likes to get her freak on with guys way below her station for the dirty thrill of it. I know I'm not the kind of guy who's worth your time..." he muses, lifting an eyebrow knowingly at me, "...which would make it all the more more obscenely hot to have a quickie in the woods at night, or up on the dusty top floor of the library."
My eyes widen a little, and I hate that my pupils dilate along with them. Fuck. Fuck Quillan for putting those thoughts into my mind. The bastard's annoying like a gnat, but he's handsome, and his lithe, agile body could probably make me see white-hot stars in under ten minutes.
I blush and look down at my coffee. "I'll... think about it."
Silence, and I glance up at him moodily. He's just staring at me, as if he never expected that to actually work. "R... really?" he asks softly.
My teeth grit but I nod, sliding my phone towards him so he can enter his contact info into it. He does a good job pretending his fingers aren't shaking with excitement, and to my relief he hands me back my phone without a word and slips out of the booth, casual as anything.
Not ten minutes later, I get a text message from him. It's only a picture of Richard Nixon, flashing peace signs in front of a helicopter, and for a moment I sit there confused until I realize...
"A Dick pic? Really?" I mutter, grinning at how excruciating the pun is. It helps to melt some of the tension from earlier today, and I lean back in my seat, breathing out and chuckling a little bit. I send him a picture of a sphinx cat and wait. True to form, I get the right response:
Oooh, hairless? Be still my heart.
I'm going to get myself in trouble this semester.
El arrives about a quarter after four, and I'm halfway through one of Victoria's reading assignments. At least I'm getting a jump on my homework, so I suppose today hasn't been a total loss. When she takes off her backpack and slips it into the booth, I blink and stretch, grimacing a little at the crick in my neck. "Hey, El."
She smiles tiredly, slipping in to sit next to her bag. "Hi Rachel. Are you okay?"
As I close up my laptop, I just notice the concern in her eyes. I frown a little, then smile. "Yeah, I'm fine." I'm not fine. "How was class?" When she opens her mouth, I hold out a hand to silence her. She bites her lip, and I wince, not having meant to set her up like that. "Sorry. Actually, tell me right after we get dinner, okay? I'm starving."
She nods enthusiastically, and slips back out from the booth to go grab a plate and hit up the buffets. The cafeteria was designed to cater to a wide variety of needs, but I opt for the more mundane options of some pasta with red sauce, a salad, and a glass of water. El comes back with a plate loaded with a sandwich, two slices of pizza, a few cookies, and a bowl of strawberries.
Half-breeds, I told you. High metabolisms.
After she inhales her sandwich, she relaxes against her seat to sip at her water bottle, and she starts telling me about her day. I'm relieved to hear that there were no major hiccups, thanks (to my surprise) to her new friends showing her around.
"Morox and Foraii sound really nice," I mention, and she smiles a little.
"You thought they'd be jerks," she notes pointedly.
My brows lift, and El giggles a little. God, that's cute. Focus, Rachel.
She explains, "When I first saw them... well, they looked really different. I thought they'd be really mean to me, but they, well..."
I narrow my eyes, nodding for her to go on, and she swallows.
"Some guy in the hall was joking around with his friends, pointing at me. At my horn." Her cheeks flush a little red at the memory. "And then the two of them were between me and those guys. They were pissed. I was too embarrassed to really think, but those guys went away really quick, and Morox and Foraii asked if I was okay. Like, they actually were concerned, and sat with me when class started." She smiles, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "They're the only Orthodox demons in class, so I think they felt a little out of place, like me. So we teamed up. They're actually really fun, and I guess they're super happy to be out of their commune, finally."
That makes me smile. Good for those two. "Now I really want to meet them."
El beams, then starts nibbling on her pizza slices. I'm about halfway through my plate when she inevitably asks, "So, how's John?"
It's not like he's much of a secret, I know, but having her ask me outright is difficult. A rigatoni skewered on my fork is lowered back to the plate, and I frown and take a sip of water. It takes a few seconds before I'm able to murmur "He's f..." My eyes flick up to hers, and she looks concerned again. And, again, I lie to her. "He's fine, El."
She nods, dropping the subject, but I can tell that she's not convinced.
It's about 11pm, and I'm sitting on my bed. My dorm room's a single and it's roomy, located on the top floor. I have the window open to let in the cool night air, and it feels good on the bare skin exposed by my panties and tank top. The cream painted cinder block wall is cool against my shoulder and temple, and with the lights off inside, the only illumination comes from the moonlight and street lamps. I listen as people chat outside, coming down from the stress of their first day with jokes and cigarettes. I guess I'm coming down too, but I'm not happy like they are.
A light knocking at the door makes me tense for a moment. "Rachel?" comes a shy voice. El. With a gesture and a tiny spell, I unlock the door, the heavy mechanism clunking loud enough for her to get the message. She opens the door and slips inside, shutting it behind her. Her hair looks like it's been drying from a recent shower, and she's got on a baggy T-shirt and basketball shorts. Every step claps from her flipflops as she moves up to the bed, and without warning she crawls up onto it and hugs me.
I freeze, completely unprepared, but eventually she wears me down. My arms slide around her and I close my eyes, burying my face in the bushy blonde hair hanging by her neck.
"I'm really sorry about John, Rachel," she says softly. There's not a hint of judgment in it, nor condescension. Nothing. Just care.
My eyes water a little, and my breath does that hopping hitch that would lead inevitably to crying outright if I didn't get a hold on it. It's a struggle, but I do manage to calm myself, breathing slowly to avoid hysterics. It's embarrassing enough to need a hug in the first place. I'm supposed to be watching out for her, not the other way around.
At last, I murmur, "Yeah, thanks." I draw away slowly and rub the heel of my hand over my eye. My makeup's been washed away for a while now, so I don't worry about smudges.
El rests on her knees next to my hip, nibbling her lip. "Should I leave? I mean, do you want to be alone? You probably want to be alone..." she demures, turning and slipping a leg out to place her foot on the floor.
My hand moves to take up her wrist gently and she stops, looking over at me curiously. I swallow, rubbing at my face with my free hand. "No. Stay."
She smiles and nods, shifting to sit on the bed with her back to the wall. Her legs are draped over mine, and it comforts me to caress her ankle, my fingers massaging the little shapes and curves in it. We talk about campus and classes and professors, and we laugh about ridiculous things and nothing at all, really. And right then I realize that, in all my time here, I've never really had a close friend. Claire and Danielle and John were the people closest to me, but John was just... I'm not sure what he was... and Claire and Danielle are more competitors and acquaintances at best. I certainly can't talk with any of them like I'm talking to El... no, Ellena now.
She has a lovely name, why haven't I ever used it?
When I next look at the clock on my desk, the scarlet LEDs show that it's 1:33am. "Oh shit," I murmur, looking at the girl sharing my bed. Somehow she's managed to lie against me, her cheek on my shoulder. Her slender body is warm and gentle against mine, and her breath changes a little as she rouses herself.
I smile and pat her leg. "It's late, Ellena. You better get some sleep."
Ellena yawns, and I only just notice how her canine teeth are a touch longer than a normal person's. They aren't noticeable like Quillan's, but I can see it this close. She rubs at her eyes and looks at the clock. "Oh man... yeah, I should." She smiles guiltily at me, then shifts off of the bed. Her hand slips into her shorts pocket, and she pulls out her keychain, jingling it with pride. "Keys. I'm learning."
I smirk and softly clap for her achievement, then wave lightly as she leaves and closes up the door behind her. Half of me is ready for privacy so I can sleep, but another half wants her to come back. Feeling her against me was comforting in a way I'm not used to. And it was so easy, it just happened. After twenty seconds the door remains closed, and I flick my fingers, magicking the lock closed again.
Her light scent lingers on the comforter, and as I lay down to finally sleep, I rest my cheek on it, wishing she was still there.
For the entire month of September I avoid everything remotely emotional and really buckle down with my classes. All of my professors are impressed with my dedication, though of course my adviser, Victoria, takes it in stride. "It's your place to excel; I expect you to be exceptional while others are merely adequate." She has such a way with words.
Still, while that praise would normally have me floating for a few weeks, it does precisely nothing to distract me from my two problems, named John and Ellena. I can't stop thinking about either of them (though in different ways), and Quillan's little dalliances are only distractions for so long. Not for lack of trying, of course, but it's just sex. I can get sex from anyone - I mean, look at me - but after that first day back with John, I realized that I want more than that. John was my friend, and still wants to be, and after realizing how few friends I actually have, I know that I need to make things right with him.
It's Saturday morning, and I send John a text inviting him out for coffee. He gets back to me and agrees to meet at ten o'clock downtown, and I suddenly feel nervous. Was I too hard on him? I mean, he fucked me and then told me it was over and he wanted his life to actually start, so that was legitimately dickish on his part. I wasn't totally in the wrong to get pissed. Back and forth, all the way downtown on the bus, I think about which of us was more at fault, but I guess it doesn't really matter. I need friends now more than I need anything else.
John's waiting for me in the little cafe, taking up a small two-person table in the corner. He's already got a cup of coffee, pale with cream and sweet with sugar, and he looks up and nods somewhat awkwardly. I nervously wave at him and head to the counter, getting my own cup. It gives me a moment to calm down. It's so stupid - it's like this is a last date, not a first, and I'm just as nervous.
I finally take my coffee back to the table and sit down across from him, not quite meeting his eyes. Just as I open my mouth, he mutters, "I'm really sorry, Rachel."
My stomach knots a little. What, is more bad news coming? But as I meet his gaze, I realize that he's apologizing for that first day, and I relax a little. "I... could have handled the news a little better," I admit.
He smiles just a touch, giving in to that point without saying anything. And just then I realize that I've been in love with him all this time. That's why it hurt so much. I feel embarrassed - John and I had worked out at length the limits of this game we played. We were just friends with benefits, that's all. I guess I'm kind of a shit about following rules.
John sighs, rubbing the nape of his neck. "I should have told you another way. You deserved better than that. I've really enjoyed our time together, and you're a really great friend. I mean, if you still want to be my friend. I'd still like to be yours."
God, this really does feel like a breakup. Keep it together, Rachel. It takes a lot of effort not to get bitchy and defensive, and I stall for a moment by sipping at my coffee. Ugh, it's black. I forgot to add cream. Why did I forget? Biting my lip, I rub at my temple anxiously, finally getting up the gumption to say "John... I know we agreed to just stay friends, but I fell in love with you a little bit. I know I'm in the wrong. I know it's stupid. But that's how it is, and I don't expect you to feel the same way. I just want you to know that this sucks, and I really do want to be your friend. It's just..."
I feel his warm hand cover mine, and I close my eyes as he says "I know, Rachel. I... think I've always known that. And I liked that you felt that way. We were more than friends, and I don't regret it. But I think you deserve better... and I think you want something else." My eyes lift to meet his, and I know what's coming. Still, when it comes, it hurts like a bitch. "And I'm not the one to give you that."
Christ, my heart. Stop being a nice guy, John! Be a douche. Be a jerk. Give me a reason to hate you so that my righteous anger can hide how fragile I feel! It's really difficult to keep it together in this cafe, but I manage it. It's not his fault that he wants something else. He's not in the wrong for telling me how he feels, and doing it kindly at that. But it hurts, and he knows it does.
"You know, Rachel..." he offers gently, "I've had a month to think about it all, and I have a suspicion about you and your tastes."
My eyes lift to his, and I raise a brow. "God, I'm afraid to ask..."
He just smiles. "Our game was all about the taboo of being with someone outside our circle, you know? You're a high-society woman. You come from wealth. I'm a blue-collar guy. You were born into a demon family, and I was made into one much later. But that's not really the thing you go for." His hand gives mine a comforting squeeze, and he continues, "I think you go for honesty, and decency, and kindness."
I roll my eyes and turn my head to look out the window we're sitting next to, but he surprises me with this next part. "And I think you go for that, because you don't really believe that you're good yourself."
"What a presumptuous fucking thing to say," I admonish on a soft breath, frowning at him. He wilts a little and shrugs, and he pulls his hand away. Shit. I bite my lip and close my eyes, breathing out my tension softly. "My self-esteem isn't lacking, John," I offer at last, giving him a withering look.
He shrugs again, taking a sip of his coffee. "Do you have many close friends, Rachel?"
I flush a little, starting to feel on the spot. "Some."
John raises an eyebrow. "Some?"
My teeth grit, and I lean back in my seat, crossing one leg over the other beneath the table as I sulk.
He nods, letting me have this point even though I'm wrong. "Okay, some. Rachel, you keep company with extremely competitive people. Manipulative people..."
I glare at him. "Don't you even start-"
John holds his hands up. "No, don't worry. But you've made yourself fit in there. That environment is no place for honest, kind people. It's meant for predators, for clever, ruthless people who are really good at what they do. Some of them... most of them, I'd imagine... are probably fine with the mindset. But I'm not so sure about you. I think you wish there was a way to get ahead in that world without losing your decency."
"This is some stupid bullshit," I spit out.
John just perseveres, in spite of my attitude. "And the further you excel in that world, the less good you feel you are. So you look for it in those you keep close." He takes a sip of his coffee, and sighs. "And when I said I was leaving earlier than expected, I think that scared you. The person helping you stay good is leaving."
I so want to storm out of there. Of all the stupid, presumptuous bullshit I've heard, this is the worst. My head throbs with my anger-driven blood pressure spike, and I just rub at my temple, trying to calm down. But what if he's right? I've always liked John... loved John... because he doesn't lie. He doesn't pretend to be something or someone he's not. He has integrity. Do I... not have integrity, because of the path I'm on?
A span of minutes passes by in tense silence, but it gives me time to wind down from my indignation. John's a perceptive guy, and he's always understood me better than most others around me. I've always felt free to be myself around him, and it was always a relief. It was like I could take off the mask I wore for everyone else's benefit. Rachel the perfect student. Rachel the immaculately dressed woman. Rachel the seductress. With John, I was just Rachel, just me.
"Is there anyone else you can hang out with, Rachel? It doesn't have to be like our arrangement. I just... you know... I just want you to be happy."
I shrug a little. "There's Ellena, I guess."
He lifts his brows a little. "Oh yeah? The girl you knew from your hometown, right? How's she doing?"
So I tell him about her, about her first month at college, about her progress in her classes, and about the friends she's made so far. I also tell him about how I worry about her all the time, and then how I feel stupid for worrying so much. The whole time, John just smiles knowingly, and I finally stop and frown at him, waiting for an explanation.
"Ellena sounds like an honest, decent, kindly person, Rachel. I think she's just who you need."
Now I fret a little, nibbling my lip. "She's got her own problems to worry about. She doesn't need all my bullshit, John."
The man across from me rolls his eyes. "Of course she does. She's always asking to hang out with you. She cares about you, Rachel. She texts you all the time, and you've never mentioned that it's annoying or overbearing or clingy. You two get each other and need each other." He sighs. "I'm not saying that you have to do anything physical with her. Just... keep doing what you're doing. You're a good person, Rachel, because you give a shit about this girl. You go out of your way to make sure she's happy and safe." He lifts his cup for another sip, but he pauses, surprised that it's empty, and sets it back on its saucer with a little self-conscious smile.
His chair creaks a little as he gets up, and I remain in mine, closing my eyes as he presses a kiss to the top of my head, a sweet... platonic... kiss. That stings. "Think about it, Rachel. I'll catch you later."
"Yeah..." I murmur, breathing out only when I hear the coffee shop door close behind him.
In order not to make things weird, I slowly make myself more available to Ellena as the weeks pass. Suddenly knocking on her door and begging to spend time with her would come off as extremely crazy, so I try my best not to head down that path. So far the slow approach seems to be working, because she's sitting on my bed.
To be fair, I'm a succubus - I consider that a win no matter what.
Ellena hugs a pillow to her chest, her face half buried in it as we watch the Exorcist. Some parts we just outright laughed at, but the whole head-spinning-around-thing really freaked her out. Every so often her gray and blue eyes glance over at me, apologizing for being so frightened by a movie, and I just smile indulgently, turning back to watch from my own side of the bed.
Because I've known her since she was a toddler, she doesn't bother hiding her back from me. The one vestigial wing on the right side of her back, rooted near her shoulder, flicks and twitches as she tenses, gripping at the pillow with a gasp every now and then. It's cute. Weird-looking, but cute. I guess that could sum up Ellena, too. Her skinny body is only clad in a pair of black yoga pants and a black sports bra, her fair skin almost radiating brightly out against the dark, clinging fabric.
The sudden urge to move over there and slide my tongue over her shoulder makes me press my thighs together uncomfortably. I get that I'm a succubus, but this is Ellena. She'd be upset. Wouldn't she? I realize just now that I haven't really been watching the movie - I've been watching her. She's so cute, just the sort of girl someone would want to pull into their lap and cuddle, or tickle, or fondle.
This is torture.
My eyes almost slide away when I catch sight of something on her hip, just visible over the waistline of her stretch pants. It looks like purplish smudges, but I know she took a shower just before she came up to my room.
"Hey..." I interject, grabbing the remote to lower the volume a little.
Ellena turns to look at me attentively.
I gesture to her hip. "Are you alright? Those look like bruises."
I do not like how she stiffens up at that. Ellena swallows and reflexively pulls up the waist of her pants to hide the marks, just where I'd seen them. "It's nothing, Rachel. I'm alright."
She frowns, getting defensive. "I said it's alright!"
Now it's my turn to frown. "If it's alright, then why are you getting angry?"
The girl flushes and turns to look at the movie, stubbornly trying to watch it with the volume turned down. After a few moments, she mutters "it was an accident. They didn't mean to."
That's not gonna fly. "Who's they?" I demand, moving to sit up properly.
Ellena glances at me, then looks down at her hands, her chin squashed into the top of the pillow. "Morox and Foraii."
"Your pain demon friends?" I'd met them two weeks ago. I had felt somewhat tepid about them, then. They had seemed just a little possessive of her. I like them even less, now.
Ellena nods. "They just wanted to, I dunno, show me what they do."
I purse my lips, holding back the torrent of things I actually want to say. "Pain works both ways. If they wanted to feed, you could have hit them." Ellena looks at me with hurt realization, and I sigh. "They didn't tell you that, did they?"
She shakes her head, looking down.
"Ellena... if I asked, would you show me where you're hurt?"
After a brief moment, she nods, but doesn't move from the bed.
I slowly get to my feet first, and gently take the pillow away from her nervous arms. "Show me where you're hurt, Ellena."
"You won't tell my parents?" she begs desperately, looking into my eyes.
"You're eighteen and legally an adult, Ellena. They don't need to know."
She sighs, and slips off the bed to stand. Very slowly she pulls her pants down, letting them bunch at her knees. Her underpants don't cover much of her skin, so I can clearly see the large amount of angry purple, blue, and red mottling around her thighs, ass, and (God dammit) between her legs. I don't see any cuts or scratches, just bruising and contusions. Eventually I nod and gesture to her pants, and she tugs them back up again, not meeting my eyes.
"Did all of that happen at once?" I ask at last.
Ellena shakes her head.
"When did it start?"
She swallows. "Three weeks ago."
God, all this time? A guilty pang grips at my heart, but I don't let it show. I don't let my anger show, either, though I don't think I do a very good job of it as Ellena hurries to say "It felt good for a while, Rachel! I liked it. I'm just weird. And when it started becoming too much, I didn't know how to say stop."
"You like being hurt?" I ask her softly.
She shrugs. "It's called being a masochist." With a guilty look up at me, she smiles a little and adds, "I looked it up online. It's part of BDSM."
The thought of her wearing a collar and walking on the end of a leash is distracting, but I shove that out of my mind as well as I can. My hand moves, my fingers sliding through her blond hair, her little horn just warmly touching my wrist. "It's only part of BDSM if you want it to be. Not everyone into that lifestyle likes pain. You can do the other fun things without getting hurt."
"Other fun things?" she asks softly, her eyes closing.
RED ALERT! RED ALERT!
"Sure. Bondage, sensory deprivation, dominance and submission - none of that has to involve getting hurt." I rattle off all the fun things like I'm trying to sell features on a car. Jesus, shut up, Rachel!
Ellena nibbles her lip, tilting her head into my hand. "You know about that stuff?" she asks innocently.
"Guilty as charged," I say with a smile. "I think it's fun."
After a moment, she looks into my eyes and asks sincerely, "Can I submit to you?"
I hear the sound of hundreds of cars screeching to a halt all at once, and I freeze for half a second. "Uh... yeah. We can try that," I say softly, forcing myself to keep stroking my fingers through her hair. Ellena grins like it's Christmas, and she hugs me tightly, her skinny arms wrapped around me. My eyes close as I realize how much I like how this feels, how she comes to me and trusts me to take control. "Now, erm..." My hand rubs her back, and I blurt out, "You're going to need to heal for a while, so that sort of limits our options right now."
Ellena just nods against my chest, clinging tighter. "Okay."
Nibbling my lip, I try to make it sound casual as I ask, "Do you want to start tonight?"
Again, Ellena nods against my chest.
Okay, think, Rachel. Ravishing her would be the worst thing to do right now, and she's just basically given you the keys to the castle. Self-control, don't fail me now. Lacking a leash and collar, I use my hand to gently but firmly grip a fistful of her blonde hair, tilting her head back slowly. I can feel her thrum with eager tension, her eyes half lidded until they meet mine, and then they twinkle with self-conscious playfulness as she smiles. "Well..." I purr with an indulgent smile, "...I suppose we can start tonight."
For someone who's training to be a professional escort and companion, my first real foray into being a Dominatrix has been pretty gentle. Given the damage below Ellena's waist, making her sit, kneel, or really move is out of the question. Instead, we play a little game called "Mistress Says," wherein I have her lie down on my bed, arms folded beneath her head, and I touch her neck, chest, and stomach with various things - a pen cap, a cloth, a fingertip - and if she moves her arms and disobeys, she gets punished. Punished, in this case, meaning getting tickled in the ribs.
Ellena proves that she's so bad at this game that we both decide she needs her hands tied to the headboard with a scarf. It does keep her from losing at the game, and she seems to enjoy it. None of my touches are sexual, yet, but they're intimate. I don't want to ask too much of her at once - I don't even know if she's sexually attracted to women. I haven't asked; at the moment, I'm just going with it.
We also figure out a safeword for her to use with me, and I make her practice using it by attacking her with tickles. Somehow she manages to call out "Flowers" despite laughing so hard she's gasping for air, so that's a good sign. Once I feel that she's learned her lessons, I check her hands to make sure they're still doing alright (lack of blood flow is very dangerous), and when I see that they are, I leave her tied up and put on another movie, one I know she likes.
And I sit there with her, leaning my back against the wall with her legs draped over my lap. During the whole movie I caress and pet her legs, bared at her request, and I realize that I feel good. I feel good because she's finally feeling much better. She looks serene and comfortable with her arms stretched back behind her head, her nervous fidgety energy finally spent to let her relax at long last. I try not to dwell on it, but seeing her tied up wearing just her underwear... she's really pretty. The way her flat, soft stomach moves when she breathes, I just want to bend over and kiss down along it, to pull down her panties and keep kissing lower and lower...
Not right now. Now would be a bad time.
It's frustrating to suddenly realize how much I want to fuck her, and it's even more frustrating to know that it'd be the worst decision I could make right now. Even if she's into women, and more importantly, into me, she's still learning to trust all of this. And she's healing from some pretty vicious-looking treatment.
When the movie ends, I sigh and gesture with my hand. "I suppose you can have your hands back..." I drawl, rolling my eyes teasingly. Ellena smiles and wiggles her fingers, waiting for my magic to untie the scarf.
When her hands are free, she stretches and pushes herself up to sit, rubbing at her cheek. "This was really nice," she says tiredly, leaving her legs on my lap for the time being. I only just realize I'm still caressing them, and I give her an apologetic smile and pat her knee before letting her get up and get dressed.
I want to fret and ask if she'll be alright getting back down to her room, but I realize that's stupid - she made it up here with those marks, after all. And she's just two floors away. So I just watch her pull on her yoga pants and her T-shirt, admiring how she moves. It's different now, still different, especially when she comes over and stands politely, her fingers laced behind her. "May I hug you, Mistress?" she asks softly.
Oh God, my heart. "Yes, Pet. You may."
I'm nearly bowled over with the embrace, to the point that she straddles my lap, kneeling on the bed. "Thank you, Rachel," she whispers, hugging me tighter. I hug her back, smiling, right up until she shifts and presses her lips to mine. It's brief, a smoldering little two second kiss, and then she slips back to her feet and dashes from the room, closing the door behind her.
It's unfitting for a Mistress to sit there, stupidly smiling because she's just been kissed by her sub. But I guess I'm just an unusual Mistress.
This is going to sound unbelievable, but weeks have gone by and Ellena and I are still, somehow, keeping this game of ours both a secret and platonic. Some nights we're both too busy with homework to really do anything together, but we still chat on IM. Every so often I'll command her to go do some little task, like take a short break from her work, or stretch, or go refill her water bottle, and she'll type in "yes, Mistress" and go do it. It gives me a little thrill because I know she's actually doing it; she sends me pictures to prove it. The one of her holding up a full water bottle and giving me a cheesy thumbs up made me laugh for a solid five minutes.
Some how, having someone to actually directly take care of makes me feel worlds better. I'd come into the semester tense, expecting hard work without much else, save for occasional trysts with John. When that future went up in smoke, well, I felt lost, right up until Ellena picked up the slack. I'm not sure if she realizes what she's doing for me, that she's helping me find myself a little bit, but I figure I'll tell her at some point.
Right now it's Saturday night around 7pm, and I'm hanging out on my bed. Claire and Danielle have pretty much given up on trying to lure me out and get me trashed. That used to be fun, but I'm not really into it lately. I already know I can score any guy at the bar I like, and I'm in no way going through a dry spell. Quillan's deliciously filling the void (I'm so sorry for that pun), and after the whole fiasco with John, I think I've learned my lesson.
And speaking of Quillan.
He rubs his eyes with his knuckles, waking up after his brief nap. Make no mistake - he delivered in full before he let himself finish and pass out, so I don't mind that he caught some winks next to me while I surfed the web on my phone.
"Good morning," I mumble with a smirk, and he groans.
"Don't even joke like that. I've slept through Saturday evenings before, and it's like... the worst way to ruin a weekend," he grumbles, sitting up with a soft hiss. I'm sure he's got a few pulled muscles after this last session. He sighs and slides his hand through his unkempt hair, straightening it somewhat as he leans his bare back against the wall. "Waiting for Ellena to text?"
I nod. "Mmhmm."
He grins, chuckling. "At some point I'm not going to take you up on your booty call, just so that you have to make a move on that girl. It's so obvious you want to."
I just give him a look. "I don't want to make her feel rushed, Quillan. I think I've explained that roughly one million times to you."
He shrugs. "The girl's your sub, right? So you really think she's going to be the one making demands that anything change?"
My eyes sink back to my screen and I just scowl. She had kissed me on that first night, but I hadn't demanded anything the next time. Or the next. Does she feel like I'd rejected her? Should I have kissed her? Now I'm feeling insecure. Great. After a few minutes I shut down my phone and sigh. "Fine, what do you suggest?" By now he's got his pants halfway on, and he looks over at me while he's trying to slip his foot into his jeans. It gives a nice view of his ass, and I hum with a happy smile, nibbling on a fingernail as I grow more and more distracted.
He gives me a little wiggle before standing upright and hiking up his pants the rest of the way. "Just talk to her. I mean, it seems like stupid advice, but it's the best advice. And the most difficult."
"Yeah," I agree with a sigh, resting my cheek on my hand.
"Getting dressed might not be a bad idea. Broaching the idea of getting sexy with her while you're already naked? Poor thing might blow a fuse and die."
I get to my feet and start looking around for my clothes. Usually I don't undress for this stuff - I used to find it sexy to stay almost completely clothed. But more and more I've stopped caring who knows that I spend time with Quillan. It's just sex, and we're all succubi and incubi, after all. Because of that, we've been going to each other's dorm rooms for comfort and privacy, and I have to admit that the sex is better there than catching a quickie at the library.
As I'm pulling on my yoga pants, I get a text.
Rachel, I need help. They're following me.
"Shit," I hiss, tugging on the rest of my clothes as quickly as I can.
"What? What's going on?" Quillan asks seriously, his hand sliding into his pocket for his phone.
"Those little shits are giving her trouble again," I growl, grabbing my jacket, keys, and phone.
"I'm coming too. Let's go."
I don't even argue. Once we're out the door I send her a text, asking her where she is, and she says that she's just leaving the gymnasium. That's all the way on the other side of campus, where it's not so well lit and covered over with trees. I assure her that I'm coming, and then I bring Quillan up to speed.
He pats my arm. "Fly there. I'll run. If there's serious shit I'll call for help."
I nod, take off at a run, and with a few flaps I'm airborne. It's difficult to make out anything on that side of campus given the overgrown tree cover, so I curve back around the gymnasium after I overshoot it. I'm not sure where she is until I see this bright little pinpoint of light bounce along the ground and come to rest, barely visible beneath the leaves. I descend towards it and discover that it's her phone, with the flashlight function turned on like a beacon. She must have seen me in the air and dropped it, so I keep an ear out.
Something shuffles about fifty feet away, then there's a scuffle and a cry of pain. It doesn't sound like her, but it's the best I've got and I head that way. With every step, it becomes obvious how little physical training I've had. Debutantes will never need it, I'd naively thought, so I hadn't bothered with it. I'm an idiot. There's a small break in the trees, and I see two people struggling, while a third lingers by the edge, clutching at her bleeding temple.
As quietly as I can, I move up behind the bleeding girl. She has wings and horns that curve back over her black hair, and her skin is a ghostly sort of unnatural white. Pain demon. This one must be Foraii, given how one of her horns is a little cracked. Swallowing, I slide my hand up along that muscle set on her back, just between her wings. The girl freezes stiff, and I cup my hand over her mouth and pull her back into the trees. I don't have much on me save for some earbuds, so I wrap the cable around her wrists, securing them behind her back and guiding her to kneel with her forehead against the tree. She won't be moving until I undo her, so I quietly move to the edge of the clearing.
Ellena is doing her best to fend off the other girl Morox, who's got the same general appearance as the one I've just tied up. The pain demon looks really strong, but so does Ellena, shockingly, and as she grits her teeth and grapples back against her I notice that m girl's eyes are different. They're reflective like a dog's. And then Ellena catches sight of me and loses her focus. I gasp and try to gesture for her to pay attention, but the demon strikes her so hard in the side of the head that she crumples to the ground. Horrible red trenches have been ripped across her face, and she bleeds into the dirt, dazed and unmoving.
Morox turns around and sees me, and she smirks. Her muscular tail sways behind her like she's a cat who's just spotted a bird, but as I move into the little clearing, she walks back and presses her bare, clawed foot down over Ellena's neck. The creature's toes are long and have talons like an eagle's, and they grip at her, kneading at her skin. "Back off, Princess," Morox warns me. "You don't want your little precious baby hurt, do you?"
I'm furious, trembling with rage, but I don't know what to do.
"Where's Foraii?" the demon demands. When I refuse to tell her, she clenches her grip on Ellena's neck, lifts her up a foot from the ground, and slams her face back into it with a sickening thud. "WHERE IS SHE?!"
I shudder and move back into the trees, dragging out the other demon who's still frozen, and I lay her on the grass.
"Untie her," Morox demands.
"And then what? You kill us both?" I ask, feeling completely bloodless and afraid, but managing not to let my voice shake.
"Its a waste to kill. You don't feel anything when you die," the creature explains, looking down meanly at Ellena. The talons dig in, and the girl whines in pain, sluggishly trying to get away. She must have a concussion by now.
"This doesn't have to end badly. Just let her go, and we can talk to someone..." I try to say.
"Shut up! SHUT UP! Things were going so well! We had our little toy, and we were fitting in!" Morox wails, clearly beyond reason. "And then you took her from us! HOW DARE YOU TAKE HER FROM US!"
And then things sink icily into slow motion. The demon releases Ellena's neck and charges after me, wings spread, claws out, fangs bared. I'm certain that this is going to be agonizing, that no help is going to show up in time, and I'm left standing there, frozen in terror. Every step she takes brings her closer, and I know she's running, but it feels like we're both underwater, everything's so slow...
And just before her claws grip at my face, her forward motion completely stops.
The pain demon's look of surprise would be funny if I were thinking clearly. Her hair keeps going and I'm whipped in the face by her long, black locks as she's pulled back like a slingshot. I'm hit in the eyes and I stumble back, tripping over the first girl, Foraii, that I'd tied up. I must have bumped her in just the right place, because she finally bellows in frustration when she comes online again. The cord around her wrists is easily snapped, and she scrambles out from under me, kicking me in the ribs with a hiss.
She's so furious that she looms over me, her back to the clearing, ignoring everything else. But before she even has a chance to start in with her bullshit, this huge, dark shape looms up behind her. Narrowed, reflective eyes glare down at her, and pointed, furred ears fold back with anger. A huge hand grips around the back of her neck, the taloned, black furred fingers so long that they form a collar easily around that slender, white column.
The demon is pulled back and held up, lifted from the ground slowly until her feet are dangling, desperately forced to grip the furred, thick wrist to support herself. She wriggles and squirms, eyes wide as she stares at the monster before her.
So... Ellena's half werewolf.
"LEAVE HER ALONE!" Ellena roars in a voice several octaves deeper, and the demon grimaces and squeezes her eyes closed at the volume of it.
I just notice a figure further in the clearing pulling itself up from the dirt, and I point, yelling, "Ellena!!"
The werewolf turns her head, snarling as the first demon charges at her again. With her claws full of Foraii, I just catch sight of the first girl in the air, and I throw my hands out, gritting my teeth. My magic hits her square in the chest, crushing against her like a train and sending her back into the dirt some twenty feet away. I've never used my magic on a living creature, and I lie there in shock, feeling drained. That took a lot of energy.
Ellena turns to me. "Thanks."
Breathlessly, I smile. "Anything for you, Pet."
It's strange to see a werewolf adopt a cheesy grin, but there it is. And it's exactly the same expression, even down to the way the corners of her eyes half close.
Foraii struggles, catching Ellena in the side with a kick. The werewolf grunts and stumbles, releasing her, and I see blood shine on her fur from where the demon's toe talons must have plunged in. Shit.
Both demons pick themselves up, snarling and closing in on Ellena, when I see a shadow glide over the clearing. Behind everyone lands another figure, pale like they are, horned and winged and tailed just the same, but I recognize this one. Her name is Liùsaidh, the martial arts instructor who works with Shoshana. She's also the ambassador for the other pain demons at this school, being one herself.
"Moroxalia, Foraiixiline, stopadh agus éist liom..." she intones in her deep, alto rumble, her all-blue eyes glowing in the low light.
As soon as their full names hit the open air, both girls fall to their knees and scream, clutching their heads in agony. Ellena and I watch, amazed, as Liùsaidh walks in between them, gripping each by the horn, and sweetly says their full names a few more times. The girls scream in pain, their body's jolted as if by electricity, until at last they both slump, exhausted and unconscious, to the ground. Steam rises from their skin into the night sky, but the professor is completely unconcerned that she seems to have cooked them with their own names.
With those two taken care of, Liùsaidh walks over to Ellena, her eyes looking over the werewolf's form studiously. "Can you shift back?" she asks at last, but Ellena shakes her head. The woman nods. "Then I'll have to treat you like this. Please sit." She gestures to a patch of grass as she takes off a small backpack and starts rummaging through it.
The werewolf stiffly sits, her long limbs resting at her side, her knees up by her ears. As Liùsaidh begins cleaning out the gashes on Ellena's face, she turns to look at me. "Rachel, isn't it?"
I just nod, and get shakily to my feet. "That's right, Ma'am."
Liùsaidh nods. "You're going to get a lesson in first aid tonight. Go into my bag and find me the hydrogen peroxide."
Ellena whimpers, but Liùsaidh just caresses her cheek, somehow managing to be comforting despite the talons on her fingers. "It will only hurt for a moment. Your healing will take care of the rest, but I must clean it out." The werewolf nods and huffs, folding her ears back patiently.
At first I hand Liùsaidh supplies out of her bag, but then she changes places with me, having me carefully flush out Ellena's wounds. I'm so afraid of hurting her more, but as I suck it up and do my best, I find that Ellena's able to relax more easily when I do it. I wish I didn't have to tend to her this way - I wished she'd never been hurt so badly - but I'm glad that I'm here for her.
Eventually Ellena calms down enough to shift, and I hold her head in my lap as she lies down to do it. Liùsaidh keeps an eye on her, just in case any broken bones break more in the process. Thankfully they don't, but now, without the fur, I can see all the places she's been hurt. It feels like everywhere. My jaws clench as I keep it together, sliding my hand through her hair to soothe her as Liùsaidh dresses her wounds with bandages and tape.
Quillan eventually runs into the clearing with a few policemen in tow, and he points out the two smoldering demons on the ground before he comes over to crouch next to me. I just give him a tired look as he checks up on me, and then he takes up Ellena's hand with a gentle smile.
"Hey kid! You really messed them up!"
She giggles a little, nibbling her lip.
Quillan takes a seat and talks to her softly, keeping her mind on something else. Inevitably, Liùsaidh has to flush out the deep wounds on her side, and she holds both our hands and grits her teeth, whining with pain as the ugly gouges are disinfected. Her hands shake, but Quillan keeps talking to her, urging her to squeeze his hand as hard as she can. It's a brave thing to do - despite being exhausted, she's still monstrously strong. It surprises me how nurturing he is - I'd always written him off as someone shallow.
I'm not sure when she got there, but Shoshana walks up and observes Liùsaidh as she's finishing up, bending over to whisper a brief message. I give my professor a curious look, but she just inclines her head by way of greeting, serious as ever. Liùsaidh sighs, takes one last look at Ellena, then pats her thigh and gets up. "EMTs will be coming over in just a minute to take over for me. Rachel, Quillan, you may ride with her to the hospital. Shoshana has already worked it out with them."
Liùsaidh and Shoshana walk over to the policemen who are carrying Morox and Foraii away, likely serving as representatives of the college for the time being. Just like Liùsaidh had said, two EMTs come over with a stretcher and gently lift Ellena onto it. She's naked, her clothes having ripped off during her shift and, even under the blanket they put on her, she's shivering. Without thinking, I crawl up into the back of the ambulance with her, keeping my wings tucked up behind my back as I sit next to her and hold her hand. That seems to lessen her shivering a lot.
It's a long night in the hospital. Ellena's wounds are healing very fast, which isn't a mystery really, given what she is. Still, she's very shaken, and it takes a while before the two policemen they send over are finished taking our statements. Shoshana is with them, keeping an eye over everything and providing us support. She's the one who calls Ellena's parents to inform them of what's happened.
I only just realize that I still have Ellena's phone in my pocket, and I hand it over to her. Lucky that I did, given that it starts to vibrate when her parents call her. She holds onto my hand as she speaks with them softly, and I feel terrible that she's doing nothing but apologize all over the place. Like any of this is her fault. I know her parents aren't mean to her, so I'm sort of in the dark about this whole thing.
At one point in the conversation Ellena nods, saying, "Yeah, Rachel's here. Okay." And then she hands me the phone, looking at me.
I take it up and caress her hand, whispering "I'll just be in the waiting room, okay?" Ellena nods, and I slip away to let Shoshana speak with her for a while as I take this call.
Taking a deep breath, I bring the phone to my ear. "Hello?"
"Rachel?" comes the familiar voice of Mrs. Turner, Ellena's mother.
"Yes, Mrs. Turner, it's me."
I hear a shaky breath on her end. "Oh thank God. Is she alright? She says she is... but is she alright?"
I take a slow seat in one of the waiting room chairs, closing my eyes. "She's alright now, Mrs. Turner. She tried to make some new friends, but they turned out to be bad people. She's safe now - they're in custody."
There's a pause for a while on the other end, and then, very softly, she asks, "She shifted, didn't she?"
I'm not sure why she says the word like that. "She did, to save me."
"Goddamnit..." Mrs. Turner grumbles, and I can hear the strain in her voice.
"Um... what did she do wrong, Ma'am?" I ask, trying to keep the irritation out of my voice. Her child's just gotten seriously hurt, and she's pissed at her for that?
"Robert isn't her father."
Oh... shit. I flush a little, wincing. "I'm guessing that's why she's been trying to pass as half human all this time..."
Mrs. Turner sighs, and I hear a chair creak as she sits down in it. "Robert knows... but Rachel doesn't. I was attacked... you know how people think succubi never mean it when they say no... and then I had Rachel. We raised her, and taught her how to deal with her anger."
"And the werewolf part of her? How'd you explain that?"
"I just said it was her succubic side. She didn't know any better."
I rub at my temple. "Well, she knows now, Mrs. Turner."
"I expect she does. Rachel... thank you for being there for her. For helping her this semester. I've been so worried about her. And... I was worried that when this happened, she'd seriously hurt someone, or herself."
A headache is starting to slither along the side of my head, and I close my eyes. "She only hurt those who deserved it. I promise you that she didn't start any of this. She's been nothing but gentle and polite to everyone."
There's a moment of silence again, and I hear sounds on the other end - someone else coming into the room, a hushed conversation, then people moving. Mrs. Turner comes back to say, "We're coming up now. It'll take a few hours. Will you both still be at the hospital when we get there?"
I check the time, and it surprises me that it's only midnight. It feels like tonight has lasted for days. "I'm guessing that they're going to discharge her soon. Once we're done, I'll hand the phone back to her, and she can keep you updated with texts. Is that alright?"
"Yes, that will be fine."
I take in a deep breath, and ask, "Mrs. Turner... do you want me to tell her, or do you want to tell her yourself?"
There's a brief pause, and she says, "If she asks, tell her. But I'm going to tell her everything when we get up there. She deserves that, poor little thing." The last few words curl and twist as her voice cracks, and my gut twists in sympathy for her.
"Alright, Mrs. Turner. Do you want me to hand the phone back to her? I'm in the waiting room right now."
"Yes, if you would."
"Alright, just give me a moment." I get up from my chair, tiredly making my way back into the ER to Ellena's room. I slip back inside, and I see that Shoshana's keeping El company, just sitting in a chair and reading a magazine as Ellena watches Late Night on the muted TV up in the corner. "Ellena? Your mom wants to talk with you again," I say softly. Shoshana gets up quietly and sets the magazine aside, waiting by the door as I hand off the phone.
I give Ellena's leg a gentle caress over the blanket, and I exit the room with the professor bringing up the rear.
The fallout with Morox and Foraii is kept as quiet as possible. Of course they aren't allowed to continue their studies at the college, but their absence from class for the rest of the semester is excused with rumors of a family emergency at home. That was Ellena's idea, actually. If it were up to me I would have sent them off with the rancid truth following after them, but she's a better person than I am. She also didn't want to make it harder for other Orthodox demons in the future to come here, citing Liùsaidh as a good example of how nice they can be.
I'm not sure how she keeps her good heart. The news about her actual parentage hit her very hard. She feels guilty, being the living embodiment of her mother's rape. She also feels very angry being lied to and never being allowed to actually understand that other side of her nature. Those two conflicting emotions have been tough for her to process. It'd be tough for anyone to process, but she's such an innocent. She's always tried so hard to see the good in people that having to understand how even good people can do hurtful things, or be subject to hurtful things, is painful.
To help her learn how to handle the werewolf part of her nature, Shoshana, Liùsaidh, and even Victoria have agreed to meet with her once a week. Shoshana and Victoria help her to understand her feelings, how to address them internally, and how to express herself in healthy ways that don't leave her vulnerable. Liùsaidh's job is to teach her what to do if words don't work. From what I hear, Ellena's an excellent student.
Now that she has an outlet for all the power she's been suppressing, Ellena's far more relaxed and happy. For a few weeks after the attack I suggested that we put a halt to our BDSM game. She was a little disappointed, but we agreed that until she gets her feelings back in order it'd be best not to push things. I'll admit that if she panicked and shifted in my dorm room I'd have no idea what to do, and that anxiety has definitely played a part in m reluctance.
Thing is, we still haven't gotten back into our game. It's my fault - I've been dragging my feet. I've used the excuse of midterms, but now that those are over I'm not sure what to do. Even now I'm sitting at the coffee shop downtown, gazing out the window, completely lost in thought to the point that when my phone buzzes by my coffee cup I startle, sucking in a breath.
It's a text from Ellena. Can we talk about something?
I feel a guilty twinge in my guts, but I decide to get right on this. She deserves that, at least. Sure, Ellena. What's up?
Are you scared of me?
God, right to the point. I feel my cheeks heat up a little bit with shame, and I draw up my seat a bit closer to my table, nibbling on my lip. I don't want to push you too hard. It takes me almost a minute to decide on that one, and even then it feels lame and dishonest.
Rachel... are you scared of me?
I bite my lip again and set the phone down, placing my palms over my face to give myself a moment. My phone buzzes again.
Please don't cry.
Wait. What? I swallow and sniff, looking down at my phone.
Look to your left.
Nervously I sit up straight and turn to look, and I see her sitting on the other side of the cafe, looking at me nervously. She looks frightened, like I'm going to cast her aside because of all this. That's not right. What I've been doing to her isn't right. I gather up my things and move to her table, but before I set my bag down I bend over and wrap her up in a hug.
It takes her a little by surprise, but she melts into it, burying her face in my neck. In the softest of voices, she whispers "I was afraid you didn't like me anymore," her voice twisting up with grief as she starts to cry.
As calmly as I can, I guide her out of the cafe and onto the street, taking a short-cut path back towards campus where we'll have some privacy. The cool autumn air helps to calm her down, and I hold her hand as we walk. Her fingers are chilly as they lace with mine, but they hold on firmly and just a little possessively. I like it.
"I never really thanked you for saving me, Ellena," I say, smiling gently down at her.
Her free hand rubs at her nose, and she looks down shyly. "It was nothing, really. They were bullies." In the sunshine, I can just barely make out the scars left on her face, lancing from her cheekbone to her chin.
I huff and pull on her hand to get her to stop and stand still with. When she looks at me with those mismatched eyes, I ask, "Do you see this beautiful face?" My free hand gestures in a circular motion around it to make it laughably obvious what I'm talking about. She smiles and nods. "Well, I might not still have it at all if you weren't there. You saved me, Ellena. Do you understand how special you are to me?" She looks down, but I won't have that. A gentle finger under her chin lifts her eyes back up to meet mine. "I didn't think I really needed anyone. I thought I was this badass who had everything figured out. But I was wrong. I need you. I've needed you all semester, and I didn't tell you because I..." Now I look down, sighing. "I didn't want to be a shitty mistress and seem clingy."
Ellena giggles, shifting a little on her sneakers. "I like that you feel that way. I like that I can protect you." She blushes a little as I look at her, nibbling her lip. "I'm so scrawny and weird-looking like this... but I'm strong. I've always tried to hide that because I thought it was bad, being this way. But it's not. You helped me see that it's not." She fidgets a little, and a light breeze plays with her blonde hair, left to hang loose and a bit tousled. "I've always really looked up to you... and I've always had a crush on you. I just wanted to be important to you, to do something for you or be something for you that you needed... even if you never liked me back."
I can feel her hand shiver in mine, like admitting that was extremely difficult. I'm certain that it was. My longer fingers lace with hers a little more firmly, and the hand at her chin slides around to cup the back of her head. "But I do like you, Pet," I murmur softly, drawing her into a kiss. Her lips taste sweet from the raspberry chapstick she likes to use, and although she trembles with nerves, her eyes are closed and she melts against me. And... I love the way she kisses. She pays attention to everything, every little movement and touch. Even the way she breathes softly makes me feel cared for. And it's only a kiss!
And like clockwork, I want nothing more than to ravish her. Of course, doing so in the middle of the woods would be both asking for trouble and feel kind of chilly, so I part the kiss to whisper a suggestion in her ear. With a blush and a smile, she nods, and we start walking.
Back in my dorm room, the whine of leather straps pull on the headboard as Ellena writhes and arches her back. Her skin gleams with a light sheen of sweat as I torment her, and she shivers every now and again as my fingers caress lower and lower. She's naked, completely naked, and as I trail kisses down along her quivering stomach as my wings flick and shift, fidgeting with my own excitement. I can feel Ellena's anticipation; the sexual energy bleeding off of her is super-charged and making me almost jittery as I absorb it.
I'm naked too - there's no need to bother playing games anymore. Plus, disrobing before her after I'd tied her up had been a thrilling exercise in sadism, forbidding her from leaping up and copping a feel while knowing that she really wanted to. Even now my nipples are hard buds, just like hers are, though hers are left with a light covering of saliva after being suckled and licked for nearly five minutes straight. Despite wanting to take her hard immediately, I want to torment the both of us. We've both been waiting for it all semester, and I'm not about to ruin this first time.
A good mistress would never waste such an opportunity.
As my kisses slide lower, Ellena squirms and whines, balling her hands into fists. "Mistress, please!" she wails, looking down at me with adorable, mismatched, pleading eyes.
Of course, seeing her like this makes my tail sway with delight, and my wings flick and flare a little as I ease back up to sit on my heels. "Please, what? You'll have to be more specific." Of course I know what she wants - I'd have to be an idiot not to know. Still, I love tormenting her. It's delicious.
She rolls her eyes and pouts, looking off towards the other side of my room as she frowns. Naughty. I flick her with my finger directly on her right labia and make her yelp, bringing her attention back to me with lightning speed. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that, Pet," I croon with a dark smile.
Ellena swallows and flushes, her toes curling. "Please eat me out..." she says, murmuring unintelligibly as her voice dips into a volume too soft to hear.
My wings fold up neatly behind me and I lift an eyebrow, folding my arms over my chest.
She squirms. "Do I really have to say it out loud?"
My eyebrow cocks even higher as I wait.
Ellena whimpers, then sucks in a breath before saying clearly, "Please eat me out, Mistress!"
My smile is warm and indulgent as I sink back onto all fours and smile down at her, pressing a kiss to her belly button. "Of course, Pet. You only had to ask."
I can tell she's watching, holding her breath as I shift back just a little, just enough so that I can finally dip my head between her thighs and slide my tongue with firm, unforgiving heat along her needy sex. She doesn't shave but I don't care. I like her just as she is, and her little blond curls are a soft little tickle against my cheeks as I taste her and have her all for myself.
To be fair, this is the first time I've ever done this with another woman, and I can really see why John and Quillan like it so much. Ellena likes it, too, given how hard she's breathing. The straps on the bed are enough to hold back someone of my strength, but I know they're nothing to her. There's no bondage I could put on her that would keep her down if she didn't want to stay down, but I don't care. I trust her not to do anything to hurt me; I trust her implicitly. I guess I just had to give myself the chance to realize that.
Okay, well, to be fair, knowing that she could probably squash my head between her thighs is kind of a turn-on. I'm not even going to begin figuring that one out.
No, I'm going to focus on how good she tastes, and how hot and wet she is, and how reactive, and pretty, and mine she is. I want to make her feel good. I want her to know how perfect I think she is. I want to communicate all that to her with my touch and my tone of voice, and I want her to know how good her body can feel, and not just how bad.
Soon I crawl up along her, lying on top of her heavily as I kiss her with lips that taste like her own desire. She moans against my mouth and licks up everything, letting my tongue invade her mouth beyond her teeth. Her legs part for me as I move in between them, and I press my palms to her arms, just beneath the elbows, to keep them pinned to the pillow beside her ears.
"Are you ready, Pet?" I purr against her lips, my eyes half-lidded with hunger.
She nods, flushed and overwhelmed, and her legs cross over the small of my back.
Without a second wasted, I dive back into the kiss, my skin shivering as energy crackles between us. I wonder if she's feeding on it as well, or if it's just all going my way, but I hope she gets at least a little of it. It's amazing. It's unlike anything I've ever felt. My tail slides in between my legs, the spade tip warm and as flexible and firm as a tongue can be, but larger. It laps at Ellena's slit, coating itself in the slippery, glistening mixture of her arousal and my saliva.
Beneath me, her taut, ready body bucks a little with excitement, and she whimpers into my mouth, her breath just a little hotter.
Once I feel the time is right, I slowly push my tail inside her, the narrow tip preceding the rest, and now it's my turn to groan into her mouth. My spade is sensitive, almost as sensitive as a man's cock, and feeling her molten, velvet vice shiver and grip around it is almost too much. Inch by slow inch I sink inside her, until it occurs to me that I meet up with no barrier. It's really not any of my business, but I can't help but part the kiss and look down at her questioningly.
Ellena seems confused for a moment, then blinks and flushes. "I uh... was using a dildo, the ones with the suction cups on the bottom? And um... I slipped."
I wince. "That must have hurt."
She shrugs a little, smiling self-consciously. "Yeah kinda. But I took my own V-card, so it was worth it."
With a smiling roll of my eyes, I just start up the kiss where it had left off. Secretly I'm relieved. I mean, maybe she fooled around sexually with those two pain demons, and I'm not one to judge. But at least she hadn't given up anything to them that she'd regret.
What? Virginity is still a thing to succubi and incubi too, you know.
Once my spade is fully sheathed inside her, I give her a moment to deal with the intrusion. It's a tight fit, and I leave it completely within her, undulating it just a little to torment her. Ellena whines into the kiss, rolling her hips, begging me to move and thrust, and after twenty seconds I indulgently start fucking her.
And when I start, I don't stop. My cheeks flare with heat and my hands are everywhere on her - her hair, her neck, her breasts, her hips, her legs. As my tail moves, the fun little part with the ridges grinds against my own pussy, urging my hips to grind against hers. Everything is slippery and tight and hot, and soon I start to sweat a little, too. My breathing becomes just a little faster. I've only ever used my tail on myself before, and it's always felt amazing.
This sensation, right now, makes all of that seem completely blasé.
"Ellena..." I gasp against her lips, starting to lose the plot a little.
All she can do is groan in response, all her words departed for the moment. It's taking effort for her to not snap the bindings, and I don't want her to have to worry about it. With a little wriggle of my fingers, I magic the knots to slide free.
What happens next is a blur of motion, and soon I'm on my back, wings flared so that one's draped on the floor and the other's leaning up against the cinderblock wall. It feels cool where I'm feverish, especially when my darling Pet stalks over to me and climbs on, straddling me. Somehow it seems so debauched for her to guide my tail back inside her, and I squeeze my eyes shut and grip at her hips as I find myself inside her body again.
Her hands cup my cheeks and we kiss hungrily, her wavy blond hair mixing with my scarlet tresses, the ends sticking to our sweaty skin. Her chest slides over mine, our breasts slippery with sweat. My hands slide up her back, feeling her one little wing flaring and stretching on the one side, and the little bump on the other moving and tensing just a little, as if there's a phantom wing there to be moved in unison. Maybe there could be. I'll think about it later. I'll think about everything later.
"Ellena, are you..." I start to ask, but I get my answer when she suddenly gasps and arches, tense as a bow string. I curl my toes and groan, half in pain, half in pleasure, as her pussy clenches on my tail. "Good girl," I purr, kissing along her cheek, loving the feel of her body shuddering and the heat flowing just under her skin.
For a while she remains there, straddling me, looming over me on all fours with her forehead pressed feverishly to my collarbone. But soon she moves, her hand holding my tail to make sure it doesn't slip away. I'm a little confused, right up until she presses my thighs apart and lays on her stomach, and I hardly have time to say something raunchy before she starts repaying the favor with enthusiasm.
My hands fly to her hair and grip at it, my back arched, my eyes squeezed shut. "Jesus Christ, Ellena! Yes! Don't stop!" If I thought the kiss before was amazing, this is spectacular. And what's even better is how she moves my tail within herself, using it like a toy, beyond my control. The paired sensations are incredible and overwhelming, and my brief moment of writhing, whimpering, and arching ends with an electric whiplash as I cum hard.
The power I feel rippling through every single nerve is almost painful in its intensity. My fingers shake and my eyes glow red, painting the room in a hellish glow. Things start floating up into the air - my messenger bag, the pencils and pens on my desk, a potted plant. Even Ellena starts to float up off the bed with a little yelp, but I thankfully come online again and gently pull her back down, closing my eyes to let the spell wind down. Various things thud and clank and click back into place, but it takes a lot of concentration. I hadn't noticed the window rattling in its slider, and so it's neglected to the point that it suddenly snaps and shatters.
That startles me and I sit bolt upright, losing my concentration and shivering. Things start to float again and I don't know what to do... right up until I feel a hand crack across my cheek. The sudden sting and the surprise of it make me blink, and suddenly everything falls back down for good this time, the spell abruptly ended. I look at Ellena, who's kneeling over me and looking really worried, holding her hand to her chest as if to hide it.
"I'm sorry, Rachel. You were losing control."
I just nod, breathless, and pull her in for a hug. We're both hot and sticky, tired and a little freaked out from my sudden magical... whatever that was, but she hugs me back, laying her cheek on my head gently. "Has that ever happened before?" she asks softly.
My head shakes as I press my face to her chest. "No. But it's never... sex has never been... so..." I know I sound like a big, dumb idiot, so I stop trying to express myself for a moment.
Ellena doesn't care, and she cuddles me, protecting me all over again.
Victoria can do nothing but look completely at ease on the central sofa in her studio. Even with her brows furrowed in deep thought, she still looks luxuriously comfortable as she leans back, one slender leg crossed over the other. A fresh cup of coffee gently steams on the little side table between her couch and my own, and it's the only cup there.
I don't even trust myself with caffeine right now.
"Upon climax, everything spontaneously began to levitate?" she asks slowly.
With a sigh, I lace my fingers together even tighter. "Yes, Mistress. I can't explain it."
When I glance over at her, I see a small, private smile. For some reason it needles at me, like I'm being teased. It's as if the answer is so ludicrously simple that I look stupid for not having seen it. Maybe out of some twinge of mercy, Victoria looks over at me. "Rachel, it's a natural reaction to absorbing power from the one you love."
That makes me blink. All those herds of deer in the headlights have nothing on me. "...What?"
"This happened with Ellena, correct?"
I just nod.
"And this was your first sexual interlude with her?"
Again I nod, my fingers feeling a little bloodless.
"Rachel, have you truly examined how you feel about her?"
I grit my teeth and flush, looking down at my hands. "I care about her very much."
A velvety chuckle, quite reminiscent of Shoshana's, nudges at my self-consciousness. "I think we both know it's a little more than just caring about her." When I don't say anything for a moment, she takes up her coffee cup and sips from it. "Rachel, you of course understand how powerful I am."
"Yes, Mistress." What a silly question. It makes me sit up a little straighter and attend, my eyes moving back to meet hers.
Again she smiles. "You didn't see me before I met her. Oh yes, I was powerful then, too. Let us be clear about that," she cautions, and I nod. "But when I met Shoshana, by chance as it happens, things became different. Like they did for you. There was more power, more everything. I could do what I couldn't do before... but I could only manage it if I fed from her. Only her. I've tried with others, but without success."
Another sip of coffee gives me a chance to let that sink in, and then she continues.
"At first we weren't close. Work colleagues. She wasn't a succubus then, only a diversion. But she diverted me all the time, you see. She was intelligent and driven. And funny, in her own way. I enjoyed her company out of the boudoir as well as in it. And she cared about me, and she saw me as the person behind this glamorous visage I always display. Until she began spending time with me, I hadn't realized that I'd needed a friend like her." With a little smile that almost seems self-conscious, she adds, "But I did need her. I still need her... I will always need her."
I feel my cheeks blush just a little. It's obvious how much Victoria loves her wife, and I can't imagine that she would have an inch of patience for someone who didn't feel the same about her. "But... don't you worry that you're using her? That the power's addicting?"
Victoria shrugs. "Shoshana is an adult. No one uses her without her consent, not even me." I give her a helpless look, and she relents with a soft sigh. "But... for a time it concerned me. I wasn't sure if what I loved was the power or the woman. But it's easy to determine the truth - could you be satisfied never having that power again, if only to talk with her every day?"
I nod without a word, admitting it as well as I can.
Victoria's smile is affectionate and indulgent, and she chuckles. "Then that should be your answer."
That conversation, had with my mentor early in the morning, repeats and repeats in my mind all day. It's torture to sit through my classes and wait for both myself and Ellena to get back to the dorm. I'm so nervous, but I need to talk about this with her. The worst that could happen is that I scare her off and never see her again... which would literally be the worst. It makes my stomach coil up in knots.
I'm sitting on my bed around 7pm, nibbling my lip, when I finally hear a knock on the door. "Rachel?"
I magic the lock open, and nervously smile as Ellena walks in. She closes the door behind her and locks it, moving over to the bed to take a seat. "What's wrong?"
Play it cool. "Oh... um, nothing. Nothing's wrong. I'm fine." Nailed it.
She doesn't buy it, and just looks at me with a little frown.
I swallow. I'd planned out this conversation all day, and had a good opener. It was smooth and relaxed... and I've totally forgotten it. Shit. "Um... so, I talked to Victoria about what happened."
Ellena nods attentively. "Will you be okay?"
For a moment I just look at her sweet little face. That's her first concern? God, my heart. "Oh, yes, I'll be fine." That makes her smile with relief. "She, um... she said that it happens... what happened the other night... when, um... when two people..."
God, why is this so difficult?
Am I really that terrified of being rejected?
Her warm, slender hand takes up my own, and I look over at her, guilt making my eyes a little wet. "I love you too, Rachel," she says softly.
Ellena just smiles shyly and nods. "Yeah. I do."
I only just realize that I'd been holding my breath, and I let it out in a slow trickle, shivering a little bit. My arms open up invitingly and Ellena crawls over to straddle my lap, cuddling me with a hug as I embrace her warmly... and maybe a little possessively. "I'm sorry I'm so weird, Ellena," I murmur, finally able to admit to some of my insecurities. "I don't want to take advantage of you. I don't want to hurt you or make you think... I don't know..." I sniffle a little, resting my cheek on her shoulder. "You've been through enough."
In typical fashion, she just shrugs gently and holds onto me tighter, wiggling and fidgeting just a little bit. "You aren't taking advantage, Rachel. You protect me. You're the best."
I'm the best. As I huge her warmly and cuddle with her, I start to actually feel like that's true.
And that's that.
After that day, despite having expected complications and resistance, my relationship with Ellena was met with happiness and acceptance. Even Danielle and Claire were excited for me, and Ellena was a good sport when she let them give her a makeover. She looked stunning, my gothed out little angel, but I could tell she felt pretty uncomfortable wearing something so revealing. I think she looked amazing, and I showed my appreciation for her patience in private later that night.
Quillan, to my unending surprise, has become our good friend. While I don't fool around with him anymore, he still enjoys spending time with us. He and Ellena are like brother and sister, and I know we're going to keep in contact with him even after we all graduate. Or, at least I hope so. I'm dying to learn how his relationship with both Danielle and Claire turns out - apparently they're sharing him amicably, and he's in seventh heaven being an adored boy toy.
Of course Victoria and Shoshana understood, and I worked with my mentor all during winter break and spring semester to learn how to control my new power. Shoshana and Liùsaidh helped Ellena to cope with the power she is absorbing as well - given that we're both at least partially succubi, it was bound to happen. My little darling's power manifests in the most literal sense - she becomes even stronger, and it's difficult for her not to accidentally break things or rip doors off their hinges if she isn't careful. Being so unexpectedly indomitable has made her course of studies pretty obvious, and she takes to her training as a bodyguard with delight. She loves protecting people who need it, and I know she's going to have the ideal job when she graduates.
Why? Because she'll work for me, in my role as liaison and spokeswoman for the college. That's already been locked down, thanks to my connections, and there's even talks of paying a visit to Seattle to possibly discuss setting up a west-coast campus. I know I have a certain airman to thank for that.
Wherever we go, Ellena and I will be together... and it's all that we need.
Feb 6, 2018 in romance