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Succubus Dreams CHAPTER 5

Peter, Cody, and Hugh already had a table when I arrived at the Cellar.Tawny sat with them, much to my dismay.I’d completely forgotten about my apprentice.

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At least she didn’t have Niphon in tow. I hoped that meant she’d finally bagged a guy, though her lack of a post-sex succubus glow suggested otherwise. Neither Carter nor Jerome had deigned to show. I recalled that Jerome was out of town and figured the angel was out with his colleagues. They could all still be at my apartment for all I knew.

“Hey,” Cody called in greeting, making room for me beside him. “I thought you said you were busy.”

“Yeah, well, plans change,” I grumbled. I gestured to Hugh. “Got a cigarette?”

He tsked me. “No smoking in public places anymore, sweetie.”

Groaning, I flagged down a waitress. Smoking was an ugly habit I’d given up for the sake of the mortals around me. Still, after smoking for over a century, I found I craved the occasional hit during stressful times. The city smoking ban was good for Seattle but damned inconvenient for me and my bad mood.

Cody couldn’t let my vague answer go. “How’d your plans change? Weren’t you and Seth going out?”

Hugh laughed when I didn’t answer. “Uh-oh, trouble in paradise.”

“He had things to do,” I replied stiffly.

“Things or people?” asked Peter. “Didn’t you give him the go-ahead to sleep around if he wanted?”

“He’s not doing that.”

“Tell yourself that if it makes you feel better,” teased Hugh. “No one can write as much as he claims to.”

Since my friends apparently had no lives of their own, I had to endure a number of other pokes and jibes. They probably didn’t mean to do any real damage, but their words hurt anyway. Seth had already upset me enough without their help. Anger simmered within me, and I tried to channel it into my rate of gimlet consumption rather than my friends.

The only person who looked more miserable than me was Tawny. She wore a strapless red dress, almost identical in cut to the satin sheath I still had on from the ballet. Unlike mine, hers was made of spandex – what was it with her and that fabric anyway? – and about six inches shorter. Mine also fit.

“Why so glum?” I asked, hoping the others would find someone else to obsess on.

Her lower lip trembled, either from sadness or an inability to hold its own massive collagen-filled weight. “I still haven’t, you know…”

It was enough to allay my own distress. It also meant Niphon was still in town, as I’d suspected upon seeing her. “How? How is that possible?”

She shrugged and leaned forward wretchedly, her elbows resting on knees that were spread open guy-style. With grace like that, no wonder she couldn’t get laid.

I waved my hand around us. “Well, go out there, young succubus. This place is a buffet. Grab a plate and take your pick.”

“Oh, yeah, like it’s that easy.”

“It is that easy. You might not be up to scoring a priest or anything, but you can definitely get some sort of fix.”

“Maybe you can. I don’t…I don’t really know what to say to them.”

I honestly couldn’t believe this conversation was happening. It was weirder than me trying to convince Dante I was a succubus. Maddie had trouble talking to guys too, but a giant, crazily proportioned blonde throwing herself at men could get someone to sleep with her. It was a basic law of the universe.

“Well…if you really don’t know what to say, just try going up and asking them if they want to have sex. Crass, but it’ll probably work for someone.”

She scoffed. “Right. That’s all there is to it.”

“That is all there is to it,” I said. Hugh returned from the bathroom, and I glanced over at him. “You want to go have sex?”

He didn’t even blink. “Sure. Let me pay my bill.”

I turned back to Tawny. “See?”

“Wait,” said Hugh, one hand on his coat. “Was that a joke?”

“You were an instructive example,” Peter explained.

“Fuck.”

Tawny shook her head, tousled blond curls fluttering. “I can’t do that.”

“Oh my God.” I resisted rubbing my eyes, lest I muss the makeup. “Tawny, this isn’t rocket science.”

“Weren’t you telling us how hard it was to do your job, back when your incubus buddy was around?” asked Peter. My friend Bastien’s recent visit had elicited a veritable cheerleading squad of admirers for him and what my male friends deemed “the hardest job ever.”

“Shut up,” I snapped. “You’re ruining my mentoring.”

“I don’t want a bad one,” Tawny said petulantly. “I want to corrupt a good one. One that’ll give me lots of energy.”

“Start small. Don’t worry about the good ones when you probably can’t even pick them out in the first place.”

“How do you find one?”

“It’s an art. One you’ll learn. I’m telling you, though, just start small.”

I did give her a few pointers, recalling my alleged role as mentor. We studied some of the men in the bar, spotting wedding rings and one bachelor party. A guy about to get married was a really nice hit. I also advised on demeanor, how a quiet man was often (but certainly not always) a better bet than a loud, obnoxious one – if you were going for good ones. Of course, serial killers tended to be quiet too. Really, it came down to reading people, which wasn’t a skill she could learn overnight. Keeping this in mind, I tried to reiterate how she should just try easy fixes for now.

“I really like how you’ve got the entire male population pegged,” said Peter when I’d finished lecturing. “I’m glad you don’t believe in stereotyping or anything.”

I shrugged. “I’ve been doing this for a while.”

“Okay, prove it,” said Hugh. He and I were at about equal levels of intoxication now. “Find three decent souls in here.”

I grinned. Imps could gauge the strength and goodness of a person’s soul with a glance. Accepting the challenge, I scanned for a long time. When I picked my three, he shook his head.

“You got two out of three. The two that are right are really good. The one you got wrong is pretty bad. At least you’re dealing in extremes.”

Tawny moaned. “You see? This is hard.”

“For Christ’s sake,” I exclaimed, finishing another gimlet. “It’s not. Not in the rookie leagues you’re playing in. Look, you want a tip? Go get a job that gives you easy access.”

“I am not going to go stand on a corner,” she said huffily.

“Then go…I don’t know. Go to Hugh’s date auction.” The imp glared at me. “Or go work at a strip club. It’s about the easiest thing a succubus can do. Hang out at the bar after your number, and they’ll come to you. A stripper’s a hot commodity, particularly when a lot of those guys’ll think you’re a prostitute anyway.”

“I don’t know. It still sounds degrading.”

“You’re going to be fucking to sustain your existence for the rest of eternity! Get off your high horse. You wait much longer, and your first-one’s-free energy stash will dry up. Stripping’s easy. And fun. And you get to wear pretty costumes. Trust me, it’s a good racket.”

“I guess,” she said at last. She exhaled heavily, the motion pushing her breasts out even further than usual.

“Georgina’s a pro,” said Hugh, reaching over to give her a comforting pat. Considering he really wasn’t a warm and fuzzy kind of guy, I suspected he just wanted to brush her breasts. “Or so I hear. I guess I’ll never find out.” He gave me a bitter glance.

“If that’s true,” Tawny said, “then how come her own boyfriend blew her off?”

The guys let out a collective “ooh” and glanced eagerly between the two of us, apparently in anticipation of the catfight they’d long predicted. All of my earlier fury resurfaced, fueled now by alcohol and Tawny’s incompetence.

Grabbing my glass, I strode up to the bar to get a refill in person. Hanging out with my friends was rapidly losing its charm. A newbie succubus didn’t have any right to mock me about my dating difficulties, particularly when she couldn’t land one guy. I could have landed a dozen if I’d wanted to tonight. At the same time.

And, glancing over beside me, I realized I might very well have an easy score right here.

The guy from the bookstore, the one with the fetish books, stood at the bar, talking to the bartender. He didn’t appear to be with a group. Hastily, I turned away so he wouldn’t recognize me. After I got my drink, I set it on my friends’ table and retreated to the bathroom without another word to them. I’d had to use bathrooms as shape-shifting hideouts for years, but there was nothing to be done for it in these situations. Inside a stall, I changed into a long, graceful body with flowing gold hair – not unlike some of the ballerinas I’d seen tonight. I’d show Tawny how to do blond right.

Walking back out, I caught Cody’s eye. My friends could recognize me in any shape, of course, and he gave me a puzzled look as I strode back to the bar. Standing beside the guy from the bookstore again, I ordered another drink. This time, he turned and caught sight of me. I smiled.

“That any good?” I asked, nodding to the red concoction he was drinking.

“I guess.” He lifted up the glass and peered at it. “It’s a pomegranate cosmo. I think. Kind of girly, honestly – no offense.”

“None taken.”

The bartender slid my whiskey on the rocks to me. The guy beside me laughed.

“I suddenly feel emasculated,” he said.

I grinned and extended my hand, speaking the first name that came to mind. “I’m Clara.”

“Jude.”

“Hey, Jude.”

He sighed.

“Sorry,” I said. “Couldn’t resist.”

“You and everyone else.”

“You here alone?” I asked.

He looked embarrassed and absentmindedly rubbed the empty finger his wedding ring had been on the last time I saw him. “Yeah.”

“Me too.”

He looked me over, attempting covertness and not doing a good job. “I find that hard to believe.”

“Well…” I looked down at my drink, playing with its edge. “It’s kind of a long story…”

And slowly, skillfully, I crafted a tale about how I’d come here to meet a guy and how he’d stood me up. He was supposed to go to a sex club with me, though I didn’t come right out and say that immediately. That would have been too much for someone like Jude, someone who was intrigued but still nervous about the whole idea of exotic sexuality. So, I spoke vaguely at first, using innuendoes, hinting at my own interest in exhibitionism, how I just wanted to go see what a place like that was all about.

As I concluded, I used the same line he’d used in the bookstore. “I feel like such a pervert. Honestly…I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I don’t even know you. It’s just…” I looked up at him with big blue eyes. “You’re easy to talk to.”

A long silence followed as Jude held my gaze. “I don’t think…I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what you’re saying…what you want…”

Snick! I started reeling in the line.

“Really?”

“Yeah…I mean, sometimes…I’ve kind of…you know, wanted…”

“Really?”

He nodded.

I allowed a five-second hesitation. “You want to go with me? Just to, you know, watch?”

After a bit of rumination, Jude agreed. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t know where any sex clubs were in the city. Also unsurprisingly, I did.

I didn’t even look back at my friends as Jude and I left the bar. I hadn’t clocked it or anything, but I was pretty sure my solicitation had been accomplished in record time. That’d teach the gang to question my pro status.

The club we went to was one I’d visited a number of times before. I’d been to better ones in my day, but I liked this one simply because of its name: Insolence.

Establishments that catered to sex and fetishism all operated in different ways. In places where everyone expected to participate – like swingers’ clubs – admission was strictly regulated. Single girls always got into places like that, and couples usually only had a few requirements. Single guys had a harder time. In a place like Insolence that was focused primarily on watching, admission was more lax. We simply had to pay our cover, and we were in. Mine was still cheaper, though.

The place was packed and had a dance club kind of feel. Techno music pulsed through the darkened room, the only illumination coming from recessed lights that shone blue and purple. Most of this light focused down on roped off areas that were reserved for those who wanted to “perform.” They were like small stages that the club-goers could gather around. Some of the stages were themed – one with a doctor’s office and operating table setup – while most were couches and beds. There appeared to be no system about who could use them. It was a first-come, first-served system, and since about half the platforms were empty, there didn’t seem to be too much urgency. But the spectators eagerly crowded around those areas that were occupied, people craning their necks to get a better view.

“There sure are a lot of guys here,” Jude told me as we pressed our way through the people.

“It’s the way of the world,” I told him.

“You think guys are more interested in this stuff than women?”

“To a certain extent, yeah. Guys tend to be more visual, so stuff like this is about as good as it gets. Plenty of girls are into it too – just harder to get them to come out to something like this.” I promptly shut up, immediately realizing I sounded a bit too knowledgeable for a shy novice.

We finally made our way up to the edge of a roped-off area. There, we watched a man thrusting eagerly into a woman bent over an elegantly set dining room table. Jude and I studied them for a while, neither of us saying a word. We then moved on to the next couple, a man and woman going at it on an ordinary bed. She wore a shiny leather bustier and hiked-up skirt. After the third couple – pressed up against a wall – Jude finally spoke.

“These people aren’t what I expected.”

“How so?” I asked.

“They just look…ordinary.”

I laughed. “Because they are. What’d you expect, porn star couples coming in off the streets?”

“Well, no.” I suspected he was blushing in the darkness.

“Everyone’s entitled to do what’s sexy to them. And really, when you see how they’re getting into it…” My gaze drifted to the couple going at it against the wall. Their eye contact was so powerful, so intense…you could totally see how much they aroused each other. I shivered. “Yeah, this is all sexy, even if it’s not airbrushed. This is real. That’s what gives it its edge.”

He didn’t answer but glanced around as though he was reassessing it all. As he did, I studied his profile. He wasn’t quite six-foot, but he had a nice upper body and neatly styled, sandy blond hair. He turned toward me, sensing my scrutiny.

“You know,” I said, “if you’re so concerned about raising the bar around here…well, we’re pretty attractive.”

He didn’t get it at first. “Yeah, I suppose we – oh. Oh.” His brown eyes went wide.

I looked back at the wall couple. “We’re already here. We could really give these people something to watch.”

His eyes grew wider still, like they might pop out. “I…I couldn’t. I mean. God. Not in front of all these people. And what if someone I know is here…”

“I doubt it. Besides, what are they going to do? If they tell anyone, they’d have to acknowledge that they were here too.” I caught hold of his hand. “Come on, I know you’re interested.”

“Yeah,” he admitted. “But I’ve never…I don’t think I could…”

I tugged him toward one of the stages. “You gotta start sometime. It’s easy.”

Jude looked terrified but let me drag him. “You act like you’ve done this before. I thought it was all new.”

“It is.”

“You sure? Maybe you just play innocent and then seduce random men into crazy sexual acts.”

I scoffed. “That’s ridiculous.”

We’d barely ducked under the stage’s ropes when a mob suddenly swarmed around us. I doubted this had as much to do with us in particular – yet – as it did the fact that we were a new couple. Ah, variety. The spice of life.

Jude still looked terrified, but I didn’t have the patience for his hesitancy anymore. The performer in me had clicked on. All those people were waiting and watching, and I had to deliver.

One of our props was a chaise lounge covered in white velvet that glowed blue under the lights. White, I decided, probably hid certain stains better than other colors.

“Come on,” I said, pushing Jude toward the chaise. “Lie down.”

He did, but still looked panicked. “Clara – “

“You’re already here,” I said sharply. “What are you going to do? You going to slink off in front of all these people? You didn’t strike me as a coward when I first met you.”

I’d become someone else now, someone commanding and terrifying. He shook his head.

I climbed onto the chaise with him, straddling his hips with my legs. The lack of energy within me suddenly burned and ached, and I didn’t want to be gentle. Leaning down, I kissed him hard, my teeth scraping his lips as I thrust my tongue into his mouth. He let out a small sound of surprise that was lost in the kiss. Meanwhile, my hands were already frantically unfastening the buttons of his shirt. I think I ripped one of them off.

Jude lay there limply, still in shock. It didn’t matter to me, though, so long as he didn’t fight me. And from the feel of him underneath my hips, not all of him was limp.

I ran my fingers down his chest, digging my nails into the flesh there. A kindly part of me wondered how he’d explain scratch marks to his wife. The rest of me didn’t care. I’d given “Clara” a black tank top and gray skirt – simple but sexy. I yanked the top off over my head, shaking my hair out afterwards like a golden veil. I contemplated taking off the black lace bra underneath but decided to leave it on.

My mouth moved down from his lips, traveling to his neck and chest, pausing to tease one of his nipples. Then I kept going, down to the edge of his khakis. While there, I undid his belt and unfastened his pants in one swift motion. I pushed them and his underwear down to his knees, just enough to give me access to the erection underneath. I took it into my mouth, letting its long shaft glide into me, almost to the back of my throat. He gasped, a noise echoed by some of the appreciative spectators.

I felt the early twinges of his life force. It twinkled like starlight, seeping into me. As it did, I got a taste of his thoughts and emotions, as well as his strength and character. When I’d gleaned enough of his energy to assess its quality, I almost laughed. This wasn’t the first time he’d done anything like this with a strange woman. He’d actually done it twice before. He was still shy about it all, but some of his innocence had been faked, a lure for dominant women like me. Hugh had been right – I couldn’t always gauge a soul. But, infidelity still didn’t sit right with Jude, so he had enough goodness and life force to fill the void that the dream had left inside me.

My mouth moved with more urgency, sucking and teasing. He groaned as my lips slid back and forth. His back arched, and I pulled away, fearing this might end right now if I wasn’t careful. Climbing off him, I stood up and pulled my skirt off, letting it fall in a crumpled pile on the floor. Jude looked at me with pleading eyes, not proactive yet, but definitely wanting more.

An ornate wooden chair stood near the chaise. I moved over to it and knelt on its cushioned seat, pressing my breasts up against its carved slats. I peered back at Jude over my shoulder.

“Showtime,” I said.

I expected hesitation or reluctance, but Jude had apparently overcome his initial reticence. Good. I didn’t want to feel like I was raping him or anything. He clambered off the chaise and walked over to me. I had pushed his pants to his knees earlier, and now he finished the job, kicking the khakis off. Positioning himself behind me, he ran his hands along the sides of my hips, letting his fingers slide along the edges of the black panties I still wore.

I shifted, pressing my ass up closer to him. He sighed. “You are so sexy.”

“I know,” I told him impatiently.

He pulled the panties down, letting them rest near my knees. I ground against him even more and felt him push into me, the penetration forceful and deep. Gripping my hips, he began moving in and out, shoving me into the chair’s hard back with each thrust. I moaned loudly, but whether it was for his benefit or the crowd’s, I couldn’t say.

And speaking of the crowd, I was now literally in a position to look at them, at the faces and eyes all directed toward me. I’d shed most of my self-consciousness over the years, and God only knew this wasn’t the first time I’d had sex in public. Sometimes, I appreciated privacy, but tonight I loved being the center of attention. Maybe it was simply my longing for more life energy. I would have taken it under any conditions right now. Whatever the cause, I found myself getting turned on by making eye contact with different guys in the audience while Jude continued pumping away at me.

As I’d noted earlier, eye contact was a powerful thing. It took you away from the realm of superficial study and moved you into something deeper and more intimate. I favored the guys watching me with a heavy, sultry look – the look of a woman being fucked within an inch of her life and who wanted nothing more than to do it with them next. It thrilled me to think of all the men I was arousing, of all of them aching for sex – of all of them aching for me.

In meeting the gazes of my admirers, I almost forgot that it was Jude who was behind me. It could be any of these men, and their expressions clearly showed that they’d be happy to trade places with him. I looked from face to face, imagining what each man would feel like, how each one would fuck differently. The thrill of it was so arousing that my wandering mind soon fantasized about having more than one at the same time. One in back, one in front…

One of Jude’s hands gripped my hair and jerked my head back while the other hand still steadied itself on my hip. The rough maneuver pulled me out of my daydreams, but I was so turned on now that I welcomed his aggression. He thrust harder, driving me painfully into the chair, and I hoped it wouldn’t fall over. The sweetness of his life energy coming into me continued building, and I felt his thoughts stream into me as well. So good, so good, so good.

And it was good. The voyeurs around us and him fucking me on my knees had aroused me to dizzying heights. The whole act was dirty and exciting and thrilling.

“So good, so good,” I cried, echoing his thoughts. “Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t – oh.”

Talk about irony.

The trick I’d used on Bryce or Bruce or whatever his name was had worked here too. Only, I hadn’t actually wanted it to end this time. Maybe this was Jude’s normal style – short and sweet – and not actually my doing. Regardless, it was done, and I hadn’t even come. Damn it.

But I’d gotten my energy fix, a burst of life and wonder that had exploded into me with his orgasm. Ecstasy or no, he’d felt a pang of guilt at the last minute, regret over this continued desire to cheat on his wife. That guilt had been a bonus for me. Sin was subjective, and often, the magnitude of a sin was in the eye of the beholder. I’d gotten him to sin – which Hell always liked and gave me bonus points for – and I’d cracked his morals, giving me more energy than I would have stolen if he were completely corrupt. I felt that life reinvigorate my essence, fueling my immortality and ability to shape-shift.

He pulled out. I stood up from the chair, catching his hand as he started to stagger. A few people whistled and clapped.

Jude wore a look of wonder – and exhaustion. I handed him his pants.

“Wow,” he gasped. “That was…wow.”

“Yeah,” I said with a grin. “I know.”

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