The Holiday Season is the season for TV and film marathons. Who doesn’t like to sit in front of the telly with a bowl of popcorn, their fave drink and totally veg out over blissful hours of telly favourites? The holidays are also the time when we love to curl up with a good read. With that in mind, I thought it was an excellent time for a marathon reading of my paranormal erotic novella, Demon Interrupted, which I wrote and ran as a serial on my blog over six months earlier this year. BUT at that time, I could only manage an episode every three weeks, so I thought it would be fun to make it more easily accessible.
For those of you who don’t know, Demon Interrupted is a Lakeland Witches spin-off story set in the fabulous landscape of the Lake District with the witches of the Elemental Coven. With the completion of Elemental Fire, I left my witches with so many stories untold, and they left me with so many mysteries I wanted to know the answer to that I felt compelled to return.
Starting today, for the next nine days I’ll be running a sizzling, chilling instalment of Demon Interrupted for your reading pleasure. Today I’d like to share with you chapter 1 and 2 of Demon Interrupted. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. Thanks for joining for this Work in Progress. And if you want to know more about the Elemental Coven’s sexy adventures, check out the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy: Body Temperature and Rising, Riding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy!
Perchance to Dream
In a room full of people Ferris could remain totally unnoticed. It was almost as though he were invisible. He heard things that way, saw things that others missed. Fiori suspected that was part of his magic. However, at the moment, he was completely and totally the centre of her attention as his warm, wet tongue teased its way down and around the pucker peaks and the rapid rise and fall of her breasts. One splayed hand cupped and fondled her tight pubic curls while the other worried open his fly. What he was doing to her body was also a part of his magic and way more of a surprise, considering the man’s unassuming nature, than his ability to blend in.
She writhed beneath him totally naked, just as she had been when he entered her room, gently easing her out of a bad dream, back into the Waking World, and into his arms. She didn’t know where he’d been before he came to her. The man seldom slept — and him not even a ghost. He might have adjourned to the library after the rest of the house had entered the Dream World, or perhaps he had been in Skye’s bed sharing pleasure with her and Alice. He was generous with his affections. But then he’d hardly fit in at Elemental Cottage if he were otherwise.
How he had known she was having the dream again? How had he known about the dream at all? And yet he did, and she was glad that he came to her. ‘Sh! sh. It’s only a dream, Fiori,’ he whispered. ‘Only a dream.’ He’d brought her a glass of water from the bathroom and had returned with a soft white towel. While she drank as though she had just traversed the desert, he gently wiped the perspiration from her face and her shoulders. Then he took the glass away and moved the soft terrycloth knap in slow lazy circles down her back and her ribs as she slid into his arms, laying her head against his shoulder.
‘Do you want me to stay with you?’ he asked.
She only nodded, tightening her arms around his neck.
His black shirt was open and untucked and his nipples hardened as she slid her arms inside and up his back.
‘Do you want me to make love to you?’ He asked it as simply as a parent would ask a child if she would like a bedtime story. He asked it because he knew in a house where sex magic was practiced, healing came in the form of passion, and she nodded again because she knew that too. His cock was already hard, but then she had noticed that it often was. In those times when he allowed attention to be drawn to himself, in those times when he made his presence known he neither attempted to hide his erection nor did he attempt to flaunt it. It was the ease and the comfort of which he wore his own masculinity that made him seem like a much larger man than he really was. In spite of his chameleon nature, he was not shy by any means, and his stamina and his finesse made him a welcome edition to the beds of all of the Elemental witches and their consorts.
Impatient for the feel of him freed, she shoved at his trousers, the scrape of the zipper seeming unusually loud in the quiet room. He ran his hand down to aid her as she worried his cock free. He was neither large nor small. Even his cock was nothing unusual to draw attention to itself, and yet there was no one at Elemental Cottage who didn’t relish the thought of Ferris between their legs, of Ferris shifting and grinding as though his unassuming penis had a secret magic all its own once properly sheathed in an appreciative pussy or mouth or arsehole.
His breath caught with a grunt as she fisted the length of him and she could almost feel the ripples of lust rising up the vertebrae of his spine. For a second he wrapped his hand around hers and shifted his hips. Then he pulled her fingers free, kissing each one of them, running his tongue in ticklish strokes over the tips, making her hips rock against the mattress. ‘I’m going to taste you now. I can already smell how good you’ll be.’ With a wriggle of his arse and a shove with his feet he shed his trousers as he crawled down between her thighs, nudging her open with the smoothly shaven wedge of his jaw, clearing the way with nose and lips, teeth and tongue. The humidity of his breath blew across her clit, which rose up in anticipation.
‘There,’ he said, his fingers parting her as agiley and exactingly as if he were a pianist and she were his instrument. For an age he studied her, fingered her, arranged her as though there were only one way, the best way to approach her dark, heavy folds, and he would not partake until he knew exactly what would bring all of her focus, all of her energy, all of her arousal to the very centre of his attention. ‘And now –’ his words were little more than a rush of breath ‘–I’ll give you what you need.’ He took her with his whole mouth, hunched over her like a lion at his prey, the muscles of his shoulders flexed tight, dusted and gilded in moonlight. And she felt the bloom of her arousal like a bud swelling, bursting, opening. Then the bloom became an explosion rising up from someplace suspended above the base of her spine. He held her hips, held her steady with strength his body belied as she bucked against his mouth, as she convulsed, as the moon moved in and out amid the undulation of slate clouds.
In the hazy vision of heat he seemed larger than himself, much larger than himself as though his arousal, their arousal together had released something broader of shoulder, deeper of chest, darker of memory and, as the moon disappeared, the power of him rose like a shadow thick and all-consuming and, somehow, other than himself. The hair on the back of her neck rose. Gooseflesh prickled over her breasts, even as she rocked out her orgasm against his mouth.
But before the tingle of uncertainty and the edge of fear could take hold, the moon reappeared and unassuming Ferris gave her clit on last hard tug with his lips and then rose over her, positioning himself, easing her open with his knees and his hips.
‘I need you in me,’ she said, her voice nearly lost in her struggle for oxygen.
‘A need which I share,’ came his urgent reply. It took no more than the tucking of his hips and a single thrust and he was in deep. She was slick and ready for him, gripping him as though she hadn’t just come, as though she were desperate for him to take her. With arms much stronger than they looked, he lifted her legs around his hips and positioned himself so that with each thrust he raked her clit, and she could almost swear that in the stark relief of moonlight and shadow his eyes were onyx black and yet bright, so bright. Even in the glow of a nearly full moon, he road her in the light of an after image that made no sense, and she was reminded that not even Ferris understood his own magic. The closer they both came to orgasm the larger and heavier the after image grew. And the larger the after image, the harder they strained for release. When orgasm broke over them, so did the shadow, consuming them for the briefest of moments and then receding behind their own efforts to recover themselves taking with it Fiori’s urge to speak of it, to question it.
‘Shall I stay with you?’ Ferris asked when they had both calmed enough to speak.
‘If you don’t mind, I’d like that.’
‘There’ll be no more dreams tonight.’ He eased his penis free and sought out the towel again as he slid down under the duvet next to her. ‘But it will perhaps ease your journey back into sleep if you’re not alone.’
‘I don’t need to sleep, you know?’ she said as he settled her into the crook of his arm, her head resting against his chest.
‘And yet even with the nightmare, you still choose to visit the Dream World regularly.’
‘I can’t help it.’ She said. ‘I guess I haven’t been dead long enough to not feel the need. Skye says she no longer misses it, but I still do. I still find the long hours until morning … lonely.’
‘The dreams’ll pass, Fiori, and you’ll heal.’ He shifted to kiss the top of her head. ‘Everyone understands what you did, what you did for Tara, for the whole coven. There was no other choice. You know this.’
‘My head knows it. My heart still has trouble with it. What about you, Ferris? You said you don’t dream.’ She spoke as much to change the subject as because she was truly curious about the man in her bed. ‘Are you incapable of dreaming, or do you simply choose not to?’
‘When I made my pact with Lucia, my ability to visit the Dream World was taken from me.’
‘And now that she’s released you?’
‘After so long in her service, I suppose it’s habit no longer to seek out my dreamscape.’
Fiori felt an involuntary shudder as he spoke, and she pulled him closer. ‘But you’re free now. You’re free to remember all that you were before, and yet you haven’t.’
‘No. I have not.’
For a long moment the silence was filled by only their breathing. Then she raised on her elbow and looked down at him. ‘Don’t you want to know?’
He met her gaze in the darkness and, for an instant, the obsidian shine of his eyes made her feel as though she were falling into them. ‘I made a pact with a demon, Fiori. That our agreement left me to care for and watch over one such as our Cassandra, I shall never regret. But that in our agreement, the demon felt it necessary for me to live in the moment with no memories of my past other than the magic I needed to protect the succubus, I would prefer not to know.’ He shrugged as though anticipating her next question. ‘Lucia has made it clear. All I have to do is want to know my past and it shall come back to me. But it’s my experience that some things are better left where they’re buried. Now sleep, my darling. I know you don’t need it, but it is your habit. I shall be with you when you wake.’ He pulled her back into his arms and stroked her hair.
For a long moment she lay listening to the slow even beat of his heart, suddenly reminded that though he had not the muscle nor the height of Anderson or Tim or Kennet, from the moment he entered her room, from the moment he rescued her from the Dream World, he seemed to dwarf them all. Her heart skipped a beat as she remembered the strange after image that formed around him just before their release. Surely it was just a play of light and shadow in the waxing moon. Surely she was just a little raw around the edges from dreaming about once again being forced to take the life of her beloved high priestess. Everyone was still struggling to recover from Deacon’s final assault. It would take some time to find their feet as a coven family again. But one thing was certain; though Ferris had only been with them for a short time, he had become an asset she could no longer imagine the coven being without.
Chat with a Demon
For a long time Ferris held Fiori settled against his chest. She had fallen almost immediately back into a relaxed sleep. There was no rapid eye movement, so she wasn’t dreaming, but then she wouldn’t be. He knew a little bit of magic that made certain of that. He’d used it occasionally on Cassandra when she was younger and her dreams were particularly bad. He didn’t know how he knew it. He didn’t know how he knew anything really. Not for the first time since Deacon had been defeated he found himself wondering why he didn’t want to know, why it didn’t bother him to live in the present and remain oblivious to a past that gave him gooseflesh whenever he considered unlocking the guarded doors and letting the memories flood back into his mind. He had always assumed that the magic he knew was a gift from Lucia, sent only to help him protect Cassandra. But now he wasn’t so sure. Lucia, like most demons, wasn’t so big on giving gifts as she was exploiting the gifts people already had.
The moon shown brightly through Fiori’s window and, as though she somehow knew it in her sleep, she pulled away from him and turned so that her lovely face was bathed in it. He contemplated staying there with her in the moonlight, in the delicious scent of their lovemaking. He even contemplated settling into sleep with her, but so many things could happen when one allowed oneself the vulnerable pleasure of sleep. For most of Cassandra’s young life Lucia, a lust demon, and one who knew well the most disturbing journeys of the human soul, had kept him in the safe silence of the dreamless dark. For the longest time he’d thought it was her way of making sure he did as he was told, but Lucia knew too much not to know that he would have never done anything to put Cassandra at risk. She was too precious to him. Perhaps, in the beginning, even that sense of Cassandra’s value had been forced upon him by Lucia, but he hadn’t known the young succubus long before he could have done none other but love her and protect her.
He was not Cassandra’s father, nor was she ever his charge, though he had fervently begged Lucia to allow him to care for her rather than for her to be taken to the orphanage where her grandmother discovered her some time later. He was the caretaker of Cassandra’s estate and nothing more. Lucia often reminded him of that fact, and yet they had both known that his role was something more.
He didn’t know how long he had existed before Cassandra came into his life. He sometimes had the sense that he was very old, and at other times he felt as though he was born the first day he held the infant Cassandra in his arms. He now had the key to discover his truth, so why did he still choose to keep the door firmly locked?
Carefully, he slid out from under the duvet and made sure Fiori was well tucked in, even knowing as he did that no harm from the cold would come to her, not really. She hadn’t drawn breath in almost two years now. Strange, he thought, as he pushed into his clothes, his eyes still locked on the sleeping ghost, who still maintained her physicality so that she could endure, even relish, the torture of the Dream World. Strange that one who was dead should seem so much more alive than he. In truth it was as though he were the ghost that haunted the halls of Elemental Cottage when everyone else rested. And in all honesty, his flesh had only begun to matter to him as more than a vessel to serve Cassandra since his arrival at Elemental Cottage. Flesh, at Elemental Cottage, was a grounding in which powerful magic took place. He rested his hand against his cock through his trousers and felt it stretch to his touch. Imagine his surprise when he found, upon his arrival, that his own flesh once again had desires, that food and drink and sex and flesh against flesh burst, ne fairly exploded, into his perpetual present, and his life became three dimensional for the fist time in his memory.
And flesh, it was an anchor to a family that he thought he’d never have. Even when Cassandra had been his soul purpose, he had exerted no control over her and she had sought no closeness in their relationship. He thanked the goddess that at least Lucia hadn’t deemed it necessary for him to live with the open-wound that Cassandra’s constant peregrinations could so easily have left him. No, he had gone about his days in a grey haze of duty that bound him deeply and yet he felt with a distance that eased his empathy at the young succubus’s suffering, yet never lessened his loyalty to her, nor his desire to protect her. For that at least he had been grateful.
He slipped out the door and moved down the hall toward his own suite. Here at Elemental Cottage, he was welcomed for no other reason that the fact that he was here. Periodically he made trips into Surry to check on Cassandra’s estate there until a decision could be made as to the best use of the property. But it was always with a sense of anticipation and pleasure that he returned to the Lake District and to the warmth and camaraderie of Elemental Cottage.
When he reached his suite, he stood for a long moment in front of the closed door, then he turned and headed back down the long hallway past the rooms replete with sleepers traversing the Dream World, sleepers who had only a short while ago made love in honour of the waxing of the moon. The power of sex settled over the house like the moonlight did as he made his way to the staircase and down to the library. The fire was laid in the hearth, as it always was, and once it was lit, he perused the massive shelves for something, anything, that might ease his restlessness. He was looking through a section of old texts on alchemy when he became aware that he was no longer alone. The sudden warmth on his back made him feel as though he stood too close to the fire. In spite of the warmth his arms goose-fleshed and his stomach somersaulted.
‘I can assure you, Ferris, there is nothing upon these shelves that can compare to the paths of knowledge you refuse to traverse.’ In spite of the inviting contralto timbre of the voice, Ferris felt a tremor climb his spine.
‘And I can assure you, Lucia –’ he said without looking behind him ‘– the most hideous volumes on these shelves I would fear less to peruse, than those places of which you speak.’
The demon moved in so close to him that if the fire of her had been a physical flame, his back would have been a cinder. As she crowded him against the book-lined shelves, for a moment, he resisted, ignoring the futility of such an effort. For a moment. Then he relaxed and let her invade his inner space. It was only as she exploded into those inner realms that he realized in all the years of her presence, in all the years of her on the edges of his consciousness, she had never come fully into him before. The weight of her, though not physical, was terrible, and he stumbled backward feeling his way to the sofa, gasping for breath as though all of the oxygen had gone from the world, feeling his flesh burn beyond cinder even as everything remained as it was, and yet would never again be the same.
‘You gave me a choice,’ he gasped in a voice that would have been a scream if he could have managed more than a whisper. ‘And I made that choice.’
She pushed in even closer, as if that were possible, and behind his tightly clenched eyelids he saw both the beauty and the horror of her poised closer than his own breath. ‘I gave you a gift.’ Her voice roared like the winds on the high fells. ‘I gave you a gift and I expected you to open it, to look at it, to use it.’
‘I didn’t want it! I still don’t want it! I was happy as I was.’
‘You cannot lie to me, Ferris. You were not happy. You were nothing more than a tool for my use.’ It felt as though she leaned into him and whispered in his ear. ‘And you didn’t fight me when I made you the offer.’ He felt the weight of female curves against him, on top of him, pushing him down onto the sofa, and to his horror, he was aroused, even as he was terrified.
‘I’m fighting you now,’ he said, realising to his horror that the more he struggled the more aroused he became.
‘You may fight if you choose, but it will do you no good. Did you not think that I would reward you for a job well done?’ He felt an invisible hand move against the erection he could scarce believe was there. ‘Did you think that I would leave you with no comfort when your job was done?’
He cried out and arched against stroking and caressing. ‘Cassandra was her own reward. I asked nothing else of you.’
Her laughter climbed his spine like ticklish fingers. Hands ripped at his trousers, buttons popped from his shirt. ‘You don’t know what you asked of me, Ferris, and you don’t know what I demanded of you, or what I denied you. Do you not at least want the option to hate me for all that I took from you? Is that not properly yours to claim?’
He was shocked to discover that his trousers were around his knees and that it was his own hand stroking his cock while the other cupped the heavy weight of his balls. He was embarrassed to find her watching him from the winged back chair next to the hearth, clothed in the robe of fire in which he had always seen her.
‘Everyone here has fought demons, Ferris. Everyone here has suffered great loss. But for you it has all been vicarious, has it not? For you the battle for the Elemental Coven was no more personal than the loyalty you pledged to Cassandra. I have kept you safe, I have kept you distant from yourself for all these years for your own protection and for the protection of that which I hold dear. And now you choose to remain in the empty space I created for you because you think it is there that you will remain safe. I tell you now, Ferris, and I tell you honestly, there is no safety in this place you choose to remain, and if you do not move forward and claim the time that was taken from you, you will suffer for it, ne, not only will you suffer for it, but all those who care for you will suffer as well. And they do care for you, Ferris.’ She spoke with a broad sweep of her arm. ‘They all do.’
There was a loud thud and a woman’s startled gasp, and then there was bruising pain.
‘Ferris! Ferris are you alright?’ From his position face down on the floor, Ferris recognized Fiori’s voice. Opening his eyes, he became aware of her kneeling next to him, naked.
‘I’m fine! I’m fine.’ He pushed himself to a sitting position, then took the hand she offered as she pulled him to her feet. ‘I … fell out of bed?’
Fiori’s laugh was sleepy and warm as she tugged him back under the duvet. ‘You sure you weren’t dreaming, because you seemed to have been carrying on a conversation with someone.’ As he settled back into bed next to her, she straddled him, and with a shift of her hips mounted him, her grip on his erection a tight caress. ‘Something tells me it was a sexy dream.’
That he could be aroused after what had happened would have stunned him if his visitation had been from anyone other than Lucia. But she was a lust demon, and there was no denying her mark on his flesh. ‘No dreams,’ he lied, grinding his butt into the mattress and then arching up to bury his cock deeper in her body, cupping the weight of her full breasts in his hands. ‘Just being in bed with you, that’s all.’ Fortunately, as he moved a hand down to rest against her pubis and thumb her hard clit, she seemed to lose her train of thought, and her tight shifting against his penis eased his own mental processing and brought him back to the calm centre of the present in which he existed, though there was now no denying that he might not be allowed to stay there much longer.
Read the third instalment of Demon Interrupted, Enter the Shadow tomorrow!